Archive for family
Just wanted to wish all my friends Happy Valentine’s Day! Sending hugs and kisses your way! This a Prickly Pear cactus paddle in the shape of a heart. You can find love in all kinds of places including the desert!
If you still need something sweet (and somewhat healthy) for Valentine’s, try this recipe from Kate Scarlata’s blog, Chocolate Covered Pineapple. Any fruit covered with chocolate is so delicious! (Picture courtesy of Kate Scarlata’s blog)Enjoy your day! Spread some love!!!
Love you all!
Mary Sherwood Lifestyles
As I anxiously await the arrival of our sons and daughters-in-love I am reminded about how important family is at Christmas. I am so very fortunate to have such a loving and close family. We are spread out across the country but we make the effort to be together for Christmas. I am truly blessed. Here is my playful family last Christmas at Lake Gaston!
Over the years my family circle has grown. The MSLL gang is a large part of that circle. This is the gang at our annual Christmas dinner along with our new addition, Ethan Campbell Wenger (being held by Ryan, his proud Dad)
My extended family goes much further than just our team. It encompasses the wonderful friends that grace our showroom, our design clients that invite us into their homes and all the talented contractors that support us. We get to know them and their families as part of our amazing family circle.
So whether you spend Christmas with family, friends or neighbors it is the people that make Christmas magical. Embrace the moments!
Merry Christmas to you and all your family circle!
Love to all,
It’s the week of our Christmas Open House here at MSLL! I have been blinded by Christmas lights, covered in glitter, and the bows just keep coming and coming. Whoops!? I’m sorry that was just my tacky sweater! HaHa!
‘Tis the season to be Tacky! & we are embracing this Tacky trend this holiday season at MSLL! We even have a whole tree dedicated to this Tacky Christmas trend! Why Tacky!? Well because it’s FUN! There are no rules, no guidelines and just about anything works! It brings out the kid in all of us!
The holiday season is a great time to gather with friends and family. Special festivities take place and this year Tacky Christmas Sweater parties top the chart as the most popular party theme to host this holiday season. However, this may require you to wear a tacky sweater that you may not own. NO FEAR! There is even a website now that sells ONLY Tacky Christmas Sweaters! Like I said, this trend is taking over the spotlight!
Tacky Christmas Sweaters can be for your beverages too! Like the ones shown here!
Tacky Sweaters can be found at thrift stores, eBay, or if you’re feeling creative construct a one of a kind sweater of your own! I think homemade sweaters are the way to go. Just like homemade Halloween costumes, they always make a better lasting impression.
Not sure how to create a Tacky Christmas Sweater? Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Start with a good sweater for the base. Bright bold cheerful colors in shades of green or red will work best! Any sweater with an over-the-top print or pattern are great as well.
2. Ornaments are second. These can be found at any dollar store or thrift store. The more unique the better! Stay away from breakable ornaments – this could get messy in the middle of your party, PARTY FOWL!
3. Add a little Flare to your sweater. Sequins, tinsel, shiny bows, garland, what ever your heart desires here!
4.Patches and other appliques can be a quick and easy fix! Hot glue them or even iron-on’s will do the trick! Wah LAH! Your Done! You have a one of a kind Tacky Christmas Sweater that is sure to be the highlight of the party.
Here are some of my favorite homemade Tacky Sweaters I’ve come Across Online:
Christmas Sweater Tree– I have seen this several times, it’s so clever. When she puts her arms above her head her sweater becomes a beautiful Christmas tree.
The Abominable Snowman Tacky Sweater- I love this! Rudolph is a classic Christmas movie and this fuzzy guy will steal the show at your next Tacky appearance.
Tacky Couple of Sweaters– Get the Hubby involved! I think this is adorable and even tackier that they match!
Which Sweater is your favorite!? Or do you have a Tacky ensemble you would like to share?
We hope to see everyone this Saturday at our Christmas Open House! Seminar beings at 9 AM! Shopping 10 AM!
Have a Tacky Holiday Season!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!
Summer has almost come to a close and fall is peaking in. The new school year is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to get organized before the chaos of homework and after school activities begin. Organization is key! Here are a few tips to keep you and your growing minds on track this school year.
Who doesn’t love back-to-school shopping! Well some may dread it but, I loved it! It was my favorite part of going back to school! Getting a new backpack, new outfits, not to mention I couldn’t wait to show them off to my friends!
With all those new outfit choices, getting dressed in the morning may take more time than normal. Here’s the solution, Closet dividers! Here all outfits are pre-planned for the week! What a time saver in the early morning rush hour!
It doesn’t get anymore organized than this! I love this idea! Here a fellow organizer took a behind the door hanging shoe rack and created this mega school supply wonderland! All the pens, markers, pencils, & paper clips have their own space! Don’t forget to label to ensure they get put back in their proper place! Such a great idea and inexpensive as well!
Whether it’s snack time, lunch or those late afternoon sports activities these are great bags! PACKit is a personal cooler that folds up to be placed in the freezer over night and then removed to be used during the day keeping it’s contents cool for up to 10 hours! These bags come in great prints and different sizes to meet your personal needs! It’s a back to school must have and we have them right here in our showroom!
It’s also a good idea to have a designated space to do homework. Any place away from the TV and heavy foot traffic is better for less distractions. Isn’t this homework area great? It’s bright, fun and inviting to get those little thinkers going and inspired. Check out Autumn’s blog, Elements of a Kids Work Space to see other ideas and tips for kid’s work spaces.
Go the extra mile and stock up on school project supplies. This will be a life saver for those last minute projects! No one wants to be at the craft store at 9 pm at night looking for poster board when your son’s project is due at 8:30 in the morning. YIKES!
My roommates’ and I used this last tip often, a Menu Board. We ate most nights together in our apartment at Radford. This cut down on the cost of our individual meals and kept variety on our plate. Plus it was a great bonding time, two of us cook and two cleaned.
We rotated depending on who was home who cooked dinner for the night. We also went the extra mile and incorporated a chore chart. Each person had an assigned chore they took care of during the week. When the week was up we reassigned the chores for a new week. This kept us on routine and held everyone responsible for their part. I honestly can say this may have saved an argument or two! We by far had the cleanest apartment around for four girls living under one roof! It’s worth a try in the home, dorm or apartment.
I hope you have enjoyed these back to school tips for the upcoming school year! Hopefully they will come in handy! Good luck to everyone this school year no matter what grade that may be!
Do you have any back-to school tips you would like to share?
If so please post & share below!
-Dixie K .
Mary Sherwood Lake Living-Working with you to create your lifestyle on
Lake Gaston and Beyond!
2014 has kept this girl busy. As Mary would say: “How do you even keep up with your social calendar, I would go crazy!” You could say I’m a bit of a social butterfly. I love parties, entertaining and being around friends and family. My mom has six siblings. Four of them are my next door neighbors. Naturally we have lots of family events and my house is party central.
This year so far I have helped host four baby showers, a bridal shower, served as maid-of-honor and attended several other weddings, birthday parties and cookouts. We are only at the halfway point of 2014! I am also a bridesmaid in another wedding in September. I am looking forward to helping host a baby shower for our very own, Autumn Wenger, due in December! However, I’m not complaining! It’s my next favorite thing to do besides designing.
I wanted to share some of the highlights and advice I could give from my experience with these parties. It’s nice to be behind the scenes, I always take mental notes of “what would I have done differently.”
1. Focal Points-something that catches the guest attention
It’s important to have a focal point at your event. This helps bring a “wow” factor to your party. You are certainly welcome to have more than one focal point depending on the size of your venue. Focal points come in all different shapes and sizes. A focal point could be the wedding cake, a floral arrangement centerpiece or a rustic chandelier placed above the dance floor.
2. Personal Touches-Additional touches that bring out the qualities of guests of honor
I would highly recommend this for your next party or event. Personal touches are a great way to add a special touch to make your event more memorable. Your guest will recognize and appreciate that you went that extra mile adding these into your planning and decorating.
3. Recruit A Team-Support system
No matter how small of a party you are planning, try to have a team. It’s okay to have a team of one or many, as long as you have someone by your side. I have been very fortunate to have been apart of some amazing teams this year already. It’s always nice to have a second opinion and a second set of eyes. Even if your teammate has possibly never planned a party, surely they have been to one. Their past experiences combined with your expertise makes a great team to help you create an amazing event. You will be glad you had these people to help you along the way.
4. Don’t loose sight-Try and remember “Why” you are doing this.
Sometimes the stress of projects can get to us. It’s hard to find time to plan these events between our normal daily routines. It can become stressful and tiring. However, it’s okay to take a break! We need to sometimes take a step back. I have been told many times in design school to walk away from the drafting table, go do something fun for a few hours and then come back to it. It’s almost like getting a second look or putting on a new set of eyes. One more thing you should do is take a moment and think about the people you are having the event for and the purpose. I’m sure there is a special reason behind the madness. This can usually help push you through.
5. Last but no least-ENJOY!
Once the party planning has come to an end and it’s now the day of your event. However, your behind the scenes duties may not be completely just yet. Please, remember to take a moment and enjoy the event you helped create! This is where you take all of your hard work in. This is important! There’s nothing more satisfying than realizing your efforts are appreciated. Trust me, the smiles you have put on your loved ones faces are a priceless, picture perfect memory. The months and prep for these parties that only last a few hours always seem to go by way too fast! So take a moment and enjoy them!
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of some of the parties and events I have helped create! Party planning is my second love right behind design. However, my design degree sure comes in handy. I look forward to the other parties and events 2014 has in store! If you ever need advice or help creating your memorable evening, don’t hesitate to ask!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living-Working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!
Father’s Day is this Sunday! Let’s take this moment to say,
“Thank You Dad & Happy Farther’s Day!”
Let’s face it – sometimes being a dad isn’t the easiest of jobs! Fatherhood is full of responsibilities and never-ending list of fatherly duties. Dads are the advice givers, teachers of life long lessons, Mr. Fix It of all jobs, and even the checker for monsters under the bed! The list of dad’s duties goes on and on! Dads should not be forgotten or be taken for granted for always being there, it’s their job! Whew! You see why we must say, “Thanks Dad!”
I would like to wish my dad and all the other fatherly/superhero figures out there this special weekend a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
Here is just another one of dad’s duties, getting to walk his daughter down the isle! Pictured is Autumn and her dad, Micheal, sharing a special moment on her wedding day in June 2008. This is an amazing photo! (“Your little girl will always look up to you! Thank you for always being supportive and lending a helping hand. Love you Daddy.” – Autumn)
Let’s also pay tribute to the Dad’s that risk their lives for our country past and present. Here is Mary’s dad before he served in World War II. Shortly after his return, he married Mary’s mother. He passed when Mary was very young however, she very much enjoyed the time they did have together.
I’m sure I have the silliest of dads! I spend most of my time with my dad in the great outdoors. We enjoy fishing together, riding his motorcycle, and many other things. He has been a great supporter and biggest fan in my life! I don’t think he has ever missed any of my softball games! Believe it of not, but my dad actually braided my pigtail in this picture.
Last but not least, our dad in the office Mr. Paul Sherwood!
Here is Paul, Aaron and Jake hanging out at Epcot in Walt Disney World!
I hope all the Papas, Pops, Grandpas, Fathers, Daddy’s, Step-Dads and Dads have a wonderful Father’s Day!
How are you honoring Dad this Father’s Day!? Do you have an amazing Dad you would like to recognize?
Tell us about the special superhero in your life!
Have an amazing weekend! We love you dad!
It’s that special time of year again, the holidays. The stockings are hung with care and Christmas spirit is in the air! Loved ones near and far come to together to celebrate this joyous holiday. We would like to wish each and every one of you,
a very Merry Christmas from our Mary Sherwood Lake Living Family to yours!
Please be careful in your travels and don’t forget to leave cookies for Santa!
Here is a little sneak peek from our
Mary Sherwood Lake Living Christmas Party. Enjoy!
Rocking around the banana tree? Yes, Mary doesn’t have your traditional Christmas tree every year. She likes to think more outside the box. What do you think of her non-traditional tree? Check out Mary’s blog about non-traditional Christmas trees. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/oh-christmas-trees/
I love when people have interesting or humorous cocktail napkins. They are a great conversation starter! Here are Mary’s from our get together!
So many great presents! We opened our gifts before indulging in our fabulous meal prepared by Chef Yvonne!
I even decided to make my Christmas Candy Sleighs! I featured them in the past Design Wisdom Wednesday on Christmas Party Planning Guide. I think they came out great? What do you think?
Our dinner was amazing. Chef Yvonne out did herself as usual! For appetizers, we raved over the Buffalo Chicken dip and mozzarella cheese sticks wrapped in salami on a balsamic jelly. Did I mention the balsamic jelly came all the way from Italy? YUM! Our first course of the night (shown above) was bay scallops on a sweet potato puree with pickled corn and roasted sunflower seeds topped with micro greens. What an incredible combination!
For our main course we devoured this delicious homemade creamed garlic spinach and lasagna. By now my buttons are about to pop off my pants! But Yvonne’s food is so good, of course I didn’t turn down dessert, especially when we had two choices! She even let you choose both, if you wanted! Many of us shared our decadent treats! We had a choice between eggnog bread pudding with an eggnog glaze and chocolate pate with a cranberry coulis. Outstanding!
I am truly blessed to be a part of the Mary Sherwood Lake Living family. I’m the new kid on the block, but I have been so fortunate to have met such wonderful people who I get the privilege to work with. I can not only call them co-workers or my boss, but also great friends!
Again, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas &
a Happy New Year!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond!
It is bittersweet that I am writing my final Design Wisdom Wednesday MSLL blog post. After a year of enjoying my new MSLL family and making lots of new, forever friends, my husband and I are transporting our family to Virginia Beach.
The hardest part about facing the relocation is leaving the ones you love, and the second hardest part is…moving! It forces you to clean out forgotten spaces, to sort through old clothes, and to tackle the infamous “junk” drawer. Over the past couple of weeks, I have learned that the key to packing is organizing the chaos and I have gained some invaluable moving tips.
1. Purge, Purge, Purge. The key to packing is to never move what you will never use. It’s the ideal time to get rid of unwanted items and to conveniently “lose” your husbands holey t-shirts. Contractor bags have become my new best friend! They are larger and more durable than standard garbage bags and allow you to get rid of big items without using multiple bags.
2. Use linens and towels to wrap breakable items. They both have to be packed, so why not combine them to cut down on the need for additional packing materials. Use inexpensive Styrofoam plates in between dishes to cushion them throughout the process.
3. Shrinkwrap your entire silverware drawer rather than individually wrapping each set of utensils. It will keep them from shifting and will make unpacking a cinch. Screw caps tightly on spices and pack them in large ziplocs to keep them together.
4. Slip garbage bags over multiple hangers rather than folding hanging items. It will protect them and allow you to simply place them in the closet when you arrive at your new home.
5. Label, Label, Label. Once you’ve boxed up your items, be sure to label them according to which room they should be place upon arrival. It will assist your movers and prevent lots of questions the day of the move. In addition, be sure to label the contents of the boxes so that essential items can be unpacked first.
6. Bribe, Bribe, Bribe. Keep your movers motivated and/or entice your friends to help by supplying pizza and beverages! It will be greatly appreciated.
7. Savor the moments before the move. It is easy to become overwhelmed with such a hectic time in your life, but remember to make time for the people that you are moving away from. They are the most important thing that you will leave behind!
Thanks for the memories and big love to all my MSLL family!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle on Lake Gaston and Beyond!
I just returned from a wonderful week in Santa Monica, CA visiting our son Jake and his wife, Elif. Little did I know the weekend would become a design adventure. Knowing that Paul and Jake had plenty to do with two motorcycles handy, the girls set off to visit the 2013 Pasadena Showcase House of Design.
The setting of this year’s event was a beautiful estate built-in 1941 in Arcadia, CA. The show house was gracefully restored with modern amenities and conveniences with attention to details that reflected the period.
The photographs shown here were all taken from the Showcase guide. The design firms for each area are noted on the pictures. There were so many special spaces and so many wonderful details. I selected the following to point out design tips that could be recreated in any setting.
The walls of the beautiful vaulted front entry stairwell were covered with winter wheat colored fabric that provided an understated neutral palette to lead the way to the incredible rooms to come. The glass chandelier was amazing!
Design tip: The details of the stairway runner. It was bound in leather and tacked down with larger upholstery nail heads. The nail heads do not show in this photo. This look could easily be re-created by binding the runner in a wide fabric binding and adding the nail heads.
From the designer’s perspective the powder room was designed to recall your first jewelry box full of wonder and magic. It was wonderfully executed with the stone chevron detail of the mirror, the gold accents and the skirted vanity.
Design tip: The chevron detail could be recreated with the use of fabric or paint. The tailored skirt detail could be applied to any countertop surface to create a feel of elegance.
The owners requested the space be expanded to incorporate the bar with lighted green glass details that was installed in 2000 Designer Showcase. A wall was removed and left two different ceiling heights.
In order to draw attention away from this the ceiling was embellished with intricate patterned molding, textured wallpaper and dramatic lighting.
Design tip: Don’t forget the ceiling. It does not have to be this elaborate. You can achieve an amazing effect by adding some well design molding detail, texture with paint or paper and/or the right lighting… remember attention to details.
Soft, serene color palettes were used throughout the house. Here in the master bedroom soft blues and gold set the mood.
Design tip: Find the right color that appeals to you and create a master space that allows for restful, blissful sleep.
Teenage Daughter’s Room
What teenage girl would not die for a room like this? There were feminine touches everywhere with varying shades of lavender and wonderful details.
Design tip: The existing bookcases flanking the sides of the bed were turned into creative niches to hold accessories, trinkets and baubles of any teen’s fancy. This could be applied to any bookcase by designing a plan to convert the bookcase interior with shelving boards.
This guest room was designed to incorporate the eves and slopes of the ceiling. Many built-ins provided ample storage and some hidden details.
Design tip: The TV was recessed in the wall and hidden by a hinged piece of art. The small TV was mounted in the recessed area on a swivel-tilt wall mount so it could be positioned to suit the guest’s viewing needs.
This space was originally the servant’s quarters. It has been transformed into a space to work, converse, relax and sleep. The textured wall, molding details, fabrics and accessories set the tone.
Design tip: A queen size bed was turned horizontal and tuck up against the wall to create a lavish day bed. This could be done with a twin or double bed as well. It definitely achieved the designer’s goal of a multi use relaxing space.
There were many lavish baths throughout the house but this smaller scale space contained some wonderful details. The blue painted cabinet with slab inset doors and simple but interesting hardware blends seamlessly with the white marble countertop and adjacent shower wall. I love how the glass shower wall just seems to float on the white wall. The tile details were very subtle but tied the entire space together.
Design tip: Simple details like the door pulls can add so much. The tile border place high and low is a great placement and creates a feeling of more height in the shower. Think about creative ways to use an interesting tile accent in a different way.
This room included the use of lots of different textures… on the wall, bed and floor. I love this mingle of tactile fabrics to make you want to reach out and touch every detail. The very tall headboard was a little over scaled for the space but the reading nook was very creative.
Design tip: The reading nook was formerly a closet. What a great adaptation of a small space. You may not have an extra closet to give up but think outside the box when confronted with a use for a small difficult space.
What an amazing makeover of the original three car garage! The guys from the firm Garage Envy incorporated so many interesting details into this space. This is certainly not your usual “man cave”.
Design tip: You may not have that three care garage space to work with but garage organization can be done in many ways. Take cues from the pros by including storage, entertainment, border floor detail, lighting and seating in your garage makeover.
Our outing to the Designer Showcase was so worth while. It is something I don’t always take time to do. Throughout this country there are so many talented designers with thousands of creative ideas. They invest their time and talents to create beautiful show house spaces. After writing this blog I will always take a closer look at the details. The things that can really make the difference in the overall design. We all can take away a piece of some of these fabulous show house rooms by taking in the details and recreating them in your home.
For more information about the Pasadena Showcase House of Design events: http://www.pasadenashowcase.org/#
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!
Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching, along with many occasions to welcome house guests. Are you ready? Here are tips to make your guest room a welcome retreat. And they’re easy – some can be done in advance and some can be done in a pinch.
Pillows and Blankets – This may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to have plenty of blankets of different weights. You never know how cold or hot your guest may be, so give them options. Pillow options are appreciated also. While you’re at it, toss the pillow inserts in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet to add fluff and a fresh scent.
Robe and/or Slippers – This is especially nice when your guest bath isn’t adjoining the guest bedroom. Even a few steps out in the hall can be an awkward jump if you forgot something in your suitcase. This touch will remind your guests of a resort. Make it even cushier with fluffy slippers!
Desk/Writing Space – Although it seems so many of us primarily use our smart phones and other devises to communicate, a hand written note or card from a vacation is a classic touch. Include a small space complete with stationary, pens/pencils, and postage. If you don’t have room for a desk, reserve a space on a night stand/dresser/tray for your “Welcome Center” (see picture).
Water Glasses and Pitcher – This is another nice touch for the “Welcome Center”. Give your guests this convenience so they don’t have to stumble around your kitchen in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Especially nice if they take medications. Depending on your space, a Coffee Bar is also very appreciate.
Personal Touches – Send the perfect message with fresh-cut flowers. They say “Welcome”, “Good Morning”, and “Thank You!” all at once. This soft touch really makes a stay memorable. Books can be a nice addition. Think about the guests and what might interest them. I like including classic children’s books – works for kids and the young at heart. And don’t forget the very personal items, back-up toiletry items. It’s nice to have a toothbrush, hand lotion, etc. just in case.
Space for Luggage – Finally, baggage (whether physical or emotional) always come with guests. Guest rooms are often the catch-all space for things you don’t use that often or just don’t have a better home. Be careful not to consume too much storage space. Leave a few drawers empty for your guests (complete with a scented sachet) and space in the closet for hanging. And don’t forget the bags – a folding luggage rack takes little space and is a valuable luxury instead of having to hunch over your suitcase on the floor.
~Think about your favorite vacations and what made them special. You can recreate those memories in your guest room with these tips. You may love it so much, you can be a guest in your own home!
Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!
I am getting ready to travel to one of my favorite places, “Santa” Monica, because that is where I will share Christmas with both our sons and two daughters-in-love. It should be a great week! Our times together involve a lot of relaxing, eating and sharing stories with the newer members of our family. It doesn’t matter where we are, we always find these times together so special.
Last night reminded me of what an incredible acquired family I have right here at Lake Gaston. We had a Christmas dinner at our house for all the MSLL family. The wonderful, talented people who surrounded me are truly amazing. It makes it such a pleasure to come to work each and every day.
Paul, Autumn, Lu, Michelle, Peggy and Yvonne thanks so much!
The rest of my acquired family is every one of you who has supported us, shopped in our showroom, cooked in our new kitchen and asked us to help make your home a comfortable, family place. We have gotten to know you and your family and friends. The circle just keeps getting bigger. Thank you for enlarging our family!
Make this a holiday to remember with your family whether acquired or by nature.
Here are a few pictures of our MSLL Christmas party.
Have a wonderful holiday!
Working with you to create your lifestyle!
The Walking Red
What’s red and can walk over water? The MSLL Walking Red Team at the annual O’Sail Crossing! Go team!
The annual O’Sail event, The Crossing, is quickly approaching. August 11 is this year’s date. It is a great family event. You can swim, paddle, float or walk across the lake. Pick your pleasure!
Several years ago I wanted to be more a part of the Crossing. I chose to stay high and dry and walk the bridge. Collecting a few friends we created the Walking Red Team. So now is the time to join us to walk over the water of Lake Gaston. Wear something red to be part of our team. We will meet at 8:30 at The Point side of Eaton’s Ferry Bridge.
You will need to pre-register on line, www.osail.org Entries are $20 pre-register, and $25 day of event. All entries include a T-shirt and refreshments at the finish line provided by the Food Lion.
Join the fun and support the community services supported by O’Sail!!!
Hope you will join us for the fun!
Call if you need more info: 252-586-2437
Mary Sherwood Lake Living
I have been a lot of places since April. There were so many trips I had to stop to figure out just where I had been. Most of the travel was business related with several market trips (High Point and Atlanta), the Kitchen and Bath Industry show (Chicago) and the Fancy Food show (Washington DC) and a new construction consultation in Baltimore. My NYC trip was the one “for pleasure only” trip. It was a much needed nice, long weekend.
The reason for the NY trip was to connect with our sons in the city. Our oldest son, Aaron and his wife, Kiori, for the past nine months, have been working on a stage production of light, sound and movement as artists in residence at Tribeca Center for the Performing Arts. We were pleased to be able to experience the fruits of their labor on opening night. WOW… what a collaboration of a very talented contemporary dancer (Kiori) and a truly gifted musician/engineer (Aaron). The choreography, sounds and lighting were amazing. Our West coast son, Jake and wife, Elif certainly didn’t want to miss this. We were grateful to all be together for this special night.
There is another side to this wonderful family get together. I had selected our hotel months in advance for its proximity to the theater. I knew the hotel was close to the Wall Street district but I did not realize it was right across the street from the World Trade Center project. I opened the draperies in our room on the 12th floor and was so moved by what I saw. I had very mixed emotions. As first it brought back all the horror and sorrow of 9/11. In another way it made me realize how strong the American people are to re-build in spite of the immense tragedy. There was not much time spent in our hotel room but each time I was drawn to the window and pondered all of these thoughts. I will always remember that day in September and the day I saw the re-birth in progress.
Here is a link if you would like to learn more about the World Trade Center Project: http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/index.html
Thank you for my family. Thank you for all those who have sacrificed their loved ones so we can be free.
Please share your thoughts and feelings.
Lake Gaston is a great place to live! Living on the lake attracts lots of family and friends which provide lots of reasons to entertain.
In this project, to help our client entertain in style, we updated this wet bar.
We replaced the standard Formica countertop with this gorgeous piece of glass, then backlit the countertop with warm LED lighting. We added a ceramic and glass mosaic tile backsplash to complete the look. The results are stunning!
Whether you’re looking for a conversation starter or it’s just time to update your wet bar, man cave, or even your counter down at the dock, this is a great way to transform a countertop into a unique component in your design.
How would you incorporate a backlit countertop into a project?
Let’s hear your ideas!
Happy lake living!
Yes, friends there will be a Christmas tree at the Sherwood’s Lake Gaston home this Christmas! Some of our friends were beginning to worry there would not be any sign of holiday cheer at our house by the time our family arrives. Have no fear, we once again have a “live” Christmas tree. Here is the story…
Being in the retail and design business we are often very busy at this time of year. As our business and children were growing up and time was at a premium, Aaron and Jake began to question “if” and what kind of tree we would have. Traditionally it was always a live tree, sometimes collected from a local tree farm or the local Jaycee’s lot. In 2002, having waited until the last minute, I rushed to Wildwood Nursery in search of a live tree. They were too large, too tall or too expensive, so I had to re-group. Wondering through the nursery I spotted a Pom Pom Topiary Juniper. It was not very big but had a very interesting shape. Could I make this work as a Christmas tree? I am always up for a challenge! My youngest son, Jake, at that time, always arrived home for Christmas late in the night from NJ. I had promised him a real tree! So, he first laid eyes on this tree while everyone else was sleeping. In the morning he said, “Mom, what have you done? You decorated a “broccoli” tree for Christmas! Thus the saga of the potted Christmas trees began. Here is the pictorial version of the saga from 2002 to today, http://bit.ly/vFOmDz.
So this past weekend once again we set out on the quest for a tree. Again Wildwood Nursery was able to oblige. We found a beautiful potted ‘Carolina Sapphire’ Cypress tree about 5’ tall. This type of Cypress is a very airy looking tree with aromatic, pale blue-grey foliage. Because the foliage is so wispy, developing a decorating scheme took some thought.
I began with the lights placed close to the trunk. Tulle mesh ribbon in three colors, white, red and turquoise, and lime stretchy ribbon was added for the garland. Last but certainly not least, an assortment of light weight glass ornaments created the finishing touch!
Yes, we do have a tree and a few other Christmas baubles and bangles.
Thank you for reading this story! It helped me remember how precious these holiday memories will always be in our lives with the people we love.
Enjoy your holidays wherever you may be. Make some memories!
Well, here I am in New Jersey getting my elder son married off. It hadn’t occurred to me that it’s happening the same weekend as the Royal Wedding across the pond. The ladies are all a-twitter about both weddings… and I’m wondering how much more of this I can take!
Mary and I are staying with my sister Anne and her husband Val who both appear to be stars in NBC. Maybe you might be interested in what’s happening to my sister.
Twenty-five years ago, Anne hired on to NBC as a temp in the clerk pool. Today she is a full Vice President in charge of Affiliate Marketing. As such she gets some VERY cool opportunities.
Take, for example, the Royal Wedding. She is in charge of NBC’s affiliate support of the wedding. As such she developed part of NBC’s website for the wedding, http://nbcroyalwedding.com. If you find a page with some dinner ware (in the Royal Wedding etiquette section) you’ll be looking at my sister’s actual china and silver used in a shoot at NBC studios in Rockefeller Center. Anne’s staff did the research for all you find under all the different tabs. On top of that (and this was pretty cool) we’re sitting in her living room watching the event (on NBC’s Today show of course) and she’s reading us e-mails she’s getting from NBC reporters, producers and technical staff on site live at the wedding. Even now she’s sitting there sending instructions to her staff to update photographs and copy of the gown and the wedding cakes and the tiara. Check this out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/britishmonarchy.
In the past I’ve known her to have command of the NBC corporate jet to travel around the country promoting programs.
So what about my “little” sister do I like the best? Well, two years ago she and I did a motorcycle ride through the Adirondacks in upstate New York. We rode 750 miles and saw some of the most beautiful country God has seen fit to create! It was a marvelous, nostalgic, tour of the area in which she and I vacationed as children. I was emotional during much of the ride and made the comment to her about how this was a “once-in-a-lifetime”ride. Her response, “Why once??” We’re currently planning another ride…where? Well, we’re not quite sure yet. Wherever it turns out to be…it’ll be magical.
I love you, Sis.
Moving on to Install Day 2 we concentrated on the guest bedroom/home office in the MBR wing of the house. Our previous post told you a little about our client and the house. If you missed the first day’s events check out our blog: “This is What the Lake Gaston Girls Do in Dallas.” With the master bedroom basically complete we focused on to the guest bedroom/home office. This space is to function both as the small, comfortable private retreat/computer space for the owners and transform into a well- appointed guest room when needed.
In this space we dealt with the window that grew (mentioned in our last post)! Autumn, very skillfully, stretched the window treatment by adding a panel to the rear to make it 5″ wider. The treatment is a “faux” (or fixed) roman shade. We embellished the bottom with trim and hand-made buttons by NC potter, Courtney Tomchik.
With the use of a Murphy bed this space can switch easily into a place for guests. This was the room I stayed in during our visit. I actually slept with Mr. Murphy…the bed that is! 🙂 It is amazing how easily it converts! What a great solution for a multi-use space. Below are pictures in this order: the closed Murphy bed with four sets of bookcases, the Murphy bed frame behind the two center bookcases, and the Murphy bed ready to bed down guests. The bookshelves in this Murphy unit are crying for accessories. That will have to happen on our next visit!
To complete the space we added two very comfy Four Season swivel-glider slipcovered chairs! The slipcovers make the seating very pet friendly for the two dogs, Q-ee and Lew-ee! A small, mobile laptop desk, flat screen TV and small shelf for the receiver complete the owner’s retreat.
The owner’s comment: “I love this space! I’m not sure I want to share it with guests!
Hope you like this space! Tell us what you think!
More areas of the Dallas project to be revealed in our next post.
“Working with you to create your lifestyle at Lake Gaston and beyond.”
This job is so much fun! Autumn and I recently traveled to Dallas, TX. completing the first phase of a third project for this client. Overall, everything went very well. For our client the most important part of this first phase was the master bedroom and guest bedroom/home office. This new home was precipitated by the decision to move the owner’s mother and special needs sister under one roof. It was selected because it was all on one level and could accommodate the extended family in a separate wing. As a model, used by the builder for a sales office, the before pictures reflect that usage.
The house is a wonderful structure filled with many windows, high ceilings and interesting arches. Our job was to blend and re-purpose existing accessories and furniture, add window treatments to allow view and privacy and create a comfortable and safe environment for all. Here are pictures of the master bedroom suite. (Please excuse the photography the very high ceilings and wonderful windows challenged this amateur photographer.)
The logistics of such a project are a real challenge. They involve a lot of planning and even more communicating to make sure everything arrives on time and in good shape. (We actually contracted with two different delivery services to make it all happen.) There were a few snags. The drapery hardware, shipped direct to the client, was incorrect and incomplete. A local drapery installer we hired (thanks Larry, great job!), was able to find parts but those parts meant a trip into Dallas (about 35 miles). The second obstacle was a window in the Guest Bedroom/Home Office that had grown by 5” in width because of a framed interior shutter installed by the contractor — after we had measured. With Autumn’s creative talent and the use of the client’s sewing machine the window treatment was modified to work.
The only other limitation was the lack time. We worked non-stop for 2 ½ days and completed most of this phase of the project.
The client is thrilled!
Our next post in this series will show the Guest Bedroom/Home Office area.
Please comment and let us know what you think!
“Working with you to create at yourlife at Lake Gaston and beyond!
We just finished a great weekend with our kids – well, our son and his wife. We were sorry our older son, Aaron could not join us.
Many years ago (36 now) I had the extreme good fortune to marry an amazing woman. Today, I can express great pleasure at seeing that my younger son, Jake, has accomplished the same thing.
This four day Labor Day weekend was terrific! I don’t know what you usually do when family comes to visit – but Sherwoods usually relax and share great conversation. For us it’s all about the relationships we’re building or continuing to nurture. Such is our growing relationship with Elif, our son’s wife and newest family member. For Mary and me Elif is the daughter we’ve never had. She is as precious to us as our two sons.
This reminds me of a story…
Seven years ago when Jake and Elif were dating, Mary, and others, made innocent (I guess) remarks leading Jake to feel pressure to propose. Of course he called me for fatherly advice. I suggested he would know when the time was right and no one could make that decision for him. Several days later the phone rang and a stranger asked for Paul Sherwood. After acknowledging I was he – the stranger – without preamble – started in on how he and his wife had gotten to know Jake and loved him as their own son. He said that Jake had asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage and he wanted to know whether Mary and I would accept his daughter into our family on the same terms. I can tell you – I have never been so completely surprised and touched by anything in my entire life. Whether traditional in the Turkish culture or just something Elif’s Dad wanted to know – that question said a lot about the quality of the relationship between that man and his daughter – and especially about the depth of his love for her.
It has been my privilege to get to know this young woman – and to love her as though she were my own daughter – which, of course, now she is! It has been my joy to see my son and his wife together – the love they have for each other is as obvious as is, I hope, the love Mary and I have for each other.
My thanks and appreciation to all four of my family for loving me.