Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Haul & a Chicken

I'm lucky to live in an area where there's a yard sale every weekend.

Used to be I just couldn't pass up a bargain even if it was something I didn't need
but I have become a little more discerning in what I buy at these sales.
Now, I'm trying hard to buy only what I absolutely love.

At this last sale, I bought a metal plant stand, a rug, some books,
a metal candlestick, and a gorgeous white bed skirt and shams.

Here's my most recent haul.

How could I not buy these lovely pillow shams with the fancy cutwork?

This little chicken basket was free and I did absolutely love it.
So it came home with me.

 I knew the rug's design and colors would look great in the guest room 
and it was in excellent condition. Here it is in its new home. Perfect!

My rule is to get rid of something every time I buy something. 
I read this in a book about de-cluttering and it seems to work pretty well.

Does it count if I get rid of a paperback when I buy a table?
YES, of course it does!!

I have a list of things I'm watching for at sales including ironstone, a glass cake stand, 
a French enamel water pitcher, old breadboards, tall wooden candlesticks, grain sacks 
and interesting chippy, rusty, old worn goodies.

Somehow, I usually come home with things that weren't on my list.

But I did absolutely love them.

And look who found a perfect little nest.

On a Personal Note . . . 
I just hit 5,000 page views and just had to add a personal note to this blog. 
As a new blogger, I wanted to let you all know how much your comments mean to me. 
Someone is actually reading my blog! 
I couldn't wait to read my first few comments and I'm still excited to see what you think. 
Everyone has been so positive, I appreciate your taking the time to say a few words of encouragement. Thank you from the bottom of my heart 
and I hope you keep reading and letting me know your thoughts. -- Pat

Linking with:  DwellingsRustic & RefinedCedar Hill FarmhouseSavvy Southern Style
Knick of TimeVintage NestFrom my Front Porch to YoursFrench Country Cottage,
Shabby Art BoutiqueShabby NestCoastal CharmKaren's Up on the Hill
A Stroll Thru LifeIvy & ElephantsBella Rosa AntiquesRooted in Thyme

Friday, August 21, 2015

Perfect Imperfection: Ironstone

It does not matter if your style is Shabby Chic, French Farmhouse, Vintage Cottage 
or Traditional Classic, ironstone complements every style.

By the way, I couldn't find lacy shelf paper so I used curtain valances folded in half.

With its pure white simplicity and its hefty weight, 
its perfect imperfection works in almost any decor.
I love the pieces with crazing--that fine crackling on the surface 
that speaks of age and untold stories.

I admit it. 
I have a growing addiction to ironstone, seeking it out at thrift stores and estate sales, 
even the occasional antique store. 

Whenever I'm scouring thrift store shelves, the first thing I do when I spot a potential white treasure is turn it over to see if its sporting one of those gorgeous English crests that mark real ironstone.

First produced in Staffordshire, England in the 19th century, 
ironstone was a cheap alternative to porcelain. 
Mass produced for the colonies, it was sturdy and inexpensive. It's still sturdy. 
Collectors have created a demand for the creamy goodness of Ironstone 
and the price has risen accordingly.

I appreciate how it blends seamlessly with my Mom's "good dishes." 
I remember her telling me about her first Thanksgiving dinner for her new husband and in-laws. 
And her, with no good dishes. 
She ran to the store to buy a set of Homer Laughlin Eggshell Georgian gold-rimmed, 
"Rambler Rose" dishes and saved the day.

 I found an old 1950s ad for a 53-piece set of these dishes for $7.50!
Little did Mom know how valuable these dishes would become. 

Growing up, we never saw those dishes unless it was Christmas or Thanksgiving. 
They were the good dishes, for special occasions only.
I inherited these dishes, complete with sugar, creamer, cups, saucers, platters and plates.
I love how they look in my china closet with my ironstone.

And yes, Mom, I save them for special occasions too.

Linking with:  DwellingsRustic & RefinedCedar Hill Farmhouse,
Savvy Southern Style, Knick of TimeVintage NestFrom My Front Porch to Yours,
French Country CottageCoastal CharmShabby Art Boutique

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Late Summer Garden Beauty

Usually by August, my garden is looking a little tired. Kind of like me.
Most of the perennials have been cut down and the annuals are hot and crispy.

But this year, I'm determined to see the beauty still left in my garden. 
Taking time to look closely at textures and little things.

For instance, look at the incredible detail of this Love-in-a-Mist seed head.

And check out these perfect buds on my Japanese Anemone.

Almost missed this cute little guy in my geranium groundcover.

A simple morning glory winding its way up a weathered post . . .

and around a European watering can.

Purple blooms on a globe thistle are spectacular.

And look at these delicate garlic chive blossoms against rough juniper bark. 
(Can you spot the bee?)

Beauty is all around us if we take the time to look for it. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

French Country Guest Room Refreshed

In a small house, there is usually a multipurpose room--the office/guest/storage room.
 Someplace for shoes, jackets, winter hats and summer fans.
Oh, and the dog bed.

My multipurpose room was okay but it had no flow, no style. 
And because I can't really tell what something's going to look like until I actually see it, 
I started moving things around.

I'd found a beautiful French-inspired cream-colored daybed on Craigslist 
with shiny brass accents that I'd put in front of the window.
It looked okay there but I couldn't open the window and it blocked the flow. 
I decided to try it on another wall. Suddenly, the room began to reveal itself.

I opened the window and let in a warm summer breeze. 
An old lace curtain that I'd tacked onto the window frame lifted up 
like a sheet drying on a clothesline.

A print I'd often admired online of people approaching the Eiffel Tower in the rain
miraculously appeared at my local Goodwill for under $10.
I'm a firm believer you will find everything you ever wanted at Goodwill if you visit often enough.
It fit perfectly over the daybed.

The oval mirror actually came from an antique store. Sometimes, you just have to pay retail.

I slid the 1950s chest of drawers across the wood floor on rags and hung a rare poster of Venice featuring wines from Frances Ford Coppola's vineyard that I found at a yard sale above it.

An antique basket of lavender provided the finishing touches 
and the room is refreshed and ready for its close-up.

One corner still serves as an office but the room is so open and airy now,
it doesn't seem so "officey."

There's one thing I am absolutely forbidden to mess with . . . 
my dog's favorite cardboard box under the desk. 
Roxy has nice beds, but she prefers this one.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Break from the City

We just returned from our first weekend away from our baby...only this baby is our little rescue dog. Roxy is eight years old and we are, shall we say, a tad overprotective. 
We've always meant to stay overnight somewhere but couldn't coordinate schedules.
 Okay, let's be honest . . . we were worried about leaving her. We'd heard all those horror stories of dogs not eating while their owners were away or escaping out the back gate to try to find them. 
She has given us so much joy, we couldn't bear to think of anything happening to her. 
Since she came to us from a kennel, we didn't want to board her 
and we couldn't think of leaving her with a dogsitter she didn't know.

We finally found a friend Roxy already knew and was available to doggysit for the weekend. 
Our dear friend, Rusty, arrived Saturday morning, got the lay of the land, and gently pushed us out the door.Some people might think we're silly but we felt like new parents leaving their baby for the first time.We made Rusty promise to call us every half hour with a status report!

We took off for Rocky Mountain National Park about two hours from home.
By the way, the park is celebrating its 100th birthday this year!
This is my favorite place on this Earth and, although we experienced high-season traffic and
weekend crowds in the adjacent town, the park itself was wonderful. 

Perfect weather. 

Breathtaking scenery. 

An amazing hike on a new path. 

Sparkling streams. 

It just doesn't get any better.

This is why we live in Colorado!

Collapsing in our motel room for the evening, we were happily exhausted. 
But up early the next morning we hit a row of flea markets in a nearby town. 
I came away with a new piece of ironstone by H. Burgess. (I think it is a covered casserole dish??).

We were so busy and sooo tired, we didn't worry about Roxy. We also knew she was in good hands. When we returned home, Roxy was so excited, you'd think we'd been gone for a month. 
All that crying and jumping around. Or was that Rusty?
Rusty said Roxy had been "an angel." No whining or moping. 
Ate all her food and even slept with her new friend. 
Gee, didn't she miss us?

Based on the amount of kissies we got, I guess she did miss us a little. Aww.