Friday, July 24, 2015

Honoring the Past: When Embroidery Captures a Moment in Time

I found a treasure! Someone spent hours embroidering this darling kitchen scene.  Just look at the details...there is food and wine on the table, a kettle on the stove and pots hung on the wall. She even stitched a small china windmill, a popular souvenir, sitting on the kitchen shelf.  My mom thinks that this dishtowel was stitched before the depression when there was time for needlework and pretty linens - late 1920's? I've always loved collecting vintage Pyrex as a way to honor the American kitchen. This dishtowel fits right in with my aesthetic. 

I plan on starching it and framing it on the wall somehow. Wouldn't it be darling in a blue and white kitchen? Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bouys: Let Color Float Your Boat

Color inspiration is everywhere and this month, House Beautiful magazine has featured a photo of vibrant lobster buoys for their By The Sea color palette. It has deep blues, bright red with stripes of yellow, pink and mint.

It reminded me of my own buoy images from a delightful trip to Maine in 2009. The buoys above are bright and new, ready to mark the daily catch, while the collection below show that they had been bobbing in the sea for years.
Did you know that the color and striping on lobster buoys represents each lobster man and his license. Each operation has their own matching buoys. Isn't that interesting? Can't you see me at the Secretary of State (or some such office in Maine) asking to trade for a better color combination as my signature? I mean, if I was given the brown and yellow combo (above) I would have wept.

Color is everything to me. Which color combo would you request? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Christening Cup: Little George Turns Two

Prince George turns 2 today! His sweet face makes standing in the grocery checkout line more bearable - you can see official pictures of him here. In honor of his royal birthday, I've arranged some flowers in his christening cup.  

The blue of the flower (why can't I think of it's name?) is closer to that of the cup in real life and paired with apricot roses, I've got quite a sweet little bouquet. 

Would you like some commemorative royal china? You can purchase some beautiful pieces here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reinhardt Blooms: Remember My Flower Farm Visit?

I was able to visit with Katie Wachowiak from Reinhardt Blooms this weekend!

Remember when a tornado warning sent me scrambling for cover and I drove off the highway and ran into a stranger's house yelling, "I'm taking cover!"

You haven't heard that story? Read it here.

Well, my port-in-a-storm family became my new friends and I was able to visit them later in the summer. Karen cooked me a beautiful dinner and then introduced me to her talented friend, Katie Wachowiak. Refresh your memory and read about my visit to her Michigan flower farm last summer.
Okay, now you are all caught up. It's July 2015 and I was so happy to see Katie again. She is one the most talented floral designers I know. Be sure to check out her floral arrangements on her webpage. I was able to stop by the Birmingham (Michigan) farmer's market and buy flowers from her stand. Look at her bright and vibrant summer bouquet! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Game On: A Vintage Game Board works as Art

Do you see the beauty too? This antique Chinese checkers board will someday hang as art in my house. I stopped into an antique shop in a strip mall and b-a-m! I saw this beautiful board. I pretended to be interested in other things, but in the end I knew that I couldn't leave without it. 

The colors were so vibrant and interesting and for some reason reminded me of a bouquet of snapdragons. My first thought was to have a piece of glass cut for it and use it as a tray on an ottoman. That option is still there, but for now I have settled on hanging it on the wall as art.

I couldn't wait to show you, so I placed it in a stand so that I could photograph my new vintage treasure from 1938. It is the perfect representation of my design mantra: I like things that are beautiful and interesting.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bottle Bouquet: A Beautiful Way to Blend Natural Colors

Isn't this lovely? Sometimes we need a reminder that the colors and textures of a flower arrangement doesn't always need to relate back to another part of the arrangement.  We took what was blooming and placed a stem or two in each glass bottle. During the course of the week, as a flower faded, we replaced it with another. It was an ever changing touch of color in the kitchen. Visual Vitamins, indeed. 

I believe that this bottle carrier for flowers was found at Pottery Barn years ago. You can order a similar flower arranging item here. I just love how natural it looks. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blue Boat: A Coffee Bar in Leland

My days in Leland have gotten a little brighter. One of the new businesses that opened in our little resort town is called Blue Boat and it's a coffee bar! This is an action shot (above) of a pour over coffee brewing. There were 4 choices of beans for pour over that day and since I am not an expert in knowing which region I like my beans from, they allowed me to make my choice by scent.
I noticed on the Blue Boat Facebook Page that their barista, Kent, participated in a latte art competition in Traverse City last month. How cool. I would love to go to an event like that, proving that Seattle is going to be a great new home for me. My friend loved her pour over and I thought that my latte was delicious. It was rich and smooth and divine and it wasn't just because I detected whole milk.
My extended family loves this new coffee bar and we had Blue Boat logo-ed paper cups all over the house during the July 4th holiday. Some even saw actor, comedian and summer resident, Tim Allen in line for a cup. I had a chance to meet Tim Allen and welcome him to the area a few years ago. I plan to frequent Blue Boat coffee and expect that someday soon I will the voice of "Pure Michigan" order a latte. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Art in Leelanau County: An Alternative Day at the Beach

What a lovely day to paint! When my mom and I decided to spend an afternoon at the beach and we weren't playing volleyball. Have you ever painted a scene from your summer vacation?
This slope of land that juts into Good Harbor Bay is know as Whaleback, because the shape resembles a whale emerging from the water. I have photographed it many times and I knew that it would be a great landscape to paint.
Monet, I am not, but I did have fun trying my hand at the local landmark. I am going to mail this card out to Dan in Seattle. It's not wonderful, but it is definitely refrigerator-worthy.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hey Sugar: A Flower Arrangement to Delight

My mom gets all the credit for this lovely display. She found the antique canisters (tea, coffee, oatmeal) at an antique show. She knew that they would make darling vases. All she had to do was wait for the hydrangeas and roses to bloom and Voila!

Arranging tablescapes is part of the fun of being up at the cottage. Every few days we change from placemats to tablecloths, from nautical blues to vintage pastels and make a flower arrangement to suit.

I assure you, everything tastes better with a centerpiece like this.