Remi, my Abyssinian cat, seems quite content buried under fabrics being shown to me by one of my fabric reps.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. With all the disturbing events happening close to home and overseas, I linger longer than normal looking at the small, individual efforts that people make to embrace the season. These efforts seem to touch me the most….The single lit tree outside, the Christmas tree peeking out through a front window and candles reflecting in the windows for us all to see. I look in those windows and imagine families gathered around the dinner table laughing and sharing stories and the little ones anticipation of morning to come. Excitement and peacefulness fills the air while all the while shutting out the world around for that brief moment of time.
Visiting from Massachusetts, my grandniece and Godchild, Kaleigh, spent the morning with me. We had fun making ornaments for Mommy and Mimi (Grandma).
As winter settles in, I dream of the afternoons my husband, Rick and I played golf. Enjoying the game of golf and becoming more proficient at it, I found myself taking an afternoon and playing nine holes by myself. To me it’s not about the game but about a chance to walk and get exercise, to enjoy the fresh air and de-stress as I’m focused on the game and surroundings. Lucky were we when, my husband and I donned in shorts, played golf at The Links at Erie Village on December 24th. That was a memorable day.
We were able to get away the first of December to celebrate my sister’s birthday. My sister, her husband, Rick and I flew into Miami and stayed at the beautiful Thompson Miami Beach Hotel where we sat on the beach soaking in the sun’s rays. As Rick and I strolled down the beach, we happened upon the Miami Beach Art Fair or commonly known as the” Art Basel Week” that was taking place. There were amazing exhibits. One exhibit, showcased wooden crates placed sporadically around the beach. Upon opening them, one could select a free art poster showcasing the various artist’s work. Continuing on our walk, there was an actual rollerskating platform that had been erected on the beach. With skate along music playing, one only had to put on rented skates and skate along with the music and rolling waves. Being that it was a year ago I had broken my toe so badly, I opted out on venturing into the arena.
The next day, the four of us jumped into the car and drove the Overseas Highway sometimes called, “The Highway that Goes to Sea,” to Key West. As we came upon the island, I felt an urge to sing Jimmy Buffett’s song, Margaritaville. Noting this to the other three in the car, don’t you know shortly thereafter, as fate would have it, the song came on the radio. As the four of us sang along; I think they were singing…I know I was… we had now entered into another world. We stayed off island at the Sunset Key Cottages. A seven minute taxi boat ride from Key West. You felt as if you were in paradise. Life was good as we had our own cottage on the water complete with a hammock and a beautiful view of Key West in sight. Every morning I walked the brick lined streets passing homes that reminded me more of the cape than Florida. Being there during the holiday season heightened the senses to overload. Awaiting us on the front porch every morning was a basket filled with fresh fruit and homemade muffins. Can I retire here!!??
Below are a few pictures from the cottage we stayed in.
A few of the homes on the island where we stayed.
The beautiful lobby at the Sunset Key Hotel.
So different was the Island itself. With so many bars, restaurants, stores and wild chickens and roosters roaming around. We, of course, had to take a tour of the Ernest Hemingway House Museum complete with 57 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA. Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and some of the cats who live on the grounds are descendants of that original cat. We also visited the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory which I loved. I told my husband when and IF I ever retire, that would be something I could do. As I meandered around the conservatory, three butterflies decided to hitch a ride on my legs. After seeing the butterflies on me, one of the employees came up to me and said, “they don’t land on people very often but, when they do, you know the person has a gentle and soft spirit.”
One of the polydactyl cats poses on a rock while the tour guide wraps up his speech.
Butterflies clinging to my legs at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
Very soon my photographer, Jonathan Beach, will be photographing a few of my client’s homes for me that were recently completed. Keep your eye on my site on www.houzz.com to view the photos. One of the beautiful homes I completed recently will be photographed in February as my clients were recently married and are off on their honeymoon. My husband and I were in attendance at their wonderful wedding. We wish them much happiness in the years to come.
I love David Bowie’s wife, Iman’s Instagram she posted after David’s death, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Enjoy every moment!!!
Wishing you a Wonderful and Glorious 2016!
A glimpse into Benjamin Moore’s refreshing colors will inspire you to repaint. Their fresh pales awaken the senses. The light muted tones of grays, lavenders, blues, yellows and greens invigorate us all. Benjamin Moore’s 2015 color of the year is called Guilford Green which, has a hint of mint just in time to be inspired by the summer garden.
With all the rain this summer, my small gardens live large with an abundance of flowers dancing in the breeze. Light colors of yellows, purples, whites, and a collage of greens intermix with deeper tones while the grass and sky seems to become their scenic backdrop.
Not only do textures add interest to the garden, but in furniture and on the walls as well. Making a grand comeback are natural wallpapers such as: natural palms, bamboo, grasses and paper weaves.
Recently remodeled, our master bath, has a light colored textured paper weave by Thibaut Wallpaper. In contrast to that, I recently installed deep colored Java Grass on the walls in my client’s lower level media/bar room above the judges paneling. The Java Grass boasts deep rich colors of blues, grays and browns adding a rich color and texture to the contrast of the white trim, Benjamin Moore’s Acadia White OC-38. Natural wallpapers not only look great on the walls but also installed into the sections of coffered ceilings or on the walls behind a bookcase.
Textured furniture, when mixed in with non-textured not only adds interest but invites the senses to be alive. Lexington Home Brands, Ivory Key, is finished in a crisp white coloration with subtle parchment highlights. Drawer fronts and a headboard of woven raffia create a natural look and also create a wonderful room for a backdrop in a bold color such as Benjamin Moore’s, Carter Plum CW-355 or a beautiful rich beige tone such as Pale Oak OC-70.
If bold color is not to your liking, try an elegant airy gentle white color from Benjamin Moore such as powder sand OC-113. Lexington Industries new line, Oyster Bay, captures the style and feel of the new whites in a light oyster shell coloration. Lexington states in their catalog that, “Today’s casual transitional styling blends lighter wood tones, natural textures and relaxed shades of ivory, taupe and gray, with designs that embody a feeling of laid-back sophistication.”
Whether your desire is lighter walls with rich toned furniture, a more monochromatic feel or darker walls with a lighter natural feel in furniture, the combinations abound. This summer and fall, get inspired by the backdrop of the earth and sky mixed with the colors of a beautiful garden with textures from grasses, ferns and plants and colors naturally created from the earth, sky and flowers.
A blog just wouldn’t be the same without a picture of one of my abyssinians…..My star photogenic Aby, Sami, recently posed for me. In the heat of a 90 degree day, she was looking for relief on a cool glass top in our summer screen room……Loving my new camera….(visit my blog prior to this)
I’ve come to realize that no matter how long you’ve lived where there’s snow, you never quite get used to it. Every time you spoke with someone this winter, the topic of conversation was how cold and bad the winter was…..But now, we’re gearing up for everyone to hopefully start complaining about how hot and humid it is!!!
I decided it was time to retire my beloved Nikon semi-automatic camera that I’ve had for many years. So, in the fall, I purchased a new digital camera. One thing I wanted to do was to hike into Green Lakes on a sunny, (good luck with that one) snowy day and take a picture of the snow against the forest of tree trunks for my dear friend, Lenora to paint. Then in December, as fate would have it, I broke my toe really bad. I missed a couple of steps into our garage while racing around getting ready to go to New York City for a little Christmas sight seeing trip. Laid up with an open toed shoe for months, I spent some time photographing the birds that visited my feeder daily. Out of this arose my New Year’s Resolution…..Mindfulness. I do things slower now and realize that things CAN wait.
Over the winter, I worked on a lot of exciting decorating projects. One project was remodeling my master bath and staircase. Another one was for a client which, should be completed by mid to late summer. I hope to get them both professionally photographed and into my profile at Houzz.com along with other projects I’ve been working on. My master bath project included heated floors, new vanities, tile, wallpaper and a walk-in shower with frameless doors. The staircase that leads to my office was originally wall to wall carpet. I had the carpet ripped up and new hardwood floors installed. The finishing touch, a beautiful wall to wall carpet cut and bound into a runner.
In January, I was voted by the Houzz.com professional staff as “Best of Houzz 2015 for Service.” If you visit their website and view my profile, you will see the emblem.
I had a “moment” of sheer excitement in January as well, when I received notification from the publisher of a National Kitchen Magazine called, The Art of Kitchen & Bath Design/Kitchens by Professional Designers, that a kitchen remodeling project I had submitted, was accepted and would be published in their March edition. I was awaiting a proof when I received an email from the publisher notifying me that “After 25 years of publication, the internet information age and its rapid expansion, has had a major effect on all print media retail sales making it prohibitive to continue printing.” My “moment” of sheer excitement flashed before my eyes…..I had been featured in the magazine in 2009 when a kitchen designer submitted photographs of a kitchen he designed and I had assisted the client with the kitchen selections and I had also created the custom window treatments. I’d been meaning to submit photographs since then and I finally did……and so it goes. I will keep trying with other magazines and will keep you posted.
My husband and I, along with my sister and her husband, were able to get away for 10 days to Florida where we had 80 degrees and sunshine. After wearing an open toed shoe for three months, I could finally wear sneakers on my foot with the broken toe. I felt like a new woman but I also felt like I had to teach myself how to walk again! The doctor’s orders were to not walk without my sneakers on the sand. There’s nothing like the feel of that warm sand massaging your bare feet. Not wanting to regress, I begrudgingly heeded the doctor’s orders.
Once again, I’m realizing that the winters don’t last forever although when you’re in the midst of it it certainly seems like it does. I am out enjoying my stress relieving walks again and taking photos with my new camera. The snow scene will have to wait until next year. Soon we will all be out enjoying the warmer weather. I will change the timers on my lights, clean the fireplace out and my husband, Rick and I will put up the much anticipated screen room for the cats and us…but mostly for the cats who will then realize as well that winters don’t last forever……