Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rustic Southwest Colors & Lighting

On chilly days after the day job, it's tempting to eat out. Where else but Jose's, my other half's favorite Mexican food restaurant? Yes, we rose to the temptation yesterday. This Jose's recently changed their decor, and I just love the clay tile roof they used above the booths. They painted the walls with different complementing hues, a popular southwest style also used in homes. My friend has adopted this style for her home, though she chose soft colors. She is a superb painter, keeping those lines and corners perfectly even and straight. When my Mediterranean cottage beauty is finally built, I think I must keep her in mind for my painting needs. For you rustic lovers, here are some photos of Jose's from last evening. You never know, something might get your brain whirling with rustic ideas to use.

Have a wonderful day, my friend. Come back soon. I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simple Joys

When I read my favorite blogs, I am in awe of the beautiful photos of creativity. Often, I get antsy to hurry up and get my fixer-upper remodeled into the Mediterranean beauty it's planned to become. The bottom line is I want to fix up the place I live in now. Now it's a cabin. Nearly every time I go into the kitchen with the cement floor, I am itching to paint it. The kitchen walls...well, there is much to be desired there. But most of the walls will be coming down before long when we remodel. I must stay focused on that Mediterranean beauty our building designer is working on.

With the holidays upon us, naturally I'm wanting to decorate for the occasion. Rather than spend time and money on what is to be replaced, I've looked around at the things in the cabin I can use. That doesn't include the boxes in the loft. I began with my new baker's rack. Next I added a few pillows, then three of the pinecone topiaries I've been creating, and three single pinecones. Oh, and I had placed the two architectural pieces on the bottom rack after priming and painting them. I'm not through with them yet, and the bottom rack seemed to be a good place for them for the time being. Those are the among the four pieces I recently picked up for $6 at a yard sale.

The second rack has a photo of my parents. My dad gave me a Mother's Day card in May after Mother passed away in March of 2008. I framed the card and placed their photo in it. Mother loved to read Country Living and other home decorating magazines. I added past issues of November and December Country Living magazines under the picture of my parents. After all, don't we think of family when we think of Christmas?

Rick Warren's "The Purpose of Christmas" topped it off. This little book reminds me to think of the simple joys of life.

One of my simple joys of the day was to splurge on a magazine I was drawn to. Can you guess why? Ah, it had to be the words, many words. I love words...
cottages & cabins...
headboard (hmm, that headboard I found in the trash pile has become a HUGE project)...
Retro Bungalow...Shack...
 TIMBER FRAME CABIN yes that's me! 

It's a wonderful magazine full of ideas: Country Decorating Ideas Presents #110 Cottages & Cabins 2010.

Simple joys of life may be cooking for our families; reading a book or a magazine; talking with spouse, children, friends; or painting a pinecone for your Christmas decorations.

JOY - delight, happiness, pleasure, gladness, cheerfulness

May you have a joyful week!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Window Chalkboard Project

Got old windows missing glass panes?

This vintage window was used to cover an opening in my cabin kitchen. Chill has set in, and we needed to close off this opening. The chalkboard was painted the second time today, so no writing on it yet.
I was planning to paint the window Shabby Chic style, but Mr. SW Cottage preferred the old natural look. The wall hanging in the top pane was purchased at an antique store and fit perfectly for this project.

...and this is the vintage window (you can see where the window didn't completely cover the area). The old teal green store cabinet came with this little fixer-upper cabin. I'd like to restore it. In the meantime, it is coming in handy as a pantry.

May your Thanksgiving holiday weekend be blessed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mediterranean Mission Design

Mediterranean Mission Design is a mix of the Mediterranean and Spanish Mission combined. Webb's Drafting & Design Service is designing the Mediterranean Mission for the fixer-upper I purchased with my husband. Last night we reviewed the updated plans. It's a beautiful design! It even has my requested wraparound porch. I love it. Bill Webb is great to work with and an excellent designer. He is based in Southern California but designs homes in most other states as well.  To get a quote on your custom home, additions, garage, or patio, give Bill a call at (760) 247-2222. He's been in business approximately 20 years.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Decorating Traditions

It's time for holiday festivities and time to get the Christmas decorations out! Or, is it? Does festive Christmas decorating overpower your home the week of Thanksgiving? How do we get back to the basics of being thankful for the simple joys of life, food to eat, clothes to wear?

Today I'm especially thinking of memories of a praying mother and a mother-in-law who taught me their ways of being grateful for family. Though it is the week of Thanksgiving, every day is a time to be thankful.

I'd love to hear your comments of Thanksgiving memories.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pine Cone Topiaries

Looking for a gift for a friend with a love for nature? Give a pine cone topiary! An old form of nature art, topiaries have decorated cottage gardens for centuries and still go great in 21st century cottages.

Vintage, festive...

the natural look...

nature's decor - a simple pine cone adds a rustic touch...
 a Christmas bag full of huge pinecones, scented or unscented...

Order your topiary today. Or, make one of your own. To order a pinecone topiary or the supplies to make yours, see Rustic Country Vintage on Etsy.com.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vintage Gift Inspirations

Looking for vintage Christmas gift inspirations? I saw these beauties last weekend at Carriage House Antiques... 

 love this bench...

... and this ceramic tile coaster...

...and isn't this Shabby Chic piece beautiful?

Thank you for visiting! I welcome your comments and hope you'll come back soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rustic Pine Cone Gift Projects

Pine cones make attractive, unique gifts for your lady and men friends. An area near me has large pine trees that produce huge pine cones. I gathered several last year and decorated the cones with different colors of wax and ribbons and gave them as Christmas gifts to several coworkers at my day job. Throughout the year I noticed that each individual left the pine cone on display. The men preferred the natural pine cone with no decorations. This year I'm creating other uses for the pine cones (I'll share the photos later).

To decorate pine cones dipped in wax, go to your local Michael's or other hobby/craft store and look in the candle/wax aisle. Michael's has candle-making booklets with ideas to choose from. Choose your wax and colors. I used a small crockpot to heat the wax in, and that worked well. However, next time I'd like to use a larger pot to heat the wax in - easier to dip very large pine cones. After the pine cones are dipped and dried, decorate them with your favorite ribbons. Your friends and family will love the rustic pine cone gifts!

I am posting to:
Friday's Link Party @ Simply Designing
Never Growing Old: Follow Friday @ http://nevergrowingold.blogspot.com/search/label/Follow%20Friday


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Antique Store Raffle Winner Gift, Finds, and Photos


I found these wood trim treasures at the antique store and brought them home. Can't wait to use them. Some ideas I'm thinking about are:
  • use as a wall decoration instead of a headboard 
  • use a couple of the smaller pieces for the headboard I found in the trash pile recently 
  • any more ideas anybody?

Hmmm...this might look perfect in hubby's man cave...

and I so like these Scrabble letter words:

Yes, I did come home with the baker's rack, and it's beautiful [(excuse the wall; we're remodeling :) ].
I'm posting to Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My French Country Brocante Giveaway

This morning I found the loveliest blog, My French Country Home, where you can enter to win a very pretty "Brocante Giveaway"! Do you ever get lost in a book that takes you to another place? That's what happened to me this morning as I read one of the posts, "How I Came to Live in France." I was captivated. My dad has told me some comical stories about his visit to France with an Army cohort during WWII. Those stories are included in Phantom Seven, my book that is soon to be released. I love to hear about Dad's Paris days. He and my elegant mother were newlyweds when he went to war. He would send her things from Paris. Beautiful memories! Thank you, My French Country Home for sharing your stories.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lovin' My Friends

This morning my friend brought me a Pumpkin Latte from Starbucks. YUM! On this chilly morning drinking my latte makes me feel warm and cozy - and thankful for my friendships. I'm a southern girl, grew up in Texas where we say things like "I'm fixin' (as in I'm about to)" and "lovin'" and "y'all come back." In spite of all my years of travel across the U.S. and spending lots of time in my hubby's southwest, I never lost use of those southern words. Another thing I've kept is the southern hospitable way that my family taught me. My daddy is an old-time preacher and never meets a stranger. My mother was an elegant lady who always was seen with a smile. Their friendly manner in life taught me much about how to treasure friendships, like bringing a friend a Pumpkin Latte. So in my current state of life with my fixer upper in an area I did not grow up in, I have chosen to make friends. This week the subject of lovin' my friends and making new ones has constantly been on my mind. Last night, for instance, I went to Carriage House Antiques and helped my friend, owner Bunny, clean the shop for her and her husband's second anniversary this weekend. It just felt good to help someone without asking for anything. That's what lovin' friends is all about.

Have a fun Friday, my friend! And come back soon to visit. I'd love to hear from you.

Southwest Cottage Designs: Honor to Veterans

Southwest Cottage Designs: Honor to Veterans

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honor to Veterans

Where would we be had it not been for those who have fought for our freedom? Would we even be free to live in our cottages and be able to make them comfortable for our families and ourselves? I want to thank and honor all of you who have served our country so that we can keep the freedom we are so blessed to have.

My dad, "Benny"

Awhile back I decided to record the memories of my father and others who served in World War II and the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner to the CIA. Those memories are now in the soon-to-be-released book, Phantom Seven.
Phantom Seven
To order, click on the link below. Phantom Seven is to honor men who loved and were loyal to their families and their country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cottage Contentment

Have you remodeled a fixer upper? The little fixer upper I live in was built as a cabin in the early '70's. In its present state, there's not a thing cute about it. Last night as I was preparing this post, I began daydreaming about my "Ugly Duckling Cottage":

At this moment I'm sitting at my kitchen table (the ceramic tile project I'm currently working on), imagining the creative things I could do to the cold cement floor with stains where the old tile was ripped up. I see the pretty square floral and worn quilt I picked up recently for about $10 that is my kitchen curtain for now. Oh, yes, there are the two pretty five-shelf stands I found for $10 each at a yard sale last month. I browse through my favorite blogs and dream of what my little cabin could be. You see, this little cabin was purchased as a fixer upper to remodel and later sell. The week I signed the final papers to move in was the week my loving mother passed away. After her funeral I dedicated a little area to be my garden. Mother knew how to garden. Somehow, I never learned her gardening skills. But I tried anyway. That little vegetable garden became my refuge where I wrote my thoughts, cried many tears of grief, and began a healing process. Later, I began a flower garden, then another. My little flower gardens, two around trees and another along a fence, are now my inspirations. Mother loved roses, and I have planted rosebushes and a few miniature rose bushes with lavender plants mixed between them along with a few other flowers.

The fixer upper remodeling process has been slow, but my husband and I are working with a friend on this cottage project. The plans have been drawn for remodeling - our future Mediterranean cottage. A cottage can be a cabin, a small house, a lodge, or whatever you want it to be. Cottages give you that warm welcome as you walk in. You want to curl up on a comfy sofa or chair with a cup of hot cocoa with huge marshmallows melting in it and read a book. Serene white designed cottages. Flower gardens along the pathway to the front red door. Yes, I'm daydreaming again.

I'm trying to learn to be content with my current cabin cottage though I really want to fix it up now. The plans are nearly complete for the new cottage. With a little patience, I'll soon see the remodeling begin.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Garage Sale Finds and Antique Inspirations

Yesterday while on my home-photo-tour for the designer, I stopped by a garage sale and found these
 beautiful scroll shelves/brackets...

 - all four for only $6! Love it!

At that same garage sale there were many antiques, but to keep from spending too much, I paid for my findings and left quickly. Later I went to my favorite place of inspiration, Carriage House Antiqueshttp://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=122657791113463&view=user#!/pages/Hesperia-CA/CARRIAGE-HOUSE-ANTIQUES/122657791113463, fabulous antique shop. Owners Bunny and husband have created a hospitable atmosphere of welcome to each visitor with their friendliness and a cup of coffee or hot tea and cookies to boot. I paid on a layaway after browsing and admiring these lovely doors:
 I love this one with the chicken wire and picture behind it and the quilt below it. Neat idea!

Love this shelf idea for the door.

Carriage House Antiques is planning their 2nd Year Anniversary celebration next weekend, Nov. 12-14 with food, music, and prizes. Fun place!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mediterranean House Photos


Our house plan designer is designing a Mediterranean house for hubby and me. He asked for photos of houses we like. Today I drove around taking photos of houses I like. Enjoy!

Aren't they lovely?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Autumn Nostalgia

Ah! It's Autumn! What are the first things that come to your mind with the first mention of Autumn? For me, it's Autumn colors, cool breezes, pumpkin patches, and aroma of pumpkin bars baking in my kitchen. This time of the year makes me feel nostalgic with holiday shopping to do and family gatherings once again. Today I visited a lovely lady's blog, Beatrice Banks, a blog about family and home and all that makes a family and a home. In reading her blog, I was reminded of being grateful for my family and heritage. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read the history of her grandmothers. It's a beautiful story. If you favor autumn decorating in the home, you must visit Beatrice Bankwww.beatricebanks.blogspot.com/. She will cause you to smile today by her honor to her grandmothers. To show her gratitude to blogging friends, she has graciously prepared a giveaway of Thanksgiving goodies. Follow her blog for a chance at winning lovely autumn giveaways.

Happy Autumn! Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mediterranean Cottage Plans

Last weekend I looked at the first Mediterranean designed house plans for our "ugly duckling" cottage. I love the Mediterranean/Spanish style design, and our designer is taking my eclectic ideas to blend into a Mediterranean beauty of a house. That will include dormers and a wraparound porch. I love the Southwest Cottage blended design. 

As mentioned in an earlier blog, my husband and I purchased a fixer-upper house that was actually only a cabin. Though we loved the little place, it needs a great amount of work. We decided on a major remodeling. An investor friend joined the project with us, and we are planning to begin the work soon. My husband and our friend will be doing a lot of the work themselves. In the meantime I want so much to decorate the little place but am trying to stay focused on the Mediterranean dream home we will eventually have. I have dedicated this blog to the journey from Ugly Duckling Cottage to Mediterranean Cottage Beauty.

Have a happy day, and thank you for visiting my blog!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Southwest Cottage Designs: Ideas on Headboards from Trash Piles

Southwest Cottage Designs: Ideas on Headboards from Trash Piles

Ideas on Headboards from Trash Piles

What would you do with a headboard you found from a trash pile?

Here is an update on the headboard I posted about previously. If you'll notice (see photo from previous post), the headboard has a huge ugly gash in the wood. I purchased some batting and fabric to cover the large middle section in order to cover the gash. However, after sanding the headboard this past weekend, I thought of taking out the entire middle section and using the headboard as a large frame to hang on the wall. What do you think? Now, what I will place in the frame I still need to decide. Photos? Art? Tapestry? Hmmm...have any ideas? I'd love to hear your comments.