Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see???

I see shades of brown, staring back at me!

Happy last day of February blogging friends. I know many of you are more than happy to say goodbye to this month and the winter weather it brought your way. It seems many of my fellow bloggers are thinking spring as soon as the calendar flips to March but here in the NE area, we can still get cold and snowy weather despite spring starting in 3 weeks. In fact we are supposed to get some tomorrow morning. As they say about March ~ In like a Lion, Out like a Lamb. One thing we are sure to have March as the snow melts is mud – lots of brown mud! March is a pretty brown month in general I think. All the bare trees and shrubs look brown. The underbrush is all matted down and brown and even the piles of sand on the road and edges of the lawn from all the snowstorms is dirty brown. Yup, March is brown all around.

But brown isn’t always a bad thing. Carolyn over at Primitive Devotion presented a challenge to share our shades of brown. To see hers, click HERE. When she did hers I put it in the back of my mind and it got lost there – hummm, seems to happen a lot more these days. But then I was visiting Mandy over at A Mayberry State of Mind and she had joined in and that reminded me that I wanted to join in as well. You can see her shades of brown if you click HERE.

It is amazing how much brown you can find in a prim /colonial home. As wood ages and gets a lovely patina it turns the prettiest shades of brown. So many of my favorite antiques are made from wood – firkins, band boxes, rolling pins, bowls and spoons, shoe molds and more. And of course baskets, pottery, crocks, and textiles all look wonderful in shades of brown. I’ll let you see for yourself….

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That wasn’t too bad was it? Now why don’t you join in and show us your shades of brown!

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Another color that is popular in spring is purple. It just happens to be Lili’s favorites color of course. How do I know that? Well I just look at her room of course…IMG00163-20091226-1124

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And her newest friend is purple too. Please meet Violet! After seeing Scout (he’s green) that lives at home with Lili, Grampy and I had to make sure she had Violet to live here. Violet is made by Leap Frog and and you can connect her to your computer and personalize her. She sings songs, recite Lili’s favorite food and color and says her name. We can press one paw and Violet will play lullabies for 2 minutes. Press it twice and she plays them for 5 minutes. Press a third and she plays for 10 minutes. I think that is so kewl! We were so pleased that the name Liliana and the correct pronunciation was one of the options. When Violet says “ I love you Liliana”, Lili smiles and acts all coy. It is so cute! I am enjoying all the new toys and gadgets they have ‘these days’. I sure wish I had some of them when my kids were little! Yes, pots and pans and plastic bowls still make good toys, but sometimes new things are good too!

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After a busy Saturday, I did a little more tweaking, this time in the dining room. We have been using one a modern plastic high chair like this for Lili. We got it from a friend of Jay and Ang so it didn’t cost us a thing. When open it takes up a lot of floor space but it was perfect for when she was younger.

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But now that Lili sits up so well, Grampy went up into the attic and got down the high chair that Lili’s daddy used when he was her age.

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It takes up much less room and after I scrubbed and polished it, I think it looks much better in my dining room. Now I just need to get a nice cushion for it. In the meantime, the pink one will do.

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Did you all watch the hockey game today?? I am not typically a hockey fan but even I got excited about it. How exciting for Canada!! I so enjoyed the Winter Olympics this year and kudo’s to our friends to the north for the fine job they have done hosting the games this year. I am looking forward to the closing ceremonies a bit later.

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Just a heads up to the kind bloggers who come looking for me when I don’t post every week. I thought after the holidays that I might have time to post more often but it is not looking like that will happen all the time. We have a lot of family events happening this spring and I have another project on the horizon for 2010 that will take more of my time. I have even toyed with closing my blog and just starting a Facebook account under the same name. For now, I will stick with blogging but if you don’t see me here as often, please just know that I am just busy with life.

Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!

Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A special birthday and a special Gathering!

Thank you for all the emails and messages asking where I have been. I’ve been here most of the time, just trying to work through yet another nasty cold while doing what a wife, mom, Grammy and friend needs to do whether she is sick or not. We don’t get sick days, do we? I have also been trying ~ trying being the operative word ~ to keep up with emails, message, FB and blogs ~ but it sure isn’t easy sometimes! Why do you all have to be so interesting and so much fun to chat with? Some days I wish I could spend all day doing that but life outside the Internet is important too, especially my family. Because I can’t reach each of you personally, I want to thank everyone who responded so kindly to my last post. It seems many of us feel the same about our homes – it is where we put our love and creative energies! And this past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with 7 other women who feel the very same way about their homes and it was just so much fun – I even forgot how lousy I was feeling for awhile!! More about that in a minute.

But first I want to wish my mom, the best woman I know, a very Happy Birthday! Because of this cold, I can’t be with her today, but on Saturday 18 members of my family are gathering here to celebrate my mom – aka Mamma and Great Mamma. Some of you have heard me talk about my mom but for those who don’t know my mom, you can read all about her HERE in the tribute I did for her in May 08. When I reread that post just now, I thought to myself~ “WOW - that is one remarkable woman” and indeed she is! Happy Birthday Mom, you are THE BEST mother anyone could ever have and I love you very much!

Here is my mom with just one of her pretty flower beds. My mom has always had the prettiest gardens around!

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And for the kind blogger who asked, my sweet granddaughter's name is spelled LILIANA – LILI for short. No double L’s, no double N’s and no Y in either. Unique and special, just like her!

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Okay, now on to some prim fun!!

My friend Jill came down from Maine on Saturday to do some shopping for the colonial home she has just purchased in SC. Now I know why she wanted to move – she got twice the square footage for about $100 grand less than in Maine. Amazing! Jill says she chose SC because she is tired of snow and cold but I think she got a pretty great bargain as well. And I won’t remind her that they got INCHES of cold snow while she was there ~ heheehe! Seriously, I am sorry she is moving so far away in April, but I am thrilled for her and Jim that they found such a wonderful home in the area they have chosen for the next stage of their lives. It is a beautiful brick front colonial with lots of gorgeous windows and moldings and when she is done with it, it will be a masterpiece. And at least fro a few more weeks, she is still busy making things now that she knows she has so much more room to fill. As usual she arrived with a sweet handmade hostess gift ~ time it is this adorable candle holder. Once I paint and distress it, it will hang in the kitchen in the corner over my yellow ware bowls. Thank you my dear friend!

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Not wanting to waste a minute, we got right in the car and I drove first to the Gingham Goose, located at 136 North Avenue in Rochester, Ma 02770 508-663-4833

Way back in June, I made a trip to the stores old location and blogged about it here. Barbara was getting ready to close that location and move the shop to the back of her property where it originally started many years ago. I have been anxious to get there and this was the perfect day. A sunny winter day with a good friend made the long 70 minute drive so much more enjoyable. And when we drove up and saw this, all we could do was smile. And drool. This is Barbara’s home and the shop is in the back. Isn’t this gorgeous?002 006

The shop carries a wonderful assortment of prim accessories, furniture, curtains, bedding and even paint. I found these neat old looking stockings. I am not sure where they are going yet but I have a few ideas floating around in this stuffy head.

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Still having things on her list for her new home, Jill and I then headed about 90 minutes west back to one of Jill’s favorite shopping stops, Sturbridge. Once she had spent her quota for the day, we headed back to My Red Door for a hot meal and to rest up for the big day we had planned for Sunday.

Sunday brought us more sun and clear skies and a day we had been looking forward to for weeks. You might remember that back before Christmas, I had a Gathering of prim friends Behind My Red Door. My friend Laurie and her 3 friends Kathleen, Jayne and Paula, joined Jill, Bonnie and Audrey and I for brunch, a prim swap and some shopping. You can read about it here. We all had so much fun and got along so well that Laurie decided to reciprocate and have us down their way for more fun. We all met up in Laurie’s gorgeous home in the pretty NE Connecticut countryside for brunch and another prim swap in her gorgeous prim home.

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We all had a chuckle when my swap partner and I handed each other our gift bags. I had used a red checked bag with coordinating kraft tissue paper and Kathleen had used a kraft bag with coordinating red check bag. As we each put our hands in the bag, we both realized we had gotten the same item!! I gave her the red candle holder and she gave me the dark one! I always knew she had great taste!!

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We then were treated to a yummy brunch with so many choices of dishes, and lots of fun chatting. Laurie set the prettiest table and we each got a mug with her chai teas mix to take home. 015

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Thank you Laurie for a wonderful time. All afternoon in the car, from shop to shop, we all talked non stop about your hospitality and your home full of eye candy!

After filling our tummies it was time to make our way to some prim shops in their neck of the woods ~ NE Connecticut and NW Rhode island. I was most excited to head to Brown and Hopkins Country Store 1179 Putnam Pike • Chepachet, RI 02814 • 401-568-4830

Taken from their website:

It has been reported by the Bond Map Company of New York to be the oldest country store in continuous operation in the United States.

The building was erected in 1799 by Timothy Wilmarth. In 1809 the building was purchased by Ira Evans who started the business as a general store. After several changes in ownership it was then purchased in 1921 by James L. Brown and William W. Hopkins. Brown and Hopkins operated the store until 1964, when it was purchased by Roscoe and Lillian Steere. In the late 1900's Brown & Hopkins experienced a few more changes in ownership.

In July 2004, Liz McIntyre of Foster, Rhode Island purchased Brown & Hopkins Country Store and is honored to carry on the tradition. The store now specializes in primitive and country home accessories, reproduction furniture, and period lighting.

Browse our two floors and discover wonderful gifts for yourself, friends and family. Candles, quilts, Old World Christmas ornaments, framed prints, and more! Of course, you'll still find old fashioned candy (still some for just a penny!), gourmet specialties from Stonewall Kitchen, Vermont cheddar cheese, yard goods and an assortment of antiques.

From the potbelly stove (retired, but still admired) to the old wooden floors and beamed ceilings, Brown & Hopkins maintains much of its authenticity and continues to attract people from all over the country to its doors.We invite you to visit often ~ truly step back in time and experience for yourself good old fashioned charm and hospitality.

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After browsing this quaint store, we all headed next door to the antique shop and I found this adorable pewter candlestick.

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At the end of an afternoon of shopping, we then gathered at Kathleen’s Bittersweet Farm for some more prim eye candy! February099

We gathered around her gorgeous harvest table for some yummy soup and delectable corn bread…Kath table

and an array of decadent desserts! 059 Kathleen sent us each on our way with some decadent cookies and a dozen fresh eggs from her own chickens! We had a wonderful time and with once again full tummies, we talked non stop all the way home about your gorgeous home and hospitality. Thank you Kathleen!

It was just the mot fun day. Wonderful friends, good food, prim eye candy and lots of camaraderie. We can’t wait to have another Gathering!

When we got back her, Bonnie and Audrey presented me with these jonquils and some Lindt truffles for doing all the driving.

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I put the jonquils in a yellowware bowl and they look so sweet on top of my firkins – such a lovely taste of spring and a reminder of a day with good friends! 016

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Since I was last here, I received my sconces and I am very pleased with how they finish this section of wall in the hallway. 044

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I especially like the view from the kitchen now.165

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And I finally got a few more pictures of some of the tweaking I have been doing.

In Mr. Red Door’s office/den. Just ignore the big silver thing. He likes it just the way it is.

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And in the dining room…

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That is all for this time my friends. I hope this finds you well and surviving winter. We are in for some some wintery weather here in the Northeast. The calendar still says winter so that is no surprise. Please stay safe and warm if you anywhere near the messy mix headed this way.

Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!

Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda