Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Small Town Halloween

October....
Here and gone in a flash --  my favorite month of the year.
It is hard to describe just how beautiful our little village is this time of year.

And tonight was no exception.
The children tricked and treated.
And Charlie hung in there just like he was one of the older children.
We had a last minute costume change. 
Charlie ended up as a tiger instead of Bob the Builder.
Andrew was a grave ghoul (1st year in a scary get-up)
and Payton (Andrew's best bud and the daughter I do not have) went as Ghostly Girl.
Andrew's mask lasted about 5 minutes.  Too hot.
I'm really going to try harder to talk him into a homemade costume next year.
(How they still have window boxes looking like that after a severe drought I have no idea!)
Charlie particularly liked these ghosts and the owner. 
He took this neighbor's hand and walked the next 5 houses with him.
Nana was there to pass out candy at our home until it was time to start Andrew's Haunted Trail.
This was our 2nd year putting on this shin-dig.
All Andrew's idea.
From 7:00-8:00 we allow people to walk through our decorated backyard.
Complete with strobe lights, scary music, and lots of tacky goblins and ghouls.
The kids LOVE it.
This cast of characters helped give everyone a good scare.
They are all 7 and 8 year olds.
Still very innocent, so it isn't too scary.
Just a little Halloween fun!

And one more fun little collage to wrap up this month of pumpkin picking,
carmel corn making, parade watching, hay riding, birthday celebrating, and trick or treating...


Bye October!  I only wish you lasted a little longer.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String...



These are a few of my favorite things...

Yes, that would be my second reference to that song this week for those of you keeping track. 
And I made flower pins from left over curtain fabric several weeks ago,
you'd think I was just a regular Maria von Trapp, except I can't carry a tune!

Anyway...
 Back to this online shop I just came across...
I could order one of everything.
I enjoy baking treats at Xmas for my neighbors and friends.
I love coming up with a pretty new way to package them each year.
I do believe Olive Manna will be helping me out.
I had to share.
Back soon with all sorts of Halloween happenings....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our House: The Playroom

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Several months ago we set out to create a play space for the boys.

The challenge
Keep it consistent with the rest of our downstairs
because it is also the room guests go in to use the bathroom AND
it will eventually be their homework room/study when they are a bit older. 
Also try not to spend much and re-purpose what we have.

The Inspiration
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What To Copy:
 Natural fiber rug, baskets for storage, large scale brown & white fabric as focal point, muted color scheme, a few monograms mixed in, a chalkboard with antique frame,
some painted furniture and modern lighting.

Our room is down a little hallway off the kitchen.
We believe it was originally the maid's quarters.
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We used it as a guest room first, but felt it would better serve us as a playroom,
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The shelves with the toys & books were a discard from a neighbor.
They once belonged in a wine shop.
They had a beadboard back that we removed
 because the walls already have tongue & groove boards.
I gave them a fresh coat of paint & mounted them to the wall.
They happen to be the exact same length.
Meant to be, no?
The boys have distressed them.
Getting them in was difficult because they barely fit through the narrow hallway.
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I cannot show you the narrow hallway b/c all the junk
I moved out of the way to take these pictures is in there.
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The table was another neighbor discard.
I did nothing to it. I mean, I thoroughly cleaned it, but that's all.

We replaced the overhead light with an inexpensive lantern.
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And bought a pair of orangey lamps. That I likely wouldn't use anywhere else, but are fun in here.
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I framed a couple favorite pieces of Andrew's artwork from last year.
I will continue to frame more to fill up the blank wall that I did not photograph.
Hands down my favorite artwork in the house!
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We had new curtains made and they puddle a little on the floor.
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They were made by my fabulous seamstress.
If you are in the Cincinnati area and want her info, just email me.
I've worked with her for many years and she always exceeds expectations!

 We added a new rug.  The color of dirt for obvious reasons.
And turned an old antique mirror into a chalkboard.
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We are still waiting on bamboo shades for the windows and we need to paint the kids chairs.
This room gets a ton of light.
Though you wouldn't know it from these pics.
I'm having fun playing with a new flash I got as a Bday present. (thanks, Dad)
The room gets used ALOT.
Next time I'll take some pics in the daylight and I'll show my favorite part - the craft closet!!
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Oh, and the burlap wreath - I made from the leftover tablecloth I used for
Charlie's bday using this Jones Design tutorial.  Love, love, love Emily's projects!!

It's My Birthday!

I will be celebrating with my little guys
and my Mum and Dad.
My big guy will be in Dallas for a meeting.

In honor of my birthday, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things.
Cue the music - raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles...
(which is also a favorite movie of mine)
1. My family and friends of course!
 I have the greatest parents,
a younger brother who makes me very proud,
a sweet husband who still winks at me and tells me I smell pretty,
2 gorgeous little boys who make my heart melt,
and 4 forever friends ( Mindy, Alyssa, Sarah & Jen)
 who totally get me. 
I can't imagine life without anyone of them

2. A perfect cup of tea to start and end my day, with milk, no sugar, thank you. 
Unless I'm eating chocolate, in that case,
 a nice cappuccino with some sugar in the raw and a little sprinkle of cocoa on top.

3. New England towns & general stores. The ocean. Lobster rolls. 
4. Transferware
5. Checked fabric & floral & toile, don't care if it's in or out.

6. A good book. Preferably in front of the fire, on a rainy day, with my feet up, wearing a cozy sweater & leggings, maybe with a short little nap to follow.

7. Old houses filled with character, creaky wood floors, where it smells like something good is baking in the kitchen and children's artwork hangs on cupboards.
8. Climbing into a freshly made bed of soft, clean white sheets, smelling like lavender.
Which is where I'm heading now.

I planned to post 10 things, but I'm getting sleepy.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy something sweet for me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A little of this and a little of that...

Let me begin with my boys...

On Saturday we attempted to have a family picture taken.
 Charlie behaved like a wild animal that had been recently set free from captivity.
I am not exaggerating.
He seems to have taken turning 2 to heart.
He wasn't bad, quite the contrary, he was having the time of his life.
Chasing the photographer (who worked up a sweat running after him),
throwing acorns into a sewer, making sticks into weapons, climbing precariously over stone walls,
using benches as balance beams.
He was so tuckered out, that he was an angel when we went out to dinner afterwards.
Not a single peep, happily coloring waiting for his food, never getting up out of his seat.


And then there's the other monkey...
On Sunday night, Andrew flooded the downstairs bath and adjoining playroom
when he forgot to turn off the faucet after brushing his teeth.
Our poor little sink drains very slowly (old house charms) and couldn't keep up.
20 towels, 2 buckets filled with water, and a giant mess later it was semi-back to normal.

But that was only act 1 of his weekend follies..
When I returned home on Sunday after a trip to the grocery store Andrew was covered in red marker.
He had decided to get in the Halloween spirit early by making "bloody" marks on his face and all over his chest. Nice. He said not to worry because it was Crayola and it says "washable".
More towels, water, lots of soap and scrubbing later he was presentable again.
He kept saying "well that wasn't such a good idea ,was it?"

I do believe Jimmy and I must be going soft as parents because we thought it was all quite hysterical.
And somehow amidst all this excitement I still found time to enjoy 2 books over the weekend..



First up, an early bday present from a very dear friend. (thank you, Jen!  mwah!) 
If you like traditional, classic interiors, you'll love this book.
Want a little peek?

antiques, slipcovers, monograms, leopard prints a-plenty throughout...

And second, this book.
Could not put it down.
Truth be told..I was reading while the aforementioned bath room sink was overflowing.
Completely oblivious was I.
Very well written.
One of the better books I've read lately.
Read the reviews here.

And lastly...
I've been baking.
I cannot tell you how much I love making an unhurried Sunday night dinner to the sounds of my husband playing with our children outside through an open kitchen window. 
Especially when it's autumn and showers of leaves fall  
every now and then as a gust of wind loosens them from the branches. 
I like having the kitchen all to myself, but with them nearby. 
I love when they say it smells good, even all the way outside.
It is such a simple pleasure. 
For Sunday night dessert, I made an apple galette. It was yummy.
But I found it was even better with coffee this morning.
 When I make it next, I will brush the top with apricot jelly and Calvados
after I remove it from the oven, like I did with Ina's Apple Tart last year.   
 

That was a long one.
Thanks for hanging in there and reading.
Now go bake something yummy, grab a good book,
and make sure your children turn off the faucets.

Tessa

Friday, October 22, 2010

A little bit of black

It's almost Halloween.
So a post on black seemed appropriate.
I do like me a little black.
In my wardrobe (a lot) and  in my house (a little).
It seems to stand the test of time. No?
I don't tire of it like I do some of the more "trendy" colors. 
And while I love me a little brown even more,
black will always be classic.


Have a "boo"-tiful weekend.
Candy shopping, costume tweaking, corn-mazing and haunted trail planning are on the agenda here.
You'll find out about Andrew's haunted trail soon enough.

Images: most unknown. sometimes I get a little right click & save happy, especially when reading blogs late at night. I think a couple of these are from Milk & Honey Home , image no. 2 luxe and lillies