Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whites and Wonderful Friends

Happy White Wednesday!  I thought I'd share a recent update to a shelf in our living room, as well as gratitude I feel for wonderful connections in blogland.  I won my first amazing spring giveaway from Lisa of Suburban Retreat, and was the recipient of a lovely 'Pay It Forward' gift from Judy of French Laundry!  I was also glad to hear from the recipients of my 'Pay It Forward' gifts that enjoyed receiving them.
It has been such a blessing to join this community of supportive bloggers.  Thank you ladies!

Here is a display change I made to our living room shelf.  This etched mirror was hiding in our basement.  A stamp on the back reads '1939', the year our house was built.  There are chips in the mirror (taped & hidden behind the flowers), but I love the vintage look of it.

 The beautiful tags hung over the shelf are made by talented Rosemary of Ozma of Odds blog:

I nestled the lavender sachet I received from Judy of French Laundry on the shelf.  It arrived wrapped in this pretty toile ribbon:

I am very grateful to have found such kind friends via blogging.  
And I also want to give a shout out to a dear college friend of mine who is having a birthday today - Happy Birthday my dear Mary!! 
My fellas are also celebrating birthdays this week, so there is a lot to feel blessed about.  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

French Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal - Part 2

Continuing with my last post, here are some more peeks into our French-inspired kitchen.  Thanks to all of you sweet ladies who commented on the previous post.  You know how to make a girl smile! 

I wanted to show another option for our iron chair seat covers.  I had used up a remnant of vintage fabric from Brimfield Flea Market to make these seat covers a while ago.  They will be useful when the monogrammed covers (see previous post) are being washed:

Here is the view of the kitchen as you enter from the dining room.  I had wondered if the wood trim over the sink might seem too cottage/cutesy, but now I appreciate it for its' originality to the home.  Sometimes you have to live with things for a while...


I like to corral every day items in easy reach on the counter:

Pretty jars & bottle on the window, thrift store finds for under $1:

I painted this towel hook white - easy update.  There was enough scrap fabric from sewing the tablecloth to make this simple valance for the window: 

We recently removed all the hats and gloves from on top of this radiator.  Ahhhh...spring is here.

Although I'm reluctant to show our unattractive stove & microwave in a photo, I wanted to share this adorable built-in shelf unit.  We think it used to be storage for an ironing board, and shelves were added along the way.  The cotton and burlap ruffled skirt was used in a previous project and now hides unsightly storage:

Thank you for taking the 're-use & update' kitchen tour!  I'll be sharing with Debra's Vintage Inspiration Friday party, as well as Courtney's Feathered Nest Friday party.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

French Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal - Part 1

Hello fellow francophiles!  Here is the promised post about our kitchen updates, French Farmhouse style.  I kept the changes simple and low-cost.  We had the floors & granite counter installed 5 years ago, and the cabinets are original, so no major changes were necessary.  Purging, rearranging, painting and sewing were the main tasks to accomplish. 
So here it is!

In the far left corner I placed an existing chrome shelf unit we already had.  Behind it is hung an old German grain sack.  I filled the shelves with pretty dishes (mostly white), towels and baskets.

The table and chairs were painted white (see this post to view 'before').  I used a flat paint finish, but will be changing it to glossy to reflect light better.  I sewed the tablecloth out of toile fabric last year and made the runner a few months ago (see this post). 

Petit dejeuner anyone?

A while back I had embroidered 6 plain white napkins with a Fleur-de-Lys symbol.  Someone in the house made a comment that they also resemble rockets.  Hmmmmm...

Using some scrap ticking fabric, I sewed this pretty towel inspired by a similar one spotted in the Pottery Barn catalog.

My favorite updates are the two seat covers I made for the iron chairs.  Our children always sit in the same seat each morning, so I personalized them with embroidered monograms.  They also got 'striped' with fabric paint.  

The chalkboard on our basement door beckons spring:

Hope you enjoyed Part 1 of the kitchen updates tour.  Next post I'll share more from the room, and another option for seat covers.  Linking to White Wednesday today.
Bon Appetit!  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Little Spring Touches

Spring is in the air!  For Debra's Vintage Inspiration Friday, I thought I'd share some vintage & new treasures that lighten and brighten our home.
Here is a cherished chalkware Infant of Prague statue presiding over a lovely vintage platter from the French Bleu Vintage store.

Some pale blue vase pebbles that I picked up at the craft store rest softly in this glass container:

I'm often drawn to china at thrift stores, but am particular about what comes home with me.  These lovely blue flowered plates will look pretty on our outside patio table come spring:

This Limoges platter was a great find, and perfect for serving pastries:

I was fortunate to also come across this white serving basket.  It will come in handy for Easter.  All of these items came from my favorite local thrift store at bargain prices:

I'll be sure to post about my first spring party using these pieces.  Counting the days...
Also to come...a 'reveal' post about our updated kitchen.  I'm using items we have on hand, some transformed with paint, as well as handmade fabric touches to put together a French Farmhouse feel. 
My husband appreciates the no-cost approach.  :)
Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ballet Slipper Ties

If you've seen the latest issue of Jeanne D'Arc Living (I posted about it here), you know that pink ballet slippers are a favorite prop in many of the articles.  I have a bit of a ballet theme going on in my daughter's room (will be posted later), and was lucky to find a pair of vintage slippers on Etsy to use for her room.
In addition, I've always wanted to attach a seat cushion to a chair with the lovely ballet-inspired ties.
The desk chair in our living room beckoned for this change...

(delicate pink scarf from Target!)

I sewed a simple seat cushion for this vintage chair to cover the tan caning and make it a bit more comfortable for seating.  I embellished with tiny little ruffles and long ties for the back legs, attaching them ballet slipper style.

The pink ballet slippers will find their way into my daughter's room eventually, but for now I set up a 'French Chic' styled display inspired by JDL.  The vintage silver-plated pedestal was a recent thrift store find, which I topped with pretty ribbons and a ceramic rose. 

The display adds a lighter touch to this corner of the living room. 
I'll be sharing the new white cushion at White Wednesday this week. 
Hope to see you there amongst all the dreamy white lovelies!
Also sharing the pink ballet slippers & scarf at Pink Saturday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Last Year's Eggs Still Fresh

Hello fellow spring enthusiasts!  For the White Wednesday link party, I'm sharing some eggs I made last year which were inspired by a spring issue of Jeanne D'Arc Living.  Figured they are still 'fresh' for this year, so they found their way into my dining room cabinet with all the whites.
(I've amended this post to clarify that these eggs are not real, but made from those plastic eggs for kids.  I painted & decoupaged them).
I'm having fun seeing all the spring transformations in your homes!

I thought I'd place my lovely Madonna statue near a plate with a crown, as she is often adorned with one.

And if you'd like to receive something similar to these....

....see my previous post to join in on the 'Pay It Forward' fun.  Please see the rules, then feel free to comment if you'd like to join.  Some of the initial comments are from lovely ladies already participating elsewhere, so I haven't reached 5 participants yet.
Happy White Wednesday!

Pay It Forward to Blogland - 2011

I've recently seen a lovely idea in blogland - "Pay It Forward".  After reading about the idea in Michelle's blog, I scooted over to French Laundry, where talented Judy is also participating.  It's a great way to reach out to old and new blog friends and share the limitless creativity out there. 
Here is how it works:

The first 5 people who comment on this blog post will receive a handmade gift from me, Susan of 'Evelyn and Rose'.
In return, you must first leave a blog post explaining 'Pay It Forward 2011'.   Then ... send a handmade gift to your first 5 visitors who leave a comment.
Take your time...you don't need to send them all out today or tomorrow. 
Gifts from the heart are worth the wait!  (I agree with Michelle's sentiments!).

"It's not the size of the gift that matters, but the spirit of paying it forward." 

I'm so excited, as this will be my first opportunity to send a gift your way.  I hope you enjoy 'paying it forward', too!
UPDATE: I've amended this post to share a photo of some recent items I've made for my French Farmhouse kitchen updates.  This way you can have an idea of a possible gift, since I'm still a bit new to blogland.
Ticking striped kitchen towel with ruffle (just like PB's), seat cover with monogram (maybe I'll do a personalized kitchen towel?), or burlap runner with ruffles:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tulips Surprise

Over the weekend, I was surprised by my fellas with a bouquet of gorgeous tulips!  They headed out to visit the library, which turned out to be closed.  These two thoughtful guys decided to pick up lunch and flowers to bring home.  I loved the big smiles on my guys' faces as they presented the tulips even more than I loved receiving them. 
The spring sprucing of the rooms is still a work in progress, as my brain is visualizing all sorts of ideas, but I thought I'd share this quick room pick-me-up with the tulips.  The latest Jeanne D'Arc Living magazine is so full of inspiration, I can't help but attempt a little 'French Chic' style in my rooms.  Hope you enjoy!
I'm linking to Jennifer Rizzo's spring party today, and looking forward to seeing more spring views over there.

More tulips in glass soda bottles, and pink candles to match:

Red tulips in a rustic pitcher fit right into the kitchen:

Have a good week!

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