Monday, April 21, 2014

N'oublie jamais

As I've started a novel titled N'oublie jamais, I thought I'd share this little ditty with you by a favorite singer, Jill Barber. Jill Barber is a Canadian singer-songwriter formerly based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, now based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Watch for her, she's got a unique voice and I love her singing old French songs like she does in 'Chansons'.  My brother-in-law gave me a CD by her yesterday called Mischievous Moon.  

 Stella-the-melomanwoman

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chalk Paint Adventure #2

 I bought this charming, cheap, little end table several years ago and the paint on the top is just flaking off.... Naturally, this was one of the first chalk paint redo projects to pop into my mind.

Here it went... first off, two coats of Annie Sloan Versailles chalk paint.  This is how much coverage I got with one coat.



Next, I cut up an old invoice I purchased from TICA last year, into sections that would look interesting enough on their own.  (I know, how could I?).


Then I took out a pot of collage glue that is certainly several years old, and glued the pieces of the invoice onto the rectangular panels on each side of the table leaving a space all around because I had to.


Now, I am literally waiting, not watching, glue dry so that I can go on to the waxing.  It doesn't look good right now, but once the glue dries clear, it's going to look much better.

Here it is with clear and dark wax and a spray-painted knob.  Not bad for a couple hours' work...



Stella-the-hobbyist

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Auction Candlesticks Before and After

So, the auction was a learning experience.  We spent about 3 1/2 cold hours standing and waiting and bidding and losing until finally, I purchased a small lot consisting of a pair of resin candlesticks, a sun dial, a pair of Sad irons and a tray which is the thing I was after.

Here is a picture of one of the naked candlesticks.  It is only wearing its undies for this photo.  Please forgive its lack of modesty.
Before

 Here is the pair.  One is wearing only a coat of French Country Grey chalk paint by Annie Sloan and a coat of Clear Wax.  The other is wearing the same and a coat of Dark Wax on top.


In this image, some of the Dark Wax has been rubbed off with an old t shirt with some clear wax on it. See how the sculpted bits are highlighted?

After
Here is the happy pair, all clothed similarly and hanging out where they are going to live from now on, atop a provençal runner purchased in Avignon in 2003, in the dining room. Beeswax candles are from my home town where the honey bee is queen.


Please note, these are not my favorite candlesticks in the whole world but, they came with something I really wanted... a tray. Color is lighter than appears on this photo given that there isn't a lot of natural light in the dining room. 
I've fallen in lust love with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I'm feel like painting everything in sight but for now, my little candlesticks are making me happy and proud to be doing something with my hands other than marking assignments... sigh.


Stella-the-hobbyist

Friday, April 11, 2014

Going to an Auction

One of my favorite home and garden centers has closed.  I am saddened by the news and feel deeply sorry for the couple who ran it with such love and devotion to nature and beauty.  They created an oasis of loveliness in the middle of the city.  I will never forget quiet moments spent in their gardens especially during off season when the light and the quiet were soothing to the soul.

Tomorrow, almost everything on the property is being auctioned off,  from buildings to pots and potting soil to trees and garbage cans.  All has to go.

I've never been to an auction so this is a first for me.  At first, I didn't think I would want to participate but my friend and past owner said that buying would be helpful to them...

I went spotting with my sister today and there were almost 3 000 items tagged for tomorrow's sale.

I have spotted a couple of lovely large urns for our new deck and a flock of concrete birds to perch here and there in our yards front and back.
My sister and I made lists and checked them twice, whittling them down to things we would really like to have with dollar limits for each item.  The lots we get most excited about are those that will allow us to create Versailles boxes (finials) and concrete screw-on shapes to top tuteurs we will be making this spring.


Have a lovely weekend.

Stella

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Reaching for the Moon


A love story based on the poet Elizabeth Bishop's ten-year love affair with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Beautiful movie, setting, story, art, architecture.

Here is a poem Elizabeth wrote for Lota: 

Close, close all night
the lovers keep.
They turn together 
in their sleep,

Close as two pages
in a book
they read each other 
in the dark.
  
Each knows all
the other knows,
learned by heart 
from head to toes.

Lota's lover Mary knows that Lota has fallen in love with Elizabeth when she gives her her Calder brooch much like this one, but in silver.


I wrote about a Calder brooch before, this one belonging to the unparallelled Georgia O'Keefe.


Wish list: Calder-like brooch.  Maybe I could hammer out some silver wire to like like it...

Stella

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paris Letters - March Letter

Look what I got in the mail today!

March 2014 Paris Letter - high quality copy of the original 


A couple of weeks ago, I read Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod Lik, a Canadian author who is now married and living in Paris. I was enchanted with this easy to read yet moving story about a girl who needs a change in her life and, makes it, one small change at a time.  I am motivated to undertake a few of the steps she took to simplify her life and make her dreams come true...
So, being the curious girl that I am, I checked out her monthly illustrated letters available for about 12$ each. There's also the option to purchase 6 months or 12 months' worth at a reduced rate.

The letter is pretty enough to be framed and this one in particular is a reflection on bridges and river in Paris with a little history thrown in .  Here are a few lines of the poem that was on the back of the letter:

How would you like to be
Down by the Seine with me
Oh what I'd give for a moment or two
Under the Bridges of Paris with you...

Jean Rodor

Janice also included a vintage envelope, a thank you and a note to check out her book and website
Check out her website and her Etsy site where you can check out a few more examples of her letters.

The book is worth the read, I love a story where the main character is moved to make drastic changes in life.  What comes after is inevitably challenging, interesting and involves a lot of growth.  If you like this kind of story, you'll love this book.  MacLeod is generous in her book, on her site and in her monthly letters.

Go on, you know you want to...

Love,

Stella

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hot Dog!

Our son is coming home for an impromptu visit!  We are elated.  He is in between rotations in hospital and is going crazy in his apartment so for a few air miles, we have our big boy with us for a week.  Then, his dad will drive with him back to Chicago for a visit.  Neither of us has seen Chicago before and because I am teaching, I can't go...  No matter, at least I get to see my boy!

So I'm into my 4th day of a cold and it's not as bad as it could have been.  I'm a firm believer in killing a cold at the beginning.  Lots of fluids, home-made chicken soup, oregano oil twice a day; this has to be one of the foulest tasting liquids a person can take but it's known to have strong anti-bacterial/viral properties.  I feel like I can cope well with my teaching/marking load this week.

On another front, the snow is disappearing with the strong sunshine and it looks like spring is here for real... although I must say I remember a May 19th (my cousin Norman's birthday) when it snowed! I can't wait to use the new deck, so the furniture will be going up in April, I think.

DC has asked that I show a picture of my new hair style. Here it is.  This is me, after a full day's work, doing a load of laundry, washing yesterday's dishes and making supper, eating supper and writing this post in bed. Not bad for an old dame huh?


Talk to ya later,

Stella-in-the-sky-with-diamonds