Monday, April 22, 2013


Didn't have much time this weekend to do what I do best on a weekend . . . putter, nest, soak up all the simple happiness of my Chateau Gahan. My outside-of-home commitments were all good — a church retreat Friday night and all day Saturday, then Sunday morning church and an afternoon meeting with a bride and groom and their photographer — but nothing beats the true objects of my affection: home, Gideon and projects and musings around every corner.

The only real outdoor activity I got around to was washing my car, and with the sunshine warm on my back and Gideon snoozing on the front patio with one eye open for passing dogs and their walkers, I took to hosing and sponging my SUV with the joy and care of bathing a baby. It was relaxing beyond words.

Each day of my work week has me pretty focused. Which leaves weekends often hijacked by errands and things I couldn't get to during the week. And so my approach to gardening isn't one of meticulous planting, watering, pruning and weeding. It's pretty much the stick-it-in-the-ground and hope-it-takes-root-and-grows-to-fill-up-dirt-plots method of gardening. I'm attacking it one dirt (or in some cases, overgrown with weeds) plot at a time. The narrow bed near my front door was the first to get my attention, because it's what I see when I look out my front door, and what greets me when I come home. The English Garden look works good with my "carefree" gardening attitude, and it's caught on nicely, although my variegated vinca vine might be taking over a bit. The peony bush has five large bloom heads on it; can't wait to cut these for vases. And the bright green euphorbia will need a good pruning once the blooms  fade. The clematis climbing up my rainspout gets cut back every fall and comes back each spring even fuller and hardier. Just ignore the Brady Bunch modern rancher diagonal siding on my house. Ugh.

Everyone at work, bless their hearts, is intent on gifting me with anything that might be craft-worthy. Tin cans (from coffees, teas, candies, etc.) have made their way home with me, thanks to co-workers' kindness. I've amassed quite a stash and have plans for pretty ways to alter their branded faces.  Sister Karla had a friend who was giving away two cupcake stands (each holds 23); jumped on those. And while washing the car, I set up the card table and sprayed them (along with a can from my new collection) gold, my new go-to color. Lots of crafting sessions to look forward to with the cans. Will keep you posted!

Some images from around Chateau Gahan. 
I love my Burwood oval hobnail mirror in the hallway. 
And across from it is a molded plastic vintage mirror 
(the framed butterflies are ones my sister and I 
caught when we were little, and my mom mounted). 
I found the pink and navy slipper chair at a yard sale for $5 and it will always have a place in my home.

And Gideon, dear Gideon, sitting and peeking through the fence. What a nut.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cake Stands as Easels

Painting this piece (go a little way down in the post to see the candle wall medallion) began with an outdoor spray-paint base coat. The project was then ushered inside for the touch-ups. I began painting on a piece of cardboard that, as you can see, has seen its share of projects. But turning the piece, while wet, was sorta messy, so I enlisted the help of a cake stand. Not only does it get the piece off the table surface, allowing me to paint from both top and bottom, but by simply hand-turning the base, I'm able to hit every nook and cranny easily. If you're using a cake stand that you think might accidentally get paint dribbles on it, cover the top of the stand with a paper plate.

The images below are from recent Instagram postings. Gideon before and after is obvious; a summer cut was in order, what with the warmer weather teasing us on a daily basis.

This past week the world celebrated National Sibling Day. Who the heck came up with that one??? Hallmark, guess who called last night, National Sibling Day, and it wants to know why you keep coming up with holidays to make us feel guilty if we don't send a card or place a phone call. Anywho, my sissy deserves a shout-out everyday, cause she's the bomb diggity. Here we are below in all our short-bang cuteness.

And the snippet of my new athletic shoes are a woot!woot! to my new workout routine, thanks to the girls in the office. We're doing Jillian Michaels' 90-day program. Every weekday for a half hour.. It's kickin' my butt, and I'm loving every minute of it AND the results I'm seeing.

And the other image is just a random vignette from Chateau Gahan.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bridal Shower Gift

Harleigh came home this weekend for a bridal shower. One of the directors at Camp All American is getting married this July. With her being so busy with tests this past week, I offered to put together a shower gift.  Unfortunately, with my work schedule and evening commitments this past week, I wasn't able to get to the bride's registry stores that carry most of her needs. I hit up Target, but most items on the list were high-ticket pieces (I managed to get one dish towel).  Normally I try to honor brides' and mom-to-bes' registry needs, but in this case I figured Harleigh could pull from the registry for the wedding gift. So I got a little creative with this gift to make up for the registry-fail.

The hostess requested that each guest bring a recipe card. Made two, one for white chili and the other for a poppy seed cake that I make frequently. Both recipes are big-time keepers.

I started with a white box, cut the lid off, reinforced the bottom with a foamcore insert, and wrapped it in ribbon (secured the ribbon with two-sided tape. I added the flower, punching a hole in the box for the small stem, and gluing the bloom in place. Then I just added tissue paper.

I found this anthropologie-esque ceramic container at Target and wrote their initials on the chalkboard label. Put a plant inside for a homey feel. (Although it doesn't look great, I did try to subtly add some clear wrap to the top of the container to hold in the dirt.)

Saw the ring holder and got the idea to style it with fake wedding and engagement rings. What bride doesn't need a safe place to put her rings when washing up?

And behind the plant and recipe cards are the cake mix, pudding and poppy seeds needed to make the cake.

For the card, I used a piece of scrapbook card stock. 
I've had these kitschy plastic charms in my craft stash for awhile, and strung them on embroidery floss. Slipped it into a paper sleeve (Harleigh wrote on the back of the card).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Weekend

Don't think the weather here in ATL could have been more perfect. Although a good part of my to do's this weekend were inside, having the windows and doors open brought the outside in.

While out and about running errands yesterday, I did detour into a thrift store (a rare instance these days while I'm busy building savings). Found this jewelry box that I had to bring home. Much like the other one I found and revamped (see before and after), this one will be getting a makeover. I've always loved those chippy, vintage doll dressers, and this one reminded me of those (without the huge price tag that usually goes with them). A sizable stash of my crafting essentials are stored in plastic and glass containers/units, but I much prefer the charm of a vintage jewelry box for storage. This one has pretty blood-orange velvet drawer linings.

Harleigh will be home this coming weekend for a bridal shower. I've been cleaning her room; changing her sheets led to tidying up the linen closet. My obscenely large collection of vintage pillow cases seems to demand more and more shelf space.

Her pillows got dressed in some turquoise blue roses and an embroidered cross (the latter a gift from my  crafty sis).

Front and center in my craft room is Muffin the Clown, a toy from when Harleigh was little, and one that brings back many fond memories, as he always accompanied us on beach trips with Grandie and Poppy.

Gideon got his summer cut on Saturday. So naked. But with less "coats," enjoys sunning himself at the open front door.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kitty Matchbox

I can't use the word "kitty" without singing the song in my head from The Big Bang Theory, the one that Sheldon's mother used to sing to Sheldon when he was sick as a child.

Soft kitty,
Warm kitty,
Little ball of fur.
Happy kitty,
Sleepy kitty,
Purr, purr, purr.

Now that that's out of the way . . . here is a birthday-gift matchbox that I made for co-worker Jessie. If you're like me, candles are a staple in the home. I have them everywhere. And I like to make cute little matchboxes to set out. Harleigh has several that I've made for her, and every time she comes home, I give her a supply of matchsticks as refills (I have a giant bag of matchsticks leftover from advent calendars that I've made. See here and here).

While scrapbook paper works to cover the boxes, I can't always find ones that I like. So when I chanced upon this book of papers inspired by vintage textile designs, I knew I could get some mileage from its page after page of retro sweetness (I've got the Flora edition; beautiful!). I'm always on the lookout for mini ceramic animals as toppers. I often create these matchboxes using ceramic kitties, and make the ball of yarn using a marble and embroidery floss. I glue the heck out of everything adhered to the box top, as these are handled quite a bit.

Here is a blurb about the Repro Depot books (pulled from their website

6 x 8 in; 256 pp ; full-color images throughout, DVD with 225 JPG patterns included! Paperback

Reprodepot Pattern Book: Folk — Charming? Yes. Handy? And how! This delightful collection offers 225 vintage-inspired textile patterns ready to print out and craft up. The book pages feature the colorful designs from which users can choose to reproduce from the included disk. Flora gathers together sweet blossomy designs, while Folk features homey motifs. Each book includes step-by-step directions for ten fabulous papercraft projects.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Placecards

I've blogged before about how our family, although small in number, MUST have placecards at our tables for any meal we share together. We're just silly that way. For Easter this year, I bought wind-up peeps and bunnies at Dollar Tree. For the names, I strung alphabet beads onto a single strand of embroidery floss, and tied them around the animals' necks. Then I added hair accessories for the peeps (the girls) and bow ties on the bunnies (the boys). Each little critter sat in Easter grass on a small plastic plate at each placesetting.

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