Friday, October 29, 2010


When the winds are howling and darkness falls remember this.....the Celtics called this day Samhain which is old Irish and means "summers end".

It marks the end of the "lighter half" of the year and starts the "darker half" of the year.

The Celts believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits, both harmless and harmful, to pass through.

It is believed that the wearing of costumes and masks could ward off the harmful spirits.

So don your best costume to keep the spooks at bay!

All tomb pictures are mine taken in New Orleans, the bunny is courtesy of Anne Geddes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The New Gray?

Suddenly I’ve got this thing for black furniture and it’s all Darryl Carter’s fault, once I saw this picture I was intrigued. I love how the black pops against all the white really making the furniture a statement and brings out the clean lines. Less seems to be more!

Then I saw this beautiful black bench on 1st Dibs and kept thinking how stunning it would look in an entryway. Before I knew it everything kept coming up black, so I’m now wondering is black the new gray?

It wasn’t just furniture I was seeing in black but doors as in Joni Webb’s home from Cote de Texas. Kitchens and whole rooms were taking on a whole new meaning of sophistication and seductiveness.

I love how all the white ironstone pops in this beautiful cupboard, it looks so elegant.

Black and white can look very classic, timeless, the walls almost seem to float.  

A splash of bright bold color can keep a room from feeling to stark and adds a touch of playfulness.

So my questions are to you, is black becoming the new gray? Could you make a bold statement such as this and paint a room black? I don’t think I could paint a whole room black but I’m certainly going to try it out on an interior door this weekend thanks to Joni at Cote de Texas. Baby steps for me, how about you?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shadow Painting......

I was wandering about in the woods and found some bittersweet. It's an invasive vine that will strangle trees but the berries and their covers are still pretty and you only find them in the fall. I arranged a few branches in our kitchen for a little autumn color.

My husband walked in and saw the shadows the berries and branches were casting on the wall from the overhead light. While the pictures didn’t capture it very well the shadows are dark gray in color. He thought it might be fun to paint the shadows onto the wall.

What do you think, should I paint the shadows in the gray they’re casting or not?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chore time!

In New England fall goes hand in hand with major amounts of yard work preparing for the coming winter. It means stacking several cords of wood for the wood stove and fireplace.

They say the average 80 foot tall maple tree can have as many as 1.5 million leaves and when you have several maple trees that's a lot of leaves!

It also means those beautiful autumn colored leaves will soon be hurling themselves to our lawn.

But that's OK because we're ready for them with our lawn vacuum!

See what a great job it does! Since we have a few acres of lawn this lawn vacuum does in one day what would take us weeks to it!

After a long hard workweek I’d much rather be sitting in front of a fireplace but since there’s work to be done I’m off to stack wood. I hope you all are having a more relaxing weekend! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Antique Love......New Find!

Living in New England we’re blessed with many things, one being antique shops. One serendipitous find and my favorite is a place called Red Chair Antiques owned and operated by Jocie Sinauer since 1997.

Frequent trips abroad to Europe as well along the Eastern seaboard she’s able to stock her shop with French, Swedish and American furniture as well as some amazing smalls.

You'll find stacks of linen sheets, hemp runners and grain sacks......

Stacks of pillows made from grain sacks and linens brought back from France.....

and artful displays and vignettes. Pictured above is a French mirror paired with a Hungarian bread cabinet and small zinc it!

Jocie and her husband Dave Chicane, who’s an amazing chef and restaurant owner, have had their home photographed for numerous publications. Pictured above and below are two shots from their home, look how calm and soothing the rooms are, Dave has a great eye too!

Look above the window there on the left, don't you love how Jocie hung an antique curtain rod without a curtain! Would you believe those amazing swing arm lights aren't antiques but from pottery barn and those from their local recycling center.

Since it was a long holiday weekend I decided to get out and do a little browsing. A few things caught my eye like this burlap covered chair.

This amazing French hutch that Jocie had flown over from France really wanted to come home with me but the husband was there and I like living but isn't it GORGEOUS?

So in the interest of a happy marriage and the fact I had been looking for a reasonably price French bistro table in black this one came home with me. I'm not quite sure where it's going yet but at least the husband liked it too. If you see anything pictured that caught your eye, not my bistro table, give Jocie a call since she does ship. Be sure to visit her website as well.

Red Chair Antiques
14 Depot Street
Peterborough, NH 03458

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall Color New Hampshire Style

Kicking it into four-wheel drive up

I thought I’d share with you what I do each morning to start my day off, hike with our golden retriever Dylan. We’re fortunate enough to live in a state that offers so much clean outdoor space so we hike every morning for an hour and a half through the woods, unfortunately the views are usually from the top of a range. (Yes, it was so easy hiking with a camera!)

 On the way up, outcroppings of granite, we’re called “The Granite State” in reference to our tradition of self-sufficiency.

Yes we’re still going up but nothing gets your day going quite like a little exercise! (Although I’m not against sitting around in my pajamas first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee in my hand!) 

Once at the top of the ridge there are open spaces and a well-worn path through the forest.

Topside you get a lovely view of the mountain range before descending down to the lake. Trust me there's an easier path below to the lake and I wish just once my faithful companion knew that.

Although it's beautiful and peaceful walking in among the trees without a soul around. 

At the bottom we're rewarded with a beautiful view of the dam....

and someone gets to take a dip......

and have a bit of a roll in the crunchy leaves before heading back.

Almost home.....

Home! I keep wondering why everything is always up hill but I guess the best things in life are worth working for. I hope you enjoyed our hike in the beautiful fall foliage.  Anyone who wants to hike Dylan's always ready, willing and able!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Going Full Circle

Downtown with only two streets

 I thought I’d tell you how we came to be living in an 18th century house in the country. My husband Rick and I were living in NYC and had been searching the suburbs for 5 ½ years looking for the perfect antique house to no avail. We had quite the list of wants and weren’t willing to settle. After one particularly disappointing day my husband brightened up and said time to go farther out and made a call to an old childhood friend who was in real estate.

Autumn in Our Town

An hour later our fax machine started humming away spitting out house listing after house listing, talk about excitement! The house listings were in Rick’s childhood hometown up in New Hampshire and one house in particular caught both our attention and Rick couldn’t figure out why it seemed so familiar so time to take a drive up and have a look.

Front of House at first meeting

Rick had driven up alone to see the house and called that night telling me I needed to hop on a plane and get up to NH pronto, he had found our dream home. Meeting our home for the first time took a bit of imagination to envision what it could look like when brought back to life. Upon arrival to our house you couldn’t see it sitting up on the side of the mountain from the road since the front forest was so over grown. But once up the drive there she was………a cape built in 1790 sitting looking very blank and forlorn just waiting for someone to love her.

Side yard looking into the back

The property was blank! No shrubs around the house, no gardens, no nothing except what Mother Nature planted. Those “shrubs” you see at the back of the house were actually invasive weeds called Japanese knot weed or bamboo and were next to impossible to kill off.

Back of house

The property in general was an absolute mess! The side field weeds had grown part way into the side yard and calling them weeds was putting it mildly. There were huge wild rose bushes the size of a vehicle, poisonous sumac trees and giant weeds taller then a man. The only way around that mess was walking around on the road because you couldn’t go through it.

Rick told me while we were touring what we termed “the mess” that he finally knew why this house seemed so familiar, it was his old pediatricians house. My husband was born and raised right down the road from this house, talk about going full circle. Another surprise from our realtor, the old gal is buried right out back on the tier. I guess she really loved this house!

Yes, as far as you can see this is our mess! 

The interior turned out to be as dismal as the outside, the whole house had white walls, not semi flat painted white walls but the white of primer paint. Yes, you read that right, everything was painted with primer white paint! While almost every trim throughout the entire house was painted that strange blue/green. Take it from me people white is not neutral it’s shockingly bright!

We had seen our house on a rainy day so found out first hand that the roof needed help since it was raining on the first floor of a two story house. See the rain coming down the window shade? It's was flowing steadily from the ceiling as well. Despite the fact we were going to need a bulldozer and every surface in the house needed help the structural bones of the house were perfect and ready to stand for another 200 years.

 Front forest after we cleaned and thinned it out

We found everything we wanted in a property and house even if it was going to take a very strong back and many years to put right. So after nearly six years of searching we took the plunge and bought our home. Welcome to our dream!

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