A Comfy Spot & Perfect Gardenias

I wish I was sitting right here this moment...

and not concerning myself with all the stuff I have to do around my house, 

or the deadlines I must meet today, and the plants I have to water in the garden before they wilt.

In the meantime...

I can take a brief mental break, inhale, smell these perfect gardenias...


 and almost feel like a queen!

Happy hump day!

Ciao amici,

Take a moment to visit all the wonderful blogs participating in White Wednesday today.  Just click on the link and take the tour.

Wednesday's Child and A Blog Birthday

Today is a special day around here...every year late in the hot summer, we start celebrating  our son's birthday.  For months he's been telling everyone that he is "five and three quarters" and then about a month or so ago, he just said, "I'm six!"  {I don't know about you, but when my birthday comes around, I wait until the hour I was born before I acknowledge my age.}

It's another birthday today also ~ my blog is two!  I remember when I began this adventure I wondered if anyone would be interested in what I had to show and tell


Through this I have actually made some terrific connections and a some new friends too.  Having these "connections" is one thing that keeps me motivated to continue this party.  {I know that there are a lot of you who stop by and do not leave a message.  I wish you would leave a comment now and then and say hello.  I'd love to get to know you.} 

Someone recently asked me, "who was my muse?"  I love this question and think about it often.  I'm not sure if I can answer it with one single person or thing...perhaps my vivacious, precocious, curious, emotional, lovable, energetic, sparkling little boy is my muse.  Or perhaps it's just life, itself and all that it tosses my way.

The "Italian Girl in Georgia"  keeps me creative. When I began this it was while I had been taking a break from my interior design work to spend a little more time at home with the birthday boy.  It has become my never ending project ~ my canvas.

It has also opened up so many opportunities for me.  Two years ago, I must admit that I was completely unaware of the collection of Somerset magazines out there.  {Sorry, guys ~ I was clueless!}  Now, I am lucky enough to be published in their glorious journals regularly.

The photos below were chosen to be included in the Miscellany section of the Somerset Life 2010 summer issue.  {Thank you Christen Olivarez.}  

I actually rode my pink cruiser by this "Precious Pink Cottage" earlier this year.  It's still adorable...or should I say, precious!

This beautiful 2010 annual edition of Somerset Home...


features three articles I wrote about my "Home Goods" collections and some of my vintage painted furniture, as well as a gallery spot.

Laundry never looked so good!  I fill my boutique laundry and lingerie tote with goodies for friends who visit.  This "frivolous necessity" is available in my Etsy shop.

These comfy cotton and canvas millinery boudoir pillows are available in my Etsy shop too.  

{All of my "Home Goods" collections are also available directly through me at My Front Porch.  I'll be posting details about them soon.}

 You may remember this vintage sheet music stand from the Oh La La Contest Fifi had last autumn.


The collection of my natural canvas table linens with my signature cotton and canvas millinery and mother of pearl buttons, artfully photographed here are available in my shop.  The cotton flowers are going to be featured at the Editorial Breakfast during The Creative Connection event in September.  Every guest gets to take one home!

When the lovely Beth Livesay told me that she wanted to feature my work and have me write the articles I was thrilled

It was a complete joy to work with her throughout the entire process.  I look forward to doing it again.  Thank you Beth and cheers to you!

 These opportunities would have never been available to me, had I not started writing to you out there.  A few years ago, I thought blogs were about political junkies who loved to hear themselves talk and read what they wrote.  I did not know all this good artsy stuff was going on!   

I am so thankful, a bit overwhelmed by the recognition, and extremely happy for all of it.  I wonder what my third blog year will bring...

For now however, I have more important things to do today and another party to plan.

Happy Birthday to my favorite little person ~ the best gift God could ever bless me with.  I love you with all my heart.

Thank you friends for stopping by, as always.

Ciao amici,

Cottage Garden Inspiration

It's been so blazin' hot this summer in the South that it seems all we have been doing in the garden is trying to keep it hydrated and ourselves too, for that matter. 

My husband fertilized our lawn earlier this summer and I truly believe that the fertilizer must have had some sort of growth hormone in it ~ the grass grows as if it were on steroids and needs to be cut every four days!  What is that all about?

After each thunderous summer storm, limbs are scattered throughout our back yard in between and tangled in more than two hundred camellia trees.  My son and I have made the task of clean up "fun" and after every large can is full of limbs and we dump it, we get a Popsicle {you know, the ones that are in the little bags that you push up}.  Last weekend we had about eight of them and that was before noon!

So all the while I clean up the yard and struggle to keep my pretty plants alive in this heat.  My poor parched sweet peas and bachelor buttons did not make it...I'll try again in the fall. And while I do the other necessary mundane garden tasks, I have this little dream of a charming cottage garden with white picket fences, wrought iron gates, statuary, arbors, stone pathways, a knot garden, lush spots of colour...

Something like this...

Curved brick walkways and arbors with trailing roses...

and bunnies greeting you as you enter the garden gates.


These pink mopheads are a perfect backdrop for my pink cruiser, don't you think?

A bunny party!  How adorable is this garden fountain?!

Rustic signs...

and happy flowers for cutting...

more bunnies nestled among the creeping fig vines...

and dancing on a white picket fence,

while these dancing ladies dangle from a canopy of fuchsias above.

A folk art weather vane points the way...

...to the rose garden.

Perfectly pink roses,

...sunshine yellow English roses,

...and cool as orange sherbet roses.

This bunny loves the fragrance!

Meanwhile, this little guy is hopping through fields of snow white hydrangeas,

and this little bird watches carefully and enjoys her view...

of icy lavender blooms,

frothy pink bouquets,

and rich periwinkle lace caps.

One little path bordered by upside down old terra cotta flower pots leads to another charming country garden.

Begonias, bacopa, and lobelia overflow from hanging baskets that mark the entrance of this quiet spot.

Daisies, dahlias, and delphiniums envelope you as you enter this stone paved courtyard garden...

...where small stone walls hold in the overflowing lobelia and other bountiful flora.

Petunias in purple and white create a bold spot of colour.

Daisies sway gently in the breeze, while...

...yummy yellow dahlias dance in the sunlight.

This bunny is happy to be here...

...and hopes that you are too! 

This bloom is for you!  

~ ~ ~

Thanks for your visit to "my" cottage garden ~ my garden inspiration.  

For more cottage inspiration, visit The House in the Roses and take the tour of all the blogs participating in Cottage Monday this week.

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Some of the images in this post are from Pickets in Seagrove, Florida; Highlands Country Club in Highlands, North Carolina; and Point Defiance Botanical Gardens in Tacoma, Washington.  Others are from my own garden.