...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just what is your design style?

We need to have a bit of fun in our lives. Always.  

So today, I've got a decorating quiz for you. Have you ever wondered what your style is? This isn't scientific research, proven or even serious. It's simply fun. 

Only one rule: Read the instructions on the side bar to find out how to assess each room. The first time I took the quiz I had totally different results because I missed this step! Ooops! I know hard to believe. Don't be surprised if you don't get a result, just take it again.

 I wish my house looked like that, we are working our way towards this. Of course not exactly, but similar. Less tribal, more sedate but southwestern nonetheless. I love the pale walls and soft furnishings in similar color. Dark floors. I do like drapes that frame windows, high ceilings with beams (how much does it cost to raise a ceiling??). I don't like empty tabletops. I love rugs. I love old things. So is it really southwestern?

How do i explain the more European bedroom? Don't have to. I love getting older, I don't have to explain as much.

As I share my results with you, won't you share yours with me? Click this link and take your quiz and come back and leave a comment. I'm curious what styles are out there.

Southwestern Style

Though the new frontier may no longer be so new, the styles design that evolved in those regions are making a comeback. The Southwestern home has Spanish and Mexican as well as Native American influences. Earthy textures and tones and vibrant colors create warm and inviting spaces. When you hear Southwest you most likely think of desert landscapes and hot, dry environments. The rugged nature of the exterior translates literally and the pieces in the home have a similar sturdy and rustic feel. Neutral backgrounds mimicking sand and earth are livened up with handmade pottery in bright colors and woven rugs and baskets.

"There are distinct characteristics in the southwestern style that can easily be explained by imagining a desert scene. Picture all colors of the desert, the green of cactus, the red mountains of the Grand Canyon, and the Native American heritage that comes from the Arizona, New Mexico regions of the United States.

There are two types of southwestern style. The all natural organic version, with over scaled furniture made from log pole, and the use of rugged materials such as iron, stones and wood. Then the city version of southwestern with plastic cactus decorations and wall hangings, coyote figurines and the use of peach and teal coloring.


Textures and natural materials are essential in Southwest Style. Pine is a very popular wood, though there are many different rustic woods that work very well. Other natural materials such as leather, suede and animal hides as well as cotton, hemp, linen and wool are very popular and help reinforce the rustic aspect of the style. Pewter and wrought iron work well and natural stone and terra cotta tiles are very common. The main pieces in the room are subtle in color and texture and much of the color and interest is brought in through the rugs and accessories. Nail head trims are common, as is leather fringe. Cowboy themes are very popular and oftentimes you will see scenes depicted on throws and pillows and accessories.


For color — think of the primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Earth tones such as brown, reds, and yellows are very common. Rooms have neutral backdrops with pops of vibrant colors in the rugs and accessories. Turquoise is also very popular because of its roots in Native American jewelry and many times you will see green brought in with actual potted plants and cactus.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red, white and black all over - it's time to set the table!

Welcome to my home. I'm glad you came. The Mrs. set the table just for you. She said I was her inspiration. If you'll notice, I'm red, white and black all over! So sit a spell and make yourself at home. Oh, and the Mrs wants you to know that I came to her through a special friend in Florida named Brandy who sent me to live with her. She's so grateful for Brandy's friendship that she treats me extra special!

The Mrs. chose to polish some silver because she knew you'd be showing up. Isn't it cool the way the table reflects in the Mrs.' mom in law's silver pitcher. It's perfect for serving an iced beverage.

The Mrs. just loves these fancy carnations. I will say they make the table smell extra special. The Mrs picked these vases up at the Mr.'s last class reunion. Four bottles tied together with waxed thread and adorned with a silver feathered friend. Who could resist this?

They just really look pretty up close. Ooh I wish you could smell how wonderful they are!

 The Mrs. brought out the silver mini-me napkin rings to hold the gathered red napkins together. She's had both so long she doesn't remember from where they came. I'd say she got the napkin rings at Stein Mart several years ago, but she didn't ask me.

One thing the Mrs. didn't have to polish was her everyday Gorham stainless. It's got just the perfect shine to fit right in.

 Here's a close-up of the silver pitcher. Don't you love the band around the top?

 The Mrs. did just pick these red goblets at Stein Mart pretty recently. She didn't want to add one more set of glasses to the mix, but I convinced her that they would be perfect for today, for Valentine's, Christmas and so many more occasions. Help me think of more!

  See how it all came together? Black and white plaid placemats, red napkins, and those wonderful fowl plates. They have no mark, but I remember clearly when she placed a call to this great store here in Lubbock named Hulla B'lu back when it was still downtown. And then she sent her son to pick them up!! And he went. And they all came home in one piece. A setting for 8 and her son and her car. Sadly, there is no maker's mark on the bottom of the dishes.

 She even dressed me up a bit today. Added a kerchief from a cocktail napkin tied loosely around my neck. Do you think it makes me look distinguished? The Mrs. said it's because I'm so white, I need a bit of color.

Since the Mrs. cataloged the napkins she can find them so easily! Now they are all in one place. She says the placemats are next. Oy vey!

  She brought out her silver gravy boat. I think she plans on putting salad dressing in there. I think she'd better put an underplate underneath! What do you think?

 The Mrs. just loves these Riedel wine glasses. She says they remind her of the bistros in Paris. I think they are just easier to handle than a spindly ol' wine glass.

  Well, if it were the Mrs.'  back side in this photo, I don't think you'd be seeing it! Oh well, it's just me, so what does she care.  Here's a tip from me. She was flustered that this set of dishes didn't have bread plates. So I told her to just take the saucers for the cups and use those. The indentation is so minor that you have to look twice to notice!

The Mrs. was pretty lucky to get this Paula Deen bread board at Big Lots a few weeks ago. She uses a wood preservative on it to keep it looking it's best. And yes, it's food safe!

 See, with a few slices of bread, a spreader and some butter, who can tell?

 The candles are lit, and the evening is near. The guests are about to arrive, so it's about time for me to shut up and let the party begin.

 Did you notice the Mrs. has me sitting on a red tray? Does she think I'll make a mess? I think it's just so there is a bit more red on the table.

 I remember the day well when she found these hurricanes at an estate sale. These are etched glass and not nary a flaw! They just make regular candle holders so special.

It's beginning to look quite festive now.. I'd better be quiet now lest the guests come in to a narrating chicken.

One last view of the place setting.

Here's a close up of the plate. Aren't my relatives just divine??

Well, I'm right glad you stopped in. I'll tell the Mrs. you came by. She loves to read your comments. And I know she's going to be linking with the lovely Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for the Thursday tablescape celebration.Be sure to click the image below and go see all the beautiful tables to inspire you.

Monday, July 26, 2010


It's truly summertime. Nothing beats a meal of fresh squash (thanks Bunny), fresh tomatoes, green onions, garlic and wonderfully fresh basil (thanks Katrina). Over a bed of noodles and a few avocados on the side. I'm not saying if the picky eater would ever eat this, but you know there are taquitos in the freezer!

The flowers are in full bloom.

There is an abundance of patio cleaning and yard work.

We eat outside every chance we get.

And along with Regan, we take a lot of siestas. Although as responsible adults we don't damage the plants!

So on that note; two renditions of one of my favorite songs: Summertime. The first by Billie Holiday and the second by Janis Joplin.


Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Friday!!!!

Why is it Friday already? Why did I think I had a blog post ready to go? Where is my brain?

This week at work we were talking about old things we miss. Cage Elevators! I love them. The workmanship, the squeaks and grinds, the elevator attendant. Who remembers all this?

Being a youngster in Europe in the 50's, there were still plenty of them around. I can remember the ones at different spots in Paris. Ah to be able to see those again.

I thought I had posted some before shots of things that were going to be "overhauled" this weekend. But, no apparently I did not.

To do:
Go to the Bank
Pick up chair cushions at Tuesday Morning
Go to an evening wedding of my favorite 20-something young lady!
Figure out what happened to the blog posting this week
Lose 40 lbs

How much do you think I'll get done today?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Steak au Poivre sous les arbres

Welcome to dinner! Glad you could drop by this evening.

I can't believe I set the table outside while it's been so hot! But I did and I'm guilt-free. The tree canopy shelters the back patio, letting dappled sunlight enter thus leaving the space livable and about 10 degrees cooler than the "official" temperature. We are truly blessed.

I started with this wonderful striped table cloth purchased at Pier One about 2 weeks ago. I love the texture of the raised stitches. The colors are wonderful for a somewhat more rustic meal.

I used a real English ivy to add a bit of life to the table. Isn't the dappled sunlight great?

I was even able to add my new William Bounds Pep Art pepper mill to the table.
I've wanted this pepper mill for a long time. And thanks to Tuesday Morning, it now lives at our home.

I tend to leave smaller plants in their generic planters so that I can use them as I want by changing the outer decorative planter so it fits into the desired location.

Add a bit of moss or other filler to the top of the pot to fill the area between generic pot and decorative planter.

The brassware belonged to my mother in law. I believe her sister sent it to her from overseas when her husband was stationed in the orient.

It has these beautiful figural motifs on each piece. Labeled Siam, they are from the country now known as Thailand. From what we could tell, these pieces were probably made between 1945-1949.

Oh how I love napkins. Two Saturday's ago, I actually 'cataloged' our napkins. Husband was a bit dumbfounded to walk out of the shower and see the king sized bed full of neat little piles of nothing but napkins! I collect them here and there. The side benefit to all this organization is that they are now put up quite neatly in cabinets, only fingertips away from a table!

These napkins started out as hemstitched pieces of cotton. I decided that they needed a bit more texture. I chose to whip stitch the hemstitched area with some twisted floss.

The hurricane candle holder has a story to tell. We lost the original insert that belongs between the base and the lid at some point in our last move. The move gremlins must have snatched it up and made it their own! So in need of something that would work, I grabbed a vase and it fits perfectly.

Back out came the favorite hand-blown French glasses.

Do you love kosher or sea salt? Finding it hard to put it in a salt shaker with an opening large enough? Rescue a little jar destined for the trash.

My mother in law was going to throw this out. But that was not meant to be. I took this beauty and knew it would be perfect to house salt. The wooden spoon came with it!

At some point, I believe it held mustard. French of course!

The wooden plates are also part of the wonderful things I have from my mother in law. Triangular in shape, they hold a metal plate in the lower portion and have an indention at the top for a salad.

The metal plate is placed in the oven before dinner to warm up. Perfect for steaks or anytime you want to make a special special presentation and have the food do an extra sizzle when placed on the hot plates!

Not quite sure what the story is on why there are two different metal plates and they are not interchangeable. Each teak underplate is made for a specific metal plate. I do use a wood preservative meant for cutting boards (so food safe) to maintain the beauty of the wooden plates.

Love the look of the Mexican star in the background. Too bad it gets dark so late that unless we want to eat at 10pm in the summer, it's hard to get the total affect of the candles and lights.

Mmmm, dinner is served.. baked potato with butter, chives and sour cream. Steak au poivre medium rare. Baby portabella mushrooms deglazed with red wine.

And a green salad with French vinaigrette. There has to be something healthy on the plate?

Thanks for dropping by, I hope you had a nice visit. Do come again, I love company.

Luckily dinner was served soon as Regan was very interested in the table cloth!

Thanks for dropping by, I love your comments. I am linking this to Susan's Tablescape Thursday. Be sure to click the link below to see some more fabulous tables and dining decor.


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