Tuesday, May 31, 2011

summer fireplace vignette

I love having a fireplace - in the winter.
But, what do you do with an empty, black box in the wall during the summer?
Sure is a boring space when there's no fire burning!

I've seen ideas such as pillar candles (been there, done that)
and stacked white, birch logs (pretty - but can't find any).

Sooo...I decided to make a vignette in that black box.

Here's a picture with the screen open - with two pillar candles in front.

Here's the same set-up without the candles.
 I think I like this look better. 
The candles with everything else was just "too much".
I tried putting the candles on top of the green, glass candlesticks (from Goodwill, of course!)
but it made the look too tall.

Oh, and I found the monogrammed platter at Tuesday Morning.

The overall look when you walk in the front door...

What do you think??

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

spring has - finally - sprung

Here in northern Illinois, it seems like the warm weather will never get here. Sure, we've had a few warm days here and there. But, the emphasis is on few. Just this past weekend, we planted our veggie garden. And I'm just now planting flowers around the house.

These little purple and yellow violas ("Johnny Jump-Ups") are the first flowers I plant every spring. They're so cheery!

Fuschias in a hanging basket...

Look at the colors in this begonia. Hand-painted by the Creator.

Hostas are very popular in my area. You basically just stick them in the ground - and they grow. What could be easier? These are only two hostas - and they'll get even bigger as the weather gets warmer.

I have just one lilac bush and was surprised to see that the flowers are more white instead of the traditional purple.

While I was outside photographing the flowers, Monkey and Clem were watching me through the living room window. I love how Clem is trying to smush her way in. :-)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

red and white table setting

Last week, when visiting a neighborhood thrift store (the place where I found the cute pillows in my previous post), I also found this lovely, vintage tablecloth. I thought the red tulips were so cheerful and went perfectly with my red and white dishes.

I love hand-stitched, vintage linens such as tablecloths, pillow cases, and dresser scarves. I think of the woman from years ago who put so much time and love into making something pretty for her home.

And, at Goodwill last week, I stumbled upon these beautiful, red and white Mikasa bowls. Perfect for my table setting and only 99 cents each!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

decorating with pillows

I like pretty, decorative pillows for my bed and couch but at a minimum of $20/each, decorating with pillows can get pretty pricey. I'd been eyeballing some white, lacey pillows at HomeGoods last week but due to the price, I held off.

I stopped at my neighborhood thrift shop the other day and lo and behold, I found a couple of lacey pillows - and at only $2.00 each! This white one is my favorite and helps make the bedroom look summery and romantic. (OK, and feminine too, which my husband probably doesn't appreciate. On the other hand, most likely he hasn't even noticed!)

I'd been trying to lighten up the living room by adding lighter-colored pillows to the couch. In the fall and winter, I have plenty of dark green and burgundy pillows. This lacey beige pillow is perfect for the warmer months.

I just have to make sure I leave enough room on the couch for Clem. ;-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

the calendar said it was mother's day

My mom is pretty typical of most most mothers in that she says she doesn't want or need anything for Mother's Day. But, who can NOT give their mom a little something, right?

My mom loves herbs, so I bought three of her favorites and planted them in terra cotta pots. To gussy them up a bit, I ordered hammered silver antique spoons as herb markers from WoodenHive on etsy.

I placed the potted herbs in a cardboard box and put them on the floorboard of my car. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I lifted that cardboard box out of the car to give to my mother, the box broke and dirt and plants flew all over the back seat and floorboard! What a mess.  And, then it just didn't feel right handing over partially-filled pots and clumps of herbs and saying, "Happy Mother's Day" - and telling my mom that I hoped she had a bag of potting soil so she could fix the plants.


My pretty little mama...doesn't she look great for almost 71-years old?

As for my own Mother's Day, it was pretty uneventful. When Brian got home from work, we worked out in the yard, planting some native prairie plants and grasses, though Brian did most of the work. (I have three herniated disks in my back and bending over and planting only intensifies the pain.) Sweet hubby also vacuumed all that spilled dirt out of my car.

Gifts of service.

We ordered Chinese food for dinner, and then Tim was home from work. He gifted me with a beautiful card and a pair of silver and turquoise earrings that he shopped for and picked out himself.


Truthfully though, I was glad when the day was over and my head hit the pillow...Mother's Day will always be bittersweet for me since losing my oldest son, Phil 19 months ago. And Brian still takes holidays much harder than I do, so he has a hard time "celebrating" Mother's Day, even though it's for me, if that makes sense. Like I told him though, it's just a Hallmark holiday anyway, so it was just another day for me. Doesn't really matter what the calendar says.

My beautiful "Pip" three years ago...a Mama's heart never stops loving.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Latest bargains at my favorite thrift store - Goodwill!

These pretty plates are made in England - and I paid just 99 cents each.

 A couple of pairs of barely-worn shoes...

Love this little white stool ($4.99!). Don't know if I'm going to leave it outside or use it indoors when I "play house" and change things around.

 I love the daisies on this unique little oil painting...

It fits in perfectly with the display on a lower wall...

I love me a purdy scarf...and this purple one was only $2.49!

I bought two of these TALL green, glass candlesticks. I thought I would use them on the ends of my console table, but after purchasing candles to put on them, and then placing them on the console table...well, I'm rethinking that choice. I have to play around with them and see where they'd look best. They're about 15" tall, so they might even look good on the floor, in front of the fireplace.

I'm going to hang this wine painting downstairs in the family room/bar area. Found the artist (Tanya M. Fischer) on art.com...her matted and framed pictures like this one cost anywhere from $80 - $150! I paid $3.99.

I also bought a pair of blue cotton pants, a pair of dressy capris, a Coldwater Creek blouse, and a Chico's blue spring cardigan. All those pieces were only $3.99 each! I'm sure someone originally paid at least $50 each for the blouse and cardigan. I love resale shops!