Monday, September 29, 2014

Vintage Dog Collection

It certainly is no secret that I love dogs.  I especially love terriers, not only
the real ones but the vintage collectible ones too.  I have a few vintage
dog prints and I decided to group them together with my chalk dog 
and a basket full of hydrangeas.

This grouping is now in the master bedroom atop an old highboy
dresser.  Just makes me smile.

Bentley and I are working on a children's book together 
in addition to my novel.  The idea came to use while we
were going for our evening walk together.  Bentley likes
the idea because he is the main character ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, September 26, 2014

Starting to Feel Like Fall Y'all!

Quick Bentley ~ we need to dig out the sweaters.  The temperature
has dipped to 81 degrees!!!

Suddenly we are in the mood for fall.  Last night when I took Bentley
for his nightly walk there was a slight breeze of cool air.  Wow ...
immediately our pace increased.  We hurried to each of his favorite
doggie marking spots.  We added an extra block to our walk.


I have been holding off from decorating for fall for two reasons.
Firstly, fall had yet to officially begin.  Secondly, it's hard to get
excited about autumn with 90 degree weather and t-shirt drenching
humidity.  But 80 degree weather is a joy!

Of course I am now such a naturalized Texan that if the
temps drop to 60 I will be wearing a parka ;-)

So to prep myself, I dug out some vintage Ash Tree Cottage
fall design pics.  Please join me while I get in the mood.
I have added some background music.  Grab a cup of tea or
coffee, or hot cider maybe and sit back and relax for a
few minutes while I put you in the mood for fall.
Don't forget to hit the play button so that Louis and Ella
can serenade you.

Dear Ella ~ what a voice!

Okay ~ all comfy now?  Let's go …

Hope y'all enjoyed a few fall moments.  Have a wonderful

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tea in My Dressing Room

When I first saw this house with our realtor last year, one of the things I loved
about it was the little dressing room you must pass through on the way to the
master bath.  There is a built in dressing table with a mirror and narrow
windows flanking each side.  Directly across is a full length mirror so I 
can check out my clothes before I walk out the door.  It's a very feminine
space and a spot to relax with a cup of tea as I get ready in the morning
to greet the day.

My favorite teapot and tea cup.  My Mom and Daddy brought this
 tea cup back with them for me when they visited Victoria, BC.  It's 
right at home in this house in Victoria, Texas  It seems predestined

My perfumes are here along with make-up in the drawers.

Two of my favorite Staffordshire style dogs sit in front of the mirror.

A sweet little dish from Herend.  There is a little picture of Bitterman,
my first Yorkie.

It's a dreamy spot with a very vintage feel.  

Thanks for visiting me here this morning.  Have a wonderful day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Why I Have Been MIA Lately

I am sorry I have not been around much lately.  I have not been stopping by to
visit you and have not been posting quite as regularly as I would like on my
own blog.  There is a reason for that …

But no worries ~ everything is fine here.  In fact, everything is very
fine indeed.  Let me take a minute or two of your time to fill you
in on all the details.

As much as I like to create vignettes and to decorate my home,
there is something that I also love to do that has been 
tugging on my sleeve and demanding my attention and it 
is this … I am a writer, a storyteller, a creator of tales
that need to be told.

After many years of suppressing this urge, I finally have the
time to put pen to paper.  There have been three stories that have 
been taking up residence in my mind for several years.  Voices of
characters who have been whispering in my ear and tugging at
my heart.  Finally, one of these stories shouted loud enough
and forced me to pay attention.  I will give you a little teaser …

It's the story about several girls.  Popular girls.  The girls who
everyone noticed and everyone wanted to emulate. The 
Homecoming Queen, the Cheerleader, the gifted Cellist and
the Leader.  The story follows each of these young women through
high school, college and adulthood.  It's not a superficial depiction of 
these lives but rather it includes the back stories, the secrets, the pain
of growing up under the microscope of popularity and peer pressure.
Each of us have known these girls or certainly ones like them.

So there it is ~ the preview of my novel.  Writing a novel is a bit
like giving birth.  You plan for it.  You read about it.  Suddenly it
takes on a life of it's own and you sit back and enjoy the process.
The labor pains may make you scream, but the outcome is a joy 
because it is something that you have given birth to.

Right now I am enjoying the process.  I have become comfortable
with my characters.  I have given them their space and am letting
them evolve on their own.  The first weeks are over and the
story is a part of my life now and I can relax with it's flow.
I have fit the tale into my schedule.  The early  restless days have
passed.  I'll be back to allowing time for my blog and for
visiting you.  I have missed you!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, September 22, 2014

Inherited But Unloved

I don't know if this has happened to you, but I suspect it has for 
many.  You inherit something from someone you love but you
really don't care for it.  Not everyone has the same taste, especially
when it comes to home furnishings.  

So here it is ~ my inherited but unloved piece.  It's a server.  It's 
actually a good quality piece, but the style is one I would never 
choose.  It is extremely functional.  The top opens up like a book,
giving you a wide surface to serve food.  Inside there is ample
storage and a silver cloth lined drawer.   I don't think it works 
with my hardwood floor in the dining room.  It seems as though
the piece just grew up out of the floor.  

It's not something I want to keep.  It belonged to my Mom, so it has
sentimental value, however she was not all that fond of it either.
A designer in Phoenix talked her into it.  She really wanted another
piece, but she caved.  The lesson to be learned here is stick to your
guns!  Don't let someone (no matter how well intentioned) talk you
into buying something you don't love.

Since I have not found the piece I want to replace it, and with the
holidays looming ahead, I decided to keep it for now but paint it.

I think I can live with it a bit longer now.  I still don't love it, but at
least it stands alone now and does not look like an outgrowth of the
floor.  I do apologize for this pic.  The actual paint color is closer
to the image below.

I distressed it a bit too of course.

Any guesses how long it will take David to notice I painted the
server?  I never know for sure. Sometimes he surprises me and 
mentions it right away.  Other times he notices but just does not 
say anything.  That happens more often because he really prefers
furniture to be stained.  Y'all know what I am talking about here.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Toolbox Tea

It's a cloudy and quiet morning in my studio.  The soundtrack from the movie 
Miss Potter is playing in the background.  I packed up my toolbox with a 
little teapot, a favorite cup and saucer and some daisies and carried it 
back from the kitchen to my studio to begin a day of work.

I set it on my chair and it looked so cute I thought I would share a few
pics of it with you.  Bentley is still outside exploring his garden after
last night's rain.  As soon as I let him back inside he will insist that I
remove this tool box immediately because after all he has claimed 
this chair for his own and must take a morning nap there while I am
working at my desk.

Bentley is very particular about his schedule and does not like to have it
interrupted by my decorating whims.  And he is so sweet, how can I refuse?

I just heard his woof at the porch door.  One last pic before the little
peanut returns for his cozy morning nap.

Bentley came in and jumped right into his chair.  I wonder if he
guessed that it was occupied while he was gone ???

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Muse Is Tugging My Sleeve

My muse has been spending time with me all morning.  Tugging my
sleeve, encouraging day dreams, keeping me from dealing with any
sort of reality.  

My muse can be very jealous.  When she wants my attention, she will be
quite cross if I deny her.  

So I am giving into her wishes and letting my inner voice
win out over any other voices around me.  

For I have come to trust her and know that when I listen closely to
her whispers, all sorts of creative paths are cleared for me.

Have you listened to your muse lately?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's One of "Those" Days

I'm having what I call one of "those days".  Y'all know the kind I mean.
A day where there are tons of tasks to get through and none of them are
fun or interesting, but all of them are necessary to keep one's little ship

This tin container is filled with documents that need to be shredded.
It's not hard.  I have already sorted through all of it to make sure
that nothing needs to be saved, but shredding is so time consuming
and b-o-r-i-n-g!

Then there is filing.  This filing cabinet is in my studio, hence the
dollhouse furniture on the top.  This is a small stack.  I have another
stack too.  My Mom was a master of organization.  I on the other hand
have ADD and did not inherit any of her skills.  

It's one of those days when I ask myself ~

Why was I in such a hurry to grow up?

Oh well, no going back now.  Just one of the many joys of
adulthood :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lucy and Ethel Paper Hangers

Saturday I went over to Hobby Lobby with the idea that I would look
for some additional fall decorations, but instead came home with this.
A framed Sweet Tea recipe, on sale, how could I resist?  It is hanging
in the breakfast room.  After all, I drink iced tea all day long so it
seems very appropriate!

I rearranged the breakfast room table centerpiece ever so slightly.
I love this room, but I want to paint the walls a creamy white and paint
the paneled wainscoting too.  While I am looking forward to it's completion,
I am not looking forward to the task itself.  There is a lot of 
painting I want done in the house.  Here is my ~

Big To Do List

The Breakfast Room
The Kitchen
The Hallway of One Wing of the House
My Studio
The Guest Bedroom
The Laundry Room

Yikes!  That's a lot of painting.  I want to repaint the living
room walls too but maybe I will get a professional painter to
do that since the ceiling is higher in that room and the room is
just plain big.  

I'm still trying to decide on a wallpaper for the guest bath.
I am going to have that done because I don't trust myself
to do it.  Especially after seeing this ...

I love to watch I Love Lucy on the Hallmark Channel.  Remember when Lucy and
Ethel tried to hang wallpaper themselves in Lucy's bedroom?

There is a good chance that with me hanging the paper, it may turn out
like this ;-)

Did I ever show you the gallery wall in my breakfast room?  It will be
so much better when I paint this wall a lighter color.  It is always so
dark in this room.  I think I should talk to my electrician about installing
recessed lighting too.  There is only a chandelier in here now and
it's attractive, but does not throw off that much light.  It's cloudy 
here today too and that doesn't help when trying to take pics.
It's been my experience that electricians hate to install recessed lighting
in an older home.  It means that one of them will have to crawl up into
attic.  Never one of their favorite things to do.  I'll have to bake
cookies to bribe them.

Well that's all for now.  David left me with a list of things
to do today and so far I have only completed one task.
Better hustle!

Tweak It Tuesday

I have to give Bentley a bath too.  That is one huge
task because he really hates baths and squirms all over
the tub.  I should be wearing a rain suit lol!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Antiques and More ~ Come Shop With Me

Yesterday was cloudy and cool.  We had a big thunderstorm on Friday
with lots of wind and heavy rain.  It blew in some cooler temps ~ down to
71 degrees at one point which is a number on the thermometer we have not
seen during the day for several months.  I actually felt like fall might come
to the Texas Coast after all.  So, in anticipation of the Fall Antiques Week up
in Round Top starting at the end of this month, I decided to stop by a little
antique shop near my house.   Here are some highlights from my shopping

A burlap pig.  This pic is for you Lynn.  This  vendor always has
some fun things and she is our local source for Annie Sloan paints.

 A cute shopping bag.  This however is the item that
really caught my eye …

Isn't this great?  I just love this dress form.  Woven goodness!
Now that I am home, I am thinking this would look great in my studio.

I also saw this …

I am so sorry I got rid of my old saddle.  What was I thinking?
Y'all know how horse crazy I am.  

Isn't this buffet wonderful?  It could be used in a dining room but would also
be great in a family room as a base for the flat screen.  I love the soft sage.
Sage green is a current favorite of mine.  More and more of it keeps creeping into  
my house.  I love to mix sage and red.

Ceramic roos.   I don't dare bring home one of these.  Roos are all over
my kitchen now.  David keeps asking ~ "what's up with all the roosters
around here?"  

Have you seen one of these before?  It's a portable sink and soap dish.  
I can picture this as part of a safari set up in Africa.   I am picturing
Meryl Streep in Out of Africa.  I have the soundtrack from that movie
on my iPad.  Love it!

Here is a close up of the sink.  Wouldn't this be great for a glamping trip?
Or how about a vintage tailgate theme?

I love this piece!  It's about 4 feet high with three shelves behind the shutters.
This would make a perfect storage space for kid's toys in a great room.  At least
that's what first came to mind when I saw it.  

I can envision the texture and character this would give to a room.

I have always been attracted to vintage still life prints like this one.

Ignore the shade, but the lamp base is lovely!  

With a different shade, this base would make such an interesting 
addition to a room.  It appears to be an old kerosene lamp that
was electrified.  I love to hunt for old lamps.  New lamps can be
so expensive and I always gravitate to thrift,  consignment and
antique shops for unique ones. 

Antlers ~ but of course!   This is Texas after all!!

So there you have it.  A little browsing right from the comfort of
your own home.  I hope y'all enjoyed it.  

Bentley and I are off to take our Sunday afternoon nap.
Church this morning, then Sunday brunch and now I
can hardly keep my eyes open.  See y'all tomorrow!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

PS:  I went home empty handed.  I was a very good girl ;-)


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