Monday, October 14, 2019

Autumn CAMEO Meeting

 I was co-hostess last week for our October CAMEO meeting.
Our topic was the work of local artist, Lu Ann Barrow.

Lu Ann is known for her sophisticated naive style of painting. 
A type of pointillism, her folkloric style is full of joy and delight.
Ms. Barrow's paintings most often reflect rural Texas life, 
Biblical stories, and her travels to foreign countries.

This one, Green Scene, painted in 1997, hangs in our home.
I wish you could see the detail up close.
Every blade of grass, every leaf on the trees, 
every piece of hay in the hay stacks ~ 
are filled with individual brush strokes.  

Represented by Valley House Gallery in Dallas, TX, 
you can view more images of her Ms Barrow's work  here.

We met in my friend, Alison's, home. 
Of course I have to share this charming mantel 
that is in her family room.

 Alison styles her metal candle tree for various holidays.
I also have one of these candle trees, 
so I like to make note of her creative styling ideas

 These metal trees were made in Mexico in the 1990s.
They came with a set of five removable holiday toppers.
I recall that they were sold at a local holiday market
one year and many of us have them in our homes.

The cute black and orange felt garland 
was from World Market's 2018 collection. 

The paper maché witch figures were handmade by
Alison and her two daughters when the girls were very young.

As long as I've known Alison, she has included 
these charming little witches in her autumn decor.  
As a former elementary teacher, I find it very touching
that Alison values these artistic endeavors.
Children's art is whimsical and uninhibited, and I believe 
we should honor and display children's creative work
with the diginity and importance it deserves.

The beautiful owl painting is new this season.
Alison shared the process of this piece on her Instagram account.  
It was fascinating to watch this painting come to life.
You can follow Alison on IG here.

 This is a previous years' version of Alison's mantel,
and I thought you would enjoy seeing this clever idea too.

The table was set with beautiful vintage silver
that offered up a variety of autumn treats.

 Plush velvet pumpkins arranged on a silver tray
graced the center of the table.

 Alison added vignettes of more velvet 
pumpkins on either side.

Fresh sprigs of seeded eucalyptus
provided just the right touch of added texture.

 Among the goodies, fresh fruit served in paper cups.
These cardstock style cupcake cups are great for 
individual servings of many offerings and also add
a seasonal touch in both color and design.

I made acorn cakelets using another one of my Nordic pans 
and my favorite recipe for old fashion gingerbread.

A tart lemon sauce 
was served on the side.

Little Miss Pumpkin sits in the girls's
childhood highchair at the end of the dining room.

 Happy Halloween, 2000

Alison is an accomplished artist in her own right, and
many of Alison's original paintings hang in her home.
Happy Halloween is a painting of Alison's home at the time, 
when her girls were little, and dressing in costume 
for Halloween was the custom.
Each year after, while the girls were little, Alison would paint in two additional figures of the girls dressed in their Halloween
costume for that year.  I suspect this is a favorite family painting!
Alison specializes in primative memory paintings.  
You can see more of her work here.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Let the Memories Flourish

Today is a beautiful morning.  
The crisp feeling of autumn is in the air, 
 if only delighting us for a few days.

I'm enjoying a cup of coffee, reflecting on beautiful memories.
Five years ago today, all too soon, we lost a dear friend, 
and the world lost an incredible woman who touched the lives 
of not only her family and circle of friends, 
but a community of thousands.
A month later, we lost my mom, and her remaining sibling, 
both incredible women in their ownright 
who had lived long, fruitful lives.

I don't share this for sympathy,
but rather to honor these special women 
and to keep their memories alive.

"All the love, all the dead, all the people we've known. 
They are the rivers that feed our sea of souls. If we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too."  
~ Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop

~ Jane ~ Henrietta ~ Ludine ~
Today and always, I wish for my memories of these three
incredible women, as well as others gone from
my life, to flourish within my heart.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Cottonseed Trading Company at Marburger Farms

Still roasting here in Texas, but we know its autumn 
when it's time for Round Top Antiques Week

Marsha Smith, of Cottenseed Trading Company
created the unique corn cob wreath above.
Step into her booth with me and 
take a look at her clever, artistic tablescapes
featured at the 2019 Fall Marburger Farm Show.           

Marsha often has a long farm table at the front of the 
 booth dressed to welcome her shoppers.
This year's table offered place settings for four, set with simple details, including framed images of Hereford cattle.

An antique copper wash tub was filled with dried wheat, 
catkins, sunflower pods, and orange pumpkins.

A vintage bible laid opened to Ecclesiastes.

Each place setting featured framed 
black and white images of Hereford cows.  
Sprigs of hay and a simple pine cone wrapped in a corn husk
were added for a rustic touch. 

Interesting fixtures made from farm equipment hung above.

A second long farm table with long benches was set for five guests.
All of the pumpkins on this chippy white table were already sold.

Each of the place settings included 
an open book atop a wooden bread board.
A stack of vintage plates held a feathered pumpkin.

You can count on Marsha to add whimsical, 
unexpected details to her tables.
One has to smile at the vintage wire rimmed 
spectacles added to each pumpkin.
The charming salad plates are Rosemary by Myott.

Marsha was very kind and sent me a photo 
of this charming plate and the mark.
Wishing I had come home with these.  
I love the colors for fall!

Eyeglass cases lined in velvet were laid 
open to hold the vintage siverware.
Ivy from the centerpiece added an artistic 
touch as it meandered across.

Wooden candlesticks, a stack of salad plates, and 
additional cases with glasses gave varried interest to the potted ferns and ivy at the center.

Marsha's booth is a favorite of Marburger shoppers.
There is always a line at the cash register.
If you are attending the Marburger Farm show this week
stop by and say hello to Marsha and tell her I say, "Hello!"
You can follow Marsha on Instagram

I've shared some of Marsha's creative tables before.
Click here to read about Marsha's spring table set in 2017.
Have you ever visited Round Top Antiques Fair?
Tell me about your visit!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Autumn Tableau

It's the end of September, and yet day after day
the temps reach into the high 90s or above.

 This September has been the hottest ever on record for Austin, 
but I'm like a squirrel gathering nuts, as I gather up a few
of my own things to add a touch of fall here at
home despite the summer-like weather. 

These vibrant fresh cut flowers from Petals Ink 
at the Farmer's Market and a mixed bouquet from Trader Joe's,
inspired me to create a vignette on the terrace to trick
our minds into thinking perhaps it's a crisp fall day outdoors.

I'm always inspired by my dear friend Janice at Fig and Twigs.
Janice's floral creations are pure magic and full of whimsy.
Her flowers appear to dance in the container, so, Janice,
loose and floppy was my goal!

A pair of faux Jarrahdal pumpkins were 
a favorite HomeGoods find last fall.
The darling squirrel carved from wood was a gift
from a thoughtful friend years ago.

I added an older piece of MacKenzie-Childs, a covered box from the Maclachlan Series that features beautiful scenes 
of the MacKenzie-Childs farm in Aurora, NY.
The pair of tapestry pillows plopped in the arm chairs 
were souvenirs from Chateau de Chenonceau of the Loire Valley.
Hopefully the mosaic above offers a sense of the 
whimsy in the details of these pieces.

I pulled a shawl from my 
closet for added color.

Here's to cooler days ahead!