Tuesday, January 31, 2012

She's Looking Good

We have been in this 200 year old house for about ten years.  I decided recently to update the old gal (wish someone would do that to me) and started with the dining room.  I think she looks a good 10 years younger.

So, I am totally into this neutral thing, and am almost pretty positive, that I will do the entry in Palladian Blue (you've heard that before.)

Yes, I like it,  look what  I have ahead of me.

I can do it all, except for that corner up there where the spider web is.  If I remember correctly, some brave soul, balanced on a plank of wood, high in the air, supported by a step ladder?  Well, it was something like that.  Guess I'd better find him.

See that smidgin of Blue?  There are patches like that upstairs, downstairs, throughout the hall, and it works.  

My neutral, more peaceful, color scheme seems to be coming from an Irish painting in the dining room,  how can I go wrong?

Monroe Bisque, Palladian Blue, and a darker tan, maybe even brown in the living room.  I think the old gal is going to spiff up quite nicely, don't you?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Empty Handed

This past weekend, my husband and I traveled south, south that is,  to Brunswick, Maine.  It's a college town, home to Bowdoin, and has many more shops and restaurants than our little city of Hallowell.  We thought we'd mosey around a while.

Before we even got to town, we were met with a mess of traffic.  It was all going into the parking lot of what was once a mill, a building now housing offices, a restaurant or two, and a humongous flea market.  

I'm a pearl fanatic, but nah.

Never been a knitter, takes too long.

Can't remember the last time I made a pot of soup.

I love Maine, but not it's lobsters, or maybe I do.

I think this about sums it up.

I came out empty handed.
How about you, any fabulous finds this weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

No Rings on My Table

I'm a great fan of paper cocktail napkins.  I even use them when I'm alone. Add a little bit of designer touch for not a lot of bucks (even less at T.J. Maxx) such fun!

Jonathan Adler


Lilly Pulitzer

Kate Spade

Vera Bradley

I'm telling you, you can't miss with a fabulous, fun cocktail napkin.  It looks like you actually went to some trouble for yourself or someone else!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What a Mess!

When you're a bargain hunter like me, things can end up in a mess.  It's a haphazard business, you know, and right now I'm not happy and my house is quite a hazard.

There's a sofa in the front hall, blocking this door and that, waiting for it's new cushions that will take over a month. It's sister is stowed in a corner of the living room, with her nose turned up at her less than lovely counterparts, and fabric is draped here and there trying to decide which wall color will do it justice.  There's a mirror leaning this way, a lamp perched that way, and a dog barking in the kitchen!

I have to move an icky sofa (won't even show you that) relocate my two Martha Washington chairs, and lug a nine by twelve oriental upstairs.  Then, there's that secretary in the living room, which needs to make it's way into the "little room," once the sofa is moved from the hall.

And, that's only the beginning, let's not forget the matter of paint, and more paint, and more paint. The living room, entry, and the "little room,"  where to begin, it's overwhelming.  Right now, I need to jump over the sofa, get a glass of wine and play with my Palladian Blue and Bennington Gray.

An to think, it all started with the dining room, you know how that goes!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Gonna Get-ya

One way or another, it's gonna get-ya, get-ya, get-ya....one way or another!  It's all over the internet in every conceivable manner, Tangerine Tango!

You can wear it, dine on it, sleep on it, my gosh, you can even dress your dog in it.

I think it's got me.  Look what I found when I checked to see what I had been "repinning" to my board on Pinterest lately. 

It already had me and I didn't even know it.   One of my thrift shop finds was already sporting Tangerine Tango. 

They've given it their best shot and fired away.  There's no escaping it, Tangerine Tango is definitely here to stay, at least for awhile.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Little Bit of England

Have you ever been to Althorp?  Neither have I.  The Spencers have lived there for over five hundred years, not too shabby.

The grounds are impressive and from what I understand, it is furnished impeccably with antiques and other furnishings of heirloom quality.  Thomas Alexander was asked by the Spencer family to design a line of furniture, aptly called, Althorp Living History Furniture, The Spencer Collection, based on pieces found in the estate. How I found a piece of this collection at a salvage store in central Maine is beyond me, but I did. 

Not only is it, comfortable and plush, it happened to be a perfect neutral for the living room, the perfect sand for the seafoam.

Oh, and guess what?  It was marked 90% off the original price.  I'd say that's a jolly good deal!

After I work like a dog painting the room, put it all back together, and spiff it up a bit, I'll sit myself down with a spot of tea.  Who would have known I'd be sitting like royalty.  But why not, isn't every man's home his castle?


Monday, January 23, 2012

Enough With The Ikat

There's a story behind every Ikat, at least in this house there is. I ordered some fabric, hoping it would match my cushionless sofa, my previous post, Ikat, will catch you up on that one.  It arrived on Saturday in an oversized envelope.  I hadn't been so anxious about opening something, since this, "not working up to her full potential" gal, received those fateful letters long ago, just hoping some institution of higher learning would be happy to take her daddy's money.

I did make it to college and yes, Ballard's Seafoam Mirabella Ikat is indeed Kravet's Ikat Vari.  Phew, I have so many more important things to ponder, like which orange and white cardboard box to open for lunch.

So, I'm almost done with this Ikat thing, just one more, please?  You see, I need fabric for some pillows to go on the neutral sofa I see in my future.  Can't be the same, got to mix the Ikat up a bit.  Finally I found it.

I came across a remnant at Loom, very nice, and it brings two more colors into the room. It's a "second," not perfect, but I can live with that and it's $19.99 a yard price.  It's perfect sister is a whopping $109.99 a yard. Yep, it will make beautiful pillows for the other side of the room.

Great minds think alike.  Look  what I found at The Well Appointed House, Greenwich, Ct., and it's only $230.00.

Now, I really am done, I promise.  I don't even know how this Ikat thing got started. Could it have been a month or so ago in Florida?  I didn't even see it coming.

When my living room is done, and the girls come over for a glass of wine or two, and someone utters those fateful words "love the sofa, where did you find this fabulous fabric?"  Oh boy, do I have a story for them!

Friday, January 20, 2012


In our little town of Hallowell, Maine,  I am known to hibernate during the winter months.  I putter around the house and do a few errands and putter around the house and do a few errands, that's about it. Today the sun is shining and it is cold, but gorgeous, so I donned my $9.99 down parka (Lands End) from Goodwill and my $79.95 (regularly $269.00) Emu Australian sheepskin boots from Mardens ( that's my surplus and salvage store) and braved the cold, just for you.

I wanted you to see my home,  my town and my neighbors. Hallowell is known as the Antique Capital of Maine, the Little Easy, as well as Little Georgetown. With it's antique shops,  bars that feature live music, it's brick sidewalks and gas lamps, it is a stone's throw from the state capital, Augusta.  Lawmakers, lawyers, musicians and artists are at home in Hallowell.

My home was built in the early 1800's and was known as a workman's cottage.  

Oh, by the way,  it's painted Provence Creme with Essex Green shutters, both from Benjamin Moore.

It sits smack in the center of town so I can walk to the restaurants, bars, antique shops and galleries.  I think it's a prime location.

Brick sidewalks and gas lamps and a bit of whimsy line Water Street, a block from my house.

Even closer than the shops, is the the Hubbard Free Library, right next door!  Our yellow lab, Hobie, is a frequent visitor.

That is the library, not a church, but we do have two right behind us.

So, I can eat, drink, read and pray without spending a penny on gas, in my little town of Hallowell, Maine.  Can't wait til spring, it's just around the corner, you know.  In the meantime, I've got a lot of work to do, I'm way behind in my puttering!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wine Bottles

Last night I came across a project  I think I can do.  I don't knit, needlepoint or craft.  If it requires more than paint, fabric and a staple gun, I'm out.  This only involves paint and something I'm going to have to look long and hard around my house for, an empty wine bottle!

If I can paint a lampshade, I can certainly paint a wine bottle.

So,  from what I can see,  I just have to drink the wine, get some blackboard paint and a chalk marker and I'm in business.  I see them with white tapers, personalized with a name, number or monogram.  I will probably use them on the porch or in the garden and make three in different sizes and set them among  some greenery.  I have the vision secure in my mind, I'll make them in the spring.


While on the subject of empty wine bottles, this is neat too.


I found it in Center Harbor, NH at a shop called YIKES, www.yikesgallery.com/ .  Lo and behold it was made in the great state of Maine by Janet.  Wouldn't it be fun in a darkened corner of your kitchen or bar?  I have the bottle and the lights, but I think I'd best leave this to Janet.

It amazes me what people think of.  In the meantime, I'll just sit myself down, have a glass of wine and paint a lampshade or two.  I've got some bottle emptying to do!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Artichokes and More

Whenever I see a decorative artichoke of any kind I take a second look. I have them throughout the house.  One hangs from the cupboard in the kitchen, one holds drapes in the dining room and yet another goes outside in the spring.

So when I saw one perched atop a box while I was shopping recently, I thought, hmmmmm, what can I do with this?

I knew I would have fun with it in my dining room especially when I saw what else the box  held.

Obviously, a great centerpiece, but I decided to do something a bit different.

The fruit varied so in size that I decided on two boxes at $8.95.  Eight of my white ceramic gems will set a much more balanced table than four.  Artichokes are still my favorite!