Thursday, November 22, 2012

A happy Thanksgiving...

Hello, everyone. I hope all of you enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving day. We had a wonderful dinner with friends, with everyone bringing a couple of dishes. I made the mashed potatoes and cornbread sausage dressing with cranberries and apples (yum) and my mom's apple cake, which is my favorite. My friend who was hosting also asked if I would create a low centerpiece for the table, so I took inspiration from here and decided to combine a couple of the ideas to create this pretty little basket of autumn bounty. A friend who is hosting another Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow took it home to use for that, so I'll consider it a success.
We're off on a quick trip to see family this weekend and pick up a piece of furniture from my parents ~ they're giving me their antique secretary. I can't wait to show it to you.
Wishing all of you a nice weekend, sans crazy shoppers...

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Goodbye, sweet friend...

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my sweet Russ. I rescued him from the pound when he was 9 months old; he lived to be nearly 15 1/2. In all those years, I'm sure I learned more from him than he did from me. Russ was smart, loyal, mellow, funny and my self-appointed protector from pretty much the moment we met. Many people over the years have commented that he was an old soul and I believe that to be true. He was a special and unique dog and I am honored that he chose me to be his person. I hope heaven appreciates him as much as we did.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Creating with fabric...

Fabric is one of my favorite things in the world. I just love it, ridiculously so. So much so, in fact, I started creating my own fabric patterns under The Pink Home name. In my ongoing home redo, I decided to use several of my own fabric designs in my decorating. I've shown you the living room and dining room drapes made from my fabric patterns, but unless you read my Pink Home blog, you haven't seen my other creations.
The pink pillows for the living room sofa were created from my Pink Forest fabric ~ aren't they adorable? And I redid this little footstool using my Pretty Polka Dots in Hot Pink fabric. I painted it and then recovered the top. It's so cheery and cute now. Below are my kitchen curtains, which I made from my Floral Weaving in Strawberry fabric. I love a bit of red in the kitchen and I think this fabric works really well.
What do you think?

I am linking to:
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Share Your Creations at Kristen's Creations
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, November 12, 2012

On our bookshelf: autumn inspiration...

As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of books in general and cookbooks in particular. Curling up with a good book is one of my favorite things to do, and I read cookbooks the way some folks read novels. Books and magazines inspire me to try new things, much like many of your blogs do.
This fall, I've been really thrilled with some of the latest offerings in bookstores. Ina Garten's new cookbook, Foolproof, is fabulous as always ~ her chicken stock recipe, a mainstay in her books, really has to be one of the most useful recipes ever. And Pippa Middleton (yes, the Duchess of Cambridge's sister) has written a book about entertaining called Celebrate. I was intrigued because the book is arranged by seasons, which I love. It's really a beautiful book, full of menus, party ideas and tips and lovely photographs.
And then there are the magazines. Some of those special edition magazines they put out now are incredibly good. I'm in love with Fall Baking from Better Homes and Gardens ~ it's full of wonderful goodies. And I've just devoured the Thanksgiving issue from Food Network Magazine ~ they really do have some wonderful recipes and ideas in there. And, of course, there's always Martha, whom I particularly find helpful around the holidays.
Do you have a favorite cookbook or magazine you turn to in the autumn? I just love books and magazines that immerse me in the season.
Wishing all of you a lovely week...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The beauty of autumn centerpieces...

Autumn is so lovely naturally that using its bounty to decorate is a practically foolproof way to add a little beauty to your home at this time of year. With Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, I've been dreaming of a beautiful autumn table set with fall dishes and linens and, of course, a gorgeous centerpiece. I turned to my Pinterest boards for inspiration and thought I'd share some of my favorite finds with you.
What could be easier than a tray full of apples and pears and a few fall berries and flowers, like the one above by Better Homes & Gardens? The basket centerpiece below, also by BHG, caught my eye because I have some Longaberger baskets that would be perfect for this. It would look lovely on my sideboard ~ I love the pinecones and the cloves in the oranges. With the greenery, it would work really well for Christmas, too. And the flower-filled pumpkin from Martha is simple and beautiful ~ an elegant addition to any fall table.
Now I just have to decide which one to try. Which would be your pick?

Wishing all of you a little autumn beauty...

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. Stop by for more seasonal (or pink) loveliness.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Center of attention...

I'm hoping you're not sick of redecorating posts yet, since the house re-do continues. I'm thinking it will be completely finished by the end of the year (fingers crossed). October just flew by between driving across country and getting my fiancĂ©'s things unpacked and him settled. We also redid the master bedroom ~ all we need is our new headboard and it will be finished ~ and I framed the art for the TV room. We're mostly waiting for the furniture to come in for that room; it's been delayed. Once the furniture arrives, the room will finish up quickly and I'll show you pictures then.
One room that is finally finished is the central hall. The hallway is in the center of the house and from it you can get to nearly every room ~ there are six doorways in it. Because of all the doorways, it doesn't lend itself to much in the way of furniture, so I let it double as a library. Most of our books are in this room (after much clearing out, I must admit), along with some of my brightly-colored Lowcountry art, which just pops on those deep purple/plum walls.
I wanted this room to feel like a room, not just a pass-through, and with its odd spaces, it took a while to find just the right things. I'm thrilled with the fab purple velvet chair below (the back, which you can see some of as you enter from the living room, is just gorgeous) because it provides the seating element I wanted while actually fitting in the space. The second large bookcase on the other wall was custom-built to match the first one (it needed to be tall and not very deep), and the old $30 dresser I found at the Salvation Army years ago finishes off the room while providing much-needed storage. Believe it or not, I didn't do anything to the dresser ~ it looked like that when I found it. It really was one of those fab finds.
I originally had a rectangular dark plum rug with gold accents in this room, but with the dark walls and the black bookcases and dresser, it just seemed too dark and heavy, especially since there's no direct light in the room. A friend of mine suggested I go with a round rug since I was changing it anyway and I loved the idea ~ I couldn't believe it hadn't occurred to me before. I found this creamy gray floral rug and fell in love with it, so I brought it home. It really does lighten the space, and the round shape seems to pull all the rooms together.

Here's the before of this corner (click here to see more before and in-progress photos of the hallway):

A close-up of the round floral rug I decided to go with instead of the dark-colored rectangular rug I initially bought for this room:

The fab old dresser I found at the Salvation Army: 

If you click on the photo at the top of this post, you'll get a bigger view of the room. I took this panoramic shot with my iPhone ~ I just learned it had that capability. I think it gives you a really good feel for the room as a whole, rather than just shots of individual areas. You can see five of the doorways in the photograph; I was standing in the corner shown above when I took the photo. Oh, the wonders of technology...

I hope all of you are enjoying a lovely autumn. Sending good wishes to everyone for a wonderful week...

I am linking to:
Mod Mix Monday at Mod Vintage Life
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday thoughts...

“There are two ways of spreading light: 
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
~ Edith Wharton

Something to ruminate on today. I think we all have been in both camps at one time or another, don't you? Either is a good place to be. Wishing all of you a peaceful November day...

Photo by The Art of Living Beautifully