06 March 2017

Master Update

It has not been quite a year since I participated in ORC.  Late last spring, I decorated this room on a six week time table and a budget. At that time, I used some items that I had until I could acquire what I wanted. Since then, I have made a few inexpensive changes to the "master" bedroom. One of them is the perfect pillow purchase.

I think I've told you that I have an obsession with pillows. I almost always have. I attribute the want to many siblings, and the fact that pillows always seemed to disappear. Today, I can never have too many pillows; so much so, that I really should close my eyes when I walk by a display. 

I am particularly attracted to the detail and perfection of handmade pillows. Thus, while I was recently shopping locally, I did not avoid the display, and purchased this enchanting, handmade pillow for the home. I am obsessed, and I brought this pillow home, not really knowing where it was going! My daughter spotted it as I brought it in, and after she scolded me, she said, "try it on your bed." Well she was right. And, I was right; there was a place for it, so there it stays, because it pulls the room together. 

It was locally handmade from vintage French cloth and a French bag. 
(She does not have a website.)

It also looks nice with the art I have in this room: western women outdoors, and you can see a partial reflection of one in the antique mirror. 
The cross was found years ago, and I was told it was from Ethiopia.
The Madonna was a Mother's Day gift from my daughter.

The curtains on the bed are from Ikea (lace) and P B (linen) and the windows are (P B).

As you can see, it is a really small room. There is bureau on one side and armoire on the other, and a chest in front of the bed that can't be seen in these photos, and a chair in the corner. Except for the quilted linen shams from P B, the bed linens and shams were made by a Portuguese company . 

Madeline and Francis are in the chair in front of my daughter's portrait.

Up soon... the garden... and
soon...The Madhatter Library... Last year when I did ORC, it ended up being two rooms.
I changed my library, because we switched a library piece with a bedroom piece, which required some changes as well. We went from dark to light in the bedroom and light to dark in the library. I never showed the transformation and inexpensive changes made to the library over the course of ORC.

And if you missed them... the recent changes in the living room

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28 February 2017

Changes in the Living Room

 For awhile now, I've wanted a French sofa, but I could not justify new or the cost, because of the pets. I even had my dream sofa on an open tab on my computer for a month! But about a week ago, while wandering around at a monthly vintage marketplace, I spotted this piece! Actually, I only got inside the door, before I spotted the one.  It was similar to the new reproduction I loved online, but a bit more detailed. Though not new and worn on the wood in a couple of spots, it was newly upholstered in natural linen on the back and a creamy white linen on the inside. But I couldn't decide! I don't like to make spur of the moment purchases, so I went home, however I kept thinking about it, so I returned to measure. In the end, it cost about 1/5 of a new one!  We set up the living room, but I still have to repaint.  That's not a crack on the wall! It's dirt and pencil, but it was covered by what was there before. :)

The mirror is an antique that my spouse gave me for Christmas. Before I had a shutter mirror, but everyone kept walking into it, so I put it away for now.

It's a small living room open to dining, and partially open to the kitchen. The new pieces work nicely in scale and color with the other rooms and porch. This canape sofa is 79 inches, so ten inches shorter than the previous one, but the same amount of seating, because it does not have rolled arms. Since it is also not as tall and slightly curved, it opens up the room and compliments the grand piano curves.  I tucked in a quilt to protect it from our pets.

We love old things, but we also love new. We went fanciful with a small table for drinks. My daughter and I like it, because it looks like an awning or a macaroon. There was an ottoman here, but it was large, and we could not walk around it easily, so this opens the room.

The basket hanging on the wall is just an old wicker basket for holding tossed paper from the desk.
Over the years, many things have been collected. Some things were acquired new, some things are second hand, and somethings that were purchased were handmade.

Underneath the piano, we keep this miniature. 
                            The remainder of the photos show how the rooms work together. 

If you pin, please link back to my blog, because the photos are not watermarked.

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23 February 2017


I've been noticeably absent from here these past months, but when life takes me away from writing here, one hobby remains a constant. It's gardening.  

When we moved here four and a half years ago, the yard was dirt and tons of concrete and brick in every form with rusted aluminum fencing on one side, a wall in front of another wall, and a hand poured concrete patio that was higher than the porch. I made so many phone calls, but we could not give it away.  You would not believe how many times I paid someone to haul a pile to the dump. With weight restrictions and cost, it was taking forever. It was the man that built the walls, that told us about a demolition guy.  Demolition came and gave an estimate, and it was hauled away the next day. The best part was he could lift the remaining patio with his bobcat.  My spouse had spent hours busting it up with a sledge hammer. But that is in the past.

Now our yard is a beautiful sanctuary brimming with flowers and fruit trees. 

The peach trees are blooming.

The last of the Meyer lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and mandarins have been picked. My spouse made Meyer lemon marmalade. I used one jar of the marmalade to make lemon chicken.

The tomatoes are amazing this year, though this is a photo of ones from last summer. My five year old niece picked these, and then lined them up.  I think the tomato plants that I planted in the fall may carry over until June, because they are giant and still blooming. We had a lot of rain and few consecutive cold nights, so they did not get injured by frost.

Thai basil is a favorite. It makes the most beautiful purple leaves and flowers.

There are always garden flowers for making bouquets, at least a few times per week.

It's wonderful to grow your own flowers, because they only need love and sunshine.

I have been making a few changes to living room.  The first thing I did, was move the chest and chairs behind the current sofa to this wall.  The mirror was a vintage find.  The white shutter one was put away for now, because too many people have walked into it, and fortunately, no injuries.  We also found an amazing, antique sofa in a vintage shop! But for comparison, I have to show you the new one I eyed, but could never justify due to the cost (though it looked worth it), three toy dogs, and educational expenses. Wow! This was a fortunate find. But my spouse has been gone for the week, so I'm not sure when we will get to it. 

Thank you for visiting. One can usually find us at Instagram

If you pin, please link back to my blog. Thank you. I have not had time to water mark.


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Shabby Art Boutique

08 February 2017


It has been a few years now since we remodeled the kitchen, but one of the significant design choices was the copper sink.  It was selected for several reasons, but one was the color.  

Even though this is a small older home, the living spaces are connected and partially open, so I wanted the kitchen's colors of creamy whites and grays to relate to the dining room's and the living room's white and wood finishes. As you can see, these large bookcases pick up the copper shade. On the other hand, the almost white table in the foreground and the other off white pieces in the dining room is how we selected the cabinet finishes.

This dining table also picks up the copper color, but the chairs pick up the kitchen cabinets' color.

And  best of all, everyone who visits says Lucy goes with the decor.  
(She is our rescue cat, and she came to live 
with us at fifteen years old.)

The sink was just one choice of many choices made when designing this kitchen, but an important one, that contributed to creating three spaces with an harmonious feel on a holistic level. 

All photos are mine, so if pinned please link back.

10 January 2017

Welcome 2017

My daughter recently reawakened me to carnation joy. 
Their fresh scent and flouncy tutus make us smile.
Trim the stems and place in a bucket.

Also, there is nothing that a little string of fairy lights can't cheer up in the darker days of winter.

This arrangement reminds us to make more adventures this year.

And macaroons and thai basil are good for you... just because...

We visit the local shops and sometimes we bring home cookies.

I work in the garden finishing the autumn garden, and while preparing the spring garden, 
I cut flowers. We are also picking citrus now from our six trees, so that means fresh organic fruit.

I wish you peace this New Year.

Take time to smell the flowers...

And enjoy the little things... 

A happy and blessed New Year to all of you dear friends and readers.

All the photos are mine, so if you re pin please link back. 
Thank you.