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Perfect Pastels

Spring. Summer. Ice cream.
They kinda' go together, don't they?!

When I was styling Rita Reade's Mammabellarte booth
for the Vintage Marketplace show this past weekend,
the pale pink, white, and aqua color scheme
reminded me of strawberry and vanilla and mint chip ice cream...
it felt a bit like I was inside an ice cream parlor!

Let these pretty hues inspire YOUR summer decor
for a Home SWEET Home...

This was the main visual draw in the booth - the back wall.
Furnishings create a setting, then details bring it to life....

A darling dining table, painted with perfect pink stripes, conjures up a sweet shop,
a theme reinforced by ironstone creamers, wire urns, and vintage teacups
to create a party setting.

the white milk-glass chandelier sparkles in the midst of soft pastels.
Rita's own photos (STUNNING!) are turned into her line of greeting cards
with pure vintage style.

[ psssst..... have you ever tried PAINTING a CHANDELIER???!
yup. it can be done!
I shared a few of my painted chandy projects in a past post...
click to check it out here! ]

 It only takes a touch of color to create a theme....
bows, ribbons, patina on old pieces of furniture, even paper lanterns
easily add personality and style.

At every show, Rita dolls up her two mannequins.
They always have petticoats on, and special corsets or aprons to coordinate with her theme.
THIS time around, the girls wore sassy, sexy pink and Rita's original mesh crowns...
[ you've probably seen her famous crowns in many magazines! ]  
... even the back of the mannequin is stunningly detailed.

One final detail that just made me SMILE:
 Miss Rita created this darling 'Baby Bunting'
by clipping baby clothes and shoes to a simple length of twine.
We hung it across the back of the booth and it just charmed the heck out of everyone.
It's a simple idea that can be easily changed,
and it works perfectly for party decor AND nursery decor.
When I was painting murals in a little girl's nursery many years ago, 
the client (who became a dear friend) did this and used hers as a window valance!

See more photos of Rita's booth on her Mammabellarte blog


BoHo Blues

As summer days heat up, blue hues can cool us down!

I had the opportunity to frequently help my friend Rita Reade 
get ready for the vintage show that she hosts with her sis in law, artist Christie Repasy.
Rita is so busy with show biznez, she hired MOI to take all of her fab stuff and style her booth - 
which is a total win/win:
She's freed from the stress of getting it all done, 
and I get to play in the vintage world I love so much!

The show is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 6 - 8, 2014,
and the show theme this season is 'Bohemian Beach'.
Rita didn't necessarily go with a beach theme, more cottage-y,
but the aqua color she chose was certainly in evidence in many booths...
I was completely inspired by what I saw!
 Every shade of blue was represented, 
bringing a definite bohemian seashore / beach vibe to this beautiful park in the desert.

Here are a few shots from Rita's Mammabellarte booth:

Details: Furniture in soft blues, whites, and warm pinks lend a beach cottage feel.
And a salvaged sink gets a new metal stand, and can be used in many ways on a summer deck!
Here, it's a planter.

Details: a faded aqua painted cabinet & basket, table runners made from vintage fabrics & trims,
and what looks like a ship's wheel - perfect summer decor.

 Details: a milk-glass chandelier and a ruffled sky blue tote bag on a regal mannequin.
 Furnishings and accents in white and aqua and pink create a serene setting.

Since I left on setup day, many of the booths weren't finished yet and 'ready for their close-up'.
If you keep an eye on the Vintage Marketplace's facebook page, you'll be seeing lots of images
of beautiful booths, dazzling decor, and inspiring ideas very soon!

Here are a few beautiful Boho details that I WAS able to photograph before I left:
The entrance gate just beckons you inside, a gateway to untold wonders...
Christie Repasy may be a renowned floral artist, 
but the girl works magic with paint everywhere...
This is not an old lantern. The patina is painted on!
And the va-voom paisley curtains here? Shower curtain panels.
 Last spring, I shared my embellished umbrellas / parasol tutorial
here on the blog and in Creating Vintage Charm magazine.
I used lace tablecloths and frilly petticoats.

At the entrance to the show,
 Robin of Vintage Beach House showed off HER versions, 
and let me tell you they are bodacious beauties!
She used doilies and table linens sewn together, dyed them a saturated aqua
she topped them with shell & bead-encrusted finials:
Can. Not. Breathe. GORGEOUS!

Quite a bit of summertime inspiration can be found at shows like this.
And it's all affordable and 'do-able' - just get your Boho vibe on ;)

shared online:

Creative Country Mom's Garden | Home Sweet Garden Party


Re-Imagine, Re-Use!

On Sunday, I visited my local antique flea market - and found treasure:
I scored this vintage wire plant stand for the bargain price of just twenty bucks!

I fell in love with the industrial vibe, the chippy white paint and rusty metal,
the slender wire form and small size - it's light and easy to move around -
and it doesn't take up a lot of space. That's a big criteria for me right now.

You all know that I hardly EVER use something as it was originally intended to be used!
Because I know I will use it in MANY different ways over the coming years,
it's an even better bargain.

So, let me share with you the 'RE-use' ideas that I've come up with so far
for this simple plant stand...
First, I sat the stand up on top of a dresser in my studio / office,
where it made a perfect book case.
It holds design reference books to keep them close at hand
without being a big clunky piece of furniture.

Then I sat it on the floor, next to the twin bed 'sofa' in my office.
Topped with a pre-cut piece of round glass, it becomes a table -
and the perfect place for my water when I sit and read through those reference books above!

Next, I took it downstairs and sat it by the front door...
where it serves as the perfect catch-all for flip flops, sandals, totes and hats 
when I come in from the beach.
All the sand just falls through to the floor, where it's easy to sweep up!

In the guest bath, the stand holds fluffy towels and luxurious bath accoutrements
 [ those sleek white ceramic trays are actually appetizer plates! ]
A hand towel hangs perfectly from the front edge of the top shelf.

In the nearby family room, it adds height to a built-in serving bar,
where it holds wine glasses, wine bottles, and a serving container
that will eventually dispense fruity Sangria on a hot summer day.
This way, the rest of the bar can be used for serving food.

In a similar capacity, the stand sits on a patio table poolside,
and organizes paper & plastic picnic ware.
Just add food!
[ and don't you love the colorful beach towels as a tablecloth?! ]

In another poolside use, it holds beach towels at the ready
for swimmers exiting the pool.
Flip flops could be stored beneath it, too!

.. and finally, it nestles up to a wicker chair as a side table.
With a plant. ;)

As I was writing this post, I thought of yet another idea:
Hang the wire stand on the wall, and use as shelves to store
laundry soaps, etc. in the laundry room
or craft or gift wrap supplies in the office / studio / craft room!

I think the possibilities may just be endless... and it was $20 well spent!

What would YOU do with a piece like this?

Share your ideas in a comment!

shared online:

Yesterday on Tuesday | Project Inspire{d}

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

Creative Country Mom | Home Sweet Garden Party


#MAYkeovers Round-Up

As of May, 2014, there's this #MAYkeovers hashtag 'thing' going on all over social media, 
and I thought I'd just jump into the pool with everyone else! I hope you enjoy these...

Here are the links to ALL of my  
Low/No-Cost Makeover / #MAYkeover Projects:
FREE Weekend Makeover 
Thrifty Weekend Makeover
Weekend Garden House Makeover

shared online:

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed


Backyard Bistro

While it's easy to haul out the plastic lawn chairs and folding tables for summer gatherings,
it's not much harder to pull together a stylish outdoor setting
that you can enjoy every day...
 just think 'Bistro' style, and your back deck or patio
could feel just like your favorite neighborhood cafe'!

By using simple furnishings and accessories that you may already have, 
you can create a welcoming and comfortable dining nook outdoors.
It doesn't take a lot of space, either!
A vintage wood table and two metal chairs snug up to the deck railing here,
just as they would at a trendy bistro!

Dressing the table with a white tablecloth
and hanging another as a temporary curtain to block the sun, 
elevates the setting to more than 'picnic' style.

( BTW, the vintage stove in the background has been retrofitted as a bbq,
and the vintage fridge is now a smoker. )

A bouquet of flowers and herbs from the garden finish off this relaxing setting,
perfect for enjoying a late afternoon glass of wine alone or a morning cup of tea.

 Gathering up a few pieces from other areas can easily create 
seating & eating areas on small decks or patios:

On the left, casual beach style is achieved with whitewashed furnishings, crisp striped linens and rug, 
and galvanized metal accents.

On the right, a pretty garden setting is created with white metal lawn chairs and a park bench,
 tucked up to a more modern metal & glass round table.
Accessorize with potted plants and whimsical wire accents,
like a gargantuan birdcage holding a potted miniature rose.
More for relaxing than eating, this area came together in minutes -
 and plastic chairs never looked so classic!
Check out the FREE makeover I did on my brother's front deck here

I snapped this photo at one of my fave cottages at the beach....
which is just out of frame on the left side of the photo.

While the architecture - decking, sunroom window wall, and huge climbing vine-
definitely contribute to the charm here,
it's made up of mostly simple vintage furnishings for easy care:
an old wooden picnic table, some wicker chairs, and a wood table are whitewashed for easy upkeep.
Add a jute rug and a striped umbrella, and the setting is ready to go when you are!

( I often look at this gorgeous area as I walk by, and wonder 
'how many times do people crash their parties?'
because as you can see, it's RIGHT on the public walkway at the beach!
But I'd live there in a HEARTBEAT!)

shared online:

Creative Country Mom | Home Sweet Garden Party

Thank you, Brooke, for featuring my post this week on your blog!