Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello Hue! { Dubrovnik, Croatia }

My main impressions of old Dubrovnik were stone, stone and more stone.  This was the gate we entered and exited from, and looking through the colors, I realized that the stone itself is so multicolored, it could be a whole hue-board all on its own.  I ultimately decided to include the lemon tree because a) it's cute and b) I love, love, LOVE gray and green together.  If I could paint my house (vinyl siding, boo), it would be gray.  With a green door.  *sigh.  Let's take a look...

 Springview Green
Scotland Isle

With all the greenery and gray stone (and since we had SUCH a good time at the outdoor bar), I figured a patio would be best suited to the Dubrovnik color scheme.  Something simple and classic, surrounded by tons of leafy greens.  (Leafy that only to do with salads?) 

Something like this:


Target has some great options for patio sets - even better if you can catch them on sale (especially if it is Smith and Hawken). Here's a completely Tar-jay-sourced patio set.  Nothing too overboard, and similar enough to my (almost certainly) splurge-y inspiration picture.


What do we think?  Are you practically sipping warm beer at a cliffside bar in Croatia?  

*Sorry for the lack of posting recently - it took us a solid week to recover from the jet-lag.  So ridiculous...we didn't even leave our own country!  But the Pacific Coast was heavenly...posts to come soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cottage Color

Growing up in Maine, summers were a precious commodity.  Every spare second was spent out at camp - about 15 minutes away on a small pond.  My grandparents had an old cottage there that has since been replaced by my parents' modern house, but I vividly remember the colors of the old camp.  Everything was a cast-off from somewhere else, usually covered in a hand-crocheted afghan, an explosion of mismatched colors that somehow all coordinated. 

A few years ago, I found Maine Cottage in a magazine, and have been hooked on their colors and furniture and fabric ever since.  Of course, nobody who actually lives in Maine can afford them, but still, it's nice to look.  And it all reminds me somehow of the old camp.  Worn out wicker, creaky wooden chairs, painted furniture.  All put together with a glass of lemonade on a warm summer's afternoon. I mean, who wouldn't want to live here?




So, when I inherited a small side table from my mom's friend, I decided to try and give it a 'maine cottage' look.  I had the local paint store color-match a swatch I printed out from online and went for it.  This is the look I wanted...

 ...and this is the table before. 

Cute, but water-stained and had seen better days.  So I bundled up and took it outside for a good sanding.  I knew I would paint the legs, so I didn't bother with them (phew!).  The top was a different story. I wanted to get to the original wood and then do a paste-wax finish.   I sanded for about half an hour just to get all the water-marks out, and then spent another half hour on the curved sides and drop-leaf joints.  My hands were numb by the end.  Not really a project for the dead of winter in Maine. 

 Close enough.  Then came the fun part - staining, sanding, and then a coat of smelly paste-wax. 

(Note the super-professional Nylabone prop.  Because that's how we roll in this house.  Whatever is handy...)

I didn't prime, so it took a couple coats.  But I was inside, toasty by the fire, so it was okay.  Here's the before-and-after.  Not exactly Maine Cottage, but it cost me $3.00 in supplies (sample jar of paint).  Whee!

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hello California!

So I neglected to tell you all- light posting this week because we are in San Francisco! (And Portland and Seattle) It's a whirlwind tour of the west coast and we are having a blast!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mediterranean Vacation { Dubrovnik, Croatia }

Today we near the end of the cruise - our last port of call was Dubrovnik, Croatia.  This ended up being one of our favorites - I mentioned before that we booked this particular route because it took us to a couple locations in Turkey, the Croatia stop was like a bonus.  We'd done some research on Dubrovnik (mostly because it was where some of Game of Thrones was filmed - yes, super-geeks!) and hoped it would live up to our expectations.
The day was clear and cool - we really lucked out with weather on the cruise.  Ours was one of the last tender boats to dock, so we didn't have time to do the city walls tour, and maybe that was for the best, because we were free to wander the alleyways and make our day what we wanted it to be.  The main street in Dubrovnik we found a little tourist-trap-y, but the whole place was so wonderfully maintained one really didn't mind.

Croatia really felt like something out of a fairytale.  The sparkling blue skies, cool green islands, charming modern bridge...and it was our crew's last port before they ended their 6-month tour.  Six long months of straight 12 hour days, doing the exact same itinerary.  Everybody - I mean EVERYBODY was in a fantastic mood.  

We started by walking through all the tourist-y parts (I made mental notes of all the shops I wanted to hit up on the way back) and ended up outside the walls near the working harbor.  I'm not sure why I am standing like I'm ready to do jumping jacks...maybe I wanted to be sure I didn't fall in.  Which, let's be honest, is something I would totally do.

We walked up a long set of stairs near the cathedral and at the top found a lovely man selling embroidered lavender sachets (I bought one, of course) and a mysterious sign: "Cold drinks with the most amazing view".  Always a little skeptical of establishments that so blatantly advertise their wares, we figured we needed to check it out.  I mean, really, the whole place was amazing, how good could this place be? 

Yeah.  Okay.  It's a win for the little yellow sign.  Settled in a white wicker chair at a little cliff-side bar, we ordered ourselves a couple bottles of the best-selling beer in Croatia (it was okay) and relaxed.

It was one of those times in life where you are completely aware that you made the Right Choice.  We watched the sunset, had a lovely conversation with an English couple at the table next to us, drank more beer, watched more sunset, took goofy pictures of each other, and then - I shit you not - a pod of dolphins jumped out of the water and swam right under our noses. 

After that, we figured the rest of our day would be anti-climactic.  I mean...dolphins?!  You have got to be kidding me.  

But Dubrovnik by night was just as enchanting.  We shopped our way back (well, I did - Michael stood by the door and kept me on doesn't want to be late for the ship). We took the long way around and poked through the side streets.  We heard loud bangs and singing and came upon a wedding at the cathedral. (I think Americans are missing the boat on the smoke-bomb/rowdy singing/champagne-spraying church exits.  Rice?  Birdseed?  Eco-fetti?  LAME.)

This shop - Aqua - was my favorite - such Cute things!   I would have bought out the whole store if Michael hadn't dragged me away. 

 And we made it back to the ship with minutes to spare. Goodnight, Dubrovnik! You made it to our Go Back For Sure list!

all photos, mine

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hello Hue! { Istanbul, Turkey }

I loved this room in the palace - with the cool tiled walls, low seating and arched, open windows, it just exuded opulent warm-climate elegance.  You could easly imagine a hot summer's afternoon spent there, lounging about, drinking cool tea, reading a book, enjoying a sea breeze...sigh. 

The saturated colors were hard to replicate, but Yellow Lotus is a beautiful match to the stencil-work on the palace walls.  And that red velvet settee? Under $500 - woooo!


With one super-splurg-ey lamp and some budget shopping, you will practically be a member of the Byzantine royal family!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friendly Friday 2.1.13

Mummy, can't you just stop that 'work' business and go throw the ball outside?!  Pleeeeez? 
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