Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Decorating my Sister's House, a Valentine Workshop, the Superbowl, and more Snow

A Valentine project....but first:
 Our snowless winter is a thing of the past. We had the much hyped
and true to form Blizzard of 2015 last week.  
The dogs waited inside at the front door
for Justin to dig them out 
(the first of many go rounds with the shovel).
 We had howling winds and about 28" of snow.  I closed the 
store due to the blizzard and finally opened for business on Thursday.
All the while we were getting ready for the Superbowl on 
Sunday!  Most everyone in New England was super pumped
for the big game...
 Lots of media coverage and beauty shots for Tom Brady
were in the works for the past two weeks. But it was coming 
down to the wire in just a few days. So the weekend of the 
Superbowl I had a few plans.  Saturday I would be headed 
back to Matthew Mead's studio for a Valentine Workshop.
And then Sunday I would help my sister Ellen decorate her dining room.
(A selfie with Ellen McHale, Jenny and Matthew Mead and moi!)
 Plans were made in advance with my friend Ellen McHale to attend
the same workshop so we could be all together and have some fun.
Matthew is putting out 4 new issues of Matthew Mead Style magazines,
and Ellen and I will both be featured in spring issues.  Ellen is 
a talented artist and her home and artwork 
will be shown off in the March issue.
Her business is called Nelley Kelley Designs.
When it comes out I will let everybody know where to find it.  
Then in the April issue my home will be featured!  So its all exciting
stuff, and if you have seen any of Matthew's work, you can 
understand what a treat it is, that he will be photographing and doing
some styling at my house! At any rate, last Saturday I headed up
to his New Hampshire studio with Gina Dechant, my design assistant.  
Her car had issues and we almost didn't get there!! It was more than mildly 
harrowing but get there we did on that freezing blustery day.
And this is what awaited us! 
As always, Matthew's workshops are more what you would call
Lifestyle workshops.  There is food and drink and sharing of ideas and
recipes  so we can create these special and easy to do moments in our
own lives.  Sometimes we get into boring routines, and the thing that
is neat about Matthew's ideas is that he uses everyday items with 
easy and exciting ways to make things special.  Like these heart crackers.
made with a cookie cutter and lavash bread.  Simple and sweet.
Perfect for Valentines.  
 Use your cranberry ware glasses for this occasion
and all of a sudden a little champagne topper on a 
cranberry punch makes things feel romantic and special.
 This easy to make chocolate tart sprinkled with some kind of sea salt 
was incredibly tasty and simple to make.  Matthew makes it easy for
you to take your basics to the next level.  And his displays like
this table that greeted us upon arrival are so artful.
 As we gabbed, ate our tarts and had a drink, we got to work making our 
project, which was a Valentine twig wreath.  Lots of supplies and glue guns
were spread around the table.  Clipping off blooms and ferns and moss
we all created beautiful wreaths.  Yes, we were multi tasking in the best way
possible!  Eating, drinking, laughing, sharing and creating!  
 It was fulfilling and super fun.  
And how pretty was my wreath coming out?
 I used to love doing this kind of thing along time ago,
and now having the chance to do it with the king of creativity 
was just the best!  
 My wreath's beauty shot on Matthew's old wooden door.
 Remnants of cuttings lay on a table, while unused 
supplies in vases were left for the next project.
 This was a wonderful lifestyle workshop with a take away project 
that was just beautiful.  The memories will outlast the wreath I am sure.
We said our goodbyes and made plans for when Matthew would come
to my house to do his photo shoot.  I am officially under the gun!
I brought my heart wreath home and found it a home.
I love it! But by the time the photo shoot comes, it will 
be packed away....and I still have so many things
 I need to finish....but first I agreed to help my sister
Ellen work on sprucing up her house.  So after the workshop at 
Matthew's, Gina and I headed over to a great antique shop in Salem NH
at 39 N Broadway called  By The Olde Garden Gate
Nancy is the owner of this awesome shop, and if you are lucky enough
to be in New Hampshire, go visit and find some treasures
and tell her I sent you!
I found this mirror for my sister's dining room.  It is an
old vintage mirror and I had just the place for it in mind.
It was going to be perfect over a console table from my shop.
 Ellen approved the mirror after seeing  the photo I texted her. 
With all the confidence in the world, she replied " I trust you". 
hahah! Oh my! I better be right!  
And so my long Saturday had come to an end,
and tomorrow, Superbowl Sunday would be spent
shopping for more accessories at HomeGoods with Ellen,
then heading back to her house to work on the dining room.
I had from 10-4 to make it happen, because after that I 
was leaving to get in position on my couch to watch the big game.

 We hit HomeGoods together and then headed back with our stuff. 
 I always recommend buying more than you need, because 
you might want options and whatever you don't use can be returned.  
This is what her room looked like when we dragged it all inside.  
You can kind of see she has a big wooden
dining room table, chair and hutch and corner cabinet, none of it painted. 
(That would never be the case in my home as I LOVE painted furniture). 
 She will freely admit, that the decorating gene was something she missed out on. 
 Her hubby hates vintage and old stuff, so I have stayed away from "helping"
 her decorate.  But after a dinner over there last week, and after a glass of wine 
I said why don't you do something with this room?! 
The curtains were wrong, there was a random candlestick table with a big lamp
 on it plugged into a timer, and then a small end table that belongs 
next to a sofa (not seen here) that they use as an entry table as their 
little Cape Cod style home has no foyer.  Sometimes you have to create 
workable spaces where there are none, and so their  "entry space" 
has to be right inside the dining room. The place where you can put mail,
 have a mirror to check how you look before you dash out the door, 
maybe a welcoming candle or bowl of flowers.  
 Where there once was a short round end table serving as her foyer table, 
I placed a gatefront console table from my shop, Maison Decor.  
It has a wooden top with a creamy white distressed iron front. 
(Her hubby mentioned "throwing out better" as he helped bring it inside, lol!)
 You can see her front door right next to the dining room entrance.  
I hung the old white mirror from Nancy's shop above the iron console. 
 A HomeGoods lamp with a shorter squatty profile in mercury glass
 and a burlap shade would work beautifully.  And perhaps you recall that 
we had started a brown transferware collection for Ellen?  
Well I planned to hang four of the plates beside the narrow mirror. 
 Try to imagine building a grouping on a wall.  If the mirror was as wide
 as the table, this would have been a more standard and boring wall.  
But by having the space to add the plates it would 
become more interesting and charming.  
 By the end of the afternoon this looked so charming and beautiful,
in a cozy cottage kind of way, which is exactly what her little Cape Cod
should feel like.  A vase of faux peonies from HomeGoods 
in a mercury glass vase sit on a few vintage books in the same color. 
The books were from our dad's childhood collection!
 I will share the rest of the makeover when she has her
chandelier hung.  You can see the old one in the reflection of the mirror,
and it was the thing I hated most about her room.  We have a big rustic iron
one that is going to be over the table and it will create a sense of place and style.
The curtain panels were also from my shop, and were a botanical toile in taupe.
We didn't change the wall color or the floor plan, 
it was all pretty much decorative adjustments.  So take a second look
 at what you have going on, and see if there is room for improvement.  
Ellen said she wishes she had a comfy chair in there as she wants
 to be in the dining room all the time now.  Thats because her
 living room needs an overhaul! ha! She and I discuss this room all the time.  
It has the most awkward layout, so I have been working on the floor plan. 
 That room will be a challenge for sure.  I hit the road and 
got back home and settled in with hubby to watch the big game. 
 It was the MOST brutal game I have had to endure. 
 I felt like we were going to win in the first quarter, then by half time 
my confidence was fading. We were all tied up.  The third quarter 
was simply awful as the Seahawks were making so many plays and
 Tom was throwing interceptions.  UGH.  It was so hard to watch.  
But watch I did...and Tom brought his team back from 
ten points under to 4 points over.  The Hawks would need a touchdown to beat us. 
 Feeling ok, but on pins and needles....the Hawks made the plays and suddenly
 I knew we were going to lose. Right at the end.  How could this happen to us? 
 And then like a miracle, Butler made that interception and 
it just took minutes to sink in...
then an encroachment penalty and our fate was sealed!
 We were all smiles and part of Tom's biggest achievement to date!
I was so happy for him! And for us!! I LOVE watching the Patriots play,
even more than my husband.  Its been the best season ever!
And that night another storm started....
It snowed all day Monday and we ended up with over a foot 
on top of our two feet plus.  So my shop is once again closed this 
Tuesday February 3rd as we dig out and try to get through this month.
Our house has so many paths to shovel and stairs to dig out!  
We have the best view around as we sit up on top of the tallest hill
~we can see straight to the Boston skyline from here.  
So with the great view also comes the slippery hill.
 But for now, its a day of shoveling and getting squared away
 so we can get back to work.  Have a great week!
PS~Please know that we appreciate all the donations and prayers
that you all have made to Taylor while she is in the hospital 
waiting for a new heart.  You can read updates on how she is doing by clicking
here at the GoFundMe campaign where my daughter in law, Madison Power,
posts updates every few days. It has been ten days since Taylor got her heart
pump installed, and the last few days have been difficult.  So keep her in 
your prayer list please. She is at the top of mine.  I had a vivid dream that 
the perfect donor heart came for Taylor.  Now wouldn't that be wonderful
if it came true?! 

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