Tuesday, August 31, 2010


After one year, I am still thrilled with Sonata's new location in the Marketplace at Village Gardens. From the village green to my brick wall to the Scooters a few feet away, I love the space, my neighbors, and the the visionary development of the Marketplace. As another area building quickly takes shape, I am inspired by the commitment to the English Cotswolds style and architecture. From the stone used on the building to the flower baskets hanging from the lampposts, no detail has been missed. Even the street name where Sonata calls home is taken from a place halfway around the world. Hidcote Drive? Try Hidcote Manor in Gloucestershire, England. Take a short trip with me!

Hidcote is one of England's great gardens. It is made up of a series of garden rooms, each one with its own unique character and personality, yet staying true to the Arts and Crafts style. Designed by horticulturalist, Major Lawrence Johnston, this garden is in full swing from spring through autumn. With daily tours, evening events, and an open-air theatre, this garden takes full advantage of its sweeping views of the English Cotswolds. These photos inspire me to try to nurse my August heat-ridden lawn back to green lushness! Better yet, maybe an air-conditioned evening watching "The Secret Garden" is in order!

I have full-out visions of myself strolling through the gardens (of course, looking like Helena Bonham Carter in "Room with a View!" ). Wouldn't a picnic be fabulous! (ok, now I am channeling Gweneth Paltrow in "Emma!") Someone give me a slouchy hat, an English umbrella, and an unscheduled day! (Sigh....) In the meantime, I will stroll down Hidcote Dr. at Village Gardens and hop over to the village green. Picnic anyone?

Photos courtesy of National Trust.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Artful Living


As a newbie to the world of blogging, I am thrilled that you have landed on my blog. I am the owner of Sonata - Artful Living at Home. Some call it a gift shop. Others call it a design source. Others call it an anomaly......"This is in Nebraska!?!"

Regardless of your take on my little shoppe, I hope that I can share with you my take on "Artful Living at Home."

I thought I would keep it simple for my first blog (perhaps first-time blogger nerves are kicking in!). In my music teacher role, I always keep a mission statement in my school office. It defines my purpose and keeps me focused and inspired. I guess my first post is not so much a mission statement but more of a list-long mantra for the day. Here goes...

Choose your friends as you would your clothes...warm, witty, and colorful.

Read a book that has real pages.

Don't scrimp on olive oil. Get the good stuff.

Write thank-you notes in black pen and on good stationery. Watch your mailbox for incoming.

Be yourself.

Grow fresh herbs.

Attitude is a choice.

Keep a corkscrew in your picnic basket.

Never give up.