Friday, August 31, 2012

Literary Friday: The Uninvited Guests


This week I read The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones.  If I could sum-up my thoughts about this book with one word, it would be creeptastic.  { I know that "creeptastic" is not a real world, but neither is the macabre world that Sadie Jones creates in this book.  Praise Jesus.}  The book reminds me of Audrey Niffenegger's books:  the reader gets sucked into a good story until BAM! And the reader thinks:  Eeeewwwww~~  GROSS!!!  If you've read The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, then you know *exactly* what I mean!

The story's setting is Sterne, an eccentric, somewhat remote country house in County Wicklow. The year is 1912, and of course the Torrington-Swifts all blame the oddness of the house on the Victorians. The exact date is Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday (April 30th) which is also the eve of Beltane (this is not mentioned in the book, but I do think the date is significant). As the family prepares for Emerald's birthday dinner and are expecting house guests for the weekend, a ragtag group of train derailment survivors descend upon Sterne disrupting the festivities.  These uninvited guests seem to increase in number and needs as the night progresses.  Also, ten year old Imogen Torrington, affectionately called Smudge and the youngest Torrington sibling, has determined that the distractions caused by Emerald's party will provide the perfect opportunity for her Great Undertaking.  Smudge was my favorite character in the book, and I admire her guts and glory in implementing the Great Undertaking.  :D

Things begin to get out of hand as one of the uninvited guests begins the cruel drinking game of Hinds and Hounds.  Family secrets are revealed, and hearts are broken.  The game was as close to a social Darwinism experiment one could ever hope for, and I felt awkward reading it. Again, this book is not for the squeamish.  It reminds me of a combination Greek tragedy complete with a Greek chorus of misfits, and an over-the-top Victorian gothic novel. However, all's well that ends well in Sadie Jones' merging of the two genres.

Book trailer for The Uninvited Guests

What have you been reading?  This is a linky!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Library Details

I promised y'all another post about the details of our library with {hopefully} better quality photos, so here goes.....

I basically shopped our house for many of the furnishings.  Other elements were either free or very inexpensive.


The pillows on the swing are old.  I shopped the house for them!  The ribbons are from the girls' horse shows, and are hanging on a french memo board screen.  The screen was in Shelley's nursery.


All three table lamps were in other areas of the house and rarely used.  All three are MacKenzie-Childs, gifts from my husband over the years.  The zinc-topped bookshelf is from our art studio.


The warehouse cart was originally used in a furniture factory.  Mr. Art @ Home power washed it and refinished the top.


The tabletop easel was in the art studio.  I like it and didn't want paint getting on it, so I put the toile message board on it.  


The MacKenzie-Childs tuffet was originally in this room when it was being used as a guest bedroom.  The toile waste basket is also from the art studio.  I have something more practical in there now.


Can you believe that these pink bookends are the only ones I own?  They are some kind of quartz, and they were a gift from a friend.


I worked this sampler on linen many years ago.  It represents the library's color scheme well.


This is a Hatch Show Print from my favorite indie bookstore, Parnassus Books (Nashville).  Parnassus was our first stop on our indie book tour.  I have always admired Hatch Show Prints.


The little book basket is very old, and I think I ordered it from Exposures.  I worked the needlepoint picture of the draft horse several years ago from an Elizabeth Bradley kit.


I like the wheels on this cart.  The green is the original paint.  One of the few things I bought new for this room is the book vase from Ballard Designs.


I thought Mr. Art @ Home was going to divorce me after hanging the swing.  We did not buy it from the high end cottage and cabin store here in town.  A carpenter custom made it for me out of pine for $700, including the painting, distressing, and waxing.  


The farmhouse table came out of the neighbor's trash.  Mr. Art @ Home painted the base a pale blue (it looks white in the photos) and refinished the pine top.  The little chairs and slipcovers are from Pier 1, and we bought them new, but on sale.

So you might wonder how I came up with the crazy color scheme in the library.  Well I knew I wanted to use red, so I let Design Seeds help me with the other colors.  I have always loved the color of radishes, so when I saw this color story, I was hooked.


The radish color is very close to the Blushing Red from Benjamin Moore paint color I used in the room.  The pillows incorporate all the colors, and the mattress cover is the pale green.  We painted the base of the farmhouse table the very pale blue.  The slipcovers and memo board have both shades of green on them.  The bookends are the pale pink as is the screen holding the horse show ribbons.  The Hatch Show Print matches the darker green perfectly, and pastels of the MacKenzie-Childs lamps compliment the scheme.  The tuffet has every color in the color story on it!  Although everything in the room reflects the color story, I hope it works in the room.

I also organized a cozy home libraries inspiration board on Pinterest.  You can see the board here.

This is the second week of school, and Shelley is enjoying her room so much. I hope she appreciates having a quiet place to read and study.
Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Tablescape

With tropical storm/hurricane Isaac lurking around the South, I can't even begin to think about autumn.  So I decided that we needed a cheerful, summery breakfast room.

P1050146 P1050142 P1050143 P1050144 P1050147 P1050148 P1050149 P1050150 P1050154 P1050156 P1050157

Tablecloth:  Dena Home
Dishes, flower frog, mini glass cream and sugar set, and mini compote:  MacKenzie-Childs
Berry containers and votives:  Anthropologie
Large turquoise hurricane:  Etsy
Bunny creamer:  Two's Company
Napkins and pilar candle:  Pier 1
Turquoise napkin rings:  Williams-Sonoma

Is it sunny today where you are?  I have a busy day filled with appointments, so I will be out in the rain.  Boo!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Happy List: Fun Stuff for the Library

First of all, I am sending my thoughts and prayer to anyone impacted by Hurricane Isaac.  All of Mr. Art @ Home's family live in New Orleans.  Stay safe!
My Happy List

1.  I won a YA book from Becca's Blog!  Shelley grabbed it and ran, so I suppose she will read it first! Thanks so much, Becca!  Books always make me happy.

2.   Miss Angie and Beth sent me the *neatest* notecard set.  It is so me. Check it out:

Mary Cassatt's "Mrs. Duffy Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading,"  1876


John George Brown's "Reading on the Rocks, Grand Manan," 1877

Sweet bloggy friends make me so happy.  You guys are the very best!  You know I will put these to good use.  :D
3.   I won the prettiest matted photo from Suzanne.  She is an amazing photographer, and you really should check out her photography on her blog. This print will live in our library once I have it framed. Gorgeous photography makes me so happy!


4.  Guess what?  This is my "To Be Read" pile on the coffee table.  *squee*  I am soooooo organized.  :D  So, so happy....


5.   I want to thank you all for your kind comments about Shelley's guest post and room redo. Your comments made her so happy, which made me very, very happy.  Y'all are the best bloggy friends!


Shelley's bulletin board in her room.

6.  Now I am happy to announce the winner of my Smashbook giveaway.  The winner is:
Patty from Patty's Pretty Things!  Congratulations!
I will be back tomorrow with better photos of our library, and some information about the details in the room.  I will also talk about the process I used to put the room together.
Until next time...
Ricki Jill

Monday, August 27, 2012

Library Reveal

We converted our never-used guest bedroom into a library.  This room is the perfect place for Shelley and me to read and study.







I threw this post together rather quickly, and I do not like the photos.  I should not have used flash.  I will post about the details of this room either tomorrow or Wednesday, and hopefully I will take better pictures!  :/

Linking to: 

Mod Vintage Life
  (The Newbie Party has a twist now!  Check it out!!!)

Ricki Jill

Friday, August 24, 2012

Literary Friday: Creative Display


This week I read Creative Display by Geraldine James.  I reviewed Creative Walls in January.  You can read that post here.

At first I didn't like Creative Display as much as Creative Walls.  Maybe because it wasn't what I had expected.  I was expecting a book about how to display collections, and that really isn't what this book is about.  Very few collections are included.  The book is about how to display the things you love most and how to use them while entertaining.  Each space is very personal, and most are either whimsical, quirky, or just plain strange.  Most of the spaces belong to creative types like Rachel Ashwell and French artist Laurence Amelie, and they were either a bit sparse or very, very cluttered. The chapters include Heart of the Home (the big family table), Work Spaces, Outdoors, Celebrations, and Upcycling.  My favorite chapter is Upcycling:  It encourages the reader to find unusual uses for found objects.  My favorite example is a very large bellows made from leather used as a coffee table in front of a fireplace.

Here are some of my favorite images from the book:


I love this simple display of silver coffee pots and white flowers picked from the garden.  I have always loved table lamps in kitchens, and this one's lampshade is a quirky counterpart to its traditional base.  Also, I admire any homeowner who foregoes upper cabinets in favor of art!


One of the few collections in the book, this collection of pitchers displayed on a kitchen windowsill is sweet.


The turquoise antique door is a gorgeous backdrop for everything on the cafe table.  The door's color compliments the heirloom roses and cupcakes.


Anything displayed on the pretty French desk is highlighted by the French doors and billowing curtains.

The more I pick-up this book and read it, the more I like the advice and images in it.  Have you read any good decorating books lately?  Blog about them and link up!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Redecorated Room by Shelley

Hi!  My name is Shelley, and I am writing this post about my room.  I wanted a bedroom re-do because my room had become too childish for me, I outgrew my bed, and I wanted to remove some things I no longer used. You can read about my old room here.  My mom said that it was the most viewed post ever on her blog!



I got my bedding from Target.  It is from the Simply Shabby Chic line.  I chose it because I like the pink flowers.


My dad made my headboard from salvaged wood he bought at Southern Accents.


I wanted to add some purple to my room.  I bought these frames from Southern Accents in Cullman, AL.  These are photos of my friends and me at the lake.


Miss Jane sent my mom this adorable Flora Doora.  It matches my bedding! We hung it from a Pier 1 hook directly onto my headboard.


Here are some of the girly pillows I really like.  The purple is my favorite.  It is silk, and Angele Parlange designed it, and I was named after her!  My middle name is Angele.


My favorite thing in my room is the vanity!! I am so girly and I LOVVVE makeup, and I needed my own space to apply makeup! I used to use it as a desk but decided not to anymore because we have a study where I can now do my homework! Anyway, I got the white vanity box from PBTeen, and I use the desk drawer as storage for the rest of the makeup that I don't use as often! As much makeup as I have, I was surprised how everything I needed fit in this! (:


This is what the vanity box looks like closed.  The white Hello Kitty contains several make-up brushes.


I really enjoy having this French memo board in my room.  I display stuff I like on it!


My dresser has some favorite books, salvaged wood and wallpaper picture frames, a Hello Kitty CD player, jewelry tower, and other stuff I really like.


I pick out my clothes everyday and put it on my PBTeen dress form.  The second favorite thing about my room is the hook from Pier1 for my purse.


I got this vanity set for my birthday.


The walls are painted Airway by Benjamin Moore.  The hanging light is by MacKenzie-Childs in the Honeymoon pattern.  My mom does not like the Honeymoon line!

I love this room, and I want to keep it like this for a long time.  It is girly, and so *me*.  I hope y'all enjoyed this post, and I hope y'all think my room is pretty!


Thank-you, Shelley, for writing this post about your new room.  You did not say that the blue is the same blue as your school colors {Go Jags}  :D

Linking to:

Thursday Favorite Things


Sunny Simple Sunday
Beautiful Sunday

Until next time...

Ricki Jill