Friday, June 29, 2012

Day Dreamin'

I love my job, I really do.
And although its not quite what it used to be, I still look forward to going to it every day.
And I am very grateful I still have it!
But some days I just need some down time and today is one of them.
I actually have no days off because I work a second job on the weekends (a graveyard shift) to make ends meet so any time off I have, I have to take a vacation day.

Today I am day dreaming of being in England, at a Jane Austen tea party.
Its a slightly humid but mild day with a mostly overcast sky and the threat of rain; an occasional stray rain drop falls on the face. 
A very slight wind tempers the humidity.
Kinda like the day we are having in Seattle right now!
I LOVE this weather!

Here are some images from an older/1999 Hearst Publication/Victoria Magazine hard cover book titled "The Heart of England". I have tried to collect many of the books associated with Victoria magazine over the years and still pull them out once in a while to be inspired by.
Lately I have been yearning to travel to Great Britain again, inspired by the wonderful trip author/artist Susan Branch took recently - have been reading her blog and pouring over her Twitter pictures nearly every night!
Some day I will get there and when I do, I will go see York and Essex as part of the itinerary because that's where some of my ancestors came from in the mid 1600's.  Great Burstead, Essex and York.
Sit back and enjoy the views of England and enjoy your tea!
I'm having Irish breakfast (I love a hearty tea in the afternoon) with two sugars and some milk.
Served on Spode in the Blue Italian pattern, of course.
 A Jane Austen era dress. I wish I could wear this to tea.
 Tea in the drawing room?  So cheerful and cozy.
 A possible view out the window.  I have a weakness for Elizabethan knotwork gardens.
 Homemade scones with berry jam and clotted cream.....this is what is on my mind today!
 Mmmmm....I'll have one each.
 Which beauty shall I choose?  Got any Spode Blue Room?
 Let's eat here, take a break from the afternoon walk!!
 A pretty thatched cottage with an ocean view...
 As wild and lonely as can be but oh, so pretty and romantic too!
 Old garden to look at and see what they envisioned.
 Flowers outside an old country cottage window...
OK, so this is more Victorian era but its a romantic view of a walk on the moors! Reading Bronte?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Day Started Right

I consider a well-dressed table a necessity in life!
And I love a clean, white tablecloth at the breakfast table.
OH, and a table set in blue and white!!
   This day, I added some of the sweet old-fashioned roses from the front yard and the first of my summer hydrangeas from the east yard.
   What a glorious way to eat breakfast and begin the day before heading out into the busy world of work and traffic.

Mini Me thinks the flower vases are his personal water fountain too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A June Day...

...seems made for softer shades of blue & white.
I think June and blue & white are synonymous with each other!
Enjoy these lovely images from older, more vintage Victoria magazines (June '98/'00) when life seemed less complicated then it does now.
Happy Solstice!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Swedish Tea on a Summer Afternoon

What a lovely, summery look with all the blue & white
with red accents.
On a warm afternoon one can seek shelter inside a drawing room where curtains billow in the summer breeze, or under a shaded, leafy canopy beneath the trees in the garden.  
And tea served on fresh blue & white china.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nature's Finest

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be MAD WITH JOY the whole time to have such things about us."
~ Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

These old fashions bloom better and better every year for me.
I was given these five rose bushes by a friend whose ex had them in his yard.
I was told they were well over 20 years old and hadn't bloomed in years.
Thought I'd give them a try...they bloomed the first year I planted them and every year since and every year they get more prolific and more heavily scented!
I am so looking forward to this year's batch!

Drama at Home

I LOVE blue & white but when I decorate with it, I always use white as my main color for furniture or wallpaper, cabinets and fabrics because I am crazy about Swedish Gustavian style and the lightness of the whole look.

  This NYC penthouse might be your ticket if you are loving blue but don't want to go the white accent/furniture route.  From Architectural Digest, January 2011, featured was the penthouse of a NYC interior designer and her husband.
   I think it is stunning!  The use of black was almost shocking when I first saw the photos but the more I studied them, the more it grew on me!  I LOVE how they used Chinoiserie furniture too - probably antique pieces as this was very popular in 18th C European homes.

What do you think?
The use of blue & white china throughout really brightens the rooms and makes the pieces stand out even more, I think, then they would against white.
The blue they use for upholstery is a soft baby blue, accented by pink.  Love that pink tufted footstool in the master bedroom, as well as the pink flowers on the baby blue wallpapers.  All that use of baby blue and pink is very sweet but when paired with black and gold Chinoiserie furniture, it becomes dramatic and very sophisticated!!
If I didn't have all my furniture already white, I'd be quite happy to go this route...

"Summertime, Summertime"

"...and the livin' is easy."

Well, here in Seattle we are still dreaming of it because with the cold, wet weather we have right now, it seems a ways off yet despite being one week into June!
(but, truth be told - I would take this wet weather and our verdant mountain and valleys over the rest of the country's dry, hot, brown, drought-stricken conditions any day!)
Here are a few dreamy visions of how a laid back summer life could be if we actually had summer weather (and I wasn't having to break out my fleece jackets or wool sweaters which I thought I had safely put in storage until fall)!  LOL
 A bowl of ripe cherries and a vintage bottle of fresh, cool water is the perfect mid-afternoon refresher between jaunts to the beach or exploring the nearby fields.
 What a wonderfully simple summer cottage kitchen with the blue and white cabinets and open shelving to display what one needs to live a carefree summer life - only the essentials!
 A Swedish blind in white linen is the perfect window dressing for a summer cottage.
 I LOVE the use of blue and white stripes in this summer cottage setting. It keeps everything fesh and casual with no fussiness.
 I'd like to nap her on a hot day with nothing to do
 A tranquil place where you can be alone with your thoughts
 This hammock is dressed better then my bed!
I LOVE this Swedish Gustavian style white lawn furniture...wish it were easier to find in the U.S.