Getting It Right

Not only was I bored spending most of my time in bed for 10 weeks, but I began obsessing on things wrong in the bedroom.   The hubby knew that was going to lead to some kind of overhaul, and, indeed, it did.

bedroomSeveral years ago, some walls in the bedroom and study were done with Venetian plaster  that blended more than one color.  The color chosen for the remaining walls was never right, but since I saw them in the dim light of morning and night I let it go.  Not possible after looking at it day after day.

So, the first thing was to choose a new color that would blend a little better.  After sampling several grays, the selection was Sherwin Williams Lazy Gray.  A new color meant new carpet, darker than the one that had shown every little bit of dirt. How much airier the space seemed with those changes!

The hubby thought that was enough, but no, I wasn’t finished.  Every picture was relocated.  I don’t know where the botanicals came from, but I found them in a closet.  What made them a great choice is the frame which picked up the tones in the piece over the bed.

Art that hung over the fireplace was pleasing, but the frames were mismatched. Again I shopped the house, gathering pieces that not only had matching frames but played off the colors dominating the room.  And, note those shelves.  All the clutter is gone and what’s there looks like it belongs.

Now on a roll, I gathered a few other odds and ends as accessories, and they, too, look like they were made for the space.

Though the hubby groaned  thinking the project was unnecessary, he admitted when all was done that the changes were quite an improvement.  That made it all worthwhile, but he’s hoping I don’t have opportunity to obsess over something else in the near future!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

A Flurry of Energy

After years of things piling up in his study, the hubby got bit by a flurry of energy.  For two days he went through every drawer and shelf carefully sorting the necessary from the unnecessary.  Five garbage bags later he was done, and his space is so organized it’s barely recognizable!

His energy was contagious and inspired me to attack the screen porch which this time of year is pollen laden.  I gathered broom, mop and bucket and set to work sneezing my way through the cleaning process.

Some time ago, an old table and chairs was replaced with a new set.  While the black was OK with the other furniture, it struck me that it all might look better the same color, so off to Home Depot for some black spray paint.

With the porch all clean, the furniture painted and back in place, and the hubby’s study all sparkling clean it was cause for celebration!

Luckily, it was one of those Houston evenings perfect for a simple dinner on the porch.  Simple because we were worn out by our efforts!

Simple also describes the table set with hand made pottery consistent in color but with funky shapes and pattern that make each piece unique.

The glasses, too, are offbeat with indentions at just the right spots for fingers and thumb.  I always wonder if that was intentional or a happy accident.

The napkins were an unconscious choice, but when I put them on the table I had a flashback.   They and matching placemats were an early project on my first floor loom. That means they go back about 30 years and they haven’t faded one bit despite many washings.  I can’t say the same for my store bought napkins!

Surrounded by nothing but bird song, gentle breeze and the sound of water trickling from the fountain, our tired bodies enjoyed a relaxed evening on the porch patting ourselves on the back for our flurry of energy.  Now we’ll see how long we maintain such order!

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Tablescape Thursday

Touches Here and There

The hubby has never been very interested in helping with holiday decor, and with no kids in the house some of my enthusiasm has waned.  These days less is more and the touches here and there are ever so simple.  For sure, not everything comes out of storage which makes whatever is used seem new again.

Christmas decorSo, come on in, take a look at this year’s simple touches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’ll not find a Christmas tree loaded with ornaments, but inside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand out there will be one or two or maybe three trees on a tabletop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASanta may play a holiday tune

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while his buddies dance to the rhythm.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot all Santas are alike

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhich is what makes each one special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the season there are touches of red, some new  and some borrowed from another room.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery room has simple touches,

some adding gaiety and sparkle,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsome reminding of the meaning of Christmas.

As each piece is put in place I pause to remember its history.  Each one has a story, and it’s fun to remember the where and when.  While what you see here are this year’s favorite things, I’m sure that something different will catch my eye next time.  Or maybe some of the same things will be used differently.  You’ll have to come back next year to see!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind.

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Make It Pretty Monday

A Peek Inside

Maine homes are as diverse as the people who live in them, and I am enthralled by each one I’m lucky to experience.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow could one not be comfortable here where casual is so inviting?

At every turn is a vignette which to my eye invites being captured on canvas.  Since I’m not adept at painting, using a camera will have to do.

The house is full of items collected here and there, and I’m betting there’s a story behind each,

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including how this guy came to find his place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe kitchen with its organized clutter is so inviting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand I can only guess at the stories that have been shared around this table about life in Maine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, I love these peeks inside that give insight to people and suggest so many ways of living.  There’s more to come.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday

The Scoop

Wow Us Wednesday

The Return

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Returning to Rockport, my initial urge is to get everything perfect, so armed with cleaning stuffs I begin the process of getting all things in order.

porchCrazy as it might seem, I begin outside where winter weather takes a toll.  Tarps have to be removed from furniture and porches scrubbed clean.  

IMG_6591That done all things have to be put in their place and pots that have stayed inside all winter are reintroduced to the sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen it’s to the inside where the first thing that catches my eye is a tabletop that I can’t bear to leave bare

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand a cabinet surface in need of a little dressing up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few favorite things that make their own statement took care of that in a minute.

Maine houseMoving on to the living room, it took only a glance to suggest that it was time to change rich toned slipcovers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAto  lighter ones more suitable for the season ahead.  That is not as easy as it sounds as it requires a lot of pulling and tugging.  On a roll now, I decided to move furniture 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand accessories around for a new look.  Talk about an easy way to redecorate!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s amazing how such simple changes can give an entirely different energy to a room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith outside and inside in pretty good shape, bathing Miss Daisy was the next order of business.  She likes being clean, too!

Next up will be the yard, but that will have to wait for another day.  For now, I’m calling it a day and heading for bed!

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday

The Scoop

Hearts and Flowers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt didn’t take too many years of marriage to realize that if Valentine’s was going to have a romantic dinner it had best be at home.

While the hubby has many wonderful traits, thinking ahead to make dinner reservations for one of the busiest nights of the year isn’t one of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s possible he wouldn’t even remember Valentine’s unless he saw it on the calendar or someone reminded him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen he would call and suggest we go out for dinner.  Good deal I would think, but when the time came we’d go first one place then another only to find out there was no room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a couple of hours of being turned away, we’d go home, both of us a little irritated, for a bowl of cereal or on a good night a grilled cheese sandwich.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow we look back and laugh at those attempts as we enjoy dinner at home.   Sometimes it’s just the two of us, other times we have friends join us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think the other husbands are quite happy to come here as it takes the pressure off them to plan a special night out.  For all of us, it’s an enjoyable evening in a relaxed setting with what is usually pretty good food.

No matter how you acknowledge Valentine’s, I hope it is just right.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Inspiration Thursday

Continuing On

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For more years than we can remember, 8 of us have gathered once each month for what we call gourmet night.  Most of the time it’s here in Houston, but we’ve also made it happen in Hackberry, Louisiana, Charleston and Rockport, Maine.  No matter where we are, it’s a fun evening of lively conversation, laughter and good eats. Best of all, it is a continuation of long time friendships.

How it works is the host couple plans the menu, generally 4 courses, and sends it to each of the other couples with their particular food assignment.  This works very well as no one has to do an inordinate amount of preparation.

IMG_5627When it’s my turn, as it was in January, I have as much fun setting a table as planning the menu.  In fact, I usually set the table several days in advance and let it help determine what should be served.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore often than not my table is inspired by whatever textile I pull from my abundant collection.  This one is a beauty from Thailand handwoven of silk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there, I look around the house to see what would work as a centerpiece, and it is always a surprise to see what captures my eye.  Very often you can be sure it has a touch of whimsy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith this being the first gourmet of the season, it seemed right to add a little glamor to the table, and I chose to use china that once belonged to my mother.  That means the table is as fancy as it’s ever going to get in this house.

Napkin folding is one of those tricks that makes a table special, and none could be easier than this one that forms a pocket for the flatware.

IMG_5618As I was finishing the table, it struck me as somewhat sophisticated which made me think the meal should be the same.  From somewhere in the recesses of my mind came an image of Beef Wellington.  Along with brie topped with a sundried tomato mixture, watercress soup, roasted fingerling potatoes and a chocolate raspberry tart it was perfect for a dinner celebrating friendship and a new year.   

29112_beef_wellingtonDon’t let the idea of Beef Wellington scare you off.  It’s not as hard as it appears.  There are many recipes, and all have some mushroom/onion/garlic mix spread on puff pastry that is wrapped around a tenderloin.  I used baby bells which are more flavorful than button mushrooms, and I also encased the beef with thin slices of pancetta which added a little mystery to the taste.  I wish I had added some chopped spinach to the mushroom mix now that I think about it.  As with any recipe, it’s always fun to experiment with your own touches.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Inspiration Thursday

Tablescape Thursday