Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Treats and No Tricks!

Okay kids ~ we are ready for you!
We have the treats and Bentley is ready to say hi.
(If you look real hard at the right side of the pic
you can see Bentley walking into the kitchen)

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Road From Bohemian Chic to Cozy Cottage

My decorating style has really varied over the years.  While I was in 
college my style was early Bohemian Chic.  My roommate and I 
constructed a tent in our room much like the one you see if this pic.
I wish that I had the foresight to take pics of my dorm room back then
because ours was the only one like it.  Filled with pillows and candles
it was oh so cool and nothing like our mother's dorm room would
have been.

After college I started dreaming of a different kind of nest.  
I went back to my Scandinavian roots and wanted only very clean
and modern lines with pops of color.   A Stockholm in NYC kind
of look is what I was going for.  Blame it on my family who 
always called me the "little Swede".

Then I moved to this little island off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
A very exotic and exciting move for me.

And I was a First Primary teacher at this school ...
Sacred Heart School of Bahrain.  Some of the happiest days
of my life were spent at this school filled with children
from 28 different countries all seeking a British education
in Arabian Gulf.

I spent hours shopping in the souk.  I still miss shopping there.
It was all so colorful and fascinating.  And it's when I started to
become very interested in handmade carpets and kilims, big brass
trays and the beautiful woven baskets that were everywhere.
So the Bohemian Chic and the Scandinavian style were merging
into what I was calling "Susan's Eclectic Style".  It was a 
pre-PotteryBarn kind of look.

The colors of the kilims are so vibrant and work so well with 
several design styles.

These wonderful baskets were handwoven and used to 
collect fish from the gulf and also to put live chickens in to
take to the souk for sale.  

But after three years of living in the Middle East and becoming very 
homesick for the good old USA,  I longed for a very different style
that really reflected my born in the USA roots.  

After I married and moved to Middleburg, Virginia I re-embraced the
design style of my childhood.  So my style guru became ...

Ralph Lauren.  The designer who really embraced American East Coast
style.  The camelback sofas, primitive hutches, handmade quilts and yes ~
dogs on the furniture and horses everywhere.  My kind of design guy.
His Hudson Valley collection was my favorite.
But then ...

I became enamored with the cottage style.  It's not far off from
from Ralph's Hudson Valley look, but with a few more 
English country touches.  And now?  Well Bentley is still on
the furniture and horse prints are everywhere.  But now that I
am in a new to me house in Texas, I find that my style is
evolving a bit to reflect the elements of our new place.  The one
thing I know for sure is ~ your nest should always reflect
who you are and your own passions.  

Of course, Bentley is happy no matter how his momma 
changes her design style.  Look at that big smile!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cath Kidston Wannabe Radio DIY

I love these Cath Kidston radios.  So girly and cottage cute.
But alas, I don't have one.

But I had one of these ...

Several years ago I bought this vintage radio at a garage sale.
I have a weakness for vintage radios, but this one was really old and
abused and cheap (operative word, cheap) so home it went with me.

Keeping Cath Kidston's radio in mind, I did this ...

I whipped out some paints and girlied it up!

Still want the Cath Kidston one, but this will just have to do 
for now.

Bentley ~ drop a few hints to your daddy about a CK 

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Azaleas Are Confused

I posted a picture of my blooming azaleas on Facebook recently.  I was surprised 
to see them blooming at this time of the year.

Then a friend of mine commented that the azaleas in the Japanese 
Garden in Houston are blooming too.  She told me that they are
confused because the weather has been so nice.

That's just fine with me.  They can stay confused as long as
they like!

Bentley are you wondering where your friend Toby is?
He's just a pup.  He may be taking a morning nap.
Toby is the cute little Jack Russell Terrier who lives 
next door.  He and Bentley are now BFF's.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, October 25, 2013

Minis On My Kitchen Windowsill

It's early Friday morning and on the windowsill just over the
kitchen sink are a few of my minis.

They are meant to be waiting for my dollhouse to be constructed.

But honestly, I am beginning to like the way they are nestled in between
the miniature African violets and the tomatoes.

Here is my mini stove peeking out from behind the rosemary plant which
lives in a vintage coffee pot on the kitchen counter.

I may just have to get some new kitchen furniture for my dollhouse and
leave these pieces right here.  What do you think?

Happy Friday everyone!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, October 24, 2013

In Loving Memory of Benny The French Bulldog

It is with great sadness that my Bentley and I must tell you of the 
passing of Benny the French Bulldog.  He is the smiling cutie on the 
left in the above picture.  Benny died in his momma's arms today
after a tough battle with cancer.  He was just 6 years old.  He will
be greatly missed by his sister Lily and of course his momma and
countless others.  

RIP sweet Benny.  You fought like a Frenchie right up to the end.
We all loved you!  Have happy pain free days over that rainbow bridge.

Love From Your Friends,
Susan and Bentley

Where To Go When You Are Feeling Low

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been feeling a little bit depressed lately.
And as so many of you have very wisely mentioned, it is understandable
after all the excitement and business of a cross country move to feel 
a let down when things settle down.

That being said ~ I am not one to feel sorry for myself for long and
I want to pull myself out of my funk asap.  

My prescription?  Go visit happy places.  The first happy place on 
my list is:

Susan has the self professed happy gene and it is impossible to
continue feeling blue when I visit her!  Her happiness and joy for
life's simple pleasures makes me feel warm and cozy.  She 
cancels out any feelings of sadness.  Thank you Susan!

And the next stop on my list is:


Aunt Ruthie's Sugar Pie Farmhouse.  It is impossible not to feel
cheerful after a visit to her home just brimming with goodness.
When my Daddy was still alive and suffering from the ravages of
Alzheimer's, Aunt Ruthie kept me going.

Happy images both graphic and real, are unbeatable for chasing away
the blues.


Thank you Ruthie!

Something else helps me feel better too.  Artistic therapy I call it and it means
a visit to this creative lady ...

Helen Philipps

Her oh so charming crafts amaze and delight me.  Just look at that darling
bird and the happy colors.  How can one possibly be sad now?

Crochet and quilts that charm and fill my heart with joy.  What a talent she
has!  Thank you Helen for many happy hours spent admiring your work.

And nourishment for the body and soul come from this
sweet gal ...

Dear Yvonne has fed my tummy and my soul.  While I was so
busy and weary from selling both my Mom's house and my own
back in Idaho and preparing the move of two households at once,
Yvonne kept praying for me.  She prayed for me to have the strength
and the courage to get the job done.  Thank you so much Yvonne.
I know that all your prayers for us were indeed answered because 
things fell into place with such ease.  

And ...

I am always pouring over her yummy recipes and she is the one
I turn to when I run out of ideas for what to serve for dinner.
Thank you Yvonne!

And then there is the land of doll houses ...

and two of my favorite miniature artists ...

Just look at this precious hutch filled with apples and pie.  
Rush over to visit her and be charmed by mini goodness.

and of course ...

the creator of Cynthia's Cottage Design.  These two enormously talented 
miniature artists convince me that I needed to get a dollhouse.  Trust me, it's 
hard to stay sad when you walk into the world of minis.   Kim and Cynthia have
collaborated with Maritza Moran to create a wonderful new mini mag called

Go check it out and sign up too if you like it.  If you have not met Maritza
yet, prepare to be wowed by going here.

Don't forget the healing powers of a cozy mystery like

any of  the Aunt Dimity Series.  A cozy mystery, a cup of 
tea and a comfy quilt have magical healing powers too.

So if you ever have a sad day like I did yesterday, give some
of these suggestions a try.

Wishing Y'all Sunshine and Happiness,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If Everything Is Great Why Do I Feel Depressed?

Things have been going great for us.  So why should I be
feeling depressed?  We are comfortably settling into our new 

A rental property that we own back in Idaho is currently under 
contract and that makes me happy.

We went to a wonderful block party in our new neighborhood
this past Sunday and met many of our new neighbors.  Everyone
was so friendly and did their best to welcome us.

So why am I a bit depressed?

So much has happened so fast in our lives recently.  Now that the dust is
settling I am wondering now what will I do?  I have been so involved
in unpacking and arranging and such that I had forgotten that I  will
need something to pour my heart and soul into each day.  As much as I
love to decorate, I still need more.  We all need a purpose in life to keep
us grounded.  And that is exactly what I need right now.  I hope you
will join me on this new journey.  Thankfully, Bentley will be by my side.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mystical DIY Curtain Tie Backs

A few years ago I purchased four curtain panels made from a dotted 
Swiss fabric at a consignment shop.  At the time I really did not
have any use for the curtains, but I loved the fabric and since the
price was really fair, I bought them.  I contemplated cutting up the
panels for other uses but never did.  Now I am so happy that I 
did not because these four panels perfectly soften the look of the 
shutters in my new studio.  

I love the shutters and did not want to interfere with being able to open
them up completely when I wanted to.  I found these swing arm curtain
holders at Country Curtains  and knew it would be the perfect 
solution for the look I wanted.

So now the windows are softened but not at the expense of light and

Now this is where this blog post becomes a bit mystical.  Ever since
I moved into this house I have discovered that things I purchased at
random back in Idaho without a real purpose in mind have fit
perfectly into this house.  There were things that I just knew I 
should have not spent money on because they seemingly had no
purpose at the time, but a little voice in my head kept saying to
buy them anyway.  Just like these four panels which are the 
perfect length for these windows and four is exactly the number
I needed.  

Now I could say that this is coincidental, but it has happened so
many time since we moved into this house that now I am really
beginning to wonder if it is really a mystical, cosmic interference.

A few weeks ago we were at a party at our friend's house and were
introduced to a woman who attends Bible study with the previous
owners of our house.  This woman told me that the previous owners
were very uncertain about whether or not they should sell their
house that had been in the same family for sixty five years.  They
loved the house, but their life was changing a bit and they were
trying to decide if they should sell it to build a new home to 
accomodate their newly widowed mother.  So they prayed with
their Bible study group.  Stay or sell.  They decided to wait a
bit longer and keep their house on the market.

Meanwhile, David had decided we needed to accept this
new job opportunity in Texas.  So I went on the internet
and looked for a possible house for us in Victoria.  This
house was one of the first houses I saw and loved it from
the photos.  And when we came down here for a visit and
saw the house in person, we knew right away it would be
perfect for us.  It is as though Divine Providence stepped
in and cleared the path of decision for both families.


So six months later we are happily living in a house that seems to have
been predestined for us and the previous owners are happy as well.
And I am making DIY tie backs from jumbo rick rack accented with
vintage buttons given to me months ago by my Mom.

Always be open to new possibilities and trust that things often
work out for the best.

Bentley thinks that lizards are mystical too.
They can slip away into the smallest of cracks!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...