Tuesday, May 12, 2015

a southern girl

This past March my article in Romantic Homes was about
what it is to be "Southern".
I spent my early years in Canada then lived the majority of my life in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. So how could I possibly know what it is to be a Southern gal? The more I wrote...the more I realized that the things that I identify as being "Southern" tend to be things that are associated with proper and polite living.
Things that allow us the time to slow down and appreciate life and all of those around us.
"Deeply Southern"
Romantic Homes Magazine March 2015 

Primping in front of a vanity filled with lovely essentials, dressing in style with hats and gloves and the undeniable need to be a lady at all times...

The ever present monograms on everything from handkerchiefs
to table linens.

Writing letters on stationary not sending impersonal emails.

Decorating with trophy cups.

Setting an elegant table...just because.

Loving sweet tea and lemon bars.

Spending warm summer days on a porch filled with wicker.

And searching for shade under a flower clad gazebo.

My conclusion is that being a Southern girl has nothing to do with where you live. It has to do with how you live.
Here's to being a Southern girl...no matter where you are!
Til later y'all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

happy st. patrick's day

St. Patrick's Day is a special day for my family. My Irish grandmother actually passed on the St. Patrick's Day. For many years the day brought great sadness but now it is a happy reminder of family memories. I am a blend of many cultural heritages and I am proud of them all. On this day I am grateful for my Irish heritage, my mom and my grandmother. I have learned so much and have been granted so many blessings... 
Here are a few of my favorite vintage Irish treasures.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Thanks for letting me share a bit of my life with you.
I love my family and I am so very blessed!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

stunning shutters

The art of repurposing has reached new heights lately. There are so many was to upcycle vintage treasures in clever ways. I recently wrote an article for American Farmhouse Style magazine showing how to create a window style mirror using old shutters.
These shutters are so beautiful just as they are but turning them into a mirror totally transformed them into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece!

With just a few simple steps the transformation is easy to achieve...

Here’s what you will need:
wooden frame
hinges, brads, picture hanging hardware
screw driver, hammer
adhesive for glass

How to get started:
1.  Lay the pair of shutters on a flat work surface. Measure the outside dimension and add ½” to each side.
2.   Make a wooden frame to the specifications of the measurements in step one. If you are not comfortable building this step, visit your local lumber yard for assistance in creating the frame.
3.   Attach the shutters to the frame using metal hinges. Depending on the size of your frame, 2 hinges per shutter will support the weight.
4.   This is the best stage to apply any desired paint finish.
5.   Add two screw eyes to the top of the frame at equal distance from each end. Then attach a small decorative chain for hanging the mirror. Be sure the chain can support the weight of the finished mirror.
6.   Have a piece of mirror cut to the size if the outside of the wooden frame. Make sure to have the edges of the glass gently finished/sanded so they are not sharp.
7.   Lay the frame facing down on a protected work surface. Apply a bead of adhesive to the center of the wooden frame all the way around the perimeter. Carefully lay the mirror centered on the frame making sure all of the edges line up perfectly. Wipe away any excess glue and allow the adhesive to fully cure before hanging (read package instructions for dry times).

OPTION: If you do not wish to see the wire hanger at the top of the frame, choose wood or the frame that is at least 3-4 inches wide. Then cut the mirror 1 inch smaller than the size of the frame leaving enough room to add picture hanging wire to the back of the frame outside of the mirror. 

When it comes to any project (and if ever in doubt), ask the helpful pros at your local hardware store, lumber yard or chain home improvement center! They can not only offer advice but many provide wood and glass cutting services on site.

  Hold onto old world charm by giving old pieces of architectural salvage a new purpose. Repurposing is not only beneficial to the environment in which we live but it can also be a stylish approach to design and decoration. Recycling old materials such as architectural elements gives new life to old weathered treasures and adds an abundance of character to the interior d├ęcor of your home.

Monday, February 16, 2015

time for romance

Well the weather outside is pretty frightful in many places right now. I get spoiled living in paradise and forget how rough it can be this time of year.
As I was thinking of a story for my Valentine's article in Romantic Homes magazine I automatically thought there is noting better than a romantic picnic. That can be a real challenge for many people in the month of February! So I decided to feature an indoor picnic inspired by vintage treasures and surrounded by romance.

Look to old love letters and books of poetry for inspiration. The colors, imagery and words are incredibly romantic!
You don't need to spend a great deal of time or money...just be thoughtful with your selections.
Be sure to have a few sweet treats and lovely flowers.

No time to bake...no worries!
Store bought will do with a few added touches.

Make it cozy with an assortment of quilts and pillows.

Finger foods are good for picnics...a cup of fresh berries and a handful of lemon cookies are beautiful, delicious and easy to serve.

Fresh flowers are always welcome but delightfully realistic artificial will work perfectly well!

It was so enchanting to set up this romantic picnic that I didn't want for the day to end! I hope you will take my lead and host a whimsical indoor picnic someday too.
The entire story with more photos and ideas was featured in the Jan-Feb 2015 issue of Romantic Homes magazine.

I hope you're inspired!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

getting cozy

Are you looking for a winter craft project?
Well this is the perfect time to bundle up and make some sweater inspired accessories to warm your heart and home...
Upcycled Sweater Projects

When I moved to Sanibel Island I had loads of sweaters that wound up in storage bags under my bed. It seemed silly to hang onto them so I sadly placed them in the "donate" bin. Most of my sweaters are vintage...go figure! They lasted about a week in the bin before I dug them out and tucked them back into the storage bag under my bed.
Well flash forward a few years and I was thinking of projects for the January 2014 issue of Romantic Homes magazine.
Finally...I had something in mind for a few of my favorite sweaters!

A stretched out cardigan and an over-loved
cable knit sweater became pillow covers...

A fuzzy knit was fashioned into this wonderful winter bag...

A couple of hoodies loaned there sleeves
for these charming vase covers...
they also look lovely with a candle inside!

You won't believe how easy this wreath is to make!!!

Finally a project for all of those socks that lost their mates!!!

The perfect hanger is a wool knee sock finished with
a vintage over-sized safety pin!

It's amazing how much sweaters warm a space...

I made this lampshade just for the article but it's kind of fun that my lampshade has a summer and winter wardrobe too!!! 

These ideas were featured in my January 2014 column in
Romantic Homes magazine...I hope you saw it!!!
So whether you moved to a tropical island like I did and you don't need all of your winter sweaters...or maybe you have a collection of sweaters your kids have out grown...give them new life!
It is cold in so many parts of the world right now...donate what you can to shelters in your area and use damaged or stained sweaters for your craft projects. Help where and when you can...then create til your heart's content!
Happy Winter Crafting....