Mercury Glass and Vintage Silver

I've said many times I love vintage silver and mercury glass--so here is a super quickie post on part of my collection.

I've picked up pieces here and there at thrift stores and yard sales over the past few years.
I've acquired so many pieces, I've had to limit any new purchases to either a Georgian Style or pieces with exceptional detail, lacy pierced work, or carving/etching.  

I tend not to care if pieces are engraved with other people's initials, sentiments, etc. I think it just adds to the province of a piece. One of my favorites is a silver champagne bucket engraved with "Congratulations Colonel Fig"! It reminds me of the Fig Newton commercial with the lady that has water pouring out of her purse!

This Mercury Glass gazing ball was a favorite find! I have used it many times for centerpieces.

I love displaying favorite collections in unexpected ways, such as using candlesticks as pedestals for creamers! I hope you have enjoyed my collection! If you have any questions about silverplate/silver, I'll be glad to help! Also, if something in a photo strikes your fancy, let me know! I'll be happy to post in detail about an item or collection, etc. Comments are always appreciated! Find me on Facebook! (Link in upper left of page).

Cottage Garden

[Edit: Consider this post a BEFORE! Click this link to see everything grown in, with many more flowers!]

As promised, here are some photos of my Shabby Cottage Garden. I spent most of last week-end working out in the yard. Not fun! 

I know, I know, I have way too much stuff on the porch....something like seating for 6.....What can I say, when you have a small house, you make the most of it!

Pretend there is not a bottle of Miracle Grown in this shot--that goes also for the leaves....We had a HUGE scary storm the day before I took these photos, and I haven't had a chance to clean up from it yet! If you can't tell, I like urns! I don't know if you've had this problem, but see the one pot of petunias that is half dead? That is the second time I've planted them in that pot, as the ones before died, these are on their last legs, however--the other pot is thriving! Go Figure--they get the same amount of water, fertilizer, sun, shade, etc......

I love the little concrete frog that lives in the birdbath! I got him and some other statuary from a guy off of Craigslist. If you live in the Richmond, VA area, you should check him out--he has fantastic prices! His name is Clay Underwood and he casts everything himself! For more info you can email him at . All the green overgrowth are Periwinkles--I can't wait until Fall to see them bloom. They apparently were planted there years ago, and come back every year! I cut them back last year thinking they were weeds! I must confess, though, I let the clover and wild strawberries take over parts of the flower bed! I love the flowers and the little red berries!

Seeing how one of the goals of my blog is doing things on a budget, let me tell you about these elegant topiaries. I got the concrete urns on clearance at Lowe's over the Winter for $30.00, my friend Brenda had given me a GiftCard there, so technically she gave them to me. They sat there barren and empty for some months, until the tomato cages came out--yes the cone shape is an up-side down tomato cage--I broke off the bottom ring and pushed the edges down in the soil. I then twisted the pointy ends (the side that's supposed to go in the ground) into a point. Next I planted the ivy. The bare pointed top bugged me every time I walked by, so I thought about buying some cast iron finials to top them off. After not having a job for a while, money is tight getting everything back on track, so I put it off. Then I got to going though some stuff to get rid of, and found these cast iron pineapple finials already painted shabby white! So I put them on top! They really finished it off and will really look in proportion when the ivy fills out over the next few years! Mind you these topiaries are 5 feet tall and make quite a statement--grand total cost: $65.00, including urns, plants, tomato cages, soil, etc.! Wow! what a deal!

Just what every garden needs, a bird cage and some sweet little concrete birds! They came from Clay as well.  Look at all the Periwinkles! I can't wait 'til they bloom!

Again, pretend there are no leaves in the photo! This cherub also came from the Concrete Guy! I highly recommend him--in addition to the birds, frog, cherub, and bunny (below) I have, he sells birdbaths, planters, stepping stones, assorted animals, and other items. He makes them all himself in his back yard--these aren't cheap imports--but are way cheaper than the cheap imports. His prices start around $3.00 (Three Dollars). 

No Garden is complete without a cast-iron armillary. Sherry at No Minimalist Here knows my source for this well! That's right all of you from Central Virginia--I scored this at Alexander's Antiques!

I also have a touch of Gothic in the yard with the neat mini screen some sort of vine is growing on, as well as this antique Sacred Heart Jesus statue, I thought the lamb was an appropriate companion to the Jesus statue.
 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' John 1:29-30 (New International Version)

This not so little guy watches over the yard.

It took me several attempts to get him up there so he wasn't wobbly! He at the Sacred Heart Jesus are antiques I acquired at the Estate sale of a retired Lutheran minister. He was an avid antiques collector and purchased them years ago for his garden, when he passed away he left everything to his church, which was across the street from his home. The current minister saw me struggling with the statuary and, in his formal vestments mind you, took them from me and help me load them in my vehicle! Many thank yous!

Here is one last pic from my garden--it gives you a nice view of the brick of my house (one of the selling factors), as you may know, I live in a 1964 rancher--I really wanted an Historic home, but this was such a sweet deal, I couldn't pass it up! This may be a mid-century rancher, but this brick is antique--it was salvaged in the early Sixties from demolished  Historic buildings. My home and many others in my neighborhood are built from similar brick. I hope you have enjoyed my Garden Tour--hopefully next year this time, my new plantings of ground cover, etc. will be more mature so you can actually see it!

New Chandelier!

I'm sorry I've been AWOL the past few weeks! I have been super busy getting some stuff done around the house and going to estate sales, yard sales, and other neat places! Over the next few weeks I will be showcasing some of the beautiful new accessories I have added to my collection! 

I thought I had this corner all worked out when I posted on some summer updates I did a while back, to see the before photo, click here. However, one of the staples of casual, elegant, and seemingly effortless French design is layering on beautiful accessories that complement and accent each other. 

This sweet little guy arrived a month or so ago--he was on clearance at Target!

When I got this chandelier at an Estate sale two weeks ago, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but when I asked the price and the owner said $10.00--yes $10.00 (Ten Dollars) (No that is not a typo)--I said sold! It sat in the floor of the living room for a solid week before I knew what I'd do with it!

I have hated the light fixtures in the hall--ugly, dated glass globe with etched flowers, and I thought and thought of how to use it in the hall.

So I wired it to the box, then swagged it over to the corner so you won't bump your head on it. Et voilà! A new light fixture for $10.00! Wow! Oh, I almost forgot to mention what was wrong with it--it was missing ONE crystal! Seeing how I have extra chandelier drops displayed around the house, it wasn't hard to find a match! 

SNEAK PEAK of my flower bed Shabby French Garden revamp:

Stay tuned, many new posts are brewing, coming up my dining room mini-redo, garden overhaul, master bath renovation reveal, and some more surprises are in store! I'm so excited as  my new dining room table was delivered last night! 

Christmas In July!

Since its been waaay hot here the past few weeks (highs over 100 plus humidity) I decided to share some COOL CHRISTMAS ideas! I hope you enjoy my Christmas decor from last year!

Vintage mica snow is the base for this snowy winter display of bottle brush trees with mercury glass beads and a wonderful box handmade of vintage ephemera. 

Joyeux Noël! Apothecary jars full of vintage mica snow and glittered and glass snowflakes and wintery white bone and mother of pearl buttons, boxes of vintage pink Shiny Bright ornaments, fabulous blue fur glittered garland, and a papier mâché star covered in German glass glitter accented with miniature garland and mercury glass beads top the corner cupboard that formerly lived in my dining room.

A glass glitter covered reindeer and glittered bottle brush trees with mercury glass beads sit atop an antique ironstone platter accented with sea glass.

More bottle brush trees, mercury glass, vintage silver, and silver rocks surround this crusty cast-iron urn planted with a mercury glass Christmas tree.

Here is our other reindeer friend! The beautiful cream and green hounds tooth fabric is a Better Homes and Gardens fabric sample--I got a bunch at a designer's tag sale! Each piece was about 1 yard square and bound on the edges, so I've had a lot of fun finding different ways to use them.

A vintage silver candelabra gets repurposed as a bottle brush tree holder. An antique aqua bowl holds mercury glass knobs that haven't found a new home, along with mercury glass orbs, and a tiny glitter covered cottage.

Here is a close-up of the buttons!

I just love this little cottage.

Here is my Pretty in Pink Christmas tree covered in mostly antique and vintage decorations! 

Glittered keys, felt chandeliers, Shiny Bright glass ornaments, stars, mercury glass and tinsel garland, and glitter dusted snowflakes fill the Pepto-hued boughs.

And seeing how this over-the-top tree is fit for a princess, I topped it with not only a glittery star, but also a fab vintage rhinestone tiara!

I sort of got carried away with the mantel--I didn't know when to say when! I love my chartreuse monogrammed stocking from Target!

Here are a few more Christmas trees I put up--Teal Tinsel! I got these Dept. 56 trees for a song at Marshalls!

I went a little more traditional in my Gothic French office/Music room-- a very traditional green artificial tree with brown and gold ornaments and a chartreuse dupioni silk garland. So it wouldn't get jealous of the Pretty in Pink tree's tiara, I topped it with a golden crown!

An overtured empire cage chandelier dome seated upon an antique mirrored plateau holds a plethora of antique Christmas ornaments.

This little elf is busy cutting down pink flocked bottle brush trees and harvesting freshly grown Christmas ornaments!

My beautiful circa 1820 armoire is simply topped with more of the fabulous glittered blue fir garland and a German glass glitter covered bottle brush wreath. This armoire is made of chestnut--which is noted for cracking like mine is--probably why many chestnut furniture pieces have disappeared over the years.  The stencils of fruit, flowers and birds is all original, along with the stenciled faux raised paneling! This baby is nearly 8 feet tall! It was a struggle to get the pediment on the top with my low ceilings! I really need to take some Murphy's oil soap to this--I've been meaning to do that since I bought it several years ago!

I hope this display has cooled you off and got you thinking about your Christmas plans. I got a head start Saturday while yardsaling--I bout several hundred Shiny Bright ornaments--a combination of silver, aqua, pink, and green! So wonderful--now I can decorate the vintage silver tinsel tree I got a few weeks before that! Woohoo! Merry Christmas from the Shabby French Cottage!


Happy Fourth of July!

This LITTLE DRUMMER BOY reminds me to remind you that my Christmas in July post is coming very soon! Pa rum pum pum pum. Oh--for this HOT Southern weather we're having right now, hats and long sleeves are good to prevent sunburn--these gents are out marching in the July sun and don't seem to mind!

If you go out boating, don't forget to bring a life preserver--this guy thought ahead! Remember in Virginia you must have one life vest per person on board and all children must wear theirs at all times while in the boat. 

And please use common sense (unlike this woman) and 1. don't hold lit fireworks, and 2. Don't hold armfuls of fireworks especially if you are not following rule number one! I hope her hairspray is fully dried and she doesn't have any powdered non-dairy creamer sitting around! (It's flammable--well many brands are--check out your container of it!)

Johnny comes marching home again hurrah, hurrah!

If you love these vintage images as much as I do--please go to their original source--they are free for personal use! If you have never been to this site, check it out! It is a great resource for creative people!

Joking aside, I hope everyone has a safe and fabulous Fourth!


Summer Updates

In honor of the start of Summer and the 4th of July, here are some fun seasonal updates.....
I bought these fantastic vintage flags, but I have been so busy, I haven't done anything with them....sad!

Simply adding some coral and a beautiful shell makes my white, pink, and teal color scheme scream simple summer elegance.

Again, something as simple as a few shells changes up the whole look.

And of course, the giant clam shell makes an appearance! I love mine, and wish I had another.
If you can find one, get it--it is one of the most versatile decorative items I have.

The hydragengas scream SUMMER, but you already know I love them. I did want to show off this:

This is my new antique hand carved wood and gilded tole Italian sconce. I got this at a yard sale a few weeks ago for a whopping $0.50 cents!

I moved Napoleon to a new spot for the summer. I hope he enjoys looking over the hallway.

A little more rearranging! I am turning my dining room in to a white on white color scheme with a few hints of pink, green, and teal! It is starting to come together nicely. I can't wait to get my new custom dining table hand crafted from salvaged wood! I have about another week to go.

This mirrored window was a simple project--I thumb-tacked, yes thumb-tacked mirror finished POSTER-BOARD from the Michaels to the back of an antique window frame--super fast and easy! The funny part is that the poster-board was the costliest part of the whole project. Eventually, I'll have real mirror cut to fit.

This bust was a gift from a very generous, but grouchy shop owner near where I used to work. I have gotten some really wonderful things from him. He is in his 80's and has owned the shop since he was in his 20's! I got the veil at a yard sale last summer--it was the woman's grandmother's veil from her first marriage in the 1950's. 

I love this millinery flower hat. I don't remember where I got it, either.....I got the lovely basket from my friend Brenda. I hope you have enjoyed this little peek in my home. Dining room reveal coming soon! Comments are always welcomed.
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