Thursday, January 6, 2011


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I found this wonderful stencil booklet for $1.50 at a locally owned art supply store.  I grabbed most of what they had in stock.  I kept one and gave the others away.  I knew I could use them somewhere.  I soon realized it would be great to have a Chinese greeting at the exterior front door.  And, it turned out above the mailbox was the best choice. 

I love the original brass mailbox slot with years of patina. 

I selected two chinese characters from the above booklet.

                                    Long Life                   Happiness

I used some of our black trim paint and added these welcoming symbols above the mail box.

Since the house has cedar shake siding, I was not able to keep the stencil perfectly flat when applying the paint.  There was some bleeding of the black paint which I had to cover with the exterior house paint.  I used a craft paint brush to dab and cover over the out-of-place black paint.

It adds a little extra to the entrance.  Something different yet does not change the original character of the house. 

Here is the view of the front door.  (Yes, I am in the middle of stripping the front door!  It is going slowly!  I am not crazy about the paint stripper I am using.  Any suggestions for an effective stripper that is not TOO toxic?)  Someday, I hope to show the whole redone entrance but could not wait to share the mailbox compliment.  It was a cheap and easy project I am very pleased with.


It's Just Dottie said...

Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment on my blog. Your post on the barkcloth made me think about my Mother's bedroom when I was growing up and I so like that memory.

French-Kissed said...

It's amazing how little details like the addition of the Chinese characters can make such a big difference. The barkcloth drapes in the prior post are wonderful, too. You have a great spirit and I am delighted to discover your site. I can't wait to see what you do with the front door. All the best to you in this New Year and as you begin your blogging journey.

Laurie said...

Those drapes look like they were made for your window! Beautiful find! So far, the only barkcloth I've run across is a small round piece I use to cover my kefir jar. I've used a citrus-based paint stripper, but don't remember the name. And it's the only one I've used, so I don't have anything to compare it to. Lovely door. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Serendipity Chic Design said...

I love what you have done...I especially love your mailbox slot...You are so lucky to have that. The entire vignette you have going on is great....

Thanks for stopping by my blog...

Take care,

francy said...

I found your post in my blog "So Beautiful Things", where you ask me if in Italy we celebrate Christmas on January 6.
No, we celebrate Christmas as all to December 25 and we exchange gifts on the eve of Christmas, which is 24 december.The children usually open the presents on the morning of 25 because on the 24 come Santa Claus ( in italian the name is Babbo Natale) in the night.
On 6 January there's the day of the "Befana"
Epiphany), we let hang stockings on the evening of the fifth, and the legend say that an old woman, a grandmother,leaves to good children sweets ,candies and coal to bad children. And with this festival are closed Christmas and takes off the Christmas tree and decorations that are traditionally put on 8 December (the day del Immaculate Conception ( or Madonna).
Come see me on my blog whenever you want.
Greetings and Happy New Year
Ciao Ciao

My Cottage Charm said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my kitchen, it made me smile! :)
Cute chinese symbols above your mailbox, love the idea!
OH and lucky you on finding the barkcloth drapes for FREE!!! Seriously, how blessed a day were you having?! lol (they look great too!)
Have a great week

Honey at 2805 said...

The translation of your symbols make a very nice greeting! What a great find in those barkcloth drapes, especially the price. I'm happy to be your first follower.

Sherry said...

Wonderful idea with the welcome symbols. I like the simplicity of the Asian design. It is very restful.

Betty said...

I love the Asian decor. And, thank you for visiting My Cozy Corner.

Martha said...

What a great idea!!! I love it and it's subtle but adds a bit of personality.

Denise at PinkPostcard. said...

I just saw a post from you on Antique Chase, and had to come say hi! I'm a fellow Oregonian, and love your Chinese mail greeting. :) I love Chinese culture. I hope you enjoy blogging, it's a fun way to meet people with the same interests! BTW, I think the blog Primitive and Proper has some ideas on non toxic stripping medium. She does a lot of furniture refinishing, and it seems like I remember her talking about it. Good luck!

Janet said...

I really like how you used the Chinese stencils above your mailbox. I enjoy adding Chinese accents into my home, as well, because my daughter is from China! Thanks for your sweet comments! Following!

antiquechase said...

That turned out really well and such a great touch!

Michelle said...

Hi Michelle, thank you so much for stopping by my blog this week and commenting! I'm enjoying your blog and hope you'll come back again soon!


House Revivals said...

What a lovely blessing for all who enter your house! The stencil is perfect. Thank you visiting House Revivals. I think you are right that we will look back at these memories with fondness.

Sarah, Three Boys said...

I think it looks amazing. What a lovely little blessing for everyone who comes to you house. Thanks so much for stopping by Threeboys:) I hope to "see" you around again soon,

Honey at 2805 said...

Thanks for your comment. Please stop back by and sign up for my giveaway!

High Street Cottage said...

Hi Michelle, thank you for stopping by the high street cottage. And for your kind comment. Lovely stencils you have. I love what you did with the mail slot. As for your tray...have you thought about a paint finish then sand off a bit to distress it, then perhaps a pretty stencil to turn it into a chinese tea tray? Would go with the rest of your decor. Great style, by the way. Have a wonderful weekend, tami

Inspired by you said...

I'm lovin' that mail slot. What a good idea with the stencils. Thanks for your nice comment on my chair.

CareyAnn said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your idea. I would have bought all these stencils as well. How often would you find something like this. I think you found the perfect idea.

LDH said...

I like the stencil welcoming those to your home. Nice job!

Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving your comment! Nice to meet you!

Kindly, Lorraine

Anne said...

I like that touch very much! It's details like this that make a home so much more interesting!