Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Old Home

Welcome to another Met Monday hosted by Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch. Today's transformation is rather bitter sweet for me. It revolves around our old home in California. We sold this home in the Summer of 06'. We had only been in it about two years. We had been in on the building of this home from the ground up. When Mr Whimsy got the opportunity to move across country to North Carolina we jumped at the chance. Me being a southern girl at heart (and gene pool) couldn't wait to get to the south. So we placed our home on the market and held our breath. The recession had already hit in California and homes were at a stand still. Low and behold our home sold in a mere four weeks and we were quickly on our way to North Carolina to search for a home. It was hard to leave my beautiful home. I had chosen everything for it and designed so many elements of it I just didn't want to leave it. I knew this was a good move for us so I kept my mouth shut and my eyes looking towards our future. A couple weeks back some old friends and neighbors of ours told us our old home had fallen into foreclosure. GASP! I cringed. I felt sick. You see because my design business was going strong at the time I built my home I had been fortunate enough to use my vendors for much of the finish work. I was able to put $65K worth of flooring in for $26K and the deals did not stop there. If anyone has ever seen a home in California you don't get anything but the drywall and the foundation LOL! No molding, no gorgeous wood floors. So to bring my home to life I had gone the distance and had all the bells and whistles put in by my finish carpenters. Lovely hickory floors, tumbled stone flooring in the baths used brick flooring and walls and molding galore. I will not go into the gory details but the home sold for $400 thousand dollars LESS than we sold it for in 06'. Someone is very lucky! I was able to find it online and see the changes the person who bought it from us had made to it. So here is a metamorphism from 04' during construction until currently. This is the dining room right after they had finished putting down the hickory flooring. This dining room had 20' ceilings.

Here is a picture of it as it was when we lived there. I had split the upper wall from the lower so I could use red in the dining room. It is one way of dealing with the open concept floor plans that are common issue in California homes. I had plantation shutters installed on almost every window in the home except for the family room and kitchen. There I had woven blinds put in.

The owner had taken the walls to the solid tan color. On one wall she did picture frame molding. I like the idea of this especially if the scale had been done larger to suit the space.

Here is a picture of one of the openings in the family room. This area was just a large opening with a little pony wall. Very unfinished looking. I had my carpenter encase the entire opening in molding closing in the pony wall.

Here is how it looked as we were living in it. She kept this area the same but for some reason I could not get the current picture of this space to upload. I had all the openings in this home cased out with molding like this.

Here is the kitchen getting the finishing touches. I had just had the woven blinds in this room installed that day and the faucet. Look how WHITE everything was!

This is how the kitchen looked when we lived in the home. I had the kitchen painted a lovely Nantucket blue and pendant lights installed over the island.

Here is the kitchen as the new owners left it. Tan. In fact she painted almost every space in this home tan except for the master bath and one kids room. I don't know why the back splash was left white??? I am wondering if there is actually something else there besides wall now?

This is the banister and stairway when we left. I had hired a contractor to refinish the banister in a dark stain but had put him on hold since we were moving. When she bought the home I passed on his info and well it looks like she had it done.

What an improvement that dark banister is! That is one thing the builder would not change for me when we were building it.

Those are all the pictures I am going to post. I am sad. I keep telling myself that it is good the home was not trashed like so many homes that fall into foreclosure are. None the less as I said before it is so bitter sweet! To visit more incredible transformations visit Between Naps on the Porch by clicking here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Salad Saturday Week 4

Welcome to the final Summer Salad Saturday. How quickly the month of June has flown by! I have truly enjoyed every ones wonderful recipes. Thanks to all of you who have shared them. This week I am sharing a recipe that is oh so good. A perfect salad to bring to your next party.


1 lb. fresh spinach, washed & dried

1 pt. strawberries, washed & halved

1/2 c. pecan halves, toasted (walnuts can be substituted for pecans)

Optional add ons:

grilled chicken breast sliced

blue cheese crumbles

1/3 c. raspberry vinegar

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. sugar

1 c. vegetable or olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds

Combine dressing ingredients except the poppy seeds in a blender. Add the poppy seeds by hand. Toss dressing with spinach, strawberries and hot pecans. The hot nuts will slightly wilt the greens.
Please leave me a comment with your link if you would like to share you salad recipes.
Please visit the following blogs for more wonderful salads

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For Your Tablescape Enjoyement......

Today I am sharing some inspiration photos I have collected. I am feeling a bit under the weather and although I gathered all the elements I wanted to use for my table out yesterday, today I just didn't have the energy to pull it off. No fear the tables I am about to share are fabulous and I could never come close to them. Enjoy. Above is one of my all time favorites. I drool over the center piece and I am always a sucker for blue and yellow no matter where it appears. I found it interesting how they added the mini topiaries on the corners of this table.

I love the pewter bamboo flatware. I also love the little porcelain lemons. I just want to be sitting in that garden at this table, don't you?

This table was titled the Palm Beach Table. I always love natural elements like lemons and limes in arrangements.

Hydrangeas and Spode Blue Room.....classic and in my book always a good choice!

Do you see the dragonfly engraved into the silver dish the hydrangeas are in? I wish I could see more of that piece.

A red and white table is always nice. Look how they have complimented the red and white by adding an orange floral arrangement to the mix. Unexpected but turns this setting into a work of sophistication.

Do you notice the oranges used as place card holders? Fun idea! Adding a wide gross grain ribbon to your plain white table cloths can change them into WOW!

There is something about the yellow window panels in this photo that takes me in. Really I am more interested in them than I am the table LOL! Yellow has a way of doing that to a room! This table is very vibrant due to the yellow daffodils and yet serene all at the same time.

I love how they added the small pots of green flowers next to the large pots of Daffodils. The natural elements of bamboo flat wear, woven place mats and shells and coral strewn about the table make it feel relaxing and serene. They even wrapped some jute around the pots! Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of five very different tablescapes. For some more table eye candy be sure to visit Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch by clicking here

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Story of a Tea Cup

Welcome to my first Tea Time Tuesday. This event is hosted by my dear friend Barb over at Grits and Glamour. I decided I wanted to share a tea cup that was my moms. My mother collected tea cups. She had them displayed proudly in a cabinet in our dining room. Every birthday, mothers day and Christmas I would save my pennies to buy my mom a tea cup set. The cups I bought my mom never cost much. Usually I picked them up at the drug store or our local Gemco (remember those stores? ) and I don't remember one of them costing over $6.00. It never mattered to my mom she displayed them right along with her more collectible tea cups. When mom passed away I was just 27. I remember my sister and I and sister in laws and nieces going through her things. I chose two cups I was rather fond of. Looking back I don't know who took the others. Sadly I didn't take one that I had bought my mom. Maybe I thought they were less valuable, who knows. Oh how I wish I had taken them now! This lovely tea cup is a hand painted beauty in soft yellows, roses and greens. I love how the pattern wraps itself all the way around the cup.

I have it sitting on a silver tray that was given to Mr. Whimsy and I as a wedding gift. The lace napkin is an antique and was given to me by a friend to carry at my wedding. I suppose it is actually a handkerchief but I love it on the silver tray with the crystal and the tea cup.

I actually had to break out the silver polish to use this tray! I think the results are worth it.

The pattern also carries inside of the cup which I just love.

I think the lattice and pierce work on this tray is so pretty.

This is from the Royal Albert Fragrance series.

I used my Waterford bud vase to hold some sugar cubes.

Here is where my story turns a bit sad. Remember I said I had chosen two of my moms tea cups? Well when cleaning them today I broke the saucer for the other cup.

This is really a demitasse cup but I love the petite and feminine details of this cup. I was terribly upset when this broke. Sadly it isn't a clean break either.

All hand painted.

A tiny little bloom can be found on the back side of the cup.

This one reads 'House of Goebel" Bavaria W. Germany.

Aren't the tiny flowers on the saucer delicate looking? That's my mother and I on my wedding day. I love this picture of us.

Thanks for joining me for my first Tea Time Tuesday. Be sure to visit Grits and Glamour by clicking here to see more lovely tea happenings. Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Salad Saturday Week 3

Welcome to the 3rd Summer Salad Saturday. Still no Mr. Linky. I have given up on the idea. But just leave me a message and a link and I will add you to this Meme. Lets get started. Do you love BLT Sandwiches? If so then you are going to love the salad I am sharing this week! I discovered this salad last Summer and I made it every chance I got. I think I was beginning to look like a macaroni noodle! Here is what you will need.

Bacon Lettuce and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

1 box of large elbow macaroni cooked and drained
1/2 - 1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
1/2 to 1 full head of iceberg lettuce chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2-3 Tablespoons of sun dried Tomato Paste
When I did not have any Sun Dried Tomato paste on hand I bought a jar of Classico brand Sun dried Tomato Pesto and it worked pretty well. So keep that in mind for an easy alternative if you can't find the Sun dried tomato paste. You will use the same amount 2-3 tablespoons of this as you do the paste.

I cook up the bacon first so it can cool which makes for easier crumbling. I find that if I cook it in the microwave on a bacon tray it crumbles easier than if I fry it in a pan. I don't know why that is but it makes life simple! Then I chop up the lettuce. I like to do the mayo and sun dried tomato mix and bring it to room temp. I add a couple tablespoons of the boiling pasta water to thin it down a bit. I mix in the mayo mix while the pasta is still hot. This way it just mixes in smoother and easier then just ad the lettuce and bacon. Easy peasy and oh so yummy.

Have a Wonderful Weekend. It is hot here in the South this weekend which makes for perfect salad eating weather.

For more fantastic salad recipes visit the following blogs.....



Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Fathers Day Table

Welcome to my Fathers day tablescape. This Sunday is Fathers day so what better way to celebrate that with a themed tablescape? Okay I am sure Mr. Whimsy can think of numerous ways he would like to celebrate and I am sure none of them are sitting at a decorated table but I just couldn't resist! For my table I pulled everything from around the house that would work in a testosterone fueled tablescape. Plaids, paisleys, golf, dogs a compass and of course the neck tie!

I had originally draped the table with a table cloth but found that the exposed wood of the table seemed more manly. I had an unused Black Watch plaid sheet from a sheet set I had bought my son years ago (he prefers just the duvet with no top sheet) so I decided to cut it up and make two runners out of it for this table. I crossed them one over the other.

Over them I layered a fabric sample square that I had in my stash. Hint go to your local fabric stores and ask if they have any expired fabric samples you can have or purchase for little money. They are usually always a finished square and they make wonderful napkins or as I used here a layering tool for your table center piece. You can coordinate fabrics to make a lovely table using them.

On top of the paisley cloth I stacked up some books and places a distressed tin of grass. Flowers just didn't seem to go with my "man theme".
I couldn't resist using this brass hunting dog statue I had in my study. It tied in perfectly with the themed transferware plates I have. Plus some antique compass thinga majigger.

See? They have the same dog on them in almost the exact same pose.

These plates are from the Royal Staffordshire collection.

At each place setting I used a different tie pulled right out of the closet! I layered the white plate over a red matelasse round place mat then used some gold napkins with the tie over the napkin and then the transferware plate over that. Another option would be to use the ties as a napkin ring and tie them as you would a neck tie over a rolled napkin.

A green checked tie.

A gold and blue paisley.

A green and navy paisley.

and....this geometric one.

I tossed some golf tees here and there around the table for fun.

A warm and inviting mix of patterns and colors makes this table a fun choice for Fathers day.

Now if Mr. Whimsy notices that will be a most likely it will all be taken down and just provided for all y'alls creative appetites.

To see more wonderful tablescapes visit Susan at Between Naps on The porch by clicking here.
Have a wonderful Fathers Day.