Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas
 

Today's Menu

 
 
Cream of Roasted Red Pepper Soup with a Basil Pesto drizzle
Salad with fresh Blueberries & Blue Cheese
Fillet Mignon
Mushroom Medley saute' in Cuvee Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( From our very own Olive Scene) Garlic & Fresh Rosemary
Buttermilk Biscuits
 
Almond Sugar Cookies
Peppermint Bark
Russian Tea Cookies
 
 
 
Almond Sugar Cookies
 
 
 
 Home Made Peppermint Bark

 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmans Eve!


Christmas Eve!
 
  I remember the magic as a child. Santa, his sleigh and the Reindeer of course. 
 
Now the birth of Jesus means the birth of hope, love & forgiveness.  Of equality for all.
 

 



 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

4 day countdown Snow Men -" Let it Snow"

Who Remembers making a Snowman, or watching Raymond Briggs "The Snowman"
 
 
 
 
I think this was one of my favorite parts of Winter.
 
 
 
Part of my Snowman  Collection!
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 Day Count Down to Christmas

With Christmas right around the corner....
 
I thought I would share some of our Holiday House with all of you.
 
Every year we put up a live tree.  I remember growing up, my mother wanted very much to transition into a fake tree.  I would protest until finally she would give in, and to my delight, we would go out and  purchase our live tree.  
 
She would lament that one day I would understand why she did not want to get a live tree, as the mess from all of the needles was just too much work.  We never had a Fraser Fur. 
 

 
While it is true that when you are the one cleaning up the mess, your perspective is somewhat different than those just enjoying the tree. 
 
I still love a live tree in the home.  It has a special way of bringing hope, wonder and that lovely scent of pine into our home at Christmas time.  Yes, there is more work at the end of it all.  But so worth it!

 




 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Close Up of Pillow Details

 
 
Details
 
 



Handmade Pillow for a very special Aunt

Happy Holidays Everyone!
 
I
 hope
everyone
 is  done
 shopping and baking,
and dressing the house and tree! 
Not
 me.
 
 
 
 
 So just to reduce some stress.  I just had to try my creative hand on this Handmade Pillow. I know exactly who the receiver of this gift is going to be too.   My lovely and very special Aunt.
  I sure hope she likes it.



 
Merry Christmas
 
To My Aunt


It's not the things that can be bought that are life's richest treasure,

It's just the little heart gifts that money cannot measure . . .

A cheerful smile, a friendly word, a sympathetic nod

Are priceless little treasures from the storehouse of our God . . .

They are the things that can't be bought with silver or with gold,

For thoughtfulness and kindness and love are never sold . . .

They are the priceless things in life for which no one can pay,

And the giver finds rich recompense in giving them away.

And who does more good for others that everyone else can't

Than my understanding, kind and wise and selfless, loving Aunt



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Inspiration

 
When it comes to Dressing up our Home for the Holidays, I like to keep it very Simple!
 
 
Here are some easy ways to add a little sparkle for the Holidays!
 
HAPPY HOLIDAYS


Mercury Glass

 
Mini Trees under a Cloche

 
Little Golden Sparrows in Woodland Greenery

 
Doggy Treats all Dressed up

 
DOVES = PEACE

 
Add Jeweled Ornaments to Chandelier

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012!



GRATITUDE
 
Friends
Family
Music
Art
Work
Nature
Purpose
Love
Forgiveness

This year we had a very quiet Thanksgiving.   I made some old favorites, and tried some new recipes.  Roasted Brussels Sprouts in a Sherry Cream Sauce.  Very Yummy!
 A very easy Lemon, Cran-Rasberry puff pastry.  I think everything turned out pretty well. Better still everyone tried just about everything I made. This made me happy!!!!


Here is a peek at our tablescape.


A simple Grosgrain Ribbon with a button and fresh Rosemary Sprig
for some lovely homespun detail

 
Fresh Flowers and Pears added to a Silk Floral arrangement, surround a dried Gourd from the Farmers Market



My Favorite!!! Mr. Pumkin
 
I hope everyone had a warm and loving Thanksgiving.
 
 
Brussels Sprouts in a Sherry Bacon Cream Sauce
 
1 tablespoon salt


    Directions

    1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in enough water to cover the Brussels sprouts in a bowl, and soak the sprouts in the salty water for 1 hour. Drain off the water, and toss the sprouts in olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to coat thoroughly.
    2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
    3. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown at the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in the shallot and mushrooms, then cook until the shallots turn translucent, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic, and cook 1 minute, then stir in the sherry and cream until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir until reduced by half. The thickened sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
    4. While the sauce is cooking, lay the Brussels sprouts, cut sides down, onto a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the sprouts are browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the browned sprouts to the sauce, toss to coat, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
     Recipe from all recipes.com
     
    Lemon Curd & Cran-Rasberry Pasty Puffs
     
    Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells
    Prepare as directed
     
    Pop off the top of the pastry and fill with lemon curd ( I used store bought) and a Cran-Rasberry Jam.
    Put top back on and dust with confectioners sugar.  These could be filled with any Lemon Curd, Jam combination.  I think I will try a pumpkin butter and whipped cream next time!!!!!
    Recipe from the Kitchen of Cindy LeBlanc
     

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Tuesday Morning Hand Rendering for Interior Design


    So it would seem that I can't get enough of doing these chairs!!!  and I can't. 

    I love working on them.  They are small but mighty. Some are soft and nuetral, and some like this one that I am featuring today, are  packed with pattern and color.  Chair vignettes make me smile.

    I truly hope they make you smile as well.  




    Happy Decorating!
    Cindy

    "MakeYour Home Your Favorite Destination"

    Friday, September 28, 2012

    Latest Hand Rendering

    What do you do during moments when you are working on a project, and you are hitting a road block, or you are just becoming overwhelmed? 

    I hop over to my desk and work on something I do mostly for the pure enjoyment of it.  I work on a small art project.  Something that will not take up all my time or energy.  A project that can be completed in a short amount of time.  Even though I know that I will eventually complete my larger project, at times I can become overwhelmed and just need a break.

    Taking a break, and working on something else for a while may seem like procrastination, but for me it is a way to recharge myself for my larger project, a time to step away and give my mind some freedom to see the bigger picture.  

    So it is a win win situation! 

    Today I am sharing my recent mini project!  I hope you like it.


    Happy Decorating
     
    Cindy

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Saturday Rendering: Flat Weave Bench



    Flat weave rugs are not just for the floor.  This rug was used to transform this beautiful bench.
    Happy decorating!
    Make your home your favorite destination!


    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Communicating your Design vision with Renderings



    Hello!  Today I am sharing my rendering of the color inspiration ideas presented in my last post.
    This was done in mixed medium, primarily watercolor. 
    Color inspiration, Yellow & Blue Warbler.  Blue and yellow bedroom.
    I hope you like it.


    Happy decorating!

    Cindy

     

          
     

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Color Inspiration - Yellow & Blue Bedroom

    It is Monday and I am very excited to finally share my design idea inspired by this beautiful yellow & blue Warbler.  Later my hand rendering will be finished and ready to share!



      If any one knows which specific Warbler this is, I would love to know. 
     In my last post, I put myself to the challenge of finding inspiration in nature as well something I love.
    Well I love birds and I absolutely love the colors in this beautiful bird.  

      I chose a dark organic wood flooring. 

      Wood flooring

    There is nothing that compares to a hand knotted wool rug.   I chose this beautiful rug from Jaipur Rugs.  The warm yellow & cream as well as the muted pattern, ground the room in soft warmth without overpowering it with color or pattern. 

    Jaipur Rugs 
     



       The bedding, drapery and furniture fabrics have a lot of white in them and help keep things really fresh.  They also add most of the rooms pattern and color.  I chose these lovely sheets from Serena and Lilly for the small details they bring to the room.



    Serena & Lily Sheet Set


    Askandra Flower in Delf / Fschumacher Company
    Chair


    Greenhouse Fabrics
    Duvet, Shams & Drapery Panels


    Kevala Paisley in Delf/ Fschumacher Company
    Bedskirt and Shams




    I really love the punch of translucent color the bright yellow Murano glass pendant and table lamps bring to this room.  


    For the bedside chest I chose this amazing piece from the furniture collection at Somerset Bay Home.
    All of the furniture collections from Somerset Bay Home are handcrafted from Mohogany and then finished to a beautiful patina in a 6 step finishing process. The choices are endless. The look is timeless!




    Indian Key Chest
    bedside chests


    For the finishing touch  I chose these wonderful blue coral prints from Soicher & Marin



    If you have a question or are looking for some help with a project in your home.  I would love to hear from you.
    Make your home your favorite destination.
    Happy Decorating!
    Cindy




    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Somerset Bay Watercolor Rendering!

    Ok, it is Monday and after a wonderful weekend filled with Family and friends.  I really needed to do some artwork and get myself  centered.  I read an amazing article  in the Plain Dealer Sunday about just this type of thing by Karen Sandstrom.  http://www.karensandstrom.blogspot.com/

     So in the spirit of not giving safe haven to neither self-doubt nor self-pity.
    I once again put on my artist hat and got busy doing one of the things I love to do!
    I hope you like it.  
    This is a Beautiful side table/chest by Somerset Bay Furniture.   I am so happy to be 1 of only 2 distributors of this amazing furniture line in our area.    

    I will be finishing up my latest color inspiration this week!  This is part of an earlier series on Bringing Color into your home.    Look for this chest as part of the design. 
    Happy Creating!
    Cindy


    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Wednesday Morning Chair Rendering

    So today I am experimenting with rendering florals on a chair.  A bit more challenging, but lots of fun. 
    For this chair the background color was a light cream linen.  Not perfect my first time out of the gate, but I am pleased with it.  I love the beautiful floral and bird fabric.  It both calms and inspires me.  I hope you like it too.
    Happy Decorating! 
    Cindy

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    My Tuesday morning rendering muse!

    I could see this fun chaise in a young girls bedroom, or a grown up girls dream bathroom or dressing room.   I love the the cheetah print fabric. The wood tone reminds me of some lovely Rotadendrums.  This Vanessa Chaise is my pick for fun furniture, and my Tuesday morning furniture rendering muse.  
    Happy Decorating!



    Cindy

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Color Inspiration






    Color inspiration can come from almost anywhere!  Find something that inspires you.  Something that captures a feeling you would like to recreate.  A feeling you love!   I have some artwork that does this for me.  I confess that I am addicted to textiles, so a beautiful fabric, a great hand knotted or woven rug, can be a source of inspiration for me.    But as is the case sometimes, we don't have the rug or the fabric yet.  So what now?

    Start by looking around you.   There is inspiration everywhere.   Especially in nature. Nature has color harmony perfected.  You will also find that nature isn't afraid of taking a little chance when it comes to color.  Sometimes the unexpected pop of color is the most exciting. 
    Look at the lovely color scheme created from this photo.

    See if you can imagine a room created with these colors as the inspiration.  I'm off to do the same.
    I'll be back with my next post!
    Proof that inspiration is everywhere!

    Happy Decorating
    Cindy

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    Schumacher Pin it contest

    In case you haven't noticed.  I have been sharing some fabrics and trimmmings with you all on Face Book.
    These beauties are just a sampling of all of the amazing, to die for fabrics, wallpaper, furniture, and trimmings that F Schumacher has to offer.   Today I thought I would have some fun putting a little vignette together.
    I hope you like it.   

    My Entry for today! 
    Schumacher Pinterest Pin It Contest

    So here is a bit of a peek at what can be done with some of the fabrics I have been sharing with you on Pinterest & Facebook
    To see more check out my Schumacher Board on Pinterest.  
    Happy Dreaming

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    Color Harmony

    Does some knowledge about color actually help us to decide what color direction to go in?
    Understanding that color can and does invoke emotions can guide the decision making process. It will also help us to achieve the mood we desire in a room.

    For example: If I want a sense of tranquility in my master bedroom, I might be advised to choose something in the blue or green family. According to color and emotions, if I choose a blue or green color, my room will have a calm, tranquil feeling. This is just one example of how having some knowledge of the emotions colors create would be helpful.

    Even though a color may be attached to a certain range of emotions for a large group of people. These may not apply to you.
    But more often a problem arises when we are not drawn to the colors that are said to invoke the emotion or the mood we would like our room to have. Red is not on the list of colors that would invoke a sense of tranquility and calm. You, however may be very drawn to red. So how do we create color Harmony?



    Color Harmony
    Source: Color Matters.



    Harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts. In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it is either boring or chaotic. At one extreme is a visual experience that is so bland that the viewer is not engaged. At the other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer cannot stand to look at it. . The visual task requires that we present a logical structure. Color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order.

    In summary, extreme unity leads to under-stimulation, extreme complexity leads to over-stimulation. Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium.





    And my next segment. Inspiration

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Color Continued

    On today’s color segment I am going to spend a bit more time with some fun color information.

    After that we are going to move on to the good stuff, deciding on colors for your home.

    So here is a little bit about color and how it is perceived. Some colors are universally interpreted the same, others are not. Here are just a couple of examples.

    Red

    Red is the color of extremes. It’s the color of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure.
    The international color for stop.
    The color of good luck in Asia and is the most popular color in China.
    Brides in India and Nepal wear red saris

    Yellow

    The color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring.
    Yellow is the color of traffic lights and signs indicating caution all over the world.
    Yellow is the most visible color of the spectrum.
    In Japan, yellow often represents courage.

    Blue

    It’s nature’s color for water and sky. . Blue has more complex and contradictory meanings than any other color. These can be easily explained by pinpointing by the specific shade of blue.

    Dark blue: trust, dignity, intelligence, authority

    Bright blue: cleanliness, strength, dependability, coolness
    Light (sky) blue: peace, serenity, ethereal, spiritual, infinity Dark blue is the color of mourning in Korea.

    Blue is for a baby girl; pink for a baby boy in Belgium.

    Green

    Since the beginning of time, green has signified growth, rebirth, and fertility.

    Green is no longer just a color. Green is universally associated with nature. Green symbolizes ecology and the environment. . Feng Shui claims that green eases absent-mindedness, nervousness and rudeness.

    Traffic lights are green all over the world

    Purple

    Purple symbolizes nobility and luxury to most people in the world.

    Light purples are light-hearted, floral, and romantic. The dark shades are more intellectual and dignified.

    Orange

    Orange is vibrant. It’s hot, healthy, fruity and engaging – but it can be abrasive and crass. The only color of the spectrum whose name was taken from an object, the popular fruit - the orange. .
    Symbolizes energy, vitality, cheer, excitement, adventure, warmth, and good health.

    Evokes the taste of healthy fruits.

    Symbolic of autumn.

    Orange is both the name and emblematic color of the royal family.

    The middle traffic light is orange in France.

    Pink

    Pink can be youthful, fun, and exciting, and some have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive. Toning down the passion of red with the purity of white results in the softer pinks that are associated with romance and the blush of a young woman's cheeks.

    Brown

    Brown says stability, reliability, and approachability. It is the color of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic.

    Gray

    Grey is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. It is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is controlled and inconspicuous and is considered a color of compromise, perhaps because it sits between the extremes of black and white. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color.

    Black

    Black is authoritative and powerful; because black can evoke strong emotions, too much can be overwhelming. Black represents a lack of color, the primordial void, emptiness. It is a classic color for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated.

    White, projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality.

      Some fun color information!   Does this help to decide what color we are drawn to or what color we should use in a room?
     Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.  Color as we can see has many meanings and moods. What color looks and feels good to you is completely personal.

    Tip # 2:  Choose colors based on what makes you feel good.  Don't be preoccupied with the latest color, particular meanings of a color, or what someone else happens to feel about a color.  This is your home.

    Hand Rendered Chairs inspired by Lee Industries


    I have been practicing my hand rendering skills on some chairs.  Chairs are a fun, manageable way to try new techniques.  They are also a great way to add a pop of color in your room.



    Hand Rendering artwork:  Cindy LeBlanc
    Chairs were inspired by Lee Industries

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    Adding color to your home

    Here is a true story that happened to Moi!



    My son and I picked out a wonderful blue to repaint his room and kick off a new look.  Benjamin Moores Nantucket Fog AC-22.   I headed off to the store color sample in hand   Picked out base paint.  The paint was all mixed and ready to go, little swatch on top.  On my way to the register a woman commented  "what a pretty color." Pretty, hmm.   While in line the cashier said "what a lovely Sea foam." Sea foam, hmm,  not what we were going for. I was getting nervous, thinking I may need to change job professions. Not to mention, my hubby was at home patiently waiting, all set up, walls sanded, washed, and taped. Whole afternoon set aside to get this job done for me. You get the point here, right?
    My son had put complete trust in my design ability and sent me off saying he knew whatever I picked out would look fantastic!  I was a bit queasy.  I walked in and said " I think it would be a good idea to paint a swatch on the wall."
    My husband not sure why, looking suspicious, agreed.

    This story has a happy ending. The swatch on my sons wall was neither pretty or Sea foam.  It was in fact, exactly what we were was hoping for.  The lighting in the paint store had significantly changed the appearance of the color we chose.   So much so, that it did not appear to be just lighter or darker, it was a different color altogether.


    Whew!!!  Very scary stuff people.   
    All kidding aside.  Buying a can of paint is not the most expensive purchase you will probably make when deciding to redecorate.  Hiring a professional to prepare and paint a room for you on the other hand, well not so inexpensive.

    Tip # 1
    Choose the color in the room and the light it will seen in most often.
    Go to the paint store and bring home several swatches of the colors you like.
    Look at them in the room at different times of day.  

     "Wait"  are you saying " I haven't even figured out what color I like." 
    Or, "I know what colors I like, but I'm not sure what would look the best."

    In my next segment I will talk about color schemes, and share some of my ideas on how to choose a color pallet.  
    Stay inspired!

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    What Color are You?

    Let's talk Color


    Color is a topic that always comes up in a design consultation. What color to use in a space can be one of the most personal statements about our visual preferences.  It also says something about our level of comfort with commitment.  I don't have a commitment problem you say.  I am not talking about commitment to a  relationship or job.   I am talking about commitment to color.  I confess, I too have an aversion to making a commitment to color at times.   After all it is so final.  While I am not a jump in let's paint the walls chartreuse kind of person, I can't imagine a room without color.   
    So if your looking at your home right now and wondering if there are any shades of cream and white you have not used, stay tuned. 
    We are going to add some color to your home, one step at a time.  
    First off I am going to share some information with you about color .

    Color and Your Emotions
    excerpts from: What Hue are you, written by Denise Turner

    While color preferences are very individual, colors have been scientifically proven to have consistent physical and emotional effects, which is worth considering when selecting colors for your environment or clothing.
    Ancient Roman, Egyptian, Chinese, and Greek cultures were aware of the importance of Color Therapy. In fact, Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, used different colored ointments and salves on his patients and he painted his treatment rooms in colors that promoted healing.
    Hippocrates discovered that red helped patients with circulatory problems while blue aided in reducing the temperature of feverish adults and children.
    “Red is passionate and exciting and people who drive red cars drive faster than someone in a black car.” Turner says, “Pink is red however with the addition of white has a completely different effect. It slows the heart rate and calms aggressive behavior."