Saturday, February 26, 2011


I am having my first GIVEAWAY and it was spurred by my sweet husband. (who woulda thunk it!) Anybody who knows us knows that we think about as differently as two people possibly could.. (picture math mind versus creative mind, non-visual vs. visual, ie you get the picture.)   So we almost had a knock down drag out over which of us bought my new favorite thing, "Blogging for Bliss" the book by Tara Frey.  I was commenting on how much I was learning from this book and he replied 'I am glad I bought it for you', to which I replied 'I bought this for myself at the book store.' Well for the next 15 minutes we went round and round about WHO bought the book. Each of us adamantly convinced the other was losing his/her mind.  So we ended it by agreeing to find receipts, and look for the "other" copy.  Welllll, who in a million years would have expected us to buy the same book!!??!!!  Not us!!!!  We do NOTHING the same.  BUT... this time we actually did!! I had been reading both but didn't realize it.  One was in the bedroom and one in the living room. He needed to order something else on Amazon to get free shipping so he looked for me a blogging book. (aaaaaaawwwwww isn't that sweet? he is very thoughtful) I on the other hand had waded through all the blogging books at the bookstore to land on this one.  It has beautiful pictures (very important to the creative mind!) and is a virtual WORLD OF BLOGGING INFO. It includes dozens of interesting blogs with snippets about each of them. Since I am still new at this, it has proved invaluable!!! BUT I DON'T NEED 2 COPIES!!!  So therefore "MY FIRST GIVEAWAY" IS A COPY OF THIS BOOK.  Just post a comment saying you want the book, or 'did I win?' or whatever you want to say. If there is not an actual comment box at the end of this blog, (it keeps disappearing for some reason) then just click on the word 'comment' and that should work. I will pick from all comments before midnight tonight.  BE SURE and sign up for email notification in the subscribe box. Also all feedback is welcome!! I am still evolving!!
 Have a great Lord's day!  ele 
 ps. still waiting on the grandbaby!  2 days late!

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Mother's Lemon Cake

Mmmmmmmmmm... can't you smell it baking?  My mother is known for her lemon cake, better known as 'the required lemon cake'.  It isn't fancy or hard to make but it is yummy. Sweet and tart all at the same time. I was thinking of taking something to Nashville when my grandbaby is born, (this week we hope) so I thought I would make lemon cupcakes. Because  the baby mama has celiac I made a batch of regular and batch of gluten free.  Now I have to say that the gluten free are a little chewy but if you are a celiac then chewy cake is better than 'No Cake'.  Either way you start with a mix and 'doctor' it up! This cake freezes very well.  Mom always kept some in the freezer for a quick thaw in the microwave treat.  My mom's cooking was always a blessing.  Enjoy!!!  ele

Here is the recipe as it hangs on my cabinet door for quick access.

Lemon zest gives the frosting it's tanginess!

Cream cheese and butter in the food processor for the frosting.

Finished cupcakes!  Gluten free marked with fancy picks.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Puppy Inspiration

      Meet Boomer, my new little grand puppy! (Yes we are still waiting on the new grand baby due any minute!) Isn't he adorable?? He is about 4 pounds of all fluff and cuddliness!!! His coloring is so beautiful that it inspired me to put together a color board of fabrics.  Black, tan and white. ( of course little Boomer is sitting on an animal print rug!) These fabrics would be wonderful together in almost any room.  There is a black ground large scale plaid, a small scale black and white hounds tooth check, two different tan chenille fabrics and of course a small tan animal print for accent.  Can't you just see Boomer sitting on a black sofa with pillows in these fabrics and matching drapes?  Please do email me, if you would like swatches and prices. Each closeup of the individual fabrics is listed with name and color below it.  I do discount all the fabrics I sell.  I love to help you save on your decorating.

      I am posting a new favorite thing today. While I will readily admit that my stack of books to read is much larger than the stack I have read, I flew through Jan Karon's 'Mitford Series'. Please do read them in order.  What I love is that this series, while not specifically written to be spiritual book, it packs a big spiritual wallop! You will fall in love with the people of this small town and will feel like you know them all personally.  It shows how God uses life's everyday mundane things to accomplish His will. Curl up in front of the fireplace and prepare to stay a while.
Happy Tuesday,  ele


houndstoothe fabric  FOX -  color 8Black  (K)

fabric  LEO STRIPE - color 8 Canyon (K)

plaid fabric  HENRY  - color  8 Black

fabric  REGGIE - color 8 Bamboo (K)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trellis Time

     Soooooo sorry to have been away so long.  I warned you that I had jumped in to techy stuff when I wasn't quite ready.  I have been bogged down in html code (which I do not know!) all week.  It seems like everytime I tried to do something it disappeared.  Finally found out most of my problems were with Internet Explorer (not on my favorites list).  Enough excuses I am back! Thank you all for all the encouragement and kind words about this new blogging experience.
     Todays design news is about trellis patterns, sometime known as lattice or grid patterns.  They are everywhere!!!! I have always loved these patterns so I am sooo happy they are so prominent now.  I'm posting pics of several fabrics (all which you can order from me)that show you the look.

Aren't they pretty?  I love the red ones that coordinate together.  I can see a chair with coordinating lumbar pillow(that long pillow on chairs that fits the small of your back).  Throw pillows out of a trellis pattern would be a quick update.  The great thing about them is how well they mix with other patterns. (ie. florals and stripes).  All the above come in several colors, just email me if you would like prices or swatches.
     Now for my new favorite thing!  I love the devotional book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.   I have
given ssoooo many of these as gifts that I have lost track of who I have given them to.  She writes as if Jesus is personally talking to you, and give specific scriptures.  The daily thought are short and take just a couple of minutes to read but pack a powerful message each day.  I hope you will pick one up soon.
    GRANDBABY UPDATE!  Dilated to 1 cm.  Progress! Most of us know that first babies don't just sneak out, they tend to be stubborn. We are just praying for a healthy delivery in God's perfect time.
     My plan is to post about twice a week.. I finally got an email subscribe button that many of you have been asking for  ( box at top right corner).  I also turned the Favorite Things and the Favorite Paint colors into pages accessed by tabs at the top of the post. (I've really been studying hard on this techy thing!)  Please leave me feedback in comments.  I am trying to get a comments box but right now you just click on the word comment at the bottom of the page. Please give me ideas of things you would like me to add or change.  I am open to suggestions!
     Ya'll have a great weekend!!  ele

Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Do You Need to Hire a Designer????

     When I think back over 20+ years of design work, I have to laugh at some of situations I have been put in.  If people would just learn that it will pay you to get a professional opinion before you:....
     ... before you buy that hideous pink sofa you have to live with and can't make anything work with it.
     ... before you actually buy that bargain fabric that there is no more of. (and of course you need more!)
     ... before you invest in that piece of art that costs so much you have to change everything else to go with it
     ... before you start ripping that wallpaper off the wall and then find out that it wasn't the problem.
     ... before you buy that non returnable dining room light that is way too small for the space!
     ... before you plunge into the tear out and then realize your budget is way off.
     ... before you have an actual plan of action!
     ...before you let your brotherinlaw lay your tile. (after all, he can do puzzles!!!)
I think you get the picture. Many costly and stressful mistakes could be avoided by having a consultation with a designer on the front end of whatever you are doing!!!  You will need to hire the designer for a lot more time AFTER the mistake than BEFORE the project.
     I know the idea of hiring a designer can be intimidating but just ask around and I'm sure you can find one that will be fun to work with and not break the bank. (If you are in the Memphis area my number is 901-246-5652 or A good designer should be just as careful with your money as you are. Sometimes all you need is an hour or 2 consult to make sure you are on the right path.  And then there are others of you that need the designer to take control of the project.   Let's face it, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  When I need computer help, I hire it.  When I need a plumber, I hire a plumber.  etc. etc. You see what I'm sayin' ( just sayin)?  Do yourself a favor on your next project and consult with a professional.  Many times the professional can actually save you money over what you could have done yourself. ( we have lots of contacts and resources). 
Go ahead and get started on that long put off project!! Have fun!!!   ele

The pictures today are from a trip we took to Newport. RI.
A great place to get inspiration!!!  So many old glorious homes to tour!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coffee with Cream!!! MMMMMMMMMMMM

I was just sitting by my warm fire on this cold February afternoon drinking a nice cup of hot coffee with cream. As I looked at the inviting coffee it reminded me of a yummy paint color I used recently and of my new favorite thing, my Keurig coffee maker.

First, the paint color. It is the chip on top of the cup of coffee (in a blue and white cup of course!). The color is by Pratt and Lambert and is called Earth Tone #8020. It gives a room a warm enveloping feeling. Very rich! If you would like to see a picture of a room in that color then just email me at and I will send you one.

Then my new favorite thing, My Keurig coffee pot. I will be the first to say that I thought all my friends were crazy to get one of these. But I can admit when I am wrong, and boy was I wrong. I got the premiere edition which holds a lot of water so you don't have to refill so often. I Looooooove the fact that the coffee is really HOT and that I can choose the size cup I want and have it almost instantly (patience has never been my forte')! I was never a Starbucks girl because I like mellow coffee and I am too cheap to spend that much for coffee on a regular basis. ( the truth is the truth) So with those recommendations I will settle back and finish that now lukewarm cup of coffee.

Stay warm! ele

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Multiple Blondes!!!

Okay, today is all about blonde. A great paint color called Blonde SW - 6128. (SW = Sherwin Williams) When in need of neutral warm tones (remember I don't do beige!) these are some of my 'go to' colors. They are soft and warm and make great backdrop for most other colors. Go a little lighter with
SW Ivoire 6127 or a little deeper with Restrained Gold SW 6129. These work very well together for subtle room to room color. And don't forget the ceiling!! You can add sooo much interest with color on the ceiling. It is amazing how the same shade on the wall looks totally different on the ceiling because of the way the light hits it. Way coooool. (be fearless, I know this is hard for some of you who are afraid to step away from the white ceiling!)
The other blonde thing really is for blondes only! It is my new favorite thing! (check out the others down the page) If you are blonde then you know how hard it is to deal with 'invisible eyelashes and eyebrows'! You would not recognize me on the street with out my makeup. (Picture baby bird or Sissy Spacek!)hmmmmmmmmmm.. So I am always on the quest for a great shade of blonde brow pencil and I have found a great one!! It is Almay brow defining roll up pencil. I love the darke blonde shade. It has a little spiral brush on one end to get control of those wild and wooly brows !! The other great part is that this is a drugstore brand and doesn't break the bank. They are a little hard to find but go online if you have to. has them I know. I buy 2 at a time so I don't get caught without. I would rather go out without my lipstick (heaven forbid!!!) than with out my brows!!!! Ok the secret is out!!!
Snow day tomorrow, stay warm!!!! ( press follow at the top of the page to follow me!)
hugs, ele

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Nursery Progress Report!

We are nearing the end of the nursery project. This has certainly been a joint effort!! Cara and her friends refinished the chest I found at Salvation Army ( an organization I love), I made curtains and bedding, and Lacey ( my youngest daughter seen in the lower picture painting the tree) is painting the tree and painted the hanging monogram pics. It's been so much fun. I am finishing the birdcage painting for over the crib and it looks like all will b done just in time for McCallan's arrival. (due date 2/24)
It is hard to read but Cara put a scripture on the wall above the window, "Be joyful in hope(our baby's middle name and my mother's maiden name), patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 HOW BLESSED WE ARE !!!!
ps little "Goose", their puppy is trying out the equipment in the top pic. Hugs to all, ele

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Use Those Snow Days!!!

How many times have we all said, "I will do ____________________when I am snowed in sometime"? I know I think that way all the time. Weeeelllll!! Many of you are there. Don't just sit around and be bored, do some planning. Get a notebook and go room to room and make a list of everything you want to do in that room; ie. (organize the drawers, rearrange the furniture, cleanout and give away, etc) and then everything you don't like about that room that you would like to change.( paint color, recover the chair, get floor pillows, etc ) Ok, now make a list of 2 dos! Make 2 lists for each room, one for small or inexpensive projects (those that can be easily whittled at with a trip to Target and Walmart) and one for large time consuming or expensive projects. (those that may take some time to save your money for or until you consult with a designer) Now prioritize each list. You can quickly do some of the small list and you can actively work toward the first thing on the expensive list. Now YOU HAVE A PLAN!! Use these cooped up hours for cleaning out and up!(let's face it, it is hard to paint with piles of clutter around). Make it fun for the kids to help. They will love "sharing" some of their things with the less fortunate and this instills the spirit of giving early and not just drudgery of cleaning out. Ok, so what are you waiting for????? Go make some snowday headway!!! Good Luck, ele

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Don't forget the smells!!

Yumm!! Warm pineapple upside down cake made in my old cast iron skillet on a cold winters day!!! (of course it is served on my favorite blue and white platter!) The smellllll is heavenly!!! (no calories in the aroma right?) It just made me want to remind you to never neglect the scent of your home. I have been in some of the loveliest homes that were spoiled by bad odors. (usually pets)
Now let me say that I have pets in my home so I am very aware of this. There are many ways to crate great aromas in your home: candles, baking, plugins, (be ware they can get too strong,) and the list goes on and on. I personally use a lot of candles. I prefer the fresh citrusy or clean linen scents. Also be aware that soy candles burn much more cleanly in your home that wax candles. Another way to give off a great aroma is to boil @ 2 cups of water with some orange rind, apple rind, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract. (not all at once but 2 or 3 of these) Let it simmer for a while and your house will smell as if Betty Crocker herself has been baking yummy stuff in your kitchen. Better yet, just bake something yummy and your home will have those heavenly smells with an actual end result to enjoy!!! Stay warm!!! ele