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Mantel Inspiration

In joining the weekend fun over at Funky Junk Interiors -
I am posting a few pictures of our living room mantle.

This mantle is HUGE. The fireplace is HUGE.

For this display- I know it is kind of bland- I just felt like letting just a couple of elements speak for the fireplace this time.
I found this old frame at a flea market.
I LOVED the size and details and the darling chain that it hung on.
I didn't know where or when I would find the perfect something to fit into it, but loved it anyway.
It so happens that as I was leaving the flea market I walked past this amazing oil painting of red roses.
I stopped and asked how much.
I could hardly contain myself as I paid him.
When I stopped to pick up the frame a few rows down, the painting fit nearly perfectly inside it.

I usually have two large metal urns filled with hydrangeas up there,
but for summer, they are on the floor next to the chairs.
I added the topiaries to tie in the color and then the berry garland with lights to add the ambiance.
At night, the mantle looks amazing all lit up. Or first thing in the morning- especially at Christmas time- the timer turns on the lights and you have a nice warm glow to drink your coffee by and start your day.


I bought this darling little settee not too long ago.
I went to look at some furniture at this really sweet lady's house and saw this incredible vintage settee sitting there, shabby and forlorn.
My heart revved up a bit as I looked at it and admired the details.
I knew it was a super find!
Aside from it's fantastic petite size and shape, it has this gorgeous carved frame with two birds and an urn in the center.
I ended up buying it as well as the other furniture- she had such AMAZING stuff!

I have had it sitting in my house for about a month waiting to be reupholstered- but haven't had a complete vision yet... and I might be dragging my feet a bit because of
ALL that BUTTON TUFTING!! oh boy...
Other than that...
I love the details on the frame- but not so much the color and finish on it- so I am thinking paint...
and I am leaning towards a more bland upholstery fabric due to the patterned
frame- I don't want the two to compete.

I have a few ideas... but nothing I am set on yet. There are so many creative ones out in blog land-
I thought I would ask if you have some inspiration or ideas!
Thoughts anyone?


Here's a little update on the fabulous chunky gesso frame I bought the other day.
I decided to go with my first thought...
A chalkboard.
One of my sons and I made this frame and actually several other frames, into chalkboards.
I love this frames large size and presence- it has tons of character in the gesso details and is so elegant above the french commode in the dining area.

Here's the chalkboard at Christmas.
I love the gold and haven't painted it white~
I love the tarnished vintage glam old gold frames have.

Here's another one we have in the kitchen...

and love this dainty one for tabletop.

Do you have any old frames you are thinking of making into a chalkboard?

Shabby French Fabulous!

I stopped off to check out some spaces to rent for my sales I am looking to start up the other day. Lucky for me, there happened to be 2 out of the way antique stores sitting right there BEGGING me to come in!
I oohed and ahhhed over several things, but restrained myself from going crazy with the old furniture and what not. ( I LOVE furniture!!!!!)
But I did buy a little something that I just had to have.
An old antique frame sitting there just talking to me when I walked by.
Measures a HUGE 30x50 and has a thick old gesso frame with lots of appeal!

Chalkboard? Humongo cork board? Fabric or burlap dream or memo board?



Just wanted to share this little artwork my daughter made in kindergarten.
Ms. Linda asked the kids to draw what they wanted to be when they grow up.
There were the usual- firemen, police officers, doctors, veterinarians, dentists, kung fu karate masters, etc...
My daughter drew this precious picture of herself being a mom.
Holding her babies in her arms with a big smile.
I thought it was the sweetest thing!
Being a mom IS the absolute greatest job in the world!
When she gave that little card to me, I thought it was so incredible that she thought so too!
LOVE it!

That same year, she also made this
charming little buttony, glitterey, beaded sequiny frame at the end of the school year.
Ms. Linda had taken pictures over the year of field trips or when you helped out in class and they picked a picture to make a frame for to give to the parents.
I remember this field trip distinctly.
We went to the pumpkin patch at the old train station.
We got to ride around on the train and see all the halloween decorations and what not that they had out for the season.
It was beautiful, fun and also absolutely FREEZING that day- out of the blue FREEZING.
No one was prepared and half the kids and parents were not dressed well for the occasion.

Nonetheless, we had a great time riding the train and getting in the mood for Halloween!
Seems like just yesterday when she was in kindergarten and
yet, she just celebrated her 12th birthday and is going into 7th grade.
I cannot believe my baby girl has grown so fast!


This door..

full of charm,
painted cottage blue black
trimmed in fluted moulding & with a bold dentil moulding to top it off
Framed by tall green juniper topiaries
and adorned with a red berry grapevine wreath.

This door leads into my French Cottage inspired home.

When we bought our house,
the door that was here was carved with knights, coat of arms -
yes, think medieval-
was splintered and peeling and had long splits in the wood
that allowed rays of sunshine to come through.
It was... interesting... but not so welcoming!

As well, our front door is in a corner
and right next to it on the other wall was a second door that was locked with a padlock.
That is the one you can see in the photo above.
It was a heavy door that was rotting away and had a latch like you would close on a kennel
or storage unit instead of a door handle and lock.

It sat directly next to the door on the other wall.

So you got to the top of the steps
and it was like Alice in Wonderland-

Which door do you open?
My realtor opened the lockbox and found a key to the padlock
and so we unlocked the padlock and hesitantly entered...

Did I mention you needed to use a lot of vision with this house?
more to come...

linking up to

Evening In Provence Inspired Dinner

Last night I had several friends over for an Evening in Provence inspired dinner party.

I had several inspired ideas for the party but chose a simple yet elegant theme
I thought of fragrant lavender blooming, good wine, crusty bread and lots of laughter.

On a chalkboard I placed in an
antique frame, I wrote the dinner menu in French
& then downloaded a fantastic album of 100 french songs- it was perfect for the background music (and a great deal for only $11.99!)

I found five little petite lavender plants
and two even tinier little rosemary that were blooming with little blue flowers and draping over the edge of their pots.
The dainty plants in their little clay pots were perfect for a welcoming and warm french countryside feel.

I put a wooden crate out and filled it with wine bottles~
a basket with glasses for the cutlery~
and some of my cake plates and tiered stands for elegance in presentation

In the center of the lavender, a metal Eiffel Tower garden statue stood tall

In the yard, the patio torches were lit and I
placed little candles in glass containers amongst the flowers in the flower beds for a little bit of mood lighting
The chandelier lit the entire pergola area beautifully as well!

All in all, the party was great fun and for dessert we had traditional french pastries-
a gateau with berries and cream and drizzled in chocolate!

Good food, good wine and fun friends
made for a wonderful
Evening in Provence inspired dinner
Can't wait for the next one!