Friday, December 18, 2009

~ Tis the Season to Give

10 Highly-Rated Charities with Low Paid CEOs

10 Slam-Dunk Charities

Many charities have different ratings for each city they operate in. Take a look at "Make A Wish" for instance, and you find some with 4 star ratings while others have only 1 star. This site makes it easier not to toss your money in a bottomless pit when you are trying to do some good.

As we all try to make sure our donations do the most good this time of year, Charity Navigator has done a lot of the work for you by rating different charities. Take a look and maybe donate a $1 to them to help with their costs as well.

Tis the Season
to Give Thanks
and A Little Bit More

Monday, December 14, 2009

~ White Christmas Decorating, a Bird Nest & a Winged Santos - Cage Doll

This little bird nest is very special to me. Several years ago while Sweet Hubby was cutting the bottom off the Christmas tree and getting ready to bring in the house, he found this little treasure. Of course I know that birds make nests in trees and this isn't all that unusual. But in all the years of Christmas trees past, it is the only one we've ever found. He was so excited to show it to me. I did a search that year and saw that some people say it is a little good luck sign.

The first few years it was tucked in the tree as an ornament. As it began to become more fragile, I have decorated with it in some other way, and so it has been a part of our decorations every Christmas for about the last 7 or 8 years.

This year it is in a cloche, bell jar on in the living room bay window.

Along with my lovely winged Santos Angel

For this year, she also has a new crown.

Sometimes you can find these Santos, cage dolls with wings.
More often they are articulated, but do not have wings.
This one was purchased at Jeannie Taylor Gallery
in Sanford, FL.

See Y'all Soon~

Saturday, December 12, 2009

~ Christmas Decorating 2009 .. White ... and Simple

This year it's very simple.
And White.
And a dash of the colors of the Season.

Christmas Mantel
with Fairy
Holding a Snowflake

Thursday, November 26, 2009

~ Happy ThanksGiving!

Wishing You All
a Happy Day of ThanksGiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

~ Monday, Monday ....

It was the perfect weekend for Renninger's Extravaganza in Mt. Dora! In years past we had to bundle up a bit for the cool early mornings. But this year it was in the 80's and all you needed was water & some good sunblock. That's Florida.

Sweet Hubby and I had a great time. And best of all I got to meet up with my wonderful friend Kim of Daisy Cottage for a short visit. You just have to love this girl. She is so kind, sweet and beautiful, inside and out.

I didn't buy much this year. We left the truck at home which saved me from bringing home more things that I have no room for, like this beautiful old Dutch wardrobe.

Tomorrow I get to play queen for a day and get a crown, or two. Not on my head, but on my teeth. First time, so I'm just eager to get past it. I'll be back on Wed with the winner of the GiveAway for the Silhouette print. Then I'll get some pictures up on the blog of Renninger's and the Festival of Trees to share.

See Ya'll Soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

~ Better With Age

Sometimes people,
like the beautiful objects pictured here,
get better with age.

Sometimes, they don't.
Thankfully we can choose which way to go.

Just a reminder that the Renninger's Extravaganza is this month in Mount Dora, FL.

Monday, November 9, 2009

~ November, Isn't It Lovely?

It is the most fabulous time of year for perfect weather .....
wish it would get way down here.

But Paris might not be too bad right now :)

A little bit of new art in the shop.

See Y'all Soon
with a new project or two.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

~ Ceilings

Another beautiful painted surface on the ceiling.

See Y'all Soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

~ Looking Up, Pretty Ceilings

The 5th Wall

The darker parts are wood or moldings, and the decorative middle area is painted. Beautiful work. This is not something I will ever attempt to do. I don't even like the chore of painting a simple coat of paint on a ceiling. But it was really gorgeous to see. I admire those decorative artists who do this type or work.

See Y'all Soon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

~ Bee Design On Dining Room Chairs

I promised to come back and show how the bee design was created on the back of the dining room chairs. The dining room has changed since this, but I kept the fabric from the back of the end chairs in case it could be used for something else.

If the fabric is flat you could do this in a few different ways. But this is upholstery weight and has texture to it.

After you find a design that you want to use and have it on your computer, you can print it on iron-on transfer paper. Then using small scissors, cut around the design.

As you can see I did not cut out all the white areas inside the design. There was enough white in the fabric to make it work anyway. Of course it didn't show the white as much as in the picture which is enlarged for you to see the details. It also is a delicate design and would be much more difficult to work with if I had cut out all the inside parts.

Lay it out, and iron it on. That easy!

See Y'all Soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

~ Beau Bunny Art Print Winner ~ Halloween Blog Party!

The Winner is Shell

Blogger Shell said...

I loved your post with your white pumpkins and smiling cats. I think I have fallen in love with your Beau Bunny Bandito.

Congrats! Beau will be on his way as soon as I get an address to ship him off to.

to everyone who left a comment.
You made this year's party a blast!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

~ Building a Faux Fireplace


I have a soft spot of Euro antiques. Usually they are not in my price range, but sometimes I get lucky.

The thought of something special traveling such a far distance from a European country and then somehow finding its way here to the states is always a tale that warms my heart. I understand those who prefer their treasures from the past from our country as well. It's just that I have a love for the ones from across the pond.

I only have a few... Irish, French, English & Italian treasures ... a couple of Minton tiles, some dishes, a chandelier, a table & cupboard, and this fireplace mantel that was destined to satisfied my longing for having a fireplace in the living room.

A fireplace is one of the most important design elements that you can add to a room for beauty and warmth. The architectural statement of a fireplace is loved and desired by most people when seeking a home. But there was no real need for a working fireplace in my living room. We have a nice large one in the family room where the television is. And it is fired up often from the time the temperature goes all the way down to about 50* for the first time each year until Spring when it warms up again.

I never lived in a house with a fireplace before this one, so I'm making up for lost time. If the rooms were larger, I would be tempted to have one in each bedroom or bathroom as well.

The antique insert was in excellent condition. The dealer had completely restored it. Although the gray was not what I needed, it was the perfect base to build on.

The first thing I did was paint most of it white, and part black to accentuate the half-round opening.

I probably had a hundred pictures saved of fireplaces and I could easily have 10 or so in one house just to implement the designs that I love. The look of French and Italian fireplaces still is the most beautiful to me, and I have never tired of this one. It makes me sad to image one day someone will move in my house and might want a mid century modern look, and rip it out.

I began the design around the antique piece we purchased at Renninger's, and all the dozens of pictures I had accumulated. If you are not very handy with miter cuts and measuring, you could have a trim carpenter (or a great husband) match pictures that you might be saving. Sweet Hubby did all the work for me. He not only did a beautiful job with it, but enjoyed it as well.

It is the mix of the details that exist on the original antique piece, the added plaster and resin elements and all the moldings that makes this so beautiful. We added moldings to blend all these different elements into one design.

He built a box above the mantel with angels to mimic the ones I found from France and Italy. In order to add to the realism, we made it so that it came out from the wall a little bit, although it would be more realistic if it was thicker. I just didn't have the floorspace to spare.

You can see that the top of the mantel is cut with a curved design.

The plywood above the fireplace was covered
with layers of drywall mud to give
a stucco/stone effect.
Then it was primed and
painted in a Faux Stone finish.

This is a close up of the
details on the original piece
where it is painted white
then antiqued.

The inside of the firebox is a small piece of plywood
painted like a gray brick.
I found a metal "scrollie thing" that I painted black
and used some "rub-n-buff on the details of it.
This was fitted on the inside of the opening.


The larger corbels are resin, again painted
to an aged, antiqued white look.


Detail shot of the bottom.
Shows the mix of wood moldings
wood boxes, and resin pieces.

The beautiful piece in the center is plaster.
Painted & Antiqued for an aged look.

Hope you enjoyed this one!
See Y'all Soon!!

~ I'm a Flea Marketeer Blog Party! with Flea Market Style Magazine

I would be much more into flea markets if there were any fabulous ones here like I see from the pictures of California and a few other places. I try so hard not to be too jealous when I see rows and rows of such wonderful things.

Although Renninger's in Mt. Dora has a "flea market" area along with the Antique Market Place, it does not compare. Instead of all the great vintage goods, you will find cheap t-shirts, knock-off handbags, tons for dollar store type junk and a few great little booths with more vintage goods. I have found a few treasures over on that side of the shopping area.

It is quite different during the Extravaganza. There are vendors set up as far as you can see, and it is "flea market" style. And this post reminds me that it is right around the corner!

One of my best and favorite finds came after going to the flea market area for plants and coming back to the main buildings. This beautiful English fireplace mantel.

The start of a faux fireplace.
This is the next post,
come again for the updated pictures.

Flea Market Style Magazine
Flea Marketeer Blog Party!
Check out all the Blogs.

** Renninger's Extravaganza, Mt. Dora, FL
Nov. 20, 21, 22, 2009 **

Saturday, October 17, 2009

~ Halloween Blog Party 2009

The Decorated House : Halloween Decorating Black and WhiteThe day started out so sweetly and calmly.
Let's decorate for Halloween .....and get ready for the Big Halloween Blog Party.

I made a new version of last year's Monogram White Pumpkin.

The Decorated House : Black and White Halloween
But then all heck broke out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

~ Halloween Decorating, The Phantom or Beau Bunny Bandito?

Someone left their mask behind. As much as I love the Phantom of the Opera, I suspect that Beau Bunny is the one playing around with the decorating.

A short time ago, I gave limited licensing rights for pendants charms to Diane at Two Charming Chix for Beau and some other art. When she sent this sample of her work of Beau the Bandit, I was absolutely delighted. Her worked is so well executed and I am very pleased with how it turned out. This one is 1.5 inch square, and is a glass soldered pendant charm.

Last night Sweet Daughter's car was broken into in her driveway and it reminded me that I need to get things in order and clean the darn garage. Such a broken record, that's for sure. After all a garage is for the car right? Sweet Daughter's garage is usually very clean, but she had some bags of yard stuff waiting for pick up, from finishing up laying some sod. So her car was outside. Lovely, small neighborhood, but just one of those things. A lesson for me. My car should be in the garage, which means I should clean it!

See Y'all Soon!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

~ Painting Faux Pumpkins, Halloween White & Black

For the last few years my Halloween decorating has been black and white on the inside of the house, with regular pumpkin colors outside. It's so easy to find great buys on the orange colored pumpkins and many of us have lots of them left over from previous years. This post is from last year, and has a little simple how-to for painting those faux pumpkins. This is the quickest and easiest how-to ever!

Black Faux Pumpkin How-to:
The little pumpkins were either green or orange ones that I bought years ago. I liked the shape and I'm really looking for ways to reuse anything so I don't add to the garbage in the world.

These are the foam ones that are so cheap.
(They are not shiny, it's just the light from the window.)

The secret is Fusion Spray Paint or Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint
(and now updated: Annie Sloan Chalk Paints, too.)
Both are made for painting plastic, but I have found that both are some of the best all around paints.
I've painted wrought iron outside and it holds up very well. It is also excellent on wood.

By now these speciality pants aren't  much of a secret and so many people have discovered what great coverage they give. Some spray paints can react with foam, but are OK on plastic. I've tried other brands which were not as good. They just don't stick to or hold up on plastic.

The stems I painted with the black first because it is like using a primer. Then I used simple bottled craft paint in a lime green for the stems.

See Y'all Soon!

Click on any of the pictures below to shop  art from The Decorated House 

Friday, October 2, 2009

~ Halloween Decorating, The Missing Pumpkin Jack O' Lantern

It's October so everyone now has permission to talk about Halloween all they want!
You are not the only one if you get grumpy seeing Halloween merchandise put out way too early. I have always been that way, but now I have gotten over it. We need the supply stores to have their goods out early so everyone can get busy with crafting and creating their holiday lovelies. And of course we need the candy out early so we can get the Snickers before they are all gone.

This is my busiest time of year so I'm doing a little repeat. It's the story of my missing Jack O' Lantern. Today I was again trying to figure out where I put him for safe keeping. I love this pumpkin because he is so unique and has a little age on him now.

See Y'all Soon!

This time of year is so much fun that you can feel the excitement in the air. All the little (and big!) kids waiting as patiently as possible for that big day. Chocolate Day! OK, so maybe it's really called Halloween.

Last year I really thought that Sweet Hubby had broken my "almost vintage" pumpkin Jack O' Lantern that I loved so much, and of course I was sad about it. It's been with us since the early 80's. Only "vintage" by some loose definitions of today. Somehow even the 80's seems like vintage these days. The wonderful pumpkin is fashioned more like those which are older. The jack o' lantern was handmade by a potter. I don't remember his name, nor any of the other things he made for our shop. But I love how it is obviously handcrafted and not mass produced from a mold, even though I do have some of those, as well.

I decided to look again for the missing pumpkin. When I asked Sweet Hubby if he had seen it or remembered breaking anything that looked like it, he said maybe he had ..... seen something broken that could have been a pumpkin. Sweet man, confessing just in case. But then I found it! Right where I thought it was supposed to be. Of course I'm sure it was in a parallel universe. Somewhere, somebody was admiring my wonderful jack o' lantern last year. If "they" do measure time in years or at all, and it was last year for them. I'm just happy that my jack o' lantern pumpkin returned to me and is going to have a special place where he can be seen every day.

He's showing his age these days. He's a little cracked and showing some signs of getting older. But that's fine. He's just perfect the way he is. And I appreciate a few signs of age more each year.

Monday, September 28, 2009

~ Outdoor Spaces

Dreaming of cooler weather.....

Many people think of outdoor spaces in Spring. The weather forecast today announced that the temps would be in the 60's by the middle of the week. The thought of having the back door open even for a small part of the day makes me giddy.

It is Fall that makes my heart jump for joy. I know it's because there is not mean snowed-in weather on the heels of the mild fall. Sometimes a freeze to make us remember that tropical plants need a helping hand to survive. But mostly, it is just a time to breathe in the cool air and forget the heat for a few months.

Wouldn't you love a special place like this right off your bathroom door? I'd change the seating so that there was one or two chaise lounge chairs. Let's make it practical as well as beautiful.

Back to trying to actually finish the work in the studio. I have one more small dresser to paint. Then I can get more off the floor. It's hard to believe how fast I can fill up a drawer and or a shelf. Then look around, and it is as if the "stuff" and supplies just multiplied when I turned my back.

See Y'all Soon!

Friday, September 25, 2009

~ Kitchen Cabinets . Mixed Finishes . Red & Wood

Kitchen with Wood Cabinets
Red Island & Select Bottom Cabinets

Standing in this kitchen and walking around, it was very easy to see yourself at home cooking dinner or baking cookies.

However, sometimes it's not all that easy to mix finishes as skillfully as it is done here. The key to the design was to not overdo it. The red is used on the island where you might expect it and then again along side the cooktop stove. It is not on all of the bottom cabinets.

This house was built about 2 1/2 years ago. I wonder if they would still choose the same finish for the faucet. It appears that the bronze finishes are no longer as popular. I have found that I'm getting tired of the look in my kitchen, but I've had it for over 5 years.

Sorry for the quality of the picture. I just grabbed my little camera and never looked to see what it was set on so I could get some pictures before anyone stopped me. But they didn't mind after at all. The kitchen was so well done I decided to post the picture anyway!

See Y'all Soon

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

~ Treasure Hunting on the Beach

When I was 5 years old we moved south and close to the beach. It was a short drive to the delicious playground of sand and water, and it was easy to take it totally for granted. Didn't everyone live close enough to the water to go to the beach whenever they wanted? It's only when I hear someone say that they have never seen the ocean that it dawns on me that it was a gift from my childhood to be so close.

Even as a child I thought that living not only near the beach, but close enough to touch and smell the water would the perfect life. It was the floods close by in the last few years that showed me the reality of living too close for comfort, and we are still miles away from the coast.

The last beach visit a few weeks ago we got up every morning and walked and walked for a couple of hours. I don't walk for hours in the heat on hard pavement. But there, with the sound and smell of the ocean, it was effortless. After the trip it was like withdrawal not to be able to get up in the morning and be welcomed by the sight and sounds of the water. Or kissed goodnight by the mesmerizing sound and feeling of the full moon rising over the water. Enjoying a chocolate dessert out on the restaurant patio at almost midnight under that full moon was enchanting.

I'm not sure if the idea of looking for heart shaped beach stones was already in my mind, or if we found one that began the treasure hunt. Wouldn't it be beautiful to create some little piece of art to remember the ocean when I am not able to walk the shore? I haven't created anything yet, but they are of course beautiful without anything being added them.

It's time to get a new door basket up for Fall. I painted my black metal lattice one white. It has been black for several years, so it is a fun change.

See Y'all Soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

~ French Provincial Dresser Makeover - Tiffany Blue

The nightstands are done for Sweet Daughter. I just need to download the pictures. And I am pleased to say that they met with her approval. She likes them very much. The slate blue is just as pretty as the turquoise and will be a wonderful complement to her bedding. Actually any nightstands will be great since it took so long to find something. We are letting the topcoat cure for a few days before moving them to their home in her bedroom.

Here is a little repeat post.
I might be painting a smaller French dresser in the same way as the one in the picture soon, and this time I will take some pictures along the way so I can show them.

But in the meantime, here is a look
at the first one I painted.

Singing The Blues.
Ah, but singing the blues in a good way. I matched the little blue Tiffany bag perfectly and as stated was bright! Sweet Daughter came by for lunch and thought it was a bit too bright. So I knocked it down a bit with a light wash of white, after I thought I was done. :)

Some of my flea market/garage sale friends probably find old dressers like this one every other week for next to nothing. I was thrilled to find it at consignment store for about $100. It's the older, all wood kind and very nicely constructed with dovetails. It's been waiting patiently for its time to be transformed. I had no idea this was what I would wind up doing when I bought it. Now the whole room will have to take this piece into consideration as it becomes the new studio space. Those drawers are just what I need for storage.



I guess I've been craving this color of so long, I didn't even mind it at full strength. But she was right. At night it was extra bright. If you search for a color match on the web, you will find a whole lot of people looking for that particular color. But none of the ones they listed looked quite right to me. But this did the trick. I wanted to match the bag.

In the before picture you can see that the hardware was really beautiful in design but dark. So I added a bit of the blue, then a touch of silver and lastly gold to finish them off. After all the heart on the bag is gold.

See Y'all Soon!
With a New Project.

Friday, August 28, 2009

~ Happy Friday . Continued, French Drawer Pulls

Yes, just another little sneak peek.

The painting is almost all done. A little bit more of the "antiquing" on the lines crevices of the sides, and then it should be ready for getting me more organized. There are piles of supplies on the floor and I can't quite back up enough to get a long shot yet anyway.

But the pulls turned out great. I'll write up a simple little how-to, tutorial with some pictures and post it early next week.

Next project after this one is painting Sweet Daughter's French Provincial night stands in a grayed blue! This is not her first choice, but I think she will really like. So she gave the OK for me to do them. If she doesn't like it, I'll paint them black. But I'm sure she will be happy with them when they are done. And her bedding and curtains are in that blue, with brown. Won't the blue be pretty!

See Y'all Soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

~ Still Painting . A Little Turquoise Love

There were a few questions sent to me asking exactly what the drawer pulls were going to be used for, and what the heck I've been painting for so long. It is one of those projects that is so simply but is taking a lot of time and layers.

I'm in love with small amounts of turquoise. It might be a shorter love affair if I did a lot with it, but right now we are still in love. And another question was what color am I painting this piece since the pulls have turquoise in them. Here is a little sneak peek. {Yes, after years of loving doing the big reveal, I kind of like short posts with sneak peeks after all. :) } White, slightly aged.

There are three drawers just below the middle door opening where the pulls will go.

For a few years I've been thinking about painting something like this, white with the back in a beautiful turquoise. And I'm loving it.

See Y'all Soon!

*Edit: It is no longer turquoise inside.
Always changing my mind. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

~ Vintage French Drawer Pulls Patina

As I'm getting closer to having the new storage piece ready for organizing some of the art supplies, I rounded up the hardware so I could decide what to do with it. And then I saw the one painted in the picture below, and realized of course that's what I wanted.That wonderful patina of age when the metal turns to bit of turquoise. Now how to make the plain Jane look as pretty. But I think I can figure out the secret and do it. After all, I painted that one, too!

I hope I am not the only one who loves to experiment and then is quite sure I'll remember exactly how I did something only to totally forget a short time later.

his should be pretty easy though, since there appears to only be couple of steps. I'll let you know how it goes.

See Y'all Soon!
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