Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ticking 101 | My favorite blue ticking fabrics

I recently had a blue ticking slipcover made for the wingback chair in our office, which by the way, is essentially finished.  I have one bare wall begging for some art but I just haven't found the right pieces yet.  The changes that I have made though, really make me happy, I love how it has turned out.  It has a very relaxed New England cottage feeling that makes me want to spend time in there.  With the seagrass carpet, the mix of dark wood and pine antiques, the folk art portrait (that we are convinced is a whaling captain since our visit to the Nantucket Whaling museum that was filled with very similar portraits) and the English floral romans... I can almost pretend to walk outside and be close to the sea. Almost. Lately, I'm smacked in the face with heat and humidity

Originally I had planned for this wingback to serve as a desk chair, but once we had it in place it looked so perfect in the corner paired with a reading lamp and footstool, so stay in the corner it did.  I added a white slipped parson's chair to the desk instead.

I found the chair at a consignment store for $50.  It is brand new.  It came from inventory in a furniture store that was going out of business.  I knew I wanted a blue ticking slip, but a fresh ticking not a homespun country ticking. So, I ordered lots of samples and settled on an inexpensive white and blue that feels perfectly fresh and just country enough, without conjuring up images of shops filled with cranberry and cinnamon scented candles. You know what I mean?  Maybe it's just a midwestern thing, but we have lots of those shops!

It really helped to see all the samples side by side, as well as paired along with the other fabrics I used in the room. I also did a lot of pinterest searching to see examples of some of these fabric in use.  I happily found several really pretty options that would have all worked well.  Hopefully, these pictures are a helpful guide for your next ticking project! I love some of them for their names alone, Wellfleet Ticking, Nantucket Chambray, see why I conjure up visions of a seaside cottage ...

^^ See left (Covington Classics New Woven Ticking 55 Navy) is more cream and navy and right (Covington Classics New Woven Ticking 51 Denim) is more white and lighter blue?  The fabric on the right is the one I ended up using because it felt crisper in this room against the darker walls.  It looks a little lighter blue in this picture because of lighting, see pic below for more accurate color ^^

^^ zoom in to really see difference in each of these samples.^^

1. Ian Mankin Ticking 01 Sky
2. Serena & Lily Indigo Pinstripe Cotton F2-3019A
3. Magnolia Home Fashions Ticking Stripe Denim (
4. Ian Mankin Ticking 2 Sky
5. Covington Classics New Woven Ticking 51 Denim Blue (my slipcover fabric)
6. Serena & Lily Oxford Stripe Cotton F2-3025A  || same as Lee Industry Nantucket Chambray
7. Ian Mankin Ticking 01 Indigo
8. 47 ACA Blue Ticking (Online Fabric Store (dot) Net) - very thick cotton)
9. Ian Mankin Ticking 2 Airforce (I almost chose this one)
10. Trend, pattern #02977, Indigo
11. Covington Classics New Woven Ticking 55 Navy
12. Schumacher Wesley Ticking Stripe, Delft
13. Essex, French Blue, DE01,
14. Robert Allen, Ticking, Caviar
15. Magnolia Home, Ticking Stripe, Navy (
16. Schumacher, Wellfleet Ticking, Ocean
17. Magnolia Home Fashions, Polo Sail (


Monday, July 25, 2016

Art | Swedish Watercolor Bird Prints

Mark D Sikes Southern living idea house

This weekend's unbearable heat was an excellent excuse to stay inside and catch up on some reading. I finished this book, it was an entertaining, good, summer mystery, even though I liked her first book a bit more.  I also picked up the latest issue of Southern Living Magazine.  I had seen a lot of the Idea House pictures via Instragm but I still prefer having a hard copy in my hands.  My favorite room was the living room from Mark D. Sikes.  Lots of layers of pretty and cozy neutrals, from some of my favorite textile designers.  I was especially drawn to the mass of bird prints.  I have seen these used by other well known designers (they are favorites of Bunny Williams and Tom Scheerer) and I was thankful to have a source so I could learn a little more about them.

They are copies of bird drawings by Swedish botanist and ornithologist, Olof Rudbeck.  He traveled on mission to northern Sweden in 1695 and returned with a collection of beautiful watercolor drawings of birds.  I love them for their simple graphic impact in a room and their easy muted neutral color palette.  They look so pretty in a group, especially when they are the focal point of the room.

Here are some examples taken from the Ornis Gallery website.  In all of these they are really the predominate, and often only, art in the space.

The following are from Tom Scheerer's website:
^^I especially like them grouped in a hallway, entrance or going up a staircase.  I also like them covering the expanse of wall from top to bottom. ^^

There is an absolutely gorgeous online selection at the Ornis Gallery with prices starting at $350 and up.  Less expensive options, starting at $20, can be found at Nostalgia Fine Art.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Recipe | Watermelon and Shrimp summer salad

The majority of today was spent working on the prettiest design plan for a client's powder room (Hi, Suzanne!).  Summers are tricky for me and my decorating business. I really need a quiet house, without interruptions, for a few hours, to find my creative groove, so with Andrew spending the day at my parents and Charlie at the pool with his Dad, I took advantage and tried to pretend it wasn't a Saturday afternoon.  Tonight, I have plans to make a key lime pie after I publish this quick post and think up a dinner menu for tomorrow.  We are hosting a belated Father's Day celebration for my Dad and hopefully seeing some fireworks if the rain holds out.

I've been meaning to blog this recipe for um, the last 6 years.... It's one that a colleague gave me many years ago when I was still working at Procter & Gamble.  It was an instant summer favorite.  Over time I made a few tweaks, adding avocado and more cilantro,  adding less red onion.  It is perfect for sweltering days, when you don't want to cook but prefer not to eat out.  Full of so many of my favorite summer flavors like fresh squeezed lime juice, watermelon and cilantro.  The shrimp and avocado make it filling enough to serve as a meal, along with a baguette and a cold glass of Rose.  It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and it is sooooo delicious and unexpected.  It would be perfect for this holiday weekend if you want to pass on the burgers and hotdogs.  Enjoy!

Recipe | Shrimp and Watermelon Summer Salad
4-5 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
1/4 of a medium sized red onion, diced
2 avocados, chopped
1 pound cooked shrimp, tails cut off
1 bunch cilantro, diced
2 jalapeƱos, seeded and diced
the juice of 1 lime
1 tsp honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Place watermelon, red onion, avocado, shrimp, jalapeno, shrimp and cilantro in a large bowl.  Drizzle with lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and toss to combine all the ingredients.  Let sit 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.