May 31, 2015

Mixing Design Styles: New Traditional

I just brought my rustic wire sculptural piece into the sitting room. 

You can tell by looking that it is the opposite of everything in this room.

My room is lady like and refined,  while my chippy wire piece looks like it came out of a barn. 

I bought it new in a design shop in Lexington...and it came with rusty looking wires and splattered paint. 

The sculptural form is what pulled me in...not the old barn look.

But, here it is sitting on top of my more "formal"  mahogany tilt top table. 
I's not a "traditional" look. 

But maybe it will be ok these days...I have been reading about and studying today's "traditional" and it can have unexpected pieces. 

Well, my wire thingy is unexpected in my nicely finished sitting room. ha!

Today's new traditional  can encompass many styles/looks. 
The new traditional can include a touch of contemporary, or a touch of country, or a touch of any flavor really...whatever you are comfortable with mixing.

The height of my wire piece actually compliments the slender tilt top table.
 The finial top carries the eye upward.

 This piece is sitting in the room with my ivory damask sofa and blue and white china pieces. A little crazy for me...but, It is just for kind of mix-up my trad style. I do not want my traditional style to slide into old and dowdy. :-)

Since many of my blog readers visit me to see what I am doing in the name of "traditional" style, I thought I would run this "rustic/refined" one by you. 

There was a time when I would have never crossed style lines. I was all about finding Georgian style décor for my Georgian house. 
But now...hey, I am trying some new things.  

The new traditional is still based on classic styles, but it is fresh, fun, and fabulous. You can be traditional without being colonial. You can blur style lines and just have fun with your traditional house. That is my new approach!

Here are a few "new" traditional style pics via 

I like all of these looks...each one for a different reason.

What is not to love about this beautiful living room? I am seeing so much more blue lately. The walls and floor are neutral...with pops of blue in the fabrics and bookcase shelves.

I see this room's architectural bones as traditional, but the supporting details seem to say contemporary/modern. The metal tables have sharp corners...while the chairs are straighter than say a club chair, or other side chair.

This gray bedroom has traditional elements...but I feel a modern vibe too. Look at the bed. The headboard and footboard look as if they came from two separate beds. The leather chair and wool rugs still lean into traditional...while the lamps are going contemporary again. 

And this neutral bedroom/sitting room....I see traditional and I see modern touches. It looks like an antique daybed is mixed with a lucite table. Do you think these opposites attract? 

What do you all think about the mixing of styles?

 If you are a purist, like I have been for years, you want your furnishings to be period correct. Think of mid-century modern, or northeastern colonial, or western ranch or ski lodge. 

 There is a time and a place for "correct" period furnishings, style, and décor. But these days...there is a lot of mixing and mingling going on in the "traditional" design world. 

I think that there is a time and place for the "new traditional" that is being talked about on design sites. I think it looks like fun...and I will be sharing more fun "new" traditional style with you. 

Thanks for visiting and looking at "new" traditional ideas with me.

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May 25, 2015

Transforming A Vase into a Hurricane

Look what I found on the "reduced" aisle!

I picked up this inexpensive seeded glass vase a few days ago.

I saw this in TJ Maxx and circled back around for it. I thought it had possibilities beyond the ten dollar price tag. The size and embossed dots lured me over to it. 

I love to play with vases and hurricanes...and thought that this piece could work for both. It is a little over sized. But I could see great possibilities. It went into my shopping cart! 

Here are the four steps I took to transform this vase into a hurricane. (Easy peasy!)

First step...put about a cup of white craft sand in the bottom. I already had some in my craft tub.

Second step...put about a cup of crushed shells on top of the sand. I already had these in my craft tub also.(Crushed shells are from WalMart's floral department.)

Third step, place a candle on top of the crushed shells. Then twist the candle down into the shell bits for more stability.

Fourth Step, place on a tray.
Easy peasy new arrangement!

I can see putting some of my shell collection around the base of the the basket.

This simple arrangement will will work on the kitchen table or on the back porch table. 

I like to use sand and shell bits for the look, as well as for the ease of cleaning up wax drips. I thought of using small pea size decorative gravel on top of the sand, but since summer is in sight I went crushed shell bits.

You can use different sand and gravel combinations depending on the season. 

I might like to put small pine cone filler on top of the sand and then layer some pine cones around the outside base of the vase. 

Then maybe a burlap bow for some fluff.
I had the burlap in my craft stash too. 
So no cost. Yea! 
In fact...the vase (under ten dollars) was the only thing I did purchase for this arrangement. 

I tried this mirrored tray underneath...and this is a possibility for when I want a more sparkly look. 

But...I went back to my wicker tray for more of a summer/natural look because this arrangement may be used on the back porch dining table. What do you think? Burlap bow...yes or no?

I think I told you all that I have pretty much switched to using white or ivory candles these days. They work for almost every dining or decorating style. White goes with everything! No worry about matching colors. I like things to be simple... where I can switch candles into different hurricanes or candlesticks on a whim. I do not want to have to try to find a candle in a certain shade. Been there, done that, as they say. Simple is my mantra these days.

I can also see using this "vase/hurricane" for a large bunch of  fresh cut flowers. If I had peony bushes...this vase would be full of fresh cut stems. I love peonies!

You may have another type of large jar or vase that you could transform into a hurricane. Even if your jar is a shade of long as it is transparent you should be able to do this. Remember to use a base of sand before placing your candle(s) inside...then go any design direction you want. If you like colorful candles...use those and then co-ordinate other filler and table linens with you filler colors. 

Since I was doing this craft project on the dining room table...I thought I would include this shot. Here is that story.

A word of caution with candles around young children or pets careful when lit. 
This arrangement is simple and uncluttered looking, which opens the possibility for using it in different places around the house. I am sure it will pop up in another picture or two in the future. But the question is...what will it look like? Who knows? ha! 

Thanks for spending a few minutes with me today. I hope you are having a great day.

Here are a few posts from the past that you might have missed:
Decorating With A Chippy Tray

Thanks for visiting.
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May 22, 2015

Floral Design On A Whim

 I have been working on another flower arrangement.  

Well, to me it is not work. 
I love to tinker with stems, fresh and faux.
I had a super huge flower arrangement in a large formal type vase, and I was just tired of it. 

I had it sitting on a hunt board...and it was just too large...for the table and the space. It was just squished into the only possible place I could find to display it. 
So, on a whim I pulled out all of the stems. I sat on the floor with 
the arrangement and just started pulling. I made a huge mess on the 
floor...but all in the name of creativity.


These flowers are really different. 
They are not silk...but rather paper. 
They feel like hand made paper. 
And they tear like paper. 

So, do I have paper roses?

 What do these rose colored flowers look like to you? 
Roses? A type of peony?

What ever they are...I still love them. (The white flowers are silk.)

After I pulled out the stems and dusted them off I got the idea to put them in an old Kentucky crock. I like to mix rustic with some of my traditional things in the house, goes!

 I did not put any florist foam, or marbles in the bottom of the crock. 
I just started sticking the stems in. They hold each other nice and snug!

 This is the only marking on the old crock. 
I "think" that it means that it is a six gallon size. 
Maybe I should do some research to double check. 

I bought this crock from a little road side antique store in Moreland, KY way back in the mid 1970s. I was assured that it was a Kentucky piece. Fingers crossed on that. Ha!

I put the crock beside a chair in the sort of help the view when the front door is open. When you open the front door and look down the entry hall the first thing you see is the side and rear portion of this chair. The large arrangement will buffer the view.

If I had a table without a light fixture over it, or if I had a wall table that would accommodate the crock and flower size...I would put this huge thing on it. I love over sized table arrangements, but I am limited on size here. I might be able to use it on an outdoor buffet table. For will sit in the floor.

I am going to go with paper roses
....since it makes me think of the old song
 "Paper Roses."

(Anita Bryant sang the song in the sixties and then Marie Osmond sang this song in her early recording days.)

The lyrics are kind of a downer...but if you have been unlucky in love, and who hasn't at one time or another since the first grade, you will appreciate the lyrics, that talk about that shallow, low-down so-in-so. Ha!  :-)

Thanks for visiting!

May 20, 2015

Want a Good Cucumber & Onion Salad?

Memorial Weekend May 2014 Post, click link...

I love fresh salads and I could almost live on different salads in the summer. With the warmer months approaching and farmers' markets reopening I am going to try to frequent our local farmers more often. 

Our county extension office used to host the local Farmer's Market...until they started a building project, so the Farmer's Market was moved to the town square.

Yes, we have an old time town square with the old courthouse smack dab in the middle. That is another post for another time. Imagine the stories that could be told if walls could talk! (Hubby worked in that court house for over 20 years...and then another more modern Judicial Center was built, and he got a few years in there too.)

Anyway..back to the topic of salad. 

I am wanting to try to lose a few pounds, well ok, several pounds and want/need to eat more fresh veggies. Today the idea hit me to make a cucumber and onion salad. Hubby does not like the salad will be all mine! My helpful hubby did pick up the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and Vidalia onion for me this morning.

This recipe is so easy that you will wonder why there is a recipe! I consulted online recipes and it seems that there are several slightly different versions. But...I like mine! This salad reminds me of an old restaurant...Brown's Restaurant, in Casey County Kentucky, ...long gone now...that was owned by a couple of older sisters. One sister, Virgie, did the country cooking while the other sister, Linnie, ran the out front operation. There were a couple of waitresses...and I believe they were all related. Anyway...seems I remember Virgie's cucumber and onion salad and mine tastes pretty close to hers. My grandparents ate there a lot, and I did too when I visited with them. I remember that my grandmother would always order a vegetable plate. 

Are you hungry yet? 

Here is the recipe I put together this morning. I just had a taste...which means it has marinated about three hours. Yum! The secret to this salad is to let it sit so that the vinegar/sugar mix can do its work. 

Fresh Cucumber & Onion Salad
This recipe makes one average size bowl. If you need more, just double the recipe.

Six or seven small cucumbers, peeled and sliced very thin.
One Vidalia onion, sliced very thin. (You want a mild onion!)
One container of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, (or a couple of tomatoes sliced into wedges.)
One cup of apple cider vinegar.
One cup of sugar
One cup of water

1. Mix vinegar, sugar, and water in a container. Let sugar/vinegar/water dissolve while slicing the cucumbers, onion, and tomatoes.
2. Place veggies in a Tupperware type bowl with a snap-on lid.
3. Pour the vinegar/sugar/water mix over veggies. Stir. 
4. Put lid on salad bowl and let veggies marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator. I like to let this salad marinate in the refrigerator all day or overnight before eating.
5. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve it. 

Bon Appétit! 

This is a good potluck or picnic dish because nothing can really spoil. Just in time for Memorial weekend. 

 I love to have a huge bowl of salad in the fridge that I can help myself to whenever I need a quick lunch or a snack. I do not know the calorie count, but it surely is not too bad. :-)

If you make this salad let me know what you think. I do not know if this is a southern dish or not, as I have eaten it for years and years. Someone who is not southern...please let us know if you are familiar with this concoction. 

I have brought some of my flags outside to help us remember family and friends who have passed on. I have several ancestors who also served in the military, so this is a special recognition for them too.

To count, I have identified family members who have been in the Revolutionary War, The Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, and the National Guard (who saw duty outside of our shores.) Fortunately for our family...everyone came home. I know that in some families that is not the case. For you, my prayers and deep appreciation for your family member's service.

Thanks for Visiting, and have a safe Memorial weekend.

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