Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas at The Wrentham Country Store

Treasures from Mary Ellen and Sandi's Booths at The Wrentham Country Store.

Clever, imaginative, thoughtful, pretty: 
a European style Advent calendar by Sandi in her booth.

Owner Mary Ellen, Sandi of A Cottage Muse, and me.
Photo: Nicole Tadgell

A visit with my sister Nicole Tadgell in Massachusetts was the perfect opportunity to check out The Wrentham Country Store, voted one of the best Antique Malls by Flea Market Style's Readers in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue!  The large space is pleasantly decorated by each booth owner--this is no 'rust and dust' shop.  

The outdoor area in front of the building is full of industrial vintage and rustic wares (antique chicken feeding troughs, zinc buckets), and an adjacent barn stores architectural salvage.  Primitive and Colonial styles are represented (it is New England after all).  Prices are fair and reasonable.

Sandi is gracious enough to sell a mirror I no longer want -- contact her if interested.

Photo: Sandi Fruci
Shabby Neo-Classical Mirror Available at The Wrentham Country Store
by Sandi of A Cottage Muse.

Tender thanks to all for your words of holiday cheer, blog posts, and comments.  The holidays are all the more special because of you bloggers!

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

What's It Wednesday at Ivy & Elephants

Favorite Things Thursday at Katherine's Corner

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Giveaway Winner: Tracie from My Petite Maison!

Congratulations to Tracie of My Petite Maison!

I'm hopelessly delighted in the participation and comments and 'spreading the word' 
from each and every entrant.  I'd send this out to every one of you if I could.  
You deserve it.
I extend a warm welcome to all my new followers!

God Jul,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Worldwide Annual Holiday Giveaway 2011: Books & Ballet

I offer my second giveaway, gifts only one of you will receive but my heartfelt intent is to give them to every one of you.   Material things are meaningless compared to the daily cup of joy topped with foamy sunshine you serve me by sharing your visits, blogs, and comments.   But, giveaways are what’s done in the blogosphere to commemorate milestones, so without further ado this year I’m doing “Books & Ballet”.

My December post will be tips & tricks on 'A Shabby Pink Nutcracker Ballet Holiday' in celebration of my first paid magazine article! 

So, the winner (international entries welcome) will receive: 

The vintage ballet slippers I used in the magazine.

(already sold out at many U.S. vendors).

courtesy of Little Cottage Shoppe.

...and 2 $20 gift cards for Shutterfly 
to make photo cards and the like.

To enter:

Leave a comment.

To double your chances, become a follower, too.   (Current followers, please leave a second comment you’re already following.)

To triple your chances, put the 200 pixel wide giveaway button below as a picture in your blog or sidebar as well.

To quadruple your chances, write a blog post.  Additional posts on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites count as individual entries as well. 

International entries are welcome.

The winner will be selected by an online random number generator 13 December 2011 and contacted by email.

Important!   Be sure to leave a separate comment for everything you do for the sake of the random number generator.   For example, if you comment, already follow, and mention it in a blog post you’d leave three comments.  

Don’t have a blog?  Write a comment and leave an email address so I can contact you.   Questions?   Email me.

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

What's It Wednesday at Ivy & Elephants

Favorite Things Thursday at Katherine's Corner

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Farmhouse Friday at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home

Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage

Beverly's Pink Saturday at How Sweet The Sound

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Your Vintage Video: A Nutcracker Ballet Christmas

I'm so grateful to all the bloggers and artists that shared
their ideas and art in this year's holiday edition of Vintage Video!

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Farmhouse Friday at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home

Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Showcase Your Holiday Décor On Vintage Video!

My gentle readers, it’s time for the holiday edition of my seasonal blog party “Vintage Video”.   I hope you’ll link up and join me and your favorite bloggers in a YouTube video feature!

No video is necessary -- just a picture of your latest holiday themed work or blog post.  The software I use incorporates still photos beautifully.

(If you have a video, please email me here.) 

Don’t be shy!  Link up!  And, kindly leave a courtesy link to the post if you have a blog.

Vintage Video: Holiday 2011

Until next time, stay shabby!

I’m sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Farmhouse Friday at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home

Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Flight

Suet birdseed cake and coated apples styled by Todd Foster

Jeanne d'Arc Living Autumn 2010

You move me
You move me
With your buildings and your eyes
Autumn woods and winter skies

Neil Peart (Rush), from The Analog Kid

Late fall is the best stage, when no green remains.  From bare branches vibrant leaves fall up, down, sideways, tinkling, snowing, flying in glittering droves, like birds. 

How I love wild birdies, especially chickadees.  Fall is the time to welcome your winter birds back, and why not pamper them in clever style?

This feature in Jeanne d’Arc Living’s 2010 Autumn issue (I bought on Etsy in May) by Dorte Palsgaard and Anette Christensen with photos by Lonnie Wurtz Jensen moved me so much I couldn’t wait until next fall to try their ideas.

A bar of lard cost about $2.00 and a 40 lb. bag of birdseed is $20 on sale, so a handful of seed is pennies. You melt the lard in a pan on low heat, pour and sprinkle seeds alternately, put it in the fridge overnight and it's done.   It made not only this lovely ‘suet cake’ but a pair of brioche tin shapes, too.  The seeded apples hung on hemp rope work better if you tie them against a branch to allow the birdies good footing.  Domestic birds aren’t exempt from this treat: hens eat wild apples if they’re cut up, and birdseed makes them bonkers.

Standing in my orchard with a warm sweater on, smelling the perfume of grounded leaves and woodsmoke, listening to the chatter of chickadees is one of the best things in life.  

Until next time, stay shabby!

For everyone wishing sympathy for the loss of my Belle, 
and congratulations on meeting Rachel,
I humbly thank you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lavender Laundry Sachet from Dreamy Whites

“Between the garage and the beech hedge was her drying-green.  She had done a wash this morning, and a line of laundry stirred in the rising breeze.  Wooden tubs, planted with pink hydrangeas the colour of blotting paper, flanked the entrance to the house, and a hedge of lavender grew close to its walls.”


Now that it’s autumn, the days of drying laundry outdoors are going as quickly as the light in evening. 

Using one of Dreamy Whites' organic lavender sachets in the dryer does a great job making up for summer winds.  The fabric is a soft cotton tied with a bit of butcher’s twine.  So simple, so natural, so touchable I find myself holding them to my face before I toss them in the dryer.

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meeting Rachel Ashwell

Photo: Daria DeBuono

Glorious spaces.  
Fresh.  Bold.  Soulful.

Photo: Daria DeBuono

Right Photo: Daria DeBuono;  
For the party, every detail in the store was so pretty and thoughtful.  
So Rachel.

Right Photo: Daria DeBuono

If you don't live near a store, you're in luck...

It’s no secret Rachel’s Shabby Chic style has heavily influenced me.  Imagine my shock when one of her assistants contacted me to ask if I’d agree to be in her latest book Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces.  I received my complimentary copy the day before her October 20th Manhattan book signing, and after work read my chapter on the LIRR train en route to New York. 

In her lovely shop of treasures (velvet pumpkins and votives to herald the season—plus one box of Christmas ornaments—wait till she puts them on her website, you’ll die), her staff and customers gushed over my studio.  My dear friend Daria DeBuono (thanks for the pics, hon!) teasingly called me a celebrity.  (Me: “Oh stop!”)

When the line moved close enough, Rachel caught sight of me and said in her British accent, “Do I see Sandy over there?!”  She jumped up and hugged me, then we enjoyed a long chat while she signed my books. 

I’m moved she was moved by my humble little studio. 

I am so bashful looking at the pictures and book I’ve only looked at them twice.  It’s pretty surreal to see my name on the dedication page right next to Sharon Osbourne.  I don’t know many designers that would include the glittering L.A. home of Sharon and my shack in the same book.  But that’s Rachel.

She offers luxury, she offers value.  She feels both have merit, she proves it.

I relayed the one most important thing I wanted to say (but forgot) on her Facebook post expressing gratitude over the event: how proud I was of her.   She replied the same to me.

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

Giveaway at DustyLu
Win a signed copy of
Rachel Ashwell's Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces!
Ends 28 October 2011
(Don't win Lu's?  Don't worry.
I'm giving a signed copy away on my annual December giveway, too.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gifts from Roberta Comeau: Whispers From The Past

Roberta Comeau, an artist residing in the Catskills of New York, has gifted me with a bouquet of fabric roses she created.  You may remember the sachet I bought from her here.  

And then there's the Gianna Rose Maltese gift soap shaped like a Maltese show that's CUTE!  I love pink and cocoa...great fall colors on my daughter Zuzu.   

It was great hearing from you Roberta, and I hope to get together with you Upstate in the new year after my schedule lets up!

1999 - 2011

I'm saddened to inform you I had to put my adopted daughter Belle down.
Her joints had degenerated to the point where she could barely walk,
glaucoma was setting in...but she's at the Rainbow Bridge now
and everything's OK.   Except I miss her.

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:
White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Wildflowers: Asters Native to the Catskills

Vintage wasp catcher from France, $60 - Dreamy Whites

Summer passed
Now dancing asters
have a blast
as golden roadsides
roll in shawls
of fuzzy faces
soft and small

snowworks call

Love now
We will not last
It's fall

Asters by Amy LV

Daintily branched all the way down the stem, and covered with tiny starry flowers with violet eyes, these beauties grace dry meadows and roadsides in late September.  The Small White-Flowered Aster and Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum racemosa & Symphyotrichum lateriflorum) are known to inbreed readily, so it’s not uncommon to see variations.   I transplanted a few plants from the side of the road two years ago and I’m rewarded with bloom without further fuss.

What is your favorite aster?

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm

Cottage Flora Thursdays at Fishtail Cottage

Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hard Black Wire, Soft White Interior

On acres of the seeded grasses
The changing burnish heaves;
Or marshalled under moons of harvest
Stand still all night the sheaves;
Or beeches strip in storms for winter
And stain the wind with leaves.

--from Tell Me Not Here, It Needs Not Saying by A.E. Housman

Picture 1: Light bulb cover (.50 cents at a yard sale) and Edison ‘squirrel cage’ filament antique style bulb

Picture 2:
Upcycled yard sale jewelry tree into a church candelabra with shabbos candles held in with tacky wax (in the candlemaking section of your craft store).

Picture 3: Chandeliers stripped of white paint, patinated with Jax antiquing polish and small smears of black Rustoleum paint.

Picture 4: Angel wings fashioned from heavy gauge baling wire and oxidized with Jax antiquing polish.

I love using vintage accessories to show off the contrast between black and white.   Industrial and hard vs. romantic and soft is elegant, practical, and leavens when your shabby romantic interior feels too “puffy and ruffly”.

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:

White Wednesday at Faded Charm 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

White Baby Boo Pumpkins

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines the round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cells.

from To Autumn by John Keats

I had trouble finding these cuties last year.   One needs to be fast, visiting local farm stands in September before they’re sold out.  

Pumpkins and gourds are easy to grow, so I bought seed in hope of saving money, and I did.  For $7 I purchased seed from Harris Seeds (about $3 for 25 seeds plus shipping & handling) and sowed them in an indoor seed starting tray in late May, then my husband kindly transferred them outdoors in early July (way after danger of cold--the vines die easily).   

By mid-September I have so many!   Harvest early so they don’t turn yellow. This big wire basket displays an amount that would cost about $10 - $20 at a farmstand or lifestyle shop.   There are many more coming – if you happen to be in Upstate New York contact me and I’ll give you some!  

PS: Maria Carr is hosting a Cabbages & Roses giveaway at Dreamy Whites!

Until next time, stay shabby!

Sharing with:
White Wednesday at Faded Charm
Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner