decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life Doesn't Get Any Better!

I think we may FINALLY be beginning to get the hang of this thing called retirement. I will admit, I still rate my days as successful by how much I get accomplished but I am beginning to give myself some slack. I am lightening up a bit and realizing that at this point in our lives, if we enjoy the day, that is all of the accomplishment we need!

We got to spend lots of time last in the last week or so with daughters # 1 and 2 and now plans are in the works to spend more time with daughters #2 and 3 in Gainesville. Have I told you how much I love to decorate and garden?? When I run out of things to do in our home, I love helping my girls. Kris will be needing help for a long time to come with her renovation and we are hoping to get back down there soon...but, I must not forget that the other girls lead super busy lives and could use a helping hand-or two-or six as well!....especially when there is a third dog-a puppy yet-added to the mix. She is a very sweet dog-but, did I say puppy? She is about 10 months or so now and eating and shredding anything and everything she can get to. Poor daughter #2 needs help. Enter daughter #3, hubby and me! We are heading up to help her "shop" her house and give it a spring re-do without spending much. It should be fun and I know we will have a lot of laughs in the process.  And so, I am beginning to embrace our new "routine". I am a planner but I pride myself on also being flexible as I have raised three very active daughters and have 7 grand children following along the same path. I love it when my phone rings and someone calls to invite us to something they forgot to mention-and it is later today. I am good with changing plans at a moments notice. I find most anything will wait until another day.

This week is filling up quickly-ballet observation later today, spaghetti dinner fund raiser and "spring sing" at kids' school tomorrow-as well as obligatory hair and dentist appointments, gym for hubby, errands, etc. It may all sound mundane, but I am finding the days are going way too quickly. So much to do, so little time. But, I am stopping to smell the flowers along the way. Just a few of the things that caught my attention in the garden today:

And, while we are here, a quick-and abbreviated-look at the dining room. I will admit I am still having trouble with merchandising the shelves I added. They don't look great in person, but they look even worse in photos so I am editing them out. Maybe when we are done at daughter #2's house, those same helping hands could come give this room a look-see!

Off to watch dance lessons. There is a big recital coming up in June so we should be getting a hint of what we have to look forward to. Just taking time to savor the little things. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Poison Ivy

I HATE strongly dislike (cause we're not supposed to use that other word) this stuff! IF it is poison ivy that I once again got into, I am more miserable than I have ever been. I think each time I get it, it is getting worse and worse! This time, it is not only all over my fingers but major blisters on the palms of my hand, up and down my arms and even on my face. I look a mess-hence, I have only left the house in the last 5 days to raid my daughter's garden so we have something to eat. I am afraid if anyone else sees me, they will think I have leprosy -or something.

And so, the reason I am doing so many posts. I am really limited with what I can do with my hands as those pesky blisters hurt! Luckily, I can still hit the keyboard with my infamous 2 finger on we go to the family room in spring! It is a bit overcast today and I am working on only 3 hours sleep, so forgive the quality (or lack thereof) of the pictures!

I enjoy decorating for spring because it gives me an opportunity to use so many of the garden embellishments that I have collected over the years. I am always drawn to fence pieces, plaques and statuary that show their age. Sometimes they will actually be out in the garden and at other times, they make their way into the decor...and, as you know, the rustier the better!

I actually had an "ah-ha" moment. I have been looking for some more large, chunky candle holders of late and have had trouble finding any. When I was putting this vignette together, I wanted a plant of some sort but all of the ones I have were too short. I once again wished I had a few more chunky holders when it hit me...I could take my Southern Living apothecary jars...

...last seen here being used for Easter....and take them apart. They are each in three pieces and I always forget that. When I took off the jar and lid, I had a perfect, chunky candle holder on which to sit a potted plant for this vignette.

I still love using this old dove statue that I bought oh so many years ago in a little garden cottage down in Winter Park. He is sitting in a moss tray that was one of my first purchases from my daughters' online boutique when they just started. I seem to find a way to use it every year.

I only have a room or two more to show you. Hopefully by then I will be back out amongst the living. We do have a pretty busy next few weeks planned so I need to get better soon! I have actually begun looking at what I might be adding to my 4th of July decor while I have been house bound. Since I put that out around the beginning of June, time is moving quickly...and, somehow, spring keeps us even busier than autumn. So many fun things approaching...can't wait! Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My New Treasures

I love going shopping and hunting for even one new, little treasure. So much fun to bring it home and find just the right place for it. Of course, that usually means moving around other things and before I know it, the day is over!

On our last trip, I made out like a bandit!. My oldest daughter likes to only give gifts that "look like" the recipient. If she sees something months before an occasion, she will pick it up and hold onto it. If the occasion comes, and she still hasn't found anything just right, she will give you an IOU. And, that is exactly what happened last Mother's Day. She wanted me to come down and we would make a trip to Julie's Cottage at Provence in Largo (have I told you before how much we LOVE this place?) and I could pick out what I wanted. It has been a busy year and even though we had made trips down to St. Pete, we never made it to Largo. So, when we were down there last week, we knew we would fit in this trip. And, to hedge her bet, not only did I get my IOU from last Mothers' Day but she decided to "get ahead of the game" and let me pick out this year's gift as well. Woo-hoo!! Did I have fun! Of course, I had to sneak in a few purchases of my own as well.

I have been looking for a new piece for the foyer-mostly so that the piece that I had put there could go back to where it belonged-and looked better- and I could get rid of a piece that I had grown tired of. Every time I thought I might have found something, I changed my mind before purchasing it. I didn't really have a preconceived idea of what it should look like but I knew I wanted it high. And then it happened! We were in another of the little shops in the "Julies" compound and we both saw this table at the same time...and we both knew we wanted it and where it would go. Thankfully, my daughter decided it wouldn't work for her because she wanted a piece with way more storage. I was happy she came to that conclusion because it would have been embarrassing for a mom to have to take down her daughter in the middle of a store!!

And, it was serendipity. I had no way of getting it home in my car but my SIL was driving his truck down on Saturday with two wing back chairs that we were giving to our daughter and could just throw this in on his return trip.

I don't know why I was drawn to this piece, but I was. I have been more than ready to get rid of the large mirror that I had hanging here. Of course, now, I will have to always have something large to hang when the spring wreath comes down, but I figure I probably have that covered...although I am now VERY MUCH REGRETTING not buying the 4th of July wreath that I originally had on my pile at Julies and got talked out of buying. Guess a trip to HL is in my near future! I think I will buy a large grape vine wreath and embellish it with red geraniums. Then, I can simply add in some red, white and blue sparkle for the 4th of July or sunflowers for the summer decor. Keeping my fingers crossed that will work because I don't need any more large items for storing!

So where, you ask, did I put the rest of my goodies?

I love both of these candle holders...they are old and "chippy" looking. I have been looking for more that weren't going to break the bank and these just fit the bill!

I am still always drawn to old pots and urns. This one was perfect because it is smaller than most of the others I have so it can fit in smaller areas while carrying on the theme...and, the fact that it is green is all the better because I can use it so much of the year!

And then there is this beauty! I love mercury glass and I love this amber color-not to mention its size. I thought I would put it away until I brought out the sunflowers for summer but I couldn't help myself. I put it on the table in the sun room so I can smile every time I look at it! Doesn't really go with spring but hey, it's my house!! Try not to judge.

Still more to come. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"They've Got My Number"

I have posted several times about "seeing things with new eyes". That is what happened the other day when I actually took a good look at this:

This is our old house number sign...and it has served us well for many years but now it is very faded and dull. I suppose I could have repainted the background and polished up the brass but even if I had, it was now just too small for this unbroken brick wall. You see, for many years, a wooden bench sat under these numbers and the scale of it all just worked. But then one day I heard a noise and upon investigation, I discovered that the bench had finally just collapsed on its own. The bench had been in our foyer for a long time-we picked it up at Naked Furniture many years ago. I had originally stained it a walnut color. When I tired of that, I gave it an off white crackle finish. And, when I tired of that it went out onto the porch. It looked cute piled with pots of plants and birdhouses-or seasonal decorations-and served us well but it was now time to say farewell.

I put my hubby to work taking the rest of it apart and lucky for me, one plank was wide and heavy so he propped it up against the fence while he dismantled the rest....and, that was when I saw it and it spoke to me.

I love the old peeling paint. I kind of wish it were a different color-and I almost gave it a dry brush of some hue of green-but, in the end, I left it as is and started work on my idea!

I headed to Lowes to find the largest house numbers I could find. Unfortunately, The largest without special ordering turned out to be these black, plastic numbers with silver trim...not to my liking but a bit of paint and I would be good to go.

I was actually just going to lean it against the house but ended up adding a wire hanger on the back. I am still not sure if I am done tweaking. I may cut off a bit to make it shorter or I may still add a bit of color...we shall see.

For now, I'm good with it. Who knows what's next? Stay tuned.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Things were looking pretty bland as we left on our trip. When we returned, we were greeted by this:

The arbor is almost full of roses...

...hydrangeas are starting...

...mock orange... sky vine-this thing did so well last year and then came back this year even stronger that I ran out and bought another. It is not an inexpensive plant, but worth every dime!

The gardenias are just starting...

...gerberas all coming back... are the day-lilies....

....and the alstroemerias....



...and the pots of petunias. I really expected to come back to a desert as we are only allowed to use our irrigation systems twice a week and where we were, there was NO rain...must have had a few drops here because almost everything looked good!

The only "crop" I am doing this year is a few grape tomato plants-and I do them in pots right outside the back door where I grow my herbs. When I left, I had just potted these plants. This is what I found when I returned...

...and, if you look very carefully, my crop is on its way. Then I will head over to my daughter's house (where her family is doing a big garden) to pick the rest of my salad!

The kitchen area is more "Tuscan, wine" theme than spring, but this is one of the few times a year that I can use these things, so I do. The baker's rack holds my spring flower dinner ware and green wine glasses.

I have had my large Boos cutting board for years and I love it but I always had it put away in a cupboard. I realized that I didn't reach for it as often as I should because it was too difficult to get to so I brought it out. Then, I found the small board on sale at Williams Sonoma and daughter #1 bought me the medium board on her last trip to the Pottery Barn Outlet in Atlanta...a little birdie had told her that I coveted the one daughter #3 bought there on their last trip. I wish I had a higher space to sit these up on the counter but no matter how hard I try, that will just not work so they are here for now but I am thinking of hanging the two smaller boards on the wall near my pizza board...just need to see what my "decorator thinks of that!

More spring to come. Stay tuned.