1 Call Your Mother

I saw this sign in a window in my neighborhood when I was walking this week, and I thought I'd share it with you. Because everyone loves random dry-erase board wisdom posted in a stranger's window, right? Happy Friday.

And Mom, you are a very nice woman, and I'm sure you miss me, so you can expect a call from me later.


2 J'aime Paris!

Those of you who know me may remember when I spent a semester of college living in Paris (in a lovely little apartment with a delightful French family). As Grace Potter sings, "ooh la la la la la la la." Yes, I fell in love with that city, and I think a small (or sometimes not so small) part of me will always want to live there again (although not with the delightful French family next time, and I think I'll require a proper shower as well). Alas, since this is the real world, and I have a real job (which I love), I'll just have to settle for things that remind me of Paris. (Honestly, I'm not complaining; as you can tell from this blog, I've also fallen very much in love with Charleston.) 

As for things that remind me of Paris, art and photographs often top that list. And recently, I stumbled across some great blown-up photographs on canvas at Ross of all places for $9.99 a piece. They've got a bit of a dorm room vibe, but I'm down with that so I scooped 'em up. 

However, my walls are full (very full in fact) so bringing home new art means, yes, you guessed it, moving stuff around. Here's the story. 

I took this little sliver of wall on my upstairs landing, on which I already had a couple of pieces of French art and some awesome framed photo booth snapshots from a dear friend's wedding, and I shook things up a bit.

I moved the above-shown pictures from the sliver of wall to the adjacent wall, which originally looked like this. 

(This is a relatively bare wall for me; that's an old piece of molding with hooks, and hung to the right is a precious portrait of a black and white cat.)

Before I hung anything, I first added an old, oak bench that was looking for a new spot to call home and a basket for my laundry. 

My mom actually picked up this bench at a yard sale, and the story behind it breaks my heart a little bit. The woman who sold it to my mom had tears in her eyes and told my mom that her dollhouse sat on this bench when she was a child, and she'd sit in front of this bench for hours playing. Well, I just hope that this woman (whoever and wherever she is) knows that her bench has gone from one dollhouse lover to another and that it is in very good hands. (Although no dollhouse sits on the bench today, I want her to know that I had two and a half dollhouses as a child: one magnificent one that we bought from a family friend (we're talking wallpaper, shingles, molding, you name it); one very special one that my dad built for me (and that has since been played with and loved by my very precious nieces); and one that we built halfway and then shared with a young neighbor when I started middle high school and grew out of such things. I used to save up my money for months in an old cigar box that a childhood boyfriend gave me, and then I'd go blow it all on dollhouse furniture. And I spent many, many, many hours just sitting in front of my dollhouses and, yes, you guessed it again, moving stuff around. I guess I should have known then what was in store for me.) 

Anyway, back to the story. After I moved the bench and basket to the adjacent wall, I added my new Paris prints to the sliver of wall. I love them; they make me smile at least three times a day.

After I added the Paris prints to the sliver of wall, I sort of randomly added the wedding snapshots and the French poster to the adjacent wall. (The Eiffel Tower painting ended up in my bathroom, where it looks really good, instead of on this wall.)

You can sort of get an idea of what the entire landing looks like now from the picture below. What do you think? I'm sold; I think it's a fun change. Plus, I only made one extra hole in the wall. Remember, I follow the wabi-sabi hanging method so that's much lower than my average extra-hole-in-the-wall rate.

A la prochaine,



3 Hoppy Easter

Sorry about the cheesy-greeting-card title of this post, but I absolutely couldn't resist when I saw these precious Boyd's bunnies that my even more precious nieces and nephews are receiving for Easter, thanks to a generous family friend (the same one who works at the framing gallery). They have the cutest names, the bunnies that is, like Janet and Sherlock. (Don't worry, my nieces and nephews have cute names too.) I think the bear in bunny's clothing is Sherlock. 

Oh, and in case the bunnies are just too much fun, the children are also receiving electric toothbrushes. Isn't that sort of like receiving a box of raisins on Halloween? Just kidding, mom. I know they'll love 'em. 

Happy Easter, everyone. If you were not lucky enough to wake up to a basket full of bunnies, then I hope you are at least lucky enough to spend today with people who are precious to you.   


3 Transformation Update

Remember how I told y'all that my sister is in the middle of single-handedly transforming her baby's nursery, which once was a closet, into an uber-organized and stylish closet/office? Well, I asked her to give me an update and to send me some pictures. She's still in the "during" phase because work has been hectic and the children are on spring break, but she has finished painting the desk items. It took two coats of primer and two coats of paint, and now she must wait patiently for everything to dry. 

Knowing my sister, I'm pretty sure that it's taking all (and I mean all) of her willpower not to just pop those drawers in, screw on the knobs, and lug all of that furniture into the closet so she can set it all up and move on to the next step. But she tells me that she's being patient. (It would be a real bummer to end up with a sticky, messy desk, so letting everything dry completely really does seem like a good idea.)  

She also sent me a picture of some trash pile items that she found, although she's not sure whether she's going to use them. (Yes, I admit it, we are trash-pile hunter-gatherers, although not the crazy hoarding type if I do say so myself. Honestly, you'd be amazed at some of the trash-pile goodies we've found. In fact, I think I'll just have to do a separate post on our trash-pile goodies so maybe you'll believe me.)

Finally, she sent me a picture of some fabric, but I'm not sure what her plan is with this. I'm guessing it's for a curtain in the new room? Or maybe she's not even sure what her next step is. Inspiration can be funny like that; sometimes you don't have any until all at once you do. Regardless, I'm excited to see the finished product of her room transformation, and I'll be sure to share it with you, too.


2 Brick Church

On our way home from our strawberry picking adventure yesterday, we took a slight detour to stop by the most beautiful old church near present-day Mayesville, the Salem Black River Presbyterian Church, commonly known as "Brick Church." 

According to the historical marker on the property, the church was originally established in 1759 by Scotch-Irish settlers on a tract of land given by Captain David Anderson. The original log meeting-house was replaced by a frame building and named Salem Presbyterian Church in 1768. Then, the first brick church was built in 1802 and was used until 1846, when the present church was built from bricks made on the grounds.


Look at these ancient bricks that surround the foundation of the church. (I don't think even the fine folks at Crayola could recreate such beautiful colors.)

And check out the gorgeous Spanish moss. It may be chigger heaven, yes, but it's also undeniably beautiful. Spanish moss growing on a live oak, now that feels like home to me.


2 Who's Your Farmer?

So it suffices to say that we had an awesome time at Willard Farms today. In fact, I think I'll just let the pictures do most of the talking.

We hopped in the car (leaving the dogs behind this time) and drove about 20 minutes into the country to get there. In our opinion, a beautiful drive on a Sunday afternoon is a treat in itself.

That's right, strawberry picking and ice cream. Yep, they pretty much had me at hello. (And yes, I decided to spare you the cheesy head-in-the-strawberry-holes photos that you know we took.)

Surely everyone knows that you do your very best strawberry picking right after you polish off an entire root beer float.

After satisfying our appetites (and doing so with delicious food I might add), we headed into the rows with a bucket apiece for picking.  

We were in strawberry-picking heaven: blue skies, warm sunshine, a cool breeze, and beautiful, ready-to-be-picked berries as far as our eyes could see. I only ate a couple while I picked, I promise. It's just so hard to resist them when they're sun-warmed and fresh-from-the-Earth. What a treat.

Okay, now get this. When we set out for the farm this afternoon, we were just in search of a place to eat lunch and pick strawberries. (Check and check.) What we didn't know was that Willard Farms also has some pretty great outdoor toys (for children and adults alike), such as a blob in the ground (I've only ever seen one of these in water), a giant dirt mound with built-in tube slides, and rubber ducky races. We simply couldn't resist.

You better believe I'll be coming back to Willard Farms to pick sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, and whatever else they'll let me get my wannabe-farming hands on. (I'm pretty sure I'm going to have my next birthday party at this place too.) 

Oh, and just so you know, the title of this entry is a tribute to the t-shirt that I just couldn't resist after my Sunday fun-day at the farm. Yes, you guessed it. The front says, "Who's your farmer?" And the back has the Willard Farms logo on it. For some reason, I am such a sucker for random t-shirts, whether they're from concerts, vacations, or my new favorite farm. 

0 Willard Farms

It's a beautiful day in South Carolina so I think we are heading to Willard Farms this afternoon to pick some fresh strawberries. I'll be sure to take my camera so I can share some pictures with you later. 

By the way, what exactly does one wear to go strawberry picking? And should I be worried about snakes? Can you tell that I haven't done this since I was a kid? It's sad how much of an office dweller I am these days, but I'm sure Google can answer my slightly ridiculous questions. 

Oh, and the website says that beets, cabbage, leafy greens, and onions are usually available in April so I'll have to pick up some of those too. Then I think I'll get together with my adorable Irish friend, Donal Skehan, (Good Mood Food: Simple Healthy Homecooking) and see whether I can come up with something delicious.

I'm pretty excited if you can't tell. 


1 Beautiful Charleston

It's easy to take something for granted when you see it every single day. Taking my camera with me on my walk the other night reminded me just how much I take the beauty of Charleston for granted. 

If it's been a while since you've appreciated the beauty of where you live, I highly recommend taking a stroll with your camera. It just might open your eyes to things you otherwise miss.

Do you see the colorful dancing Buddhas in the window? Adorable. This is the window of Lime Blue, an art gallery and shop on Queen Street. I have stopped in before and spoken to the owner; he makes and sells the most whimsical ceramic birds, Buddhas, flowers, and other charming oddities.

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