Friday, December 2, 2016

Colby's Sleepover and Matthew Mead's new magazine

Look how cute Colby looks posing with Sylvia!
You may know that Sylvia belongs to my son Justin and daughter in law Madison.
Well they are off on a well deserved trip, and I am the go to dog sitter.
Colby has been an over excited pup wanting to have a friend forever,
and so it took a few days for him to calm down.  
This was day makes me laugh out loud. I think Sylvia's facial
expression is the same as mine!! Colby was relentless in his pursuit and 
I think for the first day I carried her around, hoping he would relax.
He finally did, and it was sooner rather than later.
Today I was preparing a blog post for our new Christmas tree from 
Tree Classics in our family room (which I rarely photograph).
Sylvia toddled into the room right past my tripod and struck a pose.
Then Colby followed, as he usually does, and he struck a pose beside her.
It was so cute.  Goes to show animals will figure out how to be friends,
even if one is bigger and stronger and more rambunctious than the other.
When Colby was a tiny pup it was a lot easier to avoid him...
but not anymore! But maybe this ten day sleepover did the trick.
As I write they are both napping in my living room. Sweet!
I wanted to give you an alert about Matthew Mead's latest publication, 
its due on newsstands December 5th.  
Upstyled Home by Country Sampler.
Lots of quality content in here, AND no ads, as usual.
What you will find are House Tours that you haven't seen anywhere else,
including the one and only Sandra Kelly's Gustavian style home.
I went to video tape behind the scenes of Matthew shooting this home, and we have
it on our YouTube channel.  The link is on the sidebar if you want to see it, 
under Decorating Videos.  This house is totally my style, and I loved getting to see
Sandra's home in person.  If for this house alone, I would recommend buying this issue!!
Of course there is a ton of other stuff, including a house made from a barn, and it had 
gorgeous big wing chairs covered in black and white toile. Ok, HELLO.
Ideas galore and DIY crafts and upcycled projects too, which is basically my middle name.
Upcycling stuff is taking everyday things and remaking them into something else
or using them for some other purpose.  I think most of us are UPCYCLERS!
Speaking of magazines, this is one of the images you will see in Romantic Country,
spring issue 2017 which features my living room on the cover.
On the inside is a story of my home, and it is really a love story of me and Dave
and how we made our house a home.  I loved how Sandra Soria, the writer of 
my feature, pulled it together.  It is out on newsstands now, so if you are out looking
for Matthew's Upcycled Style, look for my issue too.  
By the way, that bench was how I actually met Matthew.  He was selling it,
and I ended up buying it. And then we became friends!
I will be sharing my family room Christmas Tree next week, and I 
have to tell you, it is WONDERFUL having two trees in our home!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Gilded Pink Toile Christmas Table

Its all about Holiday Entertaining in today's posts (and all week long)
as part of Designthusiasm's Set + Style blog hop.
A special welcome to those who have just arrived from
my friend Courtney's ever gorgeous French Country Cottage!
But before we begin...
Can I just tell you all that I got my copy of this magazine
yesterday in my mailbox?! That is my living room on the cover!!
The COVER!! (Yes I am yelling.)
Ok, ok.... Just had to share.  I am over it. (Not)
Now back to our gorgeous table features.
Pink and Gilded and Toile for Christmas?
Yes. Yes. And Yes!
Why not use one's favorite things at Christmas?!
 Christmas means its the perfect time for fantasy and fairytale decor.
 Small twinkling trees are the perfect way to set the mood.
Layer in some of your favorite things with a bit of whimsy for good measure,
like these tiny white angel wings that I found at Joann's fabrics.
They came in pink too, and would have been so pretty....
But I wasn't sure then how I was going to use the little white wings when I bought them.
(The point being:  if you see something that captures you, buy it.
You will find a way to use it, I guarantee it.)
 Gold always elevates the mood, doesn't it?
 These striped gold and white candles 
(a knockoff of the high priced lovely Ana Candles that I have in my sconces) 
were a happy find at Marshalls~a box of six for the same price. 
Gold lusterware salad plates set atop gold rimmed dinner plates,
all vintage finds from various New England shops. 
Pink and celery green toile placemats were a set I made years ago
when I couldn't find what I wanted. They add a feminine French touch.
Repousse candlesticks in silverplate are new additions from a charming 
vintage shop in Dover, New Hampshire, called Just The Thing.
 A pair of grocery store topiaries were transplanted to some self-watering
 cache pots for a finished look. Rosy red cranberries were sprinkled about on the table,
inside the vase, and on top of the topiaries potting soil.
Grocery stores have so much goodness for decorating these days!!
And if pink isn't your thing....
think how easy it would be to change out the pink elements for red or white
if you wanted a more traditional Christmas look. 
Happy Holidays to you all, now let the parties begin!
Head on over to the wonderful blog of Sand and Sisal who is next up
on the tour.  Then check out the rest of my design blogger friends 
to see their special Christmas tables, it will certainly put you in the mood!
If you missed Monday's posts:
monday thumbnails
Coming Wednesday
Coming Thursday
Coming Friday

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Monday, November 28, 2016

If you don't have a Christmas tree....

 Its the holiday season, and for me that means decorating.
I love to change the look of our home to reflect the Christmas season.
That means garlands and ornaments and trees!
Frosted trees are a favorite and I found a cute little one at Hobby Lobby.
Just this small version of a Christmas tree added instant cheer to the room.
Even before Thanksgiving I started with one full size tree, then I added one more.
I get a lot of enjoyment out of our trees~I think they bring a room to life 
at Christmas time.  But I was thinking that maybe many of you don't have
the time, the money or the energy to put up a tree.  So the next best thing is
to take an everyday object in your room, and decorate it!
Lamps and chandeliers are great places to add swags of garland,
bits of greenery and ornaments.  
This large cherub lamp is festooned in blues and greens.
Old fashioned mercury glass style beads and tiny ornaments 
drip from the five arms of this gilded light fixture.
On the other end of the piano is a gold lantern that wears a small frosted
wreath with a few baubles and a skinny velvet ribbon.
 Sticking with my theme of blue and green and natural greens,
this lantern is decked out for the holidays. At night the candles
are turned on to add more ambience to the room.
So don't fret if you don't have a tree...
create a little magic with your everyday things.
You will be relaxing in no time...just like my little grand-dog Sylvia,
I am babysitting her all week long and I think she is fine with it.
I will be back a few more times this week with more Christmas posts
and that Perfect Rug I was telling you about a few weeks ago. 
It arrived, and it looks beautiful.  I can't wait to share!!
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Success

 This year's Thanksgiving was at our house.  It was a more moderate 
affair, as we didn't have all the "kids" around the table. But we did have my
parents, both who were ready to fly to Florida the next day, being the snow birds they are.
A 15 pounder was prepped, and into the oven it went.  Then mom and sister Ellen arrived
and us girls took over the kitchen and whipped up the fixings for the dinner.
It was such fun, and I count my blessings to spend it with them.
 A tidy group of 8, we all sat around one table and enjoyed the meal 
after Dad said grace.  The day was a success, from the food to the company.
Not one I will soon forget...
 The following day my attention shifted to Christmas decorating, as I don't go 
out into the Friday shopping madness that seem to attract many.
And I might mention that I am thankful that I don't personally have the burden
anymore of worrying about Small Business Saturday. 
 Those were stressful times, being a shop keeper. 
 I am a true crusader of buying from the independents.
However I feel that Christmas is more about setting a mood with 
the holiday decorations,  hosting little get togethers and parties 
and creating moments like sharing holiday movies and 
wearing matching PJs, not about gifts and more stuff.
Our living room tree is just about done, and it looks beautiful.
This year we are having two trees, one with a traditional color scheme
and this one, which is a softer palette that goes with our living room.
Both of my trees are Snap Trees from Tree Classics, and they are 
fantastic pre lit fakes.  I can enjoy the season for many extra weeks!
I will be sharing more as the days go on...but for now I am 
thankful for a wonderful Thanksgiving with my healthy mom and dad,
and my awesome sweet husband and kids.  Missing son Justin and wife Madison
who are with Taylor celebrating her one year anniversary with her new heart.
And that is the best!! year I hope I can stuff everybody around our table!
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pretty Swedish Style Wallpaper for my Staircase

I am excited to share my recent wallpaper project.
The layout of  our house has the entryway and staircase
practically in our living room.  Its always been a design challenge,
how to separate but not ignore the staircase.
 Adding a pretty wallpaper to the stair wall that faces the living room made a 
world of difference. It goes to show that these often overlooked spaces
really can add instead of detract from the overall decor of a room.
 Inches away from the bland and boring stair case,
 our living room is a pretty mix of blue, grey and white.
A sheer curtain helps to create a privacy shield.  
And as soon as the paper went up, I felt like why had I waited so long?
I selected a paper that had a Swedish Country look, and has my favorite colors. 
The paper is made by Wallpops.  NuWallpaper is the type that is peel and stick.
 It is self adhesive and can be repositioned, making it practically foolproof. 

 The Wallpops people sent me three rolls of the pattern I selected, Mirable Medallion.
A tool kit for cutting and smoothing, also from Wallpops, 
was one of the only tools I needed,
besides a level and a tape measure and a pair of scissors. 
Even though I have had experience putting up wallpaper, 
I can tell you that this is so much easier and no mess.
I got started right away, using my dining room table 
to roll out the paper and cut the first piece.
 Working left to right you must make sure your first strip is put on straight.
Make a pencil line on the wall using a level, so when you hang the first piece,
the right hand edge of the paper butts up to the pencil line.  Smooth it into position.
Then trim off the edges with the razor knife.  That is it. Super easy. Super fast.
After the first strip is in position, you can do the next strips by lining them 
up to the edge of the first strip, matching the pattern.
If you mismatch, just peel it away and try again. 
As many times as you need to...
This paper is great for people in apartments that aren't allowed to do things to their walls.
And its great for serial decorators like me, that like to change things more often than not.
Because when you are done, you simply peel it off, without damaging the walls.
Feature walls, backs of bookcases and hutches and stair risers are some other ideas that you
can tackle with NuWallpaper by Wallpops.  
My friend Cheryl used it for the interior of a china cabinet. 
 Isn't that a pretty idea?
This is a fast and fairly easy DIY project. 
I started after lunch on a rainy day, and finished the next morning.
(Its best to wallpaper in bright natural lighting so you can see if 
any air bubbles need to be smoothed out with the wide smoother thingy.)
I chose to do only the wall that faces the living room, and it took
a bit less than the three rolls.  I also liked that the repeat of the pattern 
in this paper was about 5" which means there was not much waste 
when matching the pattern.  
It has added so much appeal to our entry space.
The view from the living room shows how it has finished off the space.
Its all in the details, as they say!  
Note:  This is a sponsored post.
Wallpops provided the product, but all opinions are my own. 
I loved this paper so much, I am already looking around for another place
to freshen up with another pretty pattern from NuWallpaper. 
To view more beautiful wallpaper patterns visit here 
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