29 August 2013


This morning began as usual.  I shuffled into the kitchen half asleep, went through the motions of my usual routine with the dishwasher unloading and coffee-making, etc., and then I settled myself on the porch in my pink wicker rocker with the laptop and a hot latte mugful.  The first thing I do is open email while I come alive, and as I glanced through, I noticed Houzz.com -- maybe from yesterday.  Some days I save that one for when I have time to look through all of them, and sometimes I will have half a dozen before I get to them.  Anyway, the top story caught my eye because of the bright colors, and and when I opened it, I was literally blown away.  I started interrupting Sweet Husband's morning coffee-reading time, with "Look at this!  Look at that!"  He actually stopped to take a look at what his nutty little wife was getting so excited over.

photo from Houzz.com by Rikki Snyder

Can you even believe this fabulous wood stove?  The article and photos are by Rikki Snyder who is is a professional photographer and stylist, and the subject is the historic home of Laurie and Bruce Rabe and their family.  The house is an old one in Massachusetts, right in the heart of their little town, which they have owned and loved and worked on for fourteen years.  Laurie is the sister of Kristin Nicholas who is also an artist.  I knew as soon as I clicked over to the link on her story that I had already fallen in love with that house, too, having pinned and pinned and saved a lot from that story by Rikki Snyder as well.  I have an old Hoosier like this and I have been planning to paint it a bright color.  I totally forgot I had saved the photo of their grandmother's Hoosier below because I like the bright color and the little curtain where the missing tambour belongs.  Mine is broken, too, although I do have all the slats, and I have tried to put it back together with duct tape.  I was singularly unsuccessful.

photo by Rikki Snyder

The day bed in the kitchen at the Rabe house is perfect, especially in a climate with cold winters.
Can you imagine getting cozy in there with the woodstove going and a good book while the pot of soup simmers on the big blue stove below?

The refurbished gas stove (now dual fuel) is to die for!
You really must go over to Houzz.com to this link and read this inspirational story for yourself.  There are additional photos here.  You will come away happy, I guarantee it.

All these photos are by Rikki Snyder and are from Houzz.com.  If you want to pin, please do so from the article on their site!  Thanks.

23 August 2013


Our 20-year-old wicker set is now repainted aqua and is
in my garage/studio for comfy hanging out.

Just above are the "befores" -- there are two of these chairs, the loveseat and a coffee table, not shown.  It, too, will get some paint soon.  Truly these pieces  have just about had it, but I decided to spruce them up one more time to have a little hangout area in here, especially for colder weather.  Since we replaced the garage door, the space is now nice and tight, and it doesn't get nearly as cold in Winter, hot in Summer or stay dirty all the time the way it did before.  

There is still a lot to do in there, and over the next year, as we have time, it will get painted and whipped into better shape.  It will always be a space a bit in flux because it is meant to be an artsy workspace, not a static  perfectly decorated room.  One thing that will happen soon is the installation of a big awning over the garage door so that our cars can be pulled under to keep them out of direct Western sun and rain.  Have any of you ever tried a big retractable awning before?  How did you like it?  Did you have any problems with it?  Is one company better than another?

When painting wicker, it is important to spray it from three or four different angles in order to cover all the planes and gaps.  

I had first thought of adding a new garage after finishing out the present one as a real room, but then we decided to do the screen porch instead.  We are happy with that decision because here in the Deep South, we can use a screen porch at least nine or ten months of the year, even in the Winter in the middle of the day when it is warmest.  

I like to be able to get some fresh air, don't you?  It is nice to be able to "air out" my kitchen because the porch is screened.  Like most newer houses, our house has no window screens.  I grew up sleeping with the windows open every night of my life because my father thought it was healthy.  Maybe he was onto something.  However, in this day and age, it probably isn't really safe anymore, but that is a discussion for another time and place.

Having a new garage door installed instead of a bank of French doors and windows across that side turned out to be a great decision.    When I am painting, I can open it up and get some fresh air and good ventilation.  It is easy to drag  something toxic (like spray paint projects) to the outside, then back inside when it dries.  We can also move at least one car in if necessary.  

Eventually some of these pieces will be placed somewhere else, and my drawing table and easel will come out of the attic.  They had to move in there when I added a daybed to my present office.  That's also another story for another time!  But here's a hint: there is going to be a big reshuffle later this Fall when the ManCave gets a redo.

For Metamorphosis Monday, I am adding this to Between Naps on the Porch, and for Mod Mix Monday, I am linking to Mod Vintage Life.
On Wednesday, I am linking to Ivy & Elephants and to Savvy Southern Style.  

21 August 2013


I just read this, and couldn't wait to tell you to go read it!  This book would be a fabulous choice for your book club discussion because it is so multi-layered and so many lives are affected forever by the secret, which is revealed well into the book.  I reread the Epilogue a couple of times, and kept thinking, what if, what if, what if?  Just read it.

18 August 2013


Sometimes just some small changes around the homefront can be very effective and fun.  The weather has been cool and rainy, like nice Fall days, really.  It is ideal for doing some projects -- not so much for others.  I get so lazy and sneak little naps here and there when it is dreary outside.  But I have done a few things -- and here they are.  

First, I found a little wind chime on clearance at Pier 1 which is perfect for the back porch.  We got the hanger at Home Depot.

The light is so low out there with the clouds and the rain, you can't really see how pretty the bird is - but he is very sparkly.

Second, Blue Shoe Boogie.  I made an art project which had been in my mind for a little while, and I hung it up in the powder room.  I may add some glitter -- what do you think?

Third, we took a baby step in beginning the redo of the Man Cave, and relocated one of the rugs in the Dining Room.  
The curtains and the chairs will change,  too.

Baby steps, people!

What do you think?

I am linking to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Nita at Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday

The Dedicated House for MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY

16 August 2013


Here is another good summer read -- entertaining, not too terribly serious.

14 August 2013


Recently I won a fantastic giveaway from Tina at The Enchanted Home.  She has a fabulous online shop, so you should go and look if you never have yet.  There are many beautiful things to tempt even the most steadfast of us, especially pretty blue and white jars.  She carries quite a few other things, too, not just porcelains.  So go look!

What I won?  Two of these plates which are a reissue of some china made for the Vanderbilt's summer home.  There are actually four different designs, so after I saw them, I decided I must order the other two so that I would have all four.  I first thought they might go up on the wall, but I really like the way they look on a table for four, so I will hold off hanging them for now.   Contact Tina if you are interested in getting some for yourself.

I set this table on my back porch using everything else that I already had. I was going for a casual elegance -- do you think I did it?  Just because it is on the porch doesn't mean it has to be "everyday" -- but I did keep the place settings very simple, and did not use a stack of plates or even a charger.  

The round tray was from HL (I think)

Cobalt decanter from Tuesday Morning years ago

Moroccan tea glasses from HG...

...filled with basil flowers and KO roses
about the only thing not drowned in my back yard...

...cobalt plates from Pier 1 about 30 years ago!

Italian goblets, HG

Gold flatware from Neiman Marcus

I am a very happy blogger to have won these plates -- thanks Tina!

Napkins from RH
rings from BBB

Linking to Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish and to Susan for Tablescape Thursday.   Also to

My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

 French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays

The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

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