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27 June, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired...A Frenchy Beach Postcard Pillow

I’m at it again…making another pillow! I wanted something summery and vintage French, but not too cutesy…a pretty tall order when it comes to summer decor!

pb postcard pillowBut when I saw these vintage postcard pillow covers at Pottery Barn, I knew I had found my inspiration!

pillow 3 I had to make a few adjustments for it to work for me. First, I knew I would be using a rectangular shaped pillow because lumbar pillows just don’t work at my house for some reason.

sur la plage postcard transferAnd I knew I wanted to use the new craft scissors feature at Picmonkey. Sooo…when I found this fabulous painting by Édouard Manet…Sur la plage de Boulogne…I knew what I would do!  I simply added my frame, printed the painting on iron-on transfer paper and followed the directions to apply it to a scrap of white cotton duck fabric.

postcard back graphics fairy transferThen I used a vintage French postcard graphic to create the back of the card with the same process. Mine came from Graphique so I can’t share it with you. I liked mine because the postage mark came from the Meurthe et Moselle region where I lived. But I did find this one at The Graphics Fairy that you can use for free! I tweaked the message a little so that it fits with summer. And…I’ve already made both graphics backwards for the transfer.

pillow 4Once both transfers were ironed on to the fabric, I simply cut them out and stitched them to my pillow cover one at a time. Their cover is linen, but I used Osnaburg for mine…a much cheaper and more user-friendly linen look-alike. I used an envelope closure (tutorial here) since I need to reuse my pillow forms due to storage issues! I’m loving the way it looks…just the perfect amount of summer and frenchiness without being cutesy! And…it was free since I already had everything! Woo hoo!

kitty Oooh noo!…Miss Kitty seems to have decided to mail herself to the beach since we are in a beachy mood and our trip is nowhere in sight! I’d better get out the sand box and the wading pool so the staff and I can have a little mini vacation! Are you feeling the need for a little beach trip, too?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my vintage French beach postcard 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

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 Sizzle into Summer

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

Amanda at Serenity Now for the Weekend Bloggy Reading party 
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!

23 June, 2012

DIY Vintage French Wine Labels

My latest project is so simple that I don’t know why I have never thought of it before…giving an ordinary wine bottle a more interesting vintage look!

staffMy staff and I were on the patio for morning coffee…well, coffee for me, not them! They were much more interested in the catnip…both caged and free range…and in drinking from the water feature. I was contemplating my next project…soon to be revealed…and wishing for some pretty vintage wine bottles when an idea hit me!

rustic French wine country centerpiece I frequently use wine bottles in my French-themed decor…like this rustic French wine country centerpiece…

bakers rack …and the wine brick in my clay collection, as well as the basket holding wine bottles in the background. For me, there’s one problem..my wine bottles are just ordinary…not pretty.

before Then I realized that there’s an easy fix for that…just change the labels! Duh! Why had I never thought of that before? Sooo…I soaked two of my bottles in hot water and then removed the labels.

labels Then I went on the hunt for pretty vintage French labels and found these…wonderful illustrations by the Alsatian artist Hansi (Jean-Jacques Waltz). It was love at first sight for several reasons…I had lived near and visited Alsace, one of my favorite regions of France, and Gewürztraminer is my favorite wine! But best of all…Hansi is one of my favorite French artists!

Hansi Mon VillageIf you are a long-time follower of my blog, you may remember that I even had a Hansi-themed blog dress at one time, starring illustrations from his children's book Mon Village! I love the provincial costumes and the wonderful architecture of the region…and those fabulous storks nesting on the roof bringing luck!
 vintage French labels And here is the stork again…this time on my wine bottle! I just printed the labels in 4 x 6 size, cut them out and attached them with rubber cement…easy! You can find more French wine labels by region here. Just click on the names of the regions to be taken to the labels.

diy vintage wine bottlesAnd here they are…finally!…pretty vintage French wine bottles! It looks like they came that way, doesn’t it? No longer will I have to hide my labels for fear of subjecting you to ugly ones!  Now I am wondering what other labels I can change!

cmr Hmmm…do you think anyone will believe this is a 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild? lol At $15,000 a bottle, probably not!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my vintage French wine labels ! 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!

21 June, 2012

Weight Watchers Chicken Pot Pie

IMG_5213I made one of my favorites last night, so I thought I would share the recipe with you…Weight Watchers Chicken, Cheese and Biscuits. It’s a different, lighter sort of chicken pot pie using lower calorie broccoli and carrots instead of potatoes and peas.  It’s actually from one of the older Weight Watchers cookbooks as are many of my tried and true recipes.

004Our scheduled co-hostess Miss Kitty decided that I could handle this one alone since cooking is not her thing and headed outside to play on the swing set! Sooo…here’s the recipe! Enjoy!

Weight Watchers ~ Chicken, Cheese and Biscuits
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon margarine
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon powdered mustard
¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 packet of instant chicken broth (or 1 teaspoon granulated chicken bouillon)
Dash white pepper (I just use black), or to taste
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces of skinned and boned cooked chicken, diced
1 cup each of sliced carrots, stemmed sliced mushrooms, and broccoli florets
(The veggies should be cooked ahead.  Sometimes I use green beans or cauliflower instead of broccoli.)
½ cup chopped onion
4 ready-to-bake buttermilk flaky biscuits
( I use the small can of Grands buttermilk and have one biscuit left over.)
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat margarine until melted. Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the margarine. Add flour, mustard, and sage and stir. Add milk, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth. Add broth mix and pepper and reduce to low heat and cook until thick…5 or 10 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add the veggies and chicken and cook until heated through…3 to 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 1 ½ quart casserole with non-stick cooking spray and pour chicken mixture into casserole. Carefully separate each biscuit into two layers of dough, making 8 circles: arrange biscuits over chicken mixture in an even layer, overlapping slightly. Bake until biscuits are golden, 7 to 10 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
This is the old WW, so I only have exchanges, not points. Each serving has 428 calories and counts as 3 protein, 1 bread, 1 ½ veggies, 1 fat, ¼ milk and 35 calories Optional Exchange.
Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my pot pie! 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

Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday
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!

18 June, 2012

Paris Grey Architectural Piece

I am in love with my latest Goodwill find…this interesting architectural piece! I am not sure of its original purpose, but I do know it’s an ionic column capital!

before This is how it looked when I found it…a little too much contrast for me! But I could see lots of possibilities and at $1.91…yes, you read that correctly!…it hopped right into my cart!

006 And with the addition of some Annie Sloan Paris Grey paint, here it is! Honestly, my intention was to give it a good coat of that color and top it off with some Old White and then distress it…but then I realized that would hide all of its personality!

008 I love the way the original turquoise and gold are peeking through! It really gives it an aged look!

BK and booksBut now…what to do with it? Baby Kitty suggests adding a stack of vintage books…

books …and I do like the look of all of that texture!

double happiness Maybe I’ll top it with one of my double happiness jars filled with hydrangeas…

page …or my favorite Santos cage doll. Hmmm…it seems that I had some difficulty taking this shot without Baby Kitty’s tail getting in the way!

cherub Don’t you love the little cherub at her base? And the colors in the clouds complement the painted piece!

starfish But I have to say that my favorite is the stack of starfish!

starfish close The colors are just so light and summery! I think I am going to find a lot of ways to use my new bargain!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my painted architectural piece ! 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

Jennifer at Jennifer Rizzo for the Thrift Store Make-over Party
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 June, 2012

Charles Faudree Giveaway Winner!

Charles FaudreeFirst, I would like to thank those of you who left so many wonderful comments and expressed an interest in my blog! I never would have thought when I started blogging that my little blog would grow as it has…and I owe it all to you, my readers! Sooo…I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate you all! Thanks for almost four years of bloggy love and support!

I am excited to announce the winner of a copy of Charles Faudree’s Details. The random number generator chose Mary J. Mary says she loves Charles Faudree and only owns one of his books…and it is dog-eared! lol I understand! Sooo…Mary, just email me your address and your book will be on its way!

Once again, thanks so much to all of you! I wish I had a book for each and every one of you. I appreciate so much all the love and support you have shown me. Merci beaucoup, mes amis! Thanks so much, my sweet bloggy friends!

14 June, 2012

Summery Centerpiece...My Wickerwork Bottle Collection

Wickerwork Bottles I was ready for a new centerpiece on my dining room table...something light and summery!

GW bottles Sooo…over several recent visits to Goodwill, I have managed to accumulate the perfect solution…a collection of wickerwork bottles! (That furry blur is Baby Kitty exiting stage left!)

BKI love those wonderful demijohns that I have been seeing in my favorite antique store…but they are expensive and the scale is just wrong for my small house! So when I found these, I knew I had just what I needed. Baby Kitty reminds me to tell you that I spent a total of $6.00 for all five bottles! Woo hoo! Now that’s my kind of bargain!

table 2 And here’s how they look on my dining room table! I love the look…fresh and summery just as I had hoped for! Let me introduce you to my new little loves…

rum bottle …starting with this one that I have shown you before. It’s actually a vintage rum bottle from Puerto Rico…fun! The little wicker cap comes off…see? And the original owner was kind enough to leave the label intact!

ivy The square bottle is now the home of some ivy I have been rooting since last fall. It was in a Mason jar on the kitchen table, but I like its new container and new location better! I added a little raffia bow.

oil and vinegar Gotta love this mismatched pair…for oil and vinegar, I presume. I love it that they still have their corks!

hydrangea And finally, a little jug that may have held syrup…so cute! I cut one of my hydrangea blooms to fill it.

lace cap It is actually a lace cap that I have had in my yard for a while now, but it’s looking less lacy over the years. The color, however, has become more intense.

table 1 Here’s a final look. Not bad for a handful of Goodwill bargains and some cuttings from the yard, huh?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my wickerwork bottle centerpiece ! 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

Layla at The Lettered Cottage for the Summer Fun Link Party
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!

13 June, 2012

I'm Giving Away Charles Faudree!

If you follow my blog, you know I think Charles Faudree is the man!  For me, he’s the ultimate example of Country French decor! He’s my go-to person when I make any changes in my house. Well…not in person…I wish! But I have all of his books and I consult them regularly. He’s definitely got his own style and does not go with trends. And…best of all…he still has lots of color in his rooms and I love…need…color!

cfdetailsSo it’s no surprise that I love his most recent book Details because this time he organized it the way I think…not by rooms but by…well…details! If I want to change my mantel, he has a section on mantels! And there are sections on wall decor, fabrics, tablescapes and lighting…all filled with fabulous photographs! And honestly, he just validates my style. Here’s his lovely bouillotte lamp…almost like mine!

cfdetails2And you know I love plates on the wall…

cfdetails1…and blue and white in the hutch…

cfdetails3…and on the mantel! It just makes me smile!

Charles FaudreeSo when I had a chance to get another copy of his book, I thought of all of you! I would like to give a copy of Charles Faudree’s Details to one of my readers as a little thank you for supporting my blog with your visits and sweet comments each week! I wish I had a copy for each of you!

Charles Faudree giveaway large You can win in one of four ways:
1. Leave a comment about this post. Be certain to leave an email address if you do not have a blog so that I can contact you if you win!
2.
Leave an additional comment telling me that you are a follower or subscriber.
3. Like our page on Facebook (here) and tell me in another comment.
4. Take the giveaway button from my sidebar and paste it on your sidebar and tell me in another comment.
That’s four ways to win! Simple, huh? The giveaway will end on Sunday, June 17 at noon Eastern Daylight time. The winner will be chosen at random. Be sure to leave an email address or contact if you do not have a blog so that I may let you know if you win!
Bonne chance! Good luck!

11 June, 2012

DIY Vintage French Silverware Sleeve

I am excited to show you my latest project…an oh-so-frenchy silverware sleeve! It’s just the perfect complement to my collection of mismatched vintage silverplate, don’t you think? And it feeds what seems to be my recent obsession of labeling everything in French!

silverware sleeve Here’s how it looks when it’s folded and placed on the plate…love it! I knew as soon as I saw them here that I would have to try my hand at making my own!

page Once I figured it out, it was pretty simple really! Here’s what I did:
1. I used Osnaburg…a very user-friendly and inexpensive linen look-alike ($5.00 a yard on sale at Jo-Ann). I needed one yard to make 4 sleeves and another yard for matching napkins (if you wish.)  Cut three 11 inch x 11 inch pieces of fabric for each sleeve. Fold one of the pieces in half and press it.
2. Place the folded fabric on one of the remaining pieces with the fold to the inside and line up the edges. Place the final piece of fabric over the two and pin in place. Stitch on all sides, allowing an open space to turn the sleeve right side out. Clip the corners at an angle, turn, press and hand-stitch the opening.
3. Stitch the length of the inner pocket along the center and at two more intervals on the right side to create slots for the silverware. The pocket on the left will hold the napkin.
4. Print the following graphics on iron-on transfer paper and apply them according to package directions.
silverware sleeve transfer
I have already flipped them to the mirror image that you will need for the transfer. Bon Appétit roughly translates “Enjoy your meal” while fourchettte, couteau and cuillère are fork, knife and spoon respectively. I used PhotoScape to print them at the 3 inch x 4 inch size and printed four of them on one sheet since I am making four sleeves.

step 5 Finally, I tied a knot in the center of three lengths of twine and hot-glued them above the slots. This will tie the silverware securely in place until the sleeve is opened. Baby Kitty says to be sure not to skip this step since you wouldn’t want your guests to have their silverware fall out!

silverware sleeve 2And here it is! Now you can get a good look at the napkin, too. I cut four 18 inch x 18 inch pieces of the Osnaburg for my four napkins and hemmed them on only three sides since the fabric has an interesting fringed selvedge edge. I love their rustic look! You could, of course, use your own napkins and skip this step.

silverware sleeve Here’s a final look. I know I say this every time, but I really think this may just be one of my favorite projects ever! Now I am ready to invite some friends over for lunch so I can use them!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my silverware sleeve ! 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!
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