Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

Image from Veranda

From Carolyne Roehm's A Pasion For Parties

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nothing Could Be Finer Then Being In Carolina!

A Carolina Mountain Hideaway

The other day while out for my morning jog I quickly noticed the leaves were starting to fall. Here in Nashville, I do love the fall but I’m not ready for my summer to be over just yet. Usually while out for my morning jog, several things are normally on my mind, and during this particular jog my head was swimming with things! For the last three weeks the hubby and I have been busy working on our cottage—I won’t go into full detail but I’m sure a few of you can relate—Murphy’s Law seemed to set in! Let’s see, my beloved handyman has been to see me more than a few times working on some projects that were planned and on some that were not-so-planned! On Tuesday evening, after work and a brief stop at Anthropology to check on glass door knobs, I arrive home to shattered glass on our porch and inside our house. Ellie, our chow mix, was the culprit (On the bright side, no emergency trip to the veterinarian--she was fine thank god)! So this past Wednesday my glass guy made an emergency trip to see me. He had just been to see me this past Friday and practically replaced every cracked window in the place. He did assure me that the new glass would not shatter–yea for that!

Oh, and before I forget, this past Saturday, while sitting on our deck and enjoying a cup a coffee with Rolle and Ellie before starting my day—my neighbor’s Hackberry took out half of our fence—the same fence my beloved handyman had just fixed less than a week ago! When my yards guys showed up, they quickly reminded me about my earlier repairs to the fence– which was a nice touch I thought–perhaps maybe they thought that I had forgotten about writing that check! I did try to explain to my buddy Cruella exactly how big a Hackerberry tree is. Cruella lives in the suburbs and I think she was thinking of a Bradford Pear or a skinny pine (Georgia is full of them). A better analogy would be maybe the Statue of Liberty! Since I had left the hubby at home to deal with that mess he said that when the NES guys arrived, the mess was so big they had to wake up their boss. It seems this is one of their top two things to get the boss out of bed for—a Hackberry tree down, and an 18-year-old with a backhoe!

Home of Winton Noah & Hal Ainsworth
Owners of Ainsworth-Noah in Atlanta

Anyway, now that summer is coming to a close it’s time for me Rolle, Ellie and hubby to hit the beach. After all our little mishaps, we might be SLEEPING on the beach, but that’s not going to stop us. I’m singing off for the week and leaving you with this Carolina Mountain house owned by Ainswoth & Noah. This house instantly popped into my mind. while on that morning jog. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to Charleston next week as well. See you soon!

All Images from Veranda September-October 2006 issues

Photography by John Grover

Above beautiful 18th century blue & white Chinese export porcelain!

More beautiful Chinese export porcelain and a few copper cookware pieces. Also, a & a 19th Century stove - I love this Carolina Mountain hideaway!

The Art of Afternoon Tea!

Image from Southern Accents Photographed by Shelly Strazis

A few weeks ago while trying to organize my office and get my magazines in order (no easy task), I came across a few of my Southern Accents. I immediately starting leafing through them, and quickly noticed Texas Tea. After reading Texas Tea, looking at the pictures and admiring the beautiful tea set, I simply could not take my mind off the art of afternoon tea and what has happened in the last 98 years. Honestly, I have not been to a proper tea since I took my buddy Cruella to the Ritz, circa 2005--a huge splurge for both of us. My afternoon tea currently consists of a tall, non-fat Misto and a low-fat banana chocolate chip cake obtained through the drive-thru window at Starbucks and consumed while driving! I’m sure this was not what the Victorians had in mind!

Images below here & below from Williams-Sonoma Entertaining

Anyway, I even planned an afternoon tea party this past winter and was going to invite all my neighborhood lady friends. I even bought the Williams-Sonoma Entertaining cookbook so I could get a few more recipes that I would never use. I was even on the lookout for a pretty porcelain teapot (that I need like I need a hole in the head). I even had the hubby make some scones to see how they would turn out (not good, I might add). To make a long story short, the tea party never happened! All in all, why don’t we (meaning Americans, English etc. etc etc…) take an hour or so maybe daily or, perhaps just weekly, surely once a month, to spend time with friends and have a cup of tea and a scone and a cucumber sandwich. You know what, those Victorians knew how to live! What do you think?

The perfect cup of tea

I was even going to send my friend home with tea sachets!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Loving Cowtan & Tout!

Images from Martha Stewart September 2008 issue

This past Sunday morning while sitting in my living room, sipping a little hazelnut coffee, and leafing through a few magazines, I was reflecting on the day before, the most notable occurrence of which was my neighbor Sandy’s Hackberry tree collapsing and taking down half of my fence (long story)! I finally had a chance to think about some much needed decorating! Anyhow, I currently have greens, gold’s and brown and have wanted to incorporate a little blue in my color scheme. I quickly noticed this Cowtan & Tout fabric in the September issue of Martha Stewart and loved it! I instantly thought of the other ways it has been used and here they are. What do you think?

Currently in Martha Stewart --Sevigny fabric in Pistachio Sky by Cowtan & Tout looks great in a living room setting mixed with greens, golds and brown.

Here Carolyne Roehm uses Cowtan & Tout fabric in her
New York bedroom apartment
Image from Veranda - Photography by Sylvie Becquet

Again, Ruthie Sommers uses the same Cowtan & Tout fabric for a headboard in a California bedroom. Image from House Beautiful 2005

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kate Spade is Coming To Nashville!

Image from Kate Spade

Kate Spade will be opening here soon in Nashville and her new shop is going to be located just around the corner from where I hang out --the bookstore. How perfect for me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Loving Cottage Living Kitchens

Image from Cottage Living Photographer Roger Davies
Personally one of my favorites!

Last week, while checking out at the grocery store, I noticed that the editors of Cottage Living had compiled together their top twenty-five cottage kitchens! I love this magazine and I'm a subscriber, but I did notice a few kitchens that I did not have. Anyway, if you need a little inspiration for your kitchen, I would recommend taking a look--it's currently on newsstands!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who Likes Puddles?

Image from Southern Accents Sept --Oct 2008
Photographed by Pieter Estersohn

This past Saturday, after fetching our afternoon mail--after having worked all morning on house stuff (helping hubby install our much needed kitchen floor), I thought I deserved a minute or two to leaf through my new Southern Accents. It’s a great issue, and one the thing that I noticed was Amelia Handegan’s (a Charleston designer whose work I’ve long admired) client’s new home on King Street. Anyway, I noticed in one of the more formal rooms, the clean, elegant curtains puddle a wee bit.

Image from Michael Smith's Elements of Style

Personally, I like curtains to puddle, but with that said, it really depends on the year and make of the house, whether it has high or low ceilings, ect. Anyway, every time I see curtains that puddle it always makes me think of Michael Smith. In his book Elements of Style he says that “I prefer curtains to be a classic length, just touching the floor.” He adds that, as for curtains that “pool and puddle,” the concept now looks ridiculous and exaggerated—the opposite of elegance. “These curtains act like dust-catchers, and make a room appear dowdy.” Admittedly, I agree with that, and you can rest assured my hubby does too—he has never been a fan of puddles – maybe it’s a guy thing. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because in my household I have not really mastered either way. Here, recently, after having my curtains puddled, I noticed that Ellie, our dog, would use them to hide her milk bones from her brother, Rolle. Needless to say, my puddles weren’t really doing it for me. After having the hubby rehang them to lightly touch the floor they are now probably a inch to high, and I don’t think that is what Michael Smith had in mind either!

Image from House & Garden-Home of Nigella Lawson

What do you think- do you like puddles?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary Mrs.Blandings!

Kate Spade

Early yesterday morning, after I published my post for the day—I had a few minutes to myself to catch up on some reading before heading out of the house. I discovered that Mrs. Blandings had just submitted a new post. At any rate, Mrs. Blanding’s post for the day was about her one year anniversary of blogging. Naturally, I thought to myself that this was the time of the year that I had just discovered the world of blogging myself. I did not even know what a blog was until I did a google-search trying to find Ashley Whitaker’s website. I remember all too well—hubby was out of town on business and I was ready to dash out of my house for my morning jog and start my routine. Well my google search led me to the world of blogging, and, needless to say, it was good hubby was away—I had a lot of reading to do and no time for him! How much fun is it to read about people who love and are passionate about the same things you are? Who knew! Happy Anniversary Mrs.Blandings!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sprucing Up The Laundry Room!

January/February 2008 Issue

One of my all time favorite wallpapers--Farrow & Ball's Ringwold! I personally love the idea of putting wallpaper in the laundry room. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Loving Mrs.Howard!

Images Via Mrs.Howard

Last week, while in Atlanta, I finally had a chance to visit one of the most talked about stores--in the city, Mrs. Howard! The store was everything I had read, heard, pictured, and even more! All the rooms are absolutely beautiful! One of my favorite rooms is the dining room--see Bringing The Outdoors In by me. The sales assistant was very nice and helpful, and shared with me that the room had been hand-painted. If you’re going to be in Atlanta I would highly recommend stopping by Mrs. Howard, and also visiting her other store, Max & Company, just a few doors down. If you are looking for a hostess, wedding, or birthday gift and cannot make it there anytime soon, you should check out her top ten products. I love everything, but one thing in particular that I cannot get out of my head are the William Yeoward Lucia Hurricanes with the honeycomb candles!

FYI -The sales assistant said that a delivery truck was heading their way with several new pieces –should be pretty good!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dreaming of Sea Island!

Fall is fast approaching, and the hubby and I still have yet to take a proper vacation! We tend to always procrastinate on making long-term plans, and we both usually want to wait until it cools off a wee bit, and, most importantly, until the summer prices are slashed! One beach that I’ve been thinking I would love to go to lately, and have never been to, is Sea Island—home of the world-renowned Cloister Hotel. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Cloister – in fact my buddy Cruella has been a few times herself, and has shared with me a little about the history and the ambiance. Cruella, I’ll note, is a hopeless romantic, so after hearing her describe it to me (another hopeless romantic), I’m ready to play a nice game of croquet, swing on the veranda, and admire all the oak trees with Spanish moss. Although, after looking at the room rates at the Cloister and not wanting to mortgage our house for just for a few days at the beach--I told the hubby it may be a shack on Tybee Island! Perhaps we can take a drive to Sea Island and maybe have a cocktail and experience the ambiance that Cruella was talking about.

All Images via Sea Island

The End!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Searching For Fabrics

Lee Jofa

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a few of my reupholsting Decorating Dilemmas! To be quite honest, that’s was only about the half of it! I was a little too embarrassed to tell you about one of my sofas that is currently being stored in my potting shed and is probably ruined as I type! Nor did I tell you about a pair of French chairs that the hubby ruined while slopping dirty water around—a long story! And I know that I did not mention a French chair that I bought three and half years ago, and my current nagging client (hubby) has called it to my attention—it seems he has grown quite tired of looking at it. So last weekend, I relocated the chair to my in-laws’ basement—they have lots of storage and my nagging client doesn’t have to look at until I have it reupholstered—he doesn’t seem to know that these things take time! Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me—several pieces that desperately need to be reupholstered. Now, I need to get to work and find the fabrics.

Here's my start
Suzanne Rheinstein's Garden Roses for Lee Jofa

Suzanne Rheinstein's Palace Garden for Lee Jofa

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Going On A Picnic!

Image Courtesy of Food Network
Receipe from Giada de Laurentis
Everyday Italian

This past weekend, my mother-in-law made Penne with Beef Arugula for an evening picnic that, unfortunately, was rained out! Although it did not actually rain, and lord knows they need it there in Atlanta, it was pretty dark and scary-looking nonetheless. So we went out for dinner instead. Go figure, every time you plan an outdoor activity and go to a little trouble, it decides to rain, or at least threaten to anyway, and destroy your plans. Anyway, she went to a lot of trouble, and, trust me on this, she actually "retired" from cooking a long, long, long time ago. She has even warned me, “No more cook books ever”! So I’m thinking she must of really like this recipe or it would have been potato salad from Publix. The good news is that she insisted on loading the hubby and me up. You know what, it’s pretty good!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Return of my Beloved Handyman!

Image via Martha Stewart Living

Today, I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my beloved handyman and his side-kick Larry. I have not seen my beloved handyman for a few months! We had to break if off this past spring after he finished my closet and a few other miscellaneous things, some of which hubby still says that he didn’t agree to. Needless to say, I have certainly missed him and wished we could meet more frequently but unfortunately that is not the case--sometimes in my household I must choose either using him or getting maintenance for myself. So, today, my beloved handyman will be installing a light fixture that the hubby broke and is afraid to tackle for fear of being electrocuted. However, I can’t say that I blame him; we still have some old wiring in our house, as every electrician has pointed out to me in the last seventeen months since we owned it. Next, my loving handyman will fix our dilapidated fence before it falls into my neighbor Sandy’s yard, and trust me, this is the last thing either of us need right now. Last but not least, I’m finally having him do some work in our attic, which is important real estate right now (currently my office). When I saw Martha’s creative attic last year, I thought to myself—hey, this is what I want! A creative refuge, and preferably one where I don’t drip with sweat while trying to scan a picture or two in these hot, sizzling days, and one where I don’t have to wear my mittens and scarf just to check my e-mail and to surf J.Crew in January!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Playing Tag!

I have been tagged by Granny Smith Green - First I’m to post the rules: Here they are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these six rules on your blog.
3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person you tag know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Next, list six random things about yours truly!

Number One –Since I discovered this hat from J.Crew a few years ago I won’t be caught dead without it! I wear it when I’m outside in my garden covered in dirt, I wear it to Lowes to pick up paint while covered in paint, and I wear it every day in this sweltering heat when I’m out walking Rolle and Ellie for their afternoon walk. Basically it’s good camouflage, especially at my absolute worst!
Number Two – I have a huge love of textiles--old or new, it doesn’t matter! As antiquer I sold a lot of pillows as part of my stock. However, the thing is, I don’t sew--not one stitch! Haven’t even tried since my high school home economics class. When the hubby needs something hemmed he’s on his own, or he’ll get his mother to do it for him. The last couple of years, I’ve been carting around a bag full of old cashmere sweaters with high hopes of turning the sweaters into baby mittens and hats, and of course this process would involve sewing! Note to self: learn to sew before all profits are eaten up!

Number Three – I have a terrible sense of direction! Upon returning home from a heavy duty antiquing trip from Brimfield, Mass. Cruella and I miraculously ended up in Columbia, South Carolina --we should have been in Charlotte. We were trying to get home to Atlanta. It was probably Cruella’s fault, after all she was the navigator, but my hubby will never let me forget it! However, I get him back when I’m giving him directions up and down Magazine Street, and over to Royal and Charters Streets in the French quarter. He gets extremely lost in New Orleans, even though he is a New Orleanean--you would think he would know how to get to the antique shops around there.

Number Four – I am currently reading Pardon my French, written by an Englishman. However, I only wish I had this when traveling across the pond to buy my antiques. Perhaps, I could have gotten a better deal or two-who knows!

Number Five – I would love to one day write a book on my beloved aging Bassett Hound, Rolle, and his journey throughout the South. Starting with his small stint on Peachtree Road, how his mommy wanted to open up a doggie daycare just a block away, how his granddaddy talked his mommy and daddy out of buying that condo that rapidly started appreciating after Rolle moved in!

Number Six – A sunny day on Sullivans Island. Spring time in Savannah when the Camellias are blooming. A day of antiquing on Magazine Street, followed up with coffee at PJ’s for some people watching. Off to for brunch in Atlanta for some shrimp and grits at Horseradish Grill. The arrival of fall in Nashville. Shopping on the second Thursday of the month at Scotts. And, last but not least, my neighbors Frank and Eula's peonies. Just a few of my favorite Southern things!

There you go and now to tag six bloggers that I enjoy for my daily read– let’s see!

Cote de Texas – She probably won’t be able to play because of her busy schedule of investigative reporting --Decorating The Good The Bad and The Ugly. And of course she stays busy with her own projects as a Houston designer – Move it on over Mr.Faudree!

Studio Annette – I discovered she and I both share a love for Barbara Barry and Charlotte York’s New York flat – I still think about that apartment!

Mrs. Blandings – A blog written with flair!

Katiedid I discovered her when she was going through a kitchen renovation – can relate- see Kitchen Stuff by me!

Habitually Chic – This girl spends a lot of time burning the midnight oil! I read her blog and enjoy it! Note to self: Start posting nice comments to bloggers who burn the midnight oil and do it well!
Absolutely Beautiful Things - Her blog was one of the first ones that I discovered -- I was hooked!