Getting the Blue's . . . Mary Carol's style

"Getting the “blues” is generally considered a bad thing. But I have to admit, any mention of the wordblue makes me smile because blue is my favorite color. Up until a few years ago, my heart belonged to green. And while green and I are still the best of friends, I am now head over heels in love with blue and use a liberal amount of it in my decorating. If you would like to sing the blues with me this winter, here are some ideas for working this wonderful color into your d├ęcor."  This was Mary Carol Garrity's Nell HIll blog post for today.  This is how she began it.  
How much do I love when someone I admire does something that I do as well.  It reaffirms your decision making and validates your attempts at design when a "real designer" is doing something similar to what you already have.  I love it.  Below are a few photo's of her posts and things that I have already.  Funny how she said her heart belongs to blue but it had belonged to green.  Those are the two colors that circulate my home.  I just picked strong greens for the new addition "the study" as well.  
I want to almost toot my own horn and say "Great minds think alike" but I know that would be extremely false.
Below are photos from Mary Carol Garrity's home and store.  Notice her love for that Navy Blue.  Huh!

Now below are my photos from my decor.  Have had this for a while before I even knew who Mary Carol Garrity was.  Thanks to my dear friend Lisa  from "MyOwnPlace" blog,  who introduced me to Her Christmas book, I was done ever since.  

So there is my take on "Getting the Blue's." . .  Lisa Style.


Although small, A Loss indeed.

A very hard day for us today but I felt I needed to blog about it.  
Every year my neighbors go away in the winter for the entire winter.  One of the things we do for them is take care of their three cats.  Mitzy, Tiger & Picaso.  They are wild cats that live in these barns above.  Everyone who knows me knows that I love animals.  I baby my dogs (probably too much) but I love all animals.  I have had cats all my life.  Well the past two weeks we have been under a foot of snow.  It has been a bad winter.  Every morning my husband or I walk down the path to the barns to feed and check on the cats.  This photo is a year old.  If I were to take a photo today you would see that the snow is high all around the barn doors.  It is difficult to do in the cold and the amount of snow but they are God's creatures and what we do for them we do for him.  
Well during the past week, the littlest one, Picaso, has been sick.  She (I just found out she is a girl?) Anyway, we noticed she was having trouble walking and breathing.  I brought a remnant piece of rug out to the barn a few days ago along with Matt's fleece blancket and placed it in a corner of the barn.  The temperatures had dropped and it was awfully cold.  We checked on her every few hours yesterday but she didn't look like she was getting better.  We left her last night on the blanket and found her this morning same position and very weak.  I called my neighbors in Florida this morning to ask for their permission to take her to the vet.  We took her and after a half an hour found out she had cancer, liver failure, cardiac failure, water in her lungs and severe hypothermia.  After giving her IV and trying to raise her body temperature the doctor said there was nothing left to do for her and she was suffering.  Rob and I  stared at one another knowing the inevitable was to come.  This all too close form the loss of our own dog a few day after the death of my father.
The doctor asked us if we wanted to be with her when they injected her with the drug to put her down.  Rob said no, with tear filled eyes, since he had held Max when he passed.  It was all too raw still.
I immediately said yes and followed the doctor to the back.  Last night I had trouble sleeping thinking about her in the cold barn at night wondering if she was in pain and it made me think about our lives and how lonely it can be.  I felt pain for her, and a great sense of sadness.  I wanted to be there with her so that her last breath would be with someone who cared and prayed for her.  I know she's a cat, but to me she mattered.
As I walked back I saw her on a small little table under a very comfy red heating blanket.  The assistant placed her hand on her side and was rubbing her head as she warmed her with the blanket.  The doctor asked me if I was ready.  I couldn't speak.  I just nodded my head touched her little head and whispered in her ear "go with Jesus, you are not alone.  I am here to be with you."
The doctor injected her through the tiny IV and she let out a small little breath.  It was so painful for me.  I felt a huge loss.  But I am thankful that I was there by her to witness the end of her little life.  It was a gift from God and I was there.  I have not stopped crying all day and I feel terrible.  I know that an animal's life does not compare to a humans.  I know that.  But these little angels are here without the ability to speak or signal when they are in pain or afraid or lost.  We are there keepers, like Jesus talks about the shepherd who kept his sheep.  We are responsible for them.  
I feel a great sadness but at the same time I am thankful that tonight she will be held in a warm place with our father in heaven, whole and pain free and cancer free.  I am thankful I was there for her.
I wish I had a picture to post but all I have are my words and an image in my mind that will be with me forever.


I'm Amazed!

As I sit every night when I'm not writing and search through this vast cyberspace I find blog after blog that intrigues me.  I'm amazed.
I'm amazed at how many people are out there that I fell a kin to
- at how much beauty is represented by others just like me in there expressions and entries
-how blogging is an external journal of lives that we have been pr ivied to with this computer
-how I find myself fixated reading about so many peoples lives and find each one unique and extraordinary
-that I am blessed every time I read something in someone's blog that inspires me
-how one can be truly and utterly touched by someone's random words and inspired thoughts

I have selected these blogs because they have inspired, touched and amazed me in some way whether it was visual or spiritual.  Please take a moment to explore them.  You will be AMAZED!


Things I miss. . .

I miss . . .
-having no agenda or plan or major responsibility, except maybe my little part time job at our church rectory where I got 75 dollars a week and spend every dime on clothes and make up
- high school dances
-first dates or the anticipation of them
-being in a fast car
-asking what's for dinner knowing that I didn't have to do it
-singing in the band, being in a band
-long talks on the phone while someone was yelling for you to get off
-hanging out with my friends
-never ever having to clean or do laundry, thinking "the close just magically appears in my closet clean"
-being carefree, and everything that comes with being young
-youth group
-talking about youth group
-playing music really loud in my room
-my room
-hanging posters everywhere, cause you can
-coming home late

Things I would miss if I could go back. . .
-Tim and Matt, my sons
-my husband
-my house and things that have become my own
-the ability to know what is important, really important in life and not stress over silly things that really don't matter

If I could . . .
I would go back and do everything all over again but this time, slowly.

Here I was with my band at Creation festival
With crazy frizzy hair.  
Here I am on Easter Sunday in our church choir

Here I am again at Creation Festival.  Still Frizzy but having a ball.


Editing and Editing!

Who knew editing would be as much work as writing the book in the first place?  There I was so cocky thinking I was done.  Thankfully I found and editor, my sweet Victoria, who has been so patient with me and has pushed me to dig dig and dig for more.  Just when I thought I couldn't she showed me that I could.  We are at the home stretch here, almost at the finish line.  Although I loathe sports metaphors I believe it is quite fitting at the moment.  
Page after page, word after word, I pray this will pay off and my book will be published.  Until then I am still working.  It's so exciting and rewarding to see these fictional characters become tangible on paper as is in my psyche.  I just pray that they become household names and characters in readers psyches as well.  
Names like Scarlett and Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff and Joe from Little women.  Names that conjure vivid pictures in our minds because of the great descriptions and portrayal in great novels.  Who knows?


Mad For Plaid!

How much do I love this fabric on this sofa.  This is what I've been looking for as an idea for my husband's study.  I would love the window treatments to reflect this plaid.  It is so Ralph Lauren and reminds me of warmth and comfort and I love it.  Also reminds me of Catholic school uniform too, I love it.  I just ordered a sample from Calico Corners of what I believe is the same fabric.  I think it feels masculine yet elegant.


Road Trip!

Okay so it's a little early to think about September but is it really?  Lisa, KC and I are going on a road trip to Missouri, Kansas City to be exact.  (God willing) September 9 & 10 Mary Carol Garrity from the Nell Hill Stores and books will have her fall open house and sale.  Her home is photographed in all the books.  Well it turns out that Mary Carol Garrity has two open houses a year, one for Christmas and one for the Fall.  I don't know how long we can wait but this year is the 30th anniversary of the store.  The Fall one is supposed to be huge.  Women from all over the country make their pilgrimages to Missouri.  Hopefully we will be three of the many.  I can't wait.  Below are photographs of her famous home and storerooms.

Yeah she has my same colors and shares my love for blue and white.



Pictures and Frames in every lil space.

Over the years I've learned so much from books, in particular Carolyne Roehm and Charlotte Moss, my two favorites and now Mary Carol Garrity.  I have spent hours looking through them and learning from the photos and descriptions.   I've also learned alot from Susan from Black Eyed Susan and of course from my friends Lisa and KC.  Anyway, I used to be overwhelmed with walls and not knowing what to put on them and now my husband says "Honey, were running out of wall space.  You don't think that's too much?"  And I say, "Nonsense!"
Well look at these photos of Mary Carol Garrity's home or store not sure which one.  Magnificent.
I love this photo of this little area under the steps.  What someone might leave undone or bare, she took it to the next level by converting it into a sitting area by adding a lovely chair.  Look at the wall how lovely the frames and plates surround the mirror and make this wall come alive. 
I love how Mary Carol mapped this wall out.  Placing all different size artwork in all different places.  Spectacular!

Now normally, I try not to be symmetrical anymore.  Kc taught me that and now I love to work in odd numbers or design something that isn't.  But here it works beautifully.  I think it helps that the framed art is varied.

This tiny area looks charming with these four frames.
I love this surprise.  A tiny wall becomes a simple masterpiece.  I love walking into someone's home and finding the unexpected like a tiny chair in a nook or a small wall adorned with artful treasures.

Hope Susan doesn't mind me adding these two, they are from her home.  I love her dinning room and her bathroom.  The walls are adorned with treasures in unexpected places.  I wish I had a bigger photo of her wall in the bathroom.  It is absolutely beautiful.


New Project, New Year

So we are building a study for my husband.  (It's really just an excuse to decorate right, but don't tell him that.  We want him to think it's for him.)
The Amish are building it.  We should know in a week or two if we have been approved for it by the historical society, because our home is part of it.  I pray we will or all the furniture I already picked out is going to stay on paper and not become real.
Thanks to my friend Kc and her expertise, I have found everything.
Theme:  Christmas Green velvet couch (Kc helped me find a velvet that was close not exactly what I wanted but as close as could be) and some plaid to tie in navy and maybe cranberry.  God willing we will have our new amish friends built in shelves and we want old refurbished wide plank flooring, very rustic and farm house like.  And my favorite part (God willing - I always have to say that because life is so unpredictable and without God's help, where would we be?) a Stone fireplace.  I thought it would tie in nicely with the outside addition being a grey stone as well.
I actually bought a garland from BES when she had the 60 percent off sale on all christmas purposely for that mantle.
I'm excited.  I will blog the process like I did the barn.


Time To Document Another Christmas Gone By

Pages capturing moments in time.
Joy captured Forever
If only I could stop time.

I decided to scrapbook today.  I wanted to save every memory I had.  Every year I make a Christmas Scrapbook.  Rob says soon we will need to build another addition just to keep all my photographs and scrapbooks.  I know I have alot and if you calculate how many Christmas's a person might have, that's alot of books.  But I want that to be one of my legacy's left to my sons.  I want them to see that every year was special and cherished.  That Christmas is revered as a holy time with family and friends to be thankful for all that we have.  This year my dad wasn't in any of the photos nor was my dog Max.  It was odd making this book without them, but I know they are looking down on all of us.
On Saturday I'm going to take down all of my decorations and trees.  My friend Lisa and I get very depressed when we have to do that because we love Christmas so much.
I have decided not to put away my beloved Christmas books.  I shall keep them on my table to enjoy all year around.

I shall look through them and plan for next year.


A New Year's Resolution

These are the things I want to focus on:
Beauty - from within
Taking Mental photos of everything that is important
Leaving a mark even if it's tiny.
Here's to that!  And maybe a book deal.

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