Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Meditation on the Golden Days of September

In late summer prairie plants native to my part of the world have their time to shine.
Fields are ablaze with goldenrods and sun flowers, interspersed with purple stalks of iron weed.
Everything becomes bathed in golden light.

My latest photos are a visual meditation on these golden days of September.

Fields of Gold

Please stop by 

for a lyrical and visual meditation on this theme.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Water images

Greetings, Friends.

I hope this day finds you well.  The seasons are marching forward.  Today there is a hint of fall in the air, a welcome and dramatic contrast to the heat of the past few weeks.

Lately I have been rising at dawn and shooting photographs of water, with its many moods.  Some days the water is clear and bright, others, misty, murky, and mysterious.  When the subject of the photograph is standing in the water, the entire scene acquires a painterly quality, which I quite adore.  My current portfolio is inspired by the Lady of the Lake from the Arthurian legends.  

Here are a few images from recent posts on my photography blog:

Lady in Grey

Please stop by my other blog to see additional photographs in my Ladies of the Lake Series and the stories that accompany them.

Until next time...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rainy Day Images

To see the magic of an early morning drizzle, and read a meditation on rainy days, please visit my other blog:

Poetic Imagery

Here is a sample of some of my latest work:


Until next time...


Monday, August 4, 2014

First Light

Early Friday morning I arose and headed outside to capture the approaching dawn.  The hills were still cloaked in mist as the first rays of light spread across the landscape.  Using a long, dark dress and a rose from my garden, I stepped in front of the lens and composed a series of pictures to catch the moment.

 Please visit my other blog to see the rest of these dreamy images.

Poetic Imagery Blog

Until next time, dear friends...


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Where Have I Been?

That is a good question!

I have been very busy with a new project, which I hope will ultimately turn into a new career-- fine art photography.  We did not move, as some of you may have suspected.  I am still in the same cottage in the woods, and now that summer is upon us with a heavy hand, I am so very happy we chose to stay.  The landscape has proven to be the prefect backdrop for my photography.

My new website and blog are located here:

Poetic Imagery Fine Art Photography

I invite you to stop by and have a look around.  There is a gallery of my photographs and new contact information.

Thanks for your on-going support and patience while this new chapter of my life has emerged.  I will try to manage both blogs for now, but posts here may be limited.

I hope all of you dear readers and friends are doing well and plan to stop by and see what you have been up to.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A pause for reflection

For me owning a home is like being in a relationship.  There are ups and downs, good times and bad.  There are things you learn in time that were not apparent during the courtship phase, and there is a bond that develops when you fully commit to being there.  

This is where I am currently in my relationship with my home.  In terms of looks and style, it is not perfect, and does not fit my dream of what my home should be like.  It is not the equivalent of Cary Grant or even Hugh Grant, if I could envision them as houses, but is perhaps more like a young Richard Dreyfus or Dustin Hoffman.  The home is small and cozy, but filled with a radiance and warmth.  It is comfortable and solid, not too fancy for everyday use.  

I am coming to accept these traits, the strengths and the limitations, and to let go of the longing for something that is unattainable or would require a sacrifice of the intangibles that have made living where I do such a treat.  Those intangibles include the true darkness that pervades the night sky, not needing to shroud my windows at night, being able to sleep with open windows and hear the sounds of nature-- spring peepers are happily singing every night this time of year, watching dear graze in the fields around the house, watching hawks soar above the tree line, watching vultures fly in overlapping circles, seeing the sun rise and set from inside the house.  

If we were to move back into town, all these things would be lost, and I know we would miss them greatly.  That old house I wrote about recently is like a world unto itself, as my husband said when we were touring it.  It feels like stepping back in time to be wrapped in its sheltering embrace, but I am not one who lives my entire life within the confines of my house, and that embrace would become smothering in time.  I need quiet and darkness at night.  I need sunlight and air and space.  I need to work in the dirt and to connect with the natural world.  I need a house that nurtures this connection and feels a part of nature, not separate from it. 

The limitations of this house, as one who has now lived there almost a year, are mostly related to its size and lack of storage space.  We have amended the problems that existed with the plumbing and electrical systems.  The space issues are things we can work around with a little bit of creativity and finesse.  A small space can also be a blessing in that it forces mindfulness about what is brought into the house, it forces one to be tidy because little messes make the whole place look unclean, it is quick to clean, cheaper to maintain.

So, I have decided to stay where I am, to focus my energies on making my current house dreamy, instead of pursuing my dream house.  I guess I am fully committing to my house and no longer shopping around for something better.  I feel lucky to have a home that is safe and comfortable and feel silly for entertaining those voices of discontent that tell me it's not good enough.  I am choosing to ignore them and to focus on the strengths of this home that surrounds and protects me.  She may not be perfect, but the reality is that she suits me quite well.

How would you describe your relationship with your house?  

Until next time...


Monday, March 31, 2014

Old House Dreams, Part II


Today when I cam to work, I spied some notes I had written during a few quiet minutes, where I listed traits of my dream house.  The reason why this is fascinating is that upon waking this morning, I was giving up on the house I posted about yesterday, mentally moving on by choosing to not go anywhere.  Moving is expensive and completely unnecessary for us to do right now.  Our border collie loves being out in the country with acres to patrol and deer to chase off.  I love the views seen from my great room and hearing tree frog serenades as I fall asleep.  My cats love the avian life that flocks to our bird feeders, strategically placed where they are visible from cat perches around the house.  My husband loves having an office with a view and a deck.  I was resolved to the notion of staying and maybe, someday, adding on to our tiny house so that I could have an art studio and a mud room.

And as I get ready to see my first client of the day, I see this hand-written list on the top of my clipboard.

My Dream House:

1.  is an OLD house (1920's or older) with original details-- floors, doors, trim, windows, fireplace, staircase

2.  has a claw foot tub

3.  has an abundance of windows and natural light

4.  has plaster walls

5.  has a second story

6.  has a proper entry

7.  has an open staircase

8.  has a front and back porch

9.  has high ceilings (at least 9')

10.  has a proper dining room

11.  has large rooms in the common living areas

12.  has been well-cared for

13.  has period features, such as pocket doors and built-ins

14.  sits on a property with mature trees and space for gardens

15.  is located somewhere quiet either out in the country or possibly in town on a quiet street

16.  feels solid and protective, is well-built

17.  has good views through the windows-- either natural scenery or a pretty street with nice houses

18.  has a connection to nature, either through woods being close by or through a well-tended garden

I wrote this list a few weeks ago and had not yet seen the grand old house, aside from the fact that we used to live in the same neighborhood and I would wonder about the house as I walked my dog past it most days.  That house has about 90% of the things on this list.  I am not sure exactly how quiet the street is on a daily basis, but when I used to walk my dog there at random times throughout the day, it seemed pretty quiet.  I don't know any details yet about how good or bad the major systems in the house are, which could certainly be a deal-breaker.  I just find it curious that I write out this list on a whim, and this house shows up for sale.  

If I hold out a little while longer, perhaps a house possessing 100% of these traits will become available at my price range.  

And yet, when I left for work today, it finally felt like spring in the country. There were many birds singing their little hearts out, the grass is becoming greener by the house, trees are in bud, the sky is perfectly blue.  

Life is really made up of a series of choices.  At most times we have the power to choose, if not what happens to us, at the very least, how we relate to it.  Not all choices are easy.  Sometimes there are two right answers; other times, two wrong answers.  Right now, I am choosing to embrace to mystery and the wonder, not making any decisions either way.  I need to let this percolate a little while longer and see if the flavor changes or deepens.

Any thoughts on this?

Until next time...


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Old House Dreams


I have been bitten by the old house bug once again.  Even though there are things I love about my house, like the expansive views, there is a core part of me that still longs for an old house.  I miss the interior features of the house we left last year, but definitely do not miss its main street location.  
While looking at yesterday, I spied this new listing.  There was a note of panic in my husband's voice when I took my computer into his office and said I had found a newly listed house I wanted to see.  I understand that anxiety-- we have moved every year for the past 3 years, and it is so much work, on top of everything else that we struggle to keep up with.  Nonetheless, we went to see the house.

The pictures from the website are awful and do not highlight the coolest features of the house, like both sets of pocket doors separating the parlors from the main hallway/entry way.  The house was built in 1907 and is basically a large foursquare with Victorian-style trim and three-sided bays in the two front rooms.  It has 10' ceilings throughout the main level.  There are 2 bathrooms, both with claw foot tubs.  The overgrown yew bushes completely obstruct the front porch and front door, which is surrounded by sidelights and topped with a leaded-glass transom.  Most of the plaster walls are covered with 1970's era paneling, but all the original trim and doors remain intact.  The original floors are also intact, although the finish is badly worn in some of the rooms.  

Here is a poor quality photo of the staircase:


It shows the paneled walls (yuck) but also shows the style of the trim.

There are obvious cosmetic needs, but those are less concerning than the potential needs of the electrical system and the plumbing.  We have only taken a cursory look and have not had anyone inspect the place, so there are a lot of unknowns regarding its true condition. The roof, exterior, and foundation seem to be in good repair.  The furnace is older but allegedly works fine.

This house is more than we need, twice as big as the one we are now living in.  The yard is one sixth of the size of our current lot.  There are neighbors close by, and streetlights.  Plus, the house needs a fair amount of work at best.  It is not practical and possibly not even affordable, depending on the overall cost of improvements.

She is a grand, old dame, however, and a girl can dream.

Until next time...


Thursday, March 27, 2014

A hint of spring in the air

Spring has been quite coy this year, teasing us with promises that she is nearby, only to dash our hopes with frosty nights.  I picked these daffodils a couple of days ago, still in the bud at the time, when below freezing temperatures were being predicted.  They have fared quite well on my kitchen counter.

Today we have warm temperatures and gusty winds; a thunderstorm is looming just beyond the hills to the south.  

It is my hope that wherever you find yourselves, you are experiencing the lightness, anticipation, and relief that come with the turn of the seasons.

Until next time...


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Winter survival tips and winter photography

Let's face it... if you live in the mid-west, the northeast, the mid-atlantic, and even the deep south, this has been one very long winter!  The entire eastern half of the country seems to have grown weary of dreary, cold, snowy days and is desperate for spring-- this could just be me, but I doubt it.

Here are some ways I am coping with this seemingly interminable winter:  by focusing on the beauty that still abounds in these frosty days; by reveling in the sun when it shines, bathing in its warmth as it streams through my windows in the late afternoon; by getting outside and just breathing in the fresh air, letting it fill my lungs and rejuvenate me; and by celebrating the occasional, warm days that have been interspersed with the cold. 

 Planning garden projects has been helpful.  So have tending to my houseplants and bringing in fresh flowers from the grocery store.  Forcing bulbs in pots or bulb vases provides a way to bring a bit of spring and new life indoors.  The dormancy of winter can feel like death after awhile, so focusing on new life is a way to counteract that.

Taking my camera outside also helps. Practicing photography is a way of staying in the present.  When I am shooting, everything beyond the lens just fades away.


Yesterday morning, there was mist rising from the creek and ridges to the west of my house.  With snow still on the ground from our most recent storm, the entire scene was magical.  Looking through the bedroom window as the sun was beginning to rise, I felt as if I were being offered a glimpse into something rare and fine in the challenging, sometimes dirty world.  This pulled me from beneath the fluffy, warm comforter. I zipped my long, down coat over my robe, pulled on my winter boots, and headed outside with my camera and discovered something even more magical than the mist.

Overnight, frost had settled on every leaf, seed head, blade of grass, and tree branch.

I had never examined frost this closely before. 

Nor do I recall ever noticing that it resembled spines or thorns, protecting every surface in its icy embrace.

The four previous photos show a rose of Sharon bush, seed heads still intact.

Even the remnant of barbed wire fencing seems delicate when adorned with frost.

If you also live somewhere where the winter seems intolerable and far too long, how are you getting through?

Until next time...


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Decorating with vintage pieces

Is your home decorated with vintage furnishings?  Are there cast-offs, hand-me-downs, flea market finds, yard sale purchases, thrift store scores among your possessions?  I am going to explore how vintage items are used in my own home and share a little of the story behind each piece.

All of the houses I admire have pieces of furniture that had a previous life.  There is a richness in these interiors that cannot be purchased from even my favorite retailers (Pottery Barn, One Kings Lane, and Restoration Hardware).  In fact many of the items these companies offer for sale are based largely on vintage styles.  Oftentimes, however, these reproductions are more expensive than the real things that inspired them, which you might find on perched on someone's front lawn or on advertised on Craigslist.

All the pieces of furniture we own,  aside from our bed, 2 modern grey velvet chairs, and the desk in my husband's office, were previously owned by someone else.  I started going to thrift stores and yard sales when I was in my early 20's.  At that time, I was driven by the need to furnish a home as inexpensively as possible, but I was also motivated by the pursuit owning of something of quality, something with a history, something of beauty, and something classic in design that would stand the test of time. There are items in my home that have been with me all these years.

Some pieces in my house were hand-me-downs, some were bought at yard sales, the rest came from resale shops.  There storied pieces add a sense of history to our home, giving it the feeling of one that has evolved over time.  When buying old pieces of furniture, I look for solid, all wood construction, steering clear of pieces that are constructed of particle board or are rickety.  Most of the items in my house originate from the 1920's to the 1960's.  High quality pieces can easily be made over either through refinishing or painting.  When is comes to true antiques, however, changing the finish typically lowers the value, so it is important to do your homework first before taking that step.

My bedroom is a study in mixing modern pieces with vintage ones.  The centerpiece of the room, our beloved campaign bed, is 2 years old, although it is styled after campaign furniture of the 19th century.  It is modern in the sense that it was made recently, not in terms of style.

The bed is flanked with mis-matched, vintage, side tables, both of which were purchased for $15 a piece from a yard sale.

The white and wood dresser is one I purchased in the 90's for about $15 dollars at a yard sale.  The mirror actually came with the dresser, but I haven't used them together in many years, hence it was painted grey.  Vintage mirrors are among my favorite things.  I love the look of the speckled, faded silver backing, which adds an ethereal quality to the entire room.

The white painted sideboard is a vintage piece that I currently use as my dresser.  This piece cost $100 and also has a hutch, which I haven't used in years.  It was a splurge at the time it was bought, back in the 90's.  I keep baskets inside the doors at the bottom, and that is where my clothes are stored.  Being placed near the edge of the loft, the top provides a surface for my cats to sleep and keep watch over the happenings downstairs.  The houseplants in the corner add life to the room, provide a visual buffer, and clean the air.  

The full-length mirror and grey chair next to it are both modern pieces.  The mirror represents the softer, more feminine, somewhat glamorous side of modern design.  The chair is also more modern in style, but with curving lines.

Vintage pieces can also be accessories and not just large pieces of furniture.  For example, the chandelier hanging in the window, which has also been with me since the early 90's is vintage and was made in Italy.  I have added to the crystals over the years.  It now hangs in a place where it catches the rays of early morning sunlight, casting rainbows around the room.

Incorporating vintage pieces into your decor is not only economical and environmentally-friendly, it is an avenue for creating a home that is uniquely yours, one that cannot be purchased from a catalog or home furnishings store.  If pieces are well-chosen, they may live with you for many years to come.

No matter what your style, from mid-century modern to cottage style, from coastal style to French rustic, there are vintage pieces to suit your tastes.  My style tends to lean toward cottage/coastal but is evolving, as I am quite fond of more rustic and industrial elements, which seem to suit my current home.  Some of the most personal and dynamic interiors are achieved by mixing styles and eras and by mixing vintage finds with newer pieces.  You can check out the Home Decor Resource page at One Kings Lane for more ideas and inspiration.

How do you use vintage pieces in your home?

Until next time...


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Red-tailed hawk

As rains blew in from the south, 
swirling with the threatening winds,
one avian soul perched in the box elder tree
waiting, watching
for a glimmer of hope, 
for a flash of movement in the field below,
for the promise of his on-going survival

Happy weekend, dear friends.  
May your days be filled with equally wonderful surprises.

Until next time...


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Confessions of an inspiration junkie

Are you an inspiration junkie?

Do you strive for creative ways to use things you already have on hand or things recently purchased from antiques stores (such as the crocks we use for our firewood)?

Do you spend almost every free moment pouring over decorating books and magazines, home furnishings catalogs, design blogs, and idea-packed websites like Houzz or Apartment Therapy?

Do you look at stories with a discerning eye, until something strikes you and you think, "This would totally work in my kitchen/living room/bedroom/office..."?

Do you look at articles for ideas about what to do with that item you just bought from the yard sale down the street because it was too cool to pass up, but you weren't sure what to actually do with it?

Do you seek out new things or new arrangements of things to keep your mind engaged and your spaces fresh because when things becoming stale you feel as if you are a steel trap?

Do you live for that moment when an idea hits you like a lightening bolt and you rush off to get started on your latest project?

If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, you may, like me, be an inspiration junkie.

Inspiration junkies are always on the lookout for something new.  This could be a new way of using something old, a new way of seeing, a new way of being.  This manifests in chronic furniture and/or accessory re-arrangeing, re-styling your rooms, re-organizing your belongings.  It often means that instead of buying something new to fill the need, you shop other rooms of the house and change things up a bit, like I did yesterday when the rug from my bedroom made its way to my living room in efforts to encourage spring to not be so shy.

I seek inspiration everywhere, all the time.  For me, there is no better feeling than when possessed by the muse, whether it be the decorating muse, the writing muse, the painting muse, or any other kind of muse.  Being cradled in her grips and held under her spell, driven by the need to create and express something held deeply inside me, is the closest I ever come to my wild, divine nature.  When I am in the throws of this process, particularly with my writing, it feels as if the words or ideas are funneled from the ether, into my brain, and pass through me, spilling out onto the page.  The same process can occur when I am putting together a display on a mantle, tabletop, or shelf.  There are times when what I am working on just feels right.  I have learned not to question this nor to second guess myself, but to simply trust the feeling.

The only problem I notice is that too often, I find myself looking externally to the sources I mentioned above, waiting for that lightening strike, when I should be sitting quietly, looking within or perhaps even looking outside my windows. 

 Living in a lovely spot, surrounded by nature should provide me with enough inspiration.  I am working on this, being more quiet inside, waiting to see what comes to the surface on its own, without coercion or prompting.

Are you an inspiration junkie?  Please tell me I am not the only one.

Until next time...


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

With his white fur, pink nose and ears, and face shaped like a heart, Griffin seems the embodiment of a Valentine.  No bouquets of long-stemmed roses, candy hearts proclaiming "Be mine", be-ribboned boxes of chocolates, or sweeping sentiments of romance are needed when one this beautiful is in repose on the sofa, basking in late afternoon sun, purring softly beside me.  
He is love incarnate, the cat who came to live with us on the anniversary of our first date.
And this is enough for me.

Wishing you a Valentine's day filled with love and light.

Until next time...


Monday, February 10, 2014


A study in black and white,

a meditation on zooming in.

The camera lens records it all:  light and shadow, texture and veining, 
variations in color and shape, ruffled edges of each petal, toothed edges of each leaf.

All is exposed before the lens, 
and yet oftentimes, there remains a mystery, which entices the viewer, compelling her to ponder what lies just beyond sight, outside of the frame of view; what lurks beneath the frilly, furled petals; or with human subjects, what is the model in the photograph remembering and feeling as the shutter clicks?

Macro photography, one of my favorite types of photography, extends an invitation to see and an opportunity to indulge in that sense of wonder.  As one who was always enchanted with tiny things, playing with my marco lens is a delight in that it allows me to come in closer... and closer still, until the richness of previously undetected detail explodes before my eyes.  And the more I see, the more I want to see; the more I know, the more I want to know.
There is always more to the story, if only we take the time to dig just a little bit deeper, to look a little closer, to listen a little more carefully.  Macro photography gives me the opportunity to do just that.  Leaning in is not enough. One must zoom in, with senses and heart wide open, for that is where authenticity resides.
That is how we discover the essence of things.

Until next time...


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Very pretty...

 I awoke on this grey morning to a delightful surprise.

My Meyer lemon tree has blossomed!  The heavenly scent is permeating my living room.  Last year, which was my first year with the little tree, it produced 5 lemons.  They have a bit of a tangerine taste to them and are somewhat sweeter than traditional lemons.  I am hoping for a bigger crop this year.  It takes about 9 months from flower to ripe fruit.  I waited in anticipation for this small miracle and was thrilled that it unfolded in my home. 

Here is my kitten Oberon posing with the lemon tree last summer before the fruits had ripened.

 I am thankful to my mom for giving me this tree.  It was a birthday present in 2012 and one that will delight me for many years to come.

This is just the perfect bit of springtime I have been needing to get me through the recent icy and snowy days. 

May your day also bring some sweet surprises.

Until next time...


On being frugal-- Part II

In this part of the series, I will focus on one recent time when frugality paid off in style and ambiance-- the first time-- and where waiting until the timing was right proved to be the wisest move of all.  Patience can be difficult to manage when being bombarded with images of enviable rooms and so much cool stuff on the market for the home, but is also a necessary element of having a home that is authentic and evolves with you.

Our house has five recessed lights in the great room, you know, the kind that look like big, white fish eyes.  When we moved in they were filled with incredibly bright flood light bulbs-- so bright that we chose to never turn them on, even though that sometimes meant stumbling around the house in the dark in order to get to another light switch or a table lamp.  

I had been intending to replace them with pendant light adapter kits to change up the style just a bit but wasn't quite ready to take that plunge.  The adapters I'd seen were priced at $30 each and glass shades were an additional $15 to $25 for each light.  With 5 lights to outfit, the cost was adding up quickly, and so I waited.

  We were shopping at Lowe's recently (I seem to mention Lowe's quite a bit, don't I?), and I noticed that some of these adapters had gone on clearance for $6 each.  Six dollars for the bronze finish adapters I had been hoping to purchase-- what luck!  They are the kind that are supposed to have a hanging drum shade with them, however that would have looked too bulky in this small room, so I opted instead to simply outfit them with 40-watt round Edison bulbs, and I am smitten with how gorgeous they ended up being!

The lights emit the softest, warmest glow, one with a quality similar to candlelight.  At just 40 watts each, they are dim enough to be easy on the eyes.  They are sprinkled around the room in such a way as to create an even light, eliminating shadows and bright spots.  They also draw attention to the dramatic cathedral ceiling, which soars to about 24' at its peak.  And since they occupy very little visual space, they don't compete with the other elements in the room, such as the windows or the decor.  The pendants are subtle and simple, hinting at industrial style, which also seems to be a recurring theme with me these days.

My husband was skeptical, not sure how they would look.  "Oh, ye of little faith," I said to him, "Trust me on this.  It will be extremely cool."  In my book, "extremely cool" is about as good as it gets.   To his surprise, he loved them once I had gotten them all installed, which was quite simple to do.  They simply screw into the socket, and you wrap the cord inside the fitting to achieve the desired length. He said the soft lighting adds some romance to the room.  In a multifunctional space, where kitchen, dining, and living areas are all very close together, this can be difficult to achieve but is something I work hard to create.

I am among the thankful that Edison bulbs will continue to be produced.  CFL's just would not provide the same ambiance, even though they certainly have their place beneath a lampshade.

So for $13 times five, my great room glows every evening, providing warmth on these cold winter evenings.  This is one instance where being frugal, being creative, paring things down to their simplest forms, and waiting for the right time to act has paid off.  

And that makes me all warm and glowing inside!

Until next time...


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On being frugal-- Part I

“There is no dignity
quite so impressive,
and no independence
quite so important,
as living within your means.” 
― Calvin Coolidge

Frugality is something I strive for, sometimes more out of the desire for a challenge than out of necessity, although at other times it arises out of necessity.  Sometimes it works out perfectly, where I am able to save some money and have the desired look and/or quality I am seeking; but other times, it does not pay to try to cut corners.  In this 2-part series, I will explore both of these scenarios.

A little background to the story:

When we moved into our new home last May, there were a number of hidden expenses.  We thought that in buying a new home, things like the electrical system, the well/plumbing/septic system, and the HVAC system would all be up to code (even though there is no official "code" or code enforcement in the extremely rural area where we live) and in proper working order.  This turned out to be wishful thinking.  We have had to hire contractors to work on all of these systems in the short time we've lived here.  Hopefully, that trend is now over.  Thankfully, things seem to be operating smoothly at last.

And so, when we moved in, there was not extra money available to spend on non-necessary or cosmetic things.  Moving is expensive, even without these added costs.  So, for example, I purchased very cheap pulls for the cabinets.  They were actually window sash pulls that cost about $2.50 each.  I thought this would work out great-- cheap prices and good looks, what more could you want?

They looked fine but didn't give me the style I had been seeking.

 I pined for some industrial-style, satin nickel finish bin pulls I'd seen at Lowe's.  I would walk down the cabinet hardware aisle and sigh, "Wouldn't it be nice..."  At home, I would often get scratched upon opening cabinet doors by the ends of the screws sticking out in the back of the cabinet.  Since these were window pulls, the screws were slightly longer than the thickness of the cabinetry, and the sharp ends poked through.  

"Enough is enough," I thought.  A few days ago, I went back to Lowe's and purchased the bin pulls I had been coveting.  They were more expensive, but the boost in style and comfort was worth the higher price tag.  This is one example where being cheap did not quite work out the way I expected.  These bin pulls draw together and echo other elements in the kitchen, reinforcing the bistro look I am striving for, as well as tying in to the steel finish of the appliances and pans.

In this instance, I would have been better off spending a little bit extra and getting what I wanted from the beginning.  It is always better to make one purchase only and save the time and expense of having to do something all over again.

This is a lesson I will take to heart.  The good news here is that the original expense and the secondary one were still under a couple of hundred dollars.  I would be a lot less chipper about the whole thing and probably angry with myself had I overspent and ended up being dissatisfied with the results.

I have also learned that what seems a bargain to one person may seem way overpriced to another.  My husband and I have this debate much of the time!

Stay tuned for part II where I discuss one example where my being cheap paid off the first time.

Until next time...


Monday, January 20, 2014

Just for fun...

I recently staged a "photo shoot" with my kitty, Sabine, as the model.  

She is posed in front of a copy of Sabine's Notebook, the lovely second installment of the Griffin and Sabine books by Nick Bartock.

My husband gave me these books for my birthday this year, and they are dear to my heart.  If you have not read them, they tell the story of two people who have a cosmic connection, an unexplainable psychic hook-up, and their love story unfolds through the letters and gorgeous, hand made post cards they send to one another.  
As both a romantic and one who loves letters, these books touched me profoundly-- 

So much so that Sabine was named for the character in the book, as was Griffin, of one of our other cats.

Sabine makes a wonderful model, doesn't she?

I hope your week is starting off well.

Until next time...



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