Thursday, June 30, 2011

Magazine Copycat Challenge

Debbie @ Debbiedoos is hosting a fun linky party.  It is a Magazine Copycat Challenge, and I decided to try and copy one of the lovely images from Summer with Matthew Mead Magazine.

Please, Mr. Mead, do not sue me because I am a follower of your blog, I buy your magazines, I blog about them, and I had your summertime button on my sidebar for many weeks.  Plus, I just pre-ordered your Autumn magazine!


This is the image I chose for the copycat challenge:

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This is my take on the photo from Summer with Matthew Mead:

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Please click here for the Magazine Copycat Challenge!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Crepe Myrtles: A Southern Garden Staple

I love Crepe Myrtles.  Most Southern gardens have one or two of them, but some folks don't care for them and call the "Crap" Myrtles.

I like all the colors, except the purplish ones.

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We recently planted three in our front garden.  Here are two of them.  They are budding right now, and I can't wait until they bloom.  They are the Natchez Crepe Myrtles (white blossoms).

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Do you have Crepe Myrtles in your garden?

Linking to Tracie's Cottage Flora Thursday @ Fishtail Cottage.

Until next time...

Blessings!

Ricki Jill

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Global Impact

I just received my copy of the July/August 2011 Victoria Magazine, and it is one of my favorite issues.  Ever.  I am so grateful to Phyllis Hoffman for bringing back Victoria, and this special antiques issue is chock-full of gorgeous pictures and informative articles.

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My favorite feature in this issue is entitled "Global Impact."  The article features globes, maps, and items with vintage map prints.  There is even a dinner party table set with a Bon Voyage theme.  On Victoria Magazine's website, you can even download party invitations and place cards that are reminiscent of vintage airmail envelopes.

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This lovely feature inspired me to set a similar table to get us all excited about our upcoming summer vacation.  I used things I already had, like the travel place mats and linens.

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I used vintage subway map images to decoupage this vase.

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If you haven't already done so, check out the latest issue of Victoria!

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If you have not heard already, Debbie @ Debbiedoos is hosting a magazine copycat party this Friday, July 1st.  This is not my post for the party, but Debbie's idea did inspire me to create this post.  Can you tell I am a wee bit excited about the party?  You can read more about Debbie's party here.

Also, Jane from Blondie's Journal "introduced" me to {Primp}.  I love this blog, and Michelle is hosting a new linky party called Primp Your Stuff Wednesday. I am joining in on the fun!

{Primp}

I will also be joining Courtney's Feathered Nest Friday.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great Finds for Your Deck or Patio

Mr. Art @ Home found a great find at Tuesday Morning.  He brought home this lovely patio tablecloth with a hole in it for the umbrella.  I have seen them before with velcro, but this one has a zipper and I like it better.

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I found this two-piece umbrella vase on Amazon.  It was not expensive at all!

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I was so excited because I thought that {finally} we would be able to enjoy our deck, but foiled again!  It is coming a severe thunderstorm again, so I am bringing everything back inside.  I did not even have time to completely set my table!

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*sadface*  Look at all this rain!!!

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Have you found some great stuff for your deck?

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shiny!

I enjoy seeing the Benjamin Moore paint trends every year.  One of the trends that has caught my eye this year is Escape. The quest for hope and escape from harsh realities prompted the paint maker to turn to more dreamlike frosted, opalescent colors as its Escape theme. Metallic finishes and soft textures are featured as part of this kinder, gentler look. Here are some examples:

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I love the dream-like quality of this kitchen.  But I wonder if cooking a large pot of spaghetti sauce would break the spell?



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The bedroom is pretty, but I think the colors are a bit masculine and earthy for my tastes.



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I love the faux tin paint treatment on the ceiling in this kitchen.  Perfection!


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Pink, gray, and cream look lovely together, and I like the bit of shimmer on the walls of this dining room.

I really like this trend, so I wanted to share how we translated the look in our family room.  I liked the way the sun was hitting our feature wall in our great room, and thought it looked neat. I painted it with Benjamin Moore's Golden Straw with Benjamin Moore's metallic glaze in gold sponged over it.

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What are your thoughts about this trend?  Would it work in your home?

Linking to Nita's Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life.

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Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rain and Thundershowers

The rain and thundershowers we have had for the past several days is preventing us from enjoying our deck.  Believe me, I am not complaining about the rain.  I am so thankful for it!  It looks like I will not be able to participate in the Summer Entertaining Linky Party like I wanted to, so I thought I would share photos of our succulents instead.  I know I have posted about them before, but look closely.  They are doing so well, and I took these pictures in between storms.

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I did not realize that some of them bloom!  You'll notice in the pictures that I have put away our cushions.  It has been raining that much lately!  In two of the pictures you can see the pretty sunlight.  It only lasted for about ten minutes.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Happy List #18

Yay!  It's Saturday, and it's time for My Happy List @ Dandelion Wishes.




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I have much to be happy about this week.  :D

My Happy List


1.   I had so much fun at my art class this week.  My art class makes me happy!  Dori Decamillis is my teacher, and her art is phenomenal.  Find out more about her art at Red Dot Gallery's website.

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Dori painted this paining on an aluminum panel.

2.   I bought a stupidly expensive paintbrush (Kolinsky) for under $15.00 *squee*.  I saved about 50% and I did not have to pay for shipping!  Bargain-priced art supplies make me very happy, especially new paintbrushes!


3.   Melissa @ Kensington Cottage is such a sweet, sweet bloggy friend.  I helped her with some html coding, and she sent me the sweetest card and flower pin.  Thoughtful friends make me happy! Visit Melissa at her blog here.   

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4.   I found a wonderful interior design book for under $15 (originally it sold for $34.95) at Anthropologie.  It is entitled Vintage French Interiors, and it is a fantastic source for inspiration. Book bargains make me extremely happy!


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5.   My girls are growing into responsible young ladies.  I could not be prouder of them. Responsible children make me very, very happy!   


6.   I am finally getting my blog back to normal after all the Blogger issues.  I never recovered one of my old buttons, but I did make a new one all by myself.  Learning new blogging skills makes me happy!  Please feel free to grab my new button!  *pretty please*









What is making you happy this week?  Please join Mamarazzi, and share your *happy* :D

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



Friday, June 24, 2011

Literary Friday: My American Unhappiness

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This week I read My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos.  It is about Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three year old liberal scholar living in Madison, Wisconsin, perhaps the most liberal of all American college towns. Zeke heads the Great Midwestern Humanities Initiative, a federally-funded program meant to "foster a greater sense of community, increase public literacy, and strengthen levels of civic engagements in the American heartland."  His pet project is An Inventory of American Unhappiness, an attempt to document, study, and analyze why Americans are unhappy.  He even strives to hold a Midwestern Unhappiness Festival with future grant money.  Poor Zeke! Someone should have told him that liberals do not care about the flyover states, regardless of how blue Madison is! Zeke's assistant, Lara, understands that the program's money has run out, and prospects for future grants and earmarks are nonexistent.

Funding for the Great Midwestern Humanities Initiative is just one of many problems poor Zeke is facing:  he is a widower whose wife disappeared shortly after their college marriage; his mother is terminally ill; he is caring for his orphaned seven year old twin nieces; and he needs to get married if he wants to maintain custody of the twins after his mother's death. Zeke's mother gives him an article from Simply You magazine that will aid him in finding a wife.  So what if it was written for women: Zeke will use the article's step-by-step method and adapt it for a man.  The first step is to make a list of four prospects, one can be a long shot.  Zeke places these women on his list: his recently divorced neighbor, a barrista from Starbucks, his assistant Lara, and Sofia Coppola (the long shot).

Each chapter in My American Unhappiness begins with Zeke *this* or Zeke Pappas *that*....for example: "Zeke Pappas needs a triple shot of gusto" and "Zeke is coming to dinner."  So I thought I would give Zeke Pappas a bit of wisdom since the poor guy needs my help.  Desperately.

Zeke Papps is a clairvoyant.

Zeke can guess strangers' drink and snack orders at Starbucks with amazing accuracy. Zeke, honey, you need to harness that power for good rather than evil.  You could negotiate for your own reality TV show and become rich: then you would not need to depend on the government for your scholarly pursuits. The private sector always provides more with much less waste.

Zeke Pappas need to grab a clue.

Like many liberals, Zeke is intelligent, but he lacks wisdom.  His rationale for his An Inventory of American Unhappiness project is that Americans are "fundamentally unhappy because they suffer from institutional addiction." Zeke goes on to explain how we are educated with a targeted skill in order to get a job to buy a house and pay a mortgage.  So universities, big business, and financial institutions are to blame.  Zeke, honey, you left out the federal government who wants to take our money and waste it on administrative costs and bureaucracy while truly providing very few services for the money.

Zeke Pappas does not know how to get his flirt on.

Uh-uh, no way did you say/do/ask that to/of a lady.  I refuse to give spoilers here, but either Zeke is the most inept womanizer or he is a sociopath.  The jury is still out...I can't quite decide.  Zeke, you are truly charming until you open your mouth.  Don't.

Zeke Pappas gets some advice.


Zeke, let me quote an American to whom you can probably relate, one who was a liberal and a progressive:

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: "A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others."
- Eleanor Roosevelt   


A conservative could not have said it better!  Now you know what to do.

Disclaimer:  I hope my liberal friends will still speak to me after reading this. You know that I love you! Also, Dean Bakopoulos can write.  My American Unhappiness is a fantastic book despite Zeke's liberal rants.  I would love to ask Zeke how hope and change is working out for him ;P....  But seriously,  I would love for my daughter (an aspiring writer) to have the opportunity to take one of Dean Bakopoulos's classes.  That is very high praise coming from a mother.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


Treasure Chest Friday

Pam @ White Ironstone Cottage is hosting a new linky party, Treasure Chest Friday.  One of my favorite treasures is our picture of Mr. Art @ Home's grandmother.  This is her engagement picture taken around 1923, and the frame is also from the early twenties.  It was difficult getting good photos due to the glass, but I tried my best!

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I was very close to Mr. Art @ Home's grandmother.  She loved me, and she refused to call me by my name because she did not like it.  She called me "Beauty" instead.  Got to *love* her!  We miss her so much.  Below, you can see the details of the frame a bit better.

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Please share your treasures with us @ White Ironstone Cottage!

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Mighty Vinca

I love vincas.  They are superstars during our long hot summers here in Alabama.  This is one of my pots filled with them.

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They are tough little guys!

How is your garden growing?  My hydrangeas are still angry, but everything else is looking nice.  I need to deadhead them, but do you see the sunshine in this picture?  It lasted for about ten minutes, and then we got yet another round of showers and thunderstorms.  Our lawn is even looking nice and green again thanks to all the rain!

If anyone has any helpful tips on deadheading hydrangeas, I would appreciate your sharing them with me!  

I will be joining Tracie at Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Flora Thursdays.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We Want to Know Wednesday #2







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It is time for We Want to Know Wednesday @ Dandelion Wishes.

Today's questions are provided by Seriously Shawn.


{1} What is the best or worst pick up line you have ever been given?

It really wasn't a line, but it was an action.  The first time I met Mr. Art @ Home at a fraternity/sorority swap, he bought me a virgin strawberry daiquiri with whipped cream on it. The whipped cream was three times higher than the cup it was in, and I could see Mr. Art @ Home navigating through the crowd without spilling the whipped topping on the drink.  He looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss cartoon.  It really was funny, and obviously, he got my attention!

{2} What is your most and least favorite day of the week?

Favorite: Sundays.  I love our little outdoor church at Lake Martin.  It sets the tone for the rest of my week which is always positive!

Least Favorite: Mondays.  It is always difficult to get back into a routine after the weekend!

{3} How many hours of sleep do you require each night?

Eight, but I rarely get it.  I usually only get about seven hours of sleep.

{4} Is there a song that takes you back in time? What song is it & what's the memory attached?

There are many songs that take me back in time.  It would be very hard to pick just one, but I can remember that my sorority sisters and I really liked listening to Modern English and Squeeze, and we drove to Atlanta for a Squeeze concert once.  I guess every time I hear "Tempted" I think of college, road trips, and my sorority sisters.

Watch the video here.


{5} What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

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Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Patchwork Inspiration

I have been helping my daughter design her dorm room for months.  We have been working on projects, ordering one of a kind vintage items from Etsy, and searching the internet for sales. Shanley wanted some small shelves to place on her chest of drawers to hold small treasures and picture frames.  We were inspired by Selina Lake's Romantic Style.  I love this book, and I also own a copy of her Bazaar Style, too.  If you have not checked out either of these books, please do yourself a favor and read them.  You can read my review of Romantic Style and the other three Best Home Decorating Books of 2010 here.  This is the image that sparked our imagination:


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This is our project:


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We wanted to use black and white paper to make Shanley's colorful treasures pop.

Would you like a patchwork wallpaper wall in your home?  I admit that I am tempted.

Linking to White Wednesday at Faded Charm Cottage.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, June 20, 2011

{Mod Apartment} *love*

My oldest daughter loves shopping at Modcloth.  I have been shopping at Mod Apartment for her dorm room, and I bought some goodies for our home, too.

Although I have already posted about these canisters, I must say that I am still loving them. The seal is tight, and the patterns are retro and cheerful.

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My most recent purchase includes this fun cutlery set.  Each set of four is comprised of a different pattern, and I think they make for a fun informal meal on the deck or even in the kitchen.  I found the cutlery caddy at AtHome in Homewood, Alabama.

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I set our breakfast table this morning for muesli and tea.  It was fun not matching anything. I hope the girls will like it when they wake-up, and it will start their week off right.  We had a long, fun, exhausting weekend!

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Do you like to mix it up, or are you a matchy-matchy girl?  I think I am a little of both!


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Please join Nita at Mod Vintage Life for her Mod Mix Monday Linky Party.

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Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill