Friday, August 26, 2016

a few snapshots of summer | back to school time

one of a few home changes I made this summer - adding potted plants to dining room + a couple new pillows. little things

The school year is officially underway and today marks the first full week under our belts. Hello, 2nd and 8th grade!! As usual, I'm starting out the year  with excellent organization -  up on time, extra good lunches, meal planning in top form and papers returned, signed, as soon as I get them.  This quickly starts to go down hill despite my very best intentions. Just when I think I've got this, I realize I forgot an early dismissal or I hit snooze too many times and Andrew is eating breakfast as he runs to the bus.  I think it helps that after school activities don't ramp up for a couple weeks so there is less rushing around in the evening.  I don't really know what happens, but it's inevitable that things start to slip through the cracks.  We'll survive.  We will have well planned days and hurried days and so-so days, it's just all part of this thing called life. :)   With the school year starting early this year, I'm still a little bit in summer mode, making it a good time to recap how we spent the last few months with a few pics and a few thoughts...

Night of the Arts at the Junior High right before summer started - The 7th Grade Trumpet Players (all 8th graders now)

We had a good summer.  Despite the record hot temperatures, we all agreed it was one of our favorites.  There were new experiences like live action film camp for A and college basketball camp for C. There were morning bike rides to swim practice and after dinner bike rides for ice cream. We spent many hours at the pool and too much money at the snack bar eating snow cones and taffy.  We enjoyed spontaneous, weekday, matinee, movie dates on rainy afternoons.  We snacked on lots fresh berries and peaches and stayed up too late most evenings.  There were weekly dinners of sliced tomatoes and grilled chicken and road trips to visit family.  We had ocean and lake beach time and the basketball could be heard bouncing in the drive way at all hours of the day. There were always stacks of beach towels waiting to be washed and piles of flip flops scattered throughout the house. There were patriotic parades and celebrations and rained out firework shows.  All my hydrangeas bushes bloomed all summer - a first for sure! I tried a few new recipes - Ina's Key Lime Pie was probably my favorite. We celebrated Jimmy turning 43 and Andrew turning 14 with chocolate cake and family dinners. We all read lots of great books and spent lazy days at home without any schedule or list of to-dos.  My favorite was reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Charlie.  I felt like we just had the right mix of a little adventure and a little relaxing.  Here are a few photos:

swim meet on a beautiful summer evening. love this pic of A
charlie getting ready to swim in his first medley relay - butterfly!

turning 14!!

Carew Tower Observation Deck

visit with the Chicago cousins, a moment of tranquility... 
pouring rain for first day walk to school, gym pictures will have to do
8th grade and Freshman in High School, looking way too grown up

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 (