Thursday, May 31, 2012

Romantic French Candelabra

I recently purchased a beautiful candelabra from
Ann at Whimsy By the Sea
at a very reasonable price.
She has a charming booth in King George, Virginia.

When I saw that shabby chic beauty on her post that day,
I wondered if she would sell it to me.
I had the perfect place for it here in this old farmhouse.

See it there on top of the pretty blue dresser in her shop? (Wish I could have bought the dresser, too.)

Ann was so sweet and gracious!
She mailed it right out to me.

When it arrived at my door,
I was thrilled with how pretty it was.
The gold-toned silver needed a wee bit of help, though.
I wanted to give it more of a vintage silver patina.

I had been wanting to try Rub-n-Buff,
which a waxy silver (or gold or verdigris) leaf.
So, I used my 40% coupon at Michael's
and bought some in three different patinas.

I read the instructions and starting dabbing and rubbing the silvery mixture on.

You can see the difference in the patina already. 
The base is completed.
I allowed the old gold tone to peek out from behind the silver leaf wax
for a French vintage look.

After letting it dry for an hour,
I buffed it to a subtle shine,
tucked in some white tapers,
and placed it on the small table next to my vintage clawfoot bathtub ~
right where I pictured it would be when I first saw it in Ann's photo.


I find myself stopping every time I walk past my salle de bain.
The soft gray of the ladder,
the pale silvery patina of the mercury glass candles,
the vintage  patina of the candelabra,
the faded pink of the ranunculus bloom...
I just have to *sigh*.

Photo edit: b/w with color focus.

I'm looking forward to a French bubble bath very soon
(thanks to Michelle who sent me some lavender bath salts a while ago).
Maybe sprinkle the lavender scented water with some rose petals....
pour myself a glass of wine...
light the candles...


*sigh* some more...

[ Blessings ]

 {Thanks again, Ann!}

Don't forget to visit me tomorrow (June 1st) over at Stacey's at A Sort of Fairy Tale
for a tour of a summery interior at Heaven's Walk!
There are many more house tours there that you'll want to check out there, too!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Amidst the Blooms

Late springtime flowers hug the old porch with fragrance and color.
'Million Bells' spills deep pink from a rustic pot.
'Henryii' clematis twining around the post.

Sweet English lavender dances with even sweeter roses.

Soft, cushy pillows tossed onto a vintage wicker sofa under an azure sky...

whisper of sleep.

'Walker's Low' catmint lining the brick walk fills the air with invigorating scent.
Shade deepens along the woods hem.

Frilly, feminine 'Josephine' blooms happily on the arbor by the porch.

Tree peony blooms nod heavily.
Their fragrance intensely intoxicating.

Sweet and ruffly 'Sarah Bernhardt' sighs in the warm sunshine.

Fragrant "Knock Out" roses budding yellow sunshine
and opening to vanilla ice cream.

Green embraces white.

Lanterns filled with fairy lights will glow softly with falling dusk.

A catnap amidst the blooms calls to me...

 ~ Blessings ~

Next week Friday (June 1), I'll be guest posting over at Stacey's beautiful blog, A Sort of Fairytale. She's been giving some fabulous house tours, and I was honored to be asked to share my shabby French-Nordic farmhouse with you.
You are cordially invited to join me there!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Serving It Up French Style

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for your heartfelt comments
on my last post.
It was truly an emotional Mother's Day for all of us ~
and your comments made it that much more special.
Thank you for sending so much love.

~  ♥  ~

One of the treasures I took home from the ReStore this winter
was this lonely, non-descript drawer ~
complete with some type of peeling faux wood grain contact paper
that would not give up it's grip.

Sometimes, you've just got to work around what you have.
So, I did.

I also picked up a baggie full of these handles
for $1 each at ReStore, too.

I painted the entire drawer with a watered down layer of ASCP in French Linen,
and had the husband help me attach a handle to each side.
I wanted this tray to have an old French country feel to it,
so I stenciled on a flourish design in Paris Grey,
and then stenciled 'Champs Elysees' on the side.

Enamel sucre container:  Shabby French for Me

A light dry brushing of Old White was applied over the entire tray
including the handles,
followed by a coat of clear wax.

I was so delighted with this one,
that I immediately dove into making a second one

(allowing the dust bunnies in the house to party on for another day).

With this one,
I applied a graphic from The Graphic Fairy with Mod Podge,
and allowed it to wrinkle a bit to give it an even more vintage look.

and once again,
dry brushed it lightly with Old White
followed by a coat of clear wax. 

Serving trays ~ French ReStore style!

Both trays are currently for sale in my booth at Doster Emporium.

~ Blessings ~

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Daughter's Love


The little girl with the blonde braids and pink flowered bathing suit holds her mother’s hand on one side and her father’s hand on the other as she is lifted above the waves as they roll onto the shore.  She squeals in delight as her toes skim the top of the frothy blue water. Their laughter fills the summer air.

Later, as the sun lowers into the deep blue lake, her head lowers as she peers into the Coke bottle filled with orange ladybugs she’s collected that day.  She smiles up into the loving face of her mother who shepherds her toward the big old cottage surrounded by dune grass and tall pines.  She looks forward to climbing into the big, brass bed and snuggling under piles of colorful handmade quilts as the rolling waves lullaby her to sleep.

I am so grateful for beautiful summers spent at the cottage with you and Dad. Because of those long, sparkling, sun-filled days, I embrace my love of being by the water.

~  ♥  ~

Google image

The young girl walks toward the library on a late spring day after school to meet her mother to walk together the short distance home for dinner.  She enters the cool, quiet building that has the distinct smell of books, paper, and ink, and sinks into a big leather chair with the book her mother had picked out for her.  As her eyes dance across the words, she is transported to another world. She looks up to see her mother watching her through the glass window of the office, and smiles.

I am so grateful for the love of the written word you instilled in me through the books you chose for me as a child.

~  ♥  ~

Google image

The young girl sits at the piano, chin quivering and smile turned upside down.  Practice is not in her plans for the day, but the mother gazes sternly at her and points at the keys.  She begrudgingly starts plunking out the notes to the song.  The mother peeks around the corner and nods her head, smiling. Thirty minutes later, frown long gone, fingers flying across the keys…the music has captured the daughter's soul as her mother hums along in the kitchen.

I am so grateful for the piano lessons you gave me which taught me the love of music.

~  ♥  ~

Google image

The small girl in the shorts and tee shirt follows the mother out the door and together they walk into the back yard.  Strung from the house to the garage is a long, white clothesline that crosses in front of a large, fragrant, purple lilac bush. The mother sets the laundry basket down and hangs up the clothespin bag, dropping a couple weathered clothespins into her daughter’s open hands.  She pulls down the line as the daughter’s tiny feet arch up onto toes and she clips the pillow slip onto the line, her mother’s hands guiding. Sun warm on their heads as the clothesline fills with sweet smelling linens.

I am so grateful for sweet, simple times spent with you.

~  ♥  ~

Google image

The young girl stands at the kitchen counter between the mother and grandmother.  All three wearing aprons. All three smiling and laughing. The grandmother shows the young girl the easiest and fastest way to slice apples.  The mother bustles about the kitchen preparing canning jars and stirring the spicy, bubbling applesauce mixture on the stove.  It’s a time of learning for the young girl.  A time of teaching for the mother and grandmother.  A time of bonding for all three. Three generations of love standing shoulder to shoulder.

Google image

Many years later, the adult daughter stands at the kitchen counter next to her mother.  They both wear aprons.  The mother hands each ingredient to the daughter.  The spices are shaken into the zucchini mixture in the big ironstone bowl.  The daughter asks a question that makes the mother smile and their heads touch in laughter.  Loving memories of the grandmother need not be spoken. They are there. The room is filled with the smell of fresh, warm zucchini bread.

I am so grateful for the life lessons you taught me throughout the years.

 ~  ♥  ~

Mother's Day - 2008

The mother and daughter sit hip to hip in the golf cart. Daughter encouraging her mother in the driver's seat.  The mother's eyesight at only a sliver of what it used be before radiation treatments years before.  Nerves jangle, and anxious laughter fills the air. Her foot presses down tentatively on the pedal and the cart jumps forward.  More nervous laughter erupts as family members clap and encourage.  Hair soon blows in the wind as the mother realizes that she can do this as the cart flies across the yard. The daughter's heart is filled with happiness at the joy she sees on her mother's face.

I am so grateful for your courage and willingness to try new things, but most of all ~ your sweet laughter.

~  ♥  ~

Google image

The daughter stands at the foot of the hospital bed.  The mother lays amidst the crisp, white sheets, complexion pale, eyes tired.  She lays a hand on the aged hand and strokes it lightly.  Prayers whispered quietly to the angels attending. So many times spent like this.  So many times leaving stronger.  So many gifts of healing from God over the years. So many answered prayers.

I am so grateful for your continued strength and determination ~ a true testament of the faith and trust that you have in our Lord Jesus Christ.

~  ♥  ~

September 2011

The mother grasps the daughter’s arm as they make their way into the restaurant while the father parks the car.  Rich Asian smells drift from the open door. Walking slowly, arm in arm, shoulders touching.  The daughter feels the shaking warmth of her mother’s hand as she covers it with her own.  Memories of holding hands and jumping waves stir inside her soul. Memories of lilac scented laundry, hospital rooms, applesauce, zucchini bread, and piano music wrap themselves softly around her heart. She silently prays that her mother will never let go of her hand.

Because she loves her so very much…

                                   and still needs her...

                                         to help her jump more waves.

Google image

I love you beyond words, Mom. 

Happy Mother's Day ~

♥  [I created a booklet of these memories to give to my Mom for Mother's Day.  Because of her recent Alzheimer's diagnosis, I wanted to give her something to help her remember the cherished times that we spent together in the past. It will be something that she can look at from time to time...and remember how very much I love her.]

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ruffles and Roses

Ruffles and roses have been slowly making their beautiful way into Heaven's Walk lately.

My heart has been being tugged more and more by the inspiration my eyes linger on over at

I find myself returning to their blogs again and again because I want to feel surrounded by 

creamy white ruffles
soft, faded roses
touches of pale purple and aqua.


So, for now...for the summer
(and probably longer...),
ruffles and roses have made a serene, romantic appearance throughout this old farmhouse.

With Tausha's gracious guidance,
I bleached some Simply Shabby Chic linens that were originally an oatmeal color.
 I soaked them in lavender scented bleach for quite a few hours,
and then soaked them in a whitener/brightener for a couple hours
to remove any leftover yellowy tint.
The result was just what I was hoping for.

A beautiful, rich, creamy white cloud of linen ruffles.

A Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic ruffled tablecloth in "British Rose"
was draped casually over the end of the chaise.

A vintage looking basket tucked next to the chaise
was filled with faded floral scraps of fabric.
A handful of ranunculus and old roses
in faded, purpley pink were tossed on top. 

 A vintage cut glass vase on the coffee table, given to me by my grandmother, was filled with  purple hydrangeas, stock, and a sprig of lavender.

Heaven's Walk is smiling...
happily dressed in her summery wardrobe of
ruffles and roses.

  [ Blessings ]

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