Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crazy for Cuffs

I'm just crazy for jewelry--the real stuff, vintage, or costume, I'll take it all.
Lately though, I have been loving cuff bracelets.
Here are some of my obsessions.  My first  purchase was the multi-colored cuff.  
With all its colors I have been wearing it with everything and everywhere.
I found the open geometric design one at an antiques store.
The floral bracelet with the rhinestones was something I bought for the store 
and kept-- (happens frequently).  
I love the gold and silver cuff because I can wear it with any accessory. 
I found it and the other silver chain cuff at a boutique at the beach.
I even found a cuff ring.  It's my New Year's Eve party bling.
Keep your eye out for the cuffs.  They're everywhere and I didn't pay more than $30 each for any of them.

I also am not a big fan of jewelry boxes.
What's been working for me is using mercury glass containers for my bling.

I actually can see what I have.  I drape the necklaces over the goblet and fill the compote with bracelets.
I keep it all on my mirrored bedside nightstand.  I love the look.
 I don't know if it's too small to see, but I found this great vintage snakeskin hinged box.
I use it for earrings.  It's on the right corner.  So much fun.

Get your New Year's bling on.

Happy New Year


Monday, December 27, 2010


Don't you hate waiting for design trends to reach T J Maxx and HomeGoods 
so you can actually afford to buy them?
Well, I really scored!
First I found these pillows.

Next, were a pair of vases with a Greek Key design and the hand towels that are going straight to my downstairs powder room.

On a different quest I found Bella a new dog bed. 
I wish I had taken the photo before my yellow dog tried it out.  I worked on the furriness, but I seem to have missed a few.

Have I gone geometrically over board?  What do you think?

I did get a little carried away.  The only other time I went crazy was when HomeGoods got their hands on Williams Sonoma goods.  Ahh, that was quite a shopping trip.

Do you get giddy when you find stuff?

Keep shopping.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from our family to yours

Kathy, Ed, James, and Bella

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Orange Tree

Several years ago we had what the family calls The Orange Tree.  Usually I do a different tree each year, but this one is back by special request.  I couldn't help tweaking it though, you know me.  I added some chartreuse to it, so technically, it's the orange/chartreuse tree.
 We put the lights on and I intertwined some wide chartreuse ribbon.  It looked so pretty like this, we almost stopped decorating, but decided to add the ornaments and see which we liked better.

I also placed some wrapped gifts under the tree. Look closely at the image below and you'll see that my tree skirt is a vintage fur stole.  I always like to make my tree skirt something different.  Sometimes I use fabric, other times I drape vintage tablecloths or velvet. One of my favorite skirts ever was
a silver-sequined jacket folded around the base.

We decided that we liked the tree with ornaments.   I used pendant ornaments from West Elm, sequined ones from Michaels, and some covered in tiny discs from Old Navy.  For the chartreuse addition, I used glass pear-shaped ornaments and filled in with glittery ferns.
It's hard to see them on the tree.  Here's a close-up.

The final result:

Ready to try something different next year?
Have a wonderful holiday.


Friday, December 17, 2010


It's our first snow.  It wasn't much of a storm, but oh so lovely.  
And, just enough to give us a two-hour delayed school opening---and a chance to sleep in a little longer.
I had to take a picture of our latest completed project, our new garage, with its minimal Christmas fluffing, but so pretty with a dusting of the white stuff.
I'm so glad we decided to put the garage doors on the back. I found the eyebrow window at a flea market and we incorporated it into the design.  We've been calling it our carriage house.

The kids are ready to move in out there.  Me too sometimes.


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 I do appreciate your visit!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Decorating Checklist

Yes, we're coming down to the wire.  I've been working my way around the house.

Outside Decorating--DONE

Take a look.  It must be an animal print Christmas.
A fabric remnant covers the table.  I  filled the jars with Martha Stewart copper glass ornaments, then stuck in some feathers and glass garland.  The wall sconce and the monk heads were already there, I just added magnolia and then let a copper ribbon unwind and fall wherever, encircling the items.  For some height, I put one of the apothecary jars on an old leather book.  Books make wonderful risers.
Last, I sprinkled some glittery acorn ornaments around. 

More magnolia on the railing, held in  place with ribbon, and then another coppery-beaded garland woven through it all. 

Here are more detailed images.

 How's your decorating going?


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 I do appreciate your visit!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Shop Hop

Recently my husband and I were lucky enough to accompany Meg of Pigtown Design 
on her Holiday Shop Hop in Baltimore.
I'd been following and loving her blog for a while.  If you don't know, she appeared TWICE on the
Nate Berkus Show.  He liked what she'd done so much that he invited her back and called
her the Junk Whisperer.  Check out her blog to see segments of the show.
I was so excited when she invited readers to shop with her and that she was close by my home.
Here's a photo of the "Nate Girls" in one of the shops we visited,  Red Tree,
a unique shop with one-of-a-kind accessories, jewelry and furniture.

The owner is an artist.  Here are some of his creations.

Another shop we visited was McLain-Wiesand,
with a selection of antiques and vintage pieces and amazing artisan furniture.
Here is one of the artists at work, reproducing faux marble with the original as her model.

David Weisand has hundreds of castings from original architectural pieces.  Here are some small castings

and some larger architectural fragments.

Some of the castings were made into Christmas ornaments.  I purchased several not just for the
holidays, but for year round.  I'm going to have the oval ones with faces framed as intaglios.
I have to show you one last photo from the fabulous shop.  David custom designed and built this bookcase.

The photos say it all.  I'm crazy for arquitectural and industrial pieces.  I was hinting about one of the
zinc- top  tables for Christmas.  It would be perfect on the screened porch.
I just loved everything.

We also had lunch at a rooftop restaurant with a birdseye view of Baltimore.
Thanks Meg for an absolutely wonderful day.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Florentine Boxes

Have you ever seen Florentine boxes?
Obviously made in Italy, they are wooden boxes, picture frames, or trays that are covered in gesso,
then covered in gilt.  They're really a nice glitzy holiday addition.
Many times they depict religious scenes, almost like icons.

Sometimes they have geometric designs like this.

Or, non-religious depictions like this.

They're very easily found on e-bay or Etsy and are very reasonably priced.

 I incorporated some of these boxes and pictures to create my holiday Florentine mantel.

Some mantel details.

What do you think?


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Leopard + Sparkle

Do you have a room in your house that no matter how much you tweak it you still don't like the results?
That is what is happening in my family room.  I just can't seem to get it done to my satisfaction.
I'm sharing a small segment of the room just because I just did the Christmas mantel.
I started with a piece of leopard fabric, added fresh magnolia,
then accessorized with silver and mercury glass.
I filled a hammered metal bowl with mercury glass orbs.  The apothecary jar holds antique mercury glass ornaments. Can you guess what I used for the sparkling garland?
It's vintage rhinestone belts, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Vintage Bling!

Some details of the mantel.

One last bit of  bling on the front porch.

Check back to see my Florentine mantel 


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Already!

Once you've been involved in retail, the holidays start early.  
The weekend after Thanksgiving is when we pick out our tree.  So, on Saturday
we went to brunch because you know we needed to eat some more food.  After brunch,
we went to pick out our tree.  Here's my 12-year- old with his selection.

Stop calculating right now.  Yes, my youngest is 12 and I had him when I was 49+.  
At the time, it felt
like the entire hospital staff was peaking in to see the 49-year-old in labor.  I was terrified that I would become newsworthy. 
But Nate put that all in perspective when he shared my current age on National TV here.  Forty-nine feels 
almost youthful now.
I digress.  Sorry.
We got home, put the tree in the stand, and the boys decided they were going to shoot some hoops.
It seems like Fall baseball just ended and now it's time to start dribbling.
That gave me some time to make some fresh wreaths for myself and for family.
We always grab a pile of the discarded tree cuttings at the tree stand, and with the help of a wire frame from Michael's and some green floral wire I'm set.  I wrap the fresh greens around the frame, looping the wire around the greenery and frame to hold it in place.  Once I have the shape of the wreath, I look around in the garden to see what shrubs I can snip and add to the wreath.
  Sometimes I add arborvitae, or holly berries, or magnolia leaves.  This year though my nandina had turned an exceptional fiery red and I decided that's what I'd use.  The nandina is from the bamboo family so it stays fresh and holds its color for a long time.  I then add some ribbon and whatever else I have around, and voila, the wreath.
Here's the wreath I made for my son and daughter-in-law.   It's hanging on the garage door, waiting for pick-up this afternoon.

I made wreaths for the front of the house.  One on the garage and one on the chimney.

Here is a close-up of the fresh wreaths.

Stay tuned.  More holiday decor to come.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hide Rug Yea or Nay?

I've been wanting to buy a hide rug for a while, but my animal-loving inner voice kept saying,
"Don't do it."
But in a weak moment. . . . . I bought one.

Originally, I wanted to layer it over our family room rug, but we added a four-legged
family member who made me change that.
We recently adopted a yellow lab, Bella, and we love her.  But, she likes to chew.
Her most recent munch was on our newly slip-covered chairs in the family room.
Here's her picture.  Isn't she cute?

 I went from place to place trying to get the right spot , until I realized that the best location  was our sun room because it's off-limits to dogs.
I layered it over my sisal rug. It looks perfect!
What do you think about hide rugs?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Ever Changing Mantel

Yes, I'm changing something again.  If you don't know me well, things change here frequently. 
Sometimes they disappear and reappear later in a different room with a different purpose.  
And, sometimes, they just disappear.
We have a little game here.  Some of the game questions are:  Was that always hanging there?
Is that new?  Wasn't that in another room?  If it was in another room, where had it been?
Or, usually months after it happens--Where did_______  (fill in the blank) go?

Anyway, I'm hosting Thanksgiving and I was getting into a really turkey mood this week.
I decided that I needed to change up the mantel with some Fall decor. 
The family was definitely relieved that it was the mantel and not a major piece of furniture.
Here's my before mantel that most of you have already seen.
And, here's the after.
First, I removed everything but the Greek Key mirror.  It stayed because
it was way too heavy to move and I needed it to hold down the fabric I draped on the mantel.
The fabric was a Clarence House remnant  from my fabric stash that had the right look and color.
Next, I put up the vintage turkey platter and added two old prints of turkeys.
I  displayed my turkey salt and pepper shakers next to a finial that had been on a table in the upstairs hallway until it was needed here for its height and color.
Winding around the finial and the turkeys is an old silk belt.  I love the nailheads in it.

I took some turkey feathers from one of my loving cups and placed them in the turkey planter.
  I also took a cloche from a bookshelf in the family room, turned it upside down , filled it with some over-sized acorns that I was selling in the store last Fall, then gently flipped it back over onto the mantel.
The last item added was the wreath.  Last year it was on the front porch. 
Now it's suspended over the mirror.
What do you think?  What have you done for Fall decorating?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Enjoy every minute of your family time.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Loving Loving Cups

I have been loving loving cups since I found my first one at an
Estate Sale.
Briefly, loving cups are actually what we now call trophies,
but so much nicer. 
My earliest one is from 1909 and I have them all the way to 1977.
The appeal is the urn shape and the interesting thing is that they were given for bowling, skating, 
horseshoes, golf, and just about any competition. 
The third prize trophies are just as nice as the first prize ones.

My first find  is my oldest, and says 
Whist Tournament  
First Prize
Later I found a book, Cavendish on Whist  and I display them together.

The Whist trophy is only 5" tall and to the left of it is a trophy for
a Jewish Basketball League 1931-32.

Many of my trophies are displayed in my step back cupboard in my kitchen.
I found the cupboard in a basement at an Estate Sale.
It was being used for tools.

Here are some close ups of some of the loving cups.

The trophy on the right is for the National Champion Horseshoe Pitch, 1931

The trophy on the left is the
 Lion's Ice Carnival
Third Prize
(pretty nice for 3rd)

The other one is only 4" tall and
Fives Competition
Blackhall Workmans' Club 1963-4

The loving cup on the right is Easter Tournament
Camp Stotzenburg, 1925

To its left, Best Plot
M Kelly 1977

The loving cup on the right is
Horticulture Club, 1956.

I use them to support plaster busts.

Keep an eye out for these vintage finds.  Mine are all silver plate and can be found for less than $50 each.
I've yet to find one in sterling.  They do exist but are very pricey.

Please share some of your favorites with me.