Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pesky but so pretty

Look at what was in our backyard this evening after dinner. Oh, we are so bothered by deer in our area! They eat so many of our plants and flowers. But sometimes they show up en masse, with a special guest among them, and I'm reminded about their beauty. Albino deer are startling to see-they are just SO white. They practically glow. My darling dog whines at the door to go out and give chase. The last time he did that resulted in an expensive trip to the vet as he gashed his foot on something as he ran. So now I have to tell him to chill out and leave them be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I've been featured!

The very nice Danielle of Koi Kouture ( ) has featured me in her blog! Take a look. Her Etsy shop is lovely, so look around there, too. She likes my Koi pillow as she likes all things Koi. Thank you Danielle!


Friday, September 18, 2009

The key to accessorizing is....

Oh har dee har har, what a punny title. And the picture that inspired it is straight from the Pottery Barn website. I went there in search of a quick photo cause that's where everyone goes. While I do not want your space to look like a PB catalog (so sterile), I do understand that we get some good jumping off ideas with that huge, mass produced retail company. But this time you're trying to get it right, right? So step away from the mall--for now--and head out to thrift shops, antique shops, junk stores, flea markets or your own attic. And be thinking about places you love to visit; whether vacation spots, the tiny town you grew up in, your grandmother's kitchen, wherever, wherever, wherever. Pick apart your fond memories and find some elements that you can bring into your newly freshened space. Here are some rules to guide you:

1) TAKE YOUR TIME. It's better to temporarily live with a rather sparse space than to have it packed with crappy crapola that you bought off the clearance table in some shall be nameless store. Find things here and there that really remind you of people and places that you love.

2) Always have a bit of sparkle in the room. "A bit" is the key here. Something shiny needs to be in every room. Whether it's a silver candlestick or a mother of pearl framed mirror (or a mirror of any kind--they're shiny) or a brass lamp. Look around in your cupboards, I'll bet you have a silver tray that you drag out for Christmas. Use it now to hold a small stack of tiny old books.

3) Texture. I think I talked about this already somewhere. Have some texure in the room. Examples are a nubby throw, a seagrass rug, a rattan trunk, wicker balls in a bowl, an old crusty piece of architectural salvage.

4) Pillows for the chairs. Here's an easy place to have fun. Don't get too tasteful with your pillows. That is so boring. Buy one of mine. Shameless, I know.

5) Go easy. Not too much stuff. You will lose that clean, fresh feeling if you go overboard. The eye needs a place to rest.

6) Good grief, that's enough rules. Who died and left me queen? I'm just a bossy, bossy girl.

7) One more. Have fun and enjoy your room. Don't be all serious and careful about decorating. If your rooms still don't make you smile, please call an interior designer to help you. That's why we're here!



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time to get to work!

I snapped this photo the other day while Grandboy and I were eating lunch on the back deck. The budleia bushes have been loaded with butterflies all summer long. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Oh but wait, I have another picture that is even better:

That Grandboy is quite a guy. He's gorgeous and fun and smart as a whip. Sigh. I just love him.

So I've been a real slug with the blog. The hardest part for me is the pictures. There's plenty to talk about, but a blog without pictures is a bore to me, so I need to quit complaining, take some pix and blog. That's the plan. I also have to admit that I follow a number of blogs and they're all so good, packed with info and fun to read, that I'm feeling very intimidated. But let's just step away from Mr. Jealousy and give this thing some effort.

Have put the Koi pillow up for sale on the Etsy site. Also lowered the prices dramatically and am about to start promoting it for real (although I say that every day). Let's have a goal; must send out some promos to friends and family by Monday. I'm good with deadlines, so maybe that will work.

Then I made another pillow. Fellow Etsy members have suggested that I have some lower priced items for sale (much lower, like $30). So, at the suggestion of the beloved sister in law, Mary Grace, I've made a very simple pillow. No piecing of various wools, no zipper, slightly smaller in size. But still soft, felted wool, nice velvet back and a nice design that would be useful to the babies of the world. It's not pink or blue, it's not mass produced or have a TV character on it. It's a sweet pillow with clean lines and can decorate the room or either a boy or a girl. Great gift if you ask me. Will put it on Etsy tonight.

Ok, gotta talk about accessories next time for sure! Will do that by Friday--another deadline!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Time for furniture!

The room has been emptied, cleaned and painted (please tell me you painted--be brave, try a new color on the walls. It will feel SO good.). Now slowly add furnishings to the room. Look at the room in the picture (by Van Chaplin) and read these tips;

1) Don't line everything up against the wall. Pull that sofa out a bit, then a bit more. Maybe a sofa table will end up going behind it. I love a sofa table because I can put a lamp on it. That makes reading easier. Bring chairs right up near the coffee table so guests can talk easily and they can reach their tea and crumpets. You can always walk behind furniture in the room, you don't have to walk in front of it all the time.

2) Try a new placement plan. We do NOT need to put the furniture back where it was. Just because there's a big wall, that does not mean the sofa has to go there. Two chairs could go there, or a big cabinet, armoire, chunky thing of any kind. Shake it up! Switch it around! Change is good!

3) Try something at an angle. While I don't like everything angled, sometimes that's a nice change. Give it a try.

4) Have a comfortable path, a way for people to walk into and out of the space.

5) Go easy on the eyes--not too much to look at. Think clean lines, smooth flow. Also, it's not a good idea to have everything at the same height, so seat back heights could vary a bit and that would feel nice.

6) Here's a HUGE concept that I learned in design school (also called college); for a truly comfortable and at least semi casual feeling; vary your textures. Don't go all smooth, which gives a very formal feeling and flat if you ask me. Don't go all nubby and textural, this is not a primitive bazaar. Mix it up. Have some smooth, some soft, some nubby. People skip this one all the time and then wonder why their rooms don't feel right.

Once you have the furnishings the way you might like them to be, give it a few days to tweak until it really feels good.

Accessories are next.