Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New Bedroom Mirror and Rug

Hi. I hope everyone is having a good weekend. It's Saturday night and I'm just lounging on the couch, watching T.V., with my laptop perched on my lap.

Have you ever had one of those decorating days/ weekends when everthing just falls into place. Well I did this weekend. I mentioned in my last post that I was going antiquing, but I never ended up going because there was a bad-weather alert in Souther Ontario for Thursday afternoon ( which never happened after all). But all was not lost- I decided to go to one of my favourite off-priced home decor stores ( Homesense)   to look for a small wall- shelf for my bedroom. I didn't end up finding one, but I did find a great small rug on sale for $9.00 and a beautiful large mirror for over my bedroom dresser for $69.99. Considering I had $50.00 from a birthday cheque, it was a pretty good score at only $30.00 out of my pocket.

I immediately went home and put the new rug down, and it was perfect. Next, I tackled the mirror- I still have the almond glossy matching bedroom set from the 1980's that my parents bought me for my first apartment after college- complete with triple- arched art deco style mirror over the dresser. Why is the master bedroom always the last room to be properly furnished? Maybe because no one else really sees it. I sooooo hate that bedroom furniture, and can't wait to get rid of the entire set, but I know I can't do it all at once Patience!!!!

I did recover the headboard 6 years ago, so it's not too bad, and now I have the mirror. Here's some pictures of what our bedroom looks like now.

Here's the old mirror, circa 1980.

The beautiful, new mirror!!!!!

  What an improvement- YES!!!!!!!!!

Now here's my new rug.

I just put it at the foot of the bed, so you can see it as you walk in.

Here's the rest of the room.  I love the cream and sage- green combo and the way it's decorated, but I JUST hate the furniture.

Here's the bed ( I made all the cushions). And the headboard was part of the matching set, but I covered it with a diamond-pattern taffeta like fabric.

Here's the oh-so- lovely almond gloss armoire ( can you see why I want to get rid of it- just kick it to the curb already).
I love my art-work collage and the wrought- iron candle holder and quilt stand.  Some of the art-work is original watercolor my "moi".  I did the two on the armoire, and the top two in the middle of the collage, as well as the second from the left on the bottom.  One day I will post a separate page of all my watercolors, but for today, I'm just concentrating on the bedroom.

Here are a few of the decorative touches in the room.
 I love this little alcove, and the radiator -cover gives me a place for some more knick-knacks. And the hanging roses are from my wedding arrangements- I dried and sprayed them with hairspray.  Still perfect after three years.
I think this garland with the word "dream" hanging on it is sooooo cute.  And the roman- shade is linen, lined in black-out liner ( also made by me).

The curtains are raw-silk and soften up the square corners of the alcove.  I also love the curvy legs of this small wrought iron and tile table.

This chair is an antique and  used to sit in my husband's, grandmother's farmhouse, and was originally covered in dark turquoise damask.  It was stuffed with old bed-sheets and straw.  I redid the cushions and recovered it with this pretty sage- green damask.

Well, that's about the size of it- it's pretty small, but cosy and pretty.

Anyways, as I was saying- this weekend just fell into place for decorating.  Tonight, just before dinner, my hubby decided to walk to the corner watering-hole for a beer.  Five minutes later, the phone rings, and it's hubby.  "Guess what?"  he says. " I was walking down our street, and someone has put out an antique armoire at the curb.  Run down and see if you like it." So I threw on a jacket and my crocs and headed down the  street.  And sure enough, there was a beautiful, wooden armoire with a mirror and a drawer, just waiting for someone to take it home.  It was the perfect size for our bedroom- just needs a small paint makeover.  So I ran back home, called the hubby and told him to to come straight home and get a dolly, while I guarded that" baby" with my life.  And then, I realized , there was also a cute table  and a working T.V. in the pile.  We need a new small  T.V. for the basement, and there was a sign taped to it saying " it works".  So we took all three pieces home-  SCORE!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I'm not going to post a picture of  these things, because the battery on my camera died, but you'll have to stay tuned for the awsomeness that I'm going to make out of this free armoire and table.

And the T.V.- it works!!!!!!!

Well, I guess that's about it.  I'm finishing off a few small DIY projects that I'll post in the next day or so, and then I can hardly wait to re-paint and makeover the armoire and table.

Til next time.  Au Revoir!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Become a Follower!!!!!!

Well, it's been just over one week that I've been blogging, and I am thoroughly hooked.  I am learning sooooo much from all my  kind readers and I hope I will grow to have a very large following.
If you like my blog and plan on keeping up with my decorating antics, please click on my follow button on the top right hand of the blog.  This will let me know who you are and how many people are interested.  Please also leave me comments at the bottom of each post so I know if you like what I'm writing about.
Well, I'm off on an antiquing trip tomorrow, so I should have some new treasures to show everyone.

Until next time.  Au Revoir!!!!

Thrift Store Shopping Shopping Bonanza

I absolitely love thrift store shopping, and going through Craig's list or Kijiji, looking for a bargain.  Sometimes I have good luck, and other times, I find nothing.  The other day, I went to my local Value Village Thrift Department store and came out within 15 minutes with 4 great things- a white decorative seving tray, a down-filled pillow insert, and 2 pairs of jeans for myself.

This platter was only $1.99 and matched a 3-compartment condiment dish I already have.  It was under a good layer of dust, but I wiped it off and it was in otherwise perfect condition.  Took it home and put it in my dish cabinet, and now it looks like an antique piece (but it's not).

See how perfectly it matches my other piece which was a gift from a friend.

The cushion insert was 100% down and usually retails for up to $50.00.  It will be made into a pillow at some point.  I payed $4.99.

This tray I found a few days ago- it looks like silver, or silver plate in the picture, but it's not - I will be spray painting it Heirloom White and giving it a vintage finish in another post, but it photographs like a fine antique- it has beautiful detail on the edges and handles.

I definately think I can do something with this!!!!!!!

 Now, I'm usually squeamish about buying second hand clothes for myself, but this Value village is in a pretty good area and you can sometimes find designer and name brands for next to nothing- and in very good, if not brand new condition  .  The jeans fit me perfectly and I payed $7.99 for one pair, and $12.99 for the other.

These will look great tucked into my high riding boots.

What a bargain. 

Total  spent  $35.00 + tax.  I couldn't have bought even one pair of jeans at my favourite off-price designer store for that.  Winners ( known as TJ Maxx in the states always has great deals, but not as great as this!!!!!)

Do you have a thrifty shopping story to tell?  I'd love to hear about it.  My heart starts racing when I think I'm about to find something great for a steal.  How about You?

Until Next time.  Au Revoir!!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are your Kitchen Counters and Appliances Really Clean?

Tonight, after washing and putting away the dinner dishes, I wiped down my counters, back-splash and appliances like I always do.  I thought everthing looked clean.

Here's a picture of it, and no, it doesn't always look this neat. I staightened up for the picture.  Sorry for the bad focus.

  Then my husband made a comment that the phone in the living room looked kind of grungey ( is that the correct spelling? maybe it's grungy!!!!)  So I broke out my secret weapon- the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  I love this product- just dampen, wipe and it magically cleans dirt and grime. Even my husband was impressed.  So, then I decided to go over my counters with it, and boy was I disgusted when the magic eraser came up all dirty and grimey.  I had just wiped everything down, and I consider myself a 
 clean-a-holic.  Now, I was madly wiping down every surface- back-splash, fridge, kitchen telephone, microwave and window blinds.  That damned Magic Eraser just kept showing me more grime.   YUCK!!!!!!!!

Here's some pictures so you can see what I saw.

Looks innocent enough.

Can you say GROSS!!!!!!!!

Well, since I'm taking pictures anyways, Here's the rest of my kitchen.

Here's all the white- and I cleaned it all up nice just for these pictures.  I can't wait to get a new counter and back-splash, but no money for that right now.

I love to decorate in vintage and antiques, but don't have a lot of counter space, so I have to use shelves and a free- standing Island / Counter for storage etc.

This is my collection of green glass wear, antique coffee grinders, and copper kitchen wear, etc.  Terrible lighting from our ceiling fan/ light fixture ( sorry).

My spice rack/ display shelf over the stove.

Here's a closer shot of my Fry's Chocolate Giclee' Print,

This is my beautiful Counter/Island with which I could not live without.  We eat most meals here, and there's lots of storage.  It's from Cambridge Furnishings, and they customized it so it sits against the wall, since we have no room in the middle for an island, It's my absolute favourite thing in my kitchen, and I love the color.  It keeps the kitchen from being too white-  the cabinets and display shelves are Cottage White by Behr.  Oh, and the wallpaper was already in the house when we bought it, and that will come down one day- it is okay color-wise, but I really DO NOT like wallpaper in an entire room.  At least its vinyl and looks a little like tile, and is easy to clean.  But the flowers on the wallpaper really have to go.  One day!!!!!  Oh, and my clock is from Walmart- it looks just like one I wanted from Restoration Hardware, only a little smaller, and was only $10.00.  They just came out with a line of vintage looking stuff, and well- the price was right.

Well, good thing I took these pictures, because the neatness lasted approximately 2.5 seconds after I was finished.  That's when the hubby came in to get a bowl of chocolate ice cream, dripping all over my clean counter, and leaving his dirty dishes in the sink.  At least I can look at the pictures.  I will show better pictures one day, after I  get a new counter, re-paint the cabinets which are chipping and take off the wallpaper.  Lots of stuff for future posts in this house.

Bye til later.  Au Revoir!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Antique Flow Blue China and other Blue and White China

"There's  joy without
canker or cork
There's a pleasure
eternally new
Tis to gloat on the glaze
and the mark
Of china that's ancient
and blue"
Andrew Lang, from the
Ballad of Blue China

I have been collecting Antique Flow Blue ( also called Flo Blue) for almost ten years.  I found my first piece at my favourite Antique Mall, "Southworks Antiques Mall", in Cambridge, Ontario.  It was a beautiful,hexigonal shaped plate and I just fell in love with it, and had to have it.

Here's the little beauty.

"Flow Blue" is the term used to describe ceramic items which have been decorated with blue underglaze designs and have a smudged or blurred appearance rather than a sharp, clear pattern. The blue color "flows" or "bleeds"onto the body of the piece at the time the glaze decoration is fired in the kiln. This method of decorating ceramics originated in historic Staffordshire, England sometime in the late 1820's.  China decorated in this manner was inexpensive, mass-produced and and regarded as utilitarian china, with most of the production exported to the United States.  It was not really considered as fine china, rather ,
 everday- use china, so it is quite pleantiful and therefore very collectible. Because the Victorians used this china on a daily basis, most pieces show signs of wear and tear.  I find this appealing though, and it makes it more affordable .  If you do come across a perfect or rare piece, it is usually very expensive.  These are not the pieces that I'm interested in collecting.  I look for pieces that have interesting shapes and borders.  Usually I buy small plates and bowls or pitchers that I can display on my dining room wall and in my beautiful dish cabinet made from vintage refurbished wood and glass ( that will be another post ).

  I recently purchased a book on Ebay called " Gaston's Flow Blue China the Comprehensive Guide

This is the book, and it is a really good guide to making sure you find authentic pieces.  Usually, I can get a better price if I find a piece that is not necessarily authentic, but I still like the shape or color.

Here's how I display my collection on my dining room walls and in my dish cabinet.
This is one of the walls in my Dining Room

This is above the door in the Dining Room- these two  plates were purchased in Old Quebec City on my honeymoon.

Here are some additional pieces that are not authentic "Flow Blue", but I love them anyways. I display these pieces with my French Countryside  dishes from Mikasa ( all wedding gifts ).

This casserole was purchased in an antique store somewhere near Grafton Ontario- I can't remember the name.

The pitcher was part of a washing stand set- but the bowl was broken.  It was purchased at an antique fair at the Convention Centre in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Here's a close-up of the casserole on top of my French Countryside dinner dishes.

Here are some more close-ups of my treasures.

These two plates were bought at an antique shop in Old Quebec City during my honeymoon three years ago.  I think I paid $150 for both.

These three tiny plates were actually antique butter-pats and I had to hot-glue a hook on the back to hang them.  They are not " Flow Blue China", but soooo cute.  And the  vintage frame around them really makes the display, I think.

This plate was purchased at an antique store called "Cabin in the Woods", in Gravenhurst, Ontario.  It has some small chips in it, and a stain on it, but this made the price more reasonable.

 This platter was also purchased at "Southworks Antique Mall" in Cambridge, Ontario.  Again, you can see it is not perfect, and has signs of wear around the edges.

This plate and matching bowl was purchased at an antique mall in Mohawk reservation country between my home and Kingston,Ontario.

I absolutely looooove this plate- it actually has a translucent look to it and you can almost see through the white porcelain in real life.  This was also purchased at " Southworks Antique Mall".  I love the trim around it.

I'm not sure if this is "Flow Blue China", but I love the pattern.  The inscription on the back says "Teutonic", and it has a stamp, but I can't find any reference to it in my book.  If anyone knows anything about this particular pattern, I would love to here from you.

This is another tiny butter-pat, but I'm not sure if it's authentic "Flow Blue".

I love the symmetry of the border pattern on this one.

I saved the best for last- this is my absolute favourite piece and I found it this spring- once again at "Southworks Antiques Mall".  I love all the different textural borders surrounding the pattern.   I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this plate.  And best of all- my mother bought it for me, so it was free.

Here is an example of the stamping on the back that you use to identify what the pattern is.

Here are close-ups of the two pieces in the dish cabinet.

Well, I hope this has been informative and maybe you'll be inspired to start collecting "Flow Blue China". If you have any pieces you'd like to share, I'd love to see them.

Bye til next time. Au Revoir.