Friday, November 9, 2018

Beauty and the Bench

When we moved the console table that was behind the couch to its new home
in the cabin we created an empty space that never looked quite finished. 
It needed a little pizzazz.
Something to shuzz it up. 


In such a small space, I didn't want another console table or cupboard there.
Then I remembered I had a bench Ron made for me that had a beautiful
blue/gray patina from being outside the last couple of years.

Yes, a bench would be perfect. 
Not too tall, not too wide. Just right. 


But it looked a little bare. 
Hey, that's never a problem; I had lots of treasures yearning to be on display.
I could almost hear them shouting, "Put me in Coach!"

I love the look of books in a room and knew I wanted a stack of books on the bench.
It could also look cozy just with books lined up all the way across it. 


Next, I topped the books with a vintage silver pitcher and some faux flowers. 


Then I added some candles. 


Still looked unfinished. 
So I tried a nice old demijohn, some more candles and a small trophy. 


And voila!
Beauty and the Bench. 

I like that the bench is light and airy and doesn't take up a lot of space. 


Looks like Roxy approves. 
No doubt she thinks there's food on the bench!
Actually, it would also work great for party snacks and drinks. 


I am already imagining what I will do with this bench for the holidays.


So, stay tuned.

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Decorating in the Dark and Great News

Have you ever decorated in the dark?
It can be quite challenging. 
Since we've boarded up the windows of our cabin for the winter, 
the inside of the cabin is very dark, getting only a shaft of light from the skylight.

Here's a photo (with flash) of the cabin bedroom.
Note the windows are covered up with plywood.


This is what it actually looked like without a flash.
The light on the chest of drawers is reflected from the skylight in the other room. 


The rest of the cabin wasn't much lighter since we have no electricity.
However, it did perk up when Ron removed a board from the front window, 
letting in some sunlight. 

But let me back up a bit. 

I hadn't been to the cabin in almost a month and was itching to visit it.
Now that Ron has a Jeep we felt confident we could tackle any snowy roads. 
The main road was clear but the mountain range rimming
the South Park plateau was snow-covered -- a beautiful site. 


We stopped to stretch our legs on the dirt road to our cabin
and saw this gorgeous pond. 
We couldn't see it from the car so we were happy we'd stopped.


We arrived at the cabin and a glorious view.


Once inside where it was a dark 35 degrees, Ron lit the propane heater
and I puttered around a bit in a ski hat and warm jacket. 

I'd found a few old tins at estate sales and displayed them on top of our kitchen cabinets.
Still looking for a few more. 


We've also been shopping for coffee mugs that feature wildlife.


There was enough light from the skylight overhead plus a flash
to do a little decorating in the main room.
I'd brought up a galvanized pitcher filled with some dried grasses
that looked pretty against the long white drapes. 
Lots of battery candles (not turned on) top the long table and cast a soft glow at night. 


We had a neighbor stop by with tales of wildlife sighting in our gulch -- 
a bear, a moose family and lots of elk. 

It never did warm up very much inside the cabin.
We took turns huddling next to the propane heater. 

I tried to convince myself the big wood stove was producing heat.
We didn't want to light it since we were only going to be there for a few hours.
We are very careful about escaping sparks in our absence.


So, 'til next time.
Stay warm my friends!

P.S.!!! Great News.
The sheriff's department caught the person who had been vandalizing
our cabin neighborhood including us.
He was caught in connection with another break-in
and confessed to the burglaries in our area.
Yea!!! We feel so much safer now.
Great work Sheriff's Department.
Thank you!!!

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Vintage Clocks Remind us to Make the Most of Each Minute

We all have things we love to collect.
Right?


Sprinkling them around our homes provides a clue to our personalities.
My collections say I love history and honor the past.  


Among other things, I collect vintage clocks. 


I am drawn to old clocks,


whether they are vintage alarm clocks, stately mantel clocks or giant wall clocks.
(Yes, I collect old mirrors too!)


And whether they work or not . . . 


doesn't matter to me. 


I just adore old clocks . . .
the workmanship, the style, the timeless beauty.


Old clocks make me wonder what might have been happening in a room
while it ticked innocently in the corner.


Recently, I decided to gather my small vintage clocks and display them on my living room mantel
along with tattered books and photographs that tell a story from a bygone era.


Like most things that are displayed in a grouping,
clocks have more impact when they're rubbing shoulders with each other.


Time slips away from us so quickly,
perhaps clocks remind us to make the most of every minute. 


I'd love to know what you like to collect
and what your collections say about you.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

The Cabin: Buttoned Up for the Winter

When forecasters were predicting five inches of snow in Denver, 
we figured that meant at least a foot in the mountains. We were only off by a foot! 
Ski resorts were blanketed with two to three feet of snow!

Fortunately, our mountain cabin only got about a foot.

Yes, the snow was beautiful but we wondered if it would be dicey driving on our county road. 
Ron emailed our cabin neighbors and several replied that the road was snowpacked but passable.

I decided to stay home to take care of Roxy (who doesn't tolerate the altitude). 
As for me, I must admit I don't tolerate the cold!


Ron had already boarded up some of the cabin windows and the front door 
but he wanted to cover the front windows as well. 
So he drove his Jeep Wrangler up into the mountains. 
On the way he saw a herd of about 20 antelope. 

We had a new solid door installed after the break-in that I painted on our last visit. 
It has two heavy-duty bolts and a good lock and is very secure. 


While I was painting, I heard several elk calling to each other very close by.
Such a thrill. 


The Jeep performed well, even on the muddy side road to the cabin.
When Ron arrived at the cabin this is what he found.


In his best melodramatic voice, he called me and said,
"And I had but one thought . . .  to survive!"


The mountains were breathtaking in their white coats. 


Ron braved the freezing weather to make a path to the cabin. 
The inside of the cabin was also 32 degrees.


Anything liquid had frozen solid including dishwashing liquid, cans of soup
and even the toothpaste. Ron brought all of those things back home to thaw.

Since we don't have electricity or running water in the cabin,
we didn't have to do a lot of winterizing. 


It was so cold Ron decided to board up the remaining windows 
and come right back home. I didn't blame him. 


Hopefully, we can visit the cabin on sunny winter days.
For now, it's good to know it's all buttoned up for the winter.

(Photos by Ron Boyd)

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Mystique in my French Attic

Before I begin this post let me thank everyone for your great comments/suggestions/advice 
on my last post "Is it Cozy or Cramped." 
So many amazing ideas. 
I wish you all could go to the cabin with me to help me move furniture!
Thanks so very much!

***

Now on to this week's post "Mystique in my French Attic."

As I sit at my desk in a room I've always thought of as my tiny French attic,
it's raining and snowing outside.
Skies are painted Paris gray and gold leaves are tumbling down the street. 

But I'm snug and warm in my office,
a place that makes me think of the romance and allure of Paris.
Shall we rendezvous in my French attic?


Here's a wide shot of this tiny attic space.
You'll notice I've painted the bistro chair at my desk French blue.
The desk was six different primary colors when I bought it at an antique store. 
Looks completely different all white and pulls the room's French decor together. 


I love the warmth of a small lamp on my desk.
The shade is punched with tiny pinpricks reminding me of a magical starry night in Paris.


Note the wicker stand next to the red leather chair (estate sale bargain). 
The top holds decorating magazines and the bottom shelf stores large books.


I like to drape monogrammed linens over the front.
Don't you wonder who they were lovingly created for?


I found this pretty curvy gate in a neighborhood alley 
and it was the perfect size to frame my wicker flower stand.
I can imagine it on an ivy-draped French patio
where women were wooed and men were charmed.


Behind the red chair you'll notice the tall chippy post we rescued from a construction dumpster.
It adds age and patina to that French attic mood.


Tying my white sheers in the middle lets in light
and makes me imagine stepping outside onto an iron balcony
overlooking the rooftops of Paris.


I moved my vintage typewriter to the shelves above my desk, making room for a classic telephone.
This red mid-century modern cart complements the Paris apartment mood
and holds this enchanting vintage telephone.
 I wish it still worked.  I have to admit I like playing with the rotary dial!


You can't really see the top shelf in this room but it's lined with old black and white hat boxes. 
I wonder why we stopped wearing hats.
I loved the mystery behind the netting held with a black velvet bow.

It's fun to watch 1940s black and white movies to see how things have changed. 
Women were always dressed so beautifully and men looked so dashing in their fedoras!

It won't be long til the street below is dressed in white, a film noir just outside my window. 
So where are all the men in fedoras?

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Is it Cozy or Cramped?

Ron and I have this ongoing argument  discussion about furnishing our mountain cabin.
Is it cozy or cramped?
Charming or cluttered?


We're both proponents of simple living but realize this means different things to different people.
Do we live with the bare necessities or simply do without those things we really don't need?
Maybe it means we stop holding onto things in case we might need them someday?
If it gives you pleasure, is it OK in a crowded room?

What does simplifying mean to you?


Since I love French Country style, I prefer a casual/elegant look with comfy, cushy seating, a soft rug on the floor, chunky throws, warm comforters piled on the bed and vintage accessories --
more like in our guest room here at home. 


Ron, on the other hand, prefers a more simple look with, well, just the basics. 
Maybe an antler here or there.
I wouldn't call him a minimalist though because he also loves collecting
quirky old toys and 1950s memorabilia.
But in the cabin he's satisfied with a chair or two and a table to hold a beverage and a sandwich.


I think the trick here is to sneak, I mean mix, in a few things that I think will make the cabin
feel personal and inviting such as this black crow decoy and vintage child's dress. 


I've had this vision for the cabin bedroom in my mind
since we purchased this cabin four months ago.
There's a spectacular view out the bedroom window that looks directly at a massive mountain.


I kept thinking I needed a small writing desk at that window where I could look up from a
magazine and contemplate this impressive mountain in between sips of hot tea.


I hadn't had any luck finding one and then,
I came across just the table I'd dreamed of in an antique store. 
And it was 50% off!
I was attracted to the unusual "peanut" shape of the little desk 
and knew it would fit perfectly under the window.


But the desk and chair made the small room seem a tiny bit crowded
with a rocking chair, bed and chest of drawers in there.

I remembered my self-imposed rule of "buy something new, get rid of something old."
In this small space, I knew I couldn't get away with just recycling a paperback book.
So instead of getting rid of something, I decided to try moving something.

 I tried shifting my Dad's lovely old rocking chair into the living area, and although 
I thought it looked welcoming and cozy, Ron proclaimed it was too cramped. 
Therefore, with compromise on my mind and love in my heart,
I thought about taking it back home.


One thing I have learned in this small 336 square-foot space is that every inch counts,
whether you're creating a cozy room or building a strong relationship. 
Today we have the tiny home trend to help us think about using space in a different way 
and perhaps living a little more simply.

Not that I'm giving up on adding my own personal touch to our tiny cabin. 
And even Ron agrees this pretty plaid loveseat is cozy, not cramped!
Here's a photo of the space without the rocker. 


So, for now, I'm living with the chair in the living room (first photo).
I'll take some time to mull it over before making a decision.
Cozy or cramped?

I still think that rocking chair looks welcoming and cozy!

I'd love to know what you think.

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