Monday, June 30, 2008


Having these high areas to decorate can be a challenge, not to mention they are high and can't be changed often which is something I like to do, but these areas are too high for that being nearly 12-15 feet off the floor! My DH is so helpful when it comes to giving these areas a dusting or redesign. I usually leave my displays alone for awhile before changes, so I thought I would share them before I get the bug to redo!!

The first one is my favorite, as it is so high you can see the second story rooftop of the neighbor's house through the window. It holds my grandmother's antique singer sewing machine, old school books of my mother's, old thread spools, greenery, old vases and urns, iron shutters, and a candle in the window that comes on every night and also a light on the machine that also is timed to shine each evening. Below this area is a closet which is at the bottom of the staircase. I am taking the picture from the top of the stairs. It is like a small sewing room. I have plans to add a small chair to one side to compliment the machine when I find the right one. These pictures are so dark and I am sorry for that. This area is very hard to get a good photo.

Also near this area, at the top of the stairs, is this window display with shutters. I placed a country path print behind an old window. In the window box I tried to fill with similar flower colors from the print.

This high display is in a living area and holds an old birdhouse with wreath, lilies, hydrangeas, an old metal pitcher and wooden bunny.

Next to this you can see the side of a very high wall sconce that lights and dims. The room has 4 of these lights at the top of the 12 foot ceiling, but on the window wall I have hand painted some wysteria hanging from these pots for interest. This picture is blurry, but you get the idea.

This next display is very close to my heart as it holds a pair of praying hands that my dear hubby made for my parents one Christmas when we were in college. I can still see him, walking to a local art shop to browse for ideas when he saw these precious hands. Even then, his Christian spirit and heart always showed through. My parents loved this handmade and painted gift and displayed it the rest of their lives. Now that they are in heaven, I have the hands and they are the first display I see when I walk out of the bedroom in the morning. I have teamed them with a musical birdhouse, a vine of yellow roses, old frame with bread bowl, pretty magnolia branch and a sweet red bird for color. This display sits high atop a corner cupboard.

In the master bedroom, this high shelf holds an old antique tray that I still have an idea to paint something on along with an old needlework magnolia, old candlesticks and an old framed painting of a young girl playing the piano. This display is high above a writing desk and just below the sky with clouds I have painted in the room.

The sky with clouds is the center of a raised ceiling area that is finished with crown molding to complete making this area perfect for painting the sky. I have taken this look over into the bathroom. The shelf area between the two rooms holds my wire bird cage collection with some ivy. The sky is wonderful to wake up to.

Sky from the bathroom side.

Furniture tops are the perfect high places to display collectibles. This photo shows an old hutch topped with my oil painting of old red roses, a large glass vase, grapes trailing across and a trio of bell domes at different heights showcasing a few of my old bell collection.

My high entry display brings the eye up to see an old roses painting with stack boxes, greenery, stone wall decor and stenciled flowers on the tile ledge.

Also on this ledge, at it's turn, is a needlework cottage of a Thomas Kinkade painting that I did years ago.

High places in the kitchen bring me to share this niche. It is the pass through between the dining room and kitchen. I have a sign that reads Home is where your story begins along with some Tuscan style collectibles.

This high kitchen shelf displays a thin shelf and home to a pear sign and rooster plates. The shelf tops a built in crystal hutch.

The last high place is another hutch top in my library/family room. It shows a wall accent, boxes, wire bird cage, and hydrangeas bringing out the colors in the room.

Thank you for stopping by and as I close I will share a few past works and painting studies.

Lastly, this is a large beach scene of Cottages on the Beach. I painted this many years ago from an art study. I still enjoy this piece as it hangs in a guestroom.

Well, I am off to paint and create. I hope you have a great week and till next time, Blessings and Blue Skies, Celestina

Continue Reading

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Is it mantle or mantel? How do you spell your mantel/mantle? I think last year there was a blog post (can't remember who it was now) that also raised this question. Kari and Kijsa have researched this and discovered that either way mantle/mantel is spelled, it is appropriate. Today Kari and Kijsa are sharing how we display and accent our mantels. Stop over to their blog and join the fun of viewing mantels and visit the links to many more lovely blogs.

I have a few ways of decorating my mantels in both my living room and library.
Since I have a mix of Tuscan and Cottage style in my home, I have shown 2 mantels changed with different looks, just by changing the decor placed on them.

This first look I call " Even Steven" when everything is the same size and balanced side to side. It is a uniform look and just brings the eye across the mantel at an even place. Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

This design is Asymmetrical, and one I prefer because it has more interest and unpredictable. Pulling the candle holders to one side at different levels brings the balance to the display. Look at the picture. What small change should be made with the candles holders? Do you see it? Placing the lower one to the outside would bring better placement and balance out the rose platter on the other side.

This next display is completely off set with the flower arrangement to the left. This makes the side heavy, so by adding the black candle sticks opposite, the display gives balance and width by laying one candle stick on is side. Notice the framed wall picture is the same in all three examples.

Now for this one, I have hung a large round clock and scattered the accessories across the mantel for interest. Notice the bird house is raised on a box to balance out the yarrow in the vase on the opposite side. Keeping with a bird theme, I have added a few stone birds at different heights, textures and color.

These next few examples are from my library fireplace. This is a small mantel in a room that has a cozy cottage feel with lots of books and a display of blue and white collections.
The first picture shows handmade doilies of the same design but different sizes made by my grandmother. The painting is a Thomas Kinkade painting done from a puzzle and framed. It looks like the real thing!

On this change, I left the doilies, and placed the books on end with the pitcher of roses in the bowl for a book end.

Next, I gave this display a look with clean lines and less accents. Kept the books and added a bit of whimsy with my sweet golden retriever figurine.

In this last photo, I took away the lamp, added the flowers and tea set for yet another look in the cottage feel.

Books of inspiration!

This last picture is my Tuscan country side scene I designed and painted a few years ago on an old oval tray.

Thank you for visiting mantle vs mantel. Remember to stop over at Kari and Kijsa's to view their mantels and also visit other blogs for more mantel displays.
Till next time, Blessings, Celestina

Continue Reading

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This day finds me going in all directions with many Saturday projects to address. On my list, is to play catch up with my friends in blogland. This is a longer post, so if you have time to visit, I will try and catch up over the past week.

Amy of Bunny Rose Cottage and Stephanie from Angelic Accents tagged me with a few questions, so here goes!

1. Five things to do list?

1) Send out some cards to dear friends.
2) Work in my garden.
3) Paint a table, rocker and shelf.
4) Redo 2 window treatments in a guestroom.

2. Favorite snack?

I love to make a plate combo of mild chedder cheese slices, apple slices, and dry roasted peanuts. Very yummy combination!

3. Things I would do if I were a millionaire?
Give to my church, charites and help family and friends.

4. Five places I have lived?

1. Michigan
2. Texas
3. Indiana
4. Ohio
5. Texas twice~ and all in this order and here to stay!

5. Whst I was doing 10 years ago?

Exactly 10 years ago this very month of June 1998, I was designing 10 custom ornaments for the White House Blue Room Christmas Tree to be sent by August.


Rhondi from Rose Colored Glasses tagged me to share favorite things/collectibles around my house. I have so many dear treasures, but here are a few. Be sure and stop over and see Rhondi for links to the others tagged.

Blue and white collection of plates and accessories. This is just one vignette in my cottage cupboard.

Needlework of a cozy cottage. This was found at a tag sale and the outer edge was not finished. I cut it down, had it framed and it hangs in our master bedroom.

This needlework is one I did many years ago for my mother. It is a large fabric and crewel work embellished scene of a sweet girl with her flower cart. All the flowers have lots of details and even the fringe on her shawl is embellished.

Lastly, my angel collections and wall crosses are also long time favorites.

I have lots more favorites, but I am sure that some time or another I will share them with you. I also have not tagged anyone else for these since they are long past and I am sure that many of you have participated already and I hope to see yours when I visit. Thanks for all the tags. As always they are fun and get us to thinking and sharing special treasures.

Cielo from The House in the Roses is also having a garden party to showcase our gardens or favorite features in our garden spaces in honor of the first day of summer June 21st. I also shared a large portion of my garden a couple posts ago, so I will not repeat that here, but scroll down to view if you have time. It will be fun and I look forward to visiting others. Be sure to visit over at Cielo's and join the fun. Her blog is such a delight.

Before I end for today I will share a few of the new designs I have been working on. These include new tray signs that have been requested from the past. The cupcake icing is highlighted with the softest sugar glitter. I will have these treasures and others available near the end of June and first of July in my ebay store and etsy boutique.

Included here are also some soft lavender items, wall plaques, and a few more signs, cake keeper in the prettest soft aqua, pink french bucket and my old silverplate tray with roses and hydrangea. The last picture is an old teapot and 4 layer rose petal cake with glass and bead style cake stand.

Now I will mark off another thing to do from my list for today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon. But before I end, I want to say HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the dads out there. I hope whatever you have planned for the father, husband, friend, neighbor, uncle or special guy in your life, it is a perfect day and one to remember. I truly miss my father each and everyday, but remember him by honoring my hubby and the great dad that he is. Have a great weekend and till next time~~ Blessings and Blue Skies. Celestina

Continue Reading