Monday, November 19, 2007


It has been a very busy week! I had two assignments for Log Home Design magazine to finish, Section 2 of The Mystery Project to work on, tickets for two Bruce Springsteen concerts, and Thanksgiving to plan.

Before I tell you more about what I’ve been up to, I’d like to explain today’s Coastal theme.

Outside my house the leaves were falling. Inside I was gathering gourds into bowls, and stockpiling ingredients for our Thanksgiving extravaganza, like a crazed gourmet squirrel.

Why did I have a few starfish sitting on top of my printer (instead of tiny Jack Be Little pumpkins from my garden) and a handful of seashells sprinkled on my desk?

I needed to get in a Coastal mood.

Section 2 of The Mystery Project deals with several different decorating styles, and this week I was writing the chapter on Summery Seaside Style. So, I alternated playlists of Caribbean music (does anyone else out there love the Mighty Sparrow?) with Springsteen’s new CD, served lobster rolls for dinner one night, and tried to think coastal thoughts.
(photo from Roadfood)

I added several photos of Aquamare, a luxury beachfront villa enclave on Virgin Gorda (one of the British Virgin Islands) to my virtual bulletin board.
Sent to me by my friend Rachel, who knows I love to write about – and dream about -- quiet island destinations, the villas are luxury to the max. Each villa has an unobstructed view of breathtaking sunsets, a waterfront infinity pool, private balconies, and a secluded outdoor bathing pavillion with a rain forest shower. Wonder what all this costs? The bad news is at
I even displayed my car keys near my computer. They dangle from a Wriskey in soothing turquoise shore shades. Crafted by Tara, at www.bellapinkcafe, Wriskeys make great stocking stuffers—and they come in dozens of fabulous fabric patterns.Dee, a friend of mine since my days as editor of Country Collectibles magazine, cheered me on with one of her Sock Monkey cards. Dee’s book "Friends Knock Your Socks Off" is coming out in late January, and I can’t wait. The book – and over a hundred themed Sock Monkey note cards -- can be ordered at
On the Log front: It’s time to get your copy of the January issue of Log Home Design. In addition to several stunning log homes in rural Illinois, Southern Virginia, and the mountains of Colorado, the new issue features my story on designing the perfect Master Suite.
Since magazines work far ahead in order to meet their production schedules, the assignments I was finishing up this week are for the April 2008 issue. One article was about a couple who built their dream home on a Florida cattle ranch that had been in the family for several generations. In my experience, folks who build log homes are the nicest most hospitable people. I now have an open invitation to come for a fish fry and stay in the couple’s guest cottage (in one of the ranch’s renovated barns). How cool is that?

As for Springsteen, while the shows are now well under three hours, they were as terrific, as always. Bruce and the E Street Band are supporting their new album, "Magic.” The hit single, "Radio Nowhere," is streaming at Springsteen's MySpace page.

*** BLOG DU JOUR ***

Mary Poppins (no, that’s not her real name!) loves hearts, vintage lace, anything embroidered and brocante finds. Even if the only Italian you understand is “tiramisu”, you’ll be enchanted with this fascinating blog. Go to


Grace @ Rose Cottage Lane said...

I'm ready for a beach vacation now! Isn't it amazing how even just photos of the ocean are so soothing?

I have a wriskey too, and love it! So handy.

Angela (Cottage Magpie) said...

Oooh, I love the coastal theme. I'm planning a coastal-themed Christmas tree this year, and I'm having a ball coming up with ornament ideas. Now I just have to get the room painted! Yipes!
~Angela :-)

Alison Gibbs said...

Aquamare looks sooo.. inviting.

Susie Q said...

Sock monkeys, lobster rolls AND The Boss?? Now THIS is fun!

I have been playing catch up after being off line for almost 3 weeks. I have really enjoyed reading through your posts and seeing all the pictures. Always find a smile here!


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

I just adore the villas ~ I am always ready for a beach vacation, especially indulging in such luxury ~ ahhhh if only to dream.....

KimberlyRyanDesigns said...

Hi Barbara, you packed so much into that post! Lovely coastal pics, i am a shabby chic pink girl at heart but i love log cabins! We stopped by some in Tenn last year they are incredible, they can be decorated a cottage style also. I'm from Rhode Island and we lived on lobster rolls! I'm homesick now! Have a lovely week, Kimberly

PAT said...

Hello Barbara! Thanks so much for this great post. I'm trying to recuperate from the weekend wedding extravaganza!

I finally dragged myself to the Dr today, should have gone last week. I'm heavily medicated with extra special antibiotics and decongestants. I plan to begin Christmas decorating this weekend. I need all the strength I can muster!!

Anyway...your post helped a lot, this evening!
Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: I love Sock Monkeys!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Barbara! A great post, as usual. and the blog du jour, fabulous! (Your link doesn't work, it needs as part of it)

Xo Lidy