Sunday, April 28, 2013

6 Wilson Pillow Giveaway

I don't know about you but I love Etsy.  I've found some wonderful vintage items
as well as handmade products from shops around the world.  So when friend, fellow blogger  and interior decorator Carol Beck told me she was opening a shop, I couldn't wait to visit
and get a behind the scenes tour of her new virtual pillow shop called 6 Wilson.

Carol had her own custom drapery business so has great sewing chops.  She now works
full-time with an interior design firm in Rhode Island, handles her own design clients and has
now turned her dining room into a workroom to supply her Etsy shop.  Her sewing machine
is set up on one side of the dining table and her serger is on the other side.  

The rest of the table has all of Carol's supplies, trims and tools all set up and ready to go.

I would say Carol is a connoisseur of fabrics.  I tagged along on a shopping trip
to the fabric shop and I learned a lot about fabrics.  All of the fabrics she's using
are beautiful high-end, designer fabrics.  And no corners are being cut
in their construction.  All of the edges are serged, constructed with
invisible zippers and the corners are tapered to minimize dog ears.
Most of the pillow covers use the same fabric on the front and back but if
the back is different, it's an equally beautiful coordinating fabric on the back.

Let me a show you a few of my favorites and then you can head
over to Carol's 6Wilson etsy shop and choose your own favorite.

Aren't they gorgeous?

I just couldn't resist bringing one home to liven up my guest room.

So now it's your turn to choose.  Carol has generously offered to give away
one of her beautiful  pillow covers to one of you.  And you get to pick your own!  

All you have to do is visit 6 Wilson, choose the pillow cover you'd love to have
and come back tell me which one in your comment.  If you're an anonymous
commenter please leave an e-mail address or your name AND the city/state you're
from so we can properly identify you if you're chosen.

For a second chance, follow 6 Wilson on Instagram or "like" 6 Wilson on
 Facebook and leave your Instagram/FB moniker in a second comment.

This offer is open to anyone worldwide.

I'll choose the winner next Sunday, May 5th, and your beautiful
pillow cover will soon be on its way.

Visit 6 Wilson and good luck!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Flowers of Remembrance

What a week!

With the capture and end of our lockdown came the rain as if right on cue.  The rain felt like the perfect end to a horrible week.  It washed away the anxiety of our city.  But once our own safety is taken care of, it was hard not to refocus on the others that are left hurting.

Here are some flowers for those people.

Vinca for the victims of the bombings and policemen killed and injured in the apprehension
of the terrorists.  My thoughts and prayers are with them, their families and friends.

Nothing is blooming in the garden right now so these few blooms are very precious.

Tulips for Texas whose tragedy seemed to take a back seat to the events in Boston.

White Ranunculus for Biscuit.  

I hope these flowers will be some relief or joy to anyone needing it.

Spring has come very late, like it was waiting for something.  Perhaps for our undivided attention.

And it seems especially sweet this year.

Take a moment to enjoy other spring flowers at Janes' Flowers in the House party.

* * * * *

If you would like to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings:

The One Fund was set up by the governor of Massachusetts
and the Mayor of Boston to help the people must affected by
the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Locked Down

If you saw the news this morning, you know that things heated up in Cambridge last night.
The Boston Marathon bombers lived here.  One is dead and other is on the loose. We are
presently under lock down, advised not to leave our homes and all forms of public
transportation have been shut down.  Hopefully all of this madness will come to an
end soon and everyone can get on with the process of getting back
to our new normal.  Thank you again everyone for your e-mails of concern.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Olive-Walnut Relish

How can you not love any appetizer or meal that's quickly prepared?
Olive and Walnut Relish is a quick and versatile appetizer and has quickly
become one of my favorites since having it a local restaurant.

I use Mt. Athos green olives from Whole Food that have a little
mustard seed, herbs and crushed red pepper.  Any good quality pitted olive
will do just add a few shakes of oregano and crushed  red pepper to taste.

I used about two parts olives to one part walnuts.  

Chop both the olives and walnuts rather coarsely...

...and combine in a bowl.  I mix in a little extra virgin olive oil and
add a little lemon zest to brighten the whole thing up.

I served it atop fresh mozzarella and crostini but I think it would
also be nice as a condiment with something like grilled fish or chicken.
Wasn't that easy?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Safe, Sound and Sad

Thank you all for your e-mails expressing concern
for me and my fellow Bostonians.  I was safe at home
watching the events unfold as many of you did.

What happened is terrible, the details horrifying, and
although we're all sad, we are resilient.
People say Bostonians aren't friendly but when we're
challenged, we pull together and help each other.

Events like this make us wonder what's wrong with
mankind.  After receiving scores of e-mails from around
the world checking on my well-being, offering prayers
for the city of Boston, I have faith
that there are many still on the right track.

Thank you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I love going to tile stores.  It's just fun walking around and
imagining all the possible combinations for various imaginary rooms.

It seems like every time you go, there's something different.

I wish I could say picking out the tile was as much fun as the Bathroom Goddess
made picking out the fixtures.  At this store, the salesperson sucked every bit of joy
out of the process.  No creativity, no suggestions on alternatives for the tile I wanted
that was $60 per tile.  I felt like I was just the next person she was stuck dealing with
and she couldn't wait to get my order taken care of so she could move on the next victim.

My next bathroom tile will come from Home Depot or Amazon.

Anyway, back to the tile.

There seems to be a lot of subway tile variations right now.  I think
the crocodile pattern is great but many of these seem juvenile.
And who's going to clean all those little bumps?

My favorite are the marbles.

Hexagons, basket weaves, greek keys...I love them all.

One of the most unique things I saw was this "braided" marble tile.   Each of
little pieces is about one inch by two inches.  Really, really beautiful.

I decided to go with a 4-inch by 12-inch subway tile on tub surround.
I think it strikes a nice balance of a classic tile in a more modern shape.
And 40% off.
It doesn't hurt that bigger tile = less grout to clean.

On the rest of the walls, I'm going to be doing a horizontal planking
of some kind capped off with a chair rail. 

In the tub/shower surround I continued that chair rail with a Greek key mosaic.

The floor.

I was planning to use wood on the floor to provide continuity of
color and material but once I started talking to Sam, my contractor, about
radiant heating in the floor, I quickly changed my mind to tile.

So I chose this faux wood porcelain tile in 9x36 inch "planks."
This is Ergon Wood Talk in Beige Digue.

It's incredibly realistic and it's apparently quite popular because it's
backordered a little bit.

I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about this choice.  I'm usually VERY
definitive about my choices and I'm a little ambivalent about this one.

I just joined the 21st Century and got an iPhone.

If you already found me on Instagram, you'd know my
Greek key border arrived yesterday.  Follow along if you'd like!

I'm really enjoying Instagram.  It gets me out and about a lot more and
makes me pay more attention to my surroundings.  I think Instagram is best 
to show details, textures, shapes and contrasts.  Close up and personal.  It's amazing
the things you can find when you're really paying attention.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bathroom Fixtures

After buying the Swedish console table for my bathroom vanity,
I headed to the kitchen and bath showroom to select some fixtures.

We have quite a few options locally for kitchen and bathroom fixtures but
after visiting a few, I chose Waterspot in Natick.  I'm not being compensated
by them in way but I really liked them and I'm happy to share that experience.
I had made a reconnaissance mission a few weeks before and I really liked
the products they had in the showroom and the staff seemed really friendly.

On my second visit, I went in and asked to speak to their bathroom goddess.
It's fun to play around with people sometimes just to see how they react.
The young woman at the front desk went over and whispered to a group
of salespeople/designers and one of them said "Oh, that would be me!"

Mary Ann was my bathroom goddess.

I went in with my Pinterest photos which I'm finding is a really
helpful to communicate your vision to other people.  It's so much easier to say,
"I'll doing a vanity table like this but I want a square basin sink..."

Maryann got my vision and was excited about it.

Okay, can we talk toilets for a minute?  This is the toilet in my ca. 1940
bathroom upstairs.  The tank, or cistern, is hung on the wall
and is separate from the bowl.  I've always loved the look of it but I swear
it takes about 17 gallons of water to fill it.  It's huge!

So when I found this photo on local designer Julieann Covino's blog CreateGirl,
it was toilet love at first sight.  I found them in the Perrin & Rowe catalog
as well as on the webistes of some other English companies.

I took this photo to Maryann and she loved it too.  She got my vision!

The problem is this particular model isn't imported into the States.  

Okay, I thought, I'll have it shipped myself.

But it's not code approved for use in Massachusetts.

We both cried for a minute.  And then regrouped.

Here are the choices I made.

Yes, the sink is modern but I think the rounded edges soften it.

Some of you had concerns or problems with basin sinks, first, that they would be
dated in a few years and, two, functionality in terms of splashing, toothpaste sticking to
the bottom and/or water running down your arms when you wash your face.
My goal is to please you all and these were all things I considered as well
but I chose this sink for a reason I didn't discuss.

When I renovate my kitchen, the second bathroom will be taken out of commission to
restructure plumbing that passes through the kitchen.  So during that the time I have no
kitchen, I'll be grilling all of my meals outside and washing whatever dishes I have in this sink.
So I wanted a nice big sink for my red Solo cups.

The Horus faucet was a splurge.  But I thought it was oh so sexy.

I also thought the "knuckles" on the faucet and the cross handles... 

...paired nicely with the legs of the vanity table.

Even though I couldn't have my dream toilet, the Porcher Lutezia
has a detail that I think makes it work perfectly.  Can you see what it is?
Now on to tile.  This is fun!