Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tremendous Topiaries

File:Beckley Park topiary garden.jpg

Topiary garden at Beckley Park Manor, Oxfordshire, UK. Photo taken by Vivian Garrido.

Whimsical topiaries in a Berlin garden.


Yew topiaries at Crathes Castle in Scotland.

Frankly, I'm tired of winter and craving the upcoming outdoor months. These images cheered me up and reminded me that spring is right around the corner.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Wonderful Woodwork

I had a simple box pattern woodwork installed in the sitting room in order to cover up the unsightly texture that rose to a height of 20 feet. The contractor and I spent nearly two weeks hanging from the scaffold as we put up the boards and beams and applied the creamy white paint.


The woodwork and beams instantly "aged" the room and gave it a feel of added structural integrity. It's virtually maintenance free,with the exception of an occasional dusting and paint touch up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Practical Plate Rack

When  the kitchen was remodeled I had a plate rack installed- I've always loved the charm they give a kitchen. However, it wasn't until the past few weeks, and the demise of my dishwasher, that I truly began to appreciate the plate rack for its utilitarian purpose.

"Furniture Feature Friday" at Miss Mustard Seed

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pleasing Plaids

I love how the plaid pops against the white walls of this bedroom designed by Badgley Mishka:

This rustic bedroom, designed by Kathleen H. Rivers, was featured in Southern Accents. I adore the Cowtan & Tout plaid :

I found this chair, upholstered in plaid wool, for $20 at an antique store. The needlepoint pillow pays homage to my beloved poodle, Pippin, who passed last year; she was a big fan of this chair.

This room looks very family friendly and cozy.

 Plaid has enduring appeal that can be integrated into nearly any decor. It's simply timeless. How do you feel about plaid? Do you find it dowdy or delectable?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Mighty Little Mudroom

On this cold, wet day I thought it would be apropos to share some pictures of my little mudroom. The addition of the mudroom was one of the wisest renovation decisions we've made. I was tired of  tracking debris into the house, and I was equally tired of tripping over my kids' shoes and backpacks.What a difference it has made in the daily cleaning.

I painted the bead board a pistachio green. The old bike basket holds our daily plastic and aluminum so we can easily take it to the community recycling bins. The bench is an antique from my childhood.

My husband and a friend laid the brick in a herringbone pattern.

The upper cabinet holds small gardening tools;the lower cabinet holds my kids' swim shoes, flip flops,and soccer cleats.

Linking to:"Inspiration Friday" At The Picket Fence
"Feathered Nest Friday" at French Country Cottage

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Curtains that Echo the Garden

 I was inspired to make new curtains for my dining room/library when I saw a picture of a beautiful hand blocked, floral linen from Schumacher. I spent the better part of two days scanning through thousands of fabric swatches at my favored fabric showroom. I returned home with 5-7 swatches I believed evoked the same feeling as the Schumacher. However, once they were displayed in the natural light of the room, only one fit the bill. I was charmed by a floral chintz from Kravet.

I wanted the curtains to be extra full, so I made them 108" wide and interlined them with fleece.

I added buttons I made using a simple tool and a minimal amount of moss green cotton. The trim down the edge was the finishing touch.
 The finished product adds warmth and unity to the room.On dreary winter days the curtains serve as a reminder of the lush seasons to come.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Trusty Chair

I've had this Flexsteel chair for nearly 20 years and I refuse to part with it. It fits shorter people perfectly, and since I'm one of those it helps me maintain some dignity (my feet actually touch the floor). Recently, I had it reupholstered in a black plaid fabric, which works very well in the kitchen.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thrift Shop Finds

Basket, Cheeseboard & Dome, Tea Pot, Mirror, Canister, Wooden Utensils
This morning I picked up this assortment of household goodies for a grand total of $12.38. There's always great finds at local thrift shops. Generally, I donate far more than I purchase and I avoid shopping unless I have specific items in mind. I have the best luck when I scan the store from floor to ceiling, then I backtrack to investigate every nook and cranny. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Dream Home

When cycling through the Cotswolds a few years ago, I discovered my dream home. Isn't it lovely? The owners are very lucky.Check out the link to Cotswold Country Cycles- even my kids loved cycling through the countryside.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Simple Cupboard Makeover

I got a great deal on this antique cupboard for my kitchen. It was the perfect piece to hold a small television and my kids' school supplies; however, I didn't want to see the contents unless I opened the doors. My solution was to pick up some bargain fabric from Calico Corners and 4 adjustable cafe rods. Once I sat at the sewing machine I had the fabric panels sewn and installed in less than an hour.
Now, the electronics and school supplies are hidden.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Slipcover Solution

 The pictured slipcover is one of a pair I had made to cover the diminutive wingbacks that set at the ends of the dining table. I selected a stripe that works well with the drapes and had raspberry embellishment sewn into the prominent seams. Fabric covered buttons seal up the back.

Before slipcovering I liked the base fabric but I wanted to cover up the knee of the Queen Anne leg.
The finished product.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brambly's Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cube butter
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut the butter into the flour until no chunks remain. Add the milk and stir until combined ( if the dough is too wet you may want to add a little flour). Remove dough from bowl and lightly knead on a floured surface. Flatten dough to a medium thickness and cut out biscuits with a round cutter. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until done.

Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder

Add the butter and cut in until no chunks remain

Add milk and stir until moistened

Lightly knead on a floured surface, flatten dough, and cut out biscuits

Bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. Serve warm, slathered with butter and jam