Thursday, October 7, 2010


Moving to a public blog site.

Lingerie inspired slipcover

The fun never ends here at Beecham Circle (sort of like Beekman Place, isn't it?)  OK maybe not.


In another episode of diy home decorating, my previous success with the parlor chair slipcover propelled me toward another sewing adventure of that genre.  In the guest bedroom, the chair is more structured, but the feel is still relaxed and feminine. 

And after many hours of hand sewing, it looks like a keeper.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween photo fun

photo embellishments courtesy of the picnik extras available through google picasa-web

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Banner love

After removing the wedding decorations from our house, I somehow neglected to remove the little white nails that had served to secure all those heart garlands.  They're still everywhere, but thankfully, being white, they are nearly invisible.

And also, thankfully, two of them came in handy last weekend when we had a small birthday celebration for my sister-in-law.  Cristybella purchased a colorful happy-birthday banner at Target, hung it and decorated it with streamers. 

I left it up to enjoy for another day or two while incubating an idea for a new banner for that particular spot.  A surprise welcome-home banner for my sweet Cristy.  She'd been out of town on business all week,  

And here it is, made from used/recycled birthday and greeting cards.  I envision many more banners in our future.  This was easy and sweet.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Design notebook

Cristybella has a particular affinity for the seashore and treasures from the ocean.  Seaglass doesn't wash up along the beaches of the Texas gulf coast, but on her travels to other shores, she has been fortunate to find a few pieces.  She also expanded her collection through a highly strategic eBay acquisition.

While in Warrenton last Friday, we noticed plenty of yard sculpture.  One in particular was a little metal item resembling a leafless tree, just the branches.  I didn't even notice it amongst the millions of other products lined up as far as the eye could see.  But Cristy pointed out that if we hung seaglass from that little tree, it would be a pretty addition to our house.  I hadn't considered it before, but had to agree.

On the other hand, why not just use natural branches?

So we did.

And this is the result.  One final touch will be to add sand to the bottom of the vase, that crucial element, that when combined with a broken piece of glass, an endless ocean wave and abundant time will produce a beautifully rounded frosty droplet of sea glass.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The face of poverty

The third Saturday of each month I make a trek to the northern fringe of downtown, the location of the Houston Food Bank warehouse. I pick up four boxes of food (non-perishable pantry staples) to deliver to the four clients I serve: senior citizens living in poverty. I started volunteering in 2002. The seniors on my route are very personable and all extremely grateful for the moderate amount of food they receive to help them make it through the month.

Last Friday, I received an email from the nonprofit organization that runs the Food for Seniors program indicating that it may be canceled at the end of the calendar year. So I decided to take my camera along the next day to start creating a little photo diary of the experience. Point in fact, one of my clients had asked me to bring a picture of myself for her, and I thought a picture of us both together might be much sweeter.

The decision making process regarding the tenure of this program at the parent organization is undoubtedly a complex one and I don’t pretend to have access to all the facts. The only thing I know for certain is that the seniors on my route live a truly impoverished existence and they need the supplemental food this program provides.  Whether they get it from this organization, another similar one, or not at all remains to be seen.

I lived in an urban neighborhood for 15 years, only a mile or two away from most of the seniors on my route. But the similarities between our lives ended there. I have never known poverty and it occurs to me that attempting to document this harsh way of life in images is nothing more than pretense. In fact, when I look at these images, they seem pleasant. Perhaps I edited too carefully, selecting out the photos troubling to the eye. Perhaps in the months ahead, time permitting, my camera and my conscience can be more honest.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Scenes from the urban Houston landscape

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday wordle - approaching autumn

In south Texas, we have a long way to go before cool weather arrives, so looking forward to autumn is more of a state of mind.  It is about finding comfort and sharing those feelings of warmth, love and peace.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Design notebook

Not too long after we moved into our house last fall, I went on the hunt for a pretty armchair and thought I scored a bargain with this find at $40 from Craigslist.  Then I saw it in person and wasn't so sure.  The finish is blotchy and the arms are at an improper height.  But still, it has that pretty cane back, so at that price, for an occasional chair, I decided I could live with the imperfections.

It had been my intent to make a cushion cover for the chair and after all these months, I set about that task his past weekend with an inexpensive oatmeal colored woven cotton fabric from Jo Ann's. 

I'm pleased with the outcome and will no doubt tackle another occasional armchair in the not too distant future to cover the grossly outdated green velvet cushion.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adorning the humble doorknob

Not an original idea, but an adaptation of a Martha Stewart button wreath (tiny) for Christmas.  I used white buttons and shell buttons with little glittery beads interspersed and a heartshaped shell drop at the bottom.  I have a feeling that I won't be able to resist making green ones for Christmas.  And maybe a large silver jingle bell drop at the bottom?  How cute would that be?

Design notebook

This is the configuration of the windows in my parlor.  The upper, circular portion is presently bare and the lower portion is covered with plain white blinds.  The parlor is one of the prettiest rooms in the house. It is small, cozy and not too formal because we placed an antique pine china hutch in there to anchor the room.  The pine give it a very relaxed feeling.

I've been meaning to tackle the windows in our house and the parlor is my first project.  I saw this swag treatment at an Ernest Thompson retail store many many years ago and have always remembered it.  The treatment is merely a long loop of plain cotton muslin knotted at the bottom of each loop. 

I selected this treatment for the room because (1) it's easy to make with a needle and thread and (2) it will provide visual interest in the upper portion of the room -- the ceilings are over 12 feet.  The windows receive indirect afternoon sunlight and I think we can safely remove the blinds and not subject the interior furnishings to sun damage or fading.  Well, that's my hypothesis anyway.

The investment in supplies was small, so if it the results don't look good, I can move on to another idea without a big pain in the purse.  Hopefully, it will be finished soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Good fortune

We joined a couple of dear friends for dinner on Saturday, Carol and Liz.  Midway through our cocktail, Carol surprised us with an announcement. Just recently, good fortune found its way to her, quite unexpectedly. It serves as a reminder that from time to time, good things happen to very good people.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blurred vision

Can someone just tell me how Thursday got here so fast?  Puh-leeez?  The days of the calendar seem to be leap-frogging over each other in their haste to get to the next day.  I'm not in so much of a hurry, so it would be perfectly fine if they just slowed down for a minute.  Or two.

Savoring the memories from the weekend helps.  My handsome brother and lovely sister-in-law paused to smile for the camera

And I didn't have to ask their little guy, Max, twice.  He loves to get his picture taken.

And finally, one of my favorite things, glancing out into the yard to see my lovely Cristybella on a sweet Sunday morning.

Now I suppose it's time to get back to work after this brief reprieve.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Living room - one step closer

After taking down our wedding decorations in the living room, we were left with a big empty spot on our mantel, inadequate lighting and insuffient seating.  I stumbled upon a small couch at a consignment store and brought it home, so we are headed in the right direction.  Filling the expansive empty spot above the fireplace will take a little extra funding.

But I have had my heart set on an aged finish mercury glass lamp.  And an affordable one is not easy to find.  However, yesterday I located a product that I think will work nicely.

If all goes as planned, it will have a resting place either (1) on the console table just below the panels on the wall or (2) on the built-in unit to the left of the fireplace in front of the antique mirror.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this $99 from bellacor delivers the style we want to integrate into our home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More scenes from a wedding

Unbelievably delicious cake from Bella Cibo

June 26, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer is for weddings

Nothing like wedding cake to bring out the smiles.  Tea, Lisa and my beloved Cristy enjoying the celebration festivities for two newlyweds, Stephanie and Michael.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Texture, color, rhythm

As a non-professional novice of home decorating, I'm learning through experience.  Unfortunately.
On the upside, this room has a fairly consistent scheme of colors with which we are very happy and our individual pieces blend well together.

On the downside, I made a purchase last weekend that poses some new challenges.  I have not yet ever owned an item of leather-upholstered furniture this large.  The density of the upholstery and the fact that it is a solid dark color makes the piece seem heavier than it is.  So I lightened it up with a pretty Dash and Albert rug and am happy with this casual look. 

The second challenge is keeping the rug in place over the slippery leather.  I will be headed to Target soon to purchase a non-slip rug pad to place between the couch and rug.  And hopefully that will work.

Friday, July 16, 2010


While we haven't received any actual wedding photos from our talented photographer yet, I'm still craving a glimpse into the wedding we had, and the blur that is all those moments I just can't quite recall.  So for the moment, slices of images pieced together, quilt-style, can help to serve up a dose of bliss.  Hope you like it sweetheart, ILY.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dinner al fresco

A breezy Saturday evening was the perfect touch for a backyard patio dinner, our trees adorned with twinkling candles to offer an extra special glow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Upcycled Mexican door

Cristy and I recently finished a project, creating a table to complement the comfy little seating space in our bedroom.

This project was inspired 100% by bloggers. Design bloggers rock!

The original concept from Krisel Keeper's upcycled DIY bench, and the adorable striped rug as a table accessory plus the seagrass rug for the floor from Joni at Cote De Texas.
I purchased the aged wooden door from Adkins Architectural Antiques in Houston and they did a bit of very professional carpentry work for me since the size of the original was larger than I could accommodate in this room.
The raw steel table legs were easy to install from Hairpin Legs.
I know, we need some curtains at the windows. But one thing at a time. ...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Difficult business, this lamp selection task

The collection of images above, with the exception of the mercury glass lamp, is a fairly accurate depiction of the colors, themes and textures in our bedroom. The themes we are trying to keep in mind when selecting items for our home are beach and romance.

This is not to say that we have piles of driftwood or statues of seagulls on every table. The beach theme relates more to selecting items that are uncomplicated. And the romance is the touch of homemade softness, round shapes and weathered patina.

After having been inspired by locating several gorgeous mercury glass lamps, I had hoped to select one for this room, in particular, the lamp pictured, but am not sure if this exact lamp will complement the existing decor.

So, this is my process, considering the elements, both individually and in combination. We will sleep on it for a while and see.

More pretty lamps

searching for inspiration, by way of lighting, and mercury glass seems to be a good fit.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scenes from the weekend

Squirrels were plentiful and Gracyn went for a swim, her new favorite pasttime.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another pretty lamp

Romantic mercury glass in this feminine shape makes a lovely lamp. From RianRae.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Turning 18

Dinner at The Grove, followed by Lady Gaga night at South Beach. Fabulous perfection.
Happy birthday Hunter, we love you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Friendly neighborhood Kroger floral

So last Thursday I was down the street at Kroger getting some groceries and I noticed a bouquet of Limonium in the floral area. I just love these soft little filler flowers, so I asked the grocery staff member if I could place an order. She said yes. And I quickly rattled off a list of flowers that they generally stock. Presto, wedding floral planning was complete in less than 5 minutes.

I'll be picking up a couple of bunches of roses on Monday so they will have plenty of time to open by the end of the week. I prefer rose blossoms to be mature, just to the point of fading, rather than too youthful. And I'll get the remaining flowers on Friday and have fun assembling bouquets of all sizes and augmenting them with natural clippings from the landscape.

I'm thinking a pretty crape myrtle spray on the front door will be just the thing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweet touches for a wedding

Candle lanterns indoors and out.

A homemade ornament from old buttons for a doorknob.

And miles of garland.

Scenes from the prom

It's just been a few weeks since high school prom. And on the afternoon of our nephew's prom night, his mom sent me a few phone-pics. My phone is not one of those smart-handy-dandy gadgets that can perform miracles with the sweep of your little finger. The picture window is so small I couldn't see, so I had to go to the computer a couple of days later to sign into the Sprint website and actually look at a larger version of the picture.

Hunter looked handsome.

But there was another sweet face lurking there in the background. She so wanted to go. Sweet thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scenes from the weekend

Last weekend, actually. Marlow has officially emerged from hibernation and spends nearly all his time lazing about the yard. In true kitty fashion.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Saturday night watching tv

Edgar enjoys his program with a soft companion toy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Clippings from the garden

Memorial weekend, making memories

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