Tin can centerpieces

Tin cans.  Not my favorite.  I love rustic shabby looks but tomato sauce tin cans never enter my mind when I am thinking about decorating.  Bella's preschool is having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and asked if I could do the centerpieces for the tables.  Yes!
What's the budget? $0.
 Is there a theme?  Nope.  
No budget and no theme are as deathly combination as unlimited amount of budget and specific theme.  So I came home with big tin cans and two days to make centerpieces.  When you give Victoria a project without any directions, you have to guess she will not sleep for two days.  You will have to assume her head might explode with ideas especially for a project that have $0 budget.  Well, challenge accepted.  Here is what my work table looked like after I went through my stash of treasures.

 Yes I could have just painted them and be done with but it is me you talking about here.  Good thing I like to hoard random things because they certainly came in handy.  

Here they are.  I had so much fun making them.  Somebody needs to get married so I can plan their weddings!  I love lace and I had plenty of it to give romance to the cans.  Can you see fairy dust too?  Yes, I got plenty of that too.  That's how we roll in this household.

Everywhere you turn, I have dried roses hanging somewhere. 


 All of my dried hydrangea and faux flowers came in handy.

And I couldn't help but doddle with a gold leaf pen and cut out paper butterflies.

I love how they all came out, especially since I spent zero dollar on the project.  I will never look at tin cans the same way again.  It kind of makes me sad to think that they might all get thrown away after the fundraiser.  It is so beautiful here.  And by beautiful I mean it is 35 degree and sunny.  Oh, New England.  I got some pretty awesome projects coming soon.  I can't wait to share with you!



A Vanity for a girl who can't sit still

If you ask me what do I remember most about the place I used to call home, a series of pictures, rumbling of noises and a rush of scents flash through my head.  That place inside my head feels so far away and at the same time, I feel if I stretch my arms long enough, I could almost touch it.  Sometimes when I close my eyes at night, I remember laughter under mango trees and the first of stars peeking through from the dark blue sky.  I smell the sweet smell of dusty earth making love to tumbling of monsoon rain.  There is always the loud beating of beautifully orchestrated rain on the tin roof.  If you again ask me what do I remember the most about home, I will tell you I remember my mother combing her long jet black hair in front of her vanity.  As a child, I would sit on the floor looking up at this beautiful creature and mesmerized by this simple act.  I still remember her vanity...all the curves and perfect imperfection of dents and scratches.  It has taken me thirty years to finally have a little vanity I could call my own.

It was a present from my grandmother and that alone makes this vanity very special for me.  Then there is the history of where it has been and where it will be.  This is the vanity before it found me.

It is gorgeous.  I thought about leaving it alone as is but what fun would that be for me?

Yes, I love gilded pieces.  I love the meeting of a time worn look with a faded glamour. I have to tell you I had a hard time trying to figure out what color to paint this vanity.  I knew it had to be somewhat muted because of everything else in the room but it still has to be one of a kind.  I wanted it to be very distressed so I used the newspaper rubbing method.  I painted the first coat with ASCP in cream then when it dried, I layered ASCP in Antoinette.  Why is Antoinette difficult to photograph?  If anyone has any tip, please let me know.

I am very happy with how it came out.  The girls are already fighting over it.  And every time I sit in front of the vanity, a flood of memories come rushing back.  Sometimes memories can get blurred by time and I find myself questioning if they're just long forgotten dreams.  I am also aware of the fact that our present moment and every moment we create will one day become memories.  Not just mine but my daughters' and they will all be bound together like a dusty old book.

  And one day perhaps, they too will talk about an old vanity with its faded roses and swirls of dusty pink and of their mom telling them stories of long ago dreams.

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Planning my dream bedroom

The plans for my bedroom redo is finally coming together.  I have a small bedroom with your usual old ceiling fan and mirror sliding closet doors.  My bedroom was the first room I painted white after my ex moved out.  I remembered waking up the next morning and felt the lightness and brightness of the room and also felt the lightness of my heart.  Then I forgot about my bedroom and focused on the rest of the house.  Now it seems like it is time to focus on my own sanctuary.  I want to combine my love of shabby prairie look and my love for gilded French glamour...all in a very small space.  I found some beautiful inspirations on pinterest.  You ready to daydream with me?  Lets start with plank walls.  Love them. Have to have them.  

I am thinking about painting a coat of creamy white then a coat of pale pale pink on top.  Sand it down to achieve that perfect distressed and chippy look.  For my birthday, my grandmother got me a beautiful vanity.  This is what it looks like.

The picture is from the flea market's facebook page.  I love all the details and I know I am going to have a lot of fun painting it.  I do have to be careful about my choices of paint colors because of other pieces in the room.  I am thinking about Paris grey and glamorizing the mirror with gilded rose appliques.  Now onto the bed.  Right now I have a white iron bed from IKEA.  I don't love it but it is cute.  I have been looking for those beautiful French beds but why must they be sooo expensive?? So I told myself...one day.  Well that one day was today.  I didn't have the girls today so I skipped along to my favorite flea market not looking for anything in particular.  Guess what I found?  My dream bed.  Yes I did.  Guess how much I paid for. $58.  I mean...really.  It still sitting in the back of my car because I can't carry it in myself.  It has the most gorgeous chippy green paint.  I am struggling because though it is pretty on it own, it won't fit in well with the rest of what I plan to do with the room.  Here are a few inspirations.  My bed doesn't look exactly like these but if I add appliques, it could.

I really love this color combos.  Don't you?  I feel like it is still so beautiful yet not busy.

I am also planning to replace my ceiling fan with a chandelier.  Now, for the most exciting project of my bedroom.  Re imagining my mirror sliding closet doors.  First I thought I will replace them with actual doors then I thought maybe I can build barn doors.  Then I realized, who are you kidding?  You can't build to save your life.  Ok, let think outside the box.  So that is what I did.  Here are my inspirations.  

Can you imagine it?  Imagine outdated mirror sliding closet doors to this.  Just in case you haven't noticed yet, I have a typical artist's obsessive personality.  Once I have an idea, I don't stop until it is done.  It is almost unhealthy which is why I had to switch my major from art to journalism.  That is a story for another day. The good thing is I have two little girls who stop me and make me realize there is more to life.  It is hard but I need it.  So one small step at a time.  It is the journey that is important, right?  And I am ready.


A little shabby corner and an indoor swing

I am having a case of writer block.  It is not because I have no projects...I have a million projects line up.  It is just because all the projects I am doing or want to do take days to complete.  I am new to this blogging world.  I am learning as I go but I feel like I need to do big projects for every post.  That is...well...hard to do if I want to write a post every few days.  Live and learn, I guess.  I am still working on redoing my bedroom.  One small step at a time.  In the mean time, I want to show you the most romantic part of our house.  This little shabby corner and our indoor swing.

Now, for most people when their child asks for a swing in the middle of the house, they might just be like, "yea, that will never happen."  Well, I am not most people.  When Bella asked for an indoor swing, I got more excited than her.

I mean, come on...everyone, young or old, should have a swing in their house. : ) I did a lot of research on building a swing...only because I am awful at building things.  I found most of my information from here.  It took about a few hours.  I think I spent more time decorating it than actually building it.  If you are going to be putting a swing in the middle of the house, you might as well go all out, right?  I imagine this magical swing in the middle of a forest...covered with vines and moss with wild flowers growing all over it.  Actually I used to have big branches around the swing...like an archway.  I spray painted them then had fairy lights all over them.  It was beautiful!...but no one taller than 5'6 can go through my dinning room without poking their eyes out.  So out they go.

I can detach it when I have parties but usually it is always there...always ready to take you to far away places.  There is something very romantic and whimsical about it, isn't it?  I am not quiet sure why.  Of course, for the girls, it is just their everyday life.

Both of the girls can fit on it.  I haven't try sitting on it yet.  I really want to but I don't want to tempt fate.  How funny would it be if I brought the house down?  Actually not very funny at all.  I am constantly asking my friends if they would like me to build a swing for their kids since everyone always fight over it.  So far no takers...I guess no one is crazy like me.

 I love this little corner of the house.  The antique day bed used to be in the living room but since Ms. Fancy Pants took its place, it is now resting in this corner.  It is the perfect place to cuddle up with a good book.  Whenever we have guests over, children always love this little spot.  I see them swinging away...their minds and imaginations taking them to strange and wonderful places.  I see them giggling on the daybed...lost in their own little worlds.  It truly is a wonderful sight to see.

Normally, this is what it looks like.

I am in the middle of painting a vanity and doing another "it sounded good in my head but it may or may not work at all" kind of project.  It is either going to be a total bust or amazing...think of my fridge project.  I hope everyone is enjoying these longer days.  I am counting down the days until I can garden again.


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