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Monday, November 30, 2009

Trying on Shoes

I don't know if you're like me, but when shoe shopping, I find that I drift towards the same kinds of shoes. For me it's not too fancy, not too flashy-- maybe fun, probably cute, but most of all practical.

I have shoes on my mind tonight because I was thinking of how different shoes make us feel. How shoes can change a person. Cinderella. Elle on Legally Blonde. Forest Gump.

Remember that song, "these boots were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do. One of these days, these boots are gonna walk all over you."? When I see modern feminists do the stand-up-for-my-rights-at-all-costs thing, it comes across like this song. No matter who's hurt, no matter how it feels to others, no matter whether it's clearly wrong, I'm gonna put on these boots and doggone it, I'll walk where I please.

Then I thought about John the Baptist's assessment of himself in relation to Christ-- "I'm not even worthy to untie his sandal straps." He recognized Christ's supremacy... and it made him aware of his own role as lower than a servant.

Even though the first attitude is deemed laudable in our culture (particularly for women!), in God's economy, servanthood, self-control, putting others first, submission, giving honor to others, thinking of how others should be treated... these things are esteemed. For men and women. I don't often esteem them, but I want to.

I guess this here is my little confession for the night: I want to learn more about servanthood. I may not ever be what I ought to be, but by the grace from the Father and the inner working of the Spirit, He can make me more like Jesus-- the ultimate servant.

A "SUCCESSFUL" DAY?
Today, we outwardly had a "successful" day. We made Christmas crafts, decorated the tree, and even had time to make and eat a really tasty cake. But too often, my attitude was cross and strained... and it poured over into what I saw reflected in the eyes and words of the kids throughout the day. I want to serve and love them as they ought to be loved.

I don't want to be the mom, the wife, or the woman who "stands up for my rights" first and foremost.... not that it's wrong to have rules or standards-- don't misread my words. But my attitude should be that of a servant. One who thinks of others' needs first.

Today I didn't do that. But by God's grace, tomorrow I get another shot. And with His help, I might just do better than I did today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow as we travel over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house (not really), and as I prove once again that my eyes ARE bigger than my stomach I am going to take a moment and give thanks for all that I am blessed with. My family, my health, my home, good friends and food in my belly are all things that I take for granted many times. This holiday season especially, there are so many struggling with just the basics. I give thanks to GOD for blessing me and mine.

Here's hoping you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving. I am taking a break from WHITE WEDNESDAY this week but I'll be back next Wednesday with a Christmas installment. See you then...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shelley

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


We will be enjoying this year's Thanksgiving holiday with Hubby's family in Wisconsin. But spending the holiday away from home, didn't stop me from enjoying a Thanksgiving table - minus the turkey and all the trimmings!


I got the spray roses at the grocery store. I love the color.


I dusted off my Thanksgiving dessert plates and polished one of my Grandmother's old server knives. Did someone say pumpkin pie? ; )


I got the wreath for the front door but it's been so windy these days that I decided to hang it on the dining cabinet instead.


I love the simple yet intricate detail of the overlapping wheat.

I'm sending you the warmest, most beautiful Thanksgiving wishes...Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Furniture is Here!



It's a week early! I'm both excited and nervous all at the same time! Why you ask is it still covered in plastic? Well, the delivery guys just left for one, and for two, we have an issue with our floor finish that the floor guy has to deal with tomorrow (hopefully) and although no dust will be created, I don't want to unwrap them until he's done.

So pictures are a bit premature but I thought I'd give you a sneek peek as to what we've been up to the past few weeks. We never did break into a waltz like I described in my fantasy BUT we did accomplish something equally as romantic and painted all the windows! I'm kidding, although I do find it very attractive when Hubby is working on the house - why is that? (wink, wink Hubby)



I also painted the fireplace bricks white!

After priming the bricks to cover up the glue stains, I had a panic attack and questioned what I had done. Joan at For the Love of a House (my dear friend) calmed me down (I love her!).

I wish I didn't have to paint them but when I spoke to a local mason, he told me that the blond bricks weren't original to the house. Meaning, that at some point probably in the 60's, the fireplace surround was rebuilt and that's why they didn't match the gray bricks on the exterior chimney...which has made me contemplate painting the bricks gray as I'm not completely sold on the white. Thoughts? Do you like the white?

Once again, Joan came to my rescue (she does that a lot) and sent me some Sherwin Williams colors to try and upon doing so, I discovered this amazing digital tool they offer on their web site where you can upload your personal photo and try different paint colors (I'll post them soon). It's been so helpful in determining what shade of grey may work as I wouldn't want it to look too flat, too dark or like concrete!



My other update is the new mirror over the fireplace. I absolutely love the botanical detail on the frame. I was in an antique shop in Portland, one of my favorites, when I stumbled across it- on sale. Was I looking for a new mirror for over the fireplace, not really, but my Great-Great Grandparent's mirror never looked quite proportionate to the size of the mantle (I've relocated it to the guest room for now).

When I saw the mirror, I put a hold on it and then went to another favorite antique store to see what other similar items were out there. I discovered that compared to other mirrors of similar size and style, the one I had on hold was a really great deal so I went back and bought it. It was $120, normally priced at $195.

I hope that we'll be able to unwrap our furniture by tomorrow - although I'm sure we'll take a few peeks before then! I normally don't get very nervous about new purchases but typically that's because I don't spend as much money and they're also not purchased sight unseen (we didn't get to actually see our chosen fabrics on the pieces).

So again, excited and nervous all at the same time! Hubby is more calm and Lucy just wants to know what all the fuss is about.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WHITE WEDNESDAY

Once again, it's WHITE WEDNESDAY... Kathleen at FADED CHARM is the brainchild behind this once~a~week~white~fest and I love being a part of it. There's just one thing you see... I am tapped out. There I said it. I am scrounging for new WHITES around the land of Sweet Pea. I don't have the Christmas spirit yet so can't help you there. I have new and fabulous plans for the garden cottage but that is a ways off as I have three shows on the horizon~~in fact the first starts Friday (see sidebar). This is a good thing as it is forcing me to stretch my imagination a bit, but I admit I am struggling. I had two snotty~nosed toddlers sneezing in my face all day to boot so I am trying to kill the germs with merlot as I type.

Anyway, this week I am cheating. I am going to another source for the WHITE fix we all crave... None other than ELIZABETH HOUSE... As a shop owner, I used to pour over her early posts and I am positive she is one of the inspirations for my starting a blog of my own. I hope she doesn't mind that I am showing some random photos of hers~~I give all credit to her and her enormous talent behind the lens. It was a highlight of the Spring 2009 blogger party to meet her in person. If you are reading this Elizabeth~~love love your style...




A photo from the loo in her apartment...


Could you die over this photo from her shop?


Taken by Elizabeth while at a flea market.


Do you remember the craze she started with these paper walls in her shop?

Happy WHITE WEDNESDAY!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garden Visitor

Garden VisitorNovember 7, 2009This little guy visited us earlier in the month. He was a bit sluggish so I moved him off the path. Autumn has been rather mild and for the most part drier than the spring and summer. There isn't much left to do in the garden and yard other than the last minute tidying. We've cleaned the beds from debris and most of the leaves have been raked up from the yard.

The Sauna



When we bought our house, there were several outbuildings scattered throughout the property. There was the old sheep barn that was collapsing in beyond repair, there was an aluminum shed, a quirky wood shed, a pole barn, the barn with the guest quarters, and the sauna (pictured above).

The old sheep barn, the aluminum shed and the quirky wood shed all got hauled away to the rebuild it center. The rest we kept, including the sauna.



I'll give you a quick tour. It's a small two room sauna that reminds me of the old rustic camps I use to visit in Maine.



I can tell you that Hubby was beyond thrilled when he discovered this building on our first tour of the property and imagined sitting in here after a long day of skiing. The above room is the changing room and has lots of old vintage towel racks, old hooks, a little vanity and benches to sit on.



Even Lucy was excited about the sauna. Here she is taking in the ambiance of the old steam room. Aren't the benches classic? And see the old shower faucet hanging from the cross beam?



But Hubby's dream came to a screeching halt when the house inspector warned us that the above water tank was a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. In other words, don't use the sauna in its current incarnation - ever.

Hubby had ideas to update the system but when we realized that all of the wood in the steam room had been coated with urethane, we knew we'd have to reside the whole interior as to not get high on toxic fumes. The charred wall was also a deterrent - obviously the barrel stove was a fire hazard.

So it sat.



Until one day a couple of winters ago, we put my old treadmill in the changing area and started using the space as a workout room. And that's when we decided that the building would serve us much better as a home gym than a sauna.

Let me just say that we're not gym people. We know this because we bought gym memberships a year ago this month and pretty much never went. This was mostly due to the inconvenience of driving into town all the time. When we did go, all we used were the treadmill (which I had at home) and the elliptical machine (which we just bought).

So instead of renewing our very costly gym membership, we've decided to use the funds to create a home gym, conveniently located within walking distance from the house. We'll be tearing out the wall in the middle in order to create a large one room space so that both the treadmill and the elliptical machine will fit side by side. These will go where the steam benches are now.

We'll insulate the vaulted ceiling, perhaps add a sink since there's already an existing water line, and paint everything white. We have some extra tongue and groove flooring left over from the porch, which we'll use to cover up the concrete floor. We'll paint the floors historic gray as they already have primer on them. We also plan to replace the plywood door with the old french exterior door we removed from the main house.

So that's the plan but I can't say for sure when the cosmetic stuff will happen! But I'll keep you posted!

AFTER PHOTOS HERE!

Giveaway At The Brocantess

Just found out about this fab giveaway at the Brocantess! Click here to put your name in the hat! Don't miss this one!

Good Luck!

Shelley

Monday, November 16, 2009

Keith Johnson Has The Best Job...

Can you imagine a job where you traveled the globe in search of unique, funky and fabulous stuff for Anthropologie? Well, Keith Johnson can and does, and you can watch him every Wednesday night at 10pm EST on the Sundance Channel on Man Shops Globe. I got inspired to pay a visit to my local Anthropologie and see what Keith had found...




















Saturday, November 14, 2009

Homemade Herbed Cheese

If you want to offer your family or guests a soft cheese that's full of flavor and low in calories, try making cheese from yogurt. Once you've drained off the excess moisture, no one will know that you're serving yogurt cheese, and with a few added herbs, it will taste great. Served with a tray crudités (fresh raw vegetables), it'll be a big hit.Herbed Yogurt Cheese Recipe2 cups plain yogurt1

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Make An Herbed Ice Bowl

Keep your dip or crudités cold with an herbed ice bowl. Just snip a variety of fresh herbs, like parsley, sage, chives and thyme, and something colorful, like grated carrot into a shallow dish and add water to cover by an inch or two.Herbed Ice Bowl InstructionsSuspend a smaller but heavier bowl on top and freeze. Coat the outside of the top bowl with cooking spray to make it easier to remove

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gluten Free Holiday Cooking

If you're avoiding gluten, holiday cooking can be a challenge. You don't have to throw your hands up in despair, though. I have some content up at TLC's food site about creating holiday magic - gluten free. Please take a look. There are more and more products available that will make gluten-free cooking easier and tastier too, so the next time you're at the store, check out the specialty food

How to Make Herb Butter

Make herb butter for the holidays. It's a simple way to create a dramatic an delicious accompaniment to a fine meal.

Herb butters always make meals special. Whether you're serving your own homemade bread, or want to add a unique touch to steamed asparagus or stuffing, fresh herbs and butter make a wonderful combination. I've already written about chive butter as a great pairing with potato

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Victorian Chair



I love Victorian furniture. I love the ornate lines. I love the rich hue of the dark wood. I love that each piece possesses such intricate carved detail.



I purchased this Victorian chair for just $62. When I look at this chair, I see a work of art no different than a piece of artwork hanging on our wall. It's absolutely beautiful.

The fact that this delicate chair has 'lived' for over a hundred years is just fascinating to me, especially seeing that it's in pristine condition. It must have known some very loving homes along the way.



The needlepoint is in good condition - just a few thin spots, which I think come from moths rather than wear. The preservationist in me says leave it alone. But in my effort to blend my passion for antiques with the modernity of our lives, I thought of perhaps brightening the chair with a nice light velvet, which was also popular during the late 1800's.

Alternatively, for a more contemporary juxtaposition, I thought a nice botanical fabric could also be quite beautiful and honor the Victorian era's love of nature.



I've placed the chair next to my bed, in place of the chair that was already there. It goes just so beautifully next to the Eastlake nightstand, as they share the same intricate carved detail and the same lovely bird's eye maple veneer.

Considering the placement of the chair, I'm leaning towards brightening it with a soft, light velvet as I think it would best match the feel of the bedroom. If I do this, I will preserve the original needlepoint - perhaps by covering over it.

What do you think... leave it alone? Or do you like the bird toile, or the light soft velvet fabric?

WHITE WEDNESDAY~~IT MUST BE WINTER

You know it's winter in Florida when the pansies and sweet alyssum arrive at the nursery... Happy White Wednesday!!!






Make Chive Butter

This holiday season mix up a quick gourmet treat that's makes a wonderful addition to your table or a thoughtful hostess gift. Chive butter is a delicious accompaniment to stuffing, potato dishes and steamed vegetables. When pressed into a form, it can also make an impressive presentation. The recipe below will only take about five minutes to put together.Chive Butter Recipe1/2 Cup Butter (

Monday, November 9, 2009

PORCH MAGAZINE


OMG~~I made the cover of PORCH magazine!! I can't wait to get my issue! Thanks Polly~~you made my day!! Click HERE to get your issue of PORCH!

Le Girls

Vintage dress forms are among my favorite things. I have three fabulous forms that I refer to as my "girls". Allow me to introduce you...


Meet Office Girl... She lives in my studio and proofreads all my blog posts and keeps me company as I weave my way through all my fav blogs.








Next is Sleepy Time Girl. She watches over me as I sleep thus she lives in the master boudoir. She is a sectioned beauty and came to me wearing a vintage blouse that is very fragile and tattered and an old locket pin. She weighs a ton and has a very funky cage base.









And finally, please meet Guardian Angel Girl. She lives in our dining room. She got her wings from an antique shop in Tennessee that were part of a vintage costume. Don't tell the others but she is my favorite...








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