Friday, October 21, 2011

~repurposed treasure~

Sometimes when I'm out treasure hunting I might find a treasure and know it will be good for something, just not sure yet what that might be....

Other times I see something and know immediately how I want to use it : this was one of those "other" times. I found this unusual tarnished silver vessel sitting on a shelf and well, I love unusual containers, they are great for flowers and staging vignettes and filling with all kinds of lovelies.

I especially like vintage silver with a simple monogram, this one has a large "K" on the front.

Nice shapely handles

I filled it with a big bunch of baby's breath and popped it on my mantel. It looks more springy than fall to be honest, but hey, the sun was shining up north so why not!!

How do you like to use unusual vessels?

linking up to Feathered Nest Friday
 Frugal Friday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday


Thursday, October 13, 2011

~autumn in my home~

Growing up in Africa we had two seasons : summer and winter, with maybe a rainy season thrown in! So one of the things I really appreciate about living in North America are the colors and fragrances of fall, or autumn as I prefer to call it {it just sounds so much more descriptive, don't you think?}

Decorating with pumpkins was definitely a novel idea our first autumn in Canada! We might occasionally have eaten roasted pumpkin in Africa, but we certainly never got to display them in our homes!

Canadian Thanksgiving kinda snuck up fast this year {it was this past weekend} and so my autumn decorating is fairly minimal. I had my eye on white pumpkins this year, but they're not that easy to find around here...

This one is actually fake {shhhh}, but it's a great size, I got it to use in my booth at Fieldstone Market, now it has a home on my little chippy vintage chair in the front hallway.

I kept my mantel pretty simple, I love these white pumpkins with orange stripes, they're just the right size for a mantel, I'm thinking a mini garland strung on the mirror perhaps?

I did find a couple tiny whiteish pumpkins which I've tucked in here and there...

Outside on the porch I put up my {rather sad} fall wreath,
definitely due for a wreath makeover, the challenge is when it rains {often} this door gets very, very wet

a couple of gourds and a sugar pie pumpkin, which was promptly given some or other name by the kids. Why do they insist on naming their pumpkins, it makes it so much harder to actually carve them up!

One year I got minature pumpkins for all the cousins and we decorated them with googly eyes and hair and so on, it was a lot of fun. We definitely didn't carve them up, it's like they became part of the family!

Anyway, I digress, the porch : the boys asked when we were getting pumpkins for the stairs, like we always do etc.etc. So off we went and picked out more fat orange pumpkins.
I chose this guy, I like things that are a little different from the norm:-) Isn't he/she (nameless) a wonderful shape? I don't name my pumpkin.

The boys each picked out a big fat round pumpkin, my only criteria being they had to have a stalk and actually sit on the ground. It took a while, we inspected oh, maybe three hundred pumpkins before making our final choices!

We'd barely got them home when my youngest came rushing out the door clutching a sharpie and various knives all set to carve his pumpkin...

WHOA!!! slow down, let's just enjoy the pumpkins for a while (we're not into the halloween thing but they do like to carve their pumpkins)

I was given a bag of apples that weren't good to eat, so they made it to the front porch too. What is more "autumnish" than an enamelware bowl full of apples, especially when they have a leaf or two still attached.

So that's it for my autumn decorating so far, I like to think it's minimal but meaningful! Hope you're having fun with your decorating too! For a summer gal I find I'm quite enjoying the fall this year ~ all the gorgeous colors of the leaves and yummy fall goodies that get cooked up in my kitchen. But that's another post all by itself!

Happy autumn!

Monday, October 3, 2011

~my other two cents on chalk paint and little provence nightstand~

i love furniture with shapely legs and that french provencale look

so i couldn't wait to get my paintbrush to this cutie-patootie

almost forgot the before photo
~almost, but not quite!~

gave it a dust and wipe down, then set to work
i did lightly sand a couple of spots on top where the paint was starting to peel off, for a smoother finish
and yes, you guessed correctly, Annie Sloan's "provence" chalk paint

so if you read my earlier post on chalk paint here, now you'll get my {long overdue} opinion after using it on multiple pieces
i debated lightening the paint up a little with some old white, but decided to use it as is

 i simply ~adore~ this color

the first coat went on kinda streaky, and i was thinking, okay, we're looking at 3-4 coats here
but once that first coat dried, and i applied the second coat, the coverage was perfect
~yes, i was impressed~

buffed it up with a coat of clear wax

and an old t-shirt

here i ran into a bit of trouble, i left it overnight before buffing and the finish was kinda streaky...

after LOTS of buffing it came right and i love how it turned out
here it is at market shortly before it went to it's new home
sometimes it's hard to let go

as many other bloggers have commented, perhaps the most appealing quality of this paint is the time it saves prior to painting
{you still have to do the sanding/waxing steps afterwards}

in my world i don't have hours and days to devote to projects and painting
sometimes i wish it did, but i just don't
so when i can grab an hour here and there and get right to the painting -without having to sand and prime first-
that's HUGE!!!

{apple green vintage storage box, gave it a wash of old white, heavily sanded and stencilled}

so here's my verdict on Annie Sloan's chalk paint:

~ no sanding
~no priming
~saves lots of time and mess
~dries relatively quickly
~sands easily {messy!}
~looks fab waxed up
~easy clean up

~pricey, especially if you don't have a local supplier and have to pay shipping
~most of the pieces i've worked on {chairs, benches) have needed a third coat for good coverage

pine bench before

and after
 painted with paris gray, washed with old white, sanded and stencilled

so will I continue to use it?

especially now it was recently released in pure white, and I haven't even played around with mixing colors yet...

before I go, take a peek at a couple more projects I recently painted with ASCP

"goldilock's chair"


and after in old white

yes, i get a little carried away when i fire up the mouse

stencilled "paris" and sanded it down to show wear and tear

rustic garden bench in paris gray, love how numbers transform just about anything!

kiddies chairs in provence
{did i mention i'm in love with this color?}
hope you enjoyed seeing some of my projects

Carrie at The Passionate Home is now carrying ASCP, yay!!

linking to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Take-a-Look Tuesday


Sunday, October 2, 2011

~french grainsack style pillow~

I made up some french grainsack style pillows for a recent market

and they were such fun I just kept going!

~so now I'm listing a couple in my etsy store~

don't you love my vintage wire shopping cart, one day I'd like to make a pretty liner for it

anyways, back to the pillows, they have
barn red stripes front and back and a french graphic in black on the front

side ties, just because that's how I pictured them made up

they're a nice heavier weight fabric

$25 including the 12x16" insert

available at my raggygirl etsy store

i love them so much i'm keeping one for myself!!


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