Saturday, June 14, 2014

At home in our soulful Row-home

After awaking today, I've decided to stay home, to joyfully allow my spirit to play and roam.
In peace and calm a soul can celebrate in it's own unique way, I guess best described staying home is very similar to a mental health day. So today my mind gets to sing it's song, one that is creative, happy and strong, for I truly know in this blissful day being at home is where I belong.

Join me at our row-home for a little revealing and sharing of things that make my heart sing in happiness today. Every morning we wake to our Hopscotch rug. It reminds us to remember to embrace the child within, as we walk to our Shoji screened bedroom closet. An antique Burmese Buddha from the mid 1800's greets us with positive energy.

Our Buddha from Burma has a rich developed patina and is carved in a spiritual teaching position. I adore how this Buddha has aged gracefully. 

As we round the corner of our bedroom we take notice of a cross designed by Doré Callaway of Burlap Luxe and smile at our vintage Philips poster.

A vintage poster purchased on impulse that brought a smile to both of us cat lovers. Simply framed in a glass poster frame with a charcoal grey mat cut by John. 

We recently purchased a Bowler hat pendant light, handmade from a real felt derby in England. We decided to put a Edison filament bulb in it. As it is not needed for task lighting, just as an accent. We have had a fondness of Bowler derby hats ever since the TV series the "Avengers". The British spy-fi cult classic. A television series created in the 60's, produced until 1969. I fell in love with the rugged trench coat wearing agent John Steed, the savvy Seville row suit wearing guy always sporting an umbrella. Amazed as he would spin his derby on his fingertips and glide it into place on top of his head with a pat. Oh and Emma Peel played by Diana Riggs ... OMG I wanted to be her. Sexy, cunning, smart and holding her own next to John Steed.

My favorite "Avengers" year was 1967 which included "Winged Advenger". We own the 1967 collected digitally remastered series ... And I am willing to admit there were times I was completely perplexed understanding some eposides.

We looked for what seems forever to find the perfect wooden sign to hang against the exposed brick wall upstairs.  I found this huge oval one many years ago on eBay. It is a hand painted double sided sign that hung outdoors in Wisconsin. Fanny Farmer was an American candy manufacturer and retailer that started out in Rochester New York in 1919. The store grew to over 400 stores then in 1992 it was purchased as a sister brand to Fannie May. Sadly in 2004 Fanny Farmer filed for bankruptcy and merged into Fannie May.

I try to collect things that have a sentimental heartfelt meaning for us. Fanny Farmer is a fond memory from my childhood. My Dad had two favorite stores to shop at when I was young and when he asked me to come along I jumped right into the car to go. One of Dad's stores was Finkles Hardware in Lambertville, NJ which still exists. I loved that store of curiosity that was situated along the canal. The other store was Sears in Trenton, Dad loved buying his power tools. Driving there meant we passed the Fanny Farmer store and that always resulted in having a little white paper bag filled with candy for me with Dad saying "Don't tell Mom". A sign very similar hung outside the building in West Ewing on route to Trenton.

At Sears we would wander through the power tools, the appliances and always the Television/Electronics dept. Sears was located in the city of Trenton and there was a multi level parking lot (free of course) to park in. Our visits always ended on the top floor at the hot dog vendors stand. Both of us always ready to enjoy a dog with French's yellow mustard, relish and a frosty ice cold Root beer soda. It's been over 30 years since I've eaten beef or pork but I still can taste those hotdogs on the toasted bun that spun around on a grilling rack done to perfection. In my mind's eye I can see my Dad's smile and pointing gesture letting me know I had mustard on my face!

Meet Harvey, a needle felted swinging bunny that was purchased at Easter time from an artisan in Italy. Why the name Harvey? Well looked like a Harvey to me. He captures the essence of playful bliss.

A new summer purchase for my sitting room, a starfish pillow from West Elm.

I love white pencil starfish and we purchased the wire basket from Crate and Barrel and this is where I'm displaying my collection of Starfish this season.

Walking down the steps you notice 3 vintage folding camera's and 2 photos from the 50's of Paris. Just part of a large vintage camera collection John and I own. I will do a future blog post on the collection.

Now we are almost on the first floor

I like to incorporate architectural interest in our home. I purchased this very old (said to be from the 1800's) barn glass-less window. It had a strong smell of musty age, OK mildew. I tried just about every suggestion to rid the smell. Finally a wash of bleach and water and a long day laying out in the sun saved this piece. I applied a white limed paint technique to it.

We hung it equal height to our Living room double hung windows on a delicate chain 3 inches away from the wall. I wanted to enjoy shadow play and it captures it nicely. The number 9 hanging down is our number that seems to play out throughout our married life. It's become our favorite number followed by 5 for me.

I admired this hand-carved Corinthian column capital from Restoration Hardware for the longest time. 20% off was motivation enough to recently purchase it.

We needed additional table space when entertaining and since I've always loved the idea of layering under surfaces.I placed it under our vintage lucite waterfall table. Looks like a museum piece ... lol

A close up view

Sitting on top of our Sapien bookcase from Design Within Reach is Christopher Mouse. A needle felted mouse handmade in Amsterdam and a gift from John. He playfully rests upon a book titled "Cat Crimes" my son had picked up at a vintage store and gave me saying "this book may stink, don't know, I haven't read it, but thought the title was cute". The book remains unread and serves merely as a prop.

An antique riddling rack from the champagne region of France sits at the ready filled with fine wines in our Dining room. Always ready to uncork a bottle in celebration.

A wire basket contains corks infused with memories and laughter of times spent with friends.

OH .. If these corks could talk! Want to know my favorite music? Well it's the sound laughter and conversation makes when it blurs into a fun evening. Oh and we love sultry Jazz playing throughout our house,

Summer time and we're entertaining with light refreshing menus. John bought this French galvanized bucket for me. What could be better than it filled with bubbly Prosecco and Pellegrino on the countertop. 

Close up, love it.

So in my playful way I leave you with wine and roses and Lavender from Provence and end with my poetry of Soulful Home. The Peach roses were given to me by John and I dried them.

All photos taken by me - Vera

Soulful Home

It doesn't take much cash to inspire and dwell in a soulful home,
where beauty and creativity exist and your spirit can playfully roam.

Perhaps perplexed but determined, you wonder what to do with your place,
aware it will take personal expression to make it your own unique special space.

Your home is where your personal style comforts you and proudly welcomes each guest.
Reflecting your hobbies and family interests as you lovingly over time layer your nest.

Why not incorporate ephemera like collectible memorabilia you have acquired,
let go of your worries and embrace your homes nuances and you will be inspired.

A combination of vintage mixed with new can mingle with high end displayed next to low.
Restoring, reinventing, up-cycling while envisioning a new purpose your efforts will bestow.

Try a composition of the past, present and a nod to the future to establish your look.
Personalize a corner into a cozy reading nook, relax, be inspired by a new decor book.

There are vintages stores, recycle and repurpose shops within a short drive right in your city.
Seems to me not exploring their items to envision potential possibilities would be a pity.

We all appreciate a patina that overtime develops it's rich character from a proud past,
honestly all it takes is a little effort to bring back beauty that will forever last.

© Vera

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Conner and Pearl

Welcome sweet summer and beautiful blissful June! More weddings take place in June than any other month of the year. Just in the United States alone over 2 million couples are wed annually. I recently read over $72 billion is spent every year on U.S. weddings. Truth is, to me all weddings are magical and another confession, I cry at every single one I attend. John and I celebrate our anniversary in December, I wore Winter White in a month that less than 8% of couples exchange their nuptials in.

Phillipa Lepley is one of London's leading coulture bridal designers. Her Baby Olivia Hanbury Pearl dress simply put, took my breath away when I first saw a photograph of it. The Baby Olivia Hanbury Pearl dress has 80,000 2mm seed pearls hand sewn on. Exquisite in it's intended delicate feminine design. An elegant gown any future Bride can find inspiration from as she daydreams of a fairytale wedding, planning their special day.

I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
a church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of wedding he wished for,
he said one that would make me his wife.
~ Author Unknown ~

This photograph helped inspire my classical beautiful Pearl in my poem Connor and Pearl. I wrote it through the young Groom's voice, in the moments right before exchanging their vows. I hope you enjoy it. There is a tenderness, along with precious emotions expressed on a Grooms face. It imprints in your memory watching as he first sees his Bride on their wedding day. This heart warming reaction is the core essence of my poem.

I will return back in two weeks as I invite you back to our Row-home for a lighthearted visit. I want to personally thank all of you endearing Earth Angels that have either emailed or left a comment of comfort for me during my expressed grief and cyber tribute of my Dad. Your words were heartfelt and I sincerely appreciate all your kind words. Some sent cards with beautiful sentiments and below my poem Connor and Pearl is a photograph of a painting entitled "Grey Calm Sea". It is a gift that was enclosed with one of Kerrie Sanderson's water colored notecards "Broken Shell" along with her touching poetic words of comfort. Kerrie is a friend from Sea Cottage blog and her store Sea Washed. The canvas "Grey Calm Sea" Kerrie painted as a gift to me on the night my Dad passed. The Dove mini canvas is also a painting Kerrie did, slowly I have been purchasing mini canvas paintings of her beautiful art, her talent resonates emotional beauty in my heart as I grow my collection.

Connor and Pearl

At the top of the stairs everyone's eyes are focused on my lovely Pearl.
Pearl smiles at me and suddenly I'm dizzy and my head is all a swirl.

With each step down, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh is the sound of her Taffeta gown.
Her long golden hair is simply upswept and adorned with a princess tiara crown.

Her soft pink lips whisper to me "I love you", oh what a beautiful sight.
Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh down the stairs she floats in sun's bright light.

For many years I've dreamt of this very moment on my wedding day.
A promise for life, when we exchange our vows of I do, we will gleefully say.

Every single detail was anxiously planned by us for nearly a year,
honestly I thought today I'd find myself crippled by groom's fear.

To magically fall in love with a classic beauty and amazingly make her my bride,
leaves me standing here wiping tears as I am completely overwhelmed with pride.

© Vera

Paintings and note card by Kerrie Sanderson of Sea Washed

Photo's Pinterest, last photo taken by me - Vera