Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Weeknight Dinner in the Kitchen

Recently David and I have started to eat our weeknight dinners at
the breakfast bar in the kitchen.  I am not sure what prompted this but
we are enjoying it.  We sit face to face and discuss our day.

We have a breakfast room, but hardly ever eat there anymore if it is
just the two of us.  Now Bentley is a bit confused by this because before
we started eating dinner at the breakfast bar it is where David would
sit and have a drink before dinner while I was cooking.  Bentley 
would sit by David's stool and David would toss Bentley a peanut
or an almond or two.  I know ~ sounds strange, but Bentley loves
to eat nuts!  They both would watch me cook and then we would
move to the table or maybe to TV trays in the family room.

Then one evening I served dinner right here and we have been doing it
ever since.  Now that the weather is consistently warm and not yet too
hot we will start eating out on the patio.  But for  last night, it was right here.
Of course Bentley will have to move his nightly dinner show performance
from the kitchen to the patio.  It's the cutest thing.  Every night
at dinner Bentley grabs a toy and tosses it over and over into the air and
entertains us.  Of course we repeatedly applaud and tell him how cute 
he is and he is so happy and pleased with himself.

Last night I served BBQ chicken breasts, and southern style  green beans 
and potatoes.  I used Emeril's recipe which you can read here.  I 
substituted Yukon Gold potatoes for the new ones, but otherwise it
is the same recipe.  

And I served corn muffins and sweet tea too.  I must tell you that my
eating habits have changed a bit since I moved back to Texas.   I 
have even started drinking diet Dr Pepper! 

Well Bentley ~ I think we are going to have to place a special
basket of "outdoor toys" for you on the patio so that you
will have equipment for your nightly "dinner show".

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 28, 2014

An Almost Complete Tweak

I have been really unfocused lately.  I start something and then get 
distracted by something else.  I am blaming it on a prolonged spring
fever.   But I wanted to show you that I finally chose some fabric to
make a skirt for my studio workspace.  

If you look closely you will see that it  is the same fabric I used for the
foot stool.  I like the fabric so much and I had plenty left to make the
skirt so I thought I would go ahead with it.

When I say it is not complete it really isn't.  I just have it pinned on right now.
You see this is a big trestle table.  It used to belong to my husband.  I love the
size of it, but the wood has a medium stain and there are flying ducks 
decoupaged on the top.  I know ~ way too masculine hunting lodge for me.
David used it for an office desk.  The good thing is that he had a glass top
made to protect the surface.  So I took an old linen table cloth and stretched
it out over the top.  Then we put the glass back on.  I still had the ugly wires
and stuff exposed from beneath.  Now the new cloth is pinned to the old
linen table cloth.  I will stitch the new one in place and cover the edges
with some grosgrain ribbon to give it a more finished look.

I kept a slit in the middle so I can still get to all of the wires and the cable
box and all of that necessary but unsightly stuff.  

So that's all for today.  Never fear though.  My project list is a long
one and I will keep showing you bits and pieces as I go along.
Have a fun day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Would You Like To Be My Neighbor?

My neighbor Richard is selling his house.  He is just a block away from us.
So ~ if any of you are looking for a house in Victoria, Texas, check out this
listing.  It's a lovely house and the backyard is just perfect for entertaining
friends.  Sorry for the blurry pic.  I grabbed this off the web.  Here is the
listing link.  If you are like me and just love to look at houses even if you
are not in the market to buy, check it out.  It is charming!

2408 North Wheeler, Victoria, Texas

I am super busy today.  See y'all tomorrow with some
project reveals.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Pottery Barn Drapes

The two drape panels I ordered from Pottery Barn arrived yesterday.
I am so anxious to hang them and hope that I can find the rods I want
this weekend.  See this chair that the drape is draped over?  Hey that's 
a redundant sentence, but I am going with it.  I want to paint this chair.
It was one of my Mom's favorites but I am not too crazy about the 
pickled finish.  I am thinking of white for the frame and caning and
reupholstering the seat and arm in a red buffalo check.  What do you
think of that idea?

After I hang the drapes I will post the result.  Have a great Friday.
Bentley and I are busy fluffing the cottage before the weekend
begins.  Don't you just love Friday?  I do and always have.  Ah the
anticipation of fun and relaxation.  Always so promising.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bentley the Decorator

I was working in Mom's old room, bringing in some accessories, deciding on 
art work for the walls when Bentley (who follows me everywhere) suddenly 
left and ran down the hall.  I thought maybe he heard a cat outside and
would want to go out.  Instead, he came running back in the room with one
of his favorite dollar store balls.  He jumped up on the love seat and 
deposited it near the throw and the pillow.  

As you can see it's a bit flat on one side.  That is because he punctures the
balls with his teeth.  He likes them better that way so that he can easily grab
them and toss them in the air.  You can also see he is bringing in a touch of
pink to the decor.  And who said dogs are color blind!  I wonder if I am 
going to have to start paying him a design consult fee???

Bentley ~ do you need a treatie for you effort?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Searching for Clues

On a desk we lovingly call "Daddy's Desk" is an antique box that was
presented to Daddy from a family in Jerusalem.  I cannot recall exactly
why this was gifted to him.  What I recall is that he did something nice
for someone in the Dobkin family.  Now that my Mom has passed, I can't 
ask her to elaborate.  So I Googled the name Dobkin in Jerusalem and
came up with a couple of clues.  I sent an email to someone who may
possibly be a member of this family and am hoping he does read my
email and not treat it as spam. 

What I do recall is that this antique box containing blown glass vessels
from the first century CE (Common Era or Christian Era) was hand 
carried to my Daddy's office in Chicago by either a member or a friend
of this family from Jerusalem.  Daddy was a great student of ancient history
and he spent a good bit of his free time visiting all of the historic sights of
Israel and the middle east while he was there on business.  He was very
proud of this gift.  

I hope I can learn more about this family and their association with my
Daddy.  If in fact he did help a foreign student go to college in the states,
I hope that person grew in knowledge and went on to accomplish
good things for his or her community.   I'll let you know if any of my
questions are answered.

We are battling fleas around here.  The bug man is coming
tomorrow.  We didn't have fleas in Idaho.  I love Texas
but am not crazy about the insects here.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Additions

I have some new additions to our cottage.  In an effort to make this formal living
room a little less stiff and a lot more cozy, I searched for and found a couple of
new toile pillows for the antique camelback sofa.  

I wanted to repeat a form of toile in the room to accent the toile Chippendale
chairs on either side of the sofa.  I found these equestrian theme pillows.
You know me ~ any time there is a horse involved, there I am!  Trust me,
if I could find a tack room scented air freshener I would be all over it!

Oh and here is a new Roo for the breakfast room table.  Roos are running
wild in my breakfast room and kitchen.  Good thing they are not real
because you know who would be busy chasing them.

Do you remember when I said I was thinking of having some Audobon prints
framed for either side of the mirror over the sideboard in the dining room?
Well that was before I found these equestrian prints on ebay.   I have not hung
them yet because I want to change out the glass to an non-reflective one.

Can you see the script on the matting?  Love it and the crest down 
at the bottom too.

I was so thrilled to find these and knew they had to find there way
down here to Texas.  

David, Bentley and I spent the weekend in San Antonio.  We left on 
Thursday.   We stayed at the Hotel Contessa right on the river walk.
Our suite had a river view and was pet friendly.  Bentley got a little
bag full of treats and a ball from the management when he arrived.
Needless to say that was a big hit with the pup!  We did lots of 
walking along the miles of pathway along the river.  We ate way too
much delicious food, had lots of fun and returned home refreshed and
renewed.  It was just what we all needed!  I hope y'all had a
wonderful Easter weekend too.  

Metamorphosis Monday
Masterpiece Monday
Make It Pretty Monday
Amaze Me Monday
Tweak It Tuesday
Inspire Me
Wow Us Wednesday
What's It Wednesday

When we arrived back home, I let Bentley out in the backyard so
he could explore a bit while we unloaded our luggage.  He
got quite a workout because he found a CAT!!! in the yard.
There was a lot of racing through the tropicals and barking
going on.  But he was successful and came back in with
a big huge smile on his face!  Then he plopped down on the
floor and let out a big sigh.  Mission accomplished!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Taking a Little Break

Bentley and I are taking a little break.  It's the first holiday we will be celebrating
since my Mom's passing and we will be finding a new way to celebrate Easter.

We wish you all a Blessed Easter and we will be back again next week.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 14, 2014

Forever Tweaking

I have finished a few more tweaks in Mom's old room.  I must admit, I 
have been being really lazy lately and have not done too much more
tweaking, but I managed to finish some minor tweaks.  I added a plaid
pillow to the chair.  The bedskirt is in this same plaid.  I will show you
that as soon as I finish tweaking the bed.

I painted the old foot stool white and recovered it with the ticking fabric
I found at the Texas Antique Week.  I have always been a huge fan of
ticking.  It is hard to tell from this photo, but the ticking perfectly matches
the other blues in the room.

I like the way the little chest turned out after I painted it with Annie Sloan
Provence Blue and waxed it with her soft wax.  I decided not to distress it.
Now this is a cozy little spot for reading a book or leafing through 
magazines on a rainy and cloudy afternoon like the one we are having

I hung this portrait over the bed.  I am not sure if it will stay there or not.
I'll keep it there for a day or two and see if I change my mind.  I painted
the headboard in Provence and just accented the trim with Old White.
I think that I already showed you the headboard once before.

My next big project in this room is to paint the dresser.  It's a big one.
I have to get mentally prepared to tackle the job.  Do you ever feel
that way about a big project?  At the moment I am getting motivated
to get the job done soon.

Bentley is so cute, he always watches me paint and tweak.
He's my decorating assistant!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Little Over the Top But ...

A little over the top I know, but I am so drawn to this room and 
wish I could crawl into the photo and curl up in that cozy
looking chair by the fire with a good book.  Y'all know I have
a crush on Mario Buatta!

Okay girls ~ I have to get back to work.  I am working on my
new herb garden.  I took a short sweet tea break, hopped on my
Mac and started looking at decorating pics.  I think I may be
suffering from ADD!  I know ~ shocking revelation.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cabin Is Turning Into Beach Cottage

Remember the cabin we planned to build up in the mountains of 
Idaho?  Well although we still own the lot up there and have no 
intention of selling it, now that we are in Texas near the gulf coast
I am itching for a beach house.  I have fallen in love with the 
small coastal community of Rockport, Texas.  Now I just have to
figure out a way that I can have both ;-)


Ah ~ sea breezes, seafood, beach combing, sand between your
toes ~ sheer bliss don't you agree?  So let's pretend that I can
find some cute little beach cottage and decorate it with salvaged
finds and treasures.


Something modest and sweet that's my dream.  Every time I
mention beach house my husband David starts looking at beach
mini mansions.  For one thing we can't afford it and for another
even if we could, it's not what I want.  I want a little place that
is cute, fun, carefree and charming.


Something like this.  Bright colors and lots of simple charm.
This is a cottage on Tybee Island.  That place has the corner on
charm.  Let's look at some more ...


This just screams HAPPY!  I love it.  Okay, so now we have some
examples of the exterior we could create ~ now let's go inside our
pretend beach cottage and roll up our sleeves and get decorating!


From the first time I saw pictures of Mary Kay Andrews'
beach cottage I knew I was in love.  It's warm and friendly and
has the kind of laid back lived in look I love.  Don't you just
love these colors???


I love these lamps and shades.  Such fun.  It's hard to be
serious or sad in a place like this.  I could very easily
stretch out on this sofa with one of Mary Kay's books.


A cute spot to hang your straw beach hat and a basket
of towels.  Imagine the possibilities for decorating.


Of course now it's just a dream.  But we all have to start
somewhere don't we?  I hope y'all have sweet dreams tonight.
Dreams of places you long to be.  Happy dreams!

Nighty Night

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dining Room Plans

Y'all have probably seen my dining room before.  I have not changed
much since I changed the color of the walls from mustard to a deep red.
But I am feeling that it needs some tweaking to make it feel more

The area on either side of the mirror over the sideboard looks a bit
lonely to me.  I am thinking about adding some framed prints to 
either side.  I remembered that I have this ...

it's a book of large Audobon prints that are suitable for framing.
I like this idea especially since we have so many birds in this area.
Do you think this would be a good idea or do you think I should 
carry on the equestrian theme that is in other areas of the house.
Fox hunting prints perhaps?

I also have these niches that are full of blue and white china.  I want
to find a way to introduce some more blue into the room so I was thinking
about adding a drapery panel on either side of the plantation shutters on
the window.  Something like a Jacobean print.

This is a terrible pic, I know, however you can get a sense of the 
space next to the window.  It just seems so blank and cold to me now.
I don't want to cover up the window at all because this is room is
north facing and tends to be dark.  The windows are are about nine
feet across and almost touch the floor.   I don't want to remove the
plantation shutters either because this room is on the side of the house
and since we are on a corner, it faces the street.  We want a bit of 
privacy.  So I thought a single panel drape on either side might 
soften it up a bit.  I saw some drapery panels in the current Pottery
Barn catalog that are in the Jacobean pattern.  

I think I will replace this rug too, perhaps with a seagrass one.  This
current one so dark and it's down on top of dark stained hardwoods.
Oh well, little by little I will get there.  

That's it for today.  Bentley and I are headed back out to work in 
the garden.  It is beautiful outside today!  I hope you are having
lovely weather too.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 7, 2014

I Have Cake

I am completely speechless.  Very unusual, just ask my hubby.
But I have cake!

Don't know what's wrong with me.  Can't focus on any one thing at
the moment.  Maybe it's spring fever.  I'll try to get my act 
together and finish something.  But right now all I want to do is
goof off.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Brenda Needs Our Help!

Here's our girl friend Brenda with her pups Abi and Charlie.  Y'all know
her from her wildly popular blog Cozy LIttle House.  Brenda is in a pickle
and needs some assistance with her big move starting on Friday April 11th.
She has been such a good friend to so many of us and now is the chance
for her readers in and around Tulsa to give her a hand because she ...

Is Moving!

Having survived my own cross country move last August, I can tell you
that moving is an arduous task even in the best of circumstances.  Brenda is 
having a hard time accomplishing this task and as I learned early in life,
many hands lighten the load.  So I am appealing to any of you in the Tulsa
area who can give Brenda a hand, we will both be eternally grateful.  Now 
she does not know that I am asking you for help.  This is my own idea.  One 
thing I know for sure is that when we girl friends put our minds to it we
can move mountains!  So all you gals in Oklahoma, go show your
spirit of friendship and help out one of our own.  

You can read more about this move here.

Galations 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of

Seasonal Sundays

Thank You!
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Decorating For Easter

Easter is just seventeen days away and I have not put
out any decorations yet.   I often have to go through old
photos to see what I have done in years past.

I am not sure what we will do for dinner or brunch this year.
In the past we always went to Mom's house.  But this year
it will be just the two of us and Bentley of course.

We will go to church of course, but then what?  Should we have
dinner at home?  Or should be go out for brunch?  We like to go to
our club for Sunday brunch but since we did not live here last
year I don't even know if they will be serving on Easter Sunday.

Or maybe if we should pack up a picnic and drive down to the beach.

It will be different this year.

We will just have to start a new tradition.  Maybe we should hide dog
treats around the yard for Bentley.  What are your traditions?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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