Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keeping White For Fall


I tend to be more of a make-do decorator than starting all over new. That doesn't mean that everything I own has to cost bottom dollar. I love thrifting, and finding a beautiful bargain, but I also appreciate that it leaves room in the budget for something with a price tag a little more dear.
I mention Pottery Barn a lot on this blog. What's odd about that is that I'm not fully into the PB "look" as a whole. Where they offer reproductions, I'd rather live with a little patina. And I like a softer and lighter environment overall.  
But I do love many PB designs. And thankfully much of what is offered at PB is perfectly adaptable to a variety of tastes. And that's probably a clue to their success. I love these knit pillow covers I discovered there this season. They work well with the ultra casual tone of my sitting room, and warm up the textures for the colder months.
We still have mild temperatures here, but I'm ready to ensure that the fireplace screen is easy to move when it gets chilly too. (That's a vintage crocheted topper across the chair back. I use my linen collections wherever I can.)


I have beautiful white upholstery on my club chair, and I want to keep it that way until I spring for slipcovers. Which may be never! I don't mind at all keeping a stack of vintage throws around for the purpose. Between pets, grandkids, and munching with TV, it's an easy way of life. I like white, and I have a perfectly good washing machine!

Now it's sweater weather for the furniture too!

There's a nice deep PB basket for stacks of books and magazines next to my favorite blogging chair in this room as well. The square shape works well in this cozy space where so much life happens. 
 By contrast, this hand made afghan on the sofa was a thrift store find for well under ten dollars. We've enjoyed it during colder weather for years now.
I'll be adding a touch of color here and there through the holidays, but for now I'm glad to keep a quieter space now that we are spending more time inside.
Thanks so much for coming by!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Leaves

 In the bucolic countryside of Bethany, Connecticut you will find Whitlock's Book Barn featuring rare and used books. The sign at the front door of an actual old barn reads, "Set yourself free."  And it's easy to do just that when you tread across the uneven floors among the many book stacks. The planks creak like an old ship, as though you are traversing time through a sea of leather bound volumes. There are weathered maps and prints by which to navigate, but you will get lost anyway.  

You might expect to find old worm holes in a setting such as this. And watermarks of all types await discovery among the pages. Some by intent, impressed upon fine laid sheaves in a book like this one. Or on a few brittle leaves water painted by endless days spent pressed in a damp old attic, or an abandoned old locker, and stained by the mists of time.
But you might not expect to find cosmic romance among the tomes, or the poetry of happenstance colliding with rhymed couplets on a page of lyrical lines. . . .

 You might not dream to find a hidden valentine. . . .
(No-name Limoges teacup.) 

It was my son David who chanced upon the sheaf of poems and who shared it after leafing through its pages on our recent visit to the book barn. He held it open in the autumn light at the window sill as I took a few quick photographs. His field and profession is art, so he's used to the pages of the universe opening up for him. But we left it there for someone else to find. Maybe on some happy day, late in the afternoon, in fall. . . .
Another valentine that my husband and I discovered on our recent drive through the gorgeous colors of New England is Paul McCartney's new release of old classics. You may have seen him featured recently on PBS. We played it over and over as we wound our way around the countryside. Our favorite song is a new one that McCartney himself composed called "My Valentine." The whole album is mellow and jazzy, and perfect for a quiet evening by the fire. You might like it.
Our thoughts are turned to many friends and loved ones now under threat in this beautiful part of the country. Hold tight. Our love and prayers are with you. . . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My New French Transferware Plates

What is it about French design that is so unmistakable? When I spied these plates across a crowded table full of vintage merchandise at The Elephant's Trunk Flea market a couple of weeks ago, I thought they might indeed be French. That was my first thrill. The second, was the unbelievable price. Five dollars! for four salad size plates, and three bowls. Congratulations to me! And congratulations to Mr. C&C for schlepping them home all in one piece!
I'm showing them off today on top of the antique matelasse coverlet I bought at the same market for twenty dollars. In addition, I found the neatest cotton towels and aprons at William-Sonoma that have a delicious vintage/antique vibe.
The towels come in sets of two, in both a blue and a red stripe, with aprons to match. The main fabric is a sort of oatmeal color, and is nice and thick. I love the look.
They look just as vintage as my homespun napkins shown next to them here.
An antique cup and saucer dresses up the table too, bringing out the creamy tones.
Coverlet details.
Edge design has shamrocks. Makes me think Irish!


The center has a pretty medallion.



So glad you stopped by for a look!
Hope your week is going great!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Circus Fun House~Bountiful Part Two

If you missed part one of my trip to Bountiful in Venice, California, here's the link.    
And here's a couple of reminder photos to carry you forward. 

 When I think of my visits to Bountiful, the experience seems not unlike a circus fun house. For sure you will find the unexpected each time.  And you can't predict what will pop out next to delight you.
 The front rooms of the shop are shown here, and in my earlier post. But the whole place is an enormous warehouse with rooms on different levels. Snaking through the labyrinthine rooms is a vintage junkies' ultimate adventure. And I'm not at all exaggerating.
The path to the back of the shop is that skinny space to the far left in the photo above. If you didn't know it was there you might not find it.
 Through the looking glass, down the rabbit hole, or beyond the magic wardrobe. . .














The circus poster in the center space is so apropos. In the space of two hours I took over two hundred photos of  Bountiful,  Pop Pom Interiors, and Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Couture.  LA is not my neighborhood, but I try to stop by maybe once a year. And what a wild side show it always is!
So fun that you came along too!