Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Charleston - part II

Charleston's cobblestone streets

all the ironwork is amazing

the cupola on this home is gorgeous

I stuck my camera through the hedges to sneak a picture of this enchanting garden

one picture from the candlelight tour

Charleston is such a beautiful city. I love the mixture of architectural styles: Colonial revival, Federalist, Victorian, Lowcountry/Charleston, etc.. I also love the influence from the French, African, English and West Indian cultures on the colorful people that call Charleston "home". One evening during our stay, we took a candlelight tour of homes. This is a special event offered in the Fall and the Spring by the Charleston Preservation Society. Private homes are opened-up to the public and you can tour the homes and hear their history from the charming Preservation Society docents. The evening was wonderful! It felt a little like going trick-or-treating, but our costumes were our dinner clothes and instead of candy, we got a tour as our treat! It was too fun! Unfortunately, I was not able to take any photographs in the homes, so you'll have to get to Charleston and see for yourself!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Survivor Man?

Fisherman and Crockett - surviving the wild backyard

in the survival shelter

the shelter and surrounding area - you can just make out the fire pit on the left

The weather here in Texas is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! Yes, for two weeks out of the year (one in Spring and one in Fall) we have perfect weather. It's not too hot and it's not too cold, it's not too windy - it's just right! The mini-pearls took advantage of this while we were gone and spent a good portion of the weekend outside. Sunday, the entire neighborhood gang of kiddos had a "progressive play date" and enjoyed every one's backyards.
Fisherman watches a lot of outdoor television shows. He wants to be a professional fisherman when he grows-up (hence the nickname). He plans on doing this after earning a scholarship to college for fishing. Yes, there are college fishing teams, and he plans to compete on one. He is looking for sponsors if any of you are interested. Rods and reels are expensive and he could really use a nice boat. Ok,back to my story... On Sunday, Fisherman, Sweet Pea and Sport Cort decided to make a "survival" shelter/teepee on the side of our house. They gathered a collection of limbs, sticks and rocks and made shelter. They then covered it in plastic to "waterproof" the inside and insure survival in the most dangerous of situations. They decided to test said structure by putting Sport Cort inside and spraying the area with a soaking "rain" from the water hose. Needless to say, Sport Cort was cold, soaked and covered in mud that was then tracked through the house. My sweet mom had to put up with all this in my absence. She was a good sport!
The structure is still up. The mini-pearls are so proud! You never know when you might need a good survival shelter. I have included pictures, in case you want to build one of your own. The area also included a stone fire pit and a stack of extra fire wood. We are prepared!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Charleston - part I

Charleston single house - the "false" frontdoor is for privacy on the piazza

Mr. Pearl and I on Murray Boulevard

Charleston has the nickname of the "Holy City" because of all of the churches.

having fun at dinner

I couldn't resist this!

Mr. Pearl and I arrived home from Charleston late last night. We walked in the door to find one VERY tired Mumsie (my mom), a clean house (thank you!!!) and three sound asleep children! A perfect ending to a wonderful vacay.

This was my first visit to Charleston and I must say that I am absolutely in love with this town! I had done all of my research, and was armed with my notes and guide books, so that I would not miss a thing! I am weird like that. I am not a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of gal. We arrived Thursday afternoon and Mr. Pearl and I explored around our hotel (Charleston Place) and hit a few shops on King Street. He was there on business, so we had some "businessy" things to do. Dinner was one of those things, but it was at a fun, casual fish place right on the Cooper River. Friday morning, I woke-up and strapped-on my running shoes and took off on a route (that I had planned before hand :) and explored the city on foot. WOW! Four hours later, I had to go back to the room to refuel! I had more fun slowly exploring this beautiful city. I peered over iron gates into private gardens, studied the beauty of the architecture of the fine homes, enjoyed talking to the most friendly people (next to Texans of course) and marveled at the history of this charming city.

I am just going to post a few pictures today and I will add more later this week, after I have a chance to sort through them all. The only bad thing about a romantic get-away with the hubby, is coming back home and hitting the ground running with both feet. All day, I have been trying to remember the relaxed feeling I had after my massage Saturday!

Happy Monday!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday, House Beautiful 1937

the cover

I picked-up this House Beautiful at an estate sale a while back. The copy is from October 1937 and is in mint condition. I am truly fascinated by how far design and technology have come, yet just as amazed by how some of the design is relevant for today. My favorite part of the entire magazine is reading the advertisements. Oh the cigarette ads! I also get a chuckle at the linoleum floor ads. There was also an ad for the latest and greatest in modern conveniences... an air conditioner!

The following pictures were from an article on a new neighborhood being built in the "Colonial Spirit".

Is it just me, or do I see a pattern here?

These pictures show "modern" in 1937.

I think parts of this are still very relevant.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Have a wonderful weekend. I can't wait to tell you all about my trip to Charleston!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Autumn Table

I am a little pressed for time this week, as Mr. Pearl and I are leaving for Charleston on Thursday, sans mini-pearls - Woohoo! Next week though, I plan to have a treasure trove of goodness, as the Fall Tour of Homes and Gardens is going on in Charleston, and I will be touring! Stay tuned!

This table is one that I designed for the Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi Design Inspirations luncheon last March. The local alumni chapters host this fund-raising event each year and it is always wonderful! My theme for the table was "I suwanee.." and was a tribute to strong, Southern women. The table really had a "fall" feeling, so I hope it will inspire you all as you begin to bring a touch of fall into your homes.

The foundation of the table was a burlap table cloth. I then used brown transfer ware dishes, my Francis I silver, Mason jar glasses, antler sheds, feathers, shells, bird nests, vintage buttons, children's cowboy boots (lovingly worn-in by my husband and my boys as toddlers) crusty architectural fragments and a scattering of "Southern" sayings printed on fans that I placed around the table. I tucked-in a few, delicate ferns and a tiny orchid that was under a cloche. I also used some vintage books, propped open with bits of twine and more vintage silver. For the chairbacks, I hemmed simple rectangles of duck fabric and attached wide, brown ribbon sashes to the sides and then simply painted the monogram on the back. The monogram is one that I have used throughout my home and theses chair covers are now on chairs in my sunroom. The overall look was a casual elegance with a personal touch and close attention to detail. I always like to tuck little details into my tables, so that as everyone is sitting and eating, they will discover something that they hadn't seen before.
Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One to make you chuckle...

Last night at the dinner table, we were discussing our day. Sport Cort announced that he was the only first grader to order beans with his lunch. He was so proud as he asked for confirmation that beans were a "healthy choice" to eat for lunch. I said "yes, beans ARE good for you!" I then asked him what kind of beans they were and he very matter-of-factly replied, "porkin'". So, the next time you are considering beans as a healthy addition to your meal, and you are thinking of green beans, string beans, navy beans and lima beans, don't forget "porkin" beans. They are an excellent choice!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Oooh la-la!

I am smitten with the bookshelves in this library. I am thinking of using them as an inspiration to refinish my kitchen island.

I found this gem on this website. This fantastic, French abode is for sale, if you are in the market. If you are like me though, you are happy to enjoy the pictures and take a little inspiration from the design. I am so grateful for the Internet and real estate websites. Now, I don't have to drive around in the dark and pray that the occupants of my favorite homes will open every blind and drape and turn on the lights, so that I can see inside. I am still known to do this, so please don't call 9-1-1 on a red Volvo SUV with a driver that may or may not look somewhat like me! I have a friend that calls these drive-bys a "bread route." This is also what I do to stake out friends that I haven't seen in a while for a visit and a cup of coffee or Diet Dr. Pepper (wink! wink!).

Happy Monday!

Au Revoir,


Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday - Fashion Week Circa 1975

In honor Fashion Week this week, I thought I would post my very first forays into "fashion." Fashion has been an important part of my life from a very young age. These pictures serve as evidence of my innate sense of what "fashion" really is and the talent I possessed from the ripe old age of five. Obviously, my parents felt that I had "something" as they captured this moment on film. What this "something" is remains to be seen, but I really thought I was glamorous on this spring day way back when.

I am wearing one of my mother's old night gowns that was a staple in my dress-up trunk, a lovely chapeau from a wedding, also a discard from my mother, a snappy metallic silver clutch, very fashion-forward, Mickey Mousse sunglasses and a satin flower from a wedding (the petals opened-up and contained rice that we threw on the bride and groom as they ran to their honeymoon get-away car). I would be remiss if I didn't mentioned the poses. In my five year old mind, these were the way all cool and glamorous fashion models posed. So, have a laugh at my expense and a HAPPY FRIDAY!

Always fashion forward,