Monthly Archives: March 2013

Artifacts Antiques.Art.Accents

Without my telling you the location of this wonderful antiques shop, take a look at a few photos + guess!



Show of hands!  Who guessed somewhere east?  The stone + patina of that fabulous building make me think of eastern Pennsylvania, but no!  This awesome, new shop is in northwestern Illinois — more specifically — my former hometown of Oregon, Illinois (about 90 miles west of Chicago!)

I visited yesterday + was wowed by spopkeeper Karen Tucker’s exquisite offerings.

While I came home with this wonderful English ironstone platter . . .

My new ironstone platter, in use!

. . . here are some other things that I loved:

I love English pine furniture!  This corner cabinet is such a beauty!  We have a farmhouse table made from recycled English pine.

I love English pine furniture, + this corner cupboard is such a beauty! At the lower left, there’s a bit of a very swell Coca-Cola door push. Wish I’d snapped a better photo of it!

How sweet is this old floor mat?

How sweet is this old floor mat?

I'm wishing I'd gotten this awesome barn vent with the flaking red paint!

I’m wishing I’d gotten this awesome barn vent with the flaking red paint!

This is so "ME" -- I've even considered jumping aboard the animal hide bandwagon.

This is so “ME” — I’ve even considered jumping aboard the animal hide bandwagon.

I love funky folk art + twig furniture!

I love funky folk art + twig furniture!

If it's old + is red -- I love it!  This is an old wagon from an old Red & White store.

If it’s old + is red — I love it! This is an old wagon from an old Red & White store.

These are definitely the 'Kay colors' -- I need to start collecting old rugs, methinks.

These are definitely the ‘Kay colors’ — methinks I need to start collecting old rugs like this.

How fun is this?  I'd love to buy it for my friend, Melanie, in CT.

How fun is this? I’d love to buy it for my friend, Melanie, in CT — who collects pig stuff!

I'm loving the G.W. bust against those gorgeous old stone walls.

I’m loving the G.W. bust against those gorgeous old stone walls.

If you get the chance, head to Oregon, Illinois + visit this new shop!  221 W. Washington, St./815.440.4931.  If you can’t get there, you can see  shopkeeper Karen Tucker at the Pec Thing antiques show in May —  She’s very sweet, + she complimented me on my Minnetonka moccasins! I loved that!

But I digress.  Just be sure + tell her that Kay says ‘hola’!

Plate Rack + Upholstery

For those who regularly read my blog . . . you may remember this post in which I mused about plate racks:

My countertop plate rack.

My countertop plate rack.

Well, today on Pinterest, what do I spy but a built-in plate rack project, as pinned by this blogger:

How much do we love this?

built-in plate rack

I love it a lot!

I’ll  have to confess that I’ve not taken the time to read this post, so I’m not sure what’s happening with the recipe graphics in the background . . .

. . . but I’m digging it.  I think I’d use my old 4-H Snickerdoodles recipe.

And now, on to other topics . . . since I love to share . . . please view this upholstery fabric:


It’s time we reupholstered our (we think 14-years-old) navy blue sofa sleeper.  This book of fabric samples is headed back to our local store floor this afternoon, + after which, I’ll anxiously await word on how much it will cost to have the couch re-done.

The manufacturer is Carole Fabrics — it’s their Clubroom Faux Linen Solids collection.

Okay, so yes — ‘faux’ DOES mean that it’s 100% polyester — but that just means durable, in my world, + thankfully, this one doesn’t have that unfortunate poly sheen or sparkle.

The coordinating gray paint swatch is my choice for our future accent wall — it’s Martha Stewart’s Anvil from Home Depot.

As is often the case, this project of mine was inspired by the great Sarah Richardson.

Here’s the family room in her new-build, suburban house project:

basement with gray + red seating area

Our kilim rug has the same colors as this vintage rug chosen by Sarah + her sidekick, Tommy Smythe.

basement with gray + red

We have a pine dining table similar to this one.

basement red and gray window

Seriously, does anyone do pillows better than Sarah Richardson? I think not!

basement red and gray billiards room

Doesn’t that lamp look like IKEA? I can always count on those Swedes to offer the red + the blue!

Website Crush: Restyle Source

My morning ritual:  coffee, Facebook,  e-mail + then, blog perusal + Pinterest.

After the blogs + Pinterest,

I nearly always find myself scurrying back to e-mailing, as I feel the need to share something fantastic with my friends!

Today’s fantastic-ness would be this website:

I’ve nearly overdosed on inspiration!

There are articles + photos of shops, fashion, restaurants, designers, events, city guides . . .

. . . I swooned a little while reading the city guide for Chicago.

Here are some mentioned shops that I, too, have visited + recommend:

Jayson Home @ 1885 N. Clyborn Ave.

Jayson Home @ 1885 N. Clyborn Ave.

P.O.S.H. @ 613 N. State

P.O.S.H. @ 613 N. State St.

ROOST @ 5634 N. Clark St.

ROOST @ 5634 N. Clark St., which is in a very cool neighborhood, Andersonville, + which is within walking distance from . . .

. . . Brimfield @ 5219 N. Clark St.

. . . Brimfield @ 5219 N. Clark St.


Seriously, this blog will have you gassing up the car + having a road trip or 12!

Another awesome blog has city guides:

I don’t know about you, but I’m suffering from a severe case of wanderlust!


Daybed Dreaming

For those who are unaware, we’ve bought ourselves a foreclosure house (a.k.a. ‘a project’) + have big plans to re-do.

We’ll be down-sizing, so I shall attempt to create a spare bedroom/sewing studio combo.  Good luck with that — my sewing room looks like a tornado blew through it.  Yikes.

Anyway, this means thatI have spent the entire a.m., online shopping for daybeds — which means I now know that 80% of all daybeds look something like this:

daybed 10 year old boy

I like to call these the ’10-year-old boy’ daybed collection.  Since I dress like a 10-year-old boy, this might not be a stretch.

Va va va voom!

Va va va voom!

But I digress.  Next up, here we have a few variations on the daybed that I kind of liked:

I’m on the fence, re: this one:  It’s wacky + vintage-looking, which is kind of what I’m all about.  I dunno.

daybed wacky metal fun

My favorite, thus far, would be this plain Jane platform-style daybed:

daybed plain jane wood platform

Now, here’s where it gets good.  Pottery Barn has the coolest upholstered mattress for daybeds.  There’s my PB love kicking in!

I know!  Awesome!

I know! Awesome!

My fabric choices are this black ticking stripe or a gold-tan solid called honey.  Nobody loves the ticking stripe more than I do!  I prefer navy (of course), but maybe I could embrace the black, instead.  Either way might be wrong, because we’ll have issues with black dog hair.  See below:

L-R: Dory, G.O.,Chloe + grandlad.

L-R: Dory, G.O., Chloe + grandlad. Go Cubs?

Since the dogs aren’t going anywhere, I might see if I can get a similar mattress custom-made by an upholsterer — something a tad more black dog hair friendly.  Do I hear something in a medium-to-dark gray?  Denim?  Stay tuned!

Irish + French Weekend

Hoping everyone had a great weekend!  While we celebrated the Irish by making corned beef, cabbage, potatoes + Irish soda bread yesterday, the rest of our weekend was devoted to all things French!

This is a sweet, sweet French movie that we couldn’t recommend more.  You can access it with your Netflix on demand.

2 thumbs up from us.

2 thumbs up from us.

Meanwhile, I kept my nose on the pillowmaking grindstone, as I do most every day.  What does that have to do with France? you ask.  Well, the pillows I made are my tributes to the vintage French grain sack, without spending a fortune.  I stencil the designs myself, in a medium gray.


The dressmaker in me loves it when the stripes match.

The dressmaker in me loves it when the stripes match.

Vintage buttons closures.

Vintage button closures.

The close up photos really show the texture of the canvas that I use.  Here’s another pillow with the clock face stencil that I designed + cut myself.  I don’t know if that’s French, but methinks it is.


My mom, Doris, taught me how to sew when I was in 7th grade.  At one time, I belonged to the International Ladies Garment Workers union + sewed band uniform collars all day, and if I do say so, I used to make the cutest clothes for my sons, when they were young!  My sewing pinnacle has to be the uncut corduroy Stegasaurus costume I made for Halloween 1986.  I’ve been sewing pillows like a bee the past few years.  I have 2 galleries selling for me — one in L.A. + another in Jackson Hole, WY.  I also have an etsy shop

Dark Room Obsession

Yesterday I was obsessing about dark rooms.

Nobody loves the color navy more than I do , but on a wall?!  Scary stuff!

Maybe a small bathroom would be easiest for a starter — they already come with lots of white.

That marble sink!

That marble sink!


Maybe an accent wall would be less intimidating than a whole room?


People.  Look at that staircase.  Now look at the photo of the stairs in the Dutch colonial we are buying!  It has a beautiful wainscoting!

Am I afraid to do this?  Stay tuned!


Blog Crush: Finders Keepers Market

Today the weather’s been cold and worse yet — gray + gloomy AGAIN.

I started around 7 a.m. + spent the day sewing pillows.


Here’s a pillow repurposed from linen dish towels.  Don’t you love the vintage-style red stripes?  I do!

 I designed the pillow with the stripes accenting the 2 side closures.



I use vintage buttons.


The dressmaker side of me loves matching the stripes at the seams.

Around 4 this afternoon, I’d finally had enough sewing, so I looked at a few blogs, including this favorite:

finder's keepers blog header

James Snowden is an interior decorator, shopkeeper and, as he styles himself,
‘blog curator’ based in Kentucky

The shop looks very interesting, + we’ll have to take a road trip to Lexington sometime soon.

Here are just a few of the images from the blog:

  I think this striking room’s furniture arrangement really accentuates that beautiful fireplace as the focus.

Spare living room

Lonny magazine

Is everybody still on board with the all-white decor?

This room’s very neutral, but there are a lot of textures.  Look at those silver lamp bases!

I think the room’s spare but very interesting.

Meanwhile, here’s an entry that’s not-so-spare . . .

spare entry

Lonny magazine

. . . who says less is more?  Look at that fun gallery wall!

Aren’t you interested to know about the people who live here?  I am!

Today a friend + I chatted about going DARK with wall paint.  Love the paneling here.

Farrow and Ball paint co.

Farrow + Ball paint co.

What do you think of the dark bed + bedding?

Really, the ‘safe’ thing to do here would be adding a white bed + light bedding for contrast . . . I’m pretty sure that’s what I would do . . .

 . . . but look at the way that one metallic lamp pops!  Genius!  It’s subtle yet dramatic at the same time!

Who’s jumped on the black wall bandwagon?  Anybody?

I’m thinking navy blue, but I think I’ll be ‘safe’ + add white woodwork.

My Stab At Spring


2 of my faves: blue murscari (grape hyacinths) + ranunculus.

So, maybe you’ve noticed that every single blogger has posted something festive about Spring . . . + yet, I have not.

You ask me why not?  Well, one reason is that it was 24 degrees here overnight!  (March = cruel!)

I really don’t DO Spring decor, or so I thought.   Why not give it a stab, if only for the morale boost? I asked myself . . .

. . . and SO, I brought home these beautiful + fragrant hyacinths from the grocery store.


Yes, I bought my hyacinths at the grocery store.

jasmine topiary BHG

Jasmine topiary.

I also make  at least 2 cool + inexpensive topiaries of my own — using my 2 favorite Guy Wolff pots, a wire hanger + some ivy.

Last year’s versions, with variegated ivy, looked fantastic.  You’ll have to to take my word on that, because they, too, did not survive our Winter.

**Guy Wolff pot from the late, great Smith + Hawken store.

** — from the late, great Smith + Hawken store.

 This pretty blue glass ball + the vintage floral bowl upon which it is resting, both came from, right here in our town!

**Another Guy Wolff pot from an awesome shop in the Berkshires of western Mass.

**Another Guy Wolff pot from an awesome shop in the Berkshires of western Mass.

And now, for more morale boosting, let’s view a few closeups of my Spring happiness in the kitchen.  Stay tuned!  More photos will be taken after my trip to Chicago.

Small greenhouse from the late, great Smith+ Hawken.  The sponged pitcher was my Grandma's, + the faux bois cutie was purchased in L.A.

Small greenhouse from the late, great Smith+ Hawken. The sponged pitcher was my Grandma’s, + the faux bois cutie was purchased in L.A.

Sweet floral plate, also purchased in our town from

Sweet floral plate, also purchased in our town from

Vintage bird prints in faux bamboo frames, from -- where else? -- the Morris Antiques Emporium.

Vintage bird prints in faux bamboo frames, from — where else? — the Morris Antiques Emporium (my hometown.)

All my old garden magazines + a NY Times gardening book from my stepdaughter, Marnie.  Good giftage!

All my old garden magazines + a NY Times gardening book from my stepdaughter, Marnie. Good giftage!

My Restoration Hardware Bathroom Dreams

Dutch Colonial before.

Dutch Colonial before.

Don’t you love this sad, little Dutch Colonial foreclosure?  We did + made an offer that was accepted!  HOO-RAY!  A project!  We’re about 98% sure we’ll get it . . .

. . . which is sure enough for a very-excited  ME to immediately zoom to the Restoration Hardware website in search of all our bathroom needs!

I especially love their Shop By Rooms feature + trust me, so would you.  So inspirational!  So vintage!  So charming!  So expensive!

I love this stainless steel cabinet . . .

. . . but I prefer this white Pharmacy version:

White pharmacy bath cabinet.

Special (sale) price: $715!

So, here’s  one of my favorite Restoration Hardware bathrooms.  This would be totally period appropriate for our house, + we all know how important that is!  Notice they’ve used the Pharmacy cabinet that I’ve chosen!

Park pedestal sinks.

Park pedestal sinks — special (sale) price $595.

extension mirror

A little “spendy” at $265. IKEA has them for less than $20.

And now, for my 1st favorite RH bathroom. It’s so classic + would look great in our Dutch Colonial!

Love it!

I love everything! Those shutters are beyond gorgeous!

Shaker style vanity, marble top, vintage-style medicine cabs.

Shaker style vanity w. marble top — special (sale) price $2395, vintage-style medicine cabs — special (sale) price $199 – $269.

More pendant-over-sink light fixtures.

They’ve used the pendants over the sinks here — thumbs up from me! I’m a fan of white milk glass + Edison bulbs. $119

Scrumptuous soaking tub, great wainscoting detail.

Thumbs up for the soaker tub + hand held shower — $4995! Excellent wainscoting detail + (my favorite) pale blue walls.

Something industrial for over the tub?  Yes, please!

Something industrial for over the tub? Yes, please!

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? But let’s have a reality check.  The merch is really cool + uber vintage-style, but you can buy the genuine (antique) article for a lot less!  You can also find other reproductions at much less!  I’ve been inspired, + now the hunt begins!

What Would I Do If That Room Was Mine?

 Every week, I receive a heads up e-mail from (awesome!) that they call This Week On Houzz.  I’m always a little thrilled to see it in my e-mail inbox — even more so when there’s a house that I love!

Today’s favorite would be this repurposed old barn in New Jersey.  Look at that space!  Look at those beams!



Me being me, I started playing my “what I’d do if that was mine” game.   FUN!

I would like a little more color, please,  starting with a colorful, patterned rug or 2.

 I’d layer them on top of my existing neutral sisal, like these guys did.  Genius!

Alrightie, back to me being me.  I’ve already “shopped” online + have a rug I covet.  YUM!

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Once my rug’s been chosen, I’d add some much-needed pops of color + pattern with coordinating pillows on those neutral chairs + couch.

And now, the TV.  It stands out in our barn because it’s the a dark rectangle on something white  in very white room.  I’d rather it blend in, so . . .

 . . . if I had a large decorating budget, I (G.O.) would make a built-in TV wall, like this one.  Notice how the shelf backs are painted a color to coordinate with the room!  Genius!

Samperton blog

Samperton blog

If G.O.’s not up to the task or our budget wouldn’t allow the built-ins, I’d look for something large-ish, darker + interesting, like this:

Pottery Barn, the sequel

Pottery Barn, Part 4

Next, I’d add some artwork in dark frames to help make the TV fit in.   I love the casual, asymmetrical styling of this gallery:

Source unknown

Source unknown, but at least it’s not Pottery Barn

If I’m feeling more orderly, I’d hang my artwork/photos in a grid around my TV.

Source unknown

Source unknown

But me being me, I’d like these art ledges to satisfy my need to constantly re-do. I could re-arrange all I’d like, with no holes in the wall!

Little Green Notebook

Little Green Notebook

Speaking of art ledges, G.O. made + hung some groovy ones in our dining room, + I couldn’t love anything more.

Also, I’ve been propping artwork on the floor like these winners did.  Our thoughts?



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