Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Pretty French desk!

Before I get to the latest french furniture acquisition, I want to 
give you a heads up on a terrific holiday tour, Style and Set, that I am in
along with a host of other design bloggers all this week.
My table will be shared on Thursday, and each day there are five 
or so tables being featured by the talented bloggers.
So if you are looking for ideas, or just love beautiful interiors and
tablescapes, don't miss this one! Link at end of post.
 Now to my exciting find....
It started off when I met a fellow blogger from North Carolina,
Shirley from Housepitality Designs.  Shirley and I have been blogging friends
for five years now, and she was in town with her hubby on a conference so we
met for a day of brunch and antique shopping! No perfect camera shots here,
just off the cuff shots taken by my hubs and myself. 
By the way, on her New England trip,
she happened to stay at the Charlotte Inn on Martha's Vineyard,
the prettiest and most elegant Inn in New England! 
( A personal fave!)
Check out her blog post about the Inn at the end of this post.
"Shirley, lets go antique shopping!" 
And into the fab Sowa Vintage Market we went.
 The first vendor had racks of great old coats 
and we went through them one by one while we chatted.
I am still thinking about that fun faux leopard coat that I didn't try on.  
I don't usually look at the clothes, 
but there were so many good vintage clothing vendors at Sowa.  
 At almost the last stall, I spotted this French Provincial writing desk
 with rush chair.  It was covered in large (ugly) statuary.
 I pointed it out to Shirley, and she started inspecting it.
The drawers were all lined in decorative paper and were tongue and groove and solid wood.
 Ok, lets get these things off the desk top to take a better look.  
The writing surface extends so that it is comfortable to sit and write. 
 The seat was solid and in great shape. 
 Pretty carvings on the front of the chair were just another reason to love it even more. 
And how about the wire cabinets and the tiny drawers in the desk caddy?
Where oh where could I find a place to put this in my house?
I walked away....but then I walked back.  We measured the desk.
I knew I could find a spot.  We left without it, me clutching a card with the 
measurements.  Shirley's husband found a vintage architectural desk lamp.
We had a ton of fun shopping and blabbing and connecting in real life 
from our respective blog world vantage points.  Its not often I meet my
blog friends in real life, but when I do, its like I have known them a long time!

Oh. And so I went home....
and measured.....
and called the vendor up.....
He is delivering the desk to me this week!!!
And then I will show you all where I will put it.
Even though I am not really sure yet.
(My mottto: Buy what you love when you see it!!)

Here is the fab holiday entertaining tour I am involved with this week,
starting with the oh so pretty table of organizer, Lory, of Designthusiasm.
Link up to check out the first few blogs, and I will be back on Thursday
with my home, right here!! 

Read about Shirley's stay at The Charlotte Inn here

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Potting Up Geraniums

The cold weather has begun in typical hit and miss fashion here in the Boston
area.  I had glorious pink geraniums in a wire planter outdoors, and thought why
not take them inside and see if they will last.  I remember my mom doing this, and she
potted up her outdoor geraniums in a large blue and white ceramic planter.  
She was always one for putting plants in containers, where I was used to putting things
directly into the ground.  And when winter arrived....that was it 'til next year.
Last fall she and dad sold their home on Martha's Vineyard and 
many of the day to day items, like pots and garden things, 
got parceled off to the kids.  
( I love that at my age I can still be called a kid. *wink*)
I ended up with a pair of terra cotta and white ceramic planters so
 I decided to bring in my geraniums like I recall mom doing.  
They are full of blooms and look incredibly pretty.  
However they are also very summery looking, and don't exactly mix with the 
pumpkins and fall garland I have about the house.  
How long can I have them with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up?
There were so many geraniums I had enough to put some in an old
vintage funeral basket.  I filled the bottoms with some pea stone as there is
no drainage, and I will try not to overwater.  They look so lovely, 
but with the holiday decor about to happen, its times like these 
that I think a green house or a conservatory would be ideal! 
 A modest sized one would be very nice indeed.  
I would be in heaven with something like this!
But I don't , and have no plans to create one.  Yet.
 If I could figure out a way to find an old one on Craigslist that has been disassembled 
and is looking for a new home, then maybe I could have a small conservatory...
In the mean time I have outdoor plants indoors, and I am trying to make them work.
I added little velvet pumpkins I made to this planter.  Pretty cute.
At first sign of lots of dropped leaves or yellowy brown stuff, these will have
to head out to the compost pile.  
Oh, and someone told me to cut my geraniums back to about a third of their growth.
That way they will come back fuller than ever.  
But they look full now and have tons of blooms~so can I wait to cutback?
Just enjoy for now, then toss?
Any of you gardeners have any input for me?
See how full they are?
Oh, yesterday I met a blogger pal and we went antiquing in Boston
at the Vintage Sowa Market.  
Guess what I found...a wonderful piece of french furniture!!! 
I will share all about that and the very fun time I had at
 this blogger meet up on my next post. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Perfect Rug

 Searching for the perfect rug?  Does "The Perfect Rug" even exist?
Buying rugs can be so frustrating that often I end up with no rug at all.
Like my dining room....I have had a naked floor in here for over three years now.
 How many times do we just pick out the best of what we see at a local retailer
 that will do the job, because we have to pull the house together for the holidays?
 That has been my situation, and when I was asked if I wanted to try 
out an online rug company to create a custom rug for my home, 
I was thrilled!  Of course I would love to get a new rug,
and if it is custom, then I can get The Perfect Rug!! 
The Perfect Rug is the name of the company
and they have an online rug shopping system that is incredibly easy.   
I checked out the types of carpet I was interested and ordered some samples. 
 Along with the rug samples, The Perfect Rug sent me some rug pad samples 
and some options for how I wanted to finish the border of the rug. Since my home
 has seagrass style carpeting in the living room I decided to focus on natural grasses 
and sisal for my dining room.  However I did include one sample of a synthetic with a 
modern pattern just to check it out and give myself more options.  
The Perfect Rug makes it easy by sending along a tip card that shows what size rugs 
can fit rooms based upon furniture layout and how to measure for the right size rug.
Included are border samples in several options, 
and on the back of the rug sample they advise the best option, 
but you can certainly pick out anything you think will look best.
Rug samples, border samples and padding samples are all included to 
make it easy to see what works best in the room. 
 I debated doing a custom runner for my stair case, 
but then figured since I am hosting Thanksgiving, 
it would be nice to get a new rug for the dining room.  
The other thing I found helpful was that The Perfect Rug rates the carpets according 
to how well they stand up to traffic.  That was a deciding factor for me~what with our dog
 and all the comings and goings through the dining room out to the
 courtyard through our newly added French Doors.  
And now, lets talk price!
The pricing is more than reasonable, which as you know, is always a consideration for my pocketbook when I am decorating.  They show a cost estimate on 
popular sizes like 5x7 and 8x10 for the carpets while you look online based
 upon the sample you are viewing.  That is super helpful.
There were gorgeous wools, sisal and natural seagrass, 
as well as a host of synthetics to choose from. 
You can select samples to view based upon color, style or material 
or all of the above and the online selector will show what there is, based upon your parameters.
My naked floors will be gone in a couple of weeks, and I will be back 
to show you which carpet I decided was the right fit for us!  
Most orders take two weeks to complete, which is simply amazing for a custom rug.  
So if you are in the same predicament, looking for the Perfect Rug, 
check out their website and order a few samples.  
Click here for your trip to The Perfect Rug.
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Note: This post is sponsored by The Perfect Rug, however all opinions and thoughts on this company are my own. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DIY Designer Pumpkins for a Holiday Table

We have all seen this lovely velvet pumpkins! 
 I really didn't want to pay $40 for one, 
and since I wanted a bunch of them, I decided to make my own.
I have seen them at HomeGoods for less than $10, but not in the colors I wanted.
So....here is how I made my velvet pumpkins.
There are lots of tutorials on the web about making these cute pumpkins, 
my tutorial is not entirely original, it's just what I found worked best.  
I knew I wanted purple velvet....and after looking at the fabric store and coming
up empty handed, I went straight to the local Salvation Army Thrift shop.
Tons of clothing on racks in every conceivable color, I found designer velvet
clothing from the likes of Talbots and Ann Taylor! 
So I guess I will call these my Designer Pumpkins.
This setting is a dry run for a Harvest dinner party, or even Thanksgiving.
I thought that these charming pumpkins would look pretty at each place
setting.  The purple color would look great with my purple transferware.
The list of essential pumpkin making ingredients are shown above.  
Velvet Fabric ( I got mine from a large clothing thrift shop, but look online or in fabric shops).
Pumpkin Stems (Found mine at a farmstand. Ask if you can harvest stems from their rotten pile!)
Another idea is to use wine corks for stems or driftwood or sticks from the yard.
Rice, Fiberfill Stuffing, Button Thread (heavier and stronger than normal thread) and glue gun.
Cut circles for the pumpkin body. 
The finished size will be half the size of your circle.
 I used a bowl to cut my fabric out of the sweatshirt I found at the thrift shop. 
 Leave your perfection tendencies to the side, your circle just has to be cut, but not perfect!
 Then double a length of thread about 20" long and knot the end. 
Next do the running stitch around the edge of the circle.  
A running stitch is just the basic up and down kind of close together.
 Pull it tightly as you go, gathering the circle. 
 Nearing the end, leave an opening for the filling. 
Do not cut the needle and thread off yet.  You will need to stitch it shut after filling.
 For a ten inch circle, I got a 5" pumpkin.
 I poured roughly 1/2 to 3/4 cup of rice into the pumpkin.
Then I topped the rice with fiberfill and pulled the opening close and stitched it shut. 
 Grab the glue gun and zap a blob of glue onto the bottom of the stem and position
 it over the opening and press down for about two minutes, giving it time to dry and attach. 
Tiny or large, the tutorial is the same. 
 Bear in mind that the stem should
be in proportion to the body of the pumpkin.  
I am even making some tiny acorns in the same purple velvet!  
And remember my toile chair?
I made some out of the chair fabric and one out of green gingham for our living room.
It is going to be the holidays before we know it!  My mailbox is filling up with
holiday mags, and there is one special edition magazine in the supermarkets right 
now that I just picked up by Better Homes and Gardens.  I will freely admit I 
bought it because my pal Matthew Mead has a huge how to create WREATHS feature
inside.....but when I got it home and read it from cover to cover I thought to myself,
this is one of the BEST holiday mags I have read in awhile!!! So jsut passing that 
tidbit along incase you want some great holiday decorating inspiration.
There are crafts and how-tos, but also lots of GORGEOUS homes all decked out!
In the meantime I will be happily working on my table decor as well as the entire room to pull together a festive Thanksgiving table....and then it will be onto Christmas!

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

French Labels: an easy DIY transfer method

Creating a custom look for your candles and glass containers is what this post is about today.
I had a lovely lantern and some flameless candles that I wanted to customize.  After discovering an easy tutorial, I just had to share with my readers how very simple this idea actually is.  I love easy methods with great results! The method is known as "transfer" because you transfer an image onto something else.
 1. Print Your Graphics
What is really cool about this method, is that you don't need anything special to do it.
Visit the Graphics Fairy (link at end) to find a label or graphic you want to use and then print it out on a laser printer (not ink jet). You need basic packing tape, in clear cellophane.  I used ordinary weight tape, not heavy duty as the tutorial I found suggested, and my results were great.
2. Put packing tape over your graphic
After you print your graphic label, put a piece of packing tape over it, placing it onto the paper as smoothly as you can.
3. Burnish your label/graphic
A strip of the tape was applied right over this label. (I printed out labels that would fit on the 3" wide packing tape.  But you can print out bigger sizes and just apply several strips of tape.)  Then, using a wooden spoon, rub over the graphics with good pressure, so that the tape is smooth and that the graphic will "transfer" easily.
4. Cut out your labels
5. Soak your label/graphic
In a bowl of hot water, soak the labels for 2-3 minutes.
6. Rub paper off the label
The white paper will easily rub off with your fingers.  You can put back in the water to remove more paper until you get it all off.  Any white paper left behind will transfer onto the surface.  For example, a white candle might not show it, but clear glass will, so try to remove all the white paper.
 7.  Dry the labels
Lay them sticky tape side up to air dry on a flat surface. Make sure they do not overlap or they will stick to each other and you will have to start over (Like I did. Grrrr.)

8. Apply the labels
When the label/tape is dry, the stickiness of the tape magically returns!  Apply the label decal to anything you want.  I loved the effect of putting it on the glass lantern.
 The candles with the labels look so good!
 Imagine the possibilities~you can personalize weddings or birthdays or other events in addition to just creating pretty home decor.  You can make labels and decorative graphics for so many things!
I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial.
Visit Graphics Fairy for labels here.
View the Packing Tape Transfer tutorial  I found here. You will see other great options for transferring with this easy method.

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