June 19, 2011


My mom's little cavalier Tess passed away suddenly this morning. She was born on the fourth of July, last year, and made fast friends with every one she met.

She laughed with her tail, she frolicked with the clouds . . . She loved to watch television {especially the hunting scene in Bambi}. She could be counted on to chase Ben for hours, and I think, had she had a little more time, fetch might have become their favorite game.

I don't know if you've ever been hugged by a dog, but Tessie hugged you hello every chance she got. This hug she gave {nearly indescribable} involved a slow crawl up the torso until she reached her victim's neck. Before one could even protest, those skinny spaniel arms would tighten their grip and she'd kiss every spot she could reach, all the while her entire body wagging with enthusiasm.

She burst through my dad's newspaper every morning, after running full throttle through their house, only to land on his head and cover him with hugs and kisses. Every. Morning.

We will miss you, Little Imp.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. -Unknown

June 14, 2011


I love details. Big and small.

I love gimp trim and paint colors. Polished nickel and unlacquered brass. Hand-blocked linen and paper lampshades. Cotton woven rugs, aubusson pillows, caned seats and the like. I happily study the online shelter publications {Lonny, TradHome, Rue, High Gloss & Matchbook}, and when Traditional Home makes it's way to my mailbox I'm down-right giddy.

Gazillions of little details were custom ordered in my former life. And while I don't flood anyone's inbox with very specific purchase orders any longer, I still love custom details!

Last weekend I created a little construction dust. Some sandpaper, primer and flat enamel mixed with a LOT of elbow grease, followed by three coats of Minwax Special Walnut breathed new life into an old favorite. This piece of furniture was a gift from Courtney and my parents, a piece I'll love forever.

Here's the before. Pretty, isn't it? It has lovely carvings and a is very nice scale. The doors are beautifully shaped, as are the legs, the hardware intricate with a soft patina.

French Country Buffet {before}

And here's the after! It took about two days {maybe six to eight hours total hands-on time, but some drying time was necessary between coats}. The finish is actually egg-shell to satin, but my flash insisted on going off, so it looks shinier in the photographs.

So, there you go. Grand-total was $26, the cost of primer, three new paint brushes and two packets of sandpaper. And I owe Greg a new undershirt {needed something soft for applying the walnut stain}. Feels like I got a brand new piece of furniture!

I hope to have another major paint project finished in a couple of weeks. Benjamin Moore HC-105 is going to have a big impact in my house. More on that soon . . .

Back to the summertime . . . There's a big old pile of chlorine-soaked towels begging for my attention!!

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