A Day In The City! (Part 1)

A few weeks ago I went into New York City for day with my sister and my son - our goal to visit the Guggenheim and view the Hilma af Klint exhibit and meet my niece for dinner. Here’s part 1 of that day.

Waiting for the Ferry in Weehawken, NJ

Waiting for the Ferry in Weehawken, NJ

Hilma af Klint (October 26, 1862 – October 21, 1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were among the first Western abstract art. A considerable body of her abstract work predates the first purely abstract compositions by Wassily Kandinsky. She belonged to a group called "The Five", a circle of women who shared her belief in the importance of trying to make contact with the so-called "High Masters" - often by way of séances. Her paintings, which sometimes resemble diagrams, were a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas. (from Wikipedia)

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Some of the beautiful architecture I captured from inside our taxi.

Some of the beautiful architecture I captured from inside our taxi.

We arrived at the Museum right around lunch time and ate our sandwiches outside.

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The Hilma af Klint exhibition closed on 4/23/2019. This show was the most ever attended over 600,000 visitors viewed the Swedish mystic painter’s works. I hadn’t been to the Guggenheim in years and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have seen it. It was my son’s first visit and he really enjoyed it.

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This view is taken from above in the balcony.

This view is taken from above in the balcony.

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The exhibit encompassed a retrospective of her life.

I simply love this image of Liam with my sister looking on - he took about 100 snaps on her phone!

I simply love this image of Liam with my sister looking on - he took about 100 snaps on her phone!

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I’m amazed I had not heard of Ms. Klint prior to this.

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Next week I’ll share part 2! Til then have a great week and please pop over to Instagram and follow along!

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Motherly Love

1985 Ever the Hostess.

1985 Ever the Hostess.

I apologize for the grainy 1985 photograph of my mother. She was hosting a Bridal Shower in our home for my cousin Sharon.

Rita Claire Patricia Higgins Gallagher (1928-1994) was polished, glamorous and knew everything about style and manners. Her mother Nora Cecilia Moclair Higgins (1887-1957) came to America from Aughrim, County Galway, Ireland on board the Majestic arriving from Queenstown May 27, 1909 at Ellis Island, NY. My Grandmother was a live-in Domestic - a Baby Nurse for more than one wealthy family in Manhattan - before marrying Sigfried Higgins - moving New Jersey to start their family. Nora’s name is inscribed on panel 192 on the permanent American Immigrant Wall of Honor erected in 1993 on Ellis Island, NY.

1952

1952

1953

1953

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday - I wanted to share where I got my spark for design and I simply can’t chat about Rita without saying that all she knew she learned from her mother.

My Mother was a fashion model. She shared one fun story about being in New York City and being pulled on stage to participate in a live game show - during which she was asked to dinner by a celebrity - she demurred - instead heading back home to Verona, NJ on the train.

Staying at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico 1953.

Staying at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico 1953.

1966

1966

1974 sporting her Jackie O sunglasses with her sister Marion left and her sister in law Gladys.

1974 sporting her Jackie O sunglasses with her sister Marion left and her sister in law Gladys.

1981 - I love this tanned relaxed image of her in Bermuda - She and Daddy Were traveling with her brother Bob and her sister in law Gladys and they had a Blast! For the rest of her life she spoke fondly of this trip.

1981 - I love this tanned relaxed image of her in Bermuda - She and Daddy Were traveling with her brother Bob and her sister in law Gladys and they had a Blast! For the rest of her life she spoke fondly of this trip.

1981 I’m throwing this in because the story’s priceless - look at my Dad - During that trip different workers went on Strike - the guests served there own meals and I don’t think they had very much maid service - the buses weren’t running - so my parents rode mopeds! I would have paid money to hear the conversation between Jim and Rita about being on a moped together! (Bermuda was originally a British Territory and they drive on the left.)

1981 I’m throwing this in because the story’s priceless - look at my Dad - During that trip different workers went on Strike - the guests served there own meals and I don’t think they had very much maid service - the buses weren’t running - so my parents rode mopeds! I would have paid money to hear the conversation between Jim and Rita about being on a moped together! (Bermuda was originally a British Territory and they drive on the left.)

1985 Ireland. Look at how stylish she was in her cashmere and wool!

1985 Ireland. Look at how stylish she was in her cashmere and wool!

1993

1993

Rita inspired me not only by how she dressed - she loved clothing - but, her accessories. My love of bracelets, pins and scarves is no accident my friends - it’s been bred into me!

Our home was lovely. Beautiful wall color, wonderful textiles. My mother never shied away from recovering a chair - adding a new pillow. I learned about gallery walls from her - we had two walls covered with family photos in our paneled Den. We had the most gorgeous octagon table that held picture frames en masse in our livingroom. My mother didn’t have many shelter magazine subscriptions but, she always read House Beautiful and Town and Country. I would leaf through them and read articles - gosh I wish I had a kept a few!

I always new as a child my home possessed a quality that was hard pressed to be duplicated. So many of my precious heirlooms were passed down to my Mother and I’m so lucky to have them in the Chalet - I cherish my 3 chairs - the Blue Bergere, the Beige Wooden Arm and the Pale Blue.

Although she will be gone 25 years next week - I never set a table without thinking of her and how we dined every night at 6:30 in our formal diningroom. My mother’s entertaining was always effortless - Sunday Dinners, Drinks, Lunches, her Bridge Group, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Christmas Eve - She loved to be with people - and our home was large enough to accommodate whomever could come.

Entertain: to keep a person or a group of people interested or amused.
— Cambridge Dictionary

This ease of entertaining started me thinking about how I could certainly carve out an hour or two - to spend with people - we all should! So now, I’ve started issuing invitations to the Chalet - for some it’s the first time, for others they’ve been coming over for years - but, I’m choosing to set aside dedicated time and hope they are able to as well. I’m thrilled to extend my hospitality. My mother instilled in me a love of home that has grown and continues to inspire me.

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I so wish I had more photos of her. These were the days before cell phone and the constant snapping of images. She was my everything. I miss her every day. She does let me know she’s around - by the time on the clock. My eye is drawn to 11 minutes after any hour and I give her an audible greeting. Even Liam knows and calls out “Hi Noni!”


Til next time! Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there!

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Form and Function

Today I’m sharing some recent projects.

I’m not much of a DIYer.. but, I do make Pillow Slip Covers… yeah - I sew a little. Just this week I made these two covers. I’m psyched at how they turned out and happy to bring some more blue and white into the livingroom. I remember the first time I made a cover years ago and how much work it was - man I was clueless but, like most things I figured it out.

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Pillow Slip Cover:

  • First wrap the fabric around the pillow form - measure for total finished edge and minus 1” to 1-1/2” smaller than size of insert. (This is how you achieve a full finished look of the pillow.)

  • Iron fabric

  • Start folding & figuring out the top and bottom edges - what part of the pattern you want to showcase. You’ll want the top pocket to extend over the bottom one a great deal to prevent opening or puckering. (I like to bring the opening down quite a bit so that if the pillow gets turned around you won’t notice the opening.)

  • Iron to make your edges crisp.

  • Pin edges and remeasure. Take your time. This step is critical. You may need to adjust and use the iron again. Again keeping in mind that you need to make the cover smaller than the actual pillow form.

  • Turn the fabric inside out and prep to start sewing.

  • Slowly run your stitch along one side and repeat. (yes, I only sew two seams!!!)

  • Turn right side out paying close attention to fully pushing out the corners.

  • Insert pillow form and voila! 


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Like I said I am not much of a DIYer but, I do want to tackle projects around the Chalet and with help from my husband I’m learning how!

I recovered a Chair!

We have an old oak chair in our bedroom that holds extra blankets and pillows at bedtime.

Last month I had a light-bulb moment… I have a lot of different fabrics from Fabric.com in a bin waiting to be made into Pillow Slip Covers and this time I decided to upgrade the chair and introduce another lovely blue and white pattern into our bedroom.

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Isn’t she sweet - I have no idea how old she is. (she’s old) To the best of my recollection she was in the basement at my parents while I was growing up. Previously she’d even been a desk chair for my husband and then she sat in our basement here at the Chalet - until I thought she’d be a good option next to my highboy dresser.

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What a change in about an hour! I love how it turned out!

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Let’s talk about the Bolster Pillow we installed in our sons room. When I redesigned Liam’s room last summer - I knew having his bed against an outside wall would necessitate a pillow option when the temperatures dropped.

The Chalet has scant insulation and shown here at right you see that his bed was on his interior wall for years. (Holy Cow look at the stuff!)

The only way to stop the cold from transferring to his bedding was to build a Bolster Pillow and attach it to the wall leaving an air-gap.

I drew it out and went to JoAnn Fabrics picking out foam and Blue Microfiber fabric. Friends I love me a good Microfiber and lucky for me my hubby had wood on-hand to make the backer.

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Installing the Wall Cleat was the first step.

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Then hanging the backer to make sure it was level and the gap was correct.

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It came together quickly. 1 sheet of MDF, 1 Cleat on Backer, 1 Wood Strip at bottom of Backer board to hold square to wall.

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A little time with the staple gun and finito!

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Here it is friends! Liam loves that he can sit on his bed Sofa style! I love that I don’t need to jam a million pillows and blankets between his bed and the wall. Living in an older home has it’s charms but, it also has it’s challenges - I am thrilled that we were able to tackle this one with a wonderful result!

Bolster:

  • 1 sheet of MDF

  • 1 - 2 x 4 ripped to create Wall Cleat and Cleat on Bolster

  • 1 Wood Strip to hold the backer board square to wall.

  • Foam

  • Fabric

    About 2 hrs of time - For Build and Installation. Additional time to source materials.

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Til next time! Here’s to creating what YOU need!

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