Behind My Red Door

Friday, November 25, 2011

More, more, more ~ sneak peek of my Christmas décor, more of my SC trip and more Michelle’s gorgeous home!!


Happy Friday!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was a bit different this year. We took the meal to my folks house because we know in our hearts, this is their last Thanksgiving in their home. So we all worked together and made it as nice as we possibly could. We made the traditional dishes we all enjoy and having all 4 generation together made it very special! And while I really missed having my family here, there was an upside ~ my house stayed clean!!

And today you won’t find me out and about today, I will be decorating for Christmas. Before we went to my folks yesterday we took the bins out of the attic. As I went through them,  I found half the stuff I have used for years and years is just not my taste anymore, so LESS IS MORE will really be the key for me this year. Long gone are the days when I pack away my every day décor to make room for boxes of décor for each holiday or season. I like my everyday decor so for the most part, it will remain in place and my favorite Christmas pieces along with lots of greens, red berries and white tallow berries (from my dear friend Sherrie in SC) will be tucked in and around my everyday décor.  Just for you, I have a few sneak peeks of what I did already this morning…












And that is just the beginning so no shopping excursions today for me BUT I will be participate in Small Business Saturday tomorrow and shop locally though!! I want to do my best to support the family owned and locally owned shops as much as possible.

But now it is time to get back to the business at hand! From the moment I arrived at Jill’s home, she treated me like a queen and fed me like royalty too. In case you don’t know, when I am there, I get my own room and bathroom! No one has ever slept here but me so it makes my room doesn’t it?? Here are some pictures of MY room that Jill sent me before the trip…SAM_0567


She even made space for my clothes and luggage in the big closet!!SAM_0568

SAM_0569Isn’t it pretty?? I am so comfortable there!

The first night, she made the most delicious corn chowder for dinner….she knows I LOVE corn chowder!soup

The second day we were busy doing her photo shoot. She was such a wonderful assistant helping me with my lights and cords etc.! That night she rewarded our hard work with this ‘pumpkin pie in a cup’ hot drink. OH MY!! My intentions were to share the recipe but I misplaced it so I will get it from Jill again. Believe me, you will need to save this for another week after you have worked off the calories from Thanksgiving. It is that good and that rich! pumpkin pie in a mug

Whenever we get together,  we love to look at books, magazines and the Internet together to talk about decorating ideas. I showed her this picture I took at the Rusty Rooster this fall of a shelf Jack made for over their door ~ he makes the best stuff! You can see more of their wonderful home and shop ~here~!12

So we showed Jim the picture too and by the end of Saturday, he had done this for her….mashersThose two are so talented! I wish I could show you lots and lots of room shots but you’ll have to wait for the fall issue next year for that. If you missed the sneak peeks, you can hop over to the APP & CJ blog for that. Just click ~here! 

And if you are smart, you will pay attention to the backgrounds in the next pictures and you just might get some more sneak peeks….

On Saturday, we went to Kathy’s gorgeous home for her photo shoot and a delicious southern meal too! You can read about that great day ~here~.

Sunday was the day Mr red Door left his parents home and headed to Jill’s to get me so we could start for home but not before we fit in a gathering with some of my southern friends! This was planned for last year but we couldn’t make the trip south because of work commitments, so I made sure we left enough time Sunday for it!!  Jill and I prepared a fall brunch of apple pie French toast, maple apple chicken sausage, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pecan muffins and some fresh pineapple. Hot coffee, tea and mulled cider were on the menu too!new year 2011 1088

Hint hint…. are you looking past the table….038

Sherrie Hinson was the first to arrive! Sherrie started following my blog and we started emailing and we became fast friends!  You may have seen some of her gorgeous garden and porch photos in A Primitive Place & Country Journal magazine and in Judy Condon’s garden book. They are just amazing! Sherrie has a green thumb and then some! It was wonderful to finally meet such a kindred spirit in person!!  Sherry had hostess gifts for Jill and I ~She is always so thoughtful!! 016

Then Jennifer Gass and Dana Harpley arrived! Many of you know Jen from her blog Taylors Farmhouse Attic and she has a selling blog as well ~ Simple Goodes Stitched by Jennifer. She designs her own cross stitch patterns as well as selling finished pieces. She and I have followed each other’s blogs for ages!  And many of you know Dana as the gracious Hospitality Coordinator in the APP forum – her forum name is Homespun Treasures and that is where we met. She is so sweet! Her blog is Homespun Treasures by Dana. She also has a website Homespun Treasures and Dana makes hand poured candles, bowl fillers, pantry cakes and other wonderful smelling delights!!  You can reach their blogs or websites by clicking on the names!!  I was so happy to finally meet all of these sweet southern gals in person!!

Oh and we had so much fun greeting each other and comparing accents!! LOL And then while I finished some last minute meal preparations, Jill gave them a tour of her beautiful home and then we all sat down to the feast we had prepared.

Jill and I had hostess gifts for them and this is what Jill put together… she made us each a pillow and that is pumpkin spice hand gel! What a neat idea and aren't those acorns so cute!??013

Then it was swap time!! Jen got this wonderful Santa!! 042

Dana got a pretty handmade candle mat and some fall goodies! 044

Sherrie got a wall candle sconce, real beeswax candle and a hand loomed towel. 046

Jill got an assortment of yummy goodies – a candle, candy canes, wax pineapple and more!! 045

And I got this adorable doll!! new year 2011 1104

Here she is setting on my Homestead settle…028She doesn’t get to rest there very often. A certain little girl likes to carry her around and love on her!!

Here is a snapshot of Jen and Jill! Hi girls!! new year 2011 1140

And all too soon it was time for the girls to head out and I had to gather up my belongings so when Mr Red Door got there, we could pack up the car and start the two day drive home. But before we all left, Sherrie’s very patient hubby Ernie took our group picture with each of our cameras. He was such a good sport! 048

One of the treasures I brought home was this gorgeous blanket chest made by Jim. He is a carpenter by trade and he can make just about anything! He had made Jill one of these and since he is looking for work, I commissioned him to make me one as well. I paid for unfinished piece and came home and painted it myself. It is black over red with a distressed finish. I used a combo of latex paint and Caromal Colours, crackling medium and CC chipping crème and used the CC toner on top and then sealed it with a matte spray varnish. I love it! 012If you are within a reasonable distance of Colombia, SC and are looking for some prim pieces, I can give you Jill and Jim’s contact info. He can take a photo of something and with proper measurements, he will quote you a price and make you a custom piece too. 

Jill and did a little swap too and she sent me home some yummy Pumpkin butter, a sweet little whisk broom and this delightful little old buttocks basket. 036

It really was a whirlwind 6 days!  And while I love all the goodies I came home with, what I will treasure most is the time on the drive with my hubby, time spent with Jill and Jim, and meeting Kathy, Sherrie, Jen and Dana for the first time finally. Those make it truly worth all those hours driving!


Now I know y’all are either decorated for Christmas or like me, fixin to finish decorating so as promised here are more pics of Michelle’s gorgeous home from the Holiday 2010 issue to help get you in the Holiday spirit!!  They need no explanation ~ ENJOY!!

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Thanks Michelle for the pleasure of sharing your home once again!!

And thank you all so much for stopping by.  I appreciate each of you!! Have a great weekend and until next time ~ prim hugs and blessings, Linda

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A dream come true…

I know a lot of you are waiting to see pics and hear a lot more about my trip to SC, but I truly have just not had the time to go through my pics and sit down to write a blog post. I just had to attend to my family, home and hearth (and yard!!) a bit. So today when I should be playing catch up here on my blog and I should be writing THAT post or the one I promised with additional pics of Michelle Ferris’ gorgeous home, instead, I am over the moon with excitement to share something else with you so I hope you will forgive me. No, it’s not another grandbaby on the way, now that would be amazing for sure, but this is something fun Behind My Red Door.

Photographing so many gorgeous homes has it’s downside. I see in person and close-up so many things I like and want that I WON’T ever have ~ like a bigger house with wide pine floors, walk in fireplaces, beamed ceilings, PAINTED woodwork and cabinets, soapstone counters and rooms filled with only the best antiques.

But there is something I have photographed several times that I decided I COULD have. It is something I have thought about for many years – long before blogging or being online or connecting with other prim gals through the Internet. Something I thought about attempting myself with my mom’s help before she became ill. I put that dream aside for awhile but then when I started going into so many great homes and shops, the desire began to stir again, I decided to take the steps to see if I could make it a reality.

First of all I contacted the artist Susan Dwyer. I know that is a dead giveaway to many of you of what is coming but for others, here it is… among other things, Susan paints murals and that is what I commissioned her to do. I have seen many of hers and photographed several and I knew she was the artist I wanted in my home. I emailed then we talked by phone and I told her my thoughts about a few places where I might want the mural and then I sent her pictures of those spaces. We chatted on the phone again and then she told me what she thought about where it would have the most impact and I knew immediately she was right! Then I asked her for an estimate based on the size of the wall, it being prepped ahead of time, how far she had to travel, what I did and didn’t want and other details like the fact that she didn’t need an extra tall ladder or staging. Then I braced myself to be disappointed and when she gave me the estimate, I was pleasantly surprised and knew it was truly doable. So we set a date – for today!! In the meantime I painted over the stenciling on the wall, patched all the holes and painted them and I made a list of what I wanted and didn’t want based on what I had seen in her murals and what I could see on her website. And I waited! When Susan arrived this morning, she also had her portfolio with her and I was able to point out some other things I liked and some things that just weren’t me. We talked about placement about a few key things and then I gave her free reign to work her magic! She got to work and I was so amazed to see it truly come to life. I took many photo’s during the process but you’ll only see the finished product here. I am saving the rest for an article for the magazine.

I have to tell you right now that saying I am happy and pleased with the results is an UNDERSTATEMENT if there ever was one! Susan hit the nail on the head and captured me and everything I wanted and then some.

So are you ready?? The mural is on the longest wall in our home. It starts down at the bedroom end and goes all the way to the other end of the house where the dining room and living room meet. I’ll take you down that wall…

This is the bedroom end of the house. The master bedroom door is to the right in this picture. When I am sitting here typing, if I did a 180 and turned around, this is what I see looking out the door to the hall. The nursery school that was a part of my life for 24 + years is in this church represented here. 113

Now that cupboard that I painted pumpkin (but it came out a wee bit too orange) looks right at home now!!!131

This wall is between the master bedroom and the bathroom. I wanted mountains, black sheep and the fence you see at Old Sturbridge Village and they are here!! Mr. Red Door sees this looking out his office door. 116

This is the wall between the bathroom and the kitchen looking down towards the other end of the house…110

Different lighting!! I have already enjoyed seeing the look change as the light changes…. it is part of the fun!! 125

Here is a detail from that wall you can’t see too well from the previous angle… my tree of life and red saltbox. My dream home! 127

Here is a view looking the other way…129

This is the last section of the wall between the kitchen and dining room and at the top of the stairs coming into the house – taken before the sun set…124

and after the sun set with some help of my photo lights.150

Can you see My Red Door and the brook and stone wall behind it? And there is Momma duck out by the maple tree. Oh be still my heart!! 143

This is what you will see as you come in My Red Door and walk up the stairs! Of course I will be tweaking this wall. The thermostat cover will stay but everything else is fair game now!! 120

Did you notice anything about the colors Susan used at my request?? 148

YUP!! I get to have fall ALL YEAR ROUND in my home now. Except for one teeny pumpkin by the front steps, there really is nothing except the coloring that says fall. And that is exactly what I wanted. I am just so thrilled.

Thank you Susan for making my dream come to life right before my eyes! You are truly an artist and I am honored to have one of your murals in my very own home. I know that every single day it will bring me joy and pleasure.

In addition to colonial murals, Susan does many other types of mural, portraits and paintings too! You can get to her website ~here~ and find her on Face Book ~here~.

Thank you all for stopping by today and I will try my hardest to finish that blog post about my trip to SC this weekend. And I will save Michelle’s pics for the next post because by then we will all be decorating for Christmas and she did that so well!!

I am so thankful for this home I have been blessed to live in since 1986. As I always say, it is not my dream home but where our dreams come true! Raising our kids, hosting family and friends for food, fun and comfort when their power goes out, and now where our grand daughter is excited to come and play with Meemee 3 days a week. When I sit down with my family this Thanksgiving, the blessings I count will be many. And with God’s will, the best of those blessings will be sitting at the table with me again NEXT Thanksgiving!!

I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

When we count our many blessings, it isn’t hard to see that life’s most valued treasures
are the treasures that are free.
For it isn’t what we own or buy
that signifies our wealth,
It’s the special gifts that have no price —
our family, friends, and health.
My prayer for you on this Thanksgiving
is that God will grant you all the blessings
of His gentle love.

And please say a prayer for all the service men and women who can’t sit down at home with their family this week because they are working to insure our safety and freedom.

Until next time – prim blessings and hugs, Linda