27 April 2008

Good Morning, Sunshine...!!!

The Earth Says Hello...!! It was so nice to wake up to a sunny saturday!! The kids were able to play outside most of the day, much to this mom's own sanity!! My daughter Anna had 9 friends sleepover (yes, I plead temporary insanity), things went very smoothly, though, and I ended up taking them to the mall saturday morning.

I did manage to squeeze in a little bit of shopping, and found some cute things, a very old quilt with a basket pattern, a tole tray, a pair of vintage shadow prints and a pink apron. I also found, at a local antique mall, this cute pink lampshade!

I also found this humungus framed oil, I will most likely sell the frame and the oil canvas separately. The frame alone measures a whopping 38" x 50"!!! Isn't it cool?!!
Today we have a soccer game to go to, then my husband will be tuning my car and I will hopefully be doing some painting... Take care, everyone!

22 April 2008

Happy birthday, baby girl!!

I wanted to share some of the great things I found this weekend... At a local bazaar I bought this amazing large stroller, I will fill it with vintage blankets and pillows and take it to shows. I have a thing for vintage strollers, and was delighted when I found this little pink cutie at the Coburg Antique Fair last year for an amazing $15...!! It sits in my huge mantel, which has been lovingly styled by my dear friend Joy (with Lisa's help)!!

I also found some cute things at Monticello (have I mentioned I love Iris's booth?!! - keep bringing the cute stuff, Braeda!!), including a cute pillow, a huge floral hankie press, a piece of fabric trim, a floral hat and a piece of fabric trim. The darling metal birdcage came from the above mentioned bazaar, and, unfortunately, when I brought it home, my son thought it looked like a cool sitting bench and sat on it, breaking some of the little pieces of trim... Oh, the despair..!!

The pair of vintage framed prints came from an estate sale in our area, and will join my ever growing collection, which I will have to share with you in a future post.

On a last (but definitely not least!) note, I am sharing a photo of my birthday girl, Anna, who turns 13 today!! As we traditionally do for every child every year, we woke Anna up singing "Happy Birthday" and she opened her presents in bed!! I love you, Anna, and am very proud of the young woman you are becoming!!

20 April 2008

Wife, mother, quiltmaker...

You may not know that I am a quiltmaker... Even though nowadays I have not spent much time doing it, it still holds a special place in my heart, and has fueled my extreme addiction to fabric!!

Shortly after I got married and moved to the US, in 1992, I became fascinated by these patchwork quilts I kept seeing, so I found a sewing machine at a garage sale for $10 and took a basic sewing class at a fabric store. Then, I bought a few books about patchwork and taught myself. When we moved to London in 1997, I was really anxious to connect with others who liked quilting, but there weren't many withing the americans at the embassy that did, so I decided I would teach them!! I started running classes from home, and before long, we had a little quilting group going!! Our favorite thing to do was to take off on a saturday morning and quilt shop hop, then finish off the day at the pub for fish and chips!! My classes continued through our stay in Rabat, and, until a few months ago, I was still teaching!!

Unfortunately, I only have a few digital pictures of some of my quilts, since I only got a digital camera a few years ago.... Boy how I wish they had been around longer!! One of my favorite designers is Kaffe Fasset, he started off designing knitting patters, then ventured off into quilting. When we lived in London, we visited his store in Bath, but I don't think it's there anymore... The hatbox pattern is his. It is one of my favorite quilts! I actually went to an upholstery fabric store and asked them if they had any discontinued sample books that they wanted to discart, and before I could blink, they had filled the back of my car with fabric swatch books!!!! Most of the fabric I used for the hatboxes came from these books!!

Another of my favorite quilts is the "Pretty Dresses". It is from a book called "Quilting with my Sister". I used some of my prettier fabric, of course!! This is one of the patterns I have taught.

Nowadays, quilting has taken a back seat to my love for vintage, and I still have quite a few unfinished projects (including a Jane Austen quilt started when I was pregnant with my son - he is 5...). But I still love it, and my brain is always in gear thinking of new ideas... If only I could stop the world from turning for just a few weeks so I could catch up...!!!

15 April 2008

Vintage finds and creations

Last weekend I found some cute things at a couple of thrift stores/estate sale and wanted to share them with you! I am always a sucker for old suitaces, I found them at an estate sale, along with the purple ticking pillow. The large framed print (I actually just wanted the frame...), the mirror, silver tray and "birdcase" from the thrift store, then I got some goodies at Monticello during my weekly run: pink jewelry box, pink perfume bottle (I will share with you my collection in a future post), small oil and vintage pantaloons.

I also found these darling dolls at the flea market I went with Lisa the weekend before... I love them!! The large framed print was also a treasured find at the same flea market. The frame alone is simply amazing!! We had a lot of fun, and ran into Joy, Martha and Diane.

Lastly, I would like to share with you one of my latest creations! I've been getting into decorationg old suitcases, lately, so I came up with this... "Objets Trouves" means "Found Objects" in French. I will probably take this to Farm Chicks. I have others in the works, I will share them with you when they are done!!

12 April 2008

Ah, from the mouths of babes....

The living room was a mess, toys scattered all over the floor... Father to son: "C'mon, Alex, lets pick up all these toys and put them in the basket!". Son answers, while still very comfortably sitting on the sofa: "You're a big guy, you can do it all by yourself..." Hum, I wonder if he has heard that expression way too many times! When Alex was 3, I was trying to put him to sleep, but he was very restless... So, remembering that I used to sing to all my three girls when they were little, I suggested: "How about if I sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?!!". He turned to me and said:" How about... NO!!!"
I wanted to share with you a project I've been working on... I've been collecting vintage pink girtles and camisoles for a while, now, and couldn't figure out how to display them! So, I decided to make them into a valance in the master bathroom! For now, they are just hanging on the molding, but I would like to figure out a better way to do it... Any suggestions?

I wanted to thank everyone for leaving me such sweet comments for my debut...!! Wow, it is amazing how I can instantly feel the love!! I am honored that you come to visit and I already know this is going to be great fun!!

08 April 2008

Welcome to my blog!!

I finally took the leap into blogland!! I have admired and followed many wonderful blogs from equally wonderful gals (and guys) for a while and have been inspired to start my own (with a little help from my dear friend and business partner, Lisa - thank you!). I hope to share with you some of the many precious things in my life, be it family happenings, good times with friends, found vintage treasures, special collections or fun projects filling my days..!

I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, and came to the United States in 1992 after I met my wonderful husband Mark, a Marine assigned to the American Embassy in Lisbon. Our military lives have taken us to set home in California, London, Rabat (Morocco) and finally Oregon. Having lived in eight different homes in just as many years was tough, but provided us with unique experiences and memories we are grateful for... We have 4 incredible children, ages 5 to 12, and feel very blessed!

In addition to my typical suburban soccer mom life, I have, for the past few years, been dealing vintage and vintage inspired finds and creations with my very dear friend Lisa (left, in the picture with me at the Oregon City Antique Faire). For us, our treasure hunting is our Great Escape and we have been having a blast! Our homes are a reflection of our passions (especially for roses!), and we both agree our dears husbands are pretty amazing for not minding!!

I named this blog Maison Douce, which means sweet home in French. I absolutely love the French language, as I was immersed in it from the age of three, having studied in a french school in Lisbon.

For me, there is nothing sweeter than a happy home, full of laughter, love (and chaos!). Small things make me happy, a hug from my children, a little love note from my sweet husband, a pink rose, a well loved barkcloth pillow, a call from a friend, a worn favorite book, and much, much more...!! I hope you will visit me often!

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