Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Chair!

My "Happy Chair"

 As I said in my last post I have been up to a few things.   Mainly old chairs a new look.  Now, I have attempted upholstery in the past...and have decided that some things are better left to the professionals.  And boy am I happy I did.  Here is my one of my FAVORITE new additions to the household decor.  As my mother said it is our "Happy Chair!" 

The tufting was old fabric scraps I found from a bag at the bottom of a pile in the closet...
I thought "I Have GOT to have this coral color somewhere!!!...and I did...thanks to my mother in law who gave me the bag!

This was dropped off the day before Thanksgiving....It just made my day!  (so not only was I cooking, I was zhushing the house because of the new chair(s)!)  The plates were added to the wall as well.

It just adds a wow factor to the living room.  I fell in love with the Ikat fabric because it brings in the chartruese of my dining room wing back chairs, and the turquoise that is in bits around the house.  It just brings the whole downstairs one nice little package!  You are probably asking 'why in the world did she paint the chair that coral color????'...well, I was perusing blogs the other day (the same day I was to drop off the chairs) and happened upon Live Like You and Marmalade Interiors by Jill Sorenson and I fell in love with her style.  And her moxi to just do it, add the color, you just never know! I LOVE color too, and thought "this chair was a side of the road find YEARS ago, and why not just try it?"  Sooooo, I did.  I am so happy that I came upon her blog that day, because otherwise this chair would have been white...pretty, but not the same....

Another day of "interior new favorite word!

Here is the chair when I had "tried" upholstering it years ago.


Oh dear!!!the SAD CHAIR...we lived with that chair for a LONG time...
there were tacks in the back that my children loved to take out...thus the raw edges on the back.

I hope you love my chair as much as I do...there is more to come.....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Coming up for Air

Simple flowers are the best flowers....
3 roses, 1 sprig of nandina, and a julep cup.
Good Saturday after Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Day with family and friends...I have just come up for a little bit of air.  I still have family in town and am traveling a bit today, but I just wanted to post a couple of our Thanksgiving Table photos before the tide turns COMPLETELY to the festivities of Christmas.  

I love when things just go together....this was unplanned but totally works....I am in love with my new chairs covers.

New, Old, Collected, AND inherited
I channeled my inner Eddie Ross and my sister and I had so much fun putting my table together.   I had a loose plan...but it really just came together...serendipity.  All of that collecting, DOES pay off:)

My new upholstered chairs AND my great grandmother's handiwork.  She embroidered this WHOLE tablecloth...I was so honored to have inherited it.  It adorns our table EVERY year.
There are many more things I CAN'T wait to post about.  Stay tuned for a few reveals....having family and company in town really puts a little fire under me to follow thru, make decisions, AND get those projects finished.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blast from Thanksgiving Past

one of my earliest table photos taken with film (GASP!)
I was cleaning out a shelf the other day and came across my old "portfolio" binder.  Yes, I have always taken pictures of my work even BEFORE digital cameras.  I would get all Martha Stewart and try to take magazine worthy pictures (much harder when you are getting film developed, and you don't really know how to use a camera:)

Anyway, I found these photos of my VERY first Thanksgiving.  What a day it was, there was much preparation and freaking out!  That was before I had kids and learned to "chill" out a bit.   It really reminds me though, just how much I have always loved to entertain and make pretty tables and just how much I have learned. My husband and I were recently married at the time (so it has to be about 8 years ago) and I remember him thinking, "you really want me to cut wood into disks so  you can use them for candle holders, OK??"

I rented an 8 foot long table for the was a big deal at the time!

Fun was had by all, and I am so happy that I had gotten all Martha and taken these pictures, so now I can share them with you.

There is also a photo of me looking all Martha with my arms out showing off my bountiful table, but my Mom has it and I can't get it from her...I will get it though and post because it is really funny!

There were flower arrangements everywhere....I had really shopped the yard AND the florist!
Today is filled with lots to do, but I have promised EVERYONE that there will be NO freaking out!  I really have come a long way since my first Thanksgiving...and I have MUCH to be thankful for.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shop your yard for Thanksgiving Decor

The Nandina Wreath on the Door at my Old house.

At our old house, it was so easy to decorate for Thanksgiving.  We had Nandina bushes out the wazoo, so I could clip berries at leisure, and I had a BEAUTIFUL 25 foot Japanese Maple that always peaked at Thanksgiving...(if we could have taken one thing from that house it would have been the Tree!) 

Every year, whether I was hosting Thanksgiving or not, I would start clipping from the yard to bring the fall in.  It really is such a wonderful way to celebrate the season and the bounty that even your own property can bring you. Flowers from the florist are wonderful, but if budget constrains you, or you want to make your flowers go much further, go "shop" your yard, I am sure you will find a bounty!

The beginning of my week is filled with lists and tasks, but I am super excited to have the later part filled with family, friends and FOOD (lots of it!)

Happy Monday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Who needs a mirror?

via Amanda Nisbit Design
Sorry for the lack of posting this week, the stomach bug and throat virus have made its way through our house, with Me getting BOTH!  Moms aren't aloud to get sick, right?  WRONG!  Luckily, my husband was around a bit yesterday to help, and I have great friends that helped out too.  I surely would not wish "the bug" on my worst enemy. 

Today I looked in the the mirror (bad idea) and thought "oh, dear!!!"  I am thinking of taking down the mirror in my bathroom now and replacing it with the would certainly help on a day like today.

On to the piles of laundry, and disinfecting the house.   Fun times.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On to another room....the office.

I like how the fishing lures are displayed.

Today is a sick throat, one child has stomach bug, and the boys are healthy and out of the is a rainy day...Soooooo, what a good day to ponder design projects that I would like to finish before the holdiays.   One of them being my husband's office/den.  He knows it is coming...I have been in there alot lately, just sitting in the chair thinking....he knows what that means:)  It is downstairs and needs to be, um organized and prettied up, in a manly way of I thought it would be a good Christmas present.

He is really into fishing and I want to kind of use that as a theme (but totally not to themie, I am not a fan of themes.)  He has a ton of old fishing lures so I thought I would frame about 9 or 12 of them out in shadow boxes for something nice over the fireplace....or behind his desk.  (right now they are in a pile)...Here are the elements that I am working with.

Nice Desk that I got him for Father's Day...Check
Leather Chair that I bought him for Christmas years ago....Check
75 Gallon Fish Tank....Check (My choice for location would have been in the garage, but they would have frozen...his room, his room (i keep chanting that in my head!)
Quite a few collections that need to be organized in a nice way, without him feeling like I am casting (no pun intended) them aside and making it MY room:)

My punch list is some artwork on the walls, and drapes.  (I am thinking burlap...easy on the budget and casual...and would fit into the look I am going for.

I bought a couple of these prints on the shopping trip with E&J.  A catfish (for the catfish that just died that he had for 18 years...seriously catfish live that long in a tank)...and a pumpkin fish the first fish my daughter caught.

Here are some of my inspiration pics. 

Decorpad...I just love the artwork on the walls...imagine them as fishing lures...yes??

the quintessential study...who wouldn't love this....the chesterfield sofa....yum!  I couldn't resist.
via house beautiful

via House Beautiful...very similar in layout, and I like the collected look.
might be a bit sophisticated, but I love the artwork on the walls...and how it just all fits together.
(Do you think a fishtank would look good in this space:) hehe

I like the sofa against the desk....don't think we have enough room...but a nice idea.
I have always adored this space...but might not be for hubby:)
I like the shadow boxes along the top of the space...and this is the color of the room. I think with nice dark burlap curtains it could be nice.

So I have a bit of work to do...this is going to be my husband's Christmas present.  (kind of for me too!)  I love presents like that:)

Have a good day...hoping we are on the mend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Weekday Flower Arrangement

As you can see the trees have FINALLY started to turn is only the middle of November!

photos by moi

Here is a quick flower arrangement that I created for my "tidy" room.  I have a few of these old carafes of varying sizes and love to use them for arrangements.   These are just 6 large white roses and a 1 bunch of  small roses, all from the grocery. They make a great grouping and an easy peasy arrangment.

Do you all have a go to vessel for quick flower arrangements??

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tis the season for...

My go to cheese tray...and a bottle of vino!

Impromptu guests.  Now,  let me just say, I am a fan of impromptu guests.  It kind of keeps me on my toes with my house cleaning....trying to keep it fairly tidy or within a about 15 minutes stretch of straightening to get it tidy.  I know some people do NOT like people to just stop by, but I like it.  Most guests will give at least 15 to 30 minutes notice before they just STOP least they should.   I have this vision of my house being the house everyone comes to, the kids friends, my friends, etc...and I want them to know they can just stop in.

It always seems like this time of year, there are people just "stopping" by or "stopping thru" town.  I think there are a few things that make these spontaneous times a bit easier. These are my little things that make it easier and less stressful for me.

#1: Food and Drink.
No matter how dirty or untidy your house is, if you can pull out a plate of something and offer a cool (or warm) beverage your guests will always feel welcome. Whenever I go to the grocery store I always pick up a couple blocks of cheese, and always have a big box of crackers or nuts in the pantry. It seems almost everyone loves cheese and crackers. It is EASY to get out and EASY to clean...  And Drink...We always have bottled waters, vino and beer (for the evening of course) stocked.   And lots of juice boxes for the kids.

#2:  Try to keep on top of dishes....A clean sink makes me feel like my house is halfway clean.  I know it isn't always easy, and I feel like I am ALWAYS doing dishes, but for some reason if I look in the sink, and it is clean the floors seem cleaner:)

#3:  Have one room that stays fairly straight...that you can go around and pick up and in 5 minutes it looks tidy.  My room is the living room.  The kids know they can play in there, but they can't bring out ALL of their toys and set up camp in the living room.  Boundries....I KNOW my kids rooms are going to be a disaster when people stop by, but if I can have my one place it doesn't seem so bad.

#4: Just wipe down the bathroom and pull out a clean guest towel.  I always have a couple "nice" towels that I only use when guests are coming over.  No one is going to take a shower while they are stopping over, so there is no need to scour, just a quick wipe down and done (oh, and make sure there is toilet paper too!)

#5:  Just close the doors to the rest of the house, the rooms you don't want anyone to enter...a good guest will take the cue and not pry.  They weren't stopping by for a tour (hopefully!)  I do like to keep my bed made...for some reason it doesn't make the laundry piles feel as high.  (anyone noticing that floors and laundry are not my strong suit!)

#6: Just be gracious, and enjoy their company.  No one wants to feel like they are being intrusive...and we as hosts shouldn't make them feel that way....

#7: I like to keep one little bouquet of fresh flowers in my "tidy" room.  It just makes me feel like it is clean.  My grocery store has 3 for $12 and I always just buy makes a cute little posy on a table...and just makes me feel better (again for some reason the floors seem cleaner and the laundry not as bad when I have flowers around!)

(disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in this area, and am not trying to preach, I am just writing down the things that help me feel less frazzeled when I get that phone call "hope you don't mind but we were just stopping thru:)"

Do you all like imprompu guests??? And what is your regime to make it a pleasant experience for all.  Any tips and tricks?

Here is to your next guest!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Metrolina Shopping Recap...

My finds at the Metrolina Antique Fair
Okay, so here we go.  The day with E&J started a bit cool, which I was fine with, I got to wear one of my favorite scarves,  new jacket, AND nice vintage leather gloves that my mother in law gifted me.  Anyway, our cruise director, Jaithan, checked us all in and we were off to learn an amazing amount of information from Mr. Eddie Ross himself.  I thought I had a bit of information in my head, but WOW, he has so  many different ideas for absolutely EVERYTHING we saw.  A treasure trove, and he is so gracious to share it all with us. I especially loved all of his stylist secrets and how he updates otherwise dowdy things.

photo via Megan at pinktogreen

First stop was a booth with lots of old Ball Jars...but there was a little something different about these jars...many of them are purple...purple glass you say, well not exactly...turns out they started out clear but the chemical reaction in the glass with the magnesium and the light makes huh???  My dad has a little collection  of Jars so we got him one.  Eddie had a ton of suggestions on how to use them.

via moi,  loving the ball trim...
photo via Diana at Please Sir

Next stop was a Vintage Button, fabric, and trim booth.  WOW! My mom has been using buttons for projects forever and really liked this booth.  She scored a bag of buttons for $12 and I got a few yards of trim that just spoke to me, I DO have a project in mind.

via moi, kind of liking the antlers in the background.
 On to another booth where Eddie showed us more purple glass....he also talked about his obsession with Compotes (I am with him on that one) and the many uses for them.  Flower arrangements, trifles, crudites, centerpieces galore!  Everyone NEEDS at least one compote in their decorating arsenal.

via Amanda at Casabrasi

And then on to linens...Oh linens...a few days ago I wrote a whole post on vintage linens. A friend of mine said something like "when they are gone, they are gone...." so true. There sure was a whole lot to choose from here.  So you can still get them while the getting is good.  The monogramming is just exquisite. Eddie suggested using a product called Laundress...I will have to check that out too!  ( I must say their packaging is very nice)
Then we checked out a few other booths outside, where Eddie talked about Majolica (that beautiful green ceramic dishware) and why antiques can cost what they do, collectibles vs. antiques etc.  There was so much information I needed a tape recorder!

And then we made our way inside.  (we were thankful for that because it was C-O-L-D)!!!!!

Here there was an amazing amount of silver and beautiful fine antiques.  He spoke about making friends with dealers as they are the ones that can help complete sets of tableware, flatware, silver, etc.for you.  So if you find 2 plates that you are in love with BUY THEM, there is always someone who can help source others for you.

I also learned a bit about the mother of pearl flatware that he has used many times.  I am in love with it and hope to start my collection soon.

via Diana at Please Sir
But all good things must come to an end....but the end happened to be a new beginning with new friendships.  I met a couple of bloggers Diana of Please Sir and Megan of PinktoGreen.  You must check them out.  I missed meeting Amanda from Casabrisi TWICE.  But we have connected via email and hope to meet soon.  It was so much fun meeting like minded people who "GET" why I was so excited to meet Eddie and Jaithan.  My mom had fun too!

And then we got to SHOP, we hit a couple of the places that Eddie had shown us and then we went out on our own.  By that time it was 4:30 and time to go.  SIGH:) Believe me, when my head hit the pillow Saturday night I was fast asleep, dreaming of tablescapes, and antiques, and sitting down with Eddie and Jaithan and my new friends at an amazing outdoor fete.

Maybe someday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Book of the Month...serving up...

photo by Moi


orry for the delay on the Book of the it already the 8th??? I have been a bit, um, shall I say DISTRACTED lately with the whole E&J festivities.  Anyway, without further adoo I am serving up an entertaining book called FLAIR by Joe Nye that I picked up at my favorite local design establishment, House of Rugs.  Many of you know by now that I am a sucker for entertaining, and a beautiful tablescape, and this book just makes it easy. It demystifies much of it.  Inspired by his mother's easy entertaining style, he encourages the reader to invite their friends and have a party, that it doesn't have to be fancy or complicated, just add a little bit of FLAIR and you have yourself a wonderful get together. 

I feel like this month is begins the entertaining season (although,  I believe we should bring out the good stuff and have a party all year long!)  On the heals of a wonderful weekend with the quintessential entertainer and tablescape stylist Eddie Ross, I thought it appropo.

A must read, go grab yourself a copy, enjoy the inspiration, send your invitations, and set a beautiful table, (there might just be an event around the corner...) I promise it will make you and your guests feel great!

On another note, The winner of my vintage napkin giveaway is Nessa from the Moments and Impressions.  Congratulations Nessa!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheesy Me!

Me Eddie and Jaithan after theshipping trip.

Just a quick post to let everyone know I did indeed go to see Eddie and Jaithan at Metrolina.  (My mom is taking the picture and didn't want to be in it!)  Anyway, We had such a fun time.  I didn't get as many things as I normally would, because I was a bit distracted....imagine that!  I will post on the finds tomorrow.

Yesterday, I posted a photo of 4 embroidered linens with an E&;J that I had made for them.  Cheesy of me, I know.  But I was just inspired...they were some of the vintage linens I had scored and cleaned from an auction..Who isn't so happy when an E&J pops up on their blog or in their inbox???   So I designed the monogram with their blog colors in mind and used my embroidery machine, as a little thank you for all of their endless inspiration.

They even tweeted about it...

How cute are 

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 Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

E&J Day!

E&J on Vintage Linens (shhhh)
Shopping with E&J Day! My Mom and I will be searching for the great finds at the Metrolina Antique Fair.

Have a wonderful Saturday.  I know I will!