August 31, 2010

French Finds

Bonjour mes amis!  I'm feeling French today.  I think I have a bit of wanderlust. 

A trip abroad sounds wonderful doesn't it?  I wish I could visit the Eiffel Tower, discover some flea market treasures and take in the views of Provence...and maybe even improve my dwindling French skills in the process. 

Sadly, I don't think I'll be going on a European adventure anytime soon, so I guess I'll have to enjoy the delights of France that surround me here at home.  I thought I would share with you a few of my French finds...starting with this Alsace pitcher. 


I got it on ebay a few years ago.  It came to me directly from France and I still love it.  I like its earthiness and rustic charm. 

These vintage French Rustica magazines are another one of my ebay finds.  Most of the ones I have date to about 1950.  Aren't the cover illustrations charming?


They feature articles are about gardening and rural French life.


Lastly, something I love, love, love...Couleur Nature tablecloths.


I used to carry these in my shop.  They are so gorgeous.  They are designed in Paris and are inspired by the style of Provence.  Each tablecloth is unique and is printed by hand using wooden blocks.

Hope you enjoyed my French finds.

Au revoir!

August 30, 2010

Purposeful Life

Hello!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I sure did.  The weather was beautiful and I went out to dinner and a movie with my friend to celebrate her birthday.  We saw Eat, Pray, Love.  I found the movie to be much more enjoyable than the book, which is a little surprising since I generally think the reverse is true.  I really like Julia Roberts though so that may be part of it. 


Anyway, the movie got me thinking about the way people live their lives.  This is actually something I think about quite often, although usually in terms of  myself and my own life.  In general, I feel that a lot of people don't often contemplate the meaning or purpose of their life, rather they focus on the here and now...the overwhelming daily monotony of work and activities.  They compare themselves to others and believe that they have to do things a certain way...a way which is not necessarily reflective of who they were meant to be.  I've lived like this too and I'm trying to get away from it.

To illustrate, let me tell you a little about one of my own experiences.  I once owned a little boutique with my mom and my sister and I really, really loved it.  Sadly though it didn't work out.  The timing and the location were off and we decided to close our shop.  I'm still so glad that we opened it.  We had the courage to try something new and it was a wonderful adventure.  I think of it like a stepping stone to something else...something that I probably can't yet even fathom, but that will surely be wonderful.  I remarked to a friend that I was trying to think of what I should do now...a new business perhaps.  She responded by telling me that I already did that and that I should just get a real job.  I was so dismayed by her comment and wondered why owning your own business wasn't a "real job".   I have always viewed myself as an artist, a free-spirit... not a 9 to 5 work for someone else kind of girl.  But in her mind that is what everyone did...they followed the same path.

What is the purpose of my life?  What is God's plan for me?  These are questions I focus on A LOT.  I'm the mother of two special little people...that is obviously very important to me.  But, I'm still me, an individual, and I want something for myself.  I wish that I could go on a quest like the woman in Eat, Pray, Love.  Step out of my box, travel the world, explore different cultures and ways of thinking about life.  I'm on my own journey, trying to live purposefully and find my way...to the me that I am meant to be.  I'm not there yet, but I'm getting there, hopefully.

Do you ponder, wonder, and think about the life that you feel you were meant to live or are you living it?  If your living it...YAY I'm so happy for you!

Best wishes for a wonderful day :)

August 25, 2010

A Little Cabin in the Woods

Hello!  Hope you are having a great week.  Thanks for all the nice comments on my last post.  I got home from my cabin yesterday and I am now feeling well rested, thankfully.  If you remember, the last time we visited I told you that I was going to give you a little tour of my cabin...so let's go!

The drive up to the lake is very pretty but, a little long.  It is about three hours from my house.  We travel through a bunch of little towns, getting farther up north and deeper into the woods.  After turning off the main thoroughfare, we have to travel three miles down a long winding tree-lined road... 


until finally, we reach our destination.  See...here is the lake.  Ahh, doesn't that look peaceful?  Last weekend, there were loons and otters out here by the dock.  There was also a beaver, but that part isn't so fabulous.


You may have already seen a photo of the cabin's exterior on my very first blog post, but here are a few others.  As you can see, my landscaping is in dire need of a makeover.  My only plants are daylilies and a few spireas.  The deer ate all the coneflowers and black-eyed susans.  They were suppose to be deer resistant, but apparently were not so I need to find some new plants to try.  Any suggestions? 



And lastly, here is a glimpse of the inside.




The entry, kitchen and sitting areas are all one big room , or more like one little room.  One interesting tidbit...the flooring is reclaimed lumber and came from an old factory in Pennsylvania.  It has some bolt holes in it and other interesting markings.  When we installed it we face nailed it with square head nails.  I love it.

As for the rest or the cabin, if I were to redo things I probably wouldn't have so much wood...or have it look soooo....what is the word...cabiny?.  I kind of like a little more of western look or a painted cottage.  Overall though, I think it looks pretty cute :)

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Gotta go.  Thanks for visiting.

August 20, 2010

Madame Butterfly and Sleepy Me


Aren't these butterflies pretty?  I think so too.  I took these photos last summer. 

I don't know what was going on, but last week our backyard was full of butterflies.  It was like being in a butterfly house at the zoo or a fair.  They covered the back of our house...I counted over 30 in about a ten foot section.  When we went outside they would all flutter up into the air and come down and land us.  I've never seen anything like it...it was almost magical.  Needless to say, my children were thrilled. 


See, this is what they looked like.  I'm not sure of the species.  I'll have to check that out.

You're lucky I didn't put up photos that are a reflection of the way that I am feeling today.  You would have seen a picture of my tired face.  I didn't want to scare you.  It was one of those nights.  You know...your so tired, so you go to bed and POP an hour later your awake.  That was me.

So, I get up and go to the bathroom and then lie back down.  Then the thinking starts.  Boy, my knee hurts...I wonder if I should get up and take something for that?  No, I'll just lie here...hmm, what do I need to get for the cabin this weekend?  Yogurt for smoothies...okay, how many of us are there?...1,2,3,4,5...okay, five of us...now, if we want to make smoothies twice a day how many containers do I need?...hey, I gotta make sure I get a birthday card from Target tomorrow...maybe I should get up and write that down...no, I can remember...card, card, card, card, card...okay, hopefully it is stuck into my brain now...oh, I never figured out the smoothie thing.

This went on and on until finally I was starting to feel tired again and then...it started to lightening and thunder.  I felt like I went to sleep when it was time to wake up.

Hopefully, I will be refreshed and rejuvenated after a few days up at the lake.  Let's hope.  Speaking of that, I think that I will give you a peek into my cabin next week.  That will be a nice change.  It's pretty cute...I think you'll like it. 

Hope you have a great weekend.
Tricia :)

August 18, 2010

A Green Collage


"Green is the prime color of the world,
and that from which its loveliness arises."
- Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Isn't green such a wonderful and inspiring color?  It seems so fresh.  It conjures up thoughts of summer and the outdoors and how lush and beautiful everything is at this time of year.  I've been thinking a lot about the weather and what's going on outside.  It's been feeling a bit like fall here and I'm longing for some sunshine and warmth.  Luckily, it is suppose to start heating up again tomorrow.  Last week was pretty hot and humid.  My son, who is 9, said he felt "like a pig over a fire."  Nice visual.

Oops, I'm getting off track...on to things of a more pleasant nature.  I wanted to share with you a green color collage that I put together.  As you can see, I'm a muted color kind of girl.  I never realized how many green things I have around my house.  

I hope you enjoy it.  Best wishes :)

August 16, 2010

Simplicity


This fortune cookie saying could almost be my slogan, in life and decorating.

I am all about finding the beauty in simplicity.  My surroundings have a big impact on the way I feel.  When things are simple, I feel at peace.  I can breathe.  In all aspects of my life I prefer things to be calm and subdued.  I feel this way about decorating too, gravitating toward looks with not much going on, clean and uncluttered. 


Now, just throw in some wonderful little details.  In my mind, details and simplicity go hand and hand, like yin and yang, hugs and kisses, chips and salsa (doesn't that sound yummy right about now?).  Okay now...what was I saying...oh yes...when everything is simple the details stand out, they just catch your eye.



And without a lot of stuff around it's a whole lot easier clean.  A big plus in my book.

Hope you have a simply lovely day full of lots of wonderful details.

August 11, 2010

A Rosy Color Wash


I thought that I would put together a little color collage since they are so pretty to look at and fun to make.  I love grouping things according to color and theme.  It reminds me of when I made displays at my shop...ahhh.  The plan is to showcase a new color each week...I'm thinking on Wednesdays.  I could call it Color Wash Wednesday.  What do ya think?  While I would have liked to have included some additional photos this time around, the ones I had didn't seem quite right and I didn't have the time to keep working on things.

I used Adobe Illustrator to create the image.  It's a program that I have been slowly learning and I have to say that it is a bit of a challenge.  I will relish the day when it just comes naturally.

Well...gotta go.  Enjoy!

August 10, 2010

Horses



Since I was little I have had a love for artsy things, especially drawing.  I've also always had a special fondness for changing the furniture around...but we'll save that for another day.  While I don't really have a specific style or thing that I like to draw, I rarely venture into anything that is too realistic since that just seems to be a lesson in frustration.  I like details though and lately I have really enjoyed making black and white designs that look a bit like mehndi, the henna tattooing that is often done on the hands.

When I was younger and I would visit with my grandma we would draw horses.  Ohhh how I loved that.  Whenever I draw horses I always think about her.  She loved to draw and she loved horses as much as I did.  I was a horse kind of girl.  How can a person not be?  They are such beautiful animals. 

I remember begging and begging my parents for a horse to call my very own.  Sadly, my pleas went unanswered.  Finally recovering from my disappointment, I have decided to enjoy sketching horses instead.  Here are a few that I did not too long ago.

August 07, 2010

Hello Sunshine



I love summer!  The warmth, the sun, the flowers...it is all so wonderful.  Don't those daylilies just seem like sunshine?  Let me tell you, it sure was warm and toasty here today.  I think it is still in the 80's.  I didn't even go for my usual evening bike ride.  It was just too hot.  I did get outside and mess around with my plants a little though...cutting a few things back and watering too.  My little girl put on her swimsuit and begged me to spray her with the hose.  So cute.

Hope you're enjoying your summer too.

August 06, 2010

Welcome



Well, here it is...my blog.  I'm so excited.  Hopefully this will be a fun and inspiring journey.  Since this is my first post, I'm going to keep it short and sweet...I have to ease into this blog business.

I recently saw a quote from Helen Keller that read "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened before us."

I'm going to look at this experience as a new door and hope for lots of happiness.