Doors of Alabama…

105FF74C-B6D6-4E87-A0EF-152CC880117CThree years ago, when I first started writing – I was sorely lacking in photographic skills. A bit better now and have learned a thing or two… still, back then- award winning photographer Jeremy Miniard took pity on me and provided some stunning photographs, then generously offered to let me use them! One of the first groups of photographs I asked him about were Doors; Jeremy has a treasure trove of photographs taken during his ramblings throughout Alabama. The doors he sent to me were amazing. They still are! I posted ‘Doors of Alabama’ using some other photographs offered to me- also out of pity I’m sure. This time… I’ve put together a poster worthy collection of Doors of Alabama, which are all Jeremy Miniard’s work… be prepared to be impressed!

Doors of Alabama


7C9AC56D-50F6-4311-86EE-32B22FEC71F2Thank you Jeremy! This journey just wouldn’t have been the same without you! Now. Y’all. I hope you’re inspired as I was by Jeremy’s photography – and also the beauty and history that surely was behind these old doors…peeling paint and all! Now….on your mark, get set and.. Get out there and take some photographs wherever you are! I’d love to see what you come up with! By the way, can you believe we’re still around after three years? Me either. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for your support, for following this blog and for your kind words; and yes! the funny comments too! And as always…

Love y’all, Camellia

And I saved one of my favorites for last! E90E7D9E-F75A-438B-BF27-6CEC82C5FA30


*All photographs are the sole property of Jeremy Miniard, please respect this and do not use them without his express permission. You will find his work at  Remy Photography-

Moon and Stars…

88BC61EA-42D0-4883-B449-F41012599B9EMagnolia scented Moonlight…

633AC820-1847-4301-B661-EDFD31E891C5Starry Southern Nights…

Orange Beach, Alabama

Moonrise tugging on the tide…

05733021-C4EF-4338-BEE5-32DA84D079F3Or peeping thru Pillow-y Clouds…

Alabama Full Moon

A big full Moon hanging, on a pitch black sky…

3B137700-D079-4228-9756-CD410CB4DB41Twinkling Blinking Star Lights-

633AC820-1847-4301-B661-EDFD31E891C5Wishing us Good Night!

When we consider all, the work God’s Hands have made.. And see the stars– we can’t help but be- in awesome wonder! And, must proclaim- ‘My God, how great Thou Art!’

Our Heavenly Father, seems to have endowed ‘Alabama the Beautiful’ with an extra measure of beauty- day or night! The ‘Night Skies’ photographs were taken by our very own Star! The Award Winning Jeremy Miniard! Camellia’s Cottage has been blessed to have Jeremy as an enthusiastic part of our team for almost two years! Since January brought not one but two glorious full moons and several stunning star filled nights- I asked Jeremy for a collection of Alabama moon and stars and- as you can see- he never disappoints! The struggle is coming up with words when his images speak volumes. Enjoy!

Love y’all, Camellia

*Words from the first part of the last paragraph are obviously a play on the iconic hymn- ‘How Great Thou Art!’ by Stuart K. Hine

*Stay tuned for more about Jeremy’s awards, we are thrilled for him! The photographs contained within are the sole property of Jeremy Miniard and are used with permission. Find him at

Front Porches of Alabama…

Welcome to the Front Porches of Alabama!


‘Friends are like the pillars on your Front Porch…Sometimes they hold you up, Sometimes they lean on you; Sometimes, it’s just enough to know they’re standing by for you…’

Yes, welcome to the Porches of Alabama… ‘How do you do’, ‘Y’all come up and set a while’ or ‘Tell me all about it, we’ll figure out what to do’…

We’ll sip a glass of sweet iced tea, sit and watch the sunset, blink with the lightin’ bugs and hear the crickets sing. Softly sing a song or two, a stolen kiss, a sweet embrace, a gentle breeze to chase the blues away…

‘We’re glad you came’- Are you sure y’all can’t stay awhile?’  with  gentle hugs, a tear or two-‘Now don’t be a stranger’ or  ‘Please don’t go we’ll miss you so!’ We’ll watch until you’re out of sight-from the Front Porches in Alabama._DSC0111-1

‘Friends are like Front Porch Pillars, Sometimes they hold you up, Sometimes they lean on you;  Sometimes it’s just enough to know they’re standing by for you.’

Love y’all, Camellia

A Heartfelt Thanks to Jeremy Miniard for almost all of these wonderful ‘Front Porches of Alabama’ – what would we do without him?? We have some more of them in the vault waiting! They do belong to him, and cannot be reproduced without permission.

 I’d like to claim it as my own, but the Front Porch Quote is Anonymous.

Designin’ with Barn Board…


red car barn- miniard

On the backroads of Alabama you will find old barns like this one Jeremy Miniard photographed. When I look at this, I think of Alabama now – from old farms and steel skyscrapers, cotton fields sidled right up next to engineering firms making technological advances these old farmers never dreamed of! Old courthouses and turn of the century homes stand not far from national championship football universities- training future scientists, engineers and teachers.  That’s Alabama for you – a study in contrasts.

Designing with Barnboard and Reclaimed Wood

The photograph of an old barn inspires me-I love the decorating trend to use old wood, old barn boards and discarded wooden pallets for interior and exterior design.  As we have been renovating the cottage, we have used a study of contrasts-

  • Old wood with marble-
  • Slipcovered sofas with French chairs-
  • Pine floors painted black
  • Shiny black doors with linen and bright white square columns.

Contrasts please the eye. Let me show you a few things we’ve done with old wood…

A French side chair with an old barn board topped table, natural sisal rug and black painted floors- the contrast of styles and even rustic with silver is lovely…

Marble countertops with a contrasting barn board tray…These trays are perfect for cheese boards or to pile up some citrus- and they are my favorite prop for photos!

In a powder room, the old cabinet seemed low so we put a nickel faucet and elevated the look by putting up ornate white brackets topped with two pieces of old wood …

And a sofa table behind the slipcovered sofa was too short, so we placed old boards on it, to extend the table, now a lamp, a plant and other items can be better situated.

Then, in the foyer, a large chest was replaced by a ‘floating’ contemporary shelf which was topped with old boards. See the old map of St. Clair County above the shelf. Now the foyer feels more spacious.

Even the deck needed to be re-done, we’re still not completely through with that but…we reused the old wood and made a planter and we bleached out the thick wood steps to prepare them for stain-

The contrasts of old rough wood with linens, rounded French curves, the sheen of marble- contrasting with fresh whites and grays- pleases us, we hope you agree! The good ol’ boys who’ve helped us achieve this still walk in and roughly say…’I never woulda thought this would look good, but it does’ . Bless their hearts.

Love y’all. Camellia

This article was originally posted April 13, 2016 as ‘Barnboard…’ and has been updated to include more projects!

Hello Darlin’

Classic-Old-Cord-Telephone-2204-mediumHello darlin’, sorry I haven’t called lately, it’s been like the Dew Drop Inn around here! The painter was here for the front door, some teenagers came by takin’ up mission trip money to witness to some folks up in Mentone, the carpenter stopped by and said yes, the screen porch is in bad shape, he’s going to try to work us in between jobs, you know how it is with an old house~ on and on…

Yes, I know I’ve been putting you off, but believe me this bloggin’ is like learning how to practice voodoo and speak German at the same time… Well, they’ve had me doin’ something called word prompts… you know I don’t use words like –  misstep…who says that anyway? Around here they say ‘you can’t mess this up’ or ‘He can’t walk and chew gum at the same time’ certainly not misstep. Yes, I used it in the Green Onion blog post. Those onion roots are already popping up!

For heaven’s sake- I told you it was a word prompt- Boot Camp Word a Day from those Happiness Engineers…they send you a word and tell you to use it in your blog post that day~ on your mark, get set …go!  The next word was incomplete.  The only time I’ve ever said that was when your roommate was sneaking out after curfew, missed so many of her classes she was about to flunk ‘Human Behavior’ and took an Incomplete ~ though Lord knows she was out practicin’ it!  The best I could do with that word was when I wrote ‘A blog is incomplete without great photographs’, I know it didn’t sound right but you have to admit Jeremy Miniard’s pictures sure were amazin’and I knew you would get a kick out of the title- ‘You really need to get out more, darlin” …you say that all the time!

Yesterday I put my foot down! The word prompt was fleeting, Lord, I about died on that one! I just sat there blank, well not totally blank….all I could think of was a Fleet’s to clear you out before you have a baby! I have never heard… not even one southern lady, coarse or common- use the word fleeting…though I will say those Fleet’s…never mind, don’t get me started! I got out the dictionary and fleeting means ‘brief, short, short-lived, quick movement’ sort of like that Peepin’ Tom …what was his name? Lightnin’ that right! Lightnin’ scared the livin’ daylights out of me when I saw his ol’ head reared up outside my bedroom window with the moonlight shining ~ before I could get out a good scream- he was gone in a flash! He was runnin’ down the alley quick as the devil! That’s what the word fleeting meant to me!  Can you imagine usin’ that word for anything? What?

No, I didn’t let them know I wouldn’t be sending in the word prompt – they’re Happiness Engineers, they wouldn’t give me an Incomplete, they’d just send me another word the next day.

The best thing those word prompts did for me was to make me sit down and write a blog post for 3 days in a row- no, I just turned in 2. I felt guilty about it though… Remember when I got the Bible App?  I signed up for a daily Bible reading, was so excited about it and the next thing you know I got busy and missed a day.  They must have ‘unhappiness engineers’ because that bossy Bible App sent me an email letting me know that they knew I had missed a day! I’ve got enough to make me feel guilty without that going on! My face looked like death sucking on lifesaver I was so upset. I put up with it until the third notice.  I’m ashamed to admit it but I removed that App! I can take care of my daily reading on my own thank you very much! I know…don’t remind me, you got a badge for reading yours everyday.

Yes, darlin’ I’m going to do it right now… I’m going to drag and drop your precious face right smack dab at the bottom of the page….yes, honey, watch for it…you’ll love it- glad you called. Bye…love you too!


Okay y’all, in honor of Best Friends Week and without further ado…here she is…Allie Mac! My own sweet friend who knows a whole lot more about nothin’ than I do! She’ll have her own page and everything- watch for it!  Love y’all, Camellia

Allie Mac long hair second try                                                                   Allie Mac