Sunday, May 3, 2015



HOW I PLAN TO SPEND MY SUMMER

Okay so the usual essay is entitled "How I Spent my Summer," but I decided to be proactive here. I figure if I put this down on paper (blog screen?), then I will feel compelled to follow through... which is a good thing because I hope to spend my summer hopping the ferry to the beach on Fire Island. 


And so, I thought I would tell you about one of the most charming parts of spending the summers at Fire Island: there are no cars. The mode en vogue of transportation is instead "pedal power."  Since Fire Island is only about a half mile wide from the bay side to the ocean, it is just so charming to walk or bike everywhere, especially since there are no roads.... only boardwalks. 



Fire Rescue "Truck"











The sign on the handle bars is real. Even the local veterinarian has his own bike. And to walk back from town (we are talking teeny weeny town here), with your groceries, you can bring along your little red wagon.  


This is the parking outside a favorite local restaurant. The food and wine are excellent. Just be careful driving home. Especially if you are biking with your beach chair.



Everyone should bring their dog to the beach!
Right now it's about 60 degrees out, but my goal is to write at least one blog this summer on flip flops and toes in the sand! So hold me to it. I can't wait to "get away from it all" and show you "What I Did this Summer!"

Until next time... Sharon

Sunday, April 26, 2015



 SPRING FLOWERS



 


I know Spring is here because my snowbird friend Barbara has arrived back from California. She goes there to enjoy the warm weather and her grandson Ethan. Barb has been my BFF before there were "BFF"s and and there were just "friends." I shot this photo in her house several years ago. It's an antique French fabric that had been made into something with a draw string. Not sure exactly what it was but the vintage French country look is right up my alley... and Barb's. It's really good to have her home. Close friends and family altogether. That's what life is all about right?



 


Her hubby Jeff has a favorite chair. I borrowed it when he wasn't looking, and took a couple shots of a quilt I made. I used an antique German grain sack and some vintage French ticking stripe. Do you see the dried hydrangea in the background? Barb and I just loving drying them.... gorgeous!



There was a slight hole in the French toile fabric, so I added a patch of antique homespun from an old grain sack. I'm not sure what I am going to do with this piece. Maybe a pillow... what do you think? I'm open to suggestions here, as always.



In the meantime, I am hoping the birds show up at my yard soon and bring sun with them! Happy beginning of Spring!

---Sharon

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FIVE BABIES, SIX DOGS, MANY CUPS OF TEA
...and a Margarita or Two




It has been 18 years since I first met my friend Lisa. I know this because when we met, I was round rolly polly pregnant with Katherine and Jonathan, who are now 18.  Lisa was round and pregnant with Catherine, but not as round as me. I won the round contest. After I gave birth, and lost a little "water weight," she said, "wow, your face isn't round." I still laugh.



My teacup music box. A gift from Lisa

We would drink tea together and she would knit. She tried to teach me to knit. I couldn't talk and count stitches at the same time. She could. I knew then that she was amazing.





 We had a lot in common. Our birthdays are three days apart. We are both only children. We are both writers. And we lived behind each other. We would walk to each others' houses, and sit on the floor with all three of our babies, her two year old,  and our two dogs. Her dog was white and furry, mine was black and furry. I could never figure out why my babies were always covered with fur and spit up, and hers were always clean.



Katherine's baby hat

I relied on Lisa a lot.  For instance, people asked us what we fed our babies. She would say Healthy Brand baby food. I would say, "Me too." They would say, "What baby doctor do you use?" She would say, "Dr. Good." I would say, "Me too. I'm too tired to think, so I just do whatever she does."




One day when our babies were a few months old, I whined, "Are they ever going to SLEEP?" She said, "Here, read this book."   "Read???" I asked. "I can't even open my eyes." She said, "It's organized by age. You just have to read the first chapter." Within a week my babies were sleeping for way more than 20 minutes at a clip. Best book I ever read. Leave me a comment if you want the title. 




Once when were trying to remember how to do something besides raise babies, we decided to get away with a group of girlfriends. That was a very good weekend. Lisa won the "sexiest feet" contest. Don't get the wrong idea. It was a G-rated contest.  But it was a very, very good weekend. Did I mention that Lisa was the one who introduced me to Margaritas?



Sunday, December 14, 2014

CHRISTMAS GRAINSACKS
...and a great birthday present.


These antique grainsacks are some of my favorites. The color and style of the stripe was use to identify the farm to which the grain belonged. This must have been a very festive farm!



Antique grainsacks are a great way to decorate for the holidays: I use them as table runners or slide them over chair backs.



Gina sewed a few into festive Christmas pillows for me. Of course we added a little bling.

A pour spout was used to pour out the grain. While not all authentic grainsacks have these, if they do, it can be a hint that the grainsack is indeed authentic and not a "repro."


BLING ;)



Christmas is a great time to combine the rustic texture of a grainsack with a little holiday sparkle.






On a more personal note, today is my birthday (I'm 39 again. I've been 39 a LOT). Yesterday, my baby found out she got into two colleges! What a great birthday present for me. I am going to miss her so much  but I am so excited and proud. Congratulations Katherine!!! You ARE a rock star! Love, mom

Sunday, November 30, 2014




One of my favorite places to be during the Christmas season is at the barn. A favorite Christmas eve of mine was spent riding in a dimly lit arena with no sounds but the falling snow and hooves softly hitting the dirt. So peaceful.


 Jack the horse loves cold weather. He's got his green winter horse blanket on in preparation for the  holiday festivities.


The grass IS always greener on the other side of the fence!



 You can take the girl out of the barn, but you can't take the barn out of the girl. This is a pair of pillows I made for TheLilyHome.com from an antique German grainsack. The horse and all writing were hand done using wood and hot tar to burn in the design. Grain sacks with designs of horses are really rare, and very sought after.



 This beautiful settee found a home with a horse loving family. I did the entire loveseat in antique European homespun linen. It is so soft, and so durable. The back is covered in an antique German grainsack dating from 1913.


French Equestrian grainsack wall hanging from TheLilyHome.com

It will make a great wall hanging. Do you see the hand-stitched patchwork?



Among my collection of antique French and European textiles are my antique European duvet covers. I am curled up under one on my sofa right now. Okay I get that there is no horse on this, but it fits SO well with any equestrian home, any barn home, or any country home at all. Whether in Texas or the French countryside, these antique duvets just work beautifully. And they are washable! Look for more of these at TheLilyHome.com and if you don't see what you want, email me at FreshDesignGroup@gmail.com or leave me a comment here. I have many more than what are on my website. 

Perfect for the country Christmas!

Monday, November 17, 2014

 STORING COLORS FOR THE WINTER



I'm loving orange lately. Not just any orange but that super saturated, rich type of hot, hot orange.  



Hot orange silk
I am using this hot orange color in my own home as well as my clients' homes this Autumn. I like to add accents of it in pillows and throws, so that in winter I can change to a cinnamon red. Those small accents can change the entire dynamic of a room.


GP & J Baker Waterford Damask

Now normally my home is very neutral.  When I was choosing paint colors, Tim would ask me which shade of off-white I was going to use. Neutrals and white make me feel relaxed. But now that Fall is here, I am adding accents of this glowing orange, and it makes me feel warm inside when it's raining and 40 degrees.



I made the Autumn sign in the back from a piece of French silk, If you would like something similar, just send me a comment, or go on TheLilyHome.com and send me a message. 




Have you ever read Frederick by Leo Lionni? I think I am like Frederick. He's a mouse who collects colors and stores them for the winter.  I am storing up hot orange for the winter.
"I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days," says Frederick.

Hold on to this, and revisit it in February. 



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

 LONG ISLAND'S COUNTRY FORKS


Long Island is known for many things including some of the most beautiful beaches, Gold Coast mansions, and of course its proximity to New York City. But probably my favorite part, having lived here for many years, is the rural "North Fork," which is known for its potato farms, wineries, horses and farm stands.



When Katherine and I went pumpkin picking, we visited The Garden of Eve.  It's almost like the gardening Gods made mums to match the Fall colors. 



One of my fall favorites is Montauk Daisies. They are like the country cousin of mums... a little more free flowing and less tailored, and always white with a yellow center. On the South Fork, the hamlet of Montauk is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It has a kind of free spirited ruggedness about it. There, you can find Montauk Daisies growing loosely in huge informal bunches along old gray split rail fences.

 photo courtesy of MB Jarrosak
Montauk Daisies in Montauk, NY, on the Atlantic Ocean.

If you come and visit, look me up :)


Happy Birthday Katherine and Jonathan. I can't believe you are 18. Where did it go? I hope you both travel far and wide, but are never too far away. Dream as big as you possibly can, and then make all your dreams come true, as you did mine.
Love, mom