Where “Satchmo” Lives

I have to admit I’ve been in a slump these days – well not a real slump – but just pretty much taking my time, not being rushed or putting myself on time frames.  I’ve been watching The Ken Burns Jazz Series. It’s featured on Netflix and if you get the chance to watch it – I highly recommend it.  As I watched, I reflected back when I had the opportunity to tour the home of Louis Armstrong.  The excitement mixed with anticipation made me feel like “gitty-little” girl waiting to open a present.  I was just completely overwhelmed with joy as we rode to Corona,Queens, NY.  Louis Armstrong was my first introduction to Jazz and I love his music and here I am.. en route to his home.  We pulled up to the two story brick frame and I felt a tingling sensation all the while thinking – “WOW” – (hindsight is 20/20 – I wish I had started my blog back then.. I’d have pictures galore to show you..)  But since I didn’t,  I’m sharing some pictures I pulled from various websites to give you a glimpse of what I saw.

This is Louis Armstrong’s humble abode;

The living room was so finely decorated with embossed wallpaper and trinkets purchased from all over the world where he traveled (I love the artwork!!)

The kitchen equally beautiful, was state of the art for that time period.  I fell in love with the blue enamel kitchen

Take a look at this stunning bathroom.  The ceiling and walls were all mirrored and graced with solid brass fixtures and marble tiles.  This bath was befitting for the king of jazz and one of Louis’s favorite rooms.

The office is where Louis comes alive.  As you enter you’ll hear a recording of his voice in the air.. having conversations.  It was almost as if he was there.  The door you see here leads to the balcony where Louis would go out and serenade the neighborhood… (could you  imagine how awesome that must have been!!) 

The master bedroom, simply exquisite and tastefully decorated with embossed wallpaper and matching blinds

The master bedroom closet was very spacious and uniquely designed.

And this is the adjoining master bath

The garage was converted into a museum and gift shop where you’ll find all his clippings, albums, writings, and Louis’s collectibles.

The King’s prized trumpet rests in it’s case.

Now they offer summer jazz concerts inside his Japenese inspired garden

I never had the opportunity to see him play live in concert, but after taking this tour, I felt that I had connected with the man who revolutionized the beautiful music of “Jazz”.  Leaving the home with eyes moist of joy, my soul had been satisfied.

I hope you enjoyed the quick tour of the lovely home Lucille created for her and Louis.  With the joys, laughter and wonderful music, this is the place where they lived until death did they part.

If you ever have the chance to visit New York, by all means, head over to Corona and take the tour because there’s so much more to see.   You can read more about the house on the museum’s website here and booking a tour here.  Louis Armstrong may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten.  His legacy of wonderful music was an inspiration to many and will always live.

“He inspired thousands of trumpets, inspired countless vocations, enchanted millions of friends, who quite simply, listend.  For me, he’s the epitome of the kind of American who goes beyond the rules, a truly good and original man”  – Duke Ellington

That Little Basket!

I was a kid watching Abbott & Costello, when I first Ella Fitzgerald sing this song.  Today, as I listened to her sing this kiddie, joyful song of her little yellow basket, it brought me to post about these once used tobacco baskets.  The tobacco basket was used until about 1980, to display tobacco taken to market. The crop is grown throughout North Carolina, primarily on family farms. According to the NC Dept. of Agriculture, North Carolina farmers today produce approximately 2/3 of the US crop of flue-cured tobacco.

After sorting and grading, the leaves were tied into “hands.” A hand of tobacco weighed about 1 pound if made of tips or lugs and about 2 – 3 pounds if made from cutters. A hand of tobacco is a group of leaves tied together at the stem end. The end is wrapped in another cured leaf.


The hands were then laid in the tobacco basket in a circle with the stem ends pointing to the outside. The baskets were then loaded and taken to the tobacco warehouse where they were sold at auction.  Today these baskets are used for more decorative purposes.

Placed neatly behind this lamp – it makes for the perfect backdrop


Very creative way to display the modern deerhead


The entryway was accented with the basket above the table flanked with candleholders


Here it makes for excellent wall art in this bedroom


A wreath made of cotton is attached to the tobacco basket and hung on the outside of the home


When placed behind the mirror, it gives the mirror more eye appeal


and the perfect accent for a country kitchen


Tobacco baskets are old and some are even broken, but they still offer an array of ways to decorate with them.  They not be the type of basket Ella sings about but, it’s the basket I chose to write about.  However, if I found Ella’s basket I’d like to give her this and say “Thank You” for making a beautiful music.




Quick Shrimp Quesadillas

How many of you love quesadillas!! I know.. me,me,me,me,meeee!!  Every time I make these, I literally have to keep them in the oven, because if they’re seen, all I hear is “let me grab one”  chuckles..  These are simply easy to make and oh-so tummy-yummy….

1 bag of shrimp (shelled and deveined) cut into chunks      1 small jar of Pace salsa     1 block of pepper jack cheese (shredded)    1 tblspn Dean&Jacobs Spicy Garlic    1/4 tspVictoria Seasonings Tuscan  and 1/2 tsp Smoky Paprika Chipotle   2 tblspn Olive Oil   8 small flour tortillas

Heat oil in medium sauce pan and sautee shrimp.  Season shrimp with with all three seasonings and cook until done. Remove shrimp and place in a small bowl.  Heat another tspn of olive oil in pan (to cook quesadillas).  On each tortilla, place a desired amount of shrimp, a scoop of salsa and top with cheese and fold in half.  Place in heated pan until lightly browned.  Flip over and brown other side and cheese is fully melted.  Next…. Eat UP!!   See how easy that was…. As always – it’s “TLC” TwinsLuvCooking


You can order Victoria Seasonings here and the Dean&Jacobs Spicy Garlic here

Deviled Eggs

Who doesn’t like the classic deviled eggs??  Just thought I’d share my recipe for this long time favorite.  Deviled eggs are always an easy tasteful finger food to serve.  There are all kinds of recipes out there, so here’s one more to add to the list.  Click over to “TLC” for the recipe:

devil eggs3




Pattern Cut

I really appreciate you following along with me on this slow process.  After cleaning the excess cotton attached to the fabric, it was time to lay the fabric and cut the pattern.  That was easy enough for me.. (given I still have a problem cutting a straight line).   I had plans to start the year totally organized making plans, setting goals.. but the truth is.. I can’t devote every Friday to this project, so I pushed it back to every other.  But.. good news is ..  she assured me we should be finished with the chair in about 3 more classes..( I was like WOW!!)..



You’re getting a glimpse of the fabric.. (I hope you like it… )

I left there with a bit  more enthusiasm and with another baby step toward an accomplishment.  Linda is an excellent teacher… her patience and understanding is really terrific.  She even handed me my first upholstery book, the staple gun she started with, staples, and guide sheet..

I’ve got studying to do.. and this is about to get real interesting (to me)… For now… Tah-tah!

Shrimp Queso Dip

A new recipe posted by TLC “TwinsLuvCooking”.  If you love cheese and shrimp, with just a little kick to the tastebuds, try this at your next gathering.  Click here for the full recipe

All Apart

Hi everyone!  The first session of my new venture consisted of taking the chair apart.  I have to admit, that was pretty interesting.  First we marked the chair’s fabric for where each piece goes,because once we take it apart, that becomes the pattern.

Taking it apart was not an easy task.   It was all tacked together.  Not one staple was in this chair.  You can imagine the million tacks we pulled out.

blue chair12

Lot’s of tugging and pulling to get the seams apart, while preserving the cloth.

Those hole pluggers were some tough cookies to get out..

Almost finished… I always wondered what kept the buttons tucked in.  Well – here was my answer.

Tacks, tacks and more tacks…..

All apart.. and this is what we are looking at… Ready to cover him up…

The frame goes home with me to sand and refinish…

So goodbye to the old Don look…..

I’ll keep you posted on the next step… Thanks for following me on this re-upholstery journey.


Lovely Lavender

Although it’s not Pantone’s color of the year, I’ll say that Lavender remains one of those soothing colors that makes any year a good color for me.  With hues that reminds me of the aromatic scent of wisteria, it simply entices the eyes and create a relaxing effect.  Through its gentleness – it packs a powerful statement in a room.  The softness makes it versatile and blends with almost any color.  When my mom asked me to help her decorate her living room, that was the color that immediately came to mind.  It simply reminds me of her personality.  My mom is a gentle woman who doesn’t speak in high tones but her volume speaks through her softness.  This post showcases her lovely, lavender living room, designed on a dime…featuring vintage re-styled furniture.  Welcome to Mommy’s house…

The furniture pieces are vintage french provincial items that have been loving restored.   All of which came from yard sales, thrift stores and roadside finds. The pair of chairs were purchased from a moving sale for $40.00.  I had them re-upholstered with this lovely lavender damask fabric.

The upholsterer did an absolutely a fantastic job making them new again.  Completely tufted and well cushioned, these chairs are so comfortable.

Her sofa, purchased at the same moving sale for $50.00, was upholstered in an ultra-suede deep plum. This sofa was a true bargain (the cushion is 100% goose down feather stuffed)  and completely comfortable.

With catching fabric on sale, buying the furniture and paying the upholsterer, her set was under $500.00.  The frame for this artwork was a flea market find for $25.00.  The lithograph by artist Ellen Powell-Tiberino, was professionally matted.

The ottoman – another yard sale find for $5.00 – reupholstered using leftover fabric from another job was an added bonus with the complete set.

Her coffee table – found as is – on the street…(it was great night of bulk day hunting treasures) $0.00

It was a miracle finding all these pieces (made of fruitwood) in such great shape but at different times.  You know my motto – Patience is a virtue..  eventually it’ll turn up..

The space is accented with vintage crystal candy dishes, thrifted candle holders and other thrifty finds to create the finished look.

Visiting mom is always a joy, and her living room gives everyone a welcome feeling.  Her heart is just as sweet as the candy she keeps the candy dishes  :-) .   Since I welcomed you into her home, I’d like to introduce you to my Mom… (picture taken 2 years ago when we celebrated her 75th birthday and I love this picture- she was so surprised)

By looking at her, do you think her living room reflects her style….   :-)





Time for Lessons

I hope your new year has been going great.  I pondered doing something and finally decided to take heed to some advice that my dear friend Joyce gave me years ago when we first opened Pieces of Time.  She always said.. “Honey, the only way to make money in this business is to learn to do it yourself”.  It was procrastination at it’s best.  Well the procrastination has ended and the lessons will begin.  My upholsterer who did Clarissa – has graciously said yes to teaching me.  When I asked her about it.. her reply was not what I expected..she said “Sure, I would love to teach you… because someone taught me and I’d love to pass it on”  Wow!  Honestly speaking, I thought she would say “No” for obvious reasons and I’m very grateful about that. This is going to be a long process and I’ll share what I’m going through along the way.  I hope you’ll follow along.    This is the chair we are working on for the first lesson.

It has a small tear in the fabric and needs to be re-done.  The simple lines along with a sleek look is perfect for a starter lesson.  The style is mid-century modern Eames chair  and reminds me of something you’d see in Mad Men – doesn’t it?



Very similar huh??


blue chair

It’s a very popular style and I can’t wait to see the finished product.  I picked a sleek fabric and will refinish the wood.  I think I’ll call this piece Don – Looks sleek and casa-nova-ish.. like DonJuan.

So everyone.. wish me luck, on this new venture I’m taking.  I just hope my hands hold up for the journey.

Chair Me Up!

Well I’ve had a good long weekend and it’s back to the ole drawing board.. as the DD commercial says.. it’s time to make the doughnuts” as I drag myself out of bed.   I always reflect back to when I first saw this piece of art that reminded me sooooo much of myself on Monday mornings.  It’s called Blue Monday by Annie Lee.  You can see more of her artwork here.


I hope I’m not the only one who has this feeling on Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday & Friday) mornings.. chuckles..I’m just kidding …   Ok, ok… moving along… It’s been a while since I’ve posted something for my Monday Makeover and I’m excited to show you this one.  Over the years, I’ve met quite a few chairs that I hold dear to me and this is one..well… was one that I’ve waited quite a while to do anything with.  When I first saw Clarissa.. (that’s the name I gave her… means gentle) – I know – call me crazy.. but I’ve come quite attached to some of the objects around the house and I figure since they’re in the family then why not name some of them.. chuckles..  My husband just shook his head when I said meet Clarissa..( in other words.. I’ve gone coo-coo for coco puffs..) LOL!!  Well if an artist can give his paintings names.. then how come I can’t give my furniture names.. right??  Ok.. now.. when I first saw Clarissa, she was a poor lost soul – very gentle and delicate.  She had been left unattended and stripped of her cloth baring her insides waiting to be covered up.  I could tell she was once a beautiful creature, gracing a lavish home (at least that’s what I imagine).  Her curves were none like I’ve ever seen in my travels and I really wanted her.  She belonged to a dear elderly antique dealer/friend name Joyce,  who kept her for a very long time waiting to get her repaired.  Joyce had so many beautiful chairs and she kept saying she’ll have it done eventually.  Well sad story is that Joyce never did have her done and unfortunately she’s ill and would not ever see her again.  I held onto this chair since her illness tucked away in my storage.  I finally decided to take her out and bring her back to life ..   Here she is ..

Just a s shell of her was all that was left.. I can’t imagine how someone could mistreat such a beautiful object.

Judging by her stuffing – of cotton and horse hair – she was made in the early 1900’s – so this chair has been around roughly 100+ years.

But I guess considering her age, it’s a blessing she’s still standing.. (God knows I probably won’t be standing at 100 years – chuckles).  I pulled her out of storage and made up my mind to finally get her done.  It is her time to shine again and grace the home of a loving owner – ME!   And here she is.. Meet the NEW Clarissa

I tried to save the bird fabric on the back but it was too damaged and dry rot.

I even searched for a fabric with a bird backdrop but couldn’t find anything pleasing to my satisfaction.   I just decided to go with a patterned back and a solid ultra-suede (although it was velvet on her before)

All in all – I’m very pleased with her new look

If chairs really had souls – I think she’d be smiling at her new look and pleased to feel back at home

Welcome Home Clarissa!!

Glad to have you join us!  I’m sure if Joyce could see her she would love her.  I hope you all are pleased with Clarissa’s new look as much as I am.. and if so.. holla at your girl!   Happy Monday and enjoy the rest of your week..  Smooches

It’s Your World!

I hosted a NYE party for the first time since living here and as I was preparing the table and foods, I had the music playing to get the vibe flowing through me.  As me and my mom danced around the kitchen to “house music” this song came on and I said – I must share this with you.  Even though the words are pertaining to a relationship, it doesn’t matter because the meaning of the title says it.

It’s 2015 and guess what…! It’s your time to shine, It’s your time to make it happen and it’s your year to do You! because guess what – It’s your world.. As we ring in the new year filled with new beginnings, we reflect back on the mistakes we’ve made and learn from them. We think about what brought us joy – and we keep doing it more..It’s all in what we call the book of life.  We are born and then we die.. the dash in the middle is what me choose to do to make it our world.  Of course there will be moments where you’ll second guess yourself, that’s natural, but guess what, if you mess up.. just do it over.. and over and over again until you get it right.

As Steve Jobs quoted:  Your time is limited – don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living the result of other people’s thinking.   Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice.  And most important – have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.

Live your life to the fullest, let your loved ones know how much they mean to you and remember to create a world around you that makes you happy.   You’ve only got one life to live.. Make it count!  And in the process, remember to dance – dance and dance… even if you get sore (like me), then praise God thanking him for making it all possible.

As for me and resolutions, I don’t make them because the reality is.. I don’t keep them.  However, every year I promise myself to make each new year a little bit better than the last.  Some how, some way, every little bit helps.

Now — let me share my little creative moment I had while preparing the table.  Remember the vintage glass swan collection.  I needed some dip bowls and looked at them and said “hmmmmm”…why not?  Here they are..

I was totally pleased with how they added a little touch of elegance to the table.

I plucked some magnolia tree leaves and put them in a vase of water (also featured are pink faux roses) added some floating star glitter candles

And this folks is a part of my world, that I love sharing with you.

The evening was simply fun filled with my family, a few good friends, good music, and laughter.  I forgot how much fun Taboo really is..  :-)

Peace and blessings and again —- HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I hope you enjoyed this song as much as did…(my knees still hurt from dancing — oooouuch)  LOL!