Fabulous Finds Fridays....Ice Cream Spoons

I Scream, You Scream -- WE all scream for ice cream spoons...

With the weather being so nice, its hard not to want to stop by the ice cream shop. These wonderful little demi-tasse spoons are quite unlike anything I've seen. The bright -happy candy colored spoons are great for ice cream, condiments and what-ever your little heart desires. At only $4 each - what a fun and unique gift!

And you guessed it...they are available at Table Matters.


Shoe Flower Arrangement

I was asked to do an arrangement for the grand opening of Gus Mayer's shoe department at the Summit. Our inspiration was a wire high heel...see how I combined these three containers to make a beautiful spring arrangement.

Step One: Double line the moss container with a garbage bag and fill with a few packing peanuts (for drainage) and fill wih potting soil.


Step Two: Cut oasis block to the size of the shoe. Any sort of knife will just cut right through it. And secure the shoe to the oasis with u-shaped wire pins.

Step Three: Place the shoe in the middle of the moss planter. Line the shoe with sheet moss to fill the wire form.

Step Four: Begin adding live plants. I selected ferns, tulips and hyacinths. I selected certain areas of the container to plant - so the shoe would still be seen from certain points of view.

Step Five: I then begin adding some cut plants/flowers that I placed in floral water tubes. I kept the stems cut low, so they would just be a ground cover around the remainder of the base planter.

Step Six: Begin adding flowers in floral water tubes to the high heel as well. And then secure and cover with  sheet moss.

Step Seven: Cut the extra liner back and tuck into the planter. Then begin adding mood moss to finish off around the flowers and cover any oasis that is showing. {Note: Its best to wet the mood moss first and then squeeze it like a sponge. It cleans it and makes it more pliable to work with and mold around plantings.}

Step Eight: I then finished of the moss planter or shoe box with a pretty blue ribbon and attached with pearl tipped pins. The shoe department has sky blue accents, so I wanted to pull that into the compostion.

Step Nine: I then used the same method of planting the wire handbag. I lined it with moss and filled with potting soil and peanuts. Wrapped the handle in the blue ribbon and placed some of the pink spray roses in the floral water tubes.

Step Ten: I've added a white primrose the the handbag and also lined the outer edge of the high heel with satin white ribbon to highlight the lines of the shoe. As well as a sassy bow to the heel in the sky blue

And Voila!!!
A wire shoe rising from a beautifully flowered shoe box with a coordinating handbag!

 Hope you'll go by and see the new Gus Mayer, as well as my arrangement!


Becoming the MRS...

My husband and I married in May of 2010. And after 20-some-odd years of being Harriet Luce, I must convert my entire life's business and social worlds to my new name -- Alley. How much fun?!!

Of course the first and easiest to change was my email and following that my signature on my work email. Not to continue to bore you with the details - but next there was social security, driver's license, bank, credit cards, insurance, etc! And everyone wanted the information in a different format and had different requirements (and many got my name wrong at first - Harriet Herndon Alley- yes, they really dropped my maiden last name and just added my new one.- even a bank that my family owns got it wrong and my high school!)

{On a side note: there is a website called Miss Now Mrs that will change your name and I had considered it for only $29.95. Maybe I should have gone that route!!}

So now for the fun part of it, stationary and casual calling cards. After searching online and not really finding what my little heart was desiring - I went to etsy of course and found many designs that I had a hard time deciding between!!

First off, calling cards with just my name for birthday gifts and baby showers and informal gifts. Found these precious cards from siskastudio. I loved the botanical inspiration of course and the fun colors AND the paper was a beautifully, textured heavy stock. Just used my first one, last weekend for a birthday happy! These also came packaged in a little box with a ribbon around it - cute little gift - especially for a newly wed!

Next was some stationary for the both of us to use. I didn't want a monogrammed design, since I wanted us to both be able to use it. I found this chic and simple (read: not overly girly) design from DotsAndDahlias.


And finally, some fun stickers with both of our names for gifts, baked goods, etc....Still anxiously checking the mailbox everyday for these, but here is the proof. I chose option A.

What do you think of my choices? Where is your favorite local paper spot? What about online?


Fabulous Finds Fridays...Shagreen Placemats

So these two placemats look great, right? I love the texture of this shagreen mat. Its a great color and the round is a super versatile size. One of these mats is $62 and the other is $14.
So what's the difference...They look the same right?

The one on the left is made by Sybaritic. The one on the right is made by CLI Group.

Above: Close-ups of the Sybaritic placemat. It has a nice weight with a hard felt backing to protect your table from heat, water, etc. And then the beautiful detailing of the edge with the bronze ball chain.
 This is why these are $62 each.

Above: Close-ups of the CLI placemat. It has the same great fabric on the top, but its lacking the weight and detail edging. Its still a great look though if you want the look for less - a whole $48 less!!!

 Come on by Table Matters in Mountain Brook village to see both of these beautifully chic options for your table. And did I mention, that you can just sponge them off to clean both of them!


What Makes You Happy?

Every morning I see this giclee print that we bought on our most recent trip to the Keys in November and it makes me happy. Its tranquil, beautiful and relaxing.

We purchased it at the Rain Barrel Artists' Village. Its near Islamorada and at first glance this might be somewhere where I would NOT stop hence I made my husband take a hard right to whip into the gravel parking lot graced with yard art, wind socks, etc. Had I not recognized the name from my friend's email, we would've keep on crusin' in our rental red mustang convertible.

Just walk through the first section and don't even look = lots of shells for sale and airbrush art. In the back are a few individual galleries (and some really neat pottery) and this is where I happened upon John David Hawver's work. I felt in love instantly and knew it was meant to be since I didn't purchase anything on our honeymoon in Key West - after dragging Rogers to every gallery there.

The giclee that I purchased is called "Reflective Morning". I love the light in it and the feeling of peace it gives me when I see it every morning. For more on the John David Hawver go here: http://bellsouthpwp.net/b/o/bottomups/index.htm

So What Sight Makes You Happy?


Not Red or Pink?!

A very cheery Valentine's Day it was as my husband and I celebrated our first holiday as a married couple! We did not do the traditional - red roses or even pink for that matter.  Although I insist that he not buy flowers on Valentine's - since the prices are inflated the MOST that week because of the high demand (the inner florist in me speaking). So I tell him that he really shouldn't and that I'd rather have some randomly another time.

I arrive home and have a dozen yellow and a dozen white tulips on my kitchen island in a vase. (A.He has learned over the years that I would rather him not buy a new vase, so he picked one out of my shed full of containers. B. He has learned to not get them at the florist anymore...since I would rather arrange them and disperse them around the housemyself.Smart Man!) How convenient that the wholesale florist is out his back door from work?!

So I took the yellow ones and put them in an ironstone pitcher that was a wedding gift (and actually was given to me with flowers gracing it!)

And a few of the white ones in my favorite Simon Pearce vase next to our wedding picture in our bedroom.

For Rogers I got some bookplates. As a child growing up as a son of a librarian, he loved having book plates for his favorite books. And still being an AVID reader - it seemed appropriate. I was able to locate this couple in Austria that still made them with the gummed backs (like an old stamp).  Here is a link to their etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/people/Exlibrisstudio .

For dinner, I went with my inner cajun and made grillades and grits! And for dessert - dreamcakes wedding cupcakes!!! Happy Valentine's to All and especially to my husband Rogers!!!


Parker Turns 5!!!

I can't believe it - Parker and I have been a twosome for about 5 years now...and Rogers joined us about 2 years ago. Stay tuned for details about Parker's 5th Birthday - We'll be having a party soon!!!



Well I've finally gotten around to re-staining the 'new' kitchen table. Wiped down the piece with very fine steel wool and stain and then wiped with a clean cloth. How easy is that? I used minwax's English Chestnut wood stain from Little Hardware. And you can also peak at my new slate floors here too!!!


Fabulous Finds Fridays....The Illustrious Ghost Chair

I'm sure everyone is very familiar with Phillippe Starck's Ghost Chair.  A comfortable chair in transparent and coloured polycarbonate in the Louis XV style: it is the quintessence of baroque revisited to dazzle, excite and captivate. They have made a resurgence in the past few years and with that has come many "copy cats."

Below is the original that is available in clear or batch dyed polycarbonate. 

The ones manufactured by Kartell can run you around $400 for EACH armchair. 

Table Matters in Mountain Brook, Ala. carries a variety of the "copy cats" as well - ranging in price from around $250-350each. 

But my more surprising find of the week - was a variety of these chairs that I found online at Kmart!!!!

 These Mia armchairs are available in ivory. A set of 2 for $323.99 
A nice change from the frequently seen clear. 

And the Baxton Studio Accent Chair. Set of 2 for $277.19. 
 Lino Set of 2 Chairs. $200.69
 Minotti dining chairs Set of 2. $233.99

AND FINALLY - my favorite spin on the acrylic chair...
the Lumina armchairs. Set of 2 for $233.99. 
AND these items ship free from kmart.com with Shipvantage!


Rehabbing an Old Piece of Furniture

We've just redone our kitchen floors, so of course as we started to move the furniture back in - and my wheels started turning. I thought... I can rearrange and revitalize my look. The island's position is pretty standard, so that will stay. Then the rest I didn't put back in. I've been thinking about a new piece under the window. A really more functional, utilitarian piece. Before there was a demilune that didn't really hold much - no drawers and limited top space. Just so happened that I went to visit my parents in Mobile during the middle of my moving back in. I found a great table with two drawers that was my grandparents. I love antiques! This piece just needs a little bit of a rehab. The top on the left side has some curious white marks - and they aren't rings?

Stay tuned to see how my refinishing went.