Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where Bloggers Create

I was so happy to be part of Karen's Blog Party, 
 the women who joined 
are so creative and inspiring.
Looking forward to next year!

Click pictures to see larger image.
This little workshop started as a garden/tool shed.
Not a pretty sight, see the last picture.
I believe it started to take shape in my mind after I
bought the large garden window at a second hand store.
I measured and came home to measure the opening
on the side of the shed, when that looked feasible,
I cautiously approached the handyman husband.
I was lucky he was between projects and must have felt 
this was worthwhile. He's done an outstanding job,
we've had many parties at the house and people always
gravitate to this little space

I now have a charming little space to display garden
 antiques, a long work counter, for crafts
 and potting plants, love, love, love it!

The garden window I drug home so many years ago!

The old seed box came from Colorado, it was old 20 years ago.

This oh so crusty painted little green birdcage
with ceramic birds has little glass cups for the seed 
and water.....just for looks only!  ;)

The sign is newly painted, but had the look!  ;)

The small chest came from an antique store,
it currently holds seed packets.

The lamp is made out of a large old thermos,
it has great graphics on it.

The old oil painting I've had for years, it moves around a lot!

This corner is a mess, I ran out of time to get it cleaned 
up for the blog party.

The original garden shed.

I just came across this Wall Street Journal gardening 
article after posting pictures of my garden shed,
 thought you might like it!

The garden shed was not the only eyesore,
this is a before and after view of the back yard as 
viewed from the side of the garage.

Walk along side of garage going to the back yard.

The office plus creative work space,
 I share with my husband.

Click to see larger image.
The interesting small things can be lost in a large picture.
The metal bill paying tin below is an example,
 it looks like it's from the 1800's the only stenciling
 I can read on the front is BILL HEADS
At the moment I'm using it to hold tags and small books.
The screen saver is a picture I took of an old typewriter
 backed by a vintage movie reel box. 
The juxtaposition of the old typewriter keys with the
wireless keyboard is so cool!

The antique oak file card holder, has addresses 
and a number of other things I need to get organized one day.

This office would not be complete without a pencil 
holder, of course this old pitcher holds more than 
pencils,  oh and my magnifyer needs to be close, then a 
small ruler, scissors, paint brushes, etc.

This little vignette is just for looks, love old globes,
I'd have more if I had room for them.

Believe it or not, I once had this pine cabinet in a store
for sale, I loved it, spent time displaying it just right,
got lots of compliments while I worked and when
I was done, I realized I couldn't part with it. I then broke
 the display down and hauled it home, it's been 
with me for 10 years or more.

Not just eye candy, it holds a lot of my stuff too.

This small red bookcase came home with me from an 
outdoor sale, I believe it cost $30.00
Stores many of my reference books.

Another couple of things I couldn't part with. the pansies
done in chalk pastels. The square black item is the top off a 
victorian box of some kind, possibly a letter box,
 it still has the hinges on the underside.

This is part of a description I found in an online dictionary.
laque burgauté, also spelled Lac Burgauté,  in the decorative arts, East Asian technique of decorating lacquer ware with inlaid designs employing shaped pieces of the iridescent blue-green shell of the sea-ear (Haliotis).

Master Bedroom
Almost everything in the bedroom is vintage or antique.
I've been collecting for so many years, much of it came from
 antique stores, auction houses, estate and garage sales.
The green and burgundy flannel throw on the bed 
was made by a talented friend.

This old green scale has just the amount of rust at the moment,
however if it stays by the open window long it will
have more. I must remember to wax it or use a spray sealer.

My husband added this wonderful fireplace when we 
added on to house 12 years ago.
We could only add 10 feet to the side, but it made
a huge difference, gave us room for another bathroom, 
walk-in closet and best of all the washer and dryer
 that had been in the garage.

I left the original coral color on the old wicker settee.
but had the cushions upholstered with the fabric used on
the bed pillows. It has a matching chair that I didn't have room
for, however I did find a spot for it in a guest bedroom.

I have a ton of antique reference books all over the house, 
I use the internet to do most of the research now, but I still
like using the books, and seeing the pictures.

This little waste paper charmer came from the antique store I 
used  to sell out of, actually I probably 
bought more than I sold. The owner used
 to tell me I was one of her best customers.  ;)

French Rolltop Desk bought many years ago,
at an antique store close to Santa Maria Ca.
I didn't have my van with me so I drove 5 hours home,
next day jumped in the van and drove back and
picked it up, came home same day as I remember.

I have a thing for desks, I have two in the master bedroom,
the larger rolltop desk is pictured in an earlier post

Master Bath
Not much to say except I love this bathroom.
Did I mention I love old black tole trays.
mostly I found them on the east coast.
Gosh, the things I used to bring back,
one year I fell in love with a round tilt top
table, we took the top off and crammed it into
my garment bag, which made it look pregnant.
I carried the 3 legged base on to the plane
with no packing.
The flight attendants were great on both
flights coming home and found places to
stash them.
No way could I get by with that today!

Then there was the time I brought a
rather large blanket chest home on the plane
by myself...I'll save that story for another day!

Guest Powder Room
The green lawyer's bookcase was the first new/old piece I
added to the remodeled guest powder room.
The green color set the tone for the room, the floral wall paper on the 
lower half of the room coordinates as does some of the art.
I also have a number of pictures of  what I call "Instant Relatives",
meaning they're someone's relatives, just not mine.

Green diamond shaped small tiles intersect the larger white ones.

I managed to find this cool old container 
that we use for trash. It says
 City Hotel, Wilmington, North Carolina
The small towel holder came from an antiques store,
I use it to display antique embroidered linen towels.

c. 1800's Empire Period Ogee Mirror
my little art project.

I had this old mirror for a few years in the garage waiting 
for inspiration to strike me.....then WHAM!
I took the mirror out then took the walnut veneer covered frame
to the hot tub I had preheated and dumped it in the water.
Guess floated to the surface, oh crum!
By the next day it was submerged and the glue that held the 
veneer was soft enough to peel and scrape off.
Underneath was pine, after it dried, I lightly sanded it and put on a crackle finish. The flowers were cut from the wallpaper and the writing at the top says 
"Nothing Is Impossible"

The final touches were stain and a coat of sealer.

Long narrow room.

Old music stand that holds antique sheet music and 
pictures of my mother-in-law and her sister when they 
were children.

I love old house pictures, I have 3 in this guest bath.

Love her work, I have another one that's
a cupid with a bow and arrow...sooo cute!

Living Room
OK, I confess I enhanced the color of the view out
the picture window. I had to stand so far back in the
room to get the pix that the view was a wash,
and the color of the boganvilla is so gorgeous!
Love Photoshop!

Another Instant Relative over the living room fireplace.
My own relatives were much too scary to hang on the walls!

1934 model of an ocean liner, lots of
crazed paint makes it look older than dirt!

This old 19th C. red cabinet I bought in Brimfield, Mass.
and had it shipped to my office loading dock.
It was in two separate crates. 
The men working the dock put it in the small pickup
truck I borrowed, unfortunately it had to ride home
in the upright position as there was not enough room
to lay both pieces down in the back.
It was a long nerve wracking ride down the freeway!

This grey wall cabinet is mostly original,
I believe originally it was a blind front, it's very
shallow and might have been used in a Barber Shop
 to hold customer's shaving mugs, although
the top is a little too ornate for that.
Anyone out there know what it is, besides bee-utiful?
I keep a collection of CD's in it.

The old ships model has moved around this old house a lot.
This is my current favorite place, it's almost as crusty as the red coffee table.

Our American Flag as Art and as History from 
the Birth of the Republic to the Present

Don't you just love anything with a lot of drawers!
The Howard Chandler Christy War Bond Poster is an original
from 1917.
 Howard Chandler Christy 

 Color poster depicts a woman dressed in a 
white gown and holding a U.S. flag in the air.
 Troops march in the background, also carrying a U.S. flag.

Looking over the wall to the stair landing.

Cut down early chair paired with ladies
high top, laced boots.

I love the old diaramas, hard to find on the west coast.
 The wood frames are hand carved
as well as the ships, a labor of love by some seaman.

The primitive green bench is very wobbly, I expect it to fall over one day.
I have an old Dobb's hat box, a large white chippy paint basket to hold magazines.
Last but not least a very old model of an Amish horse drawn buggy, 
bought it back east possibly from the Brimfield, Mass.
 antique show I used to love to go to.

Blue and white checked ottoman, has been around a for 
a while,not an antique but very serviceable,
 I keep thinkingI'll have it recovered,
 just haven't gotten around to it yet.
I'm such a procrastinator!

Photo Bowl
I found this idea somewhere years ago,
I have a lot of family and friends pictures out for
friends to look through if they're so inclined.
So much easier than digging out the shoe box.

Old ship model came from Boston, 
it's on a high shelf in the living room.

This old pine step back hutch I found in a California
antique store. This old house had the perfect wall
across from the farm table in the dinning area.

A closeup of the top shelves.

Being able to share my home with friends is a joy!
These girls are antique dealer friends that share my love of 
all things antique and vintage, well most all things anyway!
I might have a few things too primitive for them!

My neighbors are the best, we're way overdue for
a girls lunch!

Love the way the remodeled kitchen turned out, lots of
shelf space to display old bowls, tins, glassware
 and of course my Buttermilk sign.

Finding the green bowls is a challenge, 
I see yellow or cream colored ones,
but rarely green.
The wood dough board was a great find.

only have three under the old Challenge Butter sign
maybe a couple more would look nice,
if I could find the right sizes.

This sign was a gift from a dear friend who has since
 moved out of state, I miss her lots, 
but thanks to email we can keep in touch.

I've used this lots of decorative ways over the years,
never to cook fish though.

The handy man husband built all the cabinets!


  1. Adore your space! Thanks for all the inspiration. Love your home and all the vintage pieces as well. Thanks for the tour!


    1. Anne, wow, that's a huge shed, love the doors! When you get to move in, I know you'll do wonders with it, so many possibilities!
      My husband and I are both collectors/hoarders, we have many discussions on who should rid of their stuff and how to rearrange the spaces. So far I'm holding my own! ;)
      Hugs, Mary

  2. To have a hole house, even if it used to be a shed is marvelous.
    That is what I wished for for many years now.
    Your antiques are lovely and shabby.
    Eva Agnes

    1. Eva, I just looked in on your blog, or should I say blogs, I counted 8! OMGosh, I can hardly keep up with one blog! When I get home, I will get to them all. Thanks so much for your nice comments, I think I'm going to love blog land, and all the wonderful, creative women in it!
      Hugs back, Mary

  3. Wow!! What a fabulous shed remake!! Thanks for sharingyour beautiful vintage space

    1. Thanks Vicki, I loved being part of Karens blog party, it's inspired me to clean and organize some of the house and of course my little garden shed!
      The sun is out now and I've neglected the yard for months, but it overwhelms me to think about it, I'm going to try and break it down in sections, maybe that will work! Maybe get before and after pix!
      I say maybe a lot, cause I'm such a procrastinator! xoxo, Mary

  4. You really went to town on the shed - just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your whole house with us. You have beautiful pieces and I LOVE primitive so I believe you could never have anything too old.

    Will be back to visit again!


    1. Thanks StasaLynn, the husband did all the hard labor, although somewhere I have a picture of a grandson when he was about 5 years old, helping pound nails in the roof, he's 25 now! I got to do the fun decorating, that I love. I think I became interested in primitives on a trip back east, they just seems so honest and unpretentious!
      The weather is nice now and the yard is calling!
      xoxo, Mary

  5. Wow! Love the shed!! And your home is amazing! What a wonderful collection. Thanks for sharing. When you have a moment I hope you'll come by and visit me!

    your newest follower,

    1. Thanks for your comments Terri, I just looked in on your blog, I love, love, love your baskets. I'll look up your etsy site when I get home.
      I know the pictures make it seem like I have a large collection, and maybe so, but I collected for 30 years and sold for 20 years.
      I didn't make much in the way of $$, but the business paid for what I kept. It was hard to stop, the hunt was what kept me going! ;)
      Best, Mary

  6. Wow! We got a whole house tour!!!! Thanks for sharing your lovely home and that awesome potting shed!!!!

    1. Thanks Karen, you said lot's of pictures and I didn't even get downstairs. Believe it or not, this is a small house by most standards, especially Ca. I just have just about every wall space covered!
      Thanks for your inspiration! xoxo, Mary

  7. Well, you certainly covered everything, including the bathroom . . .LOL! You have a lovely home and beautiful things, thanks for the tour!

    1. Thanks Maureen, I tried, although I hope to do a few things differently as I improve my blogging skills!
      I consider myself a blogger in training!
      I also want to get to all the wonderful new posts, including yours!
      Best, Mary

  8. What a vision you had - it turned out wonderfully. I can see why everyone ends up out there!

    1. Thanks Deb, I'm very lucky to have moved here! I left Chicago in 1961 during the worst snow storm in 10 years, got off the plane in LA to sun shine and warm weather and have never looked back.
      Did I just date myself! ;)
      Thanks for the kind comment! xoxo, Mary

  9. Wow your shed redo is amazing. Fabulous tour of your beautiful vintage finds. You have such wonderful collections! Thank you for the tour!

  10. Thanks Shari, I just looked in on your blog that has the altered milk carton house, so clever.....loved it! I could spend all my time trying new arts and craft projects. I'll keep checking back to see what new things you come up with!
    Best, Mary

  11. OMG, antique heaven... What an amazing collection and the shed is totally a dream, love how it looks now. I saw a lot of fantastic pieces, but my favourite is by far the old wooden bench in the shed (oh!!) and the little green scale (double oh!!) and not to mention the buttermilk sign. All very nice and you have great spaces.

    Thank you for sharing, it was a true treat to see.


    1. Thanks Mari, I think I remember finding the wood bench sitting out in front of a yard with a sale sign on it, not sure what I paid, but not much. I first had it in the house where the red cabinet is now, I've always loved it, it's one of my favorite pieces too! If you buy vintage like I do, then you know there's a story with every piece!
      xoxo, Mary

  12. Your home is very nice and creative .I like vintage also. I see you have a few pieces I have . We must have good taste ha haHope you come visit Laura

    1. Wow Laura, your work room looks huge, how wonderful to have so much space. You sound happy in retirement! I'm also retired, but like you, busier than ever, a good thing! Thanks for the kind comments, I'll visit you again. Regards, Mary

  13. What a simply charming spot you have there! I'm completely gobsmacked by the finished product...I know I wouldn't have been able to see the "diamond" you ended up with when looking at the humble beginnings of the project. How sweet of you to share the rest of your home as well...a very enjoyable tour!
    just me...amazed by your husband's handiwork...jan

    1. Jan, you're too cute, no one has ever told me they were gobsmacked before, is that a British term? I couldn't have done it if I didn't have the support and help from the husband, he's a mechanical engineer and seems to know how to do most everything. Well, maybe not yard work! I sent your blog to a couple of friends in Tx. that will love your stories about your sister. xoxo, Mary

  14. Wow! Thank you for treating us to a tour of your wonderful home! I love all of your pieces..the red cabinet is my favorite. Your home looks very inviting and happy!


  15. Thanks Kristi, it was fun be able to share my favorite things on the blog. I too love peeking in to see what all you creative gals are doing, such great
    inspiration. I love blog land! Hugs, Mary

  16. Hi,
    Oh my goodness - your garden shed is so charming and everything in it is fabulous. I am an artist and gardener and collector of old garden finds that end up in my paintings. I loved looking at all of your wonderful garden things as well as your beautiful home.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Blessings, Erin
    P.S. You are my favorite tour!

    1. Erin, oh my goodness yourself! What a treat for my eyes when I looked up your website. I love your colorful art! Do you exhibit any where in south Orange County? I could tell you have an interest in flower gardening, some years ago when I first started collecting garden related items, I was at an antique store in Denver and bought several watering cans and the sweet little seed box in the shed.
      I couldn't get the watering cans in my bag so I carried them clanging thru the airport and on to the plane, to the embarrassment of the hubby. ;) Hugs, Mary

  17. So fun getting to tour your wonderful home!! You have alot of the same taste with all the pretty old plates, bird cages etc.

    I love your great garden shed and all those lovely old paintings!

    bee blessed

    1. Mary, however did you come up with combining the sewing cabinet and table? It's a marriage made in heaven if you ask me!
      Your work room is so organized and fun to look at, I think the pictures turned out great I wouldn't change a thing!
      Thanks for visiting my little blog! I'll be looking in on yours from time to time to see what new ideas you come up with! ;)
      Hugs, Mary

  18. that was so fun seeing your little cottage and all your house loved it girl

    I wish I had got in on where women create it would have made me clean up my studio LOL

  19. Just looked in on your blog, you've got great collections, love transferware!
    I'll look forward to seeing you at the party next year.
    Being a part of this years party inspired me to clean up, now if I can just keep it up! ;)
    Thanks a bunch for commenting! xoxo, Mary

  20. Wow, a whole house filled with treasures! I adore the antiques; what a wonderful collection. Thank you for the tour!

  21. Thanks for looking in Maureen!
    I loved looking at your blog and your workroom organization, I'm inspired!
    Also, envious of all the old multi drawer storage cabinets, just a great look and so functional! I don't see the old ones for sale often!
    I'll keep checking in to see what's new on your site.
    Regards, Mary

  22. I love your space. I also love primitives, folk art stuff. You have such a sense of humour too. Loved looking in.


  23. Thanks for commenting Donna! It's so nice to hear from you and the other gals who like my primitive things. I sometimes have people tell me that a piece I love would look better if it were refinished! OMGosh, and they're not kidding! Primitives have far more character because of their imperfections, I value them because they've been used and well loved through time and have survived. Whew, I get carried away sometimes! Hope you're having a great weekend! xoxo, Mary

  24. What an amazing place, you realy are an american cottage.


  25. Thanks Cindy! There's no doubt in anyones mind when they walk into my house that I'm in love with Americana, the flag motif is everywhere! We are so lucky to live in the USA!
    Regards, Mary