My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Card for My Toe & Secret Pal Strikes Again!

Mail lady did it again - much to my surprise!! I got a package from my secret pal with all this stuff in it: a wonderful wall hanging, a hand painted CD keeper, a tiny little pitcher(!), a card, a notepad and a little rose pillow!!! I just kept pulling things out of the box. I'm so amazed by it all. How amazing is my secret pal?!?!?! Wow, just look at it.

Then my foot received a card from Miss Katie, the Hun, whose hubby is off fighting the California fires while she is home fighting off a cold/allergy from the smoke of those fires.  ;-) She hopes I take a "step" in the right direction and am feeling "toe-tally" better! Hah, this from the goat lady!!! Love her to pieces. Ooooooh, and my foot thanks her also!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Exclamation Points in Life!

I found out many years ago I live my life in "exclamation points"! I talk in "exclamation points" for the most part. I'm enthusiastic about life and all things around me. Today I want to show you an "exclamation point" in my life - this little "jar."

I have many "containers" I've bought through the years to hold things. I don't believe in putting something in just a plain ol' jar, box or container when there are such gorgeous ones available! This is one of them I absolutely treasure. I think I bought it at Macy's but it's been so long I can't remember - probably 20-25 years ago. It sits on a table in my family room where I can look at its gorgeous roses each and every day. In this photo I have it sitting on a photo box painted by Lorena of 2chicfriends, who is one of my favorite artists because of her magnificent fluffy roses! Ya gotta go see her stuff on ebay. This woman is fantastic!! Now, wouldn't you rather see your little doo-dads, bibelots and furbelows in something like this than a ratty old box??!! Hmmmmmm..................

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Afternoon on the Patio

Another day having a luncheon with friends. Here is another of Susan's beautiful paintings titled "Amaryllis." I love this setting! A pot of tea, old wicker or rattan, cushions, lace and roses. What more could we want? Just so inviting.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Surprise from Ele!!

I cannot believe this!! You gals are just so sweet and kind to me. And just for starting this group! WOW!! You continually amaze me. Look what arrived in today's mail - this wonderful little box with a snow covered house on it all decorated for Christmas. I'm stunned - truly!! Ele, our farmer's wife from North Dakota made this wonderful little box decorated with toile paper and jewels and roses and gorgeous trim! All pink, of course, my favorite color in the world!! And then she added a beautiful little tag she makes. Ladies, you don't want to miss her tags or blog. Go here Ele to see her gorgeous handiwork for yourselves. Thank you, oh thank you, Ele, my sister of my heart!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Halloween - Early!

This picture isn't a halloween picture but it has a scarecrow and reminds me of halloween. I think it is cute; although, I'm really not a big halloween person. I love seeing the kids and giving out candy but it's always been a bit spooky to me. DUH!! Anyway, this is another one of Susan's paintings and more will follow in the next several days also.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

They Lift Me Up!!

There is a group of women who definitely lift me up! All the lovely women on the PRH group on ebay. They don't do anything but brag about each other and say nice, sweet, wonderful, encouraging, loving things to each other. I love all of them and wish I could adopt all of them. Rhea gave me this "You lift me up" award and that sweet thing lifts us all up! I'm going to pass this along to some other blogs I've seen that I like and maybe they'll be lifted up also. But no group on earth could be more lifting up than the PRH group. Best chicks in the world!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Patio Tea Time!

Another place for a sweet afternoon of tea! Just outside your back door on the patio! Susan does it again! All you need is a simple table, a beautiful white cloth and a couple of chairs - wicker or white resin can do, ladies. Cobblestones would make it romantic also. Just think about what you can do for your afternoon tea........

Woodland Tea!

Perhaps you'd prefer a "woodsy" type of tea for you and your friends. This is an exquisite setting - again from Susan Rios! Dream and enjoy. More to come, ladies. Much more!!

Ocean View Tea!

Can you even imagine what it would be like to live in this setting? On the Pacific Ocean with lovely friends visiting for tea. Just too delightful to think of!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Grandmas Living Room, Trellis & Luncheon

These are 3 more of some favorites of mine by Susan Rios. One is set for a luncheon or tea with white wicker and a lovely setting with Olivia on it - the name of Susan's daughter.

The trellis one is the very first picture I saw of Susan's in Victoria magazine in the middle 1980s. I fell in love with her paintings then.

The top picture of the maroon horsehair sofa with linen pillows and antimacassars on the arms of the chair. Just reminds most of us of our grandmother's house.

Sigh, softer times. More photos will follow in the next few days.

Picnic and Bedroom Setting by Susan Rios

I'll share more of Susan's gorgeous tranquil settings in her paintings. The first one is a picnic setting we'd all love to be in. Just a tranquil luncheon by a babbling brook.

The second picture is a lacy bedroom with a bridal bouquet on the bed. The shoes are rumored to be Susan's wedding shoes when she married.

These are just the epitome of lacy, feminine, calm and beautiful things most women adore.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Teensy Tiny Chandelier!!

I bought something on line the other day from Bertie and when the package arrived this little tiny chandelier was in it!! I was absolutely in shock! Just ask Jack. I tried to purchase one from a lady on etsy and she had sold out. I lamented to my PRH sisters about it never ever thinking someone on there made these little "glittering jewels"! But when my package arrived there was this inside along with some beautiful ephemera and scrapping things. She is just the sweetest thang eveeeerrr!!! I love ya, chickadee.......... :-)

I made you smile?!?!?!

I made someone smile!! How sweet is that? I received this award from Bertie and what a sweetheart she is. I cannot believe all this woman accomplishes in a week. It would put me in bed for a month! She is a crafter/sewer/designer extraordinaire! We love her as another PRH sister and you won't want to miss seeing her "cottage", which displays her "decoratingness"!! She's fantastic!

"Loving Touch Suite" by Susan Rios

This is another lithograph of Susan's work that I have. It's a pencil, pen and ink drawing. This woman is just so multi-talented! But I wanted to share some of her creations with you. I'll be putting more on in the future to show you some more of her work from a book I have of her. But isn't this just so feminine and pretty. I can just imagine my home with little vignette like this one. Wait...........I do have little vignettes like this or similar around my home! Hat boxes, books, ROSES, vases, little pictures and ribbons. I have a box of the most exquisite ribbons I bought from Alexandra Stoddard about 20 years ago now. I just keep them around to run my fingers through them and for more "eye candy."

Friday, October 19, 2007

My 2 Influences: Alexandra Stoddard & Susan Rios!

This is Susan Rios' Fiona's Place
One of my favorite paintings.

My issue of the new Victoria came today. I'm just a tad disappointed in the premier issue but I'm going to subscribe for a year and see how it evolves. My very first issue of that magazine was one that had Susan Rios in it. She touched my heart with her paintings and lithographs and I've acquired a few of them - the limited edition lithographs. Susan is my favorite painter. I just feel like I could slip into any of her paintings and be comfortable living there.

The article I like best today was the one on Alexandra Stoddard. I have many of her books and actually tried to fashion my home around her books. She lives graciously and is a very spiritual person. I remember I would go to the stores and buy beautiful fountain pens and various colors of inks. I even bought a Filofax and carried it for awhile. I'd purchase file folders, envelopes and copying paper in beautiful colors. I'd buy lovely writing papers and cards, beautiful and colorful boxes for storage, colored staplers and staples, colored pencils, colored tacks, ribbons and just about anything that brought joy to me. (To see some of these things, go to the end of my oldest blogs and you'll see how I organized my home and office with tips from this lady.) She soooo influenced the way I looked at things.

I started buying and using beautiful tablecloths and stemware even when we would just put water or juices in them. I want to live beautifully!

I wrote to her once and she actually wrote back to me. She is definitely an influence in how I live my home life. I loved the card she sent me and laminated it and put it in my planner, which is where I put all the stuff I'd want to have with me if I had to evacuate my home unexpectedly. However, my planner was stolen about 3 years ago when visiting in California and with it the card from her and some letters from my granddaughter. There were things in that planner than can never be replaced. Musings and notes, sketches, ideas, diagrams and plans of things I'll never ever remember again. How the dimensions should be when I make a box out of heavy card stock. How to make exquisite ribbon roses taught to me by a japanese women in Oregon that I've never ever seen anyone else make. Sad but they are all things "of the dust."

The photo of Alexandra - known as Sandy to her friends - in Victoria was less than flattering and I wish they had done a better job because I've seen her from 25 years ago and she was a beautiful woman
, but I do think I'll write to Alexandra Stoddard again and see if she responds.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Fantastic Women of PRH!

Oh, I just got permission to post a picture from Katie that is one of my favorites.

Last week we, the women of a wonderful group called Pretty Romantic Homes on Ebay decided to advertise our creations on our blogs. First I have to mention that they are kindest, sweetest, most supportive, loving women I've ever met. We live in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, W. Va., Idaho, Florida, Australia, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Montana and Michigan (Amy!). But we have an incredible amount of talent from painters to sewers to crafters and other mixed media arts. We love each other and are a very good mix to be together. We can't wait each morning to start chatting and giving advice on how to deorate and make life beautiful and PINK!!!

Sharon is a painter of the tiniest roses charms you've ever seen. They are just exquisite. So tiny you cannot believe how she can paint such treasures but they are stunning. This has to be one of my all time favorites of her charms because it is pink! And Sharon loves victorian decor. She has the most amazing pink color on some of the walls in her house. You will see some of her home on her blog also. She lives in the tropics. :-)

Stephanie, our "Queen of Bling" and "Mother of the Bride for November" has more mirrors than Buckingham Palace. The cutest dogs and the sweetest mum in Texas. Visit her store for gorgeous mirrors, jewelry and fabrics. She's my longest "virtual friend"!! That is her wedding dress and she keeps it on display in her bedroom along with "Gone With The Wind" memorabilia. Ooooooh, Rhett!!! sends her swooning! We have to hold her back some days!! :-)

Bertie who has a wonderful old house and a pink cottage to "play" in. You will definitely want to visit her website and see the incredible things she has. You would never be disappointed. They has victorian, shabby, chic, roses, lace, medallions, and just things you'll want to buy. I love this pumpkin because it looks so "victorian" and is really quite lovely.

Celeste paints and makes just about anything you can imagine for shabby chic, french and tuscan. She lives in Texas with her hubby and dog Miss Beasey Lee. She is a member of the Decorative Artists of America. She makes wonderful prim items and shabby and chic roses. There are so many things of hers that are my favorite, but I chose this pumpkin because it now graces my home and was a wonderful surprise from this lovely lady!

Karen is another beautiful rose painter. Take a look at her stuff also. She lives with her hubby and daughter and kitties. One of her daughters recenly went to NY to study! She loves to craft and a self-admitted flea market junkie! We just love having her in the group!

Connie , and this is ME (!), makes pillows, totes, blankets, tags, decorative hang tags, footstools, chair covers, has a passion for decorating and pink and I craft weekly with a 9 year old scrapping buddy, Tasha. I love to simply keep busy! These little birdhouses are my favorite thing to make. This one wasn't my first but it is my favorite!

Lorena lives in Michigan with her hubby and daughter. She is also a fantastic rose painter and just a wonderful crafter. She keeps mostly busy with her daughter in high school and being her chauffeur. :-) She has the "fluffiest" roses ever. She also did a wonderful makeover recently for a home for underprivileged women. It turned out beautifully and was raved about on our group for the kindness this woman exhibits.

Katie is our tiny little "hun" who keeps us in line. :-) She and hubby have goats, chickens and more mild animals running their desert adobe than a petting zoo! (She also maintains a "desert" garden the like of which could sustain an ARMY!!) And she milks them and makes yogurt, ice cream, juices and the most gorgeous paintings you've ever seen. She did one painting of a cottage with roses and bunnies that is actually my favorite (and in a "private" collector's home!) but this vase runs a close second. It's just adorable.

Rhea lives in Las Vegas with her tall Italian hubby. ;-) She loves to paint and craft and has some of the most amazing ideas for stuff I've ever seen. Pretty boxes, hand painted roses tags, birdhouses, suitcases and ornaments. Beautiful stuff!! I have 4 of her lovely little ornaments like this one hanging on my dining room chandelier in a place of honor because they are so fresh and pretty! Her roses are also exquisite and so "fresh and clean" looking.

Amy lives in a house with a sweet hubby and 5 little boys! She just got into crafting and has come a long way and is getting very creative with so many things. We're very proud of how far she has come in such a short time. We've nicknamed her Princess because I think she is the youngest in our group and she is a tiny little thing with long red curly hair!

Ele lives on a farm in North Dakota and has an old church as her shop. You have got to see it! Go to her blog and look around. It is the most amazing place and we all lust after a place like that to "craft" in. She is a "true" farmer's wife and cooks meals for all the farm hands! She is a gorgeous blonde with a daughter who is gonna be a heartbreaker as she looks just like her mom! Ele makes wonderful things and puts them on etsy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Fuchsia Shawl Vignette!

I love this pink silk shawl. Actually, it is a piece of silk I found in a markdown bin at a fabric store years ago. I tried to think what I could make out of it but, alas, there wasn't enough of it for anything other than a "shawl" so I "fringed" the edges and put it over a table in front of our family room sofa. It is the most gorgeous shade of pink I've ever seen and I get to gaze at it daily from my chair in that room!

The little vase I found at a specialty store in Boise and just loved the MacKenzie-Childs look of it and bought it fast! I just stuck some very real looking roses in it and plopped it down on that table. I love little vignettes around my house!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Little Rose Petal Ornaments

I've been practicing making some different kinds of Christmas or Holiday ornaments to hang on a shabby chic tree. On the first one I used snippets of scraps from my roses fabrics. On the bottom two I used some rose petals I have had for several months. I have used them to make petal cakes and will probably do them again but I have had these old glass bulbs from the thrift store for over a year and done nothing with them. They turned out okay and are a lot less trouble than painting them but I think I'll paint the rest and see how they come out. I just like trying to come up with different things. I do like the fabric ones best though. What do you think?????