Saturday, February 28, 2009

Red Chair...

This chair is one of my favorite finds. I bought it at a garage sale for $15 and it was worth every dollar. All I had to do was put some Armor All on it to bring it to life. It is beautiful, comfortable, adjustable and on wheels making it easy to move around. It sits between my sewing table and desk (which are on the 3rd/attic floor)...serving a dual purpose.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's Play Games...

I love old game boards. My talented friend Suzanne made three game boards for me. She does such a fabulous job of making them look old. They use to be strung together as a two of them are hung as art and one sits on a dresser in a guest room. When my nieces were young we would take the headboard off the wall and play with the game boards. Not only is Suzanne talented, so is her sister Barbara who makes rugs...check out their website Old Glory Rugs and Games.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Versatile Straw Holder...

I have a straw holder that houses pencils and thought that was a clever use of the holder until I was over at Inspired Kara's blog. Kara used a straw holder to contain twizzlers as part of a candy bar (yes, a candy bar...being a chocoholic...I think I have been missing out) for a wedding shower.

I thought it would make a great holder for toothbrushes for guests. I put some toothbrushes that I use for cleaning in it just to test it out.

How about using it for crayons, nail files, Q-tips and screwdrivers? Although the Q-tips look a little lost in the holder. Put on your imagination cap and share what other items it could hold...

I recently received two awards, one from Roberta Anne of Little House in the Desert and one from Kathy at Country Romantic. As soon as I have my act together (which should be next week) I will post them and pass them along. Thank you Roberta Anne and Kathy.
Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let's Go On Vacation!

Are you planning your next vacation? My recommendation is a trip to the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. If you have been following my blog you know that for a gal that lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota I reference the Sunshine Coast a lot. I have been fortunate to travel to other countries and continents and love a lot of places (especially Italy). However, the Sunshine Coast holds a special place in my heart...because the mountains and ocean are part of the same view. The picture above and the one directly below are shots of my friend Jayne's charming cottage rental in Hopkins Landing. I had the good fortune to help Jayne remodel this coastal cottage. For those that read my paddle decorating post you can see where I got the idea.
Take the ferry over from Vancouver, BC or fly in to Sechelt if you wish.
Below is the view from the hill I like to walk each morning.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trapezoid Quilt...

I thought I would do a post on this quilt as Vanessa from V and Co. commented about this quilt while reading my post on Breakfast in Bed. One of my best friends, Margaret and I were driving from Montreal, Quebec to Burlington, Vermont six years ago to attend our friend Kristin's wedding. We were enjoying the Lake Champlain scenery and stumbled upon an antique store where I found this quilt top. It captured my heart because of the wide variety of colors (all scraps), the age of the fabrics, the shape of the pieces, it was handsewn and it is old.

The work that went into this quilt is unbelieveable. Each piece is a rough version of a trapezoid. First of all...the time it took to cut each piece (especially a trapezoid piece) as they were cut with scissors not with a rotary cutter on a cutting mat. Second, each small piece was hand sewn together (maybe one of these days I will count the number of pieces that make up this quilt top). Third, the overall quilt is in the shape of a trapezoid...I don't have a clue how the quilter made that happen...but she did. I paid $80 for this quilt top and planned to sell it on ebay. But I couldn't sell it...instead I bought fabric for the back and the border and sent it off to my long-arm quilter Lynn. Of my 27 quits this is in the top 4 of my favorites. It is currently on my bed.

The picture below shows you that the shape of the overall quilt is a trapezoid. I know you may be thinking that it looks like a trapezoid because of the photo...not so. My long-arm quilter Lynn will validate that it is a trapezoid...something she had to adjust for when it was on the big quilting machine.

Stop by Vand Co. and read about Vanessa's exciting MODA news and check out what she can create from a sheet.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Monday, February 23, 2009

Favorite Posts and Giveaways...

Barking Mad is having a giveaway...$250 Target gift card. All you have to do is list your top five favorite posts and sign up at Barking Mad once you have listed your top five posts.

Here are five of my favorites in no particular order:
Bathing Beauties
Luggage Rack

Coffee Jars
Beach Chair
Firewood Container

And wait there is MORE!

The Junk Revolution is also having a GIVEAWAY! Stop by and enter!

I am feeling the pressure to host a giveaway...I have blogged every day since 11/18/08...over 90 posts. My goal is to blog every day for a year...YES, 365 posts. I am a quarter of the way there. I thought coming up with a daily post was challenging...coming up with a giveaway may be more challenging. Not only is there anxiety as to what to giveaway...but there is the pressure to come up with a charming way to wrap it.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Breakfast in Bed...

I love the look of a breakfast tray on a bed. I have them on all the beds in my home. They give the illusion of a B&B. The one above is in the guest bedroom that gets the most use. I like the side pockets in case guests want to store whatever they are reading or working on and like that it props up if guests want to read in bed.

The tray below is on my bed and I love that it folds so I can place it flat in my lap if I wish. I use it every so often...unfortunately more for enjoying a bedtime snack than for breakfast.

The one below ties to the headboard (see sidebar pic) that is in the room. The glass holder is a nice touch for drinks or holding a vase of flowers.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Repurposing Rollers...

I bought two plant stand holders on wheels for 50 cents at a garage sale last summer. When I spotted them I immediately knew I would paint them black and use them under my magazine baskets. I have two baskets that I over load with magazines making them ridiculously heavy when I have to move them on those rare occasions when I breakdown and dust under them. I thought putting the baskets on rollers would entice me to dust more often as the baskets could easily be moved. I should have waited to take these pictures until after I dusted. By the appears that each holder was handmade.

I bought two blue (after all I can't resist blue) pillows for $1 at a garage sale this summer and those are stuffed in one of the baskets...not the best look.

Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remembering Friends and the 70s...

Yes, these fabrics are from the 70s. My friend Elizabeth made this quilt square in 1976 with the intention of making a quilt. For whatever reason she never made the quilt. Elizabeth died of cancer in 2000 and as she was going through her belongings she came across the square and sent it to me as a keepsake. Elizabeth and I became friends when I lived in the Bay Area and made several trips to Italy together. Whenever I would visit the Bay Area I loved staying at Elizabeth's home in Sausilito...fabulous view of San Francisco. We would make pasta, drink wine and gab about what the future held.

In May, 1999 we were in Italy and she was telling me she didn't feel well...the doctors were telling her it was menopause. When we got back from the trip she went to doctor after doctor until finally in September someone realized she had uterine cancer. They did surgery and she went through chemo but she lost her battle in August, 2000.

I kept the quilt square in my quilting basket until last year when I brought it out and wash it to get rid of the yellowing. I realized at that point that the colors in the quilt square are in my porch and throughout my house, and when I look at it I re-live the 70s. I have decided to frame it along with the handwritten note that came with it and her last email (the note and email won't show as they will be placed behind the quilt square). Now I am on the hunt for a frame that will work best given its dimensions. The picture above gives a true representation of the colors versus the picture below.
Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Paddle Decorating...

When I think 'cottage' I think of water, so what better to decorate with than a paddle. My friend Jayne has paddles as decorations in her home on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. So I copied her idea and put paddles over several entryways into various rooms. I brought the blue paddle home from British Columbia...I loved the color. I wrapped it in bubble wrap and checked it as luggage. You could also use the paddle for a curtain rod or stand it up in a corner and attach pictures.
Found the paddle below at a garage sale in my neighborhood. Living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (Minnesota) it is easy to find paddles, but they usually are more than I want to pay. This one wasn't painted but needed some sanding. When I finished the sanding I decided to keep the natural color...I probably need to varnish it.
The red paddle was purchased at the Gathering of Friends Antique Market event which is held a few times a year at Buck Hill Ski Chalet in Burnsville, MN (few minutes south of Minneapolis).
Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cheap organizing...

I am totally into organizing my kitchen drawers using Gladware. While I enjoy the Container Store and could go crazy there I found that I could organize my junk drawer and rolling cabinet drawer very inexpensively ($6) using a variety of sizes of Gladware. I must say it is enjoyable to open a drawer and not have everything shift and jumble together.
Thanks for stopping by...
Renee @ Cottage Lifestyle