Thursday, July 30, 2009

Family Heirlooms


When I read about the Heirloom Party being hosted by Marie @ Emma Calls Me Mama,  I immediately thought of the four Josef Original figurines my paternal grandmother passed down to me many years ago.


When I was a little girl, my grandmother always had these figurines displayed on top of her old cabinet-style television set.  (Anybody remember those?)   I very vividly remember admiring their delicate beauty  with my hands tightly clasped behind my back.  Since I was a very compliant child, I didn’t dare touch them for fear one might break.  
After I grew up and got married, my grandmother gifted me with these four figurines and I have displayed them proudly ever since. 
My grandmother passed away 3 years ago at the ripe old age of 99 and unfortunately, I never thought to ask her how/where she acquired these figurines, or how old they were.  Based on my childhood memories of them, I estimated they were from the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. 
I recently did some research on Josef Originals and found the creator, Muriel Joseph, of Arcadia, California, created figurines between 1945 and 1985.   The most collectible pieces are those that were  signed, have a high gloss finish, black eyes, they are usually marked on the bottom with incising "Josef Originals" or black pallet type stamp, and a "C" in a circle on under glazed bottoms. 
From the Josef Original labels on my figurines, it does appear they were probably manufactured in the very early 1960’s.  Mine also have the markings and characteristics of the “most collectible pieces.”  These figurines have far more sentimental value to me than monetary value, but I still wondered what they might go for on the secondary market, particularly since I know these types of figurines sometimes turn up at places like the thrift stores.
During my research, I found this one is called "The Courtship" from the 8" “Romance” series.   She is holding a huge bouquet of pink roses and reading the card from her beau.  One on-line site I found described this figurine  as *Very Hard to Find* and valued it at $140.00.  Earlier this month, I saw one that sold for $57.00 on eBay.  (The “blemish” on her nose and under her eye is really just the result of my lousy photography skills.)



This one is called “The Engagement” and is from the 8” “Romance” series too.  She is holding her left hand up looking lovingly at her new engagement ring.  At the same on-line site, it was also valued at $140  and described as *Very Hard to Find* 
As a child, I was completely mesmerized by the “diamond” on her finger and she was always my favorite figurine because of that sparkly “diamond”!


This little lady is checking the time on the watch pinned to her bodice.  I have not been able to find any information about her but earlier this month,  a figurine like this one sold on eBay for  $44.00.IMG_0213


This figurine is carrying  a basket over her arm and she is checking her shopping list.  I have not been able to find any info on her and have not seen her listed on eBay, as of yet.


If  you are interested in more information on the history of Josef Original figurines, you can read a little about them  here.
My grandmother also had an extensive collection of milk glass and, over the years, she gave me quite a few pieces.   I know all of these pieces pre-date 1972, the year I was married.

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Last, but certainly not least, is the 40+ year old crystal chandelier that I inherited when my mother passed away 4 1/2 years ago.  Within the first couple of weeks of starting my blog, I wrote about how this chandelier was the catalyst behind my decision to decorate my home in cottage style.  If you missed that post and would like to read more about this chandelier, you can find it here.

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I really appreciate you stopping by to see my treasured family heirlooms.  If you have time, I urge you to visit Marie and the other bloggers who are sharing their favorite heirlooms and the interesting stories or history behind them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Going at a Snail’s Pace

Finally, after much preparation and anticipation on my part, and a few delays I had no control over, my crown molding project is underway!
Maybe it’s because I’m anxious to have it completed, but it seems to be going sooooooo slow.  It was suppose to be started and finished last week but the job is running about a week behind schedule.  I won’t bore you by expounding on all of the setbacks but I will tell you, Yours Truly was an assistant to the carpenter one day.  I held up the long pieces  of molding while he nailed them to the wall.  :)
Here’s my carpenter, Neal, hard at work.   He’s doing a fantastic job.  He’s very, very meticulous.

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In addition to getting a peek at the crown molding here, you can also see the new paint color…a pretty sage green called ”Mountain Haze,” which is a Behr (Home Depot) color, but it’s color-matched and mixed in Valspar (Lowe’s) paint.
There are also  a couple other projects I’m working on as time permits but none of them are completed enough to show you photos…
     #1. The color makeover on my bathing beauties has been started but I haven’t had time to finish them.
    #2.  I’m still looking for art that “speaks” to me, and the right accessories,  for my beachy bedroom re-do.
    #3  This past weekend, my husband helped me with a project that I’m really excited about.  It involves new drawer pulls and the beadboard-looking wallpaper that Rhoda posted about
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Trust me, after my recent frustrating fiasco of removing wallpaper, I am NOT  (no way!) putting more wallpaper on the wall!   But, I will say, this beadboard wallpaper is absolutely awesome and the sky is the limit on ways you could use this stuff!  If I have any left over after I finish my primary project, I have some other uses for it in mind.
As if I don’t already have enough going on,  my main computer, my favorite computer, the one with all the really important stuff…my photos, Windows Live Writer, and all my bookmarked favorite blogs and websites…has been intermittently cranky/ill.   It appears it just needed some driver updates so, we’ll see if that really fixes the problems.
But in addition to  having the carpenter here 8 hours a day,  an unreliable computer has hampered my ability to do much blog reading over the last 5 to 7 days.  I think I’m going into withdrawal not being able to visit all my favorite bloggers!   It really drives me nuts wondering what kinds of good stuff you are posting about that I’m missing out on!   Hopefully, I’ll be around to catch up with everyone soon.
And hopefully I will be able to show you several  finished projects before long too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flowers In a Flute

How do you transform one small bunch of flowers from the grocery store…
and one inexpensive champagne flute glass from Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, or even the thrift store…

IMG_2161 C&E

into a 5 minute Metamorphosis Monday project?
Cut the stems of flowers from your bouquet very short and pull off all the leaves below the water line, which is going to basically be all of the leaves.  Arrange the flowers in the champagne flute.  This takes absolutely no flower arranging skills at all.  Really!  The secret is cutting the stems short enough so most of the flowers sit right above the rim of the flute in a mound…like a scoop of ice cream sitting on an ice cream cone. 
In this arrangement, you can see I have a couple carnations on the left that should have been trimmed a little shorter.

IMG_2128 CR&E

This is so quick, easy and inexpensive.  For less than $10.00 you have an arrangement that looks far more expensive just because the sleek lines of the champagne flute give it an elegant presence. 
When I was working, I would often take one of these arrangements to the office on Monday for my  desk.  Then on Wednesday afternoon, I would surprise one of my co-workers by passing it to them so they could enjoy it on their desk for the remainder of the work week. 
These simple arrangements also make a nice little  hostess gift. 
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One small bunch of flowers from the grocery store…$4.99
One inexpensive champagne flute glass…usually less than $3.99.
Putting a smile on the face of a “Flowers In a Flute”  recipient…


For more Metamorphosis Monday transformations, check out  Between Naps on the Porch !

met monday


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Calling All Shoe-aholics…It’s “The Shoe Show”

Nancy over at Southern Lady came up with the best idea for a party.  A Shoe Show!  If you love shoes (and most women do), you must go over and see what everyone is showing.  This should be fun, fun, fun!

Southern Lady Shoe Show

Now I have to admit, preparing for this party was a real eye-opening experience. 
I had a major revelation.
An epiphany.
As much as I hate to admit it…
I knew I had quite a few pairs of shoes.   I even suspected I was a “shoe-aholic.”  But once I started taking them out of the closet and photographing them one-by-one for this post…oh good grief!  And I’ve only shown you about 80% of them here!
Considering most of my work wardrobe went with black shoes, I was also quite surprised to see I only had 6 pairs of black shoes  I wore to work regularly (7 if you count the black pair with the hot pink trim, and 9 pairs if you count the 2 pairs of black boots I sometimes wore in the colder months).  But for some strange reason, I have  9 pairs of white, cream or camel work shoes!    It left me wondering what the heck I wore with all of those white, cream and camel shoes!    ???  Certainly not anything brown because brown is not a becoming color on me. 
Preparing for this post also made me acutely aware that shoes can be a direct reflection of where we are in our life, or what is happening in it.  As our life circumstances change, so do our shoes.  Or at least mine did.  Drastically!
Okay, so here we go.  Let the Shoe Show begin!


The  “PRE-RETIREMENT” Collection

(aka the “WORKING GIRL” shoes)


black heels collage


Black sandals collage



White & cream heels collage



Camel heeled sandals collage


Camel dress heels collage



Pink heels collage



Brown boot collage



Black boot collage


The “POST-RETIREMENT” Collection

(aka “I’m Free! I’m Free! I’m Free at Last!” shoes)


Pink flip flop collage


Black flip flop collage


White flip flop collage



Silvergoldcamel flip flop collage


Green & blue flip flop collage


Even with all of these shoes, can you guess what I prefer to wear on my feet whenever possible?




Wednesday, July 22, 2009

“A Day Late and a Dollar Short”

I always feel like I'm “a day late and a dollar short" when it comes to  decorating trends.   Especially  “a day late.”
It seems like no matter what type of decor or colors I want to decorate with, I’m either too early or too late to find what I’m looking for in the stores…usually too late.

Does that ever happen to you?

Because I actually WANT beachy cottage decor in soft, watery shades of aqua for my bedroom makeover, I’m having trouble finding it.   
This is July.  The middle of summer.  I live in Florida.  You would think beach inspired decor would be everywhere, right?  HA!  I’ve spent several days running all over town, to every store I can think of,  checking out what’s available.  “Cutesy” beach signs with sayings like,  “Tiki Bar” or “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” and lighthouses seem to be prevalent but that’s not exactly what I had in mind for our master bedroom re-do. 
About 4 months ago, Michaels Crafts had a whole section of pretty beach related decor items but, at that point, I hadn’t even considered redecorating our bedroom.  Of course, now that I’m looking for beachy decor/colors, they’ve got all the fall items out! 
As I said…”A day late…”
Here are a couple things I have found.
I thought these bathing beauty figurines were cute. The shorter one can hold  a tea light candle in her beach ball.  They were on sale for 30% off and, with the “senior’s discount,” (ahem… 50 and older…not 65!), I got another 15% off.  They ended up costing me less than $10.00 for the 2 of them. 

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But, as you can see, they are not  aqua.  Actually, aren’t these just the most atrocious colors  for beach figurines?  Not to worry though.  These little cuties are going to get a makeover with paint sometime in the near future so I’ll be showing you their new look when I’m done.
I’ve also been looking for artwork.  I saw these unframed prints online at for $14.99 each.   If you’ve ever had anything matted and framed, or mounted on canvas, you know that’s where the $$$ really adds up.
(Just a side note:  I sure would like to spend some time in that hammock!)



Although I thought these prints were quite charming and whimsical,  I was primarily hesitant to order them because I thought the colors might be too bright or intense.
Then lo and behold, wouldn’t you know, I found the same prints, already mounted on canvas and ready-to-hang, at the same store where I found the bathing beauty figurines.  They were only $9.99 each!  If that wasn’t enough of a deal, they were discounted another 15%  because of the “seniors discount”!   Sometimes it really pays to be a “senior” !! 
Since they ended up costing  only about $8.50 each, I thought it was certainly worth bringing them home to try them.   Actually, they look pretty good on my aqua walls so I think I’m going to keep them.  If I end up finding something I like better later on, I certainly wouldn’t feel bad replacing them since I haven’t got much invested in them.
I’m also looking at the print below on  It reminds me of my daughter when she was little.  This print is begging to be matted and put into a pretty white frame, don’t you think?  Since I saved so much money on the above 2 prints, I don’t mind splurging to have this print beautifully matted and framed.  It would be a piece of art I would probably keep and enjoy for a long time.


Update regarding my crown molding project…the carpenter came Monday and rechecked all his measurements.  (“Measure twice, cut once.”)  He then went to purchase  the moldings, and took them back to his shop to cut the pieces to length and paint them.  He’ll be back on Thursday to start putting them up.  I’m so excited to see this project  completed!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thrifty (?) Finds

Last week, I made a run to Goodwill and came out with a few goodies…although it’s questionable how thrifty they all were. 
My husband is a “paper hoarder.”  He tends to hang on to miscellaneous papers and receipts too long and they often pile up on top of his dresser.  However, if I have some type of storage box nearby, he is pretty good about putting the papers into it, thus eliminating some of the clutter on his dresser. 
When I saw this wicker picnic basket I thought it would work perfectly to hold his papers.  And since I’m in the process of redecorating our bedroom, it fits right in with the new beachy look I’m going for. 
Cost:  $4.00  Not a bad price.

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I also found this divided wicker tray and thought it would be great to keep on hubby’s dresser to corral the things he empties out of his pockets at the end of the day…his keys, wallet, work and personal cell phones etc. 
It was $3.00, which I thought was a little high.  I recently read where more people are shopping the thrift stores in this economy so it would appear the thrift stores are asking more money for their merchandise
…and getting it.

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I found a couple cups to use as “scoops” in my sugar and flour canisters.   These are stamped “Farberware” on the bottom so that’s probably why they were priced a little higher…$1.00 each…than you would expect for a cup.

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I saved the best for last! 
Pretty rose dishes!  Very rarely do I ever see dishes like this at my Goodwill so I snatched them up!   I got 2 dessert-sized plates, 2 bread & butter plates, and 2 berry bowls.  No chips, cracks, and the gold rim is in excellent condition so I was surprised these were only 76 cents each!  (What is the rhyme or reason behind Goodwill’s inconsistent pricing?!)

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To see more thrifty finds, stop by the  Today’s Thrifty Treasure’s party, hosted by Rhoda at Southern Hospitality.



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

It was so much fun participating in Cindy’s Giveaway Party this month!
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I truly wish I had stationery/desk organizer sets for each and every one of you, especially  the “lurkers” who left comments and sent emails.  :)   However, don’t despair if you didn’t win this time because I’m already planning another giveaway very, very soon!
Without further ado, the winner, selected via the Random Number Generator was…

#9 …  Shelia @ Note Songs

Congratulations  Shelia!!!   
If you don’t know Shelia…(does anyone not know Shelia?)…you really should go by and visit her.  She is a real SWEETIE here in Blogland…so upbeat and fun.  And she always closes her blog posts with a song that is sure to put a smile on your face.
Shelia, I’ll be contacting you to get your address and your package will be on its way to you.
Thanks again to all who entered.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I absolutely LOVE banquettes.
If I could design my dream home, it would most certainly have a banquette…an upholstered bench and intimate table in the corner of the kitchen.

IMG_1663 Better Homes & Gardens New Decorating Book

IMG_1667Better Homes & Gardens New Decorating Book

BH&G banquette #1 Better Homes & Gardens website

BH&G banquette #2 Better Homes & Gardens website

BH&G website Better Homes & Gardens website

coastal2 Better Homes & Gardens website

IMG_1661 Better Homes & Gardens website

BH&G Better Homes & Gardens website

Country Living #2 Country Living

So beautiful, cozy and homey.
What feature(s) would you want in your dream home?


***If you haven’t already entered my giveaway, you still have time!