Monday, March 12, 2012

Cargo Unlimited

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Actually so was today. It's been incredibly warm for this time of year (usually we are hovering in the 40s - which is about 4 to 7 degrees Celsius)as it's been in the 60s lately, and even hit 70 today (that's a balmy 21C). It's glorious!

So, to enjoy while we can (I just know another snowstorm is hiding around the corner) we headed up to Manchester-by-the-Sea. We bought some sandwiches from flour, packed our enamel mugs, serviettes and a blood orange fizzy drink, and drove up to sit by the water to have a little picnic. It was freezing! We laughed so much because of course it's going to be colder on the water!

Anyway, afterwards we walked around the lovely little downtown and explored. Besides being very picturesque, and having a great little down-to-earth cafe right near the water, Manchester-by-the-Sea has a lovely little shop called Cargo Unlimited.

I could kick myself for not taking along my camera, but google maps took a nifty pic last time they were there. The shop is lovely, filled with delicious things - really great furniture, lamps, artwork and soft furnishings. Of course nothing is a bargain but I doubt you will find better quality anywhere, and clearly some pieces were really great finds with wonderful history.

There was an amazing bamboo chair set that I would dearly love to have... you know, to put in the sunroom that doesn't exist, but ah, I can dream! I don't have a pic of that set but these images are from their website, so we can indulge.

The guy (owner?) who was there when we were was so sweet - didn't care at all that we were just browsing (and honestly, drooling on the lovely furniture) and even lent me a tape measure (they had a magnificent dining table that was just the right width for the one I want to have made). He was lovely. And I did promise I would be back when my earning potential has been realized.

So if you are ever in that neck of the woods, you should make a stop. I will (again!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Let's start it off on the right foot with this beautiful work by Paul Emsley.

We're going to watch some rugby, catch up with an old friend, and maybe go picnic in Manchester-by-the-Sea if its warm enough on Sunday. I promise photos!

Via Handsome Things... that last pic is for Hayely.

Magazine Give Away...

So the magazines have found some new homes! I've decided that with the perfect amount of responders to my first give away post, each person will get a magazine. Congrats! I'll be contacting you soon for your mailing addresses :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

South Africa on Jeopardy

How fantastic tonight to watch Jeopardy, one of America's most iconic TV shows and see South Africa featured.

There was one segment that was all "South African Wildlife" questions and it seemed like the contestants were afraid to give it a go. Eventually they got there and the questions were not too bad. The one about giraffes' blood pressure got them, not surprisingly. If you interested in winning a trip to South Africa, click here. The South African Tourism Board is giving away a trip similar to the one that the presenters from Jeopardy went on.

I have two friends who've just come back from South Africa. A friend at work is has plans to again next year because she loved it so much, and she says it felt like she only scratched the surface of the wonderful places to go and great things to do in her two weeks there.

The other friend is a South African who lives in Boston, like me. He took his American wife and her family there for a holiday. His mom-in-law kept mentioning, before they went, about what a once-in-a-lifetime trip it would be. He said by the second night in Cape Town, playing cards out on the porch, sea crashing in the distance, she was already planning what she would be doing on her next trip.

South Africa is definitely a place worth a visit - for Americans, its a long way to go, and a bit pricey to get there but once you're there I think you'll find accommodation, food and entertainment well priced. And of course, the country itself is spectacular. If I do say so myself!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Donne Putter

Ah, I love the web - through Pinterest I discovered Donne' - and her blog. She hasn't updated since November (update, please Donne!!) but I love her pics, the music, and the quotes and poems.

"This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."

Rumi, “The Guest House”

Magazine Give Away - Update

So, don't forget, if you are interested in winning a great South African design magazine, enter here - deadline extended to Thursday, March 8, noon. Winner announced Friday.

One House & Leisure is already gone but here is the rundown on the other magazines:

House & Leisure December:
Living the SA dream
Fun reasons to love Cape Town and Durban

- November: SA's hottest summer homes
Trend alert: nautical chic, cool linens, warm wood meets crisp white
Vertical gardens

House & Garden
The season to Celebrate
Trend Alert - What's Hot and Happening in 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Other Updates

So besides the few home improvements I mentioned yesterday, I also made some other little tweaks around the house.

I made this easy terrarium a while back, based on Amy Merrick's great instructions.

I liked it but it needed some pizzazz. So I picked up a piece of really fine moss from my neighbor's front steps, and then took a small piece of wood with similar moss from a tree down the street. The moss is brighter, and I really think the wood makes the little scene more interesting (the second pic is with a flash, so you can see all the little components...)

The last thing I did was fix my artwork - it was leaning on the dresser in my bedroom when I got a little carried away when I was making the bed (ages ago!) and the pics fell down and the frames all broke. Um, how did this happen? I like to unhook the fitted sheet and give the sheet a good airing out by flicking it up and down. Anyway, I created a little air lift and the pictures came tumbling down.

When I was at Ikea this weekend I got new frames - and this time they are secured to the wall. HOWEVER I forgot that my floor is not straight so the frames follow the ceiling and the dresser slowly edges down and away from the bottom of the frames. Oh, the joys of living in an old house. Here's a pic from my original post (it got too dark for pics by the time I was done).

I think that's all for home improvements for now - we are considering moving before next winter (we have forced air and our health is suffering for it, so its time to move into a place with good ol' radiators) and I don't want to invest more time and energy into projects before I know they are keepers.

Tour South Africa: Drive from Hermanus to Cape Town

Click on the images to make them bigger.

Take the R44. Go just before sunset.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Home Improvements

So, its Sunday night... the house is nice and quiet. The hubster was on a business trip but is back now. Poor man now has a bad head cold so we've had a quiet weekend - which was really, really nice! The one thing we did do before he felt too yucky was hit Ikea (maybe that's why he's tired!?) - but after reading Court's post I was inspired to not be sucked into the Ikea vortex. We went straight to the things we needed and we were out of there in 30 minutes. Woohoo!

What did we get? Well, this rug.

I've liked it for a long time but they stopped carrying it for a while - and when I saw it on their website again I was not going to let it disappear for a second time. I think it looks fabulous in our dining room - its a wool kilim. It feels so good under your feet!

I love how the rug looks with our Tolix chairs and wicker end-chairs. It just finishes off our casual, warm space. Its perfect.

My dining room is almost complete - the only thing left is to replace my cheapie table with a beautiful farm table. All in good time.

I've realized I've never shown you the rest of my dining room. I'm lucky that we live in one of those old Boston houses - we have a gorgeous mantle (you can check it out here), a hutch (as you can see above, just bursting at the seams with my small addiction to ceramics, dishes, teapots, etc) and big windows. On the opposite wall we've made a photo wall of friends and family. I love that we can see them all the time (please excuse my hiking boots - they're great for walking dogs in the slushy weather).

The umbrella stand was something I bought soon after we arrived in Boston - my mom has a beautiful one that I've always loved, so I got my own (and now its filled with Halloween relics - the sword and the hockey stick - and an umbrella from a friend's wedding).

The red cushion is something I made when a friend brought me that beautiful fabric from China. I had to put my stamp on it, so I added the pom pom trim. The seat cushion I made when another friend brought me some modern shwe shwe (I've never seen anything like it!) from South Africa. You can check that out here.

So I've been reading Vintque Object, and An Urban Cottage, and I've tried to put my new found photography knowledge to use - I've tried to capture my shots so that the some pictures are taken straight on (no angles), and that the photo is level with the object. For instance, I went low to photograph the bench. Does it work? I think it works well on this cushion.

I like how this shot turned out (but I should've straightened the photos first!) And its a pity the light wasn't a little brighter.

But anyway, I love how it's all coming together. I'll let you know when the table finishes everything off.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Magazine Give Away

So yesterday I was saying how much I love my new iPad because I can read my digital magazines in comfort now. That means I have four magazines which I've not read and now they need new homes. There is absolutely no reason to hold on to the hard copies when they could have wonderful new homes.

These are the four:

Three House & Leisure magazines from the end of 2011, as well as the December issue of South Africa's House & Garden. So although these are a few months behind, for those of us in the northern hemisphere they are perfectly timed because they are about summer! And even with the snow falling outside as I write, spring is just around corner.

How it works: I will give away one magazine a week. There will really only be three available. The first choice goes to Ansie, who won a give-away a couple years ago but the item got lost in the post (or, I wonder which postal worker is enjoying it now?). I need to make it up to her! Ansie, please choose one of these magazines and it's yours!

If you are not Ansie, please leave a comment if you would like one of the magazines. I will ship it to wherever you are - registered, this time. Just leave your name, and on Monday I will announce the winner. Then we can get in touch and discuss which magazine you would like.