Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Style & Simplicity


If you're not already aware, I wanted to make sure that you know that
Ted Kennedy Watson's first book 
(that I mentioned on the blog back in December) is now in print and, in fact, is in its second printing already!  Yes, it's that good!  

As you'll remember, Ted is the proprietor of  two wonderful shops in beautiful Seattle- Watson Kennedy Fine Home and Watson Kennedy Fine Living.  Ted also writes the delightful blog 
Ted Kennedy Watson where he generously offers gracious tips on how to live a beautiful life. 

When I was looking for a place to photograph Ted's book I knew this vignette I put together over the weekend was the perfect spot since several of the many items Ted mentions in his book, which is 
"An A to Z Guide to Living a More Beautiful Life" 
were all here on the kitchen island-  hotel silver, candles, baskets, white bowls, horn utensils, a bowl full of citrus!
The book is a charming read and Ted's A to Z list is a reminder on how to incorporate beautiful and simple choices into our daily lives and the joy that they can bring when we slow down a bit and are more aware of all the simple beauty that surrounds us.  As Ted says, "Living in the moment, not in preparation for the moment, is my prevailing thought."
Ted shares things and experiences that fill his daily life with beauty and it is his goal that the list will inspire creative ideas in his reader.  Ted says, "Living creatively is not meant to be about money; rather, it is about being creative with the choices that present themselves to you during the day.  It is about being aware of your options and how you choose to view them."
From the book's Introduction Ted also writes, "For as long as I can remember, the minute details of life have been incredibly important to me.  My goal in writing this book is to share with you many of those details and observations so that you may start, or continue, to see them in your own world and relish in them, too.  The details in my everyday life are no more special than those in anyone else's, but by sharing mine with you, my hope is that you begin to see them in yours.  Seeing the small details requires slowing down a bit and being aware of your surroundings."

I could not agree more! 

I am very honored to be mentioned in the book under "People, Places, and Goods I Like, Love, and Adore."
Thank you Ted!

To order the book (and don't forget what a great gift it would make when ordering;)
click HERE.

To shop Watson Kennedy online HERE.

So... go light a candle, put on some great music (I'm listening to the soundtrack from Pride & Prejudice as I type) , and read/order;) a charming book, and relish the moment!
xxojoan



Monday, July 14, 2014

the summer terrace




If you've been wondering where I've been, I've been here..
literally!




We've have been having an amazing summer (think wonderful temps with windows and doors open and not many bugs and only a few days that the central a.c. has had to be on) and I can't get enough of being outside.  I sometimes think I am trying to make up for all those years living indoors during the long, hot summers in Texas ;)
We have a long list, big and small, of outdoor projects, plantings, gardening, basic maintenance, etc. that we have been working on,  (we're "project people," what can I say?!) but for the most part everything is under control and I think we are feeling on top of it all, and we have been really enjoying the summer!  
So, my apologies for my absence, but I just couldn't bring myself to come in and sit in front of a computer working on a post instead of being outside!  I hope you'll understand and indulge me ;)


I wanted to show you how the terrace looks this summer.  There are a couple of changes from previous years and I'm really happy with the space!









I love to plant large herb specimens in decorative pots.  Last year I planted a huge rosemary in this jardiniere and this year lavender.  It's beautiful, the smell is heady and you can't help but run your hand over the stems when you walk by or are sitting in the chairs.





  Have you ever seen so many blooms on one hydrangea?!
This new variety is a repeat bloomer called Nantucket Blue.



Antique zinc dovecote on the wall that is the kitchen mud room.




The adirondacks that we used to have on the terrace were showing their age.  When I found these outdoor wicker club chairs at Target I thought they would be perfect here!  I've seen a lot of outdoor wicker chairs at all price points, but the scale and the color of the "wicker" on these chairs are really well done.  We joke that they have changed our lives!!  We sit out here for hours now, not something easily done in a wooden adirondack!  I made the cabana striped pillows using outdoor fabric from fabric.com






 Our view to the east.
This is a favorite spot for happy hour!




The antique olive pots were purchased from Bobo Intriguing Objects years ago at the Scott Antique Market in Atlanta.  Up until recently they sat between the garage doors.  I have loved having them on the terrace this year.









 Dan made the tabletop from old timbers removed from the barn during its renovation.  The iron base was a vintage trash can holder we procured "curb side" back in Dallas!  Antique weather vane and directional sits on the table with an antique Chinese green baluster used as a candlestick and an antique concrete finial and shutter.
If you missed the tutorial on how to make an orb out of old iron whiskey barrel rings, you can find it HERE.



 








Bronze bird used to be a faucet knob but now holds court on top of the umbrella!




The lavender up close.




 Early spring I realized I needed a large pot to go on the table.  I stumbled on this large beauty at an antique store in Vermont for $18, I couldn't get it into the car fast enough!




Antique white finial and antique green urn (a matching pair sits at the other french door) with Japanese fishing float and marble balls.









I won't mention any names ;), but lets just say a certain someone is enjoying the chairs too!
#sweetella



The sound of summer... a rainbird sprinkler!



If you're looking for me and don't find me on the blog, you can always find me on Instagram (which I love!) where I post a photo of life around the farmhouse several times a week.  If you aren't on Instagram (and you should be :) you can view my photos by clicking on the Instagram photos on my sidebar.

I have a couple of upcoming posts I want to share with you and then I want to show you
the barn room dressed for summer, so stay tuned!

To read more details about the objects d'art on the terrace HERE
To see the terrace in previous years HERE
To see the making of the terrace HERE.

Hope you're having a great summer!
xxojoan


Sunday, May 4, 2014

garden notes and keepings


I was asked if and how I keep garden information about the yard and garden beds.  
I do.  
Honestly, I would be lost without my garden notes and keepings.  I'm always shocked how much my brain forgets after six months of winter!  

My garden notes and keepings are very, very basic.
They are nothing like the amazingly detailed and organized notebook by Kelley from the Polished Pebble.  To see Kelley's meticulous, inspiring notebook click HERE.

I keep my notes in a book given to me by a friend when I left Dallas.  I try to write down everything, like how many bags of Hollytone we purchased  in the spring, to how many bags of soil I used for containers at the beginning of the season, to what annuals I purchased for what pots.  That info really helps for the following year so I'm not guessing on amounts.  I write down what I planted in containers and in the yard, and at the end of the season I will add if I liked the plant, or location or if changes are needed.  Also, towards the back of the book I  keep a yearly ledger on the big things we did around the house all on one page- i.e. put in the terrace, planted replacement sugar maples, graveled the drive, bought the lawnmower, etc., etc... .




My other garden keepings are kept in this uninspired box which contains large manila envelopes- one for each of the different beds on the property, and also the terrace and porches.





 I simply keep the plant tags that come on the plant in the envelope for each bed.  When trying to remember;) or find a particular plant it is easy to dump them all out and quickly find just what I'm looking for.




I drew garden plans for some of the larger bed, and keep those in the envelopes for reference.





I also keep gardening articles and magazines for reference and inspiration.


Simple... easy!

How you organize your garden notes and keepings, please do share!


To read more: 
my garden essentials....HERE
our dirt formula.... HERE


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