Simple Splendors

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you,
not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."
{ Luke 12:27 }

And my personal favorite...

Oh, happy day!

P.S. All of these flowers are in full bloom at the
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor...
and all were captured with my handy little iPhone.


A Few Favorite Mid Coast Maine Things

I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be in July and August than Mid Coast Maine. I don't plan to blog much while I'm here, but today I'm suffering from "favorites overload" and just had to share a few of my favorite things with you. Enjoy!

1. My favorite flower:

Hydrangeas in every size, shape and color.

2. My favorite paper shop:

Rock + Paper + Scissors in Wiscasset, Maine.

Thoughtfully selected and arranged by owner Erika Soule.
3. My favorite chocolate:

Black Dinah's Lavender Bark...
made with real lavender on the beautiful island of Isle au Haut.

4. My favorite kiddo place (equally enchanting for adults):

The newly opened Children's Garden
at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.
{More on my mom's blog}

What's not to love?



The Maine Thing

Time for my 18th summer trip to Mid Coast Maine! Four fabulous weeks of boating, island hopping, hiking, kayaking, dirt road walking, seaglass hunting, porch sitting, blueberry picking...and maybe even a little tennis playing...with the people I love best!

With a 4 AM wake up call and a suitcase that I've yet to pack, I'll have to let the photos do the talking! Isn't that what we blog readers love best anyway? ENJOY!

The surroundings are breathtaking, but the best part just might be...

...watching my big city girls run free!

Thank you, Mom and Dad...
for giving us the Maine thing all of these years!

Happy summer, friends! 
P.S. Photos taken in Camden, Rockport Harbor & Penobscot Bay.
My mom likes to blog about the area if you'd like to see more.


The People Behind the Table

The dining room table drama is winding down. Ahhhhhhh. That's my deep breath. I've decided on antique wood, unpainted, light in color and hand crafted in England thanks to an unexpected connection.

Of course it feels good to have the drama behind me, but what feels even better is thinking back on all the fabulous people who helped me along the way. So much talent, wisdom and creativity! I've got to tell you about these people (in the order I've known them):

MAURA CANNON - If you're in Houston, you need to know her (and shop with her over at Antiques on Yale and MAI. Her booth is up front in both places.). She's as down-to-earth, generous, hardworking and honest as they come...and talented in more ways than I can count. Maura was the one who gave me the courage to paint my own dining room chairs four summers ago:

Lots of sweat equity in these guys!

She even told me where to find the chairs (the last six from the old Warwick Hotel in Houston) and helped me decide on the exact shade of linen. I truly do not deserve her. Thank you, Maura, for so freely sharing your wisdom and ideas with me over the years.

HOLLY MATHIS and JENNY JOHNSTON - I can't even begin to count the number of emails I exchanged with these two new friends. Both are interior designers with fabulous taste and talent to spare, and on a personal level, they "get" me.

Holly and I connected thanks to this post she wrote back in January. Crazy because it wasn't even design oriented. We just happened to be at the same place at the same time (but didn't know each other then) and bonded over that simple fact. We met in person in March and have developed a friendship full of encouragement and inspiration. We even hosted the Mini Design Flea in June (together with Morning T)! 

Jenny is my newest friend, yet I feel like I've known her my whole life. We have lots of small world connections (and we both speak French!), but mostly it's her fun-loving, easy spirit that makes me feel like she's an old friend. I contacted Jenny when I saw her fabulous Rosemary Beach Redo over on Cote de Texas (not knowing we'd actually becomes friends and soon meet in person!). I had table eyes (of course) and was inquiring about the oval zinc top she used in this kitchen.

Her work inspires me...probably the reason I was so drawn to the Mecox table! But I've decided I like zinc better in a kitchen. Thanks for helping me figure things out, Holly and Jenny! I'm so thankful for you both!

And yet another "online friend" (blogging has blessed me in that way): KARINA GENTINETTA. This table of hers caught my eye:

It was too small for me to use, but you can find it in her 1st Dibs shop. Karina is an attorney-turned-antique shop owner in New Orleans. She's an amazing resource. She even went to a Belgian unloading event in her spare time to see if she could find the perfect table...just for me!

And how about KARIN in France! She found me through Trouvais (beautiful blog!) and jumped right into my table drama with a very helpful comment on my last post. She then emailed me with a "mini lesson" in antique tables and included some gorgeous images of 18th century trestle tables. Thank you, Karin! How I'd love to visit you in France!

Finally, I want to introduce you to TAMMY STROP. On the same day I gave my "to do" list up to God, I was looking for a French table over on 34th. Co-owner Darrel Davenport suggested I do a crazy thing: go to France and find it myself. Of COURSE that's what I'd love to do, but how and when? He told me about Tammy's European shopping tours. I SO WANT TO GO!

But with card season opening in September, I'll have to wait until after my busy season. Tammy could have said "call me next year," but instead went the extra mile. She connected me with a father and son who handcraft beautiful furniture out of antique wood. I can hardly believe how it's all worked out. A total "God Thing."

I'm thankful for the table drama. I've learned a ton and have felt privileged to interact with such talented and generous ladies! I'm thrilled to share their names with you and hope you'll have an opportunity to connect with them down the road.

I can't wait to share my table with you in mid-September!


Table Details + Photoshop Fun

Is it just me or is this what all creative, designer types do? I can't stop thinking about ways to customize my dining room table! I've decided to have it made by a father and son in EUROPE (more on that story in a future post). England to be exact. With naturally distressed, antique pine.

Oh, but the details (I'm such a detail person!): all wood or a painted base?

My main inspiration inspiration photo is this:

But I was inspired by the simplicity and softness of this curve...

...so I edited/stretched it to look more like this...

...and added it to the original table to look like this:

Sloppy Photoshop work, but for a visual person...very helpful!
{The lines seem more French.} 

I have lots of painted furniture in my dining room...chairs, buffet, mirror...even a painted piece you can't see. So maybe a painted base is too much? I wish I knew!

All wood?

So hard! Nothing too dark, too golden, too shiny...I'm picky!

A few real life stain samples...what to choose???

{There's that soft scallop again!}

Almost forgot about this one...

The stain up close:

{Are these looking all the same?}

Or switch it up entirely with a whitewash effect:

{From the fabulous Karina Gentinetta on 1st Dibs}

Oh, goodness! Just when I thought I was going to bed...I see this over on Belgian Pearls

{Would oval work with the style I've designed?}

Have I made you crazy dizzy yet? I think my head is on spin cycle! This is why you can NEVER let me build a house...because I overthink the smallest details! Time to sleep on it!

Sweet dreams, my friends!


Dining Room Table Announcement!

You patient readers, you! I owe you some scoop on the table drama! This gorgeous zinc top table looks great in my dining room...

...but it's not 100% me. Here's the deal, y'all: I ALMOST bought it. In fact, I went to bed a couple nights ago saying YES. Knowing it wasn't my "forever table" but feeling like it was my favorite option for now (given the price, the perfect dimensions and my need for a table...we use ours a LOT!).

The decision was HARD! It's super stylish and great looking! {But would I even be asking you to help me decide if it was "the one?" Wouldn't I just KNOW...like I did with my husband? Or maybe tables aren't quite like husbands! Tee hee!}
Your comments and emails were fabulous. I'm a verbal and written processor for SURE, so thank you for helping me in that way by reading and responding! A friend from college nailed it when she said this in an email:
I like the zinc top....but for some reason....knowing your personality, I just think the warmth of natural wood fits better. 
I was so touched by her words (haven't seen her since our Vanderbilt days and am honored that she remembers me as warm...awww!). She is so right. Wood just fits my personality. And so does French! I'm determined my "forever table" must be in France somewhere...in some tiny village just waiting for me to find it! 

But since I'm not in France (yet!), here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to have a table hand crafted. And here's the inspiration...

...a table design that makes my heart go pitter patter with it's wood top, trestle base, detailed curves across the stretcher and the lovely finish on the base. {This one is an antique, way out of my price range, and has a home already...whew!}

Right now, I'm working on two options: having it made locally by Barrio Antiguo in the Heights (I love supporting local businesses and Adriana is a great contact, y'all) or having it made of antique wood in Europe and shipped over. {More on that if it works out. God hooked me up with a contact today...and yes...I asked Him to do His thing with my agenda when I woke up this morning.}

But to have a table made, you've got to know EXACTLY what you want. After all the tables I've seen in the last several weeks (I feel like I've seen every table in Houston!), I've got some pretty good ideas!

But I'll need a few more photos to present to the craftsman (aside from the one above). Here's a similar trestle style:

But I'd like simpler sides and a scallop on the stretcher,
so I did a little Photoshop magic:

And I might want the base painted in a distressed, French gray:

Not a perfect paint job, but pretty good for Photoshop!

What do you think...all wood or a painted base?

I hope these table chronicles have been fun and helpful to someone out there in blog land. At the very least, you get to see a behind-the-scenes process from a French-loving, deal hunting (crazy out loud thinking) designer-type!

It's not over yet, but some huge decisions and amazing connections have been made. For those who don't think God is in the details, I dare you to give them up to Him and see! It's UNBELIEVABLE to see what He brings about when you ask Him!

Happy Day to you, Sweet Readers!
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