Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Flea Market Finds and Serendipity

A bit of a random and wandering post.
Yesterday was one of those especially delightful days that fall together serendipitously to 
make us say "Yes, this is a pleasant life."
I met up with two long lost school friends.
We have recently become reacquainted through serendipity.
 It seems that the very things that drew us together those many years ago
are the things that draw us now.
We began the day with some early morning flea market shopping at White's.
Oh what a lovely haul.
You will be seeing some of this at the Vintage Marketplace in Springfield in a few weeks.

Serendipity led me to a space where I could assuage my thirst for vintage children's books.
Perfect for my new Office/Girl Retreat.
Say it with me...
My new found old friends love junking as much as I do.
and again...
(you know what to say).
Talking and shopping and discovering was the order of the day.
We topped the morning off with a scrumptious lunch and 
stops at two of my favorite non vintage shops,

The girls had not visited either shop before.
Two new serendipitous finds for them.

OK laying off the repetition but it is such a perfect word.
A happy accident.
Much of the best experiences in life do happen this way.
The origin is fascinating to me as well.
The word was coined by Horace Walpole from a Persian fairytale, "The Three Princes of Serendip"
and their gift for making accidental discoveries.
How apt when applied to us junkers.

We parted with hugs and promises for future adventures.
Back home I unloaded the van and checked some emails.
Scrolling down the list of fabulous craft ideas that is Craft Gossip I paused in amazement.
My Dollar Tree candle wraps were featured!!!!
Well kiss my grits and call me breakfast!
See what I am saying?

Back home I played a bit in my room redo.
Still needs work but I was busy fiddling with the minutia instead of
cleaning windows and mirrors.
Managing a table for night time reading.
Arranging a photo of my beloved grandma and me.

Basically playing.
A lovely day from start to finish.

I did purchase some sheets for the beds.
Now they are awaiting a tweak or two. 
Some colorful trim perhaps?
OK back to work.

Why can't I just daydream?

Yours in Serendipity, P.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest Room/Dressing Room/Office Make Over

Inspiration in the form of creative bloggers finally lit a fuse under my rear.
Monday morning the ever so prolific Kristi, of Addicted 2 Decorating, posted about the return of her "Make it Happen Mondays".
No pressure, just make a list of those pesky unfinished projects around your home and finish one.
Brilliant right? 
Well sometimes these things drag on forever until motivation hits.
Kristi lit the fire of a project I have been wanting to complete for months and months.
Maybe like 8?
Hey, whatever, it's been since January.
Roeschel, at DIY Showoff, turned her guest room into a beautiful dressing room for herself.
I am sure you have seen it all over the internet.
Mind you, my room isn't nearly as large and since my son moved back last year to finish school this tiny extra room has been a storage space for crap.
(Not the crap in the picture below, thats my I mean collection.)

I would love to have turned it into just a place to dress but I have managed to figure a way to incorporate 2 beds, a small office and a place to finish dressing. 
Those final touches like jewelry.
 Don't judge.
I was a rep for lia sophia jewelry for several years.
A lot of this is samples I purchased...
for work...
What can I say, I like jewelry.
It was all stuck in a jewelry case, tangled and hidden.
I never bothered to wear it because it was such a hassle to find.

I took some of my display pieces from the jewelry shows and loaded up my daughter's old dresser.
Now it is all right in front of me.
I am also indulging myself in a little bit of color and fun.
A little bit?
I have so many childhood pieces and collections and reminders of those happy days growing up.  
Now they are out of their boxes and joyously displayed.

You junking girls know where I am coming from.
This is the perfect room to go a bit crazy with color.
After all, it is my little space to hide.
I still have a long way to go but yesterday morning this room really did look like a storage container.
Now I know where everything is.
I have managed to get my jewelry organized and my computer out of the craft room where it was being covered in glitter.
Poor Mac.

Just a little peak for now.
I still need bedding and a window treatment and a bit more tidying.
Oh and I want to paint the dresser.
Maybe white.
I intend to do it all without spending any money just by shopping the house.
Did I mention this will be my reading room too?
Maybe I will make one purchase.
Some soft white cotton flannel sheets for cozy evenings.

Yours in a room of her own, P.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Garden Makeover

Garden plans have been on my mind here at Frippery Farmhouse.
The only photos that are even presentable are closeups.

Is your area being hit by this despicable drought?
Are you trying to water like mad to keep some semblance of loveliness in your yard 
or have you thrown in the towel?

We just cannot keep up.
We sacrificed our lawn to the sun gods in exchange for maintaining a few blooms close by the house.
Now we have a chance to rethink the whole wasteful cycle of 
water and mowing and fertilizing and reseeding
that is the green lawn ideal.
It is an ideal that is fast falling away.
We have woodland paths and shady spots to play in .
Why try to maintain a vast expanse of grass for no purpose?
Stay tuned.
My brain is on fire (like my lawn).
I see a field of flowers for cutting next year.
Maybe a fence to rein them in.
Oh and a folly.
My dream.
Perhaps a large area in the back for enough veggies to feed us for a while.

Most importantly...
no more lawn.
A lot to tackle but we can start.
Beginning is half the battle.

When I look out at my neighbor's parched field I say,
to heck with grass.
Give me a prairie,
with flowers for cutting.
A sanctuary for the birds and bees.

One notable exception is the insane bee that attacked me as I was weeding 
the garden beds this morning.
He must have come from a nest in the ground where I was hoeing.
He was very angry.
I hope no one at the firehouse up the road could see me as I ran down the driveway and then back to the porch waving my hoe and slapping at my clothes while Mr. Buzz tried unsuccessfully to fly up my pants leg or down the back of my shirt.
To ad insult to injury, once I was safely inside for a bit I heard my husband returning from an errand.
I went out to tell him my tale and darned if that bee didn't spot me again.
Picture yelling and flailing as my hubs is asking what the H is going on.
Safely through the door with a sigh of relief.
Then that darned little buzzer comes riding right into the house 
on the back of hubs shirt.
He is still here...
waiting for me...

I think I will do some indoor planning for the rest of the day.
Pinterest is always a good start.
Did you hear a buzz...
I think I did...

Yours in hiding, P.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

A Week of Wedding

And they lived happily ever after...

Nuff said.

Yours in summer dreams, P.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Week of Wedding: 10 Tips for Decorating a Wedding

Things I have learned that may help with your wedding or other big event.
Whether you are a wedding stylist or a DIY bride these tips are equally valid.

Know your site.

I visited the site where the wedding would be held twice before the event.
Once back in January and once about a month before the wedding to finalize my ideas and go over them with the bride and her family.

While there in January I took lots of pictures and measured everything that was measurable.
The barn, the distance between posts, the barn doors, the loft, EVERYTHING. 
I then immediately drew floor plans while it was all fresh in my mind.
This helped so much when I was back at home deciding on details and ordering supplies. 

Make lists and keep notes on everything.

Conversations with the bride and family, ideas on decor, wishes they might have, anything that will add to the big day being everything they dreamed.
I had a notebook full of lists and measurements and inventories of pieces I would use in the vignettes I had in mind.
I think I even made lists of my lists.
This will keep you sane and organized.

3. Communicate.

Emails and phone calls and meetings with the bride and her family.
Let them know what you are doing via photos.
Communicate what you are ordering and the cost.
Make sure everyone is on the same page.

I was lucky enough to have a bride that put her full trust in my judgement but still, 
no one wants any surprises.
At least not disappointing ones.


Weddings are expensive.
Know an estimated range of costs before you go wild ordering all those fabulous craft supplies and sparkly lights and hundreds of yards of tulle.
Keep a list (yes here I go again) of everything you purchase and what you use.
Realize that there may be more things you might like to do that just will not fit the budget.
Take your best ideas and get the biggest bang from them possible.
If this is your business 
be sure to know what you will be charging for your time over and above supplies 
and communicate this to the family.
Keep track of your time and travel as well if you will be charging for this.

Know your responsibilities.

Are you decorating the reception area only? 
Are you doing some but not all flower arrangements?
What about decorations for the ceremony itself?
In this wedding a florist did the bridal and wedding party bouquets and brought the arch and plants to line the drive.
The bride's parents rented the tents, tables and chairs as well as hiring the caterer, who was supplying table clothes as well.
I shared a list of everything I would be providing so we knew we were all on the same page.


Find the best prices you can for the bride and her family.
Supplies and flowers quickly add up.
Most purchases were made online as that gives the widest option on pricing.
I also found the best selection of items as well as some fantastic ideas.
I knew the flowers would have to be purchased at the very latest date possible so they would be fresh.
I found in this case the best option was a local flower farm.
Google can be your best friend.

Time management.

Plan your time so that you can do as much as possible beforehand.
If your are making many handcrafted items to use in the wedding get these completed and packed away well before the wedding date.
This will avoid any last minute panic attacks.
I had everything but the flowers complete and ready to go a week and a half before the wedding.
If you also supply vintage or decorative pieces that will be used in vignettes or table displays
have these boxed and inventoried as well.
Any furniture you are lending (or renting) should be listed and ready to go too.
Preparation makes everything run so much more smoothly.

Make plans to get everything to the site.

We chose not to rent a truck because of the cost involved.
The site is about 50 minutes from our home and we were bringing furniture, a tent for the musicians, the flowers, a large framed board for the escort cards, a couple of tables and all the boxes full of jars and vintage decorations.
We hauled them in a Subaru SUV and a van. 
We still needed to make an extra trip for another van load but we knew that going in because we packed everything beforehand.
Plan ahead.
Especially if you have loads of things that you need to haul.
(Luckily our experience with antique shows helped us with this.)

Be ready to work and bring some help.

Set up may take longer than you think.
In our case the barn was only available Friday and Saturday, 
with the wedding being Saturday at 6:30 PM.
The bride and groom's family and friends were there on Friday to set up tables, move hay bails and make themselves available for anything that needed to be done.
They also needed to be ready for the rehearsal dinner Friday evening.

My husband was there all weekend and 
my daughter and her friend came on Friday to help with the decorations.
It took 9 hours on Friday and 5 hours on Saturday to get everything complete.
The flower arrangements alone took three hours.
Thanks guys, I could not have finished without you.
Seeing the families' reactions was so worth it.

Know there may be glitches.

You cannot plan for everything.
The management of the site called the bride's mother 
on Thursday to tell her the barn doors were broken. 
Would it be OK if we just left them closed.
The answer was a resounding no!
The whole point was having them open. 
They worked it out.
The barn doors were open.

Another last minute change was serendipitous.
We realized how pretty it would be to place tea lights in the niches in the large beam spanning the dance floor area.
Thanks to google again, we located a Dollar Tree nearby on Saturday morning and filled all 28 spaces with battery operated candles.
That was one of my favorite parts of the entire lighting scheme.

Everything else...

I guess I could keep adding tips but 10 is such a nice even number.

So as an addendum...
Takes pictures of everything.
I missed getting shots of a few of my favorite areas and I am kicking myself now.
I am sure the photographer has a few. 
(Note to self, maybe hire a professional to take display photos next time!)

Enjoy the process.
If you plan ahead things will fall in place.

Most importantly...
Take it from me.
 If you happen to be a guest at the wedding,
 skip that last glass of wine (or two).
You still have to come back the next day and tear it all down!

I had a blast doing this and the wedding was just so much fun.
I met some fantastic people and spent time with great old friends.
Life can be so full.

Yours in making your work into play, P.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Week of Wedding: The Decorations

The people and the setting and the beautiful day made this wedding come together.
My contribution in the form of fluffing up the space was like adding glitter to a diamond.
It was already perfect.
This was just a little icing.
I am adding photos in a slide show because, well, we all know what happens when someone pulls out the slide projector to show vacation photos.
Yes you are obligated to sit through them to the end.

If you are viewing this on your iPhone or iPad go to the end of the post and click on the photo.
Apparently the slide show will not work on those devices.

Being a guest at the wedding, once the festivities began 
I did not take as many photos as I would have liked.
At least not of the barn and tent after dark.
I did take lots of pictures of friends.
After dark.
But I won't be sharing them here.
They will thank me.

Yours in celebration, P.

Click on the photo below to link to the album.
The Bosse Wedding/ Decoration
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Week of Wedding: The Main Event

The ceremony...
In a world that can sometimes be harsh and ugly with lots of sharp edges 
here is something so promising in a wedding.
Soft and touching and wide open to a beautiful future.
This day was like that.

Here are the handsome groom and his parents.
Wonderful people who raised a son to be proud of.

The mother of the bride, my sweet friend, Barb.
A perfect day for her and her family.
Love you all.

The bride and groom.

The vows.
Beginning, "These are the hands..."

A couple in love.
A commitment to share a life.
As one.

Mr. and Mrs. Ross.

The bridal party returns.
Time for a celebration!

The bride and groom dance their way into the barn.

Eyes of love, and no wonder.
Lauren, the bride, is as graceful and elegant as a swan.

Proud daddy and his little girl.

I was so honored to be a part of this special day.
Love you guys.

Yours in a bright future, P.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

A Week of Wedding: The Setting

Hi all.
I am back and do I have pictures?
Let's just say I have more than I can post in one sitting.
Or a weeks worth of sittings for that matter.
So before I tout my mad skills at wedding decor...tee hee...
I want to share the setting that made this wedding come together.

The bride and groom chose the Hughes Center, at Camp Campbell Gard, a YMCA camp they both attended as children.
Before they met.
Isn't that romantic?

This is the barn at the Hughes Center.
The barn held bistro tables, a dance floor, libations and 
a place to sit quietly in the loft and watch the festivities.
Oh, note to Carrie...
Do you recognize those screen door frames?
I owe ya one girl.

Dinner would be served after the ceremony at tables beneath the tent.
28 round tables as well as a long center table for the bridal party.
The day was absolutely beautiful.
In the high 70's at dusk.
In August?
In southern Ohio?
Mother Nature was smiling at this wedding.

Could you envision a prettier day?
The ceremony took place in a field by a pond.
A short stroll around the fence behind the tent.
For those who chose, there was a hay wagon and a golf cart for easier transportation.

A great way to travel when wearing heels!

The sun was just beginning to descend and that special August light made for an idyllic scene.

If any of you have been to a fair or a show where I was a vendor 
you may recognize my burlap table cover.
It was used here to cover the lemonade and tea table.
Refreshment before the ceremony.

OK , one little horn toot.
My jars lined the aisle for the wedding party.
Mason Jars decorated and filled with Hydrangea from my yard.

A birch arch (provided by the florist) framed the pond.
Simple and elegant like the bride herself.
patience my dears,
of course I will be sharing more.
Have you ever known me to be at a loss for words...
or pictures for that matter?

Stop back and I will be sharing the remainder of the festivities throughout the week.
I will also be sharing on my Facebook page...

I still haven't unloaded the van, or the wagon, or either of my kids cars yet!
Fiddle dee dee as Scarlet says.
I'll worry about that tomorrow.
I need a day off.
Better yet, where are those kids anyway?

Yours in beautiful tomorrows, P.
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