Texas

Wandering Country Roads

There’s plenty to do in Houston, but every now and then it’s fun to leave the big city behind and explore the wide open spaces that define Texas.

It doesn’t take long to see what rural Texas is about.  Cattle graze lazily in fields

and the sprawling metropolis is replaced by a series of small towns.

IMG_0456This time of year the landscape colored by wildflowers is spectacular.  No matter how many times I see fields of blue, red, yellow and pink my heart sings in appreciation of nature’s beauty.

Another reason to get out and about now is the Round Top Antique Show which these days is said to cover some 28 miles.  That means a lot of stuff to browse.  Now, I don’t need a thing, but that doesn’t keep my eye from wandering in search of the unusual or interesting.

IMG_0463Bottles never fail to get my attention.  These are truffle jars that when filled with mushrooms and cotton hold in the moisture necessary for preservation.  You can be sure that in my possession they would be filled with flowers to create a centerpiece for a tablescape.

IMG_0472Talk about an unusual flower container.  Take a look at this chemical beaker.  I didn’t buy one, but the temptation was great.  These were $175 each, a little pricey so I’m going to look into finding new pieces and creating the look.

IMG_0474These wooden mallets got my attention because of their varying shapes and heights.  In case you are wondering, they were used for barn building.  I wouldn’t want someone with one of those in their hand to get mad at me!

IMG_0489One exhibit featured lamps and chandeliers made from the most interesting materials.   For a fleeting moment I could imagine one in my eclectic mix of things.

IMG_9777Then, there were those things that reminded me of some of you bloggers.  White porcelain

IMG_0480and blue and white pieces are favorites of many of you.

IMG_0487Exhibits are in fields, tents and enclosed spaces some of which are beautifully displayed.

IMG_0488I have a hard time imagining how much dealers have to sell to justify the cost.   As one said, it’s always a gamble and you have to do a show knowing that you will win or lose.

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A day or two of wandering among the exhibits is about all I can take and then I’m ready to get back in the car and wander the country roads stopping here and there to take a photo.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Home Decor

Remaking a Carriage House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA couple of weeks ago we visited one of the few historic neighborhoods in Houston and were privileged to have a peek inside a friend’s home.  Today join me in visiting the beautifully redone carriage house where the owners’ personalities really shine.  They love the country, ranch life and hunting, and that is reflected in every inch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is so much to like here it’s hard to know where to start.  This large open space is a terrific place to chill with family or friends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bar is so Texas with beautiful woodwork reminiscent of the stairwell in the main house.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy favorite feature here is the hammered copper sink.  It is touches like this that make the carriage house so special.

The second level is dreamy.  Either of these bedrooms would suit me fine,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand this one is a young girl’s dream.

The faux fireplace is more than it seems.  Give it a little tap and the doors open to what would be a wonderful secret hiding place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis cheerful space, part of a fully equipped kitchen, looks out to the pool and green space and is a great example of my friend’s attention to detail.   Note the floor of antique French tiles, the colors of which are repeated throughout the carriage house.

 

Another thing I learned about her is that she especially enjoys doing bathrooms which explains their unique features.

Last but not least is the hubby’s study, a true man cave filled with trophies from his hunting adventures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is nothing not to like in the carriage house the use of which is a far cry from the original.  I think I would be happy spending time here.  How about you?

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Antiques

Next: The Compound

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose to Marburger Farm is The Compound, a new venue this spring.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have to confess it was my favorite, thanks to appealing displays and uncluttered spaces.  Also, there was no admission charge, but I’m betting that will change as it becomes more popular.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAgain, different ones of you came to mind as I browsed, and it would have been fun to have you along to see if my guesses about what you would like were right on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe one of you bought this table that was being readied for shipping.  It is one I could imagine fitting a variety of decors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, how about this one?  I liked it so much I found myself wishing for a place to put it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt appears that some vendors may be permanent at The Compound.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were so many interesting and unusual things here that it was hard to leave without making a purchase.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy favorite was this unusual shaped bowl that was used for cheese making.  Once again the price kept me from buying!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShould you ever make it to Round Top, be sure to stop by The Compound if for no other reason than to enjoy the space and have a bite to eat.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

Antiques

Browsing Marburger Farm

Massachusetts has Brimfield in the spring and fall. Texas has Round Top, and it’s big just like Texas! Unless you plan on spending the week there, it’s impossible to take it all in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI go for one day, mainly to take a few photos and see what catches my eye.  This time I focused on Marburger, one of the most popular venues.

TWalking through the various exhibits, I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and couldn’t help but wonder how much of it finds a home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWandering from booth to booth, it was impossible not to think of many of you whose style is French 

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or farmhouse country.

If you are among those who enjoy Texas style, there’s no question you’d have found plenty of accessories.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOthers of you would have found something clever to do with such a piece as this

and I know those with a sense of fun would have found a special treasure here for a guest room.

Some of your kitchens would be perfect for a beautiful collection of copper pots

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand others of you would be tempted by lovely pieces for the table.

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For the gardeners among you, there was plenty here

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand if for some reason you were looking for a pair of cowboy boots, this would be the right place!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor those, like me, whose taste runs to the eclectic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor whimsical there’s something for you, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI especially liked these unique fly catchers which would have been fun additions to a table with candles or flowers.  Had they not been $150 each they would have come home with me.

Well, this doesn’t even begin to show you all I saw, but I’ll save the rest for another day.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

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Antiques, Maine

Destination: Target

The intent was to drive to Augusta to pick up a few things at Target.  Somehow the one hour drive turned into several hours.  Why? Simple answer: I was by myself and could stop anywhere that caught my eye!

Driving Highway 17 to Augusta, there are a number of small, really small, towns: Hope, Union, Jefferson, Washington, Windsor, Somerville.  There’s not a whole lot in any of these places, but here and there is a place that merits a look, and I made a point of seeing them all.

antiquesFirst stop: Porter’s Antiques

antiquesAs the sign advertises, it is full of treasures.

antiquesHow could I not think of you who like French Country decor when I saw these chairs?  Your know who you are, and I’m imagining busy hands at work changing the finish to a distressed white.  With the season coming to an end, the ten could probably be bought for less than $500.

antiquesKnow what this is?  I didn’t, but I thought it would be a very cool planter.  It’s actually a sitz bath, a very uncomfortable looking one!

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So many things to like, but this was my only purchase.  No reason, I just liked it.  With a little rewiring, it could actually work so it is a project for the hubby.

antiquesThe next stop was a real trip. 

antiquesI’ve never seem so much stuff crammed into a space, and the owner knew exactly what she had and where it was.

antiquesI had to do a lot of looking to come up with these martini shakers, one an Art Deco piece.  We don’t shake a lot of drinks, but the shakers are a very fun thing to collect.

ElmersNext stop: Elmer’s,

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a place where there is so much to see, it’s best not to be in a hurry!

Windsor DinerBy now, I’m getting a little hungry, and it was impossible to pass this place by without stopping.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWindsor DinerWindsor DinerMaine is full of similar roadside places, throwbacks to another era, serving simple, tasty food.  They are also great places to visit with real Mainers!

Saltbox PrimitivesAfter enjoying a pulled pork sandwich, my thought was to go on to Augusta without any more stops.  I almost made it, but on the outskirts was a irresistible shop, Saltbox Primitives.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf farmhouse style is your thing, this is the place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo sooner had I stepped on the porch than this cute thing caught my eye. This is an idea for any DIYer. 

FallSo, with all these stops, including ones to take in the beauty of freshly mown fields and fall color, did I make it to Target?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYep, and I was so excited to be there I came out with far more than was on my list.  The challenge is going to be where to put the dishes and flatware that jumped into my cart!

It’s been fun having you along…..hope you enjoyed the day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Table It

Decorating

A Passion for Decorating

Suzy's houseMy friend Suzy has moved more times than most people since I’ve known her.  Each house is different in style but shares the same characteristics: warm, cozy, friendly.  What’s more, whenever you go to her house it never looks the same.  As she says, she redecorates when it rains, which can be often, putting the same things in new places or changing accessories with the season.

Suzy's Let’s take a look, and you are sure to agree this gal has the knack.

Suzy's houseHer style can be described by the books here, there and everywhere.

Suzy's houseand it is easy to see that she does have a passion for decorating.

Suzy's houseHer accessories, like the doors behind this sofa, are wonderful.  Take a closer look at the throw pillows and you will see the twill pattern is done with brass brads.

Suzy's houseSuzy's houseSuzy's houseSuzy's houseThroughout the house are beautifully arranged vignettes, each one giving insight to Suzy and what she loves.

Suzy's house

There is so much to like in this home that it’s hard to pick a favorite space.  No doubt this room would be any little girl’s choice.

Suzy's houseHey, I was drawn to the happys here, too, and could easily imagine a child’s delight.

Suzy's houseIn the kitchen, I love the contrast of texture in this metal basket filled with straw containers.  

Suzy's house

Across the room, this settee with its contrasting fabrics adds a touch of whimsy,

Suzy's houseand the table is inviting me to sit for a spot of tea.

Suzy's houseTucked away so that I almost missed it is my favorite space.  Can’t you imagine curling up here perusing magazines for new decorating ideas or recipes and maybe catching a little nap?

Suzy's houseEverything in this home has a story.  It may be a favorite piece from childhood or a pillow just found at a flea market or a special find at an antique show.  Not all of us would know what to do with our treasures, but for Suzy, no problem.

I’m just glad my friends have gotten used to me wanting to snap photos of their home or table and allowing me to share their special talents with you.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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The Scoop

You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday

Antiques, Decorating

Behind Closed Doors

Linda_  023How many times have I walked by this house never guessing what was behind closed doors?  Today the garage door was open, and to my astonishment the garage had been converted to a delightful entertaining/recreation area.  I happened to have my iPhone and couldn’t resist knocking on the door and asking if I could take photos to share with you.    Luckily, the homeowner cordially agreed.

Linda_  024Let me start by telling you this lady has quite a talent for staging.  Every little thing is in the just right place.  I thought she might be an interior designer, but she is not.  She does enjoy interior styling, however, both in her own and  friends’ homes, using what is already there to create fresh new looks.

Linda_  025All that I saw in this delightful room had a purpose.  Wicker baskets are filled with magazines and books and hide the TV controls.

Linda_  029A wonderful old chest is a drop spot for athletic equipment.  Look closely at the flowing curtains in the background.  They are made from drop cloths and give not the faintest hint of the material’s intended purpose.

Linda_  034Rattan chairs flank a table which, if you can believe it, was actually a real tree trunk.

Linda_  037There was so much to like here.  I was crazy about the lamps which were a find at the Round Top antique show

Linda_  027as were the pillows on the chairs.  Did I say that the chairs came from a thrift shop?  Some people just have the eye!

Linda_  031Right inside the door that opens to the pool, a basket is filled with towels for those who enter dripping wet.

Linda_  036With so much to take in, it was hard to pick a favorite thing, but I finally decided it was the coffee table, actually an old galvanized watering trough turned upside down.  For the wine corks, what could be better than a dough board?

With an eye toward cost effective decorating, this lady is a real hunter/gatherer.  She combs thrift shops and antique shows looking for those special pieces that, in the right place, make everything seem new again.   Hmmm, wonder what she could do at my place?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Metamorphosis Monday