Monday, May 21, 2012

What Would Kim Do?

I've posted here before about how much I love Kim's Savvy Southern Style house, and on numerous occasions, I have copied her.  Last time I copied her, I added some canisters to my kitchen, and they look just lovely.  Kim was even kind enough to tell me where she got her canisters.

Recently, Kim did a post on some greenery she added to her summer fireplace.  And it turned out lovely!  Here's a link to the actual post in case you missed it.

Since I have a magnolia tree in my yard, I decided to copy her once again.  Here are a few pics to illustrate how this went.

Ick.  Poor Cinderella.

But once everything was cleaned up, it looked fresh and pretty and ready for summer.  Right?

I actually have two fireplaces, so I added greenery to both of them.

 I checked this off the old to-do list and gave myself a sooty pat on the back.

Until a couple of days later when the greenery looked like this.

And this.

I tend to obsess over this sort of thing, and I knew I would be a tiny bit crazy until it was fixed (husband would say a LOT crazy).  So, I did what I do when the decorating going gets tough, and I asked myself: What would Kim do?

And then I did this.

You'll notice I switched out the basket for a copper container.  We normally keep wood in here during winter months.  The wicker basket was too pretty, and I didn't want to risk water damage.

As for that basket, I toyed with the idea of returning it to Target, but I can get lazy about that sort of thing.  Plus, I'd been wanting a pretty basket for laundry, and this fit the bill.

Now instead of this ugly thing,

I have this beauty.

As for future decorating ideas, I will continue to look to Kim and the rest of you for inspiration.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I like Christmas, don't get me wrong, but this is the most wonderful time of the year.  So filled with anticipation—school ending, camp beginning, staying up later, sitting on the screen porch, a tan (even though I shouldn't).  Sailing and swimming and eating crabs and being outdoors—all of it makes me feel like a kid again.

What could be better than just watching things grow?

You know those tags that come on small plants, the ones that warn you about future size and width?  It's probably a good idea to heed the advice written there.  These dappled willows were TINY when I bought them two summers ago.  Now look!  Yikes!

Time for a trim, I think.

The crepe myrtle was so small, too.  One day I suspect this girl will reach up to the second floor.  Next year, I plan to prune her so she can show off those pretty legs.  According to Google, I shouldn't do that now.

Take a look at these morning glory sprouts.  And you can see my little knockout rose bush in this shot.  Last year it was huge, but the voles nearly killed it this winter.  Nasty critters!  Miraculously, however, the bush actually came back.  My knockouts weren't knocked out, after all.  At least not all of them.  We had six.  Now we're down to two.

And my favorite part of the house during the summer is the screen porch.  OH, how I love sitting out here.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Where the Magic Happens (on a good day)

I spend a LOT of time in the basement, which is just fine if it's chilly out and gloomy.  I can turn on my trusty space heater, close the pocket doors, and work away for hours.

This desk was a cast-off from my husband's office.  It looks a tad too lawyer/banker-ish for my taste, but it is nice and big.  The prints I picked up in New Orleans years ago, and the lamp just makes me smile.  Originally, the walls in here were yellow, like the rest of the basement, but the color wasn't working for me mentally for some reason.  I wanted something calm and soothing.

As fussy as I am about the rest of the house, I can never seem to keep it neat here.  There are all these little piles—notes and drafts and books and teaching journals and the family calendar.  Oh, and see that little tin cup?  My granddaddy used to hang it on the well pump.  On hot days he drank from it, and  often I did, too.  It holds paper clips now.

I love the cushy wrist rest, a purchase from an office supply store.

Oh, how I heart this warm friend!  Basements can be chilly work spaces, even in summer.

My pathetic chair.  Yes, it's sad. And, yes, I see so many home offices with elegant chairs, but I've written several novels in this chair, and I'm a tiny bit superstitious about it.

Speaking of chairs, a student cross-stitched this for me a couple of years ago.  We'd read a New Yorker article on Nora Roberts, and this was a quote from the article.  Roberts believes half the battle of writing a novel is putting your "ass in the chair" and keeping it there.  Crude though it may be, she speaks the truth.  Writers have to write, or else that novel is nothing more than a distant dream.

The vases belonged to my mother.

Writers must also read.  These are mostly my teaching books.  Oh, and Fannie Flagg.  I just love her!

The shelves came from Ikea.  We initially wanted built-ins, but I wasn't sold on the whole working in the dungeon basement thing, so we held off.  I'm glad we did.  For now this system works just fine.

Thank goodness for these windows.  I have two of them.  Not a lot of natural light, but something is better than nothing.  More vases from Mama.

Teapots from Mama.

This chest was the first thing my grandmother purchased after receiving her first paycheck.  She worked for the phone company.  Inside are extra copies of my books.  Grandmother would like that.

Finally, there is this.  A talented, special girlfriend painted it after my first hardcover novel was released in June of 2008.  I was beyond touched.

Maybe one day I'll actually clean my office and take some pretty pictures (or not).
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