Monday, October 31, 2011

Just Like Me, They Long to Be...CLOCHE to You!

I know, that is SO bad, but I just couldn't help myself.  I have a thing for cloches...gee, ya THINK?  They are a great way to group things in your home and I use them for centerpieces on my dining room on a regular basis, but as I looked around the house, I noticed I had at least one in every room.  Yes.  SO, I said to myself, "Self, seems like you should hook up with Marty's Fall Cloche Party at A Stroll Through Life."  So, since today is Halloween, I am showing you some things you've seen before, but I just can't think beyond this evening and the fun we will have with our boys in our neighborhood. I love this holiday.  I guess some of us never grow up.  As evidenced by me in Walgreen's (my son who was with me is 12 and he just shook his head) can't take me ANYWHERE!

Have a FUN and safe Halloween, whether you're a trick or treater, a candy hander outer, a zombie, or a party pooper who just wants it all to be over.  (I apologize to all party poopers who may be offended, but sometimes I've just got to call em like I see em and let the cards fall where they may ).

Until next time,
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Nerd & The Gray Lady

Mr. FL and I went to a costume party last night.  He was a nerd and he may kill me if he finds out I posted this pic (shshshshsh, our little secret, OK?).  I was the Gray Lady, a costume from the Martha Stewart website that I saw last year and just couldn't wait to do.  If you put it in your idea file, get more tulle than the instructions call for because I got 10 yds instead of the 8 1/2  it said, and the dress was just barely adequate to go around.  I'd also recommend wearing a gray slip or dress underneath instead of the white that the instructions have because since the tulle is so sheer, you end up seeing a lot of the underneath layer. I didn't find a gray dress, slip, or nightgown at my local thrifts, so I just went with the white, but I think the gray would have been much better.  All in all though, it was a fun costume, easy to make (no sew-Woo! Hoo!), and got lots of compliments at the party.  Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween with your loved ones.  We have one of the greatest neighborhoods for trick or treating, so it is really like a big street party with friends and neighbors and one of the "not to be missed" events of the year.

Until next time,

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Black & White Spooky Tablescape

Welcome to my first ever tablescape post.  I fear it could be addictive.  What do you think?

It all started when I purchased this set of creamy white owl napkin rings in one of my favorite little junk shops.  I started looking at the thrifts for black or black and white dishes to add some pop to my almost 30 year old Mikasa dishes and found 6 of these little cuties for a couple of bucks.

I started getting the idea of using the white owls as a more subtle table dressing.  THEN I saw the little mercury glass owl in West End's catalog with 50% of the purchase price going to St Jude's Hospital for cancer research.  Being a mom of a kid with leukemia (in remission), that sealed the deal and West Elm got my $14 which included shipping, by the way.  I put him in a little birdcage cloche that I previously got from WUSLU deal a day (don't get me started on that-too much fun, too cheap, and way too easy to buy).  He nestled in with some reindeer moss from last Christmas and some little white pumpkins.  As you can see, several items are stacked to make the centerpiece with the bottom being a bride's basket that I've had for years.

My friend Michelle made the adorable tombstone tag that hangs from the top of the cloche.  She took actual photographs from when she was visiting an old cemetery and made a set of these great hangtags.  LOVE THEM!  They almost look 3 dimensional...

Candles from last year topping old faux mercury glass curtain tiebacks I've had and used forever.

I was unsuccessful at finding something resembling cute black napkins or black and white napkins and I wasn't in the humor to spend a lot of money, so at the aforementioned thrift store, I found some black linen looking fabric for $2 and proceeded to make my own, using my late mother's sewing machine with the nifty little embroidery feature.  I then made my own stencil of an owl.  I was so proud...until I put the napkins in the rings and realized it was too much owl. Sigh...back to the drawing board.  On the opposite corner, I stamped the word "Spooky" and called it good. And now I can use the owl corner or the "spooky" corner.  Seriously, that's like 4 hours of my life I'll never get back again, but it's DONE!  YAY!  And thrifty touches like that allow me to splurge on more fun things, right?

Napkin Option "Deux": 

Oh no, I DIT-UHNT?!  Oh yeah, I did...a PAPER stencil.  Desperate times call for desperate measures...and the price was right, just one piece of printer paper.

The adorable place cards seen best at the top of the post were fashioned from an owl graphic from (where else?) Graphics Fairy. Glossy computer paper, stuck on black cardstock folded in half to make a tent card (I think that's what they're called).

What to do for a tablecloth...trip to another favorite junk shop where a favorite textile vendor had a black and white striped twin flat sheet for $6, everything in the booth...40% off.  Yeah baby, now we're cooking with it with one of my antique tablecloths, marginally ironed, and you've got TABLESCAPE, baby! Woo! Hoo!  Of course, mismatched silver plate is always a favorite in my house. 

Next project, black and white coasters.  Only one is done so far, but I think they will be used for more than Halloween, so we can talk about them more another time.

A fun hors d'oeuvre or sushi set from West Elm.  One of those splurges you can have when you aren't out buying tablecloths and napkins (that's what I'm telling myself anyway).

If you have gotten this far and your eyes haven't yet glazed over, THANK YOU!  Now go on over to Between Naps on the Porch and look at some pros at Tablescape Thursday.  I'm linking up with their party this week.  It should be fun.

Until next time,

Also linking up with the following parties this week:
Feathered Nest Fridays
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Farmhouse Friday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Show and Tell Friday
Tuesdays Treasures 
Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special
Pink Saturday 
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here 
Home Sweet Home Friday 
Tutorials and Tips 
Air Your Laundry Friday
Graphics Fairy Brag Monday
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

White and Black Halloween, Part 1

Hello Friends,

I'm still into my black and white Halloween decor, so I thought I'd share a few things from my black and white living room decor for part 1 of this post.  I'll post part 2 on Thursday when I will feature my tablescape in the dining room.

I added the wonderful vintage clock face that I picked up from Etsy this year behind little baseball head (as my husband calls him).

I always use old books to elevate our oil lamps but since I was really getting into the black and white theme, I decided I needed some neutrality to their usual pretty soft colors.  BUT I didn't really want to have to purchase black books (like I could find them anyway- I always look for pretty vintage black books-but I digress), so I dug through my paper stash and found some pretty black and white 12x12 scrapbook papers and just wrapped the books I had up in them.  No glue, no tape, just a simple cover that will come off easily once the season has passed.  I like the way they look for now.  I also am loving my Wendy Addison garland which I have had for a couple of years.  I've used it here and there, but I'm liking it on the mantel.

I have a very beautiful antique Victorian beaded firescreen that normally looks great, but since I was fluffing the mantel, it didn't look right.  Again, I went to my paper stash and made a little disguise which I just taped to the glass.  Once Halloween is over, it will get rolled up and stored away (or maybe reused on another project, who knows).  Kind of loving the crows right now. 

I wanted white pumpkins for the urns, but had a hard time finding them for a price I would pay ($6.99 a piece?  I think not.)   So, I used 6 little white and green pumpkins for 1/4 of the price and thought they were just fine.  Pardon the blurry picture-it is not so fine, but unlike my normal gazillion pictures of each thing, I apparently only took one of the urns.  :-(

On the other side of the room is one of my favorite places to foof up.  I found some cute free uploads of antique poison labels here and added them to some old bottles I picked up at an amazing sale a couple of weeks ago.  Colored water finished off the look.  I made it look like a drink station, adding some pretty glasses to the silver tray.  Love the way it turned out.  I couldn't resist more with the crow theme or Raven, if you will, and who better to preside over that than Edgar Allen Poe.

I picked up this cute little skeleton in the graveyard thing at the dollar store and added the banner from Graphics Fairy and the words, "Pick your poison".

Don't you love the hand painted feathers?  I got them from an estate sale a couple of years ago.

This white pumpkin is a faux which started out orange from Wal-Mart, but it took well to my foam brush and craft paint, so I was a happy girl.  If only I'd purchased 2 more for my urns...but that would have required forethought.  Not always my strong suit. :-(

My funny little stairs just needed the little mice, cut out from templates found here. I think they are cute, don't you?

Come back Thursday for my dining room tablescape.

I'm linking up with Kathleen and one of my favorite parties, White Wednesday.  I can't wait to spend a little time looking at all the dreamy whites.  What are you waiting for?  You will love it too!

Until next time,

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Would You Take?

I wrote this post about 6 weeks ago and then sort of forgot about it.  Or maybe I was too superstitious to post this until my brother got a good rain at his house.  Either way, the rain came and  I decided today was the day, so although it may not be as timely as it once was, the topic is still relevant to me, so here goes...

Hello friends.  Most of you probably know that I live in Colorado, but unless you've been a reader for a while, you may not know that I am originally from the state of Texas.  Yep, that's me, born and bred, educated and wed -the first time anyway :-)  So, most of my family is still there and I've got to tell you, this crazy drought, severe heat, and now the wildfires are really disturbing.  Last week, my home county was being ravaged by wildfires and then I got an email from one of my brothers on Monday night that his subdivision in Bastrop Country was being evacuated.  His practically new retirement/dream home one shift of the wind away from ashes!  He and my SIL got both cars packed up with their irreplaceables and headed back to their old house in Houston (luckily, they were still working on getting it ready to sell, so could land there).  The latest update this evening was that they are pretty sure the danger has passed, at least for now, so I am ever so thankful.   BUT this got me thinking (you might want to go to the kitchen and get something to drink now or perhaps just close this window because when I get to thinking, I tend to go for a while)...WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE?

If you have been around this blog a while, you know that I am a collector.  I love antiques and I have MANY collections.  I have to periodically purge my own treasures for fear of the show "Hoarders" coming knocking at my door.  It's a bit of a problem, I admit.  I am emotionally connected to my STUFF.  That being said however, it was an interesting exercise for me to engage in thinking that if I had a few hours or even a couple of days to grab all that was dear to me...anything that I just couldn't bear to be without...and put it in our cars and drive to a safer place, what would I take?

Hmmmmm, says I.  Can I rent a semi?  Can friends help with their vehicles or is it just us?  Can I make two trips?  Then it came to me with exquisite clarity:  once I had established the safety of my husband, my kids, and our silly little pets, anything else we had the luxury of taking with us would be gravy.  Obviously, the important papers would get tossed in the car, the family photos, and the computers and CD backups.  Can't replace my photographic evidence of my children in all their diaper butted glory, my parents in their 20's, or my 2007 tax return (with accompanying documentation).

Clothing seems fairly obvious.  Favorite jeans, a flattering dress, THE shoes, and, yes, my Magnolia Pearl pieces would have to find their place, but most everything else could be replaced.  I'm a thrift store shopper (yes, I have Magnolia Pearl in my closet, but the rest of it is thrifty and nifty) and clothes are necessary, but obviously are replaceable.  Clothes for the wee ones would be thrown in along with their favorite toys.

Then I started thinking about "THE STUFF".  All of these antiques and wonderful items collected over 25 years.  Where to start?  Oddly, I look around and although I really LIKE my stuff (good thing I guess), I realize that most of it could be left to chance.  It is other people's dead relatives' belongings and there's always more out there.  If I had the luxury of picking what I wouldn't want to be without, it would be things like the dresser set my husband bought me for our first anniversary.  It was the best surprise anyone ever gave me.  I cried at the time and always say that if the house is burning, that would be the one thing I would grab if I could.

My parent's sterling.  It isn't used much I know, but it is one of those tangible things that was passed down to me that I hope to pass down to my children someday.

My mother's paintings.  Mom learned to paint while my dad was overseas in WWII.  She wasn't terribly prolific, but she did a few and I am lucky enough to have 2 small florals plus one that she did of my dad, I think from a picture.  She never in a million years considered herself an artist, but she was in so many ways.  Painting was one of the first demonstrations of that.  Those small paintings I possess are precious to me and I would protect them if I could.

I have 2 of my great aunt's paintings and a few of her china painting pieces.  Aunt Da was a very independent little sprite of a thing and when her husband died at an early age, she made her living doing a variety of things, one of them china painting.  She had her kilns in her home and her studio always had that faint smell of turpentine.  I love that smell to this day.  I'd definitely make room for her artwork.  Luckily, the pieces are small.

My collection of 1920's ribbonwork....that is my favorite collection.  I am completely drawn to it and have spent more than any sane person would on examples of it.  One book box would house every piece I own though.  SO, I'd probably just toss it all in and call it good.

Strange thing is, that's where my mental list stopped.  I'm sure if I were positive the whole place was going to burn to the ground, I'd find a few more things to toss in the vehicles, but for the most part, I'd be willing to chance it.  I wasn't expecting that.  I guess it all boils down to the fact that if you have your family intact, you really do have everything.  Nothing is more precious than that and nothing other than them and perhaps your memorabilia of them (pictures) cannot be replaced.  Of course, we all hope that we are never faced with the tragedy of losing everything, but it is an interesting thing to ponder or at least, I think so.  I hope this newly discovered introspection will make it easier for me to part with some of my toppling tower of too much that I am faced with (Thanks Lana for that visual).

So, blogging friends of mine, I ask you:  what would you take?  Talk to me. I'm listening.

Until next time,

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Always Mermaid Season at French Laundry

I know that most people out here in Blogland and everywhere else are showing off their fall decor, but please indulge me with a final summery thing.  It is truly my favorite season and I would love to have an endless summer if I could.  But I digress.  One of the things I do with some regularity is dress these old bisque dolls from the 20's and 30's.  It gives me a chance to use some of my beautiful antique ribbon and flower hoard supplies.  The dolls usually come "nekid", so it is fun to get them all dressed in their finery to once again face the world with beauty and grace.  The dolls inspire me with everything from the color of their eyes to the way their hair is done and usually I take a look at my stash and something jumps out at me as THE theme for a particular doll.  This little gal whispered in my ear that she longed to be a mermaid.  I had the great zig zag lace trim which in my mind translated into the bottom of a mermaid skirt.  Several pretty antique silk ribbons, some fun trim and, of course, seashells and pearls came together to dress my little gal.  She's destined to be listed on Our Cottage Garden in the next few days, but I thought I would take an opportunity to share her with you and with Beverly and her Pink Saturday participants.  There's sure to be a lot of pink yumminess there, so stop on over and have a look.

Love those little shells.  I knew they'd come in handy sometime...

Until next time,
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