Musings of herb gardening, interior decorating, vintage finds and just the beautiful things in life........

25 December 2007

Just chillin

The Christmas rush is over and I am just chillin tonight. Sliced myself a big chunk of rum cake (Thanks Liz!) and made a cup of chai latte. Have been perusing many blogs and getting some craft ideas for project Destination Paris. Now that Christmas is over I will be getting busy on that...................after New Years weekend. Five couples are headed to French Lick Indiana to a log cabin in the woods. We will have so much fun and laughter. Hubby and I are on for the snacks duty so I will be preparing various finger foods the next several days.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

23 December 2007

21 December 2007

Last Sunday's Auction Finds

Here's all the loot from last Sunday's auction. The first time a friend took me I said, "This is not a safe place for me to be!" He thought it was funny at the time but it has turned out to be true! I can't stop myself at this point. The good thing is I can have a sale in the Spring (hopefully!) and make some moula for DESTINATION PARIS.

Above you can see the latest treasures with Grayson posing behind a picture easel and looks like he has a mustache on!!!!! Tee-hee......... he is so hilarious without even trying.

The treasures are a wrought iron plant stand, 4 quilts, some silverplate (pitcher, a couple serving plates, and a couple trays), the picture easel, a little stool, and a pair of lamps with bees on them. The lamps I will keep for the spare room upstairs I plan to redo into another guest room/studio-craft room for me. After finding the lamps I have already named this room the B HIVE. I have used a bee stamp for a while as 'my stamp' which is almost identical to the bees on the lamps so how perfect is that?!?! Even the BLOOM~N~Bottles I recently listed on have my bee stamp on the label. I did not especially want the black metal chair but the lamp cords were wrapped around it so the auctioneer said it all came together. I will most likely paint the stool, easel, plant stand, and also the metal chair with something herby as it would look cute painted up in the garden.

Here are some of the gift bags I decorated for the office gift exchange. I wanted a very inexpensive way to wrap so I went to a party supply store and bought the brown insulated bags for eight cents a piece. Then raided my button box and used craft paint for the final touches. Folded the tops over and punched 2 holes and threaded with raffia and tied it all up. Very quick, easy, cheap, and cute!

16 December 2007

Opened an ETSY Shop

Today I opened an Etsy shop. The BLOOM~N~Bottles are finally ready so I wanted to get some out there and see how it goes. Click on the link on the right hand side and take a peek!

Also Hubby and I braved the winter snow and ice storm and went to the Sunday auction. Got some goodies so I will have a pic of them in the next couple of days. I got a 'lot' of old bottles for more BLOOM~N~Bottles so now I need to find more old jewelery. That is the hard part as I have a price limit on what I will spend for it and can't seem to find much in that price range. I want to keep the bottles at a very reasonable price so they sell.

Please visit my Etsy Shop. I am slowly listing the BLOOM~N~Bottles that are done. I have completed seven so far so watch for my shop to grow.....................

12 December 2007

Been Shopping Again

Monday on my lunch hour I stopped by Goodwill in Muncie. It was half-off day on anything with black tags which included the hand-painted goblets and the heavy white glass shaker jar. I got a set of seven of the goblets!!!!!! When I first saw them they were a set of eight . I went to go get a cart and went back to get them and a lady was looking at them and said 'Aren't these pretty"? And as I was grabbing them up I said "Yes!" Lady got one and I got the other seven!!!!
Also found this awful brass chandelier for $3.99. It will end up painted and will look really cute in the spare room upstairs. Right now the light in that room is a hanging light bulb so the chandelier will really be an improvement!!!! (Sorry the pic is dark. The flash would not go off even when I covered the whatyamacallit on the camera to try to make the flash go off!!)

Last Saturday my friend Liz and I went to Portland, Indiana to go to the antique mall. I needed to see the other half of the mall that hubby and I missed the first time we went. Found an old shaving mirror, some more old bottles, 2 silver chargers, and silver candlestick holders. I am getting quite a feel for the vintage items I like and don't like. I only want to buy and sell the items that I really love. Since yard sale season is several months away in this part of the country, it will be flea markets, auctions, and antique malls until then...................auctions though are truly the best way to find the deals!!!!!!!

This morning I polished up the silver pieces I have collected so far and wow do they shine!!!!
This pic is before polishing and also before I cleaned the shaving mirror. .............................

Just got up to go take a pic of the 'after' of the polished silver and remembered I already packed them up and carried them upstairs.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit and come back soon!!! Also, I get really excited when a comment is left by a visitor so let me know what ya think!!!!!!!

09 December 2007


Remember you saw it here first, ladies!!! You all know what I'm talking about when I say 'manwood'. You know, that ugly wood that men rave about and all us women can think about is painting it! I have a house full of 'manwood'. Now, don't get me wrong, I do love the beautiful fireplace and staircase that is pretty wood but there is another breed of wood.....'MANWOOD'. Nothing pretty about it............Here are some examples....

This is a corner of hubby's den. The walls are 1970's 'manwood' paneling and the cabinet doors on left side of this photo are definitly 'manwood' doors. I envision the walls and doors being painted in this room and it is a much better, prettier, brighter version of the room. Hubby is so in love with this 'manwood' room though that I am sure the locks would be changed if I ever went through with painting it!!!!

This is a close-up of the 'manwood' wood grain door. Doesn't speak to me!?!........but I know there must be some secret testosterone code hidden in the grain and men can hear it loud and clear!!!

This is in my bathroom. I redecorated it a few years ago and painted the closet door white and applied the topiary stencil. The door on the right side of this picture is the entrance to the bathroom in it's 'manwood' glory. Let me just say that I painted the doors on Christmas Eve and that was the worst Christmas I ever had due to having to put with a hubby that lost part of his 'manwood' to pretty paint!!!!!!

Here is the trim above the painted 'manwood' door that I also painted that brave Christmas Eve.Here is an old dresser at the end of our hall that is OK for wood. (It would be pretty awesome painted white though).

Who loves 'manwood'? Only a man would!!!!!!!!!

Moving on now.............................Here are a bunch of old bottles that I have been gathering to do.............................................this to................................................................................They are not quite done though as I will be putting some seed from my garden in to them and selling them as BLOOM~N~Bottles!!! I am really too excited about doing these and think I may need to have them copyrighted or whatever and know they will make me rich enough to go to PARIS!!!!!!! I tea-stained computer paper, printed out planting and growing instructions and glued to the pages of the very old and very poor condition Shakepeares Macbeth one side is the book pages and the other side is instructions. I forgot to take a pic of them so I will do that so you can see how they turned out.

05 December 2007

Awesome Auction

This past Sunday was rainy and dreary. Could have layed around all day or go to an estate auction. Hubby and a buddy and I decided to head out to the auction and it was a real good thing we decided to drive his SUV. We bid and won and bid and won again and again and again. Ended up spending a whopping $28 dollars and got ........................

3 big mirrors to hang in the bedroom once I get it redecorated. I have other mirrors I am gathering as well and will paint all the mirror frames to match once I decide on colors etc......
Mirrors in the bedroom are a very bad thing according to feng shui so I guess I won't worry about using the feng shui principles for that project!!!

LOOOOVE this really old picture frame!! It may end up in the bedroom too. It is big. Check out the detail in the close-up pic .

Here is a silver plate, a silver serving dish with a pyrex dish inside, old kitchen ware, and old books. One of the books is a 1898 Shakespeares Macbeth with a very nasty looking cover. The pages, however, will add a charming touch to the project I am coming up with for my Paris trip fundraiser. More to come on that in the very near future!

Hubby wanted this round wood table with the lions head details. It is really cute and I love that he is starting to get an interest in my vintage treasure hunts!!!!

Last is this vintage bedspread. I really like the flowers and flowerpots design. This may be a keeper or may end up being sold. Haven't decided yet. Could not pass it up though.

01 December 2007

Destination PARIS!!!!!!!!

Stopped by a flea market in Muncie today after leaving work. I found some treasures for an idea I am putting together to make money for...........................destination PARIS!!!!!! A girl trip is in the making for Paris in 2009. I am soooo excited as it is a dream of mine to go there and we have finally narrowed it down to the year 2009. That is the closest we have ever been as we talk about it all the time. SO, be on the lookout for some beauteous surprises to appear on ebay in the very near future. You will be among the first to know. Here is what I found today at the flea market.........all to be used to make the beauteous somethings afore mentioned.

28 November 2007

Vintage Finds

Hubby & I headed out to the Portland Indiana Antique Mall last Saturday. On the way, he wanted to stop at a sale featuring carharts (definitely a man thing!). It was in a guy's barn and when we were pulling up I saw an old bed headboard in one of his other barns. I said to hubby, "Look at that old bed. Wouldn't that be neat to have?"

SO, hubby looks at men stuff and I am kinda sorta helping while all I can think about is how am I going to get myself into that other barn to look at that bed. Then it happens, the carhart seller guy says, "Now if you are looking for boots they are in the other barn." "Why, yes! Don't you need boots too honey?," I said.

Off to the barn we went. He looked at boots, I looked at the bed. The seller guy told me he was cleaning out an old house and that bed was destined for his next bonfire but if I wanted it he would GIVE it to me. YEEEEESSSSSS! I would be happy to rescue it from the fire and he was happy that I was happy because he said he would rather someone get some use of it.

The bed is now safely stashed in our garage waiting to be painted up. The back of the headboard says it is made of recent pecan. The guy said he bought it in the 70's so now it is vintage pecan to me!!!!!! Can't take any decent pix since it is under hubby's boat. I promise to share though when I can.

Now on to the antique mall. Here are the finds for the day. Oh.... did I mention the antique mall was having a Thanksgiving weekend 50% off sale? It was a jackpot of a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This book from 1939 if full of 'plates' of famous artist's paintings. I especially love the impressionist painters and am not sure if I will keep the book intact or remove some of the 'plates' and frame them.

One of my favorite paintings in the book........a Renoir

More of our finds........some really cool old bottles, a silver cake stand (waiting to be polished), and a big flask that hubby picked out.I really love this old jar with the crown on it.A blurry pic of the top of the crown jar. SOOOOOO cute!!!!!!A beauteous book by Carolyn Roehm....not an antique of course and a great deal at 50% off!!!

26 November 2007

Latest project

First of all, a big hearty THANKS to those that have left comments. I love the comments and finally know I am being found out there in blogland!!!!!!

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I decided to paint my burner covers that go on the stove. Being inspired by all the French decor, I decided on a simple French monogram look. They took several coats of white.....especially since I cannot seem to remove them when I turn on a burner as the before pic will show.

Here is the before.....................

Here is the after..................I already love the clean look they provide in the kitchen and now I don't even want to use the stove as a 'shelf!' I promise to remove the burner covers before turning on a burner..........I promise to remove the burner covers before turning on a burner..................I promise to........................

23 November 2007

Here are some pix of my room specifically. This is "my" room and is my favorite room. I have such fond childhood memories of being together with family in this very room......laying on the floor watching home movies while grandpa controlled the film projector from his big Christmas being celebrated and not being able to wait through dinner to unwrap presents.............sitting on the 'davenport' with Grandma and watching our favorite soap opera (Young and the Restless) together and on and on...................

My computer is in the armoire.......................

The wallpaper is the same paper that Grandma had put up years ago. I totally love it and who knows how many more years it will remain. I would like to get new curtains someday though. They have probably been up since the wallpaper and are showing some wear.

I especially love the fireplace. It sits in the corner, which is sometimes a challenge for furniture arranging. Anyone else have a corner fireplace?

All the shells in the hurricanes on the mantel and also glued to the mirror were miracle beach finds. We happened to be vacationing in a condo in Orange Beach, Alabama when hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. We had to evacuate and when we were finally able to return the beach was just covered in beautiful, perfect shells. I have given so many away and still have a grocery sack full!!!!!!!!!!!

21 November 2007

New Look................

Do you like the new look of my blog? I have been wanting to play around with it and this is what I came up with. All the Thanksgiving food is ready (except for the turkey, ham, noodles, mashed potatoes and rolls!) so my booty can finally sit down for awhile. Tomorrow this time we will all be miserably stuffed............................ can't wait!!!!!
No new pix this time so stay tuned since my house is finally clean. If I had the energy I would take some now. Instead I will visit some of my favorite blogs.
Herbal Blessings to all...............


Sending Happy Thanksgiving blessings to everyone!!!

We all need to take more time to be thankful for all that is beautiful in our lives...................not just this one day.

18 November 2007

Sunday, Sunday

Grayson say's "sit down and take a break, Ma!!!"

I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving and needing to take a short sit-down break so I will share some photos of Calendula Court home and gardens. Then it will be back to preparing for my favorite holiday.........................

I promise to take more inside pics after getting the cleaning done!

Herbal Regards, Mandy

17 November 2007

Decorating Lallapalooza

One evening this past week I attended an on-line decorating class. What a blast! I learned about furniture placement, 'out of the box' decorating ideas, and some things to know to start your own business. The best thing about it was FREE!!!!!! The link to the website is They plan to offer more classes as the response was enormous so take one if you get the chance.

It is a dream of mine to start an interior rearranging business. When visiting another home I visually rearrange the furniture in my head!!!!! The most common decorating mistakes are placing all the furniture against the walls and hanging art too high. People that come to my home often tell me how cozy it feels and that is exactly the feel I want them to have...........cozy Calendula Court.

Here is the front porch dressed for autumn.........................................

14 November 2007


My day off again....................Slept in and getting ready to do lunch with my mom and 2 aunts. Hopefully my cousin will make it too. We meet once a month for lunch and chat, chat, chat. I really enjoy it. Then I need to start cleaning and getting ready for Thanksgiving. Tonight I will be ready to relax so I will cut out seed packets (made on the computer) and pack with seeds from my garden. This year I saved garlic chives seeds, purple coneflower seeds, and Liatris (also known as gayfeather) seeds.

There is also dried basil to package and stick labels on.

I want to share info about an on-line decorating class I attended last evening and will do so very soon. It was a blast!!!!

I must go and get ready for lunch...............................

.......................Herbal Regards to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13 November 2007

Faux Fur

This past weekend, while browsing an antique mall in Muncie, I noticed a faux leopard fur stole. Didn't buy it at the time and could not stop thinking about Monday during my lunch hour I went back and got it. Only $5 bucks and some pillow stuffing and I will have a neck-roll for my bed. It kinda has that antique aroma to it so tomorrow I will let it air out on the clothesline then start stitching up the sides. What a deal and it's gonna be so cute!!!! Completed pic to come soon......................................

11 November 2007

Lazy Sunday

What a lazy, rainy Sunday!!! Today I will share some pix from inside my home, Calendula Court. How did it get that name and what does it mean you ask? I was very fortunate to visit England and Wales in 2000. My traveling friend and I enjoyed how all the residences had names, from the huge castles to the cozy cottages........every address a different name. Of course, we had to name our American homes. Calendula is one of my favorite herbs and it is also the herb for October, which is my birth month. That is how Calendula Court was so named.
This is from my bathroom. The dried roses were cut from my rambling rose bush and dried. The dried Lavender is also from my garden. Here is a close-up.............................................

Here is a shelf that my dad made. It is above my stove with dried herbs, herbal vinegars, and herb infused olive oil.

This is a corner of the window above the kitchen sink. I love old bottles and they line the window sill. Notice the hanging lavender and pink roses drying for a wreath and also a mint julep cup that I have wanted for a long time and found this one in the gift shop at The Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.