Saturday, February 27, 2010

~ Cottage Goodies ~

Hello sweet friends! I hope the week is a cozy and sunny one for you! I have my eyes and thoughts on Spring, despite the refusal of Mother Nature coating us again (!! )with another heap of snow this week, wow! I sure hope she has a beautiful long Spring planned for us as a gift for getting through this long winter! :) I've been busy crafting and decorating and working on some new projects this week, hoping to get myself ahead of the game so that when that first warm day comes, I will be ready to open the windows and enjoy it :) I want to send out a big Thank You to all who visited and left such sweet comments on my last post about my before and afters!! I can't wait to finish many of the last minute details and get the floors re-done before it can be officially off the to-do list :)

Meanwhile , I've updated and added a few new Cottage Goodies to my Etsy store, Cynthia's Cottage Shop ....I've highlighted just a few of them in this post, I hope you enjoy! The basket here was a Vintage picnic basket I came upon at one of those great booths you just want to take every single thing home from. The basket itself is all original and I just adorned the top with some cottage/vintage details.

The paper used on the lid of the basket was a vintage paper with a blue and white gingham pattern, and then set on top were classic lace paper doilies and a Vintage Blueberry pie recipe from the 1950's Pillsbury cookbook. Also added were wooden kitchen spoons and such pretty embellishments from the Martha Stewart's kitchen collection. I love her attention to detail! Then the entire top was coated with a Shellac to seal it all together.
The handles were adorned with a vintage style gross grain ribbon of red and white polka dots, my fav :)

( A close up of the lid is below )

Stop by my Etsy store if you'd like to see more pictures of this or purchase it. I loved it so much I named her "Blueberry Betty Sue" :)

I also found some pretty canvas's and finished them in a soft Robins egg blue and added heart lace paper doilies , and again, vintage inspired kitchen embellishments that spoke of a different era...These are ready to hang in your kitchen and have the prettiest tones and colors for that cottage look. :)

( update: sorry, the ones above are sold out ) I am hoping to make more of these soon though!

Below, I used the same idea and added sweet cupcake and cake embellishments, I think they would go perfect in any kitchen where some whimsy and sweetness is loved :)

I also love cherries and red and white I had to do a mirror with another one of my favorite themes :) The vintage style papers were taken from a kitchen paper book and the mirror corners are hand painted cherries with pretty blue and whites too! I hope you'll stop in and see the rest of my items and find something you love! And thanks to everyone who has already purchased from my little shop, it means to much to me to make things you love!
( update: Mirror below is Sold )

Speaking of Etsy :) I just adore everything there, it's either all hand made or Vintage, my two favorite things! The uniqueness of every item is what makes it all so special! I not only have my little shop, but now it's become the place I look first when I'm looking for almost anything. I came upon this site ( below ) the other day and went ga-ga for her pillows. I had been looking for pillows for the Family room all week and just fell into Heidi Devlin's Store and fell in love :) All of her work is so beautiful and well made and her prices for these style pillows is so fair too! Isn't her work scrumptious!?

I plan on mixing them in with stripe and floral pillows and some of my needle points too... I adore these french inspired designs.. Stop by Heidi's store if you get a chance , she has so many special pillows I think you'll love!

I think between Etsy and Home Goods I have found my favorite pieces :) I started my hunt for pillows at Home Goods actually but everything seemed to be solids and pretty dull colors for Spring , so I walked away from the pillow isle and did what any girl would probably do, lol, I kept hunting for something telling myself that the trip there had to be worth it ... even if I just spent $3.99 , I knew I could walk out of there with something I loved :) Hence , the little bowls below ...

One soft blue

and soft pink stripe

So I got them both and headed home knowing the perfect spot for them :) I actually ended up getting 2 blue and one pink :) The blue ones have little lady bugs and butterflies on them , awwww :)

Now it's time to get back to decorating for the Spring and Summer ahead, I'm keeping it all light and airy and when I'm finished with the Family room and the wood floors are refinished , you all will be the first to know! :)

Just to give you all some hopes of a Spring right around the corner, I've left you some sweet daisies to enjoy !

Have a wonderful week ahead ladies!! and put in a special prayer that these daisies above don't just come from the local grocery store, but our own backyards soon!!

Lots of love and gratitude!

~ Cynthia ~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Before ~ n ~ Afters

Hello sweet friends! Grab a slice of pie and come for a tour of my cottage before and afters... I haven't posted in about 2 weeks, yikes, but I'm been busy trying to grab a slice of Spring and incorporate it into the Cottage :) I hope the long winter is treating you well, I am constantly blogging about being sick of the snow, lol, so I decided it was about time to make my own seasonal change, even while we just got another 4" of the pretty( ? ) white stuff....My inspiration for the changes came from what else but my kitchen wallpaper. That's always my starting point here. A few years ago I had the family room off the kitchen painted a deep Merlot/Red, it was in the center of the roses on my wallpaper, but now I decided to take the Sage green and pull that into the family room instead. With that, I also decided to give my deep green kitchen island a burst of Robins Egg blue too! If you've been following my blog for awhile now, you know that the kitchen island was once my childhood desk, and we just added a base and some wheels and wah-la, kitchen island :) If you're a new follower, this was such a simple project but gave me exactly what I wanted. If you can't find the perfect island, just invent your own :) ....The pic below shows the colors I used in the make-overs. My camera doesn't do the colors justice, they are so soft and yet rich in person. The Mountain Haze is now in the family room, and the Creamy white is the trim color. The blue island is Cottage Blue Bell...

Below is the Before ( Kitchen Island )...

~ Now the After ~

I love how the creamy yellow ware bowl looks so Vintage and simple on the bottom shelf...

This was the before of the Family Room looking into the Kitchen, I liked it, but wanted one color through out the hall way and family room for more simplicity and cohesion ...( below is Before )

~ After ~ ( It looks more of a soft blue here, but in person it's a soft Sage ) ...

I moved the faux fireplace that the TV used to be over, to this wall in the Family Room, it gives it a bit more architectural detail here and richens up the space here a bit too ...The good thing about using a faux fireplace is, you can move it around a room at whim :) It doesn't have to be exactly where it would be if it was real :) Honestly if this was real, I'd probably still want it on this wall now. I'd also want one inside my kitchen, but I don't think my love of hutches would allow me to fit anything else in the kitchen lol..

Ok this might be shockingly dark, ( below ) , it wasn't this dark in person, but it was definitely becoming too dark for me this year... I had the sofa across from the TV in the room, but the TV just became way too much of a focal point. I know it's supposed to be a major point in the room, but I missed having my mantel to decorate and look at without having this big black thing jumping out at me :) Now the TV is back on a stand in the opposite corner and still viewable everywhere, but just not the first thing you see anymore, yippee! :) I had always meant to get a stereo cabinet but now I'm glad I waited because I'll be looking for a "corner" piece now instead. It's good to wait a bit and live in a room before you start to look at permanent pieces...The next thing to do is the carpet, I always loved it, but now I'm re-doing the wood floors under it and finding that perfect rug instead :)

~ Before ~

~ After ~ ( so much calmer, don't you think? )

Instead of the black TV jumping out at me, I now have soft colors and accessories to admire while I sit here :)

It's not completely finished yet, I still have to re-cover the ottoman( below ) to a cottage print and take up the carpet and get those pretty wood floors re-done too! I cannot wait to find the perfect area rug!! fun fun :)

Well I hope you enjoyed my little tour... I'm off to clean the kitchen , the cabinets need a fresh coat of Creamy White. When the kitchen was done a few years ago, Ralph Lauren had a color called "Sugar Cookie" and that's what the cabinets are now, but I think they changed the name, so Creamy White was as close to it as I could get. I loved the "name" of that one, but it's all about the color, lol, not the name :) I kept telling myself that when I was obsessing about trying to find it again :)

Do you see that pretty Apron? Omg, I was so happy when Karen of Little Pieces of my Life sent me this sweet gift! Thank You Karen!! I adore it and love your attention to detail and the scrumptious colors are beautiful too!! You are sweet as pie! Stop by and give Karen a visit, she is one talented lady!

This picture below was such an inspiration when I re-did my kitchen, love the bead board and the pretty colors!

So off to clean and paint again I go :)

( source unknown )

Thank You so so much for stoppin in!

Your comments and friendship mean so much to me! I'm taking some time this week to visit you all between the paint brush! I cannot wait to see what you've all been up to!

I hope you enjoy a wonderful week my Friends!

Blessings and appreciation,

~ Cynthia ~

Thursday, February 4, 2010

~ Celebrating Red ~

Hello everyone! Well another snow storm is on the way for tomorrow, but I've decided to remain cheery and focus on the positive , Spring will be here at some point :) February is filled with reds everywhere it seems, so I'm doing my own little celebration of it ...Most of you know It's a favorite accent color of mine and the pics below are great ways you can add a little bang for your buck in decorating with this warm , inviting color. The Vintage magazine cover above warms my heart, and it's also Good Housekeeping's 125 anniversary this month! Happy Anniversary Good Housekeeping!

This all white Kitchen below gets a splash of red in the curtains and accents. How fun is that? when you want to change your kitchens color to suit your mood, what better back drop than white? I happen to love the red , but next year it could be blue, or pink, or anything and you'd just have to change out the accents , easy as pie :)

How fun is this floor below?! And the Vintage accents are just scrumptious too! Now this one is not "red shy" at all, I might not commit that highly to it, but I certainly appreciate it's fun look!

Here it's all in the accents too... Nice creamy walls and loads of splashes of red, so inviting to me. Cozy and filled with color!

It's a great idea to paint the insides of shelves too ( below ), that way they can always be changed down the line to another color with a paint brush and a little elbow work. But it makes a nice impact in this Vintage kitchen. Love the table too :)

My last post featured my wallpapered and painted steps, but when I saw this picture I thought , uh-oh, lol, another future project? It's fabulous to me! I think that painted steps with a long cottage runner would be perfect too!

A runner just like this :) I think this idea would be stunning in any color combination, but I love striped runners!
Here's another idea for using color with white, or cream or a neutral backdrop, after all it's just paint, right? Oh and what sweet curtains too! :)

( photo above from , a fabulous lighting and house parts site! )

This one below is jam-packed with ideas! The wallpapered ceiling ( never forget it's the 5th wall of a room ) and the gorgeous fabric covered cabinets, and what looks like to be a painted floor too! I'm drooling right now at this look! :)

( Photos above from Country living )

I have a few of my own splashes of red going on in my house
...My LR is a deep Merlot red ( but soon to be soft sage I think, lol ) and I put accents of it every where. My kitchen is a cottage blue, but the wallpaper ( on 2 walls ) has almost every color in it, so I bring out the red in the roses as much as I can in small accents...

My kitchen chairs have hand-painted red cherries on them and a pretty accent pillow from my friend Bekah too! ( Thanks sweetie! ) and the cupboard is filled with lots of little pops of red too :)

A little red behind the stove :)

And on the shelves too :)

The shades I picked up at Micheal's for 1$ each and I covered them with a rosy red gingham and some trim, gotta love those glue guns :)

A few cookbooks with red binders too ...

A bold red Emile Henry pie dish sits on top of one of my cupboards and with the little red roses on the antique wash basin, they give more small touches of red to the room...

This ones a little blurry below ( sorry ) but again, on top of a hutch I have a tray with red cherries and also a framed Susan Branch art with red gingham matting...I'd love to know what splashes of color you all use and how you use it too!

I hope you all enjoyed my little touches of red post! I couldn't forget the little guy who landed on a branch outside my kitchen window that very day! How fitting...actually, perfect I thought! ;)

Have a Beautiful week ahead ladies!

And Thank you so much for stopping in and warming my winter heart with all your sweet comments! Thanks too, for your support on my Etsy store! It's time to get busy restocking it this week!

Wishing you all love and blessings!

Hugs and kisses!

~ Cynthia ~