Monday, January 30, 2012


Tonight, while doing my usual blog trolling I came upon a post by A-M which led me to a blog that put life into perspective all too clearly.

I ask that you take a moment to visit Lisa's blog and read her story of loss, unimaginable loss, and that you will find it in your heart to donate to her and her family.  I don't often send people to other blogs when it involves money, but once you read what has happened to her family in the last 4 months I hope that you will put aside your need for that new pillow or decorative item and send that money to her instead.  You don't have to say who you are and you don't have to give much, but anything will be greatly appreciated.  I can't think of a better use for social media like blogs than this my friends.

And before you go to bed tonight, tell those you cherish how very much you love them!

Click HERE to visit Lisa's Blog and HERE to Donate.  Thank you A-M for letting us know so that we can help in some little way!

All Spooled Up

Here are some more vintage lovelies from Linda at Itsy Bits and Pieces.  She included these sweet wooden spools as a gift to me, and I love the way they look...thank you Linda!

I've never been much of a seamstress, but I do love old spools!

One time, back when I was in the 7th grade, and schools still taught home economics and shop...can you say 1970s?...I had to make a sundress.

My poor sundress was looking so wonky that my home ec teacher took pity on me and let me take it home so that I could fix it.  I think she knew that if I did take it home that my mother would likely take over and try and fix it.  She was a rather harsh teacher but based on how bad it was looking she was ok with a little parental intervention!

Though, with a little...ok a LOT of help from my mother, I was able to salvage it and I actually wore that dress for many years to come.  But that dress was the beginning and end of my sewing career for anything that required more than sewing a straight line.

I did lose my mind once when my children were little and I bought a sewing machine.  My thought process was that I could somehow channel my grandmother who could sew quite well and made many of our outfits when we were little.  I still remember the Alice in Wonderland shift dresses and matching triangle head scarves that my grandmother made for my older sister and me.  I loved that dress, but alas, I was never able to sew like she could.

So my love of old spools comes not from my own sewing memories, but from watching my mother and grandmother sew.  Pinning patterns onto pretty fabrics, cutting along the dotted lines, hunting for the perfect color thread to match, and then sewing pretty things for us to wear.

I wonder if anyone out there really still makes the majority of their clothing?  Somewhere along the line it became cheaper to buy clothes than to make them, or maybe it just became unfashionable to make them?!  Either way, sewing is a skill I admire and respect.  It takes a great deal of patience, an exacting nature, and a good deal of artistry.

What was the last thing you sewed?!  I truly can't even recall anything beyond reattaching a button...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Photographs and Memories

(Daguerreotype of my Great Grandmother taken by my Great Grandfather)

I hope that each of you goes out this weekend...

to create a few photographs and memories of your own, so that some day, someone will treasure the things you capture through your lens!

Happy Weekend Everyone, I'm off to take a few pictures.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life at My House

Finding your place in the world, a comfy safe place where you can grow and thrive is so very important.

Finding that place, the one where you are loved, accepted, supported, and even pampered a little is what we all want and need I think.  And when you are cute, you can even get away with taking up all of the available foot room underneath the desk of the hand that feeds you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Little Acts of Kindness

The past few days have been a serious whirlwind.  Work has demanded every waking moment of my time and by the time I'm finished late at night, I am ready for bed, so I haven't even surfed blogs or the web the way I normally do.

The good part is that I'm making progress, so even though it is time consuming, it is so worth it!  And I know that the payoff will be worth the effort.

Awhile ago, Linda from Itsy Bits and Pieces showed this gorgeous vintage Dutch tin on her site.  That girl is always finding the best stuff, and her prices sometimes seem too good to be true, except that they are they are that good!

As soon as I saw it, I knew that the colors were perfect for using in photo shoots, so I sent Linda an email asking if she planned to sell this pretty little tin.  Much to my delight she said yes, and she even suggested we do a trade...some of my artwork for her tin.

Umm, heck yes I want to trade!  So I ordered her prints and she shipped me my tin.  When it arrived it was as beautiful as I had imagined, and I've already filled it with a lovely primrose that I picked up at the store yesterday.  The primroses at my local grocery store were 3 for $5 on special, so I snapped up quite a few of them in lieu of buying roses or tulips that don't last nearly as long.

I tucked one into my new tin and filled my wire basket with several others.  I truly love having fresh flowers in my house, there is  just something so refreshing about seeing and smelling beautiful flowers throughout the year.

Of course getting a package is always uplifting too, but especially when it comes from someone as kind as Linda!  She didn't just include the tin, nope, she also included a few other goodies, some of which I will show you in an upcoming post.  But those darling little clay stars above, well they were tucked in to my package.

Not only are Linda and her daughter (who is her partner in crime) super good at finding vintage lovelies, but they are also hugely talented and creative souls who make all sorts of wonderful things from things they find as well as things they make themselves.

And between the two of them they have several Etsy shops which you can visit by clicking on the links on her sidebar, on the right side part way down on her blog.  Just don't blame me if you find all sorts of things you can't live without!

For the past few days I've been up to my eyeballs in talking to manufacturers, learning about anything and everything there is to know about trying to make it in commercial photography.  Some people are so incredibly helpful that you can't really believe it, while others can make it feel like pulling teeth, and for no good reason I might add.

But hey, I'm always up for a challenge.  I was born competitive and those traits have served me well over the years, so I'm not planning on changing any time soon.  But when people like Linda show those little acts of kindness, well it makes you realize that right will always win in the end, because that's what matters most in life, don't you think?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rescue Me

The living room and dining room are coming together nicely, but I will wait to show them to you since they are close, but no cigar as the saying goes.

Not much has really changed in the living room, it really is the dining room that has undergone the most change, but there is still more to do.

I have this annoying habit of envisioning a room before it's actually completed sometimes.  It's not so much the exact details that I have in my head, but an overall feel for a room that I'm after.  And sometimes that can be a real pain in the you know what because that means that you will hunt and search and spend hours hoping from store to store or internet site to internet site looking for just the right piece.

I'm currently on the hunt for an unusual piece to go next to my new cabinet, and who knew it would be so hard to find an old blanket chest for my bedroom to store my bed linens when they are not in use?!  

Yesterday I visited a few local places looking for said storage item and although I did find a few steamer trunks and a really pretty vintage wicker chest, they just didn't meet with my vision...sigh.

At least one thing has worked out nicely and that is my pretty new life ring that now hangs on the wall near my slipcovered chair in the living room.  I have been searching for a vintage life preserver ring for over a year now, but I could never find one that was the size and color I was after.  Then, a few months ago I saw that Caroline of Ekster had some.  I didn't get one when she first had them for sale, but when I ordered my cabinet I asked if she still had some and she sent a few down for me to look at when her husband Jon-Paul delivered our cabinet.  Voila, it was the perfect color, aged beautifully and big enough to fill the space where I wanted to hang it...everything I had imagined it would my vision of course!

Sometimes I think I need more than a vintage life ring to rescue me from my design visions.  Some days I would love to be vision free and just go pick something up that would make do instead of spending hours hunting for just the right piece.  But then again what would I do with all of that free time I would suddenly have?!

And to the people who were totally freaked out by the rat photo in my last post, I apologize.  I know that we each have things that kind of make us feel whirly inside, even if those things can seem cute to the rest of the world.  For me that thing would be bats.  Even if there was someone out there who had trained a bat to hold a cute teddy bear and then managed to snap a photo of it, well it still wouldn't be cute to I get it.  Note to self, no rat, snake, spider, bat, or other photos on the blog...well unless they are exceedingly cute, because cuteness knows no bounds! ;-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Whites

Thanks everyone for your emails and comments about my money chasing adventure at the bank!  When I called Mr. Tide after it happened I had already regained my sense of humor, so it will be one of those things I can use as good cocktail party convo! ;-)

My daughter (who is now threatening to buy me a money clip) and son took great delight in saying that they kind of wished they had been there to witness it all.  I informed them that it was likely up on You Tube somewhere, so that everyone could share in my foibles!

Today has been one of those gray days, where everything outside looks kind of bleak and colorless.

I really don't mind it, though I do prefer the colors of spring and summer, but sometimes it's nice to give your eyes a rest and to be able to have something not too jarring to look at.

I think that is why we are drawn to white, because it gives us a sense of respite.  Now I've said it before and I'll say it again, I could not live in an all white house, where the walls, the furniture, the accessories were all white, or even just tone on tone, but I do love a well done all white home.  There is just something so soothing about an all white abode when it has enough interest and texture to not look sterile but serene instead!

I have touches of white in every room of my house and I find that this time of year in particular I am drawn to them.  Maybe it's my way of giving my senses a rest before the colors of spring and summer start popping out.

I can't imagine that white, or black, or any neutral will ever truly go out of style.  They play so nicely with other colors, and are often content to be the supporting cast so that other more vibrant colors can be the stars of the show.

The funny thing about white is that it is often hard to photograph, so some magazines shy away from all white homes in favor of more colorful fare.  I think that we are starting to see a change in that way of thinking thanks to blogging actually.

So many wonderful white decor loving bloggers have stepped to the forefront and shown that an all white home can be beautifully photographed, and I believe that that is why we are seeing some magazine and book publishers coming around to the beauty of white!  Information that some designers have known for years.

 Photo by Ellen van Deelen

And for one last bit of white, this time pure cuteness!  My daughter shared this with me and even if you aren't a fan of rats, you can't help but think this is pretty adorable!  The photographer, Ellen van Deelen, who is from Holland, has trained a few rats, (which are supposed to be very clean and smart little rodents), and she takes the most amazing and heart warming photos of them.  She even has a book of her images appropriately titled The Rat Pack! Here is a link to her Red Bubble account where you can see more of her work.  I'm thinking about ordering a calendar with some of her oh so cute images!

Tell me how you decorate with white, or if you prefer color in your world.  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Did You See Me?!

First of all, thanks everyone for your wonderful feedback on my last post where the talented Kelley of The Polished Pebble guest posted and rocked the  house!  I knew you all would love her style as much as I do.  Thanks again Kelley!!!

And before I forget, to the reader who said she couldn't get the subscribe thing to work on my blog, thank you for letting me know!!!  I will look into it and try and get that fixed ASAP.  And to the nice person who liked my kitchen, thank you so much!  Your email isn't enabled, so I couldn't reply directly back to you or the reader who was having trouble subscribing...:(

The photos in this post are what you would call random.  They are random because in a way they signify my day yesterday and today, kind of crazy and a little disjointed.

And that's how my brain has been too, a little wacky and all over the place.  But hey, you get what you get when you pop by this here blog, some days it's awesome vintage bathroom beauty, and other days it's a votive holder and some bird photos.  I like to keep you all guessing, or at least that's what I tell myself as I cobble together posts every now and then. ;-)

The reason I wanted to show you this votive holder, which was a lovely gift from my mother in law a few years ago, is because I think it would be such a cool project for all of you super crafty bloggers out there.  Notice I did not say "us" but instead said "you."   As you read further through this random post you will see why I don't have time to be crafty.  I have time for another c word...namely to be CRAZY, just not crafty.  Those years ended when my children entered middle school and I realized I had been forcing that craft gene for far too long.

Anyway, back to this pretty votive holder.  It's actually bigger than it looks in these photos, but you could use any size you like, just keep in mind the size of the tissue paper you will be using on it.  What the crafty person who made this did was to take a glass bowl and then to decoupage pretty tissue paper inside the bowl.  Simple right, yet so so pretty when it is all aglow, like tonight!

Now you crafty people probably know what to use to make this work.  I'm assuming you select something to adhere the paper to the glass that is non flammable, I think that would be a wise idea.  So if anyone has an idea of what to use, or has done something similar, be sure to comment away and let us know so that the crafty readers of this blog can get crackin' and make one of these pretty votive holders for themselves.  One which won't catch their houses on fire please!!

Today I wandered out to take more photos of the bluebirds.  I truly think I need a 12 step program for my bird photography these days!  And I want to give a HUGE thank you to Laura from 52 Flea for helping me out with some beautiful new textures!  She provided me with this very cool ephemera!

Ok, now on to a brief run down of my day yesterday.  I got up, did the usual work stuff, and then headed out to visit my friend Ms. M and take her some chocolate chip cookies I had made for her.  After a nice visit, I headed out to run some errands, including hitting up the bank.

I had some cash from the sale of my dining room table that I needed to deposit, so I pulled up to the drive-through window at the bank and put the nice crisp bills and a check into the little drawer.  The paperweight they had in the drawer was way far back, and in my big honkin' SUV it was hard to reach.  So as I was reaching for the paperweight to hold down the bills and the check, a big gust of wind came up and started blowing the money out of the drawer and all over the world.

Now let's just say that a few choice words flew out of my mouth as I screamed at the poor young guy working to shut the #*$% drawer before it all blew away.  At this point, I tried to get out of my big ole vehicle, but you know what?!  You can't get out because your door won't open!  So I may, or may not have gunned it and gotten up to a point where I could exit my vehicle and I began running like a mad woman chasing down my money which was truly blowin' in the wind!

You could cue a version of the song Blowin' in the Wind right now if you like, but it was more like that Charlie Chaplin scene where he is blown all over the place.  I mean it people, I was running, all the way to neighboring parking lots, major roads, you name it as those nice crisp bills were gleefully floating away.  We're talking $20s and one $50, not chump change, so I was determined!  It was like I was on one of those game shows where they put you in the booth and turn on the wind machine and you grab as much as you can, only I was lacking one key feature...the booth!

I'm sure the rest of the folks at the drive through, and anyone else in a large radius was wishing that they had a really good video feature on their cell phone so that they could post it all on You Tube!  Finally, out of breath, frustrated beyond measure, and mad at myself for not using the drive-through window the dang tube things that I hate, I ventured inside.  I'm sure I looked great, kind of a like a crazed wild woman.

A nice young man working as a teller asked if he could help me...poor dear soul, he didn't have a clue.  So I began to tell him how I had been at the drive-through, that my money had flown the coup, and that I was REALLY hoping the rest of it and the check were still in that drawer!

He went to talk to the guy in the booth, and quickly came back to say that he could see more money flying around outside and he would go try and get it.  In the meantime another teller, a woman about my age was NOT very helpful and acted like it was my fault that it was windy outside and that their window was inadequate to handle such tasks.  She pointed out that that's why they have a paperweight in the drawer...really?!!!!  

Before I could put the smack down on her, oh yeah, I was close, the nice young man came back in with a crisp $20 bill and we sat down and counted up what was left in the drawer and what I had collected and all was accounted for, thank goodness!  I had chased down $190 in fast flying cash and he had found the last rogue $20 bill!

At the point when we discovered that all of the money had been recovered, we then realized that my driver's license was missing...sigh!  We found it outside too!

Ahh, all's well that ends well right?  But I think it will be awhile before I go back to the bank again.  My family reminded me that maybe my grandparents weren't so happy about me selling that furniture after all...yikes!  Or more likely they just wanted to have a little fun with me!

So there you have it, a typical day for me, and the reason I don't have time to do crafts!!!

Have you done anything that could land you on You Tube?!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vintage - Polished Pebble Style

One of my favorite things about blogging is the wonderful and creative people you get to meet.  Not only do you have the opportunity to hear their thoughts, but you often get to see photos of exactly what they are talking about.  For visual people like me, blogland can be a place of endless inspiration.
So it's no surprise that when I stumbled across The Polished Pebble awhile ago, I was immediately struck by blog owner Kelley's unique and amazing sense of style.  In my line of work as a magazine writer and photographer, I get to see all sorts of beautiful homes, but there are times when it can all seem like you're floating in a sea of sameness.  Imitation may in fact be the sincerest form of flattery, but in a world where vintage has become an all too familiar phrase in the world of design, Kelley offers up something completely fresh and different.

She has a keen sense for using vintage items in a way that others have not, giving both her readers and her clients something to sing about.  Unlike so many who feel like more is more, Kelley takes a restrained approach to re-purposing vintage items and pairs them beautifully with more modern finishes, for what can only be described as upscale vintage.

Today, I've asked Kelley to give you all a little insight into how she uses items that others often cast off as no longer useful, and turns them in to the center pieces of her design aesthetic.  So without further adieu, here is Kelley from The Polished Pebble


Hi there!

My dear blogger friend Kat asked if I might write a "guest post" on her blog!
I love it!

I have yet to do one,
so this is great fun and I hope to make some new friends via Kat.

I hope she makes some new blogger pals too! we go...

read it 


or here

 Sometimes just a single vintage item 
like this wonderful old sign 
can bring out the great qualities of a rather simple room....

 I found this "Lawnmower" sign at an antique store
 and immediately thought it would be great in the
 master bathroom 
of our little ranch house

 Mason jars are another vintage and pretty item for any room, but 
make great storage for bath products...
and you can pick them up for just a few dollars

 The little basket holds hair clippies....4 dollars at a garage sale!

Overflow items like a hairdryer and lotions are kept 
in this antique bamboo cabinet...a bit on the pricey side but it is the only cabinet
in the bathroom

I will be covering the glass with some vintage ticking...
when I have a free afternoon.
I actually don't know where my sewing machine is right now!
That could be a problem

 I like having towels in spots that are easy to reach and my towel preference
white, big and super fluffy

This old drafting stool is the perfect companion 
next to the tub...sometimes it holds a glass of wine during a long hot soak in the tub,
preceded by a long day of gardening

 Between the two console sinks 
is this victorian sewing basket
which holds makeup and skincare. 
 It is probably close to 100 years old and in great shape.  
Often I see these for pretty reasonable prices, only to find the wicker pretty beat up, 
but they are still very usable.  
This one is in great condition.

 Additional towels are kept on open shelves 
along with more vintage finds

The shelf brackets are from Restoration Hardware...I actually looked for vintage corbels but it was too complicated to get 4 the right size, not to mention square,
 so the glass would sit flush

 Vintage apothecary jars hold cotton and q-tips
and there is even room for a collection of 
vintage Native American pottery up top

I have had that "for sale" sign in a variety of spots 
but it's a lot of fun in here
And every room needs a touch of black, right?!

All of the fixtures are vintage inspired
 but definitely with a modern twist and I love the shiny chrome

 More towels in an interesting wooden box near the tub

The teak tub caddy is a nice spa touch...
I think I might like a teak tub mat too.

The cute little bowl holding the soap came from our local farmers market.  A wonderful woodworker makes incredible bowls from orange trees that have been cut down.
Always nice to include an item from your neighbors...!

A few easy ideas to use in your own bathroom

with a little vintage touch!

Enjoy your week 
thank you Kat


Kelley & Company Home

on the web:




I would like to thank Kelley for this great guest post!  And to see more of her incredible designs, be sure to visit her at The Polished Pebble.  And if you are in need of some design advice, be sure to contact her through her website or email listed above!

Thanks Kelley, you are always so inspiring!!!