Friday, October 3, 2008

The Leaves...

(author unknown)

The leaves had a wonderful frolic.
They danced to the wind's loud song.

They whirled, and they floated, and scampered.
They circled and flew along.

The moon saw the little leaves dancing.
Each looked like a small brown bird.

The man in the moon smiled and listened,
And this is the song he heard.

The North Wind is calling, is calling,
And we must whirl round and round,

And then, when our dancing is ended,
We'll make a warm quilt for the ground.

(Photos taken by me at Pixley Falls State Park, NY)

Until next time, JoAnne

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Inexpensive bedroom art - take two...

A few weeks ago, I did a post about some royalty free clip art I framed with inexpensive black frames with the intention of hanging them in my bedroom.

I thought they were perfect but I've found that you can improve on perfection. A friend asked me to make her a set to donate to a charity auction for an organization she belongs to. I was more than happy to give them to her and planned on reproducing another set just like the first.

I found a few minutes to myself last week and went where I always go when I am alone and don't have to be anyplace in particular - TJ Maxx. I found a frame with 4 openings on clearance for $9 and snatched it right up.

What do you think? I think this look is a little softer and a little more sophisticated. I also purchased some tone on tone scrapbook paper for 59 cents that I used to print the clip art on. I like this version even more than my first creation. This is going to go on one side of our new bed above the bedside table. And, on the other side of the bed I am going to frame this:

This is a drawing of Boldt Castle and is where Jeff and I exchanged our wedding vows. Now, I found the picture on the internet but would never feel right just printing it out and using it without compensating the talented artist. So, I ordered a signed, numbered print that I will frame myself. The artists name is Randall Peterson and his work is incredible. He also has done many lighthouses so be sure to check out his site.

Until next time, JoAnne

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm in Love...

Now that the weather has turned cooler, we have switched gears from landscaping projects to interior projects so my bedroom redo is making progress again.

Remember my Craigslist find from a couple of months ago...?

Well here it is now...

Isn't it beautiful !?!?! It's painted a pretty creamy white and looks so much more elegant now that it is not knotty pine.

Jeff & I are so happy with the way it turned out. I sanded it and Jeff painted and sealed it with his paint sprayer. It looks like it has a factory finish.

Now it is on to my Craigslist armoire. Jeff put the primer on it today and will start painting it tomorrow. (I think he wants his garage back before it starts snowing.) I think the creamy white will bring out the beautiful details on this piece and will look awesome in the same room with the bed.

I am still on the lookout for bedside tables and hopefully the walls will be a pretty French blue before the weekend is over. Unfortunately, that's going to depend on how my recovery from my little accident earlier this week goes as I'm still quite sore. Next time, I will share the art I have for above the bedside tables.

Until next time, JoAnne

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something old, something new...

As I said in my last post, we welcomed a new member to our family about 5 weeks ago. My oldest child, and only daughter, had a fairy tale wedding in the perfect setting. The happy couple met about 5 years ago while they were both enrolled at the same college. Since their families come from opposite ends of New York State, the bride and groom chose a beautiful, 200 year old inn in Central New York for their special day.

... located in a picturesque town called Skaneateles, NY...

... which is on beautiful Skaneateles Lake.

The Sherwood is tastefully decorated - from the lobby...

... to the dining room...

... out to the porch overlooking the lake where they served breakfast each morning.

And from one end of the hall ...

... to the other.

The guests rooms were elegant and sophisticated, and like the rest of the inn, were decorated with period furnishings purchased through the years at antique and estate sales. Some rooms had fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. All of the rooms had comfortable quilt covered beds, sitting areas and sumptuous wallpaper and fabrics.

Here is the room Jeff, Michael and I stayed in.

Here is my Dad's room ...
... and here is Brian's.
Jenny and Ralph's room was just as beautiful and made a perfect backdrop for the pictures of the wedding party getting ready.
They exchanged vows in front of family and friends, under a canopy on the side lawn of the Inn.

All of the guests got a kick out of the irony of a sign advertising psychiatric services just outside of the tent.

The cake was beautiful and was crafted by a bakery located behind The Sherwood that they are affiliated with. We made sure we stopped in before heading home to stock up on delicious artisan breads and decadent pastries.

The flowers, which were fresh, were done by the very talented mother of the groom and they were the most beautiful wedding flowers I have ever seen. She also took the time to research the meaning of each of the flowers she used and included only those flowers that had significant meanings for the newlyweds.

Then Jenny attached a locket from my Mother and a brooch from her father's Mother to the ribbon of her bouquet to remember the grandmothers that couldn't be with us.

My contribution to the wedding was a candy buffet done in the wedding colors of ivory, blue, light blue and brown. I had fun picking up different shaped and sized apothecary jars and filling them with candy in Jenny's color scheme.

The bride's dress was stunning in ivory with a champagne lace overlay.

And she took the white lace off of the veil I wore 27 years ago when I married her father and dyed it to match the lace on her dress. The color was perfect. The final touches to her wedding ensemble were a 3 strand pearl choker that belonged to my grandmother and earrings that were a wedding gift from the groom.
My beautiful and handsome children.

Completing the weekend was delicious food and a hotel staff that are second to none. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding for my precious daughter. And if you ever find yourself in the Finger Lake region of New York, stop by The Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles and discover the magic yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here I am...

Sorry I have neglected this blog for so long. It has been a busy summer. In addition to working full time, weekly chemo treatments for my son, keeping up with the house and keeping Michael's blog updated, we -

... spent a week in California visiting some friends (courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation) and ....

... welcomed a new son-in-law into our family.

So, I am hoping you will forgive me for my absence and as a small peace offering , I would like to share my latest project - inexpensive artwork.

2 picture frames from Walmart: $6

Royalty free clip art found on the internet ; $0

Creating the perfect artwork for your home: PRICELESS!

I have lots of exciting things to share with you (including my redecorated bedroom where you will see these pictures again), so I promise I will be back soon.

Smiles, JoAnne

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A room with a view...

This is the view I enjoy from my kitchen window...

With this delightful scene - I'm sure you won't be surprised when I say that washing dishes isn't a chore at all !! The last 2 sections of deck railing are supposed to be here tomorrow so I will be ready to give you all the grand tour very soon. In the meantime - please enjoy this beautiful Sunday afternoon in your little corner of the world. JoAnne

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's a mantel to do?...

Talented sisters, Kari and Kijsa, over at Ask Kari & Kijsa are hosting a Mantel Party today. They have invited other bloggers to share their own mantels and I am joining in the fun.

My entire adult life I have wanted a fireplace and mantel to decorate and I finally have one. The problem is - it's a lot harder to decorate than I thought! It has been 3 years and I am still not satisfied with the statement my mantel makes. Here is how it looks today:

Above the fireplace, I have my favorite baby portrait below the most recent portrait of each of my 3 children. Until we finish our basement family room, there is no other place in my home large enough to do this arrangement. And displaying these pictures is more important to me than having a perfectly decorated mantel. So, when we finish our family room these treasures will move down there and then I can start from scratch here.

Another obstacle I have to getting the look I want is that we have standard 8 foot ceilings and a raised hearth on the fireplace. That means the area above the mantle is wider than it is high, so decorating with items of any height look out of proportion. Oh well - I'll keep playing with it and one day when I least expect it, it will be just as I want it.

Of course my favorite time to decorate my mantel is the holidays and here is how it looked on Christmas eve:

(Notice the cookies and milk waiting for Santa to come down the chimney?)

I hope you enjoyed my pictures. Now, take a hop on over to Kari and Kijsa's to find links to some really awesome mantels. Thanks for stopping by, JoAnne