Toile, How I Love Thee … Let Me Count the Ways

I love Toile. I love every color, texture, etc. of Toile. It is so fascinating how a piece of Toile can tell so many stories. I have Toile covering my storage boxes in my craft room/office. I have Toile on pillows … I have a gorgeous Toile quilt that I need to finish and hang. Although I love Toile, my husband has more of a contemporary aesthetic, and so I judiciously disperse it throughout my house in a constant effort to merge our two styles so that both of us feel like our home speaks to us. But, I will always have Toile in one form or another, somewhere in my house.

I have spent the last several months collecting vintage and discontinued Toile patterns to use in my store Lorraine’s Graphiques … a digital image store that I created. So, when it was time for Brag Monday, I decided it was time to pull out some Toile and share it with you. So, I’ve made a free printable of Toile labels or tags. My gift to you for all of your support. I couldn’t have the success that I’m having with my Etsy stores, this quickly, without my facebook and blog friends. I truly hope you enjoy … and that these Toile tags bring a smile to your face, as they do mine. Many of them are from the 1700s-1900. The one in the middle is gratis from the Graphics Fairy … many thanks to her!

As always, you may not mass produce, but feel free to click on the picture and then right-click to save. You may refer others to my blog, however. You may also print them out and use them to your heart’s content for personal projects, not commercial.

Au revoir, mes amies … have a wonderful week!

Decorating the Home: On a Very Small Scale

Have I mentioned before that I absolutely adore fall? I know it’s probably overkill, but I truly do. I love Halloween as well. Nothing is more fun than opening your door and seeing little ones in the cutest outfits and looking so hopeful. So, I always make something new to decorate my home for Halloween.

So, for today’s Brag Monday (see the Graphic’s Fairy button to the left) I decided that since I’m in the process of really amping up my home decor, I could do an overhaul to a smaller home, a la Halloween. Here is my final Halloween House:

 

 

 

At the risk of sounding a tad bit OCD (okay maybe a lot), the orange roof is actually hundreds of little circles of paper so that I could have a spanish tile roof. Need I say more. I apparently LOVE tedious work. Would this be the project for everyone? No, However, anyone can do it. Truly.

I purchased a card board house from Hobby Lobby (with my 40% off coupon, so it was around 4.99), but Michael’s and JoAnn’s have them as well. I then found scrapbook paper that fit the Halloween theme, covered the major parts, and then made X’s in the holes so that I could push the paper back inside and glue it inside of the house (resulting in nicely finished doors and windows. I used scrapbook borders for the window shutters.

I then looked the Graphic’s Fairies Halloween images to find the skeletons and cats so that I could have them peeking out of the window.

I love my little house. It looks perfect in my entry hall. I will turn on a flameless candle at night so that it will flicker through the windows (I used vellum for the window pictures) and light up the house within.

I hope you enjoy!  What do you do to decorate for Halloween?

Lining Your Nest

I have been busy the last several weeks working on decorating and updating my home. I have been having a wonderful time, and I have to say that when I walk into my house now, it truly feels like coming home. I know that probably sounds cliche, but let me elaborate.

Years ago, I decorated my bedroom based upon some fabric that I really loved. I’m a red girl, but very much aware that red is not the color choice for when you want to relax and go to sleep. So, I chose one of the other colors in the fabric … a smoky dark blue to paint my walls. In theory, it was absolutely beautiful. I had two very large windows that brought plenty of light into the room, so I knew I could pull it off without feeling like I was entering a cave.

Well, folks … it didn’t work. It was beautiful. It was coordinated. It worked with the fabric I had used on the drapes and the red cornice boards. But, I realized after several months, that I NEVER spent time in my bedroom. I’d leave it as soon as the day started and never return until the end of the day. It really wasn’t “Me!”

At the time, however, I was younger (around 28) and didn’t really know yet exactly what was me. So, I started reading the “Simple Abundance” book by Sarah Ban Breathnach that was so popular at the time. One of the prompts in the book was to start a scrapbook and whenever something “spoke” to you, you put a picture of that in your scrapbook. So, that is what I did, and “Voila!” Over time, I realized what truly was me. So, I painted over those blue walls, they became a soft creamy ivory and then I sponged a soft sage green very delicately on the walls. I kept the red cornice boards, and then changed my bedding to a creamy ivory background with red and yellow toile style flowers and, you guessed it probably … sage green leaves. At the time I don’t think anyone knew the phrase “Shabby Chic” but that is what my bedroom became.

Afterwards, I couldn’t stay out of that room! I wanted to be in my room all day long, every day … but alas my children and husband needed me to function outside of my bedroom.

So, here I am, once again, making my house uniquely mine. I’m having a ball, and … when I come into my home, I once again have that feeling of “Aaaahhhhhhhh,” I’m really home now. This space is “ME!”

So, my brag Monday entry is actually some placemats that I’ve designed to use on my new dining table (I’ll post picks after I finish a few things so that you can see). And they are … you guessed it … red!! But, I promise … there is no dark steel blue, as pretty as that color may be, on the walls of my home!

So, my challenge to you is … how do you feel in each space of your home? Is there a room that you love, and why? Is there a room that you don’t spend any time in? I know why! It isn’t you. And, if it isn’t you, and you don’t know what is … I promise that if you start making a scrapbook (you could even update that by using a Pinterest board) of anything that “speaks” to you, you’ll start to see some patterns, and you’ll realize what you need to do to make your living spaces create that feeling of “AAaaaaaHhhhhhhh” I’m finally home.

So, here is my brag Monday entry (Many thanks to the Graphic Fairy for her generous use of the nest graphic). Let me know what you think!!

If you click on the picture, it will take you to my Zazzle store, where you’ll see some of my other designs. Maybe it will give you food for thought for your journaling to find out what is “YOU!”

Have a wonderful week Mes Amies!!

Lorraine

What a Man!

Today, I have to say thank you to my husband, for trying to help me dig out of the wreck of last week. I’ve almost thrown him back in a couple of times, but decided he was a keeper! And, I’m glad I did.

The sweetie brought me a big bouquet of flowers to put on the table where the tile disaster happened, to try and put a smile back on my face. He fixed the dishwasher, fixed the fridge, scraped off the tiles so that I could redo them, and this on only a couple of hours sleep. So, in homage to his kindness, I created a free printable for my Brag Monday entry. The print is from the Graphics Fairy (see her button to the left) and the quote from Barbra Streisand, of all people. I hope you enjoy and have a chuckle!

As always, this is for personal use only. Feel free to click and then right click to save to your computer or print for non-commercial use.

Au revoir mes amies!!

Lorraine

Who Knew Marie Antoinette could be so Motivating?

So, today is Brag Monday, once again, on the Graphics Fairy’s blog (see her button to the left), and I wanted to do something a little different this time. Most often I tend to post a piece of jewelry, or one of my coaster designs. This time, I decided to create something that “I” needed, rather than something that would eventually end up in one of my stores.

So, what to make … what to make? Well, I have this little problem … or rather a little bit of a big one. I have paper clutter like no one’s business. It seems as though just as soon as I get my papers under control, I get a whole bunch more in the mail or create a whole bunch more that need to be filed. And, as I now am self-employed, it is absolutely crucial that I keep my financial papers in order. You wouldn’t necessarily guess that I have a problem, because I’m really good at hiding them in beautiful storage boxes. But, “I” know that they are just thrown in there until I can’t put it off any longer.

So, I decided to psychologically trick myself. Who better than Marie Antoinette to put a smile on my face as I file my store receipts? I mean, the irony is absolutely perfect!! I love all things french. I even sympathize with Marie, and love that her style “Iconishness” (is that a word?) is still just as prevalent today as it was when she was alive. But, let’s face it … she wasn’t known for her thriftiness or her attention to financial details.

So, I’ve created a financial journal and proceeded to design and create the cover for it. Now, I don’t think it will be as difficult to file those business receipts away. I’ll look at Marie and think … “Wow” I’m really on the ball. No one is going to chop off my head now that I have this receipt put away in the proper place. LOL!!

So, here are some pictures of my brag entry (many thanks to the Graphics Fairy for her beautiul graphic of Marie). I hope you enjoy. It isn’t necessarily overly embellished, I tend to prefer complexity in design, not in a lot of doodads. But, I’m rather proud of her, if I say so myself.

and here’s another angle:

So, I must ask … What tricks do you do to motivate yourself into doing those things that you don’t want to do? Oh, do tell!!
Au Revoir, mes amies. A bientot (until next time).
Bisou Bisou,
Lorraine

But do YOU LOVE it?

Before I get to my Brag Monday entry to the Graphics Fairy (see her link in my sidebar), I wanted to share an experience I had recently that prompted some thoughts … hmmmm …

I’ve been helping my son and his fiance with their wedding planning, and it has been a pleasure to help them.  But, throughout the process, I’ve been asking them … “But, do you LOVE it?”  Or, “but, do YOU love it?”  I finally started thinking I’m crazy, why do I keep need reassurance as to whether they love it or not.

The answer is … I think, as an eldest child, and the typical “people pleasing” person that I am, I often compromise on what I LOVE because I’m too worried about others being happy.  Please tell me I’m not the only one out here in blogland that feels that way.  Here I am, [she clears her throat] nearly 50, and I still find myself thinking about what would make everyone else happy, and not myself.

So, for my challenge today … I want you to think of something … anything really, either in your house, clothing that you wear, or I don’t even care what … but something that you have compromised on.  You may not even be consciously aware that you’ve compromised or that your thinking is squeued to thinking about what everyone else loves before thinking about what you love.

So, go around your house, your closet, you, whatever, and ask yourself “but do I LOVE it?”  If not, chuck it.  I mean it … get it out of your life.  Life is too short to compromise on things just to please others.  Because, this is the funny part … generally speaking I think we compromise on things that are usually (and I know I’m assuming here, but I have this gut feeling that I’m right) not as important to the other person as we think it is.  At the very least, open up some dialogue and see if it means as much to the other person as you think it does.  You might be surprised!!

Now, here is my Brag Monday entry to The Graphics Fairy (www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com) … every week I enter something new that I’ve made, featuring one of her free graphics. You can also see more views of this particular piece by clicking on my store link.   And why do I do this you might ask?  Because I LOVE making jewelry.  LOL!

Image

Bonjour mes Amies,  have a wonderful week!!

Brag Monday Entry

It’s a rainy, cloudy, Monday morning (whoops it may actually be after noon now) and I’m still in my jammies, trying to be “inspired” for the day. But, it’s not really working. I got enough rest, I should be raring to go, but it’s just one of those days when you want to stay in bed, eat chocolate and watch “Sleepless in Seattle” or something else where you get to cry!

But, a promise is a promise, and I’ve made a commitment to myself that I would get my Brag Monday entry in every single week to the Graphics Fairy, so here I am … following through (but still in my jammies – isn’t the internet wonderful!!).

So, here is a picture of my entry:

I chose a graphic from the Graphics Fairy (thank you Karen) that is from an old birthday card, probably from the Victorian era. During that time, giving flowers meant more than just a flower, each flower had a meaning. I almost wish we lived in that time, where a bouquet not only meant that we were loved or admired, but that each flower in the bouquet had a hidden message for us.

Well, the Iris is the national flower of France, and is, in fact what the Fleur de Lys was taken from. I feel silly that as much as I love all things French, I didn’t know that the Fleur de Lys was an Iris!! Hopefully I’m not the only one out there my age that didn’t know that. The Fleur de Lys was traditionally named after King Louis, because as royalty he represented perfection, light, or life. Joan of Arc carried a flag showing a Fleur de Lys being blessed by God to inspire troups as they marched to victory.

So, that is why I’ve chosen the word “Inspire” to put on this graphic. I hope that it inspires you to learn a little more about flowers. I had a wonderful time learning about their names, the history behind them, etc.

I love flowers, particularly since I was able to live in Holland for a year when I took a year break from college. It is traditional there, that if you go to anyone’s house that you bring a bouquet of flowers. Everyone has flowers in their home, and it is amazing what that one little touch can do to brighten and beautify a home.

Later, I read one of Alexandra Stoddard’s books about decorating (she is an amazing author if you haven’t read her works yet, you should) and one of the suggestions she had to beautify your space, was to have real flowers in your house. I have never forgotten that, because I knew exactly what she meant after having lived in Holland. So, my challenge to you this week is to go out and get some flowers (even if it means getting them out of your yard (not your neighbor’s, unless you ask) and bring some into your home. I promise you, your spirits will lift from that one little touch in your home.

Which reminds me … I think I’m going to go out and pick some of my hydrangeas and take some of my own medicine!

Bonjour mes amies,

Go out and inspire!!