Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This and That Before Christmas

Christmas is really sneaking up on me this year.  Thankfully, I finished the shopping last weekend.
Last night we had a thunderstorm with a little hail.  The wind began to howl this morning around 4:00 am, and by dawn there was a fluffy layer of snow on the ground.
This year I put my vintage-style teddy bear next to the fireplace with the little sled I scored dumpster diving after a garage sale a few years ago.  The homeowner said his wife was having a hard time parting with it. 
He said this as he was pushing it into my hands.
I made Teddy's little black and white vest last year.  No pattern, just a lot of pinning.  Let me tell you, it's a very custom fit.  The little vest helped me discover how much I like using black and white with my holiday decorating. 
I scored a complete nativity scene at a Goodwill two years ago.  I mean complete.  Holy family, angel, wise men, shepherds, sheep, camels, you name it.  Needless to say, it's huge.  This year, I just displayed Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  Originally, they were cream-colored with antiquing in all the crevices.  It wasn't a flattering finish, so I spray painted them Heirloom White.
Notice the black and white again?
I kept things pretty simple in the dining room this year.
I just tucked wintery things here and there.
I bet I overlook something when I put everything away in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Powder Room Reveal

I kid you not, as soon as I hit "post" on the ruffled tea towel mini-tutorial, my husband called up the stairs, "I see we now have a guest towel."


If you've been following me since the beginning, you may recall that I re-did our powder room a few years ago. It even was featured on Better After, and Lindsey mocked the sunflower border.  Here was the before-before.

Yikes! That was some really awful wallpaper!  It had to go, but I had a pretty small budget for a re-do.
I spray-painted the 90s light fixture ORB, switched the light shades to something more contemporary, and spruced up the dated oak mirror. The walls were painted SW Meditation, and it was supposed to be soothing, but with no windows, it was pretty dark in there.  Taking pictures with my trusty old point and shoot camera I was using back then didn't help matters either.

The moody blue was an improvement over all that green, but a couple of years later, I was getting restless.  And I kind of missed the green, just not that early 90s green.
It's a small space, a five-foot square with nine foot ceilings and no windows.  I felt I could afford to be a little bold with the wall color, so I tried SW Canary this time.
I scored a new mirror at ReStore, and glued scroll brackets that I stained to match the floating shelf over the toilet.  I think the brackets make the shelf look more substantial without adding too much heaviness.  The lantern is a Nell Hills find from months ago.  It was one of those things that I had to have, but then I didn't know what to do with it once I got it home.
This is a twenty-five square foot room with two doors since the laundry is just off the room.  Floor space is precious, but I found this darling étagère at Goodwill to tuck in the corner.
I repainted in August, but I decided to wait until Christmastime for the reveal.  It's just so cheerful in there now.  I love this darling miniature winking Santa mug.  He's so tiny that he gets lost in other rooms, but he fits right in here.
I think it qualifies as vintage since my grandmother painted it about 50 years ago.  She signed it, but it's not dated.  I should ask her if she remembers making it.
The ceramic pinch pot on the left isn't quite vintage yet.  I made it about 25 years ago when I was a kid in school.  Another quarter of a century won't make it as darling as little winky Santa!
I'm linking up...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Put a Ruffle On It

I'm usually not the sort of person who would buy a guest towel.  My husband says, "You would never buy a guest wrench!  'Don't use that wrench!  That's the good wrench!'"

But I saw this tea towel at Hobby Lobby, and it was too cute to pass up.

As cute as it was, it was missing that little something extra, like a ruffle!

I cut a strip of fabric 8 inches wide and 36 inches long, folded it in half the long way, and stitched.  I turned it inside out and pressed it flat.

Next, I took a lot of pins and began creating the pleated ruffle with a lot of trial and error on the spacing.  "The King's Speech" is avaible for streaming on Netflix right now, so I pleated and pinned and re-pinned and re-pinned while watching Colin Firth.

Let me tell you, it's not a bad way to spend the evening!

When I was satisfied with the pleats, I stitched the ruffled to the towel, removing the pins as I sewed.  Don't stitch over the pins!

And the end results...

I'm linking up...
The Shabby Creek Cottage
At the Picket Fence
Funky Junk Interiors

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nell Hills Knock-Off

As soon as I saw this on display at Mary Carol Garrity's open house, I knew I could replicate it.

And here's mine:

Lucky for me, I found a decent wreath at my favorite thrift store.  Otherwise I tried to use what I had on hand.  However, I wish I had some of those long pine needles.  I'm on the look out for those.

See those moss balls?  You can see how I made them here.
I'm happy to be able to enjoy my little statue during Christmas.
I'm linking up...

Friday, December 7, 2012


The hearth room is one of my favorite rooms.  Too small to be a family room, it's really a waste of space, but it's a cozy waste of space.

Mornings and evenings are my favorite times of day in here. 

It's the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee.  Since the room is small, I keep decorating to a minimum.  I gave up on keeping the silver compote dish polished and just enjoy its dull patina.

I think I prefer its tarnished imperfection over shiny elegance.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Adventure

I'm trying something new.  I've rented a booth at a local flea market.

Actually, it's half a booth.  I'm starting small to see how it goes.

It's a bit of handmade, a bit of vintage, and a bit of housewares.  If you live in the Kansas City area, check out out Tallgrass Design in person at A Place in Time.

A Place in Time
207 W. Dennis Ave.
Olathe, KS 66061

Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another Christmas Vignette

Do you have your Christmas decorating finished?
I have most of the house decorated for Christmas.  I'm still tweaking here and there.  Now, don't ask me about Christmas shopping because I haven't even started yet!
When it comes to holiday decorating, I like to focus on winter rather than Christmas so I don't feel pressure to take it all down immediately after Christmas Day.  The trees, garland, and lights come down by New Years Day, but I'll enjoy the vignettes for a little longer.

I fashioned a tray table out of a cabinet door last winter.  Being near the front door, it's great for creating seasonal vignettes.

One of the things I purchased at the Nell Hills open house last month was this deer.  I loved his patina, and he is heavy!

Isn't he a regal fellow?

As I was driving back home after the open house, I stopped at my favorite local antique store where I found this great copper vessel.

It's not really an antique.  How do I know?  It's stamped Pottery Barn at the bottom. 
I'm really loving this lantern I fashioned out of an old light fixture.  If you wonder if you can mix metals, the answer is yes.  Bronze deer, copper bucket, soft gold lantern get along nicely here.
I had promised myself last Christmas that I wasn't going to spend another year with those dark green walls. It really limits the palatte at Christmas. Maybe in 2013 I'll get around to re-doing this room.

I'm linking up...
Savvy Southern Style
Funky Junk Interiors

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Vignette

I love putting together seasonal vignettes.  There's something satisfying about taking what I already have and rearranging them in new places.

As I mentioned in the last post, I found a fabulous chest of drawers at ReStore. The price was right, probably because the top was cracked.   For now, I'm hiding the crack with a large tray.

I always manage to buy too many floral picks, so I always have leftovers from my projects, so I tucked a few spares in a jade plant.

Some of our solar lights stopped working this summer, but the crackle glass globes make pretty decorations.

I'm really in no hurry to make the repair to the cracked top now.

Do you love creating tabletop vignettes too?

I'm linking up...
Savvy Southern Style
Handy Man, Crafty Woman

Monday, November 26, 2012

Antique Chest of Drawers

Did you ever find something fantatic and you bought it even though you didn't know where you will put it?

That's what happened when I found this antique chest of drawers at ReStore.

While it was a great price, I wasn't sure what my husband would think of it, so I took a picture with my phone, and practically danced around it while I waited for a response from him.  There was no way I was going to walk away from this beauty.

He approved.  Smart fellow.

I love the grape cluster pulls, the spindle details, and that amazing patina of worn wood.

The top has a large crack down the middle, which has been poorly repaired so it was priced accordingly.  Some day I'll either pull the top off and repair it properly or replace it with a piece of marble.  For now, I set a large tray on it for seasonal vignettes.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


True to my word, we were up early the next morning ready to leave Aix en Provence to board the train to Nice.  After dealing with a series of unfortunate events the day before, I was ready for some relaxing time on the beach.

The beach at Nice is made up pebbles and small rocks.  I loved the sound it made when the water retreated with each wave, kind of like a rain stick.  When the sun was out, the water was a brilliant teal.  And when the sun began to set, the coastline turned to gold.  Gorgeous!

The next morning we returned to the beach for breakfast.  Our time is France was dwindling quickly, so we're making the most of every hour left. 

Do we have to go home?

I wish I had a good photo of the twilight sky that evening with its deepening blue.  Imagine Van Gogh's "Starry Night Over the Rhone."

It's breath taking, and I can't help but whisper, "Vincent, I see it, your glowing blue evening sky." 

But I was able to get a great shot of this cathedral.  Wow!

We spent our last day exploring the market and shops of old Nice for gifts to take home.  And eating a lot of ice cream.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge in re-living our trip.