Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shabby Chic Bird Cage

This little vintage bird cage was a very ugly dark green when I found it. I have been wishing for an old bird cage for awhile now. This isn't exactly what I had in mind, but I thought it was cute and knew I could paint it and had some ideas! I spray painted it white and then took an emery board and distressed it very slightly. I didn't want it to look too perfect! I found some teacups that barely fit inside. I love the unexpected pairing of teacups in a bird cage! I found some pieces of ephemera that looked lovely with the cups and clipped them onto the cage with antique wooden clothespins. I added a handmade coffee-stained bird tag and a skeleton key because it needed some touches that weren't too "sweet"~ it just needed a kiss of grunge! What's fun about this little cage is that it's only about 12 inches tall. It doesn't take up too much space and can easily be moved about to different vignettes in my home! The little brass bird is considering whether he wants to fly out or not. In the end.....he finds his wings and flutters off to a new adventure!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Combing Teddy

Awhile back I found a framed print of this picture at an estate sale. The frame was gold and ornate and lovely, but it was the sweet image that really grabbed my heart. The Victorian artist is Sarah McGregor. She has other beautiful paintings as well. I just love the sweet innocence of this one and the adorable little sisters. They are fixing up their beloved teddy bear...combing his fur and adding red ribbons. The older girl is showing the younger one how it's done. Yesterday was a stressful day for me, and I came across this picture just sitting in a storage area of my studio. I decided that it needed to be hung up! I put it in my bedroom next to my vanity. There is something about this that calms me and makes me think about the sweet days when my darling children were much smaller. It makes me happy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Antique Dresden Water Pitcher

Today was one of those thrifting days that doesn't come very often! I had just entered my favorite shop when I spied something beautiful out of the corner of my eye. There was a lady with her cart only steps away from MY treasure. She hadn't noticed it yet. I quickly scooped it up into my cart and then proceeded to a different part of the store to examine my gorgeous find! I hadn't even looked at the price tag. My thrift store method is put it in my cart and THEN decide. I ditch many items after they have been in my cart. If something makes it to the cash register it has been thoroughly examined and deemed worthy to come home with me. Many days I don't purchase anything, but at least my curiosity has been satisfied. (for the moment) This is what I brought home with me. I had to photograph it for you.
It is an antique stoneware Dresden water pitcher. I'm sure it had a bowl to match when it first started life in the 1800's. It has been damaged and re-glued along the lip of the pitcher but I just love it and love the shabby chic quality of the cracks. It is very large over 12 inches tall. Isn't it beautiful? Now, for the drumroll.......the price tag was $3.00. SCORE! This beautiful pitcher found the best new home in town. No one could love it more than me! It will be featured on my china cabinet with my other stoneware pitchers! Don't you just love days like that?! You can purchase the "Paris Afternoon" ribbon in my  etsy shop.

Emily Henderson's Blog

I have been a fan of HGTV for years. I have shows that I love and some....not so much at all! My favorite right now is Secrets From a Stylist with Emily Henderson. She is adorably cute and I watched her win on Design Star. I absolutely love her show because her style is most like mine. Mostly, I would rather shop at a thrift store and re-purpose than to buy new. I do not like the look of "perfect". Part of that feeling, is that I have never been financially able to walk into a retail store and just purchase what I like. So, over the years, I have learned to adore up-cycled, re-purposed, and creative alternatives. I would describe my style as Shabby Chic meets Junk Market meets Cottage Garden with touches of modern thrown in to make it look updated and not like Grandmother's basement. One of the pieces in my living room that gets the most comments is a little end table that I picked up for $2 and painted a soft cream. It really is cute. I will post a photo soon. It's quirky and not perfect but so cute!
I wondered if Emily had a blog or a facebook page, so imagine my delight when this link showed up in my facebook feed for HGTV. I know you will enjoy it! I leaving right now to go back and enjoy it but first I had to share it with all of you! ENJOY!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Little Cottontail

Today my husband and I took a walk around our local golf course. There is a walking path that is paved and goes around the perimeter. As we were chatting and walking we noticed a wee baby bunny. He was so so so little and could have fit in my hand. He was not afraid at all. He was busy chewing on some clovers. I inched a bit closer and was able to get about three feet away before he decided to scoot. His little ears were so very tiny. There was a definite cute-factor to this little baby.
This encounter started me thinking about when I was a little girl. My grandmother and grandfather would come and visit and usually would bring a bag of grocery goodies with luxury treats and sometimes a Little Golden Book for me. Do you remember when they were always sold in the grocery stores? One of my favorite stories was the story of Little Cottontail. I loved that book. It is so sweet. The mommy bunny teaches her little cottontail baby all about what bunnies need to know to be grown-up. When I became a mother I enjoyed sharing this darling book with my children.
If you are about my 40 something....did you have Little Golden Books? Did you look at the pictures on the back and see which books you already had and which ones you wanted? There is something to endearing about those Little Golden Books. They speak to a simpler and more innocent time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberry Printable Tags

Very soon the strawberries will be juicy, red and ripe in NW Iowa. I plan on picking basketfuls of the sweet shiny red treasures. We will eat as much as our tummies can hold and then I will make the best strawberry jam in the world. A friend of mine is sharing her recipe with me and we are going to make the jam together. I found these strawberry printable tags on Victoria Magazine's website. I think I will print some of these and tie them on my jam jars with some dark brown hemp! These will be wonderful gifts for Christmas......if any lasts that long! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Summer Wedding

Have you been to many weddings this summer! We just went to a lovely one and the decor was so pretty I just had to share the idea with you! There were wooden embroidery hoops in various sizes with sheer lacy fabrics hanging from the ceiling at different heights. The effect was light and airy and romantic. I googled the idea and found the directions for this lovely idea at Martha Stewart weddings!

Here is the link for the directions on how to make them. I think these would be beautiful for a little girl's room or a dorm room or an apartment. How about hanging outdoors from a gazebo? You can use any color scheme you like. Just choose lacy fabrics that are sheer/semi-sheer for a romantic look!

Speaking of weddings and cakes, isn't this cake breath-taking? Just too pretty not to share.
Photos from Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thoughts on Peonies

Ruffled fairy tutus, cotton candy, bridal bouquets, old-fashioned,
fancy dresses, tea parties

Wedding cakes, petit-fours, bubble gum, petticoats, tiny ants, dew-drops

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sweet Little Lambs

There is a little farm near my house that has a small pasture and a handful of sweet sheep. They are so peaceful and serene. I look forward to seeing them. They make me feel quiet and contemplative. The other day the words to an old hymn from the 1800's came to my mind!

Savior, like a shepherd lead us
Much we need Thy tender care
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us
For our use Thy folds prepare
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are                             
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus                                       
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are                       
We are Thine, do Thou befriend us
Be the guardian of our way
Keep Thy flock from sin defend us
Seek us when we go astray
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus
Hear Thy children when we pray
Blessed Jesus, oh blessed Jesus
Hear Thy children when we pray

When life gets filled with stress, I need to be like the little sheep and just breathe in the fresh air, lay down awhile and trust that My Shepherd will take care of me and my family. We hear so much scary news each and every time we encounter the media, that we forget Who is in charge.....God is! He loves us more than we can know and He wants us to trust Him. From now on, when I get bogged down with worries, I am going to think about the little lambs and just REST.