Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Purple Princess Wish Granted...

After many, many creative meetings with mommy, 
our customer's very patient curly headed daughter, 




who we will call the princess of purple, 
wondered when she would get to have a design wish 
of her own granted.

 the princess wanted to have a bench in her bedroom.
but it needs to be a PURPLE bench.
 to go with her purple room!

...as you wish!



now, no self respecting princess of purple could have a 
brown and pink needlepoint bench




with nailheads and an "antique" finish in her room!



mommy simply asked that it match the room and the rest of the house, 
so with the client's wishes defined, 
these mice went to work in their workshop.


needlepoint, nailheads and stuffing removed, 
we went to work updating the bench's finish.  
we chose 
ben moore, snow white (what else?!), in eggshell - three coats
with a top coat of clear soft wax.


now, for the purple... 
Waverly's, Lovely Lattice, 
seemed the best fit for both mommy and princess.


tools at the ready...


oh, and, for a touch of super cute - 
rope bracelet "gimp"!!

hasn't every little girl who's ever strolled a boardwalk
had one of these bracelets?!  we sure did!!


tools, materials and base ready,


 all that's left to do is the upholstery. 
with the design centered, 
it's time to staple.


stapling complete, 
ready to trim the excess...




rope "gimp" tacked in place, 


trim glued and complete,


legs reset, 


just waiting for the glue to dry and we're all done!


we hope the princess will be as pleased as we are!





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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pondering Possibilities for a Powder Room

A client's powder room design is nearly complete but for the wall treatment...wallpaper, paint or stencil. That is the question. 
My original choice was a Phillip Jefferies metallic -



still love it but, the minimum amount I could order made it cost prohibitive.
So I thought maybe go in a different direction with a Galbraith and Paul -

I love the lotus and it can be custom colored, so that's good.




But what about a stencil? 
There are so many great looks and of course the colors will be perfect.




As you can see I am willing to be flexible, these 3 looks are not similar. I believe that the rest of the room is so classic that any of these would look beautiful. I really want to do something besides paint, since it is fun to do something in a powder room and not a lot of material is required. 

I'm not really accurate when I say this is the last piece of the puzzle, 
I still need a mirror. I'm dying to use this...


Jonathan Adler mirror. 


I think it will look great with these Circa Lighting sconces




and this Waterfall vanity 


all wrapped up with this New Ravenna chevron 




Stay tuned for the whole kit and kaboodle!


*I reserve the right to change my mind on almost anything!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Longwood Gardens : The Accidental Tourist, part one

In Northeast Philadelphia, born an' raised, at the tennis court is where i spent most of my days.... I wonder if Wil Smith ever went to Longwood Gardens when he was spendin' all those days playing b-ball at that playground outside of the school in West Philadelphia?  Honestly, I knew Longwood Gardens was there, but I didn't think it was going anywhere, so like most Philadelphians, I figured I'd get there... eventually.  Now, this is some kind of admission for a girl who proclaims to love flowers and gardening, but I plead the hometown fifth.  Just look at this place...

Longwood Gardens
Topiary Garden

Longwood Gardens 
Topiary Garden

Longwood Gardens
The Rose Garden
Apricot Candy Hybrid Tea Rose 

Longwood Gardens
The Rose Garden
Rose Climber - City of York


Longwood Gardens
Rose Climber - City of York
(trailing over the stone wall)

Longwood Gardens

 Path Leading to The Flower Garden Walk

Longwood Gardens
Flower Garden Walk
(this is only 1/2 of the walk - i'm gonna need a bigger camera...)


Longwood Gardens
Upclose of Allium
(my husband loved that this is actually an ornamental onion bulb)


Longwood Gardens
Peony Garden
(I know, it looks more like an Iris Garden, but wait..)

Longwood Gardens
Peony Garden
(I know, I know, but look at the color and the gravel path..)

Longwood Gardens
Peony Garden
(there, see, and for perspective -
that is my husband's meaty hand dwarfed by this bloom...)

Longwood Gardens
Wisteria Garden
(We missed the blooms, but have you EVER
seen a more impressive wisteria trunk?)

Longwood Gardens
Wisteria Garden 
(We may have missed the blooms, but
the trunks under the trellis were impressive enough on their own...)

yep, the hometown fifth... this is a legitimate legal defense - it's a common phenomenon when you live in a big city like Philadelphia - birthplace of a nation - ok, the best nation - it relates to things like The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross' House, The Barnes Foundation, Valley Forge, and so on - just to name a few... When you grow up with these historic places in your backyard you tend to treat them as though they actually are commonplace; that you'll get to them - after the laundry,  or the yardwork, and, maybe the most shamefully incriminating, after the most recent rerun of what-ev-er....  it's a "too cool for school" meets "hotshot pride" attitude hometowners subconsciously cultivate while they are waiting for the wide-eyed "tourist" to get their hoke-y asses across the street at the  intersection of fifth and market before the light turns red a-gain....   As a consequence, you can be in close proximity to some of the most impressive historical locales in the world, drive past them on your way to work, and spend your entire life never really never seeing them - just ask the French, just how many of them have actually CLIMBED the Eiffel Tower.  

I realized I was a subject of this phenomenon most profoundly this past  Saturday, when my husband and i decided to go to Longwood Gardens, located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania - which is less than 40 minutes from where we live now; yes, a shameful acknowledgement - LESS than 40 minutes... and to add to this shame, we weren't even completely motivated by a desire to check the place off of some kind of bucket list - we went... for a Memorial Day fireworks fix...  You see, for a girl born and raised in Philadelphia, having been born on the first of July makes from thereon in perpetuity the 4th of July her own personal birthday celebration.  Fireworks are practically my astrological sign... And so we went in search of fireworks. Neither of us had ever seen the fireworks at Longwood. And so, as you would expect, in keeping with everything else about Longwoods - take it from this 4th of July Philadelphia kid - these were some of the best I have ever seen - take a look....




video


All I can tell you is that no matter where you live, Longwood Gardens is a genuine wonder of the modern world, that should be experienced - and often.  Put it on your bucket list.  Put down the clicker (read "cable remote" for those under 30...).  Go.  Now. Even if it's just to their website to plan to go....


I admit it - I am no longer "too cool for school".  I am a double-dipped, wide-eyed, shutter-bugging, bumping into strangers tourist when it comes to Longwood Gardens.  I've seen the light, the error in my ways, dip me in the fountain and call me a convert because the staggering collection of botanical specimens, the extraordinary care with which the gardens are maintained and the top-notch friendly staff - every detail in every manner of experience is so overwhelming, I, in my mere mortal words can't do it justice - I certainly can't fit it all into one post. I will likely never find the words to really do it the justice it deserves.  Maybe just this, take it from their soon to be newest member, it is worth the trip, wherever you're from.... maybe we'll see you there.  We plan to visit at least every season - since we here in the northeast get four of those - and plus the fact that we ARE less than 40 minutes away. Driving home down Route 1 in the cozy darkness, we even talked about becoming volunteers when we no longer have to feed the mortgage beast... it's good to dream....


So, all that being said, next Tuesday's floral post will be about Longwood Gardens - Part Two and will include the italian fountain garden, the tree house, oh, and the conservatory, to think we almost missed the conservatory (I'll explain later....) - i've never been to Versailles, but they can't have anything on Longwood's Gardens or Conservatory - I felt like I was in a movie standing in the courtyard of the conservatory in the dark with all of the waterlily ponds softly lit!! Oh, and the orchid house, ohhhh... Ok, I just can't resist sharing this now -  here's a peak at the orchid house...


Longwood Gardens
Orchid House

Are those colors jaw-dropping, or what?

We're going to need to go back to photograph the meadow, Pierce's woods, the Large Lake, the Idea Gardens, the Allee, and so on and so on....

All I know for sure is, we're gonna need a bigger camera...


(full disclosure; my husband, a native Ohioan, has been to Longwood several times.... go figure.)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

American Spirit

One day last spring, while scouring through a fantastic barn-meets-menagerie of antiquities on the outskirts of bucks county, pennsylvania, this quirky little all american beauty of a shelf peaked out from under a battered old table, whispering, "help me.... save me..."



so we did...

now, normally, this little shelf is the unassuming workhorse in our kitchen.  it is the cozy home to the salt & pepper shakers, sugar, sweet-n-low, etc., but sometimes in addition to it's hardworking efforts, when the season requires, it stands ready to serve as the most charming little opportunity for a delightful display of spirit - christmas, easter, halloween and so on - 

so, at this most patriotic time of year, 
here's to the american spirit...!








































happy memorial day, everyone!!
and
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

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