Making Beauty Anywhere

Making Beauty Anywhere
Live with what makes you smile

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rachel Ashwell Fabric Samples

On ebay sometimes you can find Rachel Ashwell fabric samples for sale.  Over a decade ago I purchased my first group of fabrics and got my favourite:

Bella Rose Pink. 

A creamy pink perfection. 

Last summer I got a lot of light and bright pinks.

I loved the stripes and tiny patterns. Because these are fabric samples they usually come with grommets on 2 corners. It's the size and the grommets that make them problematic but I knew it would work.

I used small pillows, put the grommets on the bottom (which is open), sewed with gusto and created a oasis of lovely on my desk chair.

I love the detail on the floral pillow.

A couple of weeks ago there was another set of fabric samples on ebay, for $9.00.  Buying these gets me a Rachel look at a fraction of the price, so I purchased.

I'm still loving blue and wanted to see Jubilee white pink (which has touches of blue) and blue sprinkles in my living room.
For these, the front panel is the same (with the grommet taken off - easy with tweezers - everything works when you are using tweezers) and then the back piece  of fabric is cut in half with the finished edge being used as both sides of the opening. I like using these samples because it creates a pillow with 2 different fabrics.

I made both pillows with an opening on the reverse side.  For $9.00 I got two great additions to my living room.  I can't get a beautiful cover for that price anywhere.

When I went to put my beautiful pillows on my couch I took off my chenille cover off the couch to wash.  I noticed when it was laying on the ground that the back of the cover was...interesting and different.

After a wash it looked fantastic.  It has a beautiful texture, seems more springlike and the back enhanced the floral and leaf pattern. If you read decorating mags they are always talking about adding texture, yah yah, I thought, now I realize they are right.  It contrasts beautifully with the pale floral pillows, looks warmer and feels comfier.

All this work gave me a chance to sit back and enjoy my treat to myself.

I was born and live on the prairies and even if you have never been you have to look at this beautiful book.  Fifi O'Neill was born in Paris but grew up here in Canada on the prairies.  She is the editor for Romantic Country but this book has a more restrained look than most of the homes in the magazine.  The homes are beautiful and cozy.  It is beautiful inspiration. 

Until next time,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Paul de Longpre

I clearly remember first seeing a Paul de Longpre when first looking at Shabby Chic style.  It's not seen so much anymore now that Rachel Ashwell is doing her Prairie style.  I remembered it because of the beautiful way he has with roses.

I never thought I could own a print but then I discovered they are all over ebay.  It was so easy.  I ordered one I loved and it arrived in a tube waiting for me to put it in a frame.  I have only ever had 1 problem with ebay and my money was refunded immediately, so it's worth it if you want a print.

Once I had this beautiful long piece the hunt was on for a frame.  In the first place I looked I found a fit.  Michael's.  It was black and I painted and sanded it to suit the picture.

Paul de Longpre has an amazing history, born into aristocracy in France he moved to New York then California and purchased a huge lot  in what is now downtown Los Angeles for $10.00.  He planted 4000 rose bushes.  Can you imagine how wonderful it smelled? His images of flowers are not like anyone else's.  Soft and romantic.  Perfect for my bedroom.

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Shabby Chic Bed Part 2

I have been posting on my blog since July and every week my most read post is A shabby Chic Bed  so I felt like it was time to revisit the bed and my room. I love that blogpost too, because of the inspiration Sandy at My Shabby Streamside Studio gave me.  It got me thinking in a positive way which is why my room became my beautiful haven. It's time for more pictures since I  have a better camera now (was only using 4mp then).

I mentioned my inspiration was Sandy at, but I didn't focus on something she opened my eyes to.  She has created a beautiful bed in her loft with a blow up mattress and a shabby chic duvet.  Now I sleep on a blow up mattress too.  All that beauty and underneath is a Coleman double blow up bed with a feather bed on top. 

I have never had such a great sleep.  I used to have a very expensive pillow top mattress and this $39.00 blow up mattress is 100% better.

I still have my Rachel Ashwell duvet and Bella Rose Blue euro covers.  I love them as much today as the first day I put it all together. The quality of Rachel's products have really impressed me.

It is a tiny room, but I have fit a lot into it.

Every night I read before I go to sleep so I added a little spot for my books,

and magazines

Everyone needs a spot in this world that is their own and this is it for me. It does not matter that it's small, it's me and it's perfect. 

A bedroom is personal but I think it's part of why this post has been so popular for me.

Until next time,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

White cherubs

Two weeks ago I went with Linda at to an antique shop in Stony Plain.  I had never been and it was large and packed full.  So much to see and love.  I saw a marble table and fell head over heels.  I shouldn't though, I have a boat load of marble tables in the house (White marble is lovely). Could you have left it in the store?

There are little cherubs on the bottom.  It is all so romantic.  The marble looked bad and I wasn't sure if I could save it.

The only way to know was to pull it apart.  I really wanted to get to the little piece of marble on top of the cherubs and clean it.

It was so easy, I unscrewed a bolt on the bottom and pulled it apart like an old lamp.  I discovered on the back of the little piece of marble the 3 words I love.

Made in Italy!! Could be just the marble or the whole piece, I will never know.  I scrubbed the dirty marble with water and a tiny but of method dish soap.  It was so dirty.

Yuck.  I painted the metal with a brush and CIL enamel paint.  It worked perfectly.  Spray paint is quick but it's too cold right now and the smell is awful for a few weeks.

It was worth the time.

The marble cleaned up so much better than I thought it would, it actually still has a sheen on it now.  It's a tiny table, not really fitting with today's higher furniture, but that's fine with me. 

I paired it with my favourite mercury glass bowl (found shoved on a shelf for under $5.00 at Homesense, I love it) which is filled with white coral from the Caymen Islands.  My daughter loved to pick it up on the shore and I loved it because it was white and we hunted for it  together. My favourite vintage alabaster lamp and a bubble glass ball.

It's a charming corner of treasures.

Until next time,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Little things

When my daughter  Julia was little she always loved little things.  We would go to a garage sale and she came home with little dice, little brooches, little books.  She just loved anything little (I think she also discovered that a sweet little face can get you free stuff at garage sales!).  It opened my eyes to the beauty of  little things. 

One day I was in an antique shop and my Mom was looking at drawer pulls when I saw a large one and realized it would be a beautiful lamp finial.

Then a few weeks ago I saw this sitting in a group of small items at an antique sale.

I think it's an old door handle.

I also picked up a little shiny something that day, and I like it on my lampshade.

Last year I could not stop thinking about an old empty bottle of Chambord that I saw in a thrift store.   I finally purchased it and then used the tiny piece that had enchanted me,

to finish my clock.

There really is something about little things being the final needed touch.

Tiny is lovely.

Until next time,