Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ali Wentworth

Do you know Ali? Ali Wentworth, Mrs. George Stepanopoulos. She is on Oprah on Friday's and has a show on the Starz network called "Head Case" ...I think she is a hoot and when I saw her home on Shelter I knew I had to share. First, in case you are not familiar with Ms Wentworth here are a few photos:

Ali and George on their Wedding Day

all pictures from Dan's Hamptons

Doesn't she just look cute and normal and like someone who would be in your book club? Wonder if she might want to join mine? How busy could she be, two kids, famous husband, two T.V. shows and she lives several states away....

Basement playroom. Ali painted the stripes herself.
Wonder if George helped?

Arts & craft area in playroom. Ali got the fabulous table at a flea market.
I love that giant photograph of her daughter.

The girls share a room and a king size bed.

Vintage ballerina painting

Vintage lamp, antique chest. Don't you love the zebra rug?

Powder Room

You should go here and read the article. Ali is a girl after my own design heart. She buys from flea markets, Ikea, Pottery Barn and Goodwill giving everything a good dose of spray paint. I love that and as you can tell it makes her home unique. Wish we cold see more of it!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dirt-y Little Secret

I have a confession..I am a killer. A killer of small helpless..plants. You know people with green thumbs? Yeah, well, that's not me. I have a black thumb. My specialty is ivy but I don't discriminate. I kill all varieties of plants. I love them , I do. I try! I do! But weeks will pass and I will think "why is that ivy all dried up and brown?" Water? Every week? Dang! Here we go again.

Yep, these are actual ivy plants in my home. Or at least they used to be. I promise when I first got them they looked fabulous. I also promise that soon after I took this picture I threw them out because nothing says spring like brown, dead ivy.

Do you know what this is? It is a topiary grave yard. My topiary grave yard. I am determined to replant them and bring them all back to life. They were all gifts and so have special meaning. I can't throw the forms out just because I killed the plant. They deserve a new life. I'll let you know if the transplants are successful. Any tips other than watering regularly?

In case you were wondering..I also kill outdoor plants. Sad...On a happier note the N.C. Azalea Festival is coming up and many fabulous gardens will be open for tour. No, not our garden (yard) unless there is a white-trash garden tour. In that case, hand me a beer and sign me up! But the garden tour has inspired me to get kicking on my own yard. Nothing big, maybe add fresh pine straw, replant my window box and the poor watering can pictured above. I think it is good to have a plan so here are a few of my favorite gardens.

Did I say it is good to have a plan? Maybe I should have said dream. Yes, it is good to have a dream and I dream of this garden.

And this garden.

And this one.

All pictures from Cottage Living

And this one.
If you're going to dream, dream big and green.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's a Good Thing

Home's a good thing. A very good thing. I went on a little scouting trip and this is what I found:

Garden Stool $39.99

I love a good looking garden many options. Seat, side table....There were two of these and I didn't have my handy tape measure with me, but I think they were around 18 inches tall, perfect. They would look great on either side of your fireplace or beside a chair with a stack of books.

Pineapple stool: 39.99

Perfect for a little side table or as a giant door stop. It is much bigger in person.

Giant Planter

Wish I had a price for these but they were so heavy I couldn't lift them by myself and I just couldn't ask granny who was working to help me. I try to be discreet with my camera, notepad, measuring tape.....


Again, very heavy so no price. Probably about 2 1/2 feet tall.

Pom Pom Pillow: $16.99

I thought this was a fun little pillow especially for a little girl's room. They had a ton.

Ikat-ish Quilt: $39.99 Queen $29.99 Twin

I thought these were great looking and could picture a whole bedroom based on these quilts. With lots of white it would feel very fresh and spring like.

Metal-Wood Table $29.99

You know I love this because it reminds me of.....

This: Metal-Wood Table $85

Remember the table from the Big Green Warehouse? It is amazing the similarities. So if you couldn't make it to the big sale, head over to Home Goods. The Home Goods table is even bigger and cheaper, uh...less expensive.

Metal Planter: $39.99

Loved this, but again wish there had been two of them.

Lamp: $39.99

Wouldn't this look great in a boy's room or an office? They had several so you could get a pair.

Messenger Bag: $5.99

I know this is a little random but I just loved this bag. I thought it would make a great gift. For a child's birthday you could put make-up, hair accessories and costume jewelry. For an adult you could put some flip flop's and a beach towel. Or maybe art supplies, or great beach reads, or magazines or cooking supplies....I guess you get the idea.

See something you like? Better hurry..I might see you there!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pick Me Up

Need a pick me up? Check out Anna's blog Absolutely Beautiful Things. You can see it here. She's an Aussie girl with absolutely beautiful taste. She has the perfect style to get you in the mood for spring. Warning, her bold use of color will make you want to redecorate. This love of bright, fun colors reminds me of a friend's (Betsy P) paintings. I have several of her wonderful works of art in my home and with her permission I have photographed a few. Enjoy!

I stopped by her studio yesterday to check in and convinced her to let me photograph this painting. It is a work in progress according to Betsy. Looks pretty good to me as is.

Since moving to Wilmington Betsy has set up an art studio in her adorable garage apartment. In the mornings she graps a cup of coffee, throws on her painting smock and skips over to her light filled studio. Jealous? I am!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Decorating Disaster

This story has a happy beginning but a tragic end..I got the bench for free from my mom. I had to have it repaired $. Then I had it painted $ and recovered $. Do you know what that adds up to? $$$ Which would have been O.K. except for one tiny thing....I hate how it turned out.

Oh my gosh, the photo doesn't even do it justice. It is so much worse in person. (This is not the room it goes in, I have it hidden away for now.) The blue was suppose to be a light almost robin's egg blue. Instead it is sickly looking, the color almost glows. It gives me the creeps. And the fabric..I wanted a crisp brown and white ticking. Instead it is dingy looking. Every time I see that bench I want to kick it. It was suppose to look more like this:

picture from Cottage Living
I know it is a little hard to see but I'm talking about those woven/cane chairs where the people are sitting.

picture from The Daily uptown country

Yep, the one in the lower left hand corner. Jonathan Adler had a great blue Chippendale chair I just couldn't find a picture of it. Maybe if I repainted it myself and recovered my bench in this...

Decorators Walk Katsugi

Maybe I could save it. You know, this is not my first decorating disaster. I have several in my attic and I am sure this will not be my last. I do love the bench and think is is worth another try. Let's hope for the sake of my sanity my next attempt turns out better. I'll let you know what happens...wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Granny Chic

Most of us have hand me downs from our families in our homes. If we are lucky they are antiques. If we are extremely lucky they are attractive antiques that we actually like.
I'm talking about dining room tables, sideboards, chests, etc. But then I started thinking about the smaller everyday items that remind you of your grandmother or crazy great aunt. They probably aren't worth anything but can sometimes mean the most. You need some items with history and age (and maybe a good story) to make a house a home. I call this style of decorating Granny Chic and it's more popular than you might think.

This butter yellow bowl belonged to my great grandmother Pearl McKnight. Doesn't Pearl just sound like a great grandmother? I remember this bowl from Bama and Mammie's house. Bama is my grandmother (94 and still kicking) and Mammie my great aunt, she was almost like another grand mother. Sisters, they lived together for over 50 years!! Can you imagine? We had a big time when we stayed with them in Mooresville, N.C. I swear it was just like being in Mayberry. Bama said her mother used to mix up her biscuits in this bowl. I don't know what recipe she used but Mammie used to make the best Angel Biscuits. Thankfully my sister Susan still had the recipe:

Mammie's Angel Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
3 TBLS Crisco
Add Buttermilk to soften
Roll dough out and cut into small circles using a juice glass
Bake @450 until done (I guess she thought we would know when they were done)
They are small biscuits with a hard outside and soft inside

If you make these biscuits let me know how they taste. I used to love these and gobble them down by the handful (they are small after all). I haven't had any in years, damn that South Beach Diet!!!

This hook is also from Bama & Mammie's house. It hung on the back of Mammie's bathroom door for 50 years. Mammie had the green tile bathroom. There was also a blue tile bathroom (Bama's) and a maroon and pink tile bathroom (guestroom). And yes, the maroon and pink was just as pretty as you might imagine. The hook now hangs in my closet and I think of Mammie every time I see it.

This quilt was hand-made by my husband's great-great grandmother Patty. I love the colors and the different fabric. It is in Cricket's room on her bed and I love it there but because of its age I am afraid I may have to put it away somewhere safe. But in a way what would be the point? Why not enjoy it for as long as we can. I often think "save it for what?" So for now it is staying put!!

Those are just a few of the things I have around my house that have special meaning. If you start looking you will find great examples of Granny Chic everywhere. In fact I think Drew Barrymore's office that Ruthie Sommers decorated is a good example of using special items that have meaning. The rooms are a great mix of old and new.

All pictures from Domino

Everywhere you look is a painting or small trinket that either came from Drew's family or looks like it could have. Notice the bathroom and kitchen are not updated but still manage to look stylish and youthful. This is an office with style and history. I love that it is not all gleaming new with just bought furniture. It has tons of personality. Love it!!!

So next time your grandmother, mother or aunt offers to give you a painting, vase or some old knick knack, take it! Find a place for it, just make sure it comes with a good story.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Birthday Party

Last week I was lucky enough to escape for a fun girl's lunch to celebrate Jane's birthday. Isn't it so nice to get out during the week, see friends, have lunch and adult conversation? I don't get out much so it was an extra treat for me. We had such a good time (I'm sure the wine had nothing to do with it). Here are some pictures from the day.

We ate lunch here, Caffe Phoenix in Historic Downtown Wilmington

O.K. this is the best idea, I wish I had thought of it. Jarrett brought a cake stand and flowers from home to display the dessert on. It made the table so festive and fun. So much better than handing around a giant box of cupcakes after the meal.

The cupcakes were from Coastal Cupcakes. It should be called Coastal Crack. If I had eaten as many cupcakes as I wanted (26) I would have been in a sugar coma. I only ate two, two of the best dang red velvet with cream cheese icing cupcakes I have ever had!!!

Birthday girl Jane, Louise and Ann

Cackie, Jarrett (yes, cake stand Jarrett) and Betsy

Some of Jane's presents. Any of you who know me well will recognize that paper flower on the white package. I am always crafting up some flowers and will use them for table decorations or presents or anything else I can think of, I am sure they will continue to pop up on this blog until you are so sick of them you could scream.

I love these flip flops!! They came from a cute store in Wilmington, The Sterling House. They are Vera Bradley and also come in hot pink. I think I am going to get a pair for my step-mother for her birthday to go with the pedicure gift certificate I got her. If Susan F. or Betsy F. (my sisters) are reading this, what do you think? Don't they look just like Joan? In fact today is her actual birthday....
Happy Birthday Joan!!!

A fun apron and glove set from Pier 1. You know I love me an apron.

The birthday girl showing off her new attire, isn't she a good sport?

I hope Jane had as much fun as I did. I know the other girls did. Also joining us were Florence Ellen, Margaret and Lucy, but because they either had to leave early or came late they were lucky enough to miss the picture taking!

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