rockin around the christmas tree

With just about a week until Christmas, I found myself cycling through old photos of Christmases past. It is fun to see what decor has changed and what has always made the cut.  Some ideas definitely stand out as more of a win than others.  Want to take a look at some of our past Christmas trees?

I was big on burlap and primarily gold ornaments in 2011 and years prior for that matter.  This tree seems light on ornaments.  Less is more, I suppose.  I am not sure that I still subscribe to that though.  Those red drapes in our old house.  They weren’t ever really my style but they did work really well for Christmas and framing the tree.

2011 Christmas tree

In 2012, we purchased a ball & burlap tree that would later be planted in our yard.  It was a small, shrub so we kept the decor to mostly red ornaments & rocking horses.  The red drapes were still up so I guess they were more of my style at the time than I thought.  Have you ever had a ball & burlap Christmas tree?

Christmas tree 2012

2013 was the year we moved to Cape May and also the year of orange slice garland, dried hydrangeas, twigs & peacock feathers apparently.  As crazy as they all sound together, this might be a favorite Christmas look of mine.  Considering you already have a dead tree in your living, there is just something about layering on more organic, natural ornaments.  I also like the toile panels that framed the tree that year.   This photo is making a strong argument for putting the tree in that bay window again next year.Organic Christmas Tree decor

Christmas Tree peacock feathers, hydrangea & orange

In 2014, we broke away from the themed ornaments and started incorporating more color and sentimental ornaments.  I topped the tree with vintage arrows and draped chenille garland that made an appearance again on this year’s tree.

Christmas 2014- arrows

Christmas 2014-5360

And then there’s 2015.  This year the tree is less themed than it has been in the past.  I kept with the light colors we’ve been incorporating in our space as we’ve been updating it.  I used cotton stems as an ornament.  I like the softness, yet fullness that it adds.  This year, more is more for sure.

Trees aside, what’s Christmas without a pink flamingo holiday sweater, candlelight, a chubby beagle and an awkward photo?  Yes, more is certainly more.  More ornaments.  More lights.  More silly photos.  And more time with family and friends.

Chritmas mantel

Merry Christmas from our home to yours! 

We hope you enjoy this magical season.

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favorite things 2015

We’re gearing up for one of my favorite weekends in Cape May – the annual West Cape May Christmas Parade!  This Saturday evening, the legendary parade will march right past The West End Garage.  We are still working on final touches on our store window but so far I am feeling the kitschy, colorful theme.  Stay tuned…

WEG window

Inside we’re stocked with our favorite vintage ornaments, painted furniture and one-of-a-kind finds.  We also have a handful of new organic gift items.  Some that you’re going to want to keep for yourself or your mantel… the lemon cypress trees have already landed on mine!

Holiday 2015

Friday night marks the Congress Hall tree lighting.  We’re happy to be participating in Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland for a second year in the shopping village.  Over there, we’re stocked with items from our pet boutique, Houndstooth, but you’ll find a few wreaths, ornaments and the like from Circa Dee.

Houndstooth Holiday 2015

Cape May is truly magical at the holidays.  In fact, it was just ranked #1 for Christmas towns in NJ!  Check out the list here.  We’re looking forward to seeing you this December!

check it out

This Sunday, I will be at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown decking the halls and hosting a Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration.  As always, the demo is free so come pick my brain.  Let’s discuss DIY holiday gift ideas made with milk paint!  This will be the last demonstration of the year held in Doylestown.  I look forward to seeing you there!MP demo

Also, congratulations are in order to Joan who won the CanvasPop 16×20 framed print giveaway!

finding inspiration

November really brings a battle between Christmas enthusiasts and those standing-up for Thanksgiving from a decorating/shopping standpoint, doesn’t it?  I mean who doesn’t love Thanksgiving?  No one wants to skip the feast.  However, some are overlooking the cornucopia for the twinkling Christmas lights immediately after Halloween.  I’ve always been a fan of keeping autumn harvest decor fresh, until the day after Thanksgiving when it is game-on for Christmas decorating.

As I’ve ventured further into the retail world I can understand why Christmas comes immediately following Halloween.  It is a very glitzy, very short selling season.  A lot of effort goes into merchandising for the holidays yet the season is definitely shorter than autumn harvest.  Perhaps that is why we’re seeing it grow just a little more every year, annoying as it may be to poor Thanksgiving.  With that said, I may even be behind the eight ball in getting all of my holiday inventory on the sales floor.  Yes, I surely am.

For me, November is all about balance.  Autumn harvest at home with Christmas on the brain and in the store.  While looking for inspiration for the season, I found some of my favorite holiday themed signs that I’ve painted over the past four years.  Here are the highlights…

Santa on a barn door is definitely a favorite which I’ve replicated again and again.

rustic santa barn door

Holly Jolly Christmas is indeed available now at The West End Garage.

holly joll christmas sign

Believe is always a crowd pleaser.

handpainted believe sign on reclaimed wood

The deer is a favorite from last year and it ended up in the home of a family member.  I may just have to make another one for 2015!

oh deer

Probably not my favorite work but any reference to classic Bedford Falls is a winner!

wonderful life sign

I love the juxtaposition of the message and the rustic canvas here.

rustic joy to the world

Moose Lodge is another one that I’ve done a few times.  Not necessarily reserved for Christmas either.

moose lodge

How’d this one sneak in here?

Painted Signs on Reclaimed Wood - maryland crabs

And the original “On the Way to Cape May” sign!  This one started it all.

Cape May Sign

Well, we’re most certainly off of the Christmas track now and perhaps back on harvest.  The sunflower seed packet resides at my parents.  I didn’t have the heart to sell it.  It’s possibly my all time favorite.

vintage sunflower seed pack reproduction sign

I’ve got a thing for fonts and vintage inspired signs which led me to start a pinterest board dedicated to other handmade holiday inspired signage.  Check it out here.

Where do you stand on the whole Thanksgiving/Christmas decorating debate?

framing memories

November always puts me into nesting mode.  It brings my attention back to my home after a busy summer & fall season in the shop.  This year is no different.  In fact, I got a head start about a week ago when I began moving furniture around late one night.  My living room has been bugging me for a while.  It has never felt finished or quite as inviting as I’d like.  There was one specific corner that was always dark and the massive brown sectional wasn’t helping to lighten it up.  I started by scooting my linen arm-chair into that corner and it instantly feels brighter!  I’ve also finally pulled the trigger on ordering the sofa I’ve been lusting over.  I can’t wait for it to arrive just in time for the holidays.

Linen Arm Chair Fall Living Room + CanvasPop Giveaway-7796

In the meantime, CanvasPop offered me a print to review and GIVEAWAY!  I’m over the moon with the quality of this product.  The 16 x 20 art print is framed with a 2.5 inch mat.  It has certainly helped to elevate this corner in our living room.  We had this photo taken a couple of years ago during our “Mess the Dress” session after our wedding.  We worked with wonderful photographers during that time in our life and, to be honest, we haven’t done much with the professional photos yet.  It can be so overwhelming.

CanvasPop Giveaway-7803

CanvasPop was exactly what I needed to get this memory professionally framed and matted.  They made the process so quick & easy!  My art print arrived neatly packaged in just 10 days.  I love the content of the photo too and how it plays into this evolving space.  Although this was a professional photo, CanvasPop can work with photos of any resolution and you can even import them from Facebook and Instagram.  How is that for convenient?

CanvasPop Giveaway -7816

Now it is your turn to win a CanvasPop 16 x 20 framed photo paper print with the 2.5″ white mat + free shipping. The winner will have until November 30, 2016 to order their free print. 

Click the CanvasPop banner below to enter and leave a comment here letting me know what you plan to frame if you win! Contest ends November 10, 2015 at 11:59PM PT. The winner will be contacted by email.

CanvasPop Giveaway

Ready to order now?  CanvasPop is offering a 35% discount to Circa Dee readers through the end of November.  Simply use the code CIRCADEE35 on your order at www.canvaspop.com

 

 

thoughts on pink

Sometimes pink is just that. Feminine, girly, frilly.  Pink!

arabesque french dresser-275

But sometimes it can be quiet, subtle and almost neutral.  I don’t dare say masculine because we are programmed to believe that pink is the opposite of masculine but perhaps in a room full of dark wood or ornate antiques it can balance out the masculinity.

salvaged baluster lamps arabesque french dresser-273

I’d like to think that the less-than-precious finish on this French provincial piece can lend to a variety of settings from the obvious choice in a little girl’s bedroom to a dining room sideboard stand-in or and entryway piece.  The latter is how I would choose to use it.

arabesque french dresser-278

The body is painted in MMSMP Arabesque while the eight drawers are layered in Marzipan which is a warm neutral in and of itself.  Between the layers of Marzipan is antiquing wax and light distressing for an imperfect finish.

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The body of the dresser chipped on its own revealing hints of brown.  After some subtle white waxing on the pink, the entire piece received a top coat of MMSMP Tough Coat for durability.

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The inside of the drawers is undeniably feminine with a surprise pop of vintage floral wallpaper!  The original hardware is on six of the eight drawers with a hint of gilding wax to bring out the detail.  The smaller top drawers received a knob since one pull overall was missing when we found this dresser.  Since taking these photos I’ve since switched out the pink knobs for brass ones.

vintage wallpaper as draawer liner - arabesque french dresser-287

Here is how it looks staged for sale at The West End Garage.  I love that original tin wall.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before!  It is funny how Arabesque sometimes reads as a lilac and less pink.

WEG arabesque dresser

Also, did you see those lamps?  Another set of salvaged baluster lamps created by Ryan.  This pair is also less than precious with chipping paint and fractures adding to the awesomeness!

salvaged baluster lamp

I am not sure that I ever shared on the blog the pair of green salvaged baluster lamps that Ryan made.  These sold some time ago but were another favorite!  We opted to make the white pair a little bit more industrial with the hardware exposed since the top is where most of the detail of the white balusters lie.  Otherwise the lampshades would have covered those curves.

green salvage baluster lamps-096

And speaking of pink, here is a pink baluster lamp that Ryan made and we’ve decided to keep for our own living room.

pink salvage baluster lamp-159

Tell me your thoughts on pink.  Is it feminine all of the time?  Neutral?  Can it go masculine?

versatile vintage theater seats

First of all, is it theater or theatre?  I have always been compelled to write theatre but it turns out the American English spelling is theater.  What is your preference?

My preference is most certainly vintage but we already knew that!  I’ve mentioned my unofficial conquest list of must-finds which is always changing.  However, vintage theater seats have always ranked high on the list.  A few weeks ago I was able to mark it off because I found them!

apple picking-7763

They’re an attached pair of wood and metal seats that fold up.  Not just the seat bottoms fold but the chair legs collapse like a folding chair allowing the pair to flatten for storage purposes.  That function leads me to believe that these were part of a venue where the seating configuration would change frequently.  The chairs were never permanent fixtures and as a result the set is not too heavy.

A coat of hemp oil brought the wood back to life and really makes them shine again.  This set is available for sale at The West End Garage.

apple picking-7765

There are a number of places in the home that I can think to style vintage theater seats.  I’ve compiled a list to get your wheels turning!  (Please pin from original source by clicking photo.)

Entryway/Foyer

theater seats entry

theater entry

AT Theater

Dining Room

theater dining

theater chairs dining

Kitchen

theater chairs kitchen

Theater Kitchen

Bedroom

Theater seats bedroom

apartment-in-Sao-Paulo-by-Felipe-Hess-and-Renata-Pedrosa-photo-by-Fran-Parente-yatzer-13

Which is your favorite room showcasing theater seats?

bar cart essentials

Fall is in full swing and, let’s be honest, that means the holidays are on the horizon.  Holiday entertaining and parties will be here before we know it.  Now is the time to get those bar carts stocked and ready to go!  Hollywood Regency Brass Faux Bamboo Bar Cart

The folks over at Chairish challenged me to select my favorite bar cart and subsequently style it.  They came to the right place because I am a big fan of vintage bar carts!  I have bought and sold a few over the years.  Chairish makes buying and selling vintage furniture, art, jewelry and accessories online very easy.  From their selection, I chose a Hollywood Regency number.  I love the simple bamboo lines and those brass casters…swoon!

10 Bar Cart Essentials-

The double tiered cart will come in handy because we’ve got a lot of necessities to fit in order to craft the perfect libation.  Here are my Top 10 Bar Cart Essentials

Tools

  • First, you need the tools of the trade!  A muddler, jigger and shaker are any mixologist’s best friends.  The mason shaker adds a rustic appeal that I love.
  • Bitters are a bar cart necessity these days.  Hair of the Dog is a crowd pleaser!

Recipe Books

  • We like to muddle fresh fruit and herbs for our refreshments, taking tips from The Drunken Botanist.
  • Another book always close at hand is Shake which does a wonderful job of illustrating the drink recipes it outlines.

Glassware

  • What bar would be complete without crystal?  These vintage, crystal wine glasses from Chairish are very similar to a set of family heirloom glasses we have at our home bar.  They are our go-to glasses. Crystal  elevates every cocktail.  We don’t just reserve it for special occasions.

Accessories

  • I always have fabric cocktail napkins on hand.  These ticking striped ones are adorable and perfect everyday napkins.
  • The striped straws are just plain fun and whimsical, as well as functional.  Form and function?  Win/Win!
  • The beautiful artisan-made peach basket is used to corral tools when not in use.  It can also double as an ice bucket in a pinch because it is ceramic.

The Valencia - cocktail recipe

In case you’re wondering, The Valencia cocktail is still one of my favorites using citrus medica bitters and fresh squeezed orange juice.  The recipe can be found in Shake.

All of the bar ware above can be found at Circa Dee and the vintage bar cart and crystal glasses can be found at Chairish.com.