31 May 2012

Something Pretty

Sorry friends, I'm still here!! It's just that rose garden, unfortunately doesn't take care of itself!! Wouldn't it be so great if it did?? I know wishful dreaming...Well, a person can dream, can't they?  Actually, I've also been working on some other projects to share with you soon. One, I hope to have up tomorrow! But then again, I had hoped to have it up today. Ahem, anyway, going to post a pretty picture for you all.   Thank you so much for coming to visit!! 

I'm going to ask you also to check out Shoestring Elegance's Facebook page and"Like"me there, if you haven't already done so..:) Thanks so much for your continually kind words!!

If you're already following me on facebook you've already seen this, if not this was a joyful little share I had this week, I hope you enjoy as much as I did:

"My cup over flows"
There is always something "over,"
When we tell of all His love;
Unreached depths still lie beneath us,
Unscaled heights rise far above:
Human lips can never utter
All His wondrous tenderness,
We can only Praise and Wonder
And His name forever Bless
~Margaret E. Barber

Many Blessings to you all for now my friends!

26 May 2012

No COST Mirror frame redo!!

Hello Friends and welcome to your Long Weekend!!! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I hope you all have made wonderful plans to celebrate and enjoy your Family and Friends.  If your family is anything like mine you are running around from 8th grade promotions, Graduations, school dances and celebrations! 

One added Blessed event for my family this weekend is the celebration of, my very young Father’s, 80thBirthday, he still runs circles around me!  So hard to believe how great 80 can look on some people these days.  So pardon my personal shout out to My wonderful Dad, Happy Birthday Papa!! We all love you so much!!

Okay, down to the business at hand, if you’ve been keeping up with me on my Facebook page, I’ve already explained my difficulties in bringing you today’s project.  Not difficult at all to do, just difficult to photograph!! (Disclaimer here folks, and I’m sure no shock to any of you) I am not a photographer, nor have I ever claimed to be.  So when my frame broke on my bathroom mirror and I was lucky enough to salvage this one from my neighbor’s garbage to redo I was ecstatic!! Another NO COST project, right? Well yes, I redid the mirror, and it was awful to start, but solid wood.

 I think it turned out beautiful…I mean I am literally in love with frames now! 

I had no idea when I secured the mirror in place and put it back in its spot on the windowsill, that It would be completely impossible for me to photograph the mirror and all its detail, to share with you,  without my reflection being in it!

 Ahemm.. So what you are viewing are some of my feeble attempts to show you my beautiful newly chalk painted and distressed mirror frame!

This last one is where it actually lives now in my house!! I hope you enjoyed it!! Hey, anyone recognize the ruffled lampshade?  I pray you all enjoy a very safe and fun filled Memorial Day Weekend!!

Take a look at who I’m linking up this project with, and if you haven’t already, please go “Like” me on facebook so you can see some extra pictures and some wonderful little tidbits and shares that don’t always make it here!! Many Blessings to you all!!
I Heart Nap Time

21 May 2012

The Original "Lap Top"

Good Morning! Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you all Had a great weekend! Okay, so I went“treasure hunting” again! Oh my goodness, did I ever find a treasure! When I first saw this Lap desk, I was completely unaware of it’s history, I just thought it would be something I would use alot and a great redo Item!

Was I ever surprised when I looked up some history on it! (Prompted by my Mom, who said that this was what she had when she went to school, back in a little town called Harcourt in Canada).
She looked it all over and said that it definitely was the same, so I looked it up. You gotta love Google!! It appears in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s school was not mandated by law, kids often had to work alongside their parents, for those towns that did hire a teacher to hold teaching lessons, they were usually held in a church or similar sized building.  As this became more common, this lap style desk entered the picture.  What fun!  I simply thought I write a lot sitting on my couch, near my front window, and am always looking for a phonebook or something to put under my paper, won’t this be great?!

Looking it over carefully, I decided that it must have been a reproduction and did not think twice about making it a bit shabbier for me. ( I did offer it my Mom, who graciously declined) 
Now, here’s the “shoestring’ part of it that you won’t believe, I got this piece for $4.00+ .50 for the paper I got @ Michael's and I  had the paint.  So I was able to have this beautiful  treasure for a grand total of $4.50! I know most people don't like to mention how inexpensively their redo's are But I want everyone to know you can create some simple elegance in your own home! 

15 May 2012

Fresh Fruit Muffins!!

Good Tuesday Morning to you all. I wish I could have you all over to enjoy a fresh fruit muffin and coffee with me today!! I always love to use whatever is in season this time of year, with my basic muffin recipe, to celebrate Spring!! And as this morning is a little overcast it’s not too hot to turn on the oven!

I live in a beautiful, yet somewhat dilapidated, old house built in 1912.. I must admit, as much as I love all the old moldings and craftsman touches, the heating and cooling system are a bit (how shall I say this) archaic.  My heating source is, basically, a radiator in a box in my Living room floor. The cooling is a ceiling Fan and lots of windows, accompanied by an oscillating fan on truly Hot days.  So you see I must decide if it’s a good baking day or not based a lot on the weather!  This is not a complaint, I honestly love this old house, but as I am a renter, and can decorate and design as I like, I truly can not do some of the upgrades one doe in a house they own.

Ok, enough History and on with the muffins of the morning recipe. I don’t follow a recipe so I’ll share with you how I make them. Well, this week I got a steal on some fresh strawberries and blueberries…any fruit or dried fruit works but why not use what’s in season and affordable? 

So here it is, My recipe for Fresh Fruit Muffins:
I always start with soaking 1 cup of oats in 1 cup of Low fat buttermilk for about 5-10 minutes before I add anything else. I love the texture and flavor these 2 combined give!
To that I whisk together 1 jumbo or 2 reg Eggs ½ cup brown sugar, some vanilla, and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil or 1/2 cup applesauce (depending on your diet preferences) Then, add that to the Oat mixture and stir. (and I do mean stir!  With a good old-fashioned wooden spoon!) Now when you add the following dry ingredients, it is important to stir it in just enough, don’t use a mixer!! This is the reason Grandma’s recipes always tasted better, she never took short cuts!!(Not that they were available), If you have a sifter put the following in it and sift over your wet ingredients. If you don’t have a sifter combine these ingredients in a small bowl before adding them to your wet moisture…Stir, no more than 15-18 times!  Okay, now you can add your fruit. I did ¼ cup of small cut strawberries and 1/3 cup of blueberries. (Remember to cut your strawberries to about the same size as the blueberries or you will get a soggy muffin.) Let the batter sit while you prepare your muffin tin and preheat your oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
Spoon in tins to about 2/3 full , bake and enjoy with your coffee!

I hope you all have a Blessed day!! I’ll be posting my latest project later today or tomorrow so Enjoy until then!! Check out these other wonderful sites while you’re sipping your coffee and going for that 2nd muffin!

Tuesday To Do PartyWhat's cooking, love?Chef In Training

13 May 2012

Mother’s Day Traditions!

Good morning and Happy Mothers Day to all from Shoestring Elegance!
Today I am happy to share a tradition with you all that My Beautiful Mother started a few years ago…
My Mom and Dad were born and raised in Canada and moved to California after the birth of my two eldest siblings. They left both of their families based on a transfer in my Dad’s business, that would secure their future and the future
of their family.  We went “home” to Canada every summer to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.. So as you may imagine, I grew up loving tea and Fine English Bone China Teacups..Royal Albert has always been one of my favorites.  

On Mother’s Day a few years ago my mother came up with a beautiful way to share some of her collection with her daughters.  She made a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the Teacup itself and the flowers and the cup was ours to keep!!
I had already been collecting my own from about 14 on, but love my mother’s collection and she always knew what my favorites were.  So this year, I decided to return the favor for my Mom. (They always say that people give gifts that they would love to receive) Is that saying ever right! This morning I present My Mother with this cup and saucer arrangement~

And in her usual, wonderful way she one-upped me again! As you can see ~ 

She actually planted these little blue beauties in the Teacup! Of course I’ll transplant them in a couple of days and love the cup forever, but she’s the truly gifted one in Our Family!!  I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day with many traditions of your own! Tell me about it! Either leave a comment here or find me on Facebook and tell me your Mother/daughter traditions, I’d love to here about them. Maybe they’re ones that you are creating now with 
your daughter, let me know!!

freckled laundryI Heart Nap Time

07 May 2012

NO COST Lampshade Redo!!

   Good Morning Friends,  I hope you all had a great weekend!!
I know I sure did enjoy the actual "Spring-like" weather here in Northern California, for a change!! It’s so beautiful to have the garden in bloom and the windows open again, It always seems to take me back to that childhood feeling when summer break was near and all is right with the world.  Now, On with the show!!

Okay , so, as promised, today is Monday, and I am sharing with you my NO COST new little Romantic Ruffled Redo. I have to say I am in love with how this turned out!
If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember the Double Ruffled French Country Cottage inspired Tablecloth that I made out of white sheets, purchased @ the GW.. If you do, great! If this is your first time here click on the Link to the right that says April and then French Country Cottage Inspired Double Ruffle..
What to do with all that left over white sheet fabric??
Well, I actually had no problem there. More Romantic Ruffles, Yay!! Probably not in a way you would expect, although, I did use some of the leftover sheet for a beautiful little Valance over my bathroom window, that I will share with you on another day. But by far, my favorite little redo, is my Ruffley (sp.?) Little Lampshade Redo~

This project was not too difficult and as you can see from the before image very necessary!!  I simply made more Ruffles and attached 4 layers of them to my old lampshade pictured here above right. And Voila!

Isn't this the cutest little shade you ever seen?
On the top ruffle, I turned the top of the fabric down about and inch1/2 to created the little Ruffle you see at the top! Then, of course, I had to finish it off with a simple little satin bow.  What do you think?
All in all, I am very happy with how this turned out and I dare you to beat the price!!! FREE!!
I simply made 3” Ruffles, from leftover material, attached them to my lampshade, with a my handy-dandy glue gun(this shade was headed for the garbage, anyway) and then topped it off with a little ribbon I had laying around the house!

If you have a lamp in your Bathroom, as I do, covering your shade (anyway you like!) Is a quick, simple, easy and inexpensive way to bring some more elegance into the room!
Not to mention the money you save!!
I hope you all have a Wonderful day full of God’s Blessings!  Let me know what you think and visit these other sites below for even more great inspiration.

05 May 2012

Le Jardin!!

Good morning, Friends! Happy Saturday morning to you all! Happy  Cinco de Mayo!!
I've been working on a few projects to share with you. I hope to have them ready to post up here tomorrow or on Monday. I’m having a blast making them, too!!! But, it is time consuming.  But who cares, I do get to share them with you and reap the rewards of my labor!!!

If you have been following Shoestring Elegance you may remember last week when I shared a picture with you all of my first Peach rose of the season.

Well, you guys are just not going to believe what has happened in one week. My entire rose Garden has come to life right in front of my eyes!! I just had to take a minute to share it with you all!

This is an image of my garden yesterday morning and the rose in the front was the one featured...I can't even count all the roses now...Life is so sweet and God is so Good!!!
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend,  and getting a chance to enjoy your garden!!!
Okay, a quick technical note, because you asked.
If you are trying to post a comment here and have been unsuccessful, this may be the reason why:  you, of course, click in the comment box and write what you like! Here’s the tricky part under that box you will see a little pull down box it reads Comment as: ….In the box it says Google, AIM, Wordpress, etc.. suggesting the type of account you are viewing it from, CLICK on the one that you have account with, if for some reason yours is not represented there you can always choose anonymous…You can tell me who you are, if you like..Once that is done you need to click on the PREVIEW box, if everything appears as you like it then click PUBLISH!!
That’s all there is to it, really!!! I look forward to reading your comments and finding out what you are doing this weekend.  I will post my NO COST project for you all to see tomorrow!!    Enjoy!! 

One More for the road!

I'll be sharing this with:

01 May 2012

May -- Chalk Paint Tray!!

I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather, as I have been. I’m quite excited to share with you all the wonderful project I've been working on.  I have been so excited about doing this for the last   month, since I found this little treasure at the Goodwill…
It made me wonder through. What is about the vintage? The Old French Country?  The Antiques, that we find that excites us and makes us want to restore or remake them to into something beautiful, something that feels as if it’s from days Gone by?I have in my home a beautiful little floral tray with handles and an edge. I love it!!!

I prepare my noon meal, snack or an early supper and place it on my old floral tray, along with my napkin, my drink, the salt and pepper and butter and take it to wherever I feel like dining. Whether on the front porch, on the couch, down to the garden, or even here at my desk.   Did I mention, I love it? 
I don’t know if it is so much the tray or the joy of preparing it and then feasting from it as if I was Jane Austin’s “Emma” in the garden and the cook had just brought it to me. I believe it is that feel of yester year that is so simply and  elegantly irresistible.. That for those 15-30 minutes were transported back in time… Maybe it’s just me!! But if sounds like you too, you’ll love the project I’m sharing with you today!

So here it is!  I happened upon this rather tattered , well-used wooden tray at my favorite thrift store.  It had wear, some water mark a few scratches, but over all the bones of it were quite good and I believed with a little chalk paint and some work it could be possible my new little favorite luxury.. Did I mention the price? Oh yes, it was a little more than I usually pay, it was $2.99, but I decided it would be worth it.

So as much as I would love to have some of Ms. Annie Sloan’s beautiful Chalk paint and wax, I simply can not afford it.  So, I searched for alternatives to achieve the same type of finish and found that Lowe’s carries Behr’s version of Chalk paint, a sample container for only 4.99!!! Everybody has told  me a little goes a long way so I decided to test the theory. And, I am pleased to say I was very happy with the results.. What do you think?
So here’s what I did;
Sanded the tray and wiped clean with damp cloth
Applied 2 coats of Behr’s White Linen Chalk Paint (only took 1/3 of the sample)
Sanded the edges....(distressed it) to my liking
Applied regular wood wax for light woods rubbed it in then wiped of any excess. Waited  for an hour then applied Clear Polyurethane That’s it!!! 

Used it twice already.  I hope you enjoy making something that speaks to your heart today!
The best part of my little tray Re-do;  total cost for this project approx. $5.50, given that I have two-thirds of the chalk paint left.  What fun I am going to have deciding how to use it!
 I hope you all have a Heavenly day!