Friday, June 27, 2014

Friendly Friday Is At My House Today!

I bet you thought I was pulling a 'Genevieve' and not posting today!  But, I did not forget, I am just a little late getting my act together.

This Friendly Friday is at my house.  Come on in!  There is something special I have been wanting to show you.

I think of my dad, Dick Ervin, and my in-laws, Madeline and Tony, everyday.  On an etagere in my sun room, I keep tangible reminders of the beautiful lives they led. 

...the etagere from Ballard Designs filled with memories of my dad and in-laws... father's ashes are in a crystal vase I received as a wedding gift.  At the bottom of the vase are stones from Lake Coeur D'Alene in Idaho, one of my father's favorite places... to my father's ashes, is a verse by Victor Hugo, in my mother-in-law's handwriting.  She gave this to my sons as inspiration for how to approach life...

...on the bottom shelf is a statue of the 'Infanta Jesus' which my mother-in-law kept on her dresser.  The statue is hollow and filled with handwritten prayers she wrote for family; many are more than 50-years-old!  The Lladro 'Mother and Infant' figure was a gift to my mother-in-law from her youngest son and my husband, Rick.  The two photos are my sons, Richard and Marc, whom my mother-in-law called her beautiful treasures...

 As you can all see, I need to dust my etagere!

Until next Friday!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Farnsworth House: A Modernist Jewel Box@ Home

Hello and welcome to Friendly Friday!  Today we are visiting the Farnsworth House, a gorgeous modern jewel box designed by Mies Van Der Rohe as a country retreat for his client, Dr. Edith Farnsworth.  A 1400-square-foot, one-room house on a 60-acre plot in Plano, Illinois, it was completed in 1951 and has been named a National Historic Landmark.   The idea of the glass house was pioneered by Mies van der Rohe, who is known, along with Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, as one of the fathers of modern architecture.  I also love the famous quotes "less is more" and "God is in the details", which are attributed to Mies.

I typically do not like modern design or architecture, but I always make exceptions for the truly beautiful.  Farnsworth House is a shining example of the magnificence of modernist ideals when executed to perfection.  All photos are by Lee F. Mindel for Architectural Digest.  Before photographing Farnsworth House, Mr. Mindel had poured over plans and previous photos, yet he said, "[t]he actual physical experience of walking through the property and spending several hours in the building moved me to tears." 

Enjoy this lovely home!

See you next Friday!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Friendly Friday - My Neighbor's Beautiful Updates to Her Jewel Box® Home

For this Friendly Friday we are visiting my neighbor's house.  She recently made some lovely changes to her already gorgeous home.  I am so jealous!  And I have to point out that she and her husband live here with their three young children - two of whom are boys!  My house never looked this good when my boys were young!

Let's take a look at the changes.  The entire first floor was refreshed by staining the original parquet a dark espresso.  This is a great inexpensive update that takes any house out of the 1950's and into 2014!

The living room was painted a slate blue gray named 'Gunpowder'.  In my neighbor's own words" the room feels so cozy, yet regal. The color is a great palette for the white mantle, white chairs and moss green couch. In the winter, the fire looks amazing against the color. In the daytime, there is so much light from the bay windows that it never looks too dark."

Here is the upstairs bathroom that recently got a complete facelift by adding basketweave marble floors, a marble top white vanity with sink and marble mouldings above the subway tile walls.  All the women Jewel Box® readers can understand how my neighbor feels about her new bathroom, "It may be the only bathroom we have upstairs, but at least I can pretend I am at the Four Seasons during my 6 minutes of quiet time in the shower....

The outdoor patio received the most recent 'redo' when bluestone slating was installed along with a raised bluestone seating area.  My neighbor could not stop smiling while describing how this space will be used in the coming warm weather months, "With my planters and bistro lights, the patio will become our outdoor living room."

Until next week!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Friendly Friday - Trading in the Big House for a Jewel Box® with Room for the Grandchildren

Here is my good friend's house.  She just moved into this little gem from the large home where she raised her three children.  She is now an empty nester, but you can see her priorities are in the right place.  There is not much furniture in her new home, but she is ready for the grandchilren to stop by!


No furniture in the dining room except for her grandson's high chair.  She has her priorities straight!

 The breakfast nook next to the pantry cabinets. 

 A housewarming gift on a side table.

 The view to the living room through the French door next to the kitchen.

 Like the dining room, the only furniture in the living room is for for her grandson.  Grandmother and grandson rocking chairs side-by-side, next to the fireplace.  Perfect for story-time.

 The passage way to the stairs up to the second floor.

There are beautiful hardwood floors throughout the house.  The lovely grain of the wood is especially visible on the stairs.


 The blue bathroom at the top of the stairs.

 The blue bedroom.

The antique childrens tea set in the blue room.

The gray guest room.

 The master bedroom with a floor to ceiling bay window.  The light in this room is glorious!

 A close up of the lamp shade on the bedroom lamps.  The beading is lovely!

The antique cherry cabinet with a collection of miniature jewelry boxes on top.

Now this is what I call an organized closet!

Until next Friday!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Friendly Fridays Are Back!

Hi All!  I am bringing back 'Friendly Fridays' for the summer.  My goal is to post once each week - on Friday - with a visit to a smaller home.  Let's see if I can do it, my blogging is definitely sporadic at best! 

Our home this Friday is in Stockholm. Living spaces there are traditionally very small.  Pastels and cream colors are used liberally to create visually clean rooms that 'capture' light, making areas inviting during both the short summer months and long winters.  Photos are from 'My Scandinavian Home'.  Enjoy!

Happy Friday!


Friday, May 9, 2014

The Jewel Box® Home Book is now on Amazon!

Fun news! Jewel Box® Home has been listed on Amazon! I am a teeny-tiny author, so to find it on Amazon, you have to search both my name and Jewel Box® Home. I am currently Amazon's worst-selling author, only one book sold. LOL! But that still put's me on the Amazon map.  Click here for a link to the book.  

Thanks to all for stopping by!  


Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's a Book! The Jewel Box® Home: My Life in a Smaller House

The Jewel Box® Home book has been published!  And I owe it all to Laney, my online angel!  Laney, you are on my 'Thank You' page at the end of the book.  Your emails have kept me going!  Some day, I am coming to see you!

To see and order the book, click here.  My apologies about the pricing.  I had hoped it would be lower, but I was told that photos are very expensive to publish!  Soon Jewel Box® will be available on the iPad which is much cheaper. 

As for me, I know I have not posted in a very long time.  After all these years, I realize I will probably never be a good blogger.  Life just keeps getting in the way.  But I will still make an appearance from time-to-time. 

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments and kind words! Big hugs to all of you!