IS IT REALLY YOU, LIBBY?

By |2020-06-10T17:05:15-04:00June 9, 2020|8 McDowell, Inspiration|

Oh, I know. It’s been many months!

So here we are. All of us at home; some of us are beginning to emerge.

How are you doing?

The weeks turned into months and now..well..maybe you are socializing just a bit? I have a collection of masks: do you? I wear one always; not always color coordinated, but that’s life! I do generally find them hot, oh so hot, and awkward and naturally I would prefer not to wear one. I’m sure you have your own source(s) for masks, but here are several I would recommend:

 

jillian rene mask This is my #1 choice from Jillian Rene Decor! Sophisticated, contemporary, unisex, well made.

I just discovered this one and really like it. All cotton. And, no ear loops. It comes in different sizes. I find these with the elastic bands are very comfortable.

Cotton face mask All cotton, and no ear loops! This is from Proper Cloth

My husband and I both love the gaiter mask option. They are very comfortable, easy to slide down when you don’t […]

MY NEW FAVORITE PERENNIAL

By |2019-10-03T11:02:48-04:00October 3, 2019|8 McDowell, Friday Flowers, Garden|

My new favorite perennial (for autumn) is:

Helianthus salicifolius ‘Low Down’

Look at all that brilliant yellow!
These plants are now about 18″ tall and, knowing I just planted them in April, I am amazed. Most perennials take a year or two really develop, but these have taken off. They are in full sun and receive water from my watering system every other morning for about 45 minutes. We’ve had a very VERY hot and dry summer and they have flourished.

Above, with the Scabiosa Black Knight behind them

 

Here, looking glorious with the dark red dahlias!

A COTTON COVERLET FOR YOUR BED

By |2019-09-23T05:35:46-04:00September 22, 2019|8 McDowell, Shopping|

A cotton coverlet is a joy to behold, and to sleep under!
Do you use one?

So many beds are now covered with a duvet which is then covered with a removable cover.

Well, we tried that route. And tried again. And found it just was NOT for us. A faux-down, or real down comforter/duvet sounds wonderful especially if you live in a cold climate.  But we found that the lightweight cotton cover somehow made the wrapped duvet very heavy and cumbersome. It was worse with a faux down than with the real thing…but back in those days we had a dog (who, yes, slept on the bed!) who was allergic to down. In any case, it didn’t work.

I opted to try the “old-fashioned” way: a cotton coverlet or, dare I use the word, BED SPREAD! I grew up with these but oh my, they went out of fashion.  What goes round, comes round, as they say. And now, we have quite a nice selection of all cotton coverlets and bedspreads to choose from!

 

Below is our current bed situation!
Classic white quilted coverlet: mine from Linens ‘n Things many years ago!
Antique bed tables (two: each from very different sources but they almost match!)
A classic table lamp
Custom made fabric headboard with […]

HOUSE RENOVATION: THE STAIRS

By |2019-08-11T21:45:19-04:00August 11, 2019|8 McDowell, Shopping|

Our house was built in 1992. One woman lived here until we bought it in 2010. We think she never, ever went upstairs (master bedroom is on ground floor) and thus the carpeting on the staircase and upstairs was barely used.

So yes, this was a good thing for us. I guess.

But was it our taste? Certainly not. The builder had installed same carpet in every house here and some houses even had it in the bathroom. Horrors. At least our bathrooms had vinyl tile!

Here is the original bland carpet extending almost wall to wall on stairs and landing. It also covered the entire upstairs hall and guest room.

We lived with said carpet for 8 years. We had carpet companies, carpenters, and builders all in about five years ago to see our options.

We thought long and hard about how to move forward. Cost was a consideration in that I would have liked to sand and stain the treads. But the wood under the carpet was rough pine and would never have looked smooth or taken a stain well. So, short of removing the bannister and replacing all the treads and the entire floor on the […]

FRIDAY FLOWERS: THE TULIPS

By |2019-05-02T20:44:37-04:00May 2, 2019|8 McDowell, Color, Friday Flowers, Garden|

Tulips
My very favorite flower.

Princess Irene

This was not my best year for tulips. I think the warm winter didn’t allow them time to fully develop: some of them came up quickly, were short and stumpy, or had flower heads that were much too heavy and large for the stem. Not sure.
However, yes, I did get some really nice shots of those that flowered and put on quite a show!

The next four shots are
Tulip Blumex Favorite from Wayside Gardens

 

 

 

Ok, I have to admit, they were pretty stunning! And mixed in there is the
Triumph Princess Irene from Terra Ceia.

 

These next three pictures are
Sensual Touch from Burpee

 

 

These bloomed very late, well after all the others, and were definitely stunted in growth. Short stems with bulbous flower heads….not quite what I had been expecting! But yes, they make great photo subjects.

Here are some […]

HOUSE RENOVATION: BATHROOM

By |2019-04-28T16:37:56-04:00April 28, 2019|8 McDowell|

Our house was built in 1992 and had just one owner until we bought it in 2010.
We live in a planned community or a “subdivision.” There are almost 2,000 residents and many different neighborhoods, some with free standing houses, some with attached town houses, some in the woods, some in the central village area, some hilly, some flat. You get the idea.

This is the front entrance, back in 2011. It is basically the same (path, white gate etc) but also very changed.

And here it was before we did anything at all. Note the tall fir tree by the front door. There was no fence, or gate, to enclose the front garden area. Huge shrubs were everywhere…

 

Our house is in the central “village” area: we don’t have much land around the house although we have more usable, gardening-friendly land than many/most houses in this area. This is what appealed to me when we were looking. We wanted, definitely, to be in the village. We can walk to restaurants, bank, fabulous book store and several shops. We have people walk by our fenced terrace just as in a French village. It is, as they say, perfection!

But the house is showing its age.
When we moved […]

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