Sometimes it is truly difficult to remember how really lucky we are.  Day to day life can be overwhelming when the fairytale lives we were promised by the Cleavers and the Reeds have not quite materialized.  But we are here as active participants in the only game in town, and for that, Irwin and I are eternally grateful. 


While summer has given way to autumn and the trees are awash in a golden hue, there are still signs of new bloom.

 

 

Autumn's Golden Hues

 

 

 

New Blooms in PINK- more than a coincidence

 

 

 

Wear it proudly

 

 

A subtle yet powerful reminder that despite the fact that life can change in an instant forcing us to recalculate the direction our path will take, we must move forward with hope, love and support.

 

We are now more than halfway through the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and from the NFL to our own back yards (and soccer fields) awareness and funds are being raised.

 

Pink on the field  

Photo courtesy of pink-NFL.com

 

 

 

 

Get Your pink on! 

photo courtesy of Hable Textile

 

As many of you know, we have a commitment to Susan G Komen for the Cure.  We participated in Holiday House NYC in 2009 and 2010 and have also, with the support of our friends and colleagues in the design industry, sold our first Pretty in Pink 4 Life Bench this past February.   ALL the proceeds went directly to the Connecticut Affiliate of Susan G Komen for the Cure.

  

 

                                       Pink- the color of life                                                         

We currently have another A M A Z I N G custom Mid Century Pretty in Pink 4 Life piece available for sale. We collaborated with Sunbrella and produced this fantastic ottoman, which is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use all year long.   And may we add that it would make any young girl feel like an absolute princess?  ALL the proceeds from the sale of this ottoman will once again go directly to Komen CT. 

 

Pretty in Pink 4 Life Mid Century Ottoman

 

 

                                                                                                       

 We are hoping to find this wonderful piece of reinvented Mid Century style a new home before the end of the month and would appreciate your help spreading the word

 

So, Get your PINK on and celebrate the only game in town: Celebrate Life!

Wordless Wednesday: Let's Celebrate

L E T ' S   C E L E B R A T E

T H E  4TH

I N 

C O L O R

 


R E D

 

W H I T E

 

A N D

 

 

P I N K !

 

All proceeds from the sale of this Pretty in Pink 4 Life ottoman, a collaboration with Sunbrella, will go directly to Komen CT

 Happy July 4th!

 

 

A Modern Garden

Two months after sharing our first post about our Garden of Dreams, it has become a reality.  But as is often the case with best-laid plans, the final incarnation is much different than the original proposal.

Yes, it is true: we got carried away!  We got so caught up in the excitement of having our very own, slow home garden this summer, that we neglected to realize that our initial plan of 10’x10’ raised planter beds was waaaay too ambitious for citiots like ourselves.  In addition to it being too large and requiring serious fencing, it was too far from our water supply and would have required massive amounts of bending.  So we went back to the drawing board and our wonderful neighbor Jeanne, who is collaborating with us on this venture, came up with an alternate plan.  She found Western Red Cedar tool-free assembly elevated garden beds made by Gronomics and we purchased two from our local garden store along with a simple gardening book that explained how to prepare the planting beds. 

 

A garden in a Box

 

 

Read and Seed

 

We initially planned on placing the beds, which measure 34” x 48” each, in front of our shed, but after waiting patiently and unsuccessfully for days and days and days AND days for the sun to make an appearance so that we could ascertain if the location was indeed sunny enough, we decided to plant them in our driveway, where we were sure that six hours of daily sun would not be a problem.

 

Sun-where?

 

So this past weekend, in between the thunder, lightening and soaking rain, we assembled the beds and planted the garden.

Our intern: Zippy

 

Simple Assembly: A Family Affair

 

The finished product

 

  Thanks to Jeanne’s diligence and research, we filled the beds with a mixture composed of:

1/3 Vermiculite

1/3 Peat Moss

1/3 Compost mixing three kinds including organic compost, a compost/humus mix and compost Jeanne had accumulated last year.

How to make your garden grow

 

For Peat Sake

 

We began by spreading a tarp and combined the mixture for each bed separately so that it would be more manageable.  Then our youngest son shoveled it into the beds where we continued to mix it and water it so that it was well blended and moist.

three kinds of compost

 

Blending the ingredients

 

Raking it in

 

the perfect blend

 

the good earth

 

hands on work

 

 

We planted one bed with plants including two kinds of lettuce, two kinds of mint, arugula, spinach, jalapeno peppers, red peppers and thyme and the second bed with seeds for carrots, cucumbers and radishes along with several kinds of beet plants.  We are planning on filling in with other herb plants this coming weekend and are still discussing how best to house tomato plants.

Separating the arugula

 

Almost done

 

put to bed

 

great greens

 

ready to grow

 

 

our dream team

 

 


 For now, both beds are covered with bird netting to discourage the deer, possibly the only animals that can reach the comfortable height of 32 inches.

 

 

Net worth

 

Just born but sure to grow to love our garden

 

There is something so wonderfully rewarding about getting your hands dirty and planting food to harvest that we all, including our youngest, were swept up in the excitement.  We were so thrilled with our initial planting, we ran back to the farm store for more plants!

And this is just the beginning.  If we are successful with these two raised beds this season, we will plant the larger raised beds we had originally planned, next year and use these two raised beds for herbs.  And there I go again, getting ahead of myself, but it is almost impossible not to.

The simple pleasure of this modern take on ancient agrarian farming has really inspired us and the possibilities are endless. With our Garden of Dreams taking shape, can Alpacas be far behind?

our future??

 

So, as you begin your holiday weekend, think about building your own Garden of Dreams, however small.  The results will be magical!

 And here is the proof: Our first radish sprouts popped up yesterday, just three days after planting the seeds.

A sprout even the green giant would be proud of

 

 

 

A Garden of Dreams

It is late March and despite the subfreezing temperatures and the promise of snow later in the week, we just met with our gardener to discuss the vegetable garden we want to plant this spring.  The snow has finally melted, for now at least, and it appears as if some “early birds” are already nest hunting around the house, confirming that spring will arrive…eventually and our Garden of Dreams will become a reality.  The excitement is palpable.  Well OK, maybe it is not as exhilarating as winning the Mega Millions, which I tried unsuccessfully to do this weekend or even as stirring as the status of March Madness, but for Irwin and I and our slow home lifestyle, it is absolutely thrilling.

 

Irwin & our gardener measuring for the garden

 

An "Early Bird" Nest Hunting

 

We have been discussing the possibility of planting a vegetable garden for eleven years, ever since taking title of our home in the country. The thought of growing food along with caring for farm animals has been a dream of ours from the outset. It is almost impossible NOT to consider a slow home, farming life when surrounded by lush farmland, rolling hills and babbling creeks, but the reality of our weekender status never allowed us to move forward with either. 

 

lush Farmland, rolling hills

 

 

 

babbling creeks

 

 

However, that never stopped us from dreaming about as well as continuing to discuss it.  Early on, immediately following our first visit to the local county fair, I was convinced that raising animals was our destiny.  After looking at all of the beautiful farm animals brought to show at the fair, I knew that would be a part of our future in the country.  And while my dream of an Alpaca farm is still on the back burner, our dream of building a garden and growing our own vegetables is coming to fruition. Now that is progress, country style.

 

A Fair to Remember:

Howdy Cowdy

 

 

 

A couple of kids

 

 

This big piggy

 

 

Seriously, she's got Milk

 

 

Alpacas...on hold

 

 After sharing the fresh salad our neighbor Gloria, a master gardener, brought to our Road Party last summer, we revisited the possibility of planting a garden this year.  Gloria had offered to mentor us, which was just the impetus we needed to get the ball rolling.  While we had what we were hoping was the ideal location, there was still the issue of maintaining the garden during the week, when we are in the city.  That glitch was remedied when our wonderful neighbor Jeanne suggested that we collaborate on the vegetable garden.

 

Gloria's fresh garden salad- helped make our dream a reality

 

The plan was simple.  We would house the garden on our property (Jeanne does not have an appropriate spot) and she would help maintain and water it as best she could, when we could not be here.  After initial costs were calculated, we would determine appropriate shares of cost and harvest and go forward from there.  All we needed to do was wait for spring.

And what a wait it has been.  Despite several glorious spring days, we in the Northeast, are still experiencing winter weather daily but are hoping that eventually, (and by that I mean before July) spring will indeed arrive.

So here are the basics of our plan:

A ten by ten or smaller sized garden with raised beds. We don't want to bite off more than we can chew, at least initially.  A fence eight to ten feet high surrounding the garden to keep out the deer that use that area as a thoroughfare as they head up and down the mountain and chicken wire under the beds to deter woodchucks.

That is it: Simple and sweet, at least for now.   Much like our life in the country.

We'll see how this plan pans out.  I am sure like most other things, it will be a process with many lessons learned along the way.  But have no fear, I will be sharing updates as they occur and spring’s renewal as it transpires.

Just wanted to leave you with these beautiful faces of Charlie’s friends in the country. They stopped by to say hello while we were out making plans for our vegetable garden.

Finnegan

 

collie

 

 

And share this beautiful pair of bouquets, which are always in full bloom.  All the proceeds from the sale of these spectacular chairs will go directly to Komen CT.

 

 

 the entire proceeds from the sale of these beautiful chairs will go directly to Komen CT

 

Yes, it is true we have found a home for our Pretty in Pink 4 Life bench and how befitting that it happened right before the universal day of Love, Valentine’s Day. It is truly a Love Story that was four months in the making.  Needless to say, we, along with Komen CT and countless others are overjoyed with this very happy ending; one that would absolutely never happened without the good friends of our Social Media Village.

A Sweetheart of a Valentine's Day gift!

 

As it happens we just celebrated our second anniversary on Twitter a week ago, having created our account February 13, 2009.  Simply typing that made me quite nostalgic and consequently I spent the last couple of hours attempting to locate my fist tweet. While I have not been able to locate either my first tweet or the first people I followed, I can remember how overwhelmed I felt at the prospect of engaging in any form of Social Media.  I was so overcome with fear that after the initial set up I did nothing with our Twitter account for almost two weeks, until that fateful day when my then eighteen year-old son agreed to give me a Twitter tutorial; one which lasted all of sixty seconds. His fingers flew across my keyboard as he followed a couple of dozen people and said: “This is all you need to do ….and if you're lucky, they’ll follow you back”. And with that, he was gone leaving me in the driver’s seat without a single driving lesson.  So I began my journey, driving in the slow lane, hunting and pecking, following and re-tweeting, learning and engaging.

Our Social Media Birth

 

Virtual conversations turned into real life meetings and priceless friendships, and as a result, here we are two years later, immersed in a generous, collaborative community of like-minded, talented individuals who make wishes come true and help seemingly impossible dreams become life-changing realities.

 

From Virtual to Real Life 

Photo courtesy of Amy Dragoo of abcdesign.com

 

Off the Tweetdeck into the gallery

Yours Truly with Tamara Stephenson 

photo courtesy of Landino Photo

supporting friends at ICFF

Leslie Carothers, Me, Tracy Hiner, Maybelline Te

photo courtesy of Leslie carothers

And so it was for our beautiful Pretty in Pink 4 Life bench. We had been trying to find a home for it since mid-October and despite tweeting, blogging and facebooking our hearts out about it relentlessly, it remained homeless.

Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching and I was hoping to tap into the gift giving spirit.  I wrote another post about the bench and asked for help. I also emailed many of my SM friends asking them if they would include something about the bench in their posts about Valentine’s Day.  The result was better than I could have ever imagined and the bench has found a wonderful new home where it is cherished and loved.

It currently resides in the home of Philip Erdoes, aka @CEO_TheNewTrad, the CEO of the New Traditionalists, a design house focused on home furnishings and a client of Leslie Carothers the CEO and founder of The Kaleidoscope Partnership – a social media agency for the home furnishings and related industriesShe happened to share our blog post with Philip and as a result, he purchased the bench in honor of his three beautiful young daughters for Valentine’s Day.  And he did it because, as he said :”With three daughters I'm totally focused on that issue”.  And that says it all!

I cannot begin to thank the Social Media Village that made it possible…but I will try.

Many thanks to Marcy Michaud of @Stylesson for sharing our post on her site stylesson.com, Susan de Chaira of @the zhush for writing a lovely post on her blog, The Zhush, Amy Dragoo of @abcdesigns for featuring us on her guest post for @ChicModern, Wanda Horton (@wandashorton ) for her heartfelt post on her site Interior Concepts by Wanda S Horton and Yvonne Blacker (@yblacker) for asking us to be contributors in her fabulous new digital magazine New England Finery

Other good friends that helped make this happen by spreading the word include  @maybellinete @shorelychic @modenus @brivkind @averydesign @jgoden @swaygrl @nestnestnest @exuberanthome @annNyberg @DecoratingDiva @JuliskaDesigns @GimletMommy  and soo many more.

Our Social Media village is powerful and harnessing its power for business is wonderful, but using it to support lifesaving organizations like Komen for the Cure is beyond astounding.

Although this is indeed a VERY happy ending, it is not the end, but rather what we hope is the beginning of much collaboration, in support of Komen for the Cure.

 

 Happily ever after
photo courtesy of Philip Erdoes

 

 

 

What better way to usher in the holiday season, than to visit a designer show house centered on the celebration of holidays, and more importantly, life. Holiday House NYC is celebrating its 3rd year, bringing talented designers together for fifteen days during the heart of the holiday season to raise much needed funds for the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

With the importance of raising Breast Cancer awareness as well as finding a cure, we were delighted to be able to participate in this amazing event again this year and present a holiday that is near and dear to our hearts: Snow Day. 

While not on the list of traditional holidays, Everyone Loves a Snow Day!  And when a really good one happens to come along, there is no better place to spend it than in our cozy, warm Snow Day room at Holiday House.

When Irwin first decided to do Snow Day and saw his room, he knew that the centerpiece of the room had to be the magnificent Tommi Parzinger chandelier.

With a peculiarly shaped room containing four doors, two windows an oddly placed mantel, walls in horrific condition, carpeting cemented to the floor AND no partridge in a pear tree, he knew this was going to be a challenge. But Irwin is always up for a challenge and despite becoming sick with Pneumonia just days before Thanksgiving, did more than deliver an exceptionally designed room; he presented the essence of a perfect Snow Day.

Paint played an instrumental role in transforming the odd room into a Snow Day Cinderella story and the expertise of Fabricio Fabri of F&F Faux Finish Painting was key.  Not only are he and his staff immensely talented, they are equally as nice and were, as always a pleasure to work with.

And no Snow Day would be complete without…SNOW, so we brought the outdoors in by collaborating with Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios and had her take my image of snow, taken in Central Park during last year’s blizzard, and creating wallpaper that we then layered with several bird photos taken during the same day.  The result is staggering and the layered wall has so much depth and dimension that the beauty of the great outdoors truly enraptures you. 

Our fourth son also makes an appearance in the room because no one loves a Snow Day more than Charlie!  With his nose buried in the snow, he is the epitome of a Snow Day enthusiast. He is joined by a skiing foursome replete with cigarettes in hand, enjoying “Fresh Air and Good Company” along with our “deer” friend who found his way into our fireplace. 

Numerous other “snow” references abound in the room, filling glasses, bowls, jars and our imaginations with sparkling, glistening flakes.

Everyone loves a Snow Day....Even the mouse!

With mugs and plates from our favorite Stamford CT neighbor Juliska, we are ready to weather any storm.

And the furnishings, a sensory delight to both eyes as well as touch, all available in our gallery, covered in an array of plush fabrics including mohair, corduroy, faux fur, lace and a splash of orange velvet. Cerused wood along side dreamy French polished as well as lacquered pieces and a supremely phenomenal Norman Mercer Lucite sculpture entitled Stelladron I.

 

 

Sitting on a beautiful rug, hand knotted in Tibet courtesy of Kooches, Snow Day reigns supreme!

If you are in the NYC area, please stop by and become inspired while helping to raise funds for Komen for the Cure.  Housed in a magnificent limestone mansion located a 2 E. 63rd Street, Holiday House offers the perfect respite for a busy holiday shopping or work day. Now through December 15th.www.holidayhousenyc.com

And, please remember our Pretty in Pink 4 Life Mid Century Bench is still available with ALL proceeds of its sale going to Komen CT.  It can be seen in the Rizzoli shop at Holiday House.

Last weekend as I watched the change of seasons unfold in the country, I was astonished by the fact, that despite many early undressed trees and piles of crunchy leaves amassing on the ground, there was still an astounding amount of summer blooms flourishing.   What I found most striking and quite telling, was the abundance of pink roses burgeoning amidst the deconstruction of flora that is synonymous with the arrival of fall; a testament to both their resilience as well as their sheer will to survive.  For me the irony was overwhelming and this unexpected sign of hope, like a beacon on a moonless night represents what organizations like Komen for the Cure offer.

Colors of the season

  

Trees undressed surrounded by a blanket of leaves

  

 

 

The remains of summer blooms

 

Pink power endures


A will to survive

 

When we were first approached by New England Home Connecticut Magazine to host their first Connecticut Fall Networking Event in our Gallery, we were both excited and delighted.  We were thrilled to welcome so many of our CT neighbors and share an evening with others.

To make this event a truly collaborative effort, I immediately reached out to my neighbors and many of them responded so generously, that it almost took my breath away.  Our newest neighbor, Fairway Market agreed to come on board and supply food for the event and Juliska, Colorblends and Godiva Chocolates were more than happy to supply lovely additions for our gift bags.

Fairway's sumptuous buffet

 

Juliska's lovely gift bag contribution

 

Pink Tulip bubs courtesy of Colorblends

 

Dreamy chocolate from Godiva

 

"In the Pink" Gift Bags

 

But it seemed that a gathering of some of Fairfield County ‘s (and beyond) “Best & Brightest” during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, needed to be more than just a networking event and we decided to use this wonderful evening to raise awareness as well as funds for Komen for the Cure, CT.

Anne Morris, Executive Director of Komen CT was on hand to share valuable information with the crowd as we previewed our “Pretty in Pink 4 Life” customized Mid Century bench which we are now selling with ALL proceeds from its sale going directly to Komen CT.

 

 

The "pretty in Pink 4 Life" Bench

  

With a close personal connection, we are deeply committed to supporting Komen for the Cure.  It is one of the reasons we decided to participate in Holiday House last year doing a tabletop and returning again this year, doing a complete room. 

 

Holiday House 2009 "The 4th of July"

  

We hope that through our efforts, we can motivate other small businesses to see that with a little imagination and a lot of perseverance, they can help raise both awareness as well as funds for lifesaving causes.

 

Our new Gallery section featuring the works of Vincent Longo & our Pink Ribbon Chair

 

 

Just before the guests arrive: Pink Abounds!

 

Irwin & Roberta Thomas Mancuso of New England Home CT Magazine

 

 

Let the cocktails begin!

 

The evening was an amazing success.  A melding of designers, architects, suppliers, bloggers and more converged in the Gallery despite less than perfect weather.  Twitter and Facebook friends emerged from the virtual world and joined with old as well as many new friends for a delightful evening of food and fun.

A Happy group including Robert Dean, Beth-Eaton Koch, Evelyn Oschler, Elizabeth Chrystal, Betsy Abeles-Kravit, Anne Morris, Irwin &...Me

(photo courtesy of  Landino Photo)

 

 

Stacy Kuntsel, Tamara Stephenson, Roberta Thomas Mancuso, Yours Truly, Susan Young,

Robin Horton,  Gloria Battista-Collins & Liz Orgera

(photo courtesy of Tamara)

  

With many thanks to our good friends at New England Home Connecticut, including Betsy Abeles-Kravitz, Publisher, Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in Chief, Roberta Thomas Mancuso, Kate Koch, Glenn Sadin & of course our very own @StacyStyle Stacy Kuntsel, Homes Editor for helping make this evening so special.  And where would we be without the brilliant photography of Neil Landino, Jr. of Landino Photo who was on hand to capture the evening.

 

 StacyKuntsel, Roberta Thomas Mancuso, Me being held in place, Kyle Hoepner, Irwin, Steve cassler

& Betsy Abeles-Kravitz

(photo courtesy of  Landino Photo)

 

Though the evening is over, the memories remain, new friendships have been forged and collaborations continue.

So many of you including Kyle Hoepner and our good friends at Juliska, have offered to continue to promote the sale of our “Pretty in Pink for Life” bench and we truly appreciate all of your help.

Together, there is nothing we cannot do.  As the pink roses remain in bloom despite the arrival of cooler temperatures and less than perfect conditions, so too, must we continue to support organizations like Komen 4 the Cure, who allow those roses to continue to survive and flourish.

 And please don’t forget: We are looking for a wonderful home for our “Pretty in Pink 4 Life “ bench.  Anything you can do to help make that happen would be appreciated.

 

The "Pretty in Pink 4 Life" Bench Specially priced at $1800 to celebrate "Life"

 

 

More photos of the festivities to follow soon!

As many of you may have noticed, I have been highlighting some of our pink Mid Century Modern pieces the last few days, not only because they are simply beautiful, but also because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; a cause that is near and dear to our hearts.

 

Our "Pink Ribbon" Chair

 

 

Our Hot Pink Curvy Chaise Lounge

 

 

our Pink Magazine Rack

 

 

Many Social Media and blogger design friends of mine including Leslie Carothers, Catherine Avery  Wanda S. Horton, and Cynthia Mason have been doing the same, sharing pictures and writing posts about #ProjectPink and #ThinkPINK with a common goal: To raise Breast Cancer awareness and promote Breast Cancer research.

Dear friends and relatives have both won and lost heroic battles with Breast Cancer and others very close to us are still fighting daily for survival.  With this close personal connection, we are more committed than ever to raising Breast Cancer awareness.  It is the reason we chose to participate in Holiday House, a Designer Show House that will be open for its third holiday season next month in NYC.  Designers will once again join together to raise both awareness and funds for the NYC affiliate of Komen for the Cure.

Next week we will be hosting the New England Home Connecticut Fall Networking Event in our Stamford CT gallery.  With lots of our Connecticut neighbors expected for a fun evening, we thought it would be an amazing opportunity to do something wonderful for Breast Cancer Research.  So, as part of our evening, we will be previewing our custom designed Mid Mod "Pretty in Pink 4 Life" Bench and donating all proceeds of its sale to Komen for the Cure CT

 

our Pretty in pink 4 life bench

is a mystery for now but will be revealed

October 14th

 

 

We are excited to be able to do this for Komen CT and Breast Cancer Awareness Month and hope you will help spread the word.  Although the Bench will be revealed on October 14th in the Gallery, you don’t have to be there to purchase the bench or share information about it.  The  "Pretty in Pink 4 Life" Bench will be on our website the following morning. 

 

With so many wonderful people joining together to achieve a common goal we cannot lose!  We look forward to a day very soon, when we no longer have to view our world through rose-colored glasses, a day when everyone can be “Pretty in Pink 4 Life”.

This past Saturday night we hosted our first “Road Party” in the country and it was  spectacular!  It was attended by nine families including ours and was so successful, we have decided to make it an annual event.            

Our House

 

Unlike suburban neighborhoods with streetlights and sidewalks, our road in the country is light-less and dirt. While our home is situated close to the road, most of the other homes that dot our road are nestled in the mountainside at the end of dirt driveways, many of which are a half mile long or more. 

Our Road 

 

That being the case, it should come as no surprise that after ten summers in the country, we knew little, if anything about our neighbors.  But all that changed last summer, when we met our new neighbor Jeanne and her dog Zippy.

Zippy and Charlie became fast friends and Charlie (as well as Irwin & myself) eagerly anticipated Zippy & Jeanne’s impromptu visits before or after their afternoon walk.  Jeanne, living here full time for half the year had managed to meet more local people in her first month here, than we had met in the ten years previous and it was through her that we finally met some of our neighbors last Labor Day.

Zippy & Charlie: Best Buddies

 

This year Jeanne had a brilliant idea.  She suggested we collaborate and host a “Road Party” to get to know more of our “hidden” neighbors. Because there is nothing we enjoy more than hosting a party, we immediately offered our home for the event.  Jeanne dropped mailers in every mailbox and under every front door she could find on our half of the road (the road is over three miles long) asking people to RSVP and bring an appetizer, side or dessert.  We had no idea who or what to expect and the result was more wonderful than we could have ever anticipated.

Our neighbors regardless of whether they were able to attend or not, called and emailed telling us how much they loved the idea of a road party. Despite never having any discussion about specifically what anyone was bringing, the collaboration was astounding and the resulting menu blended together seamlessly and needless to say, the buffet was plentiful.

In keeping with our slow home philosophy, we re-purposed cloth napkins and dishes that we had originally purchased and/or made for our children's B’nai-Mitzvah years ago and made a tablecloth from an upholstery fabric remnant.  Using our own silverware, the only disposable items used at the gathering were about thirty plastic cups, which were recyclable.

Tableware set up: Nothing Disposable Here

 

Irwin took two colors of napkins from the assortment and in lieu of napkin rings, he used a roll of twine we had and rolled and tied each napkin with a simple twine bow; an easy and inexpensive touch that made tremendous visual impact.

Re-purposed napkins tied with everyday twine

 

Irwin then strategically placed cut flowers from our garden in vintage silver plated champagne glasses as well as a collection of vintage vases we have accumulated over the years.  He supplemented our garden’s bounty with flowers Jeanne had purchased at a local farm to complete the arrangements.

Vintage silver plated champagne glass with farm flowers

 

More home grown flowers

 

Farm Flowers in our vintage vase

 

More local flowers in a vintage silver plated bowl

 

 

And...More local & farm flowers

 

our miniature roses

 

And the food, have I mentioned the food? Well, all of the food we prepared as well as the food that our guests brought was made with locally grown or purchased ingredients and was amazingly fresh and tasty.

Irwin's Fresh Mozzarella, tomato & basil salad-locally grown with toasted ciabatta bread & hummus

 

 

a new twist: hummus served in margarita glasses

 

 

Can't you just smell the fresh basil?

 

 

Jeanne's home made roasted chicken salad

 

My home made pasta w/arugula pesto sun dried tomatoes goat cheese and local grilled corn

 

Our neighbor Gloria's garden salad made form vegetables she grew in her garden (sorry for the leftovers photo)

 

Drinks including water, Iced tea and my special vodka cocktail

 

Jeanne's home made peach & plum pie made with locally grown fruit

 

 

my home made cupcakes

 

 

 Charlie: Ready for guests

 

 

 

Although I stopped taking pictures when the guests arrived, I must list the delicious additions they contributed to the event:

  • A home made Ceasar salad
  • A home made Goat Cheese & Pesto Torta
  • A home made grilled summer squash salad ( squash grown in neighbor's garden)
  • Home made crab filled finger sandwiches
  • A fruit salad that included sever types of locally grown plums as well as peaches
  • An assortment of local artisanal cheeses
  • A rustic peach pie made by a local farm as well as a mixed berry pie from our local Biodynamic farm

But more than the wonderful food, the time spent getting to know our neighbors was priceless.  We met new neighbors to the road as well as long standing residents; weekenders like ourselves as well as full-timers. We shared a meal as well as our love for this special place on our planet and as the evening came to a close and we cleaned up, we all agreed to do this again next year.

 

Glasses that we frosted for oldest son's bar mitzvah in 2001 now staples in the country

 

Only on Twitter my Friends, Only on Twitter

When I returned from the country last night, I was exhausted.  I was so tired that I could not even lift a finger to tweet, a condition more rare than the Hope Diamond.  So imagine my surprise, when I awoke this morning to find that today had become Nate Day!

Yes, today is Nate Day.  Don’t waste any time looking for it on your calendar, you won’t find it.  It is the brainchild of The Moggit Girls, Joy and Janet, whom I follow on Twitter.  They have mastered the art of sharing the not so good, bad & “fugly” of home decor with us on a daily basis and always seem to supply some much- needed levity to interior design.

As you MUST know by now, Nate Berkus has a new show that will premiere on NBC September 13th and The Moggit Girls thought it would be a great idea for Nate to fill his audience with bloggers  AND with that seed of an idea, they proceeded to tweet and blog about it and before they knew it, they were contacted by the producers of the show. 

I actually lost track of things after that until this morning when I awoke to discover that it was Nate Day.  While I understand the beauty of Social Media and the collaboration and friendships it has afforded me over the past year, its sheer power never ceases to amaze me.  And when my friend Julie (@jbint) sent me her Nate Day post, which included several of our pieces, I couldn’t resist writing a short piece as well.

And this is how it happens, how things “go viral”, how one idea can be transported and shared, how powerful collaboration can be.  And my favorite Nate Berkus design? 

 

Yes, it is his Twitter page, the design that began this whole chain of events. Best of luck and success with your new show Nate and many thanks to The Moggitt Girls for sharing Nate Day. 

Don't forget to read the amazing collection of #NateDayBloggers and celebrate Nate Day with us!

Another amazing experience that could only happen on Twitter my friends, only on Twitter.

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