Sunday, January 31, 2010

Think Pink....

it's the most romantic and tranquilizing color. Put some pink in your life when you want to feel calm and relaxed - a hint of it works for me and the mere thought of pink brings a smile to my face.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


also known as *sea stars* are not really fish despite the name that's been given to them. They're echinoderms and can be found abundant in deep blue seas as well as shallow waters. I prefer to acquire them at local shops as I wouldn't dream of snatching one from its aquatic home.

Because of their darker shade, I typically add a wash of white paint to the horned starfish.

I love them for the seaside flare they give to any resting place in my home (to which there are many)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If these walls could talk.....

they'd more than likely whisper a woeful "Pssst.... a little paint in here please". But thankfully they can't and curiously enough, I'm not the least bit bothered by my dining room walls being void of paint. I've actually grown accustomed to the smattering of white dots (filled nail holes) and the brush marks of tested paint colors (all varying shades of white of course)!
Two years ago....gulp!! when I peeled away the cutesy yellow and blue wallpaper, I had all intentions of painting the walls. But when it was taking me too long to decide on "just the right shade of white" I put the room back together "per say" so that I wouldn't have to look at the mess. Consequently, I've been procrastinating ever since.

Perhaps now that I've posted these pictures and blogged about my worst kept decorating secret (or lack thereof) I'll garner some encouragement and much needed motivation. Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lace making.....

is an ancient craft that was developed in the late 15th/early 16th century. A truce lace is created when a thread is looped, twisted or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric.

"I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky, and I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin."
~Coco Chanel, April 29, 1939~

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chenille, the French word for caterpillar....

is generally used to describe fabrics that have a thick pile (raised yarn ends) protruding all around at right angles. Although most tufted bedspreads did not meet the strict definition of chenille, the term stuck.

In the 1920's "spread houses" were established (usually small warehouses or homes). It was here that patterns were stamped onto sheets and men, called haulers, would then deliver the stamped sheets and yarn to thousands of rural homes where families then sewed in the patterns. The hauler would make another round of visits to pick up the spreads, pay the "tufters", and return the products to the spread houses for finishing. Finishing involved washing the spreads in hot water to shrink them and lock in the yarn tufts. Soon after these tufted bedspreads appeared on the shelves of department stores in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, and other major cities.

I've been collecting chenille bedspreads and pillows (all white of course) for the past few years. Nothing new mind you.... a "cutter" draped across the foot of my bed; folded just so to hide a hole or two and pillows of various shapes and sizes; sewn from vintage pieces layered in rows at the headboard. No embellishments, no fringes, no pom poms - simplicity is what creates their allure.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dressmaker forms....

have been around since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. It's documented that when King Tutankhamen's tomb was opened in 1922, they discovered a wooden torso not far from a clothing chest. Dating from 1350 B.C., it may have been the world's first dress form.

During the middle ages, the royalty of Europe had dress forms made with their exact measurements so that dressmakers could make their clothes without bothering them. With the rise of the middle class during the Industrial Revolution, dress forms became affordable and hence more popular. And with the rise of haute couture in Europe, dress forms became an indispensable tool to a fashion house for their rich clientele.
~ from Smithsonian Magazine ~

During more than a few of my many vintage "hunts" I've come across these forms. Most are pretty pricey, some are very old and few are in good shape...not to mention the undeniable smell of must that their materials are harboring. As of yet, there's been only one dress form that's come close to my consideration so the thrill of the hunt continues.

Laundry days....

I can almost smell the cleanliness of these freshly laundered delicates :)

And yes, as simple as that.....the sight of crisp, white linens brings a smile to my face!

Friday, January 1, 2010

In a word.....

with avengence, is upon us here in New England.....cold and crisp, resplendent with the day's fresh fallen snow. And yes, as beautiful as it is this time of year, if asked, I'd unabashedly admit that no, in fact, winter is not my favorite season.

I've lived in New England my entire life so I'm certainly accustomed to the snow and frigid temperatures.... but as I grow older I have less of a tolerance to the elements. As a child however, I loved the winter - snow forts, ice skating, sledding and the excited anticipation of awaiting the town's fire whistle (2 toots, pause, 2 toots) to let families know school was called off for the day. On those rare occasions my sisters and I would contentedly stay in our pajamas, hunkered down in the playroom, occupying ourselves for hours with our Barbies all the while sipping hot cocoa with heaping tablespoons of marshmallow fluff. We broke only for lunch - traditionally grilled cheese sandwiches and steaming cups of lipton noodle soup. By days end we begrudgingly donned our snow pants and jackets, hats and mittens (yes, right over our PJ's) and were relegated to the outside to help shovel the snow drifts that ceaselessly piled in the driveway. I loved those days...key word and passed tense (loved). Now, not so much :)