Sunday, March 27, 2011

Leaf Chronicle column, March 27th

As promised, this column is going to address some of the many options and issues we face in choosing our bedding—here’s where I lose 80% of the male readers on which I had a tenuous hold at best. Guys generally don’t care what is on the bed, until it’s—in their opinion—the wrong thing.

I may as well address this issue at the onset. One of the most common refrains I hear as ladies stare with longing at the romantic bed vignettes we present at Hodgepodge is: My husband would never go for that. While I agree that home decorating is best done with some cooperative effort between the spouses, I generally say “break the rules” in the bedroom. Try to stay with me here guys, most of the time spent in the bedroom is with eyes closed. As long as the mattress is comfy, does it really matter if you’re lying under a quilt with a floral design? I think not. Go ahead and stand firm for the recliner in the den (not that it would work in our house), but let her have the bedroom.

Alrighty then, next issue: bed-in-a-bag. (Here’s where I may lose the rest of you, but I’m not trying to be insulting, really.) While I do agree they serve a purpose—they’re easy to grab and an ideal option for many bachelors—I’d much rather see you choose a pieces that reflect your taste and needs. The “package deal” offered with one bag full of comforter, shams, dust ruffle and throw pillows has improved and there are a few tasteful options available. Yet, thought of your bedroom looking the same as your neighbors and someone across the state is off putting.

So here are some tools for you when choosing a look unique to you. We’ll start at the bottom with the dust ruffle. Some folks prefer not to have a dust ruffle—I prefer to have two! The ruffle generally is placed directly on the top of your box spring. Depending on your mattress set and bed you’ll need to measure for the drop you desire—measure form the top of the box spring to the floor. Most dust ruffles have a drop between 14 – 16 inches. If you like the layered look you’ll want to find two dust ruffles with different lengths. I achieved our look with a king size ruffle on the bottom and a queen size on top of it. I cinched the king sized ruffle in the center, but allowed it to puddle on the floor.

spring bed

The next layer will be your sheets. This is really the most important aspect of the bedding, because it’s where most of the contact happens. We’ve recently discovered the pleasure of high thread count, Egyptian cotton. (Really ladies—put these on the bed and your husband won’t care if you use cabbage roses and lace for the rest!) I have a couple pointers about putting sheets on the bed. First, if you use a quilt or comforter which you fold back, make sure your fitted sheet matches the rest of the bedding—it’ll show. Second, the top sheet goes on the mattress with the pretty side facing down. You do this so that when you fold the edge back, the pretty side is showing. Even if you don’t fold back the edge, place the finished side down so the stitched selvedge is facing up (away from your face). Finally, if you don’t know how, learn how to make hospital corners! It keeps the top sheet in place and you’ll have less work making the bed in the morning.

The next layer is generally the one we give the most attention. This is the top layer—the part we see immediately upon entering the room. I prefer lightweight quilts which I can layer in the winter and shed in the summer. I also love duvets with cotton or linen covers folded at the foot of the bed. At the moment, you’ll find a cotton quilt with a velvet quilt folded at the foot of the bed and topped with a crocheted lace tablecloth (yes—tablecloth). I’ve had the tablecloth spread out across the blue velvet when it serves as our primary quilt in the winter—it looks lovely—and no, my husband doesn’t see the point, but I do (refer back to paragraph 2). I recommend using something machine washable, which is why I like lightweight quilts and duvet covers—they fit in our home washing machine.

our bed march

Pillows are definitely a personal preference thing. Some like them flat, some like them fluffy. If you and your partner use different styles, I recommend two of each. When making the bed, put the two flats on the mattress and the two fluffies on top or vice versa. You can use pillowcases or shams (yes, you can sleep on the shams—they’re washable!). I try to keep the throw pillows to a minimum—one or two—but they do help pull the look together.

I’ll be posting some pictures of a variety of bedding options on my blog, I hope you’ll take a look and leave your comments or questions. Next week, I’ll address the concept of creative head boards.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I scream, You scream--We all want an Airstream!

As promised, here I am, going against my own established rule—don’t use pictures in your blog that are not your own.  Yet, I cannot help myself.

I finally treated myself to some books by the amazing Sue Whitney with Ki Nassauer and/or Kimberly Melamed.  They are so very original and inspiring!

The book I’m referencing in this post is Junk Beautiful—Outdoor Edition.  In the pages of this incredible reference for all things repurposed and rusty I have found my goal . . . my purpose.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post my desire to own and renovate an Airstream trailer.  Thus far, my one opportunity to justify the purchase of one of these beauties was my husband’s brief jaunt to Ft. Leavenworth, KS for an Army course.  I thought he would love to live in an RV, rather than Army quarters. 



He countered with some statistics related to the Army post’s location being in the geographic location with the alternate moniker of “Tornado Alley.”  Yeah, well . . . what a weenie!  I figured, here’s a guy who has survived numerous  deployments, what’s the threat of the occasional twister?  Oh, alright—just think of yourself!

So, I’m still without an Airstream.

In the years since my failed pitch for a Silver Bullet, I feel like every blogger and her brother has a beautifully restored Airstream.  Then, Sue Whitney and Kimberly Melamed have to poke me in the eye with this:

march 2011 stuff 080

. . . we already have the Adirondack chairs!

Look at this:

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those picnic tables are incredibly uncomfortable as bench/tables—but it looks perfectly comfortable as a bed.

They wrapped it with rope (as seen in the photo below), but don’t stop there!  Look at the photo at the bottom!!!

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. . . my idea of perfect!

I think those wine riddlers would be happier holding wine, but that’s just me . . .

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All of the stuff on this page below—love it!

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One day . . . one day . . .

I promise . . . the next time I post pictures of an Airstream , they’ll be mine (my own pictures, at least!).

I’m going to link with Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday, because this post is all about vintage inspiration!


Thanks for your indulgence.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Leaf Chronicle article for Sunday, Mar 20, 2011

Each week, our city newspaper is kind enough to publish an article I write.  I’ve decided to post them here on Mondays.  I hope you enjoy them.

I have had such a wonderful week at the shop I thought I’d share a little bit with you.

First, I should start by letting you know that I have been tethered to the shop all week—no wonderful Patty to run the shop while I gallivant around Clarksville visiting with clients or shopping for their home decorating projects. Let me tell you, the prospect of being “stuck” at the shop for three weeks (yes—she’s gone that long!) was not exciting me. Thank goodness for the weekend and Jennifer! Yet, I’ve had a wonderful time.

(I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with the shop and my customers—my favorite part of the business!)

I’ve done all kinds of things that normally get added back to the list of projects to tackle tomorrow. I’ve actually been working on some creative projects at the shop, finishing some long ignored organizational projects—although you wouldn’t know that if you were to look at my desk right now—and I’ve had time to catch-up on some inventory issues. While these projects sound somewhat mundane, I’ve been happy to have time to finally accomplish them.

Second, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet some great new customers. I’ve had people in from Indiana, Florida, Illinois and Montana, just to name a few. Some have been here visiting family, but the preponderance have just been visiting Clarksville! I love visitors because they always love the downtown! They rarely, if ever, complain about the parking, they always have something positive to say about our downtown area and how much they’re enjoying visiting our city. Also, those folks that are here visiting with family—guess why the family brings them to the downtown area? Go ahead—I’ll give you a minute. It’s because of the unique shopping, dining and entertainment! Go figure.

franklin street mar '11 002

Aside from the nice folks I’ve met, it has just been wonderful to see so many of the locals coming out of hibernation. The nice weather has brought a lot of people onto the street—if not into the shop—and it is just so nice to leave my front door open and hear the street alive with activity.

And, finally, I was able to run back to Atlanta to revisit some of the vendors I had been thinking about adding to our product line. I’ve been struggling to determine if now is the time to add a new line of bedding to our already extensive offerings. But I guess the struggle was the due to the fact that I hadn’t found the right line. I’ve finally found it. No struggle. I’ve ordered a nice sampling of these beautiful new duvets, quilts, shams and matelass√© coverlets. You won’t believe how beautiful, yet practical they are—all machine washable! I hope you’ll stop in to take a look—they should arrive in the next week.

rachel duvet

Speaking of next week, I think that I share ideas for dressing your bed. I’ve mentioned that I’m not a fan of the “bed-in-a-bag” plan for dressing your bed, so I think I should give you the tools you need to put together a look that will express your unique style. I look forward to sharing some ideas!


Thanks for your indulgence!


Monday, March 14, 2011

7 Facts you’ll regret knowing about me . . .

7 facts pic

One of my favorite bloggers, City Mouse (now referenced in my two most recent posts!), invited me to participate in “7 Facts”—it’s a “meme.” I’m supposed to share 7 things about myself that my general reading audience of two do not know about me. (I told Debi that I can’t imagine there’s much I haven’t already told you, ummmm, both, but here goes . . .)

Obscure Paige fact #1—I had to google the definition of a “meme.” You too?

Richard Dawkins’ definition of a meme in The Selfish Gene is “a unit of cultural transmission.” Like genes and diseases, the prevailing characteristic of memes is that they tend to replicate, just add humans.


So, you may ask (as I did), whotheheck is Richard Dawkins and why does he make me feel stupid?

According to his “official website,” Richard Dawkins is the former Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, a position he held from 1995-2008.

Well, that clears that up!

For the record . . . I think Mr. Dawkins has an inflated sense of self-worth as he “named” a game I’ve been playing since I was a child in grade school; we passed around spiral notebooks with questions our friends were to answer--we called them “Friendship Books.”

I digress . . .

Obscure Paige fact #2—I loathe going to a spa for a massage. (A massage from my husband, however . . .)

Obscure Paige fact #3—my parents named me Paige Ellen Thomas. When I married, I dropped the Ellen and became Paige Thomas King. I have now been Paige Thomas King longer than I was Paige Ellen Thomas. (That was even obscure to me until this very moment!)

Obscure Paige fact #4—I love music and, while I do not always appreciate the music my fourteen year old chooses, I’d say I’m fairly open to most types of music. That being said, however, I usually leave a blog if music starts playing as soon as it loads.

I have been assaulted by truly horrific tunes, as well as music I adore, but the reason I’d prefer to have quiet blogs is that it usually announces to everyone that I’m looking at blogs! People shopping at Hodgepodge will stop and looks as the tunes start playing! Plus, it’s difficult for me to read your blog as Norah Jones soulfully belts out her number one hits. I will gladly click on your suggested music or your play lists (one of my favorite features of City Mouse’s Tunes I love Tuesday!).

Obscure Paige fact #5—While I’m on the blog topic, I’d also prefer to see YOUR pictures—not pictures you’ve grabbed from another website or an image search.

The occasional picture of an inspiration room or something you’re longing for, but don’t have one of your own to take a picture—that I understand. I’m interested in what YOU are doing and seeing and what inspires you, but I don’t want to read a blog filled with images you found on the Elle, Country Living or Architectural Digest sites. YOU are much more interesting.

That being said—be sure to watch for a post in the near future in which I’ll reference a bunch of pictures from a book I’m lovin’ on lately!

Obscure Paige fact #6—I cannot abide by hypocrites. (hee, hee)

Obscure Paige fact #7—I love that, until 14 days ago, my husband was part of that “less than 1% of the US population serving in the Armed Forces.”

I love that he served. He’s sacrificed so much and I am in his eternal debt. (Don’t tell him—he’ll be absolutely impossible to live with!) Oh, and I am glad he’s retired!

Now, I am to “tag” some of my blog friends and ask them to share in this “meme.” Here goes:

it’s your turn . . . Auntie Bliss at Blissitydoodah . . . and Kimberly at Kimberly Santiago Art . . . and Tawnya Norton at C’est Moi! . . . and Tanya at Suburban Jubilee. (two of them won’t mind, the other two will not be happy with me!) Please visit their blogs—they’re wonderful!

Thanks for your indulgence!


my stint as a “guest blogger”

I was very flattered to be contacted by Kathleen, at HawkersWife blog, for a guest blogger opportunity.   She sponsors a cleaning and organizing week on her blog and this year she asked me to weigh-in.  There are several give-away’s associated with the week of posts, I encourage you to visit and enter to win.

Here’s the link to her blog:



Here’s a link to my post on her blog:



Thanks for your indulgence!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Article for March 6th

For a little over a year I’ve been writing a column for our local newspaper (The Leaf Chronicle).  I really enjoy the opportunity, but I also feel like I have been pouring so much into my weekly deadline that I’m left drained of creative juices for my blog.

So, I’ve decided to start posting a copy of my article to my blog. 


While perusing my favorite blogs this morning, I read a post that moved me to tears. I have a blog friend who writes from her home in Maryland (the state where I was raised for nearly 15 years) under the pseudonym “City Mouse.” She’s married to “Country Mouse” and has five children—one son serving in Iraq. She loves R.E.M and coffee. We have a lot in common!

In her most recent post she wrote about the decision to buy her parents’ home in 2006. She shared her thoughts about living in a house where she had already created so many memories. As I read, I thought about her anxiety—what a daunting task it must be to occupy and own the house which (in your memory) belongs to your parents and your siblings. She mentioned that she and her husband had always loved the house, but had discussed what they would do to improve it for their use. They’ve now been living there for nearly 5 years. I wonder if they feel like the home belongs to them.

I have that feeling in our house. We’ve been here almost 9 years, yet there are days that I walk up to it and feel like a visitor. Our house has been on First Street for about 130 years—a lot of residents have come and gone through the doors of our house. My dream, however, is that we’re the last family to live here.2010_0130jan-late0189

When we bought this house, Darren was an active duty service member with a minimum of seven years left until retirement. As it turns out, he served nine more years and officially retired March 1st of this year. So, after 22 ½ years of PCS moves and deployments “we” have retired. The beautiful thing is we’re already living where we intend to spend the rest of our lives!

It is from this house on First Street that we will launch three children into the world. It’s to this house we hope they will always return. It’s in this house we hope to dress two brides and one groom. We plan to watch grandchildren play in this yard; in short, we plan to grow old right here on First Street. (Of course, we’d love to have a lake house and a boat for the weekends and summers!)

lake house

Just in case you’re wondering, my point is, many of us still hold on to the basic premise that “home is where the heart is.” We raise our families and create memories, but does it really matter where this all happens? Do the rooms of your home have a sacred hold on those memories? My feeling is that they’re part of the events and the memories, but they’re not the vessel—your heart is. That’s where we hold the good stuff; okay, technically, it’s our head, but that’s less poetic—I’m getting deep here!

While I imagine our children fighting over who gets to live in this house when Darren and I have moved into Uffelman’s Estate or Rocking Horse Meadows, in the end it’s just a house. We’ve made the memories and they will stay with us and our children no matter who is living in this house on First Street. Perhaps it’s all of the moves we’ve made in with the Army, but as much as I love this house and would hate to leave it, it’s just a shelter.

the kiddos

(only three of them are ours, but these are the memories I’m talking about!)

How about you?  Are you in your “forever house?”  If not, what do you dream of?  I’d love to hear from you.  Be sure to check out Citymouse and her thoughts on the matter. 

Thanks for your indulgence!


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