Sunday, January 31, 2016

Feminine Tablescape Celebrating Friendship







Hello my beautiful friends!  Today I am sharing a most delicate and feminine table celebrating friendship. I know Valentine's is often considered just a romantic holiday but for me, it is also a way to honor treasured friendships. I for one do not have a ton of friends but the few that I do call friends have earned a special place in my heart and will be my friends forever. Valentine's is one of those special times of the year in which I like to express my appreciation and gratitude to my close circle of friends.


So gather a few girlfriends and invite them over for a lovely lunch and an afternoon of fun chat and laughter. You may want to have a movie marathon, bake a few cookies or simply listen to some favorite music. Whatever you choose to do, make it special, beautiful and everlasting.


Here is the table I will be putting together for my friends in the next coming weeks.



















 























List of Resources:

  1. Vintage linens (Thrift finds)
  2. Plate Chargers:  Michael's
  3. White Dinner Plates:  Home Goods
  4. Blue Floral Plates:  Homer Laughlin Egg Shell Blue
  5. Gold Flatware:  Target
  6. White Napkins:  Pier 1
  7. Pink Napkins:  Made by Me
  8. Pearl Napkin Rings:  Home Goods
  9. Clear Wine Glass:  Mikasa
  10. Pink Water Glass:  Home Goods 
  11. Centerpiece:  Made by Me (Flowers from Michael's)
  12. Small antique bust:  Gift

I truly love the way this table turned out.  Soft, delicate and very romantic.   I am such a softy for anything pink and roses.  I hope you like it just as much as I do.

Until we meet again sweet friends and remember to add a little beauty to your life.


Janet

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cabbage Rose Valentine's Day Tablescape

Hi everyone.  I hope you are all keeping cozy and warm.  We finally got all the anticipated snow that was in the forecast.  And what a winter storm that was my friends.   Extremely windy and brutally cold.  We got about 23 inches of snow by us.  Thank goodness for snow blowers and very good neighbors that are always willing to help.

Now on to my post...  I love pretty fabrics.  I am always on the hunt for soft and delicate floral fabrics and when I find one that catches my eye, it easily becomes an obsession.  Lately, Waverly fabrics have been catching my attention.  I love their pretty cottage style floral fabrics.  They have a certain worn feel and look that I find soothing.  For this time of the year, I especially like their red cabbage rose print.  I just love its vintage style.  It reminds me of something you would see in a charming country home or inn in England.  And I when I found placemats and napkins with this pattern, I immediately had to bring them home with me.

They are perfect for creating a charming country cottage tablescape.  Something that you would find on the table of a little hidden Inn or B & B on Valentine's Day weekend.  I guess this is where I really want to be......

No fresh flowers here.  Just a few simple pieces that I gathered from around the house.  The only new accents are the wooden hearts which came from a wreath that I purchased from Michael's recently. The dinnerware is Mikasa and the stemware is from Pier 1.  

































I hope I have inspired you to create your own country cottage table for Valentine's Day,  I will be sharing another Valentine's table using the same accessories but a bit more country with less pattern for those that like to keep things more neutral and simple.

Thank you for stopping by today sweet friends.

Hugs,

Janet


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Easy Chocolate Mousse

Who doesn't love to indulge with a bit of chocolate from time to time.  A rich and luxurious chocolate mousse is what I have in mind.  This incredibly silky and decadent chocolate mousse takes only 5 minutes to make and it is perfect to sharing with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day.












Recipe for Chocolate Mousse


LIST OF INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 cup of heavy cream (Chilled)
  2. 1/4 cup powder sugar or to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  4. 6 tablespoons of chocolate syrup (Such as Hershey's)
  5. Chocolate Shavings (To garnish)
  6. Raspberries (To garnish)
  7. Mint (To garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place chilled cream into a large mixing bowl.  Beat the cream with hand mixer set on medium. Beat the cream until the cream begins to thicken.  Do not over-beat.
  2. Add the confectioner's sugar.  Beat for one minute.  Add the vanilla and chocolate syrup and continue beating on medium until soft peaks form.  Do not over-beat because it will turn clumpy and butter-like consistency.
  3. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.
  4. Serve mousse immediately.


Thank you for stopping by today.  Your comments always make my day.

Warm Regards,

Janet


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Adding A Bit of Color & Romance During Winter

Hello friends.  Happy Sunday to you all.  The first snow fall of the season has arrived creating a pristine blanket of snow on the landscape.  I just love looking at the snow when it is undisturbed. There is something very serene and calming about fresh fallen snow.  Perhaps it is the picture perfect scene that it paints or the childhood memories that it brings.  But whatever it is, I find it captivating and inspiring.

The indoors however, seems to be a bit colorless these days, so I have been working on adding a bit of color around the house.  Adding lots of soft pastels to our home decor has done the trick.  Faux blooms have definitely taken center state in our home....

I have made a few trips to Michael's to pick up florals and decorative accessories to incorporate in my home decor.  And I must admit, I have developed a little obsession for faux flowers.  The choices and quality available these days is very impressive.  My creative side is certainly on overdrive, making faux floral arrangements, paper mache boxes and Valentine's Day favors.  All which I will share soon.

So today, I gathered a one of those pretty decorative pieces and faux flowers to create a sweet vignette that it's sure to lift the spirits and bring a bit of color to a bleak winter day.  

Enjoy the softness and romance.
























 





Thank you for stopping by.  May you have a beautiful week.

Janet

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Behind The Blog ~ A Chat With Lidy Baars of French Garden House

Hello Friends,

I am very excited to be kicking off a new addition to my blog called Behind the Blog.  This is something that I have been wanting to do for some time now and I am so happy to finally bring it to life.

I love all the incredible inspiration and creativity that we find in blogland but we rarely get to know the individuals that create all the beauty behind the blogs.  Many of these women have followed their hearts and have managed to build very successful businesses.  

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lidy Baars, the voice and design force behind French Garden House. I first discovered Lidy over on Instagram and after looking at her beautiful Instagram profile, I quickly followed the link to her page  http://www.frenchgardenhouse.com/ and I was hooked.

Lidy is an online antiques dealer specializing in French antiques.  Her online shop is filled with exquisite linens, china, silver, furniture and many decorative objects.  Her blog, French Garden House, offers entertaining and decorating tips, tablescapes and lifestyle articles.  She writes on collecting French antiques for leading magazines such as Victoria, Southern Lady, Victorian Homes, French Country Style, Cottage Gardens to name a few.



Now lets get to know Lidy....  Below are the questions which she so graciously accepted to answer for my chat.


(Q)  You have been an antiques dealer for 18 years.  How did you get started in the business>

(A) I began my antique business as a way to have a creative outlet during a time when one of our children had a serious medical condition 18 years ago.  We almost lost her three times, and I desperately needed to have something just for me.  I started selling antiques in a small little booth at our local antique store.


(Q)  Has this always been your field or did you have another career before this one?

(A)  I had many other types of jobs, all of which I loved at the time.  My first "real" job was managing a Woman's Luxury Clothing Boutique when I was just out of high school.  One of my favorite jobs after that was doing window displays.  I was a stay at home Mom for many years, and when I went back to work, I worked as an interior decorator and stylist for a while before starting my antiques business.


(Q)  When speaking of antiques, what is your favorite period?

(A)  I don't really have one!  I am an equal opportunity antiques lover.


(Q)  Have you ever come across anything rare?

(A)  I recently sold a rare 17th century Italian processional Virgin Mary Figurine used in village processions.  She was hand carved, and painted, and absolutely beautiful!


(Q)  You have an amazing eye for detail and design.  How would you describe your style?

(A)  I love everything that speaks to me, it can be over the top gilt and rococo, or something hand carved, rustic and French Country.  I love many styles, so eclectic is probably closest to my style.


(Q)  Who and what inspires you?

(A)  People who are extraordinarily kind.  Women who, despite difficult times, rise above the occasion, and go forth to create a life they love, a life that adds value to others.  My grandmother inspired me greatly.  Raising six children in Europe during the war, she forged on during four difficult and frightening years.  In later years, she was my example on how to be a strong woman and a lady in all circumstances.


(Q)  To what do you most attribute your success?

(A)  God.  He has blessed me not only with my circumstances, my family and my friends, but my business too.  Then there is working hard.  My Mom installed a strong work ethic in me, she worked very hard all her life to support herself and me, and I tried to make her proud of me.


(Q)  What have been some of your business failures, and what have you learned from them?

(A)   There have been many, believe me.  In the beginning I beat myself up over every little mistake I made.  Now I try my best to laugh at myself, fix the problem, and go forward. Mistakes happen, especially in business.  I try hard not to make many, but once in awhile something happens.  I apologize it it is a mistake FrenchGardenHouse made with a client or their order, make it right for them, and move on.


(Q)  How do you balance work, blogging and family life?

(A)  Now that my business is thriving, it is easier.  In the first three years, it was difficult, as I was pretty much working 7 days a week.  Even so, being your own boss does allow for a flexible schedule, so spending time with a family member or friend can happen, yo just have to make up for it some other time.

(Q)  You also have a beautiful blog in which you share decorating tips, lifestyle articles and stunning tablescapes.  When did you begin blogging?

(A)  I started my blog in March of 2007.


(Q)  How has your influenced your business?

(A)  My blog is where I can really connect with clients, and readers.  My website only allows for so much information, the blog is where I can share things I love, history of antiques, a pretty way to set the table, a great recipe.  I feel like my blog is where people get to know me, as they would if they were shopping in a "real" store, with me as the shop owner.  The blog has also given FrenchGardenHouse exposure to magazine editors and others who in turn have featured FrenchGardenHouse, myself, and/or our products.


(Q)  What is your favorite part about blogging?

(A)  Without a doubt the friends I've made through blogging!


(Q)  When entertaining, how do you like to set the table?

(A)  That really depends on the occasion and who will be sharing that table!  Sometimes I set an elegant, over the top formal table, sometimes I set a casual French Country style table.  I like it to be fun, so an element of fun (even if it's only a polka dotted straw in each glass!) is a must.


(Q)  You regularly write for national interior design publications.  How do you select topics or content for magazines and your blog?

(A)  For magazines, it's usually a combination of my ideas and what an editor wants or needs.  For my blog, it's pretty much what I think will be of interest to my readers.  A blog really is for readers, just like any other written publication like magazines, sharing what you love and know about and what you think will add value to your reader's lives is what should be on your blog.


(Q)  What is key for getting your business and/or blog noticed?

(A)  I think you have to be authentic.  Not copying anyone else, but being who you are, that is what is going to make your blog stand out.  Then, I always advise to visit other blogs and leave a comment, so that others can find YOUR blog.


(Q)  What one piece of advice would you give to other bloggers?

(A)  Be you.  You are unique, and there are a whole lot of people out there who are going to love you, just the way you are.  Share from your heart, and be authentic.


Warmest regards,

Lidy


Lidy Baars
Antique Dealer
FrenchGardenHouse.com


  

Lidy has also been featured in this months issue of Where Women Create Business.  She shares her tips on building a successful business blog for your brand. 







I want to thank Lidy Baars for taking time out of her busy schedule to take part in this interview.  It is not often that you come across someone that is willing to put everything aside to lend a helping hand. You truly are proof that kindness can make all the difference.


I hope you enjoyed the interview.  I plan to continue this series giving a glimpse into the creative minds behind the blogs that we all admire.



Thank you for your visit today.

Fondly,

Janet




Sunday, January 10, 2016

Romantic Paper Flower Cones

Hello my sweet friends.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  The holiday decorations are finally stored away and the house seems to have a fresh and clean feel.  There are a few projects in mind for this year such as updating our dining and breakfast rooms but all in due time.  I am not going to put too much pressure on myself.  I have made a conscious decision to slow down and work on one project at a time.

I am also looking forward to sharing a few new additions to my blog and to inspire you with more creative ideas and DIY projects.  Of course, there will always be my tablescapes, vignettes and garden photos which I love to share.  But today, I am sharing a simple craft project made of out scrapbook paper.  

I am always looking for new ways to make party favors or welcoming gifts for my family and guests to take.  In this instance, I thought of making paper cones or as I like to call them, sweet flower containers made with inexpensive scrapbook paper and sewing trims.  I love to welcome my guest with this romantic vase filled with pretty flowers.  I normally leave it hanging on the bedroom door in which my guest will spend the night or simply place it on their welcoming tray.  Although I make these pretty cones/vases to show my appreciation for those that visit my home, I believe they can also be perfect for an assortment of gatherings, including bridal showers, tea parties, weddings and even a ladies luncheon.

Here are a few photos of the finished project as well as how I like to display them through out the house.




































Below is a tutorial of my paper flower containers.  I have fallen in love with these darling beauties. What a sweet and lovely gift they make.  In the coming weeks, I will share a few more of these.  I hope you don't get bored with the tutorials.....

TUTORIAL

Supplies

  • Scrapbook paper ( I used the 12 X 12 sheets)
  • Glue Stick
  • Sewing Trim/Lace ( I buy the ones that come in a spool)
  • Scissors
  • Decorative Flowers (I bought the small Wedding Pick from Celebrate It sold at Michael's)
  • Glue gun and glue sticks ( For Flowers and trim)
  • Pearls
  • Ribbon
  • Single Round Hole Puncher (If you will want to hand yours but it is not necessary)











How To:


  • Turn the paper with the white side up and turn so it is in a diamond shape and fold paper in half.  Making a triangle.


  • Now cut the sheet in half







  • Take one of the cut triangles and fold in half.  Don't fold too hard.  This is just so you know where your center will be before folding.




  • Using your glue stick, run a straight line of glue along the side of your center or middle of the paper.





  • Now take the end of the corner facing you and bring it to the center tip/top of your paper forming the cone. Be sure that the two corners are perfectly placed on top of each other.










  • Now take the glue stick and place glue all over the side of the paper that is facing away from you making sure to place extra glue on each of the ends.  Now roll/wrap the paper around the cone.  Be sure to smooth any lumps out.




  • This is what it should look like by now.





  • Now we are ready for the embellishments.  Using sewing trim of your choice, cut a piece large enough to cover the top of the tube.  )Since mine was a bit too thick, I had to folded in half and glued it together with Tacky Spray.)

  • Fold your ribbon in half to mark your center and place a bit of hot glue around the top of the tube and glue the ribbon.  (See photo below)




  • Add your pretty flower and some ribbon and Viola....   Below is the finished product.  Now go to town adding candies, flowers or whatever you desire.




I hope you found the tutorial easy to follow.  Creating is such a joy.  It amazes me how an idea that I put together in my crazy creative mind comes to life.  We are so all so blessed in our own unique ways.  It is wonderful that we can inspire each other.  

It is so easy to bring joy and beauty into our lives.  And it is even more magical and rewarding when we share our talents and creations with others. A simple token of appreciation and friendship can make such difference in someone's life.  Let's begin spreading kindness and beauty one creation at a time.

Thanking you all for your amazing friendship, inspiration and support.  May you have a lovely week.

Hugs,

Janet