Thursday, September 29, 2011

~~~~~~THE MAGIC of BLUE and WHITE~~~~~~ Bedroom Makeover Still Underway


Once a decorative theme or style has been determined I've always believed that one of the simplest ways to tackle a bedroom makeover is to begin by choosing only two colors and two fabrics and then build from there.  There are so many choices on the market today that I find if I plan too far in advance then all the things swirling about inside my head cause me to become overwhelmed at the get-go!  I'm constantly reminding myself the transformation process (along with the end results) is suppose to be FUN!


(Yeah...the TV shows don't show you all the MESS-UPS!)

My hope when I first began the makeover of one of my La Chaumière de Briarwood's bedrooms (boy...that's a mouth-full!) was to re-create the soft palate used in other rooms in our home only using a fresh, new color.  My entire home is painted in creams, whites, taupes and the palest of pinks so when I jumped on the Robin's Egg Blue Bandwagon I was admittedly a bit SKERD...  My motto/mantra has always been

I don't do blue!
I don't do blue!
I don't do blue!

and so just the idea of embracing the color in any way, shape or form kinda freaked me out! :(

Did you hear me?


I'm thinking I'm not good with change even though I must admit it can be exciting!


(I'm sooo incredibly HIGH MAINTENANCE!)
(Perfect match- Pillowcases from TMorning)

The bedroom I'm redoing has been many things over the years!  It once sported neon lights strung end-to-end when my then teenage son, Brandon, laid claim to the square footage.  It was also my Mr. AGPMan's office for a time and also served me for a couple of years in the same manner.  Most recently it was my expanded studio, but I grew tired of all my stuff being spread out all over the house.  When you are self-employed it's easy for your work to takeover every inch of your home if you're not careful!

Anyway...the room in well on it's way to once again being a bedroom!  My sweet guestroom with it's Cool Elegance walls, vintage spindle bed with her creamy white complements is taking shape!  Later this week I'll share with you the pillows that were made using the fabrics shown above!  I'm hoping the romantic feel of the room will come not just from the vintage furniture pieces but rather in the mélange of textures and fabrics chosen as they are layered upon one another!
(Sure does remind me of mine!)

Still left to decide are the window treatments and how to style the heart grapevine wreath I purchased to accent the vintage window above the bed!

Hope your day is lovey!  I'm off to work on Christmas Ornaments!  OMGosh...did I just say that?
Love to you...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

~~~~CREATING HARVEST TIME MEMORIES~~~~ One Pumpkin Cookie At a Time


I've shared with you many, many times over the past two plus years ( will be three in January!) about my precious mother and all the creative things she did when I was a child.  A few years ago she was clearing out some things in her home and gave me all the old newspaper clippings from when she was a Brownie (Girl Scout) Leader with my Auntie P.
(Yep...that Becky Elliott would be Moi!)

My mother was also my elementary school Room Mother and on a Preacher Man's salary had to be really creative (and frugal) when planning classroom holiday parties.  There was one for Fall/Harvest, Christmas and Valentine's Day if I remember right and they were always done on less that a shoestring...

In the mid 1960's the student to teacher ratio was thirty-one or thirty-two to one!  Can you imagine that today?  Anyway...that was allotta treats for allotta kids with not allotta money...

Halloween was different back then...just fun and kids with lots of sweet (and mostly handmade) costumes!  I remember it being a happy time in my life!  No mean, spooky, evil stuff like there is today... :(

For our Fall and Harvest party she made place-mats (construction paper) in the shape of pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns) and fashioned small treat baskets out of black paper with black cat faces.  Each one was hand painted and sported a carrying handle.

They were filled with traditional sweets like candy corn, small wrapped Hershey Bars as well as tiny pumpkins.  We had vanilla ice-cream cups donated from one of the local Southern Cali dairies (my Grampa hand painted their AD signs for them!), but the highlight of our parties were the pumpkin shaped cookie-on-a-stick treats taken from a recipe in my Mom's Woman's Home Companion Cookbook.

Today it remains the only recipe I use if I need a fabulous spice cookie!  It's delicious, soft and chewy!  Back then they didn't have the plastic/cello bags like they have today and certainly very little craft ribbon...

I remember the cookies my Mom made were wrapped in pieces of plastic wrap and tied up with orange crinkle tie ribbon.

Simple, inexpensive and very, very festive!

The recipe is easy to follow and before baking a wooden craft stick was inserted almost to the top edge of the the dough.  A tad bit more cookie dough was added on top of the stick before being lightly flattened and baked.  In the 60's there were only wooden popsicle sticks so the larger craft sticks work much better for the cookie suckers today!

Now...if spice cookies aren't your thing then remember this...  One of the best and easiest cookie recipes out there is the basic chocolate chip recipe found on the back of most bagged chips.  Just omit the chips!  You can still add a combination of a couple different teaspoons of your favorite spice to this recipe if you want (allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc.).  Add a jack-o face to your cookies with piped royal icing (tinted orange) and wahhh-lahhhh!
You're done!

Note to my talented Momma:

Mom~You helped to make my childhood sooo much fun!  It's taken me YEARS to figure out how absolutely amazing you are and how much I have to be thankful for!  I'm sorry to be so late with all my THANK YOUS and words of praise!  You were before your time and most certainly would have rivaled Miss Martha (and her entourage) with your talents had you been afforded the chance!  Secretly...I am glad your children (and our classmates) had you all to ourselves!  You were and are an incredible Mother and I love and adore you (thank you for the beautiful card...)!



Hope you are enjoying these first wonderful days of Autumn!  It's sooo good to be back!

Love to you...

Monday, September 26, 2011

~~~~~BIG HUGS and LOVE TO YOU~~~~~

I've been away from my blog for a week and I've missed this part of my life more than I can tell you.
to all of my bloggie friends who stopped by to
offer their prayers and well wishes for recovery from my medication mishap!
back to normal and I'm looking forward to a good week.  I'll be back in my studio tomorrow and excited about returning to what I love!!!

I'm not going to say much about what I've experienced of late except this...

If you are prescribed medication and something
doesn't feel right then
right away!

Thank You!
Thank You!
Again, your kindnesses to me meant so much!
On Saturday my hubby managed to get me OUT of my house for a romantic dinner out.  First real meal I felt like eating in almost a week (trust me, losing weight this way is NOT as enjoyable as following a Weight Watchers Healthy Eating Plan)!  My Mr. AGPMan and I headed north and dined at a romantic Italian restaurant in Tulsa.
Villa Ravenna had truly fabulous food and we had a wonderful time!  My camera did not do well in the dimmed lighting (sorry), but I did manage to snap a photo of the salad I chose as an appetizer.  Baby spinach with feta cheese, strawberries and pecans tossed in a light vinaigrette!  Yum!
  I'll be sharing some fun, new things with you this week!  A sweet idea for Harvest Cookies and a few more pics of my new bedroom makeover!  I found some fabric that MATCHES my COOL ELEGANCE paint and I can't wait to show you some of the pillows fashioned from that incredible find!

Blessings as a fresh, new season begins!

Happy Pumpkin Days!

Love to you...

Monday, September 19, 2011


Dear Blogger Friends~

I had planned on sharing a little bit of our visit to the Oklahoma State Fair today, but that will have to wait for another time.  I've had an adverse reaction to some new medication prescribed to me last week and as a result will be away from my blog for at least the next seven to ten days.  I'm going to try and get back to my old self as quickly as possible and need to concentrate on getting better.  Fall is my favorite time of year and I hate the thought of missing out on all the harvest related things you are up to!  I'm sure I'll be playing bloggie-catch-up for a long, long time when I return.
Here are a couple of pics my guy and I snapped while attempting to have some fun at our fabulous Fair.  In the past we've always had such a wonderful time. The photo above is of my hubster whining and complaining ("Come on, Rebecca!  I'm hungry!") about me snapping pics for my blog post instead of getting right to the food stands!
Here he is in line waiting to order yummy FAMOUS DAN INDIAN TACOS!

I will miss interacting with you while I'm away and hope to return sooner than later.  Total wellness is my focus right now so your prayers are deeply appreciated.

Blessings to you as you enjoy these first days of autumn...


Sunday, September 18, 2011


 Is it normal
to have three or four different sizes
of clothing in my closet
at the same time?
I've yet to purge my closet of all the larger sized clothes I wore before losing weight this year on Weight Watchers.  All my fall and winter clothes are four sizes too big! So...crowding my life
(and clothing racks)
are the following:

1.  Skinny clothes I wore a long, long, LONG time ago
(but secretly hope to get back into someday).

2.  Bigger clothes I'm scared to get rid of 
(just in case I fall off the WW Wagon).

3.  New clothes that fit
(but made for spring and summer).

Today I'm sooo thankful I have a God that is the same yesterday, today and forever in my ever changing, sometimes seriously complicated life.


"Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father...He never changes."
James 1:17 NLT
Blessings and love to you this Sunday...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

~REVERIE IN BLUE~ Bedroom Makeover Pictures

Earlier this year when I started to entertain the thought of painting the walls of our guest room a soft, pale blue everyone in my family believed I'd lost my mind.   Still...the more I thought about it the more convinced I was my color choice was right.  The palette of my entire home is one of pale muted shades of blush pink, creams, whites and soft taupes.  Even though I knew I wanted to continue with the cottage white theme on the furniture, I wanted something completely different for the walls. I told you a couple of weeks ago I picked the color COOL ELEGANCE (Lowe's) and earlier this week finished painting all four walls.
("Sweethearts" by Frederick Morgan)

I still have MUCH to do in the room.  I've carried the same romantic look I have throughout my home into this room as well and I'm loving how it is coming out.  The room feels light and the color is refreshing.  I've chosen cottage whites, creams and soft whites for the furniture and bedding (of course I did!) but I haven't as yet decided on how to dress the single window.  Thankfully we have plantation shutters so I'm not pressed to decide right away...I have a little time to plan.  I'm also on the hunt for a fabulous buffet mirror to go above the headboard (you know, those rectangle ones that are sometimes very ornate?) and also a couple of pretty accent fabrics for the bed pillows.  I'm thinking soft brown or a pretty floral).  I want the room to stay simple and uncomplicated but at the same time be completely romantic!
(Age 16 - Lillian Martin)

I know some of you are going to hate me (Carol from FL be nice to me!) but here are a couple of sneak-peek pictures I hope you will enjoy...

Promise...more soon!  In the midst of all my playing and decorating I do have to work! :)  My once FAT piggy bank looks like he's been fasting for far too long!!!

Hope your Saturday is awesome!

Love to you...

Friday, September 16, 2011


Yesterday I came across some amazing words of encouragement and this morning I just had to share them with you.  I wish I could tell you who penned this precious verse...  I only know the writing was timely and spoke to me about the amazing gift of friendship so many of us share with one another here in blogland.  It also reminded me that all of us, no matter where we may be in our lives, are facing some sort of challenge...

"Two women met for tea.
They talked about life~
Things they were working through
and things they were learning.
They showed each other grace
and gave each other courage.
Even though neither of them had all the answers,
they knew that God sure did.
So they laughed and cried
and shared their lives.
And in the end
when the cups were empty...
their hearts were full."
"I always thank my God for you
and for the gracious gifts
He has given you."
 I Corinthians 1:4 NLT 


Always happy to share my thoughts with you and to read yours in return.  I'm also glad so many of us are friends.  I've been busy this week with lots of work and activities.  I promise to catch up this weekend!  

Love to you...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


  When you find something you LOVE...
But just can't stand the color of it...

Rooster found at ROSS for: $11.99
Paint found at Lowe's: $3.99
(Churchill Vanilla/VALSPAR)
Gel Stain: $7.99 (Quart/LOWE'S)
How much I love it:  To the Moon and Back

My new little Rooster-Man has found a new home atop my fridge!  He looks smashing sitting next to some old cookbooks and a fabulous vintage tole lamp!

Back in the studio today to catch up!  Hope your 'hump day' is fab!

Love to you...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

~~~~~SHABBY COTTAGE BASKET TUTORIAL~~~~~ From Simple To Fabulous


Earlier this summer I picked up two wicker style baskets from ROSS for $3.99 each!  I loved the oval style of the two identical baskets and it was a huge plus they both sported pre-made heavy duty liners on the inside.  I immediately had plans for the baskets and decided to bring you along as I transformed them for my romantic cottage style home!  Below is a simple (but fun!) mini tutorial on how to change a nice (but a bit drab) basket into something worthy of gift giving!

Here we go!
1.  Start with a basket of your choice!  Either make a liner or cheat like me and buy a basket with one already made.  Can't beat $3.99 for a basket with the fabric liner already made!  Look at ROSS, TJ MAXX, MARSHALL'S, TUESDAY MORNING, ETC!
 2.  Choose a vintage doily (or crochet lace edging) that roughly matches the size of the liner's sewn edge when folded in half.
3.  Cut center fabric from doily creating a "circle" leaving at least a 1/2" seam allowance.  See photo above as an example!  Do not cut crochet lace if you can help it!
4.  Starting at the tie-end (or back of the basket if there isn't one!) begin sewing the lace all the way around the edge of the liner making sure you "smoosh" (or slightly ruche) lace if necessary.  Smoosh too much and you won't have enough to go all the way around the liner.  Keep in mind you might even have to "stretch" your lace a bit to fit. 
 5.  In this photo I worked on basket #2.  Crochet edging (not a circle doily) was used for this one.  The "ends" were simply smooshed up so raw edges wouldn't show!
6.  Snip off loose treads after securing lace in place.  I went back and top-stitched the lace trim on a second time.  If you're picky (I wasn't on these) you may opt to serge the raw edges for a neat/clean look!  Gently replace the liner(s) onto your basket(s).
 7.  Retie ends if necessary and adjust to fit!
 8.  Use for tons of things!  Great for a bath or fabulous for holding your favorite dinner rolls this Thanksgiving!
9.  Here they are again!

I'd love to see what you do!  I even thought about using different lace pieces and old doilies in different sizes!  In the end I opted to do something simple.  The possibilities are endless!  No doubt a basket like this would be at LEAST $39.00 at a boutique!  Maybe even more!

Hope your Tuesday is awesome!

Love to you...

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