Enter for your chance to win $650 from a great group of bloggers in the Tax Day Cash Giveaway...but hurry just like your taxes it all ends at midnight on April 15th, 2014!!

Amazing cohost are:

Mandy Jean  @  Mandy Jean chic 
Evelyn @ My Turn for us 
Stephanie @ Wife Mommy Me
Anna  @ Cuddlebug Cuties
Angel  @ Sew Crafty Angel 
Katherine @ Katherines Corner 
Tiffany @ Style Honestly 
Michelle @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby
Karen @ Giveaway Hunt 
Natasha @ Serenity You 
Inspired Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer 
April @ 100lb Countdown
Myrna @ UndecidedMamas

Giant shout out to other participants 
(because without everyone we would have never reached $650)

Jackie@  Jade and Oak 
Joy @ Yesterfood 

Must be 18 years or older to participate in this giveaway. Must have a verified PayPal account for monies to be transferred to the winner. The winning entry will be verified. Once the winner is notified they have 72 hours to reply back or a second winner will be selected and the first one will have no claim to the prize.  This giveaway is open worldwide but prize money is valued on the US dollar and any taxes is at the sole responsibility of the winner and not of anyone who contributed to this giveaway.   
If you have any questions please contact Mice In The Kitchen BEFORE entering the giveaway.

Good luck!!
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Too Pretty For A Bedroom! {Small Armoire Makeover}

Hope you all had a great weekend!  It's been a chilly one here on the Canadian Prairies with temperatures in the -7°C range.  Oh how I long to see a patch of green or a crocus popping out of the ground!  While it's still too cold to spend time outdoors I've been busy completing projects that have been taking up valuable real estate in the workshop.

My most recent project is a Small Armoire Makeover that I've had since the late 70's.  When we completed the Master Bedroom Closet Expansion we no longer needed it so I decided to give it a makeover. Now that it's finished, I think it's Too Pretty For A Bedroom Armoire!

Small Armoire Makeover

Unfortunately I never took a Before picture of what it looked like originally but the picture below will give you a good idea as this is what the matching dresser and hutch looked like from the set.

In the late 80's I stripped the glossy finish down to the natural wood and stained it.  I replaced the hardware as well.

When we decorated the master bedroom a few years ago I gave it another fresh white makeover with Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Cloud White and replaced the hardware with pretty glass handles.  This picture was taken during our Closet Expansion.

Small Armoire Makeover Before Picture

As they say, third time's the charm! I kept the Armoire white but this time gave it a makeover using Country Chic Chalk Paint in Vanilla Frosting. Because this piece had layers of Aura paint underneath I decided to forego distressing it. Instead, after a couple of coats of Country Chic Tough Coat, I antiqued it with a brown glaze. Normally I protect my pieces with clear soft wax followed by a dark wax but I wanted to try the Tough Coat product. I will definitely use it again for things like table tops and kitchen cabinets that require extra protection but in all honesty, I prefer a wax finish.

Small Armoire Makeover after chalk paint and dark glaze

Here is a close up of those pretty glass handles I purchased from Lee Valley Tools.

Small Armoire Makeover with glass handles

I decided to add a surprise pop of color to the inside of the Armoire using Country Chic Chalk Paint in the color Elegance.  So pretty!

Small Armoire Makeover using Elegance chalk paint in the interior

To add another pretty surprise element I decided to stencil the inside of the doors with a Damask Birds of Paradise stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils.

Small Armoire Makeover with stencils on the inside of the doors

I lined the drawers with a pretty coordinating wall paper.

Small Armoire Makeover with wallpaper lined drawers

Then I got to thinking, why does this HAVE to be a bedroom Armoire?  I think it would also make a nice small hutch in a kitchen or dining room with the doors left open.

Small Armoire Makeover from bedroom to dining room

Dang, I'm going to have a tough time letting this one go!  Believe me I scoured every square inch of this house trying to find a place to put it but unfortunately I don't have any room for yet another piece of furniture.

Do you have a hard time letting go of your furniture makeovers after you've poured so much sweat Love into them?



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Spring Mantle for under $10.00!

SPRING, please say it's so!

The calendar says it's Spring but the view from my window says, "sweetheart you're in Canada...think again".

Well Spring HAS Sprung in our living room and I was bound and determined I would decorate our Spring Mantle for under $10.00!

A spring mantle decorated for under $10.00

The first thing I did was shop the home for anything with a Spring/Easter vibe.  Then I headed to the dollar store with my $10.00 bill in hand.  So now what?

Embellishments for decorating a Spring Mantle for under $10.00!

I started with the items I already had on hand like colored cardstock, scrapbook paper, alphabet stickers, twine, and some cute mini clothespins to create a simple banner.

The Easy Peasy How To

  1. Using a ruler, I drew the first flag banner onto cardstock and cut it with a paper cutter.  This became the template for the rest of the flags.  Mine are 5" x 8"
  2. I went through my scrapbook paper to find images perfect for Spring.
  3. I cut the scrapbook sheets to 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" and glued them to the front of the cardstock.
  4. I attached 1-inch self-adhesive letters to the front of each flag.  They came in a booklet that I found at my local Dollarama store.  
  5. The booklet also contained some cute stickers that I also used to embellish the flags.
DIY Flag Banner for a Spring Mantle under $10.00!

I had the cutest crochet bottle caps in my stash (got them at Michaels) to embellish the letter S flag (see below).

Close up of flag banner for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

The Alphabet Booklet also contained some cute stickers that I embellished the letter R flag with by adding the word WISH.

Close up of flag banner for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

...and ENJOY on the letter N flag.

Close up of flag banner for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

Nothing says spring like a gazebo, right?  Several weeks ago Mr. Frugalista came home with a miniature wooden gazebo that he found while thrifting on his lunch break.  I gave it a good cleaning and a dry brush of white chalk paint.

I found some raffia ribbon in my crafting stash and made a nest and filled it with Marbled Easter Eggs that the kids and I decorated around 15 years ago!

Miniature Wooden Gazebo for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

Also many years ago in a craft class, I made this tissue paper decoupaged bunny.  Wanting a more "grown up" look I decided to give it another decoupaged makeover using French newsprint scrapbook paper torn into strips.  I rubbed dark wax over the Modge Podge once it was dry to give the paper an aged appearance and then painted the egg with...wait for it
...Duck Egg Blue chalk paint!

Decoupaged Bunny for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

I had two of these wooden bird houses, one I gave to my Mom for her birthday and this one I kept for myself.  I painted it with Simplicity White, Luscious Lime and Antique Red.

Bird House for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

I pulled a wooden candlestick from the trio in the master bedroom and thought it would make a perfect base for the birdhouse.

Birdhouse on a wooden candlestick for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

Which brings me to my cute little bird cage.  You'll see it creatively incorporated into all my seasonal vignettes.  I placed the remaining marbled Easter eggs into the nest and added a few feathers I had in my craft bin.

Bird Cage for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

In the master bedroom, I had a set of faux Heather tea cups.  I grabbed one of them to add to the display.  Using some real Heather in a teacup & saucer would have been very pretty but remember I was decorating on a $10.00 budget!

Heather in a teacup for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

One of my dollar store purchases was this cute wooden letter block.  I gave it a quick coat of paint using Duck Egg Blue, Antoinette, and Perfection.

Block Letter Word for our Spring Mantle under $10.00!

Last but not least is what consumed most of my budget.  I had the vase on hand as well as the moss but I thought these branches with mini eggs and nests were just too adorable.

Spring Mantle for under $10.00!

For a grand total of $9.00 and some change, there you have it...a Spring Mantel for under $10.00!

Spring Mantle for under $10.00!


To add some dimension to the Spring Banner, I aged each flag by pouncing brown paint around the edges of the flags.  To do this I used a round stencil brush and dipped the ends of the bristles into the paint and dabbed the excess with a paper towel.  In a circular motion, I lightly added the brown where the paper would naturally age over time (see picture below).

Spring Flag Banner

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Painting Birthday Gifts For My Mom!


We celebrated it on Friday night at Fionn McCool's Irish Pub but instead of listening to fiddles and flutes we listened to bag pipes and drums. My nephew is in the Edmonton Youth Pipe Band and they were performing. We didn't drink green beer and I didn't wear any green but Mama's lucky charms did get a wee bit tipsy!

Onto the subject of Painting Birthday Gifts For My Mom.  A couple of weeks ago we had the physically and emotionally exhausting task of moving my Mom into a secured dementia wing.  This was a decision we knew was coming but one we tried to hold off on as long as possible.  It was one of the most difficult days of our lives!  The last two weeks of transition have been challenging ones for Mom.

On Saturday it was her birthday and we threw a surprise birthday party for her in hopes that it would pick up her spirits.  When she walked into the room and saw everyone around the table she looked so surprised and I think I saw a little tear or two in the corner of her eyes!

In direct view from her chair in the living room is a tree and during my last visit I noticed chickadees flying from branch to branch.  I thought wouldn't it be great if there was a birdhouse hanging from the branches so she could watch them nesting in the Spring.  Ding ding ding...Birthday Gift Idea #1!

Painting a birdhouse for my Mom's birthday

So I pulled out my contest winnings from Country Chic Paint and got to work.  I used Creme Brulee for the walls and Rustic Charm on the roof.  The red is Behr latex in Antique Red.  Last Fall I bought this cute little stamp at Michael's and hadn't found a project to use it on...until now!  I sure hope this cute little birdhouse attracts the Chickadees to nest and provides Mom with hours of entertainment.

Birthday Gift Idea #2...

Giving a chair a makeover for my Mom's birthday

Mom also had a chair that she picked up several years ago at a thrift store for $5.00.  It's been a great little chair that she's been using at her bathroom vanity.  I haven't done any research on it yet but I suspect this chair is old and may have an interesting history!  Unable to fit in her new bathroom I decided it was worthy of a makeover for her living room.

Chair makeover for my Mom's birthday before the makeover

I had the fabric left over from my Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover and I think it's perfect!  I painted the entire chair with ASCP chalk paint in Versailles so it would match a Queen Anne Table that I gave her when she moved in (pictured below).  For the details I used Country Chic chalk paint in Chocolate Tart and I think the color works perfectly with the fabric.

Close up of a chair makeover for my Mom's birthday

Here is a picture of the table I gave her.  You may remember it from my post From Curb To Francais {French Graphic Table} but it received a minor change to the top before giving it to my Mom.

Queen Anne Table makeover for my Mom

Close up of the handpainted graphic on the chair makeover for my Mom's birthday

Unfortunately she didn't have room in her new bedroom for her Queen Size bed so we had to replace it with a Twin.  We had three days to move her so it left little time to go shopping for a new mattress, bed frame, and bedding and absolutely no time to shop for a headboard.  Because space is limited I decided perhaps building a light headboard that could be hung on the wall would be a better option.  Birthday Gift Idea #3!

I made a template of the shape I wanted on paper and traced it onto a sheet of hardboard.

Making a twin headboard for my Mom's birthday

Using a jig saw I cut it out.

Making a twin headboard for my Mom's birthday.

I applied some paintable beadboard wallpaper.  Note: do this part of the process AFTER you install the trim.  I had a major fail by scratching up the wallpaper in the process of installing the trim and had to remove and reapply the wallpaper.

Making a twin headboard for my Mom's birthday

I glued on some trim detail that we had kicking around in the shop to dress it up a bit.

Making a twin headboard for my Mom's birthday

I painted the headboard with Country Chic chalk paint in Rustic Charm.  Pretty color but not quite what I had in mind.

Making a twin headboard for my Mom's birthday

So I mixed a custom color using Rustic Charm and Hurricane to create a moss green (it looks more blue/green in the photo but it's actually quite mossy.  When I applied the soft wax the color just popped but when I added the dark wax it gave this headboard such depth and character!

Making a twin headboard for my Mom's birthday

I hope she likes her handcrafted gifts as much as I enjoyed making them. I don't know about you but when I receive gifts that have been handmade by those I love, they are always my favorite!
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Vintage Wooden Wall Shelf

Another thrift store find post for you today!

Mr. Frugalista went on a treasure hunt during his lunch break one afternoon and brought a Vintage Wooden Wall Shelf home.  Cute but it was missing one of the pegs and there was some damage to the wood. When I set my eyes on it I instantly thought of a pretty wall shelf for a girls room. I named this one Mémère after my grandmother Marie Antoinette - you will see why further down in this post.

Vintage wooden wall shelf with heart cut out

Here is what it looked like before the makeover during the process of repairing the wood.

Vintage wooden wall shelf being repaired

I painted the entire shelf with ASCP Old White chalk paint and the shelves with ASCP...here it is... Antoinette!

Vintage wooden wall shelf with LOVE script detail

The heart cut out was screaming, "I'm the "O" in your L O V E"!  

Vintage wooden wall shelf with stencil detail on the shelves

To add interest to the shelves I stenciled down the middle with Old White.

Vintage wooden wall shelf with IKEA knobs

I couldn't find wooden pegs that matched the originals so I decided to add a modern touch with these cute brushed nickel IKEA knobs.

Vintage wooden wall shelf handcrafted here in Canada

When I flipped it over I discovered it was handcrafted in Canada by Hutton & Company.  I couldn't bring myself to paint over their stamp so I painted around it.  If anyone knows anything about this company, I would love it if you dropped me a line and shared the details!

Mémère, the Vintage Wooden Wall Shelf, will soon be posted in my Etsy Shop.
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