Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day--and Thank you

Thank you to all who have served in a war and to all the families and friends who endured the ultimate sacrifice that their loved ones made for our freedom.  I am enjoying this day in their memory and in their honor.

Today we've got so many beautiful flowers in our house!  There's a lot blooming outside, so I put a little bunch of gardenias in the powder room.  What a wonderful scent they have.  Here's a little, fuzzy picture of them.  The more I work on  my photography skills, the fuzzier my pictures become--what's that about?

Then I have this little bouquet of yellow on a table in the space-formerly-known-as-the-Train-Room.  Ok, let's get over that right now.  It's the library:

Notice the little picture of the skating nuns.  That was my mom's. Always makes me smile. 

In the kitchen we've got 2 bouquets.  We had a little soiree for a much loved friend yesterday (a milestone birthday!).  I went into the yard and cut a couple of hydrangeas and buddleia and put them on the table.  I do NOT have a knack for floral arrangment, so this was pretty good for me. There was a tablecloth for the party, but now it's in the washing machine.

See the strange thing in the center of the window?  That's the world's best hummingbird feeder.  Costs about $6 at the hardware store.  The sweet little birds come right up to the window all day long to have a sip.  Our  own version of "Planet Earth."

The guest of honor brought me flowers (Emily Post would be mortified).  I'm drawing a blank on the name of these beauties.  Maybe Asiatic Lilies?  They are extravagantly gorgeous with a powerful scent.

Just starting to open up.  Here's the first bloom that's welcoming the day. Hello gorgeous!

And then on the screened porch there are the iconic happy sunflowers.

There is no such thing as a bad picture of a sunflower.

And speaking of the screened porch, you know how much I love it and how happy I am when I get to hang the lanterns from the ceiling.  I'm going to hang more lanterns up this year.  Hub will surely roll his eyes--they're not his favorite decorative element.  Crazy man. They are FABULOUS!

Our slice of heaven--the best room in a much loved house.  Life is good.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Holding my breath for those drapes!

I'm working on some photos that will grace the new Drapes order page on the website and just can't help but laugh at myself. What was I thinking? This whole e commerce- launching a product line-while working with (patient) clients-and raising a grandboy is totally insane!  But completely interesting at the same time and you KNOW that we will get there.  It must be like running a marathon.  I wouldn't know, but it seems like an apt comparison.  I bet we launch in 2 weeks!  Watch this space.

While working on the aforementioned photos this evening, I'm also writing back and forth with our wonderful web developer as he struggles to understand all the patterns and colorways of each drape fabric and coordinating trim.  Poor man.  Even the most brilliant, talented and creative person can crack when it comes to fabrics and trims. I laugh at him and crack the whip.  He ignores me smugly, knowing that he holds the key to our success at reaching you all and showing you our amazing drapes. Then it turns out that I've mislabeled some of the swatches.  Oh dear.  I've turned in my whip.

Here's a photo slated for the "rejects" pile.  The photo, not the drape, the drape is fabulous.   It's our Ovals pattern in Steel with a simple white trim, edged in Slate:

I was trying to be artistic with the composition.  It's kinda fuzzy. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Designer Secrets

I swear it takes me the whole month to read a magazine.  I love shelter mags because they can be a source of inspiration and entertainment.  Tonight I'm reading the latest issue of House Beautiful. "101 Designer Secrets" by Lisa Cregan caught my eye.  I'm often asked what the "rules" of home decoration are and people seem happiest with answers involving numbers.  I'm not saying whether I agree or disagree with any of the following, but the article was full of such answers, so I'll share some with you:

Hang artwork 63" on center above the floor for perfect viewing height.

When framing artwork, specify a mat with 8-ply thickness to create an impressive bevel.

A bed should be no higher than 23" off the floor.

A bench at the foot of a bed should be at least 2" shorter than the width of the mattress.

No more than 6 pillows on the bed.

Mount 5 robe hooks 68" high instead of a towel bar.

Dining room chandeliers should hang 60"-66" above the floor.

End tables should be no less than 30" high.

Bedside tables should be 36-38" high

A rectangular table should be 36" wide.

Give yourself at least 36" of space between the dining table and wall to pull out chairs comfortably.

Wall sconces in a bathroom should be installed 66" above the floor to the center of the fixture.

Drapery panels should have a 1/2" break at the floor.

Put light switches 36" off the floor and 1 1/2" - 2" off the door trim.

When ordering fabric, add 2 yards so that you never run out and you can replace a ruined cushion.

15 watt bulbs simulate candlelight.

Sofas should be 6.5'-7' long.

Install an outlet 28" high behind a console table to allow a lamp to be plugged in with no unsightly cords dripping off the top.

Hope you enjoyed those numbers.  Read the whole article in the May 2012 issue of House Beautiful;


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fabulous technology for your.....mirrors!

I'm sitting at the mechanic's shop, getting the oil changed and tires rotated.  Loving their Wifi.  I think I hear Kelly Ripa on the waiting room TV.  What's her show called now that Regis has retired?  She's got such a friendly, happy voice.

The article below is by Mike Elgan, and was sent to me from (you know I love that site).  Read it at your leisure and take the time to watch the various videos when you can.  You won't regret it.  Very exciting advances in mirrors that will be used in amazing ways around the house.  Some of it I don't want (no emails on the bathroom mirror, thank you), but others I can't wait for!

Let's see if I can successfully embed the article.  Every day, a new skill...

Houzz- Kitchen Remodel, Bathroom Remodel and More »

I think I did it!  And the day is just beginning.   What will I tackle next?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Be sure to look around

I enjoy reading the reminders that Gretchen Rubin often send me from her Happiness Project blog.  A little nugget of wisdom for the day, often to give me a gentle nudge to look up from the desk and be aware of the life that's going on around me.  She recently wrote about the "arrival fallacy."  That's where you think you'll be all set once you get to a goal.  The truth is that you're all set right this very minute and, once you get to the goal, you know there's another goal just beyond.  And then another, and then another.  I am so guilty of that.  Yet I truly believe in staying in the present moment.  How can I believe in one yet practice the other?  Will work on that.

And to that end, I went outside to the yard yesterday to see what was blooming.  A couple of photos to share with you:

Pretty white peony.  Smells divine.

Gorgeous raspberry double peony.  Peonies are my favorite flowers.  Please remind me to plant more this year.

The little irises are blooming, but a tad on the pitiful side this year.  Gotta figure out what to do for them.

Nothing stops Lamb's Ears.  So nice to touch.

We used to get a big patch of black-eyed Susan's on top of this rock wall, but the deer decimated them.  Last Fall I noticed some baby buddliea's (butterfly bush) growing in that spot, so I left them alone over the winter.  Look how big they are already!  Need to move them, as they're too tall for this spot.  But a nice gift from Mother Nature.

That was a nice stroll in the yard.  Then today I picked Grandboy up early from after-school care and took him to Goodberry's for a concrete--flavor of the day was sweet cream and we had hot fudge sauce blended in.  For those of you not familiar with Goodberry's, it a frozen custard that is absolutely supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  Oh yeah.  Life is good!