Friday, December 23, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Patisserie stand for Christmas ~

For a very long time, ever since I saw a blog post at Romancing the home featuring her beautiful patisserie stand, I had wanted one for my kitchen. Hers is a magnificent antique stand. For a while I tried finding one, but it was almost impossible, and when I did come close they were very, very costly.

Then I found this one at Ballard's. 

For a couple of years I resisted buying it. When I did try to order one, two years ago, they were sold out, which prompted me last year to immediately buy one during their after Christmas sale. It is just the right size for my kitchen island and it has been so much fun to have - I leave it up year around. 

They come in chrome and brass. It was a difficult decision for me but I choose chrome to match my kitchen fixtures. It has two sturdy, adjustable glass shelves and is heavily weighted to keep it from tipping over.

Because I bought it after the holiday last year this is the first time I have decorated it for Christmas,

I serve a buffet dinner every Christmas Eve. This year I will remove some of the ornamental items and use the patisserie stand to serve the desserts.

I find my kitchen the easiest room to decorate for the various holidays and this makes it even easier, and more fun!

Thank you for visiting

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Twice the fun ~

Last week while my daughter was at work I went over and decorated her house for the holidays. Since she went back to teaching full time this has become somewhat of a tradition. It's fun for me and I know that she likes coming home from a busy day and finding her house all ready for Christmas.


I love this swinging door going into the kitchen - it is the perfect spot for a wreath.

 In the dining room I tied some decorative bows on the chairs and added a casual centerpiece - made a bit more elegant with mirrors, crystal candle sticks, and some casually strewn ornaments.

 I went a little overboard on the credenza. I filled my wooden box to overflowing with garlands and ornaments and added twinkle lights. It's a bit flashy, but this is the one time of the year that glitter and glitz seem to be okay.

In the living room a very simple mantle... 

 ...she will add the Christmas stockings later.

And across the room the tree - definitely the focal point. 
All in gold with leopard ribbon and lots of sparkle.  

Aren't I lucky I get twice the fun of decorating for the holidays.

Thank you for visiting.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 8, 2016

VoilĂ  ~ the drapes

Finally, the living room drapes are finished, and installed.


I completed them a while ago but I was waiting for the decorative fringe edging to arrive. This is the easiest part but I think it really adds a touch of elegance to the drapes. It came last Friday and by Saturday I had it sewn on.

I love this fringe, Malibu Carnation - it is so elegant and very reasonably priced. I found it here. For any of you that are looking for interesting trims I would highly recommend this company, both for the quality of their products and the pricing.

These drapes with the linings are very heavy and I really thought I would need someone to help me install them, but I became impatient to see them up and found that if I piled them up on the highest rung on the ladder for support I could hook them onto the rings.


This room, as I have mentioned before, has been very problematic and many times I have wondered if I have been really off on my choices. I have spent much more time mulling over what to do, then in the actual 'doing'. But it is finally coming together and I think that the time spent, without rushing to make decisions, has been worth it. 

I still have a ways to go but I think this just might turn out to be a very pretty room.

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas in the dining room ~

My living room is still in flux with the furniture either at the upholstery shop or covered in sheets waiting for me to decide which fabric I am going to use so it can go. This all  makes it ridiculous to decorate the room for Christmas this year.

But I missed having a tree somewhere nearby.


I put a little tree in the dining room. At least it will add a touch of Christmas when I entertain. 

The cherub statue was already on the table and fits in perfectly. It is meant for the garden but I have always kept it inside.

In the background you can see one of my unfinished drapes in the aforementioned, living room. It took a long time to find the right fringe for the trim -  it was finally delivered today so by next week they should be finished and hung.

 This  room has really proved to be a challenge and I decided that instead of making quick decisions I would take my time and not be rushed, but it does feel like it is taking forever.

No decorations in the living room this year but I do have my pretty little tree in the dining room to enjoy.

Thank you for visiting.

Happy Holidays

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Planting for the holidays ~

Earlier in the week I found myself planting for the holidays.

Starting with Amaryllis. I have never planted these before but they were such a lovely color and on sale for 50% off. I figured why not give them a try. And maybe, just maybe, they might bloom in time for Christmas. 

a little Dwarf Alberta Spruce which I will bring in the house for the holiday season and then plant in the garden. I have a perfect spot for one and this is the time of year that pine trees are available in Southern California. I think most people use them in lieu of cut Christmas trees but I like them for the garden too.

  Not really for Christmas, but for later in the year,
Sweet Peas  - planted now they should bloom early before it gets too hot. And finally, Calendulas. Although commonly available in pony packs the only way to get the taller old fashion variety that I prefer is to plant seeds. They add great color to the winter and early spring garden and if you are lucky some will reseed for next year. 

As you can see I am planning a very extended holiday season, especially in the garden.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sunlight and design frustrations ~

When I count all of my blessings one at the top of the list is that I am able to wake up so many mornings to the sun streaming through my bedroom windows in the most glorious way.

This room was designed by my husband. He tried to include everything that I wanted in a master bedroom suite: I wanted a a spacious room with a fireplace, french doors and a sitting area, and that is what I got.

The morning sun...well that was happenstance.

Natural light is such an integral part of a room and I don't think it is given enough significance. Throughout the day it can make enormous differences and the shifting light is what I find so difficult to deal with when picking out paint and fabric colors.

 But here it all came together for me and I am very, very happy with the results. 

When I go in this room it gives me hope for the living room project which I have been struggling with...trying to get the colors right and vacillating it seems everyday. In this room the natural light, which is the afternoon sun, has played a very important role. As much as I enjoy redecorating a room getting it to reach your expectations can sometimes be very frustrating, With this in mind the fact that I have finally found fabric to reupholster the canape is very for the rest.

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mums and more mums ~

Tis the season for mums. 

Last spring I attended the local Chrysanthemum Society's annual sale. They have plants in 4 inch containers started by cuttings from their members. Every year I buy three or four of them. They are nice plants and are flowering now but are of the tall, show type and tend to need a watchful eye, and staking. 

So I was very pleased to walk into my local Home Depot a few weeks ago and find a really nice selection of 'garden' mums in gallon containers. Less fussy than their showy sisters these will only reach 24 inches and  require much less care in the garden.

 I have planted them now, and they will provide some fall color but they really won't met their potential until next year when they have matured.

I guess you call this, planting for the future.

Here is bouquet of some of the chrysanthemums  I already have in the garden. Not only do they add color to the fall border but are wonderful cut flowers.

Thank you for visiting

Have a happy, happy day.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Chaos reigns ~ living room update

When I started this project I was hoping to have it finished by the holidays, least by Christmas.

As of today, the painting and wallpapering is done and I have the new area rug. The fabric for the living room drapes is on its way, and as soon as it is delivered I can start making them. 

Meanwhile, the room is in chaos. Most of the upholstered furniture will either be discarded or moved to another room, I have managed to work around it but it will be very helpful to have it gone. Next week I have someone coming to move the heavier pieces and bring in the ones from storage I do intend to use.

 So far I like the way it is going, although I had a completion goal it really wasn't a deadline, but it will be nice to see it finished. I have found that when you do a room slowly it doesn't have that big impact because you adjust to each change gradually. How nice it would be to leave for a few days, come back, and find it all done exactly to your specifications.

 There is some satisfaction of knowing that you did it all yourself, or at least most of it. I will paint, wallpaper, and make simple slipcovers, but I definitely will not attempt upholstering.

One thing is for sure it will be done by next years holidays, but then I will probably have something else torn up.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Color in the fall garden ~

I may be wrong, but I think that along with football games, falling leaves, and cooler weather most people associate Chrysanthemums with this time of year. Mums are very abundant now in shops, nurseries and gardens. They are beautiful, and a pot of chrysanthemums can add instant seasonal color. I do love them and every year add more to my garden.


there is another flower that means autumn is really here for me, and that is the fall blooming, perennial aster. 

These asters are hardy garden plants, in many ways almost garden thugs. They really would like to take over whatever bed they are planted in and need judicious thinning over the summer months in order not to run rampant.

But for any gardener willing  to put in the work, this is what you get; the most splendid display of  tall stems bursting with flowers that provide marvelous color to the fall landscape.

These will continue to bloom like this for several weeks. Then I will cut them back to the ground and wait again for their return next year.

Pretty, don't you think? You might want to add some to your garden.

Thank you for visiting, have a wonderful day.