Making Beauty Anywhere

Making Beauty Anywhere
Live with what makes you smile

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,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sometimes wrong is right

Yeah, I know I sound like a petulant teenager but really it's not that at all.  In 2003 at Walmart (!) I found a beautiful Martha Stewart fabric that was cheap and beautiful and I purchased as much as I could afford.  I have looked for more for years and never found it again.

Yeah I know it's a bit loud and vibrant.  The joy of fabric with a great pattern is that sometimes the side they are selling you is not the beautiful side.  I turned it around and this was what was on the other side.

See, it's soft and dreamy and beautiful.  I hung onto my small amount of fabric until inspiration struck.  I sew, but I'm not great.  I spend a lot of time focusing  my errors but this time I did a better than average job (well, for me at least).  I had some beautiful white linen in my fabric supply so I did a white ruffled linen edge on my beautiful fabric. I love white linen, so crisp and it looked softer next to my fabric.  When I was done I had this:

But then I had a suggestion to turn it around and emphasize the enclosure which I agreed added a bit more oomph.  I knew what I needed, vintage rhinestones!!  I love ebay, you can always find what you need.  A few weeks later, and voila!!

It's a beautiful vintage rhinestone button.

It's the combination of soft fabric, white linen and the button that makes it my favourite.

I added a feather cushion inside.  In fact all my pillows are feather, never ever poly fill.  Feather allows you to lean back in comfort not get pushed out like a poly pillow does.  There are so many cheap feather pillows out there, ikea is ridiculously cheap, and here in Canada Jysk is where I got my euro cushions and lots of other feather size cushion inserts.  As well, sale bins are filled with pillows with ugly unusable patterns but with  a zipper and a feather fill it can be turned into what you want. 

So I guess the thing is sometimes wrong is right, and toss the poly go for the comfort of feather.  You deserve it.

Until next time,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

peaceful colour

I grew up in the 70's.  My bedroom had black and white circle wallpaper, red shag carpet and a red bedspread that sent electric shocks in the dark when it was winter (obviously not 100% cotton). That might have been why I have always liked calm colours in my surroundings.  When I was in University I purchased a white couch frame from Ikea with light blue cushions and I have yet to deviate from pale.

With the addition of my chandelier and a change in the weather it sparked a bit of a change and I switched out my euro pillows for these:

from target.  When I got them they were a little ........ bubblegum.  So I took them and soaked them in a laundry tub with a bit of bleach and a lot of water.  Sometimes it changes quickly and sometimes you can soak overnight to just soften a colour. These turned out soft and perfect and have not turned lighter even with additional washing. 

I also added my first Simply Shabby Chic item,

I believe it's called Rosalie.  It's a beautiful cotton linen mix  which I have been using for about 7 years.  You may not recognize it, as I did the light bleach process on it as well.  It usually looks a bit like this:

but I wanted it a bit softer, and now it's soft and lovely.

As well I added a longtime favourite:

Rachel Ashwell's Bella rose pink.  It's a stunningly soft pattern.  I only have this tiny piece.  I purchased it about 7 years ago on ebay and it was a store sample piece, a small square with grommets in 2 corners like this:

I also purchased these on ebay a few months ago and want to make some pillows out of these as well.  They are also Rachel Ashwell and for these it will be just straight lines, no ruffle.  It's tricky sewing around the grommet and I'm thinking about how I will do this without a ruffle to hide the grommet like I did with the Bella rose pink.

The other day I looked around my living room and noticed how soft it all was.... mission accomplished.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chandelier love

I got a new camera and I'm working on learning how to use it so I apologize if the pictures are a bit ..... lousy.  I realized after all this I forgot to take a picture of my kitchen floor so I will for next time.  My sweet nephew came and devoted an entire Saturday to laying the floor in the kitchen.  After all this work he put up 2 chandeliers and a funky light in my daughters room.

When my nephew was little (almost 2), he and his family moved in while I was going to college and that sweet little boy was my new playmate.  I had a boyfriend at the time who wanted to know when we would ever go out without my nephew!!  He was a sweet charming little boy who has turned into a sweet man who was a big  help to me. He won't do a job unless it's done correctly!!

So, when he hung the chandelier in my bedroom I did a last minute change and even now I'm second guessing. 
I chose the blue because of my pillow shams - Rachel Ashwell Bella Rose Blue,

but now I'm thinking maybe it would be better in clear.  I have the same chandelier in clear and I'm now undecided.  Please help me out and let me know what you think.

My dining room chandelier is a family heirloom (to me).  When my daughter was about 8 months old I found it in a little sale for $10.00.  It was brass with no crystals but I had a vision.  I painted it and started collecting crystals on ebay and through some good thrift store hunting.

It's just so nice to see the light of a chandelier in a mirror again. I want to soften the chain, just something to add to the list.  

All this made me reorganize my table top chandelier, so I moved it to my white dresser.  This dresser has a light box, thermostat and doorbell box above it so I put the chandelier in position to draw attention away from all that.

I moved my venetian mirror above it as well.  I love the look of white and grey together in winter.  I really loved this combination of  white and shine.  It's beautiful when it's lit.

It's calming and beautiful. 

Until next time,