Monday, April 30, 2012

The Color Purple

Mary Anne is playing house again. . . . . actually, we ARE having guests for 3 days and I am just trying to get ahead of the game!  Lilacs are blooming in the yard and it was the perfect inspiration to starting my table.  I had also inherited some plum colored bottles and wanted to used those as well.  .  .  .and so I began, cutting, layering, selecting and editing. . .

The color purple, texture of rattan, vintage silver wine glasses, (being
used for frozen Bloody Mary's,) Lilacs from the garden, vintage
votives in a soft shade of purple, all gently embracing a table
fit for a Spring breakfast.

Purple Ikat placemats gently peeking around the square
rattan chargers.

The HOST end of the table. . . .

Taking shelter under the Lilacs

Candlelight and the color purple. . . .

In harmony, the textures, the colors and the green leaves of the Lilacs.

Fresh Topiaries

The gentleness of still another Spring tablesetting.

Tomorrow morning will bring more coffee cup walks in the garden, more leisurely
strolls through arbors with more Springtime discoveries to inspire.
It is to be warm here tomorrow.  What will inspire you to create as the
sun rises to greet you?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Warning from the Master Gardner. . . .

I have a few areas of our yard and surrounding gardens that I felt needed some professional  
guidance so I called a friend and master gardener for her help.  She was very informative and a lot was accomplished.  One of the most alarming bits of information she shared was the downey mildew warning this year with the incoming Impatiens!  (and this applies to everyone across the U.S.)  The large nurseries are shipping mildewed goods to our local nurseries and if planted in the ground, it is possible that all of the Impatiens will die along with other plants that they might come in contact with.   

This is Gracie's garden (named for our little grandaughter)
This will be the 8th year of planting all Impatiens!  Now,
I am not sure what to do.  It is self-contained, but
6 flats of Impatiens is what it takes and my fear is
the downy mildew warning  may kill all of the impatiens
and surounding plants.  What to do?  How do you know the
impatiens that you buy has the mildew. . .

This semi shaded area of our side garden is in full
bloom with impatiens about mid-July.

Has anyone else heard of downy mildew so far this season?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Objects of Art

I have always wanted a Santo.  A carving, usually in wood or ivory, that depicts saints, angels or other religious figures.  They orginally came from New Mexico and the first santos are thought to have been imitations of Spanish Baroque statues carved by priests. They became popular items of devotion, found from home altars to churches.

My Santo is a gray-olive with chippy shades of aqua showing through.

She presently sits on my music room mantle.

Each face is hand carved and no two are alike, but so many
of them so resemble each other.

Where ever there is a vintage Santon,  there will be vintage books!

I brought her home from Michigan a week ago.  I love the way she
pleasantly mixes in with the rest of the decor.  She seems quite
at home and I have invited her to stay for awhile.

.  .  .barefoot and all.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Morning Garden Surprises. . . .

There is nothing more enjoyable with the coming of spring to walk your garden, with coffee cup in hand and discover what is greeting you from the garden.  This weeks walks produced some real joys, but one especially was remarkable.  My Tree Peony was in bloom and like never before.  It is about 5 years old and has been a very stubborn "child".  It has never produced more than 3 blooms.   As I got up closer, I counted 10 buds.  One had already burst measuring 7 inches! 

There were a couple more ready to greet the world with many
still undercover.

We have had a few colder evenings this week and I was concerned
about a frost nip to these paper thin petals, but they have all
survived quite well.

It is chilly here in the Midwest and I was worried about the longivity
of these blooms with the cold weather we are having (and should have
had in March)  Crazy!!!  But they seem to be enduring the 'snap'
quite well.

This mornings walk found every bud bursting with joy!
We see this from our breakfast window and it isn't hard
to look at first thing. . . . . and that is for sure!!

Enjoy your Spring day where ever you may be. . . . today
it is a sweatshirt kind of day in the Midwest.  A great day
for gardening and for pulling the unwelcomed garden 'guests'
from the soil.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I have just returned from Michigan where I had the wonderful opportunity to create and
share in the excitement of shop ownership.  I am one of her 'pickers' of all things vintage with
a friendship that is blossoming into a category of priceless!!  Compatibility, creativity and
respect all share a common ground with the strenthening factor of another blogger who too
was a part of it all as we styled, laughed, shared and inspired each other with vignettes that
would sell product and inspire her customers.

one oak street
three oaks, michigan

THE SETTING ~  a historical train depot, 
 (she and her husband purchased this station with a vision
of creating a shop)

THE ATMOSPHERE ~ Rustic with the original wood flooring, tin ceilings
the ticket window (still in place) and exposed brick walls.

THE PASSENGERS ~  They no longer arrive on schedule here.  But,
the people who now walk through these doors, full of expectation
of finding something they can't live without!

THE SHOPKEEPER ~ A talented, creative, interior designer full of
warmth and charm.

Just arrived and a truck full of goodies!

Unpacking with great anticipation

One vignette (and under the ticket window) finished!

Fresh Myrtle, domes, nests, books and a "vintage" lantern
all sharing a tabletop full of goodies.

More fresh plants combined with wire domes and

An antique carosel horse

Burlap, mercury glass containers, iron
and copper trays ~ new and old

An antique dental tray with enamel top

Lighting, an antque bed, chairs, both old and new,
(including a pair of antique
Biedermeier chairs in perfect condition) more
artwork and pillows

The Biedermeier chairs

A one-of-a-kind canvas by a Chicago artist

Old baskets and rattan covered bottles

Signage in old frames

Funiture and more pillows

Garden statuary with Maidenhair fern (all plants are
for sale)

Repurposed furniture, new lamps, old and new
objects  (check out the old zinc tub) it is a stool
for sitting with storage inside!  FAB!

The vintage horse stable from the 50's.  I can see this
at Alison's home at:,
if fact, I heard it whisper her name!

I truly hope you have enjoyed your shopping trip to BLAIS.
If you are planning a trip to Michigan this summer, it is a shop
not to be missed! (and even if you're not, it is a quick trip
from Chicago (1 1/2 hours).  So much to do in the area
and so much to see.  Antiquing at its best!

BTW, when you visit BLAIS, ask for Keek and tell her
Mary Anne sent you!