Friday, April 30, 2010

Relaxing weekend


Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My New Louis XVI Bed

As promised I'm sharing my new bed with you all. Before you scroll down to the pictures I must admit that I'm beyond excited. I was absolutely heartbroken that my husband disagreed and refused to buy the French engraved bed. I didn't think I would ever come across a more lovely bed as I began searching through Houston. However, I did! I found this Louis XVI bed (also purchased in France). It's so beautiful and I was blown away that my husband equally fell in love with it. I'm already gearing up to find the perfect bedding. I was thinking something French in white or ivory. However, I'm open to any suggestions. I did come across a picture I was going to use as an inspiration. I'll post that as well.


The bed is made out of walnut, has satinwood marquetry, and ormolu mounts. It dates back to the early 19oo's.







My inspiration for my bedroom.



I finished reupholstering my high chair last night. Isn't it adorable! Obviously this will only be used during special occasions and not everyday use. I'll purchase a everyday type for the kitchen table. But I couldn't resist the little thing once I came across it. Besides, children should be taught at a very young age their dining etiquette. I just might fly our children to Florida and enroll them in one of Miss Janice's etiquette's classes when they reach the proper age.

* We are not expecting at this present time. However, we hope to be within the year. I'm just one of those people who likes preplan.




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Monday, April 26, 2010

Exciting weekend

My husband and I had a very eventful trip. We ate a ton of crawfish and shrimp over the weekend. We always pig out when we are back in New Orleans. My mother-in-law loads us up with all sorts of Southern fried delicacies. I love visiting Louisiana. No matter how small or how big I happen to be during our trip my mother-in-law always looks at me and says, "Don't you eat over there in Texas? Look at her! She's all skin and bones." HA! I've gained nearly 15 lbs in the past three years (I'm far from being skin and bones). However, that's a true Southern Mama to want to give you tupperware and bags full of food when you leave. We give most of it away when we arrive home because we just don't have any room for it in our pantry/fridge. My husband says, "No use arguing with her. Just take it." So today I'm going to drop some off to our neighbors and then hit the gym.

We also had a scary event. My husband's family doesn't only reside in New Orleans but also in Mississippi. We were surprised to hear of the twister that hit outside of Yazoo City. We are grateful that his relatives were safe but our hearts go out to those who lost their homes and loved ones. Mississippi is full of good hearted people and I hate to hear something like this happen. One thing I love about Mississippi is the people who come out to help. Within an hour people arrived with food, water, chainsaws, etc. and began helping immediately. During hurricane Katrina it was the same way over in Biloxi, Pass Christian, and Gulfport. Please keep Mississippi in your prayers today. God Bless them as they recover.

Now for the BIG news....my dining room table arrived!!! It arrived late Friday evening. I had no idea that it was in. My husband surprised me with the delivery. I'm so ecstatic to finally have a table once again. I was so disappointed to leave the next day for our mini get-away but it gave me something to look forward to coming home to. I was up late last night reupholstering a chair when we got back. I only managed to finish a single chair but it was exciting to see the transformation. My husband laughed and told me to stop decorating and get some sleep. This afternoon I'll be working on the others. I have a total of 8 chairs, 1 high chair, and one bench. It's going to be a LONG day.

Here's some before and after pictures.

Before -We like the dark rich colors in our house so the white really stands out. I came across this fabulous new fabric months ago at a large fabric warehouse in Houston. I've been itching to use it. The colors are perfect and match everything in the house.



After- Here's the new fabric.





What do y'all think? I love this fabric. I can't wait to see the entire set completed. I'll be sure to share pictures once I'm finished. I also got a new bed. I'll post on that this week as well. Wishing everyone a very happy Monday.



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Decorating with Paula Deen

I hope everyone is enjoying their week. I'm enjoying my afternoon very much. I'm actually taking time to relax and enjoy a cup of tea and read a book or two. It feels that I'm always in a rush and my schedule is overloaded with appointments, errands, and responsibilities that I don't take a day off to enjoy the little things that often. Today I'm going to schedule in a little "me time" and truly take advantage of a fantastic afternoon.

This afternoon I decided to sit down and look through my new book I recently came across. It's Paula Deen Savannah Style. Paula Deen and Brandon Branch teamed up together and came up with the most delightful decorating book. Don't y'all just love Savannah? It's such a romantic little destination. My husband and I have had such wonderful trips to Savannah in the past. The houses are so charming and elegant. I'd love to go on a house tour of those hidden Southern jewels. I can't imagine the loads of antiques that dress the walls inside. This book has amazing photography and I believe you'll really enjoy it if your taste tends to be on the Southern side.





After drooling over the pages I suddenly had an itch to decorate my kitchen table. I must tell y'all about my fabulous little table. It's from Spain and over 80 years old. I purchased it from a man I met back in Austin, Texas. He was originally from Madrid and was moving back. The table belonged to his grandmother and he didn't have room to ship it. I couldn't imagine letting such a fantastic heirloom go but snagged it before anyone else could. The leaves fold in and out to create a larger table. Currently I have the leaves folded inside for a short table. I've been serving dinner at the kitchen table since we are waiting for our new dining room table to arrive. Here is my little tablescape for this evening.



The cutlery was given to me by my neighbor. He has a son who will be graduating from college next month. His son just moved into his own place. I remember being that age and feeling quite grown up. It was my first place without a college roommate. I asked if he would be interested in my older set considering we just purchase an entirely new one. When he came to my house to see the set he thought I was selling it to him. I explained that I was giving it not selling it. He was ecstatic. Now his place looks fabulous (especially for a young bachelor). His father, my neighbor, was very grateful and gave me his mother's silverware. My neighbor is around 70 so I'm assuming that it has been in the family for some time. He had it in a box stored up in his attic and told me that he felt I should have it. I told him that he needed to ask his daughter if she wanted her grandmother's cutlery before I would accept such a generous gift. She wasn't interested and so I was one lucky gal. It polished up very nicely and I noticed that it was stamped 1847 Heritage. The pattern I have is called "Heritage" and has been discontinued. The year it was manufactured was 1953. I have the entire collection with serving spoons and the works. I'm very excited!!!



I pulled up their website Hertiage Silverware http://heritagesilverware.com/ and it states that the company creates silver for The Ritz, The Dorchester and Lanesborough for over 30 years.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CRAWFISH!!!!


Do you know why I love April soooo much? Because it's CRAWFISH SEASON!!! We will be packing our bags and heading back home for an old fashion Louisiana crawfish boil. It's all about t-shirts, jeans, beer, friends, food, and good music. Life doesn't' get better than that (not in Louisiana).

The proper things to know about a Crawfish Boil ~

1.) Never wear anything nice to a Crawfish Boil. Those little mud bugs are full of hot spicy juices and will ruin your outfit. Old t-shirt and jeans or shorts is the proper attire. Besides, you don't want anyone to think you're a tourist. I'll tell you why in #2.

2.) When you grab a crawfish don't get one with a straight tail. That means that the poor craw daddy was dead before they tossed him in the boiling pot. The locals will push those aside and leave them for the tourist who don't know any better (yuck).



3.) You can always spot a good Crawfish Boil by what's in it. A really good one has all the fixin's such as corn on the cob, red potatoes, sausage, shrimp (lemon if it's a fancy boil).



4.) Everyone knows that you drink local beer with your crawfish. The local beer I like is Abita Beer. They have one out called Purple Haze. I like that one and a strawberry one they make.



5.) And a good Crawfish Boil has to have some good Louisiana music. One of my favorite Cajun bands is called, Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos. We are big fans in my house.



How do you eat a crawfish?

* Grab a big one
* Pinch the tail
* Are ready for this? Suck the head. Sounds pretty gross but it's really good.

If y'all are ever in Southern Louisiana in the spring time you need to check out a Crawfish Boil.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Antique Rugs

This weekend we hit the antique shops in search for a new bed. Remember that lovely French bed I posted about? Well, I didn't get it (boo-hoo). My husband thought it was a beautiful bed but a bit on the feminine side. He said he didn't want to lay in a bed with flowers and an engraved basket over his head. Ok, I must admit it was on the feminine side.

We ventured out this weekend and we came across some exquisite pieces. I've been searching for the perfect curio cabinet that will go with our new furniture. I found a gorgeous one. It is made of 100% mahogany and has the most interesting lines. My husband and I snatched it up before anyone else saw it. It was such a great price we could hardly pass it up. This week I'm planning on filling it with all my collectibles and then I'll post it.

Not only did I find myself drooling over my new curio cabinet but antique Persian rugs. Yes, I'm sucker for a fabulous antique Persian rug. I believe this passion for rugs began long ago when I was just a little girl (maybe 8 or 9 yrs. old). My grandmother went to Egypt and Turkey with my great aunt. She was always so adventurous. I could always tell when I package arrived because the entire house smelled of Chanel N5. I remember receiving dolls, jewelry, and candy from around the world. She would always put a little letter inside my package telling me about the places she visited and the history. When she returned home to Dallas I flew out from San Francisco to visit her. She had the most incredible rugs shipped back to her home. I believe that is where my fascination for these delightful creations came about.

I love Persian rugs because they absolutely change the atmosphere in the room. Over the years I've found some interesting information regarding the meaning behind them.




Here's some interesting tidbits of information behind the meaning.

* Carpets that appeared in portraits of Persian merchants stood for their success.

* In foreign legions it was permitted to kiss and pay homage to the "throne" carpets.

* Carpets symbolized the presence of a ruler.

* In religious paintings, carpets were used to make spiritual significance.

Here is a portrait of a successful merchant. See how the Persian rug is symbolized in the painting?



Turkey has a rug making tradition as old as Persia. Turkish rugs are created with more of a geometric pattern. Often the colors used in their rugs are reds and blues. Green is their sacred color and mostly used on prayer rugs. One day I would like to visit Turkey. I could only imagine how exciting it must be to shop at a real Turkish bazaar. Wouldn't that be great fun?

There are four types of Turkish rugs:

1.) Silk on silk
2.) Wool on cotton
3.) Viscose on cotton
4.) Anatolian Kilim- Prayer rug (small and rich in color)



There is basically two types of knots that are used in rug weaving. The "Turkish knot" (double knot) and the "Persian knot" or "Sennah knot" (single knot). The Turkish knot creates a stronger and durable carpet over the Persian knot. The Persian knot is a strand of thread that that winds loosely around the other warp. This creates more of a silk type carpet.





There are 5 basic materials used in creating a Turkish rug: sheep wool, goat hair, cotton, floss silk, and silk. They get the rich colors from plants. Such as the Dye Woad Blue (blue dye), Madder Red (root that produces red dye), Pomegranate tree (brownish yellow dye)...just a few examples.

Here is a picture of a Turkish palace called, Dolmabahce Palace, located in Istanbul. Look at that rug! Could you imagine entertaining in this little dwelling, LOL.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Ginger Rogers



I just finished watching The Gay Divorcee (1934) starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I love old classic movies. I like anything with Ginger Rogers in it. She's one of my favorite classic actresses. That's when Hollywood had style and talent. She was a beautiful woman and I could only dream of being able to dance as she use to. I could go on and on about Ginger Rogers.



She had a very unusual childhood. She was born in Independence, Missouri, her father was an electric engineer from Scotland. Her mother Welsh. Her parents separated when she was still an infant and her mother took her to live with her grandparents in Kansas City. Her father tried to kidnap her twice but she eventually stayed with her grandparents. Her mother left her in Kansas City to pursue a writing career in Hollywood writing movie scripts.

When Ginger was only 9 years old her mother returned from Hollywood and married a man by the name of John Logan Rogers. They moved to Ft. Worth, Texas. She wanted to become a school teacher but got involved in theatre with her mother's persuasion.



Rogers got her start when a traveling vaudeville act came to Ft. Worth and needed a quick stand-in. She began touring after a wining a dance contest which led her to The Craterian theatre in Medford, Oregon. Now called the The Craterian Ginger Rogers Theatre.



Ginger Rogers had a brief marriage at the young age of 17. She and her dancing husband, Jack Culpepper, had an act called, "Ginger and Pepper" but was short lived as their marriage. She moved to New York City where she got involved in Broadway with help from her mother. She got her break when she starred in Top Speed, which opened on Christmas Day in 1929.



Within two weeks after appearing in Top Speed she was asked to appear in another Broadway show called Girl Crazy. Girl Crazy is where she was discovered by Paramount Pictures. She signed a seven year contract with Paramount in 1930 (at the age of 19). From there on she danced her way into the hearts of those who love her and her movies.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Houston in the Spring






The Bayou City in the Spring.....Stunning, absolutely stunning.....

Monday, April 12, 2010

And the Lucky Blogger is....,.

I recently held a raffle for all my loyal followers. I went back and pulled up the past 90 days of everyone who has left a wonderful little comment on my blog. With each comment I entered them into my drawing.

And the Lucky Gal is...... TRISH from PINK PREPPY LILLY LOVER

I just love Trish. She and her hubby are sooo cute and her blog is so much fun. If you've never visited her blog I highly recommend that you do so. Here's her link http://pinkpreppylillylover.blogspot.com/<



This is what Trish will be receiving. I came across these adorable chic flat iron cases. I purchased one for myself and L-O-V-E it! It's perfect because the lining is made of a material that is heat resistant. When I'm traveling I can quickly throw my flat iron into my bag and zip it up. I'll toss it into my suitcase and I'm out the door within minutes. It's a wonderful little item to have on hand and perfect for those soon approaching summer vacations. And I really like the fun pattern. I also included a cute little note pad with illustrated pages. You can never have too many note pads for your office and this one is so pretty to jot a note or two down on.

Congratulations Trish!!! And thank you for being so absolutely fabulous.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

To All My Fabulous Blogging Friends


Let me first start off by thanking all of you fabulous bloggers for stopping by and always leaving me positive and kind comments. I've met so many wonderful and lovely people through this little blog of mine. And Ireally enjoy reading all of your blogs as well. I just wish I had more free time to read them as often as I would like to.

To express my appreciation of our new friendship in blog land I've decided to give a small gift as a gesture of gratitude. I've thought about a "giveaway" but posting rules and such just isn't my style. So, I've taken the names of those who have posted comments on my blog in the past 90 days. With each comment I've entered you into my own little drawing
(each comment counting as an entry). That way I know someone who has been visiting my blog will actually have an opportunity to win (instead of a newbie). All you have to do is check back to see if you are that lucky blogger. I will post the winner Monday and a picture of the little gift. Again, you are all so wonderful and I truly love reading your comments. Thank you for being a loyal follower.

XOXO

Gigi

P.S. A quick update regarding the antique bed. We're still negotiating. I think I'm wearing him down (wink).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Antiques & Butterflies

This afternoon I found this gorgeous bed at an antique shop. I think the details are so lovely. It's French and over 100 years old. I really like the floral engravings through out the pattern. And look at the very top of the headboard, isn't that a fabulous touch. The carved basket is so more impressive in person. I've already sent this picture to my husband and begged him for this bed. He has a meeting late into the evening so the shop will be closed by the time he gets home. I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be snatched up before I get the opportunity to show him.


My husband has a house rule. Anything over a certain price range I'm not allowed to buy without permission. I've got a few things by him in the past. But a bed! No such luck. I would have a hard time explaining that one. I can just imagine that conversation taking place. It would go something like this:

Me- "Look at this incredible bed I found."
Hubby- "Very nice. How much did it cost me?"
Me-"I got a really great deal on it."
Hubby- "I'd like to see what you consider a deal. The receipt please."
Me- "Shucks."

Look at this fantastic 19th Century Henry II armoire. It's also French. I love the elegant twisted columns and the carved frieze. I can already fantasize where I'd place it. It's absolutely amazing.





On another note, I recently came across a stunning porcelain collection called FRANZ Papillon Butterfly. Very unique pieces. I have a friend who loves collecting butterfly decor. This will make the perfect gift for her birthday. I'm thinking of ordering her a tea cup.


Here are a few more examples of unique but lovely pieces they carry. Wouldn't they make the perfect accent for a garden party?



Monday, April 5, 2010

Evangeline

Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter weekend. We truly celebrated a fabulous holiday this year. My husband bought me a new computer (much needed) on Saturday. And on Easter Sunday we exchanged our baskets. My husband got a basket full of chocolate goodies. And I got a basket full of cute items, a new Southern Living magazine (updated subscription), Etta James Greatest Hits CD, and the movie Princess and the Frog. Oh my goodness is that the cutest movie. Being from New Orleans we're both highly critical of Hollywood's take of how The Big Easy is portrayed in movies. We had heard from our friends back home that this Princess and the Frog was a good one. We loved it!!!


We knew it was off to a good start when Dr. John sang the opening song. Dr. John is one of our favorite NOLA musicians. He's a legend as much as Harry Conick Jr, Marcia Ball, Fats Domino, or Louis Armstrong. He use to play at the JazzFest annually before Katrina. How much I miss the good food and live music of Nawlins. This movie definitely made us homesick. We still own property back there and who knows perhaps one day we'll build again.


One of my favorite characters in the movie was the lightening bug, Ray. He wasn't just any lightening bug but a Cajun lightening bug. Loved it! We have Cajun friends whom we like to go visit over in Lafayette. They also live south of New Orleans in Houma and Thibodaux. They talk just like little Ray. That's how we know we have entered Cajun Country. My husband's name changes from Richard to Ree-cha-rrrd. And my name changes from Gigi to Gee-Gee. I love the thick accent and I can't help but giggle when they call us. So much fun. I'll tell you, Cajuns are some of the most loving people I've ever met in my life.


The writers did a fantastic job on this film. There were two things that stuck out that made me realize that whoever wrote the story actually lived in Louisiana. There was a line that had my hubby and I rolling in laughter. The two main characters (frogs) had just met Ray (lightening bug). They told him they were from another world. And his response was, "Oh, you're from Shreveport?" We howled in laughter when we heard this. Southern Louisiana is completely different from Northern Louisiana.



The other thing that caught my attention was when Ray was singing about his true love, Evangeline. Evangeline is love story but not just any love story. It's a Cajun love story. And not just a Cajun love story but a real Cajun love story. In fact, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem about it, "Evangeline." Her name is Evangeline Bellefontaine and her lover's name is Gabriel Lajeunesse in the story. However, they are not fictional but real people. Let me give you the history.



Cajuns are French settlers (Acadians) who migrated down from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edwards Island, Canada. Back in 1755-1763 there was a war between France and Great Britain over the colony of New France (French and Indian War). Many Cajuns moved to Louisiana, seeking to live under a French government. Remember, Napoleon had control of Louisiana at the time. During the transfer from Canada to Louisiana many families were split and put on ships with different destinations to Louisiana/Mississippi.

Evangeline (Emmeline Labiche) was in love with a man, Louis Arceneaux. He asked Evangeline to marry him but they were separated when the British invaded Nova Scotia in 1755. Louis was forced on a ship and set out to sea. Emmeline was taken in by a family who referred to her as, "God's little angel" changing her name from Emmeline to Evangeline. Louis made it to Louisiana before Evangeline and thinking he'd never see his beloved again he had agreed to marry another woman.



However, Evangeline finally made it Louisiana a few years later. Some say she managed to carry a trunk with her at all times (carrying her wedding dress inside). She searched and searched in hopes that she would find true love once again. When she finally found Louis she heard that he had married another woman. Evangeline was beyond devastated and it drove her to insanity and eventually her death.This is a very famous story among Cajuns. There's many songs about her and artwork. Here's a version of the song I've heard before that I found on youtube for y'all to hear.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a fabulous Easter........