My dream kitchen!

Finally, I have a white kitchen!

We moved into our house five-and-a-half years ago. The kitchen was very nice, but it just wasn’t white. So, a few weeks ago, after much deliberation and checking and rechecking my budget, I finally hired a company to transform my kitchen cabinets. Two years ago, I had quartz counter tops, new mosaic back splash and a new floor installed. Although they really improved the look of the kitchen, the cabinets were still maple. Sigh…

So, here are the before photo, the way the kitchen looked when we bought the house. Not white, but not bad.

Here is my beautiful white kitchen. (Note: the window treatments aren’t on, yet. That’s tomorrow’s job!) FYI, it was Acell Painting that did the job. Chris did the cabinets and Mike did the walls, room doors, crown molding, etc. Also, the doors were taken to their shop and went through a rigorous 14-day process to transform them into these gorgeous white cabinets.



If you’ve been thinking about transforming your kitchen, think about painting before you make the decision to purchase all new cabinets. It’s a fraction of the cost!

Thanks, for dropping by!

Brick Fireplace Makeover

From dark and dreary to bright and cozy.

I guess back in 1972 this dark brick fireplace was pretty cool. Today, not so much. That dreary brick just sucked the light right out of our living room. So, after much research on Pinterest and many YouTube DIY videos, we decided to go for the gusto and paint it white.

A gallon of Behr white semi-gloss paint (we used the kind with built-in primer), a lot of elbow grease and, presto, our fireplace looks like a million bucks! By the way, we did use a wire brush to clean any dust off the bricks, but other than that, we just painted. One more tip: our brick is extremely rough and jagged and it took special effort to get full coverage. A paint brush worked fine for the grout lines, but the only thing that worked for the brick was a sponge…pound, squish, pound…that’s the technique…seriously.

Here are the before and after photos. By the way, we put up the mantel a couple of years ago at a cost of about $250; the paint job came to about $100 for paint and supplies–that’s what I call sticking to my shoestring budget.





style=”text-align: left;”>I hired a contractor to build in a bookcase to the right of the fireplace and a bookcase that wraps around under the corner window.



Th-th-th-that’s all for now, folks. Please drop in again, soon, for more shoestring reno ideas.


Paint–you light up my life!

Frame_home-sweet-homeHere it is, November, and we’ve finally–after 10 months in our house–gotten around to painting the front entrance.

Our house has one large entrance, with the front door at one end and the back door at the other. When we moved in, It was painted a dreary brown colour that just sucked the light right out. And, to add insult to injury, it has pine wainscoting–lots and lots of pine wainscoting. Yep, straight out of the 19080’s. Sigh. After much thought, we left the wainscoting up for three reasons: first, we were afraid the walls underneath might be seriously damaged from all the nails; second, the amount of work involved in taking it all down was more than we were prepared to do; and, third, we are trying to do all of our home improvements on a shoestring budget. Enter: Behr Ultra Premium paint–white for the wainscoting and my favourite, Raffia Cream, for the walls! Here are the before and after photos.

Before…dark and dreary…

Frame_13 Tripp-Before (12)


Part way through–see how dark it is?


And now…

































I still have to paint the back door and the closet door next to it, but for today, I’m putting down my roller and heading to my craft room!!

Out of Africa

Hi, this is me, Globug.

Hi, this is me, Globug.

Many years ago–41, to be exact, I was a “Brown Owl.” My daughter, Angie, was just seven years old and she was a Brownie. One of my other little Brownies, Tracey, was the daughter of a diplomatic courier. Her mom, Gail, volunteered to be my “Tawny Owl” and we quickly became good friends. She told me fascinating stories about her life and travels in places like Germany and Africa.

One day she showed me some of the beautiful artifacts she had collected from around the world. One of them was a beautiful chess set, hand-carved in Africa, which she had purchased for the ridiculously low price of one Canadian dollar (for a whole set!). I was very taken by the beauty and artistry of these unique chess pieces and, unbeknownst to me, Gail had another set tucked away, which she generously handed over to me as a gift.

I was very excited with my treasure, not because I was a chess player, but because I knew it would be a wonderful gift for my dad. Dad loved the chess set as much as I did, but my mom, in her usual fashion, wrapped it up a tucked it away so “nothing would happen to it.” And there it stayed, deep in the back of a drawer, until my father passed away in 1995. About a year later, I asked my mother if I could take it back. Today, my hand-carved African chess set lives in bamboo bowl on an antique table in my living room, right out in plain site, where it can be seen, touched, admired and enjoyed!


During my big photography kick in the mid-nineties, I snapped this shot of the chess set and framed it. Here it is, as it hangs in my living room, today.

Chessmen photo Frame_IMG_3654

Just for the sake of interest, the two photos below it are little home-made masterpieces, too. The one on the left is a close-up of a gorgeous iron gate that I took in Quebec City. The one on the right is a melted crayon project that I got to make in my granddaughter’s kindergarten class on Grandparents’ Day (17 years ago). I think her teacher gave me an A+ on it, so I framed it.

Photos near shelves Frame_IMG_3645

I guess it’s safe to say that I’m sentimental. And, I LOVE things that are hand-made and/or have stories behind them. There’s lots more to come, so please come back for my next story, which will be about my fight with a shark while deep sea diving off the coast of Africa. Hah! Just kidding…my next post will be about the make-over I’m doing in my bathroom. Doesn’t get any more exciting than that around here, these days!! 🙂