Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can't Wait for Lilac Season

This is a photo I took (last year?) of one of the specialty lilacs I bought at the Hulda Klager lilac farm in Woodland Washington.  It's an actual National Historical Site now!
I go every year since I bought my cottage from whom I was renting it and am now free to add new lilacs to the yard from this farm where they carry lilacs bred years ago by Hulda herself.

This one is a favorite (my absolute favorite is still an old fashioned purple lilac with double or triple flowerettes!) This one in a lovely shade of pink has such a sweet scent.
Its the "Katherine Havemeyer" lilac.
Here I displayed it on my living room mantel.
I can't wait for it to bloom this year - and yes, it has the start of flowers on it already.  But due to our extra cold and rainy Seattle weather this year, its a month off or so yet.

A Lovely Sauce Boat

I collect Royal Copenhagen Blue Flowers Curved China and when I saw this sauce boat on eBay going for cheap, with no bids yet, I wondered what could be wrong with it.
Well, it has a teeny chip on the bottom edge of the boat itself but seeing it's attached to the plate, it's really not noticeable so I bid on it in the last 20 minutes and won!

    Two weeks later it came through customs, in the mail, straight from it's home country of Denmark.
I was thrilled with it - the Blue Flowers pattern, although similar to the newer pieces, IS slightly different.  After checking the maker marks, I discovered it was made in the 1880's sometime.
The hand painted pattern has changed a few times since it was first made in the late 1700's so this did not bother me at all.
I was now the owner of a piece of history and I wondered who'd owned it and used it over the past 100 years in Denmark.
I fell in love with this sauce boat at first glance with it's hand painted blue flowers, faded gold edges and delicate embossed basketweave.
I can't wait to use it at future family dinners!
I even had a friend who doesn't really like blue, ask me if she could use it at some of her dinners too, it is just that lovely in person.

I love old china - it has a quality to it unmatched by most of today's china makers.  But I do have to say the newer Royal Copenhagen china is just as well made and just as beautiful.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Dream Blue Toile Wedding

If I am lucky enough to get hitched again, I want a blue and white toile wedding.
I would wear a simple white cotton, sleeveless, tea length dress with a cropped blue and white toile jacket over it.  Kind of like this one here:
And I would wear blue topaz - a favorite gemstone of mine.
(Matching the ring to a necklace and earrings.)
I'd want a ring like this:
I love the toile I have in my family room - it's called M Musee Toile Blue by Covington and is a soft-handed 100% cotton fabric with a brighter blue toile on a clean white background (no drab cream for me).
It's bright and cheery and has been my staple fabric/color in my home for going on 10 years now when I first found it and bought it as bedding at Country Curtains (they have since changed their toile pattern).
I would make invites to match and maybe give those peace cranes I saw on ETSY, as favors to guests.
How fun to dream!

New Sofa

 I have been waiting all year to get this new sofa for the family room and am so glad I finally bought it.
It's not that it was too expensive (because it's from IKEA, and its NOT), but it just wasn't the right time to go get it.
But now, with spring coming and spring cleaning going on around the house, we are ready to take the old broken sofa to the dump and replace it with something clean, comfy and big enough for at least two people and a few cats to lounge on at the same time.
It's from IKEA's Ektorp collection.  Slip-covered and washable - that's what I am all about!  This cotton twill cover is very durable and washes well.  I keep the love seat I already have in the living room white as white can be with Mrs Stewart's bluing agent.
If someday the white becomes too soiled or I tire of it, I can simply dip it into some RIT dye and make it baby blue, so it still matches my blue and white home.
Although for $99 I can have an extra slip cover...might be well worth investing in.
I have three covers for the love seat.

Toile Peace Cranes

I saw this artist on ETSY today as I was checking on my own store.
Her shop is called localcolorist and she is in S.F.
I LOVE her blue toile cranes - what a perfect combination.
One could use them for Christmas tree ornaments or wedding favors/at place settings.
How fabulous!
Let's give her some business!

Target Bedroom Look

This is the target look for my bedroom once its moved upstairs in the current old, art studio space above the stairs.
Faded blue roses in an airy, light-filled space.
Isn't this just lovely?
Add caption

Friday, March 9, 2012

Custom Fabric

I know of a few websites were you can upload your own designs and choose various fabrics to have the designs printed on.
I chose Spoonflower.
I currently have 3 designs with them, two of which other people have bought to do their projects with!
That commission I earned, combined with a designer discount and another 20% off for ordering 20+ yards at once, got me 20 yards of my own custom cotton fabric for $300.
I chose the quilting weight cotton because its what my budget allowed.  If I had a bigger budget, I would have gone with the cotton/linen blend which is $10 more per yard.  I ordered a sample yard in this blend last year and it has a wonderful drape and feel to the hand.

With our bedroom moving upstairs to make room for our niece moving in one of the downstairs bedrooms and our college student renter moving into our old room, I wanted to make the new room which has far less space, coordinated so its easy on the eye.
It also gave me a great excuse to do more decorating in blue & white.

This cotton fabric is on a soft white background with faded watercolor roses in a soft blue that tends towards the purple (I love the Shabby Chic shade of blue too but it's more turquoise then I care for).
The blue I like fades like denim....more on the warmer, purple side.
If you like Restoration Hardware's old paint color "Atmosphere Blue", you will know what I mean.

I will make bed curtains to hang on either side of the built in bed platform which sits in an alcove and then a single panel for the window.  I ordered inexpensive lace panels/rose pattern in white from Brylane Home to go behind each panel/curtain.

I will post the final product when its done!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blue & White

I love blue & white.
Some would say I am even obsessed with it.
My dishes are blue and white, I wear only blue, my entire home interior is blue & white.
My man has blue eyes and my furniture is all slip covered white.
Blue & white!

I signed up for the month of March at a small Seattle coffee shop in Georgetown called "Espresso By Design", to hang some art of mine.
Last fall I did pencil sketches of birds and squirrels.
This time around I decided to indulge my passion by painting all blue and white plates.

If in Seattle, near the Design Center, take a look!  Let me know what you think.
Or buy one!  They are only $50 a piece.  All hand painted originals by me, in acrylic.
Jeremy built custom frames for the paintings as I insisted on painting them on 10x10 canvases - a size NOT standard in ready made frames!