Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Before I get started
 let me say thank you to all
 the men and women who join efforts
 to keep our country safe for all of us.  Thank you for your service.

I have been away for awhile
 and know that I have missed
 some treasured moments
 in your lives. 

 I have a lot of 
catching up to do 
and will be visiting you all soon.

When we last talked,
 I said I was a little bit country
 and a little bit 
rock and roll...

FYI:  The pieces of old glass, in the antique candy jar, were all found in the garden of the Cottage

...but I have since taken a test,
 and it turns out
 that I'm a little bit farmhouse bling
 and classic
 with a touch of boho!

If you are curious
 as to what
 your decorating style is
 go to:  www.homegoods.com
 and click on Stylescope Quiz.

  You will choose five pictures 
that appeal to you
 and from that 
your style is revealed.
  Is it accurate?
 Who knows,
 but it's a fun little process
 and I have to say...

...I had this project completed
 before I took the test
 and I think it is a
 pretty good definition 
of boho!

I shared this chest in its former glory 
when we first bought it.
 Even though it is a pleasing color scheme,
 it didn't work for me.
 I like the lines and style of it
 and it was perfect
 for the space where we wanted to put it
 and, besides, it had a fun secret...

...did you already guess
 that it is a cedar chest?
 I think it is probably from the 1940's.
 The top lifts up
 and the inside is fully lined
 with cedar.
  The only drawers that open
 are the very bottom two,
 which actually is just one big drawer,
 also fully cedar lined.
  The other drawers are all dummies.
  I thought it would be perfect
 for storing linens, placemats, quilts, etc.

Here is a close-up
 of the new carpeting 
that sparked the whole start of this project.
  We have no hall ways in this old Cottage
 and the main path
 from the front door 
to pretty much every other room
 in the house is through this space.
  In order for the carpeting to stand up to this task
 we decided on a commercial grade of flooring.
  This was the same procedure we followed 
with the old carpeting 
and it did hold up well 
over the twenty years or so. 
 Hope this one does the same.

I also am having to use the flash
 on the camera,
 which normally I don't like to do,
 but for some reason
 the colors that we have chosen
 do not show up
 as well as they do 
to the human eye
 when photographing.

To the left of the chest
 is the game table and four chairs
 that were originally in the kitchen. 
 Right now I am displaying a
 large wooden bowl, atop a small braided rug,
filled with old wooden croquet balls,
 and a country duck.
  The displays will change often
 and the setting will be perfect 
for tea or late supper before the fire,
 an occasional project
 or even playing games.

I found this metal sphere
 that hangs above the game table
 in a shop in Auburn
 called The Front Porch
 and it has been quickly added
to the list 
of my favorite places to shop.

We just picked up
 the tall, worn shutters
 at a street fair in Lodi 
and the stand was one we found 
at the side of the road.
  I painted it with Annie Sloan Old Ochre.
  The very tall angel candle holder 
was a sale item 
from Pier One.

You have seen this display
 on top of the cedar chest before. 
 I had the rabbit out for Easter 
and decided he needed to stay. 
 The basket of dried hydrangeas
 are from last summer's garden harvest
 and I embellished
 a K-Mart lamp shade
 with burlap ribbon and trim.
  The tall tin spire
 was picked up at HomeGoods awhile back.

  This display is my personal favorite
 in the room. 
 I love the "quietness" of it 
compared to the colors on the chest
 and the bright sunlight
 that comes through the window.

This is an old rocker
 we have had for a really long time. 
 It had been roughed around a bit 
over the years
 so I experimented
 with a few different colors of paint,
 which I showed in my last post,
 before settling on a final coat of black.
  Some of the red
 from the previous coat
 shows through
 and I added the black and tan
 checked chair pads for comfort. 
 We found the little side table
 at another street fair. 
 It was aqua 
and I repainted it
 with Old Ocher.

I bought new lace curtains 
in a heavier weight
 than the rest of the windows 
but wanted to keep the sight line
 from outside fairly consistent.
  We will be adding wooden roman shades
 at the top of the windows
 to cut down on sun 
and heat
 in the summer.

I added the wood alphabet strip
 above the window
 for some country whimsy. 
 It came from a classroom 
in the school where Tami works
 and she knew
 I would love it.

I brought much of my
 Wisconsin pottery collection 
 out of the kitchen
 and placed it around the room
 to bring a little more 
of the farmhouse-country look 
into the mix.

I borrowed this old picture
 from the Captain's library. 
 The coloring in the print 
and the matting 
is a good match
 for what is going on in the room. 
 We also borrowed the shelf 
out of the kitchen,
 painted it black, 
and now I can change the look
 much like I do on the mantles.

 I guess I will have to stop using
 the word 'borrow'
 and start calling it
 what it is,

I ordered a woven throw
 and made covers to go on the pillows
 that came with the sofa
 and added another pillow cover 
on which I stenciled
 the bird and branch.

You have already seen the update
 to the antique wagon
 and I have added an old wooden tote
 to hold a candle and a crock full 
of fresh cut ivy 
from the garden.

We have had this oak table
 with turned legs for many years. 
 The lamp was my Mother's Day gift 
from the Captain. 
 A few books,
 some small family pictures,
 and fresh flowers
 complete the vignette.

The corner apothecary cupboard
 has recently had a new make-over
 and holds a collection of small birds
 and a tribute to Ashley and Buddy,
 our two beloved
 golden retrievers.

We brought this small chair
 in from the kitchen for now,
 but a new one will take it's place 
before too long,
 I hope. 
Also shown is another fast steal
 from the Captain's library,
 this one painted 
before I knew 
I was boho!

This chimney cupboard 
was made for us by a friend
 a few years ago. 
 It is based on an antique
 and constructed with old wood.
  I have stored magazines in it
 in the past
 but have now added more pieces
 of the Wisconsin pottery.
 The child's rocker
 came out of an old house in San Francisco
 and has a seat fashioned 
of fabric from
 a carpetbag.

To break up the expanse of carpet,
 we added the area rug 
that was in the library. 
 It has some blue that ties
 into the parlor. 
 It's not exactly right but,
 if I've learned anything
 from this process,
 it is that everything
 will fall into place

 let's address the elephant in the room!
  I hate the look
 but wouldn't give it up
 for all the tea in China. 
 Someday we hope to replace
 the cabinet
 when we can find
 the right one.

Sorry for the overload on pictures.
  I thought about breaking it up
 into two parts,
 but decided enough is enough.
  Get it done!

As far as my decorating style goes,
 I don't know about the farmhouse bling,
 unless you count the sun
 shining through
 the windows.

"These gems have life in them: their colors speak,
 say what words fail of."

George Eliot

We have ended up 
with a warm and inviting room,
 which is all that I wanted
 from the beginning.


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Sunday, May 10, 2015


"I'm a little bit country...

...and I'm a little bit rock n roll

I'm a little bit of Memphis and Nashville
With a little bit of Motown 
in my soul."

Written by Marty Cooper\Performed by Donny and Marie Osmond, 1976

I have always been attracted 
to country decorating 
since we bought our first house and,
 although I'm not from Memphis or Nashville,
 as a teenager in the 1950's 
how could a bit of rock n roll 
not be a part
 of my soul?

When we started this renewal
 of our sitting room,
 I felt I wanted to tie it in
 with the parlor
 as far as the blue walls
 and the burgundy carpeting
 were concerned,
 but not necessarily
 in the Victorian style of decorating.

 You will recall 
that when I took a sample
 of the parlor wallpaper
 into the paint store,
 the decorator suggested a gold color
 for the walls,
 but I thought it looked too washed out
 and went with my original gut feeling
 of blue.

Once upon a time,
 which I had forgotten for the moment,
 that was a great idea,
 and I will explain that later on 
in this post.

We have had this burgundy carpeting
 for about 15 or 20 years. 
 It was still in very good shape,
 I like it,
 and we decided that we didn't want
 to spend any extra money 
at this time
 to replace it.

Sofa shown as it sat on the showroom floor

We did splurge on a new sofa. 
 Our former sofa was not
 of the greatest quality 
and it didn't hold up very well. 
 We loved the fact
 that this new sofa
 has actual springs in it 
and didn't have the loose back cushions
 that tend to sag and smoosh down 
over time
 and lose their shape.

Something about this combination
 of colors
 would not gel in my mind 
and when the pieces of painted furniture
 were added to the mix,
 it just wasn't doing it.

We had the room pretty much
 put back together 
and it looked, and felt,
 so cold and impersonal 
no matter what I did.

What was I thinking? 
 Deep down in my mind,
 I think I knew what the problem was
 but, we had agreed on certain ideas,
 and I didn't want to do
 what I thought would start World War 3 
by bringing anything up.

 I thought there had to be a solution
 that would work itself out.

I don't know why 
this surprises me every time,
 but I have no words to express
 how much I appreciate
 my darling husband.

 I really tried to be grown-up
 and sensible about my feelings
 but I just couldn't help showing 
how much I was devastated 
by this problem. 
he just spoke out loud 
what I had been thinking..
 "We should get new carpeting."...

...and he proceeded 
to rip up the old carpet
 along with the padding.

When the sub floor was exposed,
 we saw evidence of paint
 we had used in the past. 
 Can you believe
 how close the blues are?

We also found a small piece
 of the former carpeting 
that had been lodged
 in back of the tack board.
 It was basically
 the same type of carpeting
 as the burgundy
 only in a blue-gray color.

  The sofa we had at that time
 was upholstered in a small
 blue and white check.

  It all was a throw back 
to the country style 
that I mentioned before
 and, along with the dark blue paint,
 it was quite
 a charming, warm and comfortable room.

After choosing the new carpeting,
 a new paint color was suggested 
and that sealed the deal.

 now we have an 
'I told you so' moment! 
 Had I listened more closely
 and not been so stubborn, 
could we have saved 
some time and anguish,
 not to mention some money?
 Maybe so,
 but there is that new carpet to consider!

The carpet is on order 
and will be installed on May 21,
 so until that is done,
 and everything put back together,
 I will take a short break from blogging
 and will be back 
with all the pretty details
 of the reveal...Part Two (and FINAL).

 I am sorry
 if I have become a sort of a tease,
 but I just couldn't justify anything
 until I felt 
that the room was at it's best
 and now,
 I think we have achieved that goal
 and I can't wait
 to share it with you.

 I hope you all had 
a wonderful Mother's Day 
and I will see you back here soon.


Before I leave you
 I must share what the Captain was up to
 while I was typing this post.

 He was making me
 a mouth watering Mother's Day feast.

 He called me to dinner 
in a room that looks like the city dump,
 on a table
 that is better intended for a lamp
 than for food,
 with paper towels for napkins,
 and unmatched silverware 
and the biggest smile on his face
 and love in his heart.
 I can't think of a better way 
to spend
 Mother's Day.

I am one lucky Mother!

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