Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thank You

I love blogging - it allows me to meet such wonderful people. One of my favorites is Erica @ Moth Design.  I love her blog.  It's fun & pretty & chic & inspiring. Every Day. And I'm flattered that she thought enough of mine to send over a Happy 101 Blog Award. {Thanks Erica!} And with this award comes the responsibility to name 10 things + 10 blogs that bring me happiness. How easy is that?

Mom + Dad
Bailey the wonder dog
Good friends
Pink peonies
Public libraries
Hot coffee
Ocean air
Saturday mornings
Road trips
Vintage finds

BLOGS THAT = HAPPY {and deserve an Award of their very own}

Be happy


Not for the faint of heart, my dear sweet house's 'before' picture. It has been this khaki / white peeling patchwork for longer than I care to admit. But now, thanks to my fairy godfather {aka Dad}, sweet house is getting a bit of tweaking and much needed coat or 2 of paint. The nice painter-men were here today power-washing {or was that just some sort of strange contest to see how much water they could shoot through the airy bits?} and full paint prep begins next Monday.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Place

Stop what you're doing & take one moment to breathe in that salt air.

{via 20X200 via Moth Design}

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Summer Cup

Haskell Harris, style blogger at Garden & Gun Magazine {Belle Decor}, shared this recipe a few weeks ago.  Seems it was created late one night while tucking into the chef's table at this Birmingham, Alabama favorite...

I'm dying to try it. How can anything made with Honeysuckle Simple Syrup not be fabulous?

The Summer Cup at Hot & Hot Fish Club
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) Honeysuckle Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
4 ½ ounces chilled champagne
1 fresh honeysuckle blossom, for garnish
Add the honeysuckle syrup to the bottom of a champagne flute and top with the champagne; stir gently. Garnish with a fresh honeysuckle blossom and serve immediately.

Honeysuckle Simple Syrup
This syrup is very versatile. It can easily be doubled or tripled and when chilled, will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Yield: about 2 ¼ cups
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
3 ounces fresh, golden-yellow honeysuckle blossoms
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 30 seconds and remove the saucepan from the heat. Pack the honeysuckle blossoms into a 1-quart mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour the hot simple syrup over the fresh blossoms and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Once cool enough to touch, seal the jar and chill overnight.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amelie, the bakery

Charlotte, North Carolina's historic arts district {NoDa} is home to Amelie's, a most delightful French bakery. Inside its doors, the sights and smells are amazing. You won't know where to turn first...

But eventually you will find them, the fruit ties, twice-baked croissants, classic macarons...

With a Sunday Times, any of these, and a cup of the best brewed coffee this side of Seattle (sorry Dean & Deluca), you'll be in heaven.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Estate Sale

Very early this morning I drove out to a grand 1930's Colonial Revival just south of Charlotte for the final day of an estate sale. I prefer sales on the second day; fewer people, less craziness, and more time to view the beauty of the home. This one was incredible, with wonderful vintage wallpapers, 5 huge fireplaces, and fabulous gardens. Here are a few of the pieces I found...

early American chair, great patina with glimpses of original paint

vintage French market basket #1


1950's heavy iron garden table w/fabulous quatrefoil detail

set of tiny blue cloth volumes by John Ruskin, published London 1906

letter dated Charlestown, October 1701 from Mr. Curtis to his wife

1/2 dozen blue & white Quimper plates, Delftware reproductions commissioned by Old Salem's MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts)

large brass gallery tray, homeowner's reward for winning the fifth flight @ Charlotte Country Club

iron garden bar cart

Thanks Eva, great sale!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Friday

Campari & tonic with lime, please.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Splendid Sofa

This little number, in charcoal linen with slender espresso legs, is on sale now during the Spring upholstery sale at Jayson Home & Garden. Isn't it lovely?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lulu's London

The London flat of Lulu Guinness shows how Parisian chic + English glamour = Fun.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Grape Crush

I'm loving purple right now, from the palest lavender to the deepest pansy.

{via Asprey}

A few months ago I found a 1/2 dozen mid century chrome chairs at auction.  I knew I needed to find some fabulous coverings that would wear like iron because these chairs are incredibly comfortable and will certainly get a great deal of use, wherever they land.  For the first pair, I was originally thinking fun / neutral -- maybe a warm caramel leather, rough side out.  But when I walked into the back room of the shop to view the hides, I immediately fell in love with this Clarence House mohair velvet, in a color I can only describe as Concord Grape. It is the most amazing fabric in the most amazing shade.

I picked up the chairs yesterday and brought them over to Post & Gray Charlotte {back, on table}, along with the vintage Louis XV-style chair in a cozy charcoal wool felt {front} and the pair of curly maple Queen Anne benches with Belgian linen cushions. I love they way they all turned out, but those Concord Grape Brno's are so soft and sleek, I'll really hate to see them go.

UPDATE: I've had a few inquiries this morning for additional information. The grape mid century pair is  $1,500 & the gray Louis XV armchair is $850. Please e-mail me at estate.charlotte at gmail dot com if interested. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rikshaw Design

I found the most delightful baby gifts yesterday at Rikshaw Design. The wee ruffled bloomers, kurtas and hats, all sewn up in vivid hand-block prints, come in fabulous, bright, gender-neutral colors.  And at these prices you can stock up for Summer...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

High Society

Yes it's a train wreck, but I can't look away

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet Liberty

Not a huge lover of color, I was happy to find a few black & white pieces at Target's Liberty of London launch. I'm not sure where I'll use the lampshades & drinks tray, but due to absolutely brilliant marketing the whole thing seemed like some sort of strange historically significant decor event that could not be missed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Splendid Table

I cannot do without NPR's The Splendid Table. It plays locally on WFAE Saturdays @ 4:00, usually the time I'm heading home from a day of auctions/thrift shops/flea markets/estate sales. The soothing tones of Lynne Rossetto Kasper's voice create an almost pavlovian response, forcing me to pull into the nearest coffee shop for cappuccino and a bit of a stretch before continuing. I find a few deep breaths & some fresh coffee enable my fullest appreciation of the 60-minute Splendid experience.

Why do I love it so? Lynne has a knack for bringing out the best in everything. And while often the best is tied to some delicious morsel of food, it's really about finding the best in life. The greatest thing about her show is that it teaches me things I never knew I wanted to learn. Yesterday it was the buffalo's place in the American experience and music most likely to get dinner guests out of the house at a decent hour. OK, so we all want to shut down that never-ending dinner with grace {try Schubert's B-flat Piano Sonata}, but really, buffalo? And I loved every minute of it.

Each week is an epiphany. If you've never listened, try it. And if you're like me and never miss, just a quick reminder to support your local NPR station so we can all listen to Lynne for years and years to come.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

With buttercream icing.  They are most definitely 'Big Girl' Cupcakes. Most kids won't like them, most men won't deserve them. I may have hit on a new St. Patrick's tradition.

Find the recipe here, and be sure the melted butter & Guinness are both at room temperature.  

Crazy good.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pretty Cool Dresses

and a few most honorable mentions