Monday, February 9, 2015

House of Hearts

Isn't this fun, that this year is passing, just as fast as last year! Here it is right before Valentine's Day! Won't you  be Mine? Usually the Hubs and I really don't exchange gifts on this day, we do give each other cards, but don't tell the Hubs, I've been sneaking in the same card every year for the past 5 years! Well it says just what any other card would say, and I do put it in a new envelope! The only part of the card that counts is the signature saying I Love You, am I right?! And so far he hasn't caught on. grinzzz

Just finished putting up the Valentines decorations, I just loaded up the House with Red Hearts! I always start with the Mantel.


This year I just loaded it with Red Hearts, Red Heart Felt Garland, Red Heart Metallic Garland, Kiss Me Pillow next to my Moms Moss Angel, Heart Ribbons, Hearts spilling out of the tiny drawer along with a little Red Bird and of course Hearts Galore!

                                    Red Glitter..enough said.

This Moss Angel was my Moms, it never comes off the Mantel no matter what Season ♥♥♥


Hearts spilling out of the the tiny drawers, you can't tell from the picture, but the drawers have tiny  porcelain green leaves applied to it, so unusual, I love it.


 Front entryway chest with a Big Red Heart, and Heart Cellophane added to existing arrangement, along with a Heart shaped Candy Dish.


 Dining Room and Living Room with Red Hearts Too!
Well I am done spreading the Love! Hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day!
Check out My Board on Pinterest called Mantel Fetish! I'm on under the name Rena Designs.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mais Oui !

I just love the title of this blog, when I lived in England (ages 12-16yrs) we had French in school just about everyday. Wish I had kept up with it when we came back to the States, it's just one of my favorite languages. I was lucky enough to attend the Convent of The Sacred Heart in Maidstone Kent. An all girls private school, where most of the Nuns were Novices from France, mere teens themselves. I used to love seeing them all walking together, they seemed to have such a lilting laugh, like little bells ringing as they walked along with their white head coverings blowing in the wind. They weren't in full black Habits as they had not taken their Final Vows. Most of the older Nuns were from France also, Sister Mary St Michael was one of my favorites, and Sister Mary Sabine another favorite. The Sisters walked around with little bells in their hands that always seemed to be ringing. They rang the  bells whenever they saw us doing whatever it was we weren't supposed to be doing. Lots of bell ringing! LOL  I came to school everyday on a bus from the US Navy base NAS West Malling, my Dad was stationed here with the Navy. All of us American girls went to the Convent. We had a great uniform of a Navy blazer, long sleeved vee neck sweater, pleated skirt, white shirt with striped tie, that we tied in a half Windsor knot, and a Beret with school emblem right on the front. Sister Mary Sabine would be the first Sister we would greet in the morning, and her duty was to make sure we had on no makeup, wore our Berets right and had our skirts at the proper length. Well being in the early sixties, right at the time of beehive hairdo's, high heels, mini skirts and white lipstick, Sister Mary's job was cut out for her!! We  would of course tease our hair, and not wanting to mess it up with that Beret, we would use a bobby pin to attach it to the back of our necks! Now mind you the emblem on the Beret was supposed to be in the middle of our foreheads! Then we had to roll our pleated skirts just right, so the pleats would lay flat , we would start at the waist band and roll till the hem was well above our knees. Thank heavens for the sweater that would hide the roll. Just as the bus was about to pull up to the school, we would start wiping off our lipstick. As we were leaving the bus we could already hear the bells ringing, Sister Mary would be making the loudest Tsking noise as she rang the bell, pointing to whomever she would catch breaking the dress codes. She always seemed to pay great attention to the American girls, ahem don't know why!? So there we were getting off the bus, Berets flapping on our backs, skirts rolled up way too short, and lipstick stained lips! Sister would come up and grab me by the chin and make me face into the sun, so she could see if there was any lipstick on me, I wore orange. Now all the Nuns were French so what ever they said was in a very heavy French accent. Reeena do you have on zee leepshick? No Sister, I sink I see zum. No Sister. Your Skirt eez too short, No Sister. and as she would bend over to look at my hem, I would lean forward just a bit, making the hem right at my knee. Why do you wear zee Beret like zat? Feex eet. Yes Sister. It was the same almost every morning. I get tears in my eyes just thinking of it. Sister Sabine was always saying Don't be za reqular baybee (don't be a regular baby) I have know Idea..anyway. Lord I have a gazillion stories from the wonderful time at the Convent. How lucky was I. I'll have to tell them some times.

I really was going to start this post off with a collection of perfume bottles. Don't you just love them, I've seen some absolutely beautiful bottles on some of the sites that have been showing their collections. Mine is a very humble collection, but who cares, they are MINE! lol  Perfume has always been a very big part of My life, I can't remember when I didn't wear it, Thanks Mom. My Mom always had fantastic perfumes on her dressing table, Joy, Arpege, Lanvin, Chanel no 5, and Shalimar, all I believe are the bases to every other perfume to follow.Then in the years to follow, Avon's Topaz, Revlons Intimate, but she ended up with Estee Lauders "Estee" as her favorite. My favorite was given to me by Mona Martin, the Mom of the boy I was dating at the time, she gave me Germaine Montiel's Royal Secret at the age of 19, I have never stopped wearing this wonderful, beautiful, sensual, sexy, only made for me fragrance. Sadly Germaine Montiel went out of business and now I have to buy on line and it is made by Five Star, same bottle and box, their Royal Secret is really close but not Germaine's, but I just can't give it up. Shalimar is extremely close to Royal Secret fragrance.

Do you know that I combine my Fragrances? Well I do, My Daughter kinda laughs at this when I talk about it, but that's ok.  My Main Frangrance is Royal Secret, this has a very heavy vanilla and sandalwood base. So I like to chose complimenting aromas. I might start of spraying Vanilla Fields or Emeraude by Coty  just on my neck, they are all vanilla, Emeraude is better in the Winter, it's a little heavier. I will then spray a little Shalimar on my Shoulders, then a spray of Patchouli right at the outside bend of each arm. My Royal Secret is then sprayed right on the front of my neck and face up into my hair. I know this sounds like a lot of perfume, but these are just lilting sprays, not heavily applied. This is a wonderful way to use your perfumes, they work in layers, and as your body heats and as you go through the day, it is ever changing, but yet it is more intriguing . The warmth of your body will heat up the Emeraude, and a rich vanilla will be released to mingle with the musky Shalimar on your shoulders, and having the chrispness of the Patchouli at your elbows, is just the right scent to waft in the air as you are being led to your table while out to dine, as anyone closes in to kiss you on the cheek or give you a hug, they are greeted by the fabulousness of Royal Secret. Gotcha! Men always want to nuzzle my neck and tell me how good I smell, BONUS! My Grandaughter can tell you that no matter where we go, even if it to the grocery store or MicD's, someone always asks me what perfume I'm wearing, we've always joked that we could lay bets before we enter the stores!

Man am I side tracked, back to the Perfume Bottle collection (meager). One of the first times going to the base with my parents when we first got to England, there was an office that had a small thrift shop area, Mom said I could go in and look while they did their business. I spotted two cut glass perfume bottles and just had to have them. One was broke in the long trip in moving back to the States. I was 13 when I bought them. I think they were $2.50 for the pair! So I just have the one left. it is the one on the right.

My other perfume bottle has sterling silver cluster of flowers as the stopper, beautiful simple lines in crystal. It has a name on it, but I still can't tell what it is, can you?

Then the one in the back is in the gilded cage base, with flower stopper (that was Mom's)


My Petite bottles are, Salvador Dali, I love the noses as stoppers and lip shaped bottles, In the middle is a little clear bottle that just says on the bottom "French Bottle" (no idea) and of course L'air du temps.


This is a Valentino jar, matte glass with Bakelite Top, it is dated 1986.

Well now that you are totally tired of reading, I will say Adieu, Au revoir, till we meet again.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wishing You a Happy New Year! (in the middle of the month)!

Well we all survived the Christmas of 2014, and I think we are the better for it! whew! New Years Eve  parties, yep survived those too!
 So I've finally taken down all the Christmas and packed it away! Wow the house looks so empty without all the Red and Bling! But it's kinda like a breath of fresh air, hmm I think I need to shop! Gotta fill all those empty spaces! LOL Oh and guess what?! my whole closet that holds all my Christmas, Fall, Halloween, Valentines, Easter and Patriotic holiday decor came CRASHING DOWN! Yep my guest room looks like a storage room at Walmart! Boxes are stacked everywhere, and I lost quite a bit of my Fall things, but the saddest was my Moms three tier cookie cut glass server, it broke too. Wayne is now going to build me a new closet system (uh one of these days) at least the room can be closed off for now. Honestly is scared the bajeeezus out of me, what a noise! oh well..
Thought I would share Wayne's Pomtini recipe, this is my favorite Martini and I just think it is so delicious!





So simple and so good, 1 shot of Rose's Cocktail Infusions in Pomegranate, 1 shot of Vodka, pour in your shaker filled with ice, give about 30 fast shakes, then strain into a Frozen Martini Glass (I always keep Martini glasses in the freezer) and Enjoy! Rose's also comes in Mango, so try the Mangtini (made the same way) it taste peachy!

I also made cookies the other day, that is something I really don't do very often, well actually kinda never, but I saw this recipe in Epicurious for Oatmeal Cookies and I knew I had all the ingredients, so to the Kitchen I went! (Wayne was clapping his hands!)The only thing I changed in the recipe is I did not add the 1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon, and I added 2/3 cups Chocolate Chips and 2/3 cups chopped Pecans.


Recipe for Oatmeal Cookies (Epicurious)
Preheat oven 375 degrees
1 3/4 cup Oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks of softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla ( I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I omitted)
If you choose add in 2/3 cup Chocolate Chips and 2/3 cup Pecans, even Coconut might be good too
Stir together first 4 ingredients  ( oats, flour, baking soda, salt)
In bowl beat together butter, sugar, brown sugar till creamy
add in egg and vanilla and cinnamon beat till all incorporated.
now add in your dry oat mixture  and any additions you might want, example chocolate chips, and stir till all blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet then lightly flatten out the tops and bake for  12 minutes.

Hope you enjoy these simple recipes, Wayne and I can vouch for both! A good way to start the New Year! 2015! (still trying to wrap my head around that!)




Sunday, December 21, 2014

Got Me to Think'n

Remember the old Decorating shows on HGTV? You know the ones that got us all fired up! Taking our old things, rethinking their purpose and REPAINTING THEM!! Wow what a concept!! Adding a Fringe!! or (wait for the Heavens to Part) ADDING GLITTER!! Bringing the Outside In! Actually validating the love we always secretly had for old weathered window frames, rusty garden shovels, and actually using TWIGS!! yipes! and Painted no less. Oh yeah, Decorating Cents, Christopher Lowell, Carol Duval, and Design on a Dime, Winners All!! That is how I discovered my love for Mosaics, Painting and loving Trash to Treasure! Oh we were right on the fringe of this new movement, not quite hoarding, but now there was no excuses for not shopping the roadside trash piles! "Honey pull over"!!
Well while watching Christopher Lowell, he had a guest on that was showing Faux Painting, she had wadded up Saran Wrap into a loose ball, dipped into paint then blotted on a paper towel before she started pouncing it all over an old Grandmothers dresser, I was totally Hip-mo-tized! I think I actually held my breath as she pounced away, creating this NEW VISION!! First the Sanctity of desecrating anything of antiquity, and Secondly...pouncing!!! Oh this was so exciting! I jumped up and started looking around the house, what could I desecrate...then I spotted my Dad old Dresser that I had already sawed the legs off of. I was using it in my entryway as a foyer table. Well I knew I wanted to make it look just like her's (the pouncer),, kind of an antique gold look, discovered I had no Saran Wrap, but I did have a stash of plastic gloves (thank you Clairol) snicker...they would have to do. Then I only had spray paint, nothing in a can that I could dip into...hmm..then I thought, well I'll  just put the glove on and spray the paint on my hand and pounce away!!
So that is just what I did...and I instantly LOVED IT!! pat pat pat pat, Done!
Now the cute part of this story is that once I stepped away from the dresser, I discovered that my finger prints were all over the dresser, no I mean my whole finger prints!! Well it was too late, I already Loved it, and what a fitting Tribute to Dad, to actually have my touch all over it. So that was at least 20 years ago, and I still use that wonderful Chest of Drawers in my Entryway, Touched only by Love, pat pat pat pat

Do you see my Fingers!!! LOL

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Well Everythings Almost Over But the Shout'n! Christmas 2014!

You know December kinda came in like a Lamb, but it is going out like a Lion! Trying to fit so much into the last half of the month, Visiting friends on St Simon Island Georgia, Decorating the home for Christmas and then Hosting a Christmas Party Too! But after a few days of running around like a Chicken with its head cut off, TaDa! Done Done and Done!! But here it is the Saturday before Christmas and I haven't shopped the stores, got a few things on line, but I need to venture outside! I'm one of the few people that just loves all the hustle and bustle of the last few days left before the "Big Rip Tear"!!
I just love all my Decorations that I've accumulated over the years, but even though they still look brand new, I've  been doing the same thing every year, just tweaking it a slight bit, but for the life of me I just can't see my way to changing it. Everyone just raves on it, but outside of a windfall, I just couldn't imagine what it would cost to redo it all! So if the pictures look familiar, don't say I didn't warn ya!
Changed the Mantel somewhat from last year, added back in the Gold Deers, Green and Red Mesh, Large Red and Gold Ornaments, Red Berries, Red, Green and Gold Beaded Garlands , Red Mercury Glass Candle holders with Red and Green Twist Candles, and of course my Moms Christmas Moss Angel, she never leaves my Mantel. I get all my "Free" Greenery at Home Depot and Lowe's (Christmas Tree Cuttings right out of the Trash Bin)!




Decorating a Mantel is one of my Favorite Things! You can visit my "Mantel Fetish" Board on Pinterest, I'm on there under the name Rena Designs. Nutt'n but Fun!


Years ago I made this Christmas Pillow, it was a preprinted  design that I added gold and burgundy roping along with red sequins to and finished with a matching fringe trim. It sits on the floor next to my little Bombay Chest with this huge key in the bottom drawer, Oh and don't cha just love the Antique Gold Santa Ornament!
 For years I always put up the "Big Tree" in the Living Room, totally Loaded down with every Ornament that I have collected since the age of 22! Don't know why this picture looks so pink, the little pillow on the bench is one I made out of Christmas Red Silk (not pink) and the big ornaments are Red too! Hmmm

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BUT now I just put up a smaller one in the Family Room, Although I did look in the Bins that hold all my Treasures from the past, so beautiful. Now the smaller tree will have to do, just couldn't see doing all that work just two weeks  before Christmas! The tree has matching Red and Gold mesh , and ornaments from within the last 3 years, given by friends.




I just love the reflection of the Mantel in the Mirror, another Christmas pillow I embellished.~

The Entryway view , and the Decor on the entryway Chest of Drawers (that was my Dad's that I hand painted)

 My Living Room and Dining Room have white furniture, Gold and Sage accents.


Dining Room Window all done in Sage, Gold and White. Della Robbia Pillows are on the floor.
Large Gold Mirror in Living Room decorated with Ornaments, Glitter peacock, Brocade Ribbons, and a mask we got in Venice, you can see my white couch in the reflection.


Even our Master Bedroom is in White and Sage, so calming. Added a little Christmas to the Mirror and Dresser.

We hosted a Christmas party and I thought I would share a picture of Me and My Daughter Tiffany.


Well nothing left to do but SHOP!!  I'm Wishing You All a Very Merry Christmas, and I hope it is shared with Family and Friends 2015 Is On Its Way!

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Holidays Have Arrived...well not quite!

Hi all, The days are going by so fast, and the only thing I've managed to do here at the house, is a deep cleaning, something I like to do every year before I put up all the Christmas Decor. So far all I have up is the Poinsettia Garlands in the Main Bath, pitiful..But we are having the carpets in the whole house cleaned, so it will be the middle of the month before I get started, really cutting it close.



In the mean time this is the second year I have helped with the Nutcracker Tea, this is a charitable event that is associated with the Make a Wish Foundation. This event is hosted every year by Claire Duffy, and has grown in size and has become more lavish. I help put together the centerpieces for about 40 tables.






My first attempt at decorating Gingerbread Houses too! Such a fun event!
The Tea has about 400 guest and they not only have a fun lunch, but they are given an abbreviated performance of the Ballet "The Nutcracker", Clair's Mom, Felicia is the Grand Dame of the whole event and it is her dancers that perform.

Last week I decorated Dr. Duffy's Office for Christmas. I do this about every three months, the change of every season, It's always fun coming up with different designs every year!




I always love the topper to the main display cabinet in the lobby, this year it is in Red, White, Silver and Green, painted twigs from my garden white and added them to finish it off. I also rearrange the shelving in the cabinets and add Christmas touches throughout the offices.
Now all that is left is for me to do is to get my home decorated, and get some outside lights put up before we are labeled the neighborhood Grinches!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Catching You Up With My Life!

I can't believe it has been five months since I have posted! Talk about life getting in the way, I really do try and post at least once a month, sometimes more, but I will try and catch you up on all my unexciting life..waaa!
Have had so many changes, most non visible but felt all the same, still adjusting to Wayne having to close his company and totally re-inventing his life in his mid sixties, this has not been easy on either of us. But I will say he has managed and does love his new work, so that is all anyone can ask for. Again coping. Also we are down to one car!! I had to let my Beach Hearse go out to pasture (transmission fail), so that keeps me from shopping!! Now I am relegated to just on weekends, which totally sucks. Again coping. Have had to lose contact with so many people that meant so much to me, but again coping. I have fought through a deep depression, finally seeing the light, again coping. But through family and a few friends I have managed to get things back on track, and I thank them so much for all their love. Ain't family great!

Well lets start with July, Had a really hot summer, worked in the garden and had a few trips to the Beach


We love to go early in the morning and have coffee and read the paper, with the occasional doughnut! Just so relaxing, walk the beach and look for sharks teeth and special shells, just reflect..
We got a parakeet, my Daughter was at a cookout with her friends, when all of a sudden a parakeet flew down and landed on my Son in Law! They ended up bring the bird home, after checking with all the surrounding neighbors, but guess who ended up with the bird..oh yeah dear Mom.

Introducing the Bird to Dixie Boy, then moved birdie to a much larger cage, where she chirps all the time.

In late August I was in the garden chopping some vines, when I guess I knocked one of my hanging birdhouses, that was the home to Alien Wasps!! I felt a sting on my neck, that knocked my head back, I went running out to the middle of the yard, but soon realized I was being attacked by something I really couldn't see, Bam I was stung on the shoulder, TWICE ! I must have looked like a Whirling Dervish trying to fight them off, Bam twice on the forearm! I started running down the walkway, through the gate, to the garage. In the garage I could see what was STILL ATTACKING ME!! They were HUGE BLACK WASP! I managed to kill one with a whack of my open hand, and then I knocked one onto the pavement.


This Alien being is about 1 inch long, and the stings are brutal, it took three days for the pain to finally go away. When the Lawn Guy came I told him about the nest and he said he would try and get them, I said you don't understand these guys are relentless. So as he was mowing near the their tree, Bam one stung him on his leg! It kept chasing him down till he finally made it into our screened room! I said "See I told You"! He said "I'll be back tomorrow with wasp spray". Well he returned the next day, armed with wasp spray and a tennis racket, they were finally exterminated. It took me another month to even go out in the back yard again. Traumatized !!
Had some fun cookouts with the Kids at the home they moved into, only maybe two miles down the road, and had lunch with my Daughter and Granddaughter Kingsley, I always love seeing them, my heart swells.



 September is always a full and fun Month, My Birthday, Wayne's Birthday, the onset of Fall, just that feeling in the air that comes with the changing of the seasons. Did some fun things like shopping Goodwill and finding two great pictures of Nice France, they will be perfect in my Shabby Chic guest room!  Have you been to Nice France? If you ever get the chance take it! Nice is so beautiful that pictures just can't capture what your eye sees...I could live there.

These canvas pictures were distributed by the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean Train Line, the PLM..They advertised all the stops along the trains route!Awesome huh!

I had fun doing my nails, I just love nail art and cool colors! Oh! and Bling!!




I also did some fall decorating for Dr. Duffy's office, I always look forward to Claire Duffy's call "Time to change the Seasons"!


This is the top of their large display case that I designed for Fall, I used some of the bark off my Crepe Myrtle tree that I saved and flattened, till it dried and it kind of looked like pieces of driftwood.

October has been busy too, Lunch with Birthday Girl Pam and Friend Esther, great to toast another year!


Did some chair coverings for a friend (Claire), and started getting the House decorated for Fall and put up a little Halloween,

 Did my Fall Mantel, Using more bark from my Crepe Myrtle tree.

 My Scarecrow that I've had for 14 years, I can't believe that he is still hanging in there!

My arrangement at my front entryway, sunflowers, pearly berries and fall ribbon, transforms my existing arrangement into Fall.
Just a few Halloween fun pieces , my old Hag Mask with the feather Witches hat I added, my black scaredy cat and little black haunted house on the dining room table with fall berries added to that arrangement,
Well we are all caught up with my Life!, but now it is November and Wayne and I have had our 32nd Wedding Anniversary! He's a mighty lucky Man!
I am doing some tablescape pieces for The Nutcracker Tea later this month. Thanksgiving is almost here! We will be joining family at my Daughters Home for a Fun Day! Give Thanks for all Your Blessings, You never know when they can all be taken away..