Saturday, November 30, 2013

Planning Ahead

I was very excited to receive my 
2014 Catalog from
Murray McMurray today.

What is that?
CHICKS, baby!

I've got the pages dog eared 
and the numbers selected for each
breed we'd like to have.

Of course some Black and Buff Cochins 
shall be included with some other 
hearty layers because there is
nothing quite as pretty
trotting across the yard than
fluffy Cochins.

One of the girls from my old flock of four!

Our order will be divided with 
layers and meat birds.
{Did I mention that I've been on 
learning how to properly 
"take out" a bird?}

I'm actually looking forward to 
growing our own meat birds as well
as having home grown eggs again.

So, we still have a coop to build and
with Winter pretty much here, we'll
be waiting to order until the beginning
of February giving us plenty of time
to design the coop and lay out 
the back yard for my garden too.

Hopefully time doesn't fly as fast as it has the 
last several months!

In the meantime, I'll 
reminisce about my old girls...


xo, Amber

Tuscany 2007

P.S. I'm starting to think we should have bought a farm.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Saturday Night Production!

Saturday as a whole
was such a productive day.
I was up and out early to run 
errands {including picking up *my* paint}
then came home
to work on our projects.

I prepped the wall,
taping and backrolling with the
existing color
{good painter trick for razor sharp lines}.

As I waited for that to dry,
I decided it was a good time to
finish the sideboard.

I antiqued it with a water based 
metallic gold and rubbed it till it
was perfect.

I am so very happy with 
the outcome. 

If you're interested in my
technique, let me know.
I'll be glad to share.

After dinner, the Mister took
control of the wall painting.
I think he gets frustrated with me because
I paint slower than him.
Hey, that's what he does for a living
so I ain't complainin'!

Three coats later,
our wall was done
{we watched Pitch Perfect 
in between coats - cute movie!}.

It's definitely B.O.L.D
and I love it!

Next project: working on the staircase
{I've already started!}.

I'll be taking the week off (maybe)
so have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

xo, Amber

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Painted Chicken

I'm not sure if it's because of the Season,
 the neutral walls screaming for some pop or 
just my true colors that are coming out,
but I'm seeing r-e-d. 

Well, things are about to change!

And it's all his fault...

This amazing canvas was gifted
to me as a housewarming gift
from the amazingly
talented, Christie Repasy.
I have kept it wrapped in cellophane,
bubble wrap and cloth from the time
we packed till a couple of days ago.

I finally decided on a home for him...

Something isn't right though.
It needs *something*.
Something to add some life.
A pop.
Some couleur.

If you've been reading my blog for
a while, you know that when we lived 
in our rental that I pretty much
stripped all the red out of the house.
Looking back, I think it was the house itself
that didn't call for red.
Being extremely limited on what 
one can do in someone else's house
makes it hard to see beyond
neutral and beige. 

But not anymore!
We're homeowner's now. 

The wall we'll be painting is the 
chalkboard wall above, which 
faces this great wall of windows.

Since our style is 
French. Country. Farmhouse.
{not all together, just a bit of each}
Red seems to be an appropriate color.

And, since I recovered our seats 
 with La Petit Ferme by Waverly, 
red would fit perfectly.

We're stuck between 2 colors though
{yes, a his and her dilemma}:

Red Bay - a brighter Crimson shade or
Fired Brick - a mellower Brick shade.

I bet you can guess who picked what!

I don't want to have regrets
{meaning repainting} 
so I will convince him that
I am madly, truly in love
with *my* red.

We'll see if that flies.

xo, Amber

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I'm still working on the dresser!
I could not find my antiquing products 
or paint so I did the next best thing...
bought more!

So yesterday morning, I decided to work on it.

The beginning of something fabulous!

Trying to hand paint lines and nooks and crannies
is virtually impossible with two little monkeys on your back.
No, really.
 They love to climb on me whenever 
I am down at their level.
Time to wash the brushes and put
 it all away till night time.

So instead, I took a look
around to see what I could
muster up without the help
of my monkey's.


Our kitchen door is at the front of the house
and is all glass so at night,
I feel like I'm being watched 
while cooking dinner or
cleaning up.

Mr. FPH suggested we 
put mirrored tint on it.
Umm... no.
Somehow, mirror tinted
windows doesn't scream
French Country to me.

I did, however, have an abundance
of Toile fabric still waiting 
to be put to work,
thanks to my very generous
friend, Missy.
I've hung onto this fabric for
quite some time, just using
bits and pieces here and there.
In our 
"house that we just borrowed"
{that's what Brock calls the rental},
I made a valance for the big sliding window
{which I took down before we moved and replaced with burlap}.

I then reused a part of that in my new
laundry room, with some to spare.

These drapes were a perfect solution!

I think I love them.

I didn't do any fancy sewing,
just straight as an arrow 
with no bling.

These tie-back's were saved from a remodel
job Mr. FPH did back in CA, 
that were headed for the dump. 

They were the "wrong" color
so a quick spritz of black paint fixed that!

I'll use little pops of Toile 
to tie everything together throughout
the house. Not too much,
just enough. 

Now the possums and raccoons
can't peek in anymore
{yes, we've had both looking in}.

Now onto the next project...

xo, Amber

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Finally a Project!

With Fall in full swing, I decided to start cracking on getting a few things done that I have put off for no other reason than pure laziness. 
Hey, you gotta love my honesty!
Anyway, we bought this Provincial dresser and nightstand (not shown) at an Estate sale in CA months before we moved. It's intent (dresser) was to become our new vanity in our master bathroom but it sorta found its
 home in the dining room. 

Since I have a weak heart for the French look and I am a advocate for black, that was my choice for this piece.
I think it's really going to pop and be a huge part of
the overall look we have going in the house.

Black is wonderful but only
in bits and pieces.

I'm using it as an accent and am 
incorporating it through the house
to tie it all together.

Living with eclecticism, I personally
think you need to have some kind 
of element to tie it all together.

"Just my unprofessional opinion."

Our dining room is between the 
living room and kitchen,
so to me, it's kinda the anchor of the house.

I'm using things that both the kitchen
and living room have (wood tone and color)
to unify all the rooms.
And my beloved black.

Here is the anchor with a wet paint job.

I am letting it cure for a couple of days before
I finish with the distressing, antiquing and waxing.

I'll share my personal techniques with you
when it's done.

As I was working on this, my mind was working
overtime. Since the Mr. is working full time 
outside of the house, projects here are going 
a little slower, so I decided to do a little
sprucing to make it pretty until
we get to it and do it right.
Oh, I'll be sharing!

See ya back here in a few days with my
"Beautiful Antique French Treasure"

Enjoy your weekend!!

xo, Amber

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Am I Going To Open A Store?!

Asked by a few people lately,
this question has been visited in my mind
over and over again.

my display of faux pastries and custom stands

It's been talked about, debated and 
written about in a 
pro's and con's type of list.

refinished furniture and boutique pillows

It's fun to talk about but
I never had intentions of it,
especially moving to the South.

sparkly pumpkins

Toile pumpkins (my favorite)
and custom cheese stands

I thought I would be running my
B & B right now and serving
breakfast and tea and having a little
in-house boutique with mementos of
a quaint little Country town. 

The Shanks home now owned by some wonderful peeps!

I would be spending my mornings
pressing coffee and making beds
and cutting flowers for sweet little
bouquets for my guests.

That's what I thought I would be doing.

"But, the location is perfect for a store."
Yes, it is!

NOT my image (I wish people would watermark their images!)
AND I doctored it up to reflect my idea of what
my boutique would look like if there ever was one
(similar but not exactly the same).
This is JUST an inspiration photo.
This is a real pastry shoppe in France
(with a different name, of course).

There's plenty of real estate to choose from.
I can see what it could look like.
Mentally, it could all very well work out.

My answer is...
I am not going to open a shoppe.

*It is not feasible for our family
to run a brick and mortar
right now, with young children.

*We're still finding our place here.

*We can't afford the time commitment or
the financial responsibility of it nor 
carry the worry of survival.

Do I still fantasize about it?
I We have it all painted out on how 
it would look, what we would sell,
the colors of it, the style of it,
the building(s) we could see it in, etc.

Yes, I could very easily do it if there 
weren't children to worry about and 
there was an ever flowing river of money.

See, I worry about these things A LOT.

So, in my plan, there isn't
going to be a "store" but, eventually,
another website and or ETSY.
Maybe I'll do a sale at the house
every once in a while when I need to 
purge some furniture.

I do see other opportunities though,
all of which I shall keep tucked 
under my wing, for now.
I'm still doing my "research".

Don't ask because I swore myself
to secrecy. 

Maybe someday.

Dreams are good.
They do come true.
But maybe they aren't "dreams", at all.
Sometimes His plan happens
to be, what we believe, to be our dream.
Look where we ended up. 
{big smile on my face as I type that sentence}

my cherub still awaits his garden.

When the time comes to 
Open Up Shop,
this is the place you will find out about it.

The horse (garage/shop/outbuilding) 
needs to come before the cart (online store).

Mr. B's tools are currently residing in my
 pantry, laundry room and basement
and the eviction notice is getting closer by the day.

{THAT'S why so little photos of the house!!}

I think you  catch my drift.

Time for a coffee break,
care to join me?

xo, Amber