Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mythic Paint Can be Mixed in Benjamin Moore Colors!

{Mythic Classic Interior Latex Non-Toxic Paint}

I bought Mythic Non-Toxic Paint to paint my new windowseat addition and living/dining room. I was happy to find Mythic will color match any paint company's colors!

So here's one of my cans of paint, mixed up at Green Conscience Home in Saratoga Springs, New York. To match Benjamin Moore's Yarmouth Blue in Mythic's Classic Latex Eggshell Enamel it's (B = 0,34,0 C=0,1,0 D=0,11,1)

I'm looking forward to trying this non-toxic, ultra low odor VOC-free paint.


 p.s. I choose Mythic based on this New York Times review of non-toxic paints...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Snow and A Sweet Horse

We have a nice blanket of snow on the ground here in Albany, New York - and enough cold weather that the snow is sticking around. Which is good, because if it's cold I want my snow!
{Son H and Tom}
I took the kids to out to the snowy countryside visit my Friend N and her sweet horse, Tom.

{still and quiet}
Such a pretty scene. My friend boards her horse at a beautiful farm. The day was bright, sunny and not a hint of wind - amazingly peaceful.

{Evie by the horse barn}
{All-American Barn and Blue Sky}
{Rosie and Tom}
{Evie and Tom - same hair color!}
Each kid got a chance to feed, brush and ride Tom.

{Tom loves the attention!)
What a great way to spend a sunny winter day! Do you have snow on the ground?


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Organic Cotton Target Sheets on Sale, and A Winner!

{Target Threshold 325 Thread Count Organic Cotton Sheet Set in Purple Floral}
I am  minimalist when it comes to sheets in the house - a simple two sets per bed. I bought new sheets for the girl's beds two years ago at a big box store in the sale bin - they were a cute pink floral pattern and only $20 a set, BUT they were thin as tissue paper out of the packaging, and started pilling as soon as they were washed.

So how happy was I to find these organic cotton sheets on sale at my local Target?

{just the pattered sheets were on sale at the store}
... and just under twenty dollars! We have a set of these Target Threshold 325 Threadcount Organic sheets on my queen size bed in solid white and in solid grey, and they have held up very well.

Just the pattered sheets were on sale at the store - I guessed that they must be retiring those patterns to make way for new designs. Later, I searched the Target website, and here's some new patterns I haven't seen yet on the store shelves:
{Target Threshold 325 Thread Count Organic Cotton Sheet Set}

I actually like the simple purple floral pattern I bought better than the fussier new floral patterns.  But I do like the new grey and white check pattern. It would be perfect for a boy's room. Son H might get a new set, soon!

{Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Sterling Silver Maria necklace with Crimson Rose}
 ...and I have a WINNER! Congratulations to lucky Danica S. for winning my Valentine's Jewelry and Chocolate Giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day! (and GIVEAWAY)

Happy Valentine's Day! The restaurants will be crowded, so our family will be cooking a heartfelt, homemade dinner for five, and finding a good excuse to use...

{my red transferware - photo from a 2010 post}
 My late grandmother Honey's romantic red transferware dishes. I don't think they are technically "china", but we call them "Great Grandma Honey's Fine China." We have a full set that comes out for special occasions. We are missing Honey this year, she passed away last October at 100. (And she actually visited China! Honey had a love for travel!)

Her vibrant red dishes will make any meal full of love.

{GIVEAWAY! Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Reversible Maria necklace with Crimson Rose}
Don't forget to enter my ongoing Valentine's Day Giveaway (find the giveaway post here) to win my romantic Maria necklace. I am drawing the winner February 16th at noon.

{Albany, N.Y.'s finest - Krauses's Handmade Candies chocolates}
The winner also gets a tempting box of chocolates? How can you resist that!

What are you doing this Valentine's Day?


Monday, February 11, 2013

Judy Longbrook's Amazing Reclaimed Subfloor Wood Walls

I am enthralled by the talented designer Judy Longbrook's Oregon home in the latest issue of Portrait of Portland magazine.

{Judy Longbrook's home office in West Hills, Portland, Oregon}
The most amazing room? Her home office, with walls of reclaimed wood. When the foundation of the 1940's home was raised and rebuilt as part of an extensive remodeling, Judy saw the boards of vintage subflooring that were going to be thrown away and snagged them. As her home renovation proceeded, she grabbed all the subfloor boards she could and incorporated them into her home office design.

In the days before plywood, builders created a subfloor by using wide wood boards of lower-quality wood  laid at a 45 degree angle over the floor joists to create a level base to lay the down the finished floor of finer-quality wood boards.

The aged character-filled vintage subfloor boards lend a rustic presence to the dramatically angled walls. What a wonderful space to work in!

{the "grand" entrance to the home office - custom wallpaper!}
Here is a view looking into the office. Judy enlarged the entrance and had her son shoot photographs of grand double door entryways in France. From his photographs, she choose a photograph of the entrance to the library at the back of the Lourve and had it enlarged to paper the wall leading to her office.

{reclaimed floor boards - warmth and patina}
The floor boards in the home are salvaged antique reclaimed oak flooring from Los Angeles's Exquisite Surfaces. The re-use of old wood in this home grounds this home in earthy beauty. The warmth, patina and history of reclaimed wood add such a wonderful touch.

{vintage reclaimed subflooring on the angled walls}
I'm ending this post with this beautiful image - a close-up of the office walls of reclaimed subfloor boards. Notice all the nail holes? Because the subfloor wood boards were originally nailed down AND then had flooring nailed over them, the boards have lots of imperfections, and tons of character and style.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home summed up imperfect materials recently in a post on her kitchen island: ."..what I love about most natural things, life changes it and makes an impression on it. I don't get why unchanging and perfection should equal beauty"

 Thank you Judy, for recycling and reclaiming wood and claiming beauty in your home. For more on Judy Longbrook's work see her website at


p.s. Don't forget to enter my chocolates and jewelry GIVEAWAY. The winner will be drawn on February 16!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

20% Off Valentine's Special

Roses are one of my favorite flowers. 
With Valentine's Day around the corner I love to see them everywhere.

{Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Sterling Silver Meredith Necklace with Crimson Rose}

{the necklace is reversible - this is the other side}
I've decided to do a special - and mark down 20% off a necklace I think would make a perfect Valentine's day gift.  Just until February 14! (Can you think of any guys who need a hint?)

{a little detail of my miniature original photography}
Visit my web site to view this necklace and others.


p.s. Don't forget to enter my jewelry and chocolates giveaway. The winner will be drawn Feb 16!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

GIVEAWAY! Jewelry and Chocolates!

I'm very, very excited about this giveaway! To celebrate Valentine's Day I am giving away jewelry and chocolates. (Yes! JEWELRY AND CHOCOLATES!)

{Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Reversible Sterling Silver Maria necklace with Crimson Rose}
I've just photographed this necklace and think it would be perfect for this giveaway. (See the photoshoot here.) I used one my own miniature original photographs of a crimson red rose in this piece.

{Loretta Fontaine Jewelry Reversible Sterling Silver Maria necklace with Crimson Rose}
The necklace is sterling silver with a freshwater pearl drop, on an 16" sterling silver chain with a 2" extender. Did I mention it's REVERSIBLE? This is the other side of the same necklace, featuring a smaller miniature original photograph of a crimson red rose. So if you win, it's like getting two necklaces to wear!

{heaven! handmade chocolates from Krause's Handmade Candy}
 ..and here's the chocolate! I'll be hand- selecting a heart-shaped box from Albany's finest chocolate shop - Krause's Handmade Candy at 1609 Central Avenue in Albany, New York.

{Son H looking over the chocolate selection from an earlier blog post}
This old-fashoned candy store is the best. There is nothing like picking out tempting, sweet  selections from behind an old-fashioned glass counter. (How patient are those workers at Krause's! It takes me a while...)

Chocolate and Jewelry! How do you enter my giveaway?

*follow my blog APPLESandRUBIES AND visit my website shop at  or my brand new Etsy shop and tell me your favorite piece of Loretta Fontaine jewelry!

   *for an additional entry, mention this giveaway on your blog
   *for an additional entry, mention this giveaway on Facebook
   *for an additional entry, mention this giveaway on Twitter

That's four chances to win! Leave a comment for each chance.

GOOD LUCK, I will draw a winner February 16 at 12:00pm EST