Monday, December 31, 2007

~Happy New Year!

Thanks to all of you who have come by in the last year and been so sweet and such great friends! Your notes, messages and emails have been such a treat and I have enjoyed every single one.
See you next year!

I wish and hope for each of you
a New Year of
Perfect Health, Abundance, Peace and Happiness!

Monday, December 24, 2007

~Christmas Eve, Joyful Wishes, Joyeux Noël, Buon Natale! Etc..

It's Christmas Eve already! With all the snow I've seen on the weather channel, it must really seem like it to many of you.




Nothing new on the table this year. I've had everything for either a long time or at least a couple of years. My lovely old Irish linen napkins on the "wrong"side where I kind of like them. I'll move them to please other another time. The plates were a surprise that I had forgotten about. I should have been using them for the last month but decided they would be pretty for a little dinner.

If you wander by here on your journey of home tours or just playing tourist in Blogland, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and PEACE in the New Year. Maybe we can create Peace in the World one person, and one family at a time.

My heart is filled with Christmas Joy even as there is an ache over the war that wages on beyond our sight and sound. War is evil, said a wise and wonderful Noble Peace Prize winner. Very seldom ever necessary and always evil. I pray for the young soldiers so far away from home this HolyDay , their families, and for all the people there.


May You Be Filled with Joy and Peace!
Merry Christmas, and Peace On Earth
to Men of Good Will!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

~Christmas Joy, Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday!


A little Christmas in the morning room. The mercury glass Santas and Snowman are newer, but have a great old fashioned look. Sweet Daughter thinks it's funny that she is represented by the little snowman since she towers over me by 5 inches. But of course if you are a mom, you know they are always your baby.


Closeup of the cloche, bell jar, filled with lime green ornaments with a few red tossed in as well. I found a couple of the rhinestone snowflakes and love their sparkle and vintage look.

Vintage ornaments have such a special look. I've seen some amazingly beautiful collections in BlogLand. Mine is small. Some of them look quite old, even though I'm not an expert at dating them. But I love the touch of age they add when used with newer pieces.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

~Snowflakes & Silver, Christmas Joy Saturday

Snowflakes found their way into the family room as well this year. The mantel is dressed with more snowflakes and everything is silver and white with touches of gold and evergreens. I found the snowflakes at Target early in the season, and got them quickly before they were gone. They look better in the halogen light than in the living room's natural light where I used the snowflakes that I made from wood forms. Those were prettier in that light.

I've been thinking of doing this room in more whites and neutrals so I wondered if I would miss color on the mantel this year. I'm not sure if I miss the color, but I do love the snowy, wintery feeling of it right now.


It's cookie day at our house! We will be baking my favorite chocolate chip cookies and some white chocolate macadamia nut ones to take to my in-laws. That's if I can hide enough from Sweet Husband, because he loves those, too.

I'm trying to take a few breaks now and then to go on the Home Tours, from both Tracey's site and BooMama's. What wonderful homes, people and decorations! It has been such a joy to visit each of you. And it makes me wonder, are you making cookies today, too? And are those little presents all wrapped? I'll be doing some of that the next day or so as well.

Thank you to each of you for sharing your homes, and for taking the time to post a comment here. You are so appreciated!

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

~Beau Bunny's Christmas Tree

~~Beau Bunny's Christmas Tree~~
Packing away all that Halloween stuff, I found a portrait from the late 1800's of our darling relative, Beau Bunny with his finely decorated Christmas Tree!

Isn't he something in his fine ruffled attire?!

New on Etsy today. There will most likely be 3 different Christmas Prints of Beau. I heard there is a picture somewhere of him with Santa! Stay tuned, I'm looking through old family albums looking for that one!

Monday, November 5, 2007

~Autumn's Amber Glow, Leaves

"Autumn's Amber Glow"

It's that time of year when you see so many magnificent pictures of leaves everywhere. I love them! Of course it must touch a place in the heart of many, many people since they travel just to see the beauty in person. It is so good to know that there are lots of people who enjoy and value the simple but amazing beauty of leaves.

The paintings often took months for sweet husband to finish. I didn't have that kind of patience. Each one was woven out of his imagination and love of painting. This one pays homage to Autumn's Beauty.

Friday, November 2, 2007

~Decorating with the Colors of Autumn


This time of year I am reminded how much I love the colors of pumpkins and fall leaves. Thank you to all of you who have posted fall pictures!

Although orange is not on my favorites list at all, there are muted colors in pumpkins & leaves that are so beautiful to me and I just crave them more this time of year. Rust, muted reds, terracotta, deepest golds, burnt orange and a million variations.........yum!

I need to take the Boo Sign off the front door and turn the Jack-O-Lanterns around so they are just pumpkins again.

The entry table hopefully will get a new arrangement sometime today to greet Autumn instead of celebrating Halloween.

This picture is from a couple of years ago with my favorite pumpkin. Now what shall we put there this year? Time to go find all those Autumn colors. Don't you just love this time of year?

Wishing you all a most wonderful Friday & Weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

~Water, the Enchanted Element on All Soul's Day

It was fun to go see what was happening in Blog Land for Halloween. There was a lot going on! I don't think I saw but a little bit of it.
I love seeing the kids come to the door, all dressed up. So cute. Even though it's not like "used to be" there is just enough left to still make you smile.

The Enchanting Water Fairy
Available now as Fine Art Prints on Etsy.

You know how much I love water.
So you won't be surprised how much I really love this painting.

Today is All Soul's Day. A strange and old holy-day. But it's nice to remember all those who have been with us in our lives and gave us Love, but who are no longer here on Earth. Blessings to all who have Loved us.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

~Happy Halloween

Wishing You a Happy Halloween!

Thank you for your notes on my husband's painting. I love his art and I wish he had more time to paint now. But it was so much fun sharing it with you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

~Snickers, Pumpkinheads & Bears

Pumpkin Head Guy and his Sidekick Bear, who is guarding the Snickers.
It's about time to say Trick or Treat and then pack away all the Halloween decorations. Halloween was such a big holiday when I was a kid. I think it was because it was one of the few times we ever got any of that junk to eat. And it was free, just for knocking on the door and politely saying Trick or Treat!

I remember more how excited my daughter was. I wish she would still go out Trick or Treating, but at 28, she just won't go. But she still finds the Snickers bef0re the little kids get here. But that's kind of part of the plan of the Holiday.
Make it a Most Wonderful Day!

Friday, October 12, 2007

~Celebrate ~Autumn


It's a new season, and it feels a little bit like it today! I think we might stay below 90*. Now that's a cool down.

This pretty French iron type flower basket has been sitting waiting for its closeup. The other one you've seen and I've used it for lots of seasons. I found this one a couple of years ago and I am just now getting around to using it. Even with some old elements in it, it seems like a brand new look.

But I forgot to get Halloween on the door before the Fall Decor!
I got a quick picture of it as it gets the spotlight of the sun and falling leaves today. This will go back up after the Halloween decor comes down.
I hope you are having a wonderful day and that your weekend is a good one!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

~Thursday, Re-Creation....Delightful Dolphins & Dessert Lady

Even though beach time didn't work out on Sunday, I had this adventure planned for mid-week, Discovery Cove. The plants are so spectacular. Don't you love how they have the walkways leading to the water areas planted?
Simply beautiful.
The lazy river is quite long and you swim most of the way. With a floaty thing, it's not that hard and you do have areas where it is not as deep. It works up a good appetite for the nice meals they offer as part of the admission. Kind of like cruise food.

It is way too easy to take all of this for granted in your backyard. It isn't until I hear all of the accents and listen to how much it cost others to come here that I really appreciate it. This is such a wonderful place to relax. We got annual passes to Sea World so we can come back to Discovery Cove at a discount for the next year. Yipeeeeee, sounds good to me.

We spent quite a bit of time just watching the dolphins and their interaction time with the humans who come to be with them. Funny, no other animals pay to spend time with humans do they? :)
I've done this twice and it was an amazing experience to touch these magnificent creatures. Oh yeah, we get a kiss, too!

So after spending hours and hours swimming, snorkeling and beaching, all I could think of was the fact that I had ordered chocolate cake at several places lately and none were really great. Somehow I came to my senses and instead of going to the "Dessert Lady" and eating 5 portions of different cakes, we went to one of the health food stores and got the best chocolate cake, by Just Desserts. It was worth every single calorie and bite of fat! After working all morning doing more gardening, it was easy to rationalize it anyway.

I think Saturday will be a great day to go visit Renninger's Antique Market. I wonder what we will find this time.

Monday, October 8, 2007

~Monday ~ Re-Creation...Believe

Saturday Adventure

I love the Sea and so many of her creatures. Although I did visit the sharks too, they don't quite hold the same place in my heart as the dolphins and the whales.

The theme of the whole Shamu entertainment is "Believe." First picture is "Shamu" swimming towards us, and then a shot with a human just for size comparison.

Sunday beach time was cut out due to extreme weather. But I have a couple more quick trips ready to go the rest of the week after a nice day of weeding and gardening. :)
I hope you are all having a great start to the week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

~October Already!

Soon the leaves will be turning even way down here. The color is just beginning to make a change. It so interesting how many people love the Fall. But by the end of winter, Spring will be the new favorite.
But for right now, we will relish the beauty of this season. Happy Fall!
The only larger art collage that will get done before Halloween I think. A little holiday next week. Maybe the beach, if the storms in the Atlantic let up a bit. We'll just have to see what will be good for re-creation next week.
Have a Great Day!

Monday, October 1, 2007

~Happy Monday, the Backside of a Good Tale (2 Chairs)

You know what? The backside it the easiest part! Oh you are not the only one thinking it was tough. I did it the hard way for a while too. The toughest was when I did the dining room chairs the first 10 times :P because I knew it wasn't forever and I did not want to do anything permanent. So I made fitted inserts and used velcro...no room for error. Oh that was work! The picture here is the way they are now, and it's done the easy way.


Now the secret.
If you look closely, you will see that the cane is actually installed on the front and then there is a piece holding it in place. Turn the chair around and look at the back and you will see the the cane is snuggly inside that area you just looked at on the front. Gently push the cane away from you. See, there is a tiny space.
That is where the fabric goes. You have about a half inch of room. So you do need to cut it pretty close, but this isn't that hard at all.


Get a larger piece of paper, newspaper works well, just messy on your hands.


Then lay it against the back of the chair and make a template for that area to cover the cane. I like to make an exact one first then cut the larger one.


So cut this a little bit larger at first, then put it up to the cane area, check to see how it fits and trim it a tiny bit at a time until it is the exact fit for that surface area.


Hint: Be sure to mark the FRONT as the side facing you, and mark Left & Right. The opening will be a different from side to side. And you may want to center a pattern.
OK, take the perfectly fitting template and make a new one by taking a ruler and just marking dashes around it about 1/2 inch larger. Connect you dashes and cut it out. If you are using very expensive fabric, make a test piece out of cheap stuff like an old sheet or muslin.

Take your final piece of fabric, center it so that it is 1/2 inch over the inset area on all sides.

Now, gently push it into the area between the cane and the back of the chair, with a blunt tool. A butter knife from your eating utensils works well, or a large flat head screwdriver.


Your are "stretching" this piece, which means that you start at the middle of on side and go to the middle of the opposite side, and top and back. Then you work your way in a little a time 3 or 4 tucks then go the opposite side.


Soon you will be done. Although you can use some glue, I have found that the area is usually tight enough that it is not necessary.


If you feel antsy about making the fabric so small, just start with a 1 inch extra border and cut it down as you feel it is a perfect fit.



**SOLD**THANK YOU**
New in the Shop, a Boo Cone & Other Goodies!

Friday, September 28, 2007

~The Tale of 2 Chairs, Twin Sisters :)

Isn't it fascinating when you see twins how they can start out life looking so identical but then as they age, each one takes on a different personality and appearance.

Ah, this is exactly what happen happen to our twins, the Chair Girls. It also could have been titled the "Ugly Duckling" but neither of them wish to be compared to a duck and didn't understand it was really a swan. Oh well.
Wandering into this thrift store is not one of my favorite things. And even though I've complained about such trips, I have to admit I have saved a few forlorn little gems from this place. So through the crowds of women checking out the clothing I go, all the way to the back. I really need a cheap chair.

And what do I see, oh a set of uglies! They were French inspired, but they were "inexpensive" to began with and had truly seen better days. In the first photo up there, you can see there was work to do to even get one in the house!

I only needed one is what I thought at the time. I kindly paid them the price of $20 that they had on all 3 chairs, and told them to just keep the other two and took the best one and put it in the car. Then I thought better of my decision and decided maybe down the road I could fix the second one as well. The third, sorry there was no hope for it.


The first one was painted creamy white with accents of the taupe color that I used in the master bedroom at that time. It was also aged and antiqued with a glaze of raw umber. There was a lot of work with a small artist's brush. It makes a huge difference in your finished piece if you can do this when there is some carving to play with.



The second chair went black, of course. My two different loves, light furniture and black. Both were recovered in medallion toile fabrics and with different kinds of trim. Although I still love them both, the lighter medallion print is not one I'm using anymore in any of the rooms. I guess I'll have to strip it and redo it one day soon.

In the close ups, you can see some of the ways the chairs became transformed. Light sanding on the black one showing the wood along edges.
I always use Krylon Satin spray paint. I've found that it is the best for me.
The one that says dries in 12 mins. or something like that. Great paint.


The lighter colored chair got the opposite treatment of adding the darker colors in the deeper areas for aging, and the taupe color was added to the flat area on the back.

~Wishing you all a Wonderful Weekend!

As always, thanks for coming by and to all who take the time to say hi, it's so nice to "see" you!

New in the Shop



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

~Let She Who Has Wisdom be the Keeper of the Spells :)

The lovely little one holding the book is Sweet Husband's Grandmother.
When do you decorate for Halloween?
I don't really get things out until Oct 1.
But if I'm making things, I am into it sooner. Which means I'll be doing Christmas in Oct! Oh my....
It's a lovely day to work on art, and get things in the mail. Looks like rain again. Was it me who was complaining about no rain? Not this month.
Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

~Wednesday, a little Elegance for Halloween

*Sold* Thank You!*

I love decorating for Halloween using the kind of papers and elements that I would chose for decorating in general. So here is a new Banner, Wall or Door Hanging that features some elegance.....Vintage Rhinestone Button, Old Lace, Black and White toile style paper and a Vintage Prism.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

~Kindness


Thank You for whatever kindness you gave the world today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

~It's a BOOtiful Day in the Neighborhood

Oh there are many BOOtiful days yet to come! I think it's early for Halloween thinking, but you have to start early if you are making things.

**SOLD**

Thank You!

(Clicking on the Picture takes you to Etsy.)

My DD has been a Boo almost since the day she was born. So at Halloween time we love to find Boo things. Here's a cute little Boo Wall/Door Decor with a dangling Ghost. A little holiday preview of things to come in the shop. But it's one of those things that takes way more time than you think it would. So I'm not sure how many different will show up. I still want to do a few black and white without too much orange.

And it's another way to use the Handmade Paper Flowers!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

~St. Francis & St. Augustine

Standing at the back door to my boyfriend's house, I read the Prayer of St. Francis many times. I never got tired of it because it was so beauitful and because it belonged to the kindest and most saint-like woman I have ever met. So many, many years ago.

When the St. Francis Inn popped up as a Bed & Breakfast in St. Augustine during my searching, I checked it out because of the name. It had great reviews online, so off we went. But I was still a bit skeptical of staying in "someone's house" as B&B's sometimes seem to be. But we loved this place! It was an inn, not where the owners lived.

Courtyard looking towards the entrance, the "back of the building."

The courtyard just to the left of the picture above looked like this.
I read after we got back where someone wrote that it was "old" inside. Wow, who would have thought a place built in 1791 would be old???? It was very nice, but certainly not renovated to new looking. It still had lots of character.

Our room was actually a suite, and we loved having the sitting room in addition to the bedroom and bath area. It really made it seem like home away from home.

We never moved our car from the private parking area. The downtown area was very close and we walked a lot, used the trolley for the 3 days to get to anything too far to walk.

The inn also had complimentary bikes which was a lot of fun to go looking at houses. The breakfasts were full meals, and cooked by their chef. Excellent! You B&B Gals might have won me over now. Not having to go find a good breakfast really was a nice treat.


There was a tiny little park across the street with a most charming statue. My friend, St. Francis, was standing towards the back keeping a watchful eye on the street and the inn as well as the animals I'm sure.

Thanks for your notes on the previous posts. I know so many of you love vintage and antiques, and of course old houses. They just call out to you don't they?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

~Save Me from Old Houses!


SavannahWhat do you see? Isn't it a beauty.

An old house like this pulls at my heart strings. I know most people see it as a money pit. And of course they are right. There are many homes like this which have been neglected for so long. Usually they are torn down. It's much easier to build new than to try to restore or rebuild.

After looking at so many houses, thinking how much fun it would be to live in one, I snapped out of it! I told Sweet Hubby....Save Me! Don't let me ever buy an old house like this. It takes someone much younger to give the years of work these take. But we looked with admiration at the houses and to those who give so much to them.

When I look at the first house above, I see these instead.
Side by side. One still waiting patiently for the loving hand of someone who appreciates old houses while the other two show off their new paint.

Don't you just love thinking of what you would do with such a beautiful house?

Friday, August 17, 2007

~Rest, Re-Create and just BE


Some people are really good at just taking time off and getting rested. I have not been one of them most of my life. Next week we are off for a Holiday. Don't you love that in other parts of the world they take a Holiday instead of a vacation. I'm not going to vacate anything. But I am going to make each day away a Holy Day of Re-Creating. I want to see the country's oldest city and old architecture in 2 other southern cities. This is the type of thing that re-creates me. Now if I can just not get in the hurry and rushing mind set of DisneyWorld behavior trying to see everything, it will work just fine. I hope to do some treasure hunting for my store as well. It looks like a bit of rain, but that is far better than a hurricane. So I'll take it as another excuse to refresh and just keep the umbrella handy.

Since we all live kind of hectic lives, I always wonder what other people do to
re-create during the year. How about you? Do you have a secret about your days off from work and how you refresh your body, mind and spirit?

I'll see you all when I return, and it will be fun to catch up with you!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

~Monday Corners of My Home, Painted Armoire

Precise planning is good, but so is a happy mishap. The background in the panels began as a simple crackle of some sort, but with FL humidity and my impatience, anything can happen and often does. This time it was a perfect blend for a beautiful finish.
The first picture above shows the detail hand painted work called grisaille style painting. This is usually done in all grays, but I used raw and burnt umbers as well. The shading is pencil work over the paints. The background area did have some kind of crackle medium applied to it. However I was a bit quick to start working it and sanding. This is how that great peeling finish just happen to come about. I then rubbed or dry brushed darker to lighter colors on it.
The pattern is a take off of one that was offered in Paint Decor magazine a few years ago. I used part of theirs, reworked it on paper, then traced my pattern on to the wood panel and painted it free hand from there.

In addition to the top piece we also added the raised medallions on the doors. And those were painted as if they are a part of the grisaille.

I hope your week ahead is a wonderful one. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Monday, August 6, 2007

~Monday, Corners of My Home

**I'll get some pictures over the weekend of the whole piece to show you. Thanks for asking. I wasn't really even thinking of it. :) **

In the midst of hurry and scurry, it's good to stop and just appreciate what you have. Stop the thoughts of hunting for the next thing and just be happy for a moment with what already is. That's just my own reminder. I might be the only one who sometimes gets moving too quickly and needs to slow down a bit.

Sweetie Husband and I went to an auction to benefit the local PBS station but hardly anyone showed up due to the lack of advertising. There was no auction, instead they just sold the items that were there for basically the starting prices. We found an old English wardrobe that was the perfect size for our little home.

I'm sure someone who loves original English pieces would not approve of my Frenchy makeover. We added the top piece for a French flair and and added others on the doors with some decorative painting techniques. It turned out to be one of our favorite things we have.

Good glazing takes a bit of practice, but is really pretty simple. The antique glaze on the top of this piece has some red in it (burnt umber) but mostly raw umber. It easiest to buy it premixed if you are not familiar with mixing colors. But the safest way is just to go with a raw umber. Go through the tubes/bottles and look at them. They will all be a different color even though they have the same name.

What makes a big difference when you are doing glazing like this is to go back over the piece and dry brush the lightest shade again, the white or cream. This brings out the highest areas of the carved areas and shows off the carvings.

Hope your weekend was a splendid one.
Donna

Thursday, August 2, 2007

~Temptations, Part 2 ~Winter Park

Thank you all for stopping by and going window shopping with me!
As always, thanks for taking the time to say hi and leave your sweet notes.
Have a wonderful, happy and safe weekend!
Of course the most amusing thing was that I told Sweetie Husband that we could go walk to get some exercise while window shopping. He didn't fall for it. Window shopping doesn't mean going inside every other store apparently.
Most of the stores used to be small owner operated shops. The big names have come in now, but the city does try to keep the same feeling. I miss the little store. Origins and Pottery Barn have done a great job with their storefronts.
Appenberrys! Very popular, and people come from all over to shop. Unique, gardeny, very cool. And a bit pricey.
Temptation. Only the price saved me on this one. $6600 for the shop one, but another $2000 to order different fabrc. Really a nice size, 15 by 15 feet. Hubby reminded me for that much money we could have one built out of wood with a real roof. OK! Another little shop. Reminds me of the ones that used to be on the walk. So nice to see some again. All of the paintings in here are originals. This one the only shot I took before we decided they might not like photos.
The stores sit side by side. They used to be one, the previous picture and then the next ones. I am headed the one beside the awning, but was too excited to get a shot outside! Devine! Look at these goodies. I love this store. European accents and antiques. Did I mention that this is a pricey little city? It is.
Do you see what I see? How many years have I longed for that sofa?

We discussed price. Talked her down to $2300, not bad for all down, 1920's frame rebuilt and upholstered by an expert! The match was perfect. Italian fabric which runs around $85 a yard.

But....we actually live with our sofas. This one needs a place where it won't get kind of jumped on. And fortunately, it was in a dusty blue. I would have to change some colors. Good excuses anyway to keep my hands in my pockets! We have a trip planned soon and I just might need a couple of dollars for shopping then.

Have a most wonderful day! Hope you enjoy the window shopping.

Monday, July 30, 2007

~To Market, to Market to Buy a Fat Eclair

The Winter Park Farmer's Market is a wonderful place to visit on Saturday mornings. The old depot serves as shelter for some of the vendors and the parking lot area is set up with all the rest.
The colors are so amazing. Actually I don't buy much fruit and vegetables here since I find organic ones at Whole Foods and now Publix for just a bit higher price. But look at these colors! I don't eat eggplant but love the color.
And mushrooms, not my taste either. But the color of those gently aging blue cardboard fruit baskets just calls out to me. Delicious color.
The plants are a great bargain at the market. I often purchase my bromeliads here. These are quite large and we can grow them outside. They need a good home and I know one just waiting. Maybe next trip.
A sea of beautiful blooms. Always a feast for the eyes over on this side.
Don't these look like little art treasures. Only the chocolate is a flavor I would eat, but I adore the shapes and color.
Aaaah, getting closer to what is really calling me. Irene's French Pastries!
This one is for my daughter and I was busy getting the shot of this when he was packing the eclairs. And I totally forgot to get a picture of the nice sweet fat eclair before the first bite. But it was most delicious!
Then off to do some walking and window shopping through here. All cities should be planned this way. Part two, will be a few pictures of their beautiful little shopping area.
Hope your weekend was a good one.

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