A perfect summer day with Marianne of Marianne Simon Design

Hi and good morning. So happy to be here with yet another favorite blogger for my “A perfect summer day” series. This woman knows style and elegance….and her elegant design work speaks to that so I knew she would hit a home run when she came aboard and as I expected…Marianne of Marianne Simon Design delivered. Hopefully you know of Marianne Simon Design (formally Style for Living)….an elegant blog always with an interesting musing or two and lots of great design inspiration. So happy to have and welcome Marianne here and her perfect summer day looks like winner to me! So here we go……take it away Marianne!

My perfect summer day would start at this time of the morning (or afternoon)?9:00am


The bedroom I wake up in would look something like this??Classic and calm with crisp white sheets, upholstered headboard and a simple flower in a vase on the bedside table.


And my bathroom like this…?. I simply love a beautiful white bathroom.  This one has been a long time favorite of mine.  What a dream shower!


A favorite beauty product I love to use during the summer…?.. Chanel lipgloss in the color Sundress



And this is an ideal summer outfit that you might find me frolicking in…?.There’s nothing better than a pair of jeans, a classic t-shirt and a statement necklace!

My view from my bedroom in the summer looks like this??Who wouldn’t want to look out their bedroom and see the Eiffel Tower!?



And of course this perfect summer day is located in…..Paris!


For breakfast I would indulge in…?.. A delicious latte.  I would add a croissant to go along with it. 

 

After I am showered, fed and revved up to start my day, I will….go shopping.

For lunch this is my absolute favorite summertime meal…..Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp and orzo salad.

  


An afternoon snack might comprise of…?.. French macarons, of course!



My afternoon activity would be……? A trip to the spa.  A massage sounds really good right now!

The ideal summer drink is….. A fruit smoothie, always refreshing on a hot summer day.


This is what would be served for my ideal summer dinner??  I love pizza and dream of having an outdoor pizza oven one day.  Yum!

And where I eat it might look like this……A beautiful outdoor space to have friends over and sit by the fireplace.


A perfect summer ending to a perfect summer day would end…… With a nice walk with my dogs in a park.  It’s one of their favorite things to do every day.


The best part of my summer day is…..Stress free and relaxing!

Tina, thank you so much for including me in your wonderful summer series!  I am honored to be included!  xo
HOLY MACAROON! I am kind of reeling from how amazing this is and how it has every one of my senses in serious overdrive. Paris? Macaroons? That outdoor fireplace setting? The walk  in a chic Parisian park? The food? The chic outfit? Seriously, Marianne I think you might have just nailed it. Paris and perfect summer day go together like chocolate and caramel, popcorn and butter, cheese and crusty bread…well you get my drift. This is a brilliant idea for the perfect summer day and I would be so delighted to spend it with you if you need a willing and able travel companion who has zero inhibitions about delicious food:) Want to see more of Marianne’s wonderful style? Then click on over to her wonderful blog, Marianne Simon design by  clicking here. Merci beaucoup  Marianne for this fabulous post and to all of you for stopping in…..wishing you a wonderful summer day, Au revoir!

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A perfect summer day with Marianne of Marianne Simon Design

Hi and good morning. So happy to be here with yet another favorite blogger for my “A perfect summer day” series. This woman knows style and elegance….and her elegant design work speaks to that so I knew she would hit a home run when she came aboard and as I expected…Marianne of Marianne Simon Design delivered. Hopefully you know of Marianne Simon Design (formally Style for Living)….an elegant blog always with an interesting musing or two and lots of great design inspiration. So happy to have and welcome Marianne here and her perfect summer day looks like winner to me! So here we go……take it away Marianne!

My perfect summer day would start at this time of the morning (or afternoon)?9:00am



The bedroom I wake up in would look something like this??Classic and calm with crisp white sheets, upholstered headboard and a simple flower in a vase on the bedside table.


And my bathroom like this…?. I simply love a beautiful white bathroom. ?This one has been a long time favorite of mine. ?What a dream shower!


A favorite beauty product I love to use during the summer…?.. Chanel lipgloss in the color Sundress




And this is an ideal summer outfit that you might find me frolicking in…?.There’s nothing better than a pair of jeans, a classic t-shirt and a statement necklace!

My view from my bedroom in the summer looks like this??Who wouldn’t want to look out their bedroom and see the Eiffel Tower!?




And of course this perfect summer day is located in…..Paris!




For breakfast I would indulge in…?.. A delicious latte. ?I would add a croissant to go along with it.?

?

After I am showered, fed and?revved?up to start my day, I will….go shopping.



For lunch this is my absolute favorite summertime meal…..Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp and orzo salad.

??




An afternoon snack might comprise of…?.. French macarons, of course!





My afternoon activity would be……? A trip to the spa. ?A massage sounds really good right now!

The ideal summer drink is…..?A fruit smoothie, always refreshing on a hot summer day.


This is what would be served for my ideal summer dinner?? ?I love pizza and dream of having an outdoor pizza oven one day. ?Yum!


And where I eat it might look like this……A beautiful outdoor space to have friends over and sit by the fireplace.



A perfect summer ending to a perfect summer day would end……?With a nice walk with my dogs in a park. ?It’s one of their favorite things to do every day.




The best part of my summer day is…..Stress free and relaxing!

Tina, thank you so much for including me in your wonderful summer series! ?I am honored to be included! ?xo
HOLY MACAROON! I am kind of reeling from how amazing this is and how it has every one of my senses in serious overdrive. Paris? Macaroons? That outdoor fireplace setting? The walk ?in a chic Parisian park? The food? The chic outfit? Seriously, Marianne I think you might have just nailed it. Paris and perfect summer day go together like chocolate and caramel, popcorn and butter, cheese and crusty bread…well you get my drift. This is a brilliant idea for the perfect summer day and I would be so delighted to spend it with you if you need a willing and able travel companion who has zero inhibitions about delicious food:) Want to see more of Marianne’s wonderful style? Then click on over to her wonderful blog, Marianne Simon design by ?clicking?here.?Merci beaucoup ?Marianne for this fabulous post and to all of you for stopping in…..wishing you a wonderful summer day, Au?revoir!

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Weekend musings………

Hi..how is your weekend going? Finally the first weekend in a loong time that we only have dinner plans on the calendar and not much else and  I have come down with something! Not sure if its allergies or a cold, but I have basically lost my voice……so looks like it will be a weekend to rest and get better (great weekend to catch the Olympic action). Plus its supposed to thunderstorm and I LOVE being in when its nasty besides not much I can do to fight it. Didn’t think allergies could flare up this time of year but several have told me its really bad right now! Onto other things like the house…… Both powder rooms are officially in the works (window treatments) so I am a happy camper. Plus I have other small projects happening..so things are moving and shaking here.

For the powder room off the kitchen, the more casual one….I fell in love with this wallpaper and wanted a more casual fabric for the windows, so got a silk gingham (if there is leftover would love to make a dress out of it)! And don’t you LOVE when you find the perfect trim? Well lo and behold I found it my one day last week which was a super productive day..I mean I was on fire. There it was….a no brainer. I didn’t  have to think, I ordered it then and there and its en route to the fabricator! Cannot wait to see this room complete. I love completed rooms (really don’t have any but its so nice when you know a room is done)!!

My attention next is going to four rooms, I know ambitious for someone who has been pretty lame lately…..but trust me I am pacing myself but need to take full advantage of when the mood strikes! My bedroom, the guest room, the living room and the dining room. The dining room already has the table, and we chose the Charis so now its just finalizing the fabric, and I decided i am going simple, so I can really focus on the chinoiserie walls and allow that to be the statement in the room. For my bedroom and the guest room..I have a small album of inspirations that I keep handy, so here are some of them……..

For the guest room I am doing a bed just like the one below…..and fabric inspirations waver between going with the blues and creams to doing something more monochromatic…..hummmm!

This is a very pale green with taupes and beiges

Blue and white…a classic
Another option….

And yet another

Another beautiful pattern
The queen bed will look just like this (with a coordinating check) Anything above standing out to you when you visualize it like the bed below?
For our dining room we have ordered this Ralph Lauren chandelier. We had a beautiful antique chandelier in our old house but its too small for our current dining room. So, this was instant love when I laid eyes on it..cannot wait to see it up! Here it is in the store…..

OK now something I have been thinking about for my kitchen, I LOVE my kitchen, not like but love. It is everything I ever wanted, but one small detail I thought about when I was selecting hardware but chickened out on was putting antique brass hardware on my island. I actually like not seeing everything so “matchy matchy” in a kitchen and like when I see the island have something different, its almost like apiece of furniture. The oil rubbed bronze, though beautiful just blends into the black of the island so its not pronounced. Below is picture for you to see…..and then below it what I am considering, its really beautiful and very heavy duty, looks like it came off of some old yacht or something, it looks aged and is unlacquered brass….thoughts????  Would love to hear your opinions!
And here are some of the pieces…
This beauty comes in 4″ and a 12″ I would put two 12″ on either end of the island to hold towels…like that look!

The heavy duty pulls…..

I love traditional planters, simple, and love anything with a lattice or trellis design. SO I am very excited that I bit the bullet and ordered these gorgeous planters in the limestone finish. They are going to be so pretty with a beautiful topiary of some sort and overflowing white flowers on the bottom with ivy spilling out. I have the vision very alive in my head. This is from the line I carry and I am so in love with each and every thing they carry. Plus these are big, 36″ tall by 36″ wide…very generous, cannot wait!! Happy birthday to my husband. Dont’ tell me i am the only one who gets things I love but likes to act like they are a “gift” for those we love……….

   Then ordered a few of these for the patio……they come in three sizes, very classic design.

So ordered this one for the pool area…..

Debating between all these beauties…HELP! Which one? I want one for around the pool……whichever I do will be in the aged moss (as shown in most of the pictures) though 8 finishes are offered, the aged moss goes best with my house.

If I do these, I will do the pair………so pretty!! I have a “thing” for classical cherubs!

Which of the cherubs is your favorite? I love them all and honestly having a heck of a time deciding! 
And here for no real reason at all, other than I just love these pictures that make me feeling something…..
Isnt’ this an amazing picture? 
I have been in love with this picture for forever…the colors, the setting, the time of day and lighting, I am imagining its near Provence or Tuscany, the table is waiting to be set with a rustic elegant dinner for friends and family…..ahhhh love this picture!
Last random tidbit, probably my most favorite dessert in the entire world is a really good key lime pie…the tanginess of lime with the buttery crunch of the graham cracker crust….can I get a “yum”! So…..this is being hailed as the best recipe and was featured on Oprah as such…….planning to make this one day very soon but just in case you are in a baking mood, here it is…and promise me you will tell me if its really “all that”!
Best Key Lime Pie
Servings: Serves 8
Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 3/4 pound graham crackers
  • 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Filling:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice
  • 1 lime , grated zest
Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream , chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioners? sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions:
To make graham cracker crust: Preheat the oven to 325?.
Break up the graham crackers, place in a food processor and process to crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt and pulse until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom, sides and edge. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.
To make filling: While the crust is resting, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until fluffy, or 5 to 6 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to whip until thick, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice until incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
To make topping: Whip the cream, confectioners? sugar and vanilla until nearly stiff. Evenly spread the whipped cream on top of the pie, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to serving.
So….that’s what’s new around here. Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend……filled with good things, great food, lots of laughter and the Olympics!

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Weekend musings………

Hi..how is your weekend going? Finally the first weekend in a loong time that we only have dinner plans on the calendar and not much else and ?I have come down with something! Not sure if its allergies or a cold, but I have basically lost my voice……so looks like it will be a weekend to rest and get better (great weekend to catch the Olympic action). Plus its supposed to thunderstorm and I LOVE being in when its nasty besides not much I can do to fight it. Didn’t think allergies could flare up this time of year but several have told me its really bad right now! Onto other things like the house…… Both powder rooms are officially in the works (window treatments) so I am a happy camper. Plus I have other small projects happening..so things are moving and shaking here.

For the powder room off the kitchen, the more casual one….I fell in love with this wallpaper and wanted a more casual fabric for the windows, so got a silk gingham (if there is leftover would love to make a dress out of it)! And don’t you LOVE when you find the perfect trim? Well lo and behold I found it my one day last week which was a super productive day..I mean I was on fire. There it was….a no brainer. I didn’t ?have to think, I ordered it then and there and its en route to the fabricator! Cannot wait to see this room complete. I love completed rooms (really don’t have any but its so nice when you know a room is done)!!

My attention next is going to four rooms, I know ambitious for someone who has been pretty lame lately…..but trust me I am pacing myself but need to take full advantage of when the mood strikes! My bedroom, the guest room, the living room and the dining room. The dining room already has the table, and we chose the Charis so now its just finalizing the fabric, and I decided i am going simple, so I can really focus on the chinoiserie walls and allow that to be the statement in the room. For my bedroom and the guest room..I have a small album of inspirations that I keep handy, so here are some of them……..

For the guest room I am doing a bed just like the one below…..and fabric inspirations waver between going with the blues and creams to doing something more monochromatic…..hummmm!

This is a very pale green with taupes and beiges

Blue and white…a classic
Another option….

And yet another

Another beautiful pattern
The queen bed will look just like this (with a coordinating check) Anything above standing out to you when you visualize it like the bed below?
For our dining room we have ordered this Ralph Lauren chandelier. We had a beautiful antique chandelier in our old house but its too small for our current dining room. So, this was instant love when I laid eyes on it..cannot wait to see it up! Here it is in the store…..

OK now something I have been thinking about for my kitchen, I LOVE my kitchen, not like but love. It is everything I ever wanted, but one small detail I thought about when I was selecting hardware but chickened out on was putting antique brass hardware on my island. I actually like not seeing everything so “matchy matchy” in a kitchen and like when I see the island have something different, its almost like apiece of furniture. The oil rubbed bronze, though beautiful just blends into the black of the island so its not pronounced. Below is picture for you to see…..and then below it what I am considering, its really beautiful and very heavy duty, looks like it came off of some old yacht or something, it looks aged and is unlacquered brass….thoughts???? ?Would love to hear your opinions!
And here are some of the pieces…
This beauty comes in 4″ and a 12″ I would put two 12″ on either end of the island to hold towels…like that look!

The heavy duty pulls…..

I love traditional planters, simple, and love anything with a lattice or trellis design. SO I am very excited?that I bit the bullet and ordered these gorgeous planters in the limestone finish. They are going to be so pretty with a beautiful topiary of some sort and overflowing white flowers on the bottom with ivy spilling out. I have the vision very alive in my head. This is from the line I carry and I am so in love with each and every thing they carry. Plus these are big, 36″ tall by 36″ wide…very generous, cannot wait!! Happy birthday to my husband. Dont’ tell me i am the only one who gets things I love but likes to act like they are a “gift” for those we love……….

? ?Then ordered a few of these for the patio……they come in three sizes, very classic design.

So ordered this one for the pool area…..

Debating between all these beauties…HELP! Which one? I want one for around the pool……whichever I do will be in the aged moss (as shown in most of the pictures) though 8 finishes are offered, the aged moss goes best with my house.

If I do these, I will do the pair………so pretty!! I have a “thing” for classical cherubs!

Which of the cherubs is your favorite? I love them all and honestly having a heck of a time deciding!?
And here for no real reason at all, other than I just love these pictures that make me feeling something…..
Isnt’ this an amazing picture??
I have been in love with this picture for forever…the colors, the setting, the time of day and lighting, I am imagining its near Provence or Tuscany, the table is waiting to be set with a rustic elegant dinner for friends and family…..ahhhh love this picture!
Last random tidbit, probably my most favorite dessert in the entire world is a really good key lime pie…the tanginess of lime with the buttery crunch of the graham cracker crust….can I get a “yum”! So…..this is being hailed as the best recipe and was featured on Oprah as such…….planning to make this one day very soon but just in case you are in a baking mood, here it is…and promise me you will tell me if its really “all that”!
Best Key Lime Pie
Servings:?Serves 8
Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 3/4 pound graham crackers
  • 4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Filling:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice
  • 1 lime , grated zest
Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream , chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. confectioners? sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions:
To make graham cracker crust:?Preheat the oven to 325?.
Break up the graham crackers, place in a food processor and process to crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt and pulse until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom, sides and edge. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.
To make filling:?While the crust is resting, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until fluffy, or 5 to 6 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to whip until thick, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice until incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
To make topping:?Whip the cream, confectioners? sugar and vanilla until nearly stiff. Evenly spread the whipped cream on top of the pie, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to serving.
So….that’s what’s new around here. Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend……filled with good things, great food, lots of laughter and the Olympics!

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Artist spotlight: Mary Casey and a winner!!

Hi there….excited to announce the very lucky winner of the beautiful Safavieh rug. I used random.org and want to send out a hearty congratulations to…….

Prize ID Winner ID Public Info Private Info Random Sorting ID Weight
1: 6X9 rug 2934060 LIZ B FROM MIAMI 0018D57F-D179-4ED3-82B4-8DD22F7D1903 1
Please get in touch with me at theenchantedhome@gmail.com, so that you can provide your shipping information and this gorgeous rug can be on its way to you!

A few weeks ago I posed about the most exquisite and generous oil painting I received of Teddy. This was given to me as a gift by the uber talented artist Mary Casey who is incidentally a reader of my blog and was so moved by the story of Teddy’s attack back in April. So true……you just never know who is reading your blog! I was touched more than words can convey at this incredibly kind gesture. She was so touched by Teddy’s horrid ordeal that she felt inspired to paint him. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I laid eyes on this work of art!

Mary is incredibly talented and I got several inquires about her work including a few who want to represent her, no surprise there. So Mary was kind enough to share with me a few more of her pieces and grant me this lovely interview. Mary does not have a website however for anyone who is interested in contacting Mary to commission her for their own pet portrait (or any other kind) her contact information is at the bottom of this post.I am so happy to feature her here today as her gift is one worth sharing with everyone I know. In addition Mary has just now started up her own blog, so please do stop on over and welcome her to blogland! Click here to visit her blog.  Enough of me….lets hear from Mary and what inspires her as an artist…….

1.    How long have you been painting and what inspired you to begin? Did you know that you had a gift early on?  I have been drawing and painting all my life, as long as I can remember, and went into graphic design, continued to paint.  I worked corporately for @15 year, as a designer and illustrator for Nike, then as I wanted to focus more on family, I retired for a few years, and now I am teaching art at a small private grade/middle school, part time.  This job allows me to paint and focus on what I love.  And helps me to be better- if you want to get better at something, teach it.
2.   What is your favorite style/subject to paint?  My favorite things to paint are portraits, and of course, dogs, or pets.  People as well, but I do really love to  paint dogs.
3.   Who are some of your favorite artists and types of paintings?    I have a varied list of painters I love, but heavily influenced now by the masters, Rembrandt, and the old masters of dog painting too, such as George Stubbs, famous for his horses, plus animals in general.  Maud Earl, dogs and horses.  A particular favorite is Eugene-Joseph Verboeckhoven.

Stubbs

Verboeckhoven- Old master favorite, in fact I have started a reproduction painting of his, to study.  Famous for painting lots of animals.
One of my current contemporary favorite painters is Sherrie Wolf, who paints in the 18th century ?old masters? style, but takes paintings and rearranges items, repaints them, and sometimes borrows from other paintings.


Very beautiful and very fresh, contemporary.
4. If you could meet one artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?  I would love to meet Picasso, I think his passion and the way he saw the world is fascinating. I love a couple of his quotes:  ?Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.?? Pablo Picasso.  Being a teacher, it?s so true, if only we could only keep the innocence and enthusiasm for what we see!  And another favorite: ?If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!? 
Pablo Picasso  While I don?t emulate his style, I love the fact that he aspires to capture the truest essence of something.

5. What is something you would like to paint that you have never tried before? I would love to paint wallpaper, Chinoiserie. I was obsessed with De Gournay for a while, and have been talking to a friend who may want to start a project…


6. Do you have your own studio and is this a full time job or a hobby? I have a small studio in a sunny corner room of our house, that works well.  I sometimes use the school, or office there too.  But mostly my home studio.
7. How long does an average painting take you?  This very much depends on size and complexity, how many subjects in the painting, etc.  I often do a sketch first, which takes about a few days to a week, and pending changes from the customer, I go onto the painting.  About a month is probably average.  I usually have 3-4 going at one time.  It?s crucial to walk away from a painting at times during the process, and give it a rest for a couple days.
8. Any good advice for novices looking to start collecting art, things to look for or bear in mind? I think looking at paintings/art regarding either a subject or style that one is passionate about is important.  Collecting doesn?t have to be expensive, I remember reading that the designer Michael Smith, LA and NY designer to the stars, white house, etc. often looks for local unknown artists to put in houses.  Visiting ?first thursdays?, (as they are known here), gallery receptions and show openings.  Look at a lot of art.  Getting acquainted with the art scene in your area, or online, following artists that you love, that compliment your style of home. I have seen some gorgeous antique paintings become available through some of the online auctions.  Takes some patience to follow them and constantly check to see what?s available, but worth it if you find a treasure??


And now here are some of Mary’s beautiful pieces…..certainly hold their own next to any artist. Her attention to detail and sense of realism is astounding!

Recognize this cute little fella? This is one of my most treasured possessions!

Isn’t she AMAZING? Oh to have that kind of God given talent……I would be painting all day in my little artists studio overlooking the sea with only a lighthouse in the distance only breaking for my meals, ensconced in my studio all day and night creating works of art craved by the world to see. Sorry, I am a dreamer and my mind drifts at times……Back to earth Tina!!!!……… I am so in awe of her gift, there is simply no other way to describe it! If you are interested in contacting Mary and commissioning her  for your very masterpiece, her email address is- 
      . 
Mary, cannot thank you enough for being my guest today and giving us a peek into your beautiful art filled world and to all of you for stopping in. Wishing everyone a fabulous day!

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Artist spotlight: Mary Casey and a winner!!

Hi there….excited to announce the very lucky winner of the beautiful Safavieh rug. I used random.org and want to send out a hearty congratulations to…….

Prize ID Winner ID Public Info Private Info Random Sorting ID Weight
1: 6X9 rug 2934060 LIZ B FROM MIAMI 0018D57F-D179-4ED3-82B4-8DD22F7D1903 1
Please get in touch with me at?theenchantedhome@gmail.com, so that you can provide your shipping information and this gorgeous rug can be on its way to you!

A few weeks ago I posed about the most exquisite and generous oil painting I received of Teddy. This was given to me as a gift by the uber talented artist Mary Casey who is incidentally a reader of my blog and was so moved by the story of Teddy’s attack back in April. So true……you just never know who is reading your blog! I was touched more than words can convey at this incredibly kind gesture. She was so touched by Teddy’s horrid ordeal that she felt inspired to paint him. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I laid eyes on this work of art!

Mary is incredibly talented and I got several inquires about her work including a few who want to represent her, no surprise there. So Mary was kind enough to share with me a few more of her pieces and grant me this lovely interview. Mary does not have a website however for anyone who is interested?in contacting Mary to commission her for their own pet portrait (or any other kind) her contact information is at the bottom of this post.I am so happy to feature her here today as her gift is one worth?sharing with everyone I know. In addition Mary has just now started up her own blog, so please do stop on over and welcome her to blogland! Click here?to visit her blog. ?Enough of me….lets hear from Mary and what inspires her as an artist…….

1.??? How long have you been painting and what inspired you to begin? Did you know that you had a gift early on?? I have been drawing and painting all my life, as long as I can remember, and went into graphic design, continued to paint.? I worked corporately for @15 year, as a designer and illustrator for Nike, then as I wanted to focus more on family, I retired for a few years, and now I am teaching art at a small private grade/middle school, part time.? This job allows me to paint and focus on what I love.? And helps me to be better- if you want to get better at something, teach it.
2.?? What is your favorite style/subject to paint???My favorite things to paint are portraits, and of course, dogs, or pets.? People as well, but I do really love to? paint dogs.
3.?? Who are some of your favorite artists and types of paintings?? ? I have a varied list of painters I love, but heavily influenced now by the masters, Rembrandt, and the old masters of dog painting too, such as George Stubbs, famous for his horses, plus animals in general.? Maud Earl, dogs and horses.? A particular favorite is Eugene-Joseph Verboeckhoven.

Stubbs

Verboeckhoven- Old master favorite, in fact I have started a reproduction painting of his, to study.? Famous for painting lots of animals.
One of my current contemporary favorite painters is Sherrie Wolf, who paints in the 18th century ?old masters? style, but takes paintings and rearranges items, repaints them, and sometimes borrows from other paintings.


Very beautiful and very fresh, contemporary.
4. If you could meet one artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?? I would love to meet Picasso, I think his passion and the way he saw the world is fascinating.?I love a couple of his quotes:? ?Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.???Pablo Picasso.? Being a teacher, it?s so true, if only we could only keep the innocence and enthusiasm for what we see!? And another favorite: ?If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!??
??Pablo Picasso? While I don?t emulate his style, I love the fact that he aspires to capture the truest essence of something.

5. What is something you would like to paint that you have never tried before? I would love to paint wallpaper, Chinoiserie. I was obsessed with De Gournay for a while, and have been talking to a friend who may want to start a project…


6. Do you have your own studio and is this a full time job or a hobby? I have a small studio in a sunny corner room of our house, that works well.? I sometimes use the school, or office there too.? But mostly my home studio.
7. How long does an average painting take you?? This very much depends on size and complexity, how many subjects in the painting, etc.? I often do a sketch first, which takes about a few days to a week, and pending changes from the customer, I go onto the painting.? About a month is probably average.? I usually have 3-4 going at one time.? It?s crucial to walk away from a painting at times during the process, and give it a rest for a couple days.
8. Any good advice for novices looking to start collecting art, things to look for or bear in mind? I think looking at paintings/art regarding either a subject or style that one is passionate about is important.? Collecting doesn?t have to be expensive, I remember reading that the designer Michael Smith, LA and NY designer to the stars, white house, etc. often looks for local unknown artists to put in houses.? Visiting ?first thursdays?, (as they are known here), gallery receptions and show openings.? Look at a lot of art.? Getting acquainted with the art scene in your area, or online, following artists that you love, that compliment your style of home. I have seen some gorgeous antique paintings become available through some of the online auctions.? Takes some patience to follow them and constantly check to see what?s available, but worth it if you find a treasure??


And now here are some of Mary’s beautiful pieces…..certainly hold their own next to any artist. Her attention to detail and sense of realism is astounding!

Recognize this cute little fella? This is one of my most treasured possessions!

Isn’t she AMAZING? Oh to have that kind of God given talent……I would be painting all day in my little artists studio overlooking the sea with only a lighthouse in the distance only breaking for my meals, ensconced in my studio all day and night creating works of art craved by the world to see. Sorry, I am a dreamer and my mind drifts at times……Back to earth Tina!!!!……… I am so in awe of her gift, there is simply no other way to describe it! If you are interested in contacting Mary and commissioning her ?for your very masterpiece, her email address is-?
?? ? ?.?
Mary, cannot thank you enough for being my guest today and giving us a peek into your beautiful art filled world and to all of you for stopping in. Wishing everyone a fabulous day!

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New loot and its pretty darn gorgeous!

Happy Wednesday to you. How is your week going? Mine is going well…actually productive mixed in with a little fun…..always the best way:) You know I am like a kid in a candy shop when I get in new things….especially great new things! So I was really excited to get in an unexpected batch of goodies. The good news is they are just stunning, gorgeous and spectacular. The bad news is I only got in one of each (two of a few things). So its truly first come first serve…but you know I love to share. So here we go…..

These chargers are fabulous, yes the ones that everyone seemed to want all at once and they sold out in a day last time. . Unfortunately had only gotten in a limited batch last time but just got in 30 pieces!! They are sold as sets of 4…….such a gorgeous classic charger, I could see this for a beautiful holiday table during Thanksgiving or Christmas as well as with a pretty fresh blue and white table setting in the summer…. a perfect way to dress up any table!

Then got in some gorgeous with a capital G trays of all sizes and shapes, all looking like old French vintage trays…love love love them!

This is a stunner, very heavy gorgeous engraving tray 1

How pretty! Love the antique brass detailing, gorgeous filigree detailing tray 2

Another stunner, beautiful big tray, amazing detailing tray 3

Love this French bar tray, am a sucker for scalloped anything! tray 4

Another beautiful vintage looking tray with handles tray 5

This is a big round scalloped tray with French writing…tres jolie! Tray 6

 And this pretty antique brass bamboo oversized tray? Its a love for me, could see this well…just about anywhere!

Have this one and love it, great for a bar, on an ottoman, vanity, multi functinoal tray 7

 Love the Greek key and gorgeous etching of this elegant bar/vanity tray!

How about this beauty, large Greek key with handles and beautiful filigree detailing tray 8

Love this huge trophy, had gotten in another one before, a blue ribbon winner in my book!

Pretty filigree silver small tray, great for napkins and/or a mans vanity for coins, watchest, etc….

 How about this fabulous very over sized bowl for wine/champagne or even shrimp cocktail (removable rack) Tres chic!

Tall oversized gorgeous green/blue handpainted told planter…LOVE!

A pair of black told handpainted planters…stately and classic!

Better view of tray 8
Pretty ant.black urn perfect for topiaries and/or filled with fruit, could also see a pretty boxwood orb in there

Better shots of tray 1

tray 1 closeup
Gorgeous condiment holder

I have this stunning. ant. brass tray and adore it, the shape, detailing and lattice work on side Tray 9

Have this one too…use it ALL the time, love the shape and the French writing, tray 10

This is another special piece, very large about 22″  long, a tray/bowl perfect for serving/entertaining or display, tray 11

Very oversized bowl…great for so many things, awesome enteraining dish, imagine with a big mound of shrimp cocktail on ice! About 19″ round

And finally a few new blue and white pieces……the darling lamps are only 14.5″ tall, perfect for a desk, kitchen or intimate space and this original best selling planter/footbath is now back in stock!!

And these will be new, beautiful black painted with gold accents tole lamps…..gorgeous!

And two more blue and white lamps……….

And from my European kitchen line, another top seller…a few new goodies being added to the collection.
Love this charming trivet/serving piece……..

Great chunky numbered coasters……love!

Rustic dessert/cake/cupcake stand

Baguette boards perfect for bread, spreads, olives, tapas type things….3 sizes!

Finally getting in the farmhouse cutting board again, as pretty and functional to use for cutting as it is for serving up wonderful tidbits
So that’s whats new in the store. Some exciting new things and more to be added in the fall…if you have any interest in any of the above,….. just shoot me an email. If I have any of the silver pieces left by next week, I will put them up under new additions. The lamps and blue and whties will be added shortly but are available now. As always with the limited edition items, its first come first serve but the blue and whites and Euro kitchen , I have several pieces of each style shown.  If you want to visit my shop, click here.
Speaking of pretty loot…do not forget to enter the fabulous giveaway for the gorgeous Safavieh rug!! 
 Click here for details! Its for a fabulous opportunity to win the most gorgeous rug!

Thanks for stopping in and wishing you a wonderful day!

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New loot and its pretty darn gorgeous!

Happy Wednesday to you. How is your week going? Mine is going well…actually productive mixed in with a little fun…..always the best way:) You know I am like a kid in a candy shop when I get in new things….especially great new things! So I was really excited to get in an unexpected batch?of goodies. The good news is they are just stunning, gorgeous and spectacular. The bad news is I only got in one of each (two of a few things). So its truly first come first serve…but you know I love to share. So here we go…..

These chargers are fabulous, yes the ones that everyone seemed to want all at once and they sold out in a day last time. . Unfortunately had only gotten in a limited batch last time but just got in 30 pieces!! They are sold as sets of 4…….such a gorgeous classic charger, I could see this for a beautiful holiday table during Thanksgiving or Christmas as well as with a pretty fresh blue and white table setting in the summer…. a perfect way to dress up any table!

Then got in some gorgeous with a capital G trays of all sizes and shapes, all looking like old French vintage trays…love love love them!

This is a stunner, very heavy gorgeous engraving tray 1

How pretty! Love the antique brass detailing, gorgeous filigree detailing tray 2

Another stunner, beautiful big tray, amazing detailing tray 3

Love this French bar tray, am a sucker for scalloped anything! tray 4

Another beautiful vintage looking tray with handles tray 5

This is a big round scalloped tray with French writing…tres jolie! Tray 6

?And this pretty antique brass bamboo oversized tray? Its a love for me, could see this well…just about anywhere!

Have this one and love it, great for a bar, on an ottoman, vanity, multi functinoal tray 7

?Love the Greek key and gorgeous etching of this elegant bar/vanity tray!

How about this beauty, large Greek key with handles and beautiful filigree detailing tray 8

Love this huge trophy, had gotten in another one before, a blue ribbon winner in my book!

Pretty filigree silver small tray, great for napkins and/or a mans vanity for coins, watchest, etc….

?How about this fabulous very over sized bowl for wine/champagne or even shrimp cocktail (removable rack)?Tres?chic!

Tall oversized gorgeous green/blue handpainted told planter…LOVE!

A pair of black told handpainted planters…stately and classic!

Better view of tray 8
Pretty ant.black urn perfect for topiaries and/or filled with fruit, could also see a pretty boxwood orb in there

Better shots of tray 1

tray 1 closeup
Gorgeous condiment holder

I have this stunning. ant. brass tray and adore it, the shape, detailing and lattice work on side Tray 9

Have this one too…use it ALL the time, love the shape and the French writing, tray 10

This is another special piece, very large about 22″ ?long, a tray/bowl perfect for serving/entertaining or display, tray 11

Very oversized bowl…great for so many things, awesome enteraining dish, imagine with a big mound of shrimp cocktail on ice! About 19″ round

And finally a few new blue and white pieces……the darling lamps are only 14.5″ tall, perfect for a desk, kitchen or intimate space and this original best selling planter/footbath is now back in stock!!

And these will be new, beautiful black painted with gold accents tole lamps…..gorgeous!

And two more blue and white lamps……….

And from my European kitchen line, another top seller…a few new goodies being added to the collection.
Love this charming trivet/serving piece……..

Great chunky numbered coasters……love!

Rustic dessert/cake/cupcake stand

Baguette boards perfect for bread, spreads, olives, tapas type things….3 sizes!

Finally getting in the farmhouse cutting board again, as pretty and functional to use for cutting as it is for serving up wonderful tidbits
So that’s whats new in the store. Some exciting new things and more to be added in the fall…if you have any interest in any of the above,….. just shoot me an email. If I have any of the silver pieces left by next week, I will put them up under new additions. The lamps and blue and whties will be added shortly but are available now. As always with the limited edition items, its first come first serve but the?blue and whites and Euro kitchen , I have several pieces of each style shown. ?If you want to visit my shop, click here.
Speaking of pretty loot…do not forget to enter the fabulous giveaway for the gorgeous Safavieh rug!!?
?Click?here?for details! Its for a fabulous opportunity to win the most gorgeous rug!

Thanks for stopping in and wishing you a wonderful day!

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A perfect summer day with Carolyn of Vintage Mulberry

Hi there…so happy to be here with  my next stylish guest for A perfect summer day. Carolyn of Vintage Mulberry’s take on a perfect summer day is so in sync with how I can visualize it….love love love her ideas and would be happy to spend a summer day with Carolyn. If you aren’t familiar with her truly gorgeous always “chock full of beauty” blog, then you must head over to Vintage Mulberry. I promise you that you will thank me! In addition to her great style, she owns her own shop and lets just say that when not if I take my southern road trip, Vintage Mulberry is an absolute must stop and visit.
Click here to visit her blog and be prepared to be wowed (and addicted on the spot)!! Be sure to also click on the link to her gorgeous Alabama antiques shop brimming with all kinds of spectacular finds. Carolyn has superb taste, one look at her uber charming and gorgeous antiques store and you just might be tempted to road trip it down south unless you are lucky to be near her already…if so I am jealous! So thank you Carolyn and thanks to everyone for stopping in! Here we go with Carolyn’s take on a perfect summer day…….

My perfect summer day would start at this time of the morning (or afternoon)….8:00 am

The bedroom I wake up in would look something like this??
all decorated in creams, taupes and a sprinkling of blue fabrics; vaulted ceiling, large windows with curtains billowing from the ocean breeze with almost that “Out of Africa” feel!

And my bathroom like this…?.
Hardwood or marble floors? hmmm? marble countertops and stone surround for the shower with large “rain head” shower heads! Stainless steel or white porcelain free standing tub?.Large window with open shutters because no one can see in!

A favorite beauty product I love to use during the summer…?..
My Cool Colada lotion because it always makes me remember the beach!

And this is an ideal summer outfit that you might find me frolicking in?
A cute summer dress in coral or white; Tori Burch sandals, large hoop earring,louis vuitton purse,gold cuff bracelet?white Michele watch

My view from my bedroom in the summer looks like this??
It’s low tide, white fluffy clouds, turquoise water, small waves lapping the sandy shore

And of course this perfect summer day is located in……?..St. John, VI

For breakfast I would indulge in?Sliced cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple and french vanilla yogurt 

After I am showered, fed and revved up to start my day, I will…….Head into town to buy some fun things to have for lunch! Shop a little for the dinner party I’m planning later!

For lunch this is my absolute favorite summertime meal…?
Shrimp salad plate with sliced tomatoes and fresh fruit!

An afternoon snack might comprise of…?..
Sliced dill havarti cheese and wheat thins! 

My afternoon activity would be………Getting a french manicure on my fingers and a pedicure with Turquoise and Caicos on my toes from Essie!

The ideal summer drink is……..Long Island Tea!

This is what would be served for my ideal summer dinner……Fresh steamed shrimp, lobster with drawn butter, angel hair pasta tossed with roasted grape tomatoes and a big green salad!

And where I eat it might look like this…………?.With my husband at a quaint restaurant on a hillside overlooking Chocolate Hole in St. John, white tablecloths,candles on each table.

A perfect summer ending to a perfect summer day would end……….With a beautiful sunset from our balcony, a glass of Sanccere in my hand, candles lit and I’m curled up and reading my latest mystery of choi on a big comfy sofa!

The best part of my summer day is……?..I know it will happen all over again tomorrow!

Bravo Carolyn! I love love your ideas…the outfit, the drinks, all the yummy and healthy food, the view from your balcony and your bedroom…oh my, a dream! Yep think you have summer all figured out, and I am loving every detail! Thanks for stopping in and thank you all for visiting, stop on over to Vintage Mulberry to see what all the fuss is about. Click here to visit!
Wishing everyone an enchanted summer day.


PS!! Don’t forget about the AMAZING Safavieh giveaway that was announced yesterday (winner to be announced on Friday), click here for details! Its for a fabulous opportunity to win the most gorgeous rug!

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A perfect summer day with Carolyn of Vintage Mulberry

Hi there…so happy to be here with ?my next stylish guest for A perfect summer day. Carolyn of Vintage Mulberry’s take on a perfect summer day is so in sync with how I can visualize it….love love love her ideas and would be happy to spend a summer day with Carolyn. If you aren’t familiar with her truly gorgeous always “chock full of beauty” blog, then you must head over to Vintage Mulberry. I promise you that you will thank me! In addition to her great style, she owns her own shop and lets just say that when not if I take my southern road trip, Vintage Mulberry is an absolute must stop and visit.
Click here to visit her blog and be prepared to be wowed (and addicted on the spot)!! Be sure to also click on the link to her gorgeous Alabama antiques shop brimming with all kinds of spectacular finds. Carolyn has superb taste, one look at her uber charming and gorgeous antiques store and you just might be tempted to road trip it down south unless you are lucky to be near her already…if so I am jealous! So thank you Carolyn and thanks to everyone for stopping in! Here we go with Carolyn’s take on a perfect summer day…….


My perfect summer day would start at this time of the morning (or afternoon)….8:00 am

The bedroom I wake up in would look something like this??

all decorated in creams, taupes and a sprinkling of blue fabrics; vaulted ceiling, large windows with curtains billowing from the ocean breeze with almost that “Out of Africa” feel!

And my bathroom like this…?.

Hardwood or marble floors? hmmm? marble countertops and stone surround for the shower with large “rain head” shower heads! Stainless steel or white porcelain free standing tub?.Large window with open shutters because no one can see in!

A favorite beauty product I love to use during the summer…?..

My Cool Colada lotion because it always makes me remember the beach!



And this is an ideal summer outfit that you might find me frolicking in?

A cute summer dress in coral or white; Tori Burch sandals, large hoop earring,louis vuitton purse,gold cuff bracelet?white Michele watch

My view from my bedroom in the summer looks like this??

It’s low tide, white fluffy clouds, turquoise water, small waves lapping the sandy shore


And of course this perfect summer day is located in……?..St. John, VI


For breakfast I would indulge in?Sliced cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple and french vanilla yogurt?



After I am showered, fed and?revved?up to start my day, I will…….Head into town to buy some fun things to have for lunch! Shop a little for the dinner party I’m planning later!

For lunch this is my absolute favorite summertime meal…?

Shrimp salad plate with sliced tomatoes and fresh fruit!

An afternoon snack might comprise of…?..

Sliced dill havarti cheese and wheat thins!?


My afternoon activity would be………Getting a french manicure on my fingers and a pedicure with Turquoise and Caicos on my toes from Essie!



The ideal summer drink is……..Long Island Tea!



This is what would be served for my ideal summer dinner……Fresh steamed shrimp, lobster with drawn butter, angel hair pasta tossed with roasted grape tomatoes and a big green salad!


And where I eat it might look like this…………?.With my husband at a quaint restaurant on a hillside overlooking Chocolate Hole in St. John, white tablecloths,candles on each table.


A perfect summer ending to a perfect summer day would end……….With a beautiful sunset from our balcony, a glass of Sanccere in my hand, candles lit and I’m curled up and reading my latest mystery of choi on a big comfy sofa!


The best part of my summer day is……?..I know it will happen all over again tomorrow!

Bravo Carolyn! I love love your ideas…the outfit, the drinks, all the yummy and healthy food, the view from your balcony and your bedroom…oh my, a dream! Yep think you have summer all figured out, and I am loving every detail! Thanks for stopping in and thank you all for visiting, stop on over to Vintage Mulberry to see what all the fuss is about. Click here to visit!

Wishing everyone an enchanted summer day.





PS!! Don’t forget about the AMAZING Safavieh giveaway that was announced yesterday (winner to be announced on Friday), click here for details! Its for a fabulous opportunity to win the most gorgeous rug!

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