Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Harbinger of Spring

I know that Spring has finally arrived when my Tulip Magnolia bursts with blooms.

Tulip Magnolia in My Back Yard

Its branches and pink petals fill my window.

View From the Sun Room

It totally covers the window when viewed from the back yard.

It seems to be resting on my Mugo Pine when viewed from the side porch.

It almost covers the back of the house.

It even drapes itself around my pergola.

How does your garden tell you that winter is finally over?


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rain Boots Addiction

I have been accumulating--you know me and accumulating(hoarding)--quite a few rain boots.  They're so much more stylish than the ones my Mom and her sisters wore.  I so remember them pulling out these plastic boots and slipping them over their shoes on rainy days.

Vintage Rain Boots

And, speaking of rain gear, what purse was complete without a folding plastic rain hat?

We've come a long way.

 Now, on to my collection.  My first rain boot purchase was this pair with a leopard pattern.  They have been serving me well for several years.  Not only are they much more stylish, but they also keep my feet warm and dry.  I obviously use them on rainy days, but they're my go to foot gear when I'm tromping around a dew-covered field at dawn at a flea market.  They keep me dry while I'm on the hunt for first dibs on vintage finds.

This next pair you may say was an impulse purchase.  They so reminded me of something that
Piero Fornasetti would create. They had to come home with me.  I took this when my garden looked much better than it does now. 

To see the entire post about Fornasetti and his fabulous designs go here.

I was about to buy these Hunter boots too.

But before I could buy them I came across these Michael Kors beauties that reminded me so much of a pair of creamy leather Frye boots that I so regret giving away.

I couldn't pass up these leopard boot socks for when the weather cools.

And just when I thought I was very satisfied with my boot stash, I came across these vintage boots.
I know they're not rain boots, but boy are they soft leather and just my size.  Sometimes it's a good thing to have boat feet.

Ostrich leather.  Yumm.

Lucchese baby!!!!

Yes, I admit I'm addicted to boots.  Are you too?
Should I buy the Hunter boots?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Vintage Bamboo

Previously I blogged about vintage bamboo and how versatile it is.   It's neutral, so it fits in anywhere and one piece can be used in so many ways.  If you missed the previous post, go here.

In this post I wanted to share the bamboo pieces I have in my home and how I use them.

I have several bamboo shelves.  I have two in my sun room on either side of my fireplace mantel.  I use this one for books.

Bamboo Shelf with Books

Although they're narrow, I can pack them with books.
 They're also lightweight and can be moved easily when one of my frequent change ups happens.

To add some variety to the books, I put a pedestal orb, some coral, and a string of amber beads on the top shelf.  A framed watercolor is a backdrop.  I also tucked my foo dog on the lower shelf.

I also have a bamboo footstool.  I love its shabbiness.  I keep it on my stairway landing and use it as a riser for my ever-changing displays.

I have another bamboo footstool.  The top was damaged so I covered it with some P.Kaufmann leopard fabric.  The top lifts and I store my candles inside.  On top is my bamboo tray.  It has a lacquered insert with an image of a bird.

My bamboo footstool with a leopard top.  Bamboo tray with bird.
This tiered cart is made of rattan, but I consider and use it like bamboo.  It's in my dining room and holds of all things my bamboo place mats.  These are the best place mats because they wipe clean and I can even use them as trivets.

Here's a closer look.  The prints are vintage framed botanicals.  My grandfather made the plaster bust.

This two level bamboo stand is in my kitchen.  I use it to hold my metal document boxes.  I'll do another post about them, but I use them to cut down on the kitchen clutter.

Yes, there's more of the rough cedar trim in my kitchen too.

Notice the top of this stand.  I've been told that whenever you see this type of a design on the top of a piece of bamboo instead of a woven top, you can assume that it's English bamboo. 

This isn't one of my better vignettes, but I wanted to share this other style of bamboo stand.  We use it to hold one of our phones.

It's also "English".  Notice the leaf pattern.

I use this bamboo easel to hold a vintage book on a shelf in my pine cupboard.  In the plate grooves are some of my green and white transferware.

I think my most unique piece is this side table.  Not only is it large, but it also has two small fold-out shelves.  They can be down as I have them in the photo, or they fold up and are out of the way.

I think it's my favorite bamboo piece.

The side shelves can be for display, or many times it's where I rest my coffee cup.

Our bed is rattan.  It isn't vintage but I still love the look.

Our Rattan Bed

So, do you have any bamboo pieces in your home?


Sunday, April 14, 2013

How I Spent My Break

I'm re-posting this for my e-mail feedburner subscribers.  For some reason blogger did not send out notifications to you.

No, this is not a re-hash of something I wrote for the first day back to school, but it is school related.  My son's eighth-grade trip was a trek through Europe and parents were invited to go along.  My husband and I and many other parents decided to go on a fast-paced whirlwind peek at London, Paris, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri.  We traveled by plane, train, automobile, bus, boat, subway, cab, funicular, and mostly on foot! One of the travelers wore a pedometer and we clocked between five to seven miles a day.  I didn't lose any weight though.  I guess it had something to do with pasta, pastries and wine.

WARNING:  If you do not enjoy looking at vacation photos that aren't yours, skip this post.

Our first stop was London.  We left DC at 6pm Thursday, arrived in London 7am Friday, and hit the ground running.   No sleep for us.  We toured all day in a snow storm and collapsed in our hotel room after dinner.

Piccadilly Circus

London Metro

My Son in the Classic Phone Booth.

We were thrilled to see the actual Rosetta Stone in the British Museum and see so many of the Egyptian artifacts that we'd only seen in books.  I may have taken a nap in a chair somewhere near here.

My Son and His Classmates in Front of Buckingham Palace

Did I say that it was snowing?  My son is on the left with the hoodie.  When we were packing he didn't want any hat or gloves.  That hoodie saved him from almost freezing.

Snowing in Trafalgar Square

Tower Bridge

The London Eye was not to be missed.

The Eye

Riding the Eye

Birds Eye View of London from Inside the Eye

We all had a chance to catch up on sleep on the train ride through the Chunnel from London to Paris.

My Son and His Classmate Out for the Count

Of course our first stop was the Eiffel Tower.  We also took a night cruise along the Seine.

Seine with Eiffel Tower in the Background

View of Paris From the Eiffel Tower

 My son took all the photos.  I loved this photo he took from the opposite side of the river.

The tower at night was pretty impressive.

My son and husband in front of Les Invalides, burial place of Napoleon.

The Louvre was wonderful.  We needed more time there.


We made a day trip to Versailles.

The Hall of Mirrors in Versailles

The gardens and their symmetry were impressive even though nothing was blooming.

Gardens at Versailles

We took an over night train from Paris to Rome.  I would not recommend the accommodations.  This had to be the worst night's sleep ever.  But, we arrived and our first visit was to the town of the Medici, Florence.


Then on to Assisi, home to St. Francis, particularly significant with the name choice of the newest Pope.  It was very quaint but so steep and hilly.

Town of Assisi

Church of St Francis

Back to Rome and its ruins, the Forum, and aqueducts.  Our favorite was the Colosseum.

A view of the warrens underneath the sand-covered floor.  (The floor was partially reconstructed to give you an idea of what it looked like.)  This was where the gladiators and animals waited their turns to fight.

St. Peter's Square was especially crowded on Good Friday.

The Vatican Museum was impressive.  The Sistine Chapel was amazing (no photos allowed).

Courtyard Outside the Vatican Museum

Loved the peacocks at the Vatican Museum

We made a wish at the Trevi Fountain one evening.

Next was a visit to Pompeii.  I was relieved that we ran out of time and couldn't climb Mt. Vesuvius.

One of the Streets in Pompeii

Ruins in Pompeii

My Son and I in Pompeii

Next stop, Sorrento.  The town appeared to be carved into the rocky coastline.


We took a short but choppy boat ride to the beautiful resort island of Capri.



What an exhausting trip, but what a fabulous opportunity for students and parents alike.  Now it's time to take another afternoon nap and catch up on my sleep.