Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's about time . . .

We've been singing the soundtrack here at Chateau Gahan for years now. When I got an email today from Ticketmaster about Wicked coming to the Fox theatre here in Atlanta in October, I jumped at the chance to see the musical that Harleigh and I know by heart. Date day for the Gahan Girls coming up! A nice lunch out and then a matinee performance. Can't wait.

You can tell a lot about a person from their computer desktop

Here is my computer desktop at work. It shows my two favorite boys . . . Gideon and Heath. I had this image on my desktop long before Heath died, and now I don't have the heart to replace it with anything new. It is my all-time favorite picture of him, from a Vanity Fair feature. What do you have on your computer desktop?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Slipcovers Are Here! My Slipcovers Are Here!

After a very long time, I finally got my new slipcovers. I had given the upholsterers the old slipcovers to use to make the pattern, and then supplied them with the fabric I got on sale. I've been treating everything with Scotchgard this afternoon, and then dog and child can slump and sleep all over chair and ottoman! I'm glad that I went with the off-white neutral fabric vs. a floral, or even a color. I only wish that the fabric had been a little lighter in weight so that the guys could have made a ruffle around the bottom of both the chair and ottoman, but I think in the long run I'll be happy that I went with a heavier fabric just for durability reasons.

I just noticed that the fern on the buffet looks better too!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tole Canister

Another piece from my tole collection. This canister with a handle and lid (not shown) has always served as a great vase. Here on my mantle.

See this sweet giveaway (and a lovely blog too!)

Penny at sewtakeahike is doing a giveaway that includes some really wonderful items. A gingham apron with decorative stitching (who doesn't love gingham!?!?!?), a little fabric catch-all that she made by hand (gingham here as well!), a copy of Cook's Country, and a generous-sized piece of adorable fabric. Am loving all of it! Stop by and leave her a comment to be entered but hurry because it ends this Sunday, July 27th, at midnight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baring it all . . .

I've posted before about my king-sized bed, which I love, and a slipcovered chair that is equally big and comfy. But the truth of the matter is that my bedroom lacks character and warmth.

The room is huge, and could easily fit a ton of furniture, so perhaps that is where I need to start: populating it with more furniture. I think it desperately needs curtains, but I have no clue where to begin. Only two windows to deal with, so I think I could dress them up rather inexpensively. But on a sour note, the room gets bad light, so it tends toward the dark side.

And the piece de resistance . . . yes, I have a kitchen table in my bedroom. When I turned the kitchen dining area into the ken, I had a little kitchen table and two chairs that I really didn't want to part with. The style wasn't particularly mine, but I liked the size of the table, and I had gotten seat cushions at Anthropologie that I'd hold onto even if I got rid of table. So I moved the table and chairs to my boudoir and it has suffered the same demise as that gotta-have-it treadmill becoming the new clothes rack . . . basically a catch-all for junk that should be put away, but I'm too lazy.

So I'm baring it all. Showing you all a part of my home that lacks any personality, warmth . . . in other words, it is sooooo not me. I'm perplexed and would welcome any ideas (on changing the room, that is, not me).

Here are pictures (above and below) of the room. I didn't go to much effort to enhance the lighting or to stage some attractive vignette. It is what it is.

Whites and Colors

For years I found laundry the most daunting task of my week. I'd save it all to do until Sunday afternoon,beginning with spending a good half hour sorting my huge pile of dirty clothes, then Harleigh's. Then Harleigh had this idea for each of us to get two baskets for our rooms, one for whites and the other for colors. It has been a godsend. Something so simple made my life so much easier. Now even during the week I can grab a basket and do a quick load. These baskets we found at Cost Plus World Market. They have hinged lids so all the laundry is hidden, and the cloth liners inside keep anything from snagging on the basket weave AND they can come out for washing. Thanks, Harleigh!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Can't Get Enough

We went out and bought the soundtrack, we went out to brunch and talked about the scenes we liked best, we've been singing all the songs around the house and even in public places with little care about who looks at us funny. We're pretty much obsessed with Mamma Mia. Here is one of my favorite scenes. As a single mom with an only daughter, you can guess that I was having trouble keeping it together during this number. This isn't the whole song, just a small part, so as I sat in the theater I agonized keeping in the chocking sobs for much longer than this 41 second clip. I was a sucker for all the slow, sappy songs, and Harleigh loved the more upbeat Abba dance numbers. There's something in it for everybody. OK, enough for now.

Mamma Mia, bring your Kleenex

Harleigh and I have been waiting and waiting for this movie to come out. We saw it tonite and I didn't want it to end. Harleigh said the whole movie made her want to cry because the music made her so happy. We have the soundtrack from the Broadway musical, and the music from the movie version is even better. I was a teary-eyed baby just reveling in the joy of watching the friendship between these women and of course the relationship between the mother and daughter. If I wasn't in lip quiver mode, then I was smiling and singing. Everyone in the theater (not an empty seat!) was singing and clapping at the end. And you just have to think what fun they had making this movie. Ahhhhh . . . we might just go back tomorrow and see it again.

The scenery is breathtaking and the hotel she runs will make your white-washed, vintage, beachy self wide-eyed just taking it all in. Worth seeing on a big screen, although we will be buying it as soon as it comes out on DVD.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

200th Post Giveaway

Here I am at my 200th post and I couldn't be happier about all that the blog world has brought to my life . . . inspiration, friends, information and anecdotes, stories that made me laugh out loud and words that brought tears to my eyes, and enviable photography, tons of it (I have decided that I WILL get a good camera and learn enough that I can create such beautiful images). I have loved getting to know such genuine and funny women, and I thank each and every one of you for making me feel special. Thank you thank you thank you.

I knew for this giveaway that I wanted to make a shell cross. And so that is part of the "prize." This one is a little smaller than the others that I make and it was a bit more of a challenge to work with less real estate. But I love how it turned out, and I hope that whoever wins will feel all the love that I put into crafting it.

I've also included one of my decorated matchboxes, this one with a mushroom bird and silk florals.

I couldn't resist throwing in this 1940 badminton trophy. And so as not to leave it naked looking, I threw in some vintage hankies.

And for their sheer charm, I'm also including these two travel diaries. Harleigh was on a kick a few years ago, scavenging flea markets and antique stores for old diaries and journals, scrawled with once-secret thoughts and dreams. These two notebooks, one from 1947 and the other from 1959, appear to be the travel journals of a married couple during two roadtrips. There's not much to them in terms of stories. They are more a diary of their completed itineraries. But that "Mrs." penned them with such care . . . it makes them rather endearing.

So, if you'd like to be in the drawing for this rather eclectic grouping of items, please leave me a comment. One lucky person will be drawn out of a hat on August 2. So post your comment by August 1 at midnight.

Get others in on the giveaway. Post the first photo (that includes all my giveaway items) — along with a link to my blog — onto your blog with a note about this giveaway and let me know you did so. I will put your name in the hat 2 additional times for a total of 3 chances to win!

Good luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Giveaway! 200 Posts and Loving It!

This post is my 199th and so on my next posting, the big 200, I will be doing a giveaway! My very first. I certainly love it when my favorite bloggers do them, and so I hope that my readers are excited and want to participate. Look for the giveaway post within the next few days!

With gratefulness for all of you,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Naughty and Nice Salad

I first tried this salad at an office function and loved it. The gal who gave me the recipe called it simply "Broccoli Salad." Well, nothing at Chateau Gahan gets a label or name without a flourish. So I renamed it the Naughty and Nice Salad because it has broccoli and raisins in it (good for you) and bacon, mayo and sugar (bad for you). It is great tasting and easy to make.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home Tour Find

I love going on home tours. The home tour events featuring new homes are nice, but the ones I really like are the ones where you walk through homes actually lived in. We have great ones in our area, especially around Christmas. I've gotten all sorts of great ideas. I saw these two pictures on a new home tour recently and the designer of the home just happened to be on site. I asked her where she got them and then took a detour on my way home to the little shop where she had found them and got two of my own. They hang in my foyer. I've always loved silhouettes of people, especially children, so how could I resist this cat and dog.

This is why I keep pretty "vessels" around the house . . .

I love using pretty things around the house as vases. This teapot was a gift from a friend. It's a yardsale find, and even though I don't use a teapot for making hot tea, I knew that I could put it to use. I love the gray and pink together (much like the plates I found a couple of posts ago!).

This arrangement was a quick put-together for when my parents came to dinner this past Saturday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My First Award!

Kate at My Messy Nest . . . A Diary of Domestic Bliss and Cammy at FreckledFarm have bestowed on little ol' me a blogging award. It is the Brillante Weblog Award and I am honored that they think my blog is worthy of being recognized. Thank you both Kate and Cammy! See below for how this award gets passed on to others. And I, indeed, have others who deserve to be recognized for all the pleasure their blogs bring me!

Here are the rules:

1. Please put the logo on your blog. (CHECK)
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. (CHECK)
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award. (7CHECK)
4. Add links to the recipients. (CHECK)
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award. (CHECK)

And the Brillante goes to . . .

1) Ali at FlibbertyGibbets because her style is about as classy and calming as you could ask for. From her home to her sewing to her crafts to her photography. And she's got a great sense of humor and is a GREAT conversationalist.

2) Darly at Daisy's Little Cottage is one of those gals who I know I would get along with if we met. Her home is cottage at its most charming. She is honest and forthright with her posts, which makes her that much more endearing. Her blog photos, beautifully taken, capture her life and lifestyle with all its color, character, and love of living.

3) Elizabeth at Gossamer Wings has a blog rich in food, family and amazing sewing projects. She's lucky enough (well, except for the earthquakes, which she is the first to admit are a downer) to live in northern California, so I always enjoy her pictures of the local places she visits and frequents.

4) Laura at knitters=angry mob is a co-worker and I love her dearly. She's one of those people who is always willing to help out, no matter how chimp-like or how daunting the task. Her blog is every bit as welcoming and colorful as she is. She loves so many different things; her blog, to me, has a little something for everyone.

5) Courtney, another co-worker, is my cubicle neighbor, loves to sing and dance (which we manage to do a little of every day just to stay sane), and is uber-talented at drawing. Her blog, A Year of Drawing, is chock-full (and growing) of her daily doodles in pen-n-ink and watercolor. Simply wonderful to watch her do this with such ease. I love that she's sharing her sketchbook with the blog world.

6) Another co-worker (can you tell we're a group totally hooked on this blog craze??), Devon of Slight Obsessions is a wonderfully captivating writer. Please give her a visit and encourage her to keep going with this online endeavor. She's too good at her craft to not share her musings.

7) And last but not least is Lisa at Knitty, Vintage and Rosy. Her blog is pure vintage prettiness and inspiration. She loves so much of what I love. Not to mention that I adore her choice of featured music. I consider her a friend. Her blog goes back to 2004, so there's much to peruse; I think you'll come to like her as much as I do!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Curb Appeal

I've had this wooden house purse for quite a while. It "houses" my collection of watches. I've always thought it needed some dressing up. All the windows have a slot at the top to slide pictures down into; when I got the purse it had someone's children's school pix in all the windows. I decided that giving this little cottage some curb appeal, using only things I have at home in my craft supplies, would be a fun project. It was perfect for this week when, coming home exhausted but still having some energy, I could tinker for a half hour or so before getting ready for bed.

The roses climbing up and over the front door, as is the ladybug, are not proportionate, but who cares. The little cat on the roof was a find from a while back. Reindeer moss is something I keep handy all the time; it's great filler in all kinds of craft projects and here it works well as shrubs. I decided to focus on just the front of the house and leave the other sides as is. Here are the before and after.

Craft Table

I was going to include this vintage mug holder in my Goodwill drop-off stash, but decided that it would be perfect on my craft table as a place to hang scissors and clamps. Wrapped around the can I use to hold pens, exacto knives and such is a rubber band . . . an ideal place to tuck an eraser and tweezers. The tole cachepot holds glues and rulers. And everything sets on a piece of linen embroidered with birds. My Nana had done it and never finished the edges. It still has masking tape under it, holding the frayed edges in place. I rather like it in this state.

Catching Up!

What a horrendous week it was. Five 10-11 hour days in a row, and there were people at the office past when I went home! I have an assistant starting August 11 and that will certainly help. She is the sister of one of my previous assistants, Tim (who, by the way, has just started a blog of his photography — stop by and leave a comment if you get a chance — and has gone on to do quite remarkable things in his career, making his mark at Burton Snowboards and now at VSA working on Nike and IBM). He's a dear friend and I'm ecstatic to now have a chance to work with his sister, who is equally as genuine and kind.

With my schedule and Harleigh's commitments (and now with a car to get her where she needs to go!!!!), our poor little Gideon has had his share of home-alone time. Harleigh bought him this water bowl and what a great buy it's been. With this Georgia heat, it assures that Gideon has enough water to get him through the day. Granted he has the run of an air-conditioned house, but it can still get a little warm as the AC fights to keep up with 90+ degree heat outside. I love that it matches the color of our walls! We fill it up every morning, adding lots of ice cubes.
I was standing in my kitchen last night looking at this kitchen cabinet and the fact that I have had these beaded necklaces and bracelets hanging from the cabinet knob since we moved in back in 1999. Harleigh made them all when she was in elementary school, with the exception of the Welcome Home sign (have no idea where that came from). I guess I just figured that this is as good a place as any to hang them . . . and I have no intention of taking them down. Now that our paths cross so infrequently, as she gets older and more independent, I like having things like these around the house to remind me of her.
Gotta get back to cleaning the house. Having my parents over for dinner tonite! Will try to post a ton this weekend to make up for such a dud posting week. Have a craft project just completed that I'll share.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

First Bloomed Bulb of the Summer

This year I planted gladiola bulbs I got from the dollar store. They're doing well. This is one of the first to bloom and I put it in this wall vase that was a gift from my sister. The vase is a test tube mounted into a metal buckle (?) with a piece of vintage molding as the base. I covered the nail up with a piece of antique blue ribbon.

Bike Envy

On my last visit up to Baltimore to visit my sister, I was smitten with a rusty vintage bike she has in her garden. With a metal bike basket on the front spilling over with flowers, it was too adorable. I've seen old bikes used like this before, and looking at this one every day for a week from the screened in porch was just too much. I had to have one. I've been looking for one for probably two years now and to no avail.

But this past week when we cleaned out the garage, I decided that my old bike (in the yard sale pile now to go to Goodwill) would work just fine with a little work. It's not as rusty and vintage-y as hers, but with time, it's sure to get that nice garden patina. I cleaned it good and spray painted it blue. The handlebars were covered with black foam padding and that was easily cut off. Then I added on a basket. Lined the basket with plastic and filled it with a perennial and annuals. Then secured it to the tree with wire and a bent nail. I think it looks rather pretty. Here are the before and after pix.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Sometimes it's just the littlest of things you find that just makes a trip into a thrift store or flea market worth the effort. Today I stopped into Goodwill. They don't usually have vintage finds (or if they do, they don't set on the shelves very long before being snatched up). Today I found two of these really pretty plates. I have a ton of vintage dishware and really no business getting more, but these are a bit larger than standard dinner plates, and at $1.00 a piece, I couldn't resist. The gray border is lovely as is the scalloped edges . . . like the crust of a pie.

Love to open the mailbox . . .

. . . and see a brown cardboard box inside! Got my package in the mail today from A. Bel Emporium . . my first purchase from Amanda's online shop (her blog every little thing is one of my favorites!). Anyways . . . her store has the most fun, kitschy things. This order was for these Bavarian Rose cupcake liners, and she threw in these lemon and strawberry topper picks as a little gift. Stop by her shop and have a look!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Last night we went to my grandmother's assisted living home. The facility sets on top of a hill overlooking the town's fairgrounds, the perfect vantage point to watch fireworks. The home only allows friends and family of the residents to enter the property and so we have perfect parking, not to mention a great view and great company. All the elderly residents are wheeled out or come shuffling out with their walkers to sit in rocking chairs. Popsicles are served to everyone, and this year Harleigh and I talked to the social director and got the green light to do face painting. The kids loved it and even a few residents sported stars and stripes on their faces and USA "tattoos" on their arms.

This year our parade options were a little more limited than last. I would have jumped at the chance to head back to Dacula, where we saw a wonderful Memorial Day parade. But Dacula wasn't having a 4th parade so we wound up going to Marietta. It lacked a little of the small town feel that oozed out of Dacula's Memorial Day parade, but it was wonderful nonetheless, just to be celebrating our grand ol' USA, cheering and waving flags in the July sun.

Someday, if I ever do find my soulmate, he will be the man who wears a Santa hat when we're out Christmas shopping and who jumps at the chance to wear matching patriotic shirts on Independence Day!
Speaking of Santa, he came down from the North Pole just to help us celebrate!
A curbside sea of flags.
Big trucks . . .
Cloggers . . .
Handmade floats . . .
And floats that made you well-up with pride and gratitude . . .
Little pageant princesses . . .
The homeschool marching band . . .
And my favorite, these guys from a civil war re-enactment regiment. Every 50 yards or so, they'd stop and shoot blanks, the smoke billowing from their guns. It was way cool.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

People with No Consciences (and a Precious Boy to Remind Me of the Good in the World)

Today, I sat down at the computer to tackle the yucky chore of paying bills. And when reviewing my bank account online discovered a charge against my debit card that I had not made, for a restaurant around the corner from where we live. Called the bank first and they told me to start with the restaurant. Called them and found out that my debit card number had been used for a delivery order. They gave me the address of where the food was delivered and will get back to me so that I can be credited. It was only for $35, but I felt really violated. Called the bank, then, to cancel my card and make sure no other fraudulent purchases had been made. Then called the police to file a case. $35 or not, it's a crime and I ain't sitting around lettin' it happen. Armed with the address of the person who used my card number, it's super tempting to confront them myself, but I'll leave that to the police.

In the midst of all the phone calls it took to remedy the situation, I looked down at my feet and saw this sweet view of Gideon sleeping. As soon as I snapped the picture, he moved to the sofa and curled up there. What a precious boy.

Go for it . . .

I've been off work this week, and today kicks off the holiday weekend. Had a hankerin' for French Toast this morning and gonna go for it. We have fireworks this evening and a parade to go to tomorrow morning. I'm hoping that the schedule works out so that I can watch the Boston Pops on TV.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Living Room

It is the most lived-in room of the house. It's the brightest, it houses the TV with cable on it, the furniture is plop-down-make-yourself-comfortable kinda furniture, and I've always made it a point for it to be dog- and kid-friendly (which means that it's in a constant state of, well, untidyness). When we moved into the house, I was on such a fixed budget. I knew what I wanted and I knew that I'd have to wait for much of it. But some things just fell into place without costing a penny.

Like our coffee table. I had a kitchen table that was really too large for our kitchen (I had bought it in our last apartment and it was perfect for the dining room). It hadn't cost me that much and rather than sell it at a yard sale, I looked at it in a different light. I had no coffee table for our living room, this table was the perfect surface size, and the white fit in nicely with what I had. So I asked my dad to cut the legs down. It has proven to be the perfect coffee table. Great for entertaining, dinner in the living room, playing games, and putting your feet up on, and I can fit an ottoman underneath to pull out for more seating.
At the time that I moved into our home, the design firm where I work was housed in an old renovated warehouse space. The owner at the time had lots of salvaged architectural items around. When we were ready to move into a new space and the owner was selling out to his partner, many of these items were up for grabs. I couldn't resist this window, to which I added the curtain and the starfish. It hangs in my living room now and feels beachy.
Trips to thrift stores and yard sales can result in the simplest of pieces adding a ton to your room's color palette. With my pink and blue/green theme going, these books (with the exception of the vintage embroidery book, a gift from Courtney) and shell planter (all purchased for next to nothing) are highlights of my mantle.

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