Monday, August 3, 2015


Well, I survived the magazine photo shoot at my house! With the help of my hubby, we got the house in about as picture-perfect shape as we could get it. The house interior is not photo worthy, so I asked that the magazine team—which consisted of the magazine editor, designer, photographer, and two photo assistants—stick with tighter shots instead of ones that showed any substantial part of the house. The focus was supposed to be on my collections anyway. In preparation for the shoot, we gave all the china in the dining room a gentle wash so it would sparkle for the shoot. In the below photo you can see how I display my African violets in vintage china serving pieces. The table is adorned with my vintage yoyo quilt—and no we don't eat on the quilt. It's covered with a plastic cloth before anyone does that!

We spent an evening washing my collection of blue-and-white china on the shelves in the kitchen window wells.

Our organizing even inspired me to bring out some of the pieces that had been languishing behind cupboard doors and drawers and give them a spotlight in the kitchen. One example is my collection of vintage-inspired cookie molds, below.

I dressed up this tiered tray in the kitchen with my collection of Wedgwood small sweets dishes and trinket boxes. They go well with the kitchen's cozy palette of buttercream yellow and gray blue.

Even the small pieces of vintage restaurant ware on the window ledge behind my kitchen sink shined up nicely with a little elbow grease.

All that organizing got me thinking about how I could make better use of what I already had. Things like this little bench in the mudroom now serve double duty as a handy shoe rack for often-used footwear and wellies.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at what happened at the photo shoot. Jacob, the photographer, shares the photo he just took with the editor and designer (Sam and Kristi, respectively), then they make the necessary tweaks to get that perfect photo. Here they are shooting a small part of my vintage button collection, which I display in an antique wooden printer's tray.

My cat Poe is so mellow that he decided to take a nap behind Jacob as Jacob was shooting my vintage English candy tins.

He also caught some zzz's on my 19th-century quilt. The photo team even took a photo of me with my vintage wooden peg dolls but hopefully that photo won't be used in the magazine. All in all, it was a fun-filled day and I'm pleased to report that they managed to get enough photos. Originally they were going to be here for the morning but they found enough things to shoot that they were here until 5:30 in the afternoon!

In other exciting news, the new jelly bags I ordered I arrived! They are such pretty hues, they made me practically giddy. Anything that can make someone my age giddy is pretty neat!

I thought the little plush kitty keychain I got at a Japanese store would go perfectly with these bags. 

She also goes well with the blue bag that I'm carrying in the photo below with my new mustard yellow dress and matching vintage-inspired Oxford heels. I've always like saddle shoes or shoes with that sort of look. When I wore this ensemble, I was amazed by how many people stopped to comment on them. My mom always said that people aren't usually nice enough to actually stop and compliment others—a sad commentary on today's society—but I was pleasantly surprised with this dress. Yellow has always been a color I've struggled with but I knew I would eventually find the right yellow dress! Have you ever thought you just couldn't wear a certain color? I encourage you to give it another try as the right one is out there.

I love all my finds from the Japanese store. They have such cute little things!

I especially love the cute furry gray Totoro coin purse pictured in the above photo. I've never been much for cartoons but when I caught a glimpse the lovable forest sprite, Totoro, in a Japanese animated film, My Neighbor Totoro, that my husband was watching, I had to check it out. Its orchestral theme music is lovely. My husband downloaded it to my iTunes and I listen to it often while I'm working at the computer. If you like, you can check the music out here by clicking on the arrow in the photo below entitled "My Neighbor Totoro". That's sweet Totoro holding the umbrella.

Hope you enjoyed reading this rather lengthy post. I guess I had a lot to catch up on after the photo shoot!


  1. Wow, that looks fun....and stressful!

    1. It was more stressful preparing for the shoot than the actual day, which was very pleasant. And I now have the added bonus of a much more organized house!

  2. Love the pages and your blog! Are the bags available in the US....looks like something I would find in Japan.

    1. Unfortunately, the are not available in the U.S. If you're interested, I can send you ordering info.

  3. Everything looks lovely and I am so happy for you!

    1. Thanks, Bernideen! Your home always looks so lovely.

  4. I love Totoro, too! Adorable outfit! You are so photogenic! Where did you get the fun dress and bag?

  5. I am so glad to see all of the photos of your house and collections. I absolutely love how you described everything, it painted the perfect picture for me. I love the bags and have them on my wish list as soon as I get time to sit and think about ordering. Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for our next lunch date.


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