Monday, February 28, 2011

Plaisirs Simples ~ Cachepots

Last month I fell into temptation and bought some of Martha Stewart's cupcake stands; I mean who could help it they are so adorable and they came in these incredibly cute boxes. In fact at the time I thought...was I really buying them for the cupcake stands or because I couldn't resist the boxes. An added bonus is that Martha Stewart's signature blue also matches the blue fabric I have used for the window treatments in my kitchen.

 What was I to do; I had to use these boxes somehow. So...I  gathered  some embellishments (I love embellishments):  a very pretty braided trim, matching tassels, some ribbon, a little florist moss and put it all together...

...and made cachepots, perfect for a little topiary tree. I made two but I only photographed one. Now, just where should I put them? Come back next time and see

do you think Martha would approve?

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Friday, February 25, 2011

As Good as Old

Last week in a storage shed I happened on this little scale. I don't remember where I got it; how long it has been here; or how it got to be such a horrible color but...I though if I could make it old again it would look very nice in the kitchen. so I got together some materials I would need and begin.

One of my favorite colors for this type of project is Camouflage paint, I have used it a lot, especially in the garden to add patina to objects. It has a matte finish and is an odd color somewhere between black and brown, it does a really good job of adding depth without seeming too harsh. After taping off the face of the scale ~ I love it's rusted and encrusted finish...I sprayed it; when that dried I added a few touches of  gold and black paint, mainly to add definition to the edges. this little scale is almost as good as old and it makes a very nice addition to my kitchen. I think that I really like going back in time.

My Meyer lemon trees are loaded with fruit, if you look closely you will see a few rain drops on these leaves. I think it is time to make a Lemon Meringue Pie.

Anymore time travelers out there?

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Un Petit Quelque Chose ~ Dreaming of Spring

The other day while working in the garden between rain showers, I spotted this little cherub and he definitely seemed to be lost in a daydream...nesting birds, butterflies, buzzing bees, gentle rain, warmer days, blue skies, sunshine, and flowers... I think he was dreaming of Spring!

And what about you...have you been dreaming of Spring?

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Un Plaisir Attendu ~ An Expected Pleasure

Every year in February my magnolia trees start out the month leafless; the flower buds just starting to form... first there isn't much to see, quickly this magically changes until the trees are covered with the fuzzy buds waiting to unfold... all their magnificent beauty!

Then for a few weeks they light up the late winter landscape with their flowers while the new leaves gradually appear.

This is an expected pleasure, but my, such a wondrous one!

I hope your garden is filled with expected pleasures, especially as Spring grows near.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Joy of fragrance

I love fragrance and I have several kinds but my favorite is the one you see here taking center stage amongst my collection of perfume bottles. It is of course Chanel No 5.

So I was absolutely thrilled when I went to the library and found this book waiting for me, The Secret of Chanel No. 5 ~ The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume, by Tilar J. Mazzeo who also wrote, The Widow Clicquot, of champagne fame, for those of you who are interested in wine.

Chanel loved white camellias and pearls so I thought they would be perfect additions to these pictures. My Camellias are still blooming, and the opera strand of baroque pearls you see here were given to me many years ago by a beloved aunt who spent many years working in fine jewelry. I have always treasured them.

I knew before reading this book of Chanel's fabulous couture, her struggle to overcome her rather sordid background and personal tragedies. But it was the first time that I understood how out of these life time experiences this lovely fragrance was born. It makes it even more precious. And just a little bit dabbed on the nape of my neck makes me feel so very, very, elegant and très chic!

I hope your day is filled with lovely... fragrance, sights and sounds.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good Morning Sunshine

I woke up this morning to sunshine. It was streaming through my windows...

Wafting through the doors...

and slipping by the curtains.

It said "get up you lazy bones, I'll meet you in the kitchen...

Now make yourself a cup of tea and get going. The day has just begun and it is a beautiful one". Enjoy!

And I hope that your day is a beautiful one too.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Several years ago my Son-in-law made these wooden hearts for me to put around my front door for Valentine's Day. This year I decided to put them where I could see and enjoy them a bit more, so I put them, along with the little banner from JoAnne's, on the arbor below my kitchen window; I see this every time I am at the kitchen sink ~ adding color and fun to my day. I kind of hate to take them down, but there is always next year, and since I put them up the beautiful, pink, Old Blush rose that covers the arbor has started to bloom giving me something else pretty to look at.

I thought this might be a good way to wish you a very, very Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 11, 2011

Holiday Hearts

This book Holiday Hearts, by Pamela Sheldon Johns and Jennifer Barry has some very nice ideas for celebrating Valentine's Day and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you. One of the things that I appreciated is that they are all relatively simple projects including the wreaths, which could be done with either natural or faux flowers.

I hope that you have found something here to inspire you to make your Valentine's Day a very special one.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Un Peu de Beauté Pour la Journée

This lovely old, antique print, The Crown of Love, hangs in one of my hallways. I have had it for so long that I can't remember where I even got it. Somewhere along the way I had it framed and re matted. It is a bit unusual because it is printed in green, and not in the usual black. It was one of my husbands favorite pictures and I thought it was a perfect one to share with you for Valentine's Day. is un peu de beauté pour la journée...a little beauty for the day. Enjoy!

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentines, Roses and Tea

For  Valentine's Day I thought it would be nice to set up this little vignette on the shelf in my kitchen window...just in case someone stopped by for a cup of tea and a treat. The china pattern, Old Country Roses, is one I think most of you are familiar with; I am especially fond of the chintz, accent plates. It was also the first opportunity to use these adorable little Martha Stewart cupcake stands, which I fell into temptation and bought on sale at Macy's last week. They were just to cute to resist! Now please sit down and have a cup of tea; would you like one lump or two...

Thank you for coming I wish you a wonderful, romantic, and love filled Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine Birdhouse Wreath

I have had this charming little Valentine birdhouse for a while, I usually put it on my front door for Valentine's Day; but what is the fun of doing the same thing all of the time. So this year I decided to put it in the kitchen window. The only problem was that it wasn't big enough and looked lost in the space, it really need to be framed by a wreath and I couldn't find a wreath just the right size so....

...I bent some wire in the shape and size I needed, took some floral garlands from my stash in storage and twisted them around the wire several times, added a few extra flowers, a red ribbon to hang it, and voila! this is what I ended up with. This was a very, very simple project but it is exactly what I wanted.

Now...what am I going to do with the shelf below the window? Come back for my next post and see!

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Garden Flag ~ Une Saint-Valentin pour vous!

I found this Mary Engelbreit garden flag on sale at Michael's right after Christmas...perfect for wishing you all Happy Valentine's Day. I love it's happy colors; it really adds cheer to the garden during this drab winter month...I added a few extra hearts via Picnik just to make sure it was 'valentiney' enough. And I get to see it everytime I come down the driveway.

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