Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday post

Another Saturday has rolled around and it's finally a sunny and almost hot weekend.
I have been silent a whole week, but if you see what I have done over these five days, you will understand why.
After all that rain we had been flooded again and with my in-laws arriving today there was no time to spare to get the place in livable shape again.
After the installation of a new sump pump I painted the place, put in new linoleum flooring - my husband and I did it ourselves....we made it nice and welcoming, so the basement sleeping quarters are not dingy at all!
Have a look!


After days of painting, scrubbing and fixing:

Even the hideous dark closet looks good enough to hang some clothes.  

The small orange paint strip near the entrance is a little reminder of what it looked like before and the kids requested this, since we have measured them there against the wall....
I know, looking closely it is still not much to look at, but for now it will do nicely! I am certainly happy with the results. 
Boys, if you read this, you will appreciate it too! The old boiler room has a fresh floor from remnants and looks so much better!

And this reminds me how time flies. The babies we once had under our feet are now at least as toll as I am and look fondly down into the old basement, witness to many a sleepover, family visits and countless play hours and now teen parties. 
We have rooted out all junk, which had piled up, but there are things, which I will keep: many books, some toys, wooden train sets, dolls and bears, games and an old TV set, still doing its duty and even an ancient video player for some of the historic videos....
It has been the labour of love and now I can welcome guests with peace of mind!

It's still a bit of a fish shack, but a bit more loved one!

A happy weekend to you all! Enjoy it! I can't wait to visit all your blogs again! Miss you!


All pictures by V.Zlotkowski

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's the small things

I've promised to post on details this year. It has fallen a bit wayside since we had some large things to take care of... but it always has a special place in my heart. 
This  Sunday is gray and cool and sprinkled with rain, it's the perfect time to muddle around the house and play with details...

I like to create small vignettes, they never last long but give me us pleasure for sometimes a day or two, sometimes for a few weeks. 
The rhododendron is starting to bloom, a time of year which I adore around the house and garden and today I snipped off a small branch and transferred it into a bud vase, filled with florist's foam and a little fresh moss from the garden. 

I soaked the foam for about 10 minutes and it holds enough water to sustain the branch for a day, then I fill in a little more water. I use the foam, because the single branch sits secure without tipping over or out!

On my window ledge I filled an up-cycled milk bottle (spray painted white last year) with all, what my garden has to offer right now: azaleas, honey suckle and lilac. One of the bows from my daughter's gifts for her birthday ended up around it and it resides in a small copper tray, which also holds some stone - a drill core from the works on our walk way a few weeks ago - perfectly round and smooth, two stone hearts given to me by my sisters and a broken cordial glass up side down, covering two turtle doves, old x-mas ornaments from a flea market....

There is also a lock, which I found in the woods and a small votive candle, we have had since I moved first to Manhattan 17 years ago!

All these pieces hold memories, it is that what makes vignettes meaningful. I can only encourage you to do this, your  history comes to live and I for once feel the love of my family and vice versa!
It's a great conversation starter as well...
Near my desk I have a shelf since a few weeks back, which holds my art/design books and my small, but treasured collection of Bjoern Wiinblad ceramics. They sit in perfect harmony with one of my paintings and every time I see it it gives me enormous pleasure. I love the colors and the shapes.

Not far away rests a mask, my youngest son made in fourth grade, I love these colors too! 

In the book shelves in the family room is always space for a small grouping of things from my collections: Small vintage vases and books.

 A tiny angel resting next to gold leaved antique books I found in Brooklyn last year...

And the wicker cloche, laced with tulle used outdoors to protect edible goods from insects rests atop our floor lamp....The rain would ruin it and people who know my house understand that there is little space elsewhere....

It's adorned with a small glass ornament, which I bought from a woman in Jamaica, VT.
She has the most amazing glass blowing shop there. 
Hot Glass Works! Stop by when you happen to find yourself nearby! It's close to Stratton,VT! A great ski resort!

I am sure when you look around your home, you will find many things worthy a little display spot for a while or your latest treasured finds from the garden, a walk in the woods, the flea market last Sunday or a gift to pretty to be stashed away!
There are so many possibilities: glass, drift wood, small collections of every possible things, costume jewelry, silver ware, miniature paintings, pictures or frames...
Fill in the blanks!
This is the sunshine from the inside out! It's all in the details....

Happy Sunday and a sunny week ahead!


All pictures by V.Zlotkowski.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garden spots

Nothing is better then a romantic garden spot.


I love them, they invite intimacy and quiet time. Reading, dreaming, relaxing or one to one conversation.
A bench, two chairs...a small table! Maybe a glass of wine.


This one above can actually be rented here! It's a wonderful getaway place in Bucks County! Amazing what one can find online these days! It still astounds me!
And so can the following. A lovely B & B In Venice, Italy. Click on the image link!


But I digress.... thinking of summer spots in the garden does this to me!
I have been looking for my own cozy garden spot, after all what is a garden, when there is no place to lounge? We have a table and chairs, but they provide only so much long time comfort...legs up is good, right?

My previous post talks about garden chaises....go, have a look!  
But small garden spots can be created almost anywhere.
Potted plants and a chair and footrest provide a tiny corner on a balcony or small deck if a garden space is not available. 


 This has been my garden spot today:

The old rocking chair, which we found at the curb not far from our house....I spruced it up with pillows
(last year) from Anthropologie, my go-to place for whimsical goods!
But of course it's an indoor piece and requires moving it around to protect it from the weather! Not a permanent solution...
The bench is better, but a little hard on the back when sitting longer...

We like that one....

From Martha Stewart's Charlottetown collection. It's a budget friendly and light weight solution for a comfy garden spot!
I can see two of them together in a quiet corner below the deck, out of sight and away from the trampoline, which attracts the set which never sits still.
I might add this...

And that...

But to make it the sweet corner I am dreaming of I need to add this...

Source unknown

And that!

And especially that!

I know, I am a hopeless romantic and I love every minute of it! 

Have a nice weekend, my friends!


All images as indicated and my own!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger mess - up...

My post from yesterday is still lost, removed by Blogger among thousands of others apparently! They were supposed to bring them back, but so far nothing!
I am glad I can post again, but I am still weary...
Thank you for your support, friends out there!



Thursday, May 12, 2011

Garden chaise lounges

I have been looking for a garden chaise lounge to read or relax comfortably. There are many choices, but with classic teakwood garden furniture on our deck, I feel a wooden one will fit in nicely. But I am open for wicker too.
The classic Oxford Chaise Lounge (ca. $ 460)


This one below is the Dorado Steamer Deck Lounge Chair, which for me as the name suggests conjures up images of ladies in such on ocean liners...not a bad association!
(Ca. $ 150)



This is the the Strathwood Hardwood Chaise Lounge, similar to the first one but with a considerably lower price tag! (Ca. $ 120)

I also like this model for it's ability to raise the leg portion.This is good for reading... 


Important to me that it has wheels to move it around easily. And the build in tray is great for drinks or a snack! 
This one below is the Charlottetown Chaise Lounge made by Martha Stewart from plastic wicker, it's good looking and a contender as well.
With a competitive price tag. ($ 199) It has no wheels, but looks light enough to be carried around...


So many good options out there!  Now all what's left is to pick the right one!  Now make that two, so you can join me in the garden....

What do you think?


All images as indicated.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Message from my garden

I am sitting in a cove of sorts, behind me the wall of the house and in a semi- circle around me dark red walls of blooming lilacs and azaleas. 

It's a magical spot, fill with sweet scents and bird song. The large bumble bees move drunken from flower to flower and all I can do is sit and listen, look and take deep breaths... 

These moments are incredibly peaceful and I always try to take them in full of awareness. Aware of these moments passing, the time moving along and not standing still for a second. Look at this beautiful Dahlia given to me by a good friend, she sits in the soil now, facing the sun! She is aptly named Karma Choc! Hmmmm....

I am thanking life for being good to me and I am grateful! 
I wish you all days filled with peace and good things!

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