Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn Pretties and a Fall Vignette

Howdy! I hope you all enjoying this Falliday season as much as I am.
Last weekend  I went to an autumn farmer's festival in the German countryside. I wanted to share a few pictures of the gorgeous arrangments, and the bold colors that were featured all around this Falliday Festival! We got to spoil our taste buds with a wide variety of fall favorites including: pumpkin wine, cheeses, smokey tasting Flammkuchen, a bunch of different kinds of pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice marmalade, etc, etc. Every bite and sip was absolutely delectable...The smell of the crisp autumn air mixed with the smoke from the Flammkuchen (Flammkucken is a thin tart with creme fraiche, cheese, ham and onions) ovens was quite comforting to my soul. When I was a little girl I used to look forward to a similar smell in my hometown every October-November.
 Ahhh, I adore everything Autumn....

Check out these artichoke blossoms... They would look gorgeous in a fall tablescape. I just can't get enough of artichokes in flower arrangements and in my tummy... they are soooo yummy.
A stellar (yes, I am attempting to bring that word back) flower-pumpkin, design-thing.
Something that I wish we had to sip our wine or cider out of are these awesome mason jar goblets. My friend Kristy (a Germany based photographer) made these. You can make these by gluing mason jars to candlesticks with Gorilla Glue or E6000, which is a microwave and dishwasher safe adhesive. They would look cool with some homemade pedestals as well! The best part about it is the lid, which would be perfect to bring along on a picnic or an evening stroll. They sell similar items to these in specialty stores in Napa for a LOT per piece...

Since I have been working crazily on our home and have had hardly any time to do fall home was feeling pretty "un-festive". I started with this little corner, but have big plans for the rest of my home. I found these gorgeous twinkle branches at the Domain (a discount German store) for 10 Euro a bundle. They look so magical all lit up! I used a ginormous mason jar as the vase. I filled my lantern with a cranberry colored candle on a rustic candlestick. I then placed pine cones that we found around the base of the candlestick.

I got this chippy frame from our last flea market expedition in Belgium. I made bunting by cutting out small triangles from burlap and hot gluing them to twine. I then wrote "Fall" on them, but you could use stickers or stencils for the letters as well. 

Last year, while in Southern California for a design job, I found this large piece of fabric (I believe it was a curtain panel) from the Zgallerie outlet. It was only $2!!! I know it must have originally cost quite a bit more if it was coming from that store!
I love the burnt orange, sage green, mustard yellow, and browns in this fabric. I am a sucker for patterns with birds in them too, I  have been for as long as I can remember. Makes me think of the birds from Cinderella that serenade her as she is getting ready... I find that I am drawn to items that have nostalgic feelings attached to them. They make me happy and I want to surround myself with things that remind me of beautiful times and/or experiences. I still can't decide how I will use this fabric. As a runner? Pillowcases (although I just hate to cut it up)? I even considered reupholstering my chairs in my kitchen with this, but feel it may be too "autumn feeling" for all the time. Any suggestions?
I had to share this unique idea for decorating pumpkins that my friend Iris did! She has an adorable blog called "She's Nothing but a Copycat". Check her out!
This pumpkin was painted white than embellished with home-made fabric rosettes, wood letters, and twine. It's so stinking cute!
To see my fall decor from last year, click on the picture below! You can find more ideas under the "seasonal" and "recipes" tab too!

Tomorrow, I am going to make the clean eating, pumpkin-pie oatmeal I blogged about last year...Mmmmm, it is DE-LISH! Click the picture below for the recipe!
Until next time, 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flea Market Finds, Fall, Projects and Sneak Peeks!

Well howdy there, folks! Since we are working on all of our rooms at once, I have a jam packed post for you. None of the rooms are quite finished yet, but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek! Since my parents are coming to visit in a few weeks, we are more focused on getting the place ready for company than decorating for Fall... I am hoping to get around to some Fall decor projects soon.
The whole house is now painted (except for two of the bathrooms).The colors of the barn before I got my hands on it consisted of yellow, purple, and neon orange. It is hard to see in the picture above (left) but the color was actually VERY yellow and the color on the wall to the right was a dusty purple. We painted the walls a bright creamy greige and the same dark charcoal greige I used in my kitchen. The chandelier was a flea market find from Belgium and was such a steal!! Only 100 Euros (way cheap, even for a flea market)! We saw the same antique one several other times at the flea market for almost 300 Euro, so we REALLY lucked out and my negotiating skills are majestic. I added a zillion extra crystals to make it larger, so that it would fill the massive, empty space in our dining room. 
Isn't it amazing what a little paint and a 100 Euro light fixture can do to a space!??
 The cowhide was dirt cheap from Ikea. The table was a $20 find from the Goodwill about 15 years ago that my mom passed down to me, and the ladder was found in the barn.  I splurged on the chairs (they were totally on sale) from European Country Living. Once again, I keep all the colors in my rooms pretty neutral so that I can add different colorful accents throughout all the different seasons...Also, it's kind of ethereal feeling in here.
I adore the old stones in the corner. 

We have also been working on brightening up our cozy kitchen. 
The existing lights were really awkward and didn't compliment the space at all. One was long, contemporary and crystal-y (beautiful, but not for a barn). The other was all 90's contemporary looking... I just love the draping chords too (ahem). 
 The ceiling felt like it was caving in and the beautiful hand-burned beams didn't stand out at all!
Below is the large bronze and crystal chandelier we also purchased from the Belgian flea market. It was also a bargain!
 Not only did we paint the walls a soothing linen and charcoal-greige color but, we also painted the ceiling a bright white. It really showcases the beams beautifully now and opens the room up a ton! To update the candlesticks on the chandelier I spray painted them cream.
 The cow-head is from a Polish Pottery shop and the ladder was discovered in the barn. The head is a great apron holder and the ladder sure makes a fabulous towel rack. The antique bottle dryer was purchased in Metz, France at a Flea Market and we will be restoring it to its silvery metal state soon. Besides the bottle dryer and some antique aqua colored bottles, everything at the Metz Fea Market  is WAY over priced. The city of Metz is gorgeous and totally worth the short trip!
Oh, Metz, how I love you and your Frenchie ways!

Another Belgian score was this antique bar-buffet! We got it for only 100 Euro!!! Also way, way cheap even for a flea market...It was already painted a kind of  purply grey color that just didn't sit right with me so, I decided to paint and distress it even more.
I am delighted with the outcome. Tutorial coming soon!

Since I have no autumn decor of my own to show you, I wanted to share with you what my friendly neighbor created. By collecting items from her backyard and our village she dreamed up this pumpkin arrangement and natural wreath. The pumpkin is filled with green beans, carrots, chunks of bark (which hide glasses filled with water), berries, flowers, wheat and some kind of cotton-y plant I don't recognize. How creative and unique is this!? I have to say, Germans know how to create one of a kind floral arrangements that never cease to amaze me. Sorry for the poor picture quality. I shot these with my phone in one hand while sipping a homemade honey liqueur (made by my other neighbor) with my other hand. She also picks Elder-flowers from the fields and makes simple syrup for soda water...OH, MY GOSH. it's incredible... the flavor dances on your tongue like people around a Maypole.

Here is another little peek at my relaxing living room. Ahhhh, even my weepy branches are relaxing with Penny...
To see a tutorial on how we made this pallet coffee table, click here.
I am off to cook Julia Child's (well, actually my grandmother's even better version of) Beef Bourguignon and homemade bread by the fireplace in our kitchen. My grandmother adds a can of cranberries and a few other goodies. It is the perfect meal for a chilly evening! 
I am off to have an enchanting autumn night, you should do the same... 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Little Corner of Our Old German Barn

Hello lovelies!  As always, I am working on making our 130 year old (rental) barn in the German countryside a home. Our cozy country kitchen is almost all done (yippee!), I just have a few finishing touches that I have to add before I show the final reveal! I finally completed a wall in our family room with things we already had (of course). I love how using the same exact things that I always use, in a different arrangement and home, changes the look of everything. I don't have my fall decor out yet because I wanted to reveal my home without a ton of seasonal chachka.
Our family room used to be buttery yellow and we painted it a greige color that I created myself. It actually brightened things up a lot! The room has wonderful vaulted ceilings and beams. The beams have been covered over (not cool) however, we are either going to paint them or add old wood on top of them so they stand out more.
I placed our two Ikea bookshelves (that used to be our t.v. stand) together for storage, it sure holds a lot! Around the shelving is an arrangement that includes some of my FAVORITE curiosities. An Italian wine jug from my dad rests on top of a wooden rocket box with hydrangeas in it and beautiful coral sits to the left of it. The WWII rocket box was a gift from our German friend and landlord. Our monogram from our wedding hangs inside of a gold frame our friends were tossing out. I re-painted an antique mirror my friend's mom was getting rid of which looks lovely with the finials I purchased in my folks home town. I threw in my french (artist's or designer's studio) sign and some antlers (which is always a must in my home, especially now that we live in the country) into the mix.

I love the print, drips of aqua colored paint, the metal latches and heavy duty rope handles on this shabby old box. When I received this box it still had the old straw inside of it! This would also look awesome resting on a luggage stand to be used as a side table. I adore how the ammo box looks blended with the frilly mirror and candlestick holder. The mirror reflects the light of our new chandelier beautifully! This helps a lot since we only have one little window in each room.
Here is the old light that was in the room....
And here is our new smoked (60 Euro) chandelier!

Here is the mirror before it was painted....
and here it is after it's been painted and distressed....

On a different note, I would like you to meet some of our neighbors! These friendly little (big) guys live behind our home and there are also some more of these gentle creatures near the castle.We enjoy feeding them when we take the Penster (my dog Penny's alter ego name) for a walk.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a little corner of our new place!
Penny and I are going to relax and I am going to enjoy a cup of coffee in our comfy new living room... Until next time, 

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I Just HAVE To Show Off My Friends' Talents

Hello, friends! I hope your well. I am so wonderful because our home is being painted at the moment! In the past year I have lived in four homes (my husband has lived in five, including his last deployment) and we are extremely burned out on painting. Since our ceilings are so incredibly tall and we have added so many upgrades to our landlord's homes, he hooked us up with a few painters to help us out! Can a sister get an "AMEN"!?
Anyhoo, on a completely different note, since I have no children, I wanted to share with you some incredibly gorgeous and soothing children's rooms that my lovely friends have done. They have inspired me a ton and I know that they will do the same for you!

Meet my gorgeous friend, Heather, her sweet husband, Ryan and their precious baby, Addison.
Heather says, " When I was dreaming up the nursery, these were my main goals: Design a room that was relaxing and fun, a little vintage, VERY budget friendly, and one that would be easy to transform as our daughter grows (I didn't want to put any kind of design on the walls that we would have to re-paint a few years down the road)."
  Heather continues..."Like you, I am a sucker for thrift shops, and antique stores, and if I can make it myself and save money, bring on the challenge! When it came to furniture for the nursery, the only new piece in the room was the crib (Davinci Roxy), because of the safety concerns and all the crib recalls. Safety first!! The dresser was a Craigslist find ($35) that we simply painted and replaced the hardware on. The rocking chair was also a Craigslist find ($40) that I made a slipcover for. The side table next to the rocking chair was a $15 thrift store find that I refinished. All of the picture frames, shelves and mirror were from the thrift stores or Goodwill. I just painted them all the same color to match. The crib bedding my mom and I made together, which was so fun. I remember my mom sewing all the time when I was growing up, and I was never interested. It was so nice for this to be our first sewing project together."
..."Another favorite project was the frame that displays my baby spoons, along with the baby spoons Addison's great grandmother gave to her. I just used fishing line to display them on burlap. So easy and unique, and so special to me! The wall decal above the crib I found on Etsy (seller Lola Decor), and the pom poms and paper globes are Martha Stewart. My husband made her the bookshelf from wood pallets (similar plans can be found at The blue paint on the walls is Rain Washed by Sherwin Williams. What a happy color, I love this color so much I could just about use it in the entire house!"
 Heather adds..."We saved so much money by taking the time to search high and low for bargains, and by doing so much ourselves. It was definitely a labor of love, and I think we enjoy it so much because of all the love we poured into this room, creating it. Addison is 13 months old now, and I still sit in there, looking around the room with a smile on my face and remember how fun it was to put together!"

Thank you so much, Heather! I absolutely love little Miss Addison's room, it is so sophisticated and so budget friendly! 

Now, I would like you to meet my talented friend, Taryn and her adorable daughter, Amelie. Taryn is a fellow FIDM graduate and a Colorado based photographer.

 Taryn states that "I chose blue for Amelie's wall color because, her room is so small and I wanted it to be bright and fresh feeling. Because of the size, we had to limit furniture as much as possible to leave room for toys. I have been collecting owls since before she was born, almost three years ago. People thought I was crazy when I chose owls for her since you couldn't find them anywhere yet. I left blank spaces on her wall for her daddy Dane for when he gets home from his deployment. I wanted him to have the opportunity to help with decorating her room and  picking out artwork is his favorite thing to do." 
 The cherry tree was specially designed and hand painted by Amelie's grandmother and the poms were made by Taryn using styrofoam balls, petals and pins. 
This room was also quite a labor of love! 
Check out Taryn's photography site where you can purchase prints online!
Thank you so much Heather and Taryn for letting me share your lovely little girls' rooms!

I also wanted to share with you some whimsical work by one of my favorite artists Katie Daisy.
Katie Daisy creates folk and almost Bavarian looking pieces that would look wonderful in any room especially in a kids room. I plan on adding her cheery work to my home. 

Do check out her Etsy shop!

I sure hope you have been as inspired as I have! 

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