Tag: Cowichan Valley

Sunday Brunch on a Wednesday!

Sunday Brunch on a Wednesday!

Okay, I’m a little late getting this post put together, but when it comes to Sunday brunch, it’s better late than never don’t you think? This past weekend we raised a toast to a milestone birthday for my Dad, and were joined by family and…

Zanatta al fresco anyone?

Zanatta al fresco anyone?

When the sun is shining, it puts a smile on my face. For outdoor dining, it’s quite the place! It feels so calm and peaceful where time moves slow… Zanatta Winery. A great place to go! What are your plans for the weekend? Doing anything…

Just When I Thought I Was Done!

Just When I Thought I Was Done!

I know you’re all keen to move on from the photo journey of what we’ve done outside. And I get it. Trust me, I do!

But I had to share my ‘just when I thought I was done’ moment with you.

See this beautiful home and its equally beautiful landscaping?

Rock Terraced Landscaping

Well, this belongs to my neighbour.

And today he removed a bunch of his Heather shrubs. Do you know where I’m going with this?

That’s right, he offered them to me! All five of them!

And though this spot is pretty much solid rock, here’s where I was determined they would go.

Bare Ground for Heather Shrubs

I wanted to fill in the bare area you see, so there was a little more green.

So I took on the braun of the rock underneath, and outbrauned it enough to the dig holes.

And got all five in place. Well, hubs put the front one in for me!

Transplanting Heather Shrubs

The holes were just barely deep enough, but will do.

Here’s a little side view.

Landscaping with Heather

Can you see the dirt mounded up around them?

So what do you think?

Landscaping with Heather Shrubs

Did I do the right thing by accepting my neighbour’s generous offer?

Do you remember how this yard looked when we moved in? If not, you can see a ‘before’ of it here.

What would you do?

All of our neighbours have been super encouraging and helpful. In fact, it was another of our neighbours who suggested we might be interested in this Heather. I thought that was pretty cool. And then another offered to use his truck if we wanted to get a load of bark mulch. In today’s world, being treated neighbourly like this is pretty awesome.



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Photos: Sheila Zeller

A Little Garden Tour

A Little Garden Tour

I promised you a little garden tour after scattering the freshly painted terracotta pots around. So let’s get started! Welcome. This is the planter that greets you at the front door. A new terracotta pot filled with some colourful stuff! I got some great buying tips…

The Colours of a Cocktail

The Colours of a Cocktail

We popped into The Old Fire House Wine Bar on Saturday and capped off our Black Tie evening with the cocktail special of the night. If I gave you a few clues, would you guess what it was? This hand-blown glass is very close to…

When Life Was Simple

When Life Was Simple

Do you remember when life was simple?

The weather was seasonally predictable?

And the sun would shine so your clothes could dry on the line?

I wish I could say this was our first day of Spring…

But instead, ours was wet, windy, a little sleet, a little snow… and yes, even a burst of sunshine mixed in between! All I managed was to top up some dirt in a few spots of our landscaping, and revisit our BBQ platform project (which has been holding for the weather!) before dashing back inside as the next squall swirled in!

How was your first day of Spring?

I hope it was a little sunnier than mine!



It’s about coming home… and home is a remarkable space that tells your story! 

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 All Photos by Sheila Zeller


The Old Firehouse Wine Bar: Do Tell!

The Old Firehouse Wine Bar: Do Tell!

Have you heard? Have you been??? Duncan has a great new stop in town that you’ve gotta check out! Maybe you already have? It’s The Old Firehouse Wine Bar located on Ingram Street in downtown Duncan. In… you guessed it, the old firehouse! Which, until…

Seeing Beyond the Fog… of Parcels!

Seeing Beyond the Fog… of Parcels!

We still don’t have snow, but are getting another layer of white these days. Like this fog lying low over Quamichan Lake. And floating across the ball field. The cloud of white in the background is steam from the Crofton Mill… I had a hunch…

Vintage Dry Bar to TV Cabinet: Almost There!

Vintage Dry Bar to TV Cabinet: Almost There!

You’ve been so patient… and we’re almost there!

My repurposing project, a cabinet turned into a TV stand for Kaleigh that started back in in early September, and hit a few road bumps here and here, is on its final stretch. All the painting is as done as it’s going to be, the brass hardware as cleaned up as it’s going to get… and today was the moment of truth. We started to reassemble all the parts and pieces of the cabinet, and put it back together again. And I’m thrilled to say it went back together without a hitch. But remember, I also said this was a repurposing project – so that means we made some ‘structural’ changes to the piece, and changed the intention for its use.

So, way back when we started this project I said there was a story behind this piece that I couldn’t wait to tell…

Here’s the piece in its original form.

Looks like a standard cabinet, right?

But it’s not…

This cabinet is actually a dry bar… dry because there’s no sink.

But a bar because of this insert inside…

The insert is meant to hold glasses. It, along with the shelf you see, is covered in arborite – easy to wipe clean, and can withstand liquid spills 😉 And, note the locking mechanism in the center. Back in the day there was a time when alcohol was kept under lock and key!

And the bar itself is not as cumbersome as it looks to use.

Because the small front face is actually hinged to flip down.

And it has a catch to hold it closed when it’s flipped up…

Pretty cool isn’t it?

This piece is made of solid wood – maple, I think.

Check out the vintage hardware…

I love the hardware, but Kaleigh is not keen on it at all. In fact she has gone so far as to say it’s ugly. Seriously… what’s up with the perspective of our youth? 😉 If you look closely, you’ll see the two front doors also have locks in them. Definitely a dry bar!

So the story…

After all the yard work we did when we first moved in here, we had a bunch of organic waste to take to the local waste management drop-off. And it was with this trip that everything changed! After we dropped off all the weeds we pulled around to head out, and noticed the ‘FREE SHOPPING’ sign. Now you have to remember, this is basically the garbage dump, but in a managed kind of way! So we figured there was nothing to lose by taking a gander. This isn’t normally something we would do, but the more blogs I read, the more inspired I am to give this kind of ‘living on the edge’ a try! And I’m so glad we did.

Since the cabinet would be for Kaleigh’s TV, we had to check in first. So my hubby snapped a quick pic on his phone and sent it to her…

…while I called her to say, ‘Check your phone – are you interested in this cabint? I’ll paint it out, change it up, but would it work for you?’ I really thought the answer would be like, are you kidding? No! Mom, I can’t believe you’d bring something home from the dump. OMG!!!

But Kaleigh surprised me and her answer actually was, ‘Yah, sure. Why not.’

I have to be honest, the FREE SHOPPING was free for a reason! There wasn’t a whole lot I saw that day that I’d depart with… other than this vintage treasure. Honestly. Who throws things like this out? But then, who puts Cherner chairs beside a dumpster (read story here)? What caps this story is we barely navigated the cabinet’s exodus from the FREE store! For the little time that it took to pull our vehicle up and position it for loading, was all the time it took for someone else to be checking this piece out. Imagine their startled look when we scooped it up and loaded it in!

So that’s the story behind how we acquired this cabinet. And, oh yes, we cleaned it up big time. There were remnants of splintered glass, dried and super stuck residue from spilled who knows what, and of course years of built-up grime. What didn’t come with the cabinet were the keys for the three locks. Do you think I should return it?

Stay tuned. Tomorrow will be its make-over reveal. Here’s a little glimpse…

I can’t wait to show you the results!

What have you repurposed lately? Where did your piece come from? Are FREE pieces on the side of the road… or at the local dump an option for you?

Related Posts You Might Like To Read

DIY Distress: Repurposing A Cabinet Set-Back

Brass Part I: Are You Cleaning Plated or Solid?

Brass Part II: Cleaning Solid Brass Pieces

The Cherner Chair Story

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

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Fabulous Fall from a Teen’s Perspective

Fabulous Fall from a Teen’s Perspective

Fall colours in the Cowichan Valley are so beautiful right now, just as deep and firey as you would imagine… I wanted to capture them before it was too late. So I asked Kaleigh if she would take some photos for me… These images, including the…