Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy anniversary to me...

My blog is 5 years old this month. I can’t believe I have been blogging that long. When I started, I was simply in need of a creative outlet. I had no idea it would grow like it has and lead to so many more wonderful opportunities and people. Thank you so much for reading.

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A blog tour: Come see some lovely blogs...

I must confess I am woefully behind on this blog tour.
Penny at The Comforts of Home (one of my all-time favorite blogs) very kindly invited me to participate in a blog tour. She featured my blog and in turn, I am to feature three blogs I love, answer a few questions, share a photo or two and then the people I feature repeat the process. The idea is simply to get a few people who may not have seen some blogs to go and visit ~ a very nice idea.
I was supposed to post this on Monday, as the tour works Monday to Monday. But life, as it does sometimes, got in the way badly. So I am a couple days late.
Since I am late, I will start with the blogs I would love for you to go and visit...

Brenda at It’s a Beautiful Life has what I think of as a very comforting, peaceful blog. It’s the sort of place you want to visit when you need a bit of soothing or a little pick me up. I just always enjoy my visits.

Catherine Nolin is one of my favorite artists. Her art is so vivid and colorful and full of life. She shares her work on her blog, Catherine Nolin Art Studio, and believe me, it’s worth a look.

Patti at Magnolia Cottage has been blogging for quite awhile, though she just recently took up residence at her Magnolia Cottage blog. She loves old things (like me) and her new blog is all about preserving memories. She shares some interesting stories I think you might enjoy.

Ladies, I hope you get a chance to keep this little tour going. And now the Q&A.

1. What am I working on?
I am working on finally finishing my sun porch. I know I keep saying it’s finished, and then I find something else to do with it. Here’s a sneak peek at my latest porch project ~ refinishing an old mantle.

This is going to go in that bare corner of the porch. Wait until you see the finished look ~ it’s fab.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
Since I chose to focus on my latest decorating project, I would say my decorating is a bit different than many because of my love and use of color. (In fact, the coffee table on the porch in that top photo just got that coat of lavender the other day. It used to be a lovely warm beige/gray.) There isn’t a single room in my house painted the same color, but it all works together beautifully. And I’m not afraid to decorate with pink. In the living room.

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 
Decorating, writing and photographing this blog, designing fabric and wallpaper and gift wrap ~ I do it all because I love it. Decorating and designing is my passion, my relaxation. Some people love numbers. I love making things pretty, which is also why I write about it here.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
My creative process pretty much works the same, oddly enough, whether it’s writing or taking pictures in the garden or designing a new pattern or room. First, I just simply need to be in the mood to create, which luckily for me, I am frequently. And then the course my creativity takes tends to depend on what I’m feeling inspired about at the moment. Whether I am decorating or designing or writing, I do tend to have music playing. Sinatra, usually. Or The Great American Songbook. I love new music, too, but I tend to want classics when I’m working on a project. They seem to activate a different part of my brain.

I hope you’ll stop and visit the lovely blogs I shared. And do come back and see how the porch turned out. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

A mini-makeover...

For the last several months, I have been thinking about switching out the drawer pulls on my vintage vanity. Recently I found pulls at Hobby Lobby that I thought would be perfect, so I finally went ahead and switched them out. Above is a close up of the new pulls I picked out. I love the bit of silver and antique brass in these floral drawer pulls ~ they look like they belong on a vintage piece. 
Here’s a before shot of my vanity with the original pulls:

There was nothing particularly wrong with the drawer pulls (though one had been giving me problems for the last couple of months because it wouldn’t stay on), but I think the new ones are much prettier and more feminine. The after:

A simple little switch, but I think it makes a big difference. I feel like my vanity got a makeover ~ a very quick, inexpensive makeover. What do you think?

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Friday, June 13, 2014

Inspired by Mother Nature...

I keep finding myself drawn to brighter colors in my design work. Pastels used to be all I wanted to see, but the last couple of years in particular I have noticed I really love brighter colors. (Although, as you may notice, my brighter colors still seem to have a bit of a pastel base, just in a brighter tint.) As I set out to create a few lovely solid color fabrics for The Pink Home, I just mixed until I had colors that I absolutely loved.
It wasn’t until I had already tested the colors and printed swatches that I discovered my creations were clearly inspired by Mother Nature herself, though it wasn’t a conscious decision. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised ~ her work is full of gorgeous colors that are beyond anything we could dream up alone.
I realized my new Bright Peach fabric and gift wrap bore an uncanny resemblance to those lovely peach carnations on my coffee table. And my Bright Pink seemed nearly a perfect match for these lovely pink flowers.

Then there is my Sea Green color creation, which was inspired by a number of things, including my recent trip to Hawaii, and the colors I painted the cabinets in my mudroom and the fireplace mantle on the porch. Plus, that bluish-green shade just seems to be one of my favorite colors of late.
I also think these three new colors look lovely together ~ a nice bright bunch. What do you think?

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Photos and designs by The Pink Home

Monday, June 9, 2014

A little beauty for the Magic Shed...

The Magic Shed is in need of a little TLC ~ it needs to be painted and have a bit of landscaping done.  Of course, I would never want it to be too fancy because then it just wouldn’t be the Magic Shed. But we also don’t want it to fall into disrepair, so it looks like we’ll be adding a little painting and landscaping for it to our list of projects.
In the meantime, I needed to find a place for this little outdoor bistro set I’ve had for years, and right underneath one of the Magic Shed windows seemed like a good spot. (I would really love to put a bicycle planter there one day, as I shared here.) The area could do with a bit of beauty and brightening up, so I also put a red ivy geranium plant there on the table. It cheers that area of the backyard considerably. Pretty in a shabby sort of way, don’t you think?

P.S. If you’re wondering how I came to have a magical shed, you can read about that here.

I am linking to:
A Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lazy Sunday...

It’s one of those rare Sundays where, luckily, I don’t have much that has to get done. I’m going to plan a few meals for the week, do a load of laundry and then I’m going to spend some time thumbing through this lovely magazine I picked up the other day. I may even have time to spend a couple of hours pouring through decorating books. What are your plans for today?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Welcome, June...

Happy June, everyone. With summer rapidly approaching, I thought I would share my new summer sideboard display ~ I love to switch out various displays in my home according to the seasons. I found this tray a few weeks ago and thought it would go splendidly on my sideboard. It’s such a vibrant display of summer, don’t you think? I just love the colors, the flowers, and the metallic framing goes wonderfully in my dining room.
Wishing all of you a lovely Sunday…

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully