Some of my best growing-up memories were of being a Girl Scout and going to camp. I loved the swimming, archery, canoeing and cooking on the open fire. We had a great troop leader and spent many Friday nights making sloppy joes, s'mores and campfires. As an adult I have done some camping and canoeing, but let me tell you, you have not "camped" as an adult till you attend "Joan Lunden's Camp Reveille". I had always watched Joan on Good Morning America and kind of kept track of her through the years. As a part-time Maine resident, I had been thinking about joining the camping scene as a "worker". In July, as I was poking around on some of the camp sites, I ran across Camp Takajo, the companion camp for Tripp Lake girls camp. (Joan and husband Jeff own both Takajo and Tripp) Tripp Lake is one of my favorite lakes in Maine and I always said when I retire I want to work at the girls camp. Anyway, I see on the Takajo site that Joan has this women's camp every summer after the boys are gone from Takajo. So what is Camp Reveille? Camp Reveille is the most unique experience. It's about relaxing, networking, wellness and just plain fun. The camp is in August... August 18-21, 2011, starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday. In 2010 there were about 140 women from all over the US. I think the youngest was around 24 years old and the oldest in her 70's. As the name "Reveille" implies, it's about new beginnings, wake-up calls, time to get re-charged and re-focused. Joan's message was simply, we are the ones always taking care of everyone else in our family and eco-system. Camp Reveille is about taking care of us. I would encourage you to visit the website to learn more and make your reservations to attend next summer. Summer in Maine is beautiful and you will not regret giving yourself this "special gift". Here's the website...www.campreveille.com.
I am totally about color, in fact the more red the better. However, during the fall months I like to incorporate the browns and yellows of natural materials into my tablescapes and accessories. While in Maine this summer I have been able to pick up several things that I can use to create that "natural" look. The birch trees provide just the right cover to hot glue onto candles. If you live close to any woods you can find trees that have already fell and the bark is there for the taking. Measure it, cut it and wrap around the candles. No woods? No worry. I understand the florist supply carries this bark that you can buy and do the same thing. On the subject of candles, take some cinnamon sticks and hot glue them to a short chunky candle. Finish it off with a pretty coral ribbon. Another idea is for using all the pinecones and acorns that seem to be everywhere here. I took the acorns and made napkin rings. Just turn them alternately and then wire together. I shot a picture so you can see. The pinecones can be used a number of ways. One way is to take an old mirror and hot glue them. I would combine pinecones, acorns and other dried materials. You can use this mirror flat on the table as your centerpiece, maybe with some candles in the middle. I have a very large dining room table, so three smaller ones is what I am planning to make. The best part of this is that you can create these projects for very little time and money and use them from year to year.
For many of us, typewriters are part of our "high school" years and we probably haven't used one in forever. I can still remember my typing class, all girls learning a skill we all thought we had to have for our future career. Fortunately, the typewriter I had in class was better than the one in the picture! Blending old with new is one of favorite things to do when putting together a room. I like the different textures here with the curly, wire table topped with the black tole tray. I found some old correspondence and a couple of desktop accessories to add to the setting. Think about how you can incorporate a fun, different, interesting piece into your family room, home office or den. They are perfect "conversation pieces". This setting is behind the loveseat in our Maine cottage living area. I have another one in my home office that is much more of a prize. It has the case and is one of the first portable typewriters. You can pick one of these up for anywhere from about $35 to over $150, depends on how nice the machine is and whether the case is included. Don't worry about it being in perfect condition, it's the effect that you are looking for..
I know that many of you are "old-hat" at this blogging thing, however, it's new for me so bear with me while I get my writing groove on! I have been moving from house to house, city to city for years now. Each time I have painted and decorated only to do it again in a few years. Along the way I have collected some real treasures, many of which I still have and continue to display and love. At some point, I realized that this is my passion ( or maybe my obsession). I love decorating, moving furniture and displaying my collectibles. And now, I want to share it with all of you. Technology allows us to do that so easily! I have created this web site Southern By Design to house my pictures, ideas and treasures to sell. My other love (and many of you have enjoyed it) is cooking. So recipes will also be included on the site. When I thought about how to put this together I thought about how I organize my decorating....by season or time of year. For each season you will have decorating ideas, tablescapes, recipes and a "favorite" recipe for the season. Many of my ideas and treasures you will find in the OnLine Store (coming soon!). Some items will be one of a kind, so you will want to grab them quick. Other times, I will point you on where to find something or "How-To" make it yourself. Remember it's a work in process, so check back often and let me know how you like the site.
Until next time....
A southern girl at heart, I have been moving and decorating all my life. I enjoy the hunt as much as putting the finished arrangement together. I love to mix old and new together, especially old silver and country store display items. It's all about comfort and making your house a home.