I’m a sucker for Paisley



I’ve been a sucker for Paisley since my mother bought me wonderful Paisley pajamas when I was 14. I loved those Paisley pj’s and with that my affection for Paisley began. With Paisley on the brain, I’ve been on the hunt for some Paisleytastic (yeah, I just invented a word) inspiration for some new original art I’m planning.

Paisley has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, thought to be based upon a pinecone design in India and named after Paisley, Scotland where it was originally manufactured it doesn’t have to look like it’s stuck in the 1800’s. There are great modern takes on Paisley for to suit even the most discriminate taste. From cookies to fabric and everything in between it has been interpreted into many wonderful things. Here are some favorites I’ve found while searching for my own Paisley passion.

This is a beautiful take in a tranquil pillow pattern from Pier 1

I like the bold design and blue and green color scheme in this Boho Paisley Print fabric it is a fabulous modern interpretation on the standard paisley teardrop shape.

Paisley Settee

Such a beautiful Paisley settee from Horchow Home , so bright and cheery.

Paisley Wedding Cake

And this beautifully done Paisley wedding cake featured on Something Old Something New. I LOVE it!!

Paisley Cookies

Over at The Hunnie Pot they made the most adorable Paisley cookies for their little girl’s birthday. She sells the most beautiful iced sugar cookies and ships them so go check her out.

After all this interesting Paisley talk I’ve started on the beginnings of my own Paisley inspired paintings. Here’s a sneak peak of my sketches.

These are the basic outlines for a series of 4 paintings I’ve just begun. I plan to use bright colors and created an nod to Paisley prints through classic Paisley teardrop shape and through more subtle details that I plan to infuse throughout each in the series.

I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Weekend Garden Shopping



We were hard at work adding some interest to our long gray privacy fence around the lake this weekend. We started the shoveling, wheelbarrow, and dumping gray privacy fence fixing up adventure (where say that 3 times fast)  here if you want to take a look at it in all it’s former ugliness.

Short of tearing down the 100+ ft fencing and starting over with some new pretty fencing (we’re ambitious but not weekend psychotic). We planned to create some interest and break up the long expanse of wood with some serious greenery. We’re talking shrubs, perennials all sorts of flowering goodness kind of things.

We had a few ideas going into this project of what we wanted to put there. We planned to add a couple taller shrubs to flank the gate into our yard, visually defining an entrance into our secret garden beyond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked down the road, looked for the gate in the wrong spot almost walked into the fence panel…awwwwkkkwwwarrrd! It’s one of those oh geez I hope nobody saw that type moments where you brush yourself off and act like nothing happened. Hopefully flanking the gate with some shrubs with define the space enough to thwart even my clumsiness. Back to the plants, we also plan to reuse some Tiger Lilies and Hostas we had in another part of the yard as well as purchase some ornamental grasses and some flowers for color.

So it was about time we made our way to our good old garden lot to take a look and see what we could find. We ended up going home with a truckload of stuff thanks in no small part to my parents the garden lovers, but not before drooling over all the the gorgeous options available.

Plants as far as the eye can see. I wanted to take them all home.

These rhododendrons looked fantastic in the mass grouping. They were in full bloom purple glory. I can never get enough. I love spring bloomers, the only disappointment I ever feel from them is how short lived spring blooming flowers are. I just wish they bloomed year round. Now that would be something.

Hydrangeas are one of my personal favorites. Their classic beauty is undeniable. I always envision and English country garden when I think of their country cottage elegance. Ranging in color from blue to purple to pink (depending upon the acidity level of the soil they are planted in) these are a must have in my yard. I also love a dried arrangement of Hydrangeas in the house through the winter months to remind you of their summer glory.

The large leaves of the Caladium are such a beautiful way to add summer color and texture to the garden. I especially like to use Caladium as part of a potted plant arrangement.

I have always, always, ALWAYS wanted large potted palm trees in the yard for summer. Nothing says resort living  like having potted palms shading you as you sit by the pool drinking fruity cocktails under their shade.

Weeping Birch tress are just lovely. I have a particular fondness for the them because we used to have one that sat outside our kitchen window in the house I grew up in. I have such lovely childhood memories of that tree and that house :-). I think I’ll have to get me one of those someday soon.

And last but not least the Gerber Daisy. These flowers always make me smile. These will be going in some pots at my house some day soon.

So there’s some of our the finds from these weekends plant shopping extravaganza. We brought home a whole truckload of beauties and we’ll be planting away. We’ll post some picks later this week of our Outdoor spruce up projects. Until then happy gardening!

A 3 hour tour (part 2)



Welcome to our lake and the 2nd installment of our 3 hour tour. We’re back as the Skipper, Gilligan and Maryann to show you some of our favorite sights around our lake and some of the beautiful homes we admire as we float along the lake. So sit back relax and read along as we take you on part 2 of our 3 hour tour.

First stop, this lovely beauty. I’m a sucker for round rooms, they create so much interest from the outside. I can’t resist resist 3 levels of decks to enjoy the views are to die for. What’s a lake house without a good deck to sit on? The detail of the stonework along the bottom portion of the house is just stunning.

The attention to detail in the stone really sets this house apart from many of the other beauties on the lake, the stone framed porthole opening and the keystone details are inspiring. I can see great summer BBQ’s ‘s taking place in this setting. I imagine a great outdoor kitchen tucked away behind that porthole, just calling my name to grill a big juicy burger.

I love the blue of this stunner, reflecting elements of the water onto the facade. Their use of stone is tastefully done and gives an elegant touch without the extreme expense of stoning the entire house. The shingle style siding always screams summer, sand and surf to me.

Even their boat house is cute. Sign me up to sleep in that room upstairs, imagine the views from that deck. My husband would love it, you could fish from the balcony!

I think the colors chosen for the exterior of this home is what sets  it apart. The neutral coloring makes this house fit snugly into it’s surroundings, and that boat house, talk about charming! But check out that driveway, I wonder how they stop their cars from sliding into the lake during the icy season?

This has to be on my list of top 10 homes on the lake. It’s so gorgeous I was compelled to take pictures of it from every angle. I love it. I plan to post many more pictures of this beauty and it’s neighbors which are equally gorgeous in our next installment of our 3 hour tour. Until then I’ll be dreaming of that rolling lawn in this stunning estate.

For now we’re over and out,

Skipper, Gilligan and Maryann

Outdoor Summer Spruceups



After months and months of winter doldrums it is great to get outside in the yard which is in great need of some cleaning and sprucing up. So, now that the weather has turned consistently nice in our part of the world we finally get to turn our attention to our outdoor spaces. Yippee!

This past weekend we just began to start sprucing up the yard coming just in time for prime yard fix-up season. We have a looooong gray privacy fence that separates our yard from the side street leading to the neighbor’s houses and the dock at the end of the road. It is one of the least attractive parts of the yard and has yet to be touched to make look better since we can’t see this from inside the house and it was only visible from the road it wasn’t the first area we elected to focus on.

You thought I was exaggerating? Nope not even a little, it’s really long and really gray, about 100 ft of long  grayness. The good part is there’s a good decent amount of space for some plants along the fence at the top. We think the softness of some plants will definitely go a looooong way to break up the loooooong gray fence. Did I say looooong enough times? Maybe 1 more might do it…looooooong.

Since we have a relatively manageable size yard at 0.25 acres we’d like to make every inch as pretty and polished as possible as well as give us a boost in the much needed curb appeal department that this house is severely lacking.

We have several long term ideas on how to boost the overall curb appeal of our boxy raised ranch including adding a much needed focal point entrance way and updating the siding but those will have to wait for another day.

Back to the subject of our long gray fence. Right now there is a bit of a gully from the curb of the road to the fence. The first stop is to fill in the  portion of our property that runs along the fence up to curb. We happened to have some dirt just sitting on top of a tarp waiting for us to start this project. Accomplishing two checks off the list, #1 being sprucing up our fence and #2 being cleaning up the dirt pile that’s just been sitting around. I love when things get accomplished all at once. Makes you think that we had a plan or something.

The first step was basically a process of shoveling, wheelbarrowing and dumping, then shoveling wheelbarrowing and dumping some more. That’s my Dad Tony doing most of the shoveling and dumping he lives for projects, lol.

And giving wheelbarrow rides to little boys. He gives a mean wheelbarrow rides.

Once this shoveling wheelbarrowing and dumping is done we plan to create a nice border of perennials. We think some perennials and bulbs that die back to the ground every year will be a nice casual compliment to the naturally weathering fence and will help to minimize the damage from the occasional snow plow that happens down the street.

Our plan is to use a mix of some plants currently in our own yard and to go buy some new ones.

We have some Tiger :ilies in various places around the yard that could use a new home. I love these orange beauties which are super hardy. Some even call them “Ditch Lilies” because they grow so profusely in ditches on sides of roads…just perfect for our purposes.

Tiger Lily The Gardener’s Network

We also plan to add some tall-ish ornamental grasses intermittently down the line, We love the look of zebra grass for it’s  shape, the horizontal bands of yellow and gorgeous plumes that appear in the Fall.


We also have some Hostas that are in search of a new home that may just find a place along our fence.


Organic Growers

All in all we hope that it’ll be a wonderful addition to our curb appeal.

Check out some of these beautiful perennial border garden’s below that we’ve been drooling over getting our inspiration from.

This one is just stunning from allanbecker.gardenguru. Nothing more to say then absolutely stunning.

Beautiful casual border from perenniagardendesign

Until then we’ll be weelbarrowing our way to a prettier garden. Good thing we’ve got labor that works for sippy cups and chicken nuggets 😉


A husband, an old mirror, and eBay



One Sunday morning conversation where Bryan was still half asleep and I had been up for 2 hours already.

Me:  So, I may have bought an old ugly mirror on eBay late last night.

Bryan:  Huuuuh?

Me:  I said, I may have…

Bryan:  yeah, I heard you, why would wake me up and open with “I may have bought an ugly mirror”?

Me:  It was only $10.50

Bryan:  silence

Me:  Do you want to see it?

Bryan:  snore, zzzzz

Me: I said, do you want to see it?

Bryan:  No, I’m sleeping.

Me:  Here. Look.

Bryan:  Why would you buy that?

Me:  I have a plan.

Bryan: Yeah, OK.

Me. You have no vision.

Bigtime, Vision, YEEEAHH!


Knight Moves: Stella Dallas.

Pssst: Wanna see a peak of how it all turned out? Come take a look over here.

We’ll back on Tuesday May 31 to see how our Pretty in Pink mirror makeover it all went down.




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