Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 699's pretty

Interior design by Christopher Maya

Fingers crossed, the sun is supposed to make an appearance this weekend. I'm not sure what I'll do with myself. Actually, yes I do: go to the lake!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 698's new obsession

My weekly ebay search for "wedgwood basalt" led to another slight obsession, which has cropped up all over the place. There have been many listings of adorable intaglio-like medallions made by Wedgwood, mostly in the 19th century. I was heartbroken when I let the first batch go without so much as a bid, but every other week or so, another set is up on the auction block.

Most of them are of Roman characters (like Cicero), but this week there are three familiar British names (Elizabeth, Mary II and Edward IV). The past few sets have all been round, though I like I like the oval ones listed now better.

Last weekend while at the farmer's market, I popped into a couple of the antique shops that have a permanent home at Pepper Place (partly to dodge a rainshower, mostly because it's fun!). This booth had some great stuff, including these great pillows with busts of what look like Greek figures on them. They were black and white, with the reverse image on the backs. I think they are so cheeky! $75 seems a little steep, and this is the closest I could find on etsy. Anyone know of something similar?

Then today, I came across the Coin Bib necklace at Banana Republic (there is a bracelet, too, though I don't see it online). It looked so great all disheveled on the mannequin.

Are you seeing these busts/medallions, too? Tell me about it!

EDIT: Not five minutes after I published this post, a coworker came by and said she was looking for a black cameo for her mother's birthday. I'm officially smitten. This one (pictured here) is pretty, and I love this little ring!

Day 698's fabric deals

This week, I had to pick up a bridesmaid's dress in a part of town I don't often visit. While I was there, I popped into Hancock Fabrics. I never have much luck at these places, but I hear there are deals to be had.

There were some good-looking outdoor fabrics (Marianne, I thought of your porch) and then I headed to the remnants, where I scored the pretty (slightly granny?) floral and the solid teal fabrics above. Each was marked down to $7/yard, and were another 60% off that. Both remnants were a tad under two yards, so I spent $10 and some change. Not bad, for a rookie.

That embroidered paisley is left over from my chairs -- I've got enough left for some pillows for the living room. And the green silk is the curtains in the living and dining rooms (I saved that little bit to use as a color reference). I love the way they go together, but I might be too indecisive to do anything about it.

I need some color though. My living room is beige beige beige, with a big brown sofa. I'm not sure if I'm asking for help, or just whining. Oh, and did you know that I can't sew?! Poor Wes has to sew his own buttons back on if they fall off. Good thing he took home economics in high school. I took an extra English class and an extra history class. Lot of good they do me when it comes to pillows, huh?

Alright, enough with the whining. How about a look at some pretty hydrangeas? These came from the yard of an abandoned house in our neighborhood. They deserve to be appreciated by someone, don't they?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 697's mystery bed

What do you know about this bed? I first spotted it in one of the farmhouse bedrooms at Blackberry Farm (photo by Granny Smith Green).

Then again, in a real estate listing in Beaufort, South Carolina.

And now here it is again from a post on Elements of Style on designer Linda Banks. I can't ever decide if I prefer a bed with wood posts or an upholstered headboard, and this is kind of the best of both worlds. And there is nailhead trim, to boot!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 696's weekend project

My July deadline for the guest bedroom has become a deadline for lots of little things around the house we've been wanting to get done. The kind of things that house guests are good motivation for.

One of those "things" has been to paint and hang the crown molding (which we bought on sale at Home Depot a few months ago) in the living and dining rooms and our bedroom. Wes took the opportunity when I was in California last weekend to get it hung (I painted it first), and this weekend, we decided that the inside of the front door finally needed painting, too.

Wanting to do something with a little more impact (and because why would I ever want a project to be simple?!) and inspired by Anne Turner Carroll's (of Cottage Living fame) living room, I decided to paint the crown and door a shade darker than the paint on the walls. The walls are Grant Beige and the crown is Bennington Gray, both from historical paint collection by Benjamin Moore. And now that I'm looking at them side-by-side, my room looks a lot like Turner's living room. Now, if only she'd come and deal with the big empty wall above my sofa!

I'm really pleased with it, but now I'm seeing that I'm going to have to deal with the rest of the white trim in the rooms sooner, rather than later. And then what about the adjoining hallway, with it's seven doors in need of painting?! Oh boy.

Day 696's fun

We had a ... well, a pretty rainy weekend. It's been a very rainy month, actually. I did manage to squeeze out a few dry moments on Saturday morning for a favorite summertime activity: walking through the Pepper Place Saturday Market. Farmers and craftspeople bring their goods from the surrounding counties every Saturday from May until October.

I recently read Frank Stitt's Southern Table, which inspired me to make more of an effort to cook with not only with fresh ingredients, but locally-grown ingredients. It's a slow process, for sure, and is much, much easier during the summer.

Side note: Don't you just love this guy? Exactly what you think a farmer in rural Alabama should look like, isn't? He's actually part of Jones Valley Urban Farm, right in the middle of Birmingham.

Mmmmm Chilton County peaches. Just a hint of that sweet smell and I am instantly transported back to childhood, and mandatory stops for peaches and ice cream on the way to the Gulf Coast beaches.

I'm not much for beets, but they are pretty. I did pick up some fresh goat cheese, new potatoes, and the most delicious pepper marmalade (made right here, in Homewood) you'll ever have!

Since we were stuck indoors, we managed to get a few things done around the house. I'll be back to share our projects (which of course, led to other projects) soon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 692's pretties

California's coast is filled with such wonderful color and texture. I just couldn't get enough of it. By comparison, Alabama is very ... green. {click to get a better look if you'd like}

From the top: fog rolling in along Highway One near Carmel, pretty flowers against dry grass in Old Town San Diego, hexagon-shaped terra cotta tile (love!) in La Jolla Shores, beautiful coastline between Carmel and Big Sur, gorgeous sea weed washed up on Nautilus Beach in La Jolla, assorted vegetation, kelp on Nautilus Beach, a quince-looking flower, and ice flowers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 691

Well, I'm back. I hope you enjoyed hearing from Paula, Marianne and Brooke -- I sure did! I think I have things to share about the trip, but right now I'm just trying to remember what time it is in my own time zone and get some laundry done. You know how that is, right? For now, I hope you enjoy this shot of Highway One near Big Sur, California (in other words, heaven!).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guest Blogger: Blueprint Bliss

Hi- it's Brooke from Blueprint Bliss. I was so excited when Jennifer asked me to be a guest blogger while she was away. She asked if we could show you a bit of our homes... where our inspiration is put to work.

If you've looked around my blog before- you've seen my kitchen and most recently my master bedroom redo. So today I thought I would share another part of my house with you. My entry/ living/ dining is all one big room and literally half of my house!

Our floor plan is kind of funky (1950's rancher)... but maybe these photos can help you figure it out. And I'm on the same page as Paula (from her guest post Monday)- my house is always a work in progress!
Here is what you see when you enter the front door:
And here is the view looking back at the front door from the living room:
Then you enter into the living room:
And from the living room you connect to the dining area:
I thought I would share this part of my house with you because it's where we spend most of our time when we are home. My favorite 'thing' in these rooms would probably be the piece of furniture that is to the right of my sofa (you can see it best in the first photo). My grandmother called me one day soon after I graduated from college and said that she had a dry sink that she no longer wanted. I didn't know what a dry sink was- but I was happy to add any piece of furniture to my non-existent collection. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. And love the fact that it was refinished by my grandfather!
I hope you enjoyed the tour. Jennifer- thanks again for inviting me over to be a guest blogger while you are away.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Guest Blogger: Haven & Home

Hi Everyone! I am Marianne from Haven & Home and I am thrilled to be here as a guest blogger for the day. Ever since Jennifer asked me to do this I have been trying to decide what room to share with you. My favorite rooms from my home have already made an appearance on my blog so I thought I would share with you my weekend project-an outside room if you will. So here is the before picture of my porch:Here is the after (so far, I am still working on it) :
We knew that we had to paint the floor at some point, it was in terrible condition. So I scraped/sanded off all the old paint (if I never do that again I will be a happy camper) and painted large stripes in 2 different colors using porch paint. It was a very, very long process but I am so happy now it is finished.
So this is where I need your help! First I want new pillows for the swing and rocking chair. The pillows in the picture are from Target,; love them but they are not outdoor. So I have been looking around and I have seen some things that I like:

It would be nice to find something already made like the ones above (Home Depot and Pottery Barn respectively) but I just don't know.
Of course I would love to make some but summer will be over before I get around to that (or save up my pennies for the fabric). If I were to make them here are some choices:

This first picture is fabric from Donghia that is outdoor, something fun and soft like this is what I would like to use to recover the seat (trust me it needs it). The other 3 fabrics are from Schumacher and each call my name.

If you are wondering why I keep going towards the blue tones (the orange above would be my extra shot of color) it is because on a whim a few months ago I decided to paint our front door electric blue and I would like to stay in the cool/blue hues. (Sorry about the horrible reflection I didn't realize it until just now).
So I want a new cushion fabric, pillows and I also need a new door mat. I really don't want to do stripes on stripes but I am having a hard time finding anything that says, "take me home now".

These are just a few I saw at Home Depot and Target.

So I need your help! I would love to hear any suggestions on pillows, fabrics, door mats, how to make my flowers grow better on the porch, you name it I am all ears!

A big thanks to Jennifer for having me on today, I will come back whenever you need me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guest Blogger: Two Ellie

I was super excited when Jennifer asked me, Paula of Two Ellie, to guest blog today. She asked me to share a room in our home that we loved. My home is an open layout so I feel as if it works better as a whole, but since I had to choose I went with my dining room. It's where we have family dinners, do craft projects with the kiddos, and do the most entertaining. I feel as if my home is always a work in progress, but here it is as of today...

This buffet we bought from Pier 1 on super discount for about $100 dollars when we first moved into this home 2 years ago. We came from a home that was much smaller and we were in need of economical furniture choices. I loved the scale and lines of this piece, but originally it was a very light blonde wood which is not my fave. So we painted it Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore. We then did an easy glaze type treatment over that. The hanging lanterns (grown up balloons as my daughter calls them) I put up for my mother's birthday dinner recently, but we all liked them so they remain.

The letterpress print is from SeeSaw Designs. I just love the colors and it added a bit of fun. The vase, rocks, and candle I got from Hobby Lobby for half off. I think the whole project cost me about $15 dollars.

The dining table is not my favorite, but it works for us. One day I hope to own a new one, but having a 2 and 3 year old makes this one quite practical. The benches which I recently recovered for under $20 dollars help us seat up to 10 people for a dinner. The wooden trough was my grandmother's and it now holds our many napkins.

The old window frames are from my old college apartment. They were replacing the windows and trashing these so I took a few. We then framed 6x6 photos and placed them behind the glass.

This is where I do bills, where my hubby edits photos for a shoot, and I blog. To see before photos and the changes that were made over the years go here.

Finally, I hope to replace the standard light fixture with something unique. I love the idea of converting an old basket or a wire basket covered with a fabric into a light. The two images above are my source of inspiration.