May 1, 2020

The Coronavirus Diary & Fab links to try

  I will have to stay my initial reaction and silence was part down & out,  and part relief....a needed rest. How are you faring?

Here in Illinois our Governor wisely, that is my opinion, said we are not to reopen until 5/30, allowing some businesses to open, such as golf courses and garden centers. He is however being challenged in court

Imagine 1918's Pandemic. Letters and manuscripts from that era all speak of rampant feelings of isolation, no tv, movies, internet, email, instagram....very little sources of news, and in the case below, flu masks. Life can always be worse. Here's to hoping all of you are well, safe, and not bearing serious financial problems. It is tough out there 

Ok, a bit of levity.....If there is anyone out there who has not seen, The Woman in the Closet, enjoy!

We have a huge announcement.......
Our new website is UP....ta da! Not yet for online sales, that will follow. Still some glitches but I could not wait any, longer as it has already been in process for three years! Once all sorted, we will host a big contest......stay tuned

TV.....who else is enjoying "permission" to lounge around and watch?  Well, yes, to a point. If you love design, and are not watching the UK's series, GRAND DESIGN on Netflix, rush over. impossible builds, and renovations, my hands down favorite! 
Speaking of TV Have you noticed the home backgrounds of tv personalities? I just love looking and well,  judging. My favorite being Lara Spencer of GMA, her decor from room to room is a beautiful blend of vintage and new, plus all the dogs that come and greet her.
My pick for worse....Jimmy Kimmel.....what is that?
 And while searching for an image for Ms. Lara's home, this popped up, anyone else feel thoroughly inadequate? Sigh.....
Naturally our France tour in June was cancelled. So far England is still on for mid-September. Here are garden tours you can enjoy now at home via the National Garden Scheme. I love this national organization, they contact predominately private gardens, to ask if the owners will open their gardens on specific days for charity. It enables so many to 'peek inside' while helping the less fortunate. Enjoy these tours!
The first time I went to England, we sought out this organization and to our delight, visiting cottage gardens and grand estates was over the top. Most serve tea and cakes or scones, very charming and quite welcoming. Being tremendously thirsty and not able to abide tea, I asked if they had water, "no was the response, the only other beverage is squash"  Squash? Imagining juiced zucchini, I relented. Was I ever delighted when she handed me the juice of an orange!

How about a short series on Amazon Prime called
 THE BIG HOUSE REBORN, a dear friend just told me about it. A 200 year old manse in Northern Ireland with stunning gardens has fallen into serious disrepair that the National Trust embarks on a 3 year and many pounds later, restoration.
If you follow us on Instagram, the shop and myself, look for our Quarantine Quickies....brief clips teaching home & garden tips plus merchandise available for pick up or delivery 
The Shop Instagram
My Instagram
Our Consignment shop, SG TOO

Lastly, I found an album on Spotify called Isle of Calm, brought to you by NPR, check it out, you may like it too!

Dear Friends, at the end of this it is said, everyone will know a life lost due to the virus. Thus far, I can say I do not, and pray you do not either. Please stay safe


February 16, 2020

Want to get away?

Yes, it is that time again, when my British partner Sylvia and I ready our three European tours for 2020 to France, England or Scotland!

 Europe holds my heart, the varying cultures, the architecture, the music, food, uniquely different. Isn't travel good for the soul?
These do book quickly since we take small groups, no more than 15 and for women only. These are boutique excursions with an emphasis on rubbing elbows and getting to know the locals, with access to private homes and gardens, to break bread together, all on a personal level

Paris and Provence
June 10 to June 18th, with a pre-tour opportunity, June 9th, for a tour of Monet's Giverney

I love this journey!

Highlights include........

Wine & Cheese pairing.....truffle hunt.....private
antique time.....wineries.....perfumerie.....OOOOH LA LA!
(these are my photos of past trips)


September 15th to September 23rd

Our premiere journey.....and 25th year!

The countryside of England is magical, thatched cottages..... cream teas.....private homes and gardens
flower arranging course in a 15th c chapel.....antique time.....
Prince Charles Highgrove..... and a renown UK Artists studio
(these are my photos of past trips)


October 8th to October 16th

Join us for our maiden voyage to glorious Scotland!

Based in Edinburgh be prepared to discover this magical and mystical region!

Tour Outlander filming sites.....castles & ruins.....autumn gardens.....antiquing.....whisky tour.....bagpipes & kilts.....royal yacht Britannia.....charming villages


For details email me for an itinerary, pricing, anything I can assist with. 


February 6, 2020

Simple ways to refresh your living room for Spring

What a treat awaits you today!

A very talented group of design bloggers share ideas for waking up your living room for Spring
My take is via my shop, let's take a look

Let's start with a vignette in it's current state
In a shop setting, an accent wall, especially black pops the product. This setting is current for a northern winter scene. 

Let's play as if it were your living room, where to start


To follow.....a future post about our upcoming PILLOW SLIPS, to easily change your look seasonally
Other than pillows, what else did we change here?
Changed out the large clock to an urban abstract scene, faux flowers, and the Spring-like green stool. With the pillows we just layered a lighter colored option onto the color coordinated tartan

What did we do here? Added the coral colored urn to coordinate and pop the art. Did you notice the change of the wooden bench/table versus the rug bench/ottoman? How about the moss in the urn?

In urns, nestled within a vignette and molded into a ball as an accent. Fresh moss screams 'SPRING!'

Here is another vignette.....another pillow, an outdoor ornament; a French Crane, our newly crafted drinks table
Crafted from original Hermes boxes. We enlisted our talented iron worker, ordered glass for the top, and viola!

A statue, urn......look around, instant Spring!

And of course #5 FLOWERS!  Fresh, faux, Sticks.......
Our floral designer extraordinaire, Gerrit, created these designs for this post
 Yes, all faux. A growing trend in the faux floral industry is REAL TOUCH. In this composition, the pink Tree Peonies, Purple and white Hellebore's, and the coral colored Ranunculus. Not only do they look real....when touched, they feel real, brilliant!
Look at this example of REAL TOUCH Peonies!

 REAL TOUCH Ranunculus. A simple and effective arrangement
 The sticks were gathered from outdoors,  small touches of chartreuse mood moss were added/glued, faux Muscari. See the netting to the far right? it is moss covered, flexible sheeting, and lastly a variety of fresh mosses

Look closely around your home, and play, adding Spring touches is a mood enhancer, really!

Please visit these talents for much inspiration, most of my favorites, plus they are ones to follow!

                                                        Cheers......43 days to Spring

PS......all items are available 😄
                                                             xo   Debra


annie-most lovely things

kelley-kelley and co home


EDB Designs

Classic Casual Home

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