Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Elizabeth from Rustic Maple 

 Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger is a feature done each Saturday that introduces you to a blogger you may already know or a new blogger for you to get to know. This feature gives you a peak into the personal life of the blogger.  Getting to know the special person behind the beautiful blog.

There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland so enjoy getting to know these talented bloggers each Saturday.

This week it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Elizabeth from Rustic Maple.  Elizabeth is an over the border Canadian blogger friend.  Love that she said yes to doing Spotlight.  Please take some time and read and get to know Elizabeth.  Then hop over to her wonderful blog and say Hi.

Hello everyone! I'm Elizabeth at Rustic Maple and I am honored that Kris has asked me to be in the Saturday Spotlight. I have been following Kris and enjoying her beautiful blog and home for some time. I have met some awesome people through blogging and am continually inspired by the creative ideas and glimpses into blogger's homes around the world.

My little blog began in 2009 as Blue Clear Sky but changed to Rustic Maple last year when I bought my own domain. I chose Rustic Maple for my blog and business name because we enjoy spending time outdoors in Ontario, our beautiful province here in Canada. I will share more about my blog in a bit.

Since I am here to "spotlight the real life behind the blogger" I guess I should share more about myself. I celebrated my 50th birthday this year and my husband Robert and I have been married for 23 years. We live in Halton Hills, a small town about an hour west of Toronto.

I am blessed to have a kind and loving husband and two wonderful boys. Kyle is 18 and starting an apprenticeship and Josh is 16 and in grade 11.

Up until this year, our boys had been involved in 4-H for many years showing dairy, beef, rabbits and goats. Even though we live in town, our oldest has a passion for agriculture. He sold his pair of goats and show rabbits last year but still owns Jersey dairy cattle (since we live in town he keeps them at my husband's cousin's dairy farm about two hours away.) This weekend is our town's Fall Fair and Kyle takes care of the animals in the Agricultural Awareness tent for the three days of the fair. Josh helps him and they sleep in the tent overnight for the care and security of the animals.

Josh is our fishing and sport-loving guy. He especially enjoys hanging out with his older brother. At 16 1/2 he is already 6'2" (photo at my bil's lodge/hunt camp in northern Ontario with my sister's family's 5 month old Labradoodle puppy, Scout.) This year Josh got his driver's license and his boating license. Josh is saving for his own truck (his brother saved and bought his own truck when he was 17.) We now wish that we had the forethought to plan for a driveway with four vehicles (including two big Cummins diesel pick up trucks!) when we bought this suburban builder home 17 years ago..

We love our 5 year old female chocolate Lab, Remington. She is such a sweetheart!

I am the second youngest of eight children and became an aunt when I was five. Our large extended family is a very big part of our life. I am very proud of my 17 nieces and nephews (plus spouses) and so far I have 19 great nieces and great nephews (not including hubby's side with 7 nieces/nephews and 2 greats.)  Most of our social time is spent with family. We are especially close (and neighbours) to my youngest sister/best friend, her husband and their three children. We live two streets apart and the kids attended the same schools.

I trained as a Practical Nurse in college and after 5 years in patient care I had an opportunity to work in a high school special education program, where I just reached my 25 year milestone.

So back to my blog. I have always enjoyed creative hobbies and decorating. I get excited about paint, decor and hardware stores. Our home is always evolving as I work towards my preferred decor style and adding more character to our home, all on a fairly tight budget. My mind is constantly swirling with ideas for new vignettes, dreams of new pieces to make or how to change what I already have affordably.

Over the past year or two I have focused on defining my decor style. I like to decorate our home in a more rustic casual style that has influences of growing up on a farm (for my husband) and cottaging and camping near a lake every summer (for me), both of which we have made sure our sons experience. 

Speaking of seasonally, one of my favorite things to do is decorate for Christmas. I plan ideas throughout the year and love getting out all my organized clear bins. Then I do my sister's decorating! 

I paint furniture, DIY, do all of our interior/exterior painting, sew pillows (and quilt when I have time), knit, crochet and generally get crafty when the mood strikes. I make extra money for my projects by painting and selling furniture, and occasionally my stitched goods.

One thing that I have learned from this experience of sharing 'the real life behind the blogger' is that I need to spend more time taking photos of myself (and making sure the ones of me look good haha!) We get busy and tend to rely on quick iPhone photos at gatherings.

I would love for you to stop by Rustic Maple and say hello. You can also find me on Pinterest as Rustic Maple Elizabeth Ramage and on Instagram as rusticmapleelizabeth. Thanks so much, Kris, for inviting me to share here today!

 Thank you Elizabeth for sharing about your hubby and son's and cute Remington.  You have a beautiful family and I loved reading about you, your family and what blogging has meant to you.  Have a great Saturday Every One!

De Personalizing

As many of you that follow my blog know I am in the process of selling my cottage home.

I love this home and have infused every space in this home with my decor style and what I love.

The process to sell this home that I love has been a blessing and a curse.

When we put the house up for sale over a week ago the buyers started to schedule showings.  Most of the feed back was wonderful but some of the buyers were not able to see past my decor and envision themselves living in this home.

The Home has been well maintained by my husband and I. The home also has a lot of $$ upgrades.
This home has hard wood floors and crown molding through out and  up graded appliances, newer windows, roof, furnace, air conditioner etc.  To show off these up grades I had to take down the beautiful decor that seem to be a distraction to some of the potential buyers.

So while it is hard to pack up your life and style,  it has been good to help me emotionally separate from this home I have loved.

 I thought I would show you some of the before and after pictures for staging the home to sell.

This was my decor at the entry to the dining room.
This was the divider wall that separated the office area from the dining space.

I packed up a lot of my personal items in my office space.

Now the office area is pretty much packed up and open.

Now hopefully the buyer will be able to see the hard wood floors and not be distracted by the divider wall or office decor.  It will also give the buyer the opportunity to see this addition off the back is not just an office and dining space. It could now be a dining space where my office was and where the dining space is could be a family room.

As you can see in this picture of the dining room I had a lot of decor still up on the walls.  The plates over the cabinet and my old windows and wreath up on the open window from the kitchen into this room.

So down came the plates, the old chippy window over the opening to the kitchen and I packed up all my Madonna's and angel wings that were on top of the cabinet.  It feels empty to me but now the buyers can see past all that decor.
I did leave up a few things on the walls just so it would not feel completely void of any decor.  I took the old chippy post headers off the window and the french doors going out the the deck.  Just left up the drapes.

Laundry room before I took some decor down.

Laundry Room after.  

I took the burlap and lace curtains off the window to have it feel more open and not have my shabby style there.

Now the space looks brighter.  The ladder and baskets are down that hung over the washer and dryer too.

I took down the chippy shutters and transom window from over the couch.  Took down the chandelier too.

We had a ceiling fan so we put that up in place of the chandelier.  I kept the two window decor pieces on each side of the armoire so the room would not feel completely empty.

The chippy old posts that Terry made into a window header has been removed.  Now just the white sheers are hanging over the window.  The ladder and decor by the door is down and packed away.

Kitchen before.

Kitchen after.  Chandeliers taken down and replaced with a pendant light and just plain ceiling lights.
The drying rack is down and pack away and the double window doors covering the opening between the kitchen and the dining area is now down.  Lets more light into the kitchen.  Still hard to get a good picture in this kitchen ughh!
Before:  Chandeliers

After more neutral pendant and ceiling lights.

Before: Window closing off to dining room.

After: Open window lets more light into the kitchen.  Less of my decor and they can imagine their decor style now.

I took down almost all of the entry way decor and packed it away too.

While this is seems bare to me I guess it is good for the buyer to be able to envision how they would want this entry way to be.

Wooooooo lots of change ups here at Junk Chic Cottage.  Decor packed and ready to move when the time comes.  Blank walls for buyers to see upgrades and possibly there style in this home. 

Thank you to all of you keeping us in your prayers and sending us best wishes.  Hopefully Terry will get an offer soon on a job and we will get a contract on this home and be on our journey to settling into a new home soon.

Have a great rest of the week.  

Somerset Life October Issue And A Giveaway.

"It is a wonderful experience to bond and connect with people you have never met.  My blog has become a perfect place to share my style and creativity but also a place to bond and share my heart with others."

Happy Sunday.
I was contacted back in the Spring to write an article for Somerset Life Magazine about my blog and how the blogging world has effected me personally.  

While this magazine is beautiful and full of inspiration it can be a bit pricey. 
 I thought I would  copy my article and share it with you today on my blog for free.

Thank you for taking some time today to read my article .

October/November issue of Somerset Life that featured my article.

I love this magazine it has great bloggers that contribute and wonderful crafting ideas.

It still amazes me, every day when I open my emails, to read the comments and shared love of my decor style from other bloggers.
When I started my blog back in 2013 I was looking for a creative outlet, a place to showcase my "decor crazy".  When I first started to post I thought, who will see this and will they get my decor style and me?  Will anyone understand the way I look at an old salvage piece, see the beauty and history, and will they get me re-loving this old piece of vintage history into my decor? Would their hearts beat a little faster, like mine does, at the sight of an old chippy cottage door rescued from an old lake cottage tear down?  I found the answer to be yes.  Other bloggers did see the potential of re-loving the old salvaged treasures with history into my home decor.

My style, and thrill, is to find old salvage with tons of history, years of wear and stories behind the treasured piece. Then taking that piece and re-loving it into some new purpose within my home.

 When I got the old vintage lake house front door from the tear down, I looked at it and thought about all the families who had passed through that tiny door for many years of wonderful trips to the lake cottage.  That door opened and closed many times to create lasting memories for years to come.  That door needed to be brought into my decor and re-loved into a new purpose.

I have found through blogging that so many do understand the beautiful history and story behind the treasured salvage.  I have found that so many others share the love of incorporating old timeworn treasures into their own decor style, taking the old and making it new again.  Giving a wonderful piece of history a second chance and new purpose again.

My latest project was taking an old church altar and transforming it into a TV stand.  Then by taking some chippy worn shutters, I gave the TV coverage.  It allows for a modern day big screen TV that is hidden under the cover of an old chippy re-loved cabinet.

I am a neutral girl.  Whites, creams, and neutrals are my color palette.  I believe that neutral background to my decor allows the unique treasured salvage to be the center of attention in my home.  I like to let the unique pieces tell the story.

While connecting with so many through blogging and sharing inspiration and styles, something very unpredictable happened.  Friendships were formed.  Complete strangers were becoming true friends.  Different bloggers from all over the world were sharing friendships.
We were not only sharing our love of decor but also sharing our hearts through friendships.
While we were coming from different cultures and speaking different languages, we began to form friendships and become kindred spirits.
My main goal of starting my blog was to be a creative outlet and find inspiration from other bloggers, but from it I began forming relationships.  I began to understand that blogging was a great vessel for inspiration and to bring like minds together, but also to start wonderful relationships with others who might never have been formed without this blogging world.

So my journey began and continues to grow.  It is a wonderful experience to bond and connect with people you have never met.  My blog has become a perfect place to share my style and creativity but also a place to bond and share my heart with others.

I found that culture and language barriers do not get in the way of shared love for junk and chippy fun salvage.  Blogging has become a journey for me to find not only shared and find inspiration but also a bond to the personal side of ourselves and life experiences.

I have developed friendships with those who get my style, but I also found friendship bonds and close ties with other bloggers who do not necessarily share the same decor style.  Something on my blog post got this person's attention and it grew into something more.  I think if you stay true to yourself and style and being open and honest will bring long and lasting friendships in blog land.

Well my friends thanks for reading my published article in Somerset Home October Edition.  I am going to do a give away of this beautiful magazine.  So if you would like a chance to win one please leave me a comment below.

Have a great start to the new week ahead.