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Finding, Creating and Celebrating Beauty
Interests: Euro style in American interiors -- Swedish French Belgian and Danish. Furniture Design and Manufacturing.
Recent Activity
Tulips have been in the floral section of the grocery stores for many weeks now. I love seeing them for sale immediately after New Year's Day. I want to go from Winter directly to Spring. I put together this very simple table this week using eight packages of violet colored Tulips. I placed four packages each in two heavy Bosphorous glass vases from Pottery Barn. The Tulips look purple in the store but when you bring them home and they start opening up they turn red/violet. I am using my orchid colored paisley linen tablecloth I made out of eight... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at Swede
The first bloom of my Quince bush arrived. It hasn't finished unfurling but getting close. Love the buds. It is the Texas Scarlet variety. Very late blooming this year from a cold winter. Usually blooms the end of December. First sign of a great promise of Spring coming. Colleen [Summer] Photo: Swede Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2015 at Swede
This Bleeding Heart - Dicentra plant is in my front flowerbed. So incredible how Mother Nature made the little hearts. Wishing all my followers love today. Colleen [Summer] Photo: Swede Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2015 at Swede
I try to capture something beautiful each day. Today it is Flowering Kale. So beautiful to see in the midst of a cold winter the purples and pinks. Ornamental Cabbage is pretty too - just a different leaf - not so many ruffles. These plants are in big container pots and are about 16" across the plant. Big, beautiful and lovely. It doesn't get below zero here but gets into the teens and these do fine. They will start to get a little raggy on the edges in a deep freeze. So refreshing and uplifting to see these colors when... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at Swede
This week's table is grey to match the weather. Post Christmas and gloomy. I had the white quilted Boutis tablecloths on the table from last week so decided to pull out of the cupboards my old silver pieces and grey French Niderviller chargers and pair them with antique Wedgwood black and white scenic plates. This is Wedgwood's Corinthia pattern. It came in other colors and I have purple as well. I haven't put my oyster shell cone trees away so added them to the centerpiece with the white orchid. Toile pattern napkins are Williams Sonoma. Trying to keep it pretty... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Swede
My tablescape this week uses coral instead of red to bring out the color of the Nandina berries I am using in the floral arrangements. I am a fan of using what you have in other colors than red and green to create a holiday look. My preference in a dream world is an all white table at the holidays, or maybe silver and white or gold and white. Since I just did those combinations a few weeks ago, I got out the Alberto Pinto for Raynaud pattern Cristobal in coral. They also make it in turquoise and chocolate which... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2014 at Swede
My favorite fall gourds are the blue/green aqua ones. When they are in the store, I have to surrender that summer is really gone. Here is a vignette in my family room with my all-time favorite one the bumpy one in a hand-carved dough bowl from Sweden. I brought back four bowls in May circa 1860. The canvas I threw some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on in Chateau Grey [actually green] and a metallic gold stencil. I did this over top of an old coral canvas I was tired of. Of course, the paint didn't stick very well, but it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2014 at Swede
I watched the video of heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch and was moved. I suggest every American watch this. It is powerful, expertly done and drives the message that something has to be done to help our veterans. This just shows that everyone can do something to help, even a heavy metal band. Here is the link to The Wrong Side of Heaven. Paste it in your browser if it doesn't open up.,d.aWw Five Finger Death Punch - Wrong Side Of Heaven 300,000 homeless veterans is a disgrace. So are the suicides of returning veterans. Everyone... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2014 at Swede
The building known as Hotel de Ville in Paris is the local administration building, or City Hall where the office of the Mayor is located. It has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It is on a large square called Place de l'Hôtel de ville in the 4th. It is in French Renaissance architecture and Renaissance Revival architecture. Architects were Theodore Ballu, Victor Laloux and Edouard Deperthes. If you are in the Marais district you really can't miss it as it takes up a full block. Two wings were added in 1835. Portions of the front... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Swede
This church in Paris was started in 1494 and finished in 1621. It is in the 4th at 13 Rue des Barres in the Marais District on the right bank. I was very surprised at the style of the stained glass windows. They seemed so modern in design for the year they were installed. They are not the standard traditional scenes done in most older churches. They look so abstract. These marble statues in the side chapel are wonderful. I love the folds in the dresses on the angels, particularly the dress on the left. This is a close up... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at Swede
I don't talk about this topic on my blog, but today I am making an exception because of the patriotism of this exceptional man. Meet Matt Littrell of Colorado. A friend told me about this video and when I watched it, I was truly moved and wanted to help. To see the news video, go here: News Interview with Matt. My name is Matt Littrell. I was an infantryman with Golf Company 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. I served in the Marine Corps from December 2001-December 2005. I served 2 tours to Iraq during my enlistment. In April 2014 I am... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at Swede
For those who wrote and asked to see more photos of what I purchased in Sweden in May, here is a column cabinet with wood marbelized base. It is 54" tall on a 24" square base. It is fluted all the way around. To make it round, it is made of narrow boards glued together that bend. I am considering having my guys build this for my furniture line. I have seen several square column cabinets, but this cabinet is round instead of square. The round ones are more difficult to find and run about nine grand when you can... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2014 at Swede
Walking through the Montparnasse area, I passed this florist each day. They are selling three colors of Peonies. Love these coral colored ones. Do you like the red ones? Or pink? Love Sweet William that spells like Cloves. Floral vendors are throughout the city but not as many as I had imagined. Summer Photos: Swede Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at Swede
In Sweden I purchased an identical pair of these secretaries. Made in the same cabinet shop between 1780-90 so about 234 years old. One is for sale at La Maison Antiques in Memphis and I kept one which is in this photo. And here is a cabinet I purchased. For Swedish antique lovers out there, this is a 1710-20 Baroque cabinet in pale green paint. Love the hardware. This small chest made in 1790 was formerly owned by Lars Sjoberg who restored many landmark buildings in Sweden and authored several books, among which are The Swedish Room and Classic Swedish... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at Swede
Yesterday we unloaded the container of Swedish antiques I selected on my trip in May. Always fun to see what you picked out a couple months later. All came through fine except one broken table leg. I thought you might like to see a piece that I am keeping for me - at least for a while. I like the size of this cabinet and the reeded doors. It is a good place to keep my large coral pieces and design books. Made in 1850-60 by a cabinetmaker in the middle section of Sweden. If you are close to Memphis,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at Swede
Many of you said you liked my prior posts on manly machines used in the manufacture of furniture, so I thought you might like to see more photos of the handmade side as well. There are so many steps and processes that all have to come together perfectly to make this quality of furniture. In this post I will talk about making carved chairs. Chairs are probably the most difficult product to design and manufacture so certainly take the most detailed time and attention in the process. I have an intense passion for making furniture and especially Swedish formal pieces.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at Swede
Today's daily Paris photo is this colorful restaurant, La Petite Rotonde, at 64 Rue Montparnasse in the 14th that I pass by on my walk to Luxembourg Gardens. Love the window boxes of Geraniums and the white twinkle lights for nighttime dining. Parisians love red Geraniums. They are everywhere. Almost think it must be France's national flower or something. Guess I could look that up. Summer Photo: Swede Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at Swede
Today's Paris Daily Photo is this brocante find in the weekend Paris antique market. I love seeing those white pointed top tents lined up along a Paris street because that means a brocante is in full swing. Lots of lovely items to see. Here are two photos of a boxed set of silver French dinner size [8.25"] spoons and forks from the late 1700's that I found, fell in love with and had to bring home from my May trip to Paris. Also love collecting old French documents. The one shown here is dated 1537. The quality of this set... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Swede
Greetings to America! Photo taken on my New York trip. Have a great day celebrating America! Summer Photo: Swede Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at Swede
To celebrate my fourth blog-a-versary which I started on the Fourth of July in 2010, I am releasing my Blue Issue. I decided last night to just publish with what I had instead of adding more material. This one is 252 pages. This issue is all about "blue" as a color and all its other attributes. The majority of the photos are taken in Paris with exception of two stories. This magazine is sent by request only from private publication. You can receive it, free, of course, by signing up at the top right side of either the blog or... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at Swede
Two photo collage of items on my console table today. Hydrangeas and American sterling presentation cups on left. Oval glass dome with bust of Marie Antoinette in her later years together with antique French documents, mother of pearl opera glasses and French sterling forks. Summer Photos: Swede Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at Swede
I switch up my console tables in the house every few days. Here is the latest for the console in the dining room. The Hydrangeas in the yard are really glorious right now. Both paintings by me, perriwinkle vases from Wisteria catalog, tall candlestands from Restoration Hardware, short ones from Macy's repainted by me, baskets from Pottery Barn, Swede Collection console, Varga stemware. Summer Photo: Swede I support original content blogging. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at Swede