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Monday, March 3, 2014

Sprucing Up with Ironstone

Nature is trying its best to make some changes.
 Here in Tennessee, it can't make up its mind,
Winter or Spring?

Making some changes inside too.
I'm working on several projects while nature makes up its mind.
Like updating here and there.
I've had an idea to fill an old china cabinet I already have with ironstone
so I've been collecting a piece here and there. 
In the meantime, I thought a few pieces would look good on the shelves
against the black beadboard at the end of my kitchen island. 
The problem is I keep finding places for the ironstone I've collected
so I'm never going to have enough to fill my china cabinet. {sigh}
I had cookbooks stored in it before.

What do you think? 
Sharing with
Wow Us Wednesday
Share you Cup Thursday

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hanging Memories

Yesterday, in this post, I showed you how you can make art out of a photo in Photoshop Elements by clicking on Filters, then Artistic.  After doing this post I thought about something I'd done in the past using this technique...and well, I thought you might be interested.

A few years ago, Cigar Man and I went on a Mediterranean cruise.  Of course, we took lots of photos.  After we got home, I started thinking of ways I could display our photos other than just in a photo album. 

So, one idea I had was to edit my photos in Photoshop Elements using the technique I told you about here.  Then display them as art on my walls which I'll get to at the end of this post.  Just hang with me for a bit.

The photo below is a an unedited photo I took in Rome.  We were coming out of a restaurant and there behind me in an alley was this beautiful old wall rich with patina and these delightful flowers hanging from the window sills.  Really, I was breathless!  I thought you only see this kind of thing in books.  They don't really exist.  But they do. 

Below the same photo is edited using
Filters, Artistic, Paint Dabs
in Photoshop Elements.

I probably don't have to tell you the unedited photo below is taken in
romantic Venice. 

And below the photo is edited using
Filters, Artistic, Rough Pastel.

And another photo from Venice, unedited. 
Trust me, I have a zillion!  I promise not to show them all. 
And then edited with Paint Dabs again.  (I really like Paint Dabs.)

After editing my photos,
I printed them on 8.5 X 11 photo paper
and let that dry well for a couple of days.
I bought 8 X 10 canvases at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off.
I painted the edges of the canvases with acrylic paint.
After letting that dry,
I glued the photos to the canvases with Mod Podge
following the directions on the bottle.
And lastly, I hung them on the wall!

Now, we have fond memories of a once in a lifetime trip
as we walk through our home each day.
Sharing with Be Inspired.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Watercolors, Oils - Quick and Easy - Really?!

What a pretty setting this would be
to paint or watercolor. 
Don't you think?
What if you could do it with a click of the mouse?

This watercolor of the first photo was done
on Photoshop Elements
by going to Filters, then Artistic, then Watercolor. 
You can then twick it as you would like. 
Super easy!
Or try your hand at oils. 
Just go to Filters, Artistic, Paint dabs.
There are a ton of options to play with.
I could play all day. 
That's the only drawback.
Beware!  You don't get anything else done! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Antiquing Again and A Weekend Away

Last weekend, Cigar Man surprised me with
a night at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. 
Do you ever pretend like a
tourist in your own backyard? 
There are lots of interesting places
in our own hometowns. 
We just have to slow down long
enough to enjoy them. 

Heart of Country Antique Show was going on in the hotel last weekend and so we took advantage of that too and I have a few photos of the show later.

The Opryland Hotel is a wonderful place
to meander around. 
The gardens are well maintained
and out of this world!

Each area has its own personality. 
We pretended to be in New Orleans here. {hehe}

A river even runs through it!

As I mentioned, the annual Heart of Country Antique Show was showing in the hotel and there were so many unusual antiques and interesting booths.  Here's just a couple.
Colleen Frese Antiques in Iowa


Oh, I loved this dormer and could have easily brought it home with me, but remember, Cigar Man was with me. (you know what I mean?)

The owner of this booth, Simple Iowa, was so friendly. She told us a little history.  It came from an old barn in Iowa.  It's in pretty good condition for being exposed to all kinds of weather for years.  If she doesn't sell it, she's going to use it herself.  

We got into a discussion on styles and such.  She told us people want to decorate their homes in a certain period or style like French Country or Early American, but in reality the original homes of these styles were very eclectic.  They might have items of varying periods.  They weren't able to pitch what they didn't want and start over.  They had to use what they had.  I thought this was probably very true and an interesting fact.
If you're ever in the Nashville area, I would recommend dropping by the Opryland Hotel. 
Even if you don't stay there, it's a sight to see!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A New (Old) Table

Yes, I did.  I painted this table. 
I've had this table with the wonderful wood tones
for a long time. 
But, the wonderful wood tones just weren't suiting my purpose.
 I was visualizing something different.

So I painted two coats of AS Old White Chalk Paint.

Then I put on a pot of green beans. 
Well, yes, I did. 
But if you're taking notes, you don't have to do this step...although,
they tasted pretty good when I finished.

The drawers got two coats of AS Duck Egg Blue.  Next after letting it dry (about an hour),
I brushed the table with a coat of AS clear wax. 
I wiped the access off with a strip of tee shirt fabric. Dabbed a mixture of clear and dark AS wax over the table and drawers with a brush.
I worked in small areas
and wiped the access off as I went with soft fabric. 
After experimenting, I found this works best for me.

After finishing, my little table landed in my office
that I told you about here
Of course, I had to change things around a bit,
but what else is new.

I had fun decorating my table with...

a sweet little blue bird, a dried rose, a vintage vase...

and a sea shell.
I was thrilled to find these rosettes
in a local antique store. 
They're from an old house in Tennessee. 
I thought they'd fit perfect in my grouping.
I know you wood lovers are cringing at this post,
but I'm pleased with how my little table turned out. 
I can say I'm glad I did it. 
(Now, that's not to say that one day I may be getting out the paint stripper.) 
Sharing with others at

Friday, February 7, 2014

Antique and Garden Show

Here we go...
to the Antique and Garden Show in Nashville
The theme this year was "Be Inspired"
and I certainly was
Here's some of the inspiration that caught my eye.
(Sorry for the poor quality photos.  I was taking photos with my cell phone.)
Don't you just love the Garden sign
and the large chalkboard behind it?
Sandstone Gardens, Joplin, MO
Wouldn't you like to go camping in this mini-camper?
especially with these goodies stuffed in the backend!
Garden Variety in Nashville

Who can guess what these are? 
French garden markers in case you didn't know.

Take a look at this cheery tablescape
with bulbs in old coffee cans down the center
in the Scarlett Scales booth from Franklin, Tennessee

These little jewels were flying off the shelves. 
He makes these from old frames and trinkets.
Trace Mayer from Kentucky
 Love the simplicity here
Jalan-Jalan Antiques.

Could you fit this into your backyard?  I'd like to.
Of course, I came home with a few treasures.
And you may just see some of them
in the near future.
Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pink buds and Pussy Willow

We're celebrating a birthday and Valentine's Day at our house this weekend.  Since I'd already placed a centerpiece vignette with ironstone and an old pitcher on the dining table, I just added a little more for our family celebration. 

I saw these pink buds at Hobby Lobby and they screamed to go home with me.  Pink buds and Pussy Willow branches pair up nicely in this old pitcher and then, I remembered I had this heart shaped grapevine wreath to add.

I'm combining two different patterns on straw chargers.  I bought them both from an acquaintance who needed the money years ago.  I don't know much about them except that I love them both. 

Mismatched settings are my favorite.  It's just more creative and fun that way.  I know ya'll probably agree cause you are the most creative people I know!

At each place setting, I tied a personal tag, each is a little different.  The guys are not so fancy and frilly.  I used store bought tags that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I stained the tags with Valspar Mocha Glaze.  (you heard that right.  I use that stuff for everything.)  Then, I stamped a message and added little trinkets to personalize.  The pink ruffle on the edge is made from colored raffia.  I gathered it on the sewing machine and glued it to the tag.

From the buffet, my faux lady Santos is looking on holding a heart for Valentine's Day I'd like to believe.  I hope she likes what she sees. 
Sharing with:
Tablescape Thursday