"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves"...Dorothy Parker

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Details ~

 My house has rather nice original glass doorknobs, most of them are in excellent shape but I can't say the same for these, the glass knobs were fine but the escutcheons were in terrible condition. At one time the brass  must have been as bright and shiny as the little screw laying next to them. I took them off when I painted the doors and there was no way they were going back up like this.

 Alas, I wish that I could tell you that I miraculously cleaned and polished them up but I took the easy way out and purchased replacements from a nearby store, Crown City Hardware that specializes in antique hardware.

Amazingly they had exact duplicates and now the doorknobs  look like this...
with bright, shiny, and absolutely gorgeous brass escutcheons!

Details can  make such a difference.

Thank you for visiting,
I hope you have a happy day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A very nice day ~

It was a very nice day... 

my rose cuttings have formed new leaves which I believe indicates root growth. The cloches seem to be working.

I had a very successful trip to the library and brought home lots of great books to read.

I finally, finally, finally, figured out the crochet pattern for some lace I am making; crochet patterns can be notoriously tricky.

I made a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are yummy and I love this photo, I think this is the best picture I have ever taken.

 In the evening, a concert at the Hollywood Bowl!

All in all a very nice day.
I think I am very fortunate.

 I hope you had a nice day too.

Friday, July 11, 2014

New curtains ~

The lace lace curtains on my bedroom windows were looking very grim, a combination of sun damage and a playful Miss Twiggley. Once she discovered a little frayed edge to play with...well, that was the end. 

These windows are a challenge, I need a bit of privacy at night but during the day I like the light and the view of the rear garden. The solution, Austrian curtains. They require a bit more work to make and hanging them by myself was a challenge but after a bit of frustration and lots of mistakes they are up.

Here you see them partially open in the morning to let in lots of light and the garden view...

And here, in another window you see them down.

Up, or down 

I like them...and I think Miss Twiggley does too.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cuttings and Cloches ~

 With the exception of succulents, in all the years I have been gardening I haven't done much plant propagation, I have sowed lots of flower seeds but made few attempts to start plants from cuttings. This all changed when I wanted some roses to plant around the base of the fountain in the new rondel garden. I knew just the roses I wanted, I already had some in the rear garden, but it is impossible to find more as I can not remember the name of this rose or where I got them. So, I decided to take some cuttings.

To help provide the  cuttings with a good start I needed more cloches and last week I found just the right ones at World Market. 

 I am also trying to propagate some other plants along with the roses, I decided to put them all together on the shelf outside of the kitchen window where I can keep a good eye on how they are doing.

Seeing them all lined up like this reminded me of  a work-yard I visited at a chateau in France. Isn't this  wonderful. There is some serious gardening going on here and of course the gardens were fabulous.

I will never have a use for that many cloches and I certainly don't have such a sumptuous garden but I rather like the way they look and the rose cuttings I that I took earlier seem to have taken. Hooray!

I think I have discovered a new hobby.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy birthday America ~

Wishing you all a wonderful, joyous,

 Fourth of July 2014

Happy Birthday America!

Friday, June 27, 2014

An homage to Versailles ~

I have always wanted a room with a gold ceiling, but I never had the courage to actually attempt it, then when I was making the decorating choices for the powder room I knew this was my chance.

The actual ceiling in this room is just over three feet square, long, long, ago it was converted into a  room out of two closets and the entry to the attic crawl space is here, whatever I did it had to remain accessible.

To finish it off I used cream colored cording between the wallpaper and the ceiling This really works well in older houses where it is difficult to get a clean edge and I think adds a nice detail.


At first I tried using metallic gold paint but it really didn't have the richness I was going for, then my brother told me he had some gold leaf, enough to do the whole ceiling!

I sent away for the other supplies I needed...who would know that before applying gold leaf you put down a base coat of bright red paint!

After the base coat dries you paint on the adhesive sizing and then with extreme care lay on the individual sheets of gold leaf brushing it softly into place. It was a time consuming and detailed job, I felt a bit like Michelangelo with my neck bent back in an awkward position. But I got it done and I love it!

Would I attempt this on a larger ceiling, no, but it is perfect in here. I love the way it glows and reflects the light from the new chandelier. My intent was to make this room into a jewel box, having the gold ceiling really adds to the effect.

Now I have my own little imitation of Versailles.

this room is so tiny that it is almost impossible to get a good photo but a least it gives you some idea.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a golden day!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bienvenue à l'été ~

Welcome to summer,

the time for sitting out in the garden and enjoying the long, warm, nights, eating with friends on the deck, and outdoor concerts.

I celebrated the beginning of summer last night by attending the opening concert at the Hollywood Bowl, it was spectacular! The performers were excellent and fireworks ended a wonderful evening.

This morning I am working in the garden, but this evening I plan on sitting  in one of these chairs with a glass of wine and enjoy the view.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The new Rondel garden ~

A few weeks ago I decided to take out the 20x30 foot lawn in the front garden. My main objective was to cut down on water usage but I also wanted to design an area that would blend style-wise with the rest of the garden and not add a lot of maintenance; grass is very easy to maintain. 
It has been a rather large project and now it is finally done.

Here are the results.
 The garden fork, which you see here in the planning stages of the design has become...

 a fountain!
When the weather cools down I will plant pink roses around the fountain base among the herbs and Santa Barbara daises, but for this summer I have planted Vinca which thrives in our summer heat.
I made the iron fence a while back by bending rebar around a tree trunk to make the hoops, I was going to throw them away but I think they look interesting here.

The trickling water makes the loveliest sound and the birds love it.

And the rest of the space, which previously looked like this:

Has now become this, my new rondel garden.

The plants are all very small so there appears to be a lot of gravel but when the Japanese Boxwoods planted around the fountain roundel get larger they will obscure most of the pathway.
I have also planted trailing plants which are still too small to see around the base of the trees and in other places to soften the look of the mulch. Like most projects there is still some tweeking to be done and I think I want to add another small tree, but all together I am satisfied, and the one of the best parts...

...it is all watered by drip irrigation. Good-bye Rainbirds!

Thank you for visiting, come back soon.