Do you want to catch up with recent things going on at StoneGable and The Tanglewood House? And get lots of decorating tips too? Great you will find all this and more in today's post.
Hi, Friends! My heart is so full as I chat with you today! I’ve been reminded again and again this month just how much all of you mean to me! And you have blessed me with so many kind words! Thank you! I love this crazy job because I get to connect with you. I know I have so many friends I have not met in person! Wonderful and diverse friends! So let’s start June’s musings, friend!
I don’t want to get all gushy and mushy but musing are for telling you the more personal side of my life. So, here goes…
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Saturday we, the Home Style Saturday girls and I, celebrated our 300th HSS! Each blogger is giving away a $75.00 gift card to our favorite decorating haunt. I chose Crate and Barrel. Great products at reasonable prices.
To enter you just need to leave a comment. And so many of you did. But I was quite overwhelmed by all of the readers who had such wonderful things to say about the blog and, humbly, me!
One of my biggest passions is to help women be more confident decorators. And to break down Interior Design concepts into easy to understand, doable, and repeatable processes you can do in YOUR home.
I LOVE LOVE LOVED reading that I’ve helped you! I’m still walking about 3 inches above the ground over that. I feel like I am fulfilling one of my life’s purposes.
It gets a bit quiet during the summer months on the blog. I often feel like I am writing to the walls in my office. And I want to say, “Are you there?” “Am I helping you?” “Hello!”
Well, you let me know! Thank you!
BTW, you still have time to enter to win 5 different $75.00 gift cards. Enter the GIVEAWAY here.
A BIT OF WANDERLUST
If you are a homebody raise your hand! I am too! I love our home and love my job. And most of my days are filled with writing about home and taking pictures of my home and editing pictures of my home and creating recipes in my home. And on and on!
But I also love small jaunts away. A week away is just about enough for me.
So Bobby and I took two back-to-back trips since May’s musings.
First, we traveled south to one of my favorite small cities, Asheville NC. I am a huge fan of this energetic and frenetic city! We’ve made a few trips to Asheville.
We stayed in the beautiful Grove Park Inn. What a place! And the history of Grove Park is fascinating. It is tied to Alka Seltzer!
The Inn was built into a mountain and has a craftman/art deco style. The top image is the front of the Inn and the bottom pic is the back. There are 514 rooms in this magnificent Inn.
I think Grove Park looks like a hobit built it!
One of the first things we do when we travel somewhere is to take a Trolley Tour. It is a great way to get an overview of a city and a bit of history too.
We ate delicious food in eclectic restaurants and enjoyed the art, music, and vibe of the city. I had pork belly for the first time.
The second trip was very different! We traveled north in our RV to the Finger Lakes and wine country of NY. We glamped on Seneca Lake.
This was a very laid-back trip of long mornings with coffee around the campfire and afternoons taking wine tours at amazing wineries. This area is known for their plethora of wineries and craft beer breweries.
We toured the beautiful town of Geneva. This college town is full of interesting history.
And we took one field trip to Letchworth State Park. This is a must-see destination. Breathtaking nature, for sure. It features a long glacial gorge that is known as the Grand Canyon of the East and waterfalls and miles and miles of pristine hiking trails. Very impressive!
We also had lunch at the Glen Iris Inn which sits right by a waterfall and boasts quite a history of her own.
A bit of travel was fun, but like always, I’m glad to get home!
Did you know I take you with me wherever I go?
I do posts in hotel rooms and by the pool. I post in the car and on planes and in airports! I post in the RV and around the campfire. Often when we take RV trips I can’t get internet reception. So Bobby and travel the area to find a place I can write and post in the car. Finding a Walmart is golden! I can almost always get enough of a connection to put out a post in the parking lot!
Our next trips are to Newport RI and the Upper Pennisula MI and Williamsburg VA. And maybe a trip at Christmastime to Savanah GA. Savannah is one of my favorite cities. It’s especially pretty in early spring.
TO CHOP OR NOT TO CHOP
In a recent post I asked who chops their decorative pillows and who does not. Can you guess what I do?
We all have definite opinions about chopping!
The image below highlights why I like to chop. See the difference?
I remember when I first saw a chopped pillow, it was love at first sight!
Chopping a pillow works best with down filled pillows. And there is a bit of an art to creating a perfect chop.
Here’s how to make the best chops…
Fluff your pillow then karate chop it so it makes a sizable dent in the middle of the pillow. Next take the ears of the pillows and join them together in the middle. And finally, while you are pinching the ears together with one hand smooth the back of the pillow down and let the ears go. This works like magic to create a pretty chop!
Give it a try!
YOU WERE RIGHT!
In a recent Summer Bedroom Tour, there was a picture of beautiful roadside flowers I picked and put in a vase on my vanity and in vases next to our bed. So pretty, right?
They look like Queen Ann’s lace but are not. So I asked you if you knew what these flowers were.
A few of you said they were poisonous hemlock weed. I found images of the weed and after a quick glance decided these flowers were a bit different. Then later upon closer inspection…
YOU WERE RIGHT!
The pretty roadside flowers were really very very poisonous! Can you imagine my surprise and horror! I’ve lived in Pa all my adult life and never has anyone every mentioned poisonous hemlock weed!
Since our cat does not come into our bedroom and we were not going to ingest the weeds I left the pretty killer weeds on my dressing table and guess what?
A week later they look just as fresh and gorgeous as when they were picked!!!! They are certainly survivors! Hydrangeas or peonies or tulips would be wilted and spent.
This makes me think… evil things often come in pretty and enticing packages!
A FEW SMALL MAKEOVERS
I’ve been busy making over a couple areas of our Tanglewood House. It’s taken a long time to figure out how to decorate and live in this open concept home. I never would have guessed that an open concept would have been so difficult for me to embrace.
I absolutely love our home and the openness and the windows and the light but decorating it has proven to be a big learning curve.
One room I am working on is the sunroom. It’s s-m-a-l-l! And our family like to all smoosh together in it. There are lots of other comfortable areas to congregate in our home but the sunroom has a certain draw!
We bought a sectional for this room and it worked well but for various reasons, we decided to give it to our son and his family and get a new sofa.
We also got a pair of handsome end tables that won’t be in until September and I have new lamps waiting for them.
Until the end table come I’m on the hunt for a new chair and a small round side table.
I hope the sunroom will be ready for my fall home tour!
THE LIVING ROOM
I’m pretty happy with the living room, at least for today (you never know with me). Except for the coffee table. I’ve had four coffee tables in this room and returned them!
And I’m questioning the one I have now in the living room. I like it a lot but the finish is too bright. So I’m sending it back too!
I had an epiphany the other day. I’m thinking I might get a big square coffee table to fill the space in the middle of the room and make the living room more of a cozy conversation area. Still thinking and looking for another coffee table online!
What do you think? Tell me in the comments.
OTHER DECOR AND MORE
I ordered this bookcase for our very long foyer. Oh, this is a keeper! I’m so excited to have bookshelves to decorate!
I’m still thinking about and looking for wallpaper for our kitchen. This one is still my fav.
And I’m almost finished with the upstairs Golf guest bedroom. If you missed the little preview of it you can see it HERE.
Last spring we did a lot of planting around the outside of our home. So this summer we can really see growth! One of my favorite plantings are the seven ruby slipper hydrangeas planted next to the walk on the way to our driveway!
They bloom white and then get pink splotches on their petals. Then those splotches seep into the rest of the petals and by August the hydrangeas are a gorgeous scarlet color!
We also put a cutting garden at the end of our driveway. Because we can’t dig up the yard, I made a “pop-up” cutting and herb garden! I love this little space.
You will find me early in the morning with a cup of coffee fussing over each plant! Right now there are lots of marigolds thriving there. This week I’m adding more pink annuals to the planters too.
You can see the raised beds HERE.
This is a great location for my herbs. They get so much sunlight!
Do you have a little garden you love?
BEHIND THE SCENE
Here are some of the things I’m doing behind the scene of the blog.
I’ve been making banana bread. Lots of banana bread. And I’m really not a fan of banana bread. However, what do you do with all those overripe bananas?
Here’s one of the fails. This banana got a little overdone but it was not very tasty. Looks can be deceiving!
I make delicious Maple Glazed Banana Bread Scones but I also want to make an amazing banana bread with a magical streusel topping! So I’m still making banana bread. When I get it right I’ll post the recipe.
Bloggers try to be about 6 weeks ahead of any season and holiday. This gives all of you time to think about and get ready for an upcoming season. So I’m busy creating my fall blogging calendar. Oh, I have pretty and fun things in store! Fall is my favorite season so I’m having lots of fun planning for it. This year, gorgeous saturated rust is the color of fall at StoneGable!
I’m still working on covering books, painting a very pretty pumpkin, improving on a chimichurri sauce, researching upcoming trends for 2023 and the color green, and downsizing emotions for future posts.
Work life is crazy busy but I LOVE it!
MORE JUNE MUSING AND RANDOM THOUGHTS…
- July 4th will be here before we know it! We don’t have any specific plans yet but our kids and grandkids and my mom will be with us. I’m sure a lot of swimming and good food will be involved. I make these Cherry Pies In Jars With Stars every 4th. They are so good and perfect for Independence Day. The post is a decade old but the recipe is delicious!
- Food is on my mind. Another recipe that I make when we get together is The Best Potato Salad You Will Ever Make. And it really is! This is my Nani’s recipe and I get asked to make it for gatherings more than all my other recipes.
- Do you swim? Swimming is my form of exercise. I swim all year round but particularly like swimming in an outdoor pool in the summer.
- Our daughter Jacqueline was commissioned as a deconess in her church yesterday. I am so very proud of her and her husband Jonathan. Serving the church in that capacity takes the whole family. Jacqueline may God bless you and strengthen you and give you wisdom for the task.
- What do you eat for lunch? I have gotten really board with what I eat! Salads and soups mostly. Do you have any yummy ideas?
- As I said last month, I am not a naturally neat person. However, I like a clean and tidy home. But my desk has gotten no better than it was last month when I mused about it. So today I’m spending as much time as it takes to get it in order and everything put where it belongs.
- Duck update: If you read last month’s musings you might remember I shared a picture of 8 duck eggs behind one of our hydrangea bushes in our front landscaped beds. The dear duck sat on those eggs diligently and while we were on one of our trips the eggs hatched and all that was left were a few empty shells. We wish the mother and her babies the best!
- I hope you enjoying the musing posts. If you have musings of our own you would to share leave them in the comments.