Basement Reno Part 2… my big fake window

My ongoing post on our basement reno.

Our basement only has two tiny windows, here they are.


One of my biggest concerns was that I didn’t want my coastal themed dream room to feel like a basement, dark.. and small. I turned again, to my internet soul mate..Pinterest.


I wish I had the links..but these images gave me hope.

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Brilliant aren’t they???
Spoke with my contractor, we decided just to do one fake window, since the other small window was right next to where our (spoiler alert) built in shelving/fireplace was going to be.

Here it is, all framed out. I was excited at this point.

You can see, that during the day it actually does get a lot of sun. It looks out onto our deck, so when this picture was taken, we had a bunch of patio furniture right in front of it.

I made sure the electrician hard wired it, it is attached to a switch on the opposite wall.  The next step was to find adequate lighting. You can almost see, the actual wall isn’t that thick, so the lighting had to be slim. I was worried about heat as well, so I decided to go with an LED light. This made for a bit of a challenge, all the LED lights I found, the strips etc, needed a plug. I know that you can strip wires etc and hard wire things, i just didn’t want to mess with that business.  I found a 24″ under cabinet light at home depot, that had the option to be hard wired and you can actually add others to each side if you want. .. might do that later. It was over $80… ouch. It’s actually the most expensive light in my basement right now. lol



Works great though. I added some metallic shelf lining paper, the sticky kind, to the back to make it more reflective. Before the window was even finished, I found some white wooden slat blinds at the thrift store for $4. They were a custom cut that I guess didn’t fit, still in the box! I bought them.. on the off chance they might fit my new fake window.


SCORE! They were a little short on either side, just maybe 1/4″ but you can’t tell behind these sweet curtains I found at HomeSense. (The Canadian version of HomeGoods) I like how the little teal stripes look like ropes… nautical right??


At night, the light does appear to be coming from the bottom, which is a little weird, I am considering moving the light, or getting some small strip lights for up each side to make it even. I might also eventually put in shutters and have the top quarter open like in my Pinterest inspirations. That is a plan for later, Thrift store blinds…$4… custom made shutters, $200++++

So for right now, I am just loving how much it adds to the room. What do you think???


My Basement Reno Part 1…Alternate Title… How I forced myself to stop being a hoarder.

I live in a small, semi detached house, in a big city. Now that my eldest is at University, it’s only 3 of us, plus the puppy baby.

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Puppy Baby

Somehow the house seems smaller with a 5 year old than it ever did with a teenage. We had always planned to do the basement, among other renos.. and never got around to it. The biggest obstacle wasn’t the planning or the money… it was clearing out the basement. Hubby always said.. if you clear it out, we’ll get it finished.

I never took a before picture.. too embarrassed but picture this..


(not my basement) but piled to the ceiling with boxes, full of things I haven’t looked it in 10 years.

Oh the shame… I was horrified if anyone ever had to go down there, but pinterest saved me.. Pinterest gave me the motivation to move forward… to attempt the unthinkable.. to clear that hell hole out.


If you are interested, here’s my giant Pinterest board full of my motivation and ideas for the basement. http://www.pinterest.com/ravenlola/basement-reno/

If you start at the bottom, and move up you will see the evolution of my plans. I always wanted a coastal themed room, initially it was going to be a pale blue like this

From http://www.favoritepaintcolorsblog.com

Fun Fact: I love in the middle of the country, no where near a beach.. or any coast. I guess Lake Ontario is pretty close… does that count?

I just have always loved the coastal theme.

The basement I wanted also would have a cute play room for BabyBoo, like this


 From http://www.homeandgardendesignideas.com

And lots of fun coastal pieces like this


From http://www.shadesoflight.com/
In fact I became obsessed with this whale….more on that later.

Thank you Pinterest for motivating me. After nearly 2 months.. a lot of trips to goodwill and the local dump, the basement was empty. Pictures aren’t nearly as great as my sense of accomplishment.



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See that weird area under the stairs, with the low ceiling. That is where my main floor powder room is.  It is on the landing, a few steps down from the main floor, on the way to the basement. Ceiling in that one area is only 4 1/2 ft high. Who doesn’t love a challenge like that??

Stay tuned for part two.


Audrey – Let the Renovations begin…..

I have let the lovely “Audrey” sit on my lawn for about a month now. I have come up with ideas, some I love, some I now hate, and some just keep coming.
Before I get started on the Renovations I thought I better take a bunch of “BEFORE” pictures so that I can document her transformation.


First off this messy lady had to be cleaned.  A good exterior scrubbing revealed that she was in pretty good shape for her age.

This is where the husband comes in handy.  I am just too short to reach.


The interior is a flash back to the 70’s.  However I think the colours from the 70’s should stay in the 70’s.

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These are before the renovations.  The Orange and Brown flowers must go.  The 70’s can have them back.  Below is my cute little kitchen with all original equipment and all functional.  Not sure if this is a good thing or not.  Fridge is pretty small and “old”. Just might have to replace it


This carpet gives me nightmares.  Ewwwww – going, going, gone…………..


I think I will replace it with white washed “look like wood” vinyl flooring.  I still want a rustic look but it needs to be new and clean.

I cannot wait to start tearing her apart and redesigning her.  I am sure I have no idea what I am getting myself into.  I just might have to stay home a few weekends to get started.  I am excited though and cannot wait to post “AFTER ” pictures.





Audrey – My 1976 Vintage Trillium Camper


As many of you know, and driven crazy in my search, I have been looking for an Adorable Vintage Camper to restore.  The search has been endless and time consuming but I have finally found her.  She is a 1976 Vintage Trillium Camper.  She is small and adorable and I love her already, tacky retro fabric and all. 


I fell in love with her right away, she is exactly what I have been looking for.  Her previous owners were so nice and they took excellent care of her.  All original equipment in excellent working condition and her body was in perfect shape, hardly any wear and tear on the girl.

And soooo –  after love at first sight we hooked her up and away we went with her. Special Thanks to my husband for helping me instead of rolling his eyes and saying “Another Project – ugh”.  I can sometimes be very impulsive and bought her on the spot with no idea how to even hook her up.  He came to the rescue and helped me get her home.  I think he was even a little bit excited about the idea also.


audrey 2

As my friends and family know, I love all things Vintage.  I love knowing that they have a history behind them. I loved hearing the stories of the previous owners adventures with her, where she had been and the fun times they had with her, music festivals etc etc.  She is well traveled.

 So now she needed a name.  ( And I call her “she” because she is curvy like a woman). I then decided to name her Audrey after the classy fun-loving lady, Audrey Hepburn. I also decided that the colour theme for “Glamping Her” will be Tiffany Blue, hence “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. ( a theme going here, lol)

Follow my adventures as I restore and “Glamp Out” this adorable little camper of mine.audrey-hepburn-quotes-audrey-hepburn-quote-25202



Just stuff we love! (or hate), Online Store, Tea Cups

Tea Cup Shapes?? It’s a whole crazy world out there.


By no means am I an expert on Tea Cups… I look everywhere for them, I find them, I go “ooooooooo soo pretty” then I sell them. Then I use the money I make selling them, to buy more tea cups. It’s a vicious circle/addiction.  Vickie and I have been doing this just over a year, when we started we knew NOTHING about tea cups, now..after a year and a few months…we know almost next to nothing, but it’s progress. lol

Apparently there are literally hundreds of different shapes for tea cups, and each manufacturer has it’s own names, even though some are nearly identical. If one pottery bought another, they would use the same shape, but sometimes refer to them as a different name…just to make it difficult for collectors or resellers 70 years later to make sense of it all.  If I make a mistake.. .please let me know.

So lets start with Royal Albert, because they are the most popular, and have the most available information I can find on this magical thing called the internet.

There’s an amazing website already called http://www.royalalbertpatterns.com that lists a zillion patterns and tons of info on Royal Albert. If you are a collector, I am sure you’ve been there.

There’s a whole page dedicated to shapes. HERE

Here’s a few of the most popular patterns offered by Royal Albert, with examples from our shop (of course)


il_fullxfull.518106752_rw6d Pretty shape, we have a large number of these in the store







Other than Royal Albert, we have tons of different shapes, this one in particular is really popular. Most collectors refer to it as corset shape. I believe it is primarily a Aynsley Shape.



We have seen a few shapes very similar to Aynsley’s Corset.

Here’s one by Grafton

il_570xN.521464033_erh1Pretty close… but I love the handle on this one. Very Art Deco.

That’s all for now.. stay tuned for more shapes.. once I figure out the names. Feel free to message us with any info! We’d love to share.


Quinoa – What is it…….

Vickie’s Kitchen

Aside from collecting and selling Vintage Tea Cups, another hobby of mine is I love to cook. I thought that I would share some of my  all-time favorite recipes as well as some of the new ones I am trying that I enjoy.

So what is this “Quinoa” ( pronounced KEEN-wah) everyone is talking about.  It’s the latest “Super-Food” even though it has been around for thousands of years.  Well, for starters, even though it looks like a grain it is actually a seed from a vegetable related to Swiss Chard, Spinach and Beets.  It is high in protein, amino acids, calcium and phosphorus.  It is also Gluten Free.  So being that the hubby is newly “Gluten Free”, I have been trying my hand at some of these recipes and let me tell you – I am impressed – this stuff if good!!  It is filling, you can make it ahead and use it during the week for lunches on the go, and you can add just about anything to it.


So today I have attempted a recipe that I found at


Kale and Quinoa Waldorf salad with Chickpeas ( sounds yummy) so I thought I would give it a try.

Turned out fabulous.  Easy to make and full of yummy “Super-Foods”.   I did however do what I do to every recipe that I try, I change it to my liking.

The recipe as I made it is as follows:

KALE AND QUINOA SALAD WITH CHICHPEAS (took out the word waldorf since I did NOT add walnuts, I prefer almonds and I added seeds, love my seeds)

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed ( It is very important to ALWAYS rinse Quinoa before cooking)

2 cups water

2 TBSP. Olive Oil

2 TBSP. white vinegar

2 TBSP. Dijon Mustard

1 TBSP. Mayonnaise

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper

1 bunch of Kale, washed, de-stemmed and finely chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

Half a Red Onion, chopped

1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup almonds or walnuts

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pepitas


Bring rinsed Quinoa and water to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce the heat and cover for approx. 15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork when done and set aside to let cool.

In a small bowl mix oil, vinegar, mustard, mayo, salt and pepper together.

In a large bowl add the kale, celery, chickpeas, almonds, cranberries and pepitas.  Toss to combine.  Then add the cooled Quinoa and the dressing and toss everything together.

You can make this salad ahead of time, which I prefer to do because the flavours enhance.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Feeling “Super” healthy already!!

Mishelle, guess what I am bringing you and me for lunch tomorrow at work!!!   



Tea Party Inspirations

Still working on the princess plan..but in the meantime….

My sister and I fell into the the vintage tea cup business… totally unintentional, we knew nothing about teacups.. but that is another story. Having an online store that sells vintage tea cups means that I spend all sorts of time looking at tea cups.. not just scattered all over my house but online, (pinterest)… and just about anywhere I can find them. I won’t lie.. my heart skipped a beat when I traveled to the UK section of  Epcot at Disney World and there was a small Twinnings Tea shop filled with adorable “tea things”. Let’s just say, I’m hooked.

No particular order to this, just some sweet inspirations.

47217496063507287_7NE0OLzs_f I love a good mismatched tea set. I love the look, the whimsy and charm. I want to have a tea party. .. i say that every few months. Still hasn’t happened.


This is what I imagine Vickie and I will look like at our vintage tea party!


This is how we’ll probably look.


Tea Party Humour


Tea Party Coolness


Tea Party for Girls


Tea Party Early Instagram

tea party

High Fashion Tea Party (for loners)


Tea Party For MollyJane (my 4 year old)


Tea Party Bridal Shower

urlMad-Hatter-party Garden-Tea-Party-Decorations

Tea Party Treats



Tea Party for Hipsters


Tea Party for Gardeners



And one for the British


And no tea party post is complete without Alice


And because you’ve been so sweet to read right through this silly post… here’s Elizabeth.. just a teaser… crappy cell phone picture..one coat of Annie Sloan Old White…. pardon the mess in the room, just back from holidays.





I’m going to be a princess!!!!!!!

First off I have to apologize for the long time between posts. “life happens”

I am so excited today. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed not of just being a princess.. but very specifically of having a princess vanity. Even as a kid, I dreamed of furniture… my husband mocks me for this, but he watches fishing on tv.. so touche!

ImageSo.. into my forties now, and I’ve never had a vanity, primarily for 2 reasons.

1. Room/practicality; A vanity is a piece of furniture that really has limited function, and takes up a fair bit of room. Picture a small bedroom, bed, dresser, etc… not much room for a large vanity used solely for gazing at oneself.

2. Purpose; My daughter is a huge makeup fan.. she spends hours in front of a mirror, trying new products, experimenting.. check out www.mikaleigh.com her blog…anyways.. I am NOT a huge makeup wearer.. i don’t wear anything during the week, i might slap on some mascara on the weekend, and even when I go out, it’s really a 8 minute process to put on my face. I would estimate that my makeup application time averages around 20 minutes total a month.. so, do I need a piece of furniture solely dedicated to make up application taking up room in my 1600 sq room house, for something I do 20 minutes a month???

Logical answer …. of course not.

Mishelle answer??? HELLS YA!!! I’m a princess!

So you can imagine my excitement when i found this at a local estate auction. Insert squeeelly noise here.


Fortunately my husband has agreed to take time out of his busy Saturday to help me ram it into our Santa Fe (measurements have been confirmed) so this beauty will be all mine tomorrow. weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehoooooooooooooo

This is me after winning the online auction and getting this beauty for only $130


And.. fun fun, she comes with a chair.


Tomorrow when my pretty vanity and I are finally together,… I will name her. I am thinking  Elizabeth (as in the Mrs Bennett/Darcy).

Once the lovely Elizabeth is home, the big decision will be made. Some of you will groan, or even shout in despair.. but I am painting her. It’s my dream … not yours lol.

The big decision is color. We all know how much I love my Annie Sloan, and this is the perfect project.

You’re going to have to excuse my lack of links for these images.. not all pinterest links go anywhere. If you see a pic i haven’t properly referenced feel free to send me the link.





Decisions Decisions… Granted considering my current workload it will probably be Christmas time before this gets done. Stay tuned for the big reveal.

and once again

I’m going to be a princess!!!



City Mouse/Country Mouse and more before and afters.

My commute is generally the complete opposite of most people’s.  I drive from a big city, to a rural area, to work. My office is in a house, on a dirt road. Most people have traffic, cabs, construction and what not to complain about. .. this is my biggest problem.


TURKEYS! Those are wild ass turkeys.. and they wander out onto the road.. they’re ridiculously dumb, and I am terrified of them. They’re HUGE!

BTW, Meleagrisphobia is the irrational fear of turkeys.. I may have it printed on a tshirt.. loud and proud.

Just thought I’d share that with you.

Now for my weekend, two smallish projects. First this nasty old 70s table I was about to toss, it was just plain veneered wood. I coated it with 3 different colors of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, the top is old white, the edge is Louis blue and the legs are Henrietta, a really soft pink.

IMG-20130223-00269 Still pretty lame

Next I printed out a graphic I liked from graphicsfairy.blogspot.ca

I sized it to fit the table, then i took a blue pastel (cause it was the only color I had) and rubbed all over the back.


I decided not to use the edge around the graphic. 


Rubbing everywhere there are letters.

Then i positioned the sheets in place and went over each letter with a pencil, so the blue rubbed off on the table. When I was finished it looked like this


Then I made myself a big cup of coffee.

Next I went over all the letters with a black permanent sharpie, I have several sizes, needed a find point for the small letters. Then end result looks rather messy, but I knew I was just going to sand the heck out of it and antique it, so I didn’t mind.

IMG-20130223-00278 - Copy

Then I went to town with my sanding block, then, added a coat of clear wax, let it dry, then went over with some dark wax in a few areas to make it look even older. You would barely recognize it, that 70s child is in my upstairs hallway now. I love it.


IMG-20130224-00290 - Copy

I promise I am going to start taking pictures with my camera and not my cell phone.

I have a tray project to share coming as well, But I think I will take some good quality “after” pictures before I post. Stay tuned.


Better Late than Never… THe before and after episode…

SO busy over the holidays, the blog has been neglected. But I promise to make up for it, with this “before and after” edition..lots of pictures…and maybe some inspiration.

Without further ado…

My latest Annie Sloan Attack! This lovely round end table.

She wasn’t too bad before.. the wood matched my buffet, but I just couldn’t control myself. She needed some Annie Sloan Chalk paint, and a new home.


Looks like she has two doors, but its actually one bid door that swings from the left. I love that feature because it’s being used to hide all my 3 year old’s Barbies and what not.


Two coats of Annie Sloan paint, no sanding or prep.. used Duck Egg Blue… my latest favorite. I was going to leave the top wood, but I wasn’t sure.. It went down in the basement for a month anyway to make room for the Christmas Tree.  I finally brought it up, and decided to use ASCP Old White.. and then antique it up with some wax etc. 3 year old made a mess of it a few times before I got to wax..so i just kept painting it over. I dont have a picture of that step.. so jump to……


WOW… did I ever change my mind. I was peeking over at The Graphics Fairy my latest late night addiction, and I couldn’t wait to try my hand of transferring some French Typography.  I got my hands on some freezer paper, then got frustrated with that method..and just did it the old fashioned way.. featured in the video here. 

Once I had the image traced, I literally colored it all in with a sharpie. It took about an hour, but i had the house to myself, and had PVR’d some Greys Anatomy to keep my company.


Then I just scuffed it up a bit with my sanding block, (after the sharpie ink was dry) and then added 2 coats of ASCP Clear Wax, and some more dark wax in the edges.

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These pictures are all taken on my Blackberry… so they’re not so great. Hope you like the finished product.

Now for just a hodge-podge of Pics of other projects.

Molly’s Chalk Board Craft Table

BeforeMollyhelping beforeaftertableIMG-20121118-00133

Front Door Bench

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and a decal.

BENCHBEFORE (1) benchafter1

New TV Stand

IMG-20120615-00196 IMG-20120624-00250 IMG-20120624-00251That is actually wallpaper on the top. Covered in modge pod.. a few coats. So far it’s help upIMG-20120624-00249

Stay tuned.. I will try to take pictures with my Nikon for everything here on in, these cell images just aren’t cutting it lol

Hope you enjoyed.