Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I’m Dreaming of a Red Christmas!

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My Christmas Mantel is done!
My Halloween and Thanksgiving mantel both used the old barn door, which I love, but I felt it was time to mix it up a little!  I also was ready for some color and decided RED!
My initial hesitation with not using the door was that I knew I needed something with a large enough scale.  Then I remember I had the mirror that used to hang horizontal over my dresser and knew it would be just the ticket!
This reindeer was brown and cute but I wanted to make more of an impact so I sprayed painted him red.
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I really like the mirror because it reflects several of the other Christmas elements in the room as well such as my paper mache carolers on top of my armoire.
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I used several of the pewter and silver plate vessles I have picked up recently as bases for a mixture of artificial and real trees.  I love the detail on this piece.
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I used a slice from a branch (my husband cut down a lot of trees this past weekend so look for more projects with this!), a few pieces of greenery and some vintage bell ornaments that I had to hang in the center of my “wreath”.  I found the felt snowflake at Target.  Since I already had so much greenery included, I wanted to keep the “wreath” simple.  I used an embroidery hoop, spray painted it red and then hung the wood, snowflake and bells in the center.
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The red really pulls in one of my favorite things in our house – our big key sign.  I found in about 10 years ago at a random antique barn in NY but it is from the town my husband grew up in and his family still lives there.
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I had the red stockings and they seemed to work really well.  Actually, I will have to find a way to hang a bunch more stockings because we are lucky enough to share Christmas with a lot of our family.
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I also took a few pictures at night and I really love the change that the light makes on the color of everything.  In the background of this picture you can see our kissing ball which we have had for years.  My youngest promptly told me I should kiss Daddy under it as soon as he gets home!
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I found the flocked bell and pinecone star at the Christmas Tree Shop when I went there a few weeks back. I hung it from the ladder I got at an auction recently and like the rustic element that they bring to the mantel.
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Now I can’t wait to just sit down with my family and watch It’s a Wonderful Life and enjoy the Holidays. 
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So now that the “back” half of my house is pulled together, I need to work on the rest.  Oh yeah, and I think I have a third grade diorama to assist with this week!

If you like what you see, I would love if you followed me!

Thanks for letting me share this with you!  I will be joining the link part at The Lettered Cottage.  Come check it out and see what great mantels have been submitted!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Paris: One the Coolest Things I Have Seen in a While

I am jumping ahead a little to day three…
It was again raining, not a downpour, more of a drizzle.  We had enough of the Metro the day before, so we walked despite the rain.  Don’t get me wrong, the Metro system is incredible but we decided to be out in Paris instead of under it for such a short visit.
After we visited the Musee d’Orsay we crossed a foot bridge over the Seine towards the Louvre and we found this…
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Everywhere you looked were locks on the railings.  Each one of them expressed a message or a love note.  It was so cool to read each of them.  Here are some pictures of my favorites.
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So romantic…
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My daughter’s initials.  I think this will be incorporated into her bedroom re-do.
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And always remember…
Thanks to Michelle from Emerald Cove for inspiring me to try out some of the applications from Picnik.
Bon Jour!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Paris: The Flea Markets


Day two was all about hitting the flea markets.  There were three I targeted but decided to only do two since we were there for such a short period of time.

Since my husband does so much business traveling, he NEVER checks his bags.  I knew he wouldn’t say anything if I had to check bags, but I knew he would be happier if I didn’t.  So, I had to get all of my stuff in carry-on only, leaving little room for treasures, but I did mange to get some treasures which I will post soon.

We did arrive relatively early at both and did not have any issues with crowds.

The first one that we went to was Marche de la Porte de Vanves in the southern part of Paris. This was a true flea market as booths are set up in the morning along the sidewalks.  When we were there we seemed to be the only English speaking people around, but by saying “bonjour” and “combien?” (how much) everyone was helpful and kind.

Looking a little sleepy but happy!

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This is the one I still think about, that gives me a little shot in the gut.  There was not wa this was fitting in my carry-on luggage.   It was in the very beginning and I never even asked how much it was.  It is probably better not knowing, but I can’t stop thinking, “what if it was really cheap, I could have shipped it home!”.  Hindsight as they say is 20/20 and the sight of this was gorgeous!

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This was just tons of fun stuff.  Oh to bring home the bistro chairs, the leather club chairs, the blue car, the frames, the legs and the galvanized bucket.  The good news is I did get to bring home the guy who’s feet you see!

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This is not really my type of stuff, but can appreciate how lovely it all is even just for the fact that it is French!

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Again, just beautiful furniture treasures waiting to find a home.  I didn’t ask about pricing on any furniture, but this did seem like the type of place where there would be a potential for some fairly good purchases.  However, I think you would have to lots of courage or know a lot more French than I to really get some deals!

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Not everything seemed appropriate to photograph as I did not want to ruffle and feathers.  Once we turned the corner, everything was closer together and more difficult to photograph.  Also, the further you went down, you seemed to be moving into the “lower rent” district of what was being offered.  However, on the other side on the way back through, I did see this lovely seed packet holder.  Oh, if it would only fit in my carry-on bag!

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I really enjoyed this flea market and would recommend it.  We then moved North to the Marche aux Puces de St.-Ouen.  This is the oldest and most famous flea market in Paris.

It was a little difficult to navigate around what is what around here as there are a lot of vendors who have filled in around it to take advantage of the crowds.  We kept following signs for the information booth, but never actually got to it.

We didn’t really tackle much of this, we just got a flavor of it.  The parts that we went through were all permanent structures more like shops.  I understand there are more “flea-market-like” areas, but we did not go to them. 

There were some amazing and beautiful things to be inspired by.  We bought nothing here as it was so expensive, but it was really fun to just stroll through.

Sorry this picture came out so blurry, but I felt it was so amazing it was worth showing.  I am big sucker for anything with an industrial feel.  The suitcases up at the back on the shelf were amazing.

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This booth was just so Parisian in every sense of the word…

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This was down one of the smaller alleys and I swooned over these…

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Loved every single thing in this booth..

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Some of the booths were VERY high end.  Check out the cute guy in the mirror!

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This gives you a good sense of what the alleys looked like.  Some were much tighter and snaked around quite interestingly.

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This booth was stunning.  Just to give you a perspective, she wanted close to $500 for the music sheet covered dress form pictured below.

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There is no mistaking where Restoration Hardware gets their inspiration.  This area was filled with industrial items that we would all put in our homes.

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I don’t think this piece is old.  I believe it is a newly machined metal cabinet.  Exquisite.  The guy inside the booth was like a mad scientist talking to himself quite quickly while creating something.  I would have loved to stayed and watched but the smarter side of me said, keep moving and photograph where he can’t see you!

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This was a different section that was actually closed in with a glass rooftop.  Really pretty.

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After this we had some cappuccino and a Croque Monsieur (fancy ham and cheese) and then moved on to another part of Paris. 

Stay tuned…

Bon Jour! 

Paris: Part 1

So I am finally caught up enough to share with you some pictures from my trip last week.  There are so many pictures, I will probably do a few postings.
To start with, meet my handsome husband who brought me on such a great trip and who I got to spend FOUR days with!!!!!!
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We spent most of our time, walking from place to place just experiencing the city.  The architecture is of course, so amazing, so I thought I would share just some of the beautiful buildings we happened upon.
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We stayed in the Marais district which was filled with small cobble stone streets.  Everywhere you looked you saw these courtyards behind grand doors.  There were lovely shops and great restaurants.
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This was one of the most amazing doors I have ever seen.
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Check out the detail on his face..
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This was a lovely shop.  You can’t see it too well, but there is a black and turquoise necklace that I would like to try and recreate someday.
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These chairs were amazing.  I am a huge fan of “ghost” chairs and as soon as I find a place to put one, I will so try and find one! (ooh, maybe when I do M’s room!)
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We journeyed out of the Marais district and made our way over the Seine and made our way to Ill St. Louis which is a lovely little island.  A hat was necessary as it was drizzly two of the three days.  No worries, Paris is beautiful no matter the weather!
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This was an adorable marionette shop.  The light was disappearing quickly, so my apologies.
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Cool, but also a little on the creepy side!
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We then made our way down to Notre Dame.
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As we made our way back to the hotel that evening, one of the department stores had started their Holiday display windows.  I don’t think the picture does it justice.  The patterns and colors were constantly changing.
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Bikes are a major means of transportation in Paris.  The city has charging stations all over where you can pick up and return bikes with headlights and baskets.  Very cool.
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That pretty much sums up day one.
Bon Jour!