Archive for June, 2012

Chip, me, Sasha, and Katherine, last month, at Sasha’s graduation from Chip’s alma mater, McDaniel College.

The love of my life, Chip, is turning 50 in August. Unlike his looming 30th birthday (couldn’t believe how he mourned his 20s!), he’s taking this one in stride. In fact, he’s even embracing it. (Though the AARP packet in the mail was not received with any enthusiasm.) And he wants to celebrate it. With a party. A big party.

Now this is music to my ears. I LOVE a big party. I love everything about it: the planning, the creating, the decorating, the prep, the event itself, even the cleanup has a certain charm for me. I just, plain love parties.

So you’d think we have them all the time, wouldn’t you? Not so much. My soon-to-be-50-year-old husband likes to keep his home and his family to himself. So my having a business literally in our backyard, with the public streaming in once a month is really asking all I can of him and his domain.

So hearing him calling for a party was pure delight.

And then the other shoe drops: “You know, a real kegger!” And he’s smiling so genuinely . . .

College memories of drunken frat guys, blaring hard rock, and beer bottle littered yards came to mind. My little bubble was burst.

You see my idea of a party begins with the perfect invitations to set the mood and theme of the event. My favorites are outdoor parties, so strings of lights, beautiful tables, flowers, upbeat music, flowing wine.

The decorating I had in mind didn’t involve wheeling in a row of kegs and bags of red Solo cups.

But I’m a creative person. And I love this man. There must be a way to marry these two concepts. We’ve been married for 25 years, after all. Certainly our ideas of a party can be melded.

So here’s what I’ve come up with – and I’m SOOO excited!

Chip loves cars. He loves fast cars. And he loves racing. The kind of racing they do around great big circular racetracks. And the mother of all these races, in his estimation, is the Indianapolis 500. Now I love vintage. This race has been run for over 100 years. So I think, “There must be some really cool vintage tickets out there – the perfect image for his invitations!”

I actually found a 50th anniversary ticket on eBay (similar to this one).

That’s the seed. Next I envision bunting hung from all our porches.

This is actually the home of President Harrison in Indianapolis, IN, but the volume of porches (and bunting) is like what I have in mind. (I’ve already ordered it!)

Little American flags interspersed with checkered flags in the flower arrangements on the tables.

Maybe I could even make little checked flags to go in the drinks!

An adorable double wash tub (yes, I already have one!) filled with little pints of milk (the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is traditionally handed a glass bottle of milk to drink in winner’s circle).

I know, you’re thinking, “Cute, but, YUCK! Who would want to drink milk at a party?!?!” But you see, I’ve got the cure for that, too. Sitting along side our cute little tubs of milk will be the mixin’s for mudslides. Another of Chip’s favorite things.

Add tubs of beer and wine (and maybe even a keg . . .), strings of lights (you see there are just some things I must have), pretty tables and chairs throughout the patio and lawns, highlight reels of Indianapolis 500 scenes showing on the side of the cottage, and we’ve got ourselves a party even Chip would enjoy.

Am I sounding a little too carried away already?

Wish me luck!

And thanks for reading,

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‘Tis the season for yard saling. And for barnstorming. And this month I’ve been up to both.

Artists, history and architecture enthusiasts toured barns throughout the Buckeystown area last weekend.


Our barns were included on the tour, and our visitors embraced the opportunity to learn and enjoy.


Barns are beautiful.


At the reception afterwards, we were able to purchase this delightful oil painting, by Courtney Lee, of our beautiful barns.

And then on to this weekend’s fun: Yard saling! Chartreuse & co’s annual Yard Sale is this weekend, and we’ve all been rummaging through all our treasures, projects, and finds, marking them at irresistible yard sale prices.

Plus, we’re always bringing in fabulous new finds. Here’s a look at my favorites this month:

Silverware chimes. So simple and pretty.


This pretty french chair is one of a pair.


There’s a number of exceptional vintage cameras in the barn now. This one has to be my favorite.


Aren’t these just the cutest little owls, ever?


I just had to include this one. After years of struggling and coaxing, my hydrangea is finally not just surviving, but flourishing! I’m sooo happy!!!


That just-right shade of tangerine. And a matching pair, too!


If I had a beach house, this arrangement would be there.


I love everything about this console table. The bow-front. The carved details. The spot-on color. It’s just perfect.


These lamps (there’s a pair of them) are that perfect bottle green. And I love that the bottoms are open, so you can create vignettes inside them, and change them so easily.

And I’ve finally gotten some serious work done on my laundry room. Result? Tons of yard sale-priced vintage linens that I just can’t fit in my newly organized space.

I’ll be posting pictures -before and after – when the room is finally complete (I ran out of paint part way through . . .)

Thanks for reading,

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We’ve been working hard getting ready for the big Barnstormers Tour this Saturday. The Americana and vintage pieces throughout the barn are great, as always. Here’s a few of my favorites.

I love flower frogs as paper weights, or just as sculpture. They even work nicely holding flowers in place in my vases. . .


These sparkling stars create a festive bouquet.


Add pretty napkin rings to your festive table. They bring elegance and order.


Collect these clever napkins and observe the improvement in dinnertime behavior.


Love the details and unusual design of this vintage occasional table.


I stopped dead in my tracks when I passed by this perfect set of transferware pitchers. Aren’t they festive paired with the flags?


There are so many great little pieces of jewelry throughout the barn right now, but I particularly liked the cheeky illustration on this one.


I’m just a sucker for flowers. Especially such a simple and happy presentation.


Check out our website for pictures of all the great cubbies we have right now. I especially like the numbering on this one.


Scarves are such a chic and easy fashion accessory. This flag-inspired one is a go-to for Independence Day.


Perfect summer seating. Just add lemonade.


The chest in this photo has great lines and is such a nice size. There’s a pair of the chairs pictured with it.


LOVE this old camera.


And this light meter.


You’ve got so see and feel this settee to fully appreciate the extraordinary fabric on it. It’s stunning.


Here’s just a little detail.


This undersea linen runner brings the ocean to your table. Add the marine-colored goblets and you’re set.


Fabulous chalkboard. Love the lettering used here.


Don’t really plan on making an army’s-worth of coffee? Use the cool canister as a centerpiece for your buffet table instead. Love the flags (and the twinkling string of lights isn’t too bad either).


Would any list of favorites be complete without a French chair? I think not.


The lettering makes this pail.


I don’t water ski. I’ll probably never water ski in my life. But I love them on the wall, propped against a cabinet. They’re just such a perfect summer-time icon.

For even more pictures check our website: http://www.chartreuseandco.com/tagsale.

Hope to see you Saturday for the Barnstormers Tour, June 9, 9am-4pm.

Thanks for reading,

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I love barns. I think everyone should. So much of our heritage, livelihood, even sense of place, finds its origins in a barn.

Our oldest barn, the bank barn, was probably constructed in the 1880s. It would have been built before our house, which was built in 1889. Settlers and farmers routinely built their barns first – building them larger and often stronger than the house they built for themselves.

So this Saturday, June 9, from 10am-4pm, our barns are part of the 6th Annual Frederick County Landmarks Foundation’s Barnstormers Tour. This year the tour centers on Buckeystown, and our barns have been selected to be among the 9 farms-worth of buildings being showcased.

The bank barn’s heavy timber skeleton is exposed inside the structure, where you can see that no nails were used in its construction. Every joint is pegged. It’s truly a marvel of engineering.

As you drive through the countryside over the summer, take note of how many barns you see. They are disappearing fast, but can be saved.

Our dairy barn has seen the greatest changes over the years. After the cows, it was used for storage. When we bought the property, the appraiser told us that the barns were a detriment to its value. But a little vision, a lot of investment, time, and energy, and this barn has become the heart of Chartreuse & co.
Sad truth: everyone who owns property with these old barns on them is being told by appraisers and insurance agents that they are a problem and should be destroyed.

This spectacular ceiling is what we found when we opened up the second floor of the dairy barn. This space was designed (and used for 90 years) as a storage space for hay. It was never intended to be beautiful, and yet look at how extraordinary it is!  It still takes my breath away almost every time I come up the stairs.

Check out the Landmark Foundation’s site for details about the Barnstormers Tour, which will include docents at each of the 9 barns, explaining its history, functions, and construction.  Artists will be at each barn, depicting its beauty in original artwork created on site.  And the entire day will be capped off with refreshments and live music at Mayne’s Farm, where the artists renderings will be available for sale.

Tour admission is $15/person, under 16 is free.  There is no charge to get into Chartreuse & co’s barns.  Tickets will be on sale at Chartreuse & co.

Hope to see you this Saturday!

Thanks for reading,


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The Crum family (Chip, Katherine, Sasha, Virginia) following Katherine’s graduation from Hollins University – the capstone event on our graduation weekend.

Yup. We did it. Two graduations in two states, less that 18 hours apart. It was a whirlwind, exhausting, exhilerating, and (hopefully) once in a lifetime!

Just a few bits of trivia that made it especially significant to us:

1. McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland is Chip’s alma mater. Not only did Sasha (our younger daughter) graduate from there this year, but also our niece, Caroline. So we now have a mini alumni association in our own family.

Our personal McDaniel Alumni Association: Caroline Koogle ’12, Chip Crum ’84, Sasha Crum ’12

2. Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia is my alma mater. The speaker for my commencement was Dr. Paula Brownlee, our beloved, then-president of Hollins College. My classmate, and Dr. Brownlee’s daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Brownlee Kolmstetter, coincidentally, addressed Katherine’s commencement. And as a surprise to Liz, she was presented with an honorary doctorate from the school – which her mother was on hand to present to her. All this, plus two other members of my class were there – one with her daughter, Catherine, graduating with mine! WOW.

Dr. Paula Brownlee (Hollins College president 1981-1990), Katherine Crum ’12, Virginia Crum ’85, Dr. Elizabeth Brownlee Kolmsetter ’85, Collette Foster-Frank ’85, Linda Bertorelli Jennings ’85, Catherine Bertorelli Jennings ’12

And so on they go. Sasha’s already knee deep in graduate school. Katherine is about to begin her internship at the National Museum of Women in Art in Washington, DC. And Chip and I are left smiling, watching them go.

And, of course, we have the colors selected for their apartment – the contractors will arrive soon . . .

Thanks for reading,

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