Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ma(i)sonry, A Life Aesthetic

Yountville, California, located in the Napa Valley is such a quaint little town. Even at the peak of the tourist season, it was still fun to hang out and visit some stores and restaurants.

The first place we discovered yesterday was Ma(i)sonry. Built in 1904 as a private residence and lovingly restored, it is now a furniture, art and wine tasting gallery.

Inside, the stone walls are just gorgeous. The objects d'art and antique furniture are all unique and beautifully arranged.

I could seriously live here! I kept imagining what it would be like to live in a stone house and how I would decorate it. I'm enamored with stone walls as it is, so this was like nirvana for me!

I was admiring this art deco glass coffee table. Notice the two paintings on the wall.

I would gladly take home these vintage leather suitcases, but they were a little too expensive.
Can't you just imagine them stacked next to a bed or sofa?

There is a lovely courtyard for wine tasting, private parties or just for relaxing.

I love this little outdoor vignette of rusty, crusty objects d'art - all for sale.

The fire pit was made from left over stone, original to the house when they restored it.

A fun garden sculpture of pears!

If you have a chance to visit Yountville in Napa Valley, do stop in at Ma(i)sonry for a glass of wine and some eye candy. In the meantime, visit their website here for more history and information about Ma(i)sonry.

As a side note, One Kings Lane is featuring Ma(i)sonry today. The owner and founder, Michael Polenske is offering some items for sale. Hey, those suitcases are marked down to $7499 for the three! Hmmm, still too much for my budget!
Check it out here.

As you well know by now, stone walls are my favorite! So I'm joining Laurie for Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting With Laurie. To view another post I wrote on stone walls, click here.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

34 Years?

The other day, I was asked to photograph #1 Daughter Melissa's family. They were all dressed up for an event, the girls in their matching Ralph Lauren dresses! I took tons of pictures, but this one is my favorite. It captures a moment in time of this happy, young family.

Today is Melissa's birthday. Has it really been 34 years since you were born? It seems like yesterday. How time marches on...
Happy Birthday to our "Sweet Melissa!"

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Turkeys are Back!

A new flock of turkeys have moved in to our country house in Asti. They are young and hang together like a bunch of teenagers. I counted about ten of them.

They have a habit of hanging out in front of every door of the house, pecking on the glass to get in, and they poop on the porch too. I'm not amused....
So, I chased them off the porch and down the driveway.

I'm hoping they get the message that they aren't welcome.
Until Thanksgiving that is. Shhhhh, Number One Son has plans to cook one....!

See this and other outdoor photography at Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Alfresco Dining Ideas

Cote Maison
I've been collecting inspiration photos for alfresco dining ideas. Here are just a few gathered from various sources.

Cote Maison
Just a simple table in a courtyard. Of course it helps that it's in France!

Cote Maison
The stone slab and rusty metal chairs lend quite a rustic feel to this table.

Who says dining alfresco has to be rustic though? The lace trimmed tablecloth and fine china lends an elegant feel to this table.

Cote Maison
Lately, I am loving outdoor wicker chairs, especially the gray, weathered wicker as shown here.

Country Living
But I also like this table with the mismatched chairs!

Country Living
More mismatched chairs with a wonderful pine farm table.

How wonderful is this table under the arbor? It feels like you could linger here for hours!

A simple tile and iron table. I like the pea gravel patio and Moroccan lantern.

Cote Sud
Isn't the iron pergola over this table fabulous? The galvanized light is something I'm looking for.
It was available at Smith & Hawkin before they closed. I should have bought it then....

I love this romantic table with the candlelight and hanging globes.

Cote Sud
More romance!

Traditional Home
Great chandelier providing candlelight for this tiled table set under a trellis.

House Beautiful
This table designed by Bunny Williams was my inspiration for my outdoor cement table. I like how she mixes succulents with fine china and silver.

This is our rustic table. We originally saw it in a Smith & Hawkin store before they went out of business. It was handmade by a local artisan.

It now sits under our Mulberry tree which provides all the shade we need from the sun. Hanging jars provide a little light at night. I'm planning on bringing electricity to this area so we can have electric light if needed. Either a chandelier, galvanized pendant or white string lights in the tree.

The base is actually railroad ties with criss crossed iron rebar. When it was delivered, it took four men to carry the top! Let's just say it's not going anywhere!
I look forward to setting this table for many lunches, dinners and tablescapes.

I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, then on Wednesday I'll join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.
Be sure to check out more table tops and outdoor inspiration there.


Guess what? That light was actually from Pottery Barn last season. My memory wasn't serving me well. Anyway, I found it on Ebay last night and bought it! Now all I need is electricity.
It comes with a 25 foot long cord to plug in to an outlet. The description reads, "Perfect for hanging from a tree outside."

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Lone Sunflower

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do."
--Helen Keller

We have one, lone sunflower growing in our field. A volunteer. It stands tall and proud, like a sentinel. Maureen and I were admiring it's beauty last evening, how it is in the prime of it's life, "like a person in their twenties!" we remarked. "But it's all alone...."

I think seeing the lone sunflower also made us realize how lucky we are. We are not alone. It made me think of this quote:
"Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold; but friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold." --Oliver Wendell Holmes

I'm joining Tracey at Notes From a Cottage Industry for Weekly Words to Live By.
Also, The Tablescaper for Summer Sunday.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Provençal Tablescape for Susan at BNOTP!

It's Susan's 100th Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!
So, I created a French Provençal table in honor of Susan.

Thank you Susan for hosting Tablescape Thursday every week. I look forward to participating and also it's fun seeing what others are creating.

We visited France for the first time back in 1993. Ever since, I've been in love with anything French!

Especially anything Provençal like this tablecloth I found in France on my last trip.
I'm afraid to use it, but brought it out today for Tablescape Thursday!

The dishes were purchased in France on our first trip. Made by Genevieve Lethu, the plates are the "Manon" pattern. Unfortunately, they are no longer being made.

The bowls are also made by Genevieve Lethu in the "Grain de Riz" pattern.

I also have the teapot, creamer and sugar in this pattern. I brought the tray back in my suitcase!

I hope you have enjoyed my French inspired tablescape honoring Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Now head on over there and help her celebrate her 100th Tablescape Thursday. Be sure to check out all the other participant's tables too.

Plates: Genevieve Lethu, "Manon"
Bowls: Genevieve Lethu, "Grain de Riz"
Flatware: vintage silverplate
Stemware: vintage
Tablecloth and tray: purchased in Provence
Confit pot: reproduction, Pottery Barn
Wooden candlesticks: Candelier
Flowers: from my garden!

On Friday, I'll be joining Cindy at A Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.
Then on Saturday, I'll join Laurie at Bargain Hunting With Laurie for Favorite Things Saturday.
Thanks Cindy and Laurie for hosting.
I'm joining The Tablescaper on Sunday for Summer Sundays. It's all about what summer means to us. Be sure to check it out!

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