Thursday, 29 December 2011


I found two of these Christmas ornaments at our local thrift store before Christmas for only 50¢. I knew I was planning on a fun winter themed mantel, so here is your tease...

Christmas ornament

I made a pattern from the Christmas paper to the songbook page

Now my Christmas ornament is a winter Songbird!

 Coming soon, My Winter Mantel!!

NOTE: You should be able to click on most of

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

An Affair with Paint!

As I'm still dismantling Christmas, I see that lots of folks are sharing their fun project(s) they conquered this past year.  So, I thought I'd do the same!  Let's just call this the "Year of Paint!"

I'll keep my babbling to a minimum so that the *tons* (sorry) of pictures can speak for themselves:

It all started with painting/distressing/staining a simple bench BM White Dove and exPLODED from there! 



That led to this ...


AFTER (I painted every.single.piece of furniture in here BM White Dove, followed by distressing and glazing/staining) (sorry the pic quality isn't the best):

My paint brush then whisked me over to our sitting room, where I took it from this:

to THIS:  Oh sure, let's paint the bookcase BM White Dove and cover the furniture with white slipcovers!

Next up, the buffet in the great room ...


AFTER (this got coated with AS Old White, followed by distressing and waxing).  Oops, almost forgot I painted the mirror, too):

Gee, Becca, while we've got the AS Old White paint can open, let's just go ahead and paint the fireplace on the porch!  (Sorry I don't have a before picture):

Oopsee, SOMEbody then discovered AS Chateaux Grey:

And, hey, let's just bring the Chateaux Grey into the kitchen, why don't we?



Now wait, since I painted the island Chateaux Grey, apparently, that meant that I had to paint the stools Old White for contrast, and, for good measure, add a fun French image by the Graphics Fairy!



Annnnd, because I love odd numbers when it comes to decorating, I thought it only right to paint a third piece in the AS Chateaux Grey.  And, why not just make it a big ol' piece like the dry bar!



And, well, THEN, I thought that I might as well go ahead and paint the cabinets in the kitchen, too!  Except, I only painted the upper cabs BM White Dove (later followed by a coat of AS Old White, follwed by distressing).  I left our lower cabs in their original maple stain:



Still with me?  Let's seeeeee, next was the kitchen table beside the dry bar.  I painted the base of it AS Old White, leaving the top and chairs in their original stain (sorry no before pic):

Okay ... so, I'm pretty sure *this* is when I realized I had a problem ... even my poor pumpkins got attacked with AS Old White! LOL

Annnnd, most recently, while still in the kitchen, I decided to ask my sweet hubby to take down a lonesome cabinet in the corner and replace it with three shelves that I made all by myself!  I then painted them AS Old White and distressed them.  They make me smile, and I'll have a great time decorating them with each new season!



Needless to say, I've been one crazy painting mama this past year and think an intervention is definitely in order!  Thankfully, I'm not sure that there is anything left to paint in our home.  LOL  (Nah, I'm sure I'll find SOMEthing to splash with paint in 2012!)

Okay, you're next ... what are your fun projects you conquered this year?!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

I'm linking up with:

Savvy Southern Style/WUW
Kristen's Creations/Share Your Creations
Katherine's Corner/Thursday Favorite Things
No Minimalist Here/Open House Thursday
French Country Cottage/Feathered Nest Friday

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

hers~ a design book on feminine style

 I was asked if I would like to review the new book, "hers" 
on designing spaces with a feminine touch, written by Jacqueline deMontravel. 
 Jacqueline is also the editor of Romantic Homes magazine, 
so I knew I would be in for a treat!  
My decorating style is definitely romantic and feminine
 and this book was right up my alley.
It is filled with encouragement and tips on how to incorporate a woman's touch into any space in your home.
 My home office is my latest project, 
and here I was trying to reinvent a space that
 felt romantic and feminine without going too sweet and girlish.
  This book came at a perfect time to help steer me 
in the right direction and validate the things
 that I was trying to achieve in creating my own work haven.
 Hers has sections dedicated to different spaces, 
like the home office, the bedroom, the living areas, and the outdoors. 
 Here a shabby french desk with an inspiration board 
above becomes this woman's private space that feeds her romantic leanings.
 This masculine antique desk gets feminized with old books, flowers and artwork.
 Drool worthy page after page showing ideas 
on how to create feminine spaces throughout the home,
like this dining room with a collection of hotel silver.
 Jacqueline visits homes of familiar bloggers,
 like this one of Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen. 
 This vignette that Brooke created in her entry with 
the oversized french clock face and the mora clock
 along with the pretty cane settee went viral in blogland.
  I still love how this space makes me feel when I look at it.
 Jacqueline offers tips on how to claim spaces
 and add the feminine touches~like this example in a library.
  Too often a library is a masculine place in the home, 
but here there is a nice balance.
 Specifically she tells you to add more layers and accessories
 such as an embroidered table runner to give a cozier effect. 
Jacqueline says to romanticize a room with lighting and accessories.
 Above, a pretty daybed is nestled in the attic eaves
 under a vintage chandelier hung from white washed beams. 
 Chapter after chapter with tons of glossy romantic images
 made reading this book a delight!  
There were overblown french style rooms, 
gustavian white washed rooms with gilded touches,
 shabby chic cottage rooms and sophisticated traditional rooms~
all designed with the feminine touch.
 I organized my office shelves with the things
 that I find comforting with a new eye after reading "hers".
 All of us women have a romantic part that we need to pay attention to~
 Designing my  space with my romantic needs in mind 
as well as the functional aspect created a space I love.
There will be more layers added to underscore the tips I learned from "hers".
 If you are looking for a good book to add to your design collection~
 pick up a copy of "hers, design with a feminine touch
written by Jacqueline deMontravel, and printed by Crown Publishing.
P.S. Jacqueline really is a girly girl at heart~
look at what color the book is under the pretty dust cover~
shocking pink!

(The opinions I expressed were my own,
 and I was not compensated to write this review.)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday!  Do you have wrapping paper and empty boxes everywhere?  Are you stuffed from this past weekend's fabulous meals?  We are, for sure!  Jax is busy playing with all of his new "goods," and John and I are cleaning up (yuck).

Are you someone who opted to go with the "less is more" motto this season when it came to holiday decorating?  If so, I envy you right.this.second!   Yes, I have the lovely task of taking allllll of our decorations down and, lemme tell ya', this is NOT a part of the holiday season that I enjoy! 

Sooooo, while I am preoccupied in lots of *mess* this week, I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year, and that I can't wait to see what trouble our decoratin' minds get us into in 2012!

Christmas 2011 Family scrapbook

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house, 
I was getting ready to host our family party.
Before most of the gang arrived, 
I took a few minutes to snap pics of the house with my iPhone. 
The kitchen chandelier had icicles and 
snow flakes hanging from it's wire frame,
a glass of proseco waits on the hostess to get back to her cooking duties.
I had prepared a lasagna with homemade sauce, 
a honeybaked ham, aspargus and pototoes,
delicious homemade coleslaw and a big tossed salad.
Tiny light whites made the room feel magical.
Our stockings were hung by the chimney with care!
 My mom knits all the christmas stockings for the family, 
with the exception of the original 5 stockings for me and my 4 siblings, 
which were knitted by my grandmother.
 Hubs put a dimmer switch on my chandy for me earlier in the day~
it looked so pretty with its blue opaline drops, 
an early xmas gift from my blog reader Betsy!
 This blurry picture shows all of the stockings that St. Nick must fill before morning.
 A rare appearance in the kitchen by Mr. Maison Decor~haha!
 My sons, Brandon and Colin with me and Brandon's girlfriend Mimi.  
Mimi wears a Santa hat every year to our party!
 I spent a lot of the first half of Christmas eve in the kitchen~
 At the sink with my sister Ellen.  
Ellen is wearing a pretty beaded sweater I bought for her~
I loved that it is beaded on the back as well as the front.  
 Lots of picture taking was going on all night long~
I have lots of blurry pictures,
 but this wasn't the time for staging pics. 
 Here Ellen takes a shot of my little brother Brian
 working on the mashed potatoes, 
with my son Colin assisting.
 Mother and son having a good time taking a self portrait!
Brother and sister share a moment over the stove.
  You can see the mosaic transferware creamer night light
 in the mini hutch that I asked Penny to create for me. 
I love how it brings some life the shelf at night.
With my brother in law, Mike, I am modeling 
a blingy cuff bracelet gift with tags attached 
and a new gold pashmina from my exhubs!  
There was lots to eat and drink~ 
Colin with his Dad in the dining room.
and before we knew it the evening was over.
It was Christmas morning! 
Hubs took this pic of Colin in his new robe 
and me in my new pajamas with the dogs by our sides.  
The kids opened more gifts that Santa
 brought and the hectic holiday subsided into calm.
With me in my new cap (from Colin) perched on the top of my head 
 I stole a Christmas nap on the couch. 
The rest of my day was so nice and relaxing~
I spent the entire day with my wonderful husband, my best friend. 
The perfect gift.