Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Weekend!

Our dinner club met first for Yoga in the Park last evening in Piedmont Park. It was a phenomenal experience- yoga-ing (yes I'm not a true yogi) in the great outdoors. In fact, the weather cooperated and the rain held off for the entire class- though the downpour began on the way to the car.
We had dinner at Dynamic Dish, a Vegetarian place on the edge of Inman Park. The menu is quite limited and despite all the positive reviews I'd read, I was a little... concerned. However, the food did not disappoint- it was really good- and inspired me to get out my Moosewood Cookbook and make a few vegetarian dishes this weekend just because.

Looks like more rain, which I'm actually excited about- a chance to hide out indoors, read, and get some organizing done (all weekend projects that fall to the wayside when given the opportunity to garden outdoors).

Have a very relaxing and peaceful weekend- and while our surroundings may not be quite this fantastic, look for the beauty around you!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pretty Little Vessels- more glass upcycling

If you can't do the wine bottle thing (previous post), how about old glass bottles? I have a collection that my aunt dug up in an old foundation on my grandparent's farm. In addition to the bottles being great vessels for flowers, I love having the connection.

Ideally, I would have put flowers in these, but all are drenched from our rainstorms.

By no means is this a novel concept, but I hope these images bring a bit of loveliness and inspiration to your day! And perhaps they're pictures you've not seen before?

Country Living via Love My Earth
OK, these are new (not repurposed), but still pretty!

Decorative Glass Bottle

Love the pop of color on these (and note the orange and pink!)...

A softer, more subdued arrangement... very romantic.

Phoebe Howard

A friendly, cute grouping.

A beachy twist...
a great DIY project from The Blessed Nest


LOVE the orange in these.

via Shelterrific A little fussier, but nice nonetheless.

Glowing Glasses

And we'll end with more bright fun!
Cluster of milk bottles containing flowers on a table


- Emmie

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Wino" Home Decor

Those who know me well (or maybe even slightly), know I like a good glass of wine. In fact, I may have been known to manage my WW points during the day to ensure I could have a glass of wine in the evening. Not every day, just some days.

Anyway, wine is near and dear to my heart and I've been struck lately with wine bottle accessories- not the accessories one might put on a wine bottle or glass, but rather the home decor items that use wine bottles.

Perfect example- Pottery Barn's Wine Bottle Chandelier for $400. Now if someone were to read the description to me, I honestly think I might shudder in horror. However, having seen it in their recent catalog, I'm actually quite taken with it.

Here's the "French" version of it from FCL Style, $995.

The FCL one is probably a little bit out there for me, but I think I could do the PB option.

Speaking of changing one's mind, I used to think Bottle Trees were completely Redneck. I mean who in the world would collect used bottles and stick them out in their yard? It wasn't until very recently, when I learned the history, that I began to appreciate bottle trees more. In case you don't know the history-

Eudora Welty collection (another Welty reference!), Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Felder Rushing offers the most complete history I've seen. Most references suggest bottle trees began in the African Congo around the 9th Century AD as a means of capturing bad spirits and protecting the home. Felding's research suggests that bottle trees actually originated much earlier and farther North. African Slaves, "imported" to this country, brought this idea with them and the superstitious Southerners (I think mostly Southerners) adopted it. And he features a fabulous passage from Euroa Welty's Livvie short story on bottle trees.

Here is a nice example from At West End, a lovely catalog/website I recently discovered, for $29.
Napa Style has a few options that make use of one's own bottles. First, the plant nanny.

$20 at Napa Style

Not sure how I feel about those.

If you *must* do the whole wine bottle candle thing, this is a better option-

Vino Luminoso from Napa Style, $28.

or this one from Sundance:
Wine Bottle Candelabra

A totally differnet style- recycled wine bottle coat rack, Uncommon Goods $75.

If perhaps you have just that one special bottle, enlist the help of the Flat Bottle Co.

I'm still not sure I'm entirely convinced. What do you think?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Manuscript for a Southern Garden

I hope y'all had a great weekend! Mr. Southern and I spent some quality time doing yard work- the tilling in the back yard is almost complete!  I have a new enemy in the garden- the squash borer, which has decimated all of my squash and zucchini.  

As I mentioned, I am participating in the Summer Reading Challenge and recently finished Eudora Welty's Delta Wedding.  Near the end of the book are some fabulous description of Ellen's garden in the Mississippi Delta- I hope you enjoy reading this as section as much as I did! (Background- Ellen is pregnant with her 9th- I think- child, goes out with her gardner Howard, a few days after daughter Dabney's wedding.  Others mentioned- Bluet, her youngest daughter, Battle, her husband, and Tempe, her sister-in-law).

McCarty Gardens by Trout Fishing in America.

Ellen in the morning cool walked in the yard in her old dress, her scissors on a ribbon around her neck, and one of the children's school gloves on in case she wanted to poke around or pull mulch.

She reached down and pulled up, light as down, a great scraggly petunia bush turned white every inch.  In those few days, when she had forgotten to ask a soul to water things, how everything had given up, or hung its head.  And that little old vine, that always wanted to take everything, had taken everything- she pulled at a long thread of it and unwound it from the pomegranate tree.

via Flikr- blackwellsr

The camellia bushes had all set their buds, choosing the driest and busiest time, and if they did not get water they would surely drop them, temperamental as they were.  The grass all silver now showed its white roots underfoot, and was laced with ant beds up and down and across. And in just those few days, she must warn Battle, some caterpillar nets had appeared on the pecan trees down in the grove- he would have to get those burnt out or they would take his trees.  Toward the gate the little dogwoods she had had brought in out of the woods or saved, hung every heart-shaped leaf, she knew the litter turrety buds were going brown, but they were beyond help that far from the house, they would have to get along the best they could waiting for the rain; that was something she had learned.

via Flikr- blackwellsr

A bumblebee with dragging polleny legs went smothering over the abelia bells, making a snoring sound.  The old crape myrtle with its tiny late old bloom right at the top of the tree was already beginning to shed all its bark, its branches glowed silver-brown and amber, brighter than its green.  Well, the cypresses in the bayou were touched with flame in their leaves, early to meet fall as they were early to meet spring and with the same wild color.  The locust shells clung to the tree trunks, the birds were flying over every day now...  

And there was that same wonderful butterfly, yellow with black markings, that she had seen here yesterday.  It was spending its whole life on this one abelia.

the world through my eyes
via Flikr Kaycatt

The elaeagnus had overnight, it seemed, put out shoots as long as a man.  "Howard, bring your shears, too!  Did this look this way for the wedding? It's a wonder Tempe didn't get after us for that."

She needed to take up some things that would go in the pit for winter, she wanted to flower some bulbs too.  When, when?  And the spider lilies were taking everything.

Her chrysanthemums looked silver and ragged, their few flowers tarnished and all their lower leaves hanging down black, like scraggly pullets, and Howard would have to tie them up again too..... The dead iris foliage curled and floated wraith-like over everything.  "Howard, you get the dead leaves away from here and be careful, if I let you put your hands any further in than the violets..."

via Bois-Darc

She looked at the tall grass in her beds, as if it knew she could no longer bend over and reach it. What would happen to everything if she were not here to watch it, she thought, not for the first time when a child was coming.  Of all the things she would leave undone, she hated leaving the garden untended- sometimes as much as leaving Bluet, or Battle.

"Now those dahlias can just come up out of there," she said, pausing again.  "They have no reason for being in there at all, that I can see..."  She wanted to separate the bulbs again too, and spread the roman hyacinths out a little under the trees-they grew so thick now they could hardly bloom last spring....

"Howard, look at my roses!  Oh, what all you'll have to do to them."

"I wish there wasn't no such thing as roses," said Howard.  "If I had my way, wouldn't be a rose in de world.  Catch your shirt and stick you and prick you and grab you.  Got thorns."  
Lady  Hillington-(shrub) 1910 Tea
via Trudy at Garden Guides

"Why, Howard.  You hush!" Ellen looked back over her shoulder at him for a minute, indignant.  "You don't want any roses in the world?"

"Wish dey was out of de world, Miss Ellen," said Howard persistently.

"Well, just hush, then."

She cut the few flowers, Etoiles and Lady Hillingtons (to her astonishment she was trembling at Howard's absurd, meek statement, as at some impudence), and called the children to run take them in the house.  ...

Time, that she had wanted to stand still in the garden, waiting for her to catch up, if only it would fly and bring Dabney home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cocktail Art and Eco Home Tour

Very exciting announcement to make- my friend Jean Sanders is hosting an All Request Summer Cocktail Week on her blog, Fine Art Daily.  

The deadline is TODAY! at 5:00.  Just send her your recipe and if it's chosen for her to feature, she will "award you grandly" with the painting.  


I believe I'll submit one of our "Signature Cocktails" from our wedding in St. Thomas, the Oceanrita.  

Speaking of rita, Jean has reminded us that today is National Tequila Day.  Celebrate accordingly!

Additionally, if you're in Atlanta this weekend, you may want to check out Greenhaven Home in Chelsea Landing- a model for green building and sustainable design.  The homes are open for free tours this weekend through Sunday August 9.
Click on the slide!
Have a fabulous weekend and, as always, thanks so much for reading!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Genius of Leila Ross Wilburn: Houses and Words of Wisdom from Georgia's First Female Architect

There is nothing I like better and I don't believe I'd be satisfied with any other job in the world."
-Leila Ross Wilburn

I have a confession to make-- there are days when I'm puttering around in the kitchen making dinner and I think, what in the world am I going to blog about this week?  After an action-packed weekend, this week is a little slow. I think about my collection of still-unshared photos, websites I adore, but I want real inspiration.  Every once in a while, I get truly lucky and bam!  I find something I find fascinating that I think is worthy of sharing with you.  This is one of those times!

Leila Ross Wilburn is one of the first female architects of Atlanta (Registered Architect#29). She attended Agnes Scott College (my mother's alma mater!)  and, following some private instruction (she never received formal training),  joined Benjamin R. Padgett and Son as a trainee.  She started her own firm in 1909.  Lila Ross Wilburn designed both single family homes and apartments and published numerous pattern books, which can be seen here, courtesy of Agnes Scott College Archives and the Library of Congress.  Perhaps her best-known work is in Decatur's MAK Historic District (examples shown below).  

Admittedly, this topic has been done before- which I discovered while researching her.  I'm not going to attempt to re-create Terry's post- so for more pictures and a whole lot more information, visit the Architecture Tourist here.  What I'm most excited about is the collection of her quotes, interspersed throughout this post, in italics.

I happened upon Wilburn, while perusing one of my favorite my recent discoveries- the website Historic Homes for Sale.  I was researching a property I found for $49,000 (I know!!!) and found the Collier-Palmer House.
Historic real estate listing for sale in Montezuma, GA

photos via web listing
R.C. Collier commissioned Leila Ross Wilburn to design the home in the early 1950s for his son and young family.

Houses are built to live in as well as to look at

Another great property on the market is in Druid Hills, on North Decatur Rd.
photos via real estate listing

Well designed plans make a well-built house worth its cost

And the last one I'll feature for sale is in the MAK Historic District, 413 Adams Street.

Maple is the best wood for kitchen floors

In addition to this great house, I wanted to share some quotes from Wilburn's plan books- pure genius- interspersed with some of the homes featured on MAK Historic District's website.

205 Adams Street

Convenience, cost and beauty should all influence your home selection

310 Adams Street

Get Architect's plans, few Contractors are also good Architects

416 Adams Street

A cheap "drop lot" is often most costly in the end

107 Kings Highway

The design, not the amount of material, draws forth favorable comment

351 McDonough

Don't let over-confidence in your own ability spoil your home

237 Kings Highway

Shrubbery properly placed makes the new home vastly more attractive

ppa.jpg (38396 bytes)
Piedmont Park Apartments via City of Atlanta

Plans save time, and time saved means money saved