Archive for June, 2012

So I can’t resist doing a little copy-cat post thanks to Steve over at The Urban Cottage. I have already been crowing about my “Endless Summer” hydrangeas – the name is enough to hook you line and sinker – but the colors and the incredible growth after just one year have me completely ensnared!

From planting last June:

To this June:

The variation of color and hue from flower to flower – heck, within each flower – is spectacular. I know I used a hydrangea prep fertilizer before I planted them, but I can’t remember what it was. I’ll ask my neighbor who gave it to me and post it in the comments.

Obviously, I have brought them indoors as they are divine…

…but I can’t bring myself to cut more than the stragglers yet as they really make the cottage come alive.

Since this photo was taken, a dark, almost black hollyhock has been planted at the end of the left row and one of the best rose climbers there is – Eden – on the right side.

Steve had been so kind to offer me dark-colored hollyhock seeds in response to my comment about his, but I got incredibly lucky at Sickles Market in Little Silver yesterday. I cannot recommend them highly enough as the selection and service was by far the best I have experienced in a long time.

I’m linking up with Jane’s Small But Charming Flower in the House Party. Stop over to see everyone else’s flowers too!

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OK, I actually wanted to call this post “I’m A Genius” but out of love my best friend wouldn’t let me. Do you know when you are so excited about the smallest accomplishment that you want to crow about it ridiculously? Home almost two weeks, I still feel sluggish and am beating myself up for not getting more done at the house. The truth is that the more you near completion, the harder it is to find and finish those details, as in, “will I ever have night tables in my bedroom?” because they need to be such a specific height and size and work with everything else in the room.

So my moment of joy comes from a good idea mixed with some luck. I am slowly organizing and styling the Sonoma bookcase in the TV room that I wrote about previously here. One conundrum concerned the cable box, DVD player, modem and the millions, yes millions, of cords that connect them all (which are even worse than they look here). As you can see in the photo below, even stacked one on the other, the components look skimpy and the cords are an eyesore. I had thought of hiding the players in a basket, but the remotes don’t work.

Yesterday I made the rounds at all my Point Pleasant antique shops and found this vintage delivery box, much like the one I featured here last year, but larger, at what I believe was the Summerhouse booth of Joanna Madden, who I wrote about here last summer. I forgot to take a photo of her display at Canvas House Antiques, but it was just what you might expect – peely paint furniture and glass bottles, lots of charm and patina. An idea of how to use the box was forming in my mind, but I wasn’t sure if it could be done. I stopped off at the local hardware store for some twist ties – no black, only green gardening ones which will have to do right now – and set to work.

Voila! How fabulous is this? The box was just the right size to sit the cable box on top of the open side. This gives the electronic components enough vertical lift that they fill the shelf space nicely (and keeps the “Fancy Print Butter” label right side up). Better yet, all the power cords have been bundled inside the box at the back. The ones stretching down from the TV have been tied to the iron X bar that supports the shelves – I’ll need to improve on those but I was in a hurry.  I plan on disguising the modem on the shelf below with a storage basket on one side and some large books on the other, or perhaps I will stumble across some other fun and funky object.

I promise the whole bookcase soon. I just have to get to the Ladies Auxiliary Book Sale next week to beef up on my reading material!

Related Posts:
A Television Solution From My Notting Hill and Ballard Designs
Living Large in Small Spaces…FDR, Home Relief and Cream Cheese Boxes at the Tenement Museum of New York

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As a quick follow-up to my post on styling rules and accessories, I just realized I never included the adult party favors from my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah! At a shrine sale this spring I had found a set of karuta, antique game pieces in which a half of a poem was painted on a small wooden tile and the other half painted on a different one. The goal of the game is to pair up all the poems.

Obviously my predominantly English-speaking crowd wasn’t going to be able to do that, but I thought they looked lovely as part of the table setting and would make a sweet souvenir for people to take home. Not the best photo as this was before the lights were dimmed and you can’t see the lovely painting on the lanterns, but look here for more party details.

What has been really fun is seeing the ways in which people have used them once they got them home. One friend has placed hers in a glass bowl in her entryway, along with some woven straw balls and palm fronds. The natural textures and colors are complimentary and the placement with larger objects in a contained space keeps them from getting lost, both literally and figuratively. Note too, the rule of three holds here as well.

Another friend took hers, added some shells and bits of broken pottery, and framed them in a shadow box which now resides on the counter of her friend’s sushi bar. Again, containing small decoratives in an enclosed space helps to highlight them and limiting the variety of objects to three creates the correct balance.

Other friends have them displayed in a witty take on size – big, medium and small. Can you see a pair of them in this photo? Probably not, but I can’t resist showing you the long view, with the amazing antique map of Japan that I found for them.

Here they are close-up, topping a stack of books, which again serves to highlight and corral them.

I still have some left over. Suggestions on how to use them?

Related Posts:
Sayonara Series…Styling Rules and Japanese Accessories
A Little Bat Mitzvah Inspiration…Sakura Season in Japan
A Little Bat Mitzvah Inspiration…Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree

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