Thursday, August 8, 2019

Fancy Pink Nursery for my French Dollhouse


 A beautiful French crib for the nursery in the dollhouse arrived.
One can make things, buy things and also rehab things for their dollhouse, and 
I do a combination of those things.  This crib is from the Bespaq miniature furniture 
company and they make very fine furniture and some is quite grand.
I wanted a royal and fancy feminine crib and so
 I hunted on eBay and Etsy until I found this sweet crib! 
I added the gingham bedskirt, which coordinates with the pink
gingham rug I made out of fabric on my ink jet printer. 
And baby got her own fireplace as well, which is really pretty,
but apparently I didn't take a good photo of it. Next time!
 Take a look at what I started with in this third floor space.
The aged walls were there, and next I painted the ceiling pink to go with
the pink bathroom, which is through the door in the next room.  I made 
the floral chest out of an unfinished wood bombe chest I already had.
Essentially its cutting out a paper print of a flower pattern that I found online.
First I painted the chest in a pink color close to the paper, then I used 
mod podge in matte finish to affix it to the wooden chest. 
The floors were covered in a paper print made to look like white painted wood planks.
The gingham rug layered on top of that, with the pretty crib sitting on the rug.
It all looked so cute together and I was quite pleased!  
 The walls were already made to look old. 
 I stamped a rose pattern in pink over the 
antiqued plaster walls to give it a faded hand painted look.
A cute little box with a vintage baby was a
 printable dollhouse accessory that I made. 
 Its the most darling room in my Petite Maison!
There will be more accessories to add to the nursery.
 I even have a fancy highchair, but that may go in the kitchen....
I hope you enjoyed seeing the latest addition to my French dollhouse.
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Monday, August 5, 2019

Blueberry picking, pie and antiquing at the cottage


 Our lake cottage is still a place we don't use very often because there
is no electricity or running water....but there is a beautiful lake 
with blueberry bushes. We visit most every weekend and our son
noticed the branches were loaded with ripe tiny blueberries.
It was a cool day for summer, so swimming wasn't at the top of our list.
We got right to picking blueberries so we could make a pie.
These are what are referred to as high bush blueberries. They are way up off
the ground, and our "bushes" are so old that they are like thin gnarly trees.
 Our cups were filling quickly as the three of us happily picked away.
 They are tinier in size than most of the cultivated varieties you
get in the supermarket. We needed five cups to make one pie.

The next day I looked for recipes and found a good one at Sally's Baking Addiction Blog.
"Simply the Best Blueberry Pie' recipe, used a cute method to make the top crust using 
cookie cutters.  Sally used stars while I used a vintage heart shaped cutter for the top crust.


 Since we had less than the six cups the recipe called for, I used a smaller
quiche style dish instead of a larger pie dish. 
Finish the crust with an egg wash and into the oven.
Absolutely glorious!! 
Served with Brigham's Vanilla ice-cream, this is 
a very rare summer time treat!
While we were at the lake, I visited my favorite antique shop in Northwood, NH.
Parker French Antiques, which has two shops, side by side. 
I took some phone pics and shared on my Instagram stories.
 The marvelous painted trunk was still sitting there. It may be overpriced, as it 
would have come home with me long ago....
 A set of 4 botanicals in a blue and white fabric matte caught my eye.
 The lower level of the shop has a zillion pieces of artwork, many originals.
 This old French Trumeau style mirror with a tinted print at the top and a delicate gilded
frame with a lot of detail was very pretty and dirt cheap.

 Our 17 year old son loves fishing and he had never heard of creel baskets. Even Reeve has begun
fishing with her dad and mom and she caught her first fish this week!
 These baskets are used by decorators for lodge homes in the
 mountains and by lakes and are sought after in good condition.
The smaller basket has a leather strap and buckle in the shape of a fish head. 
I might have to back and get it and stick it under the Christmas tree!

"An angler's creel is designed to function as an evaporative cooler when lined with moss
and dipped into the creek to keep the catch chilled.  Caught fish are inserted through a slot
in the top which is held in place by a small leather strap. " Wikipedia

Fancy chairs mixed in with old rugs and anything one can imagine.
A very old lawn sprinkler in the shape of a tractor. This thing will roll along as it waters
the grass.  Just a bunch of cool old stuff. I love looking at old things.
 Antiquing has always fascinated me as I love the beauty that antiques and vintage items
have that modern day housewares and home goods do not. 
 If you are curious about the cottage and the land that surrounds it, it is not very pretty.
After suffering tremendous tree loss and having to remove many trees and dig up stumps and 
cut them into logs and haul away, the yard is barren except along the shore area. The snakes of hay
protect the water from silt run off into the water.   We hope to be able to build next year, but for now
we will enjoy what it has to offer.  
Piper has discovered how to swim without being spastic.  She used 
to flop around gulping water but now is perfecting an elegant dog paddle
 and really enjoys getting in the water. She is standing in a cove that was created when
a stump of a giant tree was ripped out of the ground!  
Thats the latest from our little slice of heaven by the lake.



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Friday, August 2, 2019

A Quick Tip!

This is a quick tip for my blog subscribers! 
That would be YOU
if you get my Maison Decor blog in your email box.
When it arrives and you open your email, it looks like this:



Now take one second before you read the blog story and click 
on the title.  I put a little arrow where to click on to show you above.

Look!!
Magically you will get to see my blog story in the framework of the entire blog!
Why do this?  
Because you get to see the stories on the side of the blog story, called 'the sidebar". 
Things I put on the sidebar are popular links to posts you may have missed or want to reference again. Easy Reupholstering, my home feature in Country Home Magazine, a link to view all the decorating videos I have made with Matthew Mead, the "Topics" section where you can click on any "topic" to visit all the stories I have written about that particular topic, like "French Country", "dollhouse", Cottage Style,  Christmas Decor, etc.

And if you are not a subscriber, you will also find the sign up email box on the sidebar,
in addition to the BEST FEATURE of all: the "search this blog box" 
which lets you search all the years of my blog post stories 
if you are looking to read something of particular interest to YOU!

You will also see the top portion of my blog which includes a link to touring my home with pictures of all of the rooms. So be sure to click on the title of the blog story when it comes in your email box.
The sidebar also has a Blogroll featuring other blogs that I love to read and its handy to jump over
to my favorite blogs to read more stories about decorating and other lifestyle interests.
Overall it is simply a prettier way to experience Maison Decor, with the artwork that frames the posts
and extra goodies for you, my dear reader. 
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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Romantic Medicine Cabinet Makeover and favorite Self Tanner

                                   Our master bathroom has an antique French style. 
Created by adjusting things such as the colors of the cabinets and doors, 
adding appliqués and gilding to the closet doors, using vintage  
 hooked rugs and old style chandeliers which I painted gold and enhanced with 
aqua crystals and lastly replacing the laminate counters with marble.
This pretty photo (above) was from the Romantic Country photo shoot
 with Fifi O'Neil two years ago.
Fifi loves to add more, more, more to a space!
She hung jewelry from my towel rack and set pretty towels 
in the wire wall mounted shelf rack. 
 In reality many of my daily toiletries sat on the counter.
As in real life, things are often pretty.
It was actually very cluttered and messy looking.  
But now it looks like this!
 I found an old glass door wall cabinet
created a vintage version of a medicine cabinet to store things.
Of course the cabinet was anything but pretty when I found it.
 I envisioned it in romantic gold and aqua. 
Our bathroom has gold accents which give it a rich old European look.
  I'm back in the swing of rehabbing things with the most beautiful new paint!
This post contains Affiliate links for your shopping convenience.
 Click to read my full disclosure policy.

Jolie Paint is made in the USA and is zero VOC. Yes!
  The colors are absolutely gorgeous!


The wall cabinet was painted in Bliss
 (a green/blue shown top of left column in the Jolie color card).

 I highlighted it with their gold metal leaf and gold gilding wax 
to return it to it's Florentine glory.  Using metal leaf is so simple!  
Jolie has a step by step guide which is flawless, even for a beginner. 
 It made all the difference in my project.
Simply paint a liquid adhesive called "Gold Size" on the 
areas you want to be covered in the gold metal leaf.  
After a few minutes rub sections of the whisper thin sheets of
metal leaf over the adhesive.
Use a stiff but soft brush to remove the excess bits of leaf to reveal the 
highlighted gold leafed areas. 
 It is so amazingly simple!! And soooo glorious looking!
I sanded down the cabinet lightly to soften the feel and give it 
a bit of an aged and distressed effect.
The cabinet had decorative trellis like grooves at the top pediment 
which I highlighted with a tiny artist brush using the Jolie Gold Gilding Wax. 
(One could also have applied the Gold Size in these grooves,
 followed by the metal leaf, but I decided to use
the gilding wax and was happy with the finished look. ) 
Summer Palace by Laura Ashley wallpaper was next,
applied with some tacky spray adhesive on the back wall.
 When the glass doors are closed, it looks extra pretty!
This project only took me two hours to complete.
The Jolie paint and gold leaf adhesive dry so quickly!
 And that self tanner I recently discovered?  
Sublime Bronze by L'Oreal  
These days I never suntan, and haven't for years to keep
skin damage and wrinkles at bay.  However I still have to put on a bathing
suit when we go to the lake cottage, and this stuff is really a miracle of sorts.
 One application is enough to banish the white pasty skin look, 
and two applications have you looking like you just returned 
from two weeks in Monte Carlo and the French Riviera!  
I love how the new "medicine" cabinet looks and functions.
Take a second look around your bathroom and see what simple changes you 
can make to give it a romantic European look.  Changing out the very things
that are already there can be simple using Jolie Paint and Metal Leaf.
Leave me a note if you have tried it, or are planning to.
 I would love to hear about your project!

My blog readers will get 20% off of orders over $200 using this link below.
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You will LOVE their paints and enhancements for making over
your furniture and home accessories and creating something beautiful!


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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Antique Wall Cabinets and Gingham Dollhouse Roof



Picking up where we left off on our last visit, I mentioned I had
rehabbed two vintage wall cabinets for the house. And I am pretty sure 
I talked about my Gypsy picker who carries the cool stuff I love.
 This is the photo she sent me showing me the cabinet 
and the Florentine chest of drawers.
Was I interested?
Um....no doubt about it! Of course I was!!
The wall cabinet was a bit dilapidated, with flaking red interior paint and a 
thick coat of gold paint that was bubbling right off the surface.
She told me it had been left out in the rain once or twice....
no matter to me, I knew I could "restore" it so it retained its
old world glamour.  Mind you these paint issues were not the original
paint that had started deconstructing, they were paint jobs applied
by either my Gypsy girl or a previous owner. 
 I scraped off the failing paint to reveal the gesso undercoat that all of these Italian pieces
have.  A huge wall mirror that was hung on this wall was promptly taken down and 
the sadly worn arch top cabinet was hauled into the room. 
 YES!!! I was in LOVE.
 A coat of Jolie's Paint in Swedish Grey 
was applied over the sides, top and door surround,
to cover up the gaudy hardware store gold paint. 
 To keep the old vintage look, I left
the rest of the exterior as is, even the exposed gesso bits. 
The interior was painted with Jolie's Eucalyptus (a grey green)
to hide the red and done so in a scrappy fashion so some of the white undercoat
was still visible so it wouldn't look like a freshly painted piece. 
After hanging it, it clearly still looked too new. 
It needed to be aged so a coat of clear finishing wax
mixed with a bit of dark wax did the trick.
 The old Italian/French cabinet had much to love about it.
The colors look beautiful with the Bosphorous Toile fabric 
on my chair.
 This is "my spot" in our living room. The old bench holds 
all the books and magazines I am reading at any given time.
 Less is more when filling up a wall cabinet.
Some art I have had for 20 years took the top shelf,
alabaster bird baths took the center shelf, and the books I brought 
home from Versailles from an old book store share the bottom shelf 
with my peg legged lamb.
Ahhh the grillwork with the pretty florettes!

Definition of Florette:
  1.  A small flower 
  2. The mythological Roman goddess of flowers  

 The broken arch top of the wall cabinet mimics the 
secretary which also has a broken arch pediment. The
room is coming along nicely, with the updates in furniture
and colors.  We are in love with that squishy lilac sofa!
And lastly, here is quick shot of the only dollhouse work done lately.
Reeve's little cottage got a blue gingham fabric roof.  Which made me 
think, why can't real houses have pretty roofs like this?
Next I will add the gingerbread trim to the gables and possibly install
the staircase.  She is a bit rough with the house, so I decided not 
to go to the trouble of glueing on one million cedar shingles only
to have her pick them off one by one. In the end it came out quite cute.
I decoupaged the fabric on with ModPodge and when it dried I lightly
sanded it to give it a soft feeling.  Next up will be the last item I
got from my Gypsy girl....which I turned into the most fabulous
medicine cabinet for my bathroom!

Maison Decor readers will get 20% off orders over $200
using this link: INF-AMYMAISONDECOR


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