Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Choosing china (and other dish) patterns

"Back in the day" when I was getting married, I remember noticing a beautiful china pattern with lovely floral design and bright colors. I also found a pottery pattern with bright yellow daisies on the plates.

After deciding on the patterns, I took my (now) husband to put his stamp of approval on the dishes. I had no doubt that he would love my choices!

By the time he got to town to visit the store, my china pattern had already been replaced and my confidence in my taste had already been questioned.  My parents had graciously explained to me how I was limiting myself with the bright colored china pattern. My linens would  to need to coordinate  with the colors in the dishes, as would any chair seat covers.

After listening to this logic, I returned to Hemphill-Wells to find a pattern that would be more versatile. At the time, Noritake had a white, silver-bordered pattern that had the ability to be used with a multitude of colored table linens, and color schemes in a home's decor.

Now soon-to-be husband arrives and appreciates the china pattern. I wasn't looking at his face when he saw the pottery, possibly because I was so enamored with those daisies.

Please understand the dishes were not as ugly as it may sound. But once again, I had chosen a pattern that would be limiting.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Too herringbone or not to herringbone

While choosing details for our home, we spent a great deal of time studying finishes in historic houses. There were subway tiles, tiny patterned tiles on floors, beautiful wood planks, and brick on porches and walkways throughout yards. There were time periods that seemed to showcase more herringbone patterned finishes than others.

The name of the herring fish is said to be the origin of the v-shaped herringbone pattern, which it resembles.

Herringbone fish skeleton - borrowed photo
There are herringbone patterned walls and roads in multiple historic sites, dating back to the Roman Empire. Jane Street Clayworks showcases beautiful examples. 

Fast forward to early American construction and we continue to find examples of the pattern. 

Borrowed photo

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year's Day table in the south

Tales are told.
Stories are shared,
and habits become traditions!

Growing up in West Texas, we never failed to have a pot of black-eyed peas on New Year's day. Please forgive me for side-tracking a bit, but it might be worth sharing that we ate this southern dish other times during the year as well.

In fact, this simple dish brings back memories of my mother telling us how her favorite peas were grown in the sandy soils of West Texas. Somehow those were just "better" than peas grown in other soils, even the soil on my dad's beloved Oklahoma childhood farm.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas tree decorating system

Intentionally working to keep Christmas decorations simple for multiple reasons, I've discovered it is just as fun to get our house ready for Christmas without decorating every square inch of space. The more simple, the easier it is to both clean up and to store throughout the year.

Over the past few years, I have developed a system to decorate our tree that works well for us.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

All those corners

Oftentimes making seemingly simple choices might not be as simple as we think.

When our builder asked us about using "bull-noses" corners or squared corners, we both had to think a minute.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Miniscule hurricane damage

If you had the news on a couple weeks ago, you are probably all too aware that a major hurricane by the name of Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast with a furry!

The destruction was enormous, and the details overwhelming for those whose homes were flooded or damaged in the rising water.

The only damage we sustained was not even worth talking about, and we are thankful that is the case. However, we all need a good chuckle sometimes, and this provided comic relief for a friend whose house actually flooded.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Southern Beauty - Southern Living Showcase Home

With the backyard overlooking a picturesque fairway of the BlueJack National Golf Course north of Houston, TX, the 2017 Southern Living Showcase Home exudes beauty and relaxation. It is easy to picture yourself  curled up in various places both inside and outside with a good book in your hands.

The previous post had links to wonderful photos of the house. I snapped a few up-close shots of some wonderful little areas that caught my attention.

The posted address, 4430 S FM 1486, Montgomery, TX 77316 is not easy to find on Google maps. The first search result showed the address in the NW corner of Jackson Rd and FM 1486. We drove up Jackson Rd, turned right on FM 1486 and were close to Dobbin before we could find someone to ask about the true location.

The gentleman sent us back south, past Jackson Rd (where we had been), to the entrance of BlueJack National Golf Course. My advice is to watch carefully as you drive on the farm road because the community entrance will sneak up on you. It is literally "in the middle of nowhere."

Once you find the road, there is a guard at the gate. This guard will be glad to give you directions to the home.

(I apologize about the poor quality of the photos.)