Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Afternoon Tea In The Garden

Hello to you all.  I hope you are all having a good week.  What a lovely weekend we had.  We spent it at the Jersey Shore with family.  And many fun activities.  Lots of cooks in our family so there was plenty of time spent around the kitchen cooking, exchanging recipes, laughing and talking.  Lots of talking.  Many things to catch up on.  We felt very blessed to have the family together for Easter.  We also did some crafts and even had time to enjoy a bit of tea outdoors.  But it is also great to be back in my cozy home and my pretty garden.  

Yes, spring weather has finally arrived so I love to spend most of my time outdoors.  Especially in my garden.  I love those lazy afternoon in my garden.  Such a great way to relax and enjoy a few quiet moments with a your dearest or a close friend. 

We have been planting some of our favorite flowers in the garden so there is a bit of color added to the landscape.  I just can't wait for my roses to bloom.  But in the meantime, I will enjoy my favorite spring bloom displayed in a pretty glass vase.  

My afternoon tea was set in my favorite spot of the garden.  Surrounded by plenty of natural beauty and where time slips by slowly and leisurely sipping tea and enjoying a few sweet treats.  

Table set with Martha Stewart china and French limoges salad plates.


I hope you enjoyed my afternoon tea.  Thank you for stopping by.  



Friday, April 18, 2014

Guest Bedroom Makeover

When I decided to give our guestroom a makeover, I knew I wanted to create the feel of quaint and romantic Bed and Breakfast. A serene space with soft hues, romantic fabrics and a few vintage accents. I also had a budget to keep.
And as you all know, when you are doing a room makeover on a budget, one has to be really creative. So when I am make plans to refresh a room, my go to places are thrift stores, antique shops and garage sales. I do invest on good quality foundation pieces for our home too but for the most part, I try to re-purpose furniture, art and decor items whenever I can. And who doesn't love a bargain or the thrill of the hunt right?

The room served its purpose. But it was just your four walls. It lacked charm and personality.
I knew right away that I wanted to create a space that was bright and cheerful and one that fit with the style and age of our 1920 Colonial home. I also wanted the room to be cozy and inviting. My goal is to make my guest feel as though they are on a mini getaway at a charming Bed and Breakfast. Everyone can use a little pampering once a while right?

First, we selected a light cream color for the walls. This one is an antique white.

The lovely reproduction painting on the wall was re-purposed. The frame was originally gold and the nightstand had a dark finish so that received a total makeover too. And that saved us a lot of money. It is amazing what a little paint can do.

Lovely vintage linens and floral fabrics dress the bed.

Painted night stand and artwork.

Here you can see the mirror that had a gold frame transformed by just applying a few coats of paint. It is truly beautiful. I am so happy with the results.

Since I was on a budget, I did not have a lot of extra funds to invest on a crystal chandelier so when I came across this gorgeous and acrylic chandelier at Home Depot for only $99.00, it was love at first site. And you won't even notice the difference. It is stunning and a quick way to add elegance and romance to a room. (if you re interested, here is the info for it: Hampton Bay Maria Theresa 6-Light Chrome Chandelier)

For the bedding, I used a textured Matelasse coverlet in cream, vintage linen pillow covers found at an antiques shop and a floral Ralph Lauren comforter set I already had.

Ins't this Ralph Lauren comforter beautiful?

These vintage pillow shams are lovely. I love the raised pattern adorning the corners. Such a sweet detail and I only paid about ten dollars for the set.

Shimmery accessories and French style accent chair add a bit of sophistication to the room.

My inspiration for the room was definitely this pretty Waverly fabric that I purchased from my local fabric store. I made this no sew scarf and bed canopy with the double sided sticky tape. At took a little time but it was totally worth it.

The chair was my most expensive purchase for this makeover. I found it at Home Goods for $129.00 but I just could not pass it up. It was the perfect color and style.

Here are a few photos of the room before the makeover.  What a dramatic difference right???
  Next is reading room.

This room combines my personality, style, creativity and appreciation for history. In short, it celebrates the my romantic heart. My little jewel box. And everyone that comes to visit loves the room. In fact, the stays usually last a little longer. My family has to come call our home The Rosemary & Thyme bed and breakfast and I love it.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope I have inspired today.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Afternoon In The Garden

Happy Sunday to you all.  It's been a lazy kind of day around here.  Weather is perfect.  Sun is shining, temperatures are in the high 60's and there is even a nice soft breeze that makes walking a pleasure.  We spent the morning planting in the backyard and passed the afternoon antiquing in Lambertville, New Jersey. This is such a pretty area.  Lots of walking trails by the river, great family parks and extremely close to New Hope, Pennsylvania.  

It sounds like a lot, but actually it is all very close to our home and not far from one another.  And since they are all my favorite things to do, time just seems to stand still.  Our Sunday afternoon was finished in our garden.  Relaxing and grilling.  

I cut a few Ranunculus from my garden and created this sweet vignette to share with you today.  Aren't these blooms exquisite?  They have such an elegance about them.  Layers of soft delicate petals makes this a perfect flower for bouquets or a simple arrangement.  

It is going to be another busy week for me.  Besides having the Easter holiday, we will spending a few days at the Jersey Shore and going to New York to see our niece Carolyn perform in a play.  We are so excited and proud.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a Happy Easter.  Thank you for your support and your lovely and kind comments.  They all make my heart sing.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Costumes of Downton Abbey

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Winterthur Museum in Wilmington Delaware for the exhibit of the spectacular and original designs from the award-winning television series Downton Abbey.  And what a special treat it was.  The museum displays forty historically inspired costumes worn by the beloved characters of the show.

The costumes are designed by Susannah Buxton and Caroline McCall.  And seeing these costumes up close lets one appreciate the love and true craftsmanship that these designers put into each piece.  The quality and attention to every little detail is impressive.  They even create a color palette for each actress to ensure that the clothes not only suit the character but that they have a graceful sense of place.  The costumes are a combination of new fabrics and remains of old dresses and costumes.  

An iconic image of our lovely Crawley sisters.  Always fashionable and graceful.

Downstairs Costumes worn by Mrs. Hughes, Thomas and Daisy.

Pretty vignettes and photographs depict life during the same era at the Winterthur Estate
 (former home of Henry Francis Du Pont).   

Splendid housemaid design and stylish summer dresses worn by Lady Sybil and Lady Mary.

What a fancy and striking housemaid dress.  

Lady Sybil's dress.

Dress worn by Mary was made with new fabric and accented vintage trimmings. 

The Crawley men are also very stylish.  Suit above made for handsome Matthew.
So sad that he is no longer on the show.

And who can forget Lady Cora's maid Ms. O'Brien.  Always conspiring and very unkind to others.

Could you see yourself wearing this walking suit??  No doubt Mary belongs in Highclere Castle.

Sport wear worn by Matthew for a game of cricket. 

Fancy attire for a day of hunting.

Coat and hat designed for Lady Cora's mother, Martha.

Lady Edith's wedding gown.   

Take a look at the beading on this dress. Truly a work of art.

Dress worn by Lady Mary for Edith's wedding.  So light and airy.

Costumes made for Mrs. Patmore and our sweet Daisy.

Above was designed for the cook of Downtown Abbey, Mrs. Patmore

And this costume was worn by assistant cook Daisy

Here we see get to Lady Sybil's famous Turkish Trousers upclose.  What a fashionista.  The top of this jumpsuit was made with found vintage dresses.  The silk bottom is all new fabrics.

A true exquisite gown.  So much hand work.

And we cannot forget our handsome Mr. Carson.

The famous engagement dress.  Be still my heart.  

And the outspoken and matriarch of the Crawley family, Violet.  I just love her.  
She is witty, head-strong and very opinionated. 

Gown designed for Isobel Crawley.  

Me and my sweet friend Lilly.

I hope you enjoyed this spectacular showcase of Downton Abbey Costumes.  Which one was your favorite. Mine was Lady Edith's wedding gown.  

If your travels bring you near Wilmington, Delaware, please take the time to include this one of a kind exhibit on your must do list.  It is a must see for fans of the series.  The exhibit runs until January 4, 2015.  The admission to the exhibit also includes the gorgeous Winterthur gardens and mansion.  I have included the link for the exhibit below.

Thank you for visiting.  I looking forward to reading your lovely comments.