Monday, July 26, 2010

Chaise Longue-ing Lexicon... putting descriptive words into action

Sunning in front of the chaise longue offerings of a Scottsdale, AZ resort, ahh...
Grilfriends make for the BEST pool chaise longuer-buddies at the cottage's pool

After posting about the inherent Preppiness of chaise-lounging.... I thought I'd share some pictures of my summer's poolside chaise longue-ing activity. The cottage offers up both on-the-deck and by-the-pool choices while the resort James and I were recently enjoying out in Scottsdale, Arizona had "spa plush" ones at the ready around the blissfully-quiet adult only pool.

All in all, it's definitely a summertime feeling whenever there are chaise longues set out n' about...

I hope all of my readers are enjoying a wonderful summer as well this year!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Classically Prep Outdoors... ahh, Chaise Longues

Enjoying my cottage's chaise longue area on the side deck...
Classic black metal version just-like-our-grandparents' from Home Depot

A more contemporary-version offered up by Crate and Barrel

Brown wicker works "anywhere" so nicely; this one from Target's offerings

Oh, the comforts of lounging while out of doors... and oh, the comforts of chaise longues! Whether poolside, on a patio, porch, dock, tucked in a garden or at the end of a deck as it is with the cottage I have, chaise longues beckon an always-busy type-A person like myself to go ahead and yes indeed, lounge awhile.

For Preppies, the indoor/outdoor convergence of living has always been part n' parcel of a well enjoyed lifestyle. Here in the Lowcountry South it is not unusual for porches of all kinds both open and screened, dock houses, lattice rooms and sun rooms to be the most visited spots around houses. Part of it's influenced by the warmer weather, part of this is encouraged by water views but also a big part of this lifestyle is in how Southerners just love to gather and gab away in the fresh air. Any Southerner worth their salt has a bevvy of pitchers, trays, linen cocktail napkins, goblets and glasses at the ready for encouraging family, friends and visitors alike to "sit a spell" and "have a nice glass of iced tea, lemonade, sherry, wine or would you perhaps prefer a beer?" Just two nights ago I was sitting out on the screened porch of a neighbor where wine was passed around, stories shared and laughter lit up the atmosphere as much as the candles that were being lighted as the sun went down. What fun to then be able to walk back to my cottage under the moonlight seeing it touching the silvered waterway just beyond the trees.

And back at the cottage, one of my favorite places has become the chaise longue out on the side deck. I plunked a potted plant and candle on the table there and some early evenings it is just the spot to read awhile until dusk descends and then light the candle and sit out a bit longer.

Recently chaise longues have gone the way of outdoor grills. Such silly unnecessary upscaling with styles and prices as the concept of outdoor living has reached a consumerist-delight of "must have" for those folks I guess who have moved from over decorating their houses to now over decorating their outdoor areas. Fortunately there are still chaise longues available which are reasonably priced for those Preppies out there whose grandparent's black or white wrought iron chaise longues have finally gotten to the point of not being able to be used anymore.

Lounging in today's go-go, 24/7 wired culture can be easily seen as just being lazy. Yes, at times it is but other times it is an avenue of creativity, contemplation and or consolation as one gears oneself down into a restive calm that does wonders for the body and soul.

A fun book I have and enjoy picking up for time to time is one that I purchased as a joke to myself but actually have found a lot of applicable life-wisdom within: "How To Be Idle" by Tom Hodgkinson. It is written well and cleverly illustrated but most of all, I enjoy Hodgkinson's insights which resonate at times like, "Instead of going he decides to stay and simply be. The idler has a soul which requires contemplation.... Indeed, many of our wisest thinkers have counselled staying in. The lines at the opening of this chapter are from the classic of Chinese philosophy, the Tao Te Ching. [Which are] Without stirring abroad one can know the whole world."

This is intriguing to me: a person who adores traveling all around and discovering, experiencing and savoring different places and cultures. Inner-world traveling is something I am becoming more interested lately as well however and perhaps lounging on my deck's chaise longue will take me there.....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cottage Style: simplicity plus nature times comfort equals...a wonderous equation

Where we hang our in-town the new cottage getaway...
A happy-cottager on her front porch with the flower plantings finished.

Just steps away, the dock...hard to believe that this is "in-town" isn't it?

The mathematics of cottage living seem to be summed-up in an equation of the sort such as: Simplicity + Nature x Comfort = Wonderful.

In the previous post, I wrote about how much I have enjoyed living in cottages throughout my adult life. This latest one has already been such a joy even with just having spent the first weekend in it recently. Once I had set out meadow-like wild flowers into the front porch's various planters and put coordinating outdoor pillows on the seats of my ole' black metal bistro table set, the cottage seemed to "be mine" and be ready for whatever adventures, and just plain ole' relaxing, comes its way....

There seems to be an ever-growing collection of Cottage Style books sprouting up around my house. Some of my favorites are: "Waterside Cottages" by Barbara Jacksier; "Perfect English Cottage" by Ros Byam Shaw; "The Cottage Garden" by Christopher Lloyd; "Mary Emmerling's American Country Cottages" and "Mary Emmerling's Beach Cottages" by of course Mary Emmerling.

My favorite styling of a cottage is far less cutesy and far more classic in a "Ralph Lauren meets Picket Fences" kind of dialoging where sterling candelabra mixes with whitewashed furniture. An atmosphere where the simplest terracotta potted daisy plant holds it own with the more glamorous moth orchid set into a porcelain cachepot. Where L.L.Bean canvas tote bags pair up with pearls and fine Irish linen tunic-topped outfits. Where dogs can plop right onto the sofa while wine corks are popping in the dining room. Where every one's welcome to kick off their shoes and begin relaxing no matter what the occasion.

In the book, "Waterside Cottages", the author sums up my kind of thinking with, "Cozy cottages are by far my favorite type of home- the more authentic, the better." There are many wonderful styles of homes and interior decorating out there within this world but as for me, I agree... I've always been just a cottage-kinda-gal.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Picket Fences...Preppified! Our In-town Cottage

A white picket fence is Americana-Preppy to the core! And appropriate for a "just after the Fourth of July" move...

Tomorrow evening I am moving into our new in-town cottage which yes, comes with the proverbial white picket fence... this will be a second residence for James and I as we will continue to reside out on this island as well. Our work commutes will be shortened which will be great and both places are kayak/fishing/hiking-accessible so evenings after work or weekends out on the island, we can be out n' about within the great outdoors in a flash!

I absolutely adore cottages! Every single one of our homes has been either an actual cottage or a cottage-styled house. My favorite one will perhaps always be the partially-restored 1870's "Miner's" cottage we had on the side of a mountain overlooking the main street of Park City, Utah. Two streets up from us were ski runs and two streets below the Sundance Film Festival made its annual appearance. The floors, walls and ceilings were dark wood, the closets too short for me to stand in and the wood-burning fireplace a true delight after hours of skiing.

This lowcountry-styled plain white cottage sits across from a beautiful river inlet where there's a dock and we also have a lengthy decking area off of the vaulted ceiling great-room that is just steps away from the pool. Right now, in these hot summer days, my mind's thinking about settling into the tree-shaded chaise lounges placed out there on the decking: tall glass of iced tea in one hand and a good book in the other, ahh.

We are still working on getting Internet access set up for the cottage so please bear with me as my posting comment replies may be delayed a bit this month.

And of course you know that I'll be posting some about cottage-living in the near future as well. Our little family is excited about getting ready to go in between island and town as we continue to enjoy living here within South Carolina's lowcountry.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Year Ago Today....the start of The Preppy Islander

Writing never goes out of style. Century after century: ink onto paper to... computer screen. The above painting by Hermann Fenner-Behmer.

One year ago today, I put up onto this blog my very first post! It has been such a wonderful late night kind of musing-and-writing-about pleasurable pursuit that I hope to continue on with this for many years to come. Thank YOU dear readers for following along with this lifestyle journeying into all-things Lowcountry Southern Preppy and I am so very thankful for my now 30+ loyal official followers as well as for the folks who drop by from time to time...

Your comments are always warmly welcomed and appreciated. I am also quite enjoying getting to know your own blogs as well with those of you who have links into your blog sites.

Blog writing n' artistry has really grown into its own over the past couple of years. I am continually inspired by so many who have taken this into a true post-modern, 21st century art form. I hope to expand mine into a fresher format sometime on down the line. As for now, this is still such a joy to do in between my graduate degree pursuits, professional writing, day job, caregiving, dual-household running and the short story collection which I really need to finish-up final editing and get published before another decade rolls on by...

Some nights I come to this blog-writin' kind of tired and yet, by the time I've clicked onto the ole', "publish post" button, I usually feel a lot more energized even after the long days and nights that have become part n' parcel of this particular life chapter I'm currently living within.

So here's onto yet another year of The Preppy Islander and again, thank you all and sincerely all the best to y'all from this ole' preppy gal writing late at night out on this island where all I can hear tonight is the tapping of my computer's keyboard keys, a bit of ocean breeze and the crickets chirping just beyond my opened window.