Friday, July 28, 2017

What Goes Around Comes Around

Back in the days before Pinterest and Instagram, I used to tear pages from my favorite 
decorating magazines and file them away in notebooks, organizing them by room. 
Sometimes I'd save a magazine but often it was just a photo here and there that I wanted to keep.

It's amazing now when I look at pictures of things that caught my eye in the 1970s 
how much I still like them and have actually incorporated many of these looks into my home today.
My style hasn't changed that much.
Then there are other pictures that make me shake my head and say, "What was I thinking?" 

But who knew I liked French Country in 1982 when I saved this spread 
about author Peter Mayle's home in Provence? 
Funny how what goes around comes around. 
Guess I am an old French soul.

Take this 1984 cover of Country Living.
(note the price was only $1.95!)
See the shelf on the left side of the photo with the cups hanging under it?
I remember tearing this cover off and mailing it to my father with a sweet request: 
"I'd love to have a shelf like this, Dad. Do you think you could make one for me? Pretty please."

Well, not only did my Dad-who-could-make-anything create a perfect replica of this shelf 
but he made it so it could be disassembled easily (no nails, only hand-carved wedges) 
for shipping it off to me in a flat box.

I had used it in a previous home but when I moved to this little house
with so many doors and windows, I just didn't have room for it. 
So it was stored it in my attic for the last twenty years,
while all the time I was wishing I could find a space for it.

Then recently when Ron decided to sell his yard-sale desk in the guest room/office, 
I suddenly had a space for Dad's shelves.Yippee!

Like assembling a jigsaw puzzle when all the parts are the same color,
it took some time and concentration to put all the pieces and wedges back together.
We laid all the parts out on the floor, 
turning them this way and that until they all fit together beautifully. 
And, because the shelves were only seven inches deep, 
the shelving unit didn't take up much floor space in the guest room. Perfect!

I couldn't wait to style it with my vintage treasures and books.

So, thanks Dad! 
This beautiful piece of furniture means so much more to me
because you made it especially for me. 
I'm happy that it can finally take its place again in my home.

By the way, I still tear out pages in magazines of rooms I like and clip them into my old notebooks. And, yes, I do save pictures on Pinterest too. 
But there's just something about holding a picture in my hands and studying every detail. 

Old fashioned? Yes, I suppose so.
But I guess I'm just an old-fashioned girl.


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Linking with:
Little FarmsteadShabby Art BoutiqueBlue Willow HouseRustic & Refined,
DwellingsBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmCedar HIll FarmhouseA Stroll Thru Life,
Savvy Southern StyleA Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson21 Rosemary Lane,
Katherines CornerMy Thrift Store AddictionFrench Country Cottage

Friday, July 21, 2017

French Country in the City

Yearning to go to France?
The breathtaking French architecture, street cafes, gardens, and markets?
Yeah, me too.

But guess what?
You don't have to travel to France to experience that French je ne sais quoi.
It's more accessible than you might think.

I set out on my bicycle, camera in hand, to see what I could find in the middle of Denver.
It had rained overnight and the air was fresh and cool.
By the time I was done with my ride, I could smell the fresh cafe' au lait and baguettes.

Here's a little sampling . . . 
Entryways with gorgeous French details, 

some with real gas lamps and winding walks.

Whether they're grand with a tower and a porte cochere . . . 

 or small and charming with an arched glass portico in a misty morning, 

their French roots are showing.

These beautiful balconies could be in France.  

Love the modified fleur-de -lis design on this one. 

Here's one more beauty with fancy wrought iron and blue shutters. 
Oh, wait! This one is in France. 

This amazing glass sculpture at a light rail stop in Denver could be in Paris.

To say nothing of the breathtaking gardens . . . 

or the tantalizing street markets.

Flowers at every corner remind me of Paris flower shops.

This little touch of France is right outside my own back door, my Cafe Bleu.
If you missed this post, you can read about it HERE.

And here's my Frenchy patio.
Want to read more. Click HERE.

So, look around your own neighborhood.
You might be surprised at the French touches here and there.
Now, let's have that cafe' au lait and baguette!


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Linking with:
Little FarmsteadRustic & RefinedDwellingsEveryday LivingBetween Naps on the Porch,
Coastal CharmCedar Hill FarmhouseA Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern Style,
A Delightsome Life Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson21 Rosemary LaneKatherines Corner,
My Thrift Store AddictionFrench Country Cottage

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Three R's: Rethink, Revamp, Reuse

Isn't it fun to find another use for an object . . . something that it was never intended for?
I love to mix things up and re-purpose my finds, scratching that creative itch.

One of my favorite re-purposed finds was this French wine crate
transformed into a unique centerpiece.

Hey, what's that behind door number one?
This heavy old door that I found in an alley and actually got into my car all by myself 
covers up the electrical and fuse boxes on the patio.

Look what's hiding behind door number one!

Here are a few other ideas.
A paint-splattered scaffolding is transformed into a long bench on the patio.

Top an old sewing machine base with a slab of stone or wood
to make a unique outdoor table.

The orchard ladder my neighbor threw away is a perfect rustic plant stand.

An old cast-iron fireplace grate finds a new use as a pretty planter.

Inside the house, there are possibilities everywhere.
This child's hamper makes an unusual container for flowers
or extra pillows in the guest room.

Vintage suitcases? Stack and store photographs and mementos inside.

And what about that vintage wicker planter?
 I turned mine into a bookcase for my favorite interior design books.
 Easy to access and pretty to look at.

An old window frame becomes a shadow box for sweet little bottles.

We found this old adobe brick mold in a dump in Taos, New Mexico.
It sure puts a new spin on "dumpster diving"
and is perfect for displaying some of my white collectibles.

So, the next time you look at something, think outside the box . . . the hat box that is!
My vintage hat boxes hold tissue paper, bows and ribbons.


If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you'll follow me by email.
Just subscribe (it's FREE) in the upper right column of this page.
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Linking with:
Little FarmsteadDwellingsBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmCedar Hill Farmhouse,
A Stroll Thru LifeSavvy Southern StyleA Delightsome LifeHave a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,
21 Rosemary LaneKatherine's CornerMy Thrift Store AddictionFrench Country Cottage

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Happy Place

My favorite thing about living in Denver is being so close to the mountains. 
From my front door in the city to a peaceful mountain meadow is only about 40 minutes. 
So, on the day before my birthday, I was happy to trek up to Mt. Falcon Park for a weekday hike.

Although this open space can be crowded on the weekends, weekdays are much quieter 
with mostly older hikers, a few shiny black ravens and an occasional hummingbird.

My happy place!

Signs are posted to be aware and alert to other denizens like bears and mountain lions. 
Although I've seen a few deer and a black Abert's squirrel, I've yet to have a "surprise encounter."

These bear-proof garbage cans do remind you to stay on your toes!

A loop trail encircles this lovely green meadow and the great thing about it is ... it's fairly flat!

The meadows are dotted with amazing rock outcroppings.

You might see an occasional mountain biker on the trail. Although they are generally polite to hikers, we noticed a new sign saying bikers with "bad behavior" would be fined. 

One of the most amazing things about Mt. Falcon is its castle,
not something you'd expect to find in the mountains. 

Now in ruins, this historical site is bittersweet to explore. 
Built in 1909 by John Brisben Walker, a self-made millionaire who owned Cosmopolitan 
magazine among other investments, this was once a grand home with ten bedrooms, 
five fireplaces, a music room, an observation deck and servants quarters.

Tragically, Mrs. Walker died just seven years after the mansion was built. 
Two years later, the house was struck by lightning and burned down. 

Although Mr. Walker left his dream house behind, the four thousand acres 
he'd purchased became what is now Mt. Falcon Park.

By preserving this beautiful land, Walker left a wonderful legacy that many people enjoy today. 


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