June 27, 2011

Welcome Back, Dovecote

In the early nineties, I took a picture of an English dovecote from a very chi-chi garden catalog and showed it to a carpenter in a small shop in Gore, Oklahoma.  Unbelievably, he was able to construct and craft an exact replica of the glossy image...all the way down to the individual placement of each tiny shingle on the birdhouse roof.  All, I might add, for $60.  Criminally low, almost like stealing, so of course he got a handsome bonus for his time and talent.

The ravages of time and weather finally took their toll on this handsome birdhouse, its decrepit state inviting only some rather nasty wasps.   It has recently undergone a rather extensive renovation, and I welcomed it back just a couple of weeks ago,  splendid with its glossy new roof (the color of my new arbor) and an impressively large finial.

I am happy to report that a lovely little family of wrens have taken up residence.  Such discriminating taste, those wrens.

June 25, 2011

Jayson Home & Garden vs. Austin, TX

I am a very loyal person.  Hopefully, my friends will testify to this.  I thought that no other store/nursery in the world could come close the the excellence and envy I experience each time I go to Gardens in Austin, TX.  But if you click on Gardens here, you will notice that this business is undergoing some renovation, i.e., new ownership, and that can portend both good (I am always an optimist) and bad (I am always a pessimist) karma.

So while my affection is in a state of flux, I give you      TA DA!

JAYSON HOME AND GARDEN  (click to peruse)

in Lincoln Park, Chicago.  (We haven't left Chicago yet, in case you've been following along...).  In both cases the inventory is $$$$$$$, but probably worth it in terms of quality and care.  Both stores can be blighted by the occasional snooty employee, but MOST of the time, it is an absolutely divine shopping experience at either establishment.  In Jayson Home and Garden's case, worthy of much more time and attention than the fifteen minutes I had to spend there just before they closed.

So stroll along with me as I both examine and covet the merchandise (only camera-phone in tow, I might add).  And definitely put it on your 'places to visit' list next time you're in Chicago.

It won't disappoint, I promise.  

:(  Closed.

June 23, 2011

Yellow House and Strands of Lights

A part of me has always wanted to live in a yellow frame house. With a white picket fence.  So when I came across this sunshine of a house in Lincoln Park, Chicago, I nearly fainted with delight.  I believe I've already introduced you to  its colorful, cherry-red front door.

Now gaze upon the extraordinarily charming white picket fence and the white window boxes, planted with coordinating red geraniums (of course).

Feel free to swoon right along with me as I drool over the kelly green steps and   railings.

And someone please tell me what the spectacular pinky-red variegated dogwoody specimen is pulling the whole fabulous fairy-tale vignette together.  (I am under no delusions, I promise, that such a wonder could ever thrive here in Oklahoma...sigh).

You will, no doubt, be as delighted as I was as you work your way around to the side, with its matching side-door color counterpart.....equally as gay and lively.  

The sweetly curving contours of the brick work, the nodding stems of the cosmos,  the promise of respite in a white metal chair.

And then those lights!  Wrapping up the whole whimsical setting are strands of what I think of as Christmas tree lot lights.

Happily and coincidentally, those wonderful peeps at  dirt du jour (click here to visit) have located them for us, since they can apparently be hard to find.  To order some for yourself, as I and L'il Sis plan to do...

visit Action Lighting to peruse the options.  

I love the effect this happy homeowner creates by using and mixing two different light bulb varieties.  Adore it as a matter of fact. Oh, the aura they must cast when illuminated.  

Think the owners might invite us in for a glass of pink lemonade?

June 22, 2011

Lincoln Park and the AT&T Man

I got dressed in the presence of a stranger yesterday.  Tried on two outfits for that matter. Applied my make-up too.  Joe was his name. Works in customer service for AT&T, and thanks to my speakerphone, he and I spent most of the morning together (a tortuous time, I might add)...my getting dressed, Joe trying to ensure good feedback from me on yet another AT&T customer service survey. He had no idea, of course.  About the intimacy of our time together and my recent trip to Chicago. Had we been more than just telephonic acquaintances (unlike you and I, dear readers), I would have shared with him these images from an art festival in Lincoln Park in Chicago.

His loss.  But here for YOU to share.

Walk along with me as I enjoy this artistic extravaganza and stalk chic women with short gray hair. 

I was seriously tempted by these gorgeous rings and colorful busts...

but my hands-down favorite was the sculptor Michael Gard  (click here to go to his website) with his gorgeous metallic flying acrobats.

Enough art.  A little more stalking.  Lavender, little girl, and polka-dots hearts.

A discerning consumer of art and fashion.  Tres chic.