Friday, November 17, 2017

A Day of Holiday Shopping

Sometimes holiday inspiration can be no further away than your local antique store or market. 
Shop owners are masters of staging and we can always pick up a few creative ideas from them. 


Even if you don't buy anything, the colorful displays are sure to inspire some clever ideas
and get you in the holiday mood. 


We just visited the Old House Vintage Market in Loveland, Colorado 
and saw lots of wonderful holiday goodies.




I may have to include some of these pretties in my letter to Santa.


After a nice lunch, we drove across town to peek in a couple of our favorite antique stores
where we ooh'ed and ahh'ed at their holiday displays. 









With Christmas just around the corner, this fun day was just the ticket 
to get the creative holiday juices flowing. 


It's not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts and decor. 
Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Oh, and Santa dear, I really loved those rooster pillows!

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Friday, November 10, 2017

French Country: A Touch of Bleu in the Foyer

I still love my neutral palette of creams and whites, but when I discovered 
a chippy blue window frame in the alley, I decided to incorporate it into my foyer design.


Here's a "before" picture without the touch of blue.
What a difference that little bit of blue makes!


The window frame leaning against the wall 
makes a pretty backdrop for my straw-covered bottles.


And the bleu really pops!


In a sea of neutrals, blue draws the eye and amps up a space.


 This color makes me think of a beautiful blue sky or a soothing indigo ocean.


I scrounged around until I found the perfect old blue book -- 
"David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens to add to the grouping.


I think the rusty orange berries and the spicy orange candle are a nice contrast to the blue
(and they're Denver Bronco colors!).


Blue and orange are opposite each other on the color wheel,
making them striking complementary colors.


What does the color blue mean to you?
For me, blue inspires calmness and a sense of serenity.


It symbolizes freedom. optimism and new beginnings -- a perfect color
to incorporate into my foyer as we look forward to a new year of possibilities.


This blue-framed house blessing is a special greeting in the foyer.
I just love it.

In case you can't read it, it says:

Peace abide beneath thy rooftree
Cheer along its rafters ring,
Joy and mirth and laughter gather
Neath thy firelights flickering.
Hope illumine all the shadows
with a radiance divine,
And the arms of love forever
Shelter thee and thine.



I hear designers are proclaiming blue is having a moment now.
I guess that means the style gurus think it's the current must-have color.


I know it's always been one of my favorite colors even though I don't have a lot of it in my home.
But I do think a touch of bleu is just right.

Happy November everyone and let's remember
to honor our veterans on Veterans' Day, November 11th. ! 

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Friday, November 3, 2017

A New Arrangement

If you're like me, you probably have a closet or storage space that holds accessories you don't
use all the time. Christmas decorations, faux fall leaves and gourds, silk summer flowers. 

Isn't it fun to shop your own "home store" to create new arrangements without spending a dime?
When the itch hits me, which is does with seasonal regularity, 
I like to change things up and design new arrangements.

Look at things you already have with a fresh eye.
This wire basket had previously held a stack of wash cloths in the bathroom. 
Now it contains old books, a brown glass bottle, and a striped croquet ball in the guest room.


I brought this outdoor urn into the dining room and
added some faux boxwood to extend the summer season. 



Accessories are the easiest way to craft new looks, and you don't even have to move
heavy furniture (although I like to do that too, just ask Ron)!
I needed something to balance the furniture on each side of the dining room mantel 
so Ron moved the sewing machine base from the front porch for me. Perfect!


Infusing a few new finds can give your old arrangement a fresh look. I found this unique
galvanized milk jug and mason jar candle at an antique store while visiting Ohio recently.
Mixing in a wooden bowl from the dining room filled with pine cones and walnuts
adds warmth and brings the outside in. 


These green bottles and jars look completely different when they are all displayed together. 
Like one of our Colorado magpies, I'm always attracted to bright shiny objects!


Switching out vintage books and a pair of opera glasses for a bird's nest 
under this old glass cloche was an easy makeover. 
I also use the cloche at Christmas to hold a holiday arrangement. 


I've been incorporating a horsey feel to the guest room so I rescued my toy horse from the attic. 
He usually makes an appearance at Christmas giving stuffed teddy bears a ride under the tree
but he looks great under this tall window. 


It seemed like the perfect time to move my black velvet riding helmet to the nightstand shelf.


The simple addition of Edgar, the raven, (named after Edgar Allen Poe) 
added a moody dimension to my foyer display. 


I'd been thinking about trying my hand at creating a gallery wall in my stairway.
I used pictures I already had, either in storage or hanging elsewhere, that had a similar feel. 
I laid a stair-step arrangement out on the floor first then measured and marked spots for nails. 
The verdict? From bland to beautiful!
(And there's plenty of space to add to the gallery in the future.)


And finally, a new arrangement on the dining table brings a touch of romance to the room
with a fall centerpiece of candles, autumn leaves, pine cones and nuts.
I found the pretty toile tablecloth at a yard sale.

The two champagne glasses have a funny provinance . . . when we moved into this house, we discovered these glasses tucked into the rafters of the basement where a teenage boy had hidden
them along with his poor report cards! We always think of him whenever we use them. 


So, are you ready for a new arrangement?
Have fun and good luck!

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Return to the Country

A visit to the country is always a welcome relief from busy city life 
but it's especially nice when the country is my sister's farm in rural Ohio. 
Jan, Ron and their son Brad call it the Dead End Ranch.

I love farm animals and this goofy goat seemed to be saying "Welcome!"


The views on the farm were never ending
and I could feel my shoulders relaxing a bit more each day I was there.


One can't help but take a deep breath looking out over the fields.


You know you're in the country when you're awakened by a crow instead of an alarm clock.


As peaceful as the farm was I couldn't wait to explore the countryside a bit. 
The usual fall display of colors was sadly missing this October 
but the massive old barns dotting the rolling hills made up for it.




Along the way, we saw some charming old vine-covered buildings,


an old spring house along the road where people still fill their jugs, 


and an abandoned church with an old cemetery.


I couldn't get enough of these sweet funny farm animals and wanted to "play" with them all day.


Relunctantly we moved on as there was more awaiting us as we drove into Amish country.
Once you get away from the touristy main street, this area is magical.

I just loved the pristine farms. Everything was so clean and tidy . . .


even the furry cows looked like they'd just had a shampoo!


But the real treat was spotting an Amish horse and buggy. These horses were magnificent 
and the buggies made you feel like you'd stepped back into a simpler time.


The horses and buggies even had their own parking spots.


 I was careful not to photograph any of the Amish people as they prefer not to 
have their pictures taken. That didn't stop me from snapping the beautiful horses and buggies.


It made sense there would be buggy and carriage shops in this part of the state.
Wish I could have bought this sign!


We finally said goodbye to Amish country and headed back to the farm . . .


where my sister's peaceful farmhouse awaited our return.
The best part of this trip was, of course, spending time with family. 


It was good to be home.

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