Making Beauty Anywhere

Making Beauty Anywhere
Live with what makes you smile

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Present to You

There is no denying I have had a b*tch of a year.  Glad to see it coming to an end. But in the darkness there has been light.   I want to thank some wonderful people who gave me words of encouragement, my Mom, my sweet Julia, my friends and my blog readers who are so kind. I found this in a small newspaper a few years ago and it hangs on my fridge.  On tough days I read this to remind me.  This is my Christmas gift for all of you.

1.  At least 2 people in the world love you so much they would die for you.
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3.  A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you
4. Every night someone thinks about you before they go to sleep.
5. You mean the world to someone.
6. If not for you someone may not be living.
7. You are special and unique.
8. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
9.When you think the world has turned it's back on you, take a look, you most likely turned your back on the world.
10. Someone you don't even know exists loves you.
11. Always remember the compliments you receive, forget the rude remarks.
12. Always tell someone how you feel about them.
13. If you have a great friend let them know they are great.

Just because  a blog needs  a picture, here is my cherub I got from Wellington years ago after a long health issue as a treat to myself for making it through.  Here he is holding my favourite crown pin:

And here he is for Christmas with a vintage mercury glass ornament in the snow:

Thank you  to all who have supported me and encouraged me, and even just got me to laugh on a tough day.  Light is appearing and everything is getting better than I could have imagined.  Tomorrow Julia and I travel for Christmas in Vegas. I am so excited.

Merry Christmas,
Patricia  :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A present to me

Thank you for all the kind comments my readers are leaving me. The support means a lot to me. 

Does anyone else have this problem? - At Christmas I adore it all then..... it starts to feel too cluttered. I am starting to crave empty and less. I guess this happens so I'm ok when I pack all my nice things away.  Time away will help, I will come home and enjoy everything then family tradition is put it all away on New Years day. 

I was shopping at HomeSense on Friday and saw a neat little cabinet.  I walked by it a few times, checked the sale price then went home.  Then, that's all I could think about.  That's my sign that it's a good buy.  I went back on Saturday and bought it (wrong choice, busy day, traffic galore and then me parking in front of the store on a busy street to load it in the car).  I lugged it out of my car and up 14 stairs myself just so I could set it up.

Up the stairs there is a small space that was not being used effectively.  I like pretty when I turn a corner.  My first inclination was to put it somewhere where I could see it all the time but it's better to have it in an unexpected place. 

I still have to paint this hallway and this is prompting me to get it going. 

The reason this cabinet was on sale is that the glass in the doors was broken.  I actually don't mind.  My first thought was to do what Linda at did with her tv cabinet:

I love the chicken wire on the doors.  You have to see what this looked like originally:  She did an amazing job with something that most people would pass on.
Linda is so kind she offered me some the chicken wire - I'm thinking about it. 

Right now I like the open doors because they are showing some of my favourite things:

my Rachel Books,

a beautiful antique shaving cup that I found in an antique store - can you imagine a man using this to shave??  I can't,

my Domino book and favourite white pears.  Have you read this book?  It's wonderful as was the magazine which unfortunately went down with all the other magazine deaths in 2008.

On top I put some more treasures.  My white vintage mirror tray was found in an antique shop in a teeny weeny town.  I was attending a terribly boring party and I ran out for a few moments.  No one even noticed I was gone.  I painted it cream and it shows up everywhere - it's just perfect.

In my frame is a Paris composition from the scrapbooking portion of Michael's last year.

A mirror box works everywhere.

I love this little Christmas present to myself.  I don't care that my back hurts from lugging it alone, it's a bit of beauty.

Until next time,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feather Tree

I'm sorry, I haven't written in so long.  I have had a bit of the Christmas blahs - very unlike me, but now we have plans and I feel a lot better.  Let me explain, it's just my daughter and myself for Christmas this year and I knew we needed to do something, so it's unorthodox, but we are going to Vegas.  I have never been and I have no luck for gambling but we want to go to Cirque du Soleil Love (I have always loved the Beatles - Paul.... sigh, and my daughter is going through a Beatles phase), my daughter adores The Lion King, and then pools and Target ( Whee!!) will help fill our time.

Every year I bring out my favourite feather tree.  About 10 years ago I saw my first tree in Country Living.  When I looked them up online they were expensive so I bided my time and waited.  I found one finally at Superstore at an after easter sale for the grand total of $3.00!!

It has a horrendous bright bottom and ugly fake green grass but it was the little pink fluffy branches that made me think there was potentional there. I put it in a mercury glass vase this year and then covered that with a fluffy feather boa.

About 10 years ago I went into a thrift store and found these:

Vintage ornaments that must be mercury glass.  They have a bit of an aqua tint, and reminded me of this picture from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting book.

I lusted after all this mercury glass and so when I found mine I was thrilled.  I strung then with white ribbon and hung them on my feather tree with bit's of vintage chandelier crystal's that I had hanging around.

I love these little ornaments so much I pack them myself when I move and carry them in my car -these and my jewelry come with me.  I only paid about $4.00 for them but they are worth so much for me.

I get some flak for this tree.  No one else likes it that much but it's my favourite part of the Christmas decor.

Until next time,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I can't stop

I can't stop thinking about this: .  Isn't is amazing that he taught them this song?  Women never fail to amaze me with their limitless strength.

 I adore Joe Purdy (much to my teens distress) and I play him every day.  I admire him because when he ccouldn't get a record contract he just started his own website and sold his own music.  I saw an interview with him where he said the only difference is he doesn't have a huge house now.

I never get tired of his songs on my ipod.  There are a lot of special ones to me but "Miss Me" live at the Hotel Cafe and "He Said She Said" are on constant play. 

If you follow up and love this song here is Joe singing it:

Until next time,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas White

I put the Christmas tree up.  It's white and I fill it with mercury glass ornaments that I got from a grocery store.  Here in Canada, Superstore has some fantastic home decor items and they also have Joe fresh clothes so shopping for groceries is about more than just groceries.

As I mentioned previously the tree is white. I took the bottom support rails off so that I can put it in an urn. 
Here it is looking spindly and awful, but if you look at the top of the urn you may be able to see bags sticking out.  This is a perfect deep urn, so I place the pole in and then add bags of sand, rocks, anything to weight it. Pack it in tight or else it will go over.  I know this from experience.  I put it in a beautiful antique urn went out for dinner and came home to mercury glass death.  I learned the hard way.

To cover the bags I use a feather boa.  I love feathers at Christmas, it looks like snow and it adds a dimension to the tree that works.

I let it drape over the urn.

This is the whole tree finished.

My daughter put a toy on top because we used to put a toy on the top when she was little.  

When I had a mantle I used to drape it in feathers and add mercury glass holders and balls.  It was beautiful.

I actually made the mirror.  One year my Mom and I were obsessed with Trumeau mirrors so I made 2 of them, one for her, one for me.  Not a difficult job.  Just a board, fancy trim, a piece of mirror, and I used anaglypta wallpaper on top and and  another piece of trim.  For a person that had never used a miter box it was a bit of a challenge but I got it done. I did a pale pink for me and a pale blue for her.

Getting it together is taking a while but I will post some more of my decor. 

until next time,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Creamy Perfection

I used to want stark blazing white and who didn't?  Rachel Ashwell shows white beautifully and it always looks great.  I live in Northern Alberta and the light here is amazing.  Bright, cerulean blue sky's and some damn cold winters which sometimes makes white look cold when all you want is warm.  Lately I love cream.  Our walls are creamy and a few years ago I got silk drapes at Fabricland for $14.00 and hung onto them until I could use them. 

Something about blue and cream is looking good to me to.  I saw this lampshade at Homesense while walking around talking to my Mom and I left her in mid sentence to go pick it up.  It's pale blue and has a soft fluffy Fleur De lis around it.  Hard to see in this picture but when it's lit it's stunning.  I love the look of an alabaster lamp in the sun.

A close up of the silk drapes.

I love the sheen of silk. 

There is no fireplace or mantle here but there is a shelf in the sun with great windows.  I use it as a mantle and make it a focal point in the room.  The sun poring in makes it a focus when you first come in the room.

The blinds aren't nice but the window is large so I will need something custom made to fit.  On each wall I placed a white plastic mirror for reflection of sun in the day and candle light at night.

I think it's starting to work out a bit. 

Aaahhh cream.

Until next time,

My Rescuer

My nephew Blake came last weekend and laid the laminate flooring at the front entrance.  It looks so much better because the floor used to look like this:

This is a brown linoleum which is cheap looking and sucks up the light. Remember when my camera quit working?  This was the same look in the kitchen and it just made the whole room look dark and dirty.

 Blake works as a contractor but comes on his available weekends to help me, he did the kitchen floor about a month ago.

 (my sweet pussycat got in the pic!)

and I love it.  It brings light into a kitchen without windows.  It also makes me want to keep the kitchen cleaner - funny how that happens!

In progress the front entry looks like this:

Blake is finicky, I like that about him.  He is sort of a modern day renaissance man; he is a contractor,  is in a band, manages another band and has them both on itunes and is  Dad to a beautiful boy named Anakin.  We share the love of Star Wars he and I. (If you didn't get the reference ask a teenage boy!)

This new life is bringing some unexpected challenges my way but I'm lucky because I have Blake by my side.  I don't know what I would do without him.  I held Blake when he was 3 days old and loved him to death when he was little ( a bit too much for his dad's taste when I put red nail polish on him).  He was the first of 3 beautiful children for my sister and these three always make me smile.  As adults they are supportive and sweet to me. 

I don't have a final picture yet because we need to still add the trim.  The other day Blake arrived for dinner and he sat in the living room looked at the hole in the wall ( and announced he could fix it!!  Yeah - I'm trying but that hole is damn difficult to decorate around.  This is what I had envisioned:

(a magazine shot sorry if it's a bit crappy)
This is what I wanted to do, add Ikea lacke shelves above the TV therefor distracting your eye from the black TV.  Well it's my dream anyway, but thanks to Blake it will get done. 

Until next time,

Monday, November 22, 2010

.50 Cent Decor

Yeah... you read that right  .50cent decor.  I have two pictures in my room that were .50 cents.  My first and easiest is this:

As simple as picking up a small black ornate frame at a garage sale for .50 cents, painting it white and adding a downloaded google image of a sign that I adore.  There is something so basic yet so true about this which is why this message is so popular.I see now it's not perfectly centered and.... that's sort of me so I'm ok with it. 

My other .50 cent find was in a thrift store.

It was such a find I kept the price tag on all these years later.

It was an amazing find.  I knew just where to put it.  I had purchased a beautiful empty frame a few years earlier at a garage sale and waited for something to fit into it.  It was an over 2 year wait but it was worth it. I glued my .49 cent find into the original garage sale frame and had a winner.

The frame was about $7.00 that I put it into so all this for less than $10.00 is one of my better finds.  The ornate frame and the rose frame both started as brown and in one of those great luck situations, the fit one another perfectly. 

I just found out Wellington Gift and Garden are on facebook and they have beautiful pictures including one of the front entrance now in snow.  It's worth taking a look at.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Treasure Schedule

I have been writing back and forth with Linda from who started my  blogging.  I met her when I purchased this desk from her:

She asked me where I got my mirrors from and that's when I realized there is a bit of a schedule to treasure hunting.  Garage sales are where I started which is a spring to fall endeavor.  I got my favourite plastic mirror at a garage sale that was advertised as getting rid of "treasures" from a life long collector.  It was perfect advertising because there was a lineup of about 20 people on the driveway waiting to get in.  It was amazing, obviously a hoarders collections were up for sale but it was a hoarder who knew shabby chic when she saw it looonnnnggg before it was a style.  I like to go to garage sales in older neighborhoods.  Here is my plastic $5.00 mirror that I walked away from and went back to get.

There are times to buy at stores as well.  I picked up my venetian mirrors at Homesense in the spring.  After Christmas stores start to quickly put spring items in the store and they are usually perfect shabby chic stuff. Think of it, it's the time of pink, white, and pretty greens.  I picked up my venetian mirror boxes at both Christmas (they are in the stores now) and in the spring.  Christmas is more than red and green, now it's sparkly and gorgeous.   As I mentioned before even Michael's is now doing pink and silver for Christmas. 

The final place I look is thrift stores.  Interesting frames can come in thrift stores wrapped around horrendous pictures so look beyond the picture.  I saw a beautiful one once and walked away and still think about it. 

When all else fails, ebay is a great source but to be honest I have never had a mirror shipped to me. 

Thank you Linda for getting my creative juices flowing when I was still drinking my coffee!!

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thank you to all

I wanted to say thank you for all the kind comments from my readers.    My blog started as something tentative (I did not have high expectations) and has turned out better than I planned.

I love to think about what I'm going to write about and it's been a joy for me to meet people who think the same way I do. I started this blog because Lynda at suggested I should.   Sandy at has been so kind and supportive.  Sandy gave me positive encouragement to see things differently when I was heartbroken and stuck.

As a way of saying thank you here are the remaining Christmas pictures from Wellington.  By the way I met the owner the other day and he said when he saw my initial blog post about his shop it made his day.  WOW.  That is pretty big for me. 

Beautiful vintage mirror 

This glittery Eiffel would work all year

Pink and glitter - how can you go wrong??

A corner of classic Christmas. 

Love this combination. 

Love this mirror but I could not back up and get a full picture, but trust me it's beautiful.

This is a beautiful pedestal and urn.

Well, that's all from Wellington.  Thank you for all your support.  I'm trying to add a "I love comments" button, but I don't have one yet, but for the record  I adore comments!  Thank you.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas at Wellington a.k.a Heaven on Earth!

I had the pleasure of going to Wellington Gift and Garden this weekend and they have their Christmas displays up.  You may be familiar with my obsession with this shop from , or you may be new to this but I promise you will become obsessed as well.  If you see anything you like their website is: and if your American your dollar is worth more here!!

Anyway, enough sales pitch (I think I want to make sure they are around forever), here is the entrance to the store:

Just inside the door a table of mercury glass made me giddy.

Then I saw this:

I adore Trumeau mirrors and this one is stunning.  Due to the lights it's hard to see the beautifully faded picture on top but the whole thing is one of a kind.  I love the cherubs with Noel under them as well.

This is a whole tree in an urn, sorry the pic. turned out badly but it is a sight to see.
Wellington has Christmas tree's displayed but it's what they have done without using the standard Christmas tree that was so......... enchanting.  Made me rethink a tree, but then I only have a white tree so I guess I'm not doing the standard green either.

I love the black crows and the ice.

Then I discovered the pink mercury glass section. 

This is beautiful,

As is this clock and mirror.

This was my favourite display.

I love this statue on a table.  I have a big vintage urn, if I had high ceilings I would probably do this. 

I like the Christmas dude in the crown.

I have seen Christmas displays before but none rival this.  I think Wellington does an amazing job at any season but their Christmas display tops them all. 

Until next time,