Sunday, February 28, 2010


I'm gone for a week and I am sure hotel Internet will cost a fortune, so I will wait until I get back to post any adventures and happenings or check up on my favourite blogs.  Off to St. Lucia, (3 mums with our 5 daughters (22-27 yrs), the beach, great food, great books, friends and mohitos...that's all I need.  Wishing everyone a really good week.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Better make another pot of coffee

Saturday morning, I am up at 5, enjoying a coffee and catching up on my favourite blogs. 

The best blogs to me have a certain character. The creativity and personality of the writer has to be evident.  It has to be original, not just glossy pics from design magazines. Good content...fresh ideas, new projects, interesting finds and I particularly love peeking into homes and lives from other countries. I found some new blogs this week, and thought you may want to take a peek.

Low Tide High Style  USA
O so D   USA-make sure you check out her website too ..incredible
Cottage On Rosewood   USA
Rubies Place - Australia
Mutterings From the Moor  UK

Friday, February 26, 2010

Narrowing it down to 7 things.

I was tagged by a new blogging pal Tina(and winner of my giveaway)today over at Rubies Place. You can click here to visit.
I have to tell you seven things about myself.  It is so hard to think of things to say about yourself, but I will give it a try. Here goes.

1.  I was born in Nairobi Kenya, left when I was 6. In Kenya we lived in a railway car for a month. A snake killed my cat, the African kids threw stones at me on the way to school, I almost drowned swimming in the Indian ocean when I was 5, my grandmother owned a donkey called Semolina and a shot gun, monkeys ate our tea, we slept under mosquito nets, we had a "houseboy", elephants would block the road, a pole snatcher stole my blankets. And that's all I remember of Kenya before we took a long boat ride to England.

2. I lived in England for 6 years.  My relatives are all English.  My mum managed on her own with the 4 of us while my dad worked in Saudi Arabia. We never knew my dad's family although they lived in Nottingham, we were not allowed contact. It was one of my lifes goals to find them. I found them all via the Internet in 2008(10 siblings) almost 60 years after he left home at 17. They are mostly in the UK and Australia. They are lovely. I wish I had had them growing up.

3.  I moved to Canada when I was 12.  I was a big nerd and teased a lot about my British accent which I promptly lost. I met my husband in high school at 16 and married him and had kids in my early 20's.  My son is 24 and is in commercial real estate and lives in Montreal.  He has a wonderful GF who I adore.  My daughter is 22, a makeup artist and hairdresser and she lives 10 minutes away. I don't feel British, Kenyan or Canadian really.

4. I used to be a Medical Office Administrator which is the new name for Secretary.  I worked for a family physician who got arrested for billing fraud and the police raided the office and I had to go to court.  I then went to work for, as my kids used to say "the bum doctor" and worked for a rectal surgeon. Rectal surgery was not at all what it was cracked up to be, so I made a move to Orthopaedic Oncology where I worked for the most incredible but somewhat crazy (I mean that in the nicest way) surgeon who performed limb salvage surgery (adults and kids).  Sadly he died tragically at 48.  I went back to college at 45 and got my diploma in Interior Decorating. I got straight A's in college after being a pittiful student all my life.

5.  I am a self employed Interior Decorator about to open an online shop of vintage housewares and home goods, a collector but not a hoarder.  I have about 30 collections (keep checking the blog, I am sure you will eventually see them all).  I challenged myself to read a book a week for 2010, but have only read 4 so far.  I try to read Canadian Authors as I believe in supporting the Canadian arts. I like to shop at flea markets, not malls. If you were to buy me a bithday gift, it should be old, worn ,tarnished and battered.

6. I love my Gracie dog, Hannah cat and miss my Mooch boy who died of leukemia.  I love, love, love to cook and bake and love Ina Garten and wish I had met Julia Child. For a treat for my daughters 8th birthday she asked for a store bought cake!
  If I didn't decorate I would open a cafe.  With vintage cups and flowery dishes with homemade buttertarts and organic tomato soup. I set my table with vintage linens and old dishes. I am organized but not tidy.  If I was vacuuming and found a Smartie under the sofa, I would so eat it.

7.  I am a late bloomer.  I didn't get my hair right until last year, struggle with my weight, my mind jumps from here to there and I have so many things on the go but not completed.  I do fiber art making hand made felt, would love to learn to paint, love my little cottage and my garden. I found my confidence last year and myself too.  Oh... and I was named after a waterfall in Nairobi called Chania Falls.  It is pronounced Chania like Taunya, but with a ch.

That's it.  7 things you didn't know before.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quebec Cabinet

I am always on the hunt for vintage treasures and especially bargains, but once in a while I think it is worth sinking some money into a real investment piece.  I hunted for the right piece for my dining room, knowing it had to be big with loads of storage and preferably solid, not glass doors.  When we came across this cabinet, I knew this was a keeper.

French Canadian pieces have their own look and feel, rather like French or Belgian pieces.  I love the gothic arches and the scalloped edge.

It is really huge and holds all of my dishes, cake stands, candle holders.....

.......silver serving pieces Buffalo China and Ironstone

...and a great big drawer to stuff away all the linens and napkin rings.

Last week Mary from Vintage Home and Garden was debating whether or not to make a big purchase of a large (and fabulous) cabinet.  Her post is really interesting, so if you want to see it go here and whether she decided to go for an "investment piece".

For more interesting furniture and vintage finds check out

http://www.romantichome.blogspot/ for Show and Tell Friday 

Pink Glitter and White Cottontails

Some of you may know that I have an Interior Decorating business, but most of you probably don't know about my newest venture.  I get a lot of requests for my vintage bits and pieces, and now have listed some on Etsy, but I will also be having an online shop of both large and small vintage gifts and home furnishings, as well as my most popular home items such as soaps, linens, candles, etc. plus custom made furniture including our gorgeous upholstered headboards.

My Razmataz business partner Lorraine and I have been working like mad this week on our new website and online shop that will be officially opening on April 1st.  Right now our Etsy shop Razmataz Vintage is open and we have loads of stock going in there in the next few weeks. Our local clients have been popping by to get a sneak peak and have been picking up pieces already.  We can't seem to make enough of these hand stamped cotton bags and have almost sold out.

When our custom made soaps arrive, we are going to package them in these bags.

They are all hand glittered and embellished with satin bows and the palest pink organza ribbon ties. We wanted wrapping that was reusable, and these bags are part of the gift.  They can be re-used for storing all kinds of bits and would make a lovley gift bag for jewelery or gift cards.

How cute are our little bunnies with their pink glittery ears and pom pom tails?  We will definitely stock these for Easter.  They would be adorable filled with chocolate eggs and a chocolate bunny ears peeping out the top.

They make the cutest gift bags for baby or christening gifts.

We have had requests for blue bunny ears, so they are in the works.

A family of cottontails.

So, there's a quick peek at what I have been up to this week.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Last week I found myself in a "house funk".  I was tired of everything and nothing seemed to be just right, or finished.  I moved the living room chairs into the den, back to the living room twice.  My house is quite dark, so I need to bring in light things to keep it from feeling heavy.
My look and my house lean towards cottage style.  This black console with the old scrubbly white frame above, although a beautiful piece, somehow was throwing off the balance of the room and gave it a heaviness. 

 Last year I found this old pine cabinet for $75.00 at a second hand shop. It fits so well in this spot and holds a ton of books.  The blanket you can see on the 1st shelf have become a favourite spot for Hannah Cat.

I also changed out the rug from a dark crimson Indian rug to a nubby Jute one that I pick up 75% off.  It was only $49.00.  I know the rule of rugs is they are supposed to go all the way under the front legs of the sofa and facing chairs, but that size rug in my house encroaches on the fireplace surround and interferes with the french doors closing. 

On the other side of the fireplace is my blonde Sarah Richardson "Coco" Chair which balances out the blonde cabinet on the other side.  Still looking for a small cabinet or dresser to go on this wall.....but I cannot find the perfect piece. I have tried about 6 things here and none work.....Overall I am really liking the change.  I have stopped moving the furniture for now...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Giveaway and Interview with Maria from Dreamy Whites

My new website is coming very soon. Image from (paid for)

I just wanted to remind everyone of my giveaway.  You have only until Wednesday at noon to enter as I am travelling next week and want to get it mailed before I go. If you have not already entered, you can see the details here. Razmataz Giveaway

If you missed my Sunday post you will want to go here to read my interview with Maria from the blog Dreamy Whites.  Read the interview and clink on the link provided and you will see why.  She has the most remarkable house.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I am certain that all of you now recognise that picture as belonging to Maria over at I first spotted Maria's blog over at and was instantly captivated by the freshness and simplicty of her style and by the fact she lives with a cowboy and 5 kids and had a white house.

This photo of Maria's living room chair draped in linen seems so casual and elegant and stylish, but I am not sure I could pull this off in my own home without it looking like I was leaving my laundry about.

Being the inquisive sort, I emailed Maria and asked if I could interview her for my blog and she kindly agreed. From our e-mail conversations, Maria is as lovely as her blog, which has had wonderful success in only 6 short weeks.

Because this is a special post, I am offering a giveaway of Stephanie Hoppen's book "White on White" as well as 6 gorgeous vintage linen napkins.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will enter your name.  If you are a follower, I will enter you a second time, and if I am on your blog list three times, so let me know.

And now here is my little interview with Maria:

Razmataz: Your home is so gorgeous and beautifully styled. Do you have a design background?

Dreamy Whites: Thank you, No, I do not have a design background. I have always been into art since I was a little kid. I love reading design books!

Razmataz: The white is wonderful. Has it always been white or have you gone through color phases like most of us?

Dreamy Whites : When I was in high school I worked in a small antique shop. I sanded everything down to bare wood, and stained everything. I continued this until the mid 90s when I saw a Rachel Ashwell book. That changed everything for me. I am so glad I found that book.

Razmataz: You have elements such as the tin ceiling and vintage chandeliers. At first glance I assumed you were in an old house, but reading further I see it is a modular house. I am not quite sure what that is. Can you describe the overall style of this house?

Dreamy Whites. The home we live in is a "mobile home" It was built at a factory and hauled here by a semi. It came in 3 separate pieces and put together on site. I think you can make any home feel old by the lighting you chose and by adding architectural elements.

Razmataz: What are the biggest design challenges in this house and how did you overcome them?

Dreamy Whites: The biggest design challenge for me is the room with the t.v. in it. It has odd walls. This room is open to the kitchen and our hall. This room has bugged me for so long. It is just oddly shaped. I finally put a mirror on one of the walls. This mirror faces our windows and bounces a lot of light back to that odd wall.

Razmataz: If you could invite anyone past or present to dinner at your home, who would it be?

Dreamy Whites: I think I would love to invite Rachel Ashwell to dinner. I got to meet her at a book signing this last November at Maison Reve. I was really nervous about meeting her, because I didn't want to be disappointed. By this I mean, I really admire her, and I didn't want to find out otherwise. I am so glad I went. She is an amazing person, and shared so many neat things about why she wrote what she wrote in her book. When she talked to us, she wanted to hear about YOU. I just love her.

Razmataz: Many of us live in apartments, ranch houses or "little boxes". How do we begin to create this fresh, modern country look of yours that we all love so much?

Dreamy Whites: Well I live in a mobile home. I really don't think it matters what type of home you live in. To me the structure of a house is like a canvas, you can create whatever kind of picture you want on that canvas. I think paint can make such a huge difference. I have lived in some pretty interesting places. My husband is a horse trainer, and we have lived in a barn believe it or not. Not a cute barn. But that didn't stop me from getting my paint brush out. White paint is so refreshing! If you live in a home that is limited on windows. I would maximize what windows you have with mirrors. It is amazing what a mirror can do. You can bring in so much light by strategically placing a mirror.

Razmataz: Your blog had a pretty instant impact in the blogging world. How has starting "Dreamy Whites" changed things for you.

Dreamy Whites: I never even knew about blogging until about 6 weeks ago. I came across Lori's blog. (Frugal Farmhouse Design) I decided to send her a couple of pictures because she had done a post on a mobile home she was fixing up for a client, and she too loves mantles. I told her that I loved her blog, and she wrote me back asking to post about my home, and if I had more pictures. First of all, I couldn't believe I was hearing back from her. Then she did this incredibly nice post about me and my home. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. She then encouraged me to start a blog. I didn't know real people had blogs, I would look at Martha Stewart's blog, and that was it. I was afraid to because I can't write and wasn't really sure how blogging works. Well am I ever grateful to Lori and all of you! I have had a really sad past couple of years and I can tell you that you have all changed my life. Its hard to express with words how special everyone is to me. I have met the nicest women in the past month. It has just been unreal. I am so inspired by all of your blogs. There is just so much encouragement and love shared between an incredible group of women. Lets just say I feel very BLESSED to be apart of your world.

SO, now you need to go on over to Dreamy Whites to visit with Maria and to enter the giveaway she is currently hosting.

Thank you Maria!

Friday, February 19, 2010


This was one of those Craigslist "yippeee" moments. When you know you've found something special and you are so excited.
The Craigslist photos did not do it justice.  It showed a smallish table with both leaves down, crouched in a corner of the owners laundry room.  But I could tell it was going to be special, and was so shocked that it was still available since it had been on for a few days. Well, I was stunned to see this glorious antique butternut pine table.  It weighs an absolute ton. The owner, my friend and I could not lift it out of the basement and up the stairs and we got it stuck right in the middle of the staircase and had to call my husband away from work to unstick it. 
My previous kitchen table was too long for the space, and the white chairs (which B Hated) have gone to the cottage.  So...I have swtiched it out with this table and use leather parsons chairs with it as they keep it from being too country...a nice juxtaposition I think.

Can you guess how much????

$110.00 (Canadian)

I have a wonderful giveaway starting on Monday.  Check back to win a gorgeous set of vintage napkins and a design book.  See yesterdays post for details. 

See more furniture finds at Mustard Seed Furniture Friday

Thursday, February 18, 2010


(Please note that the giveaway starts on Monday when I am posting on Maria from Dreamy Whites.  You need to check back on Mondays post and sign up then)  Thanks

 After doing several of these Friday posts on my various collections, I am wondering if I am becoming a hoarder.  I seem to be having no problem coming up with more and more "bits" that seem to be becoming collections.

 Another passion I have is Vintage Linens....
.....I particularly love red and white linens...

.....with Pink and White not far behind....

...pale, pale, pink tea towel with hand embroidery....

..this French Yellow piece is going to become a pillow case for a big fat feather pillow for the hammock...

....nothing is simpler and fresher than white Irish Linen

I bought a set of 8 of these for my daughter who just moved into her first place and has a love of all things vintage......

....and these 6 monogrammed beauties can be yours.  I am giving them away on Monday.  You can read more about my giveaway here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


 I am very excited to let everyone know about a very special post I am doing next Monday February 22.  Most of you are by now aware of the gorgeous blog This blog is only a few weeks old and already Maria has caused a stir in the blogging community because it is fresh, simple and shows how Maria transformed an ordinary home into a fabulously stunning home which is primarily white. 

I loved the blog so much, I asked Maria if I could interview her here on my blog and she graciously agreed.  Because Monday's post will be a special one, I am also combining it with a giveaway of Stephanie Hoppen's book White on White and also 6 beautiful vintage linen dinner napkins.  So please check back on Monday for your chance to win and to read more about Maria at Dreamy Whites.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


How fabulous are these vintage beaded words from France?
I cannot think of what they could have been used for.  There are 4 of them, the words say "MY" "YOURS" "MINE" And "MY" (Feminine) in  French
They have a lovely patina and are on thin rusty wires with beads between the letters.  I bought from a French shop on Etsy. Petitbrocante.  I will likely frame them.  I may even use this piece of old linen that I photograhed them on as the background.  If anyone knows what their use may have been, i would love to know.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Over at one of my favourite blogs, Lauren posted today on transforming furniture pieces. She has so many wonderful transformations on her blog, she is a real inspiration. Above is an after photo of my mum's old dusty rose with its new slipcover.

And this is how it looked before.  It used about 7 yards of white denim, and my upholsterer does wonderful slipcovers. Because I wanted it look look less formal (it is at the cottage) I asked him to make a short skirt with a little kick pleat at the knee.

Originally there were two of them, but we gave one away to the Salvation Army Shelter, not thinking we would use it. (kick).

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I can find so many uses for a simple silver tray.  I use them all around the house to corral bits and pieces.  This one found a home on my bedroom dresser to stash all of my jewelry and perfume and things I seem to just toss there.
All of my bits and baubles

"lovely" perfume and my vintage clock

........are much prettier gathered together

I use large serving trays... a bar tray

..This gorgeous oval tray looks wonderful in my bathroom make a good spot to set down your earrings or a watch

For more gorgeous silver check out