Friday, February 27, 2015

Fun Fridays ~ Random Valentine's Shots!

Dinner after Valentine's Day at Vignettes, Ocean Beach, San Diego. YUM!!!

February has just flown by!
Have you felt like that, too?

Well, a lot is getting done over here at our home ~
our backyard is almost done!
Our friendly gardener, Manny, has just about
finished putting in the last of the drains
and he's going to lay down the weed cloth
that we bought about 9 years ago
for our pathways...
Will have a lovely update for you later this weekend!

So, yes! This is going to be a jumble of a post.

These are the cute little 
"Valentine Heart Friends"
(I don't know what they are officially called, but this is my name for them!)
we made
at school a couple of weeks ago now.
I found the idea out on the internet through
and I will post these over there, too!
The students had the best time making all of these goodies!

One of my favorite decorating authors, Ms. Fifi O'Neill, and me!

Vignettes was such an incredible place!
I hope you have read my previous posts about meeting
Ms. Fifi O'Neill
and about the lovely shop

Look how chalkboard paint is used!!! Just painted up on the wall for an ever-changing sign-board!

I could gush on about both as Fifi is just very down-to-earth
and the folks at Vignettes
were very nice and the store is truly ethereal!
I really don't go out shopping much like when I was younger,
but I do love browsing and if a special
comes along home...
Well, then a new memory is made!

 I bought some roses at
Sam's Club
just before Valentine's Day
and didn't take any photos...
Where the brain was... I don't know!
Well, then I thought I'd dry some to spread around the house.
They are drying quite nicely so will share what I do with them soon!

Hope you've enjoyed this random post!
Happy Friday
to you!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

{Places to Shop} ~ Vignettes

have to share Vignettes...
One doesn't have to be crazy in-love with all things French, 
but you will think of converting and 
redecorating your home
after entering into the world created by the lovely people of
a go-to source for anyone looking for 
a jewel or two
to feather their nest!

Vignettes is owned by Lori Chandler,
who has been in business for over a decade in Ocean Beach.
(I am sorry that I didn't snap a photo of Lori for you ~ I will next time!)
She is very nice and was happy to meet everyone 
as old friends
even if one was a new one! 
(like me!)

Last Saturday's event at Vignettes, on Valentine's Day,
was a much-anticipated book signing
featuring design-stylist, author and 
editor of French Country and Prairie Country magazines
and the former editor of Romantic Country magazine...
Miss Fifi O'Neill
who came to sign copies of her third book,
Prairie-Style Weddings.

The lovely Ms. Francoise "Fifi" O'Neill surrounded by all things romantic and inspired by her book!
Notice the super cute lace dream-catchers!!!

Upon entering Vignettes, one is almost on
sensory overload
there are so many lovely things
to behold...

Jeweled crowns, sparkling brooches, Victorian-style necklaces, 
bangles and bracelets
are scattered about and in vitrines!
Rose wallpaper used in new ways...
Mannequins dressed in laces and furs, some wearing
"dresses" created from a disparate
combination of goods
but somehow all creating
"the dress..."
Very ethereal!

Following the path through each room,
some of the things which caught my eye were
 engraved silverware pieces
(always a favorite with me!),
Victorian crumb catchers with their little silver-handled brooms,
small bronze statuettes, crystal and beaded chandeliers,
table girandoles and wall sconces with
their Louis IV curves, satin tablecloths and boudoir pillows, incredible screens 
for partitioning one's room,
settees and chaise longues... 
Eye candy for the soul!

Here are some more lovely photos from that day...

Vignettes truly is a series of one vignette upon another!

Love, love, love this screen!

I think I have been here once before friends
from the tea group that I am in,
back when "taking tea" was such a revival in the late 1990's!
I remember the area
and this shoppe!

Two last things before this post is finit!
I met Sheri Howells in her booth near the front 
of the store.  She used to have her own online shoppe,
and is now one of Vignettes happy vendors. 

Meet Sheri Howells!

Sheri is very sweet and though she
doesn't sell online anymore, her website and Pinterest are still there,
you might know her a bit as her home was featured 
a while back in
 Romantic Homes magazine.
Check out her corner, above!

Lastly, I was talking with Sheri and as we were
visiting I caught some movement
in my periphery...

This (wo)mannequin startled me to pieces!

must have hired this woman to dress as a live mannequin!
She startled everyone when each of us
noticed her!!!
Very fun!

I hope you have enjoyed this
little tour of Vignettes!
Do come down and visit the lovely ladies and gentlemen
who work there.

Blessings and Bisous,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fifi O'Neill Comes to Vignette's!

Valentine's Day was a lot of fun
Francoise "Fifi" O'Neill!!!

Vignettes, an ethereal store after my own antique-browsing heart, located in the beautiful and sunny antique district of Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, hosted author Fifi O'Neill to a book signing from 12 noon to 5pm, on Valentine's Day 2015.  "Fabulous Fifi," as she is often called, has just published her third book, Prairie-Style Weddings...  PRAIRIE-STYLE WEDDINGS: Rustic and Romantic Farm, Woodland, and Garden Celebrations (Chronicle Books, December 2014, $30 USD/Hardbound).

Vignettes is a beautiful French-inspired atelier located in the antique district/Ocean Beach area
of San Diego ~ 4828 Newport Avenue, San Diego, California 92107.  Phone number: 619-222-9244.
Open daily, call ahead for hours.

View along Newport Blvd. looking towards Ocean Beach and the Pacific...

Lori Chandler, the owner of Vignettes, and her staff 
were gracious hosts
sharing gift-wrapped chocolate hearts and glasses
of champagne with everyone who purchased 
one of Fifi's new book and/or
came to shop and meet Ms. O'Neill. 

I'm going to do a write-up of
in another posting
but wanted to share just a few
photos from the shop...

Fifi O'Neill at her lovely signing table outback of Vignettes... Two designers had set up this beautifully decorated tented area with everything inspired by Ms. O"Neill's Prairie-Style Weddings book! Even the parachute covering the Easy-Up was pink!

For those of you who read decorating/shelter magazines,
but might not be familiar with Fifi O'Neill...

Ms. O'Neill is the former editor of
Romantic Country magazine
is the editor of
French Country and Prairie Country 
Country Decorating Ideas publications
published quarterly.

I have been reading both of these magazines for years
and drooling over 
Fifi's decorating style!!!
She is originally from just outside of Paris
and I think she brings a Parisian flare
to our American homes!!!

Her decor tends towards mugs and dishes
with cute French words
printed on them;
worn clock faces displayed on a shelf,
muslin and drop cloth pillows with
French printing;
she likes toile de jouy printed fabrics!
(Mais bien sûr! Mais je te jure que c'est vrai! ~ but, of course!)
Fifi also decorates with her sister's
embroidered pillows,
and she has these little metal hearts
around that
were once memorials
that I really think are sweet...
And, where would we be without hearts on Valentine's Day?!!

In this photograph below, there is the first issue of
Romantic Country
it wasn't called that
(perhaps the actual title hadn't been finalized?)
it was called
"Romantic Living."
Anyway, I brought all three of these
books and magazines
with me and asked Fifi if she would sign them.

I have a funny story to tell you!
After shooting a few photos of the outside of Vignette's
and photos of the antique district there in Ocean Beach,
I walked over to go to the
book signing soiree...

Well, I walked in the door
there was Fifi O'Neill!!!
I practically ran into her!

I said something really dumb like,
"Oh! I didn't expect you to be right here."
(How dumb was that, right?)
I quickly recovered and said hello properly!

Luckily, there was another lady there chatting with her, so
I joined in...

This ended up being where we took the
top photo and a few more.
I hope that lady I met finds this blogpost 
someday as I'd really like to thank her for taking
these pictures!!!
(Thank you!!!)

Well, I'll get off here for now!
Been rather excited and happy for this posting
wanted to get it out to you so you can see
She is a lovely, lovely person
and though she doesn't write in her blog anymore
(not enough time as she is flying all over the country
interviewing and styling people's homes for print),
her site is still up
and you can watch the video she put up
of her little converted garage.
You can hear how sweet her voice is!

She is every bit as nice as she sounds, too.
Her style is so cute;

I know you'll love her as much as I do!

In honor of Madam Fifi...


***I'd love it if you'd follow my blog! Please feel free to share this on your site or through social media! Abientot!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day
to you all!!!

"LOVE is a many splendored thing..."

Okay... I admit it... It might be a bit funny to not have all the
letters in the word L.O.V.E. above
that's all the letters I could find of the word 
in a basket 
full of random letters
at that little shop in Folsom
where I found them right there 
around New Years!

These little Staffordshire doggies
came home with us from England 
10 years ago this spring.
(Hard to believe that it has already been that long...)It seemed fitting to put those sparkly little letters
with these cute pups
so they could celebrate Valentine's Day, too!

Here's the link to the German chocolate cake below, in case
you'd like to bake one!

A cute plate with "hearts" on it that my sister-in-law Linnea picked up while she and my brother Gene were stationed in Germany some 25 years ago. She gave it to me when my kids and I visited them in Texas (their next duty station, at the time, prior to their getting stationed in England).

Silver and white

seems to be a theme for me this winter
with bits of pink and roses
tossed into the mix...

Little Valentine's heart pillow in the background

A favorite teacup ~ for display only ~ being that
three legs makes it tipsy!

More of the white and silver going on

Ever since coming to Southern California

back in the summer of 1988
when my husband was transferred to Camp Pendleton
with the United States Marine Corps, 
I have been finding little
heart-shaped cookie cutters, baking pans,
little things
to bake and decorate with around the house.
Isn't it funny how collections develop?

It's not that you intentionally start to collect something
but rather
these jewels just keep popping up
...and they speak to you!
they must come home.
At least that's what's happened to me all these years...


Hearts are definitely favorites!!!
My kids and I have baked lots of heart-shaped cakes
for Valentine's and birthdays
over the years.
For a number of teas I've baked
individual heart cakes
that the ladies in my groups could
have some of their cake
at the tea
and take the rest home for later.
This year I debated about making a heart-shaped
German Chocolate Cake
to share with you, but ultimately decided
to go with what the
recipe called for which is two 8" round pans.
It turned out well,
was easy to bake and tastes good even a few days later!
YUM!And, of course
for any Valentine's Day celebration
at our household
we have the cute tablecloth and napkins
I made probably 17 years ago now...
(when the Victorian Tea Society began here in Riverside County, 
which is why I remember the year.)

***It's a square cloth, so easy to make.
I'll share making a tablecloth in a post 
for you soon!

And, of course
the old Mervyn's store
used to sell these cute heart-shaped pillows
(background of photo)
that are muslin and crocheted lace...
***Sorry! The editing here won't let me move the photos to 

where I want them: down here!
So, they are up above in random spots... Ugh!

This has turned out to be a rather random Valentine's post,

but sometimes that's how I think. And sometimes how the computer acts!

Hope you like it!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

With Love and Blessings
to you and your families,

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