Saturday, October 29, 2011

Favorite Children's Book Illustrators

Although our children, now 21 and 13,  have gotten past the ages of reading these beautiful picture books, they still have a fond place in my heart. Especially at this time of year, I cannot help thinking of the heart-warming  illustrations from Ox-Cart Man, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, and Flannel Kisses, illustrated by Mari Takabayashi.  So every year at this time, I bring them out and look at them myself, and remember reading both of these, year after year, to the boys.  There was even a  Reading Rainbow episode where they visited Old Sturbridge Village, in Massachusetts (where I remember visiting as a young girl with my friend, Stacy, and our mothers).  In this episode, the book, Ox-Cart Man was read by Lorne Greene  -- you can watch the episode in its entirety here:

Here are my favorite books illustrated by Barbara Cooney:
      photo from
Ox-Cart Man

photo from
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
Buy : Miss Rumphius
Miss Rumphius from

When I think of Flannel Kisses, I think of the year we moved from New Jersey to our house here in Virginia.  The house in New Jersey was a really great house, situated on an acre and a half, partially wooded lot.  It had a gigantic kitchen, light colored wood floors and a grand foyer with TWO large coat closets!  The nursery had 3 large windows that overlooked the valley below and hills beyond, and a Laura Ashley wallpaper border of the nursery rhyme Hickory, Dickory Dock and the Cow Jumping Over the Moon, which my husband, parents and I installed.  Brian and I also made one very large wooden cornice for the windows using the same wallpaper border to cover it.  It was a  bittersweet move to Virginia, because as much as I looked forward to moving to a new and exciting place -- I have always loved visiting DC -- I was going to very much miss our old house, friends and life in New Jersey.  So after looking at about a hundred houses, none of which seemed right, and pretty much overly tired of house hunting, I somehow knew this house would be the one for us.  I then had to leave to go back to NJ to sell the other house.  When I came back 3 months later after the closing, and not really remembering what the new house looked like anymore, I was pleasantly surprised -- there were nice dark wood floors on most of the main level, even in the kitchen -- I had forgotten about that!  Anyway, and this is where Flannel Kisses comes in, because our younger son was at the perfect age for reading that story, I read it a lot, and in it saw our new home -- wooden floors, staircase... and happy family in it.  Nine years later, I still love these dark wood floors -- they are so warm and forgiving to walk on in your bare feet, even in the coldest months...

 These are my two favorite books illustrated by Mari Takabayashi:

Flannel Kisses from

Marshmallow Kisses from

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Manassas Battlefield Fall Photos

Beautiful fall day -- wonderful that all this history and beauty is practically in our backyard.  I would love to do a horseback tour of the battlefield sometime...  From our Manassas Battlefield hike this morning:
Stone House

Along white trail south of Rt. 29

Blue trail north of Rt. 29
Cemetery outside Henry Hill house

Henry Hill house

With the all the headstones,  it seems right that Halloween is just around the corner...

Friday, October 14, 2011

PLC Pasino Multi-light Pendant

Still looking for that elusive light that will be just right for our eating area...

Considering this halogen multi-light pendant for over the kitchen table:

... seems like it would probably work with the rest of the kitchen as well:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Recurring Themes: Burnt-Orange

Burnt-orange is a recurrent favorite which I seem to have been drawn to over the years:

The rug in my family room has several areas with this color in the design:


The suede pillows in my family room, depending on the light, are a shade somewhere between coral and burnt-orange:

A bowl of potpourri  in my living room adds a nice pop of orange color:

Bowl of Potpourri and Ribbon

Some favorite William Morris prints:

William Morris Print: Kennet design

William Morris Print: Wallpaper design for St. James's Palace

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Color combination II: Wall and Rug:

I like the burnt orange color of Farrow and Ball's paint, Terre D'Egypte so much that it keeps coming into my thoughts, and I have been thinking of how I could use it in my house...Here is Farrow and Ball's paint, Terre D'Egypte, and Karastan's rug from the English Manor House collection, Cambridge, which although not my exact dining room rug (because Karastan does not make that anymore), is pretty close to it:

 Terre D'Egypte

Color Combination: Wall and Rug

Interesting idea for a color combination -- paint by Farrow and Ball, rug from Madeline Weinrib:

 Farrow & Ball No. 247 Terre D'Egypte

Madeline Weinrib: Champagne Wool and   Silk Charm