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Well friends, I am leaving on a jet plane.....I don't know when I'll be back again....

Oh wait - I got carried away for a minute....
maybe because I am just so excited!

Our family is heading to a warm sunny place for spring break, and
after this morning's crazy spring snow, I can't wait!

Thought I would offer some hints as to where we are going.
When we return, I will draw a winner from those who made the
correct guess and send them a island {there is your first hint} souvenir!

So some additional hints:

*  the photo above

*  I get to visit a special blogger friend who is spending an adventurous
year on this island and has lately gotten super healthy.....

**I'll be back to the blog after April 5th.  Thanks to everyone who purchased a pillow -
I mailed the last of them TODAY!

the body does a couch good!

*I am feeling all naughty and rebellious.....hubby is out of town and I just finished feeding
my girls' dinner...after they cleared their dishes, they headed upstairs 
happily together {a rarer occurrence as they get older}....I poured
myself a glass of wine and am sitting down to finish this post
BEFORE cleaning up the kitchen....I am such a rebel!

Are ya sick of hearing about my living room yet? Remember the
room that held all the 'misfit' furniture and the couch with the big
print crazy slipcover?  I figure if I can decorate around that
slipcover I instantly earn my official interior designer membership card!

The room continues to 'evolve'.....that's code for "I still need to get the
chairs to the upholsterer, have my hubby hang the new lantern fixture on 
one of our 'free' weekends, find the perfect cowhide rug, reupholster the 
Louis chair in a black and white ticking fabric, among a million other things....."

However, progress was made last week.

The photo below shows the sad crazy, could be in grandma's house sofa before last week.....

And here she is with her new 'break-up my crazy pattern' bolster pillow!

My daughter has a Pottery Barn Teen feather body pillow on her bed so I
tried it for size - perfect fit!  I was not able to find a feather filled body
pillow in any local stores that matched PB Teen's quality, 
so I ordered another from PB Teen, had a local
workroom make a cover in a cream linen with a flat black linen welt.

I love the clean lines and simplicity of a bolster pillow on a sofa.......
especially when you need to break up a crazy pattern. 
This sofa happens to be quite deep as well so the bolster provides 
needed back support!

And while I had once regretted the damask patterned sofa, I am 
now loving the 'not your average white slipcover' look.  
This is a formal living room on the same floor
as our great room. And while I want to do a different look in this room,
 it still must relate to the rest of the house.  

Ok.....time to get to the dinner dishes.  Cheers!

I quit!

Remember when I told you I had gotten a part-time "real" job?
Well, I quit it last week.
Yes, I did.

My younger self would have not quit.  I would have not wanted to disappoint
those I worked for, my parents, my self {or so I thought}. 
 My younger self would have delayed her own contentment, 
ignored her gut feelings and miserably 
trudged to a job she disliked day after day, all while
feeling like the "good girl" she was expected to be.  

I am no longer that younger self, well still sort of young-ish, but certainly wiser.

I returned to work in the field I had been employed in before I had children -
a career where I enjoyed lots of success and have the resume to prove it.
But, all that happened over 14 years ago.
I am a very different person than I was 14 years ago, ahem, I 
quit a job just like that last week, for goodness sakes!

I have a passion for the creative; 
but unlike many creative types who work on canvas,
fabric, clay canvas is homes and's my passion and 
I am following it wherever it takes me.  There, I said it out loud.

This blog is going to get a's about time.  After three years
of blogging, I plan to use this forum more efficiently, and purposeful, and 
creatively.  I may offer online design consults.  I am working locally with a 
couple families on design projects right now and I will look forward to 
sharing them with you here.  It's exciting and most of all fulfilling!

** On a "keeping in real" note: Will our family miss the income my 
part-time job provided? YES!  When we moved back to Portland
last year we made the decision to enroll our girls in private school,
an expense that adds a significant amount to our budget.  That
extra income helped us retain the "extras" of life - like vacations, dinners
out etc.... BUT, I am lucky that my income was not necessary and 
I am very aware that not everyone who would like can just up and quit
a paying job to pursue their creative whims!  

So what scary/unlike you things have you done
now that you are older and wiser?


{this is me}

I can count on one hand the number of times I have posted a photo
of myself on this's a HUGE departure from my comfort zone....

So, when Jeanne Oliver asked me to be part of her series about regular
women who wear her clothing, I decided to take a leap and submit
a photo. Here I am wearing the "Audrey French Tunic" dress. 
Despite the shadows around my middle making me look preggers {I am NOT},
the tunic is comfortable and flattering {without the shadows}.  

This photo is just a small step out of my comfort zone, something I need/want
to do more of.....leave the safety zone {I live in the safety zone}.....go out on a limb....accept a challenge....dream big dreams!

This is almost 45 years young......looking to ROCK
the next 45 years.


Forever*Cottage {tag sale}......aka 'pillowpalooza'!

If this were a 12 step meeting I would stand and shamefully introduce 
myself to you all.....

I would say, "Hello, my name is Jill and I am addicted to pillows"....

Then all of you fellow addicts would say "hi, Jill, can we buy your pillows?" Ha!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Spring cleaning began in my home this weekend.  I quickly learned my linen
closet was overrun with pillows....I don't like the term 'hoarder' that was mentioned
by my sassy 13 year old.....I prefer the term 'collector' {ahem...} It seems I have
never met a pillow that I didn't like.....they are so functional but yet serve the all important role
of instant decorating gratification.

Now that we have been in our Portland home almost one year, I am ready
to do the BIG pillow purge of 2012!  Lucky for me, I have all of you fellow
pillow lovers to pass these lovelies on to! 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
So here's the deal....Please email me at if you are interested in purchasing
any of these pillows - I will get back to you as quick as I can to confirm the sale
and then will return to the blog and mark the pillow "Sold".  An additional $15 for 
shipping and handling {unless otherwise stated} will be charged for each sale {that is in addition to the price of the pillow}.
I accept payment via Paypal only.

First up, these two Union Jack pillows were purchase at the Tarte vintage sale.  One 
has a little stain on it but very minor.  I will sell them separately.
$15 each or both for $30 {includes fill} SOLD

This 'tye-die' pillow was purchased at Anthropologie quite recently.
$15{includes fill}

The bird pillow is from Pottery Barn, last year, but they are still carrying it.
$20{includes fill} SOLD!

This pillow was made from a vintage grain sack and has a standard size pillow inside.
On one side is embroidered "Chaumiere" the french word for cottage.
$40 SOLD!

Pictured above are TWO standard sized pillow shams from Anthropologie.
$20 for the pair {$10 shipping}

French stripe 20 x 20 sham 
$15 {$10 shipping} SOLD!

{TWO} Cream floral/bird Pottery Barn 24x24 shams - these are the ones I have the most 
difficulty letting go {btw}!
$10 each or $20 for both {$10 for shipping} SOLD!

{TWO} Red Pottery Barn floral 24x24 shams
$10 each, both for $20 {$10 shipping}

{TWO} red and cream stripe pillow shams {18x18} from Pottery Barn
$10 each or both for $20 {$10 shipping}

This 25x15" ivory gem with blue crewel stitching was custom made.
$20 {$10 shipping}

18x18" Handmade gem by Minnesotan Nancy Pollack{include fill}

So once again, please send me an email at with questions or if you 
would like to purchase a pillow!  My linen closet thanks you.

My story...our home....

Of course, when I posted photos of our great room a few days
ago, I did so with great trepidation....Despite blogging about
design, home-keeping and whatever else gets posted here, I feel completely
freaked out about putting our home out there in blogland among the perfectly
designed, styled and coiffed spaces.  I am ashamed to admit to having those feelings, at my
age I should be way beyond that.....and truth be told, I don't decorate
or style our home for this blog, for a magazine, for Pinterest......
I style and decorate our home for the people I share it with,
the most important people in my world.....who often roll their eyes as they watch me do 
what I seem to do best - crazy fluffing, styling, collecting, home-keeping momma.  
What I do in our home, creating spaces that are personal, and comfortable
and meaningful is an imperfect expression of the
love I feel for those I share our home with.

Your compliments, my bloggy friends are lovely.  I wish
I could enjoy each of your company in my in great room, while sipping 
a nice glass of wine.  That's what homes and pretty spaces
are best used for......Instead I will leave you with these thoughts...

If you will remember, I went back to part-time professional work
a few months has been an adjustment and has completely
pushed me to evaluate what is most important to me and how
I want to define and live the second half of my life.....My small, yet
growing collection of vintage book titles above provide 
clues to the simple, yet so important role I intend to ROCK!
Long live the QUEEN!


Monday, around the house...

Good Monday morning to you....
I am feeling more like crawling back in bed today after 
an uber-busy weekend around here.  All fun but I 
am one pooped momma! We had lots of kids sports, sleepovers 
and our school auction.....I just returned from the
grocery store where I spent a whopping $187.00 so
apparently, we ate alot too!

I remembered that I had not shown photos of my 
simplified bookcases with their painted backs.
So here ya are! {the backs are painted SW 'Urbane Bronze"}

And I am seldom able to capture a decent wide angle shot
of my great room but thought the one below was pretty good.

Nice iPhone on my kitchen counter!  Do your counters also become the
dumping ground for all electronics in your homes?

Happy Monday friends!

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