decorating with dodi

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Friday, September 17, 2010

On the Road Again

As I type this, I am sitting on my oldest daughter's landing looking out at the sun dappling on the beautiful water of the bay. It is almost my favorite spot in her house and one that I have occupied a lot the last few days. Of course, it is also the reason I am not flying through all of the work I brought with me, but the view is so serene that I can't seem to keep my eyes on anything else! Wish I had my camera with me and I would take a picture and show you. Yes girls, I know I could do it on my new phone, but thinking about how I go from phone (without a photo disc right now) to my computer is more than my brain wants to think about at the moment!

We headed this way on Wednesday with a stop in Tampa first. By the time my husband finished his meeting, we only had time for a quick stop at the International Mall. I hit Z Gallerie, Ballard Design and Williams Sonoma but only bought a few little Halloween things. Of course we "squeezed" in lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen! I so wanted to take a detour to Hyde Park (Pottery Barn & Restoration Hardware) but hubby was off to the Yankee-Rays game that night & we had to get to St. Pete. He had a wonderful time at the game even though the Yankees lost. He thought he was becoming a bit of a Ray's fan but after being there in person he decided he can only root for them when they're playing any team but the Yankees. Guess old loyalties run deep!

Yesterday we were able to eat lunch with one granddaughter (luckily she eats at 10:35) before heading to Julie's Provence Cottage in Largo. I love her stuff. She features her floral designs and truly uses only the best of silks, fauxs and ribbons. Her prices are pretty high but her arrangements last forever. I have so many of them at my house but found this Halloween centerpiece that I fell in love with and thought would fit right in with my vintage pumpkin head collection. After Julies, we had a fantastic lunch at the Wildflower Cafe. (No, we didn't eat two lunches. Even though the pull of the school cafeteria was strong, we chose to just have a drink with Olivia while she ate her lunch). We had been there before but forgot just how good it was. Even saved room for their yummy, warm raspberry scone and pumpkin scone - both served with fresh whipped cream. About the only time I eat dessert is at the Cheesecake Factory or when scones or fresh pastries are involved. Of course, we could have taken them to go but then we would have lost all of the yummy warmness. Did I mention that I was splitting them with my daughter - and they were small - and raspberry and pumpkin contribute to my daily fruit requirements? Or how about that I am on vacation? Any way, they were delicious and I would recommend them to anyone near the Wildflower Cafe.

My daughter and her husband headed to Tennessee last night so we are playing "parents" for the weekend. Really easy to do with 2 girls who are totally on top of everything they need to do to get ready for bed, school or this weekend and a mom who helped out by calling on her carpool so that we didn't have to do drop-off or pick-up. When the girls get home, we are off to Ocala. Will make a stop for dinner in Dade City - maybe with enough time to scope out the shops first - for dinner at Kokopellis - a favorite restaurant of ours. The kids love it because of the eclectic way it is decorated but we love it because the food is really good and different from anything we have in Ocala.

Never got this posted so I thought I would throw in a picture of my "new" black hutch. The girls were busy doing homework and Barbies for a few hours yesterday morning, so I got brush and roller in hand and before I could second guess myself, I was painting. I think I like it better now but know I will truly love it when Halloween decorations are up. I really think almost any decorations except autumn will look better against the darker color. Also, I used a satin paint so it doesn't look this shiny in real life.

We had a wonderful week. Lots of eating out and shopping, but the best was the time spent with family. We watched the Gator game on Saturday and then Caitlin asked to make a cake. She and her sister had taken a cake decorating class this summer, so I let her go to it. She chose a white scratch cake with butter cream icing and of course decorated it in Gator colors and design. I really didn't do much more than show her where I keep baking things and she did it all on her own. Of course, she was so proud of herself that she didn't want us to eat it until Mommy and Daddy arrived home from Tennessee so they could see it. Drats! Had my mouth set for dessert but it was worth the wait.

I will be home for 2 days before I get back in my routine again so I am catching up and then making my plans for the rest of the week when I WILL be putting up Halloween decorations and starting to sew costumes. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts on Halloween Purchases

This year, I am thinking about changing up some of my decorating vignettes. I am enamored with the Edgar Allen Poe/Raven look. I love black and white, old books and all of the crows. I think it is a bit more "grown-up" looking and classy and traditional. I am not a blood and gore kind of person, but I can get carried away with my witch or pumpkin head collections.

I usually do a sort of laboratory vignette in the livingroom but I am thinking of moving that and doing Poe in there. I have so much Halloween that it is impossible to "move" things in my head. I will have to wait until I get it ALL out and go from there.

My other issue is that I buy a lot at after Halloween sales or just through the year, so I really don't know what I have. I'm also a bit of a creature of habit and have a hard time seeing things differently once they're embedded in my head! I do know that I am about to paint the Habersham Plantation hutch in my diningroom. It is currently dark pine and I am heading to black. Don't know if it is just because I'm thinking of how my Halloween displays will look against it or if it is just reading a bit too country for me these days. Never-the-less, as soon as I can get to Lowes and pick up more paint, I will get it going.

I've pictured a few of my latest purchases. My absolute favorite is the mercury glass apothecary jar. I found it at The Barn. They had them in a number of sizes but I bought only the largest. They were not cheap and the whole set would have blown my budget for the day! This picture really doesn't do justice to the spooky design on the glass - it is awesome!

I also love the witch hazel bottle. The name will fit right in to my theme. Also got it at The Barn. I have always loved their Halloween items, but this year they really went crazy. Moved most of the stuff out to their large, front room and believe me, it was hard getting out of there without one of everything. Their stuff is different from what you see everywhere else.

The stack of books came from a new home decor store here in Ocala. It is a beautiful addition to our new outdoor mall and full of gorgeous decor items as well as a lot of seasonal things - again, different than the norm.

The pumpkin head guy isn't a favorite but I do have a collection of them so I grabbed it up - 50% off at HL. I am going to do some tweaking on it and hopefully I will like him better.

And my favorite of favorites is the birdcage. My daughter bought it for me at The Barn as a thank you for helping her with Presley's party. I had it in my head that I had to find a cage before I decorated. I almost settled for a much smaller one that I would have had to paint. I actually found it in the wedding section of HL - think it is used to hold gift cards. There were others out there, but once again, the prices were totally ridiculous! As we were walking around the garden store, I spied this and it is EXACTLY what I wanted. Can't you just see it crawling with crows?!

I am off to St. Pete tomorrow for a few days. Hubby is going to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays with our son-in-law. Then we will sneak in a visit to Julies and then he and I will spend some time with 2 granddaughters while Mom & Dad head to Tennessee for this week's Gator game. Hope to do some measuring and buy fabric to get going on several costumes before next week is out. I will be missing in action again but maybe I'll be home with more goodies to show you soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Missing in Action

I have been missing in action for a few days. I was down in Lakeland attending a very important occasion - my grandson's first Open House in kindergarten. He was so proud to show us his school and classroom and to introduce me to his teacher. Once again I have to wonder "where have the years gone?" I know it is only 5 1/2 for him but it truly seems like he was just born!

I have to include a picture of Presley as she was modeling another of her beautiful outfits. This child is only one and has a closet packed. She could wear a new outfit every day for many, many days. The problem is that she is so darn cute, you may not even notice the outfit!

I was only home one day when the gang started to show up. This weekend was Grandparents' Day, a home Gator game and Olivia's 9th birthday. We had people going to the game, people watching it with us and people coming after the game. By about 6 P.M., my whole immediate family had arrived and my husband and I were feted to the most wonderful celebration of Grandparents' Day. The guys bar-b-qued, the girls cooked and the kids helped wherever needed. All we did was sit, sip wine, eat and open presents - what a way to go! There were a few grumbles about this being a made-up Hallmark holiday, but as long as all I had to do was sit, sip wine, eat and open presents I say bring on more made-up Hallmark holidays - as long as grandparents are the ones being feted!

I had asked the kids if we could try to do a photo shoot since we would all be in one place at one time. They promised "no complaining" and they were true to their word. The pictures leave a bit to be desired but at least we're all in them. My sister-in-law took the pictures for us and I'm thinking she had better not quit her day job but the problem may be the subjects as well. Once again it was hot and some of us were past naptime - no, not my husband or me - so I think we did as well as could be expected. I think if I play around with them a bit more I can turn out a decent shot but was anxious to get this posted.

I will leave you with a hint of what is to come. I have been trying to cut back on my Halloween shopping. Some of the things in this picture were gifts, some on fantastic sales and some things I just couldn't live without. I know the picture isn't great but it's hard to photograph when you're never sure when your husband may walk in the door and all of this new Halloween stuff would need some sort of explanation. Gives new meaning to click and go!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Last Day of Tour

I'm back from a very nice trip to Gainesville. Schedules are getting back to normal. I never thought I was one for schedules but now I realize I get so much more done when I have one. I guess just knowing how much or how little time I have serves as my motivator. When there is nothing important looming in front of me, I tend to drift and find projects that weren't even near the to-do list yet.

About all I do in my bedroom for fall is change out the bedding and valance in the bay window. Of course, since the bedding is such a large part of a bedroom, it makes a large visual impact . I also change the arrangement on the dresser to the dark amaryllis - an easy switch as I just pull out the old, more springy narcissus and pop in the new.

I like my drive to Gainesville as it always gives me time to think. It is a pretty effortless trip without much traffic, so I use it to get my thoughts in order. This trip something kept niggling at my brain - there is something else I forgot in my autumn decorating. As I mentally drifted through the house, it came to me - my sunflower, autumn wreath. Now if I could just remember where I "stored" it, I'd be good. There aren't too many places I can hide something that large, so on my second guess, I found it! I love this wreath. It is getting old and may be a candidate for a bit of a facelift next year, but for now, it hangs in a place of prominence in the familyroom. I found this wreath many years ago at a large, country craft show on the state fairgrounds in Tampa. Kind of reminded me that I haven't been there in a few years. I used to go down with my husband who was always in awe of the fact that so many people were willing to pay money to park and then quite a hefty little entry fee to have the "privilege" to then enter and spend more money. Mars and Venus - he never "got" it, but we had fun none the less. Several years I went down with a group of friends. One year in particular I remember being head over heels at a vendor who sold garden statuary. I fell in love with a St. Francis of Assisi statue and had to have it. The thing was solid concrete and for some reason, I didn't want to inconvenience any of my friends (I didn't drive this particular time) so I just said I would carry it to the car and not arrange for special pick-up. Boy, you never realize how far away your car is parked until you are carrying a solid, concrete statue! Let's just say, we bonded. He is now a well loved member of the family much like the solid bronze sun dial I carried through the streets of downtown Boston for a SOLID DAY OF WALKING (boy is that a story) or the Pfaltzgraff Christmas dishes (service for 12!!!!) that I had on my lap all the way home from Atlanta. As I think about this, there are MANY MORE stories about the same I could relate. As I have said before, my theory is "where there's a will, there's a way"!

So that's pretty much it for the autumn decorating. I AM still finding little things in stores or on line and tweaking as I go, but for now, most new efforts will be put towards my favorite - Halloween!