Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pretty in Pink

I have been looking forward to making a new header for the month of February because I knew I would be using my favorite color ~ pink! Going from left to right above: a little vignette on a table in my living room it features a small needlepoint work that I did and have always liked. In the middle picture I have a grouping of decorating books; the book on the top, Decorating with Roses is a Victoria publication that I recently purchased; don't you think that decorating with roses fits in perfectly with someone who lives and gardens at a house called, Rose Arbors? And the last picture, with an afghan and a needlepoint cushion I made, was taken in the sitting area of my bedroom. For some reason, along with pink, needlework seems to be a focus of this header, funny I really didn't plan it that way. Once again I ended up with extra photos I didn't use so here are the rest of my February pink header possibilities...maybe for next year.

Another curbside find this chair is sits next to the fireplace in the living room, I like the juxtaposition of the pink and cream stripes  against the floral wallpaper

...a few of my Desert Rose dishes, the first china pattern I started collecting and still one of my favorites, I use these for my everyday china during the spring months, at one time I used to be able to go to the Franciscian factory in Los Angeles and buy them, that was long ago and now they are made overseas and not really the same in quality

...I have been experimenting in using textures with some of my pictures and I really liked the way this one of the pink camellia turned out, I think it is quite interesting. Have any of you been attempting this process?

So here you are all of my "pinks", perfect I think for the month of romance.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Plaisirs simples ~ Valentine bulletin board

For many years I have been saving the old fashion valentines I have received ~ most of them were  given to me by my daughter at: For this Valentine's Day I decided that they really needed to be taken out of the drawer and enjoyed, so I took some of my favorites and put them on the bulletin board in my workroom... now for the month of February I can see them every time I sit at the computer...and as a blogger you know that is fairly often.  Just another, plaisir simple de la vie...simple pleasure of life.

I hope that you enjoyed sharing these with me. Do you have a way to display your special valentines?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Un Peu de Beauté Pour la Journée ~ Silver

This lovely silver set was given to my husband and I many years ago by his staff for our twenty-fifth anniversary. I have always loved the restrained elegance of it's design. The bud vase I purchase at Jacob Marse, a wonderful florist shop and boutique in Pasadena; I think it adds a nice floral compliment. Here you see it in the kitchen, as I just finished polishing it, but unually it sits on a coffee table in the sitting area of my bedroom...just in case someone wants to share a quiet, intimate, cup of tea in front of a cozy fire.

I hope this adds un peu de beauté pour la journée...a little beauty for the day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekword ~ Mercurial: The Afghan

Here in Southern California although our winter weather is really very mild considering what other people are going through this year, we are experiencing our usual mercurial changes in temperature...up one day, down the next. That is why is it always nice to have a throw or an afghan near by to toss over you for added warmth in the evening when you are watching television, reading, or for an afternoon nap. I always like a needle work project to carry me through the long winter nights, so this year I decided to make a new afghan for the media/family room to help me cozy up when I am feeling chilly.

 I picked a color that would blend in with the color palette I have selected for the room, I didn't particulary want the afghan to stand out, but rather to blend in and just add textural interest. I bought all of the yarn at an after Christmas sale at Michael's. I picked a very simple and mindless pattern that keeps my hands busy, but lets my mind free to chat, daydream, talk on the telephone, or listen to television or music...very therapeutic and relaxing. Crocheting is so much fun and easy to do, if you haven't tried it I highly recommend doing so ~ the results are quite amazing.

I still have quite a bit to do, but it really doesn't take very long. I love the lace-like appearance of crochet. What do you think...c'est  jolie, non?

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Beautiful Camellia

January in Southern California brings with it one of our easiest, most reliable, and beautiful, blooming shrubs ~ the Camellia. Here at Rose Arbors I have a variety of Camellias. They were all planted many, many years ago by the original owners of the property and  most of them have reached tree size. They flourish and bloom without any assistant or help but an occasional light pruning, and then surprise me every year with their glorious flowers. At a time when very little else is going on in the garden they are especially appreciated.

A bounty of blooms freshly picked from the garden...

A casual bouquet to bring beauty to
 the kitchen...aren't I lucky. I hope you have a little floral beauty in your day today.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Library/media room project ~ The Fabric!

I have one thing in common with one of my favorite interior designers Sarah Richardson, I like to use fabric as my inspiration piece, but  in this room I started with the paint color. I picked out two colors that would blend in with the adjoining rooms: Sensible Hue And Cornerstone by Bahr. I also knew that although I wanted a neutral palette I want to use burgundy-red as my accent color, along with some metallic gold . When I saw the fabric below I was looking for something to back the walls of the bookcases and originally was going to order it for that...but it is so gorgeous that I really didn't want to cover it all up with books and accessories and immediately decided to use it for the draperies instead. I love the way that it has been 'antiqued' to give the feeling of age.

This little check, a companion fabric to the one above will be used to upholster a pair of bergere chairs in the alcove of the room. I think this will play off well with the natural brick floors in this area; in the main part of the room the floor is a dark hardwood 

Instead of fabric I decided to use this damask wallpaper to line the walls of the bookcases, the lighter color matches the wall paint and the darker color ties in with the background color in the drapery fabric. I wanted something that provided richness but didn't standout too much. I think I will paint the interior sides of the bookcases in the darker color to add more dimension and interest.

And here it all is altogether, along with the cream and gold stripped fabric that I already was originally going to be used in a bathroom remodel; I am going to use it now to slip-cover an existing wing chair. The only piece of furniture I will be purchasing is a new slip-covered couch in a cream color similar to the walls.

and interestingly...

...just this morning while going through a special issue of Victoria magazine that I received a few weeks ago I saw this picture and was fascinated  to see many similarities to what I am trying to achieve in my room. This room is more Victorian in feeling and quite elaborate, but  the patterned drapes, the dark wood furniture and especially the color palette is very much the same. Fun!

So...what do you think...should I quit my day job?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Soupe du Jour

Minestrone ~ When the weather turns cold, the first thing that I think of is soup and my first choice for soup is minestrone. I have been making  minestrone soup from a recipe out of the old Time-Life cookbook series for many decades and it is still the best recipe ever...maybe it is the pistou made of garlic, parsley and basil that you add just before serving that makes it so special; whatever, it is delicious! Of course lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the accompaniment of a good glass of red wine doesn't hurt.

Yum! Are we ready to eat? Could you please pass the bread...

What is your favorite soup?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Up A Tree

I realize that I have been talking a lot about pruning lately so I thought I would share with you a photo taken  while I was pruning one of my apple trees. I keep these trees relatively small so I can prune them myself...still as you see here it does require a bit of climbing. And, yes...I am careful. After this, pruning the roses and the other shrubs is a piece of cake although it usually takes me several weeks to get the whole garden done; just another day in the life of a gardener. This is also where my work at the gym and yoga pays off ~ to keep me in relatively good physical condition so I can continue to indulge in my passion for gardening. And when this is all done I can start planting the dahlias and lilies I bought today...Spring is coming!

How about you...climbed any trees lately?

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Wreath

In order to dress up the front porch a little after all the glamour of Christmas was stored away I wanted to make a new winter wreath, one that would reflect the season... that meant no lavish floral display as my garden is in the midst of pruning and there are few flowers in sight. So this how this wreath...

became this one!


Michael's was having a great sale on all of their succulents... so I used them to add color in lieu of flowers

I already  had the greenery; the tassel, well I thought it added a touch of whimsy.

Once again the finished product. Incidentally I love this door it is original to the house and has this charming little window in it that opens to peek out.

How about you... have you added any new outdoor touches to see you through the winter months?

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Friday, January 7, 2011


With the holidays over it is nice to return to the simplicity of everyday life. Gone is the Confectionery Shoppe...all that's left is one little ant left searching for some crumbs. Now this shelf has been vastly simplified with some African Violets, beautiful, crunchy, green apples and a few cups awaiting  tea...

...little pots of herbs to be used for cooking throughout the winter months, now line up on the window shelf above the kitchen sink...

..all of the Santas have gone back to the North Pole and the glass and crystal containers have returned to the cupboard...

...and this great cookbook containing lots delicious recipes using simple ingredients has been brought out for the cold winter days. The months of winter seem to call for a return to simplicity...gone is all the glitz and glitter for another year... but soon it will be spring and that means ~ flowers!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now Where Did I Put That!

When I put out the holiday decorations I store away most of the other decor items, some of them are too large to loose but at the spur of the moment I always seem to put some of the smaller items away for safekeeping in some strange, weird, place and then after Christmas I am forced to play the game...Now Where Did I Put That! One year it took me a couple of months to find my pair of Staffordshire poodles and they certainly aren't little! This year it was some birds that I usually keep in the entry hall. Are you ready to play along with me? Now where did I put that...

Well, they are certainly not in here...

and definitely no more room in here, although here are all the plate stands and the plates; I will have to remember this.

No, nothing here but art and sewing supplies...

Wow...totally empty

..nothing up here but some cobwebs, and  boxes of old documents

craft supplies, but no little bird where did I put those! This is really getting more place to look. they are! Now doesn't it make perfect sense that I would have put them in with some of my lingerie, but of course, silly me.

I hope that I am not the only one that does you ever play this game after the holidays?

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