Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Daffodil Principle

Not long ago, we were working on a project in our living room.

This wall in our living had been painted with a contemporary feel in mind.  I used gray as a neutral and stenciled an old pattern on it to still maintain some antiquity to our old house.  I knew I also wanted to have our grandchildren's portraits in this area.  While watching an episode of Canidce Olson's Divine Design, I saw a treatment that she used to bring an element of coziness to a space for her client.  I fell in love with it and thought it would be perfect to add texture and warmth to our living room space.
This was her installation.
I set out to research the purchasing guide and sent for a sample of this beautiful stone.

This was the stone I chose.  It is white quartz stacked stone by Norstone.
Then I set out to find the stainless wall mount fireplace for the space.  I researched both electric and an ethanol burning fireplace.

I went with this electric model.  I'm glad I did because our little grandchildren went right to it and wanted to touch it's front face.  I was very glad for it's safety factor as well as it's esthetic look.
I waited for the fireplace since February 3 as it was on back order.  Then I ordered the stone and it arrived very quickly.
Last weekend Dennis finished it all but the mantel piece that we are waiting to find.

This is our almost finished project.

I'm thinking I would like to find an old piece of wood in which to sand, stain and varnish to add as a mantel.
I love the juxtapostion of contemporary things mixed with old elements.
This project has added warm happiness to this wall and it's a great place to sit and regain a touch of the 60's time frame that I enjoyed growing up.  The white brick on the wall reminds me a little of a white brick wall that my Aunt Rose had as her living room fireplace as well as a back drop for her beautiful bed in her bedroom.  As I remember it also had a touch of that classic 60's aqua.  I'm also loving the cheerful yellow.
I painted this room a strong bright yellow because I thought my husband Dennis would like the color.  He loves all bright colors.  He should, the brights just look great on him as well as other members of his family such as his sister, Anita.  I continued with yellows in the rest of the house.  My latest being the kitchen/dining area this past weekend.  This color is a medium yellow called Homey Cream from Loew's.  I love it with the white wood work and spring green dishes in the hutch.

I love to decorate with birds and nature.  Daffodils were in bloom this past weekend and I love them for the happy flower they are.
It grows in grass and field and bower
The cheerful yellow flower
The daffodil

The daffodil
comes after snow
At end of winter's drear
And spreads it's yellow cheer.

The blooms of summer coming
Is still a far-off thought
When springs
the daffodil.

The daffodil is seldom single
It's happiness most strong
growing in a throng.

My life grows full and intertwined
When all around I find.
Friendship like
The daffodils.

by Niel
I came across a sweet story called the daffodil principle and I wanted to share it with you.
It reminds me that no matter what you set out to do, go about it in small steps with patience and diligence for one day when you step back and look at it, it will be something wonderful and worth working for.  Please watch this sweet video to see what I mean.

Daffodils growing around the neighborhood.
With the goodness of spring's beautiful flowers and nature's song in the returning robin, think of feathering your nest with beauty to bring tranquility to your life.  Remember to safely go about your day to enable such activities.
The Daffodil Principle in written form.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Blessings

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way -
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and everyday.
-Author Unknown

While growing up,  a fun childhood tradition was wearing of green on St. Patrick's Day.  Your friends would remind you to wear something green so as not to get pinched by someone who's eagle eye noticed from the other side of the room if you were wearing it or not.  The teacher would have arranged a bulletin board with shamrocks and maybe a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to mark the approaching holiday on the calendar.  It was fun.  A story of stone soup or green eggs and ham might have been incorporated.
Today, as I walk into one of my favorite stores, there are shelves of decorations to celebrate the day.
I have a little Irish in my blood via my grandpa and I'd like to think of it's roots in further detail and significance in my heritage and some of the traditions I unknowingly carry on.  So I set out to do a little research as I love to do on the computer and visit the grand country of Ireland and some of it's wonders, cyber style.

A stroll down Grafton Street in Dublin, Ireland.
Lovely flowers fragrant and vibrant.
Complete with street musicians.
A beautiful lace museum.
Looking over the most exquisite handmade crocheted lace.
A stop inside a pub for a delicious plate of corned beef and vegetables with scrumptious bread.
A stroll of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland.

So very beautiful.  Imagine Easter and it's tradition here.

Touring castles such as Belfast Castle.
Such a tranquil place to think of a time that was.

Homey cottages with stories of humble life.
In the countryside.
Vast scenery at the Cliffs of Moher.
How beautiful, fresh and green!

As Easter approaches.
I reflect the things I have to be thankful for and a time of togetherness with family and friends

May your blessings outnumber
the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
~Irish Blessing

The photos were taken by folks so fortunate to visit Ireland and wanted to share them, by tourist sites promoting Ireland travel and sites of Ireland and it's history.  They are photos I would  place in scrapbook form as a possible travel destination and reference.  Where does your heart carry you in imaginative thought?
Visiting the home of your roots is a great beginning!

I also visited Martha Stewart's site.  She has some wonderful recipes of  irish potoatoes, corned beef with vegetables,  a soda bread recipe, dessert dishes and more.  Sounds like a great way to top off your celebration of St. Patrick's Day!  Have a beautiful St. Patrick's Day!  Filled with fun and childhood memories, filled with celebration and always with your safe keeping at the forefront of your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ode to Spring

I picked up one of my favorite magazines today and was ready for the spring inspiration it might contain to lift my spirits on this cold, drab and dreery day.
I was right...on closer inspection I noticed
the small green floral dessert plate the ice cream dish is sitting on is my pattern!  What a pleasant surprise!  I remember so well almost 35 years ago Dennis and I going to Elder Beerman McCook one weekend to pick up a set of 8.

I loved them for their green and white colonial design.  They reminded me a little of the same antinquity in style that my mom had chosen as her dishes.

These were Mom's dishes.  They are Colonial Homestead by Royal.  They were patented in 1954.  She always brought them out at Thanksgiving and the dining room table looked beautiful with all of us around to enjoy her delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  My oldest brother, Larry with his wife Donna and their two little girls, Cindy and Cathy, my brother Ron and his pretty girlfriend, Marsha,  along with my sister, Jean her husband and cute son dressed in little suit joined my brother, me,  Mom and Dad.  She always got up before 4 o'clock a.m. to get the turkey in the oven and bake the pies.  The house was filled with the most memorable aroma of hearth and home.  I used silverware purchased from Ballard Designs catalog a few years ago.  I love the rustic touch they add.
I changed the setting just a bit to add feminine touch.  This time I used my Mother-in-law's silverware.  My husband had a couple more children in his family than I and they shared the most wonderful family dinners as well.

Here, I'm adding a little close-up of the napkin ring.  While at a antique store not far from me, I found this pretty ring.
It has a most beautiful inscription of the name "Belle".  That was my Grandma's name.  I love it.  I think it reflects the period beautifully and reminds us that things were made with artistic talent, skill and with appreciation in the fact that it would last longer than a life time.  Today, things are made to be discarded without thought of any sentimental value.
My dishes are Royal Staffordshire  Avondale Ironstone by J & G Meakin ~ England.
Nothing fancy like porcelain but homey.  I imagined many a meal of meat and potoato hartiness to feed my family.  It's quite sweet to see them in such a delicate setting.
I also noticed in the magazine a cake stand that appears to be Fostoria ~ American pattern that we purchased at the estate sale of Dennis' grandmother.
This was the photo in the magazine.
And this is mine.
I also noticed a lot of spring green used as beautiful decoration in table setting.  I really fell in love with that green and varying shades of it depending on what I had to mix and match.
Not anticipating a trip but really had a desire to stay close to home and catch up on some maintenance and yard work, I find myself planning a wonderful spring 3-4 day road trip with my two sister-in-laws who are retired and garden enthusiasts.  We, well, I have been mentioning for three years now how much I would love to visit the Garden Home Retreat of P. Allen Smith who has his own gardening program on PBS.  One day out of the blue I decided to check his web site after receiving one of his gardening tips by e-mail.  Low and behold!  There it was!  A public invitation to attend your choice of his spring home and garden tour and view his prolific daffodil bed planted under an enormous old oak tree in the front of his home or a visit to view his spring gardens and home tour!  How fabulous is that?  It's in the planning stages at the moment, but I'm thinking a small lunch for them to set and make our travel plans will be a great start. 
One day while viewing a lovely post by Pat of Back Porch Musings,, entitled: anticipating spring in the dining room, I fell in love with her tablescape.  I thought how nice it would be to have my sister-in-laws  for lunch and send them an invitation by mail.  I asked Pat's permission and this was the result.

I love how it turned out.  I used decorative papers as accents.  The white paper is handmade and stamped with fern leaves.  I love the photo of Pat's straw garden hat.  She purchased it in Charleston, SC while on vacation.  Thank you Pat for allowing me permission to use your photos for this purpose.  If you haven't visited Pat at Back Porch Musings, please do.  Her photography and postings are lovely.

Couldn't wait to play with the idea after purchasing some great placemats and napkins by RL on clearance at Marshall's.
A few more spring entertaining photos and I'm thinking my spring is shaping up to be quite exciting to anticipate after a long winter's bout of cold.  And so
what is it that sparks your imagination and desire to travel a little to get first hand perceptions of spring and what it will bring to calm the senses and soothe the soul?

Related Posts with Thumbnails