Wednesday, July 30, 2008

~ Vacation in Southern Cities, Holiday Day One, St. Augustine

In the middle of the heat of the summer, who would want to go touring a city in the deep south? Well, actually a lot of people. We chose three of different places. And we weren't the only ones who went north to get there. A few people from Florida there as well. Heading north didn't cool things off temperature wise, but it did cool down the stress levels. St. Augustine, Charleston and Savannah are all amazing cities for walking and discovering art, beauty, architecture and food. We did our best to find as much of each of these as we could in such a short time.

This was a return to some of the same destinations from last year in August, but we wanted to go back because we loved it so much. Fortunately we spent more time in Charleston this year and became much better acquainted with it's alluring charms.

There is quite a bit to see in St. Augustine, but we were only spending one night so this time we didn't do too much tourist stuff. Last year we stayed at the St. Francis Inn, which was really nice and the breakfast were great. Our favorite breakfast at B&B's so far. This time we chose At Journey's End Inn, another bed and breakfast, after seeing it on Tripadvisor. For one night, the smaller room they offered was just right and a good price for St. Augustine. The innkeeper Ellen told us about two places that we had not seen before, the St. Photios Greek Orthodox Shrine on St. George St. and the Villa Zorayda house, which has only recently been restored and opened to the public. The shrine has the most beautiful icon murals! And you know how I love iconic art. I need to resize those pictures yet.

The Villa Zorayda was fascinating. Like all of these old historical houses, it is hard to image that families lived like this, huge houses and so much money to spend when most the nation lived so modestly. That is an old postcard above. Built in 1883 by Franklin Smith who loved the Alhambra Palace in Spain so much he patterned his house after it to 1/10 scale. It is strangely beautiful. Although it is from his trip to Spain, it is highly influenced by the Moorish architecture found there.

I haven't had time to do anything but download the pictures, so come by in the next few days to see more pictures.

I'm in the middle of painting an old, vintagey French Provincial dresser for my new studio. Nothing has been done in this room since the last you saw it except the messes or in organized stacks and the closet is almost empty. I have been wanting to do a fun paint combination of Tiffany blue and lime green on something, and this dresser was it. That blue has been calling to me for a couple of years and I thought about doing a room in it. The dresser we bought almost a year ago and the little blue bag has been waiting to show its true colors somewhere. Wow is that blue bright! A whole room would a bit much for me, but I'm loving the dresser painted with such whimsical abandon. It will hold lots of papers and art supplies. Just what I need, organization!

Holidays are good, but it's good to be home.
You know, no place like it and all that jazz!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

~ Busy, Busy, Hurry .... Slow Down

Everyone I know is so very busy in the summer! I remember that sheepish thankfulness when the kids went back to school. Even though I don't have younger kiddos anymore, I'm looking for a slow down time anyway.

Some new art on Etsy, a couple of little treasures from the Madonna Collection. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see that others have a love of them, too. They take a lot of time to make considering the size and even price, but I totally believe whatever you give comes back to you many times over. So these are a joy to make and I love knowing who has them in their homes.

The fridge had a couple of very tiny, hard to see scratches but it was one too many. So another one is coming this Sat. I hope that will be OK, since we have to move the other one to Sweet Daughter's and it is really no fun taking everything out of a fridge! Where did all that stuff come from? At least it will be all clean this time. I did that last Sat. And it isn't easy getting a big thing like this moved!

So still more busy, busy stuff, but we are going to do some vacation time next week. I'm trying not to do any work on the house. We've done that for too many years instead of getting away. Now to figure where to go where it isn't going to rain, within driving distance anyway.

Have a Wonderful Day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

~ Cool Down or Is Everybody Oversized?

It is hard to keep cool in the middle of the summer. I'm getting a payback for having a good giggle at other people who agonized over choosing kitchen appliances. Every time I would read someone who was in the midst of a hissy fit over their refrigerator choices, it made me laugh. I've spent weeks, not days, or hours as I would think reasonable but weeks to find a refrigerator. Thank goodness I did find out the first one wouldn't fit before it was delivered, but that was in April!

So what could be the big deal? The answer, they don't make stainless steel, good quality, refrigerators in the same size that refrigerators were 10 years ago which fit in homes built in the 1940's to 1960's. I'm pretty sure that it is not over statement because the sales people at the stores said they are looking for the same thing for other people. They are almost all too wide or too deep. And when my granite was installed I only considered the width of my refrigerator at the time not realizing that they were mostly wider now. It seems from chairs to refrigerators, America is oversized, except for a few of us. :)

I was ready to scream, and then realized how darn silly it was. You know, there are more people in the world who have no clean drinking water than there are who need to own big refrigerators. o I can just get over it. And I did. But it left a delimna of what to do. I already had the stove, so I couldn't go back and not do stainless steel.

The answer to this riddle is of course, moving one thing somewhere else. Isn't that the story of my life lately?

I have to move the island somewhere, and put the refrigerator here. I was able to stay with Maytag which is nice to go with the stove finish. (Maytag counter depth French door mfc2061kes)

And it will be interesting to see if the sales lady idea works. I paid $15.99 to "move the old refrigerator to another floor" but I want it to go "down the street" to my daughter's house. I so hope I get a really, really nice moving guy!

Sweet Daughter doesn't like the idea at all. But Sweet Hubby does. :)
As you can see the counter is close by where we walk in with all those grocery bags and it will be quite easy to put things away. Now do you want to sit and visit with me while sitting by the refrigerator? I don't know but we will see. It is also small enough that if I hate it, I might be able to find a way to knock an inch out of the wall where the old fridge was. But that is not happening now!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Sweet hubby will be finishing putting the wood on the roof of the porch so we can get a new roof on this poor ol' house. And then I need to plan a trip away for a few days. We need a break!

** EDIT:
Thanks for your very sweet comments on the room before the redo in the last post. I don't expect it to look "better" than it did. It's just that it will serve a different purpose now. I made everything for the daybed before, knowing that DD would be taking it one day. Now it will have to go in her garage since her new room mate will be in that room, a shame, but it's not in my garage thankfully. :)

The color is Laura Ashley Gold 4. It does look wonderful with woodwork. It's not a yellow gold, but it is a good color. As I said, some days I loved it. Actually I need a bit more yellow like the living room area. But I still don't know exactly what the walls will look like, but not so new looking anyway. Bye!

Friday, July 4, 2008

~ Re Vamp Before & "After"

Maybe a little vamping is what I'm looking for in this room. I'm not finished with the planning of it although I don't consider it major since so much has been done. The last redo was fun with the touch of green mixed with traditional black and white toile. I loved many things about the room when I finished with it. But I was never sure just how much I loved the color. Some days, a lot, other days not so much. The contrast with the white woodwork is what I like best. I'm thinking of doing some glazing on the walls to see if I can get away with not totally repainting and having to tape it off and paint so much inside the lines. Most of my walls are some shade of gold or yellow in the house, so I was toying with something different in here. I'm not sure if I would get tired of it though. So first I'll try the glazing and get some punch with other things that need to go in here. A big goal is storage! I need organized storage for art supplies. The closet doors have been removed and I hope to figure out something fun and functional for that area.


Actually as much of a mess as the next picture looks like, it took a lot of work to get here! The one million and one magazines are in piles of ones that I need to keep and the one million that I need to look at, tear out & file, and put them on their way out the door.

After (I hope the next After will be Better!)

The daybed went with Sweet Daughter and was beautiful in her new guest room for a very short time, but is now in her garage since she is getting a room mate. Good news for help paying that new mortgage!

The desk and chaise will most likely stay here. I'm searching for a new rug, the back of the bookcases will be painted white I think, a couple of storage things could be brought in. I have been keeping a long French style dresser with lots of drawers on hold for this room. It needs painting....what color? Hmmm....planning yet.

And this isn't even the BIG mess that was in the LR! That has been moving along as well. Just my 2 bergère chairs and the antique Irish pine table in there now, instead of the sofa. The old refrigerator is in the place where the table goes. I spent 2 days researching refrigerators again, but still haven't quite made a decision. But I need to before the sale is over at Home Depot again. I hope I have enough going on to keep me busy.

Puppy came to visit 2 days last week. One day he was hellacious! One day he was perfect. Puppy borrowing works wonders for letting you know what you are in for. But I still love him to pieces.

Today Sweet Hubby is taking the old roof off the porch so he can evaluate what needs to be done before the whole roof is replaced in the next couple of weeks. It will feel good for the house to have a new do on top of her. She needs it.

Happy Independence Day!