Thursday, January 27, 2011

Creating a New Mantel Vignette

Our living room is sparsely furnished with a Victorian settee, two blue wing back chairs, a vintage secretary and my repurposed crafting cabinet.  I suppose that doesn't sound sparse, but it looks a bit bare to a few key elements are missing.  Perhaps a coffee table, end table and a rug would finish it off.  Half of the pieces we have in the room were handed down from my parents, the others were Craigslist purchases.  I actually love the wing backs and settee from my mom and dad.  They have loads of character and good bones...just not my choice of upholstery.  As my budget does not allow for a total room makeover at this time, I am hoping to do a little here and there throughout the year to give it a more romantic cottage feel.  This week I worked on the mantel.  I pulled things from around the house to give it a completely different look.  Inspired by many of the beautiful decorating blogs out there, I looked at the mantel as I would a surface to display my treasures at the antique opportunity to create a vignette.  I have more freedom here than I do in the family room where as previously mentioned in earlier posts, there is a flat screen TV just inches above the fireplace mantel...aack!  We had some lovely sunshine streaming through the windows this morning which made for pretty natural lighting ...and I remembered to change the white balance setting on my camera this time.  I noticed that one of my posts last week had some photos with a really blue  hue to them....oops!  I am still learning! 

I am on a quest to find some pretty pussy willow branches (real or faux) for the creamy pitcher.  I was in a hurry to get something in there so I grabbed some low branches from our magnolia tree for temporary filler.  I don't love the look, but now I am curious to see if the buds will open I'll leave them there for a few days at least.

Oh how I love bunnies!  They definitely multiply around my home in the spring, but it is not uncommon to find them here and there during the winter months as well!

My mom bought this darling little tussy mussy for me at a flower show a few years ago.

I am loving the covered book trend that seems to be the newest fad in decorating!  I did up a few of these fabric covered bundles for the shop this week...and one for myself!

This sweet little quail is so special to me.  I often admired it in my Grandma's home when I was little.  I wish I knew more about when and where it was made...all I know is that it was Grandma's and I will always treasure it!
Thank you so much for your visit!  Please head over to My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday, Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday and How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday...These ladies really know how to throw a linky party!

Best wishes always and God bless!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Attempt to Prevent Disaster...Protecting Collectables From Flying Nerf Darts

When I was pregnant the first time around, I was told by more than one friend that my home decor was going to need to undergo some major changes before baby arrived.  In other words, anything fragile presently being displayed should probably be tucked away in safe storage until the kid was in college. When I found out I was having a boy, the comments came more frequently and with some urgency.  Although I did listen to much of the wonderful advice about babies and raising children from dear friends and family, I made a firm and clear decision not to pack up the special treasures I enjoyed having around me in an effort to keep them intact.  For one, I hate the idea of storing anything for fear of it being broken.  Second of all, I had a plan to teach my children from day one what objects around the home were toys and what special items just weren't meant to be played with.  One advantage to this ideal is that I can generally take my little guys to other people's homes and even into antique stores and trust that they know not to pick up and handle things without asking first.  I now have a 2 and 4 year old boy in the house and still have my collectibles out on shelves, tables and mantles where I continue to enjoy them (that's right, they are still intact!).  That being said, as conscious as my boys are of mom's special "breakables," boys will be boys and I've come to accept that rough housing is in their DNA.  The recent influx of weapons, i.e.  light sabers, swords, and nerf guns in our home (thank you, hubby) have put the collectibles in jeopardy of being an "accidental" casualty of some jedi vs. droid battle.  However, mom has a little secret weapon of her own that has more than once protected the treasures from the occasional nerf bullet gone astray.  My most fragile pieces are temporarily but undeniably "stuck" to their respective surfaces.  Quakehold Museum Gel keeps things in place and a little bit goes a loooooong way!  I like that it's not hard to remove my collectibles from their surfaces when I want to dust or rearrange too.  I don't understand quite how it works, but it's magic!.

I un-stuck my pottery collection from it's display cabinet this week and had fun doing a bit of fluffing and rearranging.  I found the aqua colored book last week for .50 at a thrift shop.  I love the color, the little symbol on the front and the way it ties in the aqua colored vase that was my husband's grandmother's.  Apparently decorating with books is the new fun!

I also love mixing in special photos with my collections, especially if they help to tell a story.  This sweet photo of my grandmother and her girlfriend was taken in the 1940's.  None of these pieces came from that particular grandmother but they were made during that same time period.

I purchased this darling corner cabinet from Tracy of A Cottage Industry last year.  I've told her about how perfectly it tucks into the corner of my kitchen but I thought I'd share a photo now that I've had a chance to collect a few pieces of pottery and display them the way I'd planned to.  If you're not already following Tracy's blog, you should definitely go check her out!  Reading her blog is what essentially inspired me to start my own!

The cornucopia vase on the right is from Hull's wildflower series.  It was my first Hull purchase and probably my favorite!

The vase on the far left is from the Magnolia collection and seems to be a fairly common piece, but beautiful nonetheless!.

This sweet little Thistle vase is more rare than the other two pieces.  I am not sure what attracts me to the thistle flower but I am always drawn to dishes and pottery with a thistle motif.

Aside from my 3 treasured Hull pieces, the rest of my pottery is unmarked and I bought them simply because I loved the color, shape and/or they were a darn good deal!  It's a colorful collection but with a crisp white backdrop for which I am linking up to Faded Charm's White Wednesday party!

Are you a collector of vintage pottery?  I'd love to hear about your favorite pieces!  

I hope to share that furniture redo/repurpose project with you this week!  I know I said that last week...but it's taking a little longer than expected.  Hopefully my chandelier will get hung before week end too! many fun projects.  First things first...laundry!  Okay, maybe not such a fun project, but it's got to be done!

Thank you so much for your visit today!   I absolutely love reading your comments and can't wait to visit your blog and see what fun ideas and projects you're working on this week!

In addition to Faded Charm's White Wedensday, I am also linking up with A Beach Cottage today for BC Wedensday and Somewhat Simple for SYS Thursday!

Best Wishes and God Bless!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Basket of Ideas

This lovely pink striped floral wallpaper recently made it's way into my shopping cart at a local thrift store.  It has a delicate texture to it which doesn't quite show in the photos.  I don't think it's very vintage, but maybe from the late 80's, early 90's.  It has that Laura Ashley, English charm look that I just adore!  I thought I would share my find by cutting it into generously sized pieces to offer in my space at the shop for crafting or gift wrap.  Of course I'll keep a bit of it for my own projects too!

I went to the garage looking for a tall basket to artistically display my treasured rolls of pretty papers.  Surrounded by all kinds of baskets and containers, all of the wrong shape and size, I spotted a lampshade.  It was the perfect height and shape.  Hmmmmm...  I stripped the shade and quickly sewed a simple insert for the frame, added a couple of gathers, ties and pretty lace bow.  Voila!  I have a display for my new found paper treasures!

This was a simple transformation but I see so many possibilities here.  I think a chintzy floral with coordinating ruffle trim on top would be lovely and so very functional!  For a fancier or more stream lined look, the fabric could cover the outside of the shade, hiding the metal frame.  Oh how I love to reuse and repurpose!

Please visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for so many pretty pinks,  Funky Junk Interiors for repurposed inspirations,  Dittle Dattle for cool "Amaze Me Monday" projects and The Shabby Chic Cottage for wonderful transformations!

Thank you so much for your visit! 
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
Best Wishes and Many Blessings,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Clothes are Outdated and Threadbare, But I Have a New Chandelier!

That's right, I took the advice of my dear blog friends and spent the better portion of my Christmas money on that petite chandelier for the kitchen!  I really hadn't even considered a chandelier for the kitchen before I posted a photo last week and started blabbing about how something was missing!  The thing is, our adjacent breakfast nook has a creamy chandelier I assumed that a chandelier in the kitchen would be too much.   What I hadn't thought about was a petite on such a small scale that it would create some balance and compliment the other rather than compete with it. 

This is the photo of our kitchen that I shared last week...when I had the chandelier epiphany!

So, I had spotted this adorable little thing at the antique store last week and stared at it wondering where I could possibly use it in our home.  It was not very expensive for an old, restored chandelier but I am not one to go out and purchase something on a whim when I can't justify it.  After days of thinking about it, dreaming about it, and reading all of your convincing comments, I went back to the shop yesterday to see if it was still there...and it was!  It was meant to be!  My sweet friend at the counter said, "Oh, you're buying the chandelier!  I know what you're going to do with it...I read your blog!"  Too funny!  I really, reeeeeallly wanted it hung up last night so that I could share it with you today, but as it turns out, it isn't as easy of an install as I had hoped.  It's going to require at the very least a trip to Home Depot and the advice of some electrical expert.   I had originally thought I would just hang it from a hook and plug it into an outlet on the top of the cupboards.  But, when hubby stood on the counter and held it up in different spots to see where it should go, the obvious place and where it looks the very best is where we already have a can light.  Have you ever replaced a can light with a hanging fixture?  I tried googling it but didn't find any helpful advice.    So because I could not wait to share this little beauty with you, I took pics of it sitting here on the counter!  I promise to share again once it's hanging in it's special spot.  Maybe I'll be inspired to redo the tops of the cupboards for that post as well!  We'll see.

I still have a little spending money leftover for clothing and if I'm thrifty, (which I am) I can stretch it and get a few new pieces to update and restore my wardrobe!  As much as I love having new clothes, I have always felt that something for the home is a better investment.  I guess it's all about where your priorities are.   For the amount I spent on my new little chandelier, I could have bought a sweater at Nordstrom.  In a year or two, the sweater would be fuzz-balled and out-dated but my chandelier will still be sparkling and making me smile.  That's how I see it!

If you are a follower of Sandy at My Shabby Streamside Studio, you know that she recently posted about her favorite petite chandelier.  I first read about Sandy in the NY Times and was elated to find that even with all of her new found fame, she still writes a blog and shares gorgeous photos and stories with her faithful followers.  If you haven't found Sandy's blog and you love all things shabby chic, ruffly, feminine, romantic and vintage, you must get to My Shabby Streamside Studio right away!  Not only does she have amazingly impeccable taste and talent, but she has an intriguing and charming story to tell as well!

This is the gorgeous petite antique chandelier that Sandy recently posted about!
Another one of my favorite bloggers wrote a post about her shabby kitchen not long ago.  She has a darling chandelier hanging over her kitchen sink...and we happen to have the same window treatment!  I love how she added the pink shutters to the window and sweet rosy plates to the side of her cupboard!  Olivia is a real sweetie and her blog, Olivia's Romantic Home is full of gorgeous shabby decorating ideas and projects.  If you're not familiar with her blog, you should definitely go check it out!  I guarantee you'll feel like you're a special guest at a dear friend's charming home!

Olivia's sweet petite chandelier and kitchen window.

Thank you for your visit today!  I so enjoy reading your comments!  I consider you all my dear friends and look forward to visiting you and seeing what decorating and crafting projects you've been working on!  So many sweet and talented ladies out there!

Best Wishes and Many Blessings,

I am linking up with the following fun parties today:
White Wednesday at Faded Charm Cottage
Vintage Inspiration at Common Ground
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Monday, January 17, 2011

Somerset Life Giveaway! Talk About Inspiration!

My friend and fellow Camas Antiques dealer, Christa at Chloe Rose is having a fabulous giveaway and I just had to share with all of you!  She is one sweet and tremendously creative will just adore her style!  Her space at the shop is always stocked with the most elegant, romantic pieces and she displays them so artfully that I sometimes find myself just standing awe...taking it all in!  She has shared that she gets a lot of inspiration from Somerset Life and has an extra copy of the most recent issue to send out to the winner of her giveaway this week!  All you have to do is stop by her blog and leave a comment telling her where you find your inspiration!  And if you blog about her giveaway, she will enter you in the drawing again (wink!)  Please visit Christa at Chloe Rose and tell her that Amanda from One Girl in Pink sent ya!

Have a wonderful day!
Best Wishes and Blessings and Happy Creating!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Amour" Valentine Bunting

I was finally able to wrap up my little Valentine craft project today!  Daddy took off with the little boys for a few hours this afternoon.  They went to Grandma and Grandpa's house to work in the shop on a furniture project which I hope to share with you later this week.  Once all of the glue dries, it will be making it's way back into our garage so that I can paint and put the finishing touches on it!  Don't you just love how I am keeping you in suspense!  I hope it's not an anti-climatic surprise!  If it doesn't turn out as neat as I am imagining, I may decide not to share it at all, so I guess I should just stop talking about it now!

I am telling you I hardly knew what to do with myself during those quiet hours at home all alone!  I can't remember the last time I had uninterrupted "me time" at home in the middle of the afternoon!  I started off by finishing up this "Amour" banner for the family room mantle.  Since we'd put the Christmas decor away, the house has been looking a little naked to me!  Do you feel that way about your house after Christmas?  I think this bunting banner was just what our neutral de-Christmasafied mantle needed.  I hesitated to show you a full photo of the mantle because as you can see we have a flat screen hanging just inches above it!  It was one of those decisions that seemed like a good one at the time, but it's so hard to decorate around it and I wish we'd just stuck that TV in a cabinet!  It is however a convenient spot as we can see it from the breakfast nook and kitchen, where if it were in a cabinet, it would be on another wall and less visible.  So, I do the best I can to work around the electronics!  Don't get me started on the surround sound speakers (I try to pretend they're not there).  I am always tempted to put a rosey swag over the top of the flat screen, but figure I would be treading on hubby's territory a little too much.  As I've said before, he puts up with a lot, so I really shouldn't complain! 

In case you were curious, that beautiful lady in the porcelain frame is my Grandma!  I love this photo of her and am so honored to have it in our home!

After I finished my bunting banner, I used the rest of my free time to organize my pile of "junk" in the garage.  So many little "project pieces" just waiting to be started out there!  If only I could find the time and the energy to get to them all! 

I am hoping to take a few things to the shop tomorrow and fluff my display a bit.  While I am there, I just might have to take a peek and see if that petite chandelier I'd been eyeing is still there!  I loved how so many of you commented (just like any good girlfriend would!) that I needed it when I shared the photo of my kitchen on Friday.  I told my hubby, "my blog friends tell me I need that would put the finishing touch on the kitchen!"  He didn't agree, but he also didn't say no!  Hmmm...we shall see!  If it's still there, I just might bring it home with me tomorrow!  And if it has sold...well, then it wasn't meant to be.

Thank you so much for your visit today!  I hope you're enjoying a cozy 3 day weekend!  I am so happy to have hubby home again tomorrow! 
Best Wishes and God Bless!

Linking up with the following fun parties here...
Show of Your Cottage Monday at The House in the Roses
Masterpiece Monday at Boogie Board Cottage
Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts
Craftomaniac Monday at Craftomaniac
Amaze me Monday at Dittle Dattle
Wednesday's party at Tea Rose Home
The Handmade Valentine Party at The French Cupboard
Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home
Where is your TV Linky at Cottage and Vine
Valentine ideas at Passionately Artistic

Friday, January 14, 2011

Show and Tell

I got started on a little Valentine's Day project yesterday and had hoped to have it completed to share for my favorite weekend link parties today...but sometimes when your a mom, crafting time turns into tickle time, or a drawn out game of hide and seek, or an elaborate fort is built and then is in constant need of repair!  The point is, my project didn't get done, but that's okay!   Maybe next week!  I did however snap a few quick photos this afternoon when we happened to have some decent light streaming in through the windows and the little boys were momentarily distracted!  I thought I would share a few pretty things today, just for fun!  I also have a confession to make...I just started taking down the Christmas decorations!  I don't think I've ever left them up this long but as stated before, moms get busy doing important mom things and sometimes everything else just has to take a back burner.  Besides, our tree was still looking lovely and not dropping needles...and taking it all down is such a chore!  Okay, enough with the excuses!  I was really dragging my feet and decided that a couple of new decorating pieces was just what I needed to inspire me to pack up the Christmas decor!

After we dropped the big boy off at school one day this week, the little guy and I walked through Camas Antiques.  I often run into work on my display but I rarely have time to really look around!  The shop is just packed with new goodies!  This adorable pink magazine holder was calling my name and the price was right...I couldn't resist!  

I have been loving the look of stacked vintage picnic baskets and the useful storage they provide.  I found this one during my little shopping spree and am now on the hunt for some others to complete the look!
I think that kitties make the best accessories, don't you? 

I am constantly changing things around on my kitchen counters.  Here is a look at the corner of the kitchen yesterday.  The white pedestal cake plate was a Christmas gift from a sweet friend.  The orchid is one of two that I was given on Christmas eve as hostess gifts!  It's so nice to have flowers in the house again!
I grabbed this chicken wire tiered basket out of the bin at Goodwill just before it went out on the shelves!  Of course I bought it with the intention of selling it at the shop (as tends to be the case with a lot of my decorating pieces these days ;)  It was filled with vintage pastel ball ornaments up until recently and I am thinking a nest, eggs and a sweet little bird or two will be making their way into it very soon!
Last summer my husband decided that our kitchen needed updating.  I dragged my feet knowing that what he thought would be a quick easy project would turn into days of stress, mess and hard work.  My father in law showed up with all of his tools and he and my husband set up shop in our garage, cutting tile and beadboard.  It was a lot of hard work but it took them just a few days, and my only job was to keep the little boys out of the way and then paint the beadboard and trim when everything else was completed.  I am so happy with end result...much better than the tan formica and army green tile back splash we had been living with!  Looking at this photo though, I am thinking I really need that tiny white chandelier I saw at the antique shop this week to hang over the sink!  Okay, maybe I don't need it but it sure would be lovely hanging in that little alcove!  So very lovely!  Hmmm...I've been saving my Christmas money for new clothes... chandelier or new clothes?  What would you choose?
I purchased this paper rose wreath at Target years ago.  The pink roses go so well with my everyday decor that I like to keep it up on my pantry door long after Valentine's Day.
I hope you're all ready for a wonderful weekend!  I know I am!  We're going to a friend's house for dinner tonight which is always a treat!  I love sharing a meal with friends, and I love it when I get a break from cooking too!  As a matter of fact, I don't have to make dinner tomorrow night either!  Yay!  We will be at my mom and dad's house tomorrow for my dad's birthday...Happy Birthday Dad! 

We have plans to work on a little repurposing/restoration project this weekend too!  I say "we" because this is a joint effort project...hubby and I!  Hopefully I'll have some cool things to share with you next week...(oooh, I better go take some "before" pics!)

Thank you so much for your visit today!  I adore your comments and if you follow me I will try to get over to your blog to say hello and follow you back!  Have a wonderful weekend friends!
I will be linking up with the following fun parties today:

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Pink Saturday at How Sweet The Sound
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

I highly recommend you go check out these fun parties when you have a spare moment! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"A Crafty Mess is Better Than Tidy Idleness!"

I had a lot of fun crafting a baby shower gift this week for a dear friend!  She has two boys close in age to my own and is going to be blessed with a baby girl (Melody) later this month!  Yes, there is hope for us daughter-craving but still very happy mothers of little boys! Remember this darling print that I stuck in a new frame months ago?  It's going in Melody's nursery!  I thought I would make something in the same style as the print...victorian/shabby chic.  I started poking around my supplies for some inspiration and found a tiny ceramic tea set!  I had been holding onto it for a special was meant to be!  No question about it!   My friend loves tea parties as much as I do and I have no doubt that little Melody will share the same passion!  I put the tea set in this vintage jar along with strips of sheet music, taped it carefully so that it could one day be opened for play when Melody was old enough, then decorated the jar with vintage lace, pearls, dried roses and a pretty crystal.  

I included a Tea party sign to hang on her bedroom door when she's 2 years old and dragging her big brothers in for tea and a hair pretty hand made with vintage satin and pearls.  

I had such a lovely time with many very dear friends at the baby shower and am sure looking forward to meeting that precious baby girl in a couple of weeks!

When I came home from the shower, the kitchen island was still cluttered with bits of lace, papers, glitter, beads and crafting tools.  Rather than clean it up, I kept going!  Do you do that?  Why waste precious crafting momentum, right?  And why clean up one crafting mess just to make another?  So I started on a project for the shop! (and there's still a crafty mess on the kitchen island because I have more projects in progress!)  I love that saying..."A creative mess is better than tidy idleness."  I think it will be my new motto!  It makes me feel better about my home's current state of disarray.

I started out playing around on the computer with this lovely image of Marie Antoinette from The Graphics Fairy.  I cut it to fit inside of a wood shadow box that I'd recently painted, added a decorative cut of sheet music, vintage lace and baubles, an antique fork, and a darling little faux cupcake.  The cupcake was made by my crafty friend Nicki.  I am sure I've mentioned the cupcakes before!  They are all over my house and we sell them at the shop!  This is my completed shadow box collage:

Let Them Eat Cake!

I was so anxious for feedback on this project that I practically ran to the family room to show my husband.  His response:  "It's going to the shop, right?"  In other words..."please don't put Marie Antoinette and a pink cupcake on the wall next to my flat screen where I watch Myth Busters, IRT and other manly shows!  I put up with enough!"  Hoping for a more positive response, I went to the boys from which I got a "yea, it's nice mom." and a "no like this!"  Hmmmm...okay, maybe my sweet blog friends will have some more thoughtful insight for me!  I don't know whether or not this is something that will sell, but I think it will be fun to hang on a lace covered wall in my little room at the shop, above a display of pretty rose covered dishes and teacups.  What do you think?  I would really love some honest feedback here!  Thank you!

The little boys are in bed, a pile of laundry sits waiting to be folded, hubby is watching some manly war movie (with a fluffy white kitten and an adorable pup asleep on his chest I might add), and I am going to return to the kitchen island and see if I can whip up some more crafty messes tonight!

I will be linking up with the following fun crafting parties this week!
Get Your Craft on Tuesday at Today's Creative Blog
White Wednesday at Faded Charm
We did it Wednesday at Sew Much Ado 
The Wednesday Link Party at Tea Rose Home and
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Thank you so much for your visit!  Best Wishes and Many Blessings to you!  -Amanda