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Flea Market Tales-Aberfoyle Antique Market

I know I’m not the only one to blog about the Aberfoyle flea market and I’m sure most people living in southern Ontario have been there or  at least heard of it. But it’s still worth a mention here on my blog because it is a regular haunt of mine and it is the biggest and the best outdoor antique market we have in Ontario.

This market near Guelph is open Sundays from May to October and boasts approximately 120 permanent and temporary vendors on a 20 acre field in cabins, barns and tents. There is a ton of free parking and admission is $2 per adult. Dogs are  welcome on a leash. Word of warning: This patch of land is the coldest place in southern Ontario on spring and fall mornings. So if you think you can get away with a jacket, you’re wrong, go put on a parka. (You’ll thank me.)

The market is very well attended and has a feeling of vitality and growth, (unlike other venues that unfortunately can often have a feel of slow, steady decay and desparation).

The amenities here are great too. There is an indoor snack bar and an outdoor barbeque hut with open air seating. There are 2 small play parks for the kids and washroom facilities with flush toilets (bonus!)

It goes without saying that, with so many vendors, there is something for everyone at this market. Prices range from dirt cheap to moderate, but no one is out of line on their prices. I find the vendors here are interested in moving their stuff as opposed to hanging onto items like they are museum pieces as often happens in antique malls.

I thought I’d share a photo of this higher ticket piece of furniture I saw here because it is so freaking beautiful! Imagine the impact it would have in a restaurant, a shop, or a grand home, amazing. The price was around $4500 I believe.

The best part of this market for my 5 year old son are the boxes of toys put out by one of the vendors with a sign reading “Free Toys. One per child.”What’s not to love about a flea market like this?
Visit www.aberfoyle-antiques.com for specific details.

57 Brock Rd. South (RR#3)
Guelph, Ontario
1 877-763-1077
Open Sundays 8:00 and 4:00pm from the last Sunday in April

to the last Sunday in October.

October 25, 2011 | by |No Comments »
Rant-Just Say No To” Must-Haves”

It seems like every fashion and decorating magazine out there has the term “Must-Haves” on the cover, “Must-Have jackets”, “Must-Have lamps”, “Must-Haves for Fall”, etc.

 

I CALL BULL**** ON MUST-HAVES.

 

What exactly does this term mean? I must have all of these “Must-Haves” or what? My husband will divorce me? My friends will drop me? My career will fail? I should hope not. When it comes to material possessions there should be no such thing as Must-Haves in the sense that magazines want us to believe.

 

It makes me ill to think that anyone would buy something just because a magazine tells them to. I say don’t buy the Must-Haves. In fact, buy something completely opposite. Buy something that speaks to you personally without worrying about it being “On Trend”. (Oh, and that’s another term that makes me gag.)

 

In my blog, in my newsletter, in my store, I swear I will never tell anyone that they must have something. And this is coming from a person who makes their living from selling things. I’m not saying don’t buy anything. I’m saying buy something that is beautiful to you, something enduring, something that makes you smile.

 

The whole concept of Must-Haves serves to fuel women’s insecurities and should be abolished. Amen.

 

Comments welcome.

October 10, 2011 | by |No Comments »
Book Review-Design Sponge at Home

Design Sponge is a wildly popular design blog that was created in 2004 by Brooklyn based Grace Bonney. Fans of the site will be glad to know that she has finally published a book showcasing some of the best homes and tips seen in her blog over the past 7 years.

The book’s contents are divided up into 3 categories. The first section is made up of what Grace calls “Sneak Peaks” into the homes of regular people who didn’t use a decorator and are able to express themselves through their objects, furniture and spaces.

The middle section of the book is made up of close to 50 DIY projects and includes a “How To” section on the basics of using a sewing machine, tools, paint, etc. My favorites are the fabric covered hangers on page 244 and the butterfly dome on page 270.

 The third section of the book shows us some fun “Before and After” projects that involve paint, fabric, stencils and found objects (including 2 uses for wooden skids!).

This book has good value in it’s close to 400 pages for $52. It provides great inspiration for younger people who are on a tight budget and are willing to do a bit of manual labour. So roll up your sleeves and get to work!!

Visit the Design Sponge Blog – www.designsponge.com

 

October 5, 2011 | by |No Comments »
Antique Shops- Treasures on West, Port Colborne Ontario

Treasures on West at 234 West Street in downtown Port Colborne is one of my favorite Ontario antique shops. I visit it often in the summer as it is only a 15 minute drive from my cottage.

It’s picturesque location at the edge of the Welland shipping canal adds to the overall charm of the visit.

My kids don’t mind going to Treasures because they can watch ocean going ships from the St. Lawrence Seaway System pass under the lift bridge. And even more importantly, it is located right next door to a candy shop!

Rick and Sue’s taste in “pickings” is well developed and they really try to have a little of something for everyone and the prices are very affordable.

What I love about this shop is that they have tons of furniture but also lots of quirky “smalls”. I always, always find something to buy here.

Here are Rick and Sue loading a gorgeous bow front dresser into my car. I love to give them a hard time by calling them good cop and bad cop. Sue is bad cop because she doesn’t like to part with things and Rick is good cop because he just wants to get rid of stuff so he can buy more. Oh, and can you tell Sue doesn’t like her picture taken? (Sorry Sue,had to do it.)

If you are ever in the Niagara region, try to pay them a visit, you’ll be glad you did. Be sure to say Teresa from Toronto sent you.

Treasures on West
234 West Street
Port Colborne ON

L3K 4E3

(905) 964-2822

September 12, 2011 | by |No Comments »
Beach House Sneak Peak

Here is a preview of some of the shots from the Style at Home photo shoot that will appear in the magazine next summer.

Even before flea markets, my first love was of fabric and I almost always use it as a jumping off point when decorating a room. I found this wonderful, crazy patchwork quilt at Urban Outfitters and used it to grow the entire decorating scheme of this room.

The vintage oil painting is from my favorite antique shop in Florida, Shi & Erhard in Lake Worth.

This working stone fireplace is original to the cottage.

Here the heavily carved sofa, a refurbished Craigslist find, strikes a pose against a backdrop of my kid’s framed artwork.

My husband bought the 1960’s rosewood stereo and we listen to corny radio stations on it that we would normally never listen to just because. I bought the teak turntable just for looks. Is it nuts to spend $80 on something that doesn’t work just because it looks good?
I say no.

Lots of chicken curry gets served up to guests seated around my  husband as he plays  Master of Ceremonies on this cooktop in the middle of the kitchen. By the way, when we bought the cottage he said I could decorate however I wanted to as long as I gave him a decent kitchen. (Mission accompished.)

In the background there is a chalkboard wall. Kids and adults alike find it hard to resist picking up a piece of chalk and drawing a picture or writing a message as they pass it.

I found this groovy bedspread at Urban Outfitters and again used it as inspiration for the entire room. It makes me really happy that there are red poppy drawer pulls on the dresser that match the red poppy print in the bedspread.

The magazine didn’t shoot the bathroom, I think they felt it wasn’t colourful enough, but I think it’s beautiful. So I’m putting a picture of it here for you to see. I bought this antique cabinet from one of my pickers and converted it into a vanity.

That completes the tour of my beach house. Now just looking forward to seeing it come out in the magazine next year.

September 12, 2011 | by |No Comments »
Style at Home Photo Shoot-Behind the Scenes

I love my beach house on Long Beach on Lake Erie and I’m very proud of the renovating and decorating I’ve done in it over the past 4 years.
So much so that I decided to present some scouting pictures to Erin Mc Laughlin, editor of Canada’s Style at Home magazine. Low and behold, a few weeks later I got a phone call telling me that they would like to shoot the cottage for a summer issue.  I was so exited the night before the shoot. I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning doing some styling and couldn’t get to sleep until at least 2:00.

Above is a shot of the screened in porch early in the morning. This room is the  best place in the world to have breakfast.

The photographer Angus and his camera assistant arrived at around 8:30 am

and began setting up.

Stylist Ann-Marie Favot arrived shortly after with a huge bucket of flowers and loads of great props for the shoot. I was so impressed with her preparedness and attention to detail throughout the shoot.

Here is a little vignette we styled on the deck with my 7 year old daughter Macy and her friend Julia. Of course my dog Mona somehow manages to get herself into almost every shot. And yes, that is a bowl of Cheesies on the table. We needed orange props  so in they went.

This tight shot sums up the mood of the shoot. A little bit fun, a little bit retro and a little beachy, a shoot where it’s OK to style with Cheesies!


Keep an eye out for my next blog post where I’ll be giving you a sneak peak at some of the shots that will appear in a summer 2012 issue of Style at Home.

August 29, 2011 | by |No Comments »
Before and After Furniture Makeover-Chintz Chair

The Frame and padding on this chair are in good condition but the fabric is very outdated and dingy.  Regular Chatelet customer Grace spotted this petite chair in the Unfinished Furniture section of the Chatlelet website. She thought it would look great in her dressing room, but only after it had been given the Chatelet treatment.

Grace requested the legs of the chair to be painted white and wanted a slipcover to be sewn up in a blue grey linen. I found the perfect linen at Designer Fabrics  for $24.99 per yard. I had my superstar sewer preshrink the fabric and make a fitted slipcover with a short ruffled skirt. The result is a pretty little chair that can cozy up any small nook in the house.

May 18, 2011 | by |No Comments »
BOOK REVIEW – Romantic Style

April 25, 2011 | by |No Comments »
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