Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrating Grey Day Thursday and Blue Skies In Heaven Today

Happy Grey Day! I just want to share a few things for the Grey Day before Valentine's Day. I'll start with this lovely "Amour" pillow I found at an estate sale this fall. I had been saving it for February, but now that it's out I think I'm going to use it in my bedroom year round. So shabby-French.

Did you know that the English definition of Amour in Webster's dictionary is "a secret or illicit love affair?" I didn't. I always just thought it meant "love." But, it is taken from old English, amour, which means "to love." I think this is how most people think of it, or simply as it is in French, where it means "love" or "love at first sight."

 Vintage silver plate? Amour, in the French sense! I think it adds a touch of vintage romance wherever it is and I never pass it up on junking excursions. I display a lot of it on my corner cabinet in my dining room. With the addition of a few little things I easily created a Valentine vignette. I used these vintage game pieces as a fun alternative to scrabble tiles, and a couple of other little treasures. Amour!

Decorating is my passion, and blogging about it is also a type of art therapy in times of sorrow. In closing I would like to pay respects to someone I loved dearly. Although it should be a "grey day" for my family, it is actually a day of rejoicing. My sweet, 86 year old Grandfather passed away early this morning and he is in Heaven today! No grey skies there! We will miss him so, but he is finally free from Alzheimer's Disease and health issues that were the result of many years of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being a prisoner of war in World War II, where he fought bravely for our country. He is finally at peace and receiving his Heavenly rewards for his service to the Lord as well!
Here he is, so young and handsome.

I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day. Be sure to celebrate it with all those you love and remember loves who have gone on before.


Linking up:Grey Day Thursday!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentine Touches

Good February morning everyone! Just last night I completed a long post in keeping with the "love" theme for this week called, "Creating Cottage Romance." I really hope you'll take a look! Lots of romantic ideas there. I think I'll wait until next weekend's parties to link it up though, and today I'll go ahead and get a proper Valentine's Day post for this week.

 It's easy to work in Valentine touches since I have a lot of romantic shabby decor anyway. I keep my winter decorations out all through February, so I have just added a few little Valentine touches here and there.
 It was simple to tweak my junky chic Christmas tree for Valentine's Day. I removed any Christmas-themed ornaments after Christmas and just kept snow and winter things on it, along with vintage lace, ribbon and tulle garlands. The tree already had romantic decorations such as old clocks and vintage keys too. Last week I added the shabby hand made Valentine hearts which are in my etsy shop.(Click here to see the post:( have sold two of them already so I think I'll make some more tonight since it looks like we are going to be snowed in again!

My dearest friend Stephanie sent me this old postcard last year. She knows how I adore all things vintage.
xoxo Steph!

Last summer I found the old card table cloth. I knew it would be perfect for Valentine's day, but couldn't find anywhere to display it this year so it became my tree skirt for the Valentine tree. The rusty old leather skate fits right in with this snowy February too.

For my topper I just cut out an old Valentine card I have had forever in my craft stash, and glued it to a lace paper heart. I think the cost of materials for this topper may total a whole quarter. I love simple home made Valentines like this. It reminds me of decorating my Valentine boxes for school with my Mommy each year.
Oh and I am crazy about this picture with the baby and arrow...a little cupid! It was a $6 estate sale find and my favorite Valentine's day decoration. I created a really mismatched vignette here, but it's fun. One of my hand sewn hearts is displayed in an old rusty bed spring, alongside some other treasures. I like to include a couple of vintage Shiny-Brite bulbs for Valentine's Day too. And why the Scottie? I collect vintage Scottish Terrier figurines and planters, and this one just looked Valentines-ish, being white with the red collar. Also, our dear little black Scottie, Findlay, passed away earlier this month and our white wheaten Scottie, Bonnibelle, has truly been a comfort during our loss. She is so sweet and loving, truly a Valentine of mine!
Here she was my Christmas girl.

Last year I was really sick in February, and I didn't get my Valentine's Day post up until March. So in case you missed it, I will leave you with a few pictures of  the Valentine treasure box I created inside an old machinist box. Thanks for stopping by!


Happy Valentine's Day!

linking up to:
Be Inspired Common Ground
Be Inspired Elizabeth and Co.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Creating Cottage Romance

Did that title get your attention? Sorry, no ideas for steamy Valentine's dates here! Nevertheless, I have decided to do a post dedicated to romancing the home for Valentine's Day. Today we will be spending a lot of time in my bedroom, which some of you may recognize from my Romantic Cottage Bedroom Reveal post. What better time to talk about creating cottage romance than Valentine's Day week?
As the numbers of my Pinterest boards continue to grow and my interests in decorating, design, and crafting broaden, I have been pondering my style.  I have many different loves and elements of Shabby Chic, Farmhouse, Primitive, Romantic Prairie, French Country, Traditional English, Nordic, Modern Country, Industrial and Victorian, and many of my beloved treasures, furniture pieces and vignettes fall somewhere in between. I call my style "Junky Chic," due to my love of junk and creating chic looks for less. However, my unifying element is overall vintage, and as I was thinking of my home and looking around, I realized I simply have a love of all things beautiful- I am a romantic at heart.
Regardless of styles and trends, I can never say goodbye to my lovlies and creating that romantic, ethereal feeling is as important as the cozy cottage homespun feeling I also love. I have often dreamily perused  the pages of Romantic Homes Magazine for inspiration. I recognize so many kindred spirits there.
                                                                So much beauty...sigh...

 I am sure many of you feel the same about mixing elements to create a home that is a reflection of things you love most. To me, finding new ways to display items of the past and loving them, thinking about the people who may have used them before, and dreaming of all these things is what being a romantic is all about.

I created a Pinterest board called "Blancophilia," due to my obsession with fondness for of all things vintage and white, and I am so lucky to have the bedroom of my dreams. We built our bedroom out of an unfinished attic, so we were able to create the quaint cottage look we wanted with bead board, board and batten, and painted white pine floors. All of the furniture and accessories for our bedroom were second hand finds. I really love this room! It's so easy to create cottage romance when using whites. I like to keep my husband's likes and the family's needs in mind when decorating the whole house, so I reserve most of the really romantic looks for the bedroom which he doesn't seem to mind too much either.

The sun was shining today, the first time in several weeks of snow, rain and ice, and it created a wonderful ambience just barely slipping in through the blinds.

I have always felt that layering lots of vintage textiles creates a romantic, vintage cottage feeling. I use two antique chenille blankets on my bed and cover a long bench at the foot of the bed with a vintage matelasse bedspread. My husband created the headboard from an old flea market door. It's one of my favorite things.

Layering beautiful clothing items like lacy prairie gowns, knitted scarves, shawls, leather gloves with delicate pearl beads and linens also creates a romantic cottage feeling.

In my last post I showed you my recent table makeovers, where once again I was reminded to never underestimate the power of paint, but when it comes to creating cottage romance, never underestimate the power of lighting either! I use little Christmas lights and primitive light sets all over the house year round. They always create the softest ambient lighting and cast lovely shadows. I wanted so badly to have a fireplace when we built the new attic bedroom but there was no way to do it. Because it is an attic room, space was limited, so I settled for this vintage stove painted white and filled with white lights. I love the reflection on the wall, almost lace-like in appearance.

I do have a tip when it comes to using light sets--- Never use LED lights if you want to create a soft, vintage glow. The lights are too bright, almost blue.

And of course, there are always candles burning. Always, always always.
And momentos from travels, like these shells and sand from one of our favorite beach vacations.

To me, romance isn't always about the love between two people. Sometimes its the dream, the dream of beautiful things, places, people, and maybe the hope of a romance for someone waiting to find that special someone.  I dream of France, and the flea markets there, where romantic treasures call my name!

Anything French always seems to add cottage romance.

When I think of a romantic cottage, trunks, travel cases and stacked luggages come to mind. They evoke that same nostalgic feeling of romance, of travel to exotic and beautiful places, of a special rendevous...

Dress forms and mannequins decked in vintage clothing, wedding dresses and jewelry and baubles reminds one of a more beautiful, romantic era in fashion.

 I display the top of my wedding suit in our bedroom instead of packing it way in storage. I love displaying pearls all around the cottage, but especially on this mannequin. I don't obsess over having them lay just perfect. I prefer some things to look perfectly imperfect, as real life is never perfect, but beautiful nonetheless.

More layers of jewlery, junk, lace, vintage yarn, chippy mirrors...vintage romance.

Everything here is dear to my heart. Many items were handmade by me using vintage treasures from my grandmother's attic. Some items are gifts, some are special junkin' finds. Using sentimental items creates cottage romance.

The use of vintage sheet music, silver jewelry boxes, perfume in beautiful bottles, vintage cameos, pearls, hankies and rhinestones can always create a romantic vignette.

Silver plate and vintage bling...let me count the ways how I love thee...
I look for romance in the smallest details, especially when selecting vintage jewelry, such as the ones shown here: a brooch depicting a scene of courting lovers, a lovely rose, a fair lady in a beautiful hat, interspersed  with pearls, rhinestones, and vintage stones of all kinds. Tiny dried carnations from a sentimental gift bouquet add more romance. Of course, no romantic cottage is complete without flowers, whether fresh, dried or pressed, silk or handmade. Back in the fall I showed you how I used an old salvaged architectural porch piece as a ladder for displaying dried flowers:Architectural Salvage Ladder

I used to be completely opposed to silks, but with a little creativity they can be beautiful too.
I created this bouquet using vintage brooches, hankies, lace and pearls from the flea market and estate sales.
I think it is very romantic! I wish brooch bouquets would have been "the thing" 13 years ago when we got married.

I have a thing for vintage toiletries and containers featuring beautiful old floral graphics too. 

 A mirrored vanity tray full of vintage jewelry, perfume decanters, vintage compacts, and embellished bottles is a quintessential romantic look.

                Roses are a must, whether fresh in a vase, in pictures, on teacups or jewelry. Roses are cottage, and roses are simply romantic!

And of course, you can never have too much vintage lace in a romantic cottage.

Forgo a traditional window treatment and drape vintage romantic laces and pearls over a shabby rod instead.

Well friends, I hate to come to an abrupt halt, but I just realized this post is getting long and I could probably do a whole series on creating romantic vignettes! I have mainly focused on our bedroom tonight and there's lots more to show. Maybe I will do a follow up or two focusing on other rooms in the cottage.

Sweet winter night dreams of cottage romance to you!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fabby-Shabby Table Makeovers

Happy Sunday! Boy am I on a roll...three days of posts in a row!  The creative juices have really been flowing lately. Just yesterday I showed you my shabby Valentine hearts which you can see here: Shabby Valentine Hearts. Today's is just a quick post to show you some new pieces I've added to my booth.

I found a couple of little tables and a coffee table in need of some shabby-French TLC. Using homemade chalk paint and masking tape I transformed them into real beauties. I had to get them out of my house ASAP or else they were going to end up here for good!

I started with this table. I loved it from the start, especially the curved ends and the carvings. (Sorry for the poor pictures. I originally hadn't really planned to blog about these tables but they turned out better than I expected).
My husband wasn't crazy about it and thought it was boring and tried to talk me out of buying it. I agreed that it was boring, but it would be fabulous. In the end he agreed, I was right, and he was wrong. I will say that again! He admitted, I was right, he was wrong. He loved it! Ahhhh, sweet victory...
Before and After

Oh, I can't be too hard on him! He is a great partner in junk and without his help I couldn't do any of my projects. He mixes the paint, carries things in and out for me, fixes wobbly legs, etc. basically, he does all the hard part and I play. 

 I am in love with it! I am still into grain stripes and probably will be for a couple of more years at least. Also, I've been so into gray lately and wanted to do something with gray but decorating trends in our area are always slow to catch on, and I knew I would do better with painting it white if I wanted a quick sell. As for myself, I plan to start slapping gray on everything soon!

I really, really want to keep this table... but alas, it's in my booth. It's sort of rule I try to follow, to put things in my booth that I can use if they don't sell, that way I win either way.

I also redid two little tables. I had bought them for the specific purpose of redoing them, but I have been feeling so awful that I almost gave them away because the thought of any painting was too daunting. At first I took them into my booth as they were, but they just clashed with everything so I brought them home with the intention of taking them to consignment to try to get my money back. Then I found the coffee table and decided to wait til one of my "good days" and see if I could knock all three pieces out at one time. Turns out they were all pretty quick and easy and I only was down and out for the next day after painting, and I enjoyed working on them so it was worth it.

I decided to do a soft teal French grain stripe on one, and then I got the hair brained idea to do the chevron. Now this was a real pain since I didn't have a stencil. I taped all those zig-zags with masking tape. But it turned out beautifully and the tables make a chic pair.

"NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PAINT!" How many times do we bloggers and crafters say that? No matter how many pieces I do, it never ceases to amazes me what a little paint and shabby finishing techniques can do.

If you are anywhere near Eastern Kentucky and you are interested in these tables, I can try to help you arrange a pick up. If you haven't already, you should plan a trip to visit The Catlettsburg Antique mall in downtown Catlettsburg, KY. The store is packed with vintage treasures. You are sure to find something special! If you are interested in the tables just send me a message. 

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Shabby Altered Valentine Hearts

Okay I have had enough of hoarding antique laces, vintage ephemera, dolls, trinkets and junky treasures for a rainy day. A snowy day, or two, or three, and several days of Pinterest and blog inspiration was all it took to finally send me over the edge. I decided to just do it. I just had to make SOMETHING!

I didn't use a pattern, I didn't lay anything out. And just like when I direct musicals and have to make up choreography or come up with costumes on the spot, I always do my best work when I don't think things over too much.When inspiration hits and I just go with the flow, things just magically come together.

So here is what I have been working on for the past week. And now, I am addicted! I can't stop sewing hearts! Luckily I have finished them in time for Valentine's day too. To sell or not to sell?

 I am selling most of them so if you like them, let me know, before I change my mind...

Using some of my oldest and most delicate laces and fabrics from an estate sale of items mostly from 1890-1950, I came up with these glorious hearts. Each one is unique and hand sewn. Sewing is not my "thing" (yet) but I deliberately gave each of them a primitive look with a few little mistakes and zig-zaggy lines here and there. Each is embellished with some kind of vintage junk treasure. I know many of you will "feel" my excitement over these hearts because they are just full of so much vintage love.

 Each heart has a very mild, "homespun" cinnamon-spice fragrance (non-toxic).

I am really addicted to these hearts, but I think I am going to experiment with some sachet pillows as well. 

Some of the lace was cut from a rotting wedding gown that was about to be tossed out...GASPS! We vintage junkaholics never allow old lace to be disgarded!

This one is my absolute favorite. Definitely not selling it. I am not sure, but my husband and I debated whether or not the triangular crocheted lace piece covering the front was actually antique underwear. I cut the back off for use on another heart. It sure did look like it. I don't care what it was originally. It is absolutely gorgeous and deserves to be seen, not hidden under 4 petticoats!

This one turned out great too. I particularly love the shape, and those old watch pieces...timeless!
Sold! To Rita, blogger at Panalopy. Thanks Rita!

This really was a "use what you have" creation. I have been hoarding some vintage bride and groom cake toppers for a couple of years knowing that someday I would figure out what to do with them. Well, I still haven't figured out what to do with all of them but I thought this fellow would be perfect tucked in the little lace pocket. Isn't he charming??? I am way too excited about this one!  Pure Junk Love.

I know it's hard not to copy be inspired by ideas from Pinterest and all of the other wonderful bloggers and artists out there, but I really hope no one uses my "charming groom" heart idea. I am always flattered when my blogs inspire, but I am sure many of you understand what it is like to have your ideas copied without proper acknowledgement. Am I whining here? It's especially disheartening when those ideas end up in a magazine a year after you have blogged or pinned an original idea! I guess it's just risk any artist takes when we put our work "out there." I certainly didn't come up with the idea to make altered hearts on my own and  I have pinned many beautiful, inspiring ideas on my "Be My Valentine" Pinterest board too. There is a link on my sidebar if you'd like to follow.

I really love this one too, especially those soft pink hearts and little feather, maybe a little leftover bit from cupid's wings?

If you like my hearts, be sure to check out another very talented blogger over at Vintage Dragonfly. JoAnne is always inspiring me with her creations. I love all of her altered art, and especially her latest white Valentine heart. She was actually my very first blog friend and helped me learn how to link up to my first blog party. Thanks Jo Anne!

With the exception of the "underwear heart," I am going to be selling each of these in my Etsy shop. I am asking $20.00 plus $5 shipping. A lot of time, love and vintage goodies went into each heart. I hope you LOVE them! I am going to make more soon too!

Happy February!

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