Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bee Hive Buzz

My girlfriend Lynda, from Atlanta, and I are helping our friend, Mariterese, from Austin, plan a wedding for her son, Patrick, in Boston. To make things more complicated , I live in Chicago. So thank goodness for the Internet and cell phones. He is getting married at the Bee Hive in Boston in a couple of weeks.
We have embraced the Bee Hive theme for the decor in this unconventional wedding setting. Here's a little tease of our decor. We found these wonderful tags on ETSY from Bluebird Lane and added the names for the gift bags. Check out her stuff on ETSY - Wonderful graphics. We discovered these two old bee skeps - Check out the cute little one on the wooden base. The other one is huge - 27 inches high. We'll use these on the seating assignment table. The honey comb frames still smell like honey - not sure how we will use them yet!
Guests in the hotel will get embellished jars of honey, beautiful soaps and lip balms from Tokyomilk, and some of Mariterese's famous cookies. We will put them all together in burlap tote bags and tie with a gift tag. Better stay tuned for more to come on this fun wedding.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Inspiration in French Home Decor Magazines

Craving the romantic feeling of French interiors, I often buy French Interior design magazines, even though I can hardly understand a word in them. I just love the pictures, and have often been able to go online and find some of the sources listed in their pages. In a recent issue of Campagne De'coration, I found these lovely pictures of inspirational rooms. The beautiful table
setting - which I'm sure is for an ordinary meal - make me want to try to duplicate it.. The stone wall, iron windows and crisp white linens contrast so much with each other - I really -really- really --- want to sit at that table. And I love the simple green leaves in the vase with the lady figurines.

The French really understand the concept of living beautifully everyday! I scanned these pictures into my computer, so the quality is not nearly as beautiful as the Magazine. But you get the feeling that I'm talking about!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jewelry for my Stove

I love my stove so much that I decided to give it some "jewelry".
Rather than keeping ugly bottles on the stove, I put oils and spices in old antique vessels. I keep my olive oil in a pewter and glass decanter. A beautiful old silver one, that my girls from the store gave me for Christmas, houses tangerine olive oil. Alder Smoked Sea Salt is kept handy in an old sherbet dessert glass, along with a nut shaped spoon with a twig handle. Sea Salt is in a cut glass sugar jar, and I keep my Sweet and Low hidden in the beautiful old silver container, probably once used for real sugar. My friend Marlene, just gave me a new one to add to my collection. Fine old silver threads are intricately woven around a glass bottle. I'll have to find some tasty new olive oil to fill it!

Daily life with these little charming vessels, takes the chore out of cooking everyday meals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Memorial Day Parties

It's finally hot weather in Chicago - time for grilling! To celebrate Memorial Day this weekend,

We pulled together a festive table - very bright and cheerful. We used Bali umbrellas, crystal bangles as napkin rings. and many types of votives. Can't you just imagine margaritas and chips and salsa at this party table?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Windows for our Store

We have decided to change our store windows today. Lighten them up for Summer! We just received these fabulous gilded vintage chairs in muslin. Candy, our stylist, layered lot's of baby's breath, printed burlap pillows, and two new silver and glass sconces. Above a glass cabinet,she displays more of our favorites - brown transferware, a burlap toy horse, leather books, and old tarnished silver. I love this look - romantic, clean, and elegant for today's lifestyles.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Christy's Point of View

Saturday seems to be Blogging Day at the Store. This past Saturday, Christy ( who likes to be called Christine) comes in to share some of her favorite blogs with us- especially Velvet and Linen . After many hours of reading blogs, she says she enjoys the interior design stories more than the stories about gardening. So on Sunday afternoon, I'm thinking about why Christy doesn't like the flower stories, while my husband and I are out in the garden. We are putting in our herb garden, working on the perennial beds, and fertilizing the rose garden. I find a wild patch of Lily of the Valley, that has decided to call our yard home. I just couldn't resist it - so I cut some for a small bouquet. I love the delicate texture of the lily of the Valley against the old French watering can. I could see this composition inside on my kitchen island to celebrate spring.
The lilacs has just come into bloom too - so again , I cut some! Maybe I'll write about this tomorrow. I wonder if Christy will like it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Southern Dinner with the Millers

My husband and I went to our friend's, the Millers, last night for dinner. They have recently bought property in the Cliff's in Greenville, South Carolina and had invited people over to become acquainted with this upscale development.
The house looked magical, especially with all the candlelight. It was rewarding to see merchandise from our store so delightfully displayed in their home. Jill has a real knack for accessorizing and tablescapes.
Bold blue and white porcelain vases held pink peonies on a dining table displayed with our burlap and brown velvet place mats. Cloches with filled with nature inspired scenes, fresh lilacs, iron birds, ceramic frogs , cement mushrooms, and moss. So, so enchanting! Jan Barboglio wine glasses held white candles. The living room, so warm and inviting, had two new tiger print aubusson pillows from Jerry Nichols that really added pop. Aiden Gray candlesticks burned warmly, while another Aiden Grey Planter held ivy and pink hydrangeas on the back terrace.
The meal, southern in inspiration, was awesome and catered by Michael's, in Morton Grove.
Serving platters garnished with tulips and hydrangeas, held crab cakes and collard green and chicken egg rolls with chutney. Dessert was totally southern, miniature red velvet cupcakes and warm chocolate banana bread pudding, served in egg cups.
All and all - a delightful evening for our visual and culinary senses.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Girlfriends on a Girl Friend Outing

I am very fortunate to have some great friends. Jill, Marlene and I have been great friends for over 25 years. We met at Marshall Fields in 1984, when we were store managers. Yesterday we were planning a day of antiquing. We started the rainy day with breakfast at my house. I shared with them this amazing popover mix, King Arthur, that I found at the grocery store next to my store, Sunset Foods. We lazily lingered over coffee and popovers with morning candlelight until 11 a.m. After all, it was raining ---. Then it was off to Milwaukee to try to track down some great finds!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day - at the Flea Market

My favorite way to spend Mother's Day - involved in the chase of the great find at a flea market! And as an added bonus, Mr. RTH went to help carry treasures back to the car. Lucky me! It was a day of awesome finds - an Italian chandelier, old chippy paint concrete lamps, a figural lamp with just enough of the paint worn away! A fantastic old gold frame, and two etchings from Austria were purchased. A beautiful Art Nouveau silver brush and mirror set was a steal! A darling garden cart will be great as a bar!

So my husband says - this is all for the store - right? Right? Maybe, I reply. Maybe------ not!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden Party for the Spirit of 67 Home Tour

For the Spirit of 67 Home Tour , Candy Anderson, our stylist, and myself, decorated the pool area for a Garden Party. After having 4 graduated sizes of plywood cut, my handy husband doweled them together. We mossed and filled the levels with roses, Swiss chard, kale and fresh fruit for the tour. Wouldn't these be great for appetizers or desserts? Around the umbrella posts on adjacent tables, we tied Chinese cabbage around cups filled with roses.

For the upstairs terrace, Candy used Jan Barboglio candelabras and vessels on the outdoor fireplaces. We filled the fireplace box with the curly willow that we purchased on our trip to Monches Farm in Wisconsin.