Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I would venture to say that the weekend before Thanksgiving was the last true Fall weekend and we were as relaxed as a weekend would allow.  Following a stay at a private property at Kohler, our agenda on Sunday morning was for all of us to meet at RIVER WILDLIFE LODGE  for Sunday morning brunch.

This rustic log cabin borders a lush hardwood forest.  There
are six cozy and inviting dining areas that included
intimate lofts.  The welcomed mix of earthenware placesettings and
pewter could not have been more perfect amidst a seasonal lucious
menu and offerings of Sunday morning bloody Mary's.  (of course
I did!)

The path leading to the Lodge Restaurant.

There was a chill in the air and this massive fireplace was a wonderful
WELCOME as we entered this log cabin.  The smell of wood, mixed
with the smells coming from the kitchen, mixed with this wildlife
atmosphere was tranquilizing.  So serene. . .

Since this is a hunting lodge, a few wildly wonderful reminders
seem to welcome us as well.

Someone's hunting dogs served as a reminder that they might
have had something to do with the smaller critters that were
proudly on display. . .

We had brunch in the loft and this wonderful cedar roof
seemed to beckon. . .

A carved wooden deer hanging from the ceiling and over the
brunch table. . . .

A feast awaited us and these were the pre-brunch
offerings. . . cheese selections, a side of smoked salmon,
salads of all kinds, a fresh fruit tray, muffins, scones and a
selection of meats, fresh made breads and pastries.

Over sized logs ushered us to our seats.

An Elk standing watch over the lodge. . . .

From the loft. . . . . an owl vies for attention.

Vintage snow ski's adorn one of the logged walls.

The lodge porch  holding on to Fall.

River wildlife at its best.

While there weren't many flaming leaves to enjoy, the bittersweet vine
still a reminder that Fall was still enjoying its stay outside this tranquil

As we walked the path back to our cars, thoughts of home began
to come into my head.  Thanksgiving was only days away (so much to do),
  I still  enjoyed the crunch of leaves underfoot and reminded myself
that one of the noisiest parts of the weekend were the birds flying
over head in formation beginning their migration South.  A soothing, tranquil
weekend had been shared with special friends and the reality of life awaited
us as we headed for home.

A weekend at Kohler, is a special weekend to experience almost
any time of the year. . . .the Kohler Design Center is also an attraction
but, there was no time to do it all.   Maybe next time. . . .

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for the joys and blessings of family and friends.  I received so many text messages today with words that meant a lot to me.  I have certainly been blessed with a wonderful family and I have been blessed with wonderful
friends.  But, who would have ever believed that a blogging community would have resulted in such friendships, joy and inspiration. 

            I am blown away by what has resulted from this communication we all share.  You are all a joy to me and I so love my communications with you.  You have filled me with more inspiration than any great magazine could even begin to possibly do (and I AM the queen of
magazines)  Sitting at my desk is an everyday adventure that takes me to places I would have ever dreamed.  How lucky I am and how thankful I am to have 'met' so many of you.
Your creative spirits are a gift and I am so lucky to have been the recipient of those gifts.

Thanksgiving Day 2011 is coming to a close and with a house full
of guests getting ready for bed, I have reflected tonight on my
everyday blessings and I am so thankful for everyone.

(.  .  .  how quickly this mornings breakfast table is now only
a memory.  .  .)

I hope your day was filled with the same joys of family and friends
your spirits lifted and your efforts appreciated. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011


A wonderful holiday event was held in our home today. . . . . . . . not only did I work to repurpose old furniture, but I had to get our home holiday house ready and still be ready for Thanksgiving (with a touch of Christmas)   How would I integrate the two holidays tastefully?  There would be 4 other talented friends depending on a venue that would help sell their wonderful talents.

I thought you might enjoy seeing what I did to my sideboard in the dining room . . . . . How to dress up a pumpkin in a festive way that would also be a part of Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I started with this green pumpkin that had been a part of my
September/October sideboard. . . . .

I found the perfect 24 K gold spray that looks like you have used
real goldleaf sheets to coat the pumpkin. 

I put an extra large dome over the column base and voila!!!

I have used lots of gold sprays and this is by far the best ever!

A great Thanksgiving to Christmas sideboard that everyone loved.

I also collected leaves outside and many had beautiful red tones that
when sprayed lightly with the 24 K gold paint left the tones of the
season show through. . . .

You can also spray real fruit with this spray and because it seals the pear, or apple
from the elements, it will last about four weeks with out having to throw out the fruit.

After the leaves dried, I glued them around a cornicopia that I had also lightly
sprayed and the end result was amazing.  I ever so lightly also sprayed the
cornicopia with the gold as well.

Last night as we prepared for our guests. . .

Lots of repurposing, lots of column tops with domes,  tables that
had been painted the perfect gray . . . .

There was also home made Michigan blueberry jams with
antique silver spoons displayed in a copper tray. . . .
the perfect holiday hostess gift!

My flower viles from Paris had cedar greens, with red roses and
eucalyptus pods. . . . . glorious!  That was all reflected in the mirror
behind my sink. . .

Wonderful gold statuary, perfect for the holidays,  bottles
with glass crosses and more domes with stories inside.  Note the
wonderfully aged mirror in the background . . .

Laurie, from Santa Fe and of Bittersweet Designs was
here showing her fabulous handmade necklaces.  Go to her
of her wonderfully creative designs.

It would have been a treat to have all of you here.
I hope you enjoyed a little tutorial and a smidgeon
of what happened at our house today. . . .and to Joy of
the Savvy City Farmer, Holly of Livingston Porter and
Laurie of Bittersweet Designs I thank you all for a more
than perfect day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


While on my way to a design appointment a couple of days ago I began looking at how quickly another season was exiting our lives.  It hardly seemed possible that September and October had come and gone and the beauty of still another season already spent!    The colors were still beautiful, but just not with as much intensity as the week before.  Definitely, there were now more leaves down than up!  The tree above seemed to be holding on. . . . as was the Sugar Maple that seemed to be 'on fire'.

I reminded myself that we had never taken that drive to
Wisconsin to enjoy the breathtaking leaf display and just
enjoy the quiet that a beautiful Fall afternoon can bring.
The kind of afternoon that still brings warmth from the sun
with blue cloudless skies overhead.   That annual trip
to the apple  orchard with our grand daughter did happen and it
was a most enjoyable Sunday afternoon. . . . .a long drive it was,
but we had so much fun.  As we reached for apples and picked them
with just a blush of red, Gracie exclaimed, "Nana, that one way
up on top is the sweetest apple on the tree, I have to get it!"

Yes, somewhere in that bag is an apple from the very
top of the tree. . . . . she got it!  Is she not just adorable
and so proud of her cart with the apples she had so
much fun picking?

After arriving home a couple of days ago, I decided to walk
my yard to see what this quickly changing season had done to my
garden.  My rose garden, with cold rainy nights, and
blustery days with falling temperatures still had two roses blooming,
 seeming to be oblivious to natures changes. . . . . I decided to
pick them and bring them inside to enjoy.

This coral rose in all of its glory, picked on November 7th.   In
the midwest, a rather unbelievable phenomenon when snow was
falling less than an hour away.

As for the Astromeria, right from Whole Foods.

Planted not all that long ago, my flowering Kale was telling me
that there could still be color in the garden.  I so love the grey green
of the outer leaves and the magenta interior.

Another calendar day gone by and it was out to Geneva, a garden club visit
to Scentimental Gardens to enjoy a presentation of fresh holiday arrangements
created for us by Debbie Phillips.  I almost didn't go because of a big holiday
shopping event in my home on Sunday. . . . but, I remembered to STOP, RELAX
and ENJOY what had been scheduled for us . . . . so happy I decided to go.
Deb did a wonderful job and I learned a few tricks!!  Plus, there was shopping after
the presentation in her wonderful store that was Christmas ready!  The displays were
so inspiring and full of interest.

So much to see and so beautifully displayed. . . . . topiaries, lanterns, wire domes,
vintage wood boxes and cement urns.

More statuary adorned with fresh greens and giant pine cones.

This vignette was waiting for us as we came in the back door.  Have you
ever seen such joy?  The mix was breath taking!  Recognize that little
guy in the center?  One of his brothers takes residence at my house.

This wonderful green, chippy statuary anchored the
great garden elements that surrounded him.

As for this clock.  .   .  .  .I would have taken it home in a minute, but
no room in the car.  Still thinking about it.

Ever notice how the old and the new look so FAB together?

More wonderful displays of great merchandise with monogramed
vintage linens.

A vintage carousel horse .  .  .

Rosemary in mossy pots

Ivy topiaries

Chippy statuary and Rosemary

Part of a fresh green swag gracing a window at the checkout counter.

Fire wood stacked, golden leaves fallen, I am reminded once again
how fast the days tick away. . . . . take the time to enjoy and be a part
of what is enjoyable and fulfilling before you make out your 'to-do' list.
LIFE IS PASSING YOU BY . . . . . . A lesson I learned and hope to keep next to
my heart in the days ahead.   What needs to be done will always await you,
but those special moments that inspire and fulfill you will be gone.