simple is beautiful

Scenes From Market

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As promised, pictures from market with very little commentary.  Enjoy!

 Still love a mirrored chest....

 and wood tones combined with white.

 Nail heads anyone?

 This arrangement would be pretty for Christmas.

 Colorful window shopping on my way to the car brought to me by Wesley Hall.

Bunny Williams

 I want that shelf!

 And the lamps.

 The parrots were talking to me too.  Mottahedeh is the first and last showroom that I see every day.  Such a treat!

 Love these gold bowls!

Have a great day!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Three days down, two to go for market.  Then life returns to normal.

In the mean time, we have a little celebration planned tonight for a very special girl....

 Happy birthday Mattie Gray! 

 You 75 pound hunk of lovin', what would we do without you?

She has a subtle way of letting you know when she wants to play ball.

 She loves her grandma...

 ...and watermelon.

A tough life I know ;)

Hopefully I will have some market pictures to share tomorrow.

About Time Management

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
Chinese Proverb

Blog reading/writing is a funny thing.  Most of us who write blogs don't share our ups and downs and we often look like we have it all under control.  Grab a cup of coffee and come right back this will take a while.  I for one don't think that you want to hear me whine about having to get up at 5:00AM to drive my son to swim practice three mornings a week only to return home, pack lunches, start a load of laundry, and finish cleaning the kitchen from the night before.  Or how after everyone goes to school I have to mow the yard, iron a pile of khaki pants, grocery shop, and finish 2 client projects before school is out.  When you work from home household duties often fall into the lap of the one who is home the most.  I figure we all have our challenges and you don't want to hear about mine.  You want to come here to be inspired.  You want light and happy.  Not too long not too short.  You want just right.  Life is always about balance and I am constantly looking for mine.  Furniture market begins tomorrow and I have 3 sets of placemats to make, a pediatrician appointment, a guest post to write, and on and on.  How will I get it all done?  Well, good question.

I receive many emails asking for advice on blogging - everything from how to start a blog, time management, how to grow your blog, and to get advertisers.  Please know that I am not claiming to be an expert, but I am happy to share my thoughts with you in hopes that it helps you in some way.

1.  Follow Up  -  To backtrack a bit, my blog started at the suggestion of my husband.  He knew how much I enjoy decorating, gardening, & creating in general and he thought that I should share it with others.  He has been nothing but supportive about my blog from the beginning.  Love you honey ;).  In the beginning, I would respond to every comment that was left and try to visit the person's blog who left the comment.  My parents raised me to write thank you notes when people did nice things for me so I tried very hard to thank people for visiting.  As my blog grew it became harder and harder to do this.  I still try to respond to comments, but sometimes don't get around to everybody.  This makes me feel very guilty, by the way, but we cannot do everything.  Sometimes we have to let go.  Please know that I love your comments, love hearing from each and every one of you, and really appreciate you visiting!  I do however respond to the numerous questions/emails that I receive each day and always respond to clients and etsy inquiries.

2.  Meal Planning - Raise your hand if you order takeout or eat cereal for dinner because you are in the middle of a project.  I do it.  I don't like doing it, but I admit that it happens every once in a while.  One thing that helps me SO MUCH is planning meals for the week on Sunday night and purchasing the groceries for the week on Monday.  Our meals are easy, but they are home cooked and healthy.  Our boys are both year round swimmers who consume a load of calories each day.  They need healthy food to eat and I owe it to them to give them that.  We sit down at 8:00 at night because that is when we are all finally home and we talk about our day and eat and linger.  Do I plan our meals every week?  No.  Some weeks are just off for many reasons, but when I take the time to get organized everything is better.  Knowing that I will be tied up at market the next few days, I planned our meals and have purchased all of the groceries.  My fingers are crossed that it helps.

3.  Projects - Writing blogs with original content is time consuming.  Period.  Between doing the actual project, taking pictures, writing a post or tutorial you are talking about hours and days.  All for what?  No one is getting rich from doing this, but if it is taking you away from your family you might want to consider ways to earn income on your blog.  My goal is to share things with you that 1. can easily be done by anyone 2.  are relatively inexpensive  3. are inspiring.  There are times when our house looks like a disaster zone.  Often projects take longer than planned and I simply have to walk away and leave the mess for another day.  What I do doesn't really change to world.  This is OK.  If you put pressure on yourself regarding your blog it might take away from the fun of it.  And, trying to keep up with everyone else will only make you feel inferior.  This blog has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined and I wish the same for you.

4.  Family Time -  My time spent on the computer is very scattered.  When I first started blogging, I spent way too much time in front of the computer.  As I continued to write I began to schedule my time.  I try to do most of my writing early in the morning, but sometimes things come up and and posts are delayed.  Most posts go up around 6:30-7:30AM.  I feel that I owe it to my readers to be consistent.  If I happen to miss a day Mom will call me to make sure I'm OK.  I love you all, but Mom is my sweetest follower, but the way.  Follow up and emails are handled throughout the day.  If I have any extra time, I will write posts for the future just to have in case I get into a crunch.  My creative process doesn't fit the 9to5 schedule.  I think of client projects all day and night which makes working from home a good thing.  That said, the computer pulls at me often.  After 4:00PM I am lucky to have any computer time at all other than responding to emails.  The kids come home from school and need rides.  Then my husband comes home and this is our time.  Next comes cooking dinner, picking the boys up from swim practice, and preparing for the next day.  I try very hard not to let blogging/working take away from family time.  One day I will look back at how I lived my life and I want to feel good about choices I made.  I know I say this a lot, but our boys have grown up so fast and I am thankful for every moment I have had with them.  This is not meant to make anyone feel guilty, just being open.

Those are my thoughts.  I would love hear what you think.  Do you have any suggestions on how to manage time?  I would love the hear them.

Adding a Graphic Touch to Framed Art

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Does anyone remember Rosemary?  To refresh, Rosemary is the buffet in the above image.  As you can see she is topped with a white cabinet.  I do not love the cabinet, and find it to be a little top heavy for this buffet.  If someone would take it off my hands that would be great, but until then...

To pull the two together, I decided to paint them both in the same shade of gray.  After looking into what seemed like hundreds of grays I decided on BM-Pewter.  Last week, I began painting and finally finished over the weekend.  The image above is of the newly painted pieces.  Also, to make the hardware look uniform, I used Rubb & Buff on the pieces that weren't already brass.  Can you tell which ones?  We have a piece of black granite that would be a nice addition to the top of the buffet and would bring some visual balance to the two.  I think?  Anyway, I am showing you this because the art looks so bland here.  I really wanted something that would pop and I preferred that it be a "free" project.

I went online and printed botanical images of colorful leaves.  I usually print onto card stock, but this time I printed onto copier paper.  I really needed some sort of mat for the art and considered making this ribbon mat.  Then I remembered how Jenny painted the border around prints to bridge the gap between the mat and image.  This gave me the idea to use thin ribbon and apply it with glue where the copier paper and card stock meet.  (Sorry about the blurry pictures, my battery was dying).

Here is the result with a fresh coat of glossy white on the bamboo frames and the new art.  I really like the graphic punch it gives.  The best part is that I already had the supplies that I needed.

The Meghan Method & a Giveaway!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011


 I was recently contacted by the publicist of a great new book called The Meghan Method.  This fun and informative book written by Meghan Carter shows you how to create a beautiful room that suits the way you live step by step.  I honestly love her approach!

This isn't a book filled with images of lovely interiors, but rather a guide to creating, prioritizing, and editing your own home.  She walks you through the thoughts that go behind a space taking into consideration what you already have, what you need, how the space will be used, and even how you want to feel in the room.

Meghan listed blogs and online sources for decorating inspiration and Cottage & Vine was included (among many others).  I was truly honored by the mention!

Because my blog was mentioned in the book I received a book to review and one to give away.  If you would like to have a copy of The Meghan Method all you have to do is leave a comment to enter the giveaway.

For additional entries:

1.  You can tweet about the giveaway and include @cottageandvine.  Be sure to leave an extra comment saying that you tweeted.

2.  Post the giveaway on your blog.  Be sure to leave another comment.

3.  Share on facebook.  Leave another comment.

The winner will be announced next Friday.  Good luck!

About the Topiary

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One of my readers recently asked about the topiary in our family room and it reminded me that I never shared the new and improved topiary with you.

If you have been following my blog for a while you might remember this project when I made my first attempt at DIY topiary.

I lived with it like this until I couldn't take it any more.  Finally I picked up a few bunches of faux boxwood at Hobby Lobby hoping to make the scale a little better.

I don't have a picture of the steps, but here is what I did...

The faux boxwood comes in long branches and I cut off the individual stems because I wanted my topiary to be full and to scale.  Once I had all of the pieces cut ( I think it took 1 1/2- 2 branches per topiary) I began hot gluing the ends and placing the boxwood into the foam ball until it was filled in.

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