Thursday, June 23, 2016

Easy and Not-So-Easy Frenchness

Don't you just love a pretty easy project that doesn't take a lot of time to do and turns out better than you thought?  I'm finishing up a trio of stools for a client who likes the French stencils I have used on other pieces of furniture.  

Here is a before picture--an icky color, but a very nice shape.

After a couple coats of an off-white chalky paint, they look fresh and ready for some serious sitting-upon!

Need a closer look?

How French is this?  The bee, laurel wreath, and crown are symbols of French royalty, in particular Napoleon Bonaparte, who favored the bee with open wings.  He had bees embroidered on the imperial cloaks he and Josephine wore.  They were woven into carpets, wall hangings, and upholstery used in their regal homes.  

Want to read more about the Napoleonic French bee? Go here:

The laurel wreath is an ancient symbol of victory and the crown--well I'm sure
it's just a symbol indicating a king or queen.

Paris, city of light, makes for a lovely design in and of itself.  But, add in a little
scrollwork and you've got a very pretty stencil.

I have to give credit where credit is due--I bought these stencils online from

They have a big bunch of nice designs and are reasonably priced.  I have no affiliation
with them, other than being a satisfied customer.

Now for the not-so-easy-Frenchness.  We had an old, handmade trunk with few redeeming features.  It is lined with cedar flakeboard and could be quite useful.  But it was still just a big ole brown box.  It was taking up far too much real estate on our back porch and 
selling it was an attractive option.  
But, who would want a big ole brown box?
So, I painted it.
Now it was a big ole white box, plain and boring.

I had seen some very pretty French typography on everyone's favorite source
 of free vintage images, The Graphics Fairy, at 

I found a vintage label that has charm, style, and some scrollwork, too, and decided to put it on the lid of the trunk somehow.  It is a label for cocoa, loosely translated, that is inviting you to have some Payraud cocoa 
with your breakfast.

I enlarged the graphic with my little handy dandy Tracer Projector.  I taped some large tracing paper to a closet door, set the projector atop my little printed-out copy, and spent some quality time with a pencil, tracing over the whole image in the darkened room.  
That little projector can put out the heat!  
I'm now in the market for a much cooler used overhead projector, like we used to use in schools before computers and Smart Boards.

Once I had the enlarged copy, I went over it with graphite paper underneath the tracing paper, transferring the image to the top of the trunk.
Here's the French label after I hand lettered it 
with a Sharpie paint pen:

The whole trunk:

Got any furniture with a flat surface that you find boring?  It can always be changed into something interesting, pretty, and attention-getting!  Your make-over can be
as simple as using a stencil or going all-out with an image transfer and Sharpie paint pens.

Until next blog post,
À bientôt

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Home and Garden Thursday  A Delightsome Life
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 2016 Country Living Fair

Ever been to a Country Living Magazine Fair?   Mr. Bill and I went to the October fair 
in Stone Mtn., GA, a few years ago and decided we wanted to go one of the fairs again.  
This time we went to the April 2016 fair near Nashville, TN.  
If you missed this fair, no worries--there are still three more this year: 
Rhinebeck, NY, in June, 
Columbus, OH, in September,
 and Stone Mtn., (Atlanta) again in October.
  Now that I am blogging, I wanted to share it with you, giving you 
an idea of what it is like if you have never been to one.
The weather was just perfect for fair-going!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Quick French-ish Kitchen Vignette

 If I have to be in the kitchen doing something domestic, I want to at least like my surroundings. Cooking is not my favorite thing in all the world to do, but it does keep us from starving.  My not-so-secret wish is to make the whole kitchen over with a French Country look.  Maybe then I'll be a better cook!

Wouldn't this be nice?

             Lovely french country kitchen:


Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Very Merry Beachy Tree

Ah...Christmas!  Time for red and green, tinsel and stars.  But wait--I didn't want a traditional tree this year!  I got to spend seven days in SW Florida a couple of weeks ago and came home inspired to decorate our little tree with a beachy vibe this year.  Ideas swirled in my head: starfish (properly called sea stars--did you know that?), sand dollars, painted shells, and various other beach related things--all the makings for a Florida-influenced holiday tree.  But, since I don't have a palm tree, I'll have to make do with a faux (a nice way to say fake!) evergreen.

Of course, projects were involved!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A French Pumpkin and Other Fall Décor

Hello Friends!

It's not too late to post a few fall decor pictures, especially if the photos have a French pumpkin in some of them.  A citrouille!

In looking through my fall décor, which you can see below, I found that I did not have what I needed to create a French vignette on the dining room hutch.

It's not like I didn't have enough stuff; I just didn't have quite what I was envisioning.  So I got busy trying to produce this idea I had rattling around in my head.  When you have seen something on a blog that speaks to you, you want to try it out for yourself and put your own spin on it.  That's what happened to me when I saw things on three different blogs that I thought were terrific!

One of my favorite blogs is Stonegable, written and produced by Yvonne. She has impeccable taste in all things décor. Her post from a couple of years ago inspired the general look I was going for.  Love the way she has flatware in a pitcher with the handles showing at the top; adding the stack of plates was very appealing and I knew I wanted to do something similar.  I put some dried hydrangeas in the background of mine and in the little pitcher up front--always good for Frenchifying a vignette!

You can see the rest of her lovely fall decorating here:
 http://www.stonegableblog.com/fall-home-tour-and-1500-giveaway/  Many thanks to Yvonne for consistently posting great idea after great idea!

I had seen some white faux pumpkins decorated with Sharpie pens last year and wanted to have a French one this fall. I found some French-language poems about autumn on the internet.  I made copies of four of them, penciled them in so the poems ran along the pumpkin in a continuous spiral, and then went over the pencil marks with a fine-line Sharpie. Parlez-vous Francais? If your answer is oui, you might notice a mistake or two where I left out a letter or didn't put in the appropriate diacritical mark.  I don't speak French--wish I did--and recognize only a few words here and there.  End of disclaimer!  The pumpkin had been one of those orange faux pumpkins that are sold in craft stores everywhere--I just painted it with chalky off-white paint.  It was a great surface to write on with a pencil and it was easy to erase the pencil marks after using the Sharpie.

The inspiration picture for my project is one I found on Pinterest.  It was posted by Gretchen at http://boxycolonial.com/pumpkin-parade-sharpie-pumpkins/  Thanks so much for sharing a great idea, Gretchen!

For the dining room table I put together a country-look using a round galvanized tray to corral all the traditional things--pumpkins, gourds, crows, flowers, leaves, and grapes (that are on the other side of the arrangement).  It is sitting on a burlap square--I just fringed the edges for a simple look.

Here's a quick shot of the drysink and a blue pumpkin I painted two years ago.  It was also inspired by  Pinterest pictures posted by several different bloggers--right now, I don't remember which ones.  Yep, that's an old doorknob in place of a stem.

On the sideboard I put my steal-of-a-deal ceramic pumpkin that I scored at the Purcellville, VA, town-wide tag sale in mid-October this year.  It is in perfect condition--no chips, dings, or scratches.  When I asked the gal who was selling it how much was she asking for it, she said $5, but I could have it for $4!!  I didn't ask twice, crossed her palm with four singles, and made off with a lovely, unusual pumpkin to add to my growing collection.

The chandelier needed a little love, so off came the mini-lampshades that usually perch on the light bulbs, then I twined a leaf swag over the five arms and called it done!  Two minutes, tops.

There was space atop the green picnic basket that resides on a vintage metal cart in one corner of the dining room.  I remembered a lovely arrangement done in a lantern that I saw on Confessions of a Serial DIYer, another of my many fave blogs, and made my version of it.

This is Christy's gorgeous dining room with her lantern decked out in neutrals and a little green.

Fall Lantern Centerpiece (I almost threw this old lantern away!) Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Follow this link to see how she put it together and made a coordinating wreath.

By the way, hang on to your real gourds when you start to put away your fall decorations.  I'll show you in my next blog post how to dry them and give them new life so they can live on for many years in your fall stash!

I hope you'll visit these three blogs and be inspired, too!  Please remember to Pin from the blogs I shared, rather than from mine.  You are welcome to Pin any of my photos--and, please do!

I'd love for you to leave a comment--they make my day!!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From Gilded Frame to Gorgeous Necklace Holder

Statement necklaces had me at first glance.  I began to notice them on well-dressed women and on Pinterest when I searched for clothing ideas.  I loved the way they finished off the outfits I saw. They could make a simple blouse, sweater, and jeans look terrific!  They would become my quintessential accessory,  I decided, to dress up the clothes I already had.  I wanted some badly, so I began my search; it wasn't hard to find great looking necklaces--they were in every store I visited!

photo from a Google search--sorry, no source

After going nuts with the idea and getting a number of necklaces, Mr. Bill said, "Don't you think you have enough?"  No, you can never have too many!  I need lots of options to create a new look with the same clothes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Trashpile Chair Rescue

This old beauty was pulled out of someone's trash pile.  It is a vintage/antique pressed back oak chair with a caned seat.  The people seemed to be moving out, so I had no compunction about rescuing it from all the other things they were throwing away, thinking I could fix the seat and give it a new color.  Oh, so easy!

Here is the chair I wanted to redo as well as the seat with issues.