Fresh Styles just in

Sarong sized drip dyes pink through charcoal and pale grey, grecian wrapped perfect for the balcony. Along with a fringed pale grey scarf and Stella Jewelry’s triple pearl necklace were just the things to finish this emsemble off.

Nandina is mostly free

Nandina – Awesome and mostly free,

Look around the yard, add the clear glass, I keep nagging you about collecting, and we are saving oodles of cash.

We did these almost instantaneous arrangements for an event at the house, yesterday. We used the soft stems to hold the berries down by putting the berries in head first and resting the stems under the rim. Poured in the water, add a leafy bit and 1 minute later we have great impact for no time and no money.

So If you think you cannot do a little extra for each season, think again.

Building that clear glass container collection is the key to great seasonal decor.  This is a continuation of the theme for the Power Room, Simplicity and Repetition, always my rule. This piece stays right where it always lives, just added the nandina and a little water – 2 minutes tops. No excuses. I do paint the base of this piece occassionally.

I have a few of these vases that I use for events so being able to ring the changes on the wooden base, makes this a type of display piece a great investment. I think we have one left in the store too.

Fruitless – but not quite…

We are working on a number of design projects at the moment, one of them being staging an historic home in preparation for its sale. This home and a factory I am looking for lamps for led us to Black Dog Salvage.

In high expectation of finding artwork at reasonable prices. Items such as English hunt scenes prints and landscapes in reasonable quality frames. As most of you know Black Dog has changed over the years and now has more of a design center with a multiple vendor booth feel. For me, this visit confirmed my feeling that a little of Black Dogs charm has been lost, but there was plently of people wandering its floors. Many of the booths were similar in style.

Well Yes, you might say they are with the current trends in design. Not really the case but as uptodate as we can be in this neck of the woods.

That being said, we were in the wrong place.

Staging a home can be a costly expense, but a lot of care need to be taken in purchasing items as the future home is at this point unknown. We do not want to spend a ton of cash on items we may have to put in a moving sale. Black Dog has always been overpriced, but has now become the overpriced cousin of a New York salvage design center. We were more than shocked at some of the prices of things that were nothing special, but pleased to see local artists like Mary Bullingtons work on display.

We left with nothing and needed a beer, here lies the rescue of the afternoon. ‎1906 Ale House – 5 stars on a first visit, love this place, hope the next visit doesn’t disappoint us.

With a promise of beer we ventured in. Pleasantly greeted, we headed to the bar. We sat down in the comfortable and not overly done bar area. The beer selection was good and samples were offered.  I needed the healing power of Martini so went for a sour apple, not the best sour apple martini i have ever had, but more than adequate and welcome none the less.  Hubby selected the Big Daddy Dark Side Porter from the list on the wall, produced by Growlers micro brewery at Towers Mall.  The beer, a porter definately consistent for its type and definately worth drinking.

We ordered and shared an appetizer from the menu as we were already booked to eat elsewhere, later that evening.  We choose the Sausage and Rye squares.  This was remarkably good, 6 chuncks of rye bread topped with a hearty conglomeration of crumbled sausage meat with hints of fennel and cayenne, bound together with melted cheese; it was a pleasure, next time we will not be sharing this, it was the perfect snack for a chilly and weary afternoon. Reed, our Bartender, was very knowledgeable about everything on the menu and the drinks list, struck up fine but respectful conversation wilh all the guests at the bar, few, but as expected at the long dark tea time part of the day.

Following my martini, i choose a pear cider called Fox Barrel, a lovely choice for a lower alchohol, chuggable beverage.  Crisp and refeshing with a slight fizz to keep the patate cleansed, can’t wait for mid summer to sip on this fine offering.  On discussion about this, Reed suggested a special cocktail they make with Fox Barrel called the Fox Force Five, of course I had to try it, with a basis of gin and lemon juice it delivered a special treat.

Can’t wait to bring many friends to this establishment, mid priced and high quality, lets all work on keeping this ale house in business and consistent in terms of service and quality.

A great place to just stop in for a quick beer, too.


Fall Accessories


We have expanded our Fall Accessories to include this seasons favorites – metallics in champagnes, platinums and bronzes.  Perfect for Fall Fabulous, right through to all those Holiday Parties.

We have the Bling and we have the day stuff too.  Ruanas and Pashminas will keep you warm and stylishly timeless.




Our Baby Girl – Emma

As most of you already know we are a cat loving Family, we have always had these wonderful creatures in our lives.  I still remember one Christmas when my first very own baby girl arrived – Sylvesta – I named her, at 3 years old I did not know that it was a boys name.  Radio Caroline was playing in the background.  Radio Caroline was a pirate radio station on a boat in the English Channel.  (that a whole other blog).  As an asthmatic child, my baby girl, went to get parents many time, she knew when my inhaler was needed. She was my protector and friend.  There have been many since, alas they live to short. But back to Emma.

Emma arrived by accident a few months ago, we already had a youngster Madison to contend with, when RVSPCA published a photograph of a 1 year old Bengal Girl.  Well, I have always loved Bengals, so I made the call and went over there post haste.  As soon as I went through the door I heard a meow and made eye contact with Emma, I looked away and went to see the Bengal.  It was very apparent that she could not come home with me as she needed to be in a single cat household, so I said well there is a baby girl back there that I would like to see.  Well,  20 minutes later Emma and I were on our way to the store. I thought we would be joined at the hip forever,  not to be she has become a Daddy’s girl. She conned me into bringing her home, clever girl.  

Since the Spring arrived she has decided that she likes to play outside, but likes the door to be open so she can dash right back in, if the wind blows the wrong way.  She has been practising her hunting skills, but hasn’t grasped the concept that a girl is supposed to hunt living things.  This is a Good Thing, as I am a little squimmish. This morning I really though she had caught something that may have lived at some point, our hallway was quite dark this morning, the skies dark,  following the storm.  She sat there proud and talking very loudly, presenting me with the gift of her hunting prowess.  I cringed, Tony already gone to work and Roxy would be no help at all.  But, there it was, a very special Magnolia leaf.  Portia the oldest girl, looked on with a sigh and walked off in a ‘this is hopeless’  kind of way.  Too cute.

New Silk Arrangements

Our Sunday was mainly spent designing and constructing these four new arrangements. – 3 for our Store and one a commissioned piece for a design client.
This piece is a light natural design featuring dogwood blossom (our stash) and foliage from a local store called Main Street Primatives, in Salem Virginia, which specialized in silks stems  – worth a look. We collect quality stems, silks and containers from anywhere and everywhere. In order to keep our prices extremely low we purchase most of our supplies wholesale, but we are always on the hunt for that special bunch of fabulous to add to our stash.  We believe that there is nothing worse than a cheap silk flowers and leaves.
We have a special apprecation for assorted  mosses and foliage, this has become a little bit of a trademark for us, These finishing touches are all important. This arrangement shows the use of various mosses in a natural woven container offering a very spring like feel that can be used in any home decor design from very formal to very casual.
This piece is a little more formal but still natural and simple in design, a bit taller and slimmer, but suitable for many locations. It should be said at this point that we are not florist and have no training.  We have fallen into this wonderfully, satisfying activity in support of our design clients requests. In the past we always engaged the services of a professional florists, this worked for the most part, but increased the costs and the interpretion of our designs was not always exactly what we wanted. One day a client said “I want you to do it, you know me and my home, the florist is a stranger.” We tried, produced 3 designs to fulfil her one requirement. She took all three. This client is highly qualified in floral designs as she is one of the main organizers of the Miss Virginia Pageant.  A vote of confidence indeed.
This is a much larger design, bottom centered using tropicals as a basis. It still has a natural open feel, but is much more formal, suitable for a large garden room, entrance hall or sunroom.  Scale, is always a main consideration for florals, See how this piece is overpowering the vignette to the right of the arrangement. It is so wrong for this space. Removing the blue vignette and moving this to the right on a diagonal and this would look a whole lot better. The use of mosses in this piece is a very obvious design feature. With such a large container, too much foliage would over power most rooms.
Finally, the commissioned piece. we always worry ourselves into a frenzy, when fulfilling our design clients requirements, we set ourselves very high standards in terms of contruction and design.
There was a quite specific size requirement for this room. A large dining room table in an open plan, tuscany inspired home, with vaulted ceiling and exposed beams.  This is an all year round design with dogwood, black eyes susans and many different leaves and twigs.  A little on the formal side, but still quite open, we are attempting for it to be casually sophisticated without being uptight. These clients are wonderful family guys and are definately not uptight.