Monday, July 21, 2008
Several weeks ago, I invited Sasha, one of RMS's most beloved members, to spend a day with us in Gollumland. Many of you may remember that Sasha always had encouraging words for RMS members; she was supportive, wise, and kind. When it became unbearable on RMS, many of us fled or went into hiding, but Sasha kept her rooms on RMS, no matter the stars or ratings.
Sasha's home is absolutely beautiful, and it reflects the inner and outer beauty of its owner. During those dark, troubled days at RMS, Sasha took a stand, and refused to allow the meanies to chase her away. She (along with so many other much loved RMSers) became a symbol of all that is good in this world. Her rooms were a haven, where the RMS community could find a glimmer of sanity and touch base with each other. Sasha's uploaded photos became much more than a "space." They were a calm, nurturing oasis in a dry, whirling vortex. Her kindness was already well known, but her bravery became an inspiration to us all.
Okay, I'll stop talking and let Sasha take you on a tour of her beautiful lakeside home.
"Hello, everyone--here I am, Sasha."
and here are the loves of my life, my grandchildren Rylee and Logan.
Here is Logan"
and Rylee, at her first formal dance recital"
"I share my home with my three furkids Sophie, Clancy and Janice. Janice is the cat (her picture is below). Sophie is the black dog, and Clancy is blonde."
"I think Mom of a German Shorthair and several others will remember the night they were up with me waiting and worrying with me the night Clancy got out. He did come home about 3:00 in the morning."
"Here's the guest room, with Janice Joplin (the cat) taking a snooze."
The screened porch--my favorite spot:
This is the lake I live on:
Next are fish from my back yard:
"I didn't realize I had such a thing for hats. I guess this is my signature, every room seems to have a hat!"
"These are just some odds and ends. The first picture is my favorite thing and it was free, it came out of an old Fl. bungalo and this was the shutter to cover the window, actually the house had no windows, only wholes cut for windows, this shutter was the only protection from the outdoors."
"The next picture is Christmas last year, I love decorating for Christmas, this is one time of year you can really get away with having too much, lol."
"The third picture is the first gourd I ever made and the only one I own, I have made and sold hundreds of them thru the years."
"The next picture is of a mirror I just made last week."
"The next one is just a favorite table setting of mine."
"I have had to think about what my decorating philosophy really is and I guess I will have to say it is " Never be satisfied," for me anyway. I feel sometimes that contentment brings with it stagnation and doesn't allow your creativity to grow.
"I would also say 'learn your style'.. Are you a cave dweller or a sky person? A sky person likes open, airy, uncluttered spaces and cool colors. A cave dweller ( which is me) likes warm, intimate and cozy settings. Determine what you are and go from there.
"Also I don't buy the "less is more" thing, I don't think that is always true. I think it really depends on personal style and preferences. Like Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa," I like my things.
"I also believe a good room cannot be done over night, it is a sort of evolution and it takes time to collect the things you love. Avoid the cookie cutter look, always make your rooms personal. Whimsy is good too.
"Always go for bigger accessories when given a choice.
Finally, remember what the eye gets used to seeing it doesn't take notice of, anymore, so move your things around from time to time."
"Gollum, here is my recipe, this is the best fudge I have ever eaten and so easy to make! Great for chocolate lovers and people who do not like to cook ( like me) you would never guess it has cheese in it. Love it! I am telling you that stuff is wonderful--the best stuff since grits.lol"
SASHA'S CHEESE FUDGE
8 OZ. BOX OF VELVEETA CHEESE
2 STICKS LAND OF LAKES BUTTER
1 TSP VANILLA
1/2 CUP COCOA
2 BOXES POWDERED SUGAR
1 CUP CHOPPED PECANS OR WALNUTS ( I USE MORE THAN ONE CUP)
Melt cheese and butter in large sauce pan over low heat, remove from heat, add vanilla and stir well, add cocoa and stir until mixed well, sift sugar into cheese mixture, stir in nuts. Spread into 9 x 13 glass pan and cover with foil, cool in fridge.
Hi, it's me, gollum. I wanted to share several more pictures that have appeared on the blog:
Sasha, my dear, I want to thank you for opening your beautiful home and sharing facets of your life. Our homes are where we live our lives--and everything within those walls reflect our spirits, as Sasha's spaces prove.
I wanted to give you an update about the snake: my brother says it's a copperhead; my sweetheart wants it to be a water snake. So we don't know. Just the other day I was standing on the ledge, cleaning the fountain (the spickets) with a coat hanger, and I kept wading into the water to cool off. LOL That won't happen again! :-)
Family matters are taking me away from my desk, and I won't be posting anything the rest of the week. But I will be with you in spirit.
Love to all,
Sunday, July 20, 2008
A while back, I bought two busts for $12.99 (each) at a local discount shop. From a distance, they looked fine. You couldn't tell they were feather-light or sort of plasticky. As I moved them around the house, searching for their "home," I affectionately dubbed them Helena and Hunk. At one point, I broke up this duo, and placed Hunk in the pantry.(This is how "he" looked before the "Almond" Rust-oleum.)
Then I started seeing them in other homes--a lot of homes, and even a lawyer's office, so I decided to revamp them. A long time ago, I'd seen a bust with a seashell "head," and it was gorgeous but wretchedly expensive. I never forgot it, though, and last week I bought spray paint (almond,$3.55 ) and shells at Big Lots ($4.00/basket). I already had glue, glaze, and paintbrushes.
So I started spray painting--with lots of "should I's, shouldn't I's. But my pig-headed mood was in full swing.
Over by the fountain, I heard lots of yelling, so I grabbed my camera and ran over to the "menfolk. They pointed to a baby copperhead inside the fountain, its head poking from a tiny hole in the concrete base.
They made ME take the picture, of course, while they stood off to the side, issuing commands. :-) I abandoned Helena and Hunk, and we grabbed the Audubon snake guide. We couldn't agree if our snake was a copperhead or a basic water snake..although it has a distinctive diamond pattern, if you look closely.
I don't like snakes, but I simply couldn't abandon my project. I moved the busts to the back of the truck and started gluing.
As shells popped off and rolled down the driveway, I realized I needed something stickier than Elmer's; but all I had was Gorilla Glue, and my brother talked me out of using it, claiming it had "foamed up something awful" when he'd repaired the outdoor table--which is another design dilemma, but I digress.
So I glued until dark, then brought in my heads. :-) My mother and I thought the shells looked like two people getting ready for the prom--with their hair rolled in old fashioned curlers. Indeed, even some of the shells look like home permanent rods. I haven't glazed Helena and Hunk. And I'm going to check a hobby store for better glue; but here's what I've done so far. They look peeved, don't they? lol
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
"Hi, everyone! My name is Connie and I live in Tennessee, with my wonderful and sweet husband of 20 yrs."
"It's just us and two kitties, Tinkerbell and puddin.[sound familiar?] LOL!"
"I don't work as of 1 1/2 years ago. I quit because of conditions. I so enjoy staying home. It gives me time to decorate, which is my hobby."
Connie's talent shines. Using varying shades of red, blue, and yellow, she has masterfully repeated these colors throughout her home. Let's take a look at her living room.
I asked Connie about her blue porcelain, and she said, "I collect blue and white porcelains. I used to collect oriental plates and ginger jars, and, being a more is more girl, I had a lot, and they really looked cluttered. I kept seeing B&W in magazines and I loved the look. I started buying B&W. I just buy at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Homegoods, etc. Nothing is expensive, but I love how they all look together. I have over 150 pieces, crazy I know, but they don't look cluttered."
What a cat's eye view of the beautiful outdoors!
Connie's husband is a wonderful cook--and he has an inspiring, inviting kitchen where he can create meals:
Love this shelf with roosters, cookbooks, and blue willow
Another view of the shelf and kitchen
A view into the kitchen
The colors flow into the hearth room off the kitchen
"Mario Buatta is my favorite designer," said Connie. "Then Charles Faudree."
These inflences can be seen in this warm sitting room with green accents pulled from the rug.
Here's a bedroom with yellow walls and blue fabric, and touches of red
Connie says, "I love RMS and I have met so many sweet and wonderful ladies on there. I have received a lot of help, such as Susan/Moonlight and Magnolias, suggested I fold my comforters at the foot of the beds, and I love the look. Thank you, Susan!"
Here is Connie's yellow and red bedroom with blue accents:
Charles Faudree would approve of this red dining room
Connie's beloved blue and white dishes take center stage
"I love decorating magazines," Connie said. "And I'm glad I saved all the old issues, as the new ones aren't pretty to me. I thought my style was just traditional, but RMS said it is english country.I love that!"
Gollum asked me to share my decorating tips. They are not really tips since I'm not an expert, just what I do.
*** I have to have red in every room, crazy I know, but my eye looks for red. I also use the primary colors in every room, not because of any rules, but because I love them. Every room is yellow, except for a red dining room.
*** I sprinkle my accent color all over the room.
*** I use faux flowers, It's a no no, I know, but they are colorful and pretty to me.
*** Each chair has to have a table and a lamp.
*** I love throws.
*** I use a lot of 3's in my accessories and I overlap them so they look like they relate to each other.
*** I read that empty space is the most important thing in display shelves, so I grouped my accessories close together in my LR shelves, leaving space between them.
*** My home has no architectural features. I ordered my LR fireplace and shelves from JC Penney's catalogue.
*** I love B&W, toile, damask, gold frames, and roosters.
Connie wrote, "Gollum asked me what my design philosophy is. I think your home should make you happy, and with all my bright colors, mine does. I want my home to be cozy, warm, and homey, I'm not sure I've achieved that, but I keep working on it."
I think we would all agree that Connie has achieved her goal. Her home reflects her philosophy, all the while providing inspiration. Like an artist, her color trio is beautifully rendered. Let's all give Connie a round of applause for opening her lovely home to us.