Saturday, August 9, 2014

test test

Just a test because my blogs don't seem to be going out via email
if you get this, pls let me know in comments


Monday, July 21, 2014


Hello everyone

With the bad weather we've been having lately, I've really wanted to just stay inside.  So it gave me the opportunity to finish a project of very special and heartfelt importance.

Remember lately I knitted a cushion and posted it about it (here).

Well, as I have mentioned before my mother passed away in May. One of the things we brought home was her crotcheting.  She was making a rug at the time of her death, and in her honor I decided I would finish it.

Well it's done.

It took a while to get done, interrupted by a sprained wrist one week, and another week a fall that cracked a rib (yes i've been in the wars!).  Anyway all healed now so I got back to the rug.

One of the interesting things, that like the knitted cushion, I hadn't crotched for about thirty years.  I had to google and youtube instructions how to do the stitch but they weren't really clear enough.  In the end I went down to my local Spotlight craft store and asked if they had any staff who could crotchet.  One of them said yes and she took me aside for about 15 minutes, got a ball of wool and crotchet hook and began to teach me.

It was so kind and thoughtful of her to do this. I was thrilled.

So home I got and pulled out the rug and off I went.   Then I hit a corner - oops, how do you go around corners.  Well, there were several attempts and one booboo, but I think it's hidden. And if not, too bad, because as I always say, it doesn't have to be perfect.  I just had to do it.

And I'm so happy to say that I finished it on Saturday afternoon.

I'm sure mum would be thrilled that it's done, and the interesting thing is that it is in all the colors of my bedroom which was painted earlier in the year.  I wonder if mum had that in mind?

Happy days


Saturday, July 19, 2014


Hi everyone

There are so many wonderful home bloggers out there, I know I could spend ALL DAY stuck to the computer screen. It’s sure addictive.  However, I thought that each Saturday I would bring you a blog of the week.  A blog that I have found out there that for me is inspiring and I fall in love with.  It may be just a room that tweaks my interest, or the whole house, or ideas that they have.  I want to bring it to you.

Just the other day I came across a blog Wicks Nest and boy did I stop in my tracks. 
I mean a dead stop.  This house owned by Kristy and her family is so drool-worthy.  It is perfect.  The colors are vibrant, along with the punches of white, it is just light and airy and totally the look I’m hoping to – eventually- achieve in my home. Well, I am trying.

So after I wiped myself off the floor, I thought why not contact Kristy and interview her. Find out how she’s gone about decorating her home.

Kristy  your home is inspiring.  Do you have a ‘label’ for your style?  Beach, eclectic, etc?
I’d say my style is a bit mixed.  I lean toward the ‘classic’ in almost everything and while I adore a tailored and symmetrical look I do love adding a little coastal, rustic or even a bit of shabby chic to a space.  I think this reflects ‘real living’ and represents people and their experiences.  I’m not big on ‘filler’ decor items such as ‘chotskies’...( the type of decor you find staged in model homes)  Rather, I feel that by making your home decor reflect your favorite loves or passions you peek the interest of everyone who enters your home and as a result your home tells a story.

Was there a particular reason you chose a blue and white color scheme? (this may be because of your answer to number one LOL)
I’m a fan of everything light and bright with an emphasis on white with all other colors acting as accents.  I love anything coastal and the colors of the skies and oceans.  When I think of happy spaces I immediately think of the beach, gorgeous gardens, green pastures or prairies...  Outdoor spaces that are light and bright.   I’ve done the red and green color scheme before and while I loved it at the time, I find that I appreciate the primary colors so much more when they are shown in smaller doses like that of accents.  I adore beautiful flower arrangements from my garden or large leafy branches in a vase.  I think the sky is blue and wide for a reason...  You can look at it for days and never really get tired of it.  If done in the correct tone, the color blue makes for a great background color. I’ve chosen the pale soft blue/green color in a few of the rooms in my home for this very reason.

When designing a room, what do you choose first, wall, floors etc?

When designing any space I usually always have a grand ‘vision’ but I always keep in mind the bare bones and what that vision needs to support it.  The bones of a room are the most important in any space -ie., the floors, the molding, the casework.
Other parts of any design can easily be changed and I always try to remind everyone of that.   Paint is a weekend project and you can find ready made window treatments anywhere nowadays.  I’m always asking, “What is the main feel you want for your home and each space?”

Always think quality over quantity and the long term outlook.  It’s nice to be on top of new trends but don’t put yourself in the position to where your room will look dated in just a few years. Always stick with the classics and you can then be as adventurous as you want with all other areas.

Was there something you had before you moved into this house that directed the way you designed this house?

Most everything I own I bought keeping in mind the layout of my home.  We were lucky in that we were able to pick the layout that functioned well with what I currently had.  I embellished from there.  

What are your favorite stores to get accessories?
I adore all stores and never limit myself.  While I’m a huge fan of HomeGoods, I still love certain pieces from Horchow, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma Home, Kathy Kuo Home, Restoration Hardware, Wisteria Home Decor, Ballard Designs, Target and Cost Plus.
For pieces that have a bit more history and interest I love going to flea markets and hitting local antique/vintage stores.  I love shopping everywhere and those who know me know that I live for finding that ‘special’ thing that can makes any home beautiful

You’ve an abundance of white seating. How do you find it for wear and tear and staining (I’m trying to convince my hubby to go with white!!)
I’ve always had slipcovered pieces in my main rooms and they’ve always allowed my family to really enjoy living with the furniture without fear of ruining anything.  I love the ease that slipcovered sofas allow for cleaning and changing color schemes. I wouldn’t change a thing after hosting many a party with high school teens.  it’s the best feeling when you are able to remove your sofa slipcover and take it to the cleaners only to have it returned spotless a few days later.  I always wonder what is really on upholstered sofas now. ;) Yuck!

What is the one element you think every room must have?
Books!  They are great for reading, they add texture, interest, can be used as risers for lamps and decor, and just lend a feeling of history to every space.  I could live in a study that’s full of books as long as it’s light and bright… ;)

What is your favorite room and why?
My favorite room is the study which sits in the front of the house.   It’s almost white in color with a comfy tufted blue Ethan Allen sofa, a large gallery wall of botanical art made by the Amish in Pennsylvania.   A favorite of mine. There are bookshelves with plenty to read, a cozy corner chair and a desk for working.  I love libraries and studies. Having grown up in Washington DC in a home with a full fledged library and going to incredible places like the Smithsonian and Library of Congress, I appreciate any room that has a feeling of knowledge and books provide this.  My study also faces the entire home so when I sit at the desk I can talk to everyone everywhere in the house yet be surrounded by the beautiful feeling the study provides.  This makes me happy!

Was there a particular room you found hard to decorate?
I guess if I had to name one room I’d mention the guest suite.   It’s so tiny and because of this I didn’t want it to feel cluttered and overwhelmed with large furniture pieces.  I decided to paint the room the same Restoration Hardware Silver Sage as the Master Bedroom and then painted the sleigh bed and side tables in the same color to allow for a more spacial feeling.  LOVE the effect! I layered lots of white Restoration Hardware bedding which lends a  feeling of coziness and comfort which I think my guests really appreciate.

Are you a rush at it decorator, or do you take it slow and let it evolve?
I’m both.  I want everything done yesterday because that’s who I am ;) but…  if it means waiting on specific decor items or the perfect fabric for a piece of furniture or bedding then I’m all there.
I won’t cheapen or lesson my overall look for a quick buy or a rush job. If I have to whip out a paint brush to make things happen then that’s what I’ll do.
No need to put up with any room if you’re not happy!  I felt this way about my fireplace and just the other day I decided to paint the rock white while we all watched Baseball.  It was a happy day for me. :)


Is there any particular piece of advice you would offer to others who want to work with a style similar to yours?

I’m a big believer in staying true to yourself.  Beauty is different to everyone and I respect that. I love seeing spaces through the eyes of someone else.   For me however - I live for clean, classic, tailored looks that have added interest with sentimental pieces or rustic, ‘full of history’ decor and interesting textures that not only compliment a space but personalize it.
I love fresh flowers. Gallery walls are always a plus. Mixing and contrasting is always better than sticking with just 1 style.   
Having grown up living in so many different places (Greece being one) and being a Flight Attendant for so many years, I’m  more familiar with a variety of cultures and what they can offer to making spaces special and unique.

I tweak and retweak constantly. Decorating is a skill that you practice.   It’s always fluid and ever changing.

What are the elements you feel make your home – home?
Anything that has an emotional attachment… photos probably being the most important and decor that takes me to a different place.  
I love life and pieces that we introduce in decor that represent our lives and family are the most important decor and should always take central
stage in a special spot in your overall plan.

Thank you so much for inspiring me and readers of my blog.  I think the thing that rings true with Kristy's advice is patience and stay true to your overall vision.

Everyone, please do pop over to Kristy’s blog –  It’s truly a mouthwatering experience.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Hi everyone

Well after the horrendous weather of last week, this week has turned glorious – thank goodness.  Don’t think I could take any more rain and wind like Mother Nature dished up to us a week ago.

But here we are in mid-July and strange as it may seem, spring is showing her beautiful head  with daffodils  in bloom in our paddock.  Unfortunately our baby goats thought they were delicious!!  So the yellow sunshine of the daffodils are now more.

However, I purchased some spring flowers.  I love their richly deep scent that frangrants an entire room.   I cut the stems on an angle, cutting off about 1 ½ inches.  I believe that when the stem is on an angle it has a broader base from which to suck up more water, and hopefully live longer.

I only wish I had smell-o-computer so that you could inhale their scent. 

The vase that i'm using is one that I inherited recently when my mother passed away and of course the cloth is one I also made recently, a pulling thread method that my mother used to make. So this little tablescape really has some memories.

Enjoy their beauty nevertheless.


Monday, July 14, 2014


Hi everyone,
Hope your weekend was relaxing.  Ours definitely wasn’t.  We had a working bee at my mother in law’s house as the estate is being put on the market. So, despite the torrential rain and wind we’ve had here for the ENTIRE week, we were outside waterblasting the exterior, weeding, cleaning windows (inside) and clearing it of furniture.  A sad time, but part of life’s path.

Most of the furniture has already gone, but there were these two pieces which turned up at my house along with some lovely old wooden picture frames.

I really like the shape of the console table, the legs and it’s the perfect size for a small wall just outside my bedroom.  In this picture it looks red, but it's in fact a dark mahogany.

At the same time we painted our bedroom – purple – we painted this small wall that is at the end of the hallway a dark blue.  It doesn’t get any natural light so was a risk painting it this dark, but I really like it.  However, that’s as far as it’s gotten. No decorating or vignette as you can see.

My very unfinished hallway

Currently there is this old school locker there, with two mirrors, one of which has to be hung above – but which one?

Now of course is the conundrum of putting the console table there.  A dark wood against a dark wall color, and not much light.

Now I’m a painted wood furniture kinda gal while The Hubby rolls his eyes and says you can’t paint good wood. But… I can dream.  What do you think of it being a bright white, or a sunshine yellow, maybe an aqua  - blue against blue – hmmm.

The console I’m pretty definite on.  But wonder whether sanding all those curly legs is just a tad too much work.  Maybe that’s where milk paint could come in.

Decisions, decisions.  What would you do?

And then  there is small round table. 

I love the shape, but not the dark wood again, though the grain is lovely.  Now I know someone who would love it as it is.  But…could I modernize the style of it by painting it…hmmm  - even more decisions.

On pinterest I found these examples all on Pinterest - you can check them out on my Pinterest Page

This one i've showed you before. 

But how about these for color!

Perhaps for my small table

More of the same punch of color

Am a sucker for blue. It's  got a gold frame above and gives me an idea of how it will look with my gold framed mirror.

A lighter color against a darker wall - hmmm

More sunshine!

 Definitely a sucker for blue!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Hi everyone

I've been a tad quiet on the blog front lately. Sorry about that. Just life getting in the way - a sprained wrist one week and a cracked rib the next!  Hopefully things don't really go in threes!

Because it's winter down here in New Zealand and today we're in the middle of a big wind storm, so i'm inside thinking about projects, but struggling with motivation.

A while ago when I was perusing Pinterest I spied a home made scent for the home made from  lemons, rosemary and vanilla.

I have lemons and rosemary in the garden so ventured out into the wilds of the windy storm and picked 2 lemons and the rosemary sprigs.

I just used my regular vanilla that I use in baking. However, I did spy natural vanilla at the supermarket, so maybe that might be a really good product to try.

In the pot and on the stove until it heats to boiling point and let it simmer for a while.  The fragrance is quite mild, but what I've just noticed is that when I go out of the room, and then come back in, the fragrance is really noticeable and quite gentle.

Something fun and easy to do on a wild and windy day.

Other ingredients you could try - oranges, cinamon, lavender.  How about a beautiful lace handkerchief wrapped around sprigs of dried rosemary, or lavendar. Maybe even add some dried lemon balm or verbena.

Here are a couple of ideas I found on Pinterest I might look into.

Eucalyptus hanging in the shower!  Great for the sinuses!
From Pinterest

I thought these were really interesting, but not sure what liquid is in the jars.  
From Pinterest

Have a sweet smelling day.


PS sorry about some of the grainy pictures, not sure what is going wrong.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Hello everyone.

It’s a beautiful day down here in my little piece of paradise.  At last the heavy rain has stopped and the sun is shining.  Hopefully it will last!

One of the things I decided I wanted to learn this year is how to make front door wreaths.  As a writer I create words and stories, but I really wanted to do something different, and wreath making is creative and colorful.  So for me it fits the bill perfectly.

Wreaths are not common decorations down here in New Zealand, except at Christmas time, but I wanted to try and make a different one for every month.

Well, June kinda went by and nothing got done. So I determined on this lovely sunny day I would make my version of this

From via Pinterest

It’s been a bit hard to gather the materials, because as I said it’s not common so therefore the products and supplies are readily available.  However yesterday I did score some lovely chiffon stuff that sparkles.

I started off using those white twigs which had been in this tablescape

Cutting them to size I overlapped them and then tied with a green pipe cleaner.  I hoped that by using them and because I was using green deco mesh and ribbons etc, they wouldn’t stand out too much.

Next came tying on the deco mesh, looping it in several places and again using those pipe cleaners to secure it in place.

Next came the silk flowers.  I used these lovely yellow silk tulips, just tucking them into the twigs and again securing them. So too with the green feathers, though perhaps in hindsight I should have placed those on the opposite side. Oh well, it’s a learning curve!  (And oops i forgot to take photos of both these steps - as i said...learning curve!)

Chiffon next, looping it around the mesh, tying it into the twigs.  Same too with the green ribbon.

I’m really pleased with my first attempt at copying something I’ve seen on Pinterest and it’s given me the confidence to keep learning and trying different ideas.