Style Teachers ~ Favorite Design Magazines

The giant stash of Romantic Homes magazines ūüėČ

Magazines have been my biggest 
style and interior design teachers
ever since my mother first shared
magazine with me! 

My sister-in-law Linnea may have left 
those first three copies with my mom and dad 
at their home in Connecticut ~ I don’t remember.
I DO remember that Victoria
was the first home decor subscription 
I fell in-love with!
Victoria Magazine
photo courtesy of Hoffman Media

Every home decor magazine 
out there

has passed through this house
at one time or another
many of them that have stayed…

And, I HAVE reread most issues over and over
seeing new ideas
new inspiration
each time I’d peruse their glossy pages.
{okay, some drool may have occurred, too.}

The newest edition {April 2016} of Romantic Homes magazine
photo courtesy of Engaged Media

I have every issue of
Romantic Homes magazine
except for a few July issues
{I wasn’t a big fan of the red, white and blue issues ~
being a Shabby Chic/French kinda girl, though
I am a die-hard American and I like my flag!}

Romantic Homes magazine is one of my all-time favorites.
I’ve loved all the editors
over the years and they became “my friends”¬†
without them knowing me personally.
(has this happened to you, too?)
I was saddened recently when 
Jacqueline deMontravel
announced her time was done at the magazine,
Not to fear as she is still piloting several other

courtesy of Engaged Media

Happy Days for me when my favorite
shelter magazine editors are still writing
and I can continue following their style!
{I promise I.am.not.a.stalker!} 
Just happy reading their columns and 
seeing what’s the latest and loveliest
home decor out there today!

Then there’s¬†Prairie Style
founded and edited by the wonderful
Fifi O’Neill
whom I had the pleasure of meeting on
Valentine’s Day 2015 at¬†
in Ocean Beach, San Diego.
{I can’t believe it’s already been more than a year now!}

photo courtesy of Country Sampler Presents Prairie Style

Ms. O’Neill is founder and editor of Prairie Style magazine, a special publication put out by Country Sampler magazine

<span class="a-declarative" data-a-modal="{"name":"imageGallery","header":"Images (1)","popoverLabel":"See all images","content":"




\n \n


\n \n \n \n \n

\n \n\n\n\nP.register(\”ImageGalleryMarkup\”);\n”}” data-action=”a-modal” id=”imgThumbs” style=”box-sizing: border-box;”>

You can read all about Fifi and 
my trip to Vignettes


And, I might as well mention
my absolute ~favorite~magazine~ever~since~it~came~to~stores
Romantic Country
of which Ms. Fifi O’Neill is also editor:¬†

I wait patiently
{okay, not really}
for the next volume to come out of Romantic Country magazine
then I race home, pour a cup of tea,
and wander off into dreamland!
My small goals?
To be able to write and photograph for these favorite

What I love about shelter magazines is 
all the photographs! Seeing how homeowners
put their rooms together, what draperies they used
and where they put their furniture.
It’s like Big Girl Doll House Decorating
for me!

Then there’s that “thing”
that HAS to happen…

Once a year I agonize over 
going through the monster collection
and culling issues I think I will never read again.
Am I sure?
What if right after I send them on their way
I realized there’s a photograph I needed¬†
for my scrapbook of inspiration?!
As tough as this always is
it’s so necessary because those three big bookcases
that lined our hallway downstairs couldn’t hold any more
decorating magazines
and Hubby threatened to go through
them for me!

The good thing is there are always
new home decor magazines out every month at our local
bookshops and grocery stores
to fill~in those gaps left after
“old friends”
have left the fold!!!

In closing, I have loved 
Country Living, both the 
American and the British versions.
I’ve kept Christmas issues from
these and from
Country Homes and Traditional Home.
I’m sure new styles and magazines
unknown will be published.
But I will always have a special place in my heart for
these beloved magazines
whose pictures I’ve shared with you.

I’ve learned soooo much and¬†
have enjoyed seeing
how people’s rooms and homes¬†
have evolved
as favorite homeowners’ rooms¬†are shared¬†
across magazines, time and again.

So, keep on teaching, dear magazines
and we’ll keep on reading and dreaming!
Blessings to you,
Barb ūüôā

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think on these things. ~ Phillipians 4:8, Berean Study Bible

***Please share with me your favorite magazines and why
it is you like them!
I love hearing from you and am hopeful
I’ve gotten most of the bugs out of the “comments” section
though it still wants to post your comments¬†as me…
I’ll keep working on that. ¬†ūüôā

Sharing with:
Thoughts of Home on Thursday ~ Decor to Adore

Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage

Share Link Inspire ~ The Crafty Blog Stalker


Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Twas the Night Before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Except Mom 
who was up sneaking around
putting out presents galore…

The stockings were hung 
by the chimney with care…

And, the children were all nestled, 
all snug in their beds,
while visions of candy cones
danced in their heads…

***With apologies to Clement C. Moore

Merry Christmas to all
to all a goodnight!


Sunday Sentiments…Fruit of the Spirit

My Sunday Sentiment 

this week is being thankful for the 
blessings of fruit trees!

Our dwarf orange is producing another bountiful
¬†year of wonderful fruit even with last winter’s¬†
lack of rains and water restrictions 
since last January!
The oranges are just ripening
and I was able to pick some early ones
just this week.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 
~ Paul to the Galatians, Galatians 5:22-23

Also out in our backyard, we have a 
lemon and a lime tree.
(You can just see the lemon in the left photo, top, above.)
Sometimes the lime gets cross-pollinated 

as we¬†can’t¬†get the trees¬†
far enough apart in the backyard, so we
often get limons, 

but they still taste good!

The trees over by my crosswalk in late December ~ they are lovely in each season but especially in fall!

Mr. Yoda enjoying the leaves outfront!
Faux fruits of a different kind! ¬†ūüėČ

My daughter went with me to Lowe’s¬†one day¬†
in the spring and we came across 
some apple trees.

She was excited as the type available
was one which could 

withstand our summer heat ~

so we brought one home.

It is still a baby

no fruit on it yet!

She is waiting with bated breath.

The apple tree has to be a little older and
it needs colder winters
to get it producing.

We will be putting ice on it, like our lilac, 
to help it along.


Later on, in late January to mid-February,
I go through
orange withdrawl
when our tree runs out.
while there is fruit,
life is good!

Bountiful harvest blessings to you
this month
and through the Holidays!

Sunday Sentiments

What are you thankful for
this fall season?

I am thankful that I have a job I really like.
I am thankful for my family
and our home.

I’m also thankful for some money in the bank.

I am thankful knowing that our Creator 
is watching over us
and is our Guide.
I‘m thankful for long-overdue honey-do projects
finally getting done around the house
(our most recent: taking out and regrouting
the downstairs shower! Yeah!)

But mostly ~
I am also thankful for you, 
my friends and family!

photo taken through our front livingroom window

I was thinking of a series of postings 
Sunday Sentiments
each Sunday here 

in November.

November is such a lovely time with leaves 
changing to their fall colors,
the morning air turning crisp,
the days are still warm here in 

Southern California,
the evenings turn cooler, too.

Sunday Sentiments will share
French Ethereal’s lovely¬†table settings,
tea times,
and more
lovely fall photos from our area

since it is Sunday,
some lovely Scripture.

Today’s verse is:
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8  


Our fall and winter china ~ The Friendly Village by Johnson Brothers, England and one of my favorite engraved “B” teaspoons found at flea market!

Blessings to you on this wonderful
Sunday evening!

Feel free to share this post, thank you!


How to Repair Shutters

It’s easy to repair shutters that have lost their staples ~ just wood glue, new staples, and some painter’s tape to hold it all together.

Recently I decided to fix our downstairs shutters.
We have really tall 3″ shutters on doors over our
12′ long triple picture window in the family room.
They are wonderful at blocking out the heat in the summer
and wonderful at letting in light in the winter.

But, over 22 years from when the original homeowners, and now our family,
have lived in this house,
these shutters needed some TLC.

I gathered wood glue, a pair of pliers and half-inch horseshoe staples.
I used the pliers to carefully pull off some staples.
These I gently tapped into the holes of the shutters’ slats,¬†
using wood glue to secure them.

You have to also keep in mind NOT to push them in¬†too far¬†or they won’t¬†
open and close properly.
Check one of your good shutters to see how far 
to set in your staples. 
Also, if your lifting bar that connects to your shutter doors has
fallen off 
(like one of ours had),
then glue and tap staples into the bar first,
thread the opposite staple through the bar-staples,
and glue and tap them into place on the shutter door.
This took quite a bit of time, 
but it wasn’t hard!
I used painter’s tape to hold the staples and cracked wood pieces¬†
securely together.
After 24 hours, 
take off the painter’s tape and lightly prime and repaint
all the filled parts, including the staples if need be. 
Paint any other parts of your shutters, too, 
that need a touch-up while you’re at it.

You can see the cracked slat above. After glueing, priming and repainting, now you can’t even tell.

Another repair DONE!
Happy woodworking,
Barb ūüôā
I’d love it if you’d “Share” and “Re-post” my blogs. Thank-you!!!¬†


Tea with the Duchess

Wedgwood’s Sarah’s Garden tea set and tray ~ not named for the current Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson (and formerly married to Prince Andrew, Duke of York), but for the first Duchess also named Sarah. Sarah Ferguson was spokesperson for Wedgwood back in the early 2000s.

Okay, I admit it. I am a completely 
nuts for royalty!

When my friend Cheryl and I found out that Macy’s 
was hosting Sarah, the Dutchess of York,
in a meet and greet back in 2001
We Had to Go!!!

I am not a royalty snob but I followed 
Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, 
Prince Charles and the whole crew 
back then 
buying and collecting
People and Majesty magazines 
whenever they had 
Princess Di
on the cover. 
She was my age and generation, 
after all…

I, like many of you, was devastated when 
Princess Diana 
was killed in that terrible auto accident in France.
I had seen her wedding to Prince Charles
when I was 19 years old
and in Germany on an 
exchange program.

From Leverkusen, at 2:00 o’clock
on a Saturday afternoon,
the family let me take over the television and 
stare dreamily at the screen as Diana, 
shy and beautiful in her voluminous gown and 
sparkling from the camera lights
bouncing off the pearls and diamonds 
in her tiara, 
she married her prince.


Flash forward to 2001…

Meeting the Duchess was like getting to meet
Princess Diana for me… 
She was wonderful! 
Gracious and funny, Sarah Ferguson 
gave a talk about taking china tea service 
wherever she goes
as she really dislikes taking tea 
in a styrofoam cup!
(Her lady in waiting would prepare tea for her
when there wasn’t a nice tea service around.)

She and the representative from Wedgwood
showed us all how strong their bone china is ~ 
that you can quite literally flip a teacup over
and stand on it!
It will not break.
It was really cool when the man did that. 
Everyone seemed quite impressed!
Has something to do with the way the cup is shaped,
and the strength of bone china. 
We still were impressed!

Having the same first name as the first Duchess of York
was one of the reasons Wedgwood asked Sarah to be 
their spokesperson and to help introduce and promote 
this ethereal line of botanical china.

Personally, I love the realistic look of the
fruits and flowers, butterflies and bees!
Soooo cute!

I use this china a lot at my teas. The salad plates are
standards in my cupboard for serving cake, muffins, whatever!
They are used daily.

The teacups come out when I want to visit with
one friend and have a 
heart to heart.

Pumpkin scented candles ~ replacing some of my usual vanilla ones. These are my favorite candleholders!
My friend Kathy gave me the front-left, cream-colored one with the roses and tied tassels.
The others I have found in various shops like Tuesday Morning and Home Goods.

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, signed three pieces of china for me: this large serving tray, the teapot, and another tray.  Wedgwood uses a technique involving vodka to loosen up the glazing. Once loose, one can “write” on china with a certain type of pen, then each piece has to cure for a month or so to “harden.”

This Wedgwood Sarah’s Garden teapot holds eight cups of hot tea which is quite good when serving

many thirsty friends.

This week we are having super hot days ~ over

100 degrees Fahrenheit.So, it was nice this afternoon to come home
in the rain with the weather slightly cooled

and have a nice cup of hot tea! 

An ethereal piece ~ so lovely!

I am looking forward to many more fall days with tea and teacups, and you know Sarah’s Garden
will be involved in there somehow…

For some of my other posts covering all subjects
royal ~ click here and here.

~ As always, please feel free to “Re-post,” “Share,” and “Pin” from my blog, thanks!!! ~

Happy tea to you all!