Conservatories Friday, Sep 5 2008 

I could have used these today while heading out to the farm market for my corn! (from www.wellywarehouse)

Feels like fall here today.  We are finally getting a much needed rain.  It’s been gloomy all day, but the lawns, flowers, gardens and crops sure need this.  I had the day off and picked up 6 dozen ears of corn from our favorite farmer who sells much of his beautiful vegetables at his farm’s outdoor market. (my husband doesn’t grow corn in his garden yet)  I sat in the garage and shucked corn for my excitement this morning, all 71 ears..I only had to discard one, (shucks!!) it had a smaller Siamese ear growing to it’s main ear, quite the site!  When my husband came home, we boiled/blanched/cut and bagged the corn, and put 25 full, beautiful and golden fresh bags of corn into the freezer.  It will sure taste good this fall and winter when we enjoy it– bringing back the taste of summer.

Today would have been a good day to lounge in a beautiful conservatory like the one above; sitting among lovely, flourishing plants, sipping on a exotic tea, and curling up with the good book that I’m reading now,–“The Long Walk Home”– by Will North. (It was a nice treat that came in the mail yesterday from my sweet sister-in-law who had read it and thought that I would enjoy it also)  It certainly fits right in with today’s weather, it is set in Northern Wales, which certainly has its share of rain and clouds. 

I would love an old stone house to restore, and a conservatory like the ones below would add such charming character inside and out.

The following 15 pictures are from a company called:  TANGLEWOOD CONSERVATORIES INC.  Denton, Maryland.  I find them stunning, romantic and exceptionally beautiful.

Enjoy– Dream of how you would set the theme/style for the interior..would you use it for a sun room, dining area, lounge area, exotic plant area and sitting room, music room???  What are your plans for it?

Which is your favorite?


Oh my, I would love this gets my vote!!!  The water, the land, the home..I can start packing now!

How romantic is this conservatory?


How about this one by your pool?  What a rough day hanging out in here would be!!


The one below makes a stunning impression along the drive.  Love the dome!


How about a separate one, detached from the house..possibly a guest house, an office?

I love this one above and the look of the home’s exterior.   I bet the view is stunning!


Lancaster Conservatories–picture below.




The Following are all from Renaissance Conservatory from Leona, PA.  They are all absolutely gorgeous aren’t they?  Which one of these would you want?


How about a soak in this hot tub!Well, I found quite a few that I would take in a minute, how about you?

What originally started as an addition to be used for exotic and house plants, has now become a room for multi-purposes. 



A 999,000 sq. ft. conservatory..The Cyrstal Palace.

The Crystal Palace was built in Hyde Park, London, England to hold the Great Exhibition of 1851—all 999,0000 sq. feet of it!   It was moved from its location after the exhibition to a wealthy location in London called, Sydeham Hill.  It stood from 1854-1936, until it was destroyed by fire.  I can’t imagine how stunning and breathtaking it was to be one of the fortunate exhibitors and visitors.

I hope you enjoyed the photo’s and maybe have a bug to add on to your house, a new conservatory.  What a wonderful addition it would be to a home and the multi purposes that it could serve.

Good evening, until next time,



Fall Decorating and Ideas Tuesday, Sep 2 2008 

Good day,

I had my first pumpkin sighting..we were in Door County this weekend and the stands are starting to sell pumpkins.  We could even smell the apples in the orchards while in our car driving by…oh, the smell of fall!  It sure doesn’t seem possible that Labor Day has come and gone and fall decorations are starting to be on display at most of the stores.  I was on a hunt for an old wooden cart to fill with pumpkins in my yard for this fall.  I didn’t have any luck, but I’m not going to give up.  I’ll continue my search this week and I’m sure I’ll find just what I’m looking for.  Last night we went for a ride in our friends old mustang convertible and stopped at my husbands garden. (Good thing there wasn’t a scare crow there, I think I would have scared him when he saw me after driving around with the wind blowing in my hair!!)  It is just at it’s peak and the colors of squash, peppers, yellow/red tomatoes and stalks of corn are such a site to behold.  He is the neatest gardener I think I have ever seen.  I feel bad, I’m not really into it with him, but he thoroughly enjoys his project and next year claims it will be bigger and better!  He has his own kitchen in our basement, so he has been busy with his canning.  I don’t know how he does it after putting in a long day at his busy practice and coming home and heading right to his kitchen.  So far he has made dill pickles, pickled beets, bloody mary mix, (it’s the best anyone has ever what we hear!) salsa, sauerkraut, tomato sauce, tomato soup and this week his plans are to freeze corn and finish up the canned tomatoes.  He’s a busy guy and finds this so enjoyable and rewarding, his needs are so simple… I benefit by having all of these wonderful things at arms reach for cooking, and nothing is better than opening up some cans of his tomatoes for chili in the fall and winter.  Or for that matter, a delicious bloody mary with a beer chaser. is always a treat too…he puts almost a salad bar on a stick in it too!

 Do you have any fall ideas for your decorating this year?  It’s such a beautiful season and the colors are so rich and dramatic. 


Here are a few things that might help you ease into fall around your house.  All are simple and inexpensive.

First things first!  Mix peanuts and candy corn together for a sweet and salty to die for snack…it’s hard to quit munching on this!  You’ll need some energy while decorating.

Add hydrangeas cut from your bushes into vases, urns, crystal vases, pottery, or make a wreath out of your dried hydrangeas.  These are easy to spray paint also; if you would like to add some color to them.

Fill pretty bowls with apples, pears, apricots, nuts etc. for an easy centerpiece.

Make a delicious full butternut soup.

More energy for working around the house.

Top off a great urn with a pumpkin, for a fall outdoor topiary.  Stick a few leaves in the base for a little added color., or wrap the top of the urn with a fall garland, underneath the pumpkin.  Another project would be to buy a Styrofoam form at a local craft store and make your own topiary for indoors.  Add colorful leaves, fruit, nuts, gourds, mini pumpkins etc. for a great addition to a buffet table or entry table.

To make your own outdoor pumpkin topiary…Fill a large outdoor urn with dirt, take a metal bar, pound this into a large pumpkin and make an outdoor topiary.  Use three graduated sizes of pumpkins for a larger fall decoration, or do two urns for 2 stunning fall front door arrangements.

Fill an old wooden wheelbarrow or a wooden cart with pumpkins and gourds for an eye catching display for drive-by’s.  Add a hay barrel and other pumpkins and gourds around it for a beautiful outdoor fall scene.

Fill your window boxes with beautiful fall decor: pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and mums for an inviting display.Mercury Glass Pumpkin CandleholdersHarvest Feather Wreath

Drape fall leaf garland around a door, mirror, ledge, mantle.  (wreath,  and mercury glass pumkins from Smith and Hawkens)

Fill apothecary jars of different sizes with nuts, acorns, candy corn, leaves, rosehips, anything small enough to place inside the jars for a great display.  Gather them together for a table scape and add fall leaves, candles etc. around them. 

Fill your soap dishes with fall soaps shaped like acorns, pumpkins, pine cones. (company-FavorFavor)

Fill a large wicker cornucopia with branches of leaves, feathers and other decorations and add small pumpkins, or other faux fruit with them.  A large one makes a great centerpiece for your dining table, or entry table.

Set pumpkins, gourds etc. on any benches in your yard.


I stumbled upon these beautiful pillows from Cafe Press…they are so inexpensive and so vibrant.  There are hundreds to choose from in the range of $19.00-$29.00.  What a lovely way to add a touch a fall to a couch, chair or bed.  Full Show Artful Throw PillowAutumn Vortex Throw PillowFor the modern decorator, this swirl pillow is terrific, don’t you think?

LEAF Throw PillowThis pillow would be great in my 26 year old daughter’s apartment.  She has it decorated in blacks/whites and green.  I can’t believe how cheap these are!


Fall weddings are my favorite…Here is a picture of a stunning fall wedding done by Preston Bailey.  He is amazing!

You could frame this print for your kitchen to spice it up for fall.

Squash Art Print by Mark MillerThis pitcher from Fitz and Floyd doesn’t need anything to fill it, it is beautiful the way it is. 

Harvest Pitcher 


Why not attend a Truffle festival in Italy if you are traveling there this fall.  If you haven’t tasted a truffle, you are in for a delicious treat.  September is a spectacular time to head to Italy and the countryside.   

Have you seen this beautiful light fixture from Pottery Barn?

Fall decorating is so simple and creative.  There are so many natural everyday gifts from our gardens, markets etc. that can be used to transform and favorite basket, vase, bowl etc. into a stunning arrangement.  Have fun, use your imagination and bring the outdoors~~~ inside for a lovely transition from summer to fall.

Happy decorating!


 Little pumpkin heads from Anne Geddes

Door County Weekend… Friday, Aug 29 2008 

Hi all,

Hope everyone has some fun plans for the holiday weekend.  Drive safely if you are on the roads, it will busy with holiday travelers and there are always some crazy fools on the road.

We are off to Door County for a relaxing weekend.   Staying at the lovely Ashbrooke Inn  with our wonderful friends Jane and Louie.  They have been friends with us since the guys were in college together.  They met in one of their tougher classes–bowling class–I’m sure they were great students and excelled in the class!!   Anyway, we have remained close friends since; they were in our wedding and we are the godparent’s of their daughter Kathleen.  We always have a great time when we are with them.

Really looking forward to a long weekend –Some golfing, bumming, shopping, eating, reading etc.  Off to beautiful Door County…hope you have a fantastic weekend.Till next time,


Let’s go to an Auction… Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER………Is that bidder you?

Years ago when we were first married and fresh out in my husbands practice, we would go to quite a few auctions to buy things to help fill up some of our spaces in our first homes.  We always had a blast, and on several occasions came away with a few good things that we got “cheap.”  And other times, the box that we thought would be filled with great finds, turned out to be a flop.  It’s fun to bid on items…feeling the adrenaline rush and the nervousness of bidding higher and higher and then– knowing when to quit.  That’s the big one..knowing when enough is enough to pay for something…do you really want it that bad??  But when you do get the highest bid and go home with something you absolutely couldn’t live without, you are feeling quite high!

These days you can go right to your computer and bid on things anywhere from rock/paper/scissors game to a

$12,500 original oil paintingROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS!

at online auction sites such as Ebay.  Other online auction sites are Ebid, CQout, Ubid, Telbid, Doba, Bidz, Auction Air, Atomic Deals to name a few more.  Some of them work differently than Ebay, you would have to check them out to see how the buying and selling is handled. For furniture and antiques try:  Old and Sold Antiques,, Echat,  Sotheby’s and many more.

Do you have lots of spare change??  Because that’s what it is going to take to go to a Sotheby’s in New  York on Sept. 26th.  The auction scheduled for that day will be of the private collections of Rear Admiral Edward P. Moore and Barbara Bingham Moore, the late collectors of amazing and beautiful early American Furniture. Their pieces are exceptional, and it would be quite an experience to see their antiques auctioned.  I wonder if a couple thousand would buy me anything???

If that one doesn’t catch your eye..Here are a few more Sotheby’s auctions that would be wondefulto attend…anyone want to go withme?  I would prefer the one in Paris, is that all right with you??

1) 03 Oct 08–Paris
Fine European Furniture, including Ceramics, Tapestries, Carpets and Works of Art Oct 08
2)New York…The Léon Lévy collection: Important French Furniture and Works of Art 06 Nov 08  [

Leon Levy French Armories…now that would be my kind of auction.

 This lower picture of a wired door French Cabinet is at Randy’s Antiquariam Home online auction.  Aren’t the feet interesting?


EBAY …. Going online right now on Ebay, I’m finding over 10,000 items in the antique furniture section..over 207 pages of wonderful and exciting pieces to scour.  There are so many attractive things and a few odd balls thrown in also, some that I couldn’t imagine anyone craving.  But as they say, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.”

( **Weird items for bidding on..How about the sweaty, old socks that were at $89.00, or a women selling her cheating husbands personal items–got to love em!)

 How about bidding on these beautiful pieces of Majolica from Auctions–Old and Sold.  My friend and employee Anne-from the South-would love these.This bronze/gilded table would be great in my living room…it’s bid is at $315.00 right now on Ebay.How about bidding on this rare C1790 Sheraton Sofa.  I love the fabric and everything about it!  (Ebay) From Crown Jewel Antiques..funny how I always fall in love with something and the word crown/queen comes into play to match my nickname…it’s fate I guess.These French matching chairs are exquisite, they are on Ebay.

Do you need some great looking french chairs with rush seats to slide up to your farmhouse table?  EbayI absolutely adore this chair..but not the price..on Ebay and listed at about $3,500 right now.This cabinet is definitely a great piece to add to your living room or great room, or next to a bed.  I’d bid on the dogs too!


Are you looking for that special fountain??  Maybe you would like to bid on one of these…the first is starting at $65,000 and the second is listed at a start of $9,500.  They would be a bear to ship though..ha!

Now, I would love to own this Baccarat Chandelier or the other two fixtures.  The first one is an antique French Lantern, and the other two are antique angel sconces. (Ebay)

So you see, you don’t have to leave home to attend an auction.  Although, half the fun is walking around, people watching and enjoying the thrill of the bidding.  From the comfort of your own home you can sit with your cup of coffee or glass of wine and find thousands of items and bid on a few– or just research pieces of artwork, furniture etc. that you are interested in–or you can just dream for awhile of things that you would love to own, but can’t afford. (Darn, that’s not too much fun!)  Coffee for me would probably be best, after a few glasses of wine, I might get too easy with my bidding and spend more than I should!  One good thing regarding online bidding can’t mistakenly hold up your card and end up going home with something you didn’t intend to buy!  Especially if it is a pair of old, sweaty socks!

Talk to you later………Take care.


Beautiful European Home Plans Tuesday, Aug 26 2008 

 Where has summer gone??

It’s so hard to believe that it’s almost Labor Day weekend.  Where has the summer gone?  It always seems to fly by, and we in the Midwest try to pack so much activity into these months of beautiful weather when we don’t have to take a sudden snow or ice storm into consideration for traveling.  I just dread winter when you have things on the calendar and then the weather doesn’t cooperate, and you have to stay put.  I don’t know why I’m whining all ready about that..I think it’s just that with Labor Day approaching, I’m realizing how fast the months fly.  The only thing that is helping me not dread this winter so much is our new grandchild that we are patiently waiting for, to make HIS entrance into the world the end of December.  Now that makes the fact that the months are flying by, easier to handle.  I can’t wait.. and I also can’t believe that we will be grandparent’s!  I can’t wait to meet the little guy and cuddle and love him.  We have two beautiful step-grandchildren, but this will be the first new baby for us.  Our daughter Meghan is doing well and looks so darn cute with her little belly.  I didn’t ever look as good as she does pregnant or never wore such cute maternity cloths when I was expecting either of our daughters.  She was even wearing her bikini a month ago when she was going into her fifth month!  Now, that I can’t remember wearing even when I wasn’t pregnant!  How times and shapes have changed!   Baby Lippert is practicing his kicks and punches quite a bit, and she is loving every minute of it.

OUR HOME suits our needs quite well for now, even with our growing family.  But if we ever have a chance to build again, we will definitely take this great architect and his plans into consideration.


I don’t know if you have heard of the architect by the name of Jack Arnold or not, but I am a huge fan of his.  I own most of his portfolio’s that contain his home plans and I study, dream and review them quite often.  My next home will definitely have his style, if not one of his plans.  He is very talented and creative, and if you love Country French or Cottages, you will definitely fall in love with one of his plans.

Arnold is president of Architectural Resources, an architectural firm; and Design Properties, a residential construction firm, both based in Tulsa, Okla. Primarily, Arnold designs, and in some cases, builds elegant homes that feature French architecture. (www.jackarnoldcom)


I’m ready to pack and move right in to this one..I love the color, balcony, and everything about the wall around the yard too.

PRESS RELEASE  Dream Home Portfolio Offers New Designs From Jack Arnold’s Homes of Elegance

TULSA, Okla.- Homeowners looking to create the home of their dreams can begin the process by purchasing the newest luxury house plan from architect Jack Arnold.

Titled The Dream Home, this portfolio features 11 distinct variations on the original concept, each with its own special features and proportions. The book includes color photography of exterior elevations, interior rooms and a poolside cabana, and may be purchased for $35 at Study size floor plans also are included.

The Dream Home is the third portfolio published by Jack Arnold, following his highly successful Country French Classics and Old World Romantics portfolios, which may also be purchased online.

Jack Arnold, AIA is noted throughout the U.S. for creating elegant, livable European homes of the finest quality. His companies include Homes of Elegance, European Copper, LLC and European Attic, as well as a custom design and construction company.

 For more info, go to:

He also has his own web blog for you to keep up with his news etc.

On this site, go to Media and you will see the many articles and picture of his homes in magazines such as Veranda, House Beautiful etc.  Step inside his photo gallery on his site and dream and drool over his beautiful homes.  See pictures of the interiors as well as the exteriors.

Also find information regarding other services and ideas that he offers for his homes.


Here you will find the following for your Jack Arnold Home:

Cupolas, lanterns, mantels and more.


**GO TO – To see one of his homes.


Taken from Jack Arnold



 Hope you enjoyed a little info regarding Jack Arnold.

Keep dreaming and adding to your wish list, you never know when that dream house might come true!

Take care,






Designing my Paris Apartment Tuesday, Aug 19 2008 

parle vu frances?

Do you “amore’ anything French?

I Love Paris…I love French decor and scouring flea markets. 

 Shop with me as we decorate my imaginary Paris apartment.


My husband and I have been to Paris three times, but one of those times I can’t count as a vacation.  It was literally a 5 hour trip into Paris by train from our hotel that we were being  put up in overnight, while we waited for a flight out the next morning.  My husband, myself and many other travelers were staying in a hotel by the airport because our flight had been delayed, inturn we had all missed our connecting flights.  It was Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend and we were traveling home from Italy.  We were thankful that we had the next day off and were not too upset, as long as we could get home the next day.   After the initial confusion and let down, we finally realized…We were in Paris!… and we weren’t going to sit in our hotel room all evening.   The city was calling our name.  

Since we had been to Paris twice before and knew that we were that close to the city, we could take the train in and return on the last one out that evening.  It would be a quick trip, but why not be adventurous.  While eating a small meal that the hotel provided the travelers, we conversed with other couples who were stranded along with us.  After speaking to two other couples and one other gentleman, we all decided we would go into the city together and take a cruise down the Seine River, the best way to see part of Paris in the short amount of time that we had.  We had been on a cruise down the Seine once before, but had gone during the day.  It is a cruise not to miss if you are ever there, it is a wonderful, memorable experience.  We could only imagine how beautiful it would be at night.  The seven of us took the train into Paris.  After arriving at a stop close to the Eiffel Tower, we ran up the subway steps and looked up at the breathtaking structure, all gasping and in awe.  Its enormous size and beauty is a stunning sight to behold.  It started to drizzle, so we walked quickly to the river cruises, bought our tickets and before we got on bought some wine and little plastic glasses.  We then proceeded to embark on a scenic, romantic and beautiful ridedown the Seine; gazing into the evening sky as we were gently flowing down the magnificent river.  The ride was breathtaking in the evening… everything was lit up, the buildings and apartments were glowing, as well as the streets.  We looked out as we past Notre Dame Cathedral… a truly magnificent structure that takes your breath away.  Looking up into the the beautiful Paris apartments, I envisioned living in one and having this view everyday as I stepped out onto a balcony.  The evening was surreal…were we really in Paris?  We were suppose to be on a flight home and here we were with people that we had never met before, sharing am intimate evening in Paris with them.  We toasted to a spontaneous adventure and new friends. What a remarkable and memorable evening we shared. It is a memory that I will always cherish. .. Five hours in Paris, but a lifetime of memories!

A Foriegn Affair:

I believe our home reflects my love of Europe, and our travels.  I love French and Italian decor and you can throw a little English in with it also.  How I would love to own an Italian villa in the countryside of Tuscany or a French Apartment along the Seine.  I wouldn’t be opposed to a charming cottage in the Cotswold either!  Where would you want a second home?  Italy, Paris, Ireland, Greece???  I’ll take you along on a decorating trip for my Paris Apartment…let’s go antiquing and shopping.

 My apartment building on the Seine River (Just dreaming, of course)

    First Stop….the markets.

 Paris has many markets, but the most famous is..Saint-Ouen


Paris Flea Market Tips and Hints

   READ….Paris Perfect

Flea Market Hours: Saturday – Monday

Every Saturday from 8h30 to 18h30

Every Sunday from 10h to 18h30
Every Monday from de 10h30 to 17h30

iFYOU ARE IN PARIS…..You can’t miss this market if you have time to go.  This famous antique market is a must on your itinerary if you love hunting for antiques, big or small.  It is an absolute ball, it goes on and on.  We spent a long day bumming and thoroughly enjoyed this antique market on our last trip to Paris.  They were filming a Paris Designer shopping in the stalls of the markets and we had great fun watching him.  I could have brought so many things home, it was truly fascinating to us.  The items that I did purchase, I will always treasure.  When we were hungry, we stopped in a little restaurant right inside the markets, sat down and enjoyed wine, cheese and music.  My husband and I still laugh about the little three piece ensemble that was playing while we ate…they were singing “I Did It My Way” in French, and we got such a big kick out of an older lady playing the accordian while a gentleman sang the song.  Sweet memories!! 

 To market to market…….From the market, I’d pick up lots of accessories for my apartment– Pictures, frames, candlesticks,  china, glassware, crystal, ceramics, kitchen ware, garden statuary, mirrors, rugs, slipper chairrs, fabrics for reupholstery, lamps, urns, books….and much more.

alhambra antiques—I’d have to have a collection of crowns, since my nickname has always been, “The Queen.”

A french chaise would be just perfect for resting after a long afternoon at the markets. (alhambra antiques)I love these …I would have to find several busts to scatter around the apartment.  Some to hold jewelry, others for display.I’m starting to see my color palette with blues come together…I am fond of the color and it just started to call out to me.  (alhambra antiues)  Doesnt’ this look comfy?  The fabric is gorgeous and the blue/gold is so rich against the dark wood/Wouldn’t this chandelier be beautiful over a table or in a foyer?  I love the blue vase feature in the center. (french

Something like this in a smaller entry with a mirror and accessories would create a welcoming entrance.I would love this mirror over my mantle…Isn’t it just beautiful?A few side chairs to scatter here and there would be needed… (alhambra antiques) Adding some pillows would make them even more inviting.The bedrooms would need some great armoires for storage…something like this or a painted one would be the ticket.

A French apartment wouldn’t be complete without a birdcage?

A lovely settee like this for extra seating or in an entrance is a beautiful addition. I would find some beautiful antique needlepoint pillows to enhance it.

The markets will be full of artwork for the apartment, what a great place to hunt for pictures that call out to me.


These antique upholstered chairs with original gilt and fabric would be wonderful in my bedroom along with this bed upholsterd in a vintage fabric, loaded with tons of antique pillows.  (From the Shops at Malleries)I have a thing for sconces so I would have several pairs located in my apartment, don’t you love these reversed etched ones form Shops at Mallerie?

These beautiful marble top tables would be wonderful in a bedroom or in a living area.  I love the colors in the marble and they would be wonderful along side my bed with lamps for readng, and a place for my books and magazines and morning coffee and pastrie.


Sculptures like this women in wood or plaster would add such drama to the spaces.

When company comes to visit, this bed be wonderful for the guest room.  When can you come for a visit?A French Pastry table in the kitchen would be a lovely piece, wouldn’t you love to learn how to make some of the delicious and beautiful french pastries?  My mouth is watering right now!


Every Parisian Apartment has to have a screen. (shops at Malleries)I love this diplay table for a foyer or living area, mine would be filled with items collected from the markets and travels.  Maybe some porcelain boxes,  antique postcards, tickets stubs to famous museums, shells from the ocean sand, pictures of family/travels/adventures and more.  An antique lamp to sit on the top and a few stacks of books and it’s set.


My interior doors would look something like this.  The gilding is stunning as is the carvings.

Rome wasn’t built in a day….

There is so much more to do…I’m missing my dining table and chairs, cupboards, and much more furniture, accessories, linens and lighting etc.  But, there will be many more trips to the markets to make, antiquing and shopping to do, so my apartment will evolve over time.  Can you help me find some pieces that would be wonderful additions to my new place?  Send me some of your ideas and pieces that you think would compliment my selections for my Paris Apartment.  Help me fill it up with luscious finds and fabrics.  Happy shopping!  Since I’m dreaming, their isn’t a budget!!  So find me something incredible… please!

Maybe a trip to the South of France will be necessary to pick up some wonderful pottery and dishes.  Can you get away for a long weekend of bumming?  Oh, the thrill of the hunt!

(Before you go,  pick up books to help you “shop til you drop” in Paris…  Hear from professional shoppers where the great buys are, where the outlets are and listings of your desires and wishes.)

The Riches of Paris By Maribeth Clement

(Go to for a weatlh of information and help in any area of travel, restaurants, lodging and shopping)  If you go…the must see day trips are..Verrsailles, Monet’s Garden, and Normandy and the D-Day beaches.  They are all worth the trip and the memories.  Bring your walking shoes and discover Paris on foot, or take the subway to different neighborhoods and be adventurous.



 Off to bed to dream..I’ll be decorating our apartment in Paris in my sleep. 

Ohr Vwahr,


Won’t You Let Me Take You on a Sea Cruise… Monday, Aug 18 2008 

Hi there…

I’m tired today from lots of shopping, talking, staying up way past my bedtime and overall having fun!   I know, poor me.  I spent two days in Door County, Wisconsin with three of my great friends and had a fabulous time.  We really lucked out with the weather, warm but not humid and just beautiful up in this wonderful area of our state.  If you have never been there and are looking for a wonderful vacation area, I highly recommend it.  If you do go, email me and I’ll give you lots of ideas for restaurants and shopping, also read one of my past blogs on Door Country and it’ll tell you a few things all ready.

Although we shopped for a variety of things, lots of shoes were bought.  Everyone just had good luck.  There is a great store that carries the largest selection of Naot shoes in the nation, if not anywhere.  Everybody bought a pair but me…:(  Try as I might, I can not find a pair that feel great yet, there are 17 different soles to try and I haven’t found the perfect one for me, but I’ll keep trying.  They are suppose to be fabulous for your feet.  Then, there are three branches of a store called, “On Deck”,and they also have wonderful shoes. (clothing too) Everyone had a terrific time, there are so many new fun styles of shoes for fall and great colors.  One of the girls and her husband are going on an Alaskan cruise in a week, she had wonderful luck with clothes and shoes.  But then again, she is fun to shop with, she looks good in so many things and is fun to dress.  We just have her stay in the dressing room and bring things to her…how fun is that to look cute in about anything?  She’ll be styln’ on their cruise… 

Speaking of cruises, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin  in Door County is a large ship and yacht building company.  When you go over the  bridge, you see magnificent ships and private yachts being serviced, built and lots of activity.  How I would delight in being able to go inside some of these private houses on water.

What would you do, if you had a chance to decorate a private yacht? How unbelievably fabulous would that be? 

Oceano Yacht Interiors…(next 3 pictures) This would be a rough life wouldn’t it??

 A little seating area to unwind, relax, sip on a glass of wine after a hot day in the sun.  Sounds like such a difficult life!!!


Can you imagine waking up and seeing this view, or lying in bed and gazing out at the lights and the stars…I find the room a little lacking in color,  I personally would have to have color, (whine, whine) but I imagine each stunning view is enough for the owners of this yacht.  Poor things!
Would you like a master bathroom such as this??  “James, be a good boy and bring me my vodka and a towel please, and…don’t disturb me for at least an hour, I need my rest from such a busy day.”  What a life!
Maybe I could handle this for awhile!!!  I would hate to get spoiled!  We would have to change the name though…something like….The Queen Jody would do, don’t you think??

My Yacht’s Bigger Than Yours (above)

Picture taken 20 May 2007 shows Saudi business and advisor to King Fahd, Nasser al Rachid’s yacht the ‘Lady Moura’ off the French riviera, southern France. One of the world’s biggest private yachts, a 108-metre (354-foot) vessel belonging to Saudi billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid, sparked a beach pollution alert at the Cannes film festival 20 May after running aground. The luxury vessel, the Lady Moura, hit a submerged rocky outcrop near the port in this French Riviera resort as it was navigating a short distance off-shore 19 May.
(Valery Hache/ AFP/ Getty Images) four pictures
I believe I could throw a small party in here, couldn’t you??A guest room…

 Now this would be a great place to hang out while cruising to the next port…Maybe Monoco? 

After a hard day of walking around, dining and shopping at port, I would just have to soak my tired body in here. Carrying all those packages really put a strain on me.  Would you like to join me in my spa room?  I’m sure my staff would bring us what we needed.

If you would like to see more yacht interiors…check out, Dee Robinson Interiors-Yacht interior designer.  Look at her site for exquisite pictures of interiors of yachts.  Let the dreaming begin.


Now this would be a handy chair wouldn’t it?  I wonder if I could get one of these for home? 

Wouldn’t these linens be beautiful for your dining pleasure?  Well, I think I’ll have to stick to interior design for houses on land, but it sure is fun to dream! 

Now this would probably be the crew and yacht that I could afford!!



Just a little different blog for today.  Design takes on so many avenues and I think having a chance to decorate a yacht would be an unbelievable experience.  As designers we never stop dreaming of the possibilities of creating and imagining.  Until next time mate…


French Country…my home. Wednesday, Aug 6 2008 

Good Afternoon……It’s a beautiful Wisconsin summer day.

The humidity is gone here…along with Brett Favre–from what I hear on the latest Brett sighting..he has boarded a private plane and off to talk football someplace else, I presume.   You know..I absolutely love the guy, how he help our Packers and what he brought to the team— But—isn’t there life after football? 

 As a women, it’s hard to understand this football thing, so I’m trying to comprehend how he is feeling and the only thing I can relate it to is this..  I know how it feels to be out of a job and retire.

It reminds me of how I felt when my last daughter left home.  My job that I had for over 21 years was over and I didn’t quite know what to do with myself…what next?  I wouldn’t be needed for each play, there wouldn’t be any more practices, no dirty uniforms, Sunday’s would sure be different, and no more high five’s, pats on the rear or chest butts…but I had to go on and move to the next stage of my life.  It’s a difficult time with lots of soul searching, but along with the change, also came some freedoms and time for other adventures. The biggest difference between Brett and me as I see it is…$$$$ and possibly another chance.  I didn’t get paid and I don’t get a second chance.  I did my best, I did what I thought was right at the time, ( I did it without a manual or game plan) and I’m proud of my team.  I don’t want to play again, I miss my offensive and defensive players, but I wouldn’t want to start over!!   So, good luck Brett…whatever you decide for your future, just do your best and call your mother.


There’s No Place Like Home


I’ve been wanting to share pictures of our home with you and I’ve finally downloaded some I have taken.  We built this house 10 years ago.  We had previously lived in two older homes, one over one hundred years old.  I dearly loved them both, but we decided to try our hand at building. So, we had something designed and built to resemble a Country French Home.  I was tired of running to the lower, old, musty basement to the do the laundry, the small closets, and also going outside in the cold Wisconsin winters to the garage, (that wasn’t attached) freezing my nose hairs and carrying grocery’s, and also other reasons that helped to make our decision to move.

 Our whole building experience went exceptionally well. I had everything planned and decorated in my mind, long before the first pile of dirt was scooped up.  The five months were very enjoyable; the builders and crew made life easy and building fun.  I was on hand for all of the decisions and stopped by almost every day.  (I wasn’t a pest, I just liked to see the progress) My husband Dan had a busy practice to oversee and couldn’t get away during the day for meetings; he usually stopped by at night and on weekends.  (Of course, being a designer…I didn’t mind making most of the decisions at all, like I would have vetoed his ideas most likely anyway!)   On one occasion, he stopped by on his afternoon off and one of the workers who hadn’t ever met or seen him before, scrambled and told everyone, “The inspector is here!”  We got a good laugh out of that one.

The following are pictures of the exterior of our home and a couple odds and ends. It’s more room then we need for just the two of us, but when the family comes home, we have plenty of space for them.  Now with a new grand baby on the way, we’ll have room for a crib, and all the trimmings for when they come home to visit.!!  I’m working all ready on filling it up; it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!


The English ivy drives my husband nuts, it takes over every year.  I threaten him each year not to touch it. I love it and I don’t mind if anything won’t grow in it.  I love all the green and vines that eventually grow up the tree.  He dare not ever remove it!My window boxes aren’t showing some of the pink or purple flowers in the background…but oh well, you get the idea.Eventually the climbing hydrangea vines will take over (little inset right corner of the picture) on the right flat wall.  Out in the backyard we have a lovely patio and a great wooded area behind our house.

We have a wetlands behind our home, most of the time it’s wonderful…deer, wild flowers, lots of birds..but now and then lots of water, and it draws mosquitoes and they attack like women at a designer shoe sale!  It’s a natural wetlands and protected, so nothing can ever be built on it.  Oh, well, you have to take the good with the bad. 

Off to enjoy the beautiful weather and maybe relax after my work day is done out on the patio.  A good book and a nice glass of wine sounds inviting. 

Take care, until next time,


Designer Tracy Porter…close to home Tuesday, Aug 5 2008 

Good morning,


I decided to head out of the house and get some things done on my “to do” list before my first work appointment this afternoon.  So, what am I doing, but sitting in a coffee shop with my computer and not accomplishing anything on my list of things to do this morning.  Just a quick note and I’ll be off and running.  I work better under pressure anyway!  It’s funny watching all of the meetings taking place, people on their computers and cell phones…..what a busy, busy world!

While I was on vacation at the cottage last week, I stopped into a small town called, Ripon, Wisconsin.  There are several cute shops on the main street and a new one just opened opened on the corner called Tracy Porter. The window vingnette drew me in and I was happy to see a sister store (literally–the owner Robyn, is a sister to Tracy Porter-designer) of Georgie’s from Princeton, Wisconsin.  I’ve always enjoyed shopping at Georgie’s and now have a second store to wander in and shop or get ideas.  Tracy has wonderful design talent and is a very creative artist as well.  This area of the state is truly a must see when you are in the Green Lake area or surrounding towns.  Many people from Chicago have second homes on Green Lake and if you have never had the chance to stop into Georgie’s in  Princeton, you must add it to your list and now another stop in Ripon, just 7 miles from Green Lake at Tracy Porter’s new store.

Make sure you read Tracy’s story of her beginning and how her business has grown so successful.  I am so fortunate to have someone so talented and successful, less than an hour from my home. 

Please view her website at

She also has a Tracy Porter blog, where you can see what she is up to and get info on her new clothing line, purses and accessories. 

She also has a catalog that you can order to view her beautiful wares and clothing.  Enjoy!


I’ve got to get at my list…birthday presents, cards, pick up paint samples and then off to work.  Have a wonderful summer day!

Until next time.


Cottage Decor Sunday, Aug 3 2008 

GREEN LAKE, WISCONSINHome from a week of sun and fun!

I’m home from my week long stay at a cottage with my husband, our daughter Meghan and her husband Dan, (who are expecting their first baby in Dec.) my two step-grandchildren Emily and Marshall, and our daughter Allison and boyfriend Josh.  My husbands mother and entire family vacation at Green Lake, Wisconsin every year, always the last week of July.  We couldn’t have ordered better weather for the week.  It was absolutely perfect.  We did nothing but relax, read, eat, swim, jet ski, eat, sun, and play games, did I mention eat?  The men golfed several days, the women did a little shopping and bumming and the kids had a ball. 

 My daughter Meghan’s belly is so darn cute and she is certainly looking pregnant.  The baby moved a few times this week while she was with us, he/she is just starting to make it’s presence known with a few flutters now.  What a wonderful time for her, I remember the wonderful and miraculous feeling of having my two babies kick inside me and the astonishing experience that it was.  It’s funny how at first you aren’t sure of those little flutters, or bubbly feelings, asking yourself if they are the baby or maybe a little tummy rumble, and then later, you are in awe as you watch your baby’s foot move under your ribs.  What an intimate time for her and her baby.  It was brought up many times that next summer we would have a little one with us adding so much amusement and that a new generation would be starting their Green Lake summers.

Green Lake is a beautiful little town, with some stunning homes that you would die to get inside.  Taking a boat ride around the lake, we do an exterior, “tour of homes.” Everyone enjoys the ride, and as we are leisurely boating past the homes and cottages, people are speaking at the same time remarking — “Look at that one, I want that one,” or “Oh my gosh, look at that enormous one with the wrap around porch, I changed my mind, I want that one,”  “No, that one is the winner, look at the terrace and the windows.”  The comments keep coming for the entire shore line tour and we point at the new ones that have been built since last years boat ride.  Who lives there?  Who can afford that monstrous one?  The comments are flying, everyone is in awe of the sizes, the terraces, the landscaping, the money!  And I think each year someone declares,  “I heard Oprah has a house here.”  A brother-in-law chimes in,  “I talked to someone in town about a new home that was being built and that the house’s taxes are $80,000 a year alone!”  After the ride, we all pick out our favorite and my mind is dreaming of the one I love and how I would finish the interior and decorate it.  It wouldn’t have to be the biggest one on the lake by any means.  My favorites are the ones that look like they would have been past down from generations, cozy and welcoming with the big screened in porch and the boathouse and pier.  A little guest house on the property would be an added bonus.  “Why didn’t I have any relatives that lived here, or had a cottage to past down the line,” I ask myself. 

A cozy cottage on Green Lake.

 How about a little more rustic look?

How about this French Provencal right on the’s for sale for a little over 2 million…This cottage is listed at 1.5 million–what a great front porch.

There are many beautiful old mansions located on Green Lake.  This one has been restored and turned into a beautiful B&B. 

What kind of cottage or lake home would you like?  What would your dream cottage be?  What would you fill it with? 

 My dream cottage:  Above–picture compliments of Southern Living.

My Wishes:

If I had a cottage/home on a lake, I believe I would have to decorate it in a unique mix of antiques, a few pieces of painted furniture here and there, and items collected over time and travel.  I’d scour flea markets and estate sales, always being on the hunt for linens, garden furniture, unique storage ideas and one of a kind treasures.   I would love a large screened in front porch, (I have wonderful memories of my grandparents screened in porch -I believe I can still awaken the smell of the wicker furniture and scattered rugs that were at home on their porch as long as I can remember) full of comfortable seating, tables for playing games, baskets of blankets to cuddle up in when the evenings are cool, and a large porch swing.  Stepping out from the porch you would then be walking on a large terrace with stone pavers looking out onto the lake.  The terrace would be filled with pots, urns, and unique planters filled with colorful arrangements of flowers. Some  filled with herbs, others with geraniums, wave petunias and other annuals, and of course garden statuary would be mixed in among the pots and shrubs. (Vintage Gardener–would be a great place to order your pots and unique containers) A great metal bench would have a comfortable cushion for sitting for a spell and all this outdoor living area would lead you on a path bordered with a mix of perennials that bloom all summer long down to the dock. 

Wouldn’t this be a lovely guest house and terrace?  (Cottage Living)

Would you want a formal garden?  Can you say caretaker??  This is stunning and unending. (Southern Accents)

 My kitchen would be large with white lower cabinets, and the upper area would have to have long white shelves to hold bright colored dishes, platters and kitchen ware.  A window over the kitchen sink would be a must, I would have to be able to see the lake, as well as a large island for serving and cooking and a few stools for seating.   I love white subway tile and this kitchen would be wonderful in my cottage.  (Southern Living)How about this pint size kitchen that is shown in Coastal Living?  Isn’t it fresh and bright and adorable?  I’ve always been partial to the color blue. In our master bedroom a beautiful antique bed, white iron or a white painted bed, would be completed with a bed crown to hold a lovely mosquito net or sheer fabric that drapes the sides of the bed. 

How about this shell bed crown from Horchow?  Since my nickname is “The Queen,” maybe this one from Horchow would be appropriate..with soft, flowing fabric.

A Master Bath like this from Southern Living would take any stress away.  It’s bright and fresh, but so relaxing.

A serene, inviting seating area for a glass of wine and good conversation or just relaxing with a book.

My kitchen, living and dining areas would all open to each other for easy entertaining and the rear of the home would have to have a wide expanse of windows to look out onto the lake, with the screened in porch running the width of half of the rear of the cottage.  I would need to have a clear view in at least one part of the cottage to look right out onto the lawn and lake, not being blocked by anything, so that I don’t miss the activity.  An antique farm house table would sure be great for meals and for indoor games as well.  This kitchen above already has my name on it…my last name initial G. I would need more color in the room though, that is just me.  This is shown in Cottage Living, both the living space and kitchen. (Guttuso kitchen and living residence.)

  Having a fireplace would be nice for those cooler or rainy summer evenings and lots of book shelves for summer reading would be a must also.  I love the french touch.  (Cottage Living)I think three guest rooms would suffice and one I would set up with four twin beds running the width of the room for children.  How fun for them to have a room for themselves; staying up late talking, reading, sharing secrets and giggling past bed time.  No TV for this room, they have to make their own fun!   This is certainly a fun kids room shown in Coastal Living.We would need two full baths, lots of fresh linens, beach towels, flip flops and baskets of items for guest.

Oh, and another must have would be a laundry room.  It wouldn’t make sense to bring linens and towels back and forth from home to cottage, this one will do just fine…  I love this one below from Cottage Living, but minus the iron and ironing board at the cottage!

I’m sure our cottage would be ever changing with my love of decorating. It would bring me lots of pleasure from seeking out just the right accessories and special touches for a my family’s get away.  But the best part of all would be the sounds of chatter, laughter and fun as family and friends enjoy our home and the special feeling that comes with owning a cottage where everyone can unwind and leave their cares behind.

For now, I’ll settle for our weekly cottage rental and the excitement and anticipation that it brings to each of us, each summer.  Next summer our new grand baby will become the family’s 4th generation of vacationers at Green Lake and he/she will begin their own memories of their summer fun with the family. What amusement and fun he/she will bring to all of us.

 I’ll continue to dream of my cottage and decorate it in my mind, that’s just fine with me.  Along with another home comes more responsibilities, caretaking and costs. So for now, we’ll stick to renting and keeping our tradition going for years to come.  (Unless of course, I would happen to win the lottery or inherit one from a long, lost relative!!!!!)

Enjoy your Sunday…have a great week.


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