Friday, April 8, 2016

I've Hit the Wall

I am feeling creatively drained.  It is as though the last bit of originality 
has been emptied out of my mind.  I admire the world full of bloggers who
can come up with interesting tablescapes and 5,000 ways to use
a pallet on a regular basis.  

Or the women who redecorate their homes every six months to keep
up with the current trends coming out of High Point.  I grew up with a
Mom like that and I vowed that I would never be her.  I loved my Mom
dearly, but she could drive Daddy and me nuts.  The furniture in our
house was rearranged so often we never knew what to expect.  There
was a constant stream of decorators coming through our door.  The
worst one was the one who suggested my Mom get rid of everything
in the living room, except the piano (I was taking lessons) and start
over with all white furniture and all the fabrics were in shades of

When the room was complete, Mom called us in to see everything
and to ask our opinion.   Daddy and I just nodded and said
Looks nice.  That was code for ~ we hate it, but don't want to
say anything negative about it because Mom won't speak to us
for days ;-)  

After two short weeks, Daddy came home from work and found
Mom crying in the living room.  He asked her what was bothering
her and she replied 

I hate it!  I really hate it!!  I can't live with it a moment longer!!

That weekend, we all hopped into Daddy's car and drove downtown so that
Mom could get new furniture.  Daddy had the patience of a saint.  
Fortunately, they found a designer who encouraged Mom to go the more
traditional route because a classic never really goes out of style and 
small changes can be made to stay current.  I thought that Daddy was
going to get down on his knees and praise the Lord for this person!

Now you might want to take a break from reading this and go get 
yourself a cup of tea, coffee, a glass of wine (he he) or whatever 
because this may be long winded :-)

Are you back and ready to read some more?  Okay, we left off with my
Mom being satisfied (for a while) with a more traditional look.  Of course,
this was reinforced by Daddy's insistence that Mom not drastically redecorate
for a while (hopefully never).  She agreed, because let's face it, she just
spent lots of money on new furniture once again, so she could not complain
too much.

Now don't get me wrong, I have gone through various design styles in 
my lifetime.  I have been through ultra Scandinavian modern, BoHo 
which evolved a bit into Arabian Nights while living in Bahrain for
three years.  Upon returning from unrest in the Middle East, I was
longing for a cozy and secure decorating style so that led me to
embrace Early American which evolved into a Early American/
Cottage look, finally embracing with Ralph Lauren meets Downton
Abbey and the English Country Home look.  This is also accented
with a bit of French Country in the guest room, full on Cottage
Style in my studio and old 1940's movie look in the master.  I 
will give you some images to show you what I am talking about
here ….

English Country House ~ umbrellas, walking sticks, fox hunt accents,
antique gate leg table, old carpet, etc.

Now in the formal living room, this is where the style becomes
Ralph Lauren meets Downton Abbey.

And that theme continues into the dining room too.

The family room is a lot like the English Country homes I have visited.
Books everywhere, newspapers too.  Most of the furniture is 
slipcovered to keep it dog friendly.  Pictures of horses, and dogs and
lots of golf references.  It's a put your feet up and hang out in front of
the telly kind of room.  It's paneled walls are warm and cozy and 
completely out of style, but we are not changing them because we live
here and we love it!

There are some Mrs Patmore elements in the kitchen :-)  I love her!

The French Country room.

My studio is full on Cottage Style, and ….

I purposely styled the master bedroom to look like an old movie
set from the 1940's because I love watching movies from that
era in here.

Since I don't intend to drastically change any of these rooms in
any way, other than perhaps moving a couple of items around,
I am limited in what I can show you since not much tweaking or
metamorphosis will be happening.  The only things that are on my
decorating schedule are, the completion of the guest room bath,
the installation of my farmhouse sink in the kitchen and some more
changes in the potting shed.  Oh, and the miniature dollhouse nursery
is coming along and I will be featuring that too.

This all revolves back to my blog.  I have to make changes because
I have hit the wall, and just can't keep allowing the themes of 
blog parties to dictate it's direction.  I know I have discussed this
issue before, but now it really is time to make a change.  There are
so many wonderful blogs today whose authors are showing off
all their decorating and creative talents, and I just can't keep up
with them.  Rather than bring you what I consider to be an
inferior product, I am taking a different path for this blog and I
am excited to see where it leads.  Bentley and I will be bringing
you more stories, more fun and more adventure.  I hope y'all
will join us and that you will enjoy the new content.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. I love all your styles but I will love seeing when you and Bentley take us. i totally get what you are saying, I'm way to old to make a lot of changes. I just renovated my kitchen and that is the last of my changes. About the only thing different you'll see here are tables capes. I love it all but but I would need several house to do it all!
    It's refreshing hearing this.

  2. Sorry for all the typos, I have a new phone and I haven't gotten use to it!

    1. I have owned my iPhone6 for a year now and I am still making typos ;-)

  3. It does seem like blogging pressures us to make changes....but I'm like your Mom and move things often. I don't' buy new furniture but do like moving it around. Summer I like a more open spaces feel and winter love a more cluttered cozy feel. But there's so much more to us that decor and moving furniture. So now I try to make my blog about my life with entails so many things I enjoy. I'll be happy to visit no matter what direction you and Bentley go!

  4. Sister,
    I am ready to hop on board, with whatever you and Bentley come up with! I do love seeing your beautiful home, tho. I hope your pretties are thrown in there for good measure!

    1. I'll still be featuring things from my home, I just won't allow myself to be stuck in a schedule. It's time for me to blaze my own trail, but I am not riding off into the sunset :-) Don't y'all just love those cowgirl references???

  5. I agree with you Susan. Number 1, I do not have the money to go out and just buy things to re-decorate. At this stage of my life I just want what I have and love. I do tweak things around, moving items from one room to another. That is why I don't blog everyday. I am lucky if I get one done every 6 weeks LOL. I do love lovely things and try to make the blog interesting.

    I love to see how you change things up and I can tell you love your beautiful home.

    Hugs to sweet little Bentley from Waldo and Lili.

    Have a great weekend. We are finally getting much needed rain.


  6. Hi Susan! Oh, honey, I'm with you no matter what! Blogging has changed a lot, hasn't it? I'm amazed at what some bloggers can do. Buying new furniture with every season, knocking themselves out by creating things. I just go with my whims. I guess I should be a little more organized or have a 'theme' for my blog like some say you should. You just do what you want and poke that little Bentley in your posts from time to time and you'll be fine! Just be our Susan!
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. Hi Susan - I'm glad you came to the conclusion yourself because I was going to say - just write about life!
    I use pictures - and rarely of my home - purely to illustrate my words. I look for blogs that do that. I generally avoid blogs that are all about a table or a place setting, with no observation of life or even a little bit of a story. I click open, and then move on.
    Go with this new direction - I'll bet it'll be good. In any case, I look forward to reading whatever you put out there.

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I know what you mean about opening and clicking off. When I noticed that I was starting to bore myself, I knew it was time for a change. Life is about more that just a project and I hope to get out there and enjoy and hope to bring you all along with me!

  8. I'm ready to join the fun. My little blog just rocks along with whatever comes to mind for me. I can't say that it has a specific direction other than simply sharing what inspires me in my simple life. I'm not a big time blogger with a following, but I certainly appreciate the friends I've made through blogging. They are the ones who continue to visit and comment. It's a great feeling of community and that's enough for me. Look forward to the adventures ahead, Susan.

    1. I agree with you about the sense of community. That is certainly what keeps me going!

  9. There are times that it can be hard to come up with an original post...or not repeat yourself too often. I have come to the conclusion that unless you are blogging for economic reasons it is best to please yourself. After all it is your blog. Right now my posts are heavy on roses and gardening, but that is what is happening in my life this month, next month it will probably be something different. Your posts are always interesting and enjoyable.

    1. I agree, it is hard to come up with an original post ~ especially if one tries to post each day! I love gardening, keep posting about that, it never gets old for me!!

  10. There are times that it can be hard to come up with an original post...or not repeat yourself too often. I have come to the conclusion that unless you are blogging for economic reasons it is best to please yourself. After all it is your blog. Right now my posts are heavy on roses and gardening, but that is what is happening in my life this month, next month it will probably be something different. Your posts are always interesting and enjoyable.

  11. Oh Susan, this really resonates with me.
    I have had my periodic absences from blogging for the very reason you mentioned.
    I blog for the writing and the creating , but I have never been of the opinion that had to be limited to redecorating.
    Just this weekend I have been doing some soul searching because I have been neglecting the kind of posts I used to write to try and write posts that are not always me.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    I hope this all made sense!

    White Spray Paint

    1. Thanks Laura! I think that there is room for everyone. We each have our own voice, our own perspective, and it's what makes life interesting.

  12. Susan,
    It's been quite awhile since I blogged. I miss it but I didn't think I could keep up any longer. The pressure to create for others became too much combined with all my childcare responsibilities. You've got to live for what is important to you and it seems you've found the right balance. Hugs friend Cindy

    1. Everyone needs balance in life. Too much of a good thing is just too much.

  13. I'll let you in on a secret. I think if most bloggers were truly honest, they would write a post similar to this. The reason they all change their homes constantly is for one reason and one reason only. What is it? They have to change their homes constantly to have new content for their blog in order to keep the money rolling in.

    As a reader, there comes a point when the constant redos just looks materialistic. I mean how many sets of dishes does a normal family truly need? A few years ago, someone noticed how bloggers changed their bedding every season and she asked me if "real people" did this because she had never heard of that. I told her no one I know. I have one quilt I use for each room and *gasp* I use it every season for years. I also don't think "real people" who aren't bloggers are busy making things out of reclaimed wood or painting every single thing in their home with Annie Sloan chalk paint or worse yet that horrid milk paint Miss Mustard Seed sells. I have watched bloggers for years promote garbage like this because they "have to" and feel sorry for them that they ruin perfectly good furniture with that stuff.

    I also just feel sorry for those types of bloggers. Sorry for them that when the blog thing fades away (and I think for many it is dying) they are going to look at the nonsense they did to their homes and ask themselves what the heck have they done only there won't be any blog money coming in to fix it this time. More importantly I feel for the ones who have thrown every waking moment into making their blog a success and have pushed their families and their personal life aside. I just read a blog a few days ago from someone who announced she wasn't posting much because her child has ADD and she realized she wasted precious year of time when she should have been helping her child's development at a crucial point, but instead she was selfish and wasted almost every waking moment on her blog. She said she would never forgive herself for that. It's just a shame many feel a blog is this important and it's at that point blogging becomes an idol, which is wrong in so many ways. When I see that, it is a huge turn off.

    I know you have said you are moving your blog in another direction, but I just wanted to say I've always loved seeing pictures of your house. It is very pretty in a traditional normal way without you having to follow every silly trend just for the sake of having a blog post. Thanks for sharing that with us over the years.

    Thanks too for seeing you need to step in a different direction instead of doing like so many others and relying on rehashing the same thing 10 times just to have a new post each day. I look forward to seeing what new ideas you'll have for us!

    1. Thanks for chiming in on the discussion. I hope that I can bring sunshine, fun and new things to think about to the scene. Let's just see where it takes us and have fun on the journey!

  14. Of course we will be with you, Susan (and Bentley!)

    Your regular readers go where you go.

    I find it sad that people feet the need to blog so often that it seems insincere....and I will never understand those who redo their house majorally every few months. BUT then I am not a blogger who is in it for business. I just like to now and then share things I love with others. No pressure. Do it when life allows, seldom wows, but my loyal readers make my world a more wonderful place and I love them.

    I always like it when you stop by, too.

    To thine own self be true. 500 years later and it still rings true. ♥

    1. Well Michele, I look at it this way, there are only so many ways to slice a pie. Pretty soon, the slices become less valued. I did not want to end up being just one more face in the crowd. Thank you for your continued support. I value our friendship!!

  15. I hardly ever change anything around ... only when a piece has been completely destroyed by a cat ... or is so old it is uncomfortable, which is why I almost never post on "decorating". When my hubby died, I did a whole series on grief (which still seems to be read). My cats are featured every now and then, along with TEA. Otherwise, a lot of This and That! I agree with previous comments -- to yourself be true.

    1. Sharon, you are one of the most fascinating women I know! Your compassion for animals and your great sense of humor are treasures for me. You are a reader and appreciate fine art. You have more important things going on in your life than redecorating.

  16. As a new blogger, I still have a lot to say....just not enough time in my life to write it! However, I usually don't really know what I'm going to write about from day to day, it just depends on what is happening in my little world. I might be freshening up the bedroom, yes, but it will be seasonally, not daily! Tablescapes are only shown when I am setting for a dinner party....which may be monthly, or may be every 6 months....depends. I have one set of dishes and I use them every single time. Yup, boring! Sometimes I'll post a recipe....because I love to cook. Sometimes it will just be pictures of what the weather is doing....or my pups. Hopefully it won't be stale....and I'm proud of you for recognizing you're reached your limits and moving in a new direction. I agree....your readers don't need to see a new design every week....they just want little snippets of your life! Good luck with your new venture, no doubt it will be wonderful!

    1. When I first started blogging I was very enthusiastic about everything. I still am, but I want to stretch myself a bit more and I have always put my blinders on and followed my own path. It's just who I am.

  17. Bahrain! What was that like? What in the world were you doing there? I would love to hear more. heart just breaks for your Mom in that story. How overwhelming that must have felt!

    1. I was young and adventurous and lived in Bahrain for three years. I taught at two different schools, the Irish School and the Sacred Heart School, teaching first primary in both places. The Irish School was only students from Ireland. Their parents were there working on contract to construct a new power station. The school was over a pub, and when the school day ended, the pub opened. I worked there with my good friend Carmel McGullicudy. She was an excellent teacher and a hoot too! At Sacred Heart, I was the only American teacher and since I was very tan with long blonde hair, my students all thought I was from California and bionic ;-) It was great fun! I never trained to be a school teacher, rather studied Art History in college. Three of the best years of my life to be sure!!

  18. The creative process leads you down your path, not everyone else's so travel along and I'll travel with you. No worries!! PS and Bentley, too, of course! PSS The previous comment about Miss Mustard Seed's paint made me laugh. I do understand what she is saying, but I just love her paint, her style. I've been involved in shabby chic for years now and just love it. To each his or her own.

    1. I think Miss Mustard Seed is very talented and has brought us great ideas and tutorials. Thanks for continuing to follow me!

  19. Actually your blog is probably my favorite that I subscribe to. If I tell the truth I scroll through most of the tablescapes and there are many being posted. I am looking forward to whatever you grace us with. Take care. To post this it ask for my profile which I don't have one that was listed. My name is Carol from NC so you will know who I am. I'm formally from Katy TX.

    1. Hi Carol! North Carolina is a beautiful state. My husband's aunt, uncle and cousins live in Charlotte and Asheville. But you know Carol, you are still a Texan! Thank you for your kind words!!

  20. I love your blog, and whatever you do, or don't do, is going to be awesome. There are a lot of great decorating blogs out there, but at my age I have no intention of doing anything new, because I've pretty much been there, did that, and am happy at this time of my life with what I have. But again, your home is my favorite to look at, especially your family room. Love the look of English country, my favorite, and how I decorate. Looking forward to seeing you and Bentley, and your new kitchen sink, the potting shed, and your doll house...Bonnie in WI, where it still is winter. (ackk)

    1. Thank you for being so supportive Bonnie! I love Wisconsin by the way, and spent many summers up there as a child. It's where I first learned to ride a horse and have so many happy memories of your state!

  21. Hi Susan,
    I am a new follower of your blog and love to read your posts. You mention your studio in your posts...What do you do in your studio? I have been blogging for six years and I love to share my home and garden. When I first started blogging I wanted to earn money, but I just don't have what it takes to attract enough followers. I am okay with that now. I just blog what I love. Keep those stories coming.
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

    1. In my studio ~ I sew, quilt, craft and paint. I'm always creating or making something and have always been that way. I'm just thrilled to have my own space where I can play. Oh, and I blog from my studio too. Thank you so much for being a new follower! I hope that I can post articles that will keep you amused and will brighten your days.

  22. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for your reply...I love my space I use to play in too. Hope you are having a great week. I am.

  23. Love it. Great post. I look forward to your new look. I'm making some changes on my blog too.
    Come over and see me.

  24. Ok! Here is the best advice! Decorate with the things YOU LOVE ! Don't worry about anyone else! It's YoUR HOME ! Surround yourself with what you love!

  25. I certainly get what you are saying, Susan. I never had jobs that I liked and after reading blogs for a few years I decided to give it a try. I was absolutely euphoric at first. It is liberating to finally find something that gives you an creative outlet. That said I don't redo much of anything. There is rearranging constantly in the living room but I have always done that. Tablescapes held little interest initially for me but now I do find them a welcome challenge. Our large yard gives me lots of flowers in the Spring and Summer. I know I will not be selling books but it does scratch that itch, even if it does absolutely exhaust me!

  26. I love your decorating style -- it's your own and you decorate with style. One of the things I love about reading your updates is that they are personal and showcase style, feelings and love! I tired of following the blogs where the decor changes every 10 days and everything is so tidy and new. I don't read those any more. I'll follow you and Bentley wherever you go. Regards, Judy (aka Truvy)

  27. I admire you! It's sometimes difficult to find that bit of inspiration. But why in the world would you want to keep buying new or changing the decor in your home? I got over that long ago.....perhaps people that do this just cannot find contentment. Your home is absolutely charming Susan. I love visiting you and Bentley! Change is good and perhaps it's what you need....whatever it becomes...I am a follower and fan!

  28. Just love your honesty about the blogging competition that seems to be going on. I have followed several blogs where these women NEVER stop fluffing, moving, re=painting, tweaking, chipping, and moving again. Cannot stand to read them anymore. DO THEY NOT HAVE A SINGLE OTHER ACTIVITY TO DO IN THEIR WORLD. Enjoy your straight approach and just keep writing the way you do. Enjoy your blog very much.

  29. Hi Susan,
    I've enjoyed reading your blog for a few years now. I understand why you are going in the direction that you are moving into. There was a woman who I enjoyed reading her blog and she decided that she was going to stop and just live her life. Her husband had retired and she wanted to enjoy being together, traveling and living life.

    I personally haven't blogged in over a year because of health and family issues. I'm just happy if I can get my house cleaned much less tear it apart with a project.

    It seems that the blogging has change so much in recent years and it's like who can outdo another. Most people because of financial pressures are unable to purchase new furniture paint etc. every six months. Whatever I do I'm looking in thrift stores etc. to make changes.

    Well I'll check on you when you post. No pressure here!🤗


  30. Excited to see what's in store for us.... Love reading your blog... I especially love the studio ... and that bedroom !!! the one that takes us back to the "Forties" so to speak!!! Old movies and I are best friends !!!!! :) Thank you for sharing!!!!


Oliver and I LOVE and read every comment.


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