More garden and progress on the French daybed

I love simple summer days.  During the rest of the year, we are the busiest little bees.  We are always doing something or going somewhere.  Recently I realized I really have to change our lifestyle.  Life needs to be much simpler and less spending money...which means no more cable and no more activities that cost money.  We spend almost everyday having picnics at a playground then reading books at a library in the afternoon.  Gardening is a big part of our life and the girls are so proud of it.  Bella likes to go through the garden everyday and she would says, "Mommy, we have the most beautiful garden in the whole world and that because we take care of it, right?"  That makes me very happy.  Different flowers take center stage at different times and right now my clematis, delphiniums, and roses are the main girls.

Roses are gorgeous but dead-heading is not so fun.  Dressing up my dog, Lily, however is fun.  She is a poser.

I painted the upholstery of this settee with chalk paint® in Antoinette and the main reason is because of these ladies and their little hand and paw prints.  With paint, I can just wipe it off with a wet towel and if it is a really big mess, a coat of paint will cover everything up.

I have been working on my foot board turned French day bed project and I am hoping to get it done in a few weeks.  Here are some progress pictures.

This is after I cut the foot board in half.

Half way through the construction part.

All done with the construction and next step is upholstery.  I have decided to use a dark plum velvet for fabric.  Main reason being kids and pets.  I found a place where they sell salvaged architecture pieces from old Victorian houses.  I am thinking how amazing would it be to use those pieces to make a day bed?  Hmm...project number 55 on my list.  I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather.  It truly is a beautiful life.



Summer roses

Today is officially the first day of summer vacation.  The sun is shinning and flowers are blooming.  Children are having melt downs.  Oh the glories of summer.  All of my drift roses and knock out roses are doing their things.  It is such a beautiful sight.  I want to keep adding more and more.  Is that normal?

David Austen's Golden Celebration

Pink and Peach drift roses.  

Delphiniums are just starting to bloom.  The girls and I try to spend most of our time outdoor.  We looked for fairies.


Aurora's favorite thing to do every morning is to go through my vintage hats collection and my lipsticks.

I found this gorgeous vintage gray fur felt sailor hat.  She got to it before me.

You can see my driveway rose garden behind her.

Happy Monday!



How big is your he-ART?

How big is your art??  Mine?  It is pretty big and I love it!  Sometimes I have these larger than life visions. Most of the times they stayed as visions but other time they become slight obsessions and I think about them until they become a reality.  Well, this is one of those cases.

Of course this isn't the original Monet's painting but it is an oil painting on canvas of Monet's "Madame Monet and her son."  It is over nine feet high and over seven feet wide.  I first saw this painting hanging by the window at Fancy That Antique shop where I bought my gorgeous French cabinet.

Claude Monet has a huge influence on my life.  I can relate to his art whether through his paintings or gardens.  So, do I think it was fate that allowed me to own a little piece of Monet?  I think so.  This is the original painting.


The original has more green tint to it but mine has the perfect amount of blue to blend seamlessly into my living room wall.  The painting was given to the shop owners Christian and his wife Katie as a wedding gift.  Because of its large size, they put it in their shop window.  They weren't sure if they could let it go either which I don't blame them.  Of course, I went home and thought and thought about it.  I had the perfect spot for it in my living room and I really wanted the girls to grow up around art and be surrounded by it.  I went back a few days ago to ask about it again and guess what?? It is now all mine!  MINE!! Ok, now I can go to sleep and stop obsessing about it.

My ceiling is about eight feet high which meant I had to figure out how I can lean this painting by the wall.  Now, most smart people would think this through logically and wait until there is another person who weighs more than forty pounds to help them.  I am not most smart people and I am nothing if not overly ambitious and ridiculously impatient.  Lets just say I found myself trapped underneath a nine foot tall painting in my living room.  After hearing all the loud crashing and me screaming, the girls came running out of their room and Aurora yelled, "Mommy died!"  Ok, chill out, Ms. drama queen.  This was one of those very few times where it sucks to be a single woman who hasn't work out in six months.  I had to call a babysitter to come and help me lift the painting to its place...but boy, was it worth it?  The girls are so smitten by it.  Actually the first thing Bella said when she saw the painting in the living was "Mommy, what is Mary Poppins doing in our living room?"

When else am I ever going to find a painting like this again?

I know my house doesn't look like your typical home but what is a home really?  Isn't it where we collect things that define us?   A place that shows who we are as people and where we have been? Where we surround ourselves with love?

 A home is a novel that keeps on writing and a story is only as interesting as people who live it.  I like to think that our home tells a story that is pretty epic...and when you walk in, you might wonder to yourself...yeah those chicks...they got some interesting stories to tell.


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Shabby Velvet Chair

This is where my love affair with French chairs started.

You can probably tell from the picture that this was before I decided to paint the whole house white.  It was right when our new life began.  I have just discovered this amazing world of repainting and reusing vintage furniture.  I really owed it all to Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic books and Marian from Miss Mustard Seed.  Oh, how I wanted their beautiful furniture and all those gorgeous French chairs that Marian was reupholstering.  I didn't know how or where to even find them.  I remember that day vividly.  I was driving down my street while talking to my best friend, Jess, about how much I would love to find a French chair of my own.  I swear just as that sentence came out of my mouth, I saw one of my neighbors bringing out this old orange chair.  I jumped out of the car even before it stopped.  Naturally, she came home with me and sat and sat and sat in my hoarding room...until now.

This was my first project for my upholstery class.  I might have been a bit overly ambitious.  I painted the frame with a coat of chalk paint ® in Old white then used gold glaze and dark wax over it.  I chose this gorgeous light blue velvet for the fabric.  I LOVE velvet.

I stripped it all the way down to the bone and built it back up.  I can now understand why it is so expensive to reupholster chairs.  Holy Moly.

Yours truly in action.

Slowly building it back up.

This is after I put "the underwear" back on it.

Now she sits all pretty by my bed.  Since I am turning my foot board into a day bed, I needed something extra by the foot of the bed.  A pretty shabby chair and a gorgeous Florentine table will do.

I just so adore this little pitcher filled with peonies from our garden.

And of course my dream bed.

Ever changing decors to please my moods.

It truly is the best place to unwind when the last of sun ray sets into the room and sweet lullaby of sleepy birds fill the night air.   


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How does your garden grow?

I live my life on impulses.  I can honestly say it is the best and worst quality about me.  It is bad because I don't always think rationally before I do things.  It is wonderful because I don't ever second guess myself.  This garden would be the perfect example of it.

I have always dream of a cottage garden but I have never ever garden in my life before.  I just love looking at beautiful gardening books and other people gardens.  I woke up one day last spring and decided I was going to create my dream cottage garden.  I could have started with you know a plant or two but it is me, you are talking about here.  I woke up that morning and had someone ripped out my front yard.

Here is the before.  I sold my engagement ring and did one of the best things I have ever done for the girls and I.  Create.  Grow.

I didn't realize how big the garden really was until I had to fill it with plants.  I bought lots of baby cottage plants...lined the fence with New Dawn roses.  I just hoped they would come back the next year and Boy, did they.  I want to invite you to our garden now.

It is pure happiness every time I walk into the house.

Irises are the first ones to welcome us home.

Catmints grew three times bigger than last spring.  Lavenders don't look as good but I am hoping they will survive.

I adore how vibrant Salvias are.

Most of the plants in the garden are roses.  I guess they don't usually bloom until mid-summer?

I can't wait for my peonies to bloom.  Look at those gorgeous lupines.

A little shabby spot.

This is what has been keeping me busy and taking all of my time away from other projects.  I can't wait to share with you my rose garden...after I spend hours and hours weeding, of course.  There are four more flower patches in the backyard.  I have to keep reminding myself that dream gardens don't happen in one summer.  As a very novice gardener, I am quiet proud of my little garden.


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