Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Where on Earth Have I Been???

My oh my, my bloggie friends,

Where, you ask?  Well, right here, living life, just not blogging.  Are any of you still out there or am I deluding myself?  It's been SOOOOOOO long (nearly 2 years) since I fired up my Blogger account.  WHAT?  How does this happen?  I've missed blogging so much, but the whole full-time job thing and trying to juggle 2 kids and 2 Etsy shops (didn't do so great on that, more later on in the post), blah, blah, blah, you get it.  I have started doing Instagram a small bit, but nothing like the blog-more personal, no real theme, just a real mish-mash of whatever strikes my fancy on any given day.  It's great for short attention span lookey looing, but not like the blogs are. 

The reason I wanted to pop over to say hello was to show you what I spent all of last week doing...reviving my sad, neglected little Etsy shops.  I actually just let them whither on the vine for a while.  Also sad, but apparently, what I needed.  After a few months of nothing new being put on there, I finally decided enough was enough.  I asked for a week off from work and got busy.  I photographed and measured and cataloged.  I got several new pieces up in each shop and I am now postured to be able to add more pieces much easier since I did the hard work up front.  I thought I'd make little photo collages to give you an idea of what's new.  I call this one "Rhapsody in Blue and Gold"-okay, just kidding, I didn't name it that, but it does kind of work, don't you think?  LOL!
These lovelies can be or will be found soon along with many other beautiful treasures at The French Laundry

My other shop, Elegant Farmhouse, has also been revamped. If you aren't familiar with Elegant Farmhouse, the aesthetic is different than The French Laundry.  More simple items, cleaner lines, less fancy.  Funny, but this seems to coincide with my split personality when it comes to decorating.  Part of me LOVES all the fancy French antiques, the more gilt the better, while another part still digs the painted primitives that I came to love when I lived in New England.  Hence, 2 shops.  Or, if you are Marion of Miss Mustard Seed fame, you can blend both into a wonderfully cohesive decorating style.  She is so sweet and so very talented...but I digress.  Back to my photo collage.  We'll call this one "Study in White and Tan". I plan on adding more items every week to both shops, so pop by whenever you get the chance and have a look around. You just never know when something is going to strike your fancy. 

I'll try to circle back around and share more photos when I get the chance. 

Until next time,
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My New Not So Old French Vitrine

So I've been looking for an antique French vitrine or curio for some time now.  I never have found one that I liked that was for sale prior to the end of last year or at least not at a price point I felt I could afford. Then a couple of months ago, my husband and I visited an estate sale on the 3rd and last day.  Just went for giggles, no big expectations because all of the "good stuff" was probably already gone, right?  Then, what to my wandering eyes did appear but this little cutie.  It was not terribly old, maybe only 20 or 30 years, but it had all of the right lines, beautiful curved glass, and since it wasn't really old, it was in great shape (read NOT a project and a half).  The only reason I could figure it was still there was because it was not a great finish.  Not horrible, just not inspiring.  I asked the lady running the estate sale what she could do on it and it was less than $200.  I snatched it up posthaste and knew it was going to be painted creamy white when I was done with it.  It took a few weeks before I got "a round toit" for the redo, but I finally did it.    This first collage is of the "before". Pardon the messy studio, but it is a work space after all! :-)

First, I painted her inside and out with Annie Sloan's French Linen.  Already I was starting to like her better.  This color is so yummy and rich, but I wanted it to be white at the end of the day, so I pressed on to get the look I saw in my head.

After it was completely dry, I painted on a layer of plain white Elmer's All Purpose Glue, working in sections.  Just before it was completely dry, I painted Annie Sloan's Old White over top.  After letting it get good and dry, the paint exhibited beautiful crackling, showing off the French Linen underneath.  I lightly sanded a few spots where a piece would show some wear with time.  I kept it pretty subtle since I wanted an authentic look, not overdone. I gave the whole piece a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and then wiped it down with a damp paper towel.

I then sealed the piece with A.S. clear wax. I resisted purchasing Annie Sloan's wax for years due to the cost, but my local stockist had a small can that allowed me to try it out without shelling out QUITE so much money and I have to say, it is well worth the money.  It goes a long way and is SO soft and creamy. When hardened, it yields a very nice and durable finish.  I also hit a few of the crevices and lightly on the body with some dark wax.  I actually had Miss Mustard Seed's Antiquing Wax on hand, so I used that rather than buying yet another thing to store.Next came the addition of French gilding wax purchased from the A.S. stockist, although the brand is not Annie Sloan, it is actually a product by the French company Pebeo. I used the classic gold.  I wanted to highlight all of the beautiful carving but also saw that is would be prettier if it had some gold around the top.  I just applied it with my finger and got in the tight spots with a small artist paint brush.  This stuff goes on like "buttah" and makes such a nice accent-it also takes VERY LITTLE to get a great look, so although the price for a tiny jar is somewhat off putting, it is more than enough for many projects . Make sure you apply it AFTER any final clear wax coat you want to add since clear waxing over the gilding wax will remove the gilding.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  Here it is, in all it's glory, holding many of my beautiful ribbon work treasures.

So many pretties.  And now I get to gaze at them all of the time.

Speaking of ribbon work, if you'd like to see the article I wrote for the Journal of Antiques and Collectibles but hadn't had a chance to get it, here is a link to the online article. Enjoy...

Until next time,
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Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Stuff in the Etsy Shops

I hope you all had a lovely New Year's Eve.  I can hardly believe it is 2016!  Like many of you, I have high hopes for all of the things I hope to accomplish this year and it is always fun to feel like you have a blank page to start with.  One of my things I hope to accomplish is to keep up with my shop keeping on my Etsy stores.  First accomplishment is to load new treasures today over at The French Laundry.  Put a big ol' CHECK on that one.  Head over and see my new goodies, fresh this morning.  I'll be loading a few more throughout the day and perhaps will even get some new "merch" added to my other shop, Elegant Farmhouse this weekend.

Don't you just love these vintage images?  Karen over at The Graphics Fairy always has something fun for all of those projects you know you have on your list...check her site out if somehow you've been under a rock for the last several years and have missed her vintage awesomeness. (wink)

Until next time,
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Year and New Treasures Coming to The French Laundry

Hello again Bloggie Friends,

Once again, the calendar is about to turn over to a new year and it is time for me to get serious about stocking my Etsy shop, The French Laundry.  I've spent the last part of 2015 buying some awesome things that speak to my soul, a few of which are shown above. Some new pretties are listed now and a New Year's listapalooza (translation: lots of stuff for your perusal) will go live at noon Eastern Standard Time on January 1st, 2016.  Come join me in between the Tournament of Roses Parade and your "Good Luck" black eyed peas for a little retail therapy.

Until next time,
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Monday, December 28, 2015

On a Personal Note...My First Byline!

Hello Bloggie Friends,

I just had to check in to brag  mention that I am so excited to have a 3 page feature article in the beautiful publication, Journal of Antiques and Collectibles.  It is a publication available mostly on the east coast, featuring fun and informative articles on whatever topic is their focus for the month, Q & A's on collectibles, trending items  on eBay,  noteworthy auction house results, antique show schedules, etc.  I was thrilled when their editor reached out to me after seeing some of my ribbon work collections on my blog and asked me if I would be interested in writing a feature talking about my favorite collectible.  I couldn't say "yes" fast enough! Their editorial focus was "A Stitch in Time" and it was about sewing and related collectibles. Right up my alley...

Seeing your very first byline in print is pretty dang exciting.  I know lots of my blogging friends have had this experience many times, but it was a first for me (okay, back in the day, I did do a newsletter update for the officers' wives club at the Air Force base, but it wasn't nearly as exciting as this).

Just let me go on record to say that writing an article, even on something you are passionate about, is not all that easy.  Kudos to those whose words flow like a mountain stream...you are indeed talented.

I also got the joy of taking several photos of my collections for publication which was like choosing which of my children would be featured-SO HARD!  Oh well, I did manage to get a good handful of shots and then turned it over to the editor's capable hands for her to make the final selection.

Well, that's all for now.  I'm busy getting lots of beautiful things photographed and ready for listing  in my Etsy shop.  Stay tuned.

Until next time,

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Pink, Gold, and Silver Tablescape

Happy First Day of Winter my bloggie friends!  Today I am sharing my dining room Christmas tablescape which is lots different than in years past. When I started pulling out my Christmas goodies this year, I remembered some pale pink vintage ornaments I had and decided to set up a pale pink, gold, and silver theme rather than my usual burgandy and gold.  I found some gold chargers at a yard sale this summer which made a nice underlayer to my mix and match Limoges dinner plates that have pink flowers on a white background with gold accents.

My little French cherub candleholders are regulars at my table and are perfect for this tablescape since they aren't terribly tall, avoiding having to peek around them to see your table mates.

The pretty vintage balls that were my inspiration ended up in a round Limoges casserole dish and then were set on a vintage Italian florentine tray.

I used pretty pink roses and mixed them with some Christmas greenery in what are usually mercury glass votive holders I got from Pottery Barn a few years ago.

I typically always do this embellishment to my chandelier.  I drape vintage mercury glass garlands and then hang vintage ornaments from them.  Sometimes I have ribbon bows to attach them, but this year, I went simple and just used ornament hangers.

My mom and dad had a few pieces of gold Pickard china which I inherited and incorporated...a cream and sugar, salt and pepper, and a little dish.  I also used my mom and dad's silverware, King Edward by Gorham in addition to some antique silver plate napkin rings. 

Moody lighting compliments of Mr. Cloud. LOL!

I love to tie tulle on the back of my chairs.  This time I used a pale pink tulle and alternated between sparkly silver tulle and sparkly gold tulle.  Lastly, I added a little ornament on each one that I got at Hobby Lobby when they were half price.

A fun little vignette on my dining room sideboard featuring a couple of my great aunt's hand painted plates flanking a pretty maiden plate that I got at an antique show a number of years ago. My little snow angel makes appearances here and there during the Christmas season.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.  I'll be working right up until Christmas Eve, but then I have a 3 day weekend with my family and friends.  Enjoy your time with your dear ones as well.  My 16 year old got his driver's license yesterday.  YIKES!  Time goes by so fast, so enjoy them while you can.

Sharing with Between Naps on the Porch Tablescape Thursday and Bev's Pink Saturday

Until next time,
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Simple Christmas Mantle 2015

Hello Bloggie Friends and Warmest of Holiday Wishes!  I'll bet you thought I fell off the face of the Earth, didn't you?  It has been WAY too long since we visited.  Let's jump right in, shall we? Christmas is always one of my favorite times around this old house.  I love pulling out all of the stops and making my Victorian sparkle.  One of my favorite areas to decorate, like many of you, is my mantle. Some years it gets a fancier treatment than others.  This year, I decided I didn't want to move everything off and make such a production of it, so I just changed up the books that I use as lifts and added some greenery and a sweet little snow angel and I have to say, I'm quit pleased with the look.

The books are old red and green ones that I gathered up from various bookshelves around my house.  I like to use old books for color and as risers for a variety of things, from vases to lamps to underneath cloches.  If you keep your eyes peeled, you can often pick up some pretty ones for a few dollars at estate sales, antique shops, and even garage sales, especially if you aren't too picky about condition.

I live in Colorado where it is decidedly non-humid, so real greenery is not a great option in the house unless you are into crispy greens, which they usually become in a day or two.  My trick to get the feel is to use some nice faux greenery and plop it into my pottery vases.  I add a small glass of water in there too and cut some evergreens from the yard or sometimes pick up a greenery bundle from Trader Joe's and put them in in the water.  This keeps the greens fresh enough to last for a while and since there aren't too many of them, they can be easily changed out if they need to be without totally having to disrupt the decor.

I hope you are having fun this week with your own decorating and I look forward to getting around and visiting some of you as time allows.

Until next time,

Sharing with Come As You Are Christmas Open House
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