Thursday, August 30, 2007

~St. Francis & St. Augustine

Standing at the back door to my boyfriend's house, I read the Prayer of St. Francis many times. I never got tired of it because it was so beauitful and because it belonged to the kindest and most saint-like woman I have ever met. So many, many years ago.

When the St. Francis Inn popped up as a Bed & Breakfast in St. Augustine during my searching, I checked it out because of the name. It had great reviews online, so off we went. But I was still a bit skeptical of staying in "someone's house" as B&B's sometimes seem to be. But we loved this place! It was an inn, not where the owners lived.

Courtyard looking towards the entrance, the "back of the building."

The courtyard just to the left of the picture above looked like this.
I read after we got back where someone wrote that it was "old" inside. Wow, who would have thought a place built in 1791 would be old???? It was very nice, but certainly not renovated to new looking. It still had lots of character.

Our room was actually a suite, and we loved having the sitting room in addition to the bedroom and bath area. It really made it seem like home away from home.

We never moved our car from the private parking area. The downtown area was very close and we walked a lot, used the trolley for the 3 days to get to anything too far to walk.

The inn also had complimentary bikes which was a lot of fun to go looking at houses. The breakfasts were full meals, and cooked by their chef. Excellent! You B&B Gals might have won me over now. Not having to go find a good breakfast really was a nice treat.


There was a tiny little park across the street with a most charming statue. My friend, St. Francis, was standing towards the back keeping a watchful eye on the street and the inn as well as the animals I'm sure.

Thanks for your notes on the previous posts. I know so many of you love vintage and antiques, and of course old houses. They just call out to you don't they?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

~Save Me from Old Houses!


SavannahWhat do you see? Isn't it a beauty.

An old house like this pulls at my heart strings. I know most people see it as a money pit. And of course they are right. There are many homes like this which have been neglected for so long. Usually they are torn down. It's much easier to build new than to try to restore or rebuild.

After looking at so many houses, thinking how much fun it would be to live in one, I snapped out of it! I told Sweet Hubby....Save Me! Don't let me ever buy an old house like this. It takes someone much younger to give the years of work these take. But we looked with admiration at the houses and to those who give so much to them.

When I look at the first house above, I see these instead.
Side by side. One still waiting patiently for the loving hand of someone who appreciates old houses while the other two show off their new paint.

Don't you just love thinking of what you would do with such a beautiful house?

Monday, August 27, 2007

~Happy Monday!


Oh, it's good to be home. We had a fantastic trip and I could have stayed a month to explore. I'll share some pictures when I get a few things done around here, you know, like laundry! But I wanted to just post a quick note and say good day to you all and thank you for your notes as well.

Here is a picture of the courtyard at the hotel in Charleston, the Mills House. Beautiful place which we loved.
See you all soon!

Friday, August 17, 2007

~Rest, Re-Create and just BE


Some people are really good at just taking time off and getting rested. I have not been one of them most of my life. Next week we are off for a Holiday. Don't you love that in other parts of the world they take a Holiday instead of a vacation. I'm not going to vacate anything. But I am going to make each day away a Holy Day of Re-Creating. I want to see the country's oldest city and old architecture in 2 other southern cities. This is the type of thing that re-creates me. Now if I can just not get in the hurry and rushing mind set of DisneyWorld behavior trying to see everything, it will work just fine. I hope to do some treasure hunting for my store as well. It looks like a bit of rain, but that is far better than a hurricane. So I'll take it as another excuse to refresh and just keep the umbrella handy.

Since we all live kind of hectic lives, I always wonder what other people do to
re-create during the year. How about you? Do you have a secret about your days off from work and how you refresh your body, mind and spirit?

I'll see you all when I return, and it will be fun to catch up with you!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

~Monday Corners of My Home, Painted Armoire

Precise planning is good, but so is a happy mishap. The background in the panels began as a simple crackle of some sort, but with FL humidity and my impatience, anything can happen and often does. This time it was a perfect blend for a beautiful finish.
The first picture above shows the detail hand painted work called grisaille style painting. This is usually done in all grays, but I used raw and burnt umbers as well. The shading is pencil work over the paints. The background area did have some kind of crackle medium applied to it. However I was a bit quick to start working it and sanding. This is how that great peeling finish just happen to come about. I then rubbed or dry brushed darker to lighter colors on it.
The pattern is a take off of one that was offered in Paint Decor magazine a few years ago. I used part of theirs, reworked it on paper, then traced my pattern on to the wood panel and painted it free hand from there.

In addition to the top piece we also added the raised medallions on the doors. And those were painted as if they are a part of the grisaille.

I hope your week ahead is a wonderful one. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Monday, August 6, 2007

~Monday, Corners of My Home

**I'll get some pictures over the weekend of the whole piece to show you. Thanks for asking. I wasn't really even thinking of it. :) **

In the midst of hurry and scurry, it's good to stop and just appreciate what you have. Stop the thoughts of hunting for the next thing and just be happy for a moment with what already is. That's just my own reminder. I might be the only one who sometimes gets moving too quickly and needs to slow down a bit.

Sweetie Husband and I went to an auction to benefit the local PBS station but hardly anyone showed up due to the lack of advertising. There was no auction, instead they just sold the items that were there for basically the starting prices. We found an old English wardrobe that was the perfect size for our little home.

I'm sure someone who loves original English pieces would not approve of my Frenchy makeover. We added the top piece for a French flair and and added others on the doors with some decorative painting techniques. It turned out to be one of our favorite things we have.

Good glazing takes a bit of practice, but is really pretty simple. The antique glaze on the top of this piece has some red in it (burnt umber) but mostly raw umber. It easiest to buy it premixed if you are not familiar with mixing colors. But the safest way is just to go with a raw umber. Go through the tubes/bottles and look at them. They will all be a different color even though they have the same name.

What makes a big difference when you are doing glazing like this is to go back over the piece and dry brush the lightest shade again, the white or cream. This brings out the highest areas of the carved areas and shows off the carvings.

Hope your weekend was a splendid one.
Donna

Thursday, August 2, 2007

~Temptations, Part 2 ~Winter Park

Thank you all for stopping by and going window shopping with me!
As always, thanks for taking the time to say hi and leave your sweet notes.
Have a wonderful, happy and safe weekend!
Of course the most amusing thing was that I told Sweetie Husband that we could go walk to get some exercise while window shopping. He didn't fall for it. Window shopping doesn't mean going inside every other store apparently.
Most of the stores used to be small owner operated shops. The big names have come in now, but the city does try to keep the same feeling. I miss the little store. Origins and Pottery Barn have done a great job with their storefronts.
Appenberrys! Very popular, and people come from all over to shop. Unique, gardeny, very cool. And a bit pricey.
Temptation. Only the price saved me on this one. $6600 for the shop one, but another $2000 to order different fabrc. Really a nice size, 15 by 15 feet. Hubby reminded me for that much money we could have one built out of wood with a real roof. OK! Another little shop. Reminds me of the ones that used to be on the walk. So nice to see some again. All of the paintings in here are originals. This one the only shot I took before we decided they might not like photos.
The stores sit side by side. They used to be one, the previous picture and then the next ones. I am headed the one beside the awning, but was too excited to get a shot outside! Devine! Look at these goodies. I love this store. European accents and antiques. Did I mention that this is a pricey little city? It is.
Do you see what I see? How many years have I longed for that sofa?

We discussed price. Talked her down to $2300, not bad for all down, 1920's frame rebuilt and upholstered by an expert! The match was perfect. Italian fabric which runs around $85 a yard.

But....we actually live with our sofas. This one needs a place where it won't get kind of jumped on. And fortunately, it was in a dusty blue. I would have to change some colors. Good excuses anyway to keep my hands in my pockets! We have a trip planned soon and I just might need a couple of dollars for shopping then.

Have a most wonderful day! Hope you enjoy the window shopping.