Friday, April 25, 2014


Hello,  all you people out there in Blogland!

Just a small note to let you know that the giveaway from my friend Lori's store, Seasons, has been postponed!

I have been in bed with the flu all week. 

 It is no fun. 
I should know.  I have had fun before and it was nothing like this!

I am on the mend and Gracie and I are heading to Seasons tomorrow to find the perfect giveaway!

Stay tuned!

Sorry I have not responded to your comments or visited your blogs but I will stop by to catch up soon!

In the meantime, here is a sneak preview of a project I am working on...

This is the before. It stands five feet tall and four feet wide. I found it on Craigslist for $100.  It retails for $7,000!

Here is the 8 light version, which retails at $6131.70!   Mine has 10 lights. It was custom made for the home it was in.

However, it is a bit much. Too contemporary for my taste and the scale is off, I think.
I am going to change it a bit.

I have already used a pipe cutter to cut off the wrought iron curliqueues.
I have ordered 500 feet of crystal garland from China (on ebay) and I am not so patiently waiting for it to arrive!  LOL!
The color will be changed from faux rust to antiqued brass with gilt accents and new wax candle sleeves will be added.

I can barely contain my excitement!

Have a lovely weekend!



Monday, April 21, 2014

A Change in Seasons

Hi everyone!  I hope your Easter was as wonderful as ours..such a perfect day in the Chicagoland area!

Today, I want to share a magical place with you!  It is a store called A Change In Seasons, owned by my friend, Lori.

My photos do not do it justice...such a fascinating place! I could live there! I will run out of superlatives before I am done describing her shop!

Lori is making some changes of her own and is now offering a 50% discount on her already low prices.  I know I sound like a commercial but I am in love with her store!

She has such exquisite taste and her vignettes are swoon-worthy!

Truly an enchanted environment!  I am immediately transported back to the wide-eyed innocence of childhood when I wander the gardens and the shop...stopping every ten seconds to exclaim, "Oh my gosh!  Oh my GOSH!  Did you see that?  Can you SEE that?"

You get the message.
Her shop is cool.  Really cool.
Very cool indeed.

Let's take a walk through her store in lovely Crete, IL...shall we?

First, let's stop by my home to see the two iron bunnies and the fruit topiary I found at Lori's gorgeous store!

...and the bunny tureen...
Gracie and Handsome Husband colored the eggs...aren't they sheer perfection?!

Now, on to the shop!

If the taller finial looks familiar it is because I have a pair flanking my sunroom doors!


This urn and plinth would be perfect for any garden...formal or informal.

Lori told me that similar faux bois benches can be found in cemeteries!

I think this is a bird bath but it could be used as an urn. Or perhaps it is an urn that could be used as a bird bath? 
 Look at the iron arbor!

This isn't the best photo but the bowl sits atop a trio of neoclassical dolphins.  It is huge!

I would use this in the sunroom as a table with a thick piece of plexiglass on top.  How would you use it?

She has two of these 18" square lions!

I have decided to collect fruit topiary urns.  This one is huge!
Wouldn't it be lovely in a Dining Room?

There is a virtual sea of French wire planters!
I have seen them used in all areas of the home, not just outdoors.  Can you see them filled with towels in the bath?

Another stunning urn on plinth...

A better photo of the dolphin pedestal urn...I LOVE this!

This scrolly Victorian urn sits atop an ancient limestone capital.  
Note all the treasures behind it?  This place is a wonderland of interesting finds!
I would love this on my kitchen island, filled with apples!

Lori loves the way nature creates patina on these pieces so she keeps them outdoors...

I wish I had room for that cherub statue in the background!

The twin to the lion mentioned above.  I love the ivy growing over it!
It could easily be made into a fountain spitter!

This zinc table would be perfect indoors or out!

Wouldn't it be lovely to open this gate to your garden on a sunny June morning?

This urn with lid would be stunning indoors or out as well!

You are too late for this almost 5 ft tall limestone finial!  It is coming home with me to be the garden focal point outside my Dining Room window!

She is also selling her stunning display pieces. I need to go back and take more photos!  You would not BELIEVE the treasures she has amassed!

This case sits atop the marble on her antique Victorian store counter...also for sale! Lori is a trained artist...and it is evident in everything she does!

I believe this desk is Florentine?  The front folds back to reveal a writing surface and storage.  So beautiful!

This is not a reproduction.  It is an actual oil painting on an antique tin panel.  Soooooo pretty.

This might come home with me.  I have a thing for wreaths!  LOL!  Look at that angel!  

One of many cloche vignettes...filled with velvet gourds...

Again, I love how her outdoor pieces are accentuated by nature. That's Lori's give you an idea of the size... I am always so inspired when I visit Lori's store!

Tons of shutters with original paint!

One of a pair of scrolly iron brackets of oak leaves and acorns...

This bronze cornice is very long...six feet at least!  Did you notice how she embellished the silver platter with the looking glass?  There are many more similar to this!  The pine cabinet to the right is also for sale!

This is my all time favorite!  It is a corrugated zinc panel mounted on a frame for support.  It is six feet long and two feet high.
Wouldn't it be perfect on a kitchen island?  

This is a mere sample of what A Change In Seasons has to offer.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have never seen so many beautiful things in one place!

If you are interested in any of the pieces please call Lori on her cell phone...


Her store address is:

533 W Exchange St
Crete, Illinois 60417

But call before coming!
If you do go, stop by the coffeehouse down the street!  They have the BEST drinks!

This is not a paid advertisement!  LOL!  I just wanted to introduce you guys to one of my favorite places, owned by a lovely person whom I admire!

I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY from Lori's stunning shop in the next few days!  Stay tuned!



Monday, April 14, 2014

Gustavian Rococo Dining Chairs Before and After Tutorial

"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "otherwise you wouldn't have come here."

~Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

I have contemplated changing my name to the Cheshire Blogger in honor of the way I fade in and out of Blogland.  It reminded me of the conversation between Alice and the Cat...then it dawned on me that we are all mad here...
and that you would understand.

Wait until you see what I have been up to, though!
This post is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

The chairs were actually rather simple to finish.
Let me walk you through the technique...

One of a set of four  Queen Anne chairs found on Craigslist. Though not Swedish, the shape is very similar to my inspiration chair.

Inspiration: Gustavian Rococo chair found on 1st Dibs

Step 1: paint entire chair with Annie Sloan French Linen
You can see the shape much more clearly...the similarities to the inspiration chair are more evident.

Step 2: Sand and distress chairs

All chairs painted with French Linen and sanded.
It was nice to be outside after such a harsh winter!

Step 3: Paint chair with Annie Sloan Old White then remove majority of Old White with wet cloth. Keep a bucket of clean water nearby and rinse cloth often.  You can actually use less Old White.  I have never done this finish before so I was experimenting.

I didn't like the way they looked.  I sanded them too much so...

I repainted the chairs with French Linen to cover the overly sanded spots. When I distress furniture I usually end up using my bare hands to manipulate the paint into just the right places.
I decided not to wax these.  I love them the way they are!
However, I may add a bit more Old White wash to the splats (chair backs).

Here is one "Gustavian" chair in the Dining Room!

$2,500. vs $25.!
Not exactly the same, of course...but I'm happy! 

Detail of patina...

The patina mimics years of use...

I reupholstered the seats in a grey, cotton velvet.  

I am in love with this room!

I don't think I showed this to you yet.  It is a plaster frieze salvaged from a hotel in Germany. One of a pair.
These friezes have a very interesting history.
I found them on my local Craigslist!

The empire wall sconces in the reflection were actually cheap reproductions that I repainted and aged to mimic antiques.

The painting was my first ever attempt at art many years ago. I dug it out of the basement because the colors are reminiscent of the robin's egg blue taffeta curtains.

Detail of painted table leg...

We replaced the chandelier with one from...Craigslist!  
This chandelier was never used.  The owner was formerly employed at a high end furniture store and won it in an employee raffle several years ago but she never hung it.
It still had the $2,300 price tag on it!

The wreaths on either side of the mirror are actually drapery tie-backs that I found on ebay for $10 for the lot.  They had their original price tags on them as well...$50 a piece!

I painted them gold with acrylic craft paint then aged them with burnt umber craft paint.

I found this epergne at a local antique mall for $2.50.  The pair of silver candelabra was a Christmas gift from Handsome Husband.  There are two.  Trust me. I just take lousy photos.

The almost life-sized angel was purchased several years ago at Homegoods after Christmas. It was part of a large manger scene originally sold at Horchow.  The finish was bright, shiny gold.  Very bright.  Very shiny.
I painted it with acrylic antique gold craft paint then went over it in green craft paint.  I left it outside for two seasons and it "aged" very well.  The crown with the candle in it was purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The base was purchased at a local discount furniture store and I used the same paint treatment.

I ordered new candle sleeves from ebay for the chandelier.

Aren't they perfect?

Have you noticed that I am fond of this chandelier?

It really completes the room!

Though I also love the former chandelier, it was too small for the room.

So much has changed in this house since last October!
This is a view from the Dining Room, looking out into the hall.
The orange doors are gone too...

 Mabel always manages to photobomb blog shots.  LOL! 

Still love these chairs too...but the profiles were a bit too low.

This image was taken at night with the flash.  You probably had not noticed until now that the tabletop is silver leaf!
The flash certainly has a way of distorting the colors.  Doesn't it?
I wanted you to see the chandelier all lit up, though!

However, the topic is...

Here is the image of the original chair and the inspiration chair from my last blog

I am very happy with the result!

Don't you love it too?



Sharing with Kim, at Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays!
Kathryn, at the Dedicated House, Before and After Wednesdays!
Pamela, at From My Front Porch to Yours, Treasure Hunt Thursday!
Courtney, at French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday!


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