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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meet our new neighbors...

We have a nice young couple that have moved in behind us and we are happy to have them.

This wonderful neighborhood is located on the sideboard on our back deck (which is almost ready to post). There are a couple of traditional houses set amongst a couple of cottages. And the landscaping is a work in progress.

The couple have chosen the lovely 2 story home on the right. Here is Mr. Wren (or is it Mrs. Wren) enjoying the beautiful day and waiting for his mate to come home.

And when she arrives, Mrs. Wren (or is it Mr. Wren) brings home a lovely piece of dead grass to add to the nest they are decorating their home with.

Aren't they just the picture of domestic bliss? We are hoping that there will be some little Wren additions before too long. Of course, moving to a new neighborhood was an easy choice because well - the old one isn't what it used to be.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon, JoAnne

Monday, June 9, 2008

I received my first blogger award...

Last week, Deb over at Deb's Country Kisses gave me the Arte y Pico Award. Thank you Deb! Deb is one of those bloggers that I wish lived closer to so that we could meet in person and spend a couple of hours talking over tea and cookies. I just know she is a wonderful, kind hearted person and I am glad to have met her. Her blog has inspired and comforted me and for that I am grateful.

Now, there are several rules that go along with this award and they are as follows:

1. First, you have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Secondly, each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Next, each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.

4. Also, the award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. And finally, you must show these rules.

Part of the reason it has taken me so long to post this award is that I had a difficult time picking just 5 bloggers to pass this award on to. I subscribe to 60 different blogs on my google reader (and the number grows everyday) and I love each and every one of them although for different reasons.

So without further ado, I choose to share this award with (in no particular order):

1. Susie over at Bienvenue. Susie is another blogger that I wished I could share a cup of tea with in person. She also has been very supportive of me and her comments pick me when I need a pick me up (Thank you Susie). She also has great taste and she makes the most beautiful tassels (which are becoming an obsession with me lately). Another thing that I love is that she has shared with her readers some easy but elegant crafts that I am dying to try out (like these elegant coasters).

2. Joy from Joys of Home. Now, I am not the only person that thinks Joy deserves this award as she has received it before. I am giving it to her again because I find her blog refreshing, funny and REAL. And if for no other reason because she shared pictures of her living room after her daughter "landed" home and I could totally relate! I know whenever I see vintage suitcases, I will think of Joy.

3. Kimba from A Soft Place to Land. I chose Kimba because I love her philosophy towards the home she lovingly creates for her family, they mirror my own (but she expressed them so much more eloquently than I could). She inspires me with here projects and makes me laugh with her stories. She says her family are suburban hillbillies and if that is the case, I would love to live in her neighborhood. And lastly, because her family is building a new house which we did 3 years ago. It was the most aggravating experience of my life (but worth it in the end) so I want her to know I feel her stress.

4. Penny from Lavender Hill Studio. Penny's blog was the first "decorating" blog I ever read and I still look forward to posts from her. I found Penny through HGTV's rate my space and her living room was my favorite room over there (and probably still is). She also creates and sells the most beautiful mosaics I have ever seen. In the few interchanges I have had with Penny, I feel like I have known her forever. I can even forgive her that we both built houses 3 years ago and her landscaping puts mine to shame!

And last (but certainly not least) I want to recognize a new blog I have found:

5. Eva from Cornflower Cottage. Eva's blog is very new (only 6 posts). She and her family are remodeling their home and, judging by her inspiration photos, I can't wait for her to start posting pictures of their work. She enjoys French Country style which is my all time favorite. I hope she enjoys blogging and that this award will show her that there are those of us that appreciate and enjoy her efforts.

Well, there is my list. I could go on and on with a whole list of wonderful blogs but I will end for today. Please take time to visit these blogs and I hope you find them as delightful as I do. Thanks for stopping by, JoAnne

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's a porch party and you're invited....

Rhondi over at Rose Colored Glasses has invited all of her blogger friends to her First Annual Front Porch Party. All you have to do is post a photo of your porch or, if you don't have a porch, your dream porch. I love porches so I decided to join the fun.

Now, we don't have a front porch on our home but we do have a back deck which we love. But unfortunately you are not going to get to see pictures of it today. You see, we are in the process of building our new deck and are waiting for the rest of the railing to come in. So, I thought I would share with you the porch Jeff and I dream about spending our retirement years rocking on. And here it is-

Isn't it gorgeous? I have always loved timber frame homes and would love to build one as our retirement home. I just love the wood with the stone fireplace on this porch - it is so warm and inviting. I can just imagine sitting here on a cool spring morning with a nice cup of tea and my favorite decorating magazines. Or perhaps a fall evening while sharing a glass of wine with some friends. And I can just imagine rocking my grandchildren (that my children haven't given me yet) in one of those chairs. But that is only half our dream. We both would like to find a secluded little piece of land to build this home on that has something like this running through it -

Doesn't that just seem like heaven on earth and a perfect way to spend your golden years? I won't keep you any longer as I know there are a lot more beautiful porches to check out. Now hop on over to Rhondi's place and check out her beautiful porch. I know she has some delicious treats waiting for you. Enjoy your tour and come back again soon, JoAnne

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I've made a decision...

I've made a decision on the chairs for my bedroom. If you recall, I had found this chair on the website of an antique store about an hour away. It's certainly a beautiful chair. The color is perfect and the style is just what I was looking for for my French Country bedroom.

On the negative side - there was only one available and I really was looking for two. I am really interested in symmetry in the part of the room I want to place these chairs. I wasn't sold on the dark frame either. I had something lighter in mind. And the cost was $295 for one chair, which was what I was hoping to spend for two. So I am leaving this beauty for the next person.

A couple of weeks ago, I had also spotted this gem in a local antique store. I loved the lines of it. I even liked the worn rose tapestry fabric. I decided to buy it (depending on the price) and make the decision later if I would recover it to match my redecorated master bedroom or leave it as it was and place it in my new guest room.

There was no price tag on the chair so I went up to the front to inquire about the cost. Unfortunately, this particular antique shop is made up of many different vendors and the owner of this chair wasn't in that day. And when they tried to reach him by phone, he was unavailable. So, I reluctantly left and decided I would stop back. A couple of days later my husband and I stopped back and my little treasure had a "Sold" sign on it.

I was bummed. I had even found this pretty Waverly fabric at a fantastic price on Ebay and was looking forward to making the little chair mine. The fabric is a pattern of bees and Fleur-De-Lis and would be perfect in my decorating plan. (I may still find a place to use it in my room.)

But don't despair, this story has a happy ending. A couple of days ago, a search on Ebay turned up these beauties. Aren't they perfect? They are covered in a blue and white check pattern and according to the seller are in excellent shape. I won the auction and got both chairs for $199 plus $100 shipping.

I plan to use these chairs as they are for now. When I get my current list of projects done, I may paint the frames the same creamy white I am painting the bed and armoire. Time will tell. I may also purchase the fabric I showed you above. It would only cost me $30 for enough fabric to do both chairs. But for now I am just anxious to get them home and see them in my changing room.

Thanks for stopping by, JoAnne