Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Jay Strongwater's Easter Egg

Note to readers: Formats may be off due to new template. I am working to reformat past posts.


Embracing Etiquette with Teresa continued... see introduction post (1-29-10.)


Whether you live in a big city with a rapid-transit system that is usually packed, or a small toen bus, there are things you must remember to do and not to do.
If you are sitting on a bus, and the bus is filling up, do not leave a bag, backpack, or other objects in the seat next to you. A polite rider offers their seat to someone that needs it more – a pregnant woman, parent with young children, an elderly person, a mother holding a baby, a person with an armload of packages, or someone who looks frail or tired.

When standing, move to the middle of the bus or train, making room for passengers at the next stop. Make sure that you have maneuvered your way to the door by the time you reach your stop.

Backpacks are a source of frustration and a person should take the pack off of their back and carry it around the waist.

Keep your conversations quiet and try not to yell over the noise on the bus. DO NOT use profanity or talk intimately on the bus or train.

On rainy days, do not put your wet umbrella on a seat or the overhead rack. Keep the umbrella on the floor in front of you at your feet, making certain not to let it stick into the aisle.

If eating is allowed on the public transportation, try to keep it to a minimum, such as a candy bar. Try not to smell up the train or bus with something like French fries.

Tomorrow we will cover specifically Riding the Bus.

See you soon,

Monday, 29 March 2010

Pristine Surroundings ~ Kay O'Toole

Kay O'Toole uses statues and other forms of handmade eloquent heirlooms to make these clean rooms feel comfortable.


These images can be found in the April 2010 issue of Veranda Magazine.

Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition (Thumb Indexed)
Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition (Thumb Indexed)

Embracing Etiquette with Teresa continued... see introduction post (1-29-10.)


If you are walking your dog on an urban street, make sure that the leash doesn’t block traffic or trip a pedestrian. Retractable leashes are dangerous in this setting, and they become virtually invisible to some walkers, cyclists, and joggers.
I am not sure where these people live, but if you tie your dog to a parking meter or lamp post while you shop or eat, make sure they don’t bark. This bothers the passerby and establishment patrons. (I was tempted to leave this out, but it may be important for someone living in Mayberry, which is not a bad thing.)

YOU MUST REMOVE YOUR DOGS POOP WITH A POOPER-SCOOPER OR A BAG. This sends me. It is hard for me to believe that there are actually people irrational and pathetic enough to let their dog poopie on someone’s property and have the audacity to leave it there. You know who you are, and I don’t want to know you. Ok, back to the book. It doesn’t matter how big of a hurry you are in and where you are. CLEAN UP!

Before letting your dog socialize with another dog, make sure it is alright with the owner of the dog. Double that for children. Ask the child’s parent if it is alright. Now if you have a ten pound monster like I do, it wouldn’t be wise. Make certain that your dog doesn’t jump on, nuzzle of bounce off of the child.

Tell adults and children alike about your dogs personality and habit, even if your visit will be short. No surprises please.

Tomorrow we will cover Public Transportation.

See you soon,

Happy Spring Break & Some Good News for Friends!!

Hello!!! We're off this week for Spring Break and I might literally have to duck tape my laptop shut so I don't work.  ;)  But that's the goal. 

I also just wanted to share some awesome things going on with a couple of bloggy friends:

Brooke & Steve Giannetti's {insanely beautiful} Home is being featured on the cover (and of course inside too! ;) of the May isse of Romantic Home Magazine!!  I am crazy over everything they touch and of course theirs is a perfect dream house:

And Kayce Huges's {fun &fresh & gorgeous}home is featured in this month's Country Living!!:

Kayce just recently became a sponsor of Pure Style Home & I am so happy she did!  I'm constantly drooling over a particular dress she designed at her store Pears + Bears.  (I wont' tell you which one because I don't want it to sell out!! ;) ;)   Her company, Pears + Bears also makes beautiful children's clothing.  How freaking adorable?!!!:

Oh if I ever get a girl....

And finally, Eddie Ross is making a pilot for a TV show!!!!  He's looking for a room to makeover for the pilot episode and is accepting submissions!!  Just click here for details.  I am soooo  excited for Eddie!! He can do it all {perfect tables- interior design- styling- photography- craft projects- budget- high-end- etc.} & with his sense of humor & charisma I KNOW he's going to succeed!! yay!!

Ok, so I am pretty much OFF-  no I'm OFF-  for the week but we will be having another super-duper guest blogger before & after!!  Have an awesome week & a Happy Easter if I'm not on before then.!!
ps- I wanted to thank everyone soooo much for the awesome response to my last post on roman shades.  I appreciate each & every one of your emails & comments.  Many of them contained questions about specific window situations & I wish I could answer all of them, but I hope you can understand the time it would take for me to give good, specific advice for each situation.  Right now I'm pretty overloaded with home life, clients & blog & I really hope you can understand that I'm just not able to do this right now.  I offer e-decorating services (you can click on the link at the top right of the blog)  if you're interested in specific advice for your home.  I will work on getting a price on the e-decorating page for general window treatment queries/ advice.  Again, I hope you can understand and thank you for your response!!
(again ;)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Part II

These are the remaining photographs taken by Angela at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham.

Beautiful photographs, Angela!

Embracing Etiquette with Teresa continued... see introduction post (1-29-10.)


Jogging or skating on a neighborhood sidewalk is fine if there is little or no traffic. There are those that decide that playing dodge the pedestrian is fun.

Bicycles are to be ridden on the street, not the sidewalk. An early morning ride down an empty suburban footpath may be acceptable, but riding on a busy city street upsets drivers, and has proven dangerous for the cyclist.

Tomorrow we will cover Walking the Dog.

See you soon,

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Southern Born and Southern Bred

For those of us that were southern born and southern bred, beautiful flowers are right up there with magnolias, fried green tomatoes, silver queen corn, grits, fried chicken, and sweet tea. The Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, Alabama is home to some of these beautiful flowers.

My daughter visited yesterday, and I wanted to share a few of the photos she posted. Part Two will follow tomorrow/

Thank you Angela!

Embracing Etiquette with Teresa continued... see introduction post (1-29-10.)


The Juggernaut.

The person who flies down a congested side walk with a baby carriage or rolling suitcase/book bag. Look out for these people, because they take up twice the allotted space. Don’t be one of these people. Be careful.

The Yakaholic.

Rarely look where they is going as they blab on their cell phone. This is rude, especially if you are talking loudly. Try to be quiet if you must talk.

The Sudden Stopper.

Everything is going smoothly and a person just stops dead in their tracks. Even the persons behind them do not collide with them, they throw off the rhythm of the other walkers. Try to get to the side and move over if you need to stop.

The Meanderthal.

Some decide to cross diagonally across disrupting pedestrian traffic, and others walk aimlessly in and out, slowly through the crowd, while everyone else is attempting to walk faster.

The Phalanxers.

A line of clueless pedestrians walking abreast, making it impossible for anyone to pass. When people are walking together, they should be certain not to block others. A group should walk in single file on a sidewalk.

The Stationary Schmoozers.

These people see someone they know and stop dead in their tracks to talk with the other person, not showing any consideration for the other pedestrians. A person or a group of persons should move to the side to carry on a conversation.

The Spitter.

Just typing this makes me cringe. There is nothing more disgusting than a person spitting in public. I am sorry, it is not right. I realize that ball players and other athletes feel like spitting and that they are not manly if they don’t. It’s gross people! Rinse your mouth out. Now back to the book.

Tomorrow we will be covering Jogger, Skaters, and Bikers.

See you soon,

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Delicate Hand Towels


I thought that you would enjoy seeing the hand towels that I embroidered and added french, swiss, and victorian lace to. You need perfect squares of cloth, an embroidery design, and lace. Run baby seams around edges of cloth. Embroider desired design. Trim edges with lace, using the french handsewing techniques. Remove basting seam, which I had not done before photo was taken. Martha Pullen has books and tips on her website.

The embroidery CD is the Heirloom Tea Dress by Martha Pullen. Lace can be purchased online at Martha Pullen, or at your local heirloom sewing store.

Create using your own taste and style!

See you soon,

The Skinny on Buying Roman Shades: Custom Vs. Standard

I love roman shades.  I use them on pretty much any & every window that needs privacy.  (Shutters are beautiful too but we'll get into those another time.)  There are so many different types and price points that I thought it might be helpful to break it down. 

1.  The main materials that can be used for roman shades are

{A room by Steven Gambrel}

 and natural woven materials:

{Image Source unknown via Little Green Notebook}

2.  There are many cases when roman shades are beautiful/ functional on their own & should be used alone.  It offers a clean, simple look.  Here in the kitchen, is a kid-friendly solution (i.e. no food mess on curtains) with custom natural woven roman shades with privacy lining:

{Our breakfast nook, smith + noble tortoise shell bamboo waterfall shades}

 A client's living room (pictured "before" below) had a set of french doors on the left side and a double window on the right side.  When I first arrived, I knew we needed to fix the imbalance of having curtain panels on one side and not the other:

{Client Living Room Below}

Because the door wouldn't have been functional with curtain panels, and because I wanted balance, I used roman shades only (no curtains) on both sides.  I wish I had a better view of this room, (I still need to go back for finished photos)  but I had custom pleated balloon shades installed behind the newly added crown molding for a seamless casually elegant look:

{A client's living room.  My task was to keep all existing furnishings, artwork, etc. and update it.}

3.  I also love to layer roman shades with curtain panels. It's functional (panels can remain stationary and roman shades go up & down for privacy) and beautiful (You get 2 opportunities to add texture/ pattern to a room instead of just 1.)  It adds layers & creates a warmer look than curtains alone.  They can be mounted inside the window or outside the window. 

I often have them mounted above the window and outside of the trim ("outside mount") to allow as much of the window to show as possible and to give the illusion that the window continues higher than it really does which visually heightens the entire room.  (It makes smaller rooms feel more spacious and large-medium rooms feel grander.)  I did this in a client's living room here:

{A client's living room:  custom lined linen curtains & custom natural woven roman shades with privacy lining}

In my own living room, (below) I used non-custom cotton roman shades from Sears.  (The color I used was "natural" and it looks like a warm white.) I mounted them outside the widows (again, to give the illusion of larger windows and also to hide the window frames on my old 70s window) and I paired them with "custom" (I made them myself because I couldn't afford to have them made) unlined white linen curtains. (I went with unlined linen because I love how the light shines through & it's a natural, relaxed look.) 

{Our dining room}

Here (below) I used the same non-custom Sears roman shades in "white" in our family room with no curtains.  Because of our budget, in our house I try to use non-custom shades wherever I can.  The cost difference between custom and non-custom is amazing.  (Approx $30 for the noncustom Sears shades below and maybe around $150-$250 or so- depending upon fabric- for a custom version.) 

4.  Custom vs. Standard Fabric shades:  Let me be frank: you get what you pay for.  The ONLY reason I don't have custom shades on every window in my own home is because we can't spend money there right now.  I love the look of certain standard shade styles but there is a difference in quality.  Custom shades pull up & down smoothly & evenly, whereas I have to play with some of my my non-custom shades to get them to hang right & evenly.  (Sears' larger sizes - 48" and up I think) are much of a better quality than their smaller sizes.  They use a metal chain pulley system and go up and down smoothly but I've noticed there's a slight varience in the color of the fabrics between the large and small sizes--- arggg.  But the price was right.  My advice is to buy the best you can afford.  Consider the non-custom shades to give you the look you want and plan on upgrading in the future if you want/ need to.  Custom fabric shades are made to order so you you can use any fabric you like and the style selection is practically endless.  Use a local shades fabricator to get the exact fabric and style you need.  (If you don't have one, consider hiring a decorator/ designer to assist.  Calico Corners also makes custom shades.)  This typically costs more than going with a company like smith + noble who has a limited selection of fabrics to choose from. 

5.  Custom vs. Standard Natural Woven Shades:  If you simply want the look and won't be using them often (in a space where you don't really need the privacy) I recommend the non-custom shades for a great look without the expense.  In our toddler's room we went with the non-custom unlined natural woven shades from Home Depot (for around $40) because he's so short anyone looking in wouldn't be able to see him anyway when he's not dressed.  (And of course because these shades would have been close to $400 if they were custom.)  The shades are also over the bed & so would be a pain to open & close whether they were custom or non-custom, but I love the look of these Home Depot shades for anyone who wants "the look" without the functionality & privacy needs:

{Our toddler's bedroom}

Again, you get what you pay for.  If you need high-quality. smooth & easily operables shades, then you will need to pay more. 

6. Tips for non-custom natural woven or "matchstick" shades:  Most non-custom companies sell their natural woven shades unlined.  A few have liners you can purchase and add on separately.  You could also attempt adding your own lining if you're crafty.  The unlined shades significantly darken the room and filter the light but at night they're virtually see-through from the outside when your interior lights are on.  Just google "natural woven roman shades"/ 'matchstick shades" and a bunch of options will pop up.  (Target, Home Depot, Sears all have them online.)

7. Tips for Custom natural woven roman shades:  I love smith + noble's selection of natural woven roman shades.   Different materials vary in prices.  There are a lot of other amazing brands out there but I simply used smith + noble first and loved theirs.  I've heard great things about many other companies and will surely be trying some out in the future.

The decision to go with fabric shades or natural woven shades depends upon the feeling you want your space to have.   Go here to check out some different styles of fabric roman shades.   

I hope this helps & good luck!!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Make Your Own Basket

There are so many things to do with Easter baskets. You can fill any cantainer with anything that is of interest to the recipient. You may include clothes, games, phones, candy, stuffed toys, coffee or anything else you that appeals to your taste. You can also use any container, from baskets, galvanized containers, planters or bags. Use your imagination.

I am giving you some ideas to get you started. These are only ideas, and may or may not be the avenue you desire to take. I am starting with baskets and fillers and finishing with the wrap and bow.


This Twig Basket from Pottery Barn is only $24.00. I used a basket very similar to this to make a body and bath basket. If you go to a florist shop, there is no end to what you can design.

This basket from Crate and Barrel could house numerous surprise contents. $19.95-29.95.

This basket from Crate and Barrel could be filled with food, wine or kitchen items. $44.95.

This basket from Pottery Barn would make a perfect basket for anyone. $59.00.

My favorite bunny of all, this Steiff Niki Bunny would make someone very happy. $198.00.

This Gund Dayton Bear would look beautiful in the perfect Easter basket. $40.00.

Build-A-Bear. $18.00 for bunny.

Easter Basket stuffers like this Natural Bunny and Chick can be found at Pottery Barn for $6.50-14.00.

Who doesn't like jelly beans from Jelly Belly jelly Beans...

and M&Ms chocolate?

These Godiva Easter Bunny Biscuits would make a special filler for a basket.

Fill you basket with these Easter Shaped Candles from Pottery Barn. $5.00-6.50

Godiva Berties the Milk Chocolate Bunny and

Dean and Deluca Dancing Bunnies Chocolate would be welcomed by a lucky person. $25.00.

Cover your basket with this Shrink Wrap from Hobby Lobby, especially if shipping, $4.99 or ...Clearphane from Michaels is my preference. You can find Clear wrap in many colors wherever giftwrap is sold.

Wired Ribbon from Michaels is my choice for bows for women. I like rafia for more masculine baskets.

No basket is finished until the perfet bow is added. Rafia or wired ribbon from Michaels will help you finish your basket beautifully.

Enjoy making your basket!

Embracing Etiquette with Teresa continued... see introduction post (1-29-10.)


When using an umbrella, handle it in such a way that you will not disturb others.

Raise your umbrella when passing shorter pedestrians and lower it when passing those who are taller.

Do not tip your umbrella so far forward that you cannot see ahead. Clear umbrellas resolve this problem.

When walking under construction scaffolding, close umbrella unless the site is dripping. If you must open your umbrella, be careful not to hit others.

Discard umbrellas with exposed spokes. This is dangerous to those around you.

Before walking into a dry space, fluff your umbrella several time and fasten it. Be certain to hold it vertically against your body.

When walking with a closed umbrella, hold it vertically. Do not swing the umbrella.

We will cover Wayward Walkers on Monday.

See you soon,