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Friday, June 29, 2012

La Belle Époque is on Debbiedoo’s Home Tour Series Today!

I am honored to have my home, La Belle Époque, featured on Debbiedoo’s Home Tour Series today!


I’d be so happy if you came for a visit.  Pop on over and visit sweet Debbie at Debbiedoo’s and have some fun on my virtual bloggy home tour!


See you there,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Simple Unconventional 4th of July Party Favor Idea

Small favors tied with string and hand-stamped tags for friends during a summer 4th of July fireworks celebration give them something to remember the evening.


I’ll bet lots of you will be hosting or having a 4th of July party next week.  I’m no exception.  Each year our town has a spectacular fireworks show and it just so happens that they are shot from a very large protruding  rock (called Lovers Leap) on our mountain!  What that means is, we have the best view in the whole city…literally.

I’m wanting to do something different instead of the traditional red, white, and blue-themed decorations.  Now mind you, I’m very patriotic, but I want the focus to be on the fireworks show, which is quite amazing.  We usually have a few people over and the kids have some of their friends here and the crescendo of the evening is always the fireworks.

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We sit in the backyard garden for the festivities and I want to give each guest something to remember their time here… something that reminds them of the garden at La Belle Époque.

The lavender is blooming so wildly right now, so what better way than to use what I already have straight from the garden.

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Here are some bundles that I laid out to dry.


Just separate the dried bunches into small favors and tie each up with string.  I hand stamped the tags with the word “lavender”.

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I plopped them in a red gathering basket and I’ll sit them on a little bistro table for guests to pick up when they leave.

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They are so fragrant.  Any kind of small flower bundle will work.  I just so happen to be partial to lavender because it will last a long time.

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My motto in the summer is SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE. I want everything to be easy, breezy, and enjoyable.  No fuss here.  We keep the food to a minimum, usually throwing some hotdogs on the grill with homemade chili or sauteed peppers and onions and maybe adding a buffalo mozarella salad to help use up all the basil I’m growing!  Oh, and fresh blueberries and strawberries with whipped cream (gotta have some red and blue food!).

For those of you wondering, yes, I will have red, white, and blue plates and serving pieces, American flags displayed, traditional draped bunting, and lots of candles.  But, you’ve seen all that before.

Relax, enjoy the 4th of July and celebrate our wonderful country!  While you’re at it, see what you can drum up for free in your garden!



Monday, June 25, 2012

French-Style Chairs For Less–Great Find!

Busted---I’m a chair-aholic!  (which goes perfectly well with my self-proclaimed “furniture-ista” status!)  Read about it here.  And here.

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I found these French-style chairs at Home Goods for $179 each. I wasn’t looking for them and I didn’t really need them, but I couldn’t pass them up.  (Reminder,  furniture-istas can’t help themselves).  I think they have a nice look to them, even though they aren’t the “real” thing.  Nevertheless, they are such a great find.  Y’all  know the authentic ones cost at least 3 times as much!

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They are all wood and have decent carving detail to them.  The fabric is a heavy cotton with a slight texture (almost like linen) but actually more like a lightweight drop cloth!


I really like the whitewashed treatment for the finish.  It looks like limed-oak which is sooo European.  I am so digging limed oak.  It looks like a cross between Swedish Gustavian and France.

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The French script and fleur de lis is printed on the fabric.

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Now, here’s the real McCoy!  Well, vintage anyway.  This beauty is from France, and is a French reproduction that was made in the 1940s-50s of an earlier period French chair.  I had it recovered in a linen/cotton blend.

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I fell in love with the color of the fruitwood. Such a beautiful soft patina…not too dark, not too  light. And, it goes with everything.


The detail is amazing!

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It exudes “Frenchiness” with a zinc pitcher and hydrangeas.


But, my “great find” chairs aren’t too shabby for the price.  That’s one way to “get the look” without “breaking the bank”!

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I love all kinds of chairs. Great chairs with good bones always catch my eye when I am antiquing.  I look for things like tufting or wood frames with the best detail.   I have one with a plume carving in the back splat that needs a good paint job.  More about that later.

What about you?  What cool furniture knock-offs have you found lately? Are you a chair-aholic?

Happy Hunting,


P.S. Congrats to Rosemary at Villa Barnes.  She is the lucky winner of my French giveaway over at Coastal Charm.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It’s Not Too Late!

It’s not too late to enter the French giveaway that I’m sponsoring over at Coastal Charm.  It ends this evening at midnight.


Lots of great authentic French items!


Hop on over to Coastal Charm for your chance to win!

Good luck,


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lamp Serendipity



I’ve had this pair of Eiffel tower lamp bases for awhile now. I snagged them at a local antique shop for a “song”.  I’m not sure of their age, the patina is nice, and I guess they could be vintage.  Anyway, I knew I would eventually find the right shades for them. It’s hard to pass up a cool Frenchy thing.



A few weeks ago, I found a pair of mismatched modern  lamp bases with these great matching French-inspired shades on sale at TJ Maxx for $14 each. I knew exactly where I was going to use them.





A match made in heaven! Serendipity don’t you think?


Don’t forget about the giveaway that I’m sponsoring over at Coastal Charm.  Head on over to enter.  You don’t want to miss it!  The giveaway ends Sunday June 24 at midnight.



Have a marvelous and Frenchy kind of day!

Au Revoir!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I’m Headed To The Haven Conference

I’m off to Atlanta to attend the Haven Conference and meet up with lots of awesome new bloggers and famous bloggers, too.  I’m sure there’s lots to learn and lots of fun to be had.  Somebody has to do it.

Me, antiquing in Atlanta at Foxglove Antiques!  I’m staying through the weekend so I’m sure I’ll have time to do what I do best…shop!  There’s lots of great French antiques at Miami Circle Drive in Buckhead!!!


I’m very intense when I’m inspecting antiques.  I love these real clam shells!  So trés chic!  


I can’t wait to give you a full report!

BTW…don’t forget to hop over to Coastal Charm and enter the French giveaway that I’m sponsoring.  It ends Sunday June 24 at midnight.  You don’t want to miss it!


Au Revoir,

Monday, June 18, 2012

I’m Sponsoring a Giveaway At Coastal Charm

I’m so excited to be sponsoring a giveaway for Linda over at Coastal Charm.  Please take the time to visit her fabulous and fun blog and follow her if you’ve not already done so.  I would also love it if you followed me too.  Just hop on over to the Nifty Thrifty Tuesday Party at Coastal Charm for all the details and to enter.  While you’re there, join the party by linking up!

Here’s what the lucky winner will receive:


I’ve put together some of my favorite French things.


Included are:

Authentic French boulangerie basket with original linen liner from the early 1900s (I blogged about it here)
2 European zinc pitch pots
Mini French enamel number IIII
French metal tag number 4
2 vintage French metal tart tins w/ votives
Vintage French jam jar with dried lavender from my garden
Vintage metal souvenir Eiffel Tower
Small burlap bag
Set of Pierre Deux lavender sachets
French graphic tote bag








How’s that for a bunch of French goodies?

Head on over and enter.

Good luck,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Outdoor Art Dilemma: Help Me Choose, Please!

After much shopping internet surfing, I have narrowed the outdoor art down to Frontgate and Grandin Road ( I know, they’re the same company).

Anyway, I need want a piece of artwork for the large area of brick on my loggia.  I’m really leaning towards something more funky and modern instead of the expected piece of metalwork.

Exhibit A:  Lots of brick over the sofa


Exhibit B: Choices

Following photos from Frontgate:

Choice 1
Palms are always a safe choice.


Choice 2
Eh, not sure about this one…


Choice 3
Nice, but maybe too traditional.  Although, I always have hibiscus growing somewhere.


These last images are from Grandin Road:

Choice 4
Reminds me of pop art.


Choice 5
I think the koi are interesting.


Choice 6
You  know how I love lavender.  This is an actual photograph.


Keep in mind I’ll be replacing the outdoor cushions next year so I can go with whatever colors I want.   Also, the art has to be fairly large.  All of these choices are either 40 X 40 or 24 X 48 size.

Which one should I choose?  Or are they all to cheesy-looking?  Any other ideas?


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nifty and Thrifty and Free!

Don’t you love it when you discover something again that you already have?


Well, here’s my new “old” discovery.  My antique Victorian wrought iron violet or posey stand!  I was cleaning out some things in the pool house, and there she was!


Isn’t it the coolest outdoor decoration?  A sweet friend of mine gave it to me many years ago when I admired the one she had on the deck of her lake home.  She said, “Dear, I have another one similar to it in one of the storage sheds with my other antiques and you can have it if you want it.”  Of course, I tried to remain calm and said, “Well, I’m sure I could use it if you don’t want it anymore.”  Needless to say, we hauled this baby all the way home.


It has 9 removable swing arms and was pretty rusty and crusty when I got it.  I gave it a fresh coat of white years ago.


The Victorians used this as a holder for small potted African violets.  I think it makes a great votive holder.  I’ve had a tabletop version of this, too that I recently sold.

Below are two photos from Paris Couture Antiques. It is for sale on Ebay right now.


Doesn’t she have this styled beautifully?  I tried to find other examples in photos, but they are so hard to find.


I decided to try mine in the loggia.


It looked pretty lit up at night!




I let a family member borrow it years ago to use in a beautiful outdoor evening wedding.  I just love, love, love garden antiques.

I’ll leave you with a few more photos taken at dusk.




I promise I’ll start blogging about something else besides the outdoors!  (Well, maybe not until after 

Au Revoir,

Linking up to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Tuesday at Knick of Time Interiors
What's It Wednesday? at Ivy and Elephants
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
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