Sunday, September 26, 2010

Courtney and Jamie get hitched!

This Saturday, I had the pleasure and distinct honor of attending the Woods-Teska wedding. Courtney Woods and I worked together at Country Living and she was one of the brightest and most dedicated assistants that I ever had the pleasure to work with (a sentiment that was shared by another former boss attending the wedding—Donna Warner, long-time editor-in-chief of Metropolitan Home who hired Courtney about six months before Hachette pulled the plug on that title).

Having worked with Courtney, I had no doubt that everything would be beautifully orchestrated and run like clockwork. The ceremony was held at the same Collinsville, CT Roman Catholic Church that her great grandmother was wed and, the cocktail reception on the picturesque grounds of the nearby Avon Old Farms Hotel. As you can see, the bride was beautiful, the groom handsome, the country setting perfect, and the weather. . . now how did Courtney manage to pull off such a glorious Autumn day? Cheers to the happy couple!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Faded Glory (but not the pretty kind)

At Country Living magazine we learned to appreciate the beauty of distressd finishes, like weathered shutters, hand-worn knobs on dressers, and the look of aged shutters, doors and lawn furniture. But, the peeling paint on my front porch—now visible from the road—was anything but attractive. (For the record, my house was painted a couple years ago by a professional, and while the clapboard siding has retained its paint finish beautifully, the old shake shingles on the front and sides of the porch have not.) So, this weekend, I grabbed the rotary sander, goggles and dust mask, and began the process of removing the peeling paint.

Sanding is not fun. It's messy and tedious, and a lot of work. In the beginning, I tackled the project with full conviction; even contemplating taking the shingles down to the original cedar. It didn't take me long, however, to realize that the work was already more than I bargained for. (By removing all the paint I was also flattening the subtle ridges that give classic shakes their appeal.) I needed to make a decision—to sand down to the cedar or sand just enough to prime and repaint? If you've ever tackled the job of sanding a house, you'll know the option I chose.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Magnificent Obsession

If you follow this blog you already know how much I love to find old discarded furniture that I can restore, refurbish and re-imagine. (My Daybed project on Aol.'s DIYLife is one example). But, this week I discovered a kindred spirit in the Handmade Market at The Creative Connection Event in Minneapolis, MN, when I met Sandy Stone of Sandy Stone Design Studio.

Based in Southwest Minneapolis, Sandy showed some of her imaginative and oh-so-stylish chair make-overs. What makes her work so inspiring is the broad range of salvaged materials that she incorporates in her upholstery treatments. Fur coats, oriental carpets, bark cloth, men's neckties, and even old canvas U.S. Mail sacks, are put into service with unexpected and delightful effect.

I have included a couple of photos, but you can learn more about Sandy's creations in her just released book, "Fabric Remix: Repurpose & Redecorate".

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Bloom—At Long Last!

Remember last year when I posted my "Hydrangea envy" post about watching my neighbor's hydrangea bushes bountiful with blooms and my three-year-old, seemingly healthy plants, revealing no signs of blossoming. Well, I am here to tell you that it's true—all things come to those who wait. Of the four hydrangea bushes that I planted, I was able to produce one bloom late this summer. And, what a beauty it is!