Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goals and Plans for a New Year

How do you go about creating goals and plans for the new year?


Do you write them on a sticky note and put it on the frig?


Do you put your goals on your on-line calendar?

With reminders each week or month?

Perhaps with steps you should be achieving along the way?

Maybe even timers that will go off with reminders of what you should be doing.


Or do you write them in a journal and each day write what you achieved?

Maybe you put them on an inspiration board with inspiring photos and positive sayings.

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Or do you make them at all?

Personally I am big on making goals and plans. Oh, I don’t always achieve them but I can’t imagine not having any.

So what are your plans for the Next Day / New Year?

Are they big plans or small plans? Business plans or personal plans?

What do you want for yourself tomorrow?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Six Post of 2013

I am so grateful for this past year. I have meet so many wonderful people through blogging and I am grateful for everyone of you. Please always feel free to leave a comment if you have the time, it let’s me know you were here, and I typically respond to questions and comments via email, however I am thinking of changing that and replying through the comment section, as I think it would make for a much more interactive and interesting dialogue. We shall see. Now on with the top five post of 2013.

#1 - Baguette Wooden Bowl and That's Fresh Friday Link-up Party 

I found this wooden baguette bowl in Canton, Texas at the First Monday Trade Days. It was my first time in Canton and it was an adventure and I will be going back as soon as it gets a little warmer outside.

#2 - Spa Bathroom Renovation by GreenTex Builders and HGTV Bath Crashers

There is so much gorgeousness going on in this bathroom. It was an honor to be able to share this spa bathroom space with you and I am wanting some of the elements in this home in my next bath, especially the 2-sided ethanol fireplace (because it is freezing in Dallas right now).

#3 - Lake House Tour at Seven Points Texas

This lake house is so large that it was difficult getting a full picture of the exterior. The lady of the house was so kind to let me come out and take all the pictures I wanted. I only wished I had my current camera when I photographed this house. This is a large custom built house and there is much to see and enjoy.

#4 - 1109 Birmingham Home Tour

I built this home several years ago in Birmingham Alabama and it was in the Parade of Homes, for which it won a bronze award. The Parade of Homes is a three week long event in the Birmingham area where everyone (literally hundreds of people) come and tour the homes in the event and then the judges determine the winners. I wish they had this sort of event in the Dallas area.

#5 - One Room Challenge - Final Reveal

In the One Room Challenge I took my porch from drab to relaxing shabby chic.  I really enjoyed this project, and apparently so did you as it was the 5th most viewed post. My husband made the mirror, I made the wreath, and the wicker chair was well worn and had been tossed away. We also made a bench that we created from a discarded broken headboard.

#6 - GreenTex Builders - Crestview Home Tour - Austin Texas

This was a complete house renovation from the ground floor up. GreenTex Builders did an incredible job of taking a 1950’s ranch home and renovating it into a modern day home which is not just energy efficient, but a green home. It was given 4 stars by the Austin Green Building Program. There are a ton of ideas that you can incorporate into your home.

Once again thank you all for making these post your most viewed post of 2013. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to come into your homes and share these ideas, spaces and home tours with you. I am in the process of making plans and goals for 2014 and it is my intention to bring you even more homes, spaces and projects that I think you are going to really enjoy. I hope this has been an eventful year for you and that you too have big plans for 2014. If you have any ideas or suggestions of things you would like to see more of on this blog please feel free to share them with me. All thoughts and suggestions are highly appreciated.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

French Country Signature by Charles Faudree

I keep thinking about Charles Faudree and the incredible work he did within his lifetime.  He passed away this past November 27, 2013 at the age of 75. On December the 9th I wrote a post titled, “Are you doing what you love?" The post was about finding your passion in life as Charles Faudree had. My intention of this post was to write about all the work that he accomplished, but I don’t think I could even come close to sharing with you his enormous portfolio of work in a single post. Instead I am going to share with you my book review of the first book that he wrote, “French Country Signature,” which he published in 2003. In the acknowledgements he thanks his mother, “for always allowing me to express myself, starting when I was only ten years old. She let me choose the color for the front door. It was a Dutch door with shutters and I got to paint it every year in whatever color I chose – Wedgewood blue, pink, apple green. I got that out of my system early on in my design career. Now I much prefer black.” This makes me wonder how much more creative people might be if they were allowed and encouraged to do something similar to this in their own childhood.  charlesf23Charles did not begin his actual design career until he was 38 years old. In “French Country Signature,” he states. “Ironically, I did not begin to design for clients until I was thirty-eight years old. I just felt I wasn’t doing anything significant with my life, so I moved back to Muskogee, where my mother, Ruby, and sister, Francie, still lived, and redecorated my sister’s home. That was the beginning of a design career that now spans more than twenty five years.” Remember this book was published in 2003. Prior to returning to his hometown he worked in Dallas, Texas, “in the realm of home furnishings accessories.”
This book is divided by the different rooms within a home. The entry, living room, sitting room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, dressing room, and details. 


Charles tells us how important the exterior and the entry are to a home. “If the exterior  of a house entices, the interior ~ especially the entryway ~ must enthrall.” The book has an array of gorgeous rooms that I have spent many hours over the years studying and enjoying. Every time I look at one of his spaces I find something new of interest.
This room below is the back entry at his home he calls the “Roost.” He states, “Even a back entry can make guest feel welcome At The Roost, an antique bench dressed with toile and embroidered pillows invites guest and their canine companions to enjoy the pleasures of a casual weekend.”charlesf3

Living Rooms:

“The rich, fullness of furnishings and fabrics and an artful use of symmetry characterize many of the living rooms I design. In the French Country style, they are formal yet wonderfully casual, giving homeowners and guests a feeling of opulence with so much to see. They are overflowing but never cluttered or overpowering, even in the smallest of spaces.”
This room below is one of my favorite rooms and prior to be shown in this book it was published in Traditional Home magazine. “In his French chateau-style home, the room is divided by a center table displaying canine candlesticks, tortoiseshell objects and treasured books. Each side of the room is dressed in a symmetrical but not identical fashion.” Charlesf5

Sitting Rooms and Libraries:

Personally sitting rooms and libraries are probably my favorite rooms, although not necessarily private rooms they do evoke a sense of coziness to me, and yet they are rich and evocative.  “Whatever the design and color motif, these charming spaces invite rest and relaxation, reading and reflection ~ just the kind of treasured leisure pursuits for which sitting rooms and libraries are created.”  Charlesf6
I can just feel the sun warming me in this cozy sitting area. “In a sunny sitting area, an antique bench displays needlepoint and Aubusson tapestry cushions with period passementeric.”



“A successful kitchen is one where host and guests feel perfectly coddled and comfortable. It is a space that functions both as a working kitchen and an informal living area ~ perfect for the kind of comfortable and casual entertaining people enjoy today.” Throughout this book you will see rooms full of details, both architecturally and in the furnishings that complete the room itself. In the room below for instance notice the ceiling detail, the door and even the hardware on the door itself.  He considers every detail within a space.  Charlesf9
I have many interior design books in my library, but I must say I pick this one up again and again. I adore the way Charles pulled everything together and I study each item within the space and see how it all works so beautifully together. This is a book you will never tire of. It is full of gorgeous details that you can incorporate into your own rooms.

Dining Rooms:

“A dining room is more than a setting for bountiful dining and lively conversation. It is as much a room to display collections as it is a place for elegant and gracious dining.”
charlesf12If you are familiar with Charles Faudree’s work then you are familiar with Nicholas, his beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is a star in his own right by, “twice appearing on the cover of Traditional Home and fifteen times within the pages. Nicholas has starred in two Home and Garden Television network presentations. He resides with his owner in Tulsa Oklahoma.”


“I seldom play favorites when it comes to rooms. I live all over a house. But I am unequivocal about color. Red is my favorite. Design 101 suggest you should never have a red bedroom because it is not considered a restful color. But I have never designed by rigid rules. I painted one of my bedrooms a rich red that was quite soothing.”
The room below is in his own country cabin. “The original plan was to whitewash the logs. But after living in the space during the winter while I was redecorating, it seemed quite cozy and I thought it might be “sacrilege” to paint the logs. In that same bedroom, there was another challenge to solve. The cabin’s original front door was in the bedroom. To hide the door without going to the expense of removing it, an iron tester was added to the circa- 1800 Edwardian bed so the headboard and fabric panels of blue-and-white check would conceal the door.”



“A bathroom is one of the most fundamental and functional rooms in any home. But it should be designed with elegance and lavished with as much style as the major living areas. Colors should be rich and warm ~ always as comforting as a heated bath. And why not? We often start and end our day in these spaces of intimate refuge , so these rooms should be soothing to our soul.”  bath18
Who doesn’t want such a lovely place to begin each day? I think my love of sconces comes from his designs.

Dressing Rooms:

“While a dressing room is a very private atelier in most homes, this is never a room to scrimp on design. No room is ever too small or too private to have an abundance of style. Wallpapers can be lavish. Ceilings can have special beamed treatments. Carpet can coordinate beautifully with the furnishings. Shelving accommodate not only fashion necessities in an extremely neat and tidy order, but also allow space for decorative displays.” charlesf20


“A great deal of the pleasure in decorating is found in the special details that comprise each room setting. While one unique piece can spark the creative design for a room, it is the finishing touches ~ those unusual details ~ that make a dramatic impact and create a lingering memory.”
Charles Faudree went on to write five more interior design books. He has appeared in numerous magazines. He was named Designer of the year in 2005 by Traditional Home and was chosen as one of the top designers of the year by House Beautiful for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004. His works stands on its own. He will be greatly missed. Do you own any of his design books? If you would like to purchase this book you can go to amazon and purchase any one of his books.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Stationery by Minted

Are you a fan of stationery? Sometimes I will get an evite, and that is fine, but when I receive a thoughtful card, or invitation in the mail, it just means so much more to me. Not too long ago a reality show featured a wedding and the bride had sent out evites to her guest. She wasn’t constricted by finances, as she bought a $50,000+ dress for herself and her wedding was absolutely beautiful, but the guest received their invitations on-line. Hmm…. I find it so nice when I am invited to a dinner party and the host has sent me a personal invitation by mail. I know she took the time to choose and create her own personal invitations, and I know her party is going to be fabulous.

Have you heard of Minted? Minted is an on-line stationery store with independent designers that create every kind of stationery you could imagine. A couple of years back I went to two weddings and both times I received a, “save the date” card. One of them had a photograph of the couple on the “save the date” card and I hung it up on my cork board that I had in my office and everyday I looked up and saw that lovely couple, and every day I anticipated going to their wedding. Minted save the date cards are unique. From quirky to elegant, they have something for everyone to choose from. There are an abundance of choices both in the design itself but also in the weight of the paper, the color of the paper, different silhouette shapes, with lots of interior options and liners and labels.

Of course you can get “save the date” invitations without putting your photograph on the card.
I kept my “save the date” card way longer than the wedding invitation. Aren’t wedding invitations gorgeous! At minted they have on-going design competitions that designers participate in and this is how minted acquires such incredible talent that makes their stationery and invitations so unique, and then you can further customize those designs to make them truly one-of-a-kind. 

Designer Tanya Lee from Frooted Designs created this gorgeous wedding invitation “Striped Sweet Nothings.”
Minted offers some of their cards including the one above in a minibook format. How cool is this!
Here is an inside view of this minibook invitation.

I am a touchy-feely person when it comes to anything that lands in my hands so I am in love with minted’s letterpress by hand on 100% cotton paper. This wedding invitation below is called, “paper flowers,” by designer Kristen Smith.
Below is a close up. Can’t you just feel all the texture in this invitation!
Of course minted has every other conceivable type of stationery and invitations available. But beyond that they also have calendars, journals, business cards, and even wrapping paper. They also have limited edition prints. Maybe I have been in Texas a little too long but I adore this photograph. Amy Carroll is the photographer, and it comes in a variety of sizes.
You can go to minted’s main website by going here. Also, remember I said that minted has designers from around the world that create their designs, well right now they are having a competition for the category of “birth announcements,” so if you are design savvy you might just want to enter this contest and can do so by going here. It ends January 13,2014 so hurry and enter your best design.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!!



Monday, December 23, 2013

It’s Almost Christmas

Are you done gift shopping, grocery shopping, house all cleaned and ready for your guest? There is no snow here in Dallas Texas, although at a current 30 degrees, it certainly feels like there could be snow outside. I am not a fan of cold weather. I think it would be wonderful to spend the Christmas holidays at the beach.

I wonder how I might decorate my home if I lived near the beach AND it was warm outside!

I wonder what sort of outdoor lights and decorations I might see in those warm states?


A walk along the beach sure would be nice.

These chairs look pretty comfortable. I think I will just sit down here and watch the sunset.

Well a girl can dream. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas wherever you might be celebrating the holidays! Enjoy!

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