Saturday, April 5, 2014

Blue's the hue ...

There's something mesmerizing about the crystal clear, blue skies over Texas. Visitors comment about it all the time. So, I think I may just bring some enviable blue hues to my tabletop as well. Effortless style is what I'm after, and I found some welcoming blues for inspiration.

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Images above via House Beautiful (left) and Laure Joliet (right).

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Images above via Lonny Magazine (left) and Magnolia Rouge (right).

I've been collecting blue fabric remnants for some time, with an assortment of Toile de Jouy and ticking stripes among the favorites for projects I have in mind. No time like the present to get started.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Grained goddess ...

That little love affair I have with wood has me drooling over some incredibly handsome wood chargers.

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You might look at this modest dining accessory and think nothing of its presence at the table.  But, I see its glorious potential.

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I have been staring adoringly at the wood charger at the base of this placesetting for months. (Okay, I've taken a few breaks, but I do keep coming back for one peek after another.) Adorned with wrought iron handles and layered with glitsy metals and china, these babes have star quality at any table. (Oh, how I wish they were at my dining table!)

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So, here's what I'm thinking. Next time we receive some of our soap-making materials on a wood pallet, my darling husband will be called into service. (He really doesn't seem to mind.)

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One pallet, wood stain, wood glue, several vices, and a saw. Cut, glue, hold, and finally trim into a circle (for my round chargers). Oops. Better add sandpaper to that supply list, too.

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Oh yeah! Definitely want these.

Normandy dresses ...

With the change of seasons comes a change of wardrobe, and I'd like nothing better than a closet full of Normandy dresses for spring and summer.


Images above and below via Pip-Squeak Chapeau.

You've probably heard these called pillowcase dresses or drawstring dresses, and they're the ultimate in comfort. But, I love the Normandy reference ... effortless French seaside charm in a garment to be worn solo or layered with a humble t-shirt underneath.

You don't have to travel to Monet's Giverny to pick up one of these Normandy beauties. Sveta Dresher makes a collection of clothes under her Pip-Squeak Chapeau label in Brooklyn, New York, including fabulous Normandy dresses from 100% natural yarns and fabrics (shown above.)  Check out the goods from her studio at

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If you're like me, it's time to rummage through those remnant fabrics (even nicely embroidered pillowcases) to create a cool, comfy Normandy dress of your own making. Super easy, too. Although a pattern is hardly necessary, here's a sweet little tutorial to get you through the process.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring's the thing ...

Dining al fresco is the first thing I think of when the Spring season arrives. I love, love, really love inviting family and friends over to dine outdoors under our wisteria-covered pergola.

Image of Alamodeus' pergola set for a soiree.

I love sharing a warm, welcoming evening under the stars. Simple setting, hearty food and great conversation is what it's all about. And, it's been far too long since we last hosted a soiree.

Image of Jacqui Getty's LA garden.

During the winter, I came across some charming al fresco images that have given me color and tablesetting inspiration for our next gathering.

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We may not live in Provence, but all of the same casual elements are in place for a memorable dining experience that transcends locale and focuses on a natural setting that embraces comfort, good food and fine wine.


Images above via I'm All Amazed (left) and Splenderosa (right).

I make every effort to introduce our homegrown herbs and vegetables in the dishes we serve, and our guests really seem to enjoy the fresh, local and seasonal delights at the table. We let our guests know the menu on the invitation, and each brings a bottle of wine to share, so we are all tasting something new that pairs well with the food at the table.

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We keep our guest list to no more than 12 in order to comfortably seat everyone at our extended table. But, smaller more intimate dinner parties are just as fun.

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While I'm heady with the arrival of warmer days, my dear husband is channeling the season's opening his way ... power washing the patios, walkways and stone floors. Welcome to Spring!

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