Sunday, May 31, 2009

Show and Tell: Wing Chairs

Back in December, I found these at a thrift store. Many times in Country Home, Country Living, Cottage Living, etc., I read how someone found chairs with great bones for very little, and had them recovered, and voila!, fabulous chairs. Now here I was with a pair of great chairs for very little. I finally settled on how I wanted the room to look, and took them to the upholsterer two weeks ago.

Before:

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Fabric selection:

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Drum roll, please.....at last, the chairs!



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(no you aren't tipsy, the table is - but I've finally found a fix for that and will work on that next)

They are so crisp and fresh, I think.

The next thing I can obsess over will be what pillows to put in them. I've been thinking of a coral for summertime...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Afternoon

Below is an illustration of our Saturday, after the spin class I took this morning:


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And here is a sneak peak of the Thrifty Wing Chairs...

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Hope you're having a relaxing Saturday!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

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No, Cotton, I will not change the channel to HGTV.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fun with Presets

I was playing with Lightroom, and downloaded some presets from Matt Kloskowski...I decided to see how they worked with the photos from Italy.

This is one of my favorite images from that trip.

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Then I applied the Matt's New York effect (medium). I think it gives it a much more romantic, old world look.



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Then there was this church in Florence. It was right across Via Tournabuoni from our hotel. The facade was beautiful. We walked past it every trip we took in Florence, but we never went inside. I remember being so curious about what it was. After I got home, I figured out it was a church I should have visited. Ah well. This image is from my blackberry 8300...


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and it isn't bad as blackberry camera snaps go. But with the same New York effect as above, isn't it more, well, old world than the original?


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It's interesting to me that the photos themselves capture the image as it was, but it takes the preset to represent the feel that Sienna (first photo) and Florence had for me.


The point is play with the presets or filters or whatever comes with the photo processing software you have access to---you might find some fun results!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wine Casks

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Tuscan wine casks. Full of wine. No, they have nothing to do with this post, but I like the way they look.



Anyway. New Things I've Found That I Want To Share (isn't Wine Casks a better post title?):



Blue Fin Chardonnay at Trader Joe's (and I haven't been a chardonnay fan in the past, $4+)



The Lettered Cottage - great design blog.



Frugal Farmhouse Design - title says it all. Great advice on which white to use.



Alive in Wonderland - Inspiring images and thoughtful words from the OC. What more can you ask for?



Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vote with Your Feet

Ever heard that phrase - Vote with your feet? No? Let me illustrate.

So this weekend was damp, with the sky fitfully spitting rain just when you thought maybe it wouldn't rain after all. Clouds ruled the day, and it was hard for me to get in the photo zone.

But then I remembered I wanted to do some shots to use for a cute family portrait idea I saw here. That requires shots that are in profile.

Who better to be my model than Gus? Or Cotton? Or Gus, since he was right there.

I said "Gus, what do you think about this family portrait thing? Let me take your profile. I can then practice making it a silhouette in Photoshop". Forget for a moment that I'm talking to my dog.

He voted with his feet.


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Monday, May 25, 2009

Decoration Day



(both images from the Internet)

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It was originally a national day of mourning, with flags to be flown at half mast until in 1971 Congress made it a three day holiday on the last Monday of May.

It is easy to lose site of the purpose of Memorial Day as it signals the start of summer, but it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Feathers and Twigs

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Cindy brought me flowers when she came to bridge last night...

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I love the colors! (and I got good cards last night, so I had fun)


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Went on a field trip to Feathers and Twigs in Carrollton...LOVED IT! Above are vanity lights. I kept calling them boudoir lights, I think I'll go with that. Anyway, aren't they great? Yes. And the cherubs in the lower left corner...they are fetching.



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Then there was this guy. I really liked it and thought about getting it. See the "coasters"? But since I haven't fully decided how I want my porch to be, and there's limited space, I passed. The good news?

It now lives at Cindy's house. I can visit whenever I want.

Oh, there were lots and lots of great things. So great in fact, I forgot I was carrying a camera.

I will be going back.

Dogs

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He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. ~Anon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bridge Night


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What does a slow cooker have to do with bridge night?





Everything. It's my night to hostess, and I'm making slow cooker pulled pork and KFC slaw in honor of Memorial Day.





It's the easiest pulled pork ever: 5lb Boston butt or shoulder roast + beef broth 14 oz+ 1/4 c brewed coffee + 4-6 hours on low = yummy.





And KFC slaw is my favorite so when I found the recipe on-line (I love you Internet), I was delighted. And it lived up to it's billing. Just google K.F.C. Slaw...






Plus, if everyone's full and sleepy, it may just seem like I play well!








Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Gate

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The gate has a tenuous grasp on the right fencepost. I've resorted to putting an old dog lead around the left fencepost and gate so it doesn't just lie down in a light breeze and become a door mat for the dogs. And Gus or Cotton could bring down the whole house of cards by jumping up and placing front feet against the gate just to look out, providing more than enough reason for the hinge to abandon all claim to the fencepost.



It is one of the things that Tim is going to repair.



But one thing led to another and our schedules to get started haven't meshed.


Then, Tim lost his eldest son in a car wreck, just a couple of weeks ago. Tim and his wife are devastated, and their lives will never be the same.



Seems to me we're all like that gate, with the most tenuous of holds on life.
The slightest push or pull can changes things forever, and the gate is thrown open.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Buddy II

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The best advice I got on taking pictures of animals was focus on the eyes.

Gus does not cooperate.

But I still like this one because you can see his whiskery fuzzy upper lip.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Patio Life

patio panorama


This is my patio. I'm particularly pleased with it because my landscaper, Tim, created it from an offhand comment I made. It went something like: I want a livable back yard with heirloom or native plants but I want to make it from mostly found or repurposed things and plants because eventually I will enlarge the house and I don't want to have to tear out a lot of stuff. And the yard is soooo deep, that it'll have to be done in stages.

A couple of years ago, Tim took the concrete pieces you saw from the driveway and made the patio. We put in two tea olives (I just know heaven smells like tea olives), sweet shrub over on the left, saw the yucca in the space beyond the fence (still my yard, was not stealing I promise) added pachysandra and moved some ferns from the front to the back and some Lenten rose from the back to the front...

Tim's a genius...he created all this inside the existing row of azaleas which are beautiful each year. They look a little spindly right now because a pine limb fell and tore out a section (they're just out of sight of the photo-which is a merge of 3 to show the whole patio, sorry it's not more elegant). Stones that edged the back of the lot have been brought up to make the pebble walkway on the left. And the sod roller left behind by the original owner is in the top right corner, sort of like a bench.

The yard has just been refreshed with pine straw, the beds top dressed and maybe most exciting, I signed up for mosquito control. Now I can enjoy my yard without being a walking buffet.

I think I'll add some creeping herbs between the concrete pavers and some white impatiens, and my budget for this year will be maxed out. But it's fun to make little changes along the way, and see how they add up, isn't it?

Impulse Buy

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I went to one of my favorite stores today...Home Goods.


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And I saw these lamps. As it turns out, I'm long over due for lamps for the living room.

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These fit my major criteria: cost effective, interesting shape, white, texture...

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all the tags are still on so if I wake up tomorrow with regrets, I can take them back.

But it's looking good. Real good.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Red Probe

A mysterious red probe (tentacle?fungus?bladder?) has emerged from the vicinity of the roots of the huechera and the creeping jenny.


Things that ran through my mind: do I dare touch it? eeewwww, when I nudge it with the house key it's jiggly. i'm not touching it. are there alien life forms living under my creeping jenny? is this a horticultural phenomenon? a garden manifestation of the swine, I mean H1N1, flu? one thing I do know, it's blog fodder!!

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A cursory google of descriptive words and images has resulting in things I will not repeat in a G rated blog, or for that matter, in an R rated blog.

Question for you, bloggy friends: based on the image above, how would you have googled it? [remember, my mother reads this blog]

And, I guess, WHAT IS IT?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gingham

So, remember the chairs I bought at a thrift store in December for a ridiculously low price? Well, I was all set to have them covered in a natural linen and piped in black.

But.

Then.

I hemmed. I hawed. I couldn't commit. It was a sign, I decided, that the plan had a flaw.

Still, in the months that I have weighed my options, flipped through magazines and read countless decor blogs, nothing more appealing presented itself.

So, today I took myself and the chairs to the little upholstery place that was near where my best friend once lived. They covered a chair for me some time back, and did great work for a reasonable price.

I quickly found a linen fabric, for a reasonable price - $17.95. First hitch? There were only 8 yards, only enough for one chair. Other linens that could be ordered were more costly and the colors weren't just right, as the one in the store was.

There was this check, a gingham really, that I had noticed. Here it is with a swatch that will be the piping:

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And here's one of the chairs:

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The only decision left is whether to paint the legs a french grey or taupe or leave them as they are, a little dinged, and suggesting character.

They are supposed to be ready May 27.

I'm holding my breath 'til then.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lush Life

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There's a store called Lush Life here in Atlanta. It is an apropos title for this post, because my yard is lush right now. All the rain we've gotten is really making a difference. If fact it sounds like it's raining as I type. Above the day lilies line the sidewalk and are just in front of the Fairy Rose.

You can see my neighbor's house in the background.

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This is my mailbox, and I am really liking it. Yes, that's basil and rosemary you see planted in the gap in the dianthus. Of course there's the royal purple clematis climbing the mailbox, and stella d'oro day lilies from the other side of the walk on the other side. And the Brazilian verbena are the tall slender spikes capped with tiny purple flowers.


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And the surprise for me was that I had hydrangea blooming. I love these flowers.

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The huechera at the base of the pine is enormous and blooming. And just to the right, out of sight, the Japanese painted fern has returned from the dead. Seriously, it dried to a crisp last summer and I thought that was the end. It is peeping through the pine straw in two places tonight.


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But the real star tonight is the Fairy Rose. Hundreds of little pink blooms are blooming across most of my yard. They are beautiful. Below is the panorama I made to show you a complete picture that includes everything above.


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The bright green in the curve is thyme. Creeping thyme to be exact, and yes I have cut some to cook with. And do you see all the Fairy Rose blooms? And there are lots of baby plants under the bigger ones.

That's monkey grass around the base of the pine, and the bush just to the right of the pine is a butterfly bush.

There is a bell pepper plant in there you can't quite make out, and three tomato plants are behind the day lilies in the front (nearer the car). When you have as little sun as this yard, you make use of every ray. One of the tomatoes is named Mortgage Lifter, and it originated during the Great Depression when it was named. I love the name!

Hope you've enjoyed the yard tour as much as I've enjoyed sharing it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wiped Out

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Cotton's eyes were barely staying open when I picked her up this afternoon.



Then I got her home and she went straight to this corner and picked a bed. Her new favorite thing to do is lay her body on the rust colored one, and her head on the aqua one.



She's so sweet and cuddly - and always happy.



This may be my favorite picture of either dog--that I've taken--because I really like the one my SIL took this weekend.



And while I was taking these pictures, and when I look at this picture, I think I see her soul. I asked my brother the seminary student if dogs would go to heaven. He quoted a theological heavy weight, maybe St. Augustine, as saying dogs were soulish.


I took that as a yes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sometimes You're the Windshield, Sometimes You're the Bug!

While the family was visiting, the miracle of life played itself out on my back door. Or rather on the trim around my back doorway.

Many little praying mantises (mantii?) hatched, and my brother's family is fond of praying mantises (mantii?), so they were thrilled. The little rascals are beneficial insects, and to that I say termites? pine beetles? carpenter bees? boring something or other beetles? hello? help a girl out here!


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Anyway, they are also translucent when first hatched. The camera couldn't get a fix on the little whippersnapper to photograph it, hence the blurry fingers above.

Have I mentioned that I suspect kittens in the brush pile my neighbor refuses to clean up? Well, I was right.

I stepped outside to see if I could get a quick snapshot of them eating the tuna I put out, and got some blurry shots for my trouble.

Giving up, I stepped inside to get a shower. As I ran a comb through my hair, something felt odd...almost as if there were a bug in my hair...EEEWWWWWW, there was a bug in my hair.

The kids will be happy I let it live. It was a close call. What's more, I set it free on the boxwood in the blue planter on the deck.


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I hope it develops an appetite for carpenter bees.

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