Paparazzi Party - It's A Wrap

It's A Wrap!

I have gotten all my books back on the shelves,

consumable "props" eaten,

and the flowers have faded...

Although the weather could not have been crummier ~ with rain, wind, drizzle, fog, and cold breezes ~ inside my home was hot with bright lights and lots of colour! Miss Fifi and "Dan the Photo Man" (I just gave him that name ~ I hope he does not mind) had their way with me, um, excuse me ~ this house.

It was an exhausting and exhilarating ten and a half hour day full of beautiful photographs, fun conversations, laughs, and lovely styling by those talented two mentioned above.

I was sworn to secrecy so I cannot show you any photographs, other than snippets and some details, but when it's all published in Cottage Style Magazine I will let you know!

Thank you to all of you who sent me the kindest words regarding this paparazzi party. I appreciate all of you.

Ciao amici,

My Cottage Style

Scrubbing and painting; dusting and polishing...

~ old family silver baby cups ~

~ candle holders and some Georgia grown cotton in an hand wrought aluminum ice bucket ~

Sewing and ironing; making slipcovers, chair covers, pillows, and cafe curtains...

~ old Italian side chair, before ~

~ and after, now so French! ~

Starching and pressing pretty linens...

~ comfy chair with feather filled pillows ~

~ window sheers made from vintage seer sucker cotton bed coverlets ~

~ some old linens, and some new ~

...Replacing faded photographs; replanting frozen lavender and thyme on the terrace and front porch ~ for the second time. Moving furniture, purchasing some new necessary pieces, refinishing some old...and most of all getting this place picture perfect for Miss Fifi who arrives in less than 24 hours to shoot me...oops, the house, then maybe me who knows!?

~ but I do have some treats for her and the crew ~

It is very fulfilling after working six years on this old pile of bricks as my husband refers to it ~ the former home of his Grandparents ~ to be acknowledged in print and photo for an upcoming issue of "Cottage Style" magazine.

We have done almost all of the restoration ourselves with the exception of our kitchen and my bathroom, both of which we had to completely demolish. We've stripped layers of faded "shabby" formal wall paper off of walls and ceilings; sanded and repainted woodwork; polished marble fireplaces which were covered in soot ~ we even found a newspaper wadded up with the date of 1949.

...and also a bird's nest in our living room chimney; pulled up wall to wall carpeting that had actual horsehair padding and waxed the beautifully preserved hardwood floors underneath...and that is just a snippet of the interior project. The gardens are an entirely different story!

This is a very traditionally styled home, architecturally ~ old beautiful over sized brick, with large rooms, lots of windows, and many formal details.

~ our "pile of bricks" circa 1950 ~

It is not my favorite style ~ I would one day love to have a small Mediterranean style cottage or a beach shack with a wrap around porch and aqua blue ceilings ~ but I we have transformed this house into a comfortable "Cottage Style" home and we love it now.
It is a happy place.

~ some favorite mugs and a little hand painted ceramic house ~

The interior is definitely is not the traditional Southern style home, with dark tones, mahogany furniture, formal upholstery and draperies. You'll see. I'll let you all know when the publication comes out ~ should be this summer ~ and I will share it all with you!

It is with pride and excitement that I anticipate this visit. I hope I do not disappoint.

Thank you are most welcome into our home.

Ciao amici,


Backyard Archeology

Medicine & Toiletry Bottles ~ Winter White Narcissus ~ An Abandoned Bird's Nest

~ ~ ~

Treasures found in our backyard ~ old medicine and toiletry bottles and narcissus popping up in unexpected places ~ all after having our backyard bulldozed and cleared, the old 1920’s concrete swimming pool filled in, and a few fallen trees removed.

The winter rains exposed the bottles in addition to so many other treasures and fertilized the miniature bulbs, which continue to grow after being planted over fifty years ago.

This piece of hardware, an old ceramic door knob, we cleaned off and will use as a paperweight! How about that Miss you approve? (Grace is the fabulous and creative stylist who shows all of us how to make our houses into Poetic Homes ~ you can find her on the sidebar in my "blog beauties" too.)

And an abandoned bird’s next from last Spring…

...with which I have nestled robin’s egg blue hand soaps and will find a place for in our powder room.

Ciao amici,


Love Letters

In exactly one month we celebrate the day of LOVE.

Bouquet of Jonquils, Paris ~ Robert Doisneau, 1950

The Kiss ~ V-J Day Times Square, New York City ~ Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1945

Le Baiser de l"Hotel de Ville, Paris ~ Robert Doisneau, 1950

I now have these sweet Valentine's tags available in my Etsy shop. They are from my "All Gouached Up!" collection of pen and ink, gouache, and watercolour illustrations and paintings. I have printed them in my studio on Bristol board and hand cut them with a scalloped edge, added a bit of lace and organza ribbon and initialed each in ink.

These are terrific for any gift adornment, charming place cards for your Saint Valentine’s Day table, or pretty cards to attach to a bouquet of posies. Also great for bookmarks all year long.

And...just to show you how much I LOVE you, when you order ~ free shipping. Just mention in the "notes to the seller" section that you saw this post on my blog and I will apply the credit to your Pay Pal account.

First Kiss

Tanti baci,

Love and Embraces

A hug, a kiss, a caress, a touch, an adoring look ~ all of these are embraces. Life is full of these tender moments...with your children, family, spouse, friends, pets, and even sometimes strangers.

I was told once, while I was living in Italy far away from my home and family, that in order to be happy you must have at least eight hugs a day. I think a wise and old Italian told me this. I believe it, strive for it, and find that when I do get my daily allowance of hugs, I am indeed happier. It may not really be true, but it's a nice thing to try, and it definitely feels good.

And a little music to smooch to...

Cherub with Flute

Cherub with Harmonica

With the symbolism of Valentine's Day being above all, love, I have added these cherubs and angels to my collection of photography in my Etsy Shop. They have already been flying into some very pretty treasuries thanks to some talented curators from the Fabulous Artistic Moms of Etsy and the Cottage Style Street Team. Check out the work from those creative Etsians when you have some time ~ it's lovely.

A big hug.

~ ~ ~

Ciao amici,


Winter Wardrobe Blues, No More!

Are you ready to brighten up your little one's winter wardrobe? I am, so I started sewing.

I have new products in my Etsy shop...and these are especially for our little ones. These are just the accessories (and inexpensive ones, too) to spruce up a wintery wardrobe and add some "Spring" to it...for boys and girls, and groovy for young teens and petit juniors.

Award your style with this ribbon ~ a simple, fun, sweet, pretty reversible grosgrain ribbon belt with silver- or gold-tone double D-ring buckle ~ a classic preppy, yet hip and trendy way to dress up any outfit.

This hand made and machine stitched grosgrain ribbon belt is made with two coordinating pieces of ribbon and is lined with interfacing for additional durability and crispness. The grosgrain ribbon is 100% polyester, therefore no shrinkage. The belt is one and a half inches wide, approximately 33 to 34 inches long, and loops through a silver- or gold-tone double D-ring metal buckle which allows for adjusting the belt to almost any size.

I have wrapped the belt around a 100% cotton rag acid free mat board “post card” on which I have mounted a print of one of my original illustrations from my All Gouached Up!™ collection.

This card is not only for presentation, but also makes a terrific gift set and you can even write a message on the back of the card to personalize it ~ or you may use the card for another purpose altogether and even frame it.

These are great for young boys and girls, as well as juniors and petit adults. One size fits most. Enjoy!

This is just the first batch ~ I've got a basket full of more spools of fun ribbons and am ready to make more of these cute belts, so if anyone would like to order a special size, just write to me and I will be happy to sew one up for you!

Ciao amici,