Sunday, February 27, 2011

Santos Doll - Humility and Grace

I've often admired the Santos dolls seen in magazines and recent catalogs.  They look so peaceful and prayerful, while emitting a sense of humility and simplicity.  I love that they have been used in centuries past for in-home altars.  Original Santos dolls are expensive and hard to find, but reproductions are becoming more common recently.  I found a lovely Santos cage doll at HomeGoods for $9.99 to my delight!  Her original green color didn't suit me, so I transformed her with items I had on hand.  Here is the result:

First, I painted her with some Benjamin Moore 'Feather Gray' paint I had leftover from another project.  I simply used painters tape to mask off her neck and hands while painting. 
Next, I gathered some cheesecloth for her skirt.  I wanted to use a nice ribbon with some pattern to gather the skirt.  Although I was saving this printed ribbon (from PetiteMichelleLouise) for gift wrapping, I knew it would be perfect for this project. 
I had some coffee-stained round paper doilies in my stash.  I cut out the middle circle in one, then used the border to wrap around her skirt as added detail on her waist.

Next, I used the border of another doily to make a crown atop her head.  I glued tiny silver stars around the rim of her crown.  The stars were from a bag of 'fun-fetti' from the party section of the drugstore.
I  cut out angel wings from pages of a vintage German/English dictionary, then glittered the edges.

My husband was chuckling at how much fun I was having dressing my 'doll', and my young daugher was very curious about her.  If my Santos gets cold (it is a bit drafty in this old house), she wears a shawl fashioned from one of my crochet project remnants.
Here are her three 'looks':

Angel Wings


Winter Warmth
And close-up:

Considering she represents a humble Santo ('Saint'), I think she prefers her unadorned look.  I just couldn't help ornamenting her lovely grace.
She's come a long way from this ('before' pic), so I'll be sharing her at My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday:

You can visit to read a history of these dolls, and to view amazing reproductions & crowns.  Also, if you want to see an amazing adornment of one of those dolls, visit Rosemary at  Her muse is gorgeous! 
Next time you're at a discount store, be open to the idea of taking something home and making it your own.  You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The spring sprucing of our main rooms requires a lot of 'reflection'.  From mirrors, that is.  I recently scored this old gold mirror (on far right) at a local antiques store.  The price was low because of a small chip in the gilding, but I love it that way.  I also love that the gilding is fading toward the bottom.

The dining room went from pink accents during Valentine season (posted here), to sky blue accents now.  A light touch of spring to come...

It is cheerful to see how much sunlight gets bounced around these mirrors, as well as the varied reflections of the cupboards and chandelier. 

I'll be sharing this vintage mirror at Vintage Inspiration Friday and figured the nest fits right into Feathered Nest Friday.  And who can resist candles at My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday?

Oh, and have you seen the latest issue of Jeanne D'Arc Living?  It is a special treat to receive one of these gorgeous issues around here, and this one was my Valentine's Day present.  It is absolutely breathtaking!!!  I love the spring colors infused into this issue.  My favorite article is about 'French Chic' style.  Scrumptious!  Here are some photos to take a peek:

Thanks so much to Roberta of Enchanted Treasures for prompt delivery, and putting a big smile on my face!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Attic Find and Spring Linens

What better way to spend the long weekend than enjoying ballet, movies & bowling with your kids?  We had a great time, and I also got to squeeze in some sprucing up in our main rooms.  The living room desk got a fresh (old) mirror on it.  I remembered (eureka!) that the mirror from my husband's bureau was in our attic.  We have a vintage pair of bureaus, and he doesn't want to use the mirror (despite how handsome he is).  Here it is in its' new setting...

I love the way the candles and statue of Madonna & Child are reflected.  The roses were a grocery store purchase today.  A bit bright for my usual light pink taste, but choices are slim this time of year.

The dining room is getting freshened up for spring as well.  Our home does not have a lot of closets, so linen storage is a challenge.  I figured these light tablecloths deserved to be seen and admired.  Just piling them on my white thrift store table really brightened up this corner.  Topping them are my paper roses from Angela Harris and a lavender sachet bag I tied together.

The spring sprucing of the dining room cupboard is a work in progress.  To be continued...

I'm joining in at Kathleen's White Wednesday to continually be amazed with what I see there from you bloggers!

Oh, and congratulations to all you talented bloggers featured in the fabulous new Flea Market Style magazine!  I am poring over my copy, full of inspiration!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Hours

What can a New England girl do to while away the evening hours this long winter?
Sit in this white living room...

or this comfy white bedroom chair...

knitting and reading...

while dreaming of these branches...

blossoming into this...

The branches shown above were taken from a rare azalea bush in our yard.  I captured their blossoms in photos last spring. 

Right now I'm reflecting on and looking forward to spring awakenings, while freshening up our space...

 Hope to see you at White Wednesday in the meantime. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Romance

My husband is grateful that I limited the Valentine decor to the dining room, and that the pink isn't OTT (over the top).  Just touches here and there...until I saw these gorgeous pink hydrangea stems at the grocery store!  I got them over a week ago but, sorry to report, they have since passed on.  At least I captured their glory in these photos taken last week on a rare sunny day.

Here is an expanded view of the buffet it sits on.  The mahogany finish represents a compromise between my husband and I.  He's not a huge fan of painted furniture, and I don't care much for wood finishes other than mahogany.  But we both loved the lines of this contemporary piece, as well as the silver details, when we got it 5 years ago.

Since I like to re-decorate seasonally (ok - sometimes more often), there were 2 screws in the wall above the buffet from previous artwork.  I've relocated the gorgeous vintage white mirror to this spot (and love it here), but am left with these 2 eyesores.  For the time being, I decided to hang a Valentine themed banner.  Decor inspired by ... procrastination!

Hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day with loved ones!

Linking to:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

White, Lavender and Knighthood

Hello fellow white lovers!  Thought I'd share a few random photos of white around our home this week as I link to Kathleen's White Wednesday.  I recently bought some lavender buds from Ebay for filling sachets, and decided to also purchase a bunch of lavender stems.  They perk the house up while we're waiting for spring. 

The article in the recent Somerset Life by Alice Wingerden inspired me to make some cone sachets with  fabric scraps on hand.

A recent order from PetiteMichelleLouise provided the lovely ribbons on the sachet.

This peaceful spot in our living room is a cozy place to sit, with it's proximity to the fireplace and pillow cover made from an old winter sweater:

Here's a favorite end table, found at an antique mall 12 years ago and perfectly shabby chic ever since.  I only had to add glass knobs to enhance its' charm.  Housing my collection of catalogs and magazines (and various misplaced toys) makes it functional, too. 

Our son loves anything to do with Knights.  He pores over books instructing one how to become a Knight, and loves to practice 'Defending the Faith'!  I thought these tags (also from PetiteMichelleLouise) would be perfect for him.  He's already signed the back of one with his gallant name.  Another tag is hung from this white tureen, reminding us of that noble era:

More Valentine tags...the lovely Marie Antoinette tag on the left was made by Rosemary of Ozma of Odds, included in a purchase of one of her gorgeous paper ex-voto lockets. 
I made the other two simple tags for Valentine's day:

Let's toast to romance, heraldry and nobility!  (and lavender!)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Favorite Photos

I want to thank you all for being so kind, visiting this humble new blog.  It's been a pleasure connecting with so many like-minded new friends.  I feel especially grateful for the little nudge I got from Michelle, of  PetiteMichelleLouise, when I was hesitant to start blogging.  After enjoying reading many blogs for a while, I was delighted to find hers & discover she's a local gal.  With such a beautiful blog and lovely Etsy shop, it was easy to start a conversation with Michelle.  And what a positive spirit!
With that positive spirit abounding here in blogland, I thought I'd link into Jeanne Oliver's "All Four Love" to share the blessings in my life.  Here are my favorite photos of our family, some taken just a mile away at the coast.  The first two photos are when our children were babies.  Oh, to turn back time...

My fellas, 2005

Our girl, 2008

Fall 2008
It seems ages ago that this last photo was taken, but it was only October 2010 at a nearby apple orchard.
This winter is LOOONG and I 'long' for green grass & apple picking again.

Well, it's been nice 'meeting' you!  I look forward to visiting via "All Four Love".
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