Nov 2, 2010

Getting a Hand on Fall

Hello Everyone!  

I hope everyone is finding the fall season refreshing and the colors vibrant. I have been very busy doing all sorts of things, but mainly writing and being holed up in the house. So, while being in the home, I thought I would share some news, but also, how I spend my writing breaks - taking photos!

This pretty paper pumpkin was made and given to me by my dear friend, Debbie McReynolds. It was just the touch I needed for my window. Look at how the paper looks with the velvet leaf:

I decorate very minimally in my house, which surprises most people. I can pull out the stops when the mood strikes me, but for the most part, I keep it simple. While working all week, writing and writing (more on that later) I took breaks and found the light coming in through our windows just right and so I stretched my back and took some photos in our family room. My barber husband had bought his little bungalow home in hopes to have a wife to share it with some day (his words) and his little home was built in 1925ish. I put my little touches here and there and he gave me his office to do my "Elizabeth House" look, but the rest of the house is still being "combined" with our styles. I love how our little home is blending together.

I just loved these little gourds in the window that are on vintage butter pats and the candle holder is from our wedding, as is the platter. Most people find it funny that I design elaborate window treatments but I choose not to have any of my own. I love light and old windows. Or, I choose to have old grain sacks hanging up (as in our kitchen). Go figure. But here are some photos of the little gourds....

A couple of days ago, while writing in our little back room, with all the windows, I saw a man walking around our house and looking at our windows. I called my barber husband, who told me he sent a guy over to give us an estimate on what it would cost to take off the storm windows and to clean the windows both inside and out! Yeah! As you can see, not a moment too soon! Actually, these particular windows are about 9 feet off the ground from the BOTTOM of the window and having tried to clean them before, there is no where to lean the ladder on the outside, other than to the side of the window. I can't reach them. So for now, I have convinced myself that this "look" is the "new, vintage window" look. :-)

But I know my readers and you aren't looking at the window, you are looking at that little piece of furniture peeking out of the photo and wondering what it is....see, do I know you or what? Well, that is my, or rather, my barber husband's latest find! And found on the side of the road! After a day of shearing sheep (that is what I call what Randy does - sometimes I walk into the barber shop and I see all this gray hair all over the floor, he is standing there with his clippers in his hand, buzzing, and an old man sitting in the chair with a beard, and it looks like he has been shearing sheep all day!) But coming home one day, he saw this chair, and hopefully, no one was just sitting it out to air it, but home it came !

Until I can put a new facelift on it, it remains in its original state: Road Kill Street Chic - do you love it or what???

And in keeping with the fall colors - which happen to be extra pretty this year, I chose simple gourds to fill my English cream bowl. I am posting extra large photos so you can see what I saw behind my lens:

Randy is very proud of his art deco cabinet. When he bought his house, it was painted white,  he tells me (don't say it) and he said he spent months stripping it and refinishing it. He is not "handy" in that way and no one ever taught him how to do those things. This was his first project and I think he did a wonderful job. When we first got engaged and after he realized I would paint anything and everything, he said, "Four things you can't paint...this cabinet, the window seat, my dining table, and my desk." Hid desk is the one in my office. One down....

Now just in case these super large images are too large for some of you, here are a few in a smaller version:

As you can see, our home is decorated very rustic and simply for the fall season. We keep the dust for the true "rustic" feel - well, that is what I tell myself, at least. :-)

I've been writing a LOT lately, but before I get to that, I would like to say a little something about home life, fall, and just being with the one you love during this time of year. I gave you eye candy up front this time, and now "point of view" time comes a little later....and there is a reason.

This is the time of year that either is in panic mode - holidays around the corner, school schedules, exams, and shopping....or it is relax mode....soups to make, shopping not due yet, and the weather is just screaming for walks outside. I am the latter. This is the time of year that I start to "nest." Get out the cozy lap blankets, dig out the soup recipes, and take walks with the crunchy leaves. And holding hands. Fall is the holding hand season. Not too soon for gloves yet, but chilly enough that a warm hand is all the better. Just a thought - go grab a hand and if you need an excuse, just say you were chilly.

I took these photos just only a few days ago. My honey was up early to leave for fishing and I wanted to go, but I had deadlines to meet and I needed the house to myself to write and to think anyway. I enjoy being by myself at times. He had gone out to the car to load up, and while he was out, it was then that I noticed the light hitting the gourds and the chair in a certain way.

I was still in my pj's, my hair in my "thingy" as I call it (a stretchy headband) and no make-up. Barefoot, I padded over to my office and got out my camera and just went back to the gourds and started to arrange them a bit and started to shoot photographs. I did not hear Randy come back in right away - I was caught up in my own, little "gourd world." When I finally noticed him standing there, and he was waiting on me, I just put my camera down, gave him a kiss good-bye and he loaded up a few more things and on his way he went. And I back to my picture taking before I started my writing again.

About an hour later, my barber husband tells me he is well on his way, made his stop at Bass Pro, got his coffee and I can hear in his voice that all is well with the world. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was making green tea and cutting french bread and getting ready to start writing. He paused for a second and said, "You know, I thought it was kinda neat how you just got out your camera so early and just started to shoot that bowl..." I was caught off guard because this isn't something he usually says to me. I asked him what did he mean? He goes on to tell me that he felt it was "neat" how I can just walk into a room, see something special, and then just stop what I am doing, go get my camera and start shooting. "I never see stuff the way you do, it is kinda neat," he tells me over the phone. "I was wondering how you do that and this morning when I saw you, I was wondering what you were seeing."

I am a little stunned as I gnaw on some chewy french bread, while standing in my kitchen with bare feet.

My husband is impressed by me.

Now I know he has been impressed with my "stuff" before, but for some reason, this resonates with me differently. Maybe it is because I never gave it a second thought about pulling out my camera. Maybe because I just assumed that OF COURSE ANYONE would have noticed how the light hit that tiny little gourd stem just "like that." 

Or maybe, I just realized right then that when my barber husband came back into the house that morning as I was taking photos and thought he was waiting on me, he wasn't waiting on me to finish up, he was actually watching me. Watching and wondering.  For a moment, he was wondering what I was seeing through my lens that was so fascinating, that I didn't even bother to eat breakfast yet, or even put on socks, that I would stand on a cold floor because I didn't want to miss the light. 

And it is at those moments, when we can look at our loved ones and either really wonder at them with amazement or wonder what we ever had in common with them and brush them off so easily because our own agenda is more important at the moment. I am guilty of the latter so many times. Always in a rush, it seems. I hate to admit that, it isn't intentional, but it happens. But yet, I do find myself wondering so much about my barber husband, but I don't speak of it often enough.

For example, those "sheep" he shears all day - those haircuts. I will sit there, in the barbershop and read and chat and sometimes, a guy will enter with a head of hair that looked like has never seen a comb and I wonder, what the hell is Randy going to do with that?? And I will watch my barber husband as he sits this mess of guy in his chair, and as he puts the cape around his neck, and ask his usual question, "So, what are we doing today?" I think, What are we doing today? What are we doing today? Buzz that crap off? What else can you do??

So, I sit there and watch in wonder. And I get impressed. I wonder how he sees the haircut that is to be. I only see a billy goat. I wonder how he knows what "take a little off the top" means and how much is a "little"? But by the end of the shearing session, Mr. Billy Goat, looks like he has joined the human race. Oh, I do tell my handsome barber husband how much I love seeing what he can do with those clippers of his, but I should tell him more. He impresses me so often.

How we wonder at one another is a sign of affection. Wondering means we are curious enough about the other person in a good way. We want to know what makes them tick, how they think - all without judgement. We enjoy that person for who he/she is and have no desire to change them, only to get to know them, and without taking any of their glory, only being happy to be invited into their life.

So these above photos, are just a mental break from all my writing, and are simply a visual of how I see my world inside my tiny home on one given morning, while waiting for my husband to pack up for his fishing trip and while standing around in my pj's. And my husband, minding his own business, walks in and sees his crazy wife, bent over, studying a bowl of gourds, and he was just wondering what I was seeing behind my lens and how I manage to find it all so fascinating.  And now you can see what I was seeing as well and whether or not you find it fascinating, doesn't matter, it only matters to me that you found it (me) at all. :-)

I just wanted to share the moment that took place right at the beginning of this little photo session.

And now on with some news - and then off to bed! It is late and I must try to get some sleep - sleep is important to me lately and haven't been getting much.

Well, as pretty as that part of the house is, below is another case...this is how my last week or so has been spent, writing, in our little back area....not glam at all - but content.

You see, I wasn't lying about that "thingy" in my hair, no make-up, and my pj's and french bread. Oh, I have so much news, but I am so pooped. Well, for those of you that I am driving crazy about my website not being up, get in line....right behind me. My hard drive crashed about a month ago - and I don't even want to get into it. But it is from my new Mac - and in 25 years, I NEVER had a hard drive crash - and if I keep typing, I will just keep getting upset - but lucky me, the computer guys said, "this is so rare..." and my hard drive is STILL at the repair center and can't be totally recovered...and is looking like well over $2000 to recover data....okay, I am stopping now....

That is why I am in the back room, with all the windows so I can see the trees and leaves and not face the my huge desk top, that I have yet to RELOAD all the programs and everything and working off my laptop for now....

But you know...I am really pooped. I think I will have to finish this post another time. I know, I know, I never do this, but I am really tired.  I will say I am writing and interviewing chefs and food bloggers for a book coming out, Where Women Cook Celebrations - very exciting, but will talk about that and other news next time. To be honest, blogger cut me off and this is the SECOND time I am doing this post - so it should have been done about 2 hours ago. That is why I am pooped.

Okay, much more news later. Once I am caught up. I hope you enjoyed the photos. On a design note, for those of you who may feel the pressure to always go "all out" and decorate your home for family member or friends who are coming over to visit...just remember that sometimes, less is more. I know how much fun it is to decorate, believe me, I do love doing it. But sometimes, if life doesn't allow the time, or the energy, or even the expense, sometimes, keeping it really simple can be a quiet way to make a nice statement about a season. 

Let your heart and your words decorate the souls of your friends.

home is a place for lovely wondering...
house is a place to wonder where to put your butt to sit and feet to rest...

Don't kill yourself decorating for butts and feet...just my opinion, but what do I know, I just spent an hour taking photos of a bowl of bumpy gourds.... :-)

From my house to your house,



Unknown said...

I read every word!
Enjoy your day!

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Love your gourds and your warm and cozy...lovely home! Your photos are so inspiring! Your words are comforting and natural...hope you get some rest! Happy fall!

lori miller vintage design co said...

Love the chair. love it. love it. love it.

oh, how I wish my side streets offered treasures...

E. the new blogger layout is wonderful...I'm in over drive trying to get the Barn ready for the Christmas Premiere this weekend. The Retail world is crazy! You need 100 hours in a day. Well you know that and by the sounds of things the artist's world is just as crazy.

...waiting for more news

~L said...

You and your husband are just so adorable together. Isn't it wonderful when your partner 'gets' you? Sometimes when I'm in my own world doning what I do, I'll catch my husband just standing there smiling at me. It will be 31 years tomorrow and we still find new things we love about each other:)I LOVE that! I also love your bowl of gourds. Pumpkins are great but give me a big bowl of gourds and I am a happy lady;) And your 'road kill chic' chair is so cute. I can not wait to see what you one day do to it. I know it will be wonderful:) Have a great week:)
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Carol @ A Bird in Hand said...

Lovely post. I especially love the pictures that focus on the stem ends. Just beautiful! I have tell you that I was at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta a week or so ago, and I thought I saw you walking around with a camera crew. I did a double, then triple take! The woman's hair was quite similar to yours, but was not you. Darn it!!

The French Bear said...

Gorgeous photos of your fall collections....just love the hutch and the chair too!!!
Awesome, I loved reading every word and knowing that you wrote it twice cause of Blogger makes me love it even more, ha ha!!!! I am writing and scrap booking a cook book for my grand daughters...this has been an on going process, so I look forward to the magazine.
Margaret B

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Oh Elizabeth... I love your posts... You are always so real...Always make me chuckle yet remain in full amazement of the talent you have in your hands... Your barber hubby also feels it... Best wishes to you both....

Lana Manis said...

Elizabeth ~ I always enjoys reading your posts. You have so much to say and so many lovely photos to share! You touched my heart deeply when you talked about Randy and his work. That is how I feel about my husband and his work. When he comes home today from hanging by a rope on one of the tallest houses he has worked on, I will tell him again how impressed I am by his work, his dedication to quality and craftsmanship... and how much I love him! :)

Summerland Style said...

I loved this post . . . and OF COURSE, the first photo that suggested the curve of your "new" chair caught my eye! Great lines. Can't wait to see how she cleans up.


Gail said...

I made sure I had a fresh cup of coffee and a piece of toast before sitting down to read your post...lovely pictures, as always! I love what you say about being impressed about your mate, it can be eye-opening.
And after killing myself decorating over-the-top for Halloween, your "simple" philosophy is resonating with me too...:).
Time to pare down and decorate with less...

Kelley - a very JunqueyGal! said...

So cool that your hubby gets your view of the world :)

Shawn Seay said...

LOVE the chair, especially since it is a road side find! LOVE even more the story of your hubby watching romantic. beautiful photos!! Have a lovely day:-)You inspire me!!!!

heather jenkinson said...

Oh, I LOVED that! You are something, the way you write, it's always so, so much and yet, never quite enough. Do you know what I mean?

Your words touched me. I am not married, have no husband or children but I recognised a truth in what you said and I too am always 'too busy' even to just sit down and chat with my sister. I tend to assume that I know what she's going to say and so I never give her a chance to surprise me. I'm going to spend more time just observing the people I love and the things they do because I can tell how touched you were that your husband just stopped and watched you. I think there's something so loving and accepting about that. Gorgeous story, thank you for sharing it.

You know, a couple of times, when I've been cycling around London, I've thought about the post you wrote about your Mother. I want to find it and read it again, that was beautiful, too. (One day I might write one about mine. Maybe.)

Oh and bad, bad luck about your hard drive - what a disaster, I feel for you, really, but on the bright side, if that's you first thing in the morning, then you look great!


I love your pictures and "atmosphere" in house, details are so beautiful. I discovered a very nice blog !

PCovi said...

you funny girl!
those punkin stems were too cute.
and the roadkill how did you say it... well that chair is like one of the carol bolton ones, isn't it? in shape?
score, barber!

Donna Reyne' said...

I love the knobby gourds...what amazing texture!
And I completely get why you have a more minimal approach to your own of the many things that happen in this field of work...your around it all day and truly need your space to be a relief as well as a cocoon!
Yours is beautiful!
I am excited about this book you are working on and look forward to more info!
Well, I must get back to work...Saturday is the store's Open House and I still have more to do than will get done!
We are expecting a few flurries...pray they stay away until after...the event is over!

Terri Smith said...

As I crawled downstairs this morning, still in my p.j.s, the sun beaming through my dirty (oops, I mean vintage) windows, I grabbed a cup of tea and plopped down at my MAC. I thought I would check out The AoE and, as always, I had to laugh at the irony....Your words always strike a cord with me! I've been known to get up in the middle of the night, drop everything, stop the car, crawl into the attic, grab my camera, do whatever it takes, where ever and whenever an idea or inspiration strikes!! And my husband usually looks at me in amazement (or maybe he's worried about my sanity)-but he's always smiling. Thanks Elizabeth, for putting into words those simple things that are a part of a creative life and for inspiring me to notice all of the "little things" about my home and family that are so important!!
Love your pics, your words, your thoughts and look forward to seeing more, more, more!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Everyone,

Taking a breather and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your comments. I really love the fact that you actually read my stuff. It touches my heart that my words mean something to you.

Yes, my Road Kill Street Chic chair is great - isn't it? We were really "white trash with taste" for a while and had it on our front porch - to air out - and Randy could sit in it to smoke his cigar, before I let it in the house. He thinks it is funny that I won't allow the cats on it. But I hate cat hair. :-)

And yes, I am so glad you all commented on the simple look - I really do love all the decorating that I see in blog land - SO BEAUTIFUL and talented. But I just felt "quiet composure" for this season.

Hmmm...lots of terms....Road Kill Street Chic, White Trash with Taste and Quiet Composure...maybe I should start a "What the hell is Elizabeth talking about?" book! Haha!

Thanks for viewing my dusty windows, bumpy gourds, and reading my long readers...I love'em!


Decor To Adore said...

Oh I am having hard drive woes to so I feel your pain.

Your decor is simple and elegant.

the gypsy chick said...

oh elizabeth i really love your post. i am a budding photographer & just love all of your images. i am also a girl who is a sucker for little abandoned chairs. every time i see one on the side of the road, my children huff in the back of the car. "oh mom, not another one..."

i wish you many blessings on your writing, but also enjoyed the little mini breaks for photography.

i am looking forward to discovering more of your blog...


clustres said...

That is some wonderful photography! I did notice the silhouette of the chair so I was glad you elaborated on it! And by the way, I noticed a platter that I believe greeted your guests at your wedding...not that I was there...but I have really enjoyed your wedding photos!

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth, I was so happy to see you on Design Sherpa thank you for that! I loved this post, you're so right about those moments that we let pass by too often. Thanks for bringing us into your cozy kitchen with you and that sweet hubby of yours where lots of magic was happening! I know the website will be wonderful, no pressure to hurry, enjoy your day! xoc

Tamra said...

Elizabeth, once again a lovely way to start my day, reading your post.

The pictures were beautiful. The "road kill" chair is perfect and your home is refreshingly calm and soothing without everything being white. Nice.

As I work with my husband this weekend to finally create my studio space, which also happens to be in my kitchen, go figure, I will think of you and your creative spirit and good humor appreciation for what is real, family and home.

Thank you and have a lovely day.

The Gilded Barn

VintageLalo said...

Hi Elizabeth,
You and your blog and all your work in print have been the most inspiring to me...I wait for every post and love the work you and DD have collaborated on...I'm patiently waiting for Your Book to learn more from your soulfilled aesthetic...Heartfelt Thanks, Lalo.

Free Art Printables said...

Some of the best writing is done in the worst clothes! I love you fall pictures. That little pumpkin with acne just captures my heart . :)

michiganhome said...

Hi Elizabeth! I found you WAY back when you posted your "soup" kitchen on Rate My Space, and I had never bookmarked your blog so it's been a while since I've been here. I loved this post; I too am that person who could spend hours catching the light. I also wanted to tell you that I'm mentioning you in my comment to Janell's post today on her blog, (, because I'm pretty sure it was your site where I read the thoughts asking why it is we don't appreciate aging in people the way we do in furniture.
All the best-

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Just luscious, Elizabeth. Funny enough that I JUST finished doing a book page pumpkin and then I saw the gorgeous gourd shots bathed in that lovely buttery light. Hope you don't mind, but now I'm inspired to paint that bowl of bumpy, pretty gourds. Maybe several times. Loved your thoughts on your husband, you lucky woman. I've been married for 40 years to just such an appreciative man and that is priceless. Ah, comment turns essay! Love your posts, keep your head up, sweetie.

Unknown said...

Lovely to 'see' you again! I've been busy too...must be the time of year. I'm just catching up on my reading.
I read and write this as I watch 'White Christmas' on my DVR. (I ouldn't help it...just seemed right to plug it in this evening.) Not only do I enjoy every photo with every color/perspective and focus...but I enjoy reading every darn word! (I got so engrossed, I had to rewind my movie.)
Never stop...we're all here in the wings waiting for another installment...

Lisa Ann said...

Those photos are so rich in color ... just beautiful! I want to know the camera that you use. lisa

Marcie said...

Silence is golden and where greatness occures, and moments happen........I had a moment recently,,,I could feel my husband softly watching me. I said "what?", he said, "I like talking to you, and just being with you"...destroyed me,,,I mean I don't think a more compliment could be goes in deep and stays there. I can still feel the tears well up as I think of these moments...sigh....

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Marcie,

What a perfect compliment and testament to your relationship with your husband. :-) He obviously adores you and there isn't anything in the world that could top that.

Just two nights ago, Randy and I were watching a movie, called, "Grownups," (I think, terrible at recalling names, titles) and anyway, there was this one scene, where this guy (grown up) grabbed a rope from a tree to swing out into a lake (spur of the moment thing) and he decided it was not a good idea, and anyway, I just found the whole scene just hilarious because it went on and on how he hit a tree, crashed, hit more trees, rolled down a hill and so on...and I was just laughing and laughing so loud...well, I looked over and Randy was watching me and I said, "what?" And he laughed and said he loved my laugh and how cute he thought it was when I squinched up my eyes when I laughed.

Now, he has seen me laugh 100's of times, but for whatever reason, he enjoyed watching me laugh over such a silly scene...I found it so funny, I had him rewind it, and watched it again...and yup...Randy watched ME again, roll over with laughter over the scene...he still didn't watch the scene, which is why I wanted to watch it again, so he could watch it, not me, but then he told me, "you are much more fun to watch..." which of course, melted my heart...

Thanks for sharing your story about your lovely husband!

Elizabeth :-)

savvycityfarmer said...

as I sit in my flannels and no make up .. oh and my MAC, watching the chicago bears ....
thoughts of you drift my way.

I'm slowly putting up Christmas and after reading here, I'm ready for a goodwill run!
not to shop, but to drop!

I'd love a good long chat ...

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, Well I went and did it. I staeted a blog. Can you believe. I did face book last month and today I did a blog. I did it all by myself and it is not the best, But I am sure I can get better,Drop by a see, please leave a comm. and follow. I would appreciate any help. Thanks, Merry Christmas,richard

elena nuez said...

I just found a treasure, and it is fantastic!!!!
I love love love all things here!

Farmgirl Susan said...

I love that gorgeous china cabinet! :)

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