iPhone Cleanout!! Pics from the past eyar….
January 6, 2012

Twisty Bacon Man...it was in my son's Xmas stocking, and he left it here!

Isn’t it funny how many pictures your iPhone can hold…so many that they just stack up, and every so often I like to go through…relive a few choice moments.. and then move on. SO I thought I’d share some with you… including some from a trip to the mountains of NC last week…we spent most of our time in Cashiers and Highlands. Here goes…in no particular order.

Santa and me at the Monument lighting....he's so cute!

Best chocolate I had all year….came from Zoe’s Chocolate in Frederick…

Roasted almonds in dark chocolate in the shape of a tree...yes!

Also seen in Frederick….

Love, love, love this chandelier made from twigs and greens at En Masse

En Masse always has the most beautiful flowers, and some of the best ideas ever for gifts and decorating…like this simple pine cone…

Big pine...stick in pretty pot...instant style...

These wooden plates I saw at Great Stuff by Paul in Frederick,and yes, I did take one home, but the pic of multiples I think would be pretty framed! Great colors…

These are from China...I think...

When I saw this girl(the blonde one) as our place landed last year…I took the picture straight to my colorist, and said…I want MY hair to look like this…which meant: lowlights. I have no idea who she is…do you? But I love her hair color!

Excuse me while I invade your privacy...oh wait, there isn't any. Snap.

I was very jealous of this gorgeous candy apple red chalkboard my son gave the lovely Jennifer…I love chalkboards…so useful and decorative. He found this one on Etsy, of course from a vendor called Revived Vintage-here. The frame is resin and comes in all colors. Just makes such a statement.

THis will look amazing in their apartment...


Almost time for Xmas dinner..my daughter admires the moss centerpiece she gave me!

Another Etsy purchase: pine gift cards...wish I had bought more!

Another Etsy purchase, tiny serpent earrings for the lovely Jennifer

You should check out Michelle Chang jewelry on Etsy…she makes some lovely things…and different. (come on, snakes on your ears are definitely different!) Finally…North Carolina!

What a terrific reinvention of a space...

Loved time in Ashville…the city took an old Woolworth’s store, and created a space calle Woolworth’s Walk  for lots of artists to display and sell their wares…and they kept the luncheon counter…brilliant.

Meatloaf at he soda fountain...and art!

Just one of many artist displays at Woolworth Walk

And this darling window display I saw at a knitting shop…the title of it was “Dr. Stitch and Professor Purl have one of their eclectic gatherings, and ask what people wish for the new year.

A clever and creative store window in Ashville....

The answers you see here are: “Monkeys who love me, and bananas of course“….and another wishes for  “Awesome monkeys who advocate for the rights of all!” Ashville is has such an amazing feel about it….loved my time there.

A REAL bacon, egg and biscuit...how delish does this look?

Tommy’s Coffee Shop was just down the road from where we stayed in Cashiers, NC(pronounced Cash’-ers, not like a grocery store cashier)…great food, and wireless!!

Love me some potbelly stove...and it was toasty in there!!


But it is Friday, my friends…and while I doubt I stumble into a place like the one above just outside of Highlands, NC…where people sit close to the potbelly stove and chat and have coffee(more’s the pity)…I hope to FINALLY get all the wrapping paper put away for next year….and remove the last remaining traces of Xmas from the house. Be nice, play  by the rules, and come home safe….’cause we miss you!





Hello 2012! Or do I address you as two-thousand twelve??
January 2, 2012

This little elf being put away today, says 20-12....

It seems to be a toss-up…same as this past year…is it twenty-twelve(which I prefer as shorter and more direct-3 syllables) or two-thousand and twelve(which has five syllables…and we didn’t say nineteen thousand, and ninety-nine-right?). New year, you’re 20-12 to me. End of subject.

Ok…my fave gifts this year. Ready? I told you  I wanted a new iPad case….one that had some kick to it…

From my son and the lovely Jennifer....

I love it’s wooliness, and bright tartan plaid….and it’s made by a small company called pijama-here...and they make cases for iPhones, tablets or Mac books from interesting materials that are sometimes discontinued or odd lots, and lined with a neoprene substance for protection. Love mine!

It looks so pretty with the candles lit....

My daughter did her shopping for me this year on Etsy…and she found a dealer called Fairy Lawn Forest-here…they make all things moss…which I love. Just mist it with water, or spray it in the sink and let it drain….and it’s happy.

Yep, it's a big old block of pink salt!!!

And I have toyed with the idea of getting a salt block slab for a while now…they are all the rage in cooking circles. This one came from a place that is all about salt called The Meadow-here….it’s a shop in the West Village in NYC. You can cook on it… on the grill or in the oven, or serve food on it like I did here with proscuitto and cheese and pears.

WHo knew salt could be so pretty???

I’m still figuring out how best to use my Himaylayan pink salt block…I’m afraid I’ll hurt it!

Made from oak leaves from the now poisoned Auburn Oak tree....

My friend Hannah(who grew up in Auburn, Alabama) sent me this beautiful piece from Auburn…and I just adore it. It’s an ornament made from the famous Toomer’s Corner Oak tree leaves that artist Michael Michaud had cast in wax…. and then artisan metals make a sculptural replica. I fully intend to wear it as necklace, because it’s too pretty not to. You can find Michael’s things at The Villager-here.

I have lots more to share with you about my week off…later this week. Happy New Year, everyone…I intend to make it a good one…and I hope you do too!


It’s Christmas Eve….Yikes!
December 24, 2010

The wrapping ready to go...finally...

As my much missed Mom would say, I have “a lot of water to run under the bridge” today. Because of all the kitchen chaos, I have done no wrapping…as in zip…zero. So that back breaking task still lies before me. And why is it that wrapping puts such knots in my back? I’ve never found the right height place to avoid it. One person said it happens to them on the floor….I usually choose the dining room table as the wrapping station. But still…backache.

more cute handmade tags from Etsy

So it’s all set up…though now..I can’t find the tape. SOMEONE used it and didn’t put it back where it belongs, so the search is on. Oh, and I promised you pics of the decals I put up for the holiday season(please let them come down easily, or it will be the worse for me).

My decals for the winter....

I love the grey snowflakes..and after Xmas, I will take down the words, and put another snowflake in its place for the winter season. …smething else for spring?? We’ll see.

But I am wishing for all of you a wonderful, safe, happy Christmas. I hope you get the gift you want, and if you don’t get it, I wish for you the ability to forget about it. I hope you have friends or family around, and if you don’t, I wish that you will create your own special day, just for you. And for those of you who have a little water to run under the bridge too…I hope you don’t get too stressed about it. It doesn’t have to be perfect…that is my mantra today, although I don’t really believe it. Be extra nice, don’t throw rocks at family members who irritate you, cook something delicious, and come safe. Seriously, come home safe, ’cause we miss you. XOXO

Gettin’ ready for you know what!!!
December 21, 2010

Ok, I’m a little crazy right now like many of you….making mental check lists of things I haven’t done and things I forgot at 3 am(how I hate that)….and I’m pressed for time like everyone else….so here are some pictures of what I’ve been doing. First….a centerpiece…

Pine cones and this and that....but I like it!

Everything in this bowl were things I already had, except these darling little gift tags I got off Etsy.

Such sweet little gift tags!

Someone called CardsbyCarla did them, and I adore the little “diamond” at the top of the tree. I have to admit I have a terrible prejudice against stick on tags, and love the more old-fashioned tie on ones. These were just perfect so I added a couple to the centerpiece. I hope someone at dinner doesn’t say, “You forgot to take the tag off“….Tomorrow I’ll show you some winter snowflake decals I’ve done in the dining room(gray of course). I love the effect.

Overpacking..and other wasteful sins….
March 4, 2010

I've just begun...see how tight those suckers are wrapped?

When my late Father said he was sending package my way years ago, I knew I was in for a wrestling session. We had a saying at my house, ……when Bobby wraps a package, it stays wrapped. He used so much tape, the wrapping was barely visible, and one didn’t dare approach it without multiple, razor-sharp implements of destruction. He didn’t make it easy, but there was NO WAY something he sent, fell apart in transit.   No sir-ee.

Such as innocent looking box......

I was reminded of my Father’s endless devotion to over-packing, when I tried to recycle a box, in which a table for daughter’s apartment had arrived. Sounds simple enough, oui? But here’s the rub, gentle reader…or the wrap, I should say. Inside the box were at least 50 strips of cardboard, rolled and then individually wrapped in plastic strips….around and around and around and up and down, in something like Saran Wrap(or cling film as they call it in the U.K.). So to recycle all the cardboard strips under the plastic,(and people who know me, know I’m gonna recycle those suckers…I’ve almost had battles in the newsroom over this)….you had to individually UNWRAP all those little rolls. And they didn’t unwrap easy….there’s another Bobby out there. Sigh.

We love the table, truly…it came from ETSY…the website for people who are selling handmade things they individually make. But I would say this to the owner of Applewood  products……”Dear Mr. Applewood and Decor in Utah: I really love your little table, even though you sent a white one when we wanted a black on…(no problem, we’ll paint it)….but it must be said tha your packing is lamentable. Not that it was shoddily packed, oh no.  Perhaps a greater sin….over-packing. Only a maniac recycler like myself would have unwrapped each and every one of those little  #*&^#*# tubes….I had devote a full two weeks at it …off and on of course…but I did it. However,  in the feeling that we perhaps both desire the same thing….getting something safely to its destination without driving the person who receives said package insane….and in the interest of saving someone on your end much time(how long did it take to wrap those little suckers anyway?), and money(that giant wad of plastic has to be expensive…shall I mail it back to you?)….let’s just agree that there must be a better way. A way that is kinder to your wallet, kinder to me, kinder to the earth(Oh, Momma can you hear me?)…and just, well…better. Biodegradable peanuts? Cardboard rolled but not wrapped? Air bubbles? Yours for a better world, Donna Hamilton.

I'm closing in on the finish...Baby Girl doesn't like the looks of it....

Anyway to make a long story short(I know, too late for that)…I did get them all undone and drug the bunch out to recycling this week. I felt much better not looking at it in my living room, and even better still that MOST of it was recycled…I still have your giant wad of plastic wrap to put in the trash tomorrow. That makes me feel bad, and I don’t like people who make me feel bad. Can’t we find another way? Pretty please?

More Apartment Therapy…..The Grand Tour
February 2, 2010

Ok, it’s just about finished. While there are still more clothes to move, the daughter is in….ensconced in her first pad, complete with a new cat, named Spencer. More in Spence in a minute. First, some apartment pics and where things came from….I always enjoy looking at pics of other people’s pads(ala the website Apartment Therapy)….so if you do too….here we go. The grand tour.

Entryway...love the boots and lampshade!

First her tiny entry area…hey, at least she has one, though it’s definitely  too small to call it a foyer. The lamp is one of the first things we purchased….from Paradiso on 36th Street in  Hampden. They have the coolest lamps, and the prices won’t scare you to death. Just love that shop. The narrow table(it had to be narrow) came from ETSY, a website Deborah  Weiner turned me onto…the things on it are made by an individual person.  It’s a great resource. The table  was supposed to be black, and we may yet paint it. Doesn’t offend me cream….just kinda blah. The mirror came from Ballard Design on sale…and the thing holding her mail is one of a couple of things we got at Great Stuff by Paul, in Frederick. It’s an old wooden Chinese rice scoop(($29)…and is perfect for mail. (I can’t go to Frederick without stopping in.

Cozy little sitting area in one corner of main room....

And speaking of Great Stuff by Paul….that is also where the antique Chinese window screen you see above came from($89)…they had at least a couple hundred of them. It’s such a great architectural feature, and covers a lot of space. We mounted it with velcro. Sofa from and lamp from Ikea(of course…the new apartment furnisher’s best friend), the white branch table on sale from West Elm, Thomas Paul “Nest” pillow from Gilt, the yellow flower applique pillow also from Etsy.

I've always loved this dresser..now it has a home...

This old dresser I inherited it from my Grandmother when I was a teenager…and I was the one who painted it red(yeah, that was a long time ago). My Mother said, “Are you sure you want it red?” It has become quite “distressed” over the years, but I hung onto it, knowing that someone would love it and have just the place for it one day. And this alcove in the apt, was the place(no doubt it used to house a Murphy bed). In fact, this red dresser was the basis for the entire color scheme for the room. It’s a great little dressing table with some pretty good storage, and my Mom would be so pleased it’s in her granddaughter’s apartment. The Thomas Adler wannabe lamp…is from Lamps Plus.

Definitely a statement piece....maybe our favorite find.

 The chair in front is something I consider one of our great finds, from Overstock. A superbright, mod print…and with lucite legs!! I love it! And here’s what I think…no matter what you’re looking for, if you don’t check on Overstock to see what’s there(and read the buyer reviews if there are any), you’re crazy, or have more money than sense…as Mom would say. You just never know what you’ll find there.  Like this crazy chair that wasn’t expensive.

My daughter loved this yellow toile duvet cover on Pottery Barn….it was backordered on their website, and kinda pricey. We found it for less on Ebay.

Love the chandelier...though it wasn't the easiest thing to mount.

Again, you never know what you’ll find there. Always worth a check. Bed  from Ikea. Side table a long ago buy from C-Mart(you C-Mart). And another great buy from ETSY….the wall decal that looks like a chandelier. While it was ummmm…a challange to put up, it was worth the effort….just love the look. And if  you go to the link above, you’ll see the incredible variety of vinyl decals available, everything from big giraffes, to birds on a branch, to chandeliers, to trees growing from the floor. Very modern, very chic, and an inexpensive way to cover a wall. Check it out.

More vertical storage....what every tiny apartment needs....

And another space and storage solution…this wall entryway unit we found on sale at Ballard Design….it’s in a small dressing area just outside the bathroom. Great for hanging coats and stuff, and extra storage. It’s one thing we learned from my son and the lovely Jennifer in a NYC studio…try to keep things vertical and on the walls, rather than sitting on the floor. Point well taken.

Meet Spencer!

And last but certainly not least….my daughter was dying for a cat….she loves herself some  kitties. So Sunday afternoon we went to the Falls Road SPCA (where there was a bumper crop of  people looking for pets) and found what may be the perfect cat for her. Spencer is 5 years old, and had been abandoned by owners who moved away and left him, if you can imagine such a thing. The neighbors fed him for a few months, and then finally brought him in. Spencer is without a doubt, a cat from whom other felines could learn a thing or two.  Totally relaxed and easy going, he loves to nap on the sofa, and has already made himself right at home. He jumped out of the cat carrier and stretched as if to say, “Yeah, I think I can hang out with you guys for a while.” Such a sweetie has a new home. Two sweeties actually. My girl is starting to feel at home in her new space…and while I really miss her(and I think she misses me too), she’s moving into a new phase of life…a whole new adventure…for her and Spencer.