Vacation- brought to you by the letter B

I kind of lost steam last week and didn’t get a post out. It was a mental and physical drain. We just had 5 days in Waterside so my tank is filling up again and I feel like sharing again.  I wanted to share some of the activities we did and funny enough I realized they started with the letter B! See if you can spot the 3 B activities!

I know I shared before about Mary’s Point and Johnson’s Mills being the places to see the migrating sandpipers but this past weekend was prime at Mary’s Point and we ended up going down every day. We watched for 1-3 hours some days. It was fun to not only watch the birds but we got to interact with people we have only known for a little while ( like Beulah Morrissey from Riverside-Albert) and met new people from the area ( like photographer Sybil Wentzell) and from away. It was late in the season to still have the sandpipers here but Denis Doucet ,the interpreter from Parks Canada and the Canada Wildlife Service, said they could just up and be gone any day depending on the weather. He said they are about double the size they arrived at in July and are roosting more so are ready to fly south any day. We enjoyed seeing some other Birds this week too.

Sandpipers in flight ( ~ 40-50,000)

Beautiful Blue Heron flew right by us at Mary’s Point:

A Merlin on an old tree stump in front of our property: He as well as the Peregrine Falcons have been keeping the sandpipers busy the past few weeks as their main enemy.

Piping Plover exploring Waterside Beach at low tide:

Next on the list this week was more Blueberries! I have picked about 20 cups in the past 2 weeks. I used to hate picking as kid and still don’t really enjoy it but I can’t resist them while they are right there for the picking and free! I tried a couple more recipes:  One was called Blueberry Flan. Jennifer from  Simple Local Life and her guest from Wile’s Farm Market were featuring blueberries the other week and mentioned this dish as a popular one at the market. It is on their website here. I didn’t know what to expect with the list of ingredients and no picture but it was just lovely and stayed good for a few days.  I hope you try it!

The second blueberry recipe I tried was a healthier version from Oh She Glows. It was supposed to feature Raspberry Chia jam but since I had just made some Blueberry Chia jam I used it innstead for another night I needed a dessert. It is not very sweet but I love the oatmeal crumble. You can find the original recipe here.

Lastly I got out a new colour of paint I hadn’t used before from Fusion Mineral Paint- Midnight Blue! I found a dresser on the curb and decided to try to use it for my son’s bedroom in his new apartment at UNB. Here is the before: A little scary.

The top seemed to have a laminate on top and was very slick and glossy so I applied Ultra Grip 1st for better adhesion. I sanded the drawers really well- they seemed to be covered with plaster or a chalk based product so they were easy to sand and cover. I covered the sides and top with 2 coats of Midnight blue and 2 light coats of Raw Silk on the drawer fronts. I thought that might be too plain so found a stencil at the cottage that worked perfectly! I also gave this mirror I found at Value Village a quick coat of blue also!

Here is the after of both:

The drawers were a little sticky since it is quite a rough crude construction so I put some furniture wax on the bottoms and we’ll see if that helps them slide a little better.

All in all a fun project to keep me busy and something I could do as prep for school while at the cottage. It was also so therapeutic. The weather was gorgeous and we were thankful to be able to spend that many days in a row down there.

Did you spot all the B activities? I hope you were inspired to see some Birds, Bake with Blueberries or paint with some Blue. Until next time….

 

 

A summer refresh

I want to start out this week and say thank you for all your kind comments about our last post by my husband Mark featuring his photography. If you are new here, go back 1 post and you can see his wonderful photos there.

Summer is officially here this week! I got a start on some projects for the cottage to spruce things up for the season. I get inspired by furniture painters and DIYers to create or update all the time. It is a great outlet plus it gives me an excuse to paint and create!

A theme this week seems to be tables and chairs. The first table is a standard plastic outdoor side table. The brown was not going with the rest of our furniture so I painted it with Fusion Mineral Paint which is an acrylic that can go on almost any surface, has some UV protection in it and is waterproof.

 

I rented a stencil from Front Porch Mercantile that I remembered seeing on Muddaritaville’s site which you can look for here :https://muddaritavillestudio.com/

You can rent many of their stencils at Front Porch Mercantile now!

It turned out so cute- I had to adapt the stencil and used my own border around it to fit the table but I like it.

The next table I picked up at a yard sale. I was going to leave it outside too but it has a lip around it that is just going to collect water all the time (was not thinking of that!) so I brought it inside and added a design Mark made for us to represent our area and route we are on. I added some colour to the legs too.

The last table is one I showed before that I tried to redo and I still didn’t like it. I got Lisa from Front Porch Mercantile to help me use the new Stain and Finishing oil from Fusion to get the look I was after. She did one leaf for me then I tried to reproduce it on the rest of the table and chairs. I think I did pretty good. I love how it turned out. It looks more finished and is more durable now.  Here are the 3 stages the table has been in with the last being the current one.

 

 

I don’t know if I had mentioned but Mark has been busy the last few weeks building decks and door landings at the cottage. They are looking awesome – much better than the pallets we’ve had there for 3+years! We needed some furniture for said deck!  I had seen Jennylyn ( creator of Fusion Mineral Paint) paint some plastic furniture for outdoors with her paint so I thought I would try these old chairs I had at home. I love how they turned out as well. The paint went on so smoothly and just needed a couple coats.

The next chairs have quite a story. You can see below how they started and then how they look after I painted them with milk paint last summer. I covered them with 3 layers of outdoor varnish. They looked great for about 2 weeks….

Then they looked like this: faded and peeling after 2 weeks in the sun. I was so disappointed!!

I didn’t give up on them !! Here is what I did about 10 days ago: sanded them really well again and got out my trusty Fusion paint in Fort York Red. They have been out a week in the weather and so far so good. I will probably do another coat for a more solid colour on them.

Well that was fun. Can you tell I love to paint and make things beautiful? It’s so easy! You can do it too! You can find all this paint at Front Porch Mercantile in Moncton.

I’ll give you one more glimpse of the decks and door steps Mark has been building for us-I’ll do a separate post later when we’ve got them all syled up.  I got an idea to stencil a blue heron on our new areas from Danielle Driscoll’s blog Finding Silver Pennies. She had done a little whale on her wooden door mat that I thought looked so cute. We love the herons in Waterside so I cut out a little stencil on my Silhouette machine. Danielle has lots of nautical ideas and loves to paint as well.  She even has a book on  painted furniture techniques and does some lovely watercolors as well. You can find her here https://www.findingsilverpennies.com/

We are on vacation next week! Guess where we will be as much as we can? I will try to get a post out for next Wednesday  featuring another room in the cottage. Stay well and maybe get in touch with your creative side this week doing whatever makes you happy.

Happy Summer!