Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Pack up your troubles........................... your old kit-bag and smile, smile, smile"

Old British World War I marching song that became a big music hall hit - published in London in 1915.

My version of a kit-bag is my neat canvas one displaying English gals participating in a tug o' war on some British beach - perhaps in the late forties from the style of the clothes. Sure looks like they're having fun though.

I packed up my bag and headed to Durham, NC last week to visit with my friend Vanessa for coffee, then a little retail therapy at an upscale mall near her home.  I really wanted to check out the new free standing Crate & Barrel shop, it carries a full line of furniture as well as all the usual merchandise.  The small C&B here in town closed when this larger store opened, it's about a twenty minute drive from Raleigh.

I was impressed.................but of course didn't order any beautiful, rather expensive furniture. I did buy these little gems though ready for Summer cool treats..........the bright white china berry strainer, small version latte/fruit bowls, and the adorable sorbet cups complete with spoons.......perfect size for a hot afternoon treat or after dinner dessert. I picked the turquoise, they also come in yellow, pink, green, all very pretty and inexpensive.

Next door is trendy Urban Outfitters.............this is part of the Anthropologie group and has been somewhat controversial over the years.  It caters to 18-30 year olds - affordable/adorable clothing, some home items.............and I love looking around to see what's 'in' and being worn to places my age group doesn't get to hang out in any longer!

While on the subject of furnishing rooms...........Vanessa's lovely cool living room, below, wow!  She has returned to her love of white and 'shabby chic' and it definitely felt perfect on another steaming hot day here in the south.  I could have just lolled about on her comfy couch the entire day!

Below, a corner of my own living room.  Loving a similar feel of coolness here especially on these close to 100 degree days.  Vanessa and I love the same things, no wonder we have so much fun shopping together. 

Summer in the south...............

  • White cotton twill custom made slip covers by my sweet Italian seamstress
  • French grain sack cushions purchased from gorgeous La Madone in Apt, Provence when visiting a few years ago - we stayed in Appartement Chanvre
  • Linen 'Royal Regatta' cushion from fun and talented Joy at SavvyCityFarmer
  • Sea grass woven balls, found somewhere, long ago
  • Cool mirrored table from Elegant Relic, Mebane, NC
  • On table, Australian stylist Sibella Court's amazing book ETCETERA etc'Creating beautiful interiors with the things you love'.  Gorgeous book design and photography.  Available at Anthropologie, and elsewhere I'm sure.
  • Galvanized vintage gym baskets from ScreenDoor, Asheville, NC, for storing all those decorating magazines I can't part with - and WILL flip the pages and read again on the porch, in the shade, with a cool raspberry lemonade. Perhaps later today when it's too hot to even think of doing much of anything!

Hope you are enjoying a perfect Summer weekend.  How about sharing what you are doing to stay cool!


  1. Hi Mary, not so warm here in South East England!! Love both the rooms, the white is gorgeous, and the slipcovers are great! Have a lovely weekend!

  2. I love the white slipcovers - how cool they make the room look. I had company from NC yesterday, and the Island provided a rainy welcome.

  3. Your weekend sounds wonderful! I am taking a break from cleaning the house. We have company coming for dinner tonight.

  4. Damp here Mary and cool in North East England. I think it is a good job I don't live near those shops in your pictures - the things are so tempting!

  5. Your home is lovely, Mary - as is Vanessa's - and I certainly agree that the white tones must help enormously in that hot weather!


  6. What a wonderful weekend for you, Mary. Love your rooms & home.
    Have a great week ~
    TTFN ~

  7. Oh Mary...first your header is amazing!! I love it!!! And your pictures are fantastic as always...thank you so much for sharing all this.

    xoxo Gert

  8. Mary, it was a hot one here in Charlotte today-95 and humid! I love white in summer!

  9. Mary , I have just enjoyed seeing the second week of your holiday. Your photographs are beautiful and you really fill each day with such lovely adventures. Back home and living with your hot summer weather, the lavender party was so lovely and I could image the smell on that hot day, beautiful. The White rooms do look so cool and inviting.
    Here we are having lots of rainy days, everywhere is growing and so green. It is very much strawberry and cream scones, tennis, and lots of rain. British summer time. X

  10. We just visited the new C&B about a month ago, and I loved it, too. I purchased a new knife, some darling dessert spoons, three white very small milk bottles, and something else, but I can't remember.

    Both of your living rooms looks so cool, fresh and inviting.

    We're longing for some rain. We are trying to keep our roses and azaleas alive, but our once lush green grass is so sad.

  11. I read your post about your brother. It is interesting that he has moved to France. I know of several English natives who have moved to France and understand that there are villages in France that have a large English population. I wonder, do you know of any English villages that have mostly French people living there? I wonder if it works both ways.

    The first couple of years of my life were spent in Provence near lavender fields and since them I always have lavender around. I did not know it grew in North Carolina – I’ll go there for sure. I tried to grow it here but it does not do well in Georgia clay and under all our pine trees. Your décor is beautiful - I could not have white here with my two cats, it would be hard to keep it white.

  12. I grew up listening to that old song as my dad sang it to us or played it on an old 78 recording. Fond memories although I'm only almost 61! LOL Your living room does look cool for your hot weather. I wish it was warmer here as I'm in jeans, tee, hoodie and have the heat on while at the computer! It's about 65 outdoors and cloudy. Oh for some real summer weather in the northeast! Have a great week Mary. Blessings, Pamela

  13. What can I say, your talents are wasted on a blog.

    We are packed and ready to drive to Dover tomorrow. Situation with E & P still the same - nothing resolved yet and he is still staying away.
    I have arranged for an e card to be sent by email to Bob on his birthday. I hope it works and he has a wonderful day.
    Catch up when we are back on July 9th.

  14. Love the two white living rooms - perfect for a hot summer afternoon like the one we have here - over 80F and humid. Indoors with blinds and curtains drawn is defintely the place to be when it's like this!

  15. It has been really cool here and wet. We've only had 3 "rare as a day in June" days this month. Am actually looking forward to some 90 degree temps later this week.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I had planned to retire at the end of April and have more time to visit blogs, but alas it is not to be.

  16. Love seeing your shopping trip and Vanessa and your living rooms all white and cool looking. Since it is cool here, not having to do anything. It was warmer on the weekend and then there was ice tea and a meal outdoors under the trees. Pure delight.

  17. What a wonderful time you two had! I love the turquoise set too. How refreshing Vanessa's all white living room looks! However, it would never work in my house as hubby is a dirt magnet!
    Take Care,


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