Saturday, April 28, 2012

When Worlds Collide

Hello Bloggie Friends,

So, let's see if this equation sounds familiar...

1 little boy with the face of a cherub + 1 ball illegally brought in the house + 1 shelf full of Momma's pretties = LIFE happens.

Now I wasn't happy, but I have to say, my boys are 9 and 12 and before this, each of them had only broken one thing each and that was when they were babies, so I suppose I can't complain.  But REALLY?  3 in 1 fell swoop?  Man...good thing I love that little stinker!  I'm happy to report that a little time spent with a tube of super glue and all is well again.  At least as much as it will ever be.  Life goes on, even when the world of children and the world of stuff collide.

On a different note, our Bechtel crabapple is finally blooming.  It is a later blooming crab, so we had to be patient until our pretty girl put out her blossoms, but it was definitely worth the wait.

I played around a little more with PicMonkey and actually used a texture.  I know, I'm probably the last person in Blogland to try it, but some of us are slow to change.  I still prefer beautiful photos right off the camera, but this subtle parchment texture did give it a nice romantic look.

This little photo corner doodad was kind of fun too when paired with a retro photo look...

Well, that's all I've got for right now.  I'm planning on doing a little antiquing this weekend at a really fun show that is in the area each April.  Next week, I'll show you the couple of cool things I picked up on my brief junkin' jaunt last week.

Until next time,

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gone Fishin...

Yes, what we have here is a complete disconnect between the post title and the photos.  The photos are a result of some late night fiddling with photo processing which I rarely do because I take such lovely photos right off the camera.  OK, just kidding, the truth is, I do prefer less editing and more real photography, that is a fact, but the REAL truth is (get in close now, we don't want to say this too loud), I don't really know how to do much photo editing.  Read: the girl is clueless and doesn't have much desire to learn. 

With this in mind, you can imagine how happy I was to find Picnik some time ago.  Easy to use, free (even better), and fun.  It came in handy for those times when I needed a little somethin somethin.  But alas, they are shutting down tomorrow.  INSERT BIG FROWNY FACE HERE.  My friend Rene' blogged yesterday about another photo editing site very similar to Picnik called Picmonkey.  Hmmmmm, need to check this out says I.  So, last night after work, I piddled around a bit and I have to say, it is very similar to Picnik, easy to use, even for the editing challenged, and it looks like they are adding more features in the future.  I have to say, I think I'm going to like it.  I particularly liked the daguerreotype thing that I added to my first picture.  They had some neat text fonts too.  Kind of makes me want to think about doing some fluffing and designing a new header for the blog.  But maybe not today...

My photos, only prettier...

Which gets me to the reason for my blog title.  I've been working hard around these parts, tiling a bathroom (that's a story for another day), trying to keep up with my Etsy shop, my blog, my real job, my know, typical mom stuff.  But sometimes, something's gotta give.  I'm middle aged and I'm pooped. So, friends, for the rest of this week, color me gone.  I am hanging out the metaphorical "Gone Fishin" sign and giving myself a break so that when I post again, it will be because I have something to say or show you and not just because I am racking my brain to come up with something clever.  I know a lot of you talented folks just include your camera and your thoughts as you go along and the whole web log thing comes natural to you.  You are or were probably journalers.  Not me.  Before I began this blog, the only time I ever felt a need to write my thoughts down were when things were so bad that I just didn't have any other outlet and that wasn't very often.  Blogging about fun things and pretty things and things that inspire me or things that I do just doesn't come naturally.  I'm trying to work on that because I think it is a good exercise and I think it has helped to open certain channels of creativity; and well, it's fun to connect with like minded people all over the world. I certainly would have no trouble yakking it up with you if you were standing next to me...but I am so envious of those who can just sit down and write about your day and show us a few pictures, hit "post" and make us want to come back again tomorrow.  That is a gift.  So, for all of you gifted peeps out there, "thank you" for sharing your world and your creativity with all of us.  Now, I am going to go out and go junkin' before work (how decadent) just because I want to.  If you comment on this post, know that I always love to hear from you and I will be reading your thoughts but I won't be responding for a few days.  Enjoy your week and don't have too much fun without me. 

Until next time,
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fabulous French Finds

Antique French ribbon work sewing basket, metal frame, and jeweled clock

Hello Blog Friends,

Today I have the urge to share some of my wonderful French antique finds.  Given my blog name you have probably figured out that I am a bit of a Francophile, to say the least.   Armed with that fact, let's take a quick peek around my home for some of my favorite's a little photo heavy, so be forewarned.

That beautiful antique Normandy lace pillow that graces the center of my blog header seems like a good place to start...Normandy lace is an exquisite and very collectible "patchwork" of laces and usually embroidered lawn or organdy.  Many laces are French in origin, many others are French in style and often misattributed to France, but Normandy is pretty much a given that it is made in France if it has the elements listed above.  I've had a few pieces with little fabric tags sewn on them stating "made in France".  Love that!

The detailing on this metal picture frame that I purchased last year is breathtaking.  I almost hyperventilated when I saw it.  

One of my favorite clocks also hails from France.  Don't you just love the jewels?  OK, they're colored glass, but I couldn't love this clock any more if they were genuine gems although I certainly might keep a closer eye on it!   

This French lawyer's document is dated 1852.  The sepia script on the old paper is awesome.

Most of these lovely little 1920's perfume bottles are from Czechoslovakia, but this one is marked "Made in France".  Found it at an estate sale.  J'adore!  It sits on a French ribbon work vanity tray, of course...

 This amazing little tiny purse holds a mirror and a powder puff.  Presumably, a powder compact would have gone in there too so you could daintily powder your nose.  It still has it's little store tag on it.

I pulled the little rose covered purse out of this cabinet of beauty which holds my prized antique ribbon work.  That is a whole other post, but let me tantalize you with a quick photo of one of the shelves...I've never shown this cabinet to anyone except my immediate family, so I must like you guys!

Back to purses, this beautiful piece was made in Paris and has a wonderful metallic beaded pattern mixed with embroidery.

This little gal sits on my dresser wearing my hands down favorite crown of my collection (yes, another collection for another time).  Don't let on to the other crowns, I wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings!  LOL!  It is a French saint's crown and it is called a Trembler because the large lily type flower that sits front and center is on a wire that makes it move a bit or tremble.  Not sure why this was done, but it is cool.

Last but certainly not least, I have something that I'd bet most of you have never heard of because they are fairly rare.  It is a French Laurel Award.  These were given out for doing something special the way we would have given out trophies or loving cups.  Sometimes they are just a free standing sprig of metal leaves, sometimes they are in the form of crowns with laurel leaves or sometimes oak leaves.  Mine appears to have been attached to something else since there's a place where it looks like it would have gone over a post of some sort, perhaps on a trophy or stand.  It is from the Paris International Exposition, no date, but it looks very old, so I'd guess at least a hundred years or more.  I've often wondered what someone did to  be presented with something so beautiful.  I am from Colorado Springs, where Artus Van Briggle lived and made pottery in the early 1900's and I like to imagine that this is the award he received in Paris for one of his amazing vases.  Probably not, but I like to think so anyway.

If you've stuck with me this long, thank you thank you good and faithful reader.  I can really get going when I am showing and telling about my favorite things.  Hope your week is a good one!

Until next time,

Joining these parties this week:
Knick of Time Tuesday 
Tuesdays Treasures
White Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Primp Your Stuff Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Home Sweet Home
Pearls and Lace Thursday
Feathered Nest Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Simple and Sweet Friday
Fridays Unfolded 
Pink Saturday
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Post Easter Wrap Up and a Discount Code Just for You...

Happy Monday Bloggie Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday with family and/or friends.  We had a very subdued time with just Mr. FL, me, and my little Launderettes.  So subdued that we kind of winged it and had our brunch around 4 p.m. and my "tablescape" if you will was put together truly on the fly (like in the 30 minutes before we ate).  My pictures didn't turn out great, but I'll share them anyway.  The boys' decorated Easter eggs became the major decorative item on the table, put in one of my Bethany Lowe boxes with the lid removed.  An old music holder for an instrument in marching band gave a place to put one of my favorite little vintage Easter bunnies.  I think it was sort of a card or something.  I had everything on hand, so cost was zero-must love that.  Not bad for an impromptu tablescape.

Mr. FL hesitantly shared a few little sprigs from our little flowering almond bush which I stuck in a couple of Fenton hobnail vases I had.

Fun little votive holders purchased from Tuesday Morning years ago sitting on one of my favorite old embroidered runners.

Half a small paper doily stuck in some German placecard holders I had on hand.  The dishes were painted by my great aunt in 1952.

Vintage organdy placemats, vintage pink damask napkins and mismatched silverplate.

That was my Easter table, pretty and easy with virtually no advance preparation because I had sort of planned on us going out for lunch after church until yesterday afternoon when I decided we'd do brunch at home.  Yeah, that's just how I roll most days.

On another note, have you seen the pretty dresses offered up by a company called Shabby Apple?  I'm guessing you probably have since they've been pretty visible out in Blogland with giveaways and such in the last year or so.  Well, they contacted me and would like to offer my readers a 10% discount on any purchase from their website.

They have more dresses than you can shake a stick at.  You can shop by body type to find a style that suits your particular shape (love that!).

Look at this vintage inspired beauty...

They also offer other types of clothing besides just dresses.  Isn't this swimsuit adorable?

I've worn their dresses and they are very comfortable and nicely fitting.  If you would like to receive a 10% discount, just type in the code FrenchLaundry10 at checkout. It is good until May 3, 2012.  

Disclaimer:  I have received no compensation by Shabby Apple for this promotion of their items and the opinions expressed are my own.

Until next time friends,

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So what do you do with all that vintage wallpaper?

Happy April Bloggie Friends,

After my post about my vintage wallpaper for sale last week, I thought maybe it would be fun to show you some of the things you can do with it.  Of course, you can use it for the walls, but you knew that from the name WALL-PAPER, so let's step out of the box, shall we?

As you have already seen, you can cover boxes with it and have a very pretty storage container reminiscent of the circa 1940's hat boxes...

Heather from Pretty Petals covered some new boxes from Michael's with beautiful results:

Speaking of Heather, she offered an awesome online class for an art journal called "A Beautiful Life".  She steps you through lots of fun but pretty easy techniques to make a lovely piece of art using some of your hoarded saved treasures.  She uses lots of vintage wallpaper in her art and I also used it for my journal on the inside, I didn't use any on the cover, but I wanted to do a show and tell since I never got around to showing you the finished product after I talked about it a few months ago.

This page features a transparency picture of my grandmother.  Lots of vintage wallpaper peeking out from these pages.

Her name was Cecilia, so I made a little tag with her name on it.

There's lots more pages in the journal, but we must press on with the subject at hand. Now back to other uses for vintage wallpaper...I had this plain pad of paper, I think it was a refill for some notebook that I no longer had.  It was functional, but not pretty.  I covered the front and back cover with some wallpaper scraps and added a little bit of paper lace that I had.  Much better now.  It took about 10 minutes start to finish, easy peasy.  Love projects like that.

If you recall my lace organization cards from a few posts back, you might remember I said I finished them off with vintage wallpaper on the back, but I didn't show you the backs.  Oops!

I figure if I want a change from looking at the pretty graphic fronts, I can just turn them over and love me some wallpaper florals.

I also used wallpaper to cover my 1920's rosette trims which I ended up putting in a clear glass container so I can look at them as well as store them.

Speaking of storage, why not paint some plain old tin cans which you were going to throw away anyway (hopefully in the recycle bin), and upcycle them instead into pretty storage for your paintbrushes, glue sticks, etc.?

Can  you tell I REALLY got into the pretty factor for my studio storage?  If you use Kilz spray on primer, it will cover up the paint on coffee cans and things that are not just covered in paper labels.  Since I wanted white cans, I don't think I even bothered to paint over the primer. 

I was working on these cute tags yesterday and chose to cover the backs with...

Why yes, you got it!  Vintage wallpaper.  Naturally, you could make some killer tags using the paper as the front, but I just happened to have this work in progress handy, so lucky you, you get to see photos before they are done with the wallpaper gracing the back.

I love using wallpaper to back cupboards.

You can get a new storage unit and jazz it up with wallpaper...

Source unknown-if photo is yours, please let me know and I'll link back

Carol at Boxwood Cottage made this amazing holder for wallpaper using a cereal box and...vintage wallpaper.  LOVE IT!

Niki from Nostalgia at the Stone House is an amazingly talented blogger and shopowner in the U.K. and she finds all sorts of uses for vintage wallpaper.  Did you know it looks pretty wrapping up handmade soap?  Now you do...

She has also used borders (or perhaps she handcut them from larger paper, not sure) for kitchen shelves.

Lastly, one of my favorites I've seen Niki do, embellished shoes using wallpaper for lining the cute is that?

So, my friends, these are just some of the fun things you can do to pretty up your world with vintage wallpaper.  There are many more uses out there?  Do tell, what do YOU use your vintage wallpapers for?

Until next time,

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