Silver Bowls and Ironstone inspiration

A few months ago I saw a picture on Instagram that inspired me to collect some silver bowls to display with my ironstone pitchers. At the time that I saw the inspiration picture I only had one silver bowl (and actually it was a trophy bowl – pictured below). I also only had 2 ironstone pitchers. But this picture embodied what I want my style to be – timeless, classic, and somewhat neutral.

My ironstone pitcher collection.

Since the time that I saw that picture, I have been able to add 2 more ironstone pitchers to my collection. (They are a little harder and a little more expensive to find.) And I have added 6 more silver bowls. I plan on combining these in my dining room hutch as soon as Valentine’s Day is over.

This is the first silver bowl (a trophy) that I purchased.

Unfortunately I cannot find my original inspiration picture on Instagram. I thought I had it bookmarked/saved, and I do not. So below I am showing two pictures that I found on Pinterest. (Did you know that you can save pictures on Instagram to look at later? Just click the bookmark flag underneath the picture! You can find all of your saved pictures by going to your profile page and clicking on “saved”.)

This inspiration photo that I found on Pinterest is from Sweet Pea Home.

This inspiration picture is from For the Love of a House:

This week I found the smallest silver bowl yet. Isn’t it a cutie? All of the bowls I’ve found at thrift stores and one at an antique store. The ones I’ve thrifted I have paid between 75 cents and $6. I paid $18 for the one from the antique store.

On another topic – which way do you prefer to display your silver pieces in? Polished or unpolished? I actually plan to display mine unpolished.

What do you think of ironstone and silver displayed together? I’d love to see your pictures! Tag me on Instagram! I also have more inspiration pictures on my Pinterest board called “Display” if you care to see more!

Patriotic Summer Decor

Patriotic Summer Decor

Red, white, and blue can carry you Memorial Day through Labor Day.

One of the reasons I love decorating for the summer is I know that once I have my home all decorated I can leave it up for a long time. If you break out all of your red, white, and blue patriotic decor in May for Memorial Day, you can have your home decorated for flag day in June, Fourth of July, and all the way until Labor Day in September.
I have one storage bin with some Fourth of July and patriotic decorations. I will also “shop” my home for some other red, white, or blue items. I also like to include seashells, because they remind me of summer. I like to think of seashells as a neutral color. I even use them to check off the “white” if I am missing that in a red, white, and blue vignette.
Layer china patterns for a patriotic look. How cute are these Allerton’s Blue Willow individual butter pat dishes?
I like to use red Coca-Cola crates, vintage Pyrex bowls, books, and napkins for “red”. Blue canning jars, picture frames, and Blue Willow china are perfect for “blue”. White seashells, milk glass dishes, and anything silver will make your “white”.
Use seashells you picked up on the beach for filler.

Another tip I have is one that I use for every holiday. Shop the after-holiday clearance sale. I’ve had this bunting and these “fans” for a couple of years in my storage bin. I found them on clearance at Target a few years back.
Everyday items grouped together in red, white, and blue combinations suddenly turn into patriotic decor. I used a Blue Willow teapot, a red transferware platter, and some red & white flowers to make this grouping.
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Summer makes me so happy! I hope you find joy in this season as well.

Easy and Elegant Easter Place Settings

Let’s get real for a minute here: You’re probably not hosting Easter brunch for a magazine shoot. Your place settings don’t have to look like the Easter Bunny couldn’t decide what to buy, so he bought one five of everything. There are several reasons why I like to feature simple, but elegant place settings.

First, hosting friends and family for a meal doesn’t need to be unnecessarily complicated. Your guests aren’t expecting a “show.” What they really want is conversation, fellowship, contact. It’s possible to make them feel special when they sit down to eat without killing yourself to make it look that way.

Next, making a place setting look special doesn’t need to cost a fortune. As I talked about in this post HERE, I like to find basic dishes that can be used for all sorts of occasions. White works…go with it. If you buy different dishes to use for different holidays and events, the cost of hosting will take some joy out of doing it. Not to mention, you will need to find storage for all the various things. We are blessed to have an abundance of storage space; but honestly, there’s never enough space to store all of the things you have. Bottom line, invest in some nice, quality basic pieces that you can use time and time again.

Finally, sometimes less is more. I firmly believe in keeping things simple and classic. I don’t want to sit down to a meal and feel like I’m surrounded by cluttered decorations. Can we say, “Claustrophobic”? That’s not how you want your guests to feel. Hosting is all about making your guests feel comfortable and welcome. Focus on that!

With all of that said, here are some examples of simple and elegant Easter place settings.

This is in our dining room:

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To see any photo larger, just click on it!

The tablecloth, place mats, and napkins are all from HomeGoods. The plates are antique German china, but I’d also be completely comfortable using my favorite white plates from World Market. The mini tulips are from Publix; we used them all throughout our Spring decor this year and you can see more of that HERE and HERE.

Here are some examples of other people’s place settings that I found on Pinterest. If you’d like to follow me on Pinterest, use the button on the top, right corner of the page.
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I found this on Or So She Says…. She has a great how-to. I’m not great with acrylic paint, so I’d opt for a gold or silver Sharpie marker. Look for the little nests in the floral department of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. 
Cookie cutter bunny
This one seems so simple and FUN! I found it on All You.com. You can find M & M’s of all one color at Party City, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby. 
Super affordable and your guests can take this one home! I found it on With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart. Use simple twine, string, or even embroidery floss to bind the sticks together. If you want to skip on the tags, you could type of the verse on some paper or card stock and cut it into strips. You could lay it with the strip or even glue the strip. Since it’s sticks, simply use Elmer’s glue. 
This one is a little different, but I love it: 

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I found this on Apartment Therapy. If your local store has carrots with the green tops attached, you could totally use those, too. It reminds me of the poem by Else Holmelund Minarik:
Little seeds we sow in spring
growing while the robins sing,
give us carrots, peas and beans,
tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and greens.

And we pick them,
one and all,
through the summer, 
through the fall.

Winter comes, then spring, and then
little seeds we sow again.
Enjoy! Remember, relax and don’t make hosting a chore.
Want to see more posts about simple place settings? Go HERE

Crafts to Make with Hymnal Pages

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Yesterday I listed several vintage and antique hymnals in my Etsy shop, and I had a friend ask, “but what would someone do with an old hymnal…?”

Besides simply enjoying looking through it and being reminded of many of the traditional hymns that are no longer sung at church services, there are many wonderful ways you can repurpose them. In a way, repurposing will actually extend their “life.” Something like an old hymnal that may be worn thin and have no value to most people can be turned into things that will be used and treasured for years to come. Below are just a few of the neat crafts I found on Pinterest that use hymnal pages.

One of my favorites, Miss Mustard Seed used old hymnal pages on a lovely dresser:

Music Sheet Dresser....I would like to do this with some of the old hymnals I have
On AJ’s Trash to Treasure Blog, you can see that just about anything can get covered in hymnal pages, including lamp shades: 
10,7,10 CA projects110  SPECIAL HINT FOR LAMP SHADES:  Paper the INSIDE as well as the outside.  When the light shines through, all you seams and overlaps are OVERLY obvious.  By double layering your paper (one layer outside and one layer inside) it will minimize this.
The Picadilly Post turns hymnal pages in works of art:
I love this -- I think I would use the hymn 'The Old Rugged Cross' or 'In The Garden' or 'It Is Well With My Soul'...
Christmas ornaments seem like something doable even for the beginning crafter. These were found on Houzz
IDEA:  Hang on dining room window latches    in love with these diy cloth ornaments and color scheme for sun-room - all year
Use them to make a wreath. Here’s a How-To from HomeTalk:
A Hymnal Page Wreath :: Hometalk
Here’s an old blog post of mine where I used hymnal pages in a painting:
In my opinion the easiest and cheapest way to use hymnal pages is to simply frame them! In my home I have this framed song in our guest bedroom: 
Now let your imagination flow! 
Tips: You can link back to all sources. Hover in each introductory sentence to find the link.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the hymnals in my shop to use for a project or just to keep, go HERE. (Listed under “Books” on the left.) Depending on the day there’s usually 2 to 20 available. I’m happy to check a hymnal if you’re looking for a particular song, year, or church affiliation. 

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Dressing with Southern Class (& a little bit of sass!)

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1. Pearls go with everything. A nice, quality set of pearls is basic piece in every southern wardrobe. Pearls can be worn everywhere from work or a wedding to a baby shower, church, or picnic. Pearls never go out of style and can be passed down through generations. Pair your necklace or earrings with a dress or jeans. You’ll look and feel fabulous with them on.
Sterling Silver and White A-Quality Freshwater Cultured Pearl Necklace (7.5-8mm), 18″

2. Monogram it.
If you liked it, then you should’ve put a monogram on it! Southern ladies like to add a monogram to shirts, workout shorts, handbags, and sheets. You can even add a monogram to your wall! I love this timeless monogram necklace.
Sterling Silver Fancy Monogram Necklace (18 Inches)

3. Timeless pieces mixed with modern and trendy accessories. The basis of any great southern wardrobe are timeless pieces that you can mix and match. Find ways to bring colorful, modern, and trendy patterns into your wardrobe with accessories!

4. Fun with classic lines. Think Lilly Pulitzer fabrics . Think Seersucker suit. We do like to have fun with a playful pattern! Southern gents have been known to wear shorts in all sorts of tongue-in-cheek patterns. The important thing to remember is that pieces should always have classic, modest lines. Have fun, but command respect!
Lilly Pulitzer Women’s Janice Shift

5. Modest and tasteful.
Let’s face it. Modern jeans that make your figure look fantastic while standing up, don’t always step up to the job while you are sitting down or bending over. The same can be said for semi-sheer to sheer tops or tops with lower cut necklines. A southern lady leaves certain areas to the imagination. I personally own several of these tank tops and wear one almost every day. They help cover areas that jeans and tops can leave exposed. As an added bonus, these tanks make all of your curves feel fantastic. (i.e. Not jiggly!)
Sugar Lips Seamless Rib Tank Top, Black, One-Size

6. Dress for the occasion.
Knowing exactly what to wear for each occasion can leave you feeling panicked and unsure of yourself. Black tie, white tie. Formal, business casual. Company picnic, baseball game. It’s important to know what is appropriate and how to make a good impression at all times. Check out this fantastic guide:
A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions

7. Always support your team, your sorority, and your school.
Southerners are known to support their colleges, sororities, and fraternities for life! A SEC football game is an opportunity for every southerner to bring out the preppiest of fashions in their school colors. I personally love this shirt. Because, well, it *is* home…til the day I die, y’all!
Homeland Tees Women’s Georgia Home State T-Shirt

Keep it classy, y’all!
XOXO,
Abby

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Once You Go Black: The Dirty Details on Painting Doors


A few days ago I posted some before & after pictures of my painted black doors. I love how it looks. It’s completely changed the feel of the rooms. Despite how much I grumbled about it, I’m glad I did it.

I’ve gotten mostly positive feedback. It was a little funny when my mom commented, “What made you decide to do that? Well, it does take a little getting used to.” Translation: Why in tarnation would you paint your white doors black?? LOL, my mom rocks.

Now I’d like to share some things that I did or thought of while painting. I was completely wrong in estimating how long it would take and how hard it would be, but there were a couple of little things that I did that did cut down on the time and make it easier.

  • Research. Check out my Pinterest board on doors. I read a lot on how to paint a door. You might think that sounds silly, but there are specific ways to paint a door. Read on.
  • Doors should be painted with semi-gloss paint, similar to your baseboards and millwork.
  • The more sheen (shine) there is to paint, the more it shows brush marks. Semi-gloss has a lot  of sheen. Hence, there is a specific order on how to paint a door.
  • More sheen also means that if you use a roller for any of it, you need a large nap, at least 3/8″ or more. Otherwise, you’re going to see roller marks. It will drive you nuts once it dries.
  • Consider: Do you want to paint the entire door, or just the side that shows in the hallway? My thought was, “I want a black door, not a white door that has a black side.” So I painted the entire door.
  • Consider: Do you want to take the doors off of the hinges or leave them on? Taking the doors off of the hinges will greatly increase your workload for two reasons. One, You’ll most likely need two people to put the doors off and on the hinges. Two, you can only paint one side at a time.
  • If you’re leaving the doors on the hinges, prepping them will add some time.
If you leave the door on the hinges, be sure to tape them. Use an Xacto knife to trim the tape.
Prepping keeps it from looking sloppy.
Be sure to protect your floors. I taped down trash bags.
Drips don’t leak through the plastic. You can tape onto any surface, including carpet.
Paint can leak through canvas drop cloths or cardboard.

  • Each side of the door will need about 3 coats, even with primer.
  • Consider: Do you want to take the doorknobs off or leave them on? Taking them off adds time, but prepping (taping) and carefully painting around them adds time, too. I recommend taking them off. It’s not hard. I ended up painting all of my doorknobs and I’ll post about that soon.
  • Consider: It will take several days for the paint to cure and completely harden. Even if they are dry to the touch, they won’t be completely hardened for a few days. Ladies, think “nail polish.” Even if your nails feel dry on top, you know that it takes a few minutes for them to get rock hard.
  • Consider: Do you want to use a primer or a paint that has a primer already in it?

Okay, now there are some things that I would’ve done differently if I could do it all over again:

  1. I really hate to say this (hangs head), but I believe it would’ve made a huge difference. 😦 I wouldn’t have used Behr paint. I use Behr a lot for painting furniture. It is my go-to base for my homemade “chalk” paint colors. But, I never, ever, ever use it to paint walls. Ever. I always use Benjamin Moore paints. People often assume that Ben Moore paints are super expensive. They’re not. In fact, the gallon of Behr that I bought was more expensive than the last gallon of Ben Moore that I bought. Ben Moore paints are superior quality. It covers better. The color is better quality. It is better paint, hands down.
  2. Instead of a jet black color, I would have used a dark gray. I’m crushing on Dragon’s Breath by Benjamin Moore.

I hope this helps you! The biggest pains (literally) for me were my knee and hand. It is a lot of up & down, and my hand was killing me from holding onto the brush for so long. (sooooo.long.)

XOXO,
Abby//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

Painted Black Doors


I couldn’t decide to pull the trigger on painting the doors in our house black. I’m not really into doing anything trendy. Read: All of you who painted chevron stripes on your walls will be repainting in a year or two. But the more that I saw pictures of doors painted black, the more I decided that it was something that could actually last a while. When I decided to go ahead and do it, my thought was, “It’s paint. We can always paint them back to white.”

I did a lot of research before I started. Check out my whole Pinterest board on doors, and you can see some of the blogs that I read on how to paint a door. One of the blogs I read said something like, “This was so easy that I decided to go ahead and paint all of the basement doors, too.” Yeah, in that case, I’m in!

Y’all. I’m all about telling you when things are easy. I’m all about empowering you to do projects. But I’m not going to lie, this was no cake walk. I may or may not said a few curse words in my head  the whole time a few times. I don’t know for sure, but I’d be willing to bet that if you hired a bunch of painters to come to your home, and they needed to also paint a few of your doors from white to black, that they’d make the new guy that they all hate paint the doors.

So I may have once thought, “It’s paint. We can always paint them back to white.” But make no mistake, I will move before I paint those doors back to white. I originally thought I’d do one blog post on the whole thing, but I’m going to break it up into three: 1. Before & After pictures so you can decide if you want to do it, too. 2. What I did while painting the doors, that you might want to try. 3. How I painted the doorknobs from gold to antiqued pewter.

Here’s a before and after of the hallway. The walls are Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. The color I used for the doors is Black Suede by Behr.


and here’s a before and after of the front door:


I’d love some feedback! Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. I’ll be posting soon with the how to’s and what-nots.

XOXO,
Abby//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

So, here’s the thing:

To a creative person originality is very important. When a creative person comes up with an idea and then suddenly discovers that it wasn’t their own individual idea that they can take credit for entirely, it’s not a good moment. It’s like a HISSY FIT inside the head. “No, Ma’am. I do not think so, Missy! That idea was mine, mine, mine!”

That is exactly what happened to me. At any given time I have several blog posts in progress at the same time. Sometimes there are even snippets of other projects in the background of other projects that I’m posting about. I’ve had this project done entirely (and up on my wall) for weeks now. I’ve even used it as a background for other posts and for some Etsy listings.

That being said, the other night I was browsing Pinterest before bed. I don’t know what it is about scrolling Pinterest on the iPad, but it always lulls me right to sleep. Anywho, suddenly, there it was. My project (this project) done entirely, exactly like mine. Same exact fabric and everything. So ahead of time, if you happen to see a similar exactly the same project on Pinterest, it was not intentional. I did however get inspiration from a Pinterest project, and I want to give that project credit for inspiration here. 

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I’ve mentioned (either here or on our Facebook page) that I’m revamping my office space. Step one for me is organization. I want it to be organized so that it’s not only functional, but also enjoyable.  One of the small things I’ve done is to take a bulletin board that I was already using and make it beautiful and even more useful. Today I’m going to show you the more beautiful part, and tomorrow I’m going to show you the more useful part.

I started with my bulletin board, some spray adhesive, my fabric of choice, my handy-dandy staple gun, and some upholstery tacks.

Next, I cut my fabric to size so that I could wrap it around the edges. I rolled it up, so that after I sprayed the adhesive it would be easier to apply.

Once the fabric was wrapped around to the back, I trimmed off the excess and used my staple gun to attach it to the wood trim in the back.

The last step was to use the upholstery tacks as a finishing touch around the edges. Since they are sharp, they simply push into the cork board. To make this project a super easy snap, below are links to the supplies that I used.

Time to get to work!
XOXO,
Abby
 

Southern Ladies D.I.Y. it Better

We’re having so much fun on Pinterest that we wanted to invite you to play with us! There is now a group board for D.I.Y. and craft projects that everyone is invited to join.

Why? Because Southern ladies are take charge and innovative. If we want it done right, bless your hearts, we’ll do it ourselves.

http://pinterest.com/thebellenbeau/southern-ladies-diy-it-better/

Please join us in the fun! More group boards to come.

XOXO,
Abby//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

Basic Tools You’ll Need for Repurposing & Upcycling

I’ve always been fiercely independent. It drives my husband nuts. He is a “helper.” Which is sweet. Really, it is. But I can do it myself, thank you very much. I’m not going to wait for someone to hang the picture frame on the wall when I can do it myself. I think this also shocks the people at my grocery store. I don’t want their help. I don’t want them to unload my cart on to the belt. I don’t want them to push my cart out to my car. It’s not a control thing (NOT.A.WORD.). It’s a “If I can do it myself, why do I need you to do it for me?” thing. Don’t get me wrong; I want to be treated like a lady. And sometimes it is nice to hear the offer to help. But I’m not helpless. Give me a hammer, y’all. I’ll figure it out.

So I have my own tools. They’re pink. I know, I know! But the reason that I like them this color is because I know where my tools are. I can find my hammer very easily. And I certainly see when someone else is using my flat head screwdriver. I do not walk around the garage muttering that “I can’t find anything around here.” I know where my pink stuff is.

I haven’t done any big carpentry projects. And as of right now, I don’t really have a desire to do so. I love repurposing and upcycling things and bringing new life to them. I love taking the slightly broken or no longer wanted and doing something creative with it. There are some tools that I use over and over again in my projects. I thought it might be useful for someone that is thinking about actually making one of those great Pinterest projects, to have a few things on hand that they might need. So here is my list! Enjoy!

A good staple gun. 

We had a staple gun. But it was the cheapest, most basic model that they make. And if that works for you, use it. But as often as I use a staple gun, which is very often, I upgraded to a nicer one that wasn’t going to bruise my hand as badly.

This is the staple gun that I have. I love it. It makes me happy.

Two screwdrivers – a Flat Head and a Phillips. 

You obviously need these for removing and inserting screws. But you’ll use them for a million other things. For example, a flat head screwdriver is a must when removing staples from the bottom of a chair or the back of a picture frame.

Hammer

Oddly, I don’t use the hammer a lot for hammering nails into projects. Can you believe it? But I do end up using it as a tool. I use it a lot to remove nails, or to hang something on the wall.

Pliers

It doesn’t matter to me what kind. I end up using them a lot when taking something apart. If nails or staples get stuck, the pliers are your go-to tool.

 

Measuring tape, stick, wand, ruler

Basically, something to measure with. I have a metal 24″ ruler that I bought years ago for my drafting class in college. I love it because I can cut against it with a box cutter or Xacto knife. I also use a traditional measuring tape.
All of those things can be found in a kit just like this. If you’re a guy reading this, ignore the pink.
Now here are the random other things that I have just found myself using. A lot.
  • High Temp Hot Glue and Gun
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Clear Strong Craft Glue
  • Wire Cutters
  • Masking Tape
  • Scrapbooking Cutter, Box Cutter, or Xacto knife
  • Basic Painting Supplies

If you have these basic things on hand, you should be prepared for a myriad of Pinterest projects, or perhaps, one that you’ve seen here on Belle & Beau Antiquarian. Hope this was helpful!

XOXO,
Abby