Saturday, June 28, 2008

Back Home Again

We've been away for a few days. . .what a nice feeling it is to have a change of scenery and pace. I've noticed that it doesn't really seem to matter where you go, as long as you go somewhere that is away from your home. For us it is spending time at the cottage, and although there is still work to do up there, my husband refers to it as a "different kind of work." At first I scoffed at that comment, arguing that "work is still work" no matter what type of work it is. But now I have come to realize that a change of location can make even boring or routine chores seem less tasking. I can't explain it, but I think the change in location effects your mind in many positive ways.

During our time away, I had time to catch up on some reading and was able to finish this fun book everyone seems to be reading right now. Also I was able to complete several pages in my Write Place, Write Time Summer Journal, so I'll be sharing those pics with you soon.

I set up the little bistro set pictured above on the front porch of the cottage and this is where we ate our lunches, taking in the cool breezes and sunshine. I have had this little set packed away after purchasing it for a steal here many years ago. I had planned on painting it white to use here at home, but never got around to doing it. Now I'm glad I procratinated on painting it because the red looks rather nice against the grey siding on the cottage. It all folds up for easy storage so we can bring it inside when we head back home.

Heather is hosting a Summer Greeting Card Swap on her blog. We can all use an extra card or two, so why don't you stop by and check out the details.

In other news, while we were out of town my sweet friend Cerri opened up a new, cute as a button online boutique called Little Pink Studio. She has all sorts of wonderful goodies in her shop, so please stop by and take a peek for yourself.

Hope you all have a glorious weekend doing something you love!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Store Bought vs Handmade

Today was a busy day running here and there with my daughter on one of those rare occasions that we are both free at the same time. I worked hard at trying to transform some of the things on my "to-do" list (see previous post) into "ta-das." How did that go, you ask? Not as well as I hoped, but we did manage to cross off one major item ~ finally making a decision on the invitations for her wedding. N wanted them to be simple, yet still unique to her style. She also preferred that we make them ourselves. What? Oh dear! She told me that "people will expect us to make them." Oh really? But never shying away from a challenge, especially when it involves my child and the chance to play with paper, we drove out to this store......
Being a frequent customer of the store, I already knew that they would have the perfect color of paper we would need for the base of the invitations - pool and chocolate. Wendy, the nice lady at Paper Source, was ever so helpful and turned all the decisions as to the sizes and weights of all the papers and envelopes we needed into a total breeze. She even wrote down all the dimensions that we will have to trim the various layers of card stock down to. She was an absolute angel and you could tell that she truly enjoys her job!

I must admit after all these years of shopping at Paper Source and seeing young brides deliberating over which of the many beautiful papers to use for their wedding invitations, I became slightly "verklempt" while standing there today with my own darling daughter doing the same thing.
Speaking of handmade cards and things, I mentioned in an earlier post that I went to a bridal shower that was held for my daughter last Saturday. And as much fun as it was to shop for gifts to give her, I think I had the best time putting together the handmade cards for her. The one above I made using vintage bridal shower wrapping paper, along with a sweet little bride and greeting cut from a vintage greeting card. I glittered up the flowers on her skirt and added some bakers twine to the fold. Below is the sentiment I put inside the card.....
On another gift I attached this shipping tag instead of a traditional greeting card. Again, the image is from some vintage wedding wrapping paper I found at the antique mall. The white lace trims were sent to me all the way from Spain from my sweet blogging friend Mercedes....just because! The aqua lace is another vintage trim I had picked up along the way. I added some soft blue polka dot scrapbook paper I found at Michael's and some "pearl" dots I made with a product called Liquid Pearls.
Well, I guess I'd better get started cutting the huge stack of cardstock I have piled up on my diningroom table. I am determined not to be my usual procrastinating self on this project! I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To-Dos and Ta-Das

How long is your to-do list? Mine always seems to be so long and I never seem to get as much done as I hope to on any given day. This was my morning yesterday - there wasn't enough room to fit the afternoon. A friend of mine calls her completed to-do list her "ta-da" list. Funny. But I will never have a "ta-da" list because I'm always adding onto mine.

And then there's the grocery list. Why is it as soon as I return from the grocery store, I always think of something I forgot? It never fails! So I write it on the list for the next time and as a result I never have a completed grocery list either. It seems to be a viscious circle. A couple years ago I heard about this website from Ali showing other people grocery lists. Seems there is a website for everything, isn't there?

Have a great day and I hope all your "to-dos" turn into "ta-das!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another Treasury

Parfumerie :: Romantic, Elegant Inspiration

Another cool Etsy Cottage Style Treasury by Sadie Lou! She's THE BEST at jumping in and creating these! And she even included my little shop! Thanks so much Sadie!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boys of Summer

Here's a little collage I put together yesterday for the Write Place, Write Now journaling group. The boys in the photo are actually my DH and his brother. {My hubby is the one on the left.} Aren't they adorable? I found this snapshot while we were trying to scan all his family photos into the computer to make a CD for the family. {What a major ordeal that job is!} The funny thing is that I can still see those boyish faces on on the two of them today.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vintage Wedding Mosaic

Our one and only daughter is getting married later this year. It's hard for me to believe she is old enough to be doing such a thing. But alas, she is. She will be 25 by the time the wedding takes place. We have been busy planning and making lots of decisions ~ her more than me. Today her future sister-in-law is throwing a bridal shower for her and she is so excited! I wonder if all of this will finally sink in for me as I see her opening gifts for her first home. Remember how back in our day we gingerly removed the ribbons from the packages, being careful not to break any of them because that would be the number of children you would have? Do they still play that silly game at showers or am I dating myself? And surely I must have broken more than one ribbon at my bridal showers. And wasn't that only yesterday? Where does the time go? All of you with little ones sill running around, don't blink because they grow up faster than you think!

1. Wedding gift, 2. Vintage Wedding Postcard ~ So Romantic, 3. DCP_6267, 4. Doves ring bells for Bride & Groom, 5. Vintage Wedding Cards, 6. JoAnn's wedding dress photo, 7. Vintage Wedding Wrapping Paper, 8. Vintage Postcard ~ Bride, 9. vintage wedding display, 10. Bells and Doves Wedding Vintage Card, 11. Vintage Wedding, 12. CT Wedding Cakes, 13. Wedding Rings, 14. Vintage Wedding Wrapping Paper, 15. Great Aunt Helen's wedding., 16. Beautiful vintage veil, 17. wedding day, 18. Floral Wedding Bells, 19. bridal bouquet, 20. Grace Kelly, 21. Engraved Wedding Invitation, Calligraphy by Lusana Truxell, 22. wedding motor, 23. Red Leaf Studios, 24. 1950s vintage cake topper, 25. vintage veils, 26. wedding bell detail, 27. sweet vintage white drawstring bag, 28. Vintage Postcard ~ Wedding, 29. Vintage Bridal Gown Pattern, 30. Vintage Wedding Gown, 31. Vintage Calla Lilly Bride, 32. very vintage, 33. Titian Wedding Party, 34. 1959 Wedding Card, 35. Flower Bride, 36. Vintage Wedding Postcard ~ Bride & Groom

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cozy Green Quilt

I remember the quilt, made with loving care,

Draped over the back of her favorite chair,

In my Grandmother's parlor.

~ Priscilla Schrock ~
This is not my grandmother's quilt, although I do have a wedding ring quilt which she made and used to grace the bed in her spare bedroom, where I would spend the nights on occasional weekends. This quilt is one that I bought on a recent trip up to the cottage. I liked the colors and the price was right. It usually is draped over the back of one of the loveseats in my living room. But today it just seemed like it needed to be outside draped over this bench on my patio. It looks like it's inviting me to take a break and relax with some pink lemonade and a cherry scone...won't you come join me?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Place to Hang Your Hat

Home is a place to hang your hat...and your heart.
This vintage pink architectural piece is where I like to hang my hat.

Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
~Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Secret Garden

This is day three's contribution to Sara's Shade of Inspiration Challenge. I love the soft pink color of the tiny roses on this sign. I have a lot of this shade of green around my home. Green makes me think of nature and springtime, when all the little plant stems peek their heads out from the ground. I find it to be so wonderous how they push themselves up through the soil towards the sun each and ever year. That simple little miracle, which is often taken for granted, gives me such a renewed sense of hope and a feeling that anything is possible on this earth.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shades of Inspiration

Sara at Sadie Olive has chosen GREEN as the color of the week for her Shades of Inspiration challenge. You can get more details here and here.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Beauty of Peonies

I've noticed while perusing through flickr that many people have peonies and have been posting photos of them. Some of my favorite pics are here, here and here. ..and also this one here. Our peony season here in the midwest is going on right now, so I figured it's my turn now to show you my pretties. This bed of Coral Charm peonies is about 27 years old. Yes, peonies plants live a long time. You cut them down at the end of the season and without fail they spring back up the next year.
This is the first sign of the flower buds, all tightly wrapped.
You always see ants hanging around peony plants. They say the ants help to open the flower buds. Just be careful to shake them off when you cut the flowers to bring inside your home, otherwise you'll have a bunch of those guys crawling on your diningroom table...yes, that happened to me but only once!
She's slowing waking up to Mr. Sunshine.
Come on, I see you peeking out from in there.

Ah, there is that sunny yellow center. Did you notice how the color of the flower changed? That is where she gets her name, Coral Charm.
I wanted to show you a picture of the whole bed in bloom, but we had a torrential rainstorm here last night, so things aren't looking too pretty in the peony bed anymore. But you can see how the color of the petals is fading now.

And soon they will begin to drop their petals and turn a creamy white color.

There are lots of places to get your own peonies. My husband used to work for a peony grower when we first got married. That's where my plants of Coral Charm came from. You can get more information about purchasing peony plants here.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Show & Tell Sunday/I Saw Red

Today's theme at Show & Tell Sunday is Trash to Treasure. This is a favorite topic of mine and there are so many sources where you can find ideas on this subject. There are a ton of books available with lots of ideas. In fact my favorite JunkMarket gals, Ki and Sue, have written two books about turning trash into treasure. HGTV's Decorating Cents always ends the show with a Trash to Treasure segment. And the Junk Brothers (also on HGTV) have an entire show dedicated to making beautiful things from other people's discards. In this age of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, it's great to see people breathe new life into things that would otherwise end up in the landfills.
The first item in my Trash to Treasure photo album is this secretary desk that sits in the front hall of my house. I wish I had a "before" picture to show you because it really was very ugly. The secretary was given to me by my best friend. She was moving and didn't have room for it in her new home, so she asked if I would like it. Since I always dreamed of having a desk like this, I jumped at the chance. When I got it, it was painted a putrid avocado green, with black antiquing glaze over it. Ugh! The doors were fitted with textured plexi-glass panels in a lovely shade of harvest gold. Well, none of that was going to work in this shabby chic girl's house, so I painted the entire piece blue, added some decorative painting to the front of it, replaced the knobs and had the doors refitted with plain glass. What a difference a little bit of TLC makes!
I found this old scrap piece of decorative wood, pictured below, at my husband's shop one day and brought it home knowing I could do something with it. I added 3 pink glass knobs I purchase from Anthropologie and it now hangs in my studio displaying a couple of my favorite swap pretties.

Some of you may have remembered seeing in previous posts the glass jars I use for storage in my studio. Well, this is what they started out looking like:
They held votive candles at the shop I used to manage. When the store closed, I took these jars home with me knowing I could use them for something. (I think this is the reason my garage is over-lowing with cast-offs that I "just know" I can transform someday!) I painted the lids shabby white and added some more of those pink Anthropologie knobs and voila!....a place to store trims and lace and millinery flowers.

I found this next idea in one of those special publication magazines put out by Better Homes & Gardens. To make the table/plant stand, I used 4 old dark brown stained shutters that we had taken off the windows in the spare bedroom. I painted them with one coat of white paint and then sanded down the edges to make them look shabby. Next I nailed the four shutters together to form the tables base. I topped it off with a 12x12 porcelain floor tile we had left over from an earlier home improvement project.It was the perfect fit for this corner of my diningroom.

Old windows seem to be all the rage these days. We found this old vintage window on the curb on garbage day. In fact there was a whole slew of them there because the homeowners just had their windows replaced. We asked if they minded us taking some and they said, "take them all if you want" we did! I found a vendor at a craft show who makes window clings and they had a line that turned a plain window into a stained glass looking window. The company is called Window Cling Designs and they have lots and lots of designs. If you're interested, you can find them here. I just have this one hanging, chippy paint and all, on the wall in my diningroom. And I love it! My final Trash to Treasure photo is this memo board in my kitchen. I wanted a to have a chalk board to write on and a magnetic board for notes and pretty postcards, etc. However, my kitchen is itty-bitty and wall space is at a premium, so I decided that I had to combine the two somehow. I found this old frame that wasn't being used and had the hardware store cut a piece of metal to fit inside. I painted the metal with 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint and added the decorative iron fence to the top of it. Now I can write on it and attach notes using magnets and it all fits on this skinny little wall.If you want to see other Trash to Treasure creations visit Analise's blog, Sugar-Sugar here for a list of participants and/or the Show & Tell Sunday Flickr site here.


~ I Saw Red Challenge ~

These plants are sitting next to my driveway waiting for someone to plant them. And it is HOT here so then need to get planted soon! Who decided it was a good idea to buy and plant flowers during the hottest weekend so far this summer? These photos aren't the greatest because the geraniums below look orange. They are not. They are really red and so they qualify for this last day of the I Saw Red Challenge.
And then finally ~ I know this one's been done before by many of the I Saw Red participants, but I couldn't resist a plate of bing cherries sitting on a swatch of vintage dotted swiss fabric. Actually this was the first photo I took for the challenge, but it's the last one to be posted. I know what you are thinking and I have only one response ~ doesn't everyone serve their cherries with a little red gingham bow attached to them?
Thanks so much to Sara over at Sadie Olive. She dreamed up the I Saw Red Challenge and it's been so much fun searching for red things to photograph and even more fun to see what everyone else photographed. You can see them all for yourself by clicking here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Saw - New Red Shoes

We're nearing the end of the I Saw Red challenge week and I couldn't forget to show you my new red gingham shoes from Target. Are they the greatest? I plan to wear them to the fireworks on July 4th, but on other occasions as well. I just think having a pair of red shoes in your wardrobe is fun and adds a little zip to your step when you wear them. You can wear an entire outfit of neutral colors and then add a punch of red on your feet and WOW ~ instant happiness!! I think I will wear mine with jeans or denim capris! Oh and my friend Holly went on a similar shoe shopping trip ~ you can see the kind she bought by clicking here.
And while I am thinking about the 4th of July (a month away from now), what is more American than a case of Coca-Cola? I actually prefer Diet Coke with Lime, but those cases weren't red, so I couldn't use them on this post!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Saw Red - Inchies!

If you haven't already discovered the inchie trend just know, they are a blast to make! You can churn out a bunch of these teensie-weensie pieces of art in no time at all. I first heard about inchies on Lia's blog, Art Junk Girl. She challenged herself to make 1000 of these little squares during 2007 and sure enough she did it! I found making inchies to be a rather addictive activity once I got started. Lia is so organized, she made herself an inchie kit so she would have everything handy in one place whenever the inchie-making-mood strikes. That sounded pretty dandy to me, so of course I had to put together one for myself too. I put all my supplies into this little tote I got at Michaels last summer. Now I can take the kit with me and create inchies wherever I go!
Don't forget to check out the list of other I SAW RED pics and posts on Sara's Sadie Olive blog here.

I Saw Red - In The Morning

As I was eating breakfast this morning and thinking about what I was going to do today, I looked over at the counter and found my coffee mug sitting atop a fresh supply of new Somerset magazines. Pure bliss! Everything was set up serendipitously for an I Saw Red photo. Don't you just love having a new stack of inspiration to peruse through? Sometimes the most challenging part of the day is finding a quiet moment to actually sit down and look at the magazines. But believe me, I will find the time...eventually. Just knowing they are there waiting for me is incentive enough to work a little faster on the daily chores and duties.
While I am on the subject of magazines, this is the cover picture on the latest issue of Oprah At Home magazine. Isn't this sleeping porch absolutely heavenly? I so want to curl up on that daybed with a good book. . .or magazine perhaps!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I Saw Red - Tomatoes

Don't you love summer when the vine-ripened tomatoes are plentiful? These plum tomatoes make me hungry for marinara sauce, pasta and a loaf of garlic bread. Here's one of my favorite recipes:

MARINARA SAUCE {from the Everyday Italian}

2 - 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, undrained

1 bunch fresh basil, stems removed

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp sugar

Salt and Pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Puree tomatoes with juice and basil in blender until almost smooth. Heat oil in large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute until tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, oregano, and sugar. Decrease the heat to medium and continue simmering until thickened, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

There are tons of people participating in the I Saw Red event hosted by Sadie Olive. You can see the entire list by clicking here.

Just a little update on the previous post....I found out who made the mystery panel I wrote about in the previous post. It was Samantha! I'm so happy to know who the artist is ~ thanks, Samantha for getting in contact with me!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I Saw Red - Strawberries

Today I See Red strawberries in a bowl all juicy and ready to eat....Yum! These are my favorite kind fruit. When I was a little girl I would eat them with cream poured on top. I love strawberry milk shakes, strawberry yogurt, strawberry preserves, strawberry shortcake....ooooh, I'm getting hungry now.
Yesterday Mr. Postman delivered my Birds and Bonnets Vintage Workshop panels from the swap that Karla and Beth held last month. Aren't they beautiful? What fun it was to see how everyone used the same images, but created totally different pieces of art. The panels above (left to right) are from (1) Karen Young, (2) Kim Morris and (4) Karen Payne.
This is the back side of the panels, again from left to right (1) Karen Payne, (3) Kim Morris, and (4) Karen Young.
The panel above didn't have a tag or name attached to it, so if anyone knows who this one was created by I would love to know so I can thank them.
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