Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas decorating, now what shall I do ~

 It is officially the Christmas season and I have brought up all of the decorations from the basement but before I decide what to do this year I wanted to sit down with a nice cup of tea and look through some of my books, magazines, and Pinterest pins to see what will inspire me.

There is so much to choose from, Santas are always cute and add a touch of wimsey.

 Then which color ornaments should I use? They are all  pretty, but I am really favoring the clear glass ones this year. What about candied fruit and sugar plums, pine cones and snow flakes...wired ribbon, a favorite and so versatile.

Little birds are fun and a woodland themed tree is one of my favorites. (Miss Twiggley would love these too I think).

And there is always snowmen. Maybe they would be perfect for the mantle.

 Do I want glitter and glitz or should I be more restrained; beautiful greenery is classic and lovely. 

It's almost impossible to decide but it is such a fun dilemma.

Enjoy the season!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mini pumpkins for Thanksgiving ~

My daughter recently hosted a event that required party favors.

After a lot of thought
we came up with the idea that to go along with the Thanksgiving theme she would place a succulent filled mini-pumpkin at each table setting: economical, fitting for the season and surprisingly easy to do.

The only thing she had to buy were the mini pumpkins. I  harvested the succulent cuttings and we combined them with other items from our gardens including acorns, berries and some dried flowers.

 Once the prototype was put together we were ready to set up an assembly line in my kitchen.

We put down a bit of moss as a base and then attached everything with a glue gun.

Voila! Once done each pumpkin was placed on a fall leaf to give it more definition.

 These can be made several days ahead of time and set out the day of the event, they will last for quite a while. I think they would be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving dinner table.

I am fortunate to have lots of succulents to take cutting from but you could also make these using other material; silk flowers would be very pretty.

( Postscript, the party was held last night and these were a big hit, it is always nice when people like what you do.)

I hope your Thanksgiving plans are going well. 

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Saving beauty ~

Last summer I did a post on Gompherna Fire Works, a new plant for my garden and one that was very successful. It bloomed consistently throughout the season, required little water and was great for cutting.

As I am always looking for new flowers to dry to make bouquets for the winter months and since I know that other Globe Amaranths dry well I thought I would see if this variety would too.

 I waited until they were ready to be cut back and harvested the blooms.

So pretty!

I had enough for several  bouquets.

And here they are...several weeks later. They dried perfectly keeping all of their brilliant color and form; I am delighted. After the holidays when I put all of the Christmas decorations away and the house seems a bit drab I will bring out the flowers I have dried over the summer, including these, and combine them to make bouquets to brighten up the winter months.

Flowers really make me happy!

Wishing you some 'happy' too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trivia ~


I finished painting the newly installed moldings on the walls and ceiling in the guest bedroom. I am always impressed by what a bit of molding can do, and it is so easy to put up.

I love the soft vanilla of the wall paint, it adds warmth and subtle color to a cold, north-facing room and blends in well with the adjoining powder room.

I ordered trim from Fabric Warehouse that will be a perfect embellishment for the new drapes. I highly recommend this online company, the employees are both helpful and accommodating. I have never been disappointed with any of my purchases.

With crossed fingers and hopes for rain I picked up a few new plants for fall.


 finished reading another one of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache novels, in which everything from the past is tied together in a perfect outcome and even Rosa the duck is happy.

All in all a wonderful, satisfying day!
I hope your day was a good one too.

Good night, sleep tight.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Une petite surprise ~

I had a little surprise this morning.

I knew I had raccoons about the property but they are usually illusive. Then this morning I spied these little guys snoozing, up in the branches of my very old  Lady Banks rose.

I couldn't resist taking a picture, there were three of them but one was hidden. I am fascinated by spark of intelligence in their eyes and the length of their paws, no wonder they can conjure up such mischief! 

How can anything so cute be so naughty!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The gift of rain ~

On Friday mornings for most of the year I meet with a group of other gardeners at the LA Country Arboretum, our class is called The Compulsive Gardeners. Yesterday our topic for discussion was a sharing class on what we have been doing in our homes and gardens to conserve water.


something we did must have worked because last night we were gifted with wonderful rain.

It was a soft, steady rain, falling most of the night and into the early morning hours.

And although this is (excuse the pun) just a drop in the bucket towards relieving our terrible drought, it is wonderful to see everything washed off, clean, and free of dust.

The garden is sparkling!

Colors are more intense.

It gives us hope.

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