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31 May, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired Birdcage Pillow

Somebody stop me! I made another pillow! lol I do seem to have a thing about them…and you can use them to make easy changes to your decor each season!

birdcage pillow PB This time my inspiration was this wonderful collection of birdcage print pillows from Pottery Barn. They are reproductions of a trio of paintings by Laurie Rohrbach. Of course, the blue one is my favorite. And, as luck would have it, they are on sale, but the blue one is no longer available. Sooo…I decided to make my own!

birdcage blue watercolor best transfer
I started with a wonderful vintage birdcage graphic from The Graphics Fairy, gave it a blue water color look using PhotoScape, and then layered in her lovely canary graphic that I altered a bit. Thanks so much, Karen, for the fabulous graphics you so generously share with us! I flipped it for you so that it can be printed on iron-on transfer paper. Just follow the directions on the package. I used a cream twill for the front and a cream burlap for the back, finishing it with an envelope closure so that I can reuse the pillow.

002 Once the pillow cover was finished, I added some trim from my ribbon stash. First I used yellow grosgrain ribbon for the outer edge. Theirs had a light blue flange, but I chose to simply attach the ribbon using fabric glue. I mitered the corners for a more finished look.

trim Then I added an additional stripe of light blue ribbon around the graphic…also using fabric glue to hold it in place.

BK Finally, I popped in a down insert from Goodwill…a fabulous bargain at $1.51 since it was the 50% off color of the day! Baby Kitty seems totally unimpressed by my work, preferring the real birds outside the window instead!

page And here they are…Pottery Barn’s pillow on the left and mine on the right. Not bad for virtually free since I already had everything but the insert! I decided to flip the trim colors and to use just one birdcage instead of two as in their version. It looks a little less crowded to me.

028a And here is a final look! I think it looks so crisp and summery! And it’s my favorite colors, too! I think I am really going to enjoy this one!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my birdcage pillow! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Karen at The Graphics Fairy for Brag Monday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays

Debbie at Debbiedoo’s Blogging and Blabbing for the Copycat Challenge
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!

27 May, 2012

Tiny Chalkboard Love!

Woo hoo! Look what I found…tiny little chalkboards…my new love! The French teacher in me is having a fabulous time…French words, chalkboards and chalk! What more can you ask for? lol

chalkboards They come three in a package at Jo-Ann and have a not-so-cute gold thread as a hanger. Hmmm. So I cut it off and added twine with a glue gun! Now they are perfect! And they were $1.50...for three of them…waaaay cheaper than anything I have seen anywhere else!

cureDon’t forget that you have to “cure” them like you would any new chalkboard before you can write on them. Simply cover them with chalk and then erase. I just used a paper towel since I didn’t have a tiny eraser! lol

merci First, a big merci for my sweet friend Pat who sent me these vintage French spools...love them!

poire Or how about la poire to label this summery green pear?

vin Or le vin for my little wine vignette…and a chance to show you the fabulous vintage bottle wrapped in wickerwork that I found at Goodwill for only $1.91! I gave you a little peek in a previous post and promised to show you the whole thing. It once held Puerto Rican rum...interesting!

bunny chef And of course, we must label our bread…le pain…although I suppose it should be le croissant, but that is too long! lol Plus…it’s been a very long time since I have shared my bunny chef. He’s meant to be a recipe card holder, but I like him better with a little chalkboard made from cardboard sprayed with chalkboard paint!

pastry dome And I'm still loving my shabby pastry dome…made from a candleholder and a cheese dome! So frenchy!

croissant And I cannot forget my petrified croissants…now two years old and still holding up! lol  I am having so much fun labeling things! What can I label next?

kitty Hmmm…have I gone too far?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my tiny chalkboards! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday

Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!

24 May, 2012

Tutorial: A Rustic Flower Pot Man for Your Garden

 My favorite little man is back! It is time to bring out my flower pot man and freshen him up for the season. This is his third year in my garden and I love the whimsical yet rustic touch that he adds! Sooo…while I was at it, I thought I would show you how to make your own!

page 1. You will need: three approximately 4 1/2 inch pots (not pictured), eight approximately 2 1/2 inch pots, 6 to 8 corks, twine, a dowel rod or very sturdy wire, a plant for the hair and Spanish moss. You may vary the size of the pots. Just be sure they are in proportion.
2. Cut 4 lengths of twine, each about 12 inches long. Take one of the lengths and tie it tightly around one of the corks.
3. Thread the twine through the hole in one of the smaller pots. Wedge another cork in the bottom of a second pot and then thread the twine through it as well.
4. Pull the twine tight and stack the pots on top of each other. The second cork helps to create and maintain a space between the pots.

page1 5. Repeat this process three more times to create the arms and legs. If the cork will not wedge far enough into the pot, you can always cut it shorter.
6. Create the body by hot-gluing two of the larger pots with the upper edges together. You can add paint to give an aged appearance before working with the pots if you wish. As you can see, mine have naturally aged over the years they have been in my garden.
7. Take two of the four limbs that you have created and wrap the twine around the dowel rod or wire that you have placed firmly into the ground. Measure the distance that you need to allow for the body to sit on the twine and then tie the twine on to the wire or dowel, cutting off the excess. These are the legs.
8. Put the body in place by running the wire or rod through the holes and add the other two limbs, tying them to the appropriate length and cutting the excess. These are the arms.

039This is how your flower pot man should look at this point. Note that there is still a portion of the wire (or rod) showing at the top. This will hold the head.

047Next, take the remaining larger pot and add the plant that you will use as hair. I used Creeping Jenny this year, although you can use any plant that resembles hair. Moss rose is a nice alternative in a sunny location…and it has flowers! Just thread the pot right on to the top portion of the rod or wire.

044 Finally, add Spanish moss to the lower pots to give the limbs a finished look. And…taaa daaa…you’ve got a flower pot man! Of course, you can use wire instead of twine for a longer lasting man and metal spacers rather than corks, but I disassemble and bring my little man into the garage each winter, so he only has to last a few months. Plus…I prefer the look of the twine to wire. It's so much more vintage-y! Isn’t he cute?

074He sits in the little corner of my patio where I drink my coffee each morning. See him…next to my giant escargot? lol Every frenchy patio needs a giant snail!

ozOur CEO Ozzie likes to doze nearby. And today it is a good thing that she is sleeping…

063 …because this visitor would have been in trouble if she had seen him! She’s no spring chicken, but she still likes to hunt lizards!

044 Here’s a final look at my little flower pot man! Isn’t he a fun and whimsical  little addition to my patio? And he was practically free since I already had most of the pots or found them at Goodwill! It makes me smile each day just to see him waiting for me there!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my flower pot man! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday

Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Jen at Tatertots & Jello for the Weekend Wrap-up Party
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!

21 May, 2012

Okey Dokey Artichokey...A Bargain and a DIY French Tea Towel

A fabulous new thrifting find has led me to my latest project…frenchy artichoke tea towels…and I have included the transfer so you can make them, too, if you wish!

009a papyrus cIt all started with this fabulous find at my favorite thrifting spot…Goodwill, of course! Can you believe someone gave this away? A basket filled with nine…count them…nine faux artichokes! They must not have checked the price on them lately! (And in case you are wondering, I used one of the Papyrus texture settings from PicMonkey to get the background!)

012aAnd…please don’t hate me…look at the price…$4.94! That makes them about 50 cents each…not even considering the basket! Woo hooo! The basket is just ordinary, but the artichokes…my head is spinning with ideas!

015 Our co-host Baby Kitty was the source of one idea. Just look at those pretty green eyes with all of that blue and white transferware in the background!

051papyrus labelYes, yes!…Green with blue and white! You know I love this little vignette…just look at my header! lol

Artichokes2

Then I found this drawing from the Graphics Fairy of artichokes in a wonderful blue and white bowl, taken from a vintage cookbook. I just added the French script title. Thanks once again, Karen, for all the great freebies you find for us! No, I’m not crazy. I’ve posted it backwards so you can use it for a transfer.

004 First, I printed it on transfer paper and applied it following directions on the package to a scrap of Osnaburg fabric…my favorite inexpensive and user-friendly linen alternative. Several people have asked…I use Avery brand transfer paper for light fabrics since that’s what I am usually working with.

002 Next, I raveled the edges by pulling the threads one at a time on all sides. There is no fear of having it unravel too far since the transfer has bonded the edges of the fabric.

039 Finally, I sewed it to a tea towel I had made from the same fabric. (Directions for making the tea towel can be found here.) You could, of course, attach it to a ready-made tea towel and save yourself some sewing.

054 And…voilĂ !…here it is posing with its inspiration! I love it! And I love my new stash of artichokes! I have a feeling you will be seeing more of them!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my frenchy artichoke tea towel! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Karen at The Graphics Fairy for Brag Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday

Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!

Hello Yellow!...Summery Favorites in My Favorite Color

Hurray! All of my summer favorites are starting to make their appearance, so can summer be far behind? And…I have realized that my favorites also sport my favorite color…yellow! Of course, we must have homemade lemonade!

004 And I don’t know about you, but summer means yellow corn! Yummy!

008 And I love fresh yellow crookneck squash!

IMG_7640 Soon those wonderful Eastern Tiger Swallowtails with their yellow wings will drip from my butterfly bushes like jewelry!

allboutbirds.org My favorite bird…the American goldfinch…is already appearing at my backyard feeder…lovely yellow flashes among the trees!

Sunny Knock Out roseDid you know that knock out roses now come in yellow? And they smell heavenly! I’ve just planted some near my bedroom window!

002 My grandson and I have already played a few rounds of croquet. I always choose the yellow ball! You might also guess that I always choose Colonel Mustard in Clue! lol

017 Hmmm…there’s just one problem with summer… the yellow wheels on my lawnmower are turning again…courtesy of your truly! Ugh!

009 But for now I’ll just think about all of my yellow favorites and smile! Do your summery favorites come in the same color?

 Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my summery favorites! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!

17 May, 2012

Address Pillow with Vintage French House Numbers

I have a fun and easy DIY project today…a pillow sporting my address (or yours) in vintage French house number plaques!

011 It was a beautiful afternoon, so the staff joined me outside for the photos…and Baby Kitty took full advantage of the nice weather for a quick game of “Lion King” among the junipers! He does look regal, doesn’t he?

french-house-numbers If you follow my blog, you know I seem to have a thing lately about French house numbers like these

French numbers …and these

046 …and I even made my own version of the hotel/apartment number plaques! But, alas, both kinds are expensive and hard to find. In France, you have to get them from the mayor’s office to match your address. And the online suppliers are all out of the country and their plaques are costly!

french number blank 2-tileSooo…I decided to make my own version of the house numbers as well and add them to a pillow. Here’s what I did:
First, I made a blank version of the plaques. Now all I needed was to add my house numbers! I used the Modern No. 20 font because it looked the frenchiest to me. Then I flipped the numbers so that they were backwards and printed the plaques on iron-on transfer paper. My printer allows for creating mirror images or you can use a photo editing program.

Next, I cut out the numbers and ironed them on according to package directions. (One piece of advice…iron until you think it’s enough and then iron some more!) I used some drop cloth  left-over from another project, so my pillow was all but free!
Then I drew lines for the stripes I wanted to add, edged the lines with duct tape…although painter’s tape would be fine. I just seem to have lots of duct tape! I filled in the lines with fabric paint…a half and half mix of soft black and navy to match the plaques.
I finished it with an envelope enclosure (directions here) and popped in a down insert from Goodwill…under $3.00.

041I have four numbers in my address, so I arranged them in a checkered pattern. You could use any shape pillow and any pattern that works with your address.

044And here it is! I plan to move it to the front porch later when I find the just right bench or little chair, but for now it is on my patio! And..hey!…I got my French house numbers at last…and without the hefty price tag!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my French house number address pillow! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday

Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!
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