Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Toile and Ticking


I love the combination of toile and ticking stripe.  So, when I went looking for an affordable fabric to buy to make my bedroom curtains with, I looked for gold ticking stripe. 

I already had the toile part covered (no pun intended).  My quilt is a gold toile.

To make thinks a little more French Country and just a wee bit over the top, I am adding a gold and red rooster pattern toile as an attached valance along with a red and gold fringe.  The red and gold rooster fabric is actually curtains that I had in my dining room of my other house.  You can see them as curtains on this post, here.  There are only 4 panels so there were not enough to use as curtains in my bedroom, plus they were too short.  So they will be reworked into valances and more.

You can see there is already an accent pillow on my bed with the red and yellow rooster toile.  I might add that rooster toile to the lampshades on either side of the bed.  I think I might also make pillow shams with the gold ticking stripe.


Mr. Comforts of Home has hung the curtain rods.  The ticking fabric arrived today.  So tomorrow I sew!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beach Boys!

A few evenings ago we saw the Beach Boys in concert at the Biltmore.  This time we had our picnic in the Italian Garden area of the estate.


The Italian Garden is filled with Koi ponds, lilies and beautiful marble statues.  There are benches scattered through out  and we sat on a bench for our picnic.

As the sun set slowly over the mountain tops, the seats began to fill up.


Then the Beach Boys came on stage and sang and played for two hours straight!


When they played Surfer Girl, Mike Love encouraged all of the audience to get out their cell phones and flip them open and use the lights from the phone the way we used to use Bic lighters....  I took a picture of the crowd behind us with the cell phones waving in the air.


It was a great concert.  I am very fortunate to live 15 minutes from the Biltmore Estate and in these beautiful mountains.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Projects On My Side Bar

Last January, when I was recovering from my rotator cuff surgery, I posted a list of decorating projects on my side bar that I wanted to get done this year.

I was limited to what I could do for the first 5 months, but Mr. Comforts of Home and I have managed to check some of the projects off the list.

The project for Mr. Comforts of Home this week, is to hang these curtain rods in our master bedroom.
My project this week is to make curtains.  You see, the problem has been that our windows are not standard height. 

 So I can't go to Target, JC Penny, Lowe's, Home Goods, etc and get curtains that are a standard 84 inches.  I have to have 108 inch curtains.
Buffalo Check Rod Pocket Panel
To buy the gold buffalo check curtains above from Country Curtains, would cost me $621.95 for 4 windows!  I love these curtains.  I actually used that same curtain in my previous home in the living room.  See here.

Soooo I found some inexpensive fabric to make my curtains with.  It is not the gold buffalo check, but I like what I have found.  I will show you the fabric when it arrives this week.

What are you doing this week?  Working on any projects?
Welcome Home,
Penny

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Painted Porch Floor

My friend BJ, from Sweet Nothings was sighing the other day on this post, because she had seen a beautiful painted WOOD porch floor that she loved, and her porch floor was CONCRETE.  Here is the porch she was coveting the floor of....
from BJ's post of  a Country Living picture

I told her I would do this blog post just for her, because several years ago when we lived in Florida I used concrete stain to paint my concrete porch floor.

Here is the concrete porch BEFORE I stained it.  I apologize for the poor picture quality.  I took photos of photos...these pictures are from 1999.


And here are the after pictures....

Following the manufacturers instructions we etched our concrete porch floor with muriatic acid (please follow the manufacturers instructions!!).

Then after the concrete was completely dry, I painted the whole porch a taupe color.  Then I applied painters tape where I wanted the "grout" to be, and also where I wanted to paint an "area rug". 

I then applied a coat of white paint over the whole porch - except the center where the "rug" was to be.

When the white paint was dry, I pulled up the painters tape to reveal the "grout".

Finally I stenciled a floral pattern around the "area rug" and free hand painted tassels onto the "rug".  In the picture above you can even see an old crack in the concrete on the right had side.

It actually really look like tile when it was finished.

If you want to try this, just make sure you buy the correct stain/paint for your surface.  Make sure you also prep the surface properly.  Ask at the paint/stain store - if you tell then what you are painting, they should be able to direct you to the right products.

There you go BJ....now start staining/painting your concrete porch!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bee Tease

If you are really old like me, you might have heard your grandparents use the phrase "the bees knees" for something that was far out, cool, or awesome, or gnarly, or whatever word your generation would use.


Well this post is titled "Bee Tease", because I am only giving you a teaser photo.


If I have peaked your interest, head on over to my Flea Market Makeovers blog and see the latest makeover.  I think you will really like this one.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquakes, Harvest and Butterflies


That's a strange title for my post isn't it?


Today here in North Carolina, we felt the earthquake that was centered in Virginia.  It lasted about 7 seconds here...just long enough for me to run down the stairs out of my studio and outside.  All the stacks and stacks of dishes on my studio shelves were rattling and shaking!


On to the "Harvest" part of the post...

I spent the morning in my veggie garden, planting a fall crop of peas, lettuce, spinach and yellow beans.  Then I pulled some of my leeks...I think we are having potato leek soup tonight.  Yummy!

While gardening, this sweet butterfly landed on my leg and decided to visit me for about a half hour before it flew away.  Every time I put it down on a flower, it flew back to me!  I guess it was trying to tell me to stop and enjoy nature....

p.s. new project finished on Flea Market Makeover...to see it click on the link on my sidebar :-)
Welcome Home,
Penny

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friends and Flowers

Last year in October I held a blogger brunch and 16 bloggers from 4 different states showed up.  We had a wonderful time.  One of the bloggers was Rhondi from Rose Colored Glasses. 

Rhondi and I have met a few times in person.  She lives a couple of hours from me, so we have been able to develop a friendship beyond our blog.

Rhondi brought every one that attended the blog brunch some flower bulbs from her garden.

I planted them last fall, and today when I went outside, they were blooming.

Friendships and flowers....blooming.

Thank you again Rhondi.  I think of you every time I see them.

edited to add:  the flowers are called rain lily (zephyranthis). 
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Small Town Antiquing in The Mountains


About 35 miles from my home is a small town in the Smoky Mountains called, Waynesville.

My friend Penny of Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and I decided to go antiquing there.  Every where you looked on the drive over you saw beautiful mountains.  Here is Penny in the parking lot of the first antique mall we stopped at.


Look at the beautiful mountains and blue skies in the background!


While shopping in Waynesville, we saw some great pieces.  Like this big old dough bowl.  Imagine this filled with gourds and pumpkins this fall.


And this amazing armoire...

Another great thing about antiquing in a small town in the mountains is the quirkiness and quaintness.


First the quirky...


and here is the quaint...
What did I buy?  A couple of plates to use in my mosaics...Though I would have loved that dough bowl, it was a bit too pricey for me.

If you are ever in the Asheville area and want to spend a day antiquing with me....just email me!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Italian String Lights

When we were in Italy a few years ago, I noticed that many of the trattoria's had lights strung around the outdoor dining areas.


Not the little twinkle Christmas style lights you usually see here, but strings of lights with clear glass round bulbs.  I knew that is exactly what I wanted for my pergola.

Mr. Comforts of Home even installed a dimmer switch on the lights so they could be bright enough for eating dinner, then dimmed for a romantic feel.  You can see the dimmer box in the picture above.  It is located on the outside of a back beam and can not be seen while in the pergola.

I love how the lights look.  It brings back wonderful memories of Italy.
edited to add....the lights came from K-Mart, I have also seen them at Target.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stamping Away

Remember on this post a while back, when I asked if anyone knew where to get a custom stamp made?


Well, thank you all for your suggestions.  I followed a few of the leads you provided and found Baby Jewels.


I know a few of you were interested in getting a stamp made.  I wanted to let you know that I highly recommend Cat at Baby Jewels.  She created my custom stamp, in record time and it is exactly what I was looking for.  If you contact her, tell her I sent you!  I am not getting paid for this review and I purchased the stamp, it was not a gift for a review.  Just my honest to goodness opinion :-).


Did you notice the piece of furniture that the stamped tag is laying on?  That is my newest Flea Market Makeover.  Click the link on my side bar....or here...to see it.

Edited to add...I did not have any graphic art to send Cat at Baby Jewels.  I just told her I wanted some lavender included in the stamp.  She found some and designed the stamp.

Welcome Home,
Penny

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Dinner Under The Pergola


Saturday was a lovely summer day.  The  heat of the past weeks had subsided and there was a gentle breeze in the air.  I was thankful for the cooler weather, because we were having company for dinner and we wanted to cook outside and spend the evening dining under the pergola.

Dinner was Spanish themed, so the menu called for Gazpacho, Paella and Crema Catalana. I started in the morning making the dessert (I love my cookbook stand!).

Once our company arrived, we began with Manchego cheese, Marcona Almonds, Spanish Olives and the Gazpacho (sprinkled with fresh tomato, croutons and chopped hard boiled egg).



Then Mr. Comforts of Home started the Paella on the grill, beginning with browning the Chorizo sausage.

As our guests, Penny and David, from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, patiently waited...

The Paella, slowly built up bit by bit, starting with the sofrito of tomatoes, onions, garlic and sweet red bell pepper.

Next came the broth, saffron and rice...

Looking good already!!


Finally, the Chorizo was added back in, along with the lobster tails, shrimp, white fish and mussels.  Peas were scattered across the top.  The rice formed a crusty bottom called a Socarrat - just perfect!


The dessert I had made earlier in the day, Crema Catalana, is similar to Creme Brulee', but not quite as firm.  I had bought a "chef's torch" to caramelize the sugar on top, but it didn't work.  So luckily, amongst much laughter, Mr. Comforts of Home brought in his torch from the workshop and it did a beautiful job!

After dinner, it cooled off enough that we were able to sit by the fire pit and enjoy an almost full moon.

This was the first time we tried cooking Paella outside on a grill.  Normally we cook it on our stove top.  Thank you David and Penny, for letting us experiment on you!

If you want the recipes for this meal, including the Gazpacho, Paella and Creme Catalana, click the "Recipe" tab under my header.

Welcome Home,
Penny 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Design Gives Back

You may have heard about the up-coming MiracleMakeover Video Reveal Party. Design Gives Back will be sharing the story of a little boy who is probably a lot like your son, grandson or nephew; he loves cars, trucks and trains. Charlie enjoys riding his bicycle, too. But, he is different than most eight year-olds in two ways: he has brain tumors and he leads a toy drive to help kids in chemotherapy to have happier holidays. "Charlie Santa" was founded by our hero when he was just five and in his first round of chemo. This is one of the reasons he was chosen to be an ambassador for kids with Neurofibromatosis Type1, and a recipient of a Miracle Makeover.


How can you help?  It is simple.  Leave comments on the link posts below Aug 12-18 and Design Gives Back donates money on your behalf.

HOW TO COMMENT AT MIRACLE MAKEOVER BLOG HOSTS:
Go to the links below and leave a comment too... you can earn up to a $5 donation from Design Gives Back for Kids With Cancer & another MiracleMakeovertm just by leaving comments!
One comment from you left at Design Gives Back and at the four blogs linked below:
A $5 Donation on your behalf from Design Gives Back to Help Others!
Pink Saturday @ at How Sweet the Sound/ Beverly
Spiritual Sunday @ Spiritual Sunday /Charlotte & Ginger
Country Wings in Phoenix @ Country Wings in Phoenix/Sherry
Metamorphosis Monday comments on Monday Only  
For complete information go to Design Gives Back, here.

Comments are off on this post.  Please visit the blog links above to leave comments. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Antiquing

Rouen, France

I am off today, antiquing with a friend in a nearby town.

Rouen, France

What are you doing today?  Want to meet later here and chat about you day?
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sadly Neglected

Is it just me, or about this time of the summer season, no matter what you do container plants seem to whither up and die?


Witness, the two container plants by my front door.

Well, I will admit, that they were not watered for a week, while I was in Florida helping my niece paint her cabinets.  They were sadly neglected :-(

Since we have two more months of summer weather here in NC, I decided to replace them with something new.  Not quite fall like, but the taller grasses will blend in with mums later, in October.


Much better, don't you think?


Welcome Home,
Penny