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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Catch-up Time

It has been so long since I blogged. Life happened and I was packed and ready to move to Virginia when I got a series of jobs that kept me in the area. Hard to believe that was a year ago. Since I really don't have followers at this point, I guess I will just continue to use this as my own blog diary.

God takes away one dream and I am hoping he soon replaces it with another. I've been in limbo for a few years now. I am not sure why I am still here, only God knows that--He doesn't ask my permission when He directs my steps.

It has been a very crazy two years after losing my job of 10 years, losing my mother, and becoming a grandmother.




They are so precious! Still, for the first time in all these years I feel lonely (really). I would maybe experience a day here or there of loneliness once in a blue moon, but I have come to some new place in my singleness where I am just not feeling it anymore. Maybe it is just my time? And sorry "boys," I love you for sure, but it just isn't enough!



No doubt  I have a lover and a player in the house and Rudy is the cutest thing between my sheets though.

I published my last magazine but had terrible issues with issu and you can't even find my old magazines on the site. I'm heartbroken over that. I worked HARD on those. I would still like to have my own website, but while working full-time, I just am not committed enough to keep it current. But I continue to write. I am about 13 chapters into a fiction book. You can check out my last issue here issuu.com



So what have I been doing while doing through redirection? I still love design, but haven't done any major projects lately. I've created a few new vignettes:



Feeling the birds lately. I have fallen in love with the Pottery Barn look and got some new end tables after having my old ones for 19 years:




And a new ottoman coffee table where you can see my heritage, no-GMO seeds I just got on Friday for my early spring garden. I will be starting the seedlings for cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts indoors in a few weeks.


My dear friend , Laura, bought me for Christmas this rustic lantern that she knew I had my eyes on forever. It is beautiful when lit up at night.


And if I am not yard sailing......I am always perusing craigslist or York treasure post. I bought this very sexy beast of a chair a few weeks ago I found on craigslist and I am pretty smitten with it. It is worn in with crackling on the leather and to my eyes, it is beautiful!


Still working on my bread baking and soup making skills. Just last night, I made this spinach, tomato, and cream cheese soup with Italian tortelleni. It is a real keeper!



I tried this new chili recipe that replaced the beef with quinoa. It was good, but I prefer the beef!


I didn't bake this Christmas but I did make candy for the first time in a long time. These chocolate dipped coconut balls were awesome. I did white and dark chocolate:


And I made mom's homemade turtles:


Everyone loved these. The most unusual thing I did is I picked an Italian theme for our Christmas dinner. I made homemade chicken fettucini, homemade meatballs, fried mozzerella sticks, and homemade stromboli. It was a pretty awesome feast!




What can I say? I was just bored with the idea of cooking a ham.  I have promised myself to start working on the cheeses I want to make and there could be no better time than cold February when I get cabin fever and boredom inevitably sets in. Will post on this soon.

I am looking for something exciting to happen in 2014. A girl can only live in limbo so long before she loses heart. Happy New Year to anyone who reads this. Check back soon as I promise to write more. I miss writing for the magazine. Although the new book is a new and different challenge, sticking to just one topic is not enough for my creative mind.













Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend Project

My son and I finally got the main bathroom painted today. I have put it off forever because, in my humble opinion, there is nothing worse than painting around all the trim in a bath. We chose a soft gray but, unfortunately, the gray had an underlying blue tint. Still, it is a very sophisticated color even though the photos don't show well because of the vanity lights.





It would be nice to change out the oak towel rack to something more modern, along with a new mirror and light fixture, but my duplex is a rental. So....we won't go that far.

Overall a very productive weekend. With a cleanly painted room, I am now inspired to paint the other bathroom. And God knows I have needed some inspiration!


Between cleaning, painting, and grocery shopping, I baked a new Pinterest recipe, cinnamon cake, to try out on the family. Looking forward to spending a Sunday afternoon with them all, especially the amazing Charlotte. On the menu is steamed carrots, stuffed pork chops, and roasted greenbeans. Since I don't cook everyday, my palate is looking forward to it. I cooked the sausage and onions for the stuffing after painting and stuffed the chops ahead of time so that I only have to shove them in the oven after church tomorrow.

At the end of the day, we got a little snow, which is a big deal here in South Carolina. Around dusk, we had quarter-sized flakes. I shamelessly turned on my Christmas lights on the back fence so we could watch it fall from the window.


I'm glad it didn't amount to much, though it was pretty. I still prefer warmer weather and I am looking forward to spring and getting the garden planted!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Lodge Look

For those of you who know me, I have been forced to go redesign cold turkey because I may be moving soon. Well, pshaw to that! It is driving me nuts not to think up new projects, paint colors, play with styles, and generally dream myself a new house every few months.

I took my 80+ year old friend out for a marathon shopping expedition today as a way to say "adieu" to 2012. Since I cannot dream for myself, I started dreaming for my daughter, so this post is dedicated to her and the decorating possibilities a new year can bring.

She is sick, sick, sick, I tell you, of her tired furniture and decor. She is dreaming of a new look, which translates into, "she is speaking my language."

She mentioned she was interested in a lodge look, she loved blue and yellow toile, and "I was thinking of a cowhide rug, Mom." Hmm, I am not exactly certain what a lodge look is, but I took a stab at it today and wanted to share with her, and you, my finds. She'll have to let me know if I hit the mark on any of it or whether I need to go back to the drawing board.

First up are these twig end tables from Garden Ridge:


Flanked next to a leather couch, which is what she said she wanted, they would make a nice counterbalance to the masculinity and darkness of a leather sofa, as would this plush white rug from Garden Ridge:


Not exactly bear skin, but animal-like in a subtle way and only $99. She mentioned she wanted a cowhide rug, which I didn't find one today, but that brings up the question that plagued me all day. Where exactly is the line from southwestern and country to lodge? Subtle differences, indeed.

A perfect example of what I am talking about is this rugged looking piece I found at TJ Maxx that could just as easily fit a southwestern style. I thought it would be excellent for the flat screen television and storage for DVDs.


Although I cut this photo off with my lame cell phone shot, I thought it also had potential as a television stand. It had a lovely rugged look that didn't strike me as country or southwestern. Though this photo doesn't do it justice, this would be my pick for a lodge look.


I really like these faux hide chairs. Turquoise is my thing, but a few ornate and old chairs painted an Annie Sloan chalk-paint yellow and recovered with this fabric would look fab opposite a leather sofa. If the wall behind was painted a smart navy, these chairs paired with a white rug would really pop and go a long way toward tying in the yellow and blue toile! I also like how the chairs and the rug have a similar texture.


rawhide

Though this look is way too contemporary for her, it is a great example of how a white fuzzy rug looks cozy and rustic all at the same time.


I also like this coffee table, though I don't think it is practical with a soon-to-be toddler running around.


I am thinking a tobacco-colored leather ottoman would look best. Something similar to this but a larger scale.


As I looked through accessories at Garden Ridge, I found this wire and metal moose that I kind of loved so much I started dreaming of the Northwest!


I mean really, how cute is that? I am not one to state the obvious, but I thought this metal sign would be nice propped up on a tabletop vignette:


My daughter also mentioned that she really liked antlers as accessories. In this photo from House Beautiful, this antler replica is hung in a more contemporary setting, but would look good with the white I have popping in our imaginary room, especially against a brooding navy wall. 

In fact, I think the only way to make dark lodge colors not feel closed in would be to mix them with a generous amount of white (and yellow toile).


I don't think that this bench from TJ Maxx is the style she was really going for, but I snapped a photo of it just to see what page she is on. I need a "you are here," map for the future.


I found this antler lamp at Hobby Lobby, which I think would look amazing on a sidetable with maybe the  lodge art propped up next to it with some other wildernes-ish display pieces. It's unique and would look great on the right table with the right artwork, but I wouldn't like a pair of them flanking my couch. 


I also spied this barrel at Hobby Lobby. I absolutely love this for a corner. It would look great displaying Graham's sword collection or even a fern.


An oversized rustic clock would be a great accessory. World Market had some awesome clocks BTW. Wish I had snapped a photo or two, but here is one I liked that I saved to pinterest.


My daughter likes to display her wine glasses and I just loved this piece from Garden Ridge for the dining room sideboard/buffet. I like the look of mixing something rugged with beautiful glassware.


This sideboard would look smoking hot next to a farm house table with a wrought iron chandelier. And God knows Graham likes his iron!


And to tie in the lodge feel from the dining area to the living room, maybe we could squeeze that hide rug in after all.


She could have that man of hers hang these barn doors in the hallway to hide the washer and dryer.


When it comes to the fabric she likes though, I am still a bit flummoxed about how to incorporate the yellow and navy toile. Perhaps mixing a masculine stripe with the toile in coordinating colors would do the trick? It would also give me the excuse I need to purchase that tabletop sewing machine I want and, oh yeah, help her. 

Some toile drapes such as these could be really sexed up with some horizonal navy blue stripes or even a color-block band of navy blue for the bottom half.


Something like how these country style drapes were done. Use your imagination!


There is also the option of just changing up the toile to be outright woodsy. This may be a better option simply because I wasn't able to find a yellow and navy toile online I thought she would like and that would match a lodge style, but I did find these woodsy toile fabrics:




Call me crazy, but I am really feeling these fabrics, especially the hunting hounds. Toile with a fussy decor, is just, well, fussy! Done with the right amount of rustic, in the right dose, just might make these fabrics brilliant. 

Though not toile, this fabric could also make some interesting drapes, It's a bit graphic and thus more contemporary to me. Maybe not the next Scandanavian trend from Ikea, but not your average rustic look either:


Like any look you are trying to achieve though, it is best not to overdo a theme. I would not use this fabric in conjunction with any other moose art or other moose fabrics. The old adage of less is more applies. 

Maybe drapes in the yellow hunting dog toile with some navy stripes hung high like these? 


So I leave this post with some lodge interiors I perused from the internet that confirmed my own experience today with trying to nail down this look. It's a bit like nailing Jello to the wall.  In my haste, I forgot to note where the photos came from, so please forgive my plagiarizing and take a gander for yourself at how other's interpret this highly personal style.












So from my humble lodge to yours, Happy New Year! Oh yeah, and Dana, we have a small conundrum. How are we ever going to mix your love of cupcake decor with lodge? If I was employed, you would have one each from Garden Ridge in every color right now!