Thursday, June 28, 2012

Captured Treasures


My radar was finely tuned to only certain items that whispered tousled, romantic, rustic elegance. Wandering the aisles at the antique market last Sunday under a hot and hazy sky that threatened rain at any given moment, I was continuing my attempt to be very selective about what I place in Heaven's Walk.

My first purchase was an Italian tole candlestick in a lovely olive green.
It had potential.
And it reminded me of the beautiful tole candlesticks that Rachel has in her beautiful new home that I've been coveting for a long time.

After a quick session with some spray paint...
it became a pure white piece of sculptural beauty

that found a home in the guest bedroom.

One of two new vintage glass lamps (a $3 steal) now graces the nightstand next to a small, pink mercury votive.

In the master bedroom,
 dreams of ballerinas dance quietly.

I couldn't pass up these vintage roses surrounded by a worn and chipped frame,

and hung them on the wall next to our bed.

Across the room, replacing the ladder,
is a vintage sconce with the most beautiful patina.
I nabbed it for $8.
It was missing a few bits and pieces,
but after being adorned with a little bling from my stash,
and awaiting a new candle sleeve...

she rests in a quiet corner above pink crochet and ruffles.

I fell in love with the roses on this sweet little mustache cup,

and the petite floral china that now sweetens up the kitchen table.

Romantic vintage treasures that captured my heart
and found a home here at Heaven's Walk.

~ Blessings ~

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Candlesticks and Crochet

The day was HOT and sunny.
Ninety-four degrees to be exact.
A day to spend inside with the AC turned on super high
and a glass of iced tea slapped to your forehead.

But Michelle and I are not wimps.
No siree.
We were bound and determined to meet up for our first flea market jaunt of the season
 in Allegan last month.
And despite the heat and humidity, 
we dragged our hot, sweaty bodies through that market three times,
taking a couple of ice cold lemonade breaks along the way
(and secretly dunking our toes in it).

At the end of the day, 
our very hot, sweaty hands clutched fabulous treasures -
some that needed a little TLC
and others that didn't.

 As we made our way through the rows of vendors at the beginning of the day,
the first thing our radar landed on was an incredibly gorgeous vintage bed
that was set up in the grass,
painted ASCP 'Graphite' and distressed to absolute perfection.
The price reflected it's perfection, too.


I would'ave given my eye-teeth for that bed
(that also had a matching dresser and side tables),
but it was waaay out of my budget.

(Sorry. No photos were taken because we were both too busy petting it...)

However, this sweet pink vintage crocheted throw was
tossed casually across the end of that beautiful bed.
It was in perfect condition
It was a perfect pink.
It would be perfect at Heaven's Walk.

And I paid a pretty perfect price for it.

Vintage pink chicness at it's very best
thrown over the overstuffed chair in my bedroom.

Another treasured discovery that day was a pair of very old candlesticks.
I spied them sitting on a table that boasted a "1/2 OFF!" sign on it.
After almost knocking Michelle down on my attempt to get to them,

(she's actually very used to me doing that to her and thought nothing of it)

I picked them up,
oohed and ahhed over them,
turned them over,
and imprinted on the bottom was

"Made in Italy".

Shut. the. front. door.

A pair of Italian candlesticks for six dollars....?????

Dollar bills were flying out of my wallet.
I couldn't pay the vendor quick enough.

But they needed some Rub-N-Buff magic.

In my studio, I pulled out the Rub-N-Buff in 'Patina'.
It's a beautiful verdigris color like weathered copper.

{You can see another one of my Rub-N-Buff projects here. }

I used a small foam brush this time and swished and dabbed.

After letting it dry for 1/2 hour or so,
I took a very wet brush
and my can of ASCP in 'Pure White'
and wet washed over the beautiful aqua patina.

I dabbed it lightly here and there with some terrycloth to pull back the aqua.

As it slowly dried,
it left behind an old world weathered finish that made my heart flutter.


The wax in this medium rejected some of the watery paint
which created this incredible patina...

which reminds me of the sea.

(See that sweet sign in the frantel?  Michelle gave it to me when we met up at the antique market. She made it from a vintage piece of wood.
The inscription says, "Les petits moments dans la vie" which means
"The small moments in life".

{I truly believe that God speaks volumes in the smallest moments in life...
like when friends surprises you with an unexpected gift made with their own hands.
Thank you, dear friend!}

I originally bought candelabras to sell over in my booth at the Emporium.

But...I'm rethinking that right now.
They're looking quite at home right here.

(I'm finding that that happens quite frequently for some reason
when treasures are transformed in my studio...)

So, for now,
they're gracing a mantel (or a table) at Heaven's Walk.

~ Blessings ~

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Father's Gift

Every person's life is a story written by God's hand...

The little girl presses her nose against the cold glass of the kitchen window.  Her father stands - bundled against the cold, dark of a snowy winter night - garden hose in hand.  She watches as frigid water sprays across the ice skating rink he is forming in the backyard.  Cold droplets sparkle in the light spilling through the window.  He turns to smile at her. She can hardly wait to pull on her brand new skates in the morning.

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Because, when all is said and done,
Only three things remain.
And the greatest of these is Love.
And when we have that, we have Everything.

Thank you for loving me so much.

~  ♥  ~

Hopping down the stairs, the young girl follows her father to the cool basement.  They make their way to his workroom.  A small window spilling summer sunshine onto the worn wood table littered with tools, nails, and pieces of wood.  He sets out four small pieces of wood as she steps onto a small stool next to him.  His hands lay out the frame they are making for a three-dimensional picture she has created with tiny scissors and glue. Their heads bend together over their project, and she begins to learn.

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"Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands." ~ 1 Thessalonians.4:11
Thank you for teaching me how to work with my hands.

~  ♥  ~

The father pushes the old rotary lawnmower across the green lawn. Springtime lilacs hang heavy on the big bush nearby. The young girl runs up to him, asking if he would teach her how to mow. “Mom says I’m big enough now!”  Big hands cover small hands as he helps her push the mower making neat, green stripes across the sun dappled grass. Her smile meets his as she looks up at him.

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"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

Thank you for instilling in me the love of nature and satisfaction of outdoor chores.

~  ♥ ~

The air is crisp. Leaves on the trees throwing yellow, orange, and red to the sun warmed ground. The family is searching for the perfect pumpkin for their front porch.  The strong, sweet fragrance of fresh picked apples greets them as they make their way between long tables of bright yellow squash, lumpy gourds, and piles of bright orange pumpkins. The father spots a table of nuts and dips a metal scoop deep into the mound of walnuts, pouring them into a small paper bag. They choose a variety of nuts and move on to select their pumpkin. Back at home, the family gathers around the kitchen table.  Loud crunching smiles fill the room. The little girl’s favorites are the salty ones. Her father shows her how to crack walnuts.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
-Galatians 5:22-23

Thank you for sweet, simple family times together.

~  ♥  ~

The little girl watches as her father sits before the canvas on the small easel in front of him.  The scent of acrylic paint is strong.  His brush dips lightly into a deep green and after a few swipes and tugs, a graceful, stoic pine tree appears before her eyes.  Mountains of blue and purple form a majestic backdrop.  A sparkling, crooked stream winds around the trees. She wishes she could paint like that. She is proud of her father for using this gift he’s been blessed with. 

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A few years later, she sits in her junior high art class with a blank sheet of artist’s paper before her and a sharpened pencil in hand.  Head bent, she begins to sketch the roses she sees in the photograph next to her. As the flowers take shape on the textured paper, she feels content that she inherited just a little of her father’s talent.  Her heart fills with happiness when she sees a big smile spread across her father’s face as he stands before her completed framed sketch...hanging on display in the local art gallery. 

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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.

Thank you for using your gift to teach me the love of art. 

~  ♥  ~

A warm July night.  Stars bright overhead.  The moon shines down creating shadows of the family in their backyard.  The little girl stands before her parents as her father hands her an unlit sparkler.  She hears a reminder to “Be careful now…” as he lights the tip and miniature stars spring and sizzle from the stick. She can see her parents smiling in the bright light. She waves the sparkler through the air making big circles, writing her name in cursive, and twirling around and around. Fireworks boom in the distance and create bright neon flowers in the sky.

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"Learning to delight in little things makes life rich. This strengthens us. As we enjoy these things, we begin to develop a self. And this unique self is a gift to others.

Thank you for teaching me to delight in simple, beautiful things.  Because of that, my life is richer - and more beautiful.

~  ♥  ~

The alley behind the garage is dusty gravel.  The little girl wheels her new purple two-wheel bicycle with the white wicker basket through the garage to her waiting father.  She settles onto the seat as her father holds the bike steady.  “Ready?”  She nods and remembers what her father told her yesterday. His hand is firm on the back of the leather seat as she begins to pedal.  He runs next to her holding her upright.  Their laughter fills the air. Her hair flies behind her. She feels him let go and her legs pedal faster and faster as the bike speeds across the gravel. Houses blur. She turns to see her father grinning widely at her at the end of the alley.

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Many years later, the adult daughter smiles as she watches her father teach her mother how to maneuver a golf cart.  She catches and holds a memory of a purple bike and a gravel alley in her mind. Moments later, laughter rings out as her parents fly across the yard with a streak of blue. Complete joy awash on their faces.

Smile, inside and out.
Laugh heartily and often.
It's contagious and brings good health.
Choose to enjoy each day.
It is a gift.

Thank you for your patience - and your quick laughter. 

~  ♥  ~

The adult daughter sits at the foot of the hospital bed and watches her parents together. Her father's concerned blue eyes gaze deeply into her mother’s tired, green eyes. He holds her hands and whispers to her lovingly and encouragingly.  He has been in this same place many times. He prays again for her be strong. He prays again for healing. Tears fills the daughter’s eyes as she lowers her head with her own prayer.  Love fills the room.  God is present.  Angels are in attendance. Prayers are heard above.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 
~ Philippians 4:6-7

Thank you for your prayerful heart and your strong faith…in all circumstances.

~  ♥  ~

I love you, Dad.  I love you for helping me to be the person I am today, and for loving me through all of the ups and downs, through good decisions and bad.  I love you for having the most giving heart and soul I’ve ever known. You embrace and live out 2 Corinthians 5:14 which says, “Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes.  His love has the first and last word in everything I do.” I see Christ in you, Dad.  You are truly living in Him...

and I love you so very much for that.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

With all my love forever ~

[I will be giving this to my Dad for Father's Day.]

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vintage French Market Baskets

I love vintage French market baskets.
Especially the tall ones.

Don't know what it is about them,
but the older and grayer and more weathered they are,
the more they appeal to me.
(Kind of like a distinguished older know?)

But they're hard to find.
(The baskets...not the gents.)
So when I read about  Rosemary's discovery of French-inspired rolling market baskets
last summer at JoAnne Fabrics, I ordered two of them.
One to keep
one to sell.

(Yes, they've been sitting in my basement for that long...)

I used ASCP in French Linen as the base color,
dipping my brush in the paint and then in a bowl of water,
and haphazardly brushing the color on.
 After letting it dry,
I went back with ASCP in Old White
and did a very wet brushing over the entire basket
allowing the watery paint to catch in the nooks and crannies.
 I was pleased with the results.
 I wasn't finished with it yet.

This gent needed something more.
Something to make him stand out from other baskets his age.
So, I hauled out a French address stencil, a piece of leftover drop cloth, 
and ASCP in Graphite.

A few dabs of silicone glue later
and he was ready for a trip to the market.

As I was downloading the photos,
I started playing around with the "Gritty" effect
and loved the vintage look it added.

Since I had the paints and stencils out,
I transformed this shapely old basket I discovered at Goodwill last week
with the same technique.

They make a nice pair, oui?

She just may have to live at Heaven's Walk for a little while...
while the gent is off to my booth!

Vintage basket on left: Allegan Antique Market

~ Blessings ~

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