get outside!

We love this time of year. Watching everything come back to life after the long (wet) and dark winter is so refreshing. The change of season can bring shift in our perspective and revival to our spirits. With the start of spring comes excitement and ample opportunities to enjoy beautiful east Tennessee.

Image from Visit Knoxville.

Image from Visit Knoxville.

Here are a few ways we encourage you to get outside & welcome the new season…

Explore Knoxville’s tree-based adventure park, Navitat, at Ijams Nature Center, or take a hike on one of the Center’s trails.

Pack a picnic lunch and bring a blanket for a sunny feast at Sequoyah Hills Park.

Sweep off porch and patio areas. Make them more inviting with a new welcome mat or strand of lights.

Enjoy a beer with a friend at the Bearden Beer Market to support Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful.

Celebrate EarthFest’s 20th year anniversary at SoKno Taco Cantina.

Image from Outdoor Knoxville.

Image from Outdoor Knoxville.

Enjoy a Signature Spring Wildflower Hike at Norris Dam State Park.

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Participate or cheer on participants downtown for the Covenant Health 5K & kids run.

Instead of going to the gym, head to Lakeshore Park and traverse the loop at any pace you please.

Begin preparing your gardens and attend Easy Vegetable Gardening seminar at Stanley’s Greenhouse.

Make a bonfire & invite new neighbors to enjoy it with you.

Guardian of the Adventurer: A world traveler’s home tour

“Guardian of the Adventurer” protects loved ones on their journeys and guides them safely home. Made by  Mary Ennes Davis  of Crow River Studio. Mixed media made from a cupboard door, banister railings, coat hanger, rulers, letter press, coins, sterling compact, chopsticks, and beach glass beads. Purchased by Susie at the Smithsonian Craft Show.

“Guardian of the Adventurer” protects loved ones on their journeys and guides them safely home. Made by Mary Ennes Davis of Crow River Studio. Mixed media made from a cupboard door, banister railings, coat hanger, rulers, letter press, coins, sterling compact, chopsticks, and beach glass beads. Purchased by Susie at the Smithsonian Craft Show.

One of the many beautiful things adorning the walls of Susie’s home is a special piece of art titled “Guardian of the Adventurer”. I can’t think of a better way to describe the entirety of her home. Walking in, I immediately felt safe and welcome and like I had just stepped into a treasure trove. Susie herself is quite the adventurer, and her home is a perfect capsule of the many places she has been, the loved ones she has experienced life with, and the beautiful art she has both collected and created herself along the way.

An antique wedding chest from Germany circa 1815.

An antique wedding chest from Germany circa 1815.

Formal dining room with an AMAZING German folk art cupboard circa 1843 at the head of the table

Formal dining room with an AMAZING German folk art cupboard circa 1843 at the head of the table

Susie’s collection of Gaudy Welsh

Susie’s collection of Gaudy Welsh

Antique samplers and another beautiful German folk art cupboard circa 1806

Antique samplers and another beautiful German folk art cupboard circa 1806

A native of Oak Ridge, Susie spent many years with her husband, Carl, living abroad and in the D.C. area. When she returned to Tennessee in 2015, she settled into her home and has transformed her space into a wonderful collection of stories and past and present memories. With a fondness for where she’s come from and an excitement for what the future holds, her sense of adventure is contagious.

Copper Luster from England and treasured books

Copper Luster from England and treasured books

Collection of Ink wells and  Turnbridge ware  collected from England

Collection of Ink wells and Turnbridge ware collected from England

 
A German wedding box which says “When two hands are joined as one”.

A German wedding box which says “When two hands are joined as one”.

“Mother and Child”by  Jacque Parsley  of Louisville

“Mother and Child”by Jacque Parsley of Louisville

A collection of Dala horses and other treasures from Sweden passed down from Carl’s side of the family

A collection of Dala horses and other treasures from Sweden passed down from Carl’s side of the family

When I asked Susie what home means to her she described it as her nest, her safe haven-- and one that she can open up and extend to others as well. Home is her happy place, and it’s filled with the stories of her life. When people come into Susie’s home, her desire is that they feel loved and welcome. She loves creating a comfortable place that evokes curiosity and invites questions and storytelling.

Susie had the wonderful idea of replacing the panels of several of her upper cabinets with glass fronts to lighten up her kitchen.

Susie had the wonderful idea of replacing the panels of several of her upper cabinets with glass fronts to lighten up her kitchen.

A wonderful sun room that Susie converted from a screened in porch to be able to use year round.

A wonderful sun room that Susie converted from a screened in porch to be able to use year round.

Antique stained glass collected from a church in Aberdeen Scotland and framed to fit her space. We love the creative ways that Susie has customized her home.

Antique stained glass collected from a church in Aberdeen Scotland and framed to fit her space. We love the creative ways that Susie has customized her home.

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Susie’s decor leans toward traditional with a deep love for antiques (including some incredible European pieces) and a bit of quirkiness thrown in. One of her go-to spots for furniture and home decor was Westwood Antiques of Knoxville, which closed in 2018. The owner, Scott Bishop, now has a booth at Bearden Antique Mall. A self-proclaimed lover of all things hand made, she has a special love for created items. Artwork of all sorts graces her home, including carvings, sculptures, quilts, paintings, antique samplers, lithographs, and mixed media pieces. Susie shares that she’s had a good sense of her design leanings for as long as she can remember. She’s always loved antiques and folk art and has always gravitated towards certain colors.

Round Robin  quilt made by Susie and 5 friends from England

Round Robin quilt made by Susie and 5 friends from England

Hydrangea guest bedroom

Hydrangea guest bedroom

Antique depression era quilt hanging on wall. Quilts on bed are  Lone Star  variations made by Susie

Antique depression era quilt hanging on wall. Quilts on bed are Lone Star variations made by Susie

I was intrigued by how travel had influenced Susie’s decorating, and she shared that early on in her marriage, while they were living in Europe, they would purchase a piece of artwork in each place they visited. Sometimes it was a print or a lithograph and sometimes it was an original painting, but they always brought back a memory. As an Army wife, she was heavily influenced by the people she met and the places she visited in their travels.

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris

Susie shares, “The above quote has always been my mantra for creating the 13 homes I’ve lived in as we’ve moved all over the world. As an Army family who had to relocate often, it was very important for Carl and I to make each place special—unique, our own, no matter if it was an Army-furnished set of quarters with generic furniture, a temporary apartment, or our dream home.”

Hydrangea quilt made by a dear friend of Susies. Jenny Harris is a British quilter who won prizes for her creation.

Hydrangea quilt made by a dear friend of Susies. Jenny Harris is a British quilter who won prizes for her creation.

In the same way, Susie’s own creativity and art has influenced her home. She has beautiful quilts, sketches, and other crafted creations throughout her home. She considers her home a large- scale photo album of her life.

Susie’s craft and art room

Susie’s craft and art room

Vintage pencil box

Vintage pencil box

Quilting closet. Every quilter needs a palette

Quilting closet. Every quilter needs a palette

Collection of miniatures from special places and adventures

Collection of miniatures from special places and adventures

Collected vintage and antique toys and children’s books from all over the world

Collected vintage and antique toys and children’s books from all over the world

In the same way that Susie has collected art and artifacts, she’s also collected people and brought them into her clan, blending and connecting beautiful things and friendships in new and synergistic ways. Thank you so much Susie for opening up your amazing home and sharing part of your story with us!

Susie and Carl in Suffolk, VA in December 2012

Susie and Carl in Suffolk, VA in December 2012

Tunes for your Spring Refresh Organizing

Before tackling that bedside table drawer, or kitchen junk drawer… check out our Spring Refresh playlist we’ve put together for you.

 
Photo from  Schoolhouse Electric .
 

Some fun music, an open window & an eager attitude will take you a long way as you refresh your space this spring. Schedule out some manageable chunks of time to focus on one area or project at a time. Celebrate the success of finishing each small project. Bit by bit, your space will be refreshed.

 
 

What are some of your favorite tunes to listen to while cleaning, purging or organizing?