Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day Still Life

Gracie's tree!  She chose and decorated it herself!
"Small but mighty!" she exclaimed!

Santa was well aware of what a kind, thoughtful, hardworking child she has been!

He sees all.  :)

We were told that if you plant TicTacs in sugar on Christmas Eve, the elves will use their magic to grow the TicTacs into candy canes!
It worked!

Hoping your Holidays are as bliss filled as ours!



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Craigslist QUEEN!

Merry Christmas to all my Blog friends!

We are delighted this day to be participating in the emergency rescue of an Alaskan Husky, named Donner, to be transported to a shelter where he will receive a bath, medical care, lots and lots of love!
Eventually he will be placed for adoption with a loving family.
I will post a photo at the end of the day.

Isn't that what we all want?  What we all need?
To be loved?

Speaking of which...

Please watch this video and be inspired!

Student turns to Craigslist to rent a family for the holidays...
Have your tissues ready.

I was going to post photos of our home, decked for the Holidays but this is definitely more significant.

You can see my house any old time!

Be of good cheer!



Monday, December 16, 2013


The Holiday Season is afoot! We have been dashing to and fro...sometimes through the snow that has been gloriously falling for days now!

This business of dashing first began when I purchased two thousand Spring bulbs for the gardens. The weather has been wholly uncooperative here in Illinois so I had to roll with it! Toward the end, I was drilling holes into frozen earth, then covering it with garden soil purchased from Home Depot.  While everyone else left the store with Christmas decorations in hand, I was wheeling out bags and bags of soil, as well as a few more Spring bulbs!
We don't decorate for Christmas until a week before because we use fresh greenery and keep it up until Epiphany.

I leapt at the opportunity to do a few random things around the house.

As you may know, the gardens keep me fairly preoccupied during the warm months.
The inside doesn't get much attention until late Autumn.
That is also around the time homeschool lessons begin, so the house must be patient with me!

I managed to paint the cupboard in the entry.  Annie Sloan French Linen, Light and Dark Wax!
See McGillicuddy? On the right?

Detail of vignette atop cupboard.  Please note the large, antique, wooden carved polychrome monstrance that I found on ebay for $20. The seller listed it as a shaving mirror that was missing the mirror!

I have rearranged the Library for the 5,782nd time.  I think this is a winner!  

Atticus loves this spot because the daybed is right over the heating vent!
The mirror was a Craigslist find, it finally rests here, in the Library.  The drapes are new too!  I have another set to hang to give more fullness but they are on backorder.  
They are quite lovely; a faux silk taffeta in a beige and burgundy pavilion stripe!

Close-up of the mirror.  Thirty dollars on Craigslist!

This may seem like an innocent photo of an armoire in a niche, but do not allow yourself to be fooled!
On the contrary, this little endeavor took the larger part of a day and a big portion of my sanity to complete!
I decided to remove the bi-fold doors and simply place the armoire inside.  Three hours later, when I arrived at the "Dear God, what have I done?" stage of this venture, I was about to give up when I realized the bonnet came off the top of the armoire.  I would go into more detail but I really don't want to revisit that experience.  :)

How did I not see Mabel's keister in this shot until I uploaded it?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...Mabel the Kitty's rear-end!
No extra charge, of course.
This is an all-inclusive kinda blog.

Yes, this image is dark.  Sorry for that.  I wanted to give you an idea of the layout here.  Hopefully, I will have the chairs painted and reupholstered before Friday.
I chose robin's egg blue faux silk taffeta drapes!  They really add life to this room!

Here is the black, grey and cream toile I will be reupholstering the chairs with. I absolutely love it with the taffeta drapes!

Craigslist buffet, painted in Annie Sloan Old White and Dark have seen this before.

We are cutting down our Christmas tree this Thursday!  I am so excited!  

Handsome Husband wears his lumberjack coat, one that he bought for such an occasion.  This is also the one time of the year he dons a plaid, flannel shirt.  I think it adds to that lumberjack-y feel  Don't you?

Then, back into the closet until next year! (The lumberjack attire, not the Handsome Husband!)

This year, it's Gracie's turn to choose the tree!
She already set her parameters: 
"Something very green, not too tall, not too short, kinda fluffy and not prickly".

Stay tuned...



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thank You, God!

"I can no other answer make but thanks,

And thanks, and ever thanks..."

--Sebastian, Twelfth Night, Act 3, scene 3



“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” 
Meister Eckhart

"How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams."

Bram Stoker

"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration."

Charles Dickens

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."

Mark Twain

"Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself."

Walt Whitman

"To love someone means to see him as God intended him."

Fyodor Dostoevsky

"It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'try to be a little kinder.'"

Aldous Huxley

"Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."

Mother Teresa

Wishing a blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I have been so lovingly and infinitely blessed!

I thank God for each and every one of you!

Please keep those who are less fortunate in your prayers and hearts as well.


Monday, November 25, 2013


Many of my blog friends know the depth of love and esteem I have for the fuzzy members of our family.  No, not Handsome Husband on his days off when he doesn't shave!  Though I love him beyond words, this post is about one of my beloved quadruped buddies, McGillicuddy!

We found each other while Gracie, Handsome Husband and I were on a family walk in our old neighborhood, about five years ago.
He was very thin and frightened beyond words.

So much has changed!
Here is the little guy, resting in his bed in the Library!

McGillicuddy's second favorite place to be is up!  Up on the tables, up on the railing, up on the armoires...
Since I brought this swag home he has been contemplating how he can get up on it.

Speaking of McGillicuddy, he is an orange tabby.
Please note how he matches the woodwork in the house!
Here he is last Christmas, after he opened his gifts from Santa!

We have to be especially vigilant with him, as he is camouflaged by the floor and has been known to escape out the front door without notice!

He has the sweetest demeanor and will be the first to greet you when you come to visit!

Last year, when the refrigerator repair guy came, he had to lay on the floor to get a better perspective.  McGillicuddy promptly crawled onto the man's side and fell asleep on him as he worked!

He has fallen from these railings to the loft a few times.  It hasn't deterred him from getting back up there!  OH!  How my heart skips a beat when I see him up there!  They are 15 feet from the floor!

As much as I love the color orange on McGillicuddy, I abhor that color in the woodwork.  This Winter we will finally be painting the railings and trim!

The floors stay for now.

In the meantime, we keep a watchful eye on McGillicuddy so he cannot sneak out, using the floor color as cover.

My neighbors must think we have an odd tradition...walking out the front door backwards, bent over, loudly repeating phrases like "Ah!  Ah! Ah! McGillicuddy!"



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Three Cheers For Chairs! Chair a Go-Go! Chair O Rama!

More Chairs!


Fifteen dollars each.

That's why!


Schumacher /Waverly La Belle Campagne toile in Wedgewood.


Comfy breakfast table chairs!

Like these...

Because I don't have 5,792 other projects to work on...



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Musical Chairs!

 Here are the chairs, listed in chronological order, that have spent time in my Dining Room in the last week.

This may look familiar.  These chairs have been in this room since we moved in.  Lovely but they are cheap reproductions from Home Decorators Collection.  Compared to the antiques in the house they looked, well, cheap.
I hand painted them.  They were a dark mahogany when we bought them.

This set came next.  They are also reproductions, and as such, are larger than Louis XVI chairs typically are.  Too big for the table.


These actually came before the last set but I am too lazy to delete the photo and move things around.

Cane chairs + Handsome Husband = rubble

Look at those legs, though.  I really liked those chairs!

I also lied about the whole "chronological order" thing.


Here we go!
I do love the rose brocade but it does not work in the Dining Room.

This is where you come in!

I am posting the details in the Dining Room and I hope you can help me choose a color combination for the taffeta drapes and the toile upholstery.
*grins and bats eyelashes*

Jenny's Cabinet, in Annie Sloan Old White.

View out into the hall...

Buffet in Annie Sloan Old White and Dark Wax.

This is the table in the Dining Room...lots of beautiful detail!

The rug is a rich salmon color with many shades of blue.

Louis toile chair (actually a dollhouse miniature)!
I will paint the brocade chairs Annie Sloan Old White with Dark Wax.

Do I want blue toile or grey?  
Blue drapes or orange?

Help me choose a color combination?! 
I actually received the orange drapes from and they are not that orange.  I wanted orange.  The color is more copper, like an old penny.  That's why I chose the blue toile to go with it.  The blue will make the orange pop.
The Robin's Egg Blue Taffeta drapes are on their way.




p.s. Thank you for the well wishes regarding the recent tornado and horrific aftermath we experienced in the Midwest.  My heart breaks for all those affected.  I have never seen anything like this!
The damage incurred by the tornado and high winds is beyond my ability to comprehend.  Sheer horror.  Just utter mayhem.

On a lighter note, the churches who are taking donations have told me that they have more than they need at this time.

People have been helping from every angle, from donating food, clothing, blankets and boxes to helping people clean up the streets and neighborhoods.  There are good people in the world.  Grace and I have had the pleasure to meet many kind souls on this journey.

Please keep them all in your prayers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Prayers For Illinois Tornado Victims

Gracie and I are leaving to go to try to help the victims in nearby cities, Coal City and Diamond, Illinois.  Please keep them in your prayers.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Seriously, Andie, Why Do You Do This to Yourself?

I'm talking to myself.
It isn't pretty.

Here's why...

Five feet tall, over 300 pounds.

There is also this...

Nine feet tall, five feet wide and over 300 pounds.

Very good deals, both.  The first on Craigslist and the second on a Craigslist-esque site called bookoo.

Handsome Husband wants to know why too.
"Why do you have such an affection for things you can't move?" he asks.

"It gets windy here",  I tell him.

It really does get windy here, you guys.
We live in a corn field.

Back to my lament:

Why do I do this to myself?

HOW am I going to move them?




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hey! That's Not What You're Supposed to Be Doing!

It all began with the secretary.
 I think so, anyway.  
I was supposed to be finishing up.
I painted it again.  This time Annie Sloan French Linen. 

I walked into the house after taking the dogs for their daily sashay and I looked at the Library, just to the right of the entrance
That's when it happened!

Something was not right.

The Library table. 
 Too big for the room, I decided.  I pushed and pulled it out into the entryway, took photos and placed an ad on Craigslist.
Then I took the Breakfast Room table and dragged it to the Library.
Then, of course,  I needed a Breakfast Room table.

I applied Dark Wax to two of the drawers of the secretary, as well as the front of the desk part thingy that folds out.  It does look better antiqued, I decided.

Since the secretary now has a Gustavian feel to it, I decided to study Tara Shaw's designs.  Armed with images of her work I headed to Craigslist.

I found the above table less than five miles from my home for TEN DOLLARS!
I bought grey paint at the Home Depot on the way home.  
I'm trying something different.  No Annie Sloan this time!

I am still painting it, hence the tarp.  I bet you thought the tarp was there because we are messy eaters?!
Well, that too.

The chandelier needs to be lowered.
*nods to self*

This is the original Craigslist posting.

The Breakfast Room table didn't really work in the Library so I dragged it back through the house and into the Sunroom.

Then, of course, I rearranged the Sunroom.

I sold the iron Campaign bed that was in there.  Then I dragged a French settee from the Music get the story.
I also removed the lace curtain balloon panels.
They are on Craigslist if you want them!

It's a sunny day here and the room is all windows...yet it's dark.  Go figure!?
The arborvitaes and the fruit trees in the backyard will soon be tall enough to block the neighbors homes.
I cannot find a window treatment I like so I will try to be patient.

Then I dragged the ginormous, heavy library table back into the Library and removed the post from Craigslist.  


I like it here again!  The bed crown fits perfectly!

...rearranged the Library furniture...

I decided I need to paint the bibliotheque grey.

 Instead of the table being centered in the room, it is in the window.  The daybed is under the chandelier.  This forms such a lovely conversation area!
With the table in the center of the room, you could not see the people sitting on either side.

Much better.
For comparison, go here.

I finally chose drapes for the Library!  
Aren't they beautiful?  I just ordered them from Half Price Drapes!
The impetus for this is the crown.  
Well, because it's in the front window of the house and I am worried that it has a leg lamp vibe.  You know which one I am talking about?  From a Christmas Story?
I'd like to be a bit more subtle.
Just a bit.

So, to recap, I have not finished the secretary, nor will I do so today.  I am upholstering the new bench that I bought (on Craigslist) to go with the new table.
Probably not tomorrow, either.
I am painting the bibliotheque.

Am I the only one who flits around my home, rearranging everything like a crack-addled butterfly?



Sharing with Courtney, at The French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday


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