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Monday, April 25, 2016

spring living room with blue & white on the mantel

Spring has arrived in New England!  The grass is getting green (Dan mowed the back meadow for the first time yesterday)  and the leaves are "just" starting to come out on the antique maples that line our drive.  The light is amazing.  We have wonderful light all year long, but there is just something extra special about the spring light, not to mention the gorgeous sunsets. The weather is still cool-ish, though we did turn on the air conditioning last week due to the humidity.  But, today the heater is running and there is definitely a chill in the air.  When we lived in Dallas I would laugh at the thought of a "spring jacket,"  but now I understand the term:)

I've added antique Chinese blue and white to the room.  Always a classic in my book, and feels very spring to me right now.

A slightly different angle... I liked that the antique painting across the room is reflected in the antique French mirror on the mantel.

I've removed some of the extra brown accessories in the room.  I always have lots of brown though, it's my black.  What you can't see in this photo of the vintage brass topped table is the teeny, tiny paper price tag with purple silk string from decades ago:)  I left it (call me Minnie Pearl:) because it was just so charming and unless you're looking for it you don't see it.  Oops.... I see one of the legs needs to be moved/straightened.  Ignore!  The 23-year-old topiary!  Many of you have asked, but I don't have any tips or secrets....  I water regularly, fertilize occasionally, that's it.  


Photo of the room with the lights off.  The fur throw is still on the sofa for the chilly spring days and nights we are having.  There is usually a puppy, or two, on the throw;)  I changed the end sofa pillows from brown velvet to gray/blue velvet ones.

And, speaking of puppies!  Louise and Magnolia are my photog assistants:)

A puppy-bum photo bomb;)

Notice in this photo I paint just the plug outlet for the table lamp.  Makes it go away.  The brown fabric cord blends in with the floor.

I like this photo as it shows you our gravel drive that comes up to the front porch. 

I replaced one of the vintage leopard fur pillows (made from muffs) for a made-to-fit small lumbar pillow for this antique French chair in the same grey/blue velvet on the sofa pillows.

This is Louise's "I want to go get in Mama's bed" look.   Ella does the exact same thing.  She's torn because I'm downstairs, but she loooves the mama's bed.  I tell her "it's okay!"  and she marches up the stairs!  Silly girls:)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Updated: Lytle Animal Shelter Dogs!

While I'm working on my next post I thought I would update this original post with some new puppy faces that are in need of finding homes from this rural facility.  If you read this post initially, you can just scroll on down to see the new, sweet faces!  The first girl shown, Bella, was surrendered to a vet's office to be euthanized simply because she had an abscessed tooth.   Can you even believe that??
You must watch her video in her link and see how sweet she is.  To think someone wanted to put her down... unbelievable.

And, in case you missed it precious Nanny was adopted by one of my readers HERE!!!

Here's the repost:

As I mentioned in my post Opt to Adopt HERE, I wanted to share some wonderful animal shelters and rescues that I came in contact with while looking for a sister for Ella last year.  The first one I want to bring to your attention is...
The City of Lytle, Texas Animal Control 

Last spring I found a sweet dog on their Petfinder page HERE and called the facility about her.  She had just been adopted!  I was surprised to see a small town's animal control on Petfinder so I asked the  ACO (Animal Control Officer), Rachel, about it and she told me
the story...

This municipal shelter is a "KILL" shelter in a very small rural town outside of San Antonio where there is not much foot traffic to adopt out dogs.  Sadly, there is a never-ending stream of dogs being dumped and found as strays in this area.  But... the most amazing thing happened just a little over a year and a half ago when a puppy-angel by the name of Alice Lang volunteered for the shelter and brought her knowledge and rescue experience to this small town animal control.  The facility would annually euthanize anywhere from 175 to 235 dogs (due to lack of space) since its opening in 2010.  Alice helped the facility start an adoption program that adopted dogs via Petfinder and Rescue Me with a focus of getting dogs adopted in the Northeast where the demand for rescue/shelter dogs is high.  In 2015, the first full year the adoption program was in place, they only had to euthanize 32 dogs, due to extreme illness or injury.  Not one of their dogs has been euthanized for space since they started their adoption program.  With hard work and determination the director, Betty Kroeger, the two ACO's: Rachel and Santiago, and the amazing Alice Lang along with a group of fosters (like fabulous foster Teresa) have turned this small, rural, municipal KILL shelter into an amazing success story!  This wonderful facility rescues dogs, gets them medical attention if needed, has them spayed and neutered, then fosters them until they are completely ready to be adopted.  They know the dogs they put up for adoption on a personal level and can help you with any questions you might have.

As a municipal facility the city of Lytle pays for food and the shelter for the dogs (and cats) but not for medical expenses or spay and neuter costs which are vital to the success of the adoption program.  The shelter raises funds for medical care, and spay and neuter operations themselves, which again is difficult in such a rural community.
I'm hoping some of you generous-hearted dog-lovers will join me in offering support for this wonderful facility and a helpful hand for medical expenses and spay and neuter expenses.  If you would like to donate, please send a check (all donations stay within  Animal Control) to:
Lytle Animal Control
Attention:  Betty Kroeger
P.O. Box 743
Lytle, Texas 78052
(thank you so much!!)

Whether you live in Texas or across the country, if you are considering adopting I hope you'll look at Lytle's dogs (and cats!-  They transported one of their cats to Seattle:)  They transport dogs using Greg at Rescue Roadtrips to get dogs to their forever homes in the northeast.
Lytle's Petfinder page
lists their available dogs with a detailed description and photos, along with a video - which I think is extremely helpful in seeing a dog's personality.
You can also see all the videos on Alice Lang's YouTube channel:
Be sure to follow (and share;) her channel and check it frequently as their list of dogs changes often.
I check in to see her videos several times a week, (it makes my heart happy to hear her charming southern voice:) and forward any of the precious dog's info to people I know are looking to adopt.

For adoption info email Alice at:  alicesavesdogs@gmail.com
You can also follow, like and share their page Lytle Rescue Dog Foster Program on Facebook

So, lets meet some of their dogs!!
Please click on the name above the following dogs to view their information, more photos and a video of each dog:

Bella :  Has been ADOPTED!!!!!  Yay!
Bella NJ


Tessa NJ

Adam CT

Shae- ADOPTED!!!
Shae VT

Tyra NJ


Gidget VT


Allister NJ

Selma VT

Grace VT

Shoogs PA

Mustang Sally
Mustang Sally NJ

Jordan NJ

Ginger VT

Jack VT

Please help me spread the word about this wonderful rural facility that is working so hard to make a difference for these abandoned dogs.

 I mentioned that Lytle is a very small rural town where many dogs are dumped and found as strays.  Dr. Liz Lowe is a veterinarian that lives in the area who volunteers her time and services, serving as a consulting veterinarian for Lytle Animal Control. She also has her own rescue, KARE,  and will take in Lytle dogs that need more medical attention than Animal Control can take on.  Director, Betty Kroeger could not sing Dr. Liz's praises loudly enough for all she does for dogs in her care.  Dr. Liz and her husband founded KARE as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit to provide lifesaving intervention for animals in need.
Kayser Animal Rescue Effort

And finally....

 I want to share this sweet, amazing dog "Teddy" with all my French friends and followers (please share!)  He is in desperate need of a new home.  Many U.S. readers have offered to adopt him, but he needs to be adopted in France.  You can read about Teddy and this sad situation and that of his owner
Ellie of Have Some Decorum who is dying from ALS

Please share this post (or feel free to repost) with anyone you know who is looking to adopt or simply loves dogs!  Thank you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Patina Farm and a Giveaway!!!

All photographs by Lisa Romerein from  Patina Farm  by Brooke Giannetti and Steve Giannetti, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

You, of course, know my friend Brooke Giannetti, the gifted interior designer behind
Velvet & Linen fame and her uber-talented husband, architect Steve Giannetti.
Yes, of course you do, how could you not?!!
I found Brooke's blog Velvet & Linen right after I found Joni at Cote de Texas when I first discovered design blogs back in 2008!  In fact, it is because of Brooke and a post she did on my blog on Velvet & Linen right after I started writing about our renovation of the farmhouse that I first developed a following of readers, which in turn encouraged me to continue writing about our journey.  So, in essence Brooke is the reason you are here reading my blog!  She gave me my blog-wings and I can not thank her enough for that.  Both Brooke and Steve were so generous and gracious with helping me figure out several very important details around the house during our renovation and for that I will be forever grateful.  They are both such lovely, kind people.

I can honestly say that the only home that I have ever seen (that could make me walk away from the farmhouse;) where I could walk right in, not change a single element or piece of furniture and live happily ever after (with Dan and the girls of course;) is Brook and Steve's Ojai home!
The house and property is pure magic.
 Watching their progress over the last several years... from selling their gorgeous home in Santa Monica, (which was the subject of their first book  Patina Style  HERE) to buying land in Ojai, to breaking ground on the house, to Brooke discussing all the design elements, to watching every detail of the landscaping and viewing Steve's renderings of what they wanted the property and house to be has been a riveting journey for their love of a house.  That they created a home and property that looks like it has been there for 100 years is nothing short of amazing.

Brooke and Steve's new book, Patina Farm is a beautiful collaboration of the duo's love, passion and talent to create "home."  I have savored every moment of reading the book; taking in the story of the decisions, the design elements, the choices made and why they made them makes the book a wonderful, informative read.  This is a book I will use over and over again for inspiration.
Take a look at some of the magic for yourself....

 ...pure magic!

This book is a must-have for any design library.  I have a signed book (which I love);  you can get your own signed copy at Giannetti Home
or to get an unsigned copy

Now, for the giveaway...
I have a copy (unsigned) of Patina Farm to give away!!
Simply leave a comment below (don't forget to include your name and email contact:)
telling me why you'd love to have this book!
Giveaway closes Friday, April 15 at 10 p.m. EST
The winner will be chosen by electronic, random selection and I'll contact the winner on Saturday!
Good luck!!
You will love this book!

I wish I could send each and everyone of you this gorgeous book:)
Congratulations to Lauren in New Orleans!!!


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