Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pots and Pots of Plants

I can remember when I lived in New York state several years ago, Memorial Day weekend was the weekend to plant flowers in all of my containers.

So I thought of all of my northern friends this weekend and wondered if that is what you all were doing.

Here in NC, I am able to plant my containers a little earlier.  So I planted mine a few weeks ago.

I love vibrant colors, so most of my flowering plants are reds, purples and yellows.

Did you plant your containers this weekend?
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Counter Stools Are Finished!

The bar counter stools are finished!  Here is the before, remember I had to cut them down from bar height to counter height when we removed the 2nd tier from our kitchen counters.

Here are the after pictures.  I painted them with Maison Blanche from Sherwin Williams.  Then sanded the edges slightly and wiped on glaze to antique them a little.

I have started painting the chairs for the kitchen table....

This project will be put on hold for the Memorial Day Weekend, we have company coming.

Have a wonderful weekend!!
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Looking For Something New to Grill?

I am trying to find new things to cook on the grill, other than steak, burgers or ribs.

Recently while eating lunch in Asheville at Bistro 1896 with Jane from Blondie's Journal, I ordered a Blackened Grouper Taco.  It tasted wonderful, so I recreated it at home.

Here is my version.

I made mango salsa and
I coated the grouper with Chef Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish Magic. 

We used a perforated grill pan on our gas grill.  We sprayed the grill pan with Pam.   It took about 8 minutes to cook on medium.

Serve it on a warm tortilla with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Mango Salsa Recipe
Peel and dice a ripe mango, add a teaspoon of honey, the juice of 1/2 fresh lime, 1 Tablespoon minced red onion, 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped, pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.  Mix well and let sit for an hour at room temperature.

Yummy and healthy too!
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p.s. the bar stools are finished but it rained all day today and I could not get a good picture.  The sun will be out tomorrow and  I will post about them then.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kitchen Countertop Redo

A little while back I told you were were changing our counter top and sink. 

Here is the before....

The counter top was two tiered and was a wasted space.  The Corian sink was chipped and stained.  The faucet leaked.  The appliance garage in the back corner took up a lot of the small amount of counter I had.

Here is the after.  With the all one level granite counter, the appliance garage removed, a single bowl deep dish stainless sink and new faucet.   Our tile guy did a great job adding the extra tiles to the back splash where we extended the counter and removed the appliance garage.

I love the way it turned out.  Of course with the lower counter, our bar stools had to be cut down to counter height. 

And as you know I decided to paint them and recover the cushions.  They will be finished tomorrow and I will post about them this weekend.  Here is a sneak peak so far...3 coats of Maison Blanche by Sherwin Williams.  Today I will distress them a little and add glaze.

p.s. I have had a hard time leaving comments through Google for the last two days...  I see that some of you have too.  I cleared my cookies and it did the trick, so I will try to catch up with all of you soon.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pinch Pleat Pretties!

I finished sewing the curtains for the master bath.  My inspiration to add color to my master bath came from this picture of a Sarah Richardson design.  I just love her decorating style!


Here is my version below.

In the picture below, you can see the Monet photo that I took in Paris and had enlarged.

I hung this stone shelf and added the vintage yellow vase and flowers on the opposite side of the room from the curtains to balance the color.

In the picture below are two more photos I took while in France last year, enlarged and framed.

I wanted to thank Amy at Maison Decor again, for her guidance and encouragement on the curtain making.  I had never made pinch pleat curtains before and Amy convinced me that I could do it.

I am joining Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Recovering and Painting Counter Stools

I have been working on my counter stool project.  Remember when I showed you this picture...

We were in the process of cutting down the bar stools to counter height to match our new counter height granite counter top. (Kitchen changes coming to a post soon.)

I also needed to reupholster the stools to coordinate with the kitchen dining chairs.

So I carefully took apart the existing fabric and made a pattern.

You can see the stool cover above leaning on top of my kitchen chair cushions.  I used the same checked fabric for the stool covers that is on the edges of the chair cushion.  (and no, I have NOT painting my kitchen chairs and table yet, but this is going to happen this week, I hope)

But I am painting the counter stools.  I started today.

First coat is finished.

Now tell me, you paint on top of your dining table too don't you?
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrating La Joie De Vivre

Do you know about Belle Inspiration?  It is a wonderful bi-monthly E-Magazine based in Paris France.  The creator of this wonderful e-magazine is Mimi Bleu, and this is how she describes Belle Inspiration,

"Belle Inspiration is your rendez-vous with good taste and style. Published bi-monthly and delivered to you in a digital flip-page format.

Based in Paris France, our international team of contributors are all about a romantic style of living, and enjoying the simple things that can make your day more beautiful.

Each issue will profile practical and versatile ideas coupled with beautiful images, unique boutiques, wallet-friendly solutions for interiors, food and fashion.

Meet business-minded women and discover how they launched their dreams. We endeavor to be your online escape, a small respite during your busy day. For you, your family, your home, your life!"

Photo courtesy of Belle Inspiration

The current issue is filled with wonderful articles about roses, French lavender, antiquing in France and much more.

Do you see what is in the bottom right corner of the picture above?  Yes, that is one of my mosaic birdhouses!  I was so fortunate to be interviewed by Eileen Bradway for the current issue of Belle Inspiration!

You can click on the link on my side bar to read the article or you can go to Belle Inspiration to sign up and receive this wonderful magazine!

Thank you Mimi and Eileen!  I am honored that you wanted to feature me in your beautiful magazine!

Brunch, Boating and Blog Friends

I have been having the best time these last couple of days!  Jane from Blondie's Journal has been visiting Asheville and along with my other friend, Penny of Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, we have been meeting for lunch, brunch and boating!

Yesterday, Penny and her husband David, invited Jane and her husband Alan, my husband Kent and me over to her lake cottage for brunch and boating.

Penny is a fabulous cook.  Here she is putting the finishing touches on Mexican Benedict.
She served it with delicious potatoes, fruit salad and apple bread.  You can get the recipe for the Mexican Benedict on her blog, here.
Then with Penny's husband David as the captain, we went boating on Lake Lure.  It is a gorgeous lake, surrounded by mountains.  Remember the lake scene in the movie Dirty Dancing?  It was filmed on this lake.

Here we are....Penny on the left, me in the middle and Jane on the right.
We had a wonderful day.  And along the way, we made some more "friends".

Happy Weekend everyone!
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Putting It In To Perspective

I have been showing you bits and pieces of our backyard and the work we are doing on it.  I thought I would show you the whole picture, so you could put it in to perspective.

This is a shot standing in my kitchen garden looking back towards the house.

In it you can see the screen and the potting bench to the left, the pergola to the right and beyond the pergola, the fire pit area.

I am standing on my driveway looking at the kitchen garden in the shot above.

This is the newest addition to our back yard.  It sits between the fire pit area and the pergola.  It still needs to be hooked up.  A trench has to be dug and electric brought out to the fountain and pergola.  We will be hanging those cool Italian cafe type string lights on the pergola when we get electric out there.

This picture is taken from our back porch, looking towards the fire pit and pergola. 

We found some nice, but inexpensive outdoors furniture for our fire pit at Lowe's.

And we put the other furniture we were using around the fire pit, back onto the back porch.  We are still getting pollen, so I have not decorated the back porch yet.

Anyone want to come over for a BBQ and marshmallow roast?
Welcome Home,
p.s. My curtains are finished and the traverse rod is here.  Mr. Comforts of Home is hanging the rod this week, so stay tuned for the master bath update!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coming Soon

I have been playing around with an idea for several months now.  Actually ever since I had my shoulder surgery last December.

I am going to close down my Lavender Hill Studio blog and start a new blog that encompasses all that I do in my studio.  I do more than mosaics.  I make-over flea market, thrift store and auction items too,

In the new blog, I will be taking you a long with me to flea markets, thrift stores and antiquing.  I will have a video camera with me on some of the outings.

Then we will come back to the studio, and make things over.  Some items will be painted, some will be turned into lamps.  Some I will mosaic.

I will show you before and after photos and some video how-to tutorials.

Sound like fun?  The new blog will debut in June.  I will be having a giveaway on the the new blog when it debuts.  Sign up now as a follower on Flea Market Makeovers to be entered in the giveaway. 

To sign up as a follower, simply click on this link, Flea Market Makeovers and sign up under Followers on the side bar.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

So Many Projects, Yikes!

Don't even look at my project list on my side bar.  It seems we are in the midst of more projects and I haven't made a dent on the ones on the sidebar. 

Besides making the drapes for the master bath, that I showed you in the previous two posts....

I am still in the beginning stages of painting the kitchen table and chairs.  We also have to cut down our bar stools to counter height, paint and recover those.  One has been cut so far.

Currently we are working on the pergola....still have to finish the flagstone floor, dig a trench to get electric out to the pergola and grill.

Mr. Comforts of Home is also building a screen to hide the air conditioner, trash can and such.

When it is finished, we have to plant these honeysuckle to climb all over it.  There will also be a potting bench in front of it.

So since you all said you like before and afters....stay tuned.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Sewing Up A Storm

I am sewing up a storm....well sort of :-).

I really am not a seamstress.  So it will probably take all weekend to get this pair of drapes sewn.

I did order my decorative traverse rod.  It is from JC Penney and should arrive in 7-10 business days.

You know I was inspired by Sarah Richardson's farmhouse bath.  For all of you Sarah fans out there, her new show starts this Saturday on HGTV at 8PM.  It is called Sarah's Summer House.  Here is a picture of one of the rooms in the Summer House below.

Looks like it is going to be a wonderful house!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother's Day.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coloring the Master Bath

I know you have all seen my master bath.  It is all white and black and I love it.  But I am not just a black and white person, so I decided to color the master bath up a little.


Here is a little grouping of yellow in the picture below.  You can also see the photograph I took of a Monet painting while in Paris last year.  I had it enlarged and bought a frame at Michael's.  It is going on the wall at the end of the tub.  The yellow water lilies pick up the yellow in the new yellow towels and curtain fabric.

I am going to attempt to make my curtains.  I need to make pinch pleat curtains, so they can go on a travis rod.  It is very hard trying to open and close them with the tub in front.  I will show you how I did when it is finished.

Amy from Maison Decor, has been giving me instructions on how to do it.  If you don't know Amy, you need to go visit her.  She decorates her home in a dreamy French style and she makes the most amazing draperies...

I know I am suppose to be working on painting my kitchen table and chairs, and I promised to show you pictures of the kitchen with the new granite and finished backsplash.  I promise I will soon!

edited to add:  A lot of you have asked where I found the fabric.  I found it at a local store.  But I have since searched online and found it at Joann's Fabric.  It is on sale for $19.99 a yard.
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