Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February Blahs? Not in our Row-home!

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On Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Well ... sure, it was an overcast Monday, with a looming winter storm, plus freezing rain! After taking a bite out of his gloved handler, Phil, the prognosticator saw his shadow predicting 6 more weeks of winter... He is right only 40 percent of the time. Three weeks later I'm turning February blahs, those wintertime blues into wishful Springtime daydreams.

"Keep your faith in beautiful things; 
in the sun when it is hidden, 
in the Spring when it is gone." 
~Roy R. Gibson~

10 days ago, on Valentine's Day as we were running through Trader Joe's aisles picking up a few needed weekend ingredients, a fierce snowstorm with huge flakes was quickly starting to accumulate. I spotted and grabbed a bundle of forcing branches. Forsythia for only $7.99! I decided to start our Spring early, despite the snow. Photo shows them on our kitchen counter as they looked on Valentine's Day.

9 days later a touch of Springtime in our Dining room in an antique Green glass Demi John, purchased on eBay. Or Dame Jeanne in French. Ours is an antique from Italy, huge - 25 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Can you imagine 5 gallons of wine in one! Pretty Forsythia, a hint of Spring to banish the February blahs. But as of yesterday the blooms still have not completely opened up. I'm thinking another week or so before they do.

Forsythia will be replaced by natural curly willow branches along side of our antique French riddling rack.

We recently had our French inspired leather club chair cushions in our living room reupholstered in a Coffee colored Velvet. Loving the feminine small scale design of our Expresso leather chairs almost as much as our >^..^< boys Max and Simon. It is a welcome change/repair from cat scratched leather cushions. Extremely comfortable chairs but with ugly scratched cushions we needed a solution. I have always liked the combination of velvet and leather. The coffee color works well, fills the desire for tactile feel without high color contrast. Oh and it's also cat approved.

The box behind the chair was just delivered and is far too heavy for me to move. So keeping it real, it sits upon the floor until John moves it from the spot the UPS guy dropped it at!

My photo bombers Max and Simon sitting on that heavy box in my way of taking unobstructed photos! Cat's have an infinity for cardboard boxes.

Between the club chairs stands a vintage cigarette table from France, circa 1940. John and I have a great admiration and design appreciation for French 1940's furniture. Most of our furniture has a genuine French nod to the past. Burl and gorgeous with a pull out tray, I stumbled upon her decades ago in a vintage shop on South Street in Philadelphia. I had time to kill between customer appointments. Back then I designed print ads and was a senior account executive in advertising. She came home with me that day because it truly was love at first sight. Petite, slender and tall. 

In case you're wondering about the lamp cord, it is vintage gold silk cloth wire. John drilled a hole through the floor and inserted it into a plug in the basement. No tripping here. Years ago at a Sunday flea market we spotted a large spool of this silk fabric wire and grabbed it at a ridiculously low price. John rewired all our lamp cords with it. Little details add much interest. The silk fabric cord wire is from France.

Seriously, who smokes anymore? Well being an antique French cigarette table, we decided to prop it with faux cigarettes. Our friend Kim's Mom crocheted them for me as a gift, after I had fell in love with his. Kim stuffed his into one of his French car's ashtray. Fitting touch for vintage Citroën's. Ours are in a vintage hotel ashtray from Rome. Adorable little prop, thank you Aileen. I have collected many vintage French and Italian ashtrays over the years. But just the ones without obvious signs of being an ashtray and only hand painted ones. They have become soap dishes and oftentimes holds condiments or olives, even jewelry at the sink.

Introducing a little humor in unexpected touches throughout our home is a trait and whim of ours.

I love the feminine lines of the club chairs and the masculine choice of the leather color. I strive for a balance in our row-home with feminine form and masculine feel in a tactile study. Mongolian lamb appears throughout our home as I am completely smitten with its softness and beauty. Pillows become my pets!

Side profile of club chairs. 

Upstairs against the exposed brick wall we enjoy a steel artist designed and signed handmade half moon console table. I enjoy industrial touches mixed into our home. Truth be known, I would love living in an old industrial converted loft. When the table was delivered back in the 90's my Dad fell in love with it. Dad was a steel man, worked until retirement in the steel industry. It didn't matter modern, rustic or industrial if it was handcrafted of American steel he loved it. 

Two bunches of Tulips from Holland (purchased at Trader Joe's) are displayed in a favorite artist handmade pottery pitcher. It's made in the slab pottery method. I have the matching sugar and creamer and greatly admire the glaze.

Tulips are a happy energetic flower and I always purchase them when they are before their full burst of color. I delight watching their release of petals and find Tulips tight or fully opened simply graceful and amazing. Second favorite flower choice to the Rose. Third? But of course the unassuming precious daisy.

Pretty in Pink I say, as they gently start to unfurl their petals.

I had been admiring a remake of a metal Parisian Street clock in the Wisteria catalogue. In honor of President's Day Wisteria ran an on-line 20% off anything special. Growing tired of the candelabra that hung on the exposed brick wall we decided a large industrial clock would compliment the steel table. Nearly 27 x 27 inches, we jumped on the savings offer. 

Love the side latch hardware. 

February 13th on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher, David Duchovny was a panel guest. You might remember Duchovny back in the 90's as Jake Winter's on Showtimes erotic series Red Shoe Diaries. Or Duchovny as Fox Mulder special FBI agent on the "X-Files". Or as Hank Moody on Showtimes "Californication".  On "Real Time" he was promoting his new book "Holy Cow" which was released on Feb. 3rd. So I thought OK, listening to your description of it, sure, I'll buy it.

A couple days later on a very cold afternoon that reached only 3 degrees, I sat down for a read in my sitting room on my cowhide LC4 lounge. It is my favorite spot to read. Yes, I found humor sitting on my cowhide lounge chair reading about Elsie the cow. With the room flooded by sunlight from the skylight above I blissfully read "Holy Cow" in an afternoon (small book). A modern-day Dairy Tale as Duchovny described it. Bizarre, whimsical and I loved it. Must say I have always enjoyed Duchovny and as I read his words they read in his voice. Truly, really heard his voice.

As it is with every post I leave you with my poetry. Well today, February 24th is John's Birthday and I share my poem dedicated to him. See you in two weeks for a post about artful expression and photos back here in our Philly row-home. Planning it now, we will see where it takes us. Think Spring.

Today is the 55th day of the year,
John, it means your Birthday is here!

Born in the generation of the Baby Boomer,
you sweet husband have wonderful humor.

In 1949 the Porsche 356 first debuted to much fanfare,
A year of amazing introductions, best of all you, I declare!

So today I'm delivering my wishes with lots of kisses and cheer -
For there is one simple fact that year after year will always appear...

Dear handsome husband, it's something that's absolutely true, 
it's just how much I truly adore, respect and deeply love you!

© Vera

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Madly, Truly, Deeply…

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s day. Today I share snapshots of cuteness and photos of the precious ones I love. February 14th is a day for celebrating love in the name of Saint Valentine. Showing love, affection and friendship approximately 180 million cards will be exchanged on Valentine’s Day. Nearly $2 billion will be spent on flowers with 224 million roses grown just for this holiday. Another $2 billion on candy, given as sweet expressions of love and romance.

Truth is, as the Beatles sang “Love is all you need”. Surprise, today there will be no thought provoking stories on this post! Just a little sharing of myself for Valentine’s Day and my poem Cupid's Arrow.

"When your soul hears an unfamiliar melody and two heart's blissfully sing along, it's when you're in love and absolutely where you belong."

Violet has a new boyfriend, his name is Rémi. He is very theatrical and loves adventure. They met one evening after the ballet.

Rémi and the pink velvet sofa were gifts from my hubby John.

Love blooms in the Ballet theatre.

“The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart”
~unknown source~

White roses are my favorite flower, followed by pink roses.

How cute is this heart shaped pasta! It will be a bed for Shrimp Scampi, our Valentine's dinner.

Our Pretty Grand Gabrielle, sweet as can be and 19 years old. When Gabby was born I nicknamed her my pink pumpkin. 

Our honor roll student, adorable Grandson Dane, who is full of curiosity and adventure. Dane is 12 years old.

“Where there is love there is life.”
~Mahatma Gandhi~

John and I in a photo booth.

On a bright twinkling star filled celebratory evening, with libations that flowed and endless gourmet appetizers, an incredible dinner followed. Conversation and laughter filled the room with many champagne toasts. Afterwards John and I wound up kissing in a photo booth.  Followed by a phone call at 1:10 AM to my brother Kevin announcing "Best wedding ever"... (Kevin was sound asleep)!  Our beautiful niece Jeanie married her soul mate Joe, a wedding of romance to always remember.

“Real love stories never have endings”
~Richard Bach~

I'll be back in 2 weeks. With a post of Springtime changes in our row-home and some poetic thoughts.

"Love is the poetry of the senses."
~Unknown source~

Truly...madly...deeply in love I hear you declare,
Love is profound and infinite that two hearts share.

Love is a sensation that can magically appear precious and dear,
or perhaps it is simple puritanical emotions that are more austere.

Love can begin simply as lust, an unbridled sexual desire
When it is truly...madly...deeply in love you hope to acquire.

Love can often be a totally intangible concept for a person to define,
Especially if to appears on a Valentine's card asking you to "Be Mine"!

Cupid just shot an arrow into your heart from up above,
Trust and believe it is truly...madly...deeply feelings of love.

© Vera

(source for the pen and ink Cupid was Google, which was altered for my poem header)