Welcome to Le Beau Paon Victorien! I'm so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rug Love

I have a list.

In fact, I have many lists.......I'm a regular list freak.

I have a list of  house projects that we want to do, but have to save our money for. ( It's scarily long!)
I have a list of things that I'm looking for when I go to flea markets or junking at thrift stores, or go browsing at antique stores and shows.
I have a list of what I want to accomplish during the week.
I have a list of books that I read about which sounded interesting and want to get at the library.
I usually have a grocery list floating around too.
Most of these lists reside in a pocket calender that is in my purse, so I always have them readily available.

One of the things that has been on my "want list" for just about forever is a big Oriental or Persian-style rug for the parlour.

LOVE big rugs.......
LOVE that they are so gorgeous and are like art work.
HATE how expensive a really nice one is.
HATE that I had no wealthy ancestors that convienently left me one in their will.

But, now I have my very own rug to love, at last!!


We were very lucky to get it for the price we did. It's an authentic, hand-knotted Pakastani rug, made of  100% virgin wool. It has some crazy number of knots per square inch; like 224 knots per square inch, so the weaving is very fine and high quality. I had some money saved that I was going to use to buy something from the "want list"; Erik and I went to an antique show last weekend and considered several other things from the want list (a set of c.1830s black transferware cups and saucers, a silver and crystal double pickle castor, a pair of c.1840s large white Staffordshire dogs among other things). In the end, we didn't buy anything and I said to Erik, "I'd like to maybe look at rugs instead." By chance we walked into the rug gallery of a fine furnishings store, which also happened to be having a sale....and found this beauty!

It was like it was meant to be!! The colors were exactly what I wanted and I loved the pattern, which we were told is a William Morris pattern. Apparently, the master weaver who designed this rug (and a number of others we saw in the gallery) has won many weaving design awards (apparently, there are awards for this kind of thing!). The rugs are made in small villages in Pakistan by hand. It even comes with a certificate of authenticity.
 Luckily, with the sale price, (plus an additional 15% off because the rug guy liked us and we had just missed a "15% off the sale price" sale that had ended two days before, so we got a 60% discount in total) the rug was actually in our price range and we were able to purchase a very beautiful, heirloom quality rug , which we had never dreamed we'd actually be able to own.

I looks so perfect in the room and adds just that perfect Victorian touch! (If you can imagine it without the cat toy in the foreground, of course).
And yes, we talked it over about having such a rug with cats.......fortunately, Olive is de-clawed, although E.B. and Astrid are not. I have several scratching posts throughout the house which they are very good about using because of training, plus I also trim their nails every week.

Also a recent addition to the parlour....a new pillow.
A needlepoint bird with olive-green tassel trim! I love that the new rug has some darker, olive tones in it....this way I can add some olive tones to the decor in here and it will tie in nicely with the rug. I had considered using more olive-y green colors for the curtains but wasn't sure how it would look, but now I think it would look very nice.
(The pillow I bought  at Tuesday Morning).

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Bird Watching

Astrid loves bird-watching.

It's almost like deja vu.....

Olive, last spring.....bird-watching!

The bird feeders and squirrel feeder are actually outside a different window, but they like this one a lot as well, because my climbing rosebush is on a trellis right outside this window and birds sit on the rosebush all the time. During winter there are no leaves on the bush and they get a close-up view of the birds here!
Frequently throughout the day I will see either Astrid or Olive at this window. Sometimes they both sit here together! I will have to try and get a picture of that some time!

Thanks for stopping by!


Valentine's Day Tablescape & Bubbly "Love Potion"

I hope that everyone had a fabulous week and also a lovely Valentine's Day!
Erik and I don't go too crazy with Valentine's Day. Our first Valentine's Day as a couple we dressed up and went to dinner at a very fancy restaurant....it was Erik's idea (he is so romantic!) and it was very romantic and fun for our first Valentine's Day together (which was 8 years ago now!).

Nowadays we don't like to spend a lot of money on things like that; we have the house and lots of plans for it (most of which are expensive, of course) and we prefer to be a little more simple for Valentine's Day. We exchange cards; I usually buy him some of his favorite dark chocolate double-dipped malted milk balls from the chocolate shop near our house, he often will buy me flowers. Sometimes we go to a movie.

                                                                 This year I got roses!

It's such a pretty arrangement; Erik especially liked the eucalyptus they added to the filler.

A week before Valentine's Day, I had put together a simple little Valentine's-themed table, using some flowers that Erik had bought me "just because". I love "just because" flowers!

The bouquet had such wonderful bright colors!

I added some pink and red heart floral sprays to the bouquet for my Valentine's Day table. I had bought these last year for my Valentine's Day tablescape for 2011. Click HERE to see that table.

I used a red and white theme, with pink as well.

These cherry plates I've used before on other tables. I bought them at Goodwill a couple of years ago. I have twelve of them and they are great for casual dining and mixing with other dishes.

I've used my Apilco lion's-head soup bowls on this table also.

Love birds!

Hobnail milk glass creamer jug on top of a pink depression glass bread plate as part of the centerpiece display.

A sweet little setting for two.

I also made a bubbly Valentine's Day "Love Potion", served in vintage-style malt glasses with a pink malt spoon and straw.

Each straw has a stamped tag and ribbon, which proclaims it's a "special treat"! The' love potion' is actually pink lemonade blended with raspberry sherbert, then poured into a glass with Sprite to make it bubbly.

White cutwork embroidery tablecloth (Goodwill! $5 !!!)

Peanut butter cookies with a chocolate heart in the center, displayed on  a pink depression glass platter.

You may have glimpsed this straw dispenser in the background; it's not vintage, just a reproduction of a vintage diner-style straw dispenser. I have wanted one of these forever! Erik found this one at Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought it for me. We had come across a real vintage one in an antique store but the top was very rusty and pitted. I told him I knew that they made reproductions of these and that I wouldn't mind having a reproduction.

Here's a nice view of the table without the ladder in the background (the other angle I posted above, you can see a ladder! Ha! I was going to edit that out, but I figured that this is the real world, not a "magazine home" and I thought that I would just get realz with you all. LOL!)
However, you can see off to the side a sweet hosstess apron with pink cupcakes and pink bows all over it hanging from my key hook...............................
That was also a Christmas present from Erik; although not a vintage apron, I had seen it and loved it, and because he's a smart husband, he made note of it and then later bought it. I swear, I think he actually keeps a small notebook with a list of things that I talk about or admire. He bought me a gorgeous purse for my birthday last year that I had talked about seeing at a boutique. He never even saw the purse...he just had my description of it and where I saw it.....and even though my birthday was weeks later, he remembered it, went to the store and asked the salesladies if it was still there. (It was!)

On the actual night of Valentine's Day, I bought these two huge chocolate-covered strawberries from the chocolate shop as an after dinner treat for us. They were yummy!!!!

I had also posted, a week or so back, about adding some "love" to everyday recipes in honor of Valentine's Day (HERE). One idea was using a heart-shaped cookie cutter for eggs- in-a-basket. I found something to make with the center pieces that I cut out and saved: I made teeny little heart shaped egg salad sandwiches!
This would be a good idea for making tea sandwiches also; using different shapes of cookie cutters!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, February 10, 2012

I Love a Good Sale!

A couple of weeks ago my sister told me that Boston Store was having a big January sale....their annual "Yellow Dot Sale", and she mentioned that all their bedding was 70% off the already marked down sale price. She had stocked up on new sheets and flannel sheets for her whole household but had decided to get some more.

We were meeting up with my mom and other sister to go see a play, but they were running late, so we took the opportunity to kill some time by going to Boston Store.

I, of course, being a bedding freak, was in heaven when I saw that they had many beautiful quilts, all of them on sale as well!!

I found this beautiful cream-colored quilt with blue embroidery. The queen size quilt was originally about $200.00, marked down to $149.00 but then it was 70% off the markdown price, so I only had to pay $45 for this quilt!!  w00t-w00t!!!!!!

So pretty!!  I'd been looking for a pretty quilt to add to our winter bedding for extra warmth but was always dismayed by how expensive they are. I was always keeping an eye out for a vintage one at antique stores and other places, but hadn't had any luck finding one in good shape with the right colors. This one was perfect!

........And it was also the perfect price!!

I also found this beautiful quilt, that I bought for the guest bedroom.....
I'd been looking for a vintage quilt in a similar pattern and color for several years now.....again with no luck. Then I saw this one.....and like the other quilt, it was a queen size quilt, originally priced at $200.00, marked down to $149.00, and then 70% off the markdown price....so once again, I got this lovely quilt for $45.00!!!!!!

I  took advantage of the sale to also buy some flannel sheets........
I got this fun set of red/rust and tan plaid with dogs for the guest room bed. Originally the set of sheets was about $120.00, marked down to $68.00 and with the 70% off  they came out to be about $20.00 for the set!  Can I just say "woohoo"!!!!!???

Lately I've had an obsession with crazily mixing patterns. The Victorians particularly liked patterns and colors and adornments.....they loved to mix things up; some might say almost to excess!

As you can see by my guest room bed...I have the plaid sheets, the floral duvet cover, and then my flowered quilt at the end of the bed. Some people might think this looks weird, but I can appreciate the fun and fabulousness of it. I love the fancy mixed with the homey. I suspect the Victorians did as well.

At the same sale I also purchased a set of flannel sheets for our bed ($25 after the markdown and sale price) and also another quilt for our bed......a Christmas quilt!!!! (also originally $200, which I got for $45). The flannel sheets I bought for our bed are a pretty red and white plaid, which I plan to pair with the Christmas quilt, so next Christmas I will be one of those super-cool people who have holiday bedding! The best part of that, of course, is that I didn't have to pay an arm and a leg, as my mom used to say, to have holiday bedding!
I have the Christmas bedding stored in the linen closet, so pictures will have to wait until next December!

Thanks for stopping by!
I'll be linking up to these parties:

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home


Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage


Monday, February 6, 2012

Hearts Abound

Hi everyone!
With Valentine's Day looming on the horizon, I found a couple of cute ways to add some LOVE to some everyday recipes!

Instead of making "regular" peanut butter blossoms with Hershey's Kisses, use heart-shaped chocolates, like Dove chocolates. I actually used Hershey's Bliss heart-shaped dark chocolates in these peanut butter cookies. Erik is a really big fan of dark chocolate.


Another favorite treat of ours for breakfast; eggs in a basket!
           Here I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the center of some wheat bread (instead of a circle) for the egg. It was a fun surprise on Erik's plate when he sat down. He said, "Hey! It's a HEART! Awwww! How cuuuuute!" (Yes, that is exactly how he said it. Ha!)

                     What fun things can you think of to add some LOVE to?

Thanks for stopping by!