Monday, May 31, 2010


Have you ever wondered what a room in your home would look like if it was styled for a magazine? Well, this dream was recently realized for me when editor Francoise O'Neill (better known as Fifi) visited me with photographer Dan Mayers.

This visit, which was part of Fifi's photo shoot schedule along the East Coast was actually months in the making.

It all began with my contacting Fifi with a story idea back in January.

After months of correspondence, projects and photos, Fifi shared the exciting news that she would be coming to take photos of my home for Cottage Style magazine. I am not shy about telling you that I jumped up and down, after all, I had just blogged about how Cottage Style inspired my bedroom re-do.

Thrilled but nervous I put together a lengthy to-do list of projects to tackle before Fifi's arrival (just days away). Always generous and sweet, Fifi reassured me that I shouldn't be nervous, that we would have fun, that my house was charming, that she's just one of the girls.

Well, I was nervous until Fifi and Dan arrived and then I relaxed because both of them are so down-to-earth and friendly. At times it all felt so surreal. Moments like: Fifi in my car; Fifi at my market; the three of us having lunch at my local Panera. Sometimes I would touch Fifi's arm and say, "Fifi is at my house!"

Dan was also super cool and fun to spend the day with. We chatted about raising kids and 80s punk rock. It was lovely to witness how Dan would just wash the room in light.

How often do you read "punk rock" and "lovely" in the same paragraph?

Years ago I had worked on film shoots in various capacities. How fun it was for me to now be the subject and location. Surreal.

It was a completely amazing experience.

Thank you so much to Dan for photos I just know must be beautiful.

Thank you so very much to Fifi, who is lovely inside and out. She is inspiring, encouraging, generous, dynamic and easy-going!

Can you imagine needing to say the following to Fifi?
Please use the brick to keep the back door closed.
• Sorry about the crumbs and toys in the backseat.
• Watch your step in the basement.

Well, I had to say 'em all and Fifi did not bat an eye. Now that's fabulous!

The current issue of Fifi's magazine.

I'll be sure to keep you posted when "my" issue hits newsstands.

Thanks for indulging me through this long post!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

playing in the backyard

It was swoon at first sight when I saw this image on the cover of Country Home, June 2008. I had purchased the magazine for a short flight and am pretty sure I stared at this picture from Providence to Philly.

My small Cape doesn't have an enclosed or even covered outdoor living space and I'm not quite ready to take-on sewing chair covers but that doesn't mean that I wasn't inspired to pretty-up my own backyard, especially as I recently prepared for guests.

Inside out
The fabric on the pillow was once a favorite skirt turned inside-out to appear faded

Garden variety
The tall vase is actually a repurposed jelly jar light fixture cover and one of my favorite vessels for displaying cut flowers; the smaller one held a tea light candle at my wedding reception.

Hanging out
A single panel is clipped to the lattice of the literally Shabby Shed -- with clothespins and then tied-back with twine.

Digging to China
I am trying little red flowers in my plate garden this year

Chips, anyone?
When you have boys, I find it best to accept chips, dents, and scratches. Let's just say, kids help the shabbification process along.

Pack and play
Love this dreamy chair from Cabbages & Roses. I can imagine the seat getting piled up with dirt or being used for a fort. Seems make-able though, doesn't it?


Monday, May 24, 2010

shellie sews sweet stuff by the sea shore

For the past few months, I have been tackling many home d├ęcor projects, ranging from the small (wallpapering a cabinet) to the large (painting my bedroom). All of the hard work had been for the possibility of an opportunity that just actually happened that I will share very soon. {Hint!}

Helping me beyond words with feathering my nest during this process has been my dear friend Shellie. Whenever I get a big idea that requires sewing, Shellie is right there with enthusiasm, ideas, and her trusty measuring tape.

Shellie put these pillows together using some of my most favorite fabrics.

Shellie more than tidied-up this chair pad that I had "sewed."

Shellie can even decipher my Well, I want something unstructured and beachy . . . into something unstructured and beachy and beautiful.

She whipped this lovely valance together in record time and even made 2 pillow shams to match.

Shellie never allows me to pay her for her talents-on-demand, always insisting that this is simply what friends do. I do try to repay her with girls nights out (or breakfasts) on me.

I also want to thank sweet Sandi of Wayside Treasures who sent me this pretty runner, flower pin, and little Prima flowers just because they looked like "my colors." So thoughtful!

I am so very thankful for the friendships in my life -- offline and online.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

tinkered preserves

Strawberries have been on sale at the market. I thought it would be fun to make preserves.

Not wanting to mess around with sterilizing and processing jars, I decided to make half of the recipe. It yielded just enough preserves for a few amazing breakfasts.

The fresh, sweet flavor and consistency is wonderful over toast, croissants, english muffins -- even stirred into oatmeal. Or maybe topping vanilla bean ice cream? The possibilities are endless.

Just Enough Strawberry Preserves
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, and sliced or chopped
2.5 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
Less than a pinch of salt

In a pot, combine the strawberries, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil and cook, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Let cool and serve. Keep refrigerated. Probably keeps up to 1 week (if it lasts that long)

I like to make recipes like this while stuck in the kitchen doing something else. I made a second batch tonight.

Is it breakfast yet?


Deb at A Nesting Place is having a Cath Kidston giveaway!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

forget these? not!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who visited my guest post at The Creative Connection blog. My blogging friendships continue to overwhelm me. The generosity, support, enthusiasm and inspiration I receive dazzles and warms me. Thank you all so much.

Last weekend I visited my sisters and their families in New Jersey. Even though the cause for the trip was serious, we still made time for fun.

My oldest sister keeps a bunch of metallic forget-me-nots in a mercury glass cup. It's lovely. When I asked where she found the flowers, she shrugged, "Bob's."

Bob's is the name of the local hobby shop. You know the kind: authorized Scouts dealer, model equipment. And lucky for me, lots of neglected forget-me-nots, cake toppers, and other doo-dads I covet.

I didn't have my camera with me or I would have photographed the endless row of drawers filled with cake toppers (no small ballerinas, but, hey). Even though I loaded up a bag, I second-guess if I brought home enough!

The funny thing is that I don't really use cupcake toppers in projects but I like to amass and display them in my Girlie Office.

I do however employ forget-me-nots, finding them quite swoon~worthy.

Fun goodies at 35 cents a piece

"You were digging today," the cashier remarked.
(Little did he know, I was containing a fit of excitement)

This is not from Bob's. My beloved niece who is fairytale-kind and beautiful, now has her own apartment. She has always known that I love this toy of hers: a wee bowling set of elves housed in a mushroom.

She surprised me by telling me to take it home. I keep it in my dining room.
If you are reading this, thank you, sweetie!

Meanwhile back to the hobby shop ...
Consider scouting out your nearby, unassuming hobby shop to find what overlooked goodies are collecting dust on the shelves. You might just have your own secret fit at the register.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

guest post at the creative connection

I am the current guest-blogger at The Creative Connection blog at their In YOUR WORDS section. I feel as excited and nervous as when I published my first post, wondering and hoping if it would receive any comments. (I begged friends to leave comments and 3 of them obliged)

TCC recently contacted me about being featured. I had to write a 200-300 word blog post and after much thought, decided to write about how tinkering began for me. I chose the title My Junk Evolution playing of course, off of Ki Nassauer's Junk Revolution name.

I would be so honored to have you read my post entitled My Junk Evolution and leave a comment. Thank you so much!


Monday, May 10, 2010

a creative connection

Boy, have I been missing blogging: the post-writing and the visits. As mentioned we have many projects going on in my household and I was just out of state for a few days to help with some family issues. However, today the slate was cleared to embark on a planned visit to the Antique Textiles Vintage Fashions Show & Sale with my dear friend Shellie.

Here's my little Shellie. You may know her as my friend who can sew (and can she ever). Shellie has attended this event before but thought of me when she discovered that Tinsel Trading was among this year's vendors.

The Tinsel Trading booth just sparkled with trims

and treasures.

left to right: Wendy Addison, me, and Marcia Ceppos

While overheard swooning over items for sale by Wendy Addison, Tinsel Trading owner Marcia Ceppos, who attended her booth, asked if I'd like to meet Wendy. GASP! Both women were so gracious and warm. I was thrilled.

• Wendy will be an instructor at The Creative Connection event this September in Minneapolis.

• I will be a guest blogger on The Creative Connection
blog (scheduled to run this Thursday)

There were 135 booths at the indoor event which kicks off Brimfield Antique Show.

Here are some photos I snapped before being reprimanded for taking pictures by a cranky vendor. {?!}

So (sew?) organized!

Items sorted by color always look wonderful.

I thought of so many blogging friends who I knew would just sigh over some of these things. {Lori came to mind immediately!}

I know many of you who would happily but gently remove each flower from these hats for artful purposes.

There were some non-textile items as well, like these delicate placecard holders, and the bathing beauties shown below.

It was an amazing fun-filled treat of a day.

Now it's time to do some blog hopping!