05 February 2016

Love. Passion. Flowers.

February.
The month of LOVE.


Expressed by many with a gift of flowers.

Ruffled romance.



Peonies and peach blossoms.




Eden roses and tea roses.




Hibiscus blooms as light as tissue paper.

{Licensed by Flickr Marketplace for Getty Images.}


Blush pink bouquets.



Camellias and Yoshino cherry blossoms from my garden.



As has been said many times before, take a little time and stop to smell the flowers, each and every day.

What is your favorite passion flower?

Ciao amici,
Suzanne


~ ~ ~

These photographs are available as fine art prints, canvases, and framed prints in my Society6 shop.  They are also available on licensed products in my Zazzle store, and originals are in my Etsy boutique.  Links and buttons are on the right hand side bar.

As always, I welcome custom requests.

27 January 2016

Snow Bunnies

The stage was set.


A petite vintage wrought iron chair, satin snow balls, a back drop of lighted glass blossoms on silver vines atop an antique farmhouse table.


And bunny sisters.

It was the most delightful photo shoot with the most beautiful furry four-legged super models ever.  Within fifteen minutes I shot over 150 photographs, which I have edited to less than half, and am sharing with you a few of my favorite images.


Although, this is not the entire purpose of my story today.
We have some news we must share.

Several months ago, during a Spellbound Witchy Tea Party in the month of Halloween you may remember that I briefly introduced you to these two new precious buns, a white Hotot Netherland Dwarf Cleopatra...



...and her sister, a blue-eyed white Netherland Dwarf, who at the time we named Amalfi or Fifi because of her mesmerizing Mediterranean blue eyes {which also just happens to be one of Pantone's "Color of the Year 2016" called Serenity.  Little did we know.}



{Don't be jealous, Gucci. We miss you still, always will, and you have not been forgotten.  You would love these little girls.}

Gucci, 2009 - 2015

So this is the deal...Cleopatra is definitely living up to her glamorous and classical name.  She is a princess.  Her black eyeliner is flawlessly applied, every day.  Never a black eyelash out of place.  Her pink nose the perfect shade of blush.  Cleo, as tiny as she is at one and a half pounds, is the girl in charge.



However, Amalfi {Fifi} does not seem to really like her name, nor does Guss, or us, for that matter.  She certainly does not speak Italian {as Cleo does - she is fluent in the language of lovers}...but her sister is a quintessential Southern girl.

Bless her heart, although she is about one pound curvier than her sis Cleo, she is definitely the more timid of the two and is shy about letting us know that she is not pleased with her name.

When we call her Fifi, she twitches her little pink nose at us and does a seriously sassy bunny dance.



You can see in these photographs from our Winter Wonderland Photo Shoot {this will be the first of many, I am sure}, that the name we originally gave her is just not a proper fit for this delicate doe.



A little ball of fluff.



Pure as snow.
Snow White.



Sweet as a Southern Belle. 
Soft as cotton.

Such a cotton puff that we have re-named her "Cotton."
Now she and Cleo are doing a seriously happy bunny dance.


Cleo and Cotton.

Sisters.
Never spent a day apart from one another.


{Please Momma, no more photographs!}

Precious buns.

As always, thank you for your visit.

Ciao amici,
Suzanne

31 December 2015

Reflections...on Christmas

On the sixth day of Christmas...


...perfectly pink camellias bloomed in our living room, while a petite pink Christmas tree sparkled in the background.


I have always wanted to have a tiny tree to place upon a table, as I would a bouquet of flowers at Christmastime.  Our yard which was blooming with an abundance of pink camellias was a magical pink woodland garden.  


Mother Nature's creation needed to be reinvented inside our home.


I found this little fir and went to work.


First the snow had to fall...and dust this evergreen with a hint of frost.


Then my collection of pink ornaments - vintage and new - hand blown glass orbs, blush pink vintage German glass ornaments, felted roses, sparkly snowflakes, shiny fuchsia glass balls, tiny beaded chandeliers...



...and twinkle lights were perfectly placed on the branches.


A coral pink flouncy soft organza bow and a bouquet of roses crowned the tree.


It was like looking through window panes to the garden outside, seeing the different reflections of the pink sparkle in the mirrors on the marble mantle.

   
I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas...


...and that you might consider taking the advice above for the New Year, "You only live once, you might as well be amusing"  by Coco herself.

I'll see you in the New Year friends.

Ciao amici,
Suzanne

24 December 2015

Dressed for Christmas...the Night Before

Last month I was invited to participate in a designer show case for the Christmas season at the Palace of the South - the Hay House in Macon, Georgia.  Each of the designers was given two lines from the poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, as a starting point and inspiration for the design of our rooms.  

One of the rooms I chose was the Nanny's Room, which at one time was also a sewing room and a nursery.  Below is my inspiration, story, and design...

 “He spoke not a word, but when straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk…”

A handmade Christmas for the children is the inspiration behind the design of the Nanny’s room.  It is her gift to the children she cares for and loves to create her very own Christmas for them ~ her room, like Santa’s workshop, becomes a happy place in which they can visit, wrap gifts for their parents, and play before all the festivities with the adults begin.


Paper bunting banners with images of Santa Claus and icons of Christmas hang from wall to wall and create a canopy of wonderment for the children.



With items that she has collected, she sews muslin Christmas stockings for each child.  Using old pillow cases, cheese cloth, sheet music, and discarded champagne cages, she creates a pair ethereal angel dolls which lay upon vintage linens on her sleigh bed.  



Some of the other gifts she will present to her children are stuffed animals, books, and sugared fruit.



Old terracotta flower pots no longer used in the garden filled with roses, pine cones, and candles sit atop the mantle to hold the Christmas stockings.  Rustic wrought iron candelabras illuminate the room in candle light and twinkle lights sparkle around the windows.  


Tiny toys are abundant.




Throughout the month, she will celebrate each day with the children and has tiny gifts hidden in envelopes, which the children may open on each day of the month until Christmas.



Decorations are simple and symbolic of the season representing those used during Victorian times and around the time of the Civil War.  Pomegranates, apples, bundles of cinnamon sticks, vintage doll ornaments, gifts wrapped in natural Kraft paper and delicate paper doilies, tied with baker’s twine, are some of the traditional decorations you will see throughout this room. 




{Photo courtesy of the Telegraph, Macon, GA}

~ ~ ~

I also had to opportunity to design a second room, the adjacent Children's Bathroom.  This story is below...

“To the top of the porch!  To the top of the wall! 
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

 The view through the window in the bathroom down to the ball room festivities below revealed that it was time to get Dressed for Christmas.  Using some of the stunning glass ornaments from the Hay House collection as my starting point for the colors of this room, I dressed this bathroom in a palette of turquoise, red, gold, pearls, and mink.


Showers of crystals, painted glass ornaments, and a vintage inspired candle chandelier sparkle as they hang beside a sumptuous crimson velvet curtain tied with a gold rope.  Standing by is a lovely lady dress form adorned in a winter white mink stole, pearls, a ruby rose, and an evergreen skirt embellished with twinkle lights and baubles in turquoise and red.


 High above on top of the cabinets in the corner is the gentleman’s black woolen and velvet top hat, courtesy of the Hay House, tied with an aqua sash and festooned with some sparkle.  The perfect accessory for the evening’s soiree.



Garlands of boxwood, gilded pine cones, ruby roses, and gilt branches frame the windows while a golden grapevine wreath hangs on the top of the wall and the soft glow of candle light illuminates the room.


{Photo courtesy of the Telegraph, Macon, GA}

This was a wonderful experience and was so much fun, working in this historical mansion and being able to use some of their vintage decor and ornaments.  I will share some photos of our "Dressed for Christmas" home next time I pop in, and certainly before the New Year.

My wish for you is that you all may have a blessed Christmas.  Be safe, love the ones you are with and those who are not with you.  Be kind, patient, and remember what Christmas is really all about.

Buon Natale Amici!
Merry Christmas Friends!

Ciao,
Suzanne
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