Where The Lone Star State Meets The Puget Sound
A Fine Mesh Of Two Great Styles

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Before And A {Happy} After

After two straight months of bone dry weather, I awoke to a simple gift~ a rainy day. I so love rainy days. This typical fall weather-wet and windy- put me in the 'get it done' frame of mind. I was happy to stay indoors and tackle something large. I decided that today was a perfect day to cross a 'dread' project off of my list.

We have a very straightforward 1950's cottage with a few vestiges of mid-century still in evidence. The Roman {skinny} brick chimney and fireplace broadcast our home's vintage. I had at one time painted it white, as you can see below. It wasn't horrible but it was glaring in my present decor.

But below is a picture that will surely incite a reaction~ I rarely show this picture to anyone. Please try not to laugh too loudly.

Here is a picture of the fireplace just before we moved in. What do you think? Or a better question, "what was I thinking?" All I can figure out is that we were so transfixed by the panoramic water view that we saw little else.

Yes, I awaken to this vista each morning.

As I mentioned, this paint-over was atop my dread list. But I'm happy to be able to tell you that the project didn't take nearly as much time as I was expecting. I think painting over painted brick was much easier than painting 'naked' brick the first time.

The newly repainted brick~ Laura Ashley Taupe {to match the walls}. I really prefer the brick in retreat. The white brick was just too much of a focal point. The change is subtle but truly effective.

Do you like the after? No more terra cotta red brick nor boring carpet.

Here are a few fall touches on the mantle and on the hearth~

A subtle autumn scented potpourri in a hurricane.

Fall leaves collected in a far away place many years ago.

This generously proportioned green leather chair was a gift to us by my parent's neighbors. 
It presides over the living room and attracts all male visitors. It seems to be a perfect spot of a first cup of coffee on a cold morning.

I enjoy the matching ottoman which is currently doubling as a coffee table.

We have pumpkins growing in our garden which haven't quite reached their peak. As soon as they turn fully orange I will proudly add one to my mantlescape. 

I'm linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style . I hope you'll visit Kim and all the fabulous links featured there today.
Wishing you pleasant rainy day thoughts~


PS: A technical flaw of which I was unaware~ I accidentally hit "Publish" prematurely. Now an unfinished copy of this post appears in Google Reader. For those of you that use Reader, I hope you will take a moment to read the entire post at my website. Arrgh! Technology!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Fever!

Yes, I've succumbed to fall fever~ a decorating addiction that has most home decor bloggers north of the equator in its grip.

Since our Northwest summer lasted all of 3 weeks I decided I might as well give myself over to fall fancies.

Here is a wreath I created by meshing a variety of styles I have seen on Pinterest~

I began by covering a green styrofoam wreath with burlap.

I used cheap burlap for this project. I'm not sure it was such a good idea! Look at all the raveling.

I made a new-to-me flower style using a wool blend orange felt. Most crafters are talented enough to just freehand the cuts but I have to measure and mark everything.

So simple to make and I think they are adorable.

I also created these gathered and rolled roses. They are rather time intensive but I like the result.

I added a few of my more traditional rosettes and a little bit of ornamentation.

And here is my finished wreath.

Lots of textural contrast! It speaks of dried flowers and fallen foilage.

And while in the mood I brought out a few things I made in previous years~

Paper Scraps and a little stamping!

Pillow Art.

Linking to Masterpiece Monday at Boogie Board Cottage and Sugar and Spice at 733 .

Enjoy your week!

Happy Fall!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Adventures With Captain Larry!

My airline pilot (retired) husband is now a Coast Guard licensed yacht captain. He spends time each summer on the water with nice folks who wish to tour the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands on luxury boats. Most of Larry's clients charter boats and hire Larry to skipper. And a few own their yachts but are not comfortable with the responsibility of piloting them without help. In addition, Larry teaches power boating classes for Anacortes Yacht Charters here on our island.

I rarely get an opportunity to join Larry on his excursions. But a few days ago we received an invitation to travel to Gig Harbor, Washington. We were asked to stay a night with a wonderful couple who had taken Larry's boating class last summer. The idea was that Larry would spend part of each day helping this couple get more comfortable with their {big} boat.

For me, the time was magical. I was just 'along for the ride'. It was a luxurious waterfront stay; a lovely retreat from everyday stresses. We were wined and dined~ not exactly tough duty for Larry. Our suite was opulently appointed, the conversation was genuine and our hosts were gracious and without pretension. 

I thank you in advance for browsing my pictorial journal of our excursion. The Pacific Northwest is an enchanted part of the world. I hope my photos stimulate your interest in a visit to the Evergreen State.

We drove south to Tacoma and then took the "Narrows Bridge" over to the east side of the Olympic Peninsula.

I took this photo while cruising. Gig Harbor was named by an early explorer, Captain Charles Wilkes during an expedition in 1840. Upon the discovery of this most picturesque bay, the captain and crew were unable to navigate it on anything other than a small boat, also known as a "captain's gig". Hence the name.

The yacht is named, "Fellow Ship". It is docked directly in front of our hosts' condominium. This is my idea of roughing it.

This historic harbor front restaurant was just steps from the condominium. It is now owned by a quality restaurant chain, "Anthony's". We enjoyed a sumptuous evening meal here.

Our hostess has done a lovely job decorating her home!

The rest of my photos are just a random sampling of the houses located in along the waterfront in Old Town Gig Harbor. As you will see, there is everything from cottage to grand~

My personal favorite~ An historic house with appropriate updates.

A popular Northwest architectural design. Check out all the boats!

A mid-century brick with a lot of charm!

Gorgeous! Pristine landscape, a stately home and steps to the shore.

I hope you are able to get a good feel for allure of this delightful little bay. For more information please visit this site: Gig Harbor, The Maritime City

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Thanks for cruising by and come back soon.

Dreaming of our gig in the Harbor~


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Plaster Piece!

So it is Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, but my post is hardly anything to write home about.

However, I am so pleased with this plaster corbel that I got at an estate sale recently that I had to show you~

It's such a pretty piece! But it didn't start out pretty at all. When I grabbed it, it was 'gaudy gold'... hardly an Annie Sloan color!

There's not a whole lot I can write about this now-beautiful corbel because I somehow deleted the before photos. I'm so irritated at myself. Well you'll just have to trust me that it was ugly.

The detailing is incredible but it made painting very tedious. I used Old Ochre {again}. It took lots of coats and a good detail brush. But it was worth the effort. I also used AS wax. Again~ very labor intensive. I had to do a lot of stippling.

I set a few things on the shelf to add interest. I'm sure I'll try a variety of ideas.

The shelf blends nicely with other things I have on the mantle. It is a welcomed addition to the wall but certainly not overpowering. I tried to hang it unsuccessfully and had to wait until Larry got home. We needed a heavy-duty hook, which I had bought. But he had to bend and shape it because the back of the corbel has a  strange configuration.

I paid $9 for the shelf. I think I have the bigger investment in paint. I don't mind really. The corbel has the look of architectural salvage.

Thanks for stopping over!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Table Top Texture

Remember the old song, "The Days of Wine and Roses"? Uh, no. You probably don't.  It was sung by the fabulous Nancy Wilson. Wow! Am I dating myself. Actually, my mom had the album (a 33" disk), Hollywood My Way. The great Ms.Wilson was a favorite of my mom's and I can remember her singing along while she did housework. It's a warm memory.  Well, while taking pictures for this post, the song  kept running through my mind. If you know me at all you know that a song is always running through my mind.

I'd like to chat about how texture can really add punch to a table top. I'm sure you've found that to be true.

Here's a piece of burlap I had left over from about a three yard piece. It's only about 15" in length but I have the full width. My very first sewing teacher (way back in 7th grade) said, "never, ever cut off a good selvedge".

That's one of the best sewing tips I've ever gotten. So with that in mind, I decided to make a table runner with the selvedges intact. I would not describe my 'look' as raggy {shabby} but I like a little touches of unravel here and there. Hey, I've been known to unravel on occasion too. I raveled the long sides of the runner as you can see. Something interesting just occurred to me. There is not one bit of sewing required to make a runner such as this. So even if you don't own a sewing machine you can make this runner.

Last night I sat and made 14 burlap rosettes. I wanted to put seven on each end. This was time consuming but not difficult.

I planned my layout, which was nothing too precise. And I used Unique Stitch to glue them on. Notice that I put parchment paper under the ends of the runner so that the glue would not seep through the fabric and stick to the table!

I love the way it turned out. Burlap Beige is very rich looking against the wood tones. Now time for a little creative staging~

There are multiple elements adding texture to this vignette. The runner of course. And then there is the antique bread plate and the sea grass chairs! The few touches of red make the combination of neutrals stand out. The point is, texture can play a significant role in tabletop dressing. It doesn't take a lot of high-end fuss to make a big statement.

I think it cost about $5 at most to make this runner.  Such a deal! And I like it on my table. I'm calling it big change for {small} change.

And now, I leave you with this profound bit of wisdom. Never cut off a good selvedge!

I've linked my thoughts to Table Top Tuesday. I hope you'll wander on over to Marty's.

Enjoy your day!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Home of the Brave

Source: Google

This is a very important weekend for our nation as we remember the events of September 11, 2001.
Our pastor shared with us a prayer given by a pastor friend of his, Pastor Rich deRuiter.
This is what I too am praying on this 10 year anniversary of the most horrific and tragic attack to ever occur on American soil~

In remembering the tragedies in New York and Washington D.C. 10 years ago, please pray that God's peace and presence would fill the families of those who lost loved ones, law enforcement, fire fighters and EMS responders, the rest of us also deeply affected by the events of that day, too. Pray also for those who have lost loved ones in the many battles that have been fought since then in Iraq,  Afghanistan and elsewhere. Pray for wisdom for our government and military leaders as they continue to respond to whatever threats may continue against free people everywhere. Finally, pray that the power and truth of the suffering and death of Jesus would defeat the powers of terror and lies.

In all these things, especially when the evil in this world seems powerful, ugly, and at times overwhelming, we reaffirm our faith our God is bigger, that He is still on the throne, and that His triumph over all evil is more certain than the pain and anger we feel, and that, at the return of Jesus, justice will roll on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5:24), and all the old order will pass away, so that there will be no more mourning or crying or pain (Rev.21:4). Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly!

We shall never forget
We shall keep this day,
We shall keep the events and the tears
In our minds, our memory and our hearts
and take them with us as we carry on.

 911 Memorial Website