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!

Victoria Day recap 2018

Wow where did those 4 days go? It was wonderful to be back in Waterside! I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. I had so many projects to tackle that the 4 days just flew by. I wanted to get them at least started before the season got underway. I hope some of you got to visit some of the  businesses in Albert County who had an open house for the Fundy Studio Tour or maybe you got to Fundy or Cape Enrage for some of their grand openings and celebrations.

Here is a little recap of what we did:

This is our dining table and a chair in its current state:

I love the base but don’t like how my original paint job is looking on the top- I wanted a driftwood look but I am not loving it and wanted to try something different.

I sanded the table and seats all down to the original finish. I was going to try a new product by Homestead House called Stain and Finishing Oil but I couldn’t get the look I wanted on my samples.

So I went back to a layered look with just Fusion mineral paint. That way if I still don’t like it down the road I can still paint over it without any trouble. I’m still not sold on this look but it looks much better than my 1st go round. The kids think it looks the same as what I had before. I will keep you updated on what I do next. Any suggestions are appreciated!

The second project I wanted to do was reseal our IKEA counter tops. They are still looking good but I hadn’t sealed them again since we 1st installed them in 2015.  When I went to take a soap dispenser off the counter when I got to the cottage Friday there was a slight black ring beside the sink and I knew some water had gotten under  the surface. The counter tops just have a thin wood veneer on top and I was scared to sand too much but I heard you can do that to try to get stains, water damage ,etc out of it. I sanded it lightly but not sure I made much of a difference.

These are a couple before shots:

During: putting on the tung oil.

And the after: I don’t know if I see a difference. The counters appear richer and renewed in person but that spot beside the sink is still noticeable. I will need to be more careful with what gets left on the counters!!

We did get out for a short drive on Monday- I wanted to see the new pavilions and Visitor Center at Wolfe Lake and the  Chignecto Recreation Area  across from Chignecto campground.  This new recreation area will have bikes for rent for many new trails that have opened up for bikers.

Here is the new visitor center at Wolfe Lake- it will also have a smaller version of the Fundy Guild’s gift shop here too.

The new outdoor recreation center isn’t completely finished but is in a similar style to the Visitor Center. We had a lovely chat with a staff person and I even tried out a couple bikes!  I love bikes! One was a Fat bike and one was a Plus bike. It felt like I could ride anywhere or over anything with one of those! See the smile on my face 🙂 Would be fun to ride on Waterside beach! Even a couple of those kids behind me pretending not to know me tried out the Fat bike.

Outdoor Elements is the company from Sussex who will be in charge of bike rentals. They are also now in charge of boat rentals at Bennett Lake. We will miss “Sinc’s Boats” but look forward to what Outdoor Elements has to offer Fundy for further use and enjoyment of the Park. You can check out the Outdoor Elements website for information on rentals under their “Fundy Adventure Center” tab. (https://www.outdoorelements.ca/rent ) It looks like you will be able to book your bike, boat or camping experiencing online  in the future. They are  going to have a small retail outlet in Alma to hook you up for your outdoor essentials. They are hoping to have some packages in the future as well, teaming up with some local businesses for an even better experience! They will be offering winter adventures too so those of you who love to get out in winter will have choices in Fundy to stay active as well. They also have a Facebook page ” Outdoor Elements” or “Outdoor Elements-Fundy Adventure Center” so you can follow along with their updates and services as the season progresses. We love what they are doing so far!

Welcome to Fundy “Outdoor Elements” !

 

 

Where it all began – part 4

Welcome back to our cottage adventure! We are now getting to the fun and pretty part of the construction. We had fun emptying our house of collected stuff, seeing if things would fit where I thought they would and had fun decorating the space in a coastal/farmhouse vibe. Totally different from our home in Moncton!

Let’s start with the main living space which has a vaulted ceiling and floor to ceiling windows facing the Bay. We wanted to be able to enjoy the view and seat as many people as we could so we painted and slip covered this scary looking chair ( along with 2 other chairs and a 3 seater couch ) with Fusion mineral paint and drop cloths. I made a few cushions, made some end tables ( at a short lived woodworking class) and painted those in Artissimo milk paint. I painted and stencilled a basic wooden chest and some foot stools with Fusion paint and milk paint again.

We then move on to the eating area. I took our kitchen set and painted the chairs and base in various shades of blue with Annie Sloan chalk paint and Miss Mustard Seed milk paint. I love the commode I got at an auction and painted it in a pretty shade of milk paint. I painted a few crates, hung up an old door that already had a matching colour on it ( another Kijiji find ) to use as a coat rack and also painted some oars for coat hooks as well.

Let’s next move on to the kitchen area! This area really came to life after we got more shelves and things on the walls. We used basic brackets from the hardware store, some rough cut lumber for the the bottom shelves then got some lovely old barnboard from Phillips and Chestnut http://www.phillipsandchestnut.ca/ in Truro , NS for the upper shelf along the top of the kitchen area.

 

Remember the IKEA stool the kids put together? Here it is painted up in different milk paint colours to match our decor. The brackets under the countertop also came from Phillips and Chestnut- made with raw wood and then painted to match the cupboards.

Well I think that is enough pictures for 1 day! This was the largest space to decorate. As you can see, you can repurpose a lot with a little paint and stay within a budget!!

Thanks for visiting!  Leave a comment if you spotted the name of our cottage! See you next time on the Road to Waterside!