Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gallery Wall Inspiration and Finished Wall

Country Living

I love art and can spend hours in museums and reading books about artists and their paint techniques. I also love a beautiful gallery wall, I love to see all the bits and bobs that people collect or the pieces of art that speak to them. I love to see the quirky combinations and the cohesive collections.

Elle Decor

In the case of my own art interests they are varied, and since I will probably not own a Rembrandt, or a Monet or a Tintoretto or a beautiful Arcimboldo, I have found alternatives to these masters by purchasing pieces at galleries, eBay, friends, antique stores or while traveling.

Water Paintings

We moved to this house from Florida, and although our decor is traditional we did begin a collection of water paintings, no not water lilies, water paintings.

Water paintings

 In the past we had them in the master bath and in fact when we moved I gave away many of them away because I thought they would not go in our new house.

Gallery Hung

Piece on opposite wall

So after 4 years in this house I finally decided that I was tired of the art languishing in a closet and decided to hang some in the upstairs hall. I like the way they look! 

Close up of favorite piece

It is like seeing the faces of old friends because when I look at each painting I know where I purchased it, or what trip I bought it on or who I was with.

Another favorite
Do you have a gallery wall? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Applause for Great Customer Service OKL

via OKL

I just wanted to take a minute to applaud the customer service at One Kings Lane! I love to get my email from OKL everyday, it is almost like Christmas. There are so many great items and interesting sales, don't get me wrong, sometimes I thinks some of the stuff is a little strange and sometimes over the top expensive but I love being a voyeur into the design world of some of the best designers in the nation.

I think though what makes this company so wonderful is their service, recently I had some problems with an order and my account and I have to tell you that on a Sunday afternoon one of the agents there spent 2 hours over 3 phone calls trying to figure out the problem. Then when she was unable to do it she found someone that could help me.

They gave me a credit for my troubles and also sent me a very nice email by way of an apology, and finally yesterday in the mail I received a small box of soaps as a "thank you for patience during our growing pains" gift.

 GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE needs to be a priority!

Thank you One Kings Lane for all of your help and quite honestly the best customer service I have had in years.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dream House Fixer Upper

Recently I read an article about a house in England that has no running water, no plumbing and very rudimentary electricity. They say the charm of the house is the view and of course the fact that the house has been untouched for over 100 years.

Manor House Grade II Listed via The Daily Mail

The house is for sale for 200,000 pounds and includes a separate barn and three acres of land. What do you think? I think I am in love! The view is spectacular and I am sure the house must have wonderful period details.

Interior kitchen via The Daily Mail

It is located in the Yorkshire Dales and is a four bedroom, farmhouse called Dandra Garth. I think with a lot of money and a great architect and structural engineer the place could be fabulous. I hope that the people who purchase this house keep the integrity and charm of the house intact.
For additional information click here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Broiled Icing Recipe: Great Summer Recipe

This is a delicious and easy dessert  recipe to take to a barbecue. It was given to me by my mother in law who has had it for years. I am sure there are other variations but I like this one best because it is easy and taste similar to German chocolate frosting without the work.

Now, you can make a cake or cupcakes from scratch if you have time, today I just used a box mix and they still tasted great! I also made Hershey's chocolate frosting for the people that do not like coconut or nuts.

Also note that although I made this recipe using cupcakes, I really do not recommend it, a lot of the delicious ingredients melt and run off into the cupcake pans instead of on the cupcake. When I do this the next time I will use a 13x9 cake.


1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup of coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and mix well. As soon as the cake or cupcakes come out of the oven, poke a few holes into the cake or the cupcakes with a skewer and then put this mixture on top on broil until toasty brown.


Mix well

Pile frosting onto cupcakes or cake broil until toasty brown

Finished Product!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quote of the Week

John Frederick Peto "Still Life with Candle Pipe and Books"
"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."
—Margaret Fuller

I love this quote, I think it sums up blogging. There are so many wonderful blogs and bloggers out there and they are all sharing the ideas they have, their knowledge of fashion, design, history, politics, art, DIY, cooking, baking, literature, health, religion and more. If you have a thought there is probably at least one blog about it!

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Flowers Summer Porch

Queen of the Porch

This little girl loves the front porch! Although she thinks I am a pain when I try to take her photo. I actually had to go in the house and zoom in through the half opened door because she kept moving.

The pictures below are my front porch. I love to sit out here in the morning with a cup of cocoa or in the late afternoon reading and visiting with my husband. Unfortunately, you cannot put anything decorative on the little table because of the wind; I had a fabulous lamp there that blew over every time the wind came and I was tired of picking it up and honestly I did not want it to break.

Front Porch wraps around the corner and there is a small seating area there with two blue chairs

These brown wicker chairs we have had for 15 years, we bought them at Pier one and we love them! They are so comfortable and sturdy. The cushions are a find from TJ MAXX, you have to love that place.

Oppisite view

I love wicker

 These photos are of the back deck, please excuse the deck, we have to clean and stain it but frankly it is just too hot. I do not think I am cut out for these temperatures.

The deck is surrounded by crepe myrtles and it is so beautiful out there at night with the shade and the canopy of all of the flowers, the tinkling of the water from the fountain and an occasional song from the wind chime.

Back deck


View from fountain


I love potted flowers but they are hard to keep alive some days with the heat. Silly me, I was under the impression that these pots we low maintenance.

I am linking this with Savvy Southern Style blog party, you should check out the fabulous ideas that are already linked there. Thrifty Decor Chick

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Summer!

Welcome Summer! Although I have to be honest, it has been so hot where I live that I am sick of summer weather already. I know a lot of people love Summer, me , not so much. I love Fall, that is why this blog is called Pine Cones and Acorns. But I do love a great resort, and sitting by the pool, talking to friends, eating pool food and enjoying a sunny day with a great book or pile of magazines! Hopefully I will do that once or twice this summer.

Enjoy your summer and be safe!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~

Happy Father's Day Dad! I love you and I miss you!

Let there be Light!

This is where the adventure began! This photo is the light fixture that was in the foyer and unfortunately there is a matching one in the dining room. Not only is this not my taste,  it weighs about 60 pounds  and is two stories high so if a bulb burns out you need scaffolding to change it.  Somewhat  of a challenge to say the least,  but after 4 years we were ready to have someone take it on just to get rid of this thing.

Foyer Before

Foyer lighting
 Like most people we want to personalize our home to suit our taste, so over the course of owning our home we have been slowly finding light fixtures to replace the existing builder grade ones that came with the house.

Two very tricky spots are the 2 storey foyer, and the second floor hallway outside of our library, where the fixture is over the stairs on a landing. Both of these spots are tricky to deal with and that is probably why it has taken 4 years, not only to find lights but also to find someone to hang them. Two other contractors said they would pass on the job. I wonder if the scaffolding had anything to do with this decision? Ha Ha.

We scheduled the electrician after we interviewed him so that he could see what he was in for, and we even gave him the chance to turn down the job, I think he would have if the economy was not so bad!

The electrician, was a really nice man, the only thing that concerned me was that he showed up with a 79 year old assistant, that was supposed to help assemble the scaffold and hang the lights. I could not believe it, the assistant was a tiny, wiry little man and quite frankly even though he was strong, he could not get this job done alone without serious damage to himself or to our house.  In the end, I recruited my husband and myself to get it done.

 To assemble the scaffolding and hang one light, then take down and reassemble again, and then hang another light took 4 1/2 house. I am happy it is done but I have to tell you I was scared to death, for the safety of these workers as well as myself and husband. Even thought the scaffolding was commercial grade it was so flimsy it swayed the entire time and you can see this little worker is not little.

In fact I really started to question our decision and his when we took the scaffolding out of the foyer and discovered that the reason the scaffolding was so rickety was because they had put the pins in the wrong spaces, it is reallyy a miracle that we are not all dead from that thing collapsing.

Front Door Scaffolding
 This is the light that we chose, it is an antique lantern from about the 1920-30's and it was nasty when we got it, I do not have any before photos because at the time we purchased it, I did not blog. After a little cleanup and rewiring it is now installed.

New Antique Garden Lantern

New Foyer Light
 I love it because it suits the foyer better than the modern fixture, and it hangs lower, so we can actually change the bulbs ourselves without getting some scafold. These are not very good photos but I did not want the workers to be distracted by my photos op.

Scaffolding balanced on Stairs to hang light that goes over the back stair case
 The second light is at the back of the house upstairs from the family room, it is a library and our home theater. This style suits the landing so much better than what was here before.

Before fixture, these are everywhere in the house or should I say were.

 Two lights down, about 15 more to go.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Better After Blog

Check out the Better After Blog, written by Lindsey, which showcases before and after furniture projects. My friend Marian of Ruby Slippers Design Blog has a piece featured. Marian is an incredibly talented friend and worked for many years as a faux artist and is now focusing her time and talent full time on creating beautiful things, be it furniture, paintings, sculptures or jewelry.

It just goes to show that you can make something beautiful with nothing!

Her blog is under construction but you can also see her work on Ruby Slipper Designs on Facebook. Check her out today!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

English Conservatories I Love

via Colebrook Conservatories

I love conservatories and have always dreamed of having one, admittedly I have dreamed of having an English conservatory while living in England but that is a story (or a dream of retirement) for another day. So I thought it would be fun to do a little research into my dream conservatory and I will tell you this dream does not come cheap. I have found that the price runs between $300-1,000.00 a square foot. Not too bad for the bare bones but le'ts face it, who do you know that ever gets the bare bones model of anything? I am sort of a conservative, but "bells and whistles", sort of girl. Here are a few of the images and sources that I found in case you were thinking of adding one to your home.

Colebrook Conservatories

via Town and Country

via Town and Country

Renaissance Conservatories

via Tanglewood Conservatories

via Town and Country

via Town and Country
via Town and Country

Kitchen Spectacular! via Town and Country

via Town and Country