Thursday, January 31, 2013

Catching Dreams in the Light

As the sun set one evening a couple weeks ago, it breathed magenta fire into the sky.

It was the calm before the storm, however.
The winds began to blow 50 mph and screamed into the velvet darkness.
Sleep was evaded.
Overnight, the temps plummeted 25 degrees.

Old Man Winter made his appearance here in Michigan in royal style.
(much to my chagrin)

"When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the Creator". 
~Mohandas Gandhi 

The next day, the snow fell.
The temps dropped even further into the single digits.
The furnace wouldn't stop running.

It was a good day to hunker down inside this toasty, tousled, old farmhouse
and catch a few dreams...

making some dream catchers to sell in my booth...

on my new favorite piece of love in the house.

I wrapped hoops with strips of vintage linens and pieces of old denim.

Note: Many of you asked about the name and SKU of my prairie table from Menards.
Here it is:  Midwest Manufacturing Workmaster Workbench, SKU #136-7034.

I pulled out my supply of twine, feathers, beads, bits and bobs.

I wove and strung and beaded and tied.


Glancing out once in a while to watch the swirling snowflakes piling up on the windowsill
and collecting on every green branch of the pine trees.
Feeling grateful for a warm house and the joy of working and creating with my hands.

"Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands." 
~ 1 Thes.4:11 

He has given you gifts, desires, talents, and inclinations.

Pursue them with gratitude and great joy.
They are God's gift to you.
Make them your gift to Him.
Even if no one understands.
If no one is impressed.
He is honored and pleased.*

I added some love and grace to each dream catcher
with a small wooden cross
or a tiny turquoise heart ~

whispering a prayer of peace over each.

I stood there and worked at my rustic prairie table all day long.

Enjoy stillness and quiet.
Appreciate His created beauty.
There is loveliness all around.
Choose to see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it.
Open your eyes to wonder.
Then create.
Make your own kind of beauty.*

As the evening sky began to darken,
I clicked the old switch on the vintage lamp that my sweet husband revamped for me.
This is the lamp that we dug out of a pile of junk in the back of a neighbor's property this past spring.

You can read about it here
(and see what Heaven's Walk looked like with a French-Nordic twist before shabby chicness found a home here).

It was badly rusted and not working,
but The Husband lovingly restored it for me ~
even taking the time to wipe on some linseed oil to bring back its original luster.

The warm light flooded the room
as I heard The Husband stomping his snowy feet inside the back door.

I drew the gauzy curtains against the cold and snow,
and turned to see him enter my studioffice.

A grin crossed his face as he saw me standing at my our little prairie table working,
vintage light filling the warm, cozy room,
seeing how happy I was at that moment.

He turned and smiled at the completed dream catchers
hanging here
and there
and there
around the room.

Leaving the dreams until tomorrow,
we headed to the kitchen for a glass of our homemade FatCat*HappyDog wine
before dinner ~

while the trees creaked and groaned in the icy wind,
and the snow created deep whipped cream drifts around the barn...

Smile, inside and out.
Choose to enjoy each day.
It is a gift.*

~  Blessings  ~

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* written by Susan, High Desert Home blog

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vintage Millinery Veil

"The art of making flowers was said to begin during the 12th century in Italy when they made flowers by hand from silk cocoons. By the 14th century the French had taken the art of hand making flowers and really began perfecting the techniques and materials.  It was said that in 1775 Marie Antoinette was given a single silk millinery rose, and because it looked so real she fainted! Eventually the craft made its way to England and then on to America. The Victorians were huge fans of anything floral and over the top, so at that time Milliners were a part of every community."

"Starting around the 1970's is when it all began to change, we discovered how to make these flowers, that for all these centuries had been made by hand, by machine. The beautiful velvet and silk fabrics used for the petals were replaced with polyester and synthetics.  The stems were assembled with plastic and no longer laboriously hand wrapped. We could make them cheap.  So the art of hand crafting these beautiful flowers pretty much ended and this is what makes collecting millinery fleurs so desirable today."  

Creating treasures using vintage millinery fleurs is a true art today.
Rachel Pallas is a talented Washington state artist who takes these fragile, silky pieces of history and weaves them into small rings of sheer beauty.   

She recently made this pale, mauve millinery veil for me.

Tiny baby blue velvet forget-me-nots are tucked between large, floppy, frayed edged silk petals.
Rachel is carrying on the history and skills of using these beautiful fleurs in millinery veils, wreaths, and petite veils.
I can truly see her one-of-a-kind veils on the chignoned heads of brides to be
or on the tresses of little girls attending their first garden party... 

But I'm just having fun moving this sweet hoop of silk around the house from room to room.

If you haven't met Rachel yet,
be sure to visit her beautifully inspiring blog, Shabby French for Me.
You will find yourself swept away by her photography and her talent for creating breathtaking vignettes
in her beautiful west coast home that overlooks the Sound.

Thank you so much, Rachel ~

You are such an inspiration!

Beginning to work on my Inspiration Board.

~  Blessings  ~

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pretty Storage Solution

Storage can be a problem in an old farmhouse.
Whether it's closet storage or shelf storage,
it tends to be far and few between.

{It ends up wrecking complete havoc with a tiny bedroom turned
"walk-in closet"....

Insert resigned sigh here.

But that's another story for another day.}

I knew I wanted something sweet and unique to store some craft items in.
Something other than plastic tubs (that are stacked in a miniscule closet) and rustic baskets
that you will find in almost every room in this house.

Something a little more shabby chic.

Something really pretty.

So, a couple of vintage hatboxes made their way into my studioffice recently via a quick, cheap trip to eBay.

I was delighted to come across this sweet blue floral one.

It now holds paper roses, strips of vintage fabric, and bits and bobs.

Votives: TJ Maxx; wallpaper candleholder: Stephanie Bradley

And this pink floral one is filled with ribbon and stamped 'Heaven's Walk' tags.

So much prettier than plastic tubs and bins.  :)
They make me wonder what woman decades ago owned them, 
what her home was like,
and what type of hats she stored in them.

I moved on to the master bath to make some changes there next,
and spent the remainder of the day giving the antique cabinet above the loo a little face lift.

I had grown tired of seeing the apothecary bottles and seashells.
It needed something fresh and cottagey.
Something that said, "I belong in a romantic old farmhouse."

Thoughts of painting the inside of it had crossed my mind recently.
I almost used the same paint as I did on my sweet rustic prairie table.

But today...I wanted to see it wallpapered with some florals.

However, I didn't have any wallpaper.

Next best thing.....??


Yep.  I used fabric.

I had no idea if this was going to work or not, but I plunged ahead anyway.
Worse case scenario, I would wash off the glue and paint it.

A homemade template and a little Mod Podge later,
I had this.

Then this.

Sorry about the blur.....

 And finally....


I filled it with sweet gifts, hand milled soaps,
and vintage linen hand towels.

Sweet ring box, glittery vintage earring, and millinery flowers: gift from Stephanie at The Spanish Dahlia.

I'm kinda diggin' the shabby chic farmhouse look in my loo....
and the pretty new storage in my studioffice, too.   :)

Now....on to that disaster of a walk-in closet.
If you don't hear from me by the end of next week,
please send help.

~  Blessings  ~

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sweet Prairie-ness

 If you bring home some of this...

ask your husband ~ very sweetly ~ if he would tackle a little project for you...


and then stand back and watch the magic happen...

your studioffice will be graced with this charming piece of prairie goodness.

Menard's recently advertised this darling six foot wooden workbench for $49.99.
 When my eyes landed on that ad,
my heart fluttered.  :)

It reminded me of the entry table in Tausha's beautiful Florida home
that I had been secretly coveting for a long time.

The next day, I rushed to the store with a $15 rebate check clutched tightly in my hand,
ran down the aisles in search of my long-lost table,
had some helpful young man load it onto a cart for me,
and plunked down $35.

 [The Husband later told me he couldn't even buy the wood to make one from scratch for that amount.]

It only took him a day to put the kit together
(after cutting down the length by 12" to fit into my studioffice better),
and I spent the following day recreating a worn, vintagey look by staining it first with 'Early American', then painting on watered down 'French Enamel' Milk Paint
which I rubbed and sanded back.

We moved the antique church pew that was previously in the room
to the barn.
See it there behind the chaise covered with a slipcover?
To tell you the truth, we never sat on it or used it for anything.

I may sell it this spring in my booth.

I spent the next day floofing, creating pretty vignettes,



over and over and over again.

[I even got the good kind of raised eyebrows, and a
"Holy cow!  That looks great!  I'm really impressed, hon!" 
from The Husband.   
Woot woot!]

Oh, yeah...

I'm loving every single board on this baby.

'Tangled prairie hearts' I made this week.

This sweet little prairie table will give me a special place to weave my dream catchers,

string my large wooden rosaries

Made more rosaries this week. One is winging it's way to Australia! 

wrap my tangled prairie hearts...

Tutorial will be coming soon. I promise.  :)

and create some pretty vignettes, of course.  


We were both so thrilled with the rustic feeling this workbench brought to Heaven's Walk,
that The Husband wants to make more for me to sell in my booth.

What do you think?

 A bit of faded pink
or lavender paint next.....?   

~  Blessings  ~

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