Saturday, July 31, 2010

Southern Living Idea House - The Kitchen

Southern Living is a very important magazine here in the South.  If I wanted someone from another part of the country to know a bit about us, I'd give them a subscription to this magazine.  It's THE magazine that you or your mom or sister or best friend always has a subscription to.    They have features on cooking, gardening, decorating, places to see in the South, house plans and more.  Once a year, they feature an Idea House that they built and decorated.  That's always my favorite issue, with the Christmas issue being a close second. 

This year, I nearly fainted to find out that the idea house is in my town.  Senoia.  I am not surprised that it was chosen.  Senoia is a wonderful little town and they are really doing some brilliant development while keeping the quaint old town look that makes the town special.  Senoia is known for movies & TV shows filmed here - 24 in the last 20 years including Fried Green Tomatoes, Driving Miss Daisy, Sweet Home Alabama and Drop Dead Diva.
 These are some photos I took last week.  If it hadn't been so hot, I could have stayed outside and taken some really good ones.  One day, I'll do a better job and post about it - maybe this Fall.

The Abercorn Place Southern Living Idea House is a 4 story brownstone townhouse right in Senoia.  They call it urban living, but urban in Senoia is really a different pace than what you might usually associate with that word.  Just picture urban living in Mayberry and you get the idea.  Tours are available through December 12.  Sometime in October the house will be redecorated for Christmas.  I hope to go back then.

I did the tour a few days ago.  I took lots of photos (which are allowed now that the magazine is out) and I plan to share in the next few posts.

I'm starting with the kitchen.  Enjoy.

This is the view of the kitchen from the dining room.  There are so many things in this view that are wonderful.  I love the table in front of the island.  The seating is wonderful. The light fixture is so perfect for the spot - from any angle.  The colors - greenery and earth tones and the robin's egg blue.  Very nice.

The only thing that guests seemed to have a problem with was the horse's head.  Now, even though I'm clearly on the "wish it weren't there" side, I totally get why the decorator put it there.  The house has equestrian things scattered around the house.  The dark of the horse is good against all that expanse of cream and light.  It provides a bit of whimsy and something unexpected.  But if the house were mine, that horse would go.  Animal heads (even ones that aren't real) make me sad.

 I fell in love with the herb box on the table.  I immediately thought of the salad tables I have been dreaming ofBy the way, I have started some lettuces and spinach for indoor growing.  I came up with some containers and a spot to put them.  I'll post about that soon. I must say, my solution is nowhere near as pretty as this planter.  To me, this planter is hugely important in this room.  Look at the first kitchen photo and try to envision it without the planter and you'll see what I mean.  Greenery adds so much to a room.  I think I need a trip to the garden store.

My heart did a few flips over the color on these chairs, too.  My friend, Martie, and I are smitten with this color family - robin's egg blue, aqua, turquoise, vintage green...  This color is used throughout the Idea House.

These pretty napkins pulled in some more of the robin's egg blue.  Martie found them in a shop in Senoia and bought a set with 4 different birds.  I'm thinking they might be pretty to frame. 

The keeping room is to the right.  The TV is above the fireplace, behind a picture that opens up.

The scullery is to the left.  This room was very intriguing.  It was small, but still very conducive to work.  The refrigerator is there as well as another sink.  There's an incredible amount of storage and enough counter space to make working nice.  When entertaining, a good bit of the mess you make would be just out of view.  I kept picturing myself working in there.  Very interesting.  Or maybe I should dream bigger and picture myself in this house and my wonderful cook, who I love like family, is in there preparing a low calorie, gourmet meal.  

 This rolling pin holder in the scullery was a fun idea.  Sue Ellen said it looked like a gun rack that had been cut down.  There were more available in a shop in Senoia.  One was painted a nice, vintage-y, blue-green - about the color of the handle on the cream colored rolling pin.  I liked it best.

The large window in the scullery lets in lots of light.

The light fixtures throughout the house were beyond fabulous.  Amazing.  Swoon-worthy.  I'm amazed I didn't end up with a sore neck from looking at the ceiling fixtures in every room.

Here are ALL the Posts in this series -
House and Town details plus the Kitchen
The Top Floor - entertainment room and craft room
The Master Suite
The Main Floor - mostly the living room & dining room
Laundry and Children's Bedrooms
Family Room and More

Want more while you wait?  Check these links -
Southern Living 2010 Official Developer Site
2010 Georgia Idea House - Southern Living's site
The Historic Senoia Project
Senoia View of Good Life - AJC article on the Idea House

I have linked this post to the following parties:

Friday Finding Beauty at Dippity Road
Show and Share Day at Just a Girl
Saturday Soiree #11 at A Little Lovely
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Friday, July 30, 2010

Movie Garden - It's Complicated

When something is on my mind, I seem to hear about it everywhere. I have had raised gardens on my mind.  That's no secret to anyone who has been on my blog lately.  I have come across raised gardens on blogs, in magazines, around town, and now, in a movie.

I rented the 2009 movie, It's Complicated (with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin).  The movie was very funny and it's always nice to see a good movie with characters more in my age range.  There were plenty of young characters, too, so you don't have to be a baby boomer to enjoy it.  It's a Nancy Meyer movie, so, of course, the set is wonderful.  Some of her other movies with swoon-worthy sets include Something's Gotta Give and The Holiday.

In It's Complicated, Meryl's character is a baker.  One scene takes place in her garden - a potager. (I like the quaintness of that word.) According to Wikipedia, a potager is a French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden.  After, reading about the potager in this movie and reading about potagers in general, it's clear that what I have been picturing in my dreams is not just a raised garden, but a pretty and functional potager.

The potager in It's Complicated is fabulous.  So naturally, I started Googling to see if there were pictures and information online.  Yes, indeed! Apparently, I am far from alone in being smitten by this garden.  I'll share what I found.   

Please Note:  Most of the photos I found online were taken by Melinda Sue Gordon of Universal Studios.

  A quote from Jon Hutman, the film's production designer - 
We try to make the movies look real, but a very delicious version of real.

 All the plants were grown in hothouses and only the best were used on the set.  The prettiest tomatoes were actually wired onto the vines!

Shouldn't kitchen gardens have plenty of flowers to make them special?

The Potting Shed - It has that look of being used recently,
but without the messy look that most of us end up with.

When shooting was done, the garden was donated to two inner city schools.

Want more?  Here are some fun related posts I came across -

From Cote de Texas - a great post on Nancy Meyer's home and her movie sets.

From Traditional Home - slideshow with 14 photos from the movie set, but none show the garden.  The movie set is wonderful, too.

From L.A. Times - tells where most of the film scenes really took place

From Remodelista - a fun post with pictures from the set and tips on how to recreate the look from the set decorator, Beth Rubino.  

Images of Potagers from Google - very nice!

From Garden Buzz - comparing the movie garden to her actual front yard garden (I'm in the 50% who loves it).  Also see her update here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I have joined the following link parties:
Favorite Things Friday at A Few of My Favorite Things
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Inspired by at The Inspired Room
Grow Cook Eat at GoodLife Eats

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tiny Cottage of Her Own

I can't remember where I first came across this story.  After searching on Google, I know that many others besides me have blogged about it.  All I know is that I haven't been able to stop thinking (fantasizing) about it.

Here's the story as succinctly as I can tell it (I'm not known for being succinct).

The main character is Sandy Foster - an itty-bitty, cute and talented,  but frazzled woman.  She has experienced financial troubles all her life.  She marries a man who is loving and sweet and a wonderful cook.  She clearly married him for love - not money.
 They end up living frugally on a beautiful piece of property in the Catskills where their main abode is a not-so-smartly decorated trailer (man cave decor).  

It just so happens, there was a tiny, run-down hunting cabin on the property. 

It's not easy to get to - it's across a creek.  
worked her magic and it's now the exact opposite of the trailer -
a totally feminine white-on-white getaway.  
It has no electricity or water and likely never will.  No TV.  No phones.  It's a place she can go to when she needs to catch her breath.  A place to relax and feel all girly.

The NY Times did a story about Sandy and her cottage and has a fabulous slide show to go with it.  The story hit a nerve and captured the imagination of so many people.   Now she has people coming by to do photo shoots, TV spots (like Nate Berkus), book deals and more.   She created her dream in the best way she could and the dream became more than she could have imagined. 

I'll bet lots of women would love 
such a serene getaway.  
I suspect it would not be a place to escape, 
but rather a place to be quiet and recharge.

Want more?  So did I, so I started Googling.  One thing I came across was an entire blog devoted to tiny houses - Tiny House Blog.

But, best of all...  Sandy has a blog - My Shabby Streamside Studio - with loads of photos!!!!!!!!!!    Enjoy.

I have linked up to the following parties:
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House
White Wednesday at Faded Charm Cottage
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lusting After Raised Bed Gardens

Our vegetable garden has been wonderfully bountiful, but it sure is getting on my nerves right now!

Most of the plants are full grown and now the paths are too narrow. We are losing the war on weeds and deer.  Plus, even though it's nice to have extra to share, we planted way too much.  I'm tired of eating the same thing over and over - squash and beans and tomatoes.  If the deer would stick with those, I wouldn't mind them a bit.  In fact, I'd feed it to them by hand!

I am more and more convinced that raised beds would solve most of our issues. posted about them a couple of weeks ago.  I also have more good raised bed inspiration photos on my garden page. Still, I keep looking.  I think by now I have seen at least a zillion of pictures of raised bed gardens.   A number of them give me ideas (like the salad tables).  A rare few are extraordinary. Some can be downright unattractive. 

What I'm having the most trouble with is how to make raised beds in a pasture look nice in the dead of winter.  Our garden location is totally visible as we come down our driveway.  It can be seen from our front porch. My parents see it from their back porch and kitchen.   It's important that the garden be attractive.   Do we really want to look at a few empty wooden structures in the middle of our pasture all winter long?

I guess I'll keep looking at pictures hoping to find the one with something extra.  For now, here's some miscellaneous inspiration (with nice, weed-free paths) I came across during today's searching -

 source: House to Home

 source: Country Living

source: -
They have a number of nice examples on their site. 

 source:  The Iowa Gardener

Salad Planter - source Dirt Simple
It's not exactly a raised bed, but isn't it pretty?

A Few Unrelated Things

Take a look at the watermelon in my flowerbed that was only 3 inches long 2 days ago.  Now it's 8 inches long.  Every time I look at it, it has grown! 

Jack, our Mr. Personality, had a little nip and tuck last week.  He's pretty much back to normal now - running and playing and giving sad looks for extra attention or food (he likes both equally).

He likes to be where the action is when he's awake.  He insisted on sitting on the steps and watching what I was up to when I went out to take a picture of the watermelon.  He plunked right down there and sighed. How could anyone resist that Oh-So-Pitiful look?  He's ready to do something. Can't we go play now?

On the other hand, when he sleeps, he's out.  I could run machinery around him and he'd keep sleeping.

Rudy put knobs and hardware on our pantry doors that came from my grandmother.  He also re-hung both so they'd close a little better.  The glass knobs, which also came from my grandmother, were not used with this door.  They are very old but have never been used.    Rudy said he could clean up the hardware, which was used with these doors, but I wanted it all left as is - I love the character of the chippy paint.

That's all for today.  I hope wherever you are, you are cooler than we are in Georgia.  The humidity here is just awful.  The temperature doesn't even matter when it gets like this. Ugh!  It's a good day for inside projects.  June was dry as a bone, but now we're getting a bit soggy.  On the upside - I love sitting on the porch in the evenings during a breezy downpour.  Rain's coming again this evening, so that's probably where I'll be.

I have joined the following parties:
Show and Share Day at Just a Girl
Inspired By... at The Inspired Room
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

jemilyea has left comment on this post. She thought I might enjoy reading this blog:  It's called Mias Landliv, Which means Mia's Country Living.  Mia lives in Norway.  I visited the blog and it is wonderful.  Not only are her gardens amazing, but her home as well.  Please, do yourself a favor and visit this blog.  And Jemilyea, thanks a million for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Watermelon in the Flower Bed

One day a while back when weeding the flower bed, I noticed that one of the "weeds" looked familiar.  It was a watermelon vine.  I have no idea how it got started there.  Maybe from compost?  Who knows.  I immediately decided to let it stay.  It's been fun watching it grow and grow and grow. And now... finally... baby watermelons!

I have been watching for babies, and finding none.  I saw lots of flowers, but no babies.  But now, they are there, including one that is at least 3 inches long.  How did that one sneak in?

I've had to help route the vines a little to avoid flowers and to stay out of the grass, but it seems to be a very happy vine.  And now, it won't be long til I'll be able to have watermelon.

I know just what I'll do with it, too.  In June, I bought a watermelon (I couldn't wait til we had our own) and made watermelon juice.  In this post about watermelon juice, I also mentioned that I made some watermelon ice cubes.  I left them in the freezer for weeks, but finally I used them in my tea. Oh My!  Oh-Me-Oh-My!  They are sooooo good like that.

Now I'm hooked and whenever I get my hands on a watermelon, I plan to use a large portion of it to make more watermelon ice cubes.

I only have a few left and those will likely be gone today.  Rudy is still very proud that the ice cubes were his idea.  Sometimes, he's an absolute genius!

I am linking to the following parties:
Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer

Monday, July 12, 2010

An Old Wagon from Uncle Clyne

Rudy's Uncle Clyne will soon be 90 years old.  He had around 100 acres but sold it.  He now lives on 5 acres of it. He has some farm things that he no longer needs.  One of them is this wonderful old wagon.

The chassis and wheels are Army surplus items - from around WWII era. Clyne got it sometime in the 1950's. The chassis had been an Army ammunition carrier that was pulled by a jeep.

These tires are that old.  Think of it. A good 60 or 70 years old and still holding air.  The tires would be very dangerous to change.  They have snap rings, which haven't been used for years.  And they are pretty big - almost as big as the tractor tires.

Rudy remembers "helping" Clyne build the wagon about 46 or 47 years ago.  Rudy wasn't really a big help - he'd hand Clyne the wood or little things like that.  Still, this wagon has great sentimental value.

The sideboards are made to come off so that if you want to use this as a flatbed wagon, you could.  Rudy said he can shut his eyes and remember Clyne using a hatchet to shave the ends of the support boards so they'd fit into the chassis.  The sideboards are made of pine, but the supports are oak - very hard to nail into.

It was hard to get off the trailer.  It was quite heavy. 

Rudy plans to store it under the lean to on the barn.  He will be using it.  Too bad.  I think it would look pretty under some big trees in the yard loaded with pots of flowers. Rudy said there's no way!!!

I have linked to the following parties:
Home and Family Fridays at Home is Where My Story Begins

Six for $66

I went to Scott Antique Market this past Friday and posted about my favorite booths.  I had not intended on buying a thing.  Truly.  I was sure that this was just a browsing-for-the-fun-of-it kind of trip.  I always seem to find more when I'm not really in the market to buy.  I bought six items for $66 and I could have (maybe even should have) bought more.

My six items were just little purchase.  None were necessities, but they all make my heart sing.

First up - garden items.  I don't know what's gotten into me.  I used to not want any of these fake little animal critters in my yard.  I was a garden purest.  Since I moved, I have changed that tune.  Am I going to end up one of these little old ladies with a million little knick-knacks in the garden?  There's a house about5or 6 miles from here that has a Barbie Beach in the front yard.  I'm not making this up.  Hundreds of Barbies posed in a sand oasis. It has become famous around here.   Once someone came in the night and put them in lewd positions. Anyway, at the rate my tastes are changing, that could be my house a few years down the road.

I bought this sweet little bunny planter.  One of my starter geraniums fit right in.

I already had another bunny that I bought an an estate sale a while back.  They might start multiplying.  I'll soon have a bunny beach.  The rocks came from my grandmother's house.  She had them as long as I can remember and I was always fascinated by them.

The bunnies have company - this little bird.  I bought the bunny and the bird from The Gardener's Gate (more info in previous post). 

Then I spent a total of six dollars on this ivory pitcher and pot.  I bought them from a booth that I didn't post about.  They had hundreds of little things and they seemed to just want to get rid of them.  I'm glad I could be of some assistance.  The pitcher is 8 inches tall - perfect for so many things.  I had so many ways to use it that I had a hard time making up my mind.  The little pot beside it is just stuck here temporarily posing for a photo. They look good together, but I don't want/need two vessels holding wooden kitchen gadgets.

Here are the last two things I bought.  Totally useless, but I had to have them.  They are made from metal, but are fairly sturdy. Again, I had a hard time finding a spot because they looked good in too many places.  They finally came to rest in the master bath.  I have a small 2x2 window up high on the wall.  Now when I walk into the room, instead of my eye going to the light fixtures that I don't like, I am drawn to these little cuties.  I bought them from Magnolia Pearl (more info in previous post).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Scott Antique Market - July

I made another visit to the Scott Antique Market with my friend, Martie.  It's in Atlanta once a month.  I posted more details about it in June. This month, we only made it through one building and I saw lots more things that I fell in love with.  And surprisingly, the prices were really good on the things I loved most.  I usually fall for things way out of my price range.

I took photos along the way, but I am still remembering a few things I wish I had photographed.  The booths I was drawn to all had the most friendly people.  Maybe that's why it took us so long to get through.

Here are the things/booths/people I was drawn to, booth by booth, in no particular order:

Booth 1:
The Spence Collection, Sarah Williams, Enterprise AL, (334) 393-3438,

Ohhhh... I loved these planters.
I immediately had visions of turning them into 

Then I spotted these teal metal pieces.  
The bucket even has a lid which fits down inside.

Booth 2:
Hot Peppers, Birgitta Wade, Walterboro, SC, (843) 599-4593,

Imagine this on a big, long wall.  
It's hard to tell in the photo, but it's nice and chippy.
Birgitta had lots of great ideas for it.

The hanging lights.  Oh my. And the shutters.
 She had the shutters in a chippy off white, too.

Booth 3 - Magnolia Pearl.  Hello!  I didn't get a card from them and I even made a purchase. (cuss, cuss)
But they did say that they are located at Woodstock Antiques & Consignments in Ackworth, GA.

 Here, one of the ladies is putting something back in the cage
because I had bought what was there.  I show my purchases in my next post.

Booth 4: Mended Ways, Stevens, PA, (717) 336-0998, Wendy Christie
I posted about the Mended Ways booth in June.  Last month, the booth colors were neutrals and blues.  So was her outfit.  This month, Wendy had neutrals, with lots of black & golds.  Once again, her wardrobe matched.  She said she didn't mean to do it, but it always seemed to happen.  The photos don't do justice to her booth.  Wendy has a real talent for display.  Plus, she's such fun to talk to.  She didn't think she was going to be back til October, but she changed her mind last week. She's also going to do the Pride of Dixie show in August.  It's a bit further for us, but we might have to check it out.

Martie and Wendy

Wendy made pincushions from old glass candlestick holders and chenille.
They were very well made.  

One of my favorite things were these Pear cans.  
I should have bought some.  
They are reproductions, so hopefully, she'll have them with her at a future show.

I would love to see Wendy's house.  I'll bet it's amazing.

Booth 5: The Gardener's Gate, Susan McDanal, (404) 402-3083 - she's local

Check out her cute card
I purchased 2 items from here.  I could have bought more. She had lots of things I was drawn to.  She said she'd already sold tons of the things she brought with her. I would have loved to have seen it early because what she had left was fabulous.

Check back tomorrow to see what I bought.  I left the house sure as could be that I was only browsing.  I took money just in case, but truly... I wouldn't buy a thing.  Well, I bought 6 things... but I only spent $66.  That's not too bad.  And I love everything I bought.  My only regrets are a few of the things I didn't buy.

I'm linking this post to the following parties:
A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting With Laurie
Garage Salen' Sundays at Debbiedoos


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