Monday, November 28, 2011

Beauty on Monday

Another beautiful morning has risen above the horizon, mild air caressing the bare trees, nothing pointing to a soon arriving winter. I am walking with just jeans and a sweater, a jacket is not needed.

Yet, yesterday was the beginning of the Advent time, the four weeks before Christmas, and I have began to decorate with greenery. The holidays are coming, trees are sold at every corner and since the day after Thanksgiving the shops are filled with everything for a festive time.

Our home at the holiday season 2011

There are dreidels and chocolate filled coins, St. Clauses and reindeers, angels and menorahs. Candles and greenery, stars and more stars blinking everywhere.
All sitting peacefully side by side.


How I wish that the spirit of love and tolerance would spread across the borders, to people who believe burning pipelines, blowing up cars and killing others will bring good change to their world. How much I hope for peace, something I, unfortunately, have too often reason to believe will not happen soon.
How can this small blog spread any goodwill and hope at times (like all others), filled with horror as soon as I look a little further then my backyard?
I feel strongly over the years since I have began writing this blog, how quickly kindness spreads when we are open minded towards others, enjoying their point of view, tolerate the ideas we do not share and stay positive and supportive.
It is wonderful to get to know so many people all over the world, at the same time knowing many more are out there reading this, without leaving a trace. Can goodwill and change come through a small blog, dedicated to beauty, art and the philosophy of life?


I hope my words will make others see for a moment what I see, let them feel how wonder- filled and precious life is and how much love between people can help along our hope for peaceful side by side living.
Getting to know people with different believes and values, being open minded towards their dreams and hopes can bring us closer. Small steps do wonders and just trying to come closer to your odd neighbor or the strange co-worker can make a difference.

Can you imagine?

Our school, like many others, has an annual holiday drive to help children in need to receive a gift for the holidays. My children pick usually more then one of those wish cards from a tree in the school lobby. They feel compassion and hope our gifts will spread more then something material, but love towards someone we do not know, hoping that these children will grow up knowing of love in a world where desperation could rule instead.

Let us stick together, all of us writing beautiful blogs, spreading compassion, tolerance and love towards others.  Let us begin at home and let it grow into the world. 
Let us share more then the beauty of material things, but kindness and goodwill among each other!
Holding one other hand and a chain begins.....

I am wishing you all the beginning of a lovely and peaceful holiday time.

All images as indicated and my own, bumper sticker via google image.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I am so thankful for all what this year has given us.
My heart is filled with Thanksgiving.

My wishes for all of you is that you may feel the same!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tea pot

Today is a gray, rainy day. What better way to lighten the mood but with a cup of golden tea, a touch of milk and a home baked cupcake? Made by my girl last night! 
The tea pot was a special Marshall's score last week! Barbara Barry's Top Note Design for Wedgewood! YES! 
I am sure some of you know the thrill...
But as any tea lover will agree with me: No teapot is really good unless it pours smoothly, without dripping and sputtering! This one is excellent, reminding me a little bit of the genie lamp from Thousand And One Night, which of course gives me an reading ideas for some long winter nights! 

 But I am sure this one will serve us longer than that...

Good night!

Book via and teapot image my own.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mellow yellow

For whatever reason I have lately an infatuation with yellow. I have actually never really liked the color on me or near me. But as many things change in life my love for yellow has emerged. Of course, yellow rooms have been around for the longest time, evoking light and sunshine and warmth. Nancy Lancaster's London yellow drawing room comes to my mind, a classic and often repeated design among the countless admirers.


A wonderful Lancaster inspired living room


I have found Jan Showers use of yellow quite admirable. The soft toned yellows feel more relaxing to the eye and less exciting.

These yellows do not scream, but rather create elegant, happy backdrops for our busy lives.

The last one perhaps does not really qualify for a yellow room, but the overall feeling for me is yellow, rather then neutral.

Some Farrow & Ball wallpapers I love:

Farrow & Ball's Brockhampton Star

Farrow & Ball's Ranlagh papers

Farrow & Ball's Vermicelli papers

Have a happy, sunny week!

All images as indicated and via Jan Showers website.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday thoughts

This weekend looks simple. 
There will be no shopping and no stressful cleaning, I'll take breakfast in bed and give lazy new meaning. 
I might take the dog for a walk in the park.
I could lay in bed and read until dark.
I'll write a few mails and chat with my mother.
I'll have tea on the sofa and a walk through the garden.
The sun will shine through all smudgy windows, but 
I will relax and put all off for Monday.


Picture via google image. Poem by me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A midweek autumn dinner


When the days grow short and darkness rises early, I enjoy cooking comfort food.
Last night I prepared acorn squash and bratwurst,  Brussels Sprouts and some delicious ice cream afterwards.

It's so easy and makes a satisfying meal. The scent of the baking squash is irresistible. Once the sausages are frying, it becomes enticing...

The dog did not leave my site and waited patiently to get a morsel.
My son explained why he needed definitely a test bite before dinner.
My husband asked at six if dinner was ready....
My daughter volunteered to set the table???
Guys, we never eat before seven?!

 Nicely browned, with a hint of butter and brown sugar! Hmmmm!

Alright! Dinner is served!

Top image from Joseph Oregon Fireworks Pottery, bottom google image, inbetween my own.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall/Winter patterns

I love the patterns of the seasons.
It gives me another reason to freshen things up around here. At one of my last visits to BoCoCa, a lovely neighborhood in Brooklyn, I found this lovely patterned paper and had an idea how to use it!

The large and not exactly exciting IKEA wall unit, which has served our rambling family dutiful for more then 10 years now, needed a little help. Its still in almost perfect condition.

Sometime last year.
I have been contemplating painting it, but shy away from the mess, since we use this room constantly. I decided to let it be and just make little improvements....The biggest challenge is not to let it get too messy and filled up. Which, of course, is not easy with an overflowing library.

And after:

I love these individual cubbies, like in a doll house I can set up little scenes...with things I love!

I have began 'winterizing' our house, cozied up corners, pulled out blankets and pillows.

I brighten dark spots with candles and warm up my husband's reading leather chair with an enormous sheepskin.

Talking of patterns, I found two lovely books at a yard sale on Sunday, they belong right into this post and will give me great more decorating inspirations. They are not new, but that does not matter...timeless design always fits in.

My daughter is a little under the weather today, we are going to sit down and have lunch, something we never  do together during the week, so it's special....but the poor baby just wants tea...

Are you warming up your place? At least in this hemisphere it will be necessary really soon.

And look who walked by today...(You shouldn't be around this time of year....)

It has been a rambling sort of post, with no clear pattern at all. Pictures of all sizes....Forgive me! 

Just a little while ago my good friend Patricia from PVE came by for tea and a walk, it's good to have her back. 
Why don't you stop by at her blog and say hello?

All images by V.Zlotkowski

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Autumn splendor

Going to the Farmer's market, and coming home with an armful of nature's best, is one of the endless joys I get from this season.

Of course, it's the fruits and bountiful vegetables, but the flowers last usually much longer in our family with always hungry teens...
Apples and pears are devoured by the pounds and root vegetables, pumpkins, tubers and greens and end up quickly in stews and salads. 
But these sunflowers, grains, eucalyptus and lilies stay on my window sill and remind me to go outside...I yearn for views and walks and the aromas of nature, before she closes shop and all will covered under a cold blanket.

The view from the new shopping mall Ridge Hill, near Hastings-on-Hudson. Looking sharply, you can perhaps see the the gray Palisades above the Hudson in the middle picture.

This year has passed faster then I like to think, another year almost gone, wistfully I sigh!
But is has been filled with wonderful things, I am grateful!
What better way the to look forward to Thanksgiving....

Have a lovely weekend, my friends!

All images byV.Zlotkowski

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A little more magic

Here, as promised, part two of the amazing house I discovered and would love to share with you!

I returned next morning, this time bringing my husband along. I had to share my enthusiasm with him, thankfully he is game... After a scrumptious breakfast at the Gryphon Teahouse we were ready!

Swiftly moving through the lower floor I headed upstairs. 
By now I felt like almost at home between all the wonderful and priceless pieces and would have gladly given a grand tour.
But my husband settled on the second porch, taking in all the sunshine he could get! Sometimes I would get a call from him, inquiring of my whereabouts...I wonder, how could he simply ignore all the enticing treasures to be discovered???

There is the main floor, remember? Just a quick reminder:

Alone the hall is so impressive, come look!

Slowly climbing upstairs I saw this:

And that! Here is more destruction then downstairs.

Rooms after rooms, filled with incredible objects!

I felt like the old explorer, coming upon a treasure...

The ballroom!

Reaching the third floor, you'll find a clear distinction from the rooms below. The ceilings are low, no more stucco, simple wall treatments, it must have been the servants quarters back in the days when this house was lived in. Perhaps a nursery. But the charm is undeniable.
Obviously people lived up here longer then downstairs, since there were traces of 50's style walls and floor. I found an old kitchen...

I couldn't help being enticed by all the mirrors...What's a girl to do??? Self portrait with IPhone! It's the 21st Century after all.

Oh, I would have gladly taken many things home with me...but, alas, I had to leave them behind. One day, perhaps!
Remember the bride picture I found in this place?
Here she is now! I couldn't part with her! If I only would find out who she was... Isn't there a strange resemblance to the portrait above? I couldn't help notice.

This is a rather bad close up, but I absolutely adore her outfit. Look at her hat, her dress with all the beautiful lace,
her pose and the dainty elegant shoes! Quietly, almost a little sad, she gazes into the camera, perhaps into her future life. 1919!
I wonder about her life...

She will be cherished for as long as I shall live!

The house is a treasure box and I will not reveal the exact location! Historic Savannah is not large and with a little 
detective work and open eyes you will find it, if you truly look for it. I love the idea of a kept secret. Just look for a large old house, near one of the loveliest squares, with wonderful porches, filled with antiques...
Maybe some day one of you will wander into it and think back of this post!
Well, if somebody will ask me, I might tell....

Hint: It houses an antique store and was build 1860 and completed 1869. And another famous Savannah house sits practically next door...
Well, if there is one thing I would love to do: Bring this beauty back to life! If only....

All pictures by V.Zlotkowski. Copyright 2011
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