Monday, July 30, 2012

Fun Fonts in Chicago

As we toured the big city of Chicago, I had fun snapping shots of all the old time (and some new) fonts!  This little self photography challenge was fun, as we toured every museum the town had to offer!  The lighting is not so good on all of these, but I am sharing with you for your DIY projects!
On a side note, I found this interesting!  WAVES stood for 'Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service' during WWII.  I enjoyed learning about these women who had very important roles during the war.

Super cool 'S!'

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Sultry (Dog) Days of Summer


Our puppy, Drayton is six months old.  He is a sweet, sweet dog and we are all crazy in love with him.  Yes, we were crazy to get a puppy in the middle of a remodel, but hey, if you are going to be crazy anyway, why not just live in chaos, right?  All the workers grew very attached to our Drayton! 

Mr. Drayton is not doing so well with his manners.  We all know labs love to chew and he has had a field day in his doggy room!  My lovely little mud room with the bead board is now all chewed up! 

I guess it will have to go on the 'remodel' list now, too.  Fortunately, this is something Rob can do himself.  This little room has a doggy door, so Drayton can go outside.  We had to fence off an area, because he destroyed all of the toys and dragged my cushions all over the yard!  But, look at that face!  It is hard to be mad at such a cute thing!

How to solve the problem?  We added walking, running or taking Drayton to swim for 30 minutes to each child's chore list every day!  When he gets some exercise, he is calm and doesn't chew! 

Speaking of dogs, we are in the middle of the 'Dog Days of Summer!' 
 Here are some of the funny expressions you might hear in the Deep South to describe 'Dog Days':

It's hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch
It's hot as hades 'round here, IDINIT?
It's so hot the dog'll stay under the porch all day
So hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs
Hot as a summer revival
Hotter than a honeymoon hotel
Hot as a pot of neck bones
Blanket of heat
Scorchin' hot
Soarin' hot
Blazin' hot

So, where does the 'Dog Days of Summer' get its name?

The brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, which is also the brightest star in the night sky.  In the summer, Sirius, the big dog star, rises and sets with the sun. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and during ancient times, it was believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot weather. They named this period of time with its sultry, thick heat, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star, Sirius.  The heat of summer is actually the direct result of the earth's tilt (source.)

Keep cool and thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Blue Bird Baked in a Pie- A Vintage Style Gift

 We hosted a wedding 'kitchen' shower here yesterday.  Everyone was to bring a favorite recipe and a kitchen gift.   It was this small little blue bird at Sur La Table that inspired my gift. 
I love putting gifts together.  I remembered an article from Country Living magazine a while back about the history of these little birds.  I was inspired to give some baking supplies and a recipe for blackberry cobbler.  The little bird allows the steam to vent, so the fruit filling won't spill over-brilliant and cute.  A French tapered rolling pin, ceramic pie dish, dish towel and a vintage style timer complete the gift!  Don't you just love memories and things of old?
blackbird pie birds in pies

"Pie birds evoke warm feelings of gathering around a table for fresh-from-the-oven desserts," says Texas collector Jeannie Kolger, whose cabinets bulge with more than 1,000 of these tools, designed to prevent pie fillings from boiling over by creating a steam vent. Though English bakers started using workmanlike ceramic funnels for this purpose in the early 1800s, the utensils didn't take on fanciful bird forms until migrating to the States in the 1930s. The inspiration? The nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence": Four and 20 blackbirds, baked in a pie. Today, fans of the figurals drop anywhere from $10 to $3,000 for avian as well as other, rarer shapes.

Grab you a little bird and enjoy making your next pie in style or wrap one up as a gift!

Need other gift ideas? 
Here is another one I shared last summer!

Thanks for stopping by!

Savvy Southern Style {Primp}

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Monday, July 23, 2012

A Lantern Craze and Other Light Fixtures

You need only to check out Houzz or Pinterest to see the lantern craze. 
This was the first picture that drew my attention and set me on an obsessive path to find the perfect lanterns for our kitchen.  This lovely space is the dining room of designer Holly Mathis.  (For more inspiration ideas, see the bottom of this post.)
After much research (see my Pinterest board here), I decided to hang two lanterns by the Thomasville Lighting Collection.
I tried relentlessly to find the same exact lantern as the designer, but to no avail.  After my obsession had to move on to something else, I decided to hang these three-light lanterns with clear beveled glass panels.  
 The main purpose for hanging these two fixtures was to add more light to this side of the kitchen.  We added a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting.
 In this before picture, you can see the fan that hung over the kitchen table.  We hardly ever used the fan and the light source was minimal.  We have fans in our bedrooms, but I wasn't a fan of the fan in the kitchen.  We replaced the fixture over the island, too.
We lived in Charleston, SC for about ten years, and one only needs to walk the streets of downtown Charleston to see the beautiful gas lanterns that light up the historic district.  Hanging these in the kitchen reminds me of the lovely city!
 The space is coming together and finally feels more 'lived in!'
 There are a few things in this new space that are my absolute favorites.  The lanterns are one and the check wing back chairs are another.  A vintage fishing creel hangs on one side of the room and a French bread basket on the other.  Brown transfer ware and pewter plates hang above the baskets.
 I don't know what to do with the windows; possibly simple curtain panels or plantation shutters.  The rest of the front of the house has plantation shutters, as well as, one small window in the kitchen, so I am giving that some thought.  Please give me your opinion!  I am a bit burned out, so I will take all the advice I can get!
I do enjoy the open view, but this room can heat up quickly because of all the windows.  To keep from running the AC all of the time, as well as, protect all the furnishings from fading, we will need to add something to the windows.
On the other side of the room, above the bar, we hung this early 20th century style, polished nickel Industrial pendant by Landmark Lighting.
I really didn't know if it was okay to hang light fixtures in the same room with different finishes.  I looked at hundreds of pictures on Houzz and Pinterest and decided that almost anything goes.  I liked the polished nickel and since it is near the sink with a similar finish, I think it works.
We are having the pendant raised six inches and moved to be centered over the island.  It is the small details that drag out the remodeling process!  But, I'm not complaining; I am grateful to be able to cook in here again!

Speaking of dragging things out, I feel like I am dragging out the posting of this kitchen!  It would be too long of a post to do one on the entire remodel, plus the kitchen is not quite finished.  I am breaking it down, so that I can provide you with the product sources for those of you interested or for those of you contemplating a remodel.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Do you remember starting out as a new blogger?  Do you remember your first post? I remember when Kim at My Domestic Bliss featured my shed over two years ago and people started to drop by to see what I was doing on this spot of the web!  It opened up a whole new world for me and has certainly become a creative outlet for all my random thoughts and decor ideas!  I have 'met' so many wonderful people and have been inspired by so many of you! 
Please stop by and say 'hello and welcome' to Kristen at 'A Southern Preppy.'  I have followed her on Pinterest after finding her via my sister.  She has wonderful taste and her pins bring back fond memories of all things preppy!  She has just started a blog, so be sure to stop by!  Also, you can check out her Pinterest board here!

More inspiration and oh, such lovely spaces!



Pinned Image

For those of you DIY decorators or those interested in these types of light fixtures, check out 'kitchens with industrial lighting' at Houzz here. I found so many images and tons of resources and shops. Here is the link for 'kitchens with hanging lanterns.' 

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