Coming Home

It was good news to hear that our daughter who lives away from Houston would be coming home to spend a few days with us before Christmas.  The last few months have not been easy for her, so my thought was to make her visit as warm and cozy as could be.

With its red walls, her old room is an easy one to make look season friendly.  A winter throw is tossed on the bed and Santa will watch over her.

Like so many other things I have, Santa has been around for a long time and has a wonderful memory attached.  I had gone to Oklahoma with a friend.  On the return to Houston we made a journey of several hours stretch into the night by stopping at any and every place that looked of interest.  If you guess that Santa came from one of those stops, you’d be right!

A few more little touches and the room is ready.  Greenery and berries add touches of color among the birdhouses.  

These two are part of my rather large collection but are too big to be displayed with the rest.  

That’s OK because they are right at home sitting on a quilt, one of many made by my grandmother.

Speaking of quilts, so many made by different family members have ended up with me.  Like with other textiles, I can’t bear to leave them wrapped in a closet and find ways to have them out.  Somehow I feel they are a significant part of my heritage.

Getting back to preparing the room, there is a present or two left on the bed in the hope there is something there that will brighten the daughter’s day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Diggin’ It & Dishin’ It

Porch Love

dinghy/Rockport HarborDuring the summer months we spend lots of time on the porch watching the action on the harbor,

enjoying birds at the feeder

or sharing tini time with family or friends.

Maintaining our special place, however, got to be a real challenge as Maine winters are hard on exterior finishes.  Finally, the porch with its rotten boards and never ending demand for paint got the best of us, and we decided to replace it with a synthetic material made by Azek.  The hard part was the hubby and me agreeing on color and composition!

That done so began a project that proved to be a major undertaking.  Piece by piece the old came out

 under the watchful eye of Willow who accompanied her boss to work every day.  She wasn’t much help when it came to the installation, but she was perfectly behaved.

The crew worked 12 hour days, and the hubby couldn’t resist getting involved.  He proved to be an able assistant.  That definitely gives him some ownership of the project as well as a few aches and pains.

In case you are thinking this was an easy job, think again.  Every piece that went in had to be carefully measured and cut as nothing of the original porch was perfect.  

When all was said and done, however, the porch is perfect and will be much appreciated when next spring no repairs will be required.

Now the birdhouses are back in place,

new plant stands replace a peeling bench and are perfect for a garden vignette.

martiniBest of all, the porch is again ready for tini time!  Cheers!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


For the Birds

Houston house/birdhouseIf this photo tells you anything about me, it’s not that my countertops are uncluttered (that was just a lucky break), but that I’m crazy for birdhouses.  

birdhouseSo, as we were barreling down the highway and I saw this fence filled with them, there was nothing to do but turn around and go back!  The hubby grumbled under his breath, but he did it.


Every birdhouse was unique, some little,

birdhousesome big.

birdhouseSome appeared to tell a story about the person who put it there

birdhousewhile others remembered a loved pet.


All reflected someone’s creativity and sense of fun,

birdhouseand all made me wonder if any drew as much attention from birds as from me and how, in the middle of nowhere, this action started.  

You know, life is just full of surprises and it pays to stop and take a look!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

For the Birds!

birdhousesCan you tell I like birdhouses?  There are more than 20 sitting above the cabinets, each one different and most created by a talented artisan.  Every day I look at them and get a kick out of remembering the story that goes with each one.  

Now you’d think with so many fun and interesting shapes and sizes some of those birdhouses would have been used on the table.  Not so, but today that’s going to change!

birdhouse tableI just got these bird topped cloches and my daughter game me the little bird vases, and  they seemed perfect matches for the birdhouses.  Oh, this is going to be fun!

birdhouse tableSince it is spring, at least in Houston, these placemats and napkins from World Market were an easy choice.

birdhouse tableWith the pattern seeming so right for birds and birdhouses, I chose simple glass plates that allowed its boldness to show through.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou’ll notice that once again the textured pink glasses make their way to the table.  When my friend gave these to me from her grandmother’s collection of glassware, she had no idea how often they would be used!  You just don’t see anything like them today which makes them all the more special.

birdhouse tableAll done, this table brings a great big smile to my face because it shows off some of my favorite things.  

Usually a table suggests a menu to me, but I’m having a little trouble with this one.  Bird seed doesn’t sound too appetizing, but what about something embellished with berries?  I better get to the kitchen and start studying some of those cookbooks!  If you have a suggestion, send it right on.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Centerpiece Wednesday

Tablescape Thursday

Favorite Things Thursday

First Things First

When we first get to our Maine house, we take a quick look around to make sure all is as it should be.  For the most part, everything is OK but for one place, the back porch.

Maine house porchThe porch is bare but for the iron bench that is too heavy to carry down the stairs to the basement when we store everything for the winter.  It can’t stay that way long because the porch is where we spend so much time.

Rockport HarborFor starters, the porch gives a grand view to Rockport Harbor which we love even on a foggy day.

Rockport HarborIt is where we sit to have coffee and enjoy beautiful morning light

Rockport Harboror to take in the drama of an evening sunset.  

lobster boats, Rockport HarborThe porch is where we observe the comings and goings of lobster boats.  In short, first things first so lets get the porch furniture out of the basement,  up the stairs and on the porch.  Extra hands are appreciated!

Maine house porchFirst come the rockers where the hubby and I sit for all of the aforementioned  or to play an afternoon game of gin.

Maine house porchThe furniture is heavy, so we don’t bring it all up at once, but before the first round of guests, we will get one end of the porch organized for socializing.  This year cute indoor/outdoor pillows from TJ Maxx add some color

Maine house porchas do pots of brightly colored flowers.  Putting these together is a lot more fun to me than hauling heavy furniture!

Maine house porchBirdhouses and heart rocks, some of my favorite things, sit on a table in the corner.  The heart rocks are a story unto themselves, and one day it is one I’ll have to share.

Maine house porchThis cute little planter that I found at the nursery will tie right in with the birdhouses and maybe even attract a tweety bird to its branches.

Maine house porchAll done, it’s time to sit and rock, admire our handiwork and indulge in an afternoon treat.  It would be a pleasure to have you join us.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


The Scoop

You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Before and After Wednesday

Muslin, An Inspiration?

Why do I have 50 yards of gauzy muslin?  I can’t remember why I bought it, but there must have been a reason.

first tablescapeSome has been used as a runner for  the table.  Some has been been used for  birthday parties and at Christmas. Still there’re yards on the bolt, so it’s time to get creative.

Houston houseThis daughter’s room, now mostly unused, seems a good place to start. I cut lengths of the muslin to drape on the bed frame.

Houston houseThe bed, I think, was a first step to what would become her own country French style.  She and her dad made it when she was a senior in high school.  I thought it would one day go to her home, but that has not yet happened.  When she looks at the bed now, she sees it as not quite what she wanted.  Oh well, it was a beginner’s effort, and I’ve never had the urge to change it out because it represents a task shared by father and daughter.

Houston houseWith the muslin in place, I was inspired to bring out my grandmother’s quilts which have long been in the closet.   The colors in this one are perfect against the backdrop of red walls.  Even the bears,  leftovers from the daughter’s younger days, are right at home on the bed.

Houston houseWith the theme that is evolving, this becomes the room in which to put a cabinet that was at my mothers but has not had the right space here.  Made by one of my father’s relatives, it is well over 100 years old and for me is a memory since childhood.   It is one of our few family heirlooms, and I hope it will survive the years.

Houston house  My great grandmother used the cabinet for linen storage, so it seemed appropriate for it to serve a similar purpose.  Out of plastic bags came more quilts to line the shelves.  They are such treasures, and I love having them  where I can see them and be reminded of the women who made them. 

Houston house In another time, they would have been much used, but because of their age, I hesitate to do more than display them.

Houston houseStill another quilt lays atop cabinets and is the background for a couple of birdhouses that are too tall for the space where others are displayed.

So there you have it, a simple do over project that becomes a display for much loved pieces that create a very warm and friendly room and trigger a multitude of memories. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Bed linens: Soft Surroundings

Wall colors:  Independence Red and Fresco Gray from Benjamin Moore


Metamorphosis Monday

Make It Pretty Monday