Friday, August 31, 2012

Wonderful White

Long before Rachel Ashwell knew, our grand parents knew.  White paint makes just about anything wonderful.  Its starkness accentuates decorative details and it makes everything new and clean!!
 This sweet magazine table is charming with its new coat of paint ... and now it is ready for flea.o.logy, where it will fetch far more than it would have in its original brown paint.
The piece to the right was in need of some help when I got it.  It had sweet moldings and appliques, but was obviously missing feet.  Not really sure whether it was a radio cabinet or an ice box, I found the brown set of feet and with some adapting by my dh managed to marry them, happily, I might add.

Here is the cabinet after we helped it 'get back on its feet' (sorry couldn't resist) with a new coat of antique white paint to unite them. We had also added bead board to the back, which was missing entirely, making it more functional. A bit of 'distressing' and it will make the perfect night stand or side table for someone who appreciate shabby or cottage style ... again, headed for flea.o.logy.
This sweet and practical three drawer chest was one of those 'do it yourself' pine pieces that people purchased unfinished in the 1970's and finished to match their decor ... excepting that this one was never finished .... until today.

So here is a grouping, including a sweet old farm table that got a lovely coat of white paint as well, all joining other goodies for flea.o.logy this Saturday.  Check back in a few days for pictures of flea market fun and finds!! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Altered Couture Christening Dress

This is the christening dress I made this week.  My daughter wanted to use meaningful elements and managed to gather some fabric and trims that have special meanings for her.

Above are the elements before they became part of the dress.  The fabric is from my daughter's high school graduation gown (Her college graduation gown was blue), it is a light weight synthetic crepe.  The lacy baby dress to the left, is the one my daughter was blessed in 26 years ago, I used a piece of the white ribbon from it for a bow on the bodice of the new blessing dress.  The pearl buttons shown above on the green bag were donated by her mother-in-law and are from her wedding dress.  She also purchased some lace and lace/pearl trim.

 This is the back view of the dress.
Well, it was a fun reinvention!! Or should I call it upstyled ... or perhaps 'altered couture'.  Whatever we call it, I am sure it will be adorable on our sweet baby girl!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Picnic Basket to Planter!

So, yesterday I was putting together the final details for my garden house.  I had asked my husband to build the planter shelves on each side of the door  and then headed off to Walmart for the planters and plants.  Not real sure what I was thinking, its the end of August in Utah ... there were no planters, there were no plants, other than fall mums that were not quite in full bloom .... oops, came home with a couple of red mums and sat them on the shelves ... "pathetic".

So when I went into work the next day I started looking around at the antique mall for "rectangular things that could become planters" on my cool plant shelves ... I found this, I am sorry to say, ugly metal picnic basket in my own stock, and then another similar one in another dealer's booth.

I knew I wanted them the same color as the door, but worried about latex paint on metal outdoors.  I also new I wouldn't be able to find the right color of green spray paint ...  In the end I sprayed them with a flat white, knowing it would stick to the finish and that latex paint would stick to the 'flat' spray paint.  Next I brushed on the same paint I had used on the door and spandral.  Then I sprayed them with clear spray paint to protect the finish and planted them with the mums and the plants from a shaggy end of season hanging basket I got on closeout at my favorite local nursery, Olson's Garden Shoppe.

They ended up giving me just the pop of color that I wanted along with an added bit of whimsy!!  What a fun and funky makeover!

And here they are as they appear on the garden house.  Thanks for coming along, if you are interested in seeing more pics of the interior of the garden house take a look at my Garden House Reveal post.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Garden Cottage Reveal!

Thank you dear friends for sticking by me during this eternal project.  I so appreciate your encouraging words, but I have to admit it feels funny to be done with a project that has consumed me for three months.

Above is the front view of our garden cottage.  To the left is the side view.  It shows how six different windows come together to fill this part of the side wall, there are another four windows behind the rose bush. 

The planter shelves on either side of the door were a last minute brainchild.  I bought the corbels at a time when I was thinking the garden structure would be a gazebo.  I love them and have used some to support shelves in my house.  You may have noted two of them at roof level in the first photo.  I decided at the last minute that window boxes would be charming, but then thought that shelves could support planters, and I could use more of my corbels, so here they are!

 This is the view on the opposite wall when you first walk in the cottage.
To the right is the same view with the back windows open (for ventilation) and with the loft ladder in its down position.

Here we are looking up into the loft from the floor.
And this is the loft from the top of the ladder.

 Add a comfy wicker chair to curl up and read a good book!
And a little table and chairs to enjoy your breakfast, with a good friend, or a good book!

The chandelier is awaiting shades ....

In the picture to the left you can see the loft ladder in its up position on the left upper corner.

Each of the window side walls have one window that is hinged and drops to the outside to allow for a cooling breeze.  The picture above shows the window in its open position.
In staying with my literary theme for the cottage (and garden) I brought in a volume of Jane Austen's books and one of her biographies as well.

This antique yard long picture shows cameo shots of several famous American authors ... I mean, I love so many British authors, that it only fair that the Americans get equal time, right?

I even have this statue of a fairy engrossed in a good book, to add charm and set the mood.

 It will be a multiple use space for sleepovers, garden parties, snuggling with a good book on a rainy afternoon, evenings chatting with friends, and even the growing of seedlings in the early spring with the help of an electric fireplace that will be placed on a thermostat to keep temps above freezing ... I can almost taste those home grown tomatoes right now.
Thanks again for sharing the creation of my cottage.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Literary Garden Sign Post!

I have been immersed in my garden and garden house this summer, though the gardening part has been mainly dreaming...  The garden house is DONE!!  The big reveal will be tomorrow!  In the mean time I have been dreaming up ideas to give a literary bent to my garden as well as to my garden house.  This literary reference multi sign post "occurred" over the weekend.

I even included a board with the name of the garden house on it, and made sure that it points directly to the garden house.  "Chawton Cottage" was Jane Austen's home for most of her writing career.

Of course the little rabbit with his pocket watch is right out of Wonderland, note the sign board above.  Not sure just how many literary reference statuary pieces I am going to be able to run across, but I loved him!!

And I was so tickled when I went out to take pics of the signboards, and there was a rainbow, in honor of the Emerald City sign board (above), I must assume!!
Gathering the odd boards, with old paint wasn't too hard since I am an antique dealer who always tucks away interesting bits for 'someday' ... well this past weekend was someday, I guess!

I used lots of methods to letter the signs, so they would look like they had been placed at the cross roads by various persons.  I used decoupaging of a whole sign image, and also of cut out letters, stamping, a few were hand lettered in different styles, I embellished stamped letters on one sign to make them look different, stenciled one sign, and even added a running rabbit from Graphics Fairy to my Watershipdown sign.

Check out the top picture again, it shows all 10 boards, can you figure out the book that each sign refers to?  Two of the signs refer to the home of a famous author, but the other eight are fictional sites from favorite books!
And don't forget to come back tomorrow for my garden house revel!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Original Paintings Exhibit

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
- Theodore Dreiser
Can I just say, to begin, that I have always been fascinated with art.  Among my first memories are being taught to draw a stylized woman's figure when I was about 5, my teacher was a mentally handicapped 10 year old.  I never forgot that magic.  Because of this love, and the professional artists I have had the honor of knowing, I  have come to love original art.  I have never had the deep pockets required to be a patron of the arts, but I have always had the desire.  Thus, I have collected a very few, and mostly anonymous works of original art, and I would like to share them with you.


This lovely study of white roses in green and white was a score at a yard sale at the time I was collecting antique  Sunday artist rose paintings. I cannot tell you how my heart stopped when I saw it, priced at $25!!  It now hangs in my bedroom, long after all the pink rose primitive paintings have been hauled off to the antique mall and sold.  I love the color scheme, in fact it pretty much reflects the colors of the room.  (I know, I know, real art doesn't need to match the sofa.)

This charmer only became mine because it had been damaged and then was poorly repaired.  Note the green blob by Peter's elbow.  It was from the estate of a professional illustrator, and may have been a magazine cover.  The artist, whose name I do not know, used his daughter as a model. Lets just say it is the most I have ever spent on a painting, other than the one I commissioned.  I am a lover of children's stories so with Peter Pan, I was a goner at first site.  As you can see the painting is huge, about four feet tall!

This wonderful study of nasturtiums, is another garage sale find.  My heart started pounding the second I saw it, and it was mine for $15 ... thank heavens for clueless offspring.

This one came out of the estate of a hoarder who bought everything at second hand stores and garage sales. You probably recognize it as a rendition of the return of the prodigal son.  Digging through the broken, and dusty, and ruined stash to find this at the button of a box was pure joy.  This painting is clearly an old one, and reminds me of the work of a famous local artist.  I haven't had it checked out, mostly because that would likely end my hopes.  
And last of all, though you had probably seen it before, is a painting I commissioned of my husband in a period clothing set to the date of the historic house we own. 
I have had several paintings come into my possession and pass on, but these are the ones that took up residence in my heart, I hope you enjoyed seeing them.