Friday, September 1, 2017

Pastoral mural, heirloom roses, romantic wedding tent and Piper

 Its been exactly one month since I last posted, and there is a very good reason
for the delay.  These dogs are running my life, and its just not right. Sure Piper
looks all innocent sitting calmly on the step, but she is a puppy in hyper mode a 
lot of the time.  In between puppy and dog care, we also hosted a funeral for 
my husbands cousin right after the book shoot, started planning a wedding for the 
courtyard in six weeks, as well as getting prepped for doing daycare for baby Reeve.
 Life is getting busier by the second!  So let me explain about the wedding plans,
my son Brandon and his fiance Mimi have decided to take the plunge after almost
ten years of living together.  They recently moved back here from LA, and they
are letting me plan it!! Woohoo!! 
So I came up with the idea of an enchanted courtyard wedding.
 The vows will be said on the upper lawn terrace in front of the arbor.
We will have a tent over the courtyard down below,
for an intimate outdoor wedding dinner after the ceremony at the end of this month.
I found this magical photo of a wedding tent, with a ceiling lined in tulle and tiny
white lights with chandeliers.  Mimi and I love the look, so that is what I plan to create.
The tulle is on order, and I will dedicate a blog post when I make it, so others can do
the same if they wish.  Essentially a rod pocket will be stitched and a nylon cord threaded
through the center of it, and then it will be hoisted up to the center pole and ziptied to that.
Tiny white string lights will be run over the pole framework first, then the sheer tulle will
go over the lights to create a dreamy effect.  I have an old gilded chandelier that I will ask
Mr. Maison Decor to wire and that will hang in the center of our snug 15x15 tent.
This inspiration tent is enormous...I wouldn't be so sure I could do a tent that big, but 
our tent is going to be manageable, or so I predict.  Stay tuned.  
 All of the furniture in the courtyard needs to be relocated to another area so the tent can
be installed and the tables and chairs laid out.  So that is the first part of the courtyard wedding.
But in other areas of our lives we are trying to get a grip on how active the dogs are as they grow.
At first everything was nice and normal, but once Piper was allowed up onto the couch, the shenanigans began in earnest.  Here they are acting all calm again.  This is not real life folks.  They had taken to running circles in this room and leaping up on the couch as they ran around and around chasing one another.  OY!! The couch was taking a beating, and so was the room.  
 As I planned to start watching my granddaughter Reeve in the fall, 
I had to think of a space that we could use together, without the dogs.  
For her safety and my sanity.  So it came to me....this room would now be OFF LIMITS
 to the four legged variety. I will put a gate across from the
 staircase to the front door to keep them out!  The french doors to the dining room 
will be kept closed, with the dog beds on the other side so they can watch if they like. 
I had a practice day for several hours with Reeve and it went great!
  She is an easy baby and I really felt myself exhale and just revel in her care.  
She is a little character, smiling and making fun faces and sounds. 
 Looking forward to watching her grow right before my eyes.
 Our roses came into full bloom at the end of August, and they are the finicky variety of 
David Austin.  Finicky in that if you cut them, they don't last but a day, 
so I mostly enjoy them in the garden.  Which kind of stinks, 
because they are amazing and I love to bring in a cut flower that smells like a rose,
which actually is rare these days.  The David Austins smell fantastic!!  
 The climbing rose on the arbor is New Dawn and it is finally getting established. 
 I am not sure how to train the canes to grow up and over...
I tied some twine to long branches and attached it there, but when Nora Murphy came, 
I untied them all as it looked ugly.  Anyone with knowledge on this process?  
 Piper is getting so big, she just jumps up the rock wall and has access to the terrace and beyond.
Colby never does this, even though he easily could.  For some reason he respects boundaries and borders and doesn't cross them, which meant life in the courtyard was easy with him.  But Piper has created a whole new ball game out here....I may have to install a rabbit fence in behind the bushes and trees up here to contain her.
 Since the dogs have been banished from the living room, their hangout couch is in the family room. 
This room has new IKEA sofas, and I purposely picked the color sand for the slipcovers to match Pipers fur color. Hahah!! Seriously, I did.  Again, here they are looking all innocent. Anyway, I redid this room for the Nora Murphy Country House book shoot, painting the walls the prettiest shade of green, new beige furniture, linen draperies in a similar shade as the walls. 
All these pics are with my iPhone, just because I don't have time anymore for setting up the camera and tripod. At least not right now. But this room is so pleasant to be in, and I wanted to show the mural that I painted.  There is a door behind it that was always a decorating nightmare.  So the mural was my way of making the door disappear.  I just love the calming effect it has on the room.
And I guess sometimes it may have a calming effect on Piper too?  The walls are Hollingsworth Green by Benjamin Moore.  Its a wonderful color and it continues the Swedish color palette I have used throughout the house. I used all kinds of paints to create the mural, wall paint and colors from my stash of Annie Sloan chalk paint too.  A spritzer water bottle helped the paint to move and give me a watercolory effect.  Its just so much fun to create, and when I get the chance to do that these days, I really relish the process.  I am hoping I will be able to post more often, so I can go into detail on the wedding plans, which is going to be romantic and rustic and elegant, all on a budget.  

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