Saturday, April 24, 2010

Harry Lauder Walking Sticks

Yesterday, my friend, Jill and I, drove up to Monches Farm, in Wisconsin to look for unusual perennials. We were not disappointed. Our favorite one was the Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree. You can only imagine it with snow on it's branches. It's leaves are also crinkly and twisted. Other favorites included a tree peony, with ruffled yellow flowers. A fuzzy leaf plant, similar to lamb's ear was also purchased and brought back to our gardens in Illinois. Before leaving, we had to visit the resident peacock, doves and chickens.After all, a little bit of idyllic country is soothing to the soul. We are planning a trip back in May, when the scented geraniums are available and more is in bloom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Derby Madness

Today, we started refining the place settings for our home tour that is coming up in May. For the Derby Day Box Lunch, we added little rose tussie mussies to the top of the box. Fresh mint, lamb's ear, roses and a wired twine were used to create the topper. Using sugar snap peas and a rhinestone florist pin, we made a knife rest for the little gold and pearl butter knife. A cone was made from the music of "My Old Kentucky Home" and another floral tussie mussie was placed inside. Lot's of double face red satin ribbon allowed the cone to be tied to the back of each guest's chair.
We started on the concept for the main dining table. Antique Rosenthal china is set in a silver serving tray, and a etched gold rimmed compote is placed in the center. A white lily is filled with raspberries for a little whimsical touch. We are working on a centerpiece using old grapevine wood, roses and ferns. More to come on that idea -------the event is in 2 weeks! Yikes! Lot's to do-----

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Southerners and Their Silver

We are starting to design our tablescapes for the fundraiser that we participate in every May. This year , we are going to use the Kentucky Derby as our theme, since the homeowner of the house we are staging, is from Louisville and always attends the Derby. Being from the south myself, I know how much southerners love their silver. I remember getting 9 revere bowls and several of silverplate vegetable dishes. I haven't used them in years, but they are pretty, especially used in multiples. One of the spaces we are staging is the terrace, so I thought- why not use these as the container for a Derby Day Box lunch. We are using black and white hounds tooth burlap tablecloths, and a wooden slice from a tree log as the place mat. I found this old sheet music - My Old Kentucky Home- and copied and used it as the menu card for each "lunch box". The beautiful little knives are sold in our store and add another elegant touch to the outdoor setting. I can't wait to see all of this put together- it will be a great addition to our new book, Romancing the Home Entertains. I just got a proof copy and it's going to be a great book! Meanwhile, I need to finish the other 4 tablescapes for this fundraiser. We will keep you posted- the event is in 3 weeks!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Antique Addict

My girlfriend, Lynda, and I have just returned from a local flea market. It seems harder and harder to find good stuff, especially locally. But we did find a few cool things. My daughter is getting ready to move into her first place, so we bought her these matching chairs. If we lacquer them white, and put a modern pattern fabric on them, they will be pretty hip! A grouping of old Parisian fashion prints , all in gold frames, will look stunning when all together on a wall. The darling floral centerpiece of white cherubs will be very sophisticated with just herbs or boxwood in the containers.
The Italian jewelry box will be added to a collection that I already own, along with the awesome rhinestone compact. Then on to a different look in the butlers pantry, the vintage coffee urn will find its new home. Not too much for the store today------It's been tooooooo long since I have been antiquing and I really need a fix!
On a side note, Lynda bought some really cool French prints that we are going to try to silkscreen on to a fabric. Will advise on that project later! Wish us luck!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Branching Out!

With the natural and organic trend so important in home decor today, I get very excited when I find a new natural material that lends itself so beautifully to home decor. These beautiful sun bleached branches look beautiful as a part of a dining room tablescape or worked into book cases and tabletop vignettes. In the store, we have mixed them with our decorator books covered in old parchment papers, architectural candlesticks, and mercury glass. The mercury glass bottles are from an old abandoned factory in Danville, Virginia, probably used to hold some type of liquid chemical. Their patina is amazing. Our new lamps with the burlap and document printed fabrics mix well with this look. The white ceremic faux bois garden stools add a little brightness to the weathered color palatte.