Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shabby PINK chenille scarf...

I was absolutely smitten when I spotted this reversible chenille/patchwork scarf on ETSY a couple of years ago... It was being sold as a neck scarf, but I'm using it on the small CD case at the end of our hallway...


The colors are predominantly pink on pink, although some squares feature pink flowers on a robin's egg blue background...


It gives some 'oomph' to an otherwise plain CD case...


The ends of the scarf have the sweetest tassels... Nothing compares to handmade, and ETSY is full of the most talented people selling their creations.


This is the other end with its tassels, lace, and fringe...


Luscious pink roses and pink crocheted detailing...


And the reverse side is made from the flowered section of a pale pink vintage chenille spread, which is so pretty...

Don't forget to check out everybody else's PINK SATURDAY posts at How Sweet the Sound!!!

Donna

Friday, August 29, 2008

All good things must come to an end...


I knew I wouldn't have to wait too long at the hummingbird feeder this past weekend for somebody to show up. Activity at the feeders has been on the rise as these little beauties get ready to migrate...


I've had several females battling it out for the deck feeder over the past few days. The winner of this particular round celebrated by taking a loooong sip of sugar water...


"Ahhhh, that was good!" (Finally coming up for air...)


And now she's flying off (top right of photo) to preen herself or to catch some insects until her next visit to the feeder.

I'm going to make the most of enjoying them for the next few weeks. They'll continue to visit the feeders into September, but those visits will taper off, eventually stopping completely (except for an occasional straggler who stops by while heading south)...

So all good things must come to an end, but thank goodness it's only temporary until next May, when the yard will be humming again!!! So safe journey to you all, my little feathered friends!

Donna (who is still not ready to say goodbye to summer...)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Charming cottage-styled vintage art print

One day last summer I came across a junktique shop not in my immediate area, so of course I had to stop and check it out! And although I wasn't looking for wall art, once I spotted this 26"x32" vintage framed print, I knew it was coming home with me...


I propped it up in front of the fireplace to photograph it because I couldn't get a good "straight on" shot of it hanging in the hallway... (Hmmm... it doesn't make a bad looking fireplace screen!!)


I love how it looks in this "tray-style" frame. The art is so beautiful ... my photos do not do it justice. I'd love to find other works by this artist, but I can't find a signature or name on the print, so if anybody knows who this talented artist is, I'd be most grateful to have that information passed my way!


Here's a closeup of a corner of the frame. I just love all of the detail and distressing... definitely my idea of cottage charm...


There are pink flowering trees in the background, pine trees, and beautiful birches in the foreground, all set against the loveliest blue background...

It hangs in the hallway at the top of the entry stairs of our "split-entry" cottage... I'm so happy that I was in "the right place at the right time" to find this framed print because every time I look at it, I fall in love with it all over again!!!

Donna

Monday, August 25, 2008

Afternoon shadows....

The late afternoon shadows are arriving earlier and earlier as the end of August approaches... This afternoon, the contrast of light and dark was so vivid, I couldn't resist snapping some photos of the sun's handiwork....


Not only are the outdoor wreaths silhouetted on the front doors, but the cutwork of the Battenburg valances is so defined at this time of the day...


A lace valance that hangs in the living room window casts its shadow on the floor above the silhouette of the rocking chair...


The lace trim of the window shades, a silverware wind chime, and even the glass knob on the jelly cupboard cast shadows in the dining room...

The late afternoon is such a lovely time of day but, oh, how I wish the days were getting longer rather than shorter!!

Donna (who is not looking forward to winter!!)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

PINK Saturday - I finally remembered!!!

"Hey! You with the kitty chow... the troughs need filling!"

This was taken back in November of '93 when Spotty and Tiger (who are brother & sister) were mere babes, about 4 months old. (Now 15 years old, they're mortified about this baby picture appearing on my blog and are hoping that none of the other neighborhood cats see it!)

Amanda, then 8, had just received this pink Barbie barn for her birthday, and being the curious little kitties that they were, they wandered in to check it out. A Kodak moment for sure!!!

So mosey on over to How Sweet the Sound for a link to all of the other Pink Saturday participants!!

Donna

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The bedroom grows up....

This was a recent post of Court's old bedroom many, many years ago... In split entries, the third bedroom is often closet-sized (in our case, just over 7' x 9')... For 16 years, that was Court's bedroom so a few years ago she asked if she could turn the (much larger) family room downstairs into her bedroom...


The reward for putting up with that tiny room for so many years is that she now has the largest bedroom in the house, with its own bath! She turned a dreary basement room into a cheerful bedroom suite! The old twin bed was replaced with a queen platform bed. We raised the floor in the bedroom section and put down carpeting so her tootsies would stay warm, and we replaced the old fluorescent lights with new fixtures.. (Can you tell that The Notebook is one of her favorite movies?)


We put an electric 'log' heater into the fireplace for those extra cold mornings. (And isn't Spotty cute? He loves watching the Chips through the window!)... We bought four tower storage units and placed two vertically on either side of the fireplace with a third placed horizontally on top; the fourth is in the corner. (And of course I'm itching to paint that brick white!!)


This picture was taken before we put in the new light fixtures and before we replaced the ancient carpeting with black & white vinyl flooring in the sitting area (you can see a bit of the new flooring in the top 2 photos)...


And just like me, Court likes to rearrange things (like benches, pillows, throw rugs, etc.) The white chenille spread is covering an old settee whose upholstery has seen better days.


This is her bathroom. I love the champagne and black color scheme she used for the shower curtain, floor tiles, and accessories.

I think she did a great job on her bedroom and bathroom... Yup, I think decorating is definitely in her genes!!

Donna

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vintage 1950's Department Store SANTA Photo

Thanks to Joanne at My Little Cottage in the Making, I'm doing a little "Christmas in August" post!!


This is my sister and I in the the late 50's with the Jordan Marsh Santa in Boston. She's the cute one on his lap... I'm the one with the dorky look on my face! (Don't you just love the short bangs from that era??)

Joanne collects vintage photos of Santas with children and she shared her fantastic collection here... Be sure to check it out - it is magical and it will get you in the mood for Christmas, even if it is only August!!! And she's asking any of us to share our vintage Santa photos with her, so here's mine, Joanne!!

Donna

Monday, August 18, 2008

Living Room - Primitive to Cottage

The following photos show how our living room has changed over the years...


This is pretty much what it looks like now, with the white painted furniture, cottage slipcovers and throws, white fireplace and hardwood floors... (I'm thinking a pale robin's egg on the walls might look good since there is so much white... Definitely something to think about...)


This was mid-way through the living room makeover. The furniture had been painted, but the fireplace was still brick. I had also painted our plywood subfloors white after we ripped up our ancient wall to wall carpeting & padding. The budget didn't allow for hardwood floors at that time, so we lived with the white painted floors for two loooooong years... Trust me when I say white floors are difficult to keep looking clean!


This was taken back in the early 90's. That's the same sofa that now sports a white slipcover... Most of the furniture was stained dark brown back then, and the wall to wall carpet was topped with a braided rug. I really like the look of the bookcases on either side of the window (being the symmetrical person that I am!). But once a TV went into the living room, the bookcases had to go into the family room.


This view shows the fireplace after being framed in and painted white (hubby didn't want me to paint the brick white, which was my first choice)...


And this is the same view from the early 90's... Some day I'll have to post photos from the 80's, during my glass, chrome, leather sofa, and arc lamp phase!

I do wish our teensy weensy living room had more walls or more square footage so that both the TV armoire and the bookcases would fit, but such are the challenges of decorating a small split entry living room!!!

Donna

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yummmmmmy!

Last week I received a Yankee Candle "$10 off any $25 purchase" coupon in the mail, so today Court and I made a quick trip to the mall. While she checked out cell phones, I visited Yankee Candle...

I didn't realize how many scents they have! My initial plan was to get an autumn scent like pumpkin or apple... But once I started sniffing around I fell in love with three others: "Sun and Sand," "Island Spa," and "Key Lime Pie"... Luckily Courtney arrived in time to help me choose, and she immediately zeroed in on KEY LIME PIE !

However, I'm pretty certain that when the air turns crisp and the leaves start to fall, I'll be heading back for an autumn candle (they had lots to choose from!!). Last year throughout the Christmas season I burned a "Sparkling Pine" Yankee Candle and it made the house smell fantastic, so I'll definitely be getting another one of those this Christmas...

Up until the past year or so, I rarely burned candles. We have two cats and I tend to be a nervous Nelly... But now that the cats are 14, they don't jump around like they did when they were younger (so I'm not quite as worried). But still, to be extra safe, I burn the candles on top of my stove (I figure since it's a gas range with flames shooting out from the burners, it must be pretty fire-proof!!!)...

But that is one thing (of many) that I love about my Febreze ScentStories - no worries about an open flame or having it knocked over. And boy, does it make the house smell good!! My favorite Febreze scent disk is Shades of Vanilla! (Key Lime Pie... Vanilla... I see a pattern emerging... I apparently like candles that smell good enough to eat!)

COMMENTS UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who shared their favorite Yankee Candle scents and to those who gave other suggestions for where to purchase or alternate brands... I'm sure I will have the most yummy smelling cottage thanks to of all your suggestions!!

Donna

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Office bookcase...

I've spent some time organizing my home office this past week, including the top of my bookcase... Some photos were taken today, some last night (the lighting difference between day and night photos is amazing!)...

The bookcase itself is a $5 junktique find (the shelves are packed with books and 'stuff,' so I'll spare you looking at my stash and just show you the top!)... I fell in love with this etched mirror at Target several years ago, so of course it came home with me; the beautiful beaded "Create" sign hanging on the mirror is from Lori at Katie's Rose Cottage (I love everything in her shop!!)...


This mug, embossed with roses, was made by Amanda in a high school pottery class... she realized too late that the handle was put on upside down but, to me, that makes it all the more charming! I also love the intricate pattern on the tall table lamps, a vintage store find at $15 for the pair, including the shades!!


I have a favorite photo of my mom, along with a pair of white birds (which are actually napkin rings)... I bought the two flower prints from a catalogue (the flowers looked blue in the catalogue). When I received them, they were purple rather than "cottage blue," but I still love them...


I've had this scalloped table runner forever! For the longest time I used it in the dining room, but I really like it on the bookcase... Like so many of you, I'm always moving things around and using them in different places around the house...


Here's a "bird's eye" view so you can see the eye on the lid of the tall blue jar, which I think is so neat!! (Another high school pottery piece made by Amanda)


This is the ceramic Mary I found (from this post), sitting on top of a beautiful hand-painted, repurposed cigar box that Amanda bought for me at a lovely Cape Cod shop. The vanity tray used to be shiny gold, but I thought I'd like it better pink, so I painted over the gold... Ahhhh, so much better :)

Donna

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Packratting pays off ...

My goal is to be a minimalist (ha ha) and get rid of things I don’t use anymore (hey, I didn’t say it was a realistic goal!)…But sometimes, being a packrat pays off big time because last week, as I was sorting through some things I’ve had forever, I came across these!

Sweet little Courtney (now 19) in her bedroom, 1993

Back in the 90’s, both of my girls had canopy beds. The canopy frames met with an early demise (a future blog post for sure), so the canopies got stuffed in a bag and have spent the last 14+ years in the back of a closet (can you say ‘hoarder’??)

So when I came across them last week while cleaning waaaaaay back in the closet, I thought, “Well, I don’t need these anymore.” But as I unfolded them, a light bulb went off in my head…They looked to be just about the right size for….


…tablecloths!! They fit our long, narrow trestle table perfectly!! So now I have two brand new (old) tablecloths, and the fact that they are the girls’ old canopies makes them extra special!


They have sweet little pleated edges and ruffles… perfect for out little cottage dining room… I just love it when I get bright ideas like this, because believe me, it doesn’t happen often!

Donna

Friday, August 8, 2008

Is it February or August??

New England has been having some pretty strange weather this summer... Tornado watches, tornado warnings, actual tornadoes, and water funnels, all which are very unusual for our area. And then today...


...thunder, lightning, and hail, hail, & more hail !! This is the second or third time this summer! I can't even imagine what it's like to have "golf-ball sized hail," because our "marble sized" hail made a huge racket hitting the deck, metal table, and sun pipes (similar to skylights)... The girls and I had just been sitting on the deck, enjoying the beautiful weather, a half hour before this started! My poor bunny and bird statues look like their freezing with all that ice around them!


If you look closely, you'll see one of our "Sammy Squirrel" friends huddled under the blue table next to the basil. He got caught on the deck when the hail started (very suddenly)... He's a young squirrel and was quite frightened... He ducked under the table for the 10-15 minutes that the hail came down. At one point, it was coming down so fast and furious that it was ricocheting right under the table and hitting him, the poor baby... You can bet that he was rewarded with several peanuts for his bravery after the hail stopped and he came out of hiding!

If this is what the summer's been like, I'm almost afraid to think what the winter might have in store for us!!

Donna
(P.S. - Here's a video Amanda took of the hail coming down - and this wasn't the worst of it!)

video

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A blast from the past... (The Dining Area)

This is how our dining room is decorated now (made with that fun Flickr toy!)...


I love the light, bright cottage look, but I'll always have a soft spot for primitive decor, which is how I used to decorate. Just today, I came across some old pictures from the 90's...


The photos below show the furniture before my 'makeovers,' when it was still stained dark brown, and before the blue chandelier was painted white. The jelly cupboard still sits in that same corner, but back then the hutch was turned to make a dividing wall between the dining area and living room, and the trestle table was positioned differently. Also absent are the old windows we eventually hung above the half wall ...


(click on this picture to enlarge all 3 photos)

The first photo was mid-90's with stenciling on the upper walls; the next two were from the late 90's, after we'd purchased new chairs (the old ones were falling apart), put up a Warren Kimble wallpaper border, and painted the lower walls... But I sure don't miss our old wall to wall carpeting! With kids, cats, and dogs, it always needed to be steam cleaned!!
It was fun coming across these as I hadn't seen them in quite a while. I really like the prim look but the older I get, the more I prefer a lighter color palette (maybe it has something to do with wanting the house be bright and cheerful during the long, dark New England winters!)...

Donna

Monday, August 4, 2008

1950's Boudoir Chair

"They built the tracks before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built them because they knew, someday, the train would come..." (Under the Tuscan Sun)
"I bought the chair before the cottage bedroom existed... I bought it because I knew, someday, the cottage bedroom would come... " (Donna)

As you may know from reading my sidebar, I love decorating with vintage items from the 50's... So imagine how my heart went "pitter patter" when I spotted this in a lovely vintage shop several years ago!


The owner told me it was a 1950's boudoir chair... Well, I trotted it right home and put it in our 'boudoir,' knowing that it would be the color inspiration for our 'eventual' cottage bedroom makeover!


The only downside is that it's covered in a vinyl material which, as it has aged, has gotten a bit brittle in the ruffled skirt area, leading to a tiny tear or two...


I use a crocheted doily to hide the fact that one of the buttons on the tufted seat is missing. And aren't these pillows cute? Several years ago I found them in Wal*Mart, of all places!!


This is a closeup of the colors of the chair... creamy white, pink, blue, and green... Right now I'm leaning toward using robin's egg blue as the main accent color when we redo the bedroom. I'll be thrilled if it turns out even half as good as LeAnn's bedroom makeover did!!


For the time being, this is the only "cottage/shabby" piece in our otherwise primitive bedroom (which is firmly planted in the mid-80's with one accent wall of dark mauve wallpaper, a very simple heart & vine wallpaper border on the other 3 walls, dark stained furniture, etc., etc.)... It's been screaming for a makeover for quite some time now (can you hear it screaming in the background??)... Believe me, bedroom, after 20+ years, I'm as anxious as you are!!

Donna

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Squirrel gulch...


I’m not sure how it got dubbed “squirrel gulch,” because it’s not a gulch at all, but that’s what we now call the girls’ 20-year old swingset.


The swingset used to sit next to the treehouse, but when the shed was put in, we moved it next to the deck until we decided what to do with it.


It took a day like this (brrrrr... this photo was taken 3 years ago) to make us realize that we should leave the swingset right next to the deck…


...because these little guys, who brave even the nastiest winter weather to get their peanut treats, discovered they could come down the tree branches and scurry across the swingset to the deck, not once having to go down to the yard to work their way through the (sometimes) knee deep snow! The squirrels realized it was the perfect shortcut/bridge to the deck...


Well, the word spread, and before long birds started coming. They realized that if they sat and looked adorable, that we'd put nuts out for them as well… First the bluejays came…

They tend to be greedy/hungry birds, so they come a lot… Just look at Sammy down at the end, horrified that the blue jay got one of his nuts!

Then the shy cardinals started coming. This is a young male; the female is never far away... (And once again, you can see that the squirrels are ever present when peanuts are being handed out!)...

And now the mockingbirds have started coming (no photos of them yet)... But most of the time it’s these guys... day in & day out – rain or shine - morning, noon, & early evening – 365 days a year.

And then there are those days when it's just too hot to eat, and the swingset is the perfect place to just flop… I took this photo yesterday from inside the house...


When I ventured outside to get a photo, Sammy heard me coming, but it was so hot he didn't even try to move…
Now I know many people think of these little guys as rats with bushy tails, but we have a soft spot in our hearts for them (even if they do rip up my plants)... So the swingset (a.k.a. Squirrel Gulch) has now found its permanent home.
"Okay, Sammy, I’ll be right back with a nut for you…"
Donna