Sunday, November 30, 2008


Decorating the tree is like a wonderful trip down Memory Lane.... Reaching into the large plastic bin of ornaments is like reaching back to special moments in time commemorating events in the paths of our lives.  First Christmas in our new home, tiny golden angels from a dear friend because she knows my love for angels, one from my Mom for my 30th birthday (a long time ago), ornaments celebrating the First Christmases of my children, and the many, many fine blown glass and crystal given from loving friends and family that glisten on our tree every year.  But, the ones I treasure most of all,  are the paper treasures made by the tiny hands of my children in grade school all those years ago.  Although the glue has dried up and chipped away, the macaroni lost somewhere in time, most tattered and torn, they will always take their rightful place of honor on our tree every year... front and center!  Now, I know these photos won't mean anything to anyone else but me, but I do know that there isn't a mom out there that would trade one of those precious macaroni ornaments for the finest glass ornament in the world.

I don't have any grandchildren yet, but there is a special little boy in my life named Grayden. He is the son of a very dear friend of my son, Bill.  I can only say that if this is anything near what a having a grandchild will be like, then I am in for something wonderful.  On Thanksgiving Day, I was given another priceless gift made by tiny hands.  It is a cake plate with the imprint of Grayden's hand made into the image of a turkey.  Around the rim are treasured words that read:  This isn't just a turkey as you can plainly see.  I made it with my hand which is a part of me.  It comes with lots of love especially to say, I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day..... Love, Grayden James

Friday, November 28, 2008

MEADOWSWEET WREATH MANIA...... It's all about the wreath!

Wreaths here, there, and everywhere........ Oh, if only I had more doors!

A Country Christmas

Sugared Fruit
Red Roses and Lime Green Hydrangeas
Burgundy Peonies and Frosted Pine Cones
A Very Victorian Christmas
Creating beautiful homes, one door at a time.....

Thursday, November 27, 2008



The shopping frenzy will officially kick off at the crack of dawn on Friday morning.  I would like to remind everyone to please remember to support your local small businesses this holiday season.   Our small businesses have taken a terrific financial hit this past year, and many won't be around this time next year if they don't rebound this holiday season.

Remember... this country was founded on small mom and pop shops all across the nation.  Small shops that are slowly disappearing as they become swallowed up by the big stores.   Please don't let that happen.  Think about Main Street USA and the wonderful old world charm that exists in the quaint little villages across this country.  

Please let us all do our part in keeping our small boutiques up and running by supporting them this holiday season!
Shop on......


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I finally had a moment to design a centerpiece for my holiday table.  Typically, I am so busy designing for others that my house usually comes last.  

Let the holidays begin!

We thank you, Lord, for all you give;
The food we eat, the lives we live;
And to our loved ones far away,
Please send your blessing, Lord, we pray.
And help us all to live our days
With thankful hearts and loving ways.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Poem courtesy of Donna's Holiday Sentiments
Copyright (c) 1998-2005 Donna G. Sheehan - all rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Dear Blogging Friends,

Last night we had a power outage for several hours.  My daughter and I moved to this brand new home not very long ago and safely assumed as we slept that because our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are all hard wired, there was nothing to worry about.....

When the power went out in the middle of the night, the carbon monoxide detector kicked on with an ear piercing beep every 60 seconds and continued to beep for a few hours, I didn't know what to do.  I knew by the reading that the problem wasn't carbon monoxide and I assumed the beeping would stop when the power kicked back on.  In the meantime, we got some ear plugs and put our pillows over our heads and waited for the annoying sound to stop.

When the power finally came back on, I thought we could finally have some peace and quiet. But the indicator just kept beeping away.  You might be thinking, duh, at this point, but I didn't know that there was a battery in the detector since it was hard wired.   Lesson learned!  I finally took the detector off the wall and saw that there was a battery compartment as well as being hard wired.  Makes sense that when the power goes out, there is a battery back-up, but the battery had expired and I would have never known!  I guess there is a lesson to be learned in everything.

Friends...... now that the windows are closed up tight in some of our areas, this is a loving reminder to check the batteries in your smoke detectors and..... your carbon monoxide detectors!  I want you all to be safe so we can keep on blogging!   


Sunday, November 23, 2008


This cold morning I am sitting with a big steamy mug of coffee and preparing my shopping list for the days ahead.  The tablecloth is ironed and hanging in the closet all ready to be placed, the china, the new lovely tall wine glasses with golden circles surrounding them that will compliment my china so well..... everything ready for the gathering of family and friends all of whom I am the most thankful for.

In all of this preparation, we give little thought to the table itself, that "gathering place" that brings us all together.   My son, Bill, gave me a card some years ago, and the message is so endearing that it sits among other treasures in my bookshelves all these years later.  The message is a reminder that no matter if your table is crafted from the finest wood, or the simplest pine, it's that special place where its members may change from year to year, some are added and some no longer with us, but the memories of the time spent gathered around that table grow more precious as the years pass.  So here is that message, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  
 It's just a kitchen table,
much the worse for years of wear,
with memories
in each scratch and stain
from all that happened there~
the paint that never would come off,
a scissor nick or two,
the dent where something heavy dropped,
a bump of dried-up glue...
the scorch left by a cookie sheet,
the surface worn and faded
where hands were held
and elbows propped and countless stories traded.
It doesn't show the teardrops,
and it has no voice to tell
the secrets shared, the joys revealed,
but those are there as well.
Around that kitchen table,
life was happy and secure,
and my heart will feel that love
as long as memories endure.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK.....Thanks to Paula Deen!

I love magazines. But, I especially love the holiday editions that start appearing on newsstands this time of year. I'm always inspired by the titles for new ways to celebrate the season..... great new recipes for cookies, candy, and old favorites like fruit cake and gingerbread. I especially love the decorating ideas. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to to put a "spin" on the old ways I usually decorate. I especially love a warm welcome for the entrance to our home.

I love filling the house with all the scents of the season with garlands of fresh pines and cedars, juniper berries and holly along with huge blooming bulbs of brilliant red Amaryllis and potted Poinsettias. I always get a little frustrated that the fresh pines barely make it through the season without shedding their needles everywhere. Sometimes I even find one or two months later!

I was intrigued by the front cover of one of Paula Deen's holiday magazines featuring Colonial Christmas in Williamsburg where they are renowned for their exquisite designs using fresh pines and fruits. Since I love to decorate early, and I knew the fruit would never last the season, I was inspired to design a wreath using synthetic materials.

Because I have a store that specializes in silk floraI design, I have access to all types of good quality synthetic botanicals that can really "fool" the eye. I started with a synthetic mixed pine base and added synthetic boxwood throughout. I then added a mix of assorted fruits, pine cones, and pods (all synthetic) and created my New York version of "Christmas in Williamsburg".

Monday, November 17, 2008


We have this sign in my store that I just love. For me, it is a reminder that home should be a collection of all that matters to us. I think it is easy to get caught up in a certain style, or design concept that in the end produces a "model home', but not one that defines what matters most.

As I sit having my morning coffee.... I look around and see all of the things I love..... Photos on shelves in frames of various sizes and textures holding images of friends and family gathered for special moments in time. Lovely bound books on gardens and flowers. Books about Nantucket, and some favorite authors that live there and tell their stories. A beautiful hand crocheted afghan draped over the arm of the sofa that my Mom made me for my 40th birthday. That afghan surrounds me in warmth on chilly evenings while relaxing, reading or watching TV. My two furry companions, Teddy sitting right beside me on the couch, and Kobe stretched out at me feet. What would a home be without pets?

Look around you..... have you surrounded yourself with the things you love? What are they?

Friday, November 14, 2008


While in my garden early this morning gathering the last of the drying hydrangeas, I stumbled upon a little surprise. I couldn't believe my garden blessed me with a final gift..... these last two lovely huge zucchinis. I got such a kick out of it. It's almost Thanksgiving, and here in New York, I am still gathering a harvest! Just yesterday, I spoke of my sleeping garden all tucked in for the winter.

In the spirit of the season, I think I will bake up several zucchini breads, wrap them in brown parchment paper tied with some raffia ribbons and deliver them to some of my friends and neighbors in Thanksgiving for their friendship.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Thank you lovely garden for bringing so much pleasure to me, and to all those who visited this summer........

The fountains are covered and tucked away to ward off winter's icy chill........

Four hundred Pink Tulips and Purple Giant Allium planted deep in their winter's nests......
Garden Angel please watch over my sleeping garden until Spring arrives once again......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


In my About Me section, I mention that I have had a lifelong passion for flowers. I forgot to mention that along with that passion comes other passions. Namely, an addiction for shoes, handbags and.......hats!

My love affair with flowers led me one summer to a place that is renowned for their glorious window boxes and hydrangeas and roses blooming everywhere, that place is Nantucket, and I have gone every summer since.

On that first trip, I came upon an old antique red convertible Mercedes much like the one Cruella DeVil drives in 101 Dalmatians. Piled high in the back seat were black and white striped hat boxes....... and then I saw the sign "Peter Beaton Hats". So I followed the winding path to the quaint little shop off the cobblestone street, and I knew I was hooked. I purchased my first straw hat that year, and every year since. They have become somewhat of a collection, a memory for each summer that I visit.

As I pack them away now in their lovely black and white boxes, my thoughts go back to summer days in Nantucket, thoughts that will bring me through the long winter days ahead, thoughts that will keep me warm just thinking of my return there once again.....

How about you, what do you like to collect?

Saturday, November 8, 2008


The UPS man arrived again with another shipment of goodies. Among the deliveries today were these cozy pillows with a quote about families. Sometimes it takes several weeks after ordering an item to finally arrive at the store, and sometimes I forget about them until they arrive, and I am excited about it all over again. I just love these pillows and thought that you would too! And, of course, whenever something is delivered to my store that I love, one usually comes home to live in my home as well. The style in my home tends to be a bit more traditional, but I can never resist a little touch of country/cozy! It's the little things that make a house a home!

PS.. I left some at the store for others to purchase..... you can, too! They are $35.00

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The holiday season has arrived and it has become a bit like the North Pole at Meadowsweet with orders for holiday wreaths and arrangements coming in. We're all working like little elves to fill the orders and decorate the store as well. We're gearing up for the infamous "Black Friday" when the holiday shopping and decorating season will officially begin. We will be up to our elbows in ribbons and bows from now until December 24.

I thought I would share one of our newest designs because it is a bit different from the traditional Christmas wreath. This one is done with bronze glittery hydrangeas, ornaments and peacock feathers. I just love the look, and I think I just might design a matching garland for the mantle. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and I love it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


  • In an earlier post, I commented on how much I love the new lime green for accent touches in home decor today. I have chosen this color as a main theme in a new vacation home that I am decorating. 

For the kitchen, I am using a lime green and cream color scheme. So, imagine how thrilled I was when I found a favorite thing that I simply could not live without-- a stand-up KitchenAid Mixer-- in, you guessed it!.... Lime Green! Technically, they call it Green Apple.

So, I put my "Green Apple" KitchenAid mixer to the test this weekend with another all time favorite of mine, a Cinnamon Apple Cake recipe that I fittingly call "Eleanor's Apple Cake" because the recipe comes from one of my Mom's dearest friends, Eleanor.

  • 3 C.  Granny Smith Apples
  • 5 Tbsp. plus 2 C. Sugar
  • 5 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3 C. Flour
  • 3tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 C. Canola Oil
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/4 C. Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
Preheat oven to 375, grease bundt or tube pan.
Combine apples with 5 tsp. cinnamon and 5 Tbsp. sugar.  Set aside.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center, and add eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla.  Beat on low until well combined.  Batter will be thick.  Spoon a layer of batter into the pan, followed by a layer of apple mixture, another layer of batter and so on, ending with a layer of batter on top.
Bake  1 hour and 15 minutes, or until done.
Thank you, Eleanor!

Monday, November 3, 2008


THE INGREDIENTS............simple!



I will share my recipe on simple request! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Cielo from House in the Roses, is the winner of the giveaway. Since I didn't receive 31 responses, I added all the names into a basket and pulled a name. Congratulations, Cielo please email me your address so I can send your arrangement off to you!

This was fun! Maybe we'll do this again at Christmas!

When The Best Things In Life Come In Small Packages!! Happy Birthday, We all Love You So Much!!


My Store, Meadowsweet, Northport, NY

My Store, Meadowsweet, Northport, NY
All ready for Autumn!