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White Plates & More White Lilacs

20160516-062414.jpg We are up & out early for our drive down the Taconic Parkway into the city where I will attend the National Stationery Show. It is a show I look forward to all year, as it is the best of the best in card world. Aisle after aisle of paper heaven. I promised a few photos of the birthday party we hosted yesterday for Ted’s brothers. Similar to when I walk a show, I sort of get in a zone, this zone being party host, and all I clicked away was this lone image. Once the party begins, the idea of reaching for my camera phone never enters my mind. Happy I did click this right before folks arrived though. We gathered every white plate we could find we had for the gathering. Mixing and matching was the way to go to have enough for each guest. The white lilacs, this batch dropped off by Bill on Saturday afternoon, pulling the whole white plate idea, along with various white platters, together. It was just a swell time and I think Walter & Alfred felt surrounded by tons of love from all their family and friends.

Happy start of the week to you. Make it a grand one…
From Hawthorne, soon to be NYC



White Lilacs

20160513-064026.jpg Flower Friday is all about white lilac love. I so wish this photo could be a scratch & sniff because the scent wafting around me at the moment from these lilacs is just heavenly. As I have written about before, finding outlets to buy flowers in the country is a bit of a challenge, so I mostly use things growing outside around the house, but the cold rainy past few weeks has everything blooming delayed. The grocery store options are spotty at best, and the one flower shop we know of, the last time I went in, would not sell me any flowers as she was using them all for a wedding. Seriously. If you want to see me unhappy, just tell me you won’t sell me your flowers. You know how I love my blooms… Anywho, TPS was heading over to caretaker Bill’s home to pick up a few parcels that had arrived. He returned not only with the boxes but with an armload of white lilacs from Bill’s property. These could not of come at a better time, as they worked swimmingly for the photo shoot at the house yesterday. Pottery Barn named me one of their ‘Style Influencers’ which is so delightful and such an honor. They asked me if I would shoot some of their Summer goods at Hawthorne. So out came the iron, and dust rags, potting soil and pots & pans, and Mister Sive & I had quite a fun, full day. It really was all a blast. It will be up on their site next week as well as I will write a post on it then, too. But those white lilacs just pulled it all together. I always find it so interesting how one small little detail can make a room or table setting sing.



Lilacs, from Bucket to Home

There were not tons out yet, but the lilacs that were available this Saturday at the Market were pretty dreamy. I came to the lilac game late. The lilacs at Hawthorne is what made my love for them fully blossom. My appreciation of lilacs grows each year, so much so that they were top of my list to find the other day. The season is so short I wanted to get a jump start to enjoying them right out of the gate. One stall in particular had bucket after bucket of them–the light hitting the lilacs so perfectly I just had to get a bundle for the dining table to enjoy for the week.






The Flower Love Continues…

The flower love continues with more, more, more of the sumptuous blooms that filled the year. Whether massed together in a big bunch or solo running down a table, they bring so much added life to our life.




















20151227-114621.jpg That 20 did not even get us to the end of Summaaaa. More tomorrow. Hope your Sunday is just lovely…



The Calmness of White Flowers

There is a calmness I feel around white flowers. A soothing vibe that draws me to them. All year long, really, but even more so during the chillier months. With the busyness of the season upon us, I am always looking for calming & soothing anything to add to my day. Here are a few white blooms to get us started.













Lilac LOVE

20150521-062206.jpg I wrote last year at this time how it is still taking some getting used to having a lilac shrub. A humungous lilac scrub. Filled with these beauties. Well I am still feeling the same way this year. I joked to Mister Sive that I still feel like I should leave a 20 dollar bill next to it after we cut branches. We drove around the other day doing errands and lilac scrubs are everywhere in our little neck of the woods in the Hudson Valley. The smell with the window open was intoxicating. We would round a corner and the scent would waft in and we would smell them before we saw them. So many different shades of colors too. I came to the game of lilac love later in life. I was not as smitten with them as I am now–their lacy blooms just fascinate me. The scent heavenly. Whether in a little single stem vase with a sweet tiny bloom or a large mass of branches massed together, lilacs bring such lacy fluttery happiness.



White Lilacs

20150427-071117.jpg There they were. One lone bucket of them sitting in the back of the stall. There is just something about the ethereal lacy pure simplicity of white lilacs that gets me every time. The vendor was parcelling them out one stem at a time for the arrangements she was so lovingly working on when I walked up. She knew me from over the years of walking by and admiring her flowers. She also knew I would only be wanting the lilacs. She could see the gleam in my eyes when I asked.

20150427-071824.jpg She also knew how happy she had made me. I in turn spread that happiness by placing the blooms around the Market shop shortly thereafter. And today you all get to enjoy them. That is the thing about these gems–the joy they spread is quite something.




The Year in Flowers

Having flowers in my life, if even just a single stem by my bedside, is of great importance to me. I also know many of you feel the same way. They give us energy, inspire us, and are just food for the soul. I actually meant to type the word ‘good’ for the soul, but it autocorrected to the word ‘food’ and I thought that was even more fitting. Here is a little homage to the flowers that brought a little brightness to us all as the year closes. Starting off with those stupendous red tulips that started off the year with a bang in January to the dancing paperwhites in December. Enjoy!























20141230-085438.jpg Oh my stars, that is already 25 and we are only in July! So I guess the post tomorrow will be the rest of the year–many more lovelies await…



A Dining Table, Part Two

20140527-064758.jpg A tablecloth instantly adds visual interest to any table it graces. This is almost an identical table set-up as the one I posted yesterday, with the addition of a tablecloth.

20140527-064957.jpg We were out vintage shopping on Saturday. The scouting for vintage wares in these parts is pretty off the charts. That has always been a large appeal for us to the area. Hop in the car and within 20 minutes in any direction and you can be knee deep into antiquing. We are so close to both Massachusetts and Connecticut, which makes a day drive feel like you have really been out for an adventure.

20140527-065333.jpg There are a row of antique shops/malls in Sheffield, Mass that we quite like. On Saturday we scored this cool green striped tablecloth for 20 bucks. It fit our dining table perfectly, and will also be great for our eventual picnic table set up outside in the field.

20140527-065633.jpg This table was set for dinner with guests. I spread out the lilacs just a tad so it filled in around the 4 place settings. We also found sweet little green based glasses on Saturday, so I added those to the setting. In a matter on minutes, the table just transformed by adding the tablecloth, adding a kick of color & texture. I liked both versions equally. Just fun to see how quickly you can change it all up when you add a tablecloth or piece of fabric.




A Dining Table, Part One

20140526-085440.jpg This visit lilacs have played a big part of the enjoyment. As I wrote about the other day, the 2 huge bushes have just been overflowing with blooms. TPS thinning them out a bit and we get to enjoy the fruits of his labor with flowers in the house. Above, Ted loaded up with them after a round of cutting. Hard to find words to describe how happy this all makes me.

20140526-085742.jpg I start by cleaning and picking thru all the flowers, cutting away any dying blooms or dried out stalks. Then I cut the stem to the length I want, and split the bottom of the stem so it gets a chance to drink in lots of water.

20140526-085956.jpg This would be a table set just for the 2 of us. I used the clear Marta glasses I am so fond of, which I wrote about in my book. They are stellar drinking glasses but also work swell for a vase. My idea was to mass a bunch of them together in the middle of the table so it looked like one large arrangement. But it was actually a bunch of individual glasses close together holding all the lilacs.

20140526-090350.jpg I left the tabletop bare and exposed. I love doing that. This is an old English table that has lots of interest and history showing in the wear of it. I love seeing the knots and the marks from years of use.

20140526-090635.jpg Then a simple place setting of mismatched glasses, silverware and a plate for a casual meal set amongst the lilacs.

20140526-090806.jpg Tomorrow, I will show the same flowers but with a tablecloth and set for dinner with guests. It looks completely changed. Interesting what a tablecloth can do to create a different look altogether.