Thrift Store Keepsake Box – Para Paints Blog Crew Spring Fever

When the idea of a Para Paints Blog Crew Spring Fever Challenge was hatched I must admit to being a bit hesitant – I mean what would I paint? Sure, I still live in a condo with all white walls but, while I have vague ideas of what I want to do with the rooms, with school and work I simply haven’t had the chance to sit down and really figure out what colour(s) to use. I wish I was one of those people who can pick a colour out of a fan deck and immediately know that it’s the perfect colour for the space. I take a while pondering and second guessing myself and I didn’t have that much time for this project.

Anyways, once I committed (along with Meredith and Susan of Newberry Sykes, Tash and Kes from The Dream House Project,  Sabrina from the Pink Little Notebook, and Sara from Saige Wisdom) I decided that as this was a spring themed project I would try to do something fun with a used item – a renewal of something old which I thought was appropriate as spring brings a renewal of life (both for plants, and for us unfortunate humans who’ve been hiding from mean Mother Nature for months). I thought of reworking something I already had but in the end I found the perfect item at Value Village for just $1.99. Thrift Store Painted Wooden boxI’ve wanted one of these keepsake boxes since I first saw them a few years ago, but as they’re priced from $95 to $145 (US) each they are a bit too pricey for my ‘tuition-is-expensive’ pocketbook. When I saw this wooden box sitting on the shelf at the thrift store I knew what I would do with it. The box had been the recipient (victim?) of someone’s artistic touch, but I figured a bit of sanding and some primer and I’d be good to go. Famous last words.Thrift store wooden box insideI used Para BlockOut primer which worked wonders on the untreated pine of the box including a couple of knots, but strangely the little blue dots thwarted my efforts to remove them. I have a feeling the only thing that would have blocked the ink was something oil based which I didn’t have on hand since it tends to be smelly and I was painting in my dining room. As I planned to use dark paint on the top of the box and the worst of the dots were on the inside of the box (which would rarely be seen), I decided they just add a bit of character to my project. Besides – polka-dots are ‘in’ right?Wooden box painted whiteOnce I’d primed the box I added two coats of Jo Jo Whitewash (PF 17), and then it came time to tape off my borders.

I debated the size of the borders a bit, but eventually I decided that 1/2″ was the perfect size as the box is 14″ long. Taping didn’t take as long as I thought it might, and once it was completed I used an artist’s brush to paint some more Jo Jo Whitewash along the edge of the tape to try to eliminate any colour from seeping underneath. Painters tape added for the borderThe colour I chose for the box is called Rubber Boots (P5027-73D). I love the colour, but I think it was the name that sold me – can you think of a paint more perfectly named for a spring project? A couple of coats later and it was time to peel of the tape. I’ll admit to being nervous, and wondered if painting over the tape would make it hard to remove, or worse remove some of the paint entirely, but I had no trouble when I peeled it back slowly, and it revealed a crisp line.My new keepsake boxI’ve decided I’m going to store various keepsakes in the box. I’ve got some ‘First Home’ cards from when I moved into my condo, some recent birthday cards, pictures of friends and family, and a couple of pieces of jewellery (a bracelet from my Gran, a ring from my great aunt, and a bracelet I got for my first communion) that I don’t wear (but want to keep) and I think this will be the perfect place to store them all instead of in a few different places. For now my new keepsake box is sitting beside my TV, but I don’t think that will be it’s forever home I’ll probably move it to the bookcase, or maybe my bedroom. What do you think? Not bad for a thrift store box right? Wooden box Storing special keepsakesNow that you’ve seen my spring inspired paint project, I hope you’ll check out what each of the other members of the Para Paints Blog Crew created – click on the banners below. spring fever newberry sykes bannerThe Dreamhouse Spring Fever ChallengePinkLittleNotebook_SpringFeverSaige Wisdom Spring Fever Challenge BannerOnce you’ve been wowed by their projects I hope you’ll share one of your spring painting projects in the link-up below (You just have to share your project once, and it will appear of each of our blogs).

SPRING FEVER – Share your Spring paint projects!

A few simple rules:

  1. We ask that you only link projects that were created by you.
  2. You must link directly to a specific post.
  3. Do NOT link posts that are linked to your link party, shop or giveaway.
    If you do, YOUR LINK WILL BE DELETED

Be sure to follow each of your PARA Blog Crew hosts:

The Dreamhouse Project
Bloglovin’ ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Google+

Newberry Sykes
Bloglovin’ ~ Mere Twitter ~ Sue Twitter ~ Mere Pinterest ~ Sue Pinterest ~ Facebook

Pink Little Notebook
Bloglovin’ ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Google+

Saige Wisdom
Bloglovin’ ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Sweet Suite 10
Bloglovin’ ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

By linking up, you are giving us permission to feature your project on our blogs,
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Lastly, PLEASE VISIT & COMMENT ON OTHER LINKS!


Life Lately

Wow – it’s been over two months since I took pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?) and wrote a post here. My apologies in advance for this post – it’s a bit of a mishmash of topics and thoughts, but it is a reflection of my life lately.

The past two-plus months have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride – speeding along on a straightaway before suddenly plummeting to earth, only to be jerked sideways right before hitting the ground. The ride continues for a bit with many ups and downs, and then you suddenly come to a stop only to realize you’re pretty much back where you started but some of the people around you have changed, and you’re wondering where to go next.

This winter has been a rough one. I’m not a winter person by any stretch of the imagination, but I know most Torontonians will agree that this was one of the coldest, longest winters in quite some time. I’m not ashamed to admit the cold and the grey got to me, and the joy I once felt when composing something for this blog disappeared, leaving me uninspired and frankly unwilling to put in the time necessary to write a post when there was serious hibernating to be done.

Adding to my winter blues, the past two months also saw the end of my four year relationship. It’s so odd that something you were once so sure of can become something you can no longer see continuing. How does that happen? How do you go from having things mapped out, to floundering in a sea of uncertainty – unsure of what direction is the best one to go? I wonder have I changed that much, or has what I want to achieve and accomplish with my life changed so drastically that what I thought was a clear path has suddenly become a foggy road full of twists and turns?

A year ago I don’t think I ever thought I’d be here – 35(yup – I hit this milestone in the past two months as well), single, and strangely back at school. Those who’ve known me for years know that I’ve never been that academically inclined. I coasted through grade school with barely a thought and (let’s be honest) minimal effort. My first go-round at post-secondary schooling was a rather dismal failure (seriously – whose genius idea was it to major in Political Science?), and I’m quite determined that this time will be a different story.

The part-time Interior Decorating program I’m enrolled in comprises of 14 courses which are meant to be completed within 3 years. I’m so determined to get this done I’ve decided (wisely or not) to fast track – taking 3 courses at a time. Hopefully this means I’ll be finished them all by next Christmas – just 1.5 years after I started. At times it’s overwhelming. I figured it out the other day – I’m in class on average 12hrs a week on top of my 40hr work week. Did you know that full-time post-secondary schooling is considered 12 or more hours a week? Neither did I, but apparently I’ve been working full time while attending class full time for the past 12 weeks. No wonder I’m tired.

This blog has been shoved to the back burner of my very over-filled stove for the last little bit – a lot of that was due to my workload (did I mention the hours of homework, as well as the duties associated with being President of my condo Board?), but a portion was due to a general feeling of apathy towards it. The self-imposed expectation of a minimum of one home décor post a week is rather stifling – some weeks I just don’t have anything home décor related that I’m excited to share. Is there a rule somewhere that says since I’ve delared this to be a home decorating blog I should only share décor related things? While I love Interior decorating, that’s not all that I’m interested in – I love food, and travel, and humour, and wine, and current events, and all sorts of other things – why have I been restricting myself to sharing only one part of the things that interest me?

Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going to suddenly turn into a political commentary on the current status of Toronto’s City Hall (although, if Rob Ford is elected Mayor again I may have to move) but going forward I’m hoping to be able to unapologetically share some of the other things that catch my interest.

I’m working on some other changes to the blog (a new look, a name change perhaps?) which I hope to share in the next little bit (as well as a Para Paint Crew project next week) – but in the meantime I hope you’ll stick around as I strive to find my feet again after this latest rollercoaster ride and as I continue to muddle through this wonderful thing called life.

Freaking Out and Lacquered Walls

Classes started again last week; on Saturday I had my first Interior Decorating 1 class and I’m admitting right now that I’m scared. So far the courses I’ve taken have been a little easy – no actual decorating happening. That’s going to change with this class, and I’m currently experiencing an overwhelming feeling of terror.

I’m absolutely terrified that I’ve made a huge mistake. What am I doing going back to school? Where in the hell did I get the idea that I had any sort of skill at actually decorating a room? There’s so much to think about, and source, and pull together, and I haven’t any idea what I’m doing, and there’s a looming deadline for the project and I don’t think I can have it done in time. Oh my God – what have I done???

*Breathe*

One of the projects for my class (one of two that are terrifying me) is to take an image from a fashion magazine that has a triadic colour scheme and translate that into a contemporary living room. After hours of searching (mostly at Chapters since I don’t own a single fashion magazine) I ended up with one from a issue of Fashion magazine from 2009 that is predominantly navy blue (And yes, I used the term ‘ended up with’- what’s with current magazines only having monochromatic or black and white fashion spreads? How terribly boring.).

Since I have to keep the colour ratio in my space the same as the image we’re using which means most of the room will have to be navy blue, and in order to accomplish that I’ll have to present a room with navy walls. This worried me for a while – how to do a contemporary room with dark walls given that when I think of a contemporary space I usually think sleek, modern, open, and mostly white with pops of bright colour.

Yesterday morning when I woke up it hit me – lacquer. Lacquer has been popping up more and more frequently in the magazines and blogs that I read and I’ve always rather loved it as it adds a little something extra and unexpected to rooms.

The image above is of Todd Romano’s Manhattan apartment, and it has laid to rest some of my fears about an all blue room feeling very traditional instead of contemporary. What do you think? Do the lacquered walls add to the contemporary feel to the space? Or am I simply grasping at straws?