Mar 28, 2012

Cuban Furniture Finds

Wow it's hard getting back into the posting groove.  Especially when I just want to flake on the couch watching the 25+ hours of junk TV waiting on the DVR.

Would you like to see some of the gorgeous wooden furniture they have in Cuba? We'd be in some out of the way place and stumble across the most amazing piece. Furniture that we would pay hundreds of dollars for.  This country that is so poor is so rich in many, many ways.

On one tour we stopped at a roadside stand attached to a pineapple farm for fresh pina coladas.  The drinks were made with fresh pineapple juice, fresh coconut, and of course local rum.  For $3.  Unbelievable.  And then, over in the corner, I saw this.

I didn't crop the picture just so you could see where it was sitting.  Less than a foot from dirt and plants and a parking lot full of trucks and tour buses. I'm not sure what it was being used for or if it was even being used. Maybe I should have asked if it was for sale.

On the same tour we stopped at a marina for a speedboat ride through the mangroves. There was a bar attached to the marina (open 7am to 7pm - get your drinking done early!) and these were the chairs in the bar.  The backs and seats were made of heavy leather, decorated with stamping and upholstery tacks. They look like they've been around for decades.

There was a live band playing in the bar and while everyone else was dancing around and taking pictures of the band, I was taking pictures of the chairs.  Priorities.

In one of the restaurants on the resort I found this.

Again, I was having trouble concentrating on the meal because I wanted pictures of the sideboard.  Of course my camera chose not to work.  I had to come back during the day to get some shots.  The lighting was probably better anyway.  If they only knew how trendy this is right now!

I just love the details. Only the turquoise paint gives away that the "chippiness" was intentional.

The restaurant also had this armoire turned wine cabinet.  This is the only picture I got of it as I felt like I was getting in the way of the staff setting up for dinner.

And this chair was in our room.  You know I wanted to hide it in my suitcase the moment I saw it. 

My favourite thing about it is the muted tones. It's not quite as in-your-face as the blue sideboard. I've always been drawn the the grey-brown of Restoration Hardware style but I think I might give this a try on some tables I'm waiting to refinish.  It's a shame that the desk and the dresser weren't done in the same style. They were just painted a basic off-white. 

What else did I see?  How about this porch swing?  There were two of them in the lobby of the hotel next door.  They were oversized yet fit in perfectly in the huge space.  Do you know how badly I want this on my front porch?  Except it's actually larger than my entire front porch.

Are you as interested in lighting as I am? The lobby of our hotel had these lights everywhere.  I think it would be really easy to duplicate at home.

And this chandelier was in the hotel entranceway.  Beautiful, right?  It was probably four feet across. Imagine how much it would cost here at home.

Both the marina bar and the pina colada shack had these lanterns. How many times have you seen them recently, purchased from the Restore or Goodwill?

These lights were scattered all over the grounds of our hotel and the one next door. They're so interesting - during the day and at night.

Have you ever been somewhere  - like a vacation - and stumbled upon furniture or decor that took your breath away? Everywhere I looked there was something beautiful.  I had to make sure I had my camera with me at all times because I never knew what was going to be around the next corner.

Mar 25, 2012

Cuba - Part One

I am back!  We  had a great week away -
lots of sunshine, swimming, food, and pina coladas. 

There are far too many pictures of me like this:


The colours were unbelievable. 
 Just look at the water,

the buildings,

and the costumes.


The resort was beautiful. 
It was like a plantation.

Our view from the poolside cabana:


I'm still going through pictures (1000+!) so I'll wait to share more later in the week.

Mar 21, 2012

Spring Vine Wreath

You know how you can walk by something every day and after a while you stop noticing it?  I realized that it's the third week of March and the Christmas wreath is still hanging on the front door.  Technically it's more of a winter wreath than a Christmas wreath so I don't feel as guilty as maybe I should.

I used a grape vine wreath that I got at Goodwill a few months ago and some faux vines from the dollar store.  Don't you love when people donate wreaths (because they have ugly crap glued on) and you can get them for a song? The dollar store vines were attached to their own mini-wreaths. They were just attached with wire so I removed them and I'll use the wreaths for some other project. The vines have little eggs attached to some of the stems, but I don't think they're too Easter-y.

Spring Vine Wreath

 I wrapped the vines around the front of the wreath, first the white one and then the green. I tucked the ends under the grape vine and didn't even need to glue anything down. This will make it easy to switch it out later.

Spring Vine Wreath

Spring Vine Wreath

I did insert some small white flowers here and there but decided it was too busy so I took them off.  I used sheer green ribbon to make a bow and attached it to the bottom.  I like the simplicity of it.  It looks fresh and spring-like.

Spring Vine Wreath

Spring Vine Wreath

Spring Vine Wreath

We've had spring-like temperatures for the last week (a fantastic winter all around really) so it's the perfect time to revamp the front entrance.  I don't have any full length shots as the rest of the porch is still in winter mode, but it's getting there.

Spring Vine Wreath

Spring Vine Wreath

Happy Spring!


I'm linking to these parties this week!

Mar 19, 2012

With My Toes in the Sand....

When you read this I will be doing this:

source unknown

And some of this:

source unknown

And probably a little of this:

source unknown

We are on vacation this week so I won't be posting as often.  We're in Cuba on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.  Can't wait to share with you all the fantastic scenery, food, flora, & fauna when we get back.

Hasta pronto!

Mar 15, 2012

It's Big - Really BIG!

Today I'm going to ask you for something.  I have a really hard time asking people for a favour, but in this case it's for a such a good cause that I just have to.

On April 28th I'll be riding in an event called The Big Bike in Aurora, Ontario to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.  Along with 29 other people I will be riding on a specially-designed bike that, along with raising much needed money for research and support, is going to be pretty funny to watch. 

Here are some pictures from previous years:


Tell me that doesn't look like a heckuva lot of fun!

On a serious note, the goal this year is to raise $7 million.  Any little bit that you can donate helps.  Heart disease & stroke is the #1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined (source: Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada and American Heart Association).

If you would be interested in sponsoring me for this event, you can click on the link below and it will take you directly to my sponsor page.  Donations can be made by credit card (secure site) and a tax receipt will be issued if you need one.  Also, if you live in an area that is holding one of these events and would like to participate, go to and register. Thank you in advance!

Mar 14, 2012

Yarn Eggs (Pinterest Challenge)

Are you ready for some Pinterest goodness?

Katie from Bower Power & Sherry from Young House Love are hosting another Pinterest Challenge, along with Erin from The Great Indoors and Cassie from Hi Sugarplum.  The idea is to take something you've found on Pinterest and put your own spin on it.  Then link up at the host sites so everyone can see what you've created.

I missed out on the last one because I couldn't get my butt in gear fast enough.  I did eventually post a Pin-spiration, the pinecone map ornament - better late than never, right?

This time I knew what I was going for.  At least a month ago I bought some styrofoam eggs from the dollar store.  How's that for planning?  Then I forgot about them.  That's more like me.  But this past weekend when my sewing machine broke down and I had to buy a new one, a walk through the yarn department reminded me of those poor lonely eggs and my plan for them.

I've been wanting to make yarn-wrapped eggs for a while and thought I was going to use jute twine - my first love - but I also realized that the house needs more colour.  Since the living room is going to be grey-beige with navy curtains I thought some eggs with blues and greens would be just what it needed.

Here is my inspiration:

Aren't they sweet?  And done up in warm, fun colours that could be displayed all year round.

So we hunkered down to clear off some of the 15+ hours of programming on the DVR while I wrapped eggs in yarn. Regular Monday night, right?

I decided to use plain white glue instead of hot glue, mostly to reduce the number of burns I'd receive.  Reduced it to zero!  Go me!

It was a little slower though as you have to wait for the glue to dry a bit or the yarn will slide around.  I started by gluing the end of the yarn to the bottom of the egg, and then winding it around in a circular pattern.

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

Do you see how the yarn is twisted so that the pattern repeats itself all the way up the egg?  I love that.  You do see a pattern, don't you? I see a pattern. By the third and fourth eggs my fingers had so much glue on them that I was having trouble getting the yarn to stick to the egg.  Yarn-wrapped fingers?  Maybe I'll start a trend.

One egg:

Yarn Eggs

Two eggs:

Yarn Eggs

Three eggs (bwah-ha-ha!):

Yarn Eggs

All the eggs:

Yarn Eggs

I tried them out in different places, but I think my favourite is just in a bowl with some moss.  Makes it a little rustic and natural-looking.  Maybe a wooden bowl?

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

I did have six eggs to work with but ran out of time.  I'll finish the other two later this week and get them displayed.  I might even work in some terracotta hues to pull in the tile around the fireplace.

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

Yarn Eggs

I hope you'll head over to the hosts' sites to see what everyone came up with this time. Everyone has such great ideas and awesome projects. You can't help but be inspired to create something new.


I'm linking up here this week!
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