Friday, January 29, 2010

~ROMANTIC PINK ROSE PRETTIES...Hand Painted Keepsakes Coming Your Way~

Pink Roses - Sugar Dusted

I'm taking your advice and I'm spending my cloistered hours inside my Studio with both needle and brush. The final results will be some hand painted pretties and hand fashioned keepsakes for both eBay and Etsy... Watch for them! A few pretties will be offered up for sale later this evening!

The Vintage Shoe Shine Box
Near the Middle...YUM!

Here's just a PEEK at even more romantic treasures that will soon be coming your way! When the weather turns ICKY I'm forced to do the majority of the prep-work in my studio or inside our garage (vs. our sunny and BIG backyard porch)! Prep-work is my least favorite part of what I do...all that BORING (and monotonous) priming and base painting gets to me!!! I usually base paint about 50 items at a time~but, lately it's been more like 10 or 15. I'd much rather spend all my time just doing the artwork!

(See One in Blue- Click Here)

The glittery Heart above is painted with my FAVORITE Cottage White Paint! All the Pink Hearts were pre-sold on a private sale for bridal shower favors (nice!). I can never decide what I personally love more~the creamy white ones or the ones painted with our signature sugary pink paint!


Before heading back into my studio I just couldn't resist snapping another photo of the view just outside my front door. Compare it to the one in my last Post and you'll be able to see just how much of the fluffy white stuff has fallen in 24 hours.


As the Storm Blew In

The Winter Storm of January 2010 hit as expected. There are literally thousands of people in the State of Oklahoma without electricity... Extreme weather conditions as a whole don't usually frighten me. But, after seeing the numerous photos of destruction plastered across our television screen I again have a new-found respect when our local Meteorologists say...

"If you don't have to get out in this mess, then DON'T! STAY HOME!"

Downed power lines and 100 year old trees split into two or three chunks can make you think twice about driving to the grocery store because you're out of Diet Coke...

Truthfully, I hate the mess that Winter sometimes brings...

I'm Longing For GREEN

But...I promised myself this year that I would try the best I could to enjoy every day of the life God has given me. I vowed not to rush through my allotted hours, but rather breathe them in while making each day count. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. I'm blessed and I know it. No matter what season I find myself in, life in my La Chaumière de Briarwood is good.

Even so, I can't help but be a bit excited that Spring is just around the corner...

"Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. (Song of Solomon 2:11-12, NLT)"


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

~SAY IT ISN'T SO...Please God, Send The Spring...~

Oklahoma is bracing for a huge snow and ice storm. It's suppose to hit us sometime tomorrow. My dreams for the quick return of warmer weather have been least for the time being.

At present we are hunkering down for a long winter's night.

The last time this happened (December '08) much of our City was in a blackout that lasted over 10 days.

Come back Spring. Come back.

~SLAYING THE COMPUTER DRAGON...And Learning Paint Shop ProX~

Original Scanned Valentine

Not long after my Mr. AGPMan and I purchased our La Chaumière de Briarwood in 1992 he informed me it was time for us to purchase a home computer as well. I distinctly remember asking him "WHY do we need a such a thing?" and "What do home computers do?"

His reply to me was this: "Well, you can use it to pay bills, send mail, play games, and stuff like that!"

Background Color Changed

My response to him was this: "How stupid is that! I don't think we need one!!!"

If it wasn't for my son, Brandon (the Computer Programmer Brainiac), and my Computer Analyst hubbs, my Mr. AGPMan himself, I probably wouldn't even know how to turn a computer on.

Custom Background Added

I'm not kidding.

I'm a slow learner! I am. Things that might take someone an afternoon to learn seem to take me days and days to grasp. Brandon says it's because I didn't grow up with computers. I think that is just a nice way for him to say he thinks I'm old.

Still, one of my goals for 2010 was to commit to learning Paint Shop ProX! By golly I'm going to learn it if it KILLS ME!

Sentiment Added the risk of being a total braggart, I have to show you what I did yesterday. I took the original vintage Valentine you see at the top and transformed it into the one at the bottom. :) Pretty good huh?

It only took me 10 hours to do!


Blessings to you as you learn new things in a timely fashion...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

~VINTAGE LACE TRIMS - Blessings From Another~


As hard as it is for me to believe, last November I began my 8th year as a seller on eBay. Back in those early days of selling my wares I offered up mostly hand-stitched pillows and little sachets. To be honest with you there were so many sellers offering up similar merchandise that I was certain I'd be forever lost amongst a sea of very talented women. I had only a tiny stash of fabric and enough vintage trims to fit inside a small Priority Mail box.

My how things have changed!


Thankfully, a few die-hard buyers found me and the rest is history. Even though the economy has slowed down over the past few years, thanks to many of my faithful followers I've managed to continue doing what I love.

After my first year I began offering hand painted finds...but that is a whole different story and I'll save it for another Post.


Many of my gals (and a few of their hubbies) have been with me from the very beginning and some have even grown into wonderful on-line friends. I've had the pleasure of meeting several of you in person and I hope in the future to see many more of your smiling faces!


Two of my favorite buyers are a couple of ladies who are both named KIM! They are close friends with one another and it seems like one of them is always buying something for the other. About 6 weeks ago Kim #1 sent me an amazing box of vintage laces and trims. I was speechless and immediately put those lovely old treasures to use.


So, imagine my surprise when today another box, even better than the first one, was delivered to me here at my La Chaumière de Briarwood. The treasures inside this box truly took my breath away. It was FULL of gorgeous vintage trims, laces, ascots, collars, cuffs, edging and even a beautiful old blouse. You name it and I found it in that box!


It was sooo exciting. There is nothing better that getting something in the mail that you weren't expecting!


I have big plans for this piece!


I use a ton of lace in the keepsakes that I design and nothing gets my creative self going more than running my fingers across aging trims from bygone days...


Thank you, Kimbo! I so wish you had been here to see the huge smile across my face! I was jumping up and down and running all around! Just when my stash was beginning to dwindle away God sent you my way to fill up my coffers again! How blessed I am this very day. Between you and my friend, Mary Don, well...I have learned a lot about paying it forward.

Blessings to you as you willingly bless those God has placed along your path...

Monday, January 25, 2010

~CAN YOU REACH MY FRIEND - His Grace Is Enough~


Of all the things in my life I am most grateful for I will forever remain thankful that when I was just a very young child my parents taught me how to pray. I learned early that no matter how I behaved, no matter if my choices were good or not so good, I could never fall farther than the love of God could reach.

And...I could never do anything that would cause Him not to love me.

A few days ago I got an unexpected email from one of my dearest longtime girlfriends. Our friendship began back in 2nd grade and I recall how we spent many summers together laughing and acting up before a high school move separated us for over 30 years.

A couple of days later when I picked up my ringing telephone I knew immediately it was voice of the very girl who'd frozen my training bra and laughed out loud the night I received my first kiss. She was still witty and sarcastic and try as I might I couldn't get a word in edgewise. To this day she remains the only person I've ever known who can talk longer than I can without taking in fresh air.

We laughed and talked about everything that night. Our grown children, her loving parents who have both passed on, my father's devastating illness. We hadn't lost the ability to get in touch with each others feelings and it felt good to remember many of the things that helped mold us into the women we had become.

We giggled just like we did when we were school girls...two 12 year old adult-wannabees who mistakenly believed the world revolved around them. We chatted about old boyfriends, making F's in Home Ec (tis true!) and how we believed Old Mrs. Wylie had failed us solely on the grounds that we couldn't sew a straight stitch.

We talked about our passions and our loves and how my marriage had been 'successful' while hers in fact, had failed. All of them.

As our conversation turned more serious she began to share with me how her bank job had ended unexpectedly, how she and her oldest child were estranged and how her health was beginning to fail. Even before I heard the crack in her voice I had sensed her heart was hurting. I knew she was terribly lonely and very afraid. I also knew, for whatever the reason, I had been spared the suffering that she so obviously had received a double portion of.

As her tears began to flow her steely guard came down.

"I have nothing left" she whispered.

"I've lost everything".

~Can You Reach My Friend~
(Unknown Author)

I got a call from an old friend
We laughed about how things had changed
But I could tell things weren't going as well
As she claimed

She tried to hide her feelings
But they only gave her away
The longer I listened,
The more I kept wishing that
I knew the right words to say

Can You reach my friend ?
You're the only one who can.
Lord, I know you love her
Help her understand
Can You reach my friend?
Bring her searching to an end
Help her give her heart to You

We talked for more than an hour
I smiled when she mentioned Your name
I said that I knew You
I told her the difference You made
But she never thought she would need You
But maybe she's changing her mind
As we said goodbye Lord
She told me that I had found
Something that she'd like to find

Can You reach my friend?
You're the only One who can
Lord, I know You love her
Help her understand
Can you reach my friend?
Bring his searching to an end
Help her give her heart to You

Maybe she's ready tonight
Lord, she said that she might
Need to call You

Help her give her heart to You

Blessings to you as you remember His Grace is Enough...Rebecca

Sunday, January 24, 2010

~COTTAGE CHIC GIVE-A-WAY and Loving Romantic Decor More Than Ever~


I'm lovin' pink roses and all things romantic more than ever! There were moments during the latter half of last year when I wondered if the time had come for me to move away from the soft fluffy blooms and gentle cotton fabrics I have come to love for so many years...

But, no matter how many OTHER pretties catch my eye, I've come to the conclusion that nothing will ever surpass my love for the tattered simplicity of comfortable cottage decor. Vintage laces and aging china plates continue to draw me close to the heart of all things lovely and timeless...

I'm always creating new things for my home and I suppose I will never stop! Because I sew and paint I'm often asked what I love more~

In a way that is like asking me if I love my son more than my daughter... My children are a part of me as are my creations. Both are equally loved. It's just at different times I'm drawn more to one than the other, and for different reasons. And, like my now grown-up babes, working with both needle and brush will always bring immeasurable joy into my life!

In honor of my of one year Blogiversary (January 1st) as well as the fact I'm quickly closing in on my 300th Post, I'm having another Give-A-Way.

The romantic little Picture Frame you see above (or one painted just like it...I have several!) will be given away to one special blogger! The Frame is painted a soft sugary pink(not peach) and comes graced with hand painted pink roses and dainty little rosebuds. It is made of wood, comes with a glass front and is lined with vintage pink Damask. It holds a 4" x 6" photo and comes signed and date by Moi. :) No Cash Value.

Want to win this Cottage Chic Beauty?

Here's what you have to do.

1. Leave a comment on this POST! :)

2. To get a second chance to win the Frame you must POST about this Give-A-Way and LINK back to me!

3. For a third chance to win add my Button to your Blog with a LINK back to mine. have three chances to win! If you opt to do #2 or #3 you MUST let me know you have done this so I can include your name two more times into the random drawing.

The DRAWING for the PICTURE FRAME will be January 31st. Deadline to enter is January 30th @ 11:59pm CST. Winner will be announced February 1st.

Thank you for playing along!

Warmest Blessings on this cold winter day...Rebecca

Saturday, January 23, 2010

~VINTAGE BABY GRAPHICS...Lovely Old Images To Share~


I dearly love vintage graphics and if you've followed my Blog for any time at all you know that! :) I especially love vintage baby cards from the 1940's and 1950's. Their sweetness and innocence is beyond compare and every single time I pull them out from their hiding place I can't help but smile. The graphics depict a time when life SEEMED a bit simpler and a whole lot less complicated...

I've collected aging paper goods for many years and have for you today three of my very favorite baby cards. A couple of years ago I purchased a very large grouping of old ephemera and I've enjoyed using them in many of my personal projects. You are welcomed to use the following three graphics as you please. I've scanned them at a fairly high resolution so they should be perfect for all your altered art needs.




Now peeps...You KNOW I love to share with you! Over this past year I have refrained from using a large watermark across my graphic images because I want you all to enjoy them as I do. I hope to be able to continue to do this. Please remember the images I use to embellish my Blog are not for sharing, unless otherwise stated as I have above. It is very disappointing to stumble upon another blog or web page and find my altered images being used without permission. Even when my words and AGP Logo are removed you can rest assured I know my work.

Now...enjoy these FREEBIES and do check back tomorrow! Another little Give-A-Way will be announced!

Blessings to you as your creativity flows and flows...Rebecca

Friday, January 22, 2010



Doesn't the sweet little lady in the vintage graphic above look like she's having a wonderful, lazy, hazy day? I was WISHING I was her!

From the second I got up this morning I was slammed with computer problems. And truthfully, there is nothing that makes me feel more helpless and stupid than NOT being able to troubleshoot my own on-line issues.

Now...I'm a pretty smart girl.

I am. :)

But, when it comes to computer JUNK and STUFF :)... well~not-so-much! Just ask my ultra smart son, Brandon, or his totally computer savvy, Pops (that would be my Mr. AGPMan), and they'll tell you straight...I have absolutely NO PATIENCE with anything mechanical or electrical or computerICAL! :( ????

I really think things should work FOREVER!

Anyway, come to find out our ROUTER went bad and it was the reason for ALL the crazy issues and on-line failures today. At least I'm happy that the thing failed all on it's own and not because of something I did.


So...give me a couple of days to get my head back on straight and I'll be sharing more sweet vintage graphics with you as well as revealing my Give-A-Way for the New Year!

Blessings to you as learn along with me to exercise PATIENCE in all things...Rebecca

Thursday, January 21, 2010



For the longest time now I've wanted to change my Blog so my POST was in the center column. I had planned to mix things up a bit over Christmas break,but as usual I just got busy doing other things!

So...tonight I worked at figuring out just what it was I needed to do. I'm sure I'll eventually love the change, but I'm going to have to get use to this new layout! I'll be working on resizing some of my graphics and adding new pictures this weekend, too!

I have lots to share! Sweet vintage graphics from bygone days are coming up... New Year Give-A-Way is going to start soon as well!

Blessings to you as you embrace all the good things this New Year has to offer...Rebecca

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

~UNSTABLE and HOW Did I Spell My Own Name?~

(Not In The Slightest)

This is not a joke! Not a funny one anyway


To be honest with you I'm just glad I'm not the kind of person who reads much into the
SUBTLE signs that take place around me.

And then again, maybe I should.

Take this
RANDOM Verification Word for instance. It came up yesterday as I was leaving a comment on Sissie's Blog...

Could it be? Did the computer screen really say

What???? WHAT????

I immediately blew off the thought..

That is until I looked closer at the screen, specifically at my signed comment, and realized I'd misspelled my own name.

I sat in total silence for a minute or two before asking my Mr.
AGPMan if what I had just read could possibly be true!

My husband of over 31 years just stared at me...

Just STARED straight away...

And for a long time, too.I won't be posting much more today. I've got to shop for a new computer monitor and run by Walgreen's to pick up some pain medication for my guy's very swollen face.

Love to you~Rebecca

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

~VINTAGE PINK HEARTS and Hand Painted Cottage Roses~


I've never been one to make resolutions when a new year arrives, but this year I did PROMISE MYSELF (is that a resolution?) to complete the gazillion half-finished projects languishing in my studio. For several years now I've loved painting up these charming old Heart Kitchen Molds!

How Sweet It Is

But~ I get easily sidetracked doing other things if I'm not careful. Since the Hearts were already base painted with my favorite sugary pink paint, I opted to finish all I have over the weekend. I don't plan on purchasing any more of these sweet aging beauties... They are getting really difficult to find~ Besides, vintage kitchen trinkets and treasures just seem to just fly off those estate sale shelves faster than I can grab them up!


With Valentine's Day just a few weeks ago I thought this would be the perfect time offer them up for your enjoyment. I 've listed a few on eBay and later today I plan on listing a few on Etsy as well. Each Heart hangs from silky rayon ribbon and comes graced with a single hand painted rose on the front and a little pink rosebud on the inside!

The Heart is individually wrapped in a cello bag and is tied up with a frothy pink ribbon. Tied onto the side is a charming little To:/From: Hang Tag. Don't you love the sugaring on the outside? It's real German Glass Glitter...LOVE IT!

~Gotta Love The HANG TAG~


I just love all the sugary pink sweetness, don't you?

Blessings to you as you share special little keepsakes with those you love...Rebecca

Monday, January 18, 2010

~ESTATE SALE HUNTING and ONE Fabulous Vintage Mirror~


One great thing about Winter be-bopping right along is that it takes me closer and closer to the AMAZING OKLAHOMA ESTATE SALES that take place every Spring and Summer. Oh~we have them during the Fall and Winter months, too, but I'm always so preoccupied with the Holidays that I rarely get a chance to shop many of them. Besides...who wants to get out when it snowy and icy? By the time it warms up enough to suit me I find I'm having serious Estate Sale Shopping withdrawal...

At one of the Sales we visited last Saturday I found this 2die4 mirror! It was priced at only $20 and I certainly couldn't pull it off the wall fast enough! I had big plans for the beautiful old thing! I knew immediately it was destined for my Formal Dining Room

Now...I'm not one to let grass grow under my feet! Once I arrived home I wasted no time in removing the mirror from it's lovely old frame and cleaning it up until it sparkled like new (well, know how vintage mirrors are, right?)...

The frame was coated this fabulous bronzy-gold color and I actually loved it! Still, I opted to soften it with an easy dry brushing technique! The photo above is after a couple very, very light coats of my very favorite creamy cottage white paint!

Simple to do... Just dip your SPONGE BRUSH (I used a 2" one) into your paint and then squeeze out most of what soaks into the brush's foam body. Gently TAP the paint onto your frame using the flat side. This allows the original color of the frame to show through. Do this a couple of times and Wah are done!


I don't know WHERE else I could have found such a charming mirror for such a low price! :) Didn't it turn out amazing? The backside of the mirror was stamped 1920!



All in all we had a fairly good day of treasure hunting. LOTS of things were terribly overpriced and that always puts me off. Even so, we also found a wonderful pair of vintage glass doorknobs (front, back & faceplate) that will look perfect on the French Doors my guy recently installed! I also hauled home a neat set of old shutters that I'm going to use for display in my little antique booth...

I'd love to know what's popular where you live! My sister, Linda, who lives in Tennessee said that auctions are big in her state... We have those here too, but I rarely attend them. My hand has a tendency to shoot up into the air ALL BY ITSELF and that ends up costing me a lot of money...

Blessings to you as you look forward to the gifts and grandeur of Spring...Rebecca

Friday, January 15, 2010

~FROM MY HEART TO YOURS...Down My Creative Path~


This morning I prayed a simple prayer.

I asked God to help me to stay true to my calling.

As I stood in front of a wall of fabric, lovely old laces, trims, baubles and shimmery vintage finds, piles of fading graphics and a sea of colorful paints, I couldn't help but wonder, if just for a bit, what it was that caused the lull in my creativity. I've so needed to find my way 'back home again'.

For years I've known exactly what I've wanted and where I was going.

I've happily blazed my own trail, charted my own course.

When the critics said I couldn't. God said I could. And I did.

For over seven years my passion for following my heart was my compass and it never failed to steer me in the right direction.

How then did I end up in muddied water? I've always had within me a clear understanding of my purpose and even though there have been moments when I was not 100% positive exactly what my calling was, somehow I always knew within my spirit when I strayed from it.

It seems every single day some new TREND begins. Some amazingly fabulous website pops up offering the latest, greatest SOMETHING-OR-OTHER (probably made in China) and then we scurry on over to see what we are missing out on...

The only thing I've missed out on is being true to myself...

Time for me to return to my first love. Back to the loveliness and comfort found in shabby old laces, soft pink roses, gently faded cottons and the blended menagerie of everything that's dearly loved and aging.

It feels so good to be home again.

Love to you~Rebecca


~Sweet Ellen Clapsaddle~
At About 10 Years Old

Last week I shared with you some aging graphics from the ever popular Miss Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle. By now you know how much I love this artist's work. While doing even more research on her life I FINALLY found a couple of pictures of this extremely talented lady! I just had to share them with you... From what I understand these are the only two photographs of her that remain today.

~Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle~
At About 20 Years Old

While organizing some of my seasonal images I came across a few more I think you will just love. I know it is early in the year, but for those of you who plan ahead (like me!) Easter isn't all that far away!

Feel free to use these darling Clapsaddle images as you please. I'd love to see what you do with them!

~Original Easter Postcard~

~Sentiments Removed~

~Isn't She Wonderful?~

~Cleaned Up A Bit~

~Brundage or Clapsaddle?~

~Cleaned Up - Sentiment Removed~

The vintage postcard above is unsigned and I'm not positive who the artist on this one is. Sometimes the work of Frances Brundage and Ellen Clapsaddle looks similar. I've included this one for you because I love both artists!

Blessings to you as you continue to create beautiful things within your happy heart...Rebecca

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