Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Review: The Last Castle

I loved this book!  It was all about how the Biltmore House came to life.  It was about the store of the Vanderbilt's and how they used their money and influence to build and develop this gorgeous house in the foothills of North Carolina.

Denise Kiernan
She is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, Ms., Reader's Digest, Discover, and other publications.  Her previous book, The Girls of Atomic City, was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times,  and NPR bestseller.  She lives in North Carolina.  Visit the author at www.denise

My Review:
This great book dived into what made the Vanderbilt's tick.  The money and how it was accumulated, the history behind the wealthy crew was amazing.  How and why George came to NC and built this amazing structure called home to he and Edith.  It's also about the many, many people that visited the Biltmore and what they did on those visits.  Also Edith and George Vanderbilt were amazing people, not so much can be said for his father who seemed ruthless.  But George and Edith gave back to the community and made Ashville, NC what it is today.  They took care of people. 
Also covered, was Cornelia their daughter and how "the money" changed her life. 
Read this book and enjoy the history of how America was during this gilded age and how the Vanderbilt family contributed to the history and development of the people in NC and of this great country.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Tablescape for America's First Daughter

I love this tablescape.  It was so much fun to put together.  I also use it for July 4th celebration with our family. I also used it for last evening's Book Chick's book club meeting!  I even served vegetables in honor of Thomas Jefferson, with homemade corn bread, what else?

I purchased most of the items from Hobby Lobby and Michael's.  I had the buffalo red checked place mats from my Christmas stash. 

You will notice that I have the napkin holders on each plate but the napkins 
weren't completed for the this shot but you can see them further down.

I thought this wooden little girl made the table a hit since the book was about red headed 
Martha (Patsy) Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson's first daughter.

Here you will see the striped napkins that I made just for this book club event.  I think the table turned out so cute.  Notice the flag straws!  I love to do fun tablescapes, don't you?

Goodwill Find - My New Lamp

I traveled to South Georgia last weekend for a girls weekend.  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of shopping!  Are you really surprised?  Well you shouldn't be! You know that part of being a woman is sometimes "Retail Therapy". 

My find at Goodwill surprised me as well!  I bought a lamp for $5.59.  It was a clay/pottery lamp and blue in color.  It had a stripe around the bottom showing the under part of the pottery.  Anyway, nothing was required but a lamp shade and a new finial.  So off to Hobby Lobby I went.

Here is the final look of the lamp.  I was very pleased and thought it was a super buy!

Here is where I placed the lamp on my desk!  I think it gives a great presentation!

Happy hunting ladies!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Clean Den Decorating

Two weekends ago my husband and I painted our den Natural Tan one coat by Sherwin Williams. Even though I like the color and it did cover my sage green color on the walls, it gave a green tint after drying instead of a tan hue. So all to say we will have to paint again, however we went ahead and did a little more.

I made panels, not drapes for the one window in the room. They look pretty good. Since the window was near the bookcases there was not enough room for a full panel of drapes.

This is an older picture of the room before the decorating.  The mirror has been gone for a while, but you can see the paint color.  The paint color really needed to be updated.

First here is the fabric that I chose for the panels.  It is not the same particular pattern that is on the sofa but the identical color.  The pattern is a little different.  

The rings that I sewed onto the panels came from the Pottery Barn Outlet in Morrow, GA.  These were priced per box in the regular catalog at  66.00. They were marked down to $33.00 and then to $19.97.  I got them for 1/2 off of the $19.97 for $9.50 a box. There were 10 in a box so I used 5 on each panel.  What a steal.

In my sewing room you can see the pattern better. I loved it and you can't have too much!

 See the difference below in the pattern of my sofa and the pattern of the panels. So close that from the window to the sofa you won't be able to even tell, but it's OK if you do. 
You can also see the paint color of the den after it was finished.

Below is a pic of the french door in the back and I chose to put nothing on it.  
I think it lets in so much light and really like it.  

It's not a great picture of this window with the panels hung, but you can see how great they turned out.  The pole was one we had left over from my daughters decorating project and I had saved it.  We painted it black with the black finials.  I love how it reflects the other black items in the room.  

And below you can really see the panels and the room color.  I simply am so please with how it all turned out.  Soon and very soon the Mister of the house will be painting the backs of the bookcases, unless I find a great wallpaper to use in NAVY! That is to come. It really looks much bigger and I love the light it brings in.  

 Thanks for joining me in my endeavor.  It was a fun redo that needed to be done and so glad it is completed. Well almost!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review: America's First Daughter

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamole tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy
Taken from Goodreads

Authors :
Stephanie Dray is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women's fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year.  Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. She lives near the nation's capital withher husband, cats and history books.
Taken from Goodreads

Laura Kamole is a New York Times, Wall Stree Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author.  Laura has always been facinated by the people, stories and physical presence of the past, which led her to a liftime of historical and archaeological study and training.  She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from the The College of William and Mary, has published two non-fiction books on early America and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction.
Taken from Goodreads

My Review:

By far one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read.  The way that these two authors did their homework on Martha Jefferson Randolph (Patsy) and Thomas Jefferson was amazing.  They picked up on items such as a shaving kit that is there at Monticello and expounded on all details that it involved.  This was shown in many, many ways throughout the book.  It opened my eyes to ways of the colonial era and how fortuns of American Presidents were used to help the American people, by entertaining, supporting the cause of liberty and freedom, while also intertwined rightly  in setting slaves free. I loved this book!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Book Review: The Age of Desire

For fans of The Paris Wife, a sparkling glimpse into the life of Edith Wharton and the scandalous love affair that threatened her closest friendship. They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann—her governess turned literary secretary and confidante. At the age of forty-five, despite her growing fame, Edith remains unfulfilled in a lonely, sexless marriage. Against all the rules of Gilded Age society, she falls in love with Morton Fullerton, a dashing young journalist. But their scandalous affair threatens everything in Edith’s life—especially her abiding ties to Anna.  At a moment of regained popularity for Wharton, Jennie Fields brilliantly interweaves Wharton’s real letters and diary entries with her fascinating, untold love story. Told through the points of view of both Edith and Anna, The Age of Desire transports readers to the golden days of Wharton’s turn-of-the century world and—like the recent bestseller The Chaperone—effortlessly re-creates the life of an unforgettable woman.
Taken from Goodreads

Jennie Fields
Jennie Fields received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the author of three other novels, Lily Beach, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry and The Middle Ages.  An Illinois native, she spent many years as an advertising creative director in New York and currently lives with her husband in Nashville, Tennessee.
Taken from

My Review:
I enjoyed this book. This was a real glimpse as Goodreads suggested of her life and the love affair during a time when it would have been very scandalous for a woman to be involved in an affair if married.  The relationship with Anna Bahlmann her secretary was a strange one as Anna's moral values were surely obvious as she disapproved of Edith's affair.  Edith was really not too concerned about how Anna felt and later I believed maybe realized the facts.  You will enjoy the book if you enjoy reading about the wealthy and how they lived their lives in the 1930 era.