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July 28, 2018

A Dinner at The School House

Last weekend we hosted a dinner at The School House.  My Aunt and Uncle were visiting, so we treated everyone to a dinner (mostly) from our garden.  Dinner at the school house is a unique setting - it feels sort of like a country house, but also a little like a store.  We had plenty of wine and music and a delicious fresh menu that tasted like summer.

It was mostly adults (except for Emma and her baby cousin), so I took the opportunity to set a pretty table using the new linens from the Classic Collection - Navy Fleur Block Print.

I took these photos in the afternoon, but we didn't have dinner until 8pm, so you'll have to imagine the candles flickering and the sun setting over the field against the huge wall of windows.

I design all of the runners in my store to be extra wide and extra long.  I love big, rustic farmhouse tables - I love to see the patina and character of the wood.  I'm not much of a placemat person, so this extra long, extra wide runner provides a little padding, color and protection to the table, without overing it up completely.  Also, it helps to visually scale down the huge table and makes it feel a little more cozy.

When we got up the next morning, I took my camera out and in my barefeet, walked around the property to take photos.  The light is so warm and pretty coming in from across the fields.

I used hydrangeas from the hydrangea standard tree we planted out front in my collection of creamware creamers and tea lights.  Such a simple, but pretty setting.  I love the look of the coordinating napkins and runner for a cohesive look on the table.

The Menu

Heirloom Tomato Sauce with Rigatoni

Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Butter Lettuce & Firm Ricotta Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinegrette

Peaches & Vanilla Whipped Cream

I designed this menu to feature the best of the summer season, but to not be a typical "summer dinner."  It was fresh, flavorful and so delish.  Everything is easily prepped ahead of time.  The only thing to do just before dinner was cook the pasta, dress the salad and put the shrimp in the oven.

Pesto Shrimp Skewers

I tossed the shrimp in pesto, then skewered them.  For dinner, I put about 6 large shrimp on each.  I put the skewered shrimp on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, then roasted them in the oven for 8 minutes.  You can also grill them, but we don't have a grill at the school house and it is much easier to just stick them in the oven!

Pesto Recipe >
I wanted dessert to be very light and taste like the essence of a summer peach.  So, I sliced fresh peaches (with fuzz and skin on - my favorite way) and topped them with a big dollop of vanilla whipped cream.  It would also be so yummy with a cookie... maybe a warm snickerdoodle or gingersnap.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream >

We love spending time at The School House on the weekends.  I still haven't decided on a color for the front doors (just primed now) - my instincts tells me to keep it white on white, but I feel like I should do something a little more fun.  Thoughts?

For those of you that are new, The School House is the home of my online store.  The products are stored, packaged and shipped from here.  You can learn more, here >

Here is our garden that is starting to produce tons of tomatoes... which is mostly what we planted.  It has been a tough year to establish trees, grass and a garden due to the extreme heat and lack of rain.  We'll be doing more plantings this fall and will share our plan with you.

One of the garden quadrants is planted with zinnias.  So pretty and fun!  They are just starting.

I planted lilac bushes along the fence line.  I can't wait until they start growing big and filling in.  They will perfume the entire property.

The School House Team is busy packing orders from The Classic Collection.  Shop >

July 26, 2018

The Classic Home Collection

This morning I'm taking you on a little house tour on the blog.  I've updated our home this week with accents from the Classic Home Collection.  It is also rare for me to take intentional photos of our home in sort of a natural state - and by natural, I don't mean messy (though that is probably the true natural state!), but that it isn't decorated for any particular season.  Most of my collections and photos are focused toward a certain color theme or season and I transform our home to suit it (which I love to do!), but this is our home in between.  It is filled with neutrals, muted tones.  This is our everyday "classic" home.

Last week when someone asked me, "What advice do you have for someone who wants to make their home more Classic?"  My response was stop looking at magazines, stop cruising Pinterest - hunt for things you love.  A well curated, eclectic and loved home will always be Classic.  

Personally, I love a neutral home.  I add touches of color each season with accent pillows, flowers or foliage and Emma's art, of course.  Our home really does evolve with the seasons and with very little effort, can feel completely different throughout the year. 

This collection is about building the base.  These prints and stripes are in my favorite neutrals for any season - navy, cream, slate grey and beige.  Starting with these classic neutrals as the background, you can easily update with one or two throw pillows and a potted mum in the fall for a completely warmed-up feel.  When spring comes, you'll be able to swap the warm tones for something fresh for a light and airy feel.

Along with new Pillow Covers and Linens, I've added a new line of custom printed Wrapping Paper.  I've been dreaming about this for a couple of years now, and finally found the perfect supplier - a local old fashioned large-scale printer near The School House.  More details on this collection below.

Rattan Basket Trays, Set of 2
11x14" Gold Frames with Narrow Botanical Prints & Antique Mats

This Tankard is part of my "Collected" pieces.  These are little treasures that I've come across while browsing local antique stores, estate sales and traveling.  They are one of a kind.  I'll continue to add to this "Collected" collection - it is a fun way for me to continue to shop without accumulating too much ;)

Is it too soon to be craving a cozy night by the fire?  

Classic Cream Stripes

Cream Diamond Dot Cushion Collection

Slate Grey Ticking Stripe

Navy Fleur Tea Towel, $10

The Wrapping Collection

I love giving gifts.  My favorite kind of gifts are not elaborate, but simple, sweet and personal - wrapped beautifully.  I sketched each of these designs, then had them transferred to a graphic design and printed onto wrapping paper sheets.  I will continue to expand this collection each season - and yes, of course new designs for the Holidays.

The sheets (24" x 36") are printed on a heavy, cream paper and rolled (4 per order) into these Kraft tubes.  So, even after you use some, they will be easily stored in these tubes that are 24" long with a cap on the end.  They fit perfectly in my newly designated wrapping paper drawer.

Blue Hydrangea with Moonstone Satin Ribbon

Blue Hydrangea Wrap with Cafe Au Lait Ribbon

French Green Wrap with Charcoal Satin Ribbon

Gift Giving Tips

I think of myself as a great gift-giver (and humble, obviously).  I've moved beyond expense as a cornerstone as giving.  I spend a lot of effort thinking about what someone would really love - something that would be a treat for them, something they wouldn't buy themselves, something I love, and something that they would love to receive.  I don't often give clothes (too utilitarian), and as a rule I never give something that has to be displayed in their home (too personal).  But, I love giving homemade treats, treasures, trinkets and lovelies.    

Extra Long & Extra Wide Runners, $46
Napkins, Set of 4, $34

Cream Diamond Dot Block Print, Set of 4, $34

I found a huge collection of antique botanical prints for this season's collection.  The colors are beautiful, and the images seem perfect for each and any season.  I love that there are 12 prints - I'd love to do an entire wall... maybe in the dining room?  The Gold Leaf Frames have been restocked.  They are a beautiful way to showcase the prints.  They are more narrow than a typical 5x7 or 8x10, so I've designed a mat board to fit them perfectly, the Narrow Antique Photo Mat.

Narrow Botanical Print Collection
Gold Leaf Frames
Narrow Antique Photo Mat

This is another one of the Collected pieces, already sold, but I'll keep hunting for more!

Shop the Classic Home Collection >
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