Apr 29, 2011

~ pve design

When I entered the blog world a couple months ago, I quickly became aware of the powerful presence and universal love of pve design.  I realized that if I wanted to be somebody in this blog world, pve design could help.  After all, she has done work for some of my favorite blogs, Pretty Pink Tulips, All the Best, and Mrs. Blandings...  The wonderful and genius Patricia Van Esche, aka pve design, is becoming somewhat of a household name. Am I ever happy that I was smart enough to enlist Patricia to do an illustration for the french tangerine!  Here's my favorite... is this charming or what? 
Here are her illustrations for mentioned famous bloggers...
I am so utterly impressed with Patricia.  I have had the pleasure of working with her this past month and have so appreciated her patience with me.  I am pretty detail oriented and obsessive, and basically kind of annoying when it comes to critiquing things art or design-related.  Most recently, this obsessive quality has revealed itself as I work my way through any and all design plans for the french tangerine.
So, after receiving the monogram I ordered from Patricia, I totally loved it and was thrilled, etc.  But upon further examination, or what you might call intense scrutiny, I had a suggestion or two for changes...  Now, I must tell you, after working on my blog design for the past month, I was not thinking about the fact that Patricia's designs are hand-done... she can't just make a little change to the original as in computer land.. add a leaf here, tweak a color there... She would have to redo the entire work of art.  Well, after several emails, and Patricia's expertise and clever move, (doing a little background check on me through my blog) she came up with the most exquisite works of art EVER for the french tangerineI am chomping at the bit for the art to arrive and am planning on and looking forward to stationary galore!  

Take a look at these additional enchanting and sa-weet illustrations...

  She is so smart!  What a collection of notecards I will have! 

Here are some more examples of her work...

What a talented and wonderful person!  I am totally impressed and obsessed.  If you would like to do something special for someone, or treat yourself, think about having Patricia of pve design do an illustration of your home, a pet, a special place or event, a monogram, a memorable vacation spot, or anything you love!  I can assure you it will be an experience you will enjoy and there will be a happy ending! To visit the pve design website, click HERE.  To visit the blog, click HERE.  To visit the Etsy Shop, click HERE.

Thank you Patricia!  
I think the world of you!

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Apr 26, 2011

~ the chosen chandelier

A chandelier has been chosen!  If you are unfamiliar with the chandelier story, four posts will describe the search (so far) and you can catch up by reading HERE, HEREHERE and HERE
The chandelier is being wired, and will arrive in June which should give me ample time to prepare my husband for this little surprise. 
In the mean time, let's reacquaint ourselves with the empty space above the coffee table....
 Serious blankness, right?  This space is just begging for a beautiful chandelier!  Now, just imagine the space filled with this!  

Many considerations went into this decision:
  • I was a little nervous about adding another chandelier in such close proximity to the chandeliers in the entry and the dining room... but I think this one works because the shape, color and texture don't compete with the other two.  Each chandelier is so different, yet they have a similar feel and will blend nicely.
  • The chandelier will be hung from the center wood beam. (There are three sets of beams all together.) This will put the chandelier just over the coffee table, in the center of the room.  With cathedral ceilings, even with the beams, there is a lot of open empty space. The addition of the chandelier will fill some of that empty space and give this room a warmer, cozier feeling.
  • The chandelier will provide additional lighting to the room.  The few lamps I have in the living room don't provide much light, and I didn't want to cover the cathedral ceiling with ugly cans!  There are only four small cans in the little alcoves with windows. This room gets a bit dark on gloomy days and this new lighting source will be a welcome addition.
  • Getting electricity to this center beam will be tricky, and I will post the process... it should make for an interesting activity. I have a plan and it must work!

The chandelier comes from Antiquaire located in Highland Park, IL. Melissa Edelman offers exquisite European antiques primarily from France (my fav) as well as Italy, Spain, Sweden and England.  In addition, Antiquaire is featured on 1st Dibs, and has a wonderful online shop as well... thank goodness! Melissa has been extremely helpful and I am so happy I found her!  
Visit the online shop HERE.

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Apr 25, 2011

~ new hampshire

A visit to New Hampshire over the weekend allows me to share this post with photos of New England homes and other historic structures. The towns of New Hampton, Exeter, and Portsmouth are each charming and full of history.  
If the photos appear cold and cloudy, it's because it was cold and cloudy! It was ridiculously cold for the lacrosse game on Saturday (35 degrees).. and after an inch of snow fell that morning, the steady rain was a welcome change... I think it's fair to say the weather was miserable! 
Thank goodness, the days on either side were considerably warmer and dry.  We so enjoyed the history, the scenery, seeing old friends and spending time together... a wonderful family weekend.

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Apr 21, 2011

~ augusta

Turns out there's more to Augusta than azaleas and Tiger Woods...
Yes, the Masters in Augusta was amazing and Tiger had all in a frenzy by noon on Sunday.  Here are a few fun facts about the event provided by a female non-golfer.
- While walking to the gate and upon entering the event, visitors are greeted by intense lovers of Jesus.  We pass "Master's Corner" a tricky play on words, and then are accused along the way by extreme activists who are convinced we are sinners.  I'm not sure what the correlation between attending the Masters and being a sinner is, but nevertheless, they were adamant.
- What you've heard about the azaleas and magnolias is true - truly magnificent.
- People who attend the Masters don't seem to be even a little bothered about Tiger's texting/cheating shenanigans.. Everyone is rooting for Tiger Woods. (except of course the greeters aforementioned)
- Visiting the gift shop is not unlike shopping for Micky paraphernalia at Disney.  Men I tell you are jam-packed in to small spaces cheerfully shopping for shirts, hats, sports bags, umbrellas, and many unnecessary golf items - all with the famous Masters logo.
- Prices (once you are in the event) is where the Masters differs from Disney. Sandwiches are offered for $1 and include egg salad on white, ham and cheese on rye, and turkey and cheese on wheat.  They were good old-fashioned sandwiches on super soft, super processed bread.  Truly scrumptious.  Reminded me of a sandwich right out of my lunch bag in 4th grade.  The sandwiches are made by a local church and proceeds go to charity.
- The plastic Masters cups are quite the souvenir trophy.  We collected 10 over the weekend as lemonade was a requirement thanks to the sweltering heat. Everyone had stacks of cups in their shopping bags.
-  There are no cameras or cell phones allowed.  This is not a joke.  You are scanned airport style except you don't retrieve your belongings once through the scanner.
- The actual tickets are like carrying around precious gems.  They must be returned after the event or a $2500 fine will be suffered.  If the ticket holder is asked to leave for any reason, the ticket owners lose their tickets forever!  Needless to say, there's no monkey business at the Masters.
- My feet are telling me we walked well over 100 miles however I cannot verify the accuracy of that number.  I can tell you the rolling hills and the sweltering heat minus any breeze to speak of may have contributed to a miscalculation.

So, apart from the Masters festivities, we were able to enjoy 3 fabulous dinners - all by chance.
The first night we got lost and happened upon a local joint called T's.  Fried catfish, fried oysters, fried quail, crab-stuffed fried shrimp and famously fried hush puppies were the highlights... read more about this hotspot HERE.

Bistro 491, an intimate local neighborhood eatery quite close to the famous golf course was fabulous.  Located in a charming strip mall (oxymoron?) where I spotted a couple boutiques we would need to revisit... photos coming... keep reading!

La Maison, a french restaurant with inventive cuisine (kangaroo and ostrich among others) and charm galore... Finally, some photos...

Here comes the good part... Before leaving Augusta for the airport, I wanted to drive through some of the neighborhoods we had been passing by.  It was hard to hang out the car window and take photos, but you can get a feel for the southern charm and character... Note the beautiful brick walls... they are everywhere - even at the airport!

We then revisited the boutiques I remembered from our Saturday night dinner...
Charming store fronts...

My favorite shop was Charleston Street... a flower shop with a few antiques and an interesting owner.  Several things I picked up and wanted to purchase were not for sale.  He likes to keep things until he is sure he can't use them somewhere.... Here are a few things I admired...

 Thought these were spectacular... not for sale yet.

A few things from other shops...

Loved these chairs for my bedroom!

Pretty blue and white...

 Loving the skirted table... I've always wanted one!  Pretty between the chairs for my bedroom?

 Loved these pieces.

What a successful trip!  Back to reality - I am off to the grocery store...

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