Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tie it on for size....

Holly leaves and a crushed green velvet bow add new life to this putty colored door and its many layers of well worn paint.

While a delicately tied nosegay of mint breathes renewed freshness into this white washed cabinet and the linens that it houses.

Fresh sprays of seasonal greeneries against an old backdrop lend the feeling of renewal and can be achieved at a very reasonable price, especially if you're able to grow your own!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Away in a Manger...

No crib for His bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head."

I purchased these sweet miniature nativity figurines at Target. They're made by Department56 so I'm sure they can be found at most local retailers or on-line.

I embellished the set a bit by adding silver glitter to the star, Mary's wings, Joseph's staff and baby Jesus' crib. I then set them on a white serving platter, added a silver foil tree to the scene and sprinkled the plate with faux iridescent snow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Cloche by any other name...

Is quite simply a bell jar formed of a solid piece of glass shaped like a dome with a knob or finial on the top. The French developed the cloche for the intended purpose of protecting early garden plants from cold and frost as well as promoting growth of young seedlings. Many gardeners however would break off the knob or finial of a glass cloche because it tended to act like a magnifying glass during use. The additional heat would often kill or damage the very plants the cloche was designed to protect.

Since that time, cloches have evolved....coming in from the outdoors to adorn treasures, cover sweets and cheeses, house collectibles and showcase photos - all the while protecting delicate items from the elements without sacrificing visibility. My quest is to locate (and eventually I will) a vintage cloche to cover and complement my treasured ship's compass (see post dated November 20, 2009).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mercury glass in all its glory....

First created in early 19th century Germany as an inexpensive alternative to sterling silver, mercury glass makes for some of the simplest and yet finest decorations. Their silvered glass with mirror-like finish help to create my desired look this holiday season.....Old World Christmas Charm!

Although just one piece is beautiful on its own, I love the look of grouping a collection in clusters.
Even the newest of pieces calls to mind that vintage look that I find so appealing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I purchased this darling white linen and lace stocking ...

and was no sooner at home and in the door when I had it decorated with a sprig of seasonal greenery, a tuft of tissue paper and a "Winter Wish" Christmas tag. I hung it on one of my favorite (of which there are many) white chairs.

Vintage glass, silver ornaments and family photos adorn our mantel this Christmas.....

I filled this apothecary jar with vintage buttons, set it on top of a footer candle holder that I painted white and covered it with a cloche.

To give it more appeal, I embellished this candle with vintage bridal lace (handed down to me by my Grandmother) and beaded trim.

The mason jar (draped with a glass beaded necklace) boasts a photo of my parents, Anna & George (1956)

Both photos are of my older sister Dorothy and I. She lives in Florida and we all miss her very much....especially during the holidays.... Love you Dottie-Mae!

The photo on the left is of Dorothy and I dressed to the nines (crenalin slips and all) on Easter Sunday. The photo to the right is of Dorothy and our younger sister Susan while visiting with the Murphys.

I filled this large cloche with sea shells, sand dollars and sea glass. I then set it upon a silver butter dish and adorned the top with a silver heart ornament a friend gave us that commemorates our wedding anniversary.

( can click on any image to enlarge it)

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

here in New England anyway!

We awoke to this beautiful sight on Sunday morning. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the powers that be re-created this same winter wonderland for Christmas morning.

And the stockings were hung......

by the foot board with flair!

For the record, this is not my bedroom, but again for the record, it IS slated to occupy its rightful place in my Big Book of "Oooh, Ahhh Gotta Have!". Speaking of which, I should probably post some of those photos - they'll provide you with a glimpse of the visions of sugarplums that dance in my head... and not just during the Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Button, button, who's got the button.....

I've loved buttons ever since I was a small child. My mother, as well as both my grandmothers, had button tins that I would spend hours sorting through. I'd match up similar sizes and colors all the while meticulously pulling out the wayward threads. My favorites were those with rhinestones and my least was the leather knot (also known as braided) shank.

I now of course boast my own collection of buttons. Admittedly they aren't nearly as vintage or quite as impressive as the ones I lovingly poured over as a child but I'm working on it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

There's no such thing as "too thin, too blonde, too rich".... my biased opinion....too white!

I love the dissimilar and creative use of the vanity mirrors - certainly lets you know which is the "His" side and which is the "Hers" side... I mean besides the peonies and the television of course!

Although I'm not a big fan of bathtubs, I have to concede that this one certainly complements and adds to the overall charm of the room.

Monday, November 30, 2009

When I came across this arrangement of roses....

It was a combination of the "just-the-right-color-pink" accompanied by the improvised mercury glass vase that almost prompted me to re-think my choice of favorite flower.

Undeniably the rose holds its praiseworthy place in my top five but it's the hydrangea that captures top honors....most especially what I wistfully refer to as the "Cape Cod Blue" hydrangea. They're picture perfect against the backdrop of a shingled cape house - weathered and gray- boasting cottage white shutters, a seashell laden driveway and a plush green lawn. Toss in a white picket fence with an arched garden gate and I'd say "heaven on earth".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

First time guests commonly ask me......

"What's with the rocks?" And before I have a chance to answer, my husband pipes up with "They're part of the effect!" And he's right, they are....they're part of the ocean effect I so covet. What strikes me funny though is that my husband takes great relish in answering the anticipated question, as if it were his decorating brain child. I guess he surreptitiously likes the rocks!

I wish I could say I hand picked said rocks from some exotic distant shore but truth be told, I purchased them at a local Michael's Arts and Crafts store. Nonetheless, who knew these simple, unassuming, store-bought rocks adorning the bottom of the sink in my half bath would become a dinner party conversation staple.

The guest bathroom took a few re-dos....

But I've settled on a look that I'm happy with. You know, after the proverbial green, gold and rust Waverly decor, complete with wallpaper border, matching shower curtain, balloon valance, hand towels, soap dish...and the list goes on. I quickly moved on to a deep lavender and lime green decor. Sounds icky I know but you'd be surprised at the amount of accessories I was able to find that actually worked well with that color palette!

The current decor came about as a result of the mirrored shelf I came across while browsing at Pottery Barn. The original bathroom mirror was one of those home builder installed 4x5 foot mirrors complete with the usual six bulb strip light above it. Although I didn't capture a picture of it, a new light fixture has since been installed.

I bought two shower curtains from the Rachel Ashwell Simply Shabby Chic collection called "Capri Pants Stripe". One of course was used as intended for the shower and the other I cut and sewed to make a window valance. From some of the extra material I made a cover for the night light.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh how I love being ahead of the game......

I was about to toss out these leftover key tags when I had the idea to use them as seating tags for Christmas dinner. The best part was, I had everything I needed in my crafting cases to complete the project, which took less than an hour. Cross THAT off my Christmas "to do" list thank you very much! I was going to write a play by play on how I created the tags but I think the pictures are self-explanatory.... enjoy! (Click on an image to enlarge)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Without a doubt, what drew me to this piece........

Is my love of the sea and all things nautical; weathered and worn by time, salt and surf. When I spotted this floating ship's compass at Thoreauly Antiques in a locked glass case I silently whispered to myself "please, let it be affordable". Turns out it was more than I thought I should be spending, especially since I already had a number of items waiting on the counter to be rung up. And then, an epiphany! An early birthday present. "Just think", I said to my husband,"you won't have to rack your brain thinking what to buy won't even have to wrap it!". He took it from my hands looked it over a few times, as if he were an experienced appraiser, smiled and nodded yes. One of my best birthday gifts by far. When I look at the compass my mind brings me back to a movie I've seen many times....The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. As a young girl I romanticized about Gull Cottage and the love story that played out between Captain Daniel Gregg and Lucy Muir. (To view the movie trailer, click on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir above.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I had been saving wine corks for quite some time....

Exactly what I wanted them for and what I was going to do with them I was never quite sure. That was until I spyed this vintage bingo wheel at a frequent haunt of mine.... The Wrentham Country Store and immediately knew I had found them a "home". I cleaned it up - just dusty, no rust and painted the knob black. A week or so later I found the vintage bingo cards at Antique Therapy - located in a multi-dealer consignment shop in Concord, MA called Thoreauly Antiques. I happily walked away with a few items that of which I asked my husband to buy me for my's an old ship's compass and I plan to feature it in my next blog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I don't cook very often, however....

It doesn't stop me from bidding on and (lucky me) "winning" vintage aprons on eBay. I'm simply drawn to them and they're usually reasonably priced and sold in lots so they're quite the bargain. Yep, that's my justification when the package arrives and my husband raises a knowing eyebrow!