Saturday, May 31, 2008

South Street Gallery Portrait Show tonight!

The South Street Gallery is located in Hingham, MA. Get more information here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

John Derian Store newly opened in Provincetown

I have always loved decoupage and about a year ago, after seeing John Derian's booth at NYIGF, I had an "I can do that" moment and tried my hand at it. Loved it, but it was a short lived hobby. Meanwhile, I am completely, completely in love with John Derian's work and am thrilled that he just opened a store in Provincetown, MA! The shops have much more than just decoupage, so check them out!!

image by Linda Merrill at John Derian's booth NYIGF 2007

Store location: John Derian, Law Street, back of 396 Commercial Street, Provincetown (508-487-1362)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This Old House - Cover Story

Last month, I posted about a contest This Old House Magazine was running where readers were asked to select their favorite cover out of four choices. This is the winner:

Of the four choices, this was my second favorite. I do like the red center island!

Not only did readers select the cover, they also selected the contents.

Stories include:

• A Connecticut couple shares how they remodeled their kitchen on a tight budget with appliances found on Craigslist, at warehouse stores and more.

• This Old House online users reveal their best penny-pinching moves, saving $52,280 collectively on home improvements.

• Three readers act as an expert panel and offer advice to other readers about how to handle remodeling disasters.

• Readers share the weird items found during their renovation projects.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The unofficial start of summer!

Did you have a great weekend? The weather here in New England was spectacular! Memorial Day is often referred to as the "unofficial start" of summer. Here are a few summery items to kick start the season!

Tuffets and beach umbrellas from The Tuffet Company.

A little lounging and beaching it up with Hable Constructions' new Fall 2008 sneak peeks!

How fantastic looking are these porch swings from Penobscot Bay Porch Swings in Maine!?!

Do you decorator for summer?

Monday, May 26, 2008

And now a chateau....

The internet, including the Huffington Post, is abuzz with the news - or rumor - that Brad and Angelina have purchased a $70m chateau and working vineyard in France called Chateau Miraval.

Kids, love, good looks, fame and money, good deed doing, and now a chateau in France. Jeez you two, leave something for the rest of us!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

With thanks.

From the Revolution to Iraq, we remember and thank all those who gave their lives, and those who are willing to, for us to have all that we have. We're not perfect, but we are lucky.

Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium

American Cemetery, Normandy - image courtesy of American Battles Monuments Commission

A soldier statue at the Koren War Memorial, Washington DC. Photo by jcolman on Flickr

Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC - photo by msdean582 on Flickr

Funeral of Iraq War soldier. Photo by Joe Readle, Getty Images

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Topsfield Antiques Market

Antiques - the ultimate in recycling! Visit the Topsfield Antiques Market this weekend!

A fantastic pedicure and Australian Vogue - Perfection!

I'm a bit slow to get this post up, but last Saturday, I treated myself to a pedicure. It's Spring and my toes were definitely not "peep-toe" ready. I cannot recommend Michelle's Nails in Duxbury highly enough for the massage that comes with the pedicures. And the massage chairs. Those ladies have magic fingers is all I'm saying. My tootsies still feel fantastic. So, before I sank into the big old pedi/massage chair, I grabbed this Australian Vogue off the magazine pile. I didn't even notice that it was from June 2007!!! Didn't matter. Especially when I came across this big spread of painter Marcella Kaspar's home outside of Sydney. Perfection. Literally, perfection.

This house is built around the pool area and has sliding walls for a totally indoor/outdoor options. I love the white interiors which showcase her artwork so beautifully, the mix of classic crystal chandeliers and modern lighting from Tord Boontje and Bernabeifreeman.

Bad scans by me, with apologies to photographer Simon Kelly. Images from Vogue Living Australia.

Too much information?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hable Construction Sample Sale! May 21-23

NYC-based textiles company, Hable Construction is hosting their annual spring sample sale from Wednesday May 21 to Friday, May 23, from 11am-7pm
each day in the building that houses their design studio at 195 Chrystie St. New York, NY 10002, between Stanton and Rivington St. Nearby subway stops
are the F/V to 2nd Ave or the J/M to Bowery .

In the midst of their trademark totes, bedding, storage items, kids’ accessories, and pillows, they’ll be offering discounted fabric by-the-yard for sale to the
public that are typically exclusive to the trade. Other items will be discounted at 40-75% off retail prices with sale prices ranging from $10-$250. Cash and all major credit cards accepted.

Let us know if you go and what you scored!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Duxbury Days: A view of my hometown

Well, I had such a lovely day yesterday! The weather was spectacular - warm and sunny - which is a big bonus here in New England where it can still be 40's and rainy on a regular basis. After photographing my front yard which I blogged about yesterday, I treated myself to a glorious pedicure (Michelle's Nails in Duxbury - go... now!) and a nice read of Vogue Living Australia (more to follow on that).

The weather was so perfect that I decided to drive around town and take some photos. Duxbury, MA is a small, very old, town which was an offshoot of Plymouth Colony, founded around 1637. We have our share 300+ year old homes and lots and lots of new, big homes as well. We're a small town of about 16,000 that is sometimes derisively called "Deluxe-bury" for our high home prices. The town thrived early on as a ship building port, until the ships got too big for the harbor, at which point - mid-1800's - the town fell on hard times. One of the results is that many of our Federal era homes were not updated and tarted up Victorian style, so they retain their original clean lines and proportions.

Having grown up here, moved away and moved back to be closer to friends and family, I often retain the teenage attitude of "what's so great about this town" and "there's nothing to do here!". So, it's good for me to remind myself of the natural and architectural beauty of our small New England town. Above is a photo of our tiny town center, Halls Corner, (5 roads converging on a flag pole - keep to the right!). The cherry trees are losing their flowers and the sidewalk was paved with pink flower petals. It looked a bit like a fairy parade had passed by.

Here is one of our old Federal homes, near the harbor.
This Greek Revival is one of my favorite houses in town. Not huge, but oh so pretty with it's iron work facade. It kind of reminds me a bit of New Orleans.
It was prom yesterday and I captured this group of boys from the Lacrosse team posing for a buddy photo on the water, with their families playing dutiful paparazzi. Not sure how I feel about the matching white suits...

There isn't much industry in town, so when I was in high school and college, I had a myriad of babysitting and cleaning jobs around town. This lovely house was one of the homes that I cleaned one summer. I always loved this house and it's setting. I think cleaning houses as a teenager made me appreciate the importance of a well-maintained home. Some places were very well kept up, the owners generous and unassuming, and others were nearly falling down, with sloppy homeowners who fancied themselves very elite. I know to this day whose house I'd want to decorate and whose I'd steer clear from!

Here is a pic of the bay. Duxbury is on the Atlantic ocean, but we have a barrier beach separating the town proper from the actual ocean. So, water view homes are on the Bay

This pic is the same as the above, panned to the left a bit. What you see on the right is an older, small home right on the water, with a new construction of huge proportions hulking over it on the left. We have a lot of this.

And old home with amazing old growth plantings, not yet in bloom.

Our harbor.
A new construction on Powder Point. I should drop off my business card!

This is another house that I cleaned a couple of summers. The homeowner who I cleaned for was an elderly European woman who had exacting standards and all cotton sheets which needed to ironed with a very hot iron. I did a lot of ironing that summer. She was very old fashioned, and while she made me my lunch on the days I was there, we never actually ate together. I ate in the kitchen and she in the dining room. Funny. She was very nice and always interested in my life and interests. But, she couldn't bridge the upstairs/downstairs divide. Or perhaps it was generational? This is also the first house that I played a decorating role in. I made a set of dust ruffles for the twin beds in her guest room. I recall they were a sprightly yellow cotton duct.

This is also one of my favorite houses in town. The grounds are spectacular and the house is situated in a very out of the way corner. I believe this house has appeared in a national magazine spread more than once.
Here is the Ellison Center for the Arts, which was once the Catholic Church.

Here is the First Parish Church, one of our oldest town buildings. Once when I was in high school, a friend and I got access to the bell tower, and scratched our initials inside the bell. Shhh... don't tell anyone!

We're not without our town celebrities as well. Yesterday was Prom, as I mentioned above. Duxbury has no large function halls or hotels or restaurants, so historically, Prom was held out of town, often many miles away. Being a town with little to do and sometimes a little too much disposable cash, we have a long standing reputation for too much teenage drinking and there was a long stretch of time where a drunk driving related death of a high school student was an annual occurrence (3 in my time in high school). So, at some point, the powers that be decided to put an end to out of town proms, and they are now always held in the high school gym. A very quaint small town kind of thing. So, in order to dress up the pig (aka gym- shudder, shudder, shudder), the big room is transformed into a wonderland of epic proportions (last nights' theme was an Evening in Paris with ceiling high Eiffel Tower). A Hollywood Red Carpet style promenade brings out townspeople of all ages to watch the beautiful people (aka teenagers) arrive. The more interesting the mode of transportation the better. Kids come in boats on hitches, stretch hummers, bakery or ice cream trucks, fire trucks, Dad's convertible, beds carried by "slaves", bicycles built for two, Cinderella's coach, and the list goes on. This year, the largest mode of transport (probably one of the largest ever) was the tour bus of a famous rock star who lives in town, whose son is dating the daughter of two of my oldest friends. Unfortunately, I missed their arrival and didn't get their picture! And then my camera batteries died, so I got no other pics either!

Anyway, here are a couple of slide shows with more photos of my Duxbury Day, 2008. Hope you enjoy!



Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's a lilac!

Congratulate me! It's a lilac! Isn't it pretty?!? And the scent is totally worth the sneezes...

I planted this lilac bush - now over 6 feet tall - from a little twig I bought at Christmas Tree Shops about seven years ago. About three years after initial planting I had the bud of a flower, which got knocked off. A year later, over zealous lawn guys chopped off the top three feet of the bush, so for the last two years, no flower. But this year, I have my first real batch of lilacs. Not enough to fill a vase, but enough to offer up a lovely scent as I come and go. I'm so proud! Those who know me know that I'm not much of a gardener. I have a deep appreciation for a beautiful garden and one of my personal fantasies is to have a beautiful English style garden - and the gardeners to maintain it. Because sadly, I never will have what it takes to do it myself. I have what I like to call a gray thumb. Things don't die, but they don't often thrive. I bought my condo around this time of year. While the architecture leaves a bit to be desired, the flowering trees and shrubs are breathtaking. As you can see below:

My front walkway
The little cherry tree - this year is really spectacular for flowering trees.

The views from my front door

My blogging friends from around the country have been posting their beautiful gardens for weeks and weeks, but we're slow to bloom here in New England - and it's always best not to plant until after Memorial Day as frost is still possible. Soon to bloom will be the hydrangea, rhodies and eventually my peony.

Happy Spring everyone!