Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taming the Beast

Both my father and my husband were excellent craftsmen. I grew up, and have spent my life around woodworking tools and still today the smell of fresh sawdust brings back memories of well-being and pleasure, but I never actually used them. Now in the past few years since I have been alone, and gone through a kitchen remodel and with the current remodel of the media/library (yes, it is still going on) I have  found that in order to get what I want I have had to scary as it is...The Beast

In my kitchen remodel it was necessary to add all of the new window moldings, trims and the shelve under the bay window, but in the current remodel I only wanted to add new edgings to the bookcase shelves and to 'beef up' the doors. I am also lucky enough have this wonderful nail gun, (a delight to use once you get the compressor into the house via Chris who helps me occasionally in the garden ~ it is very heavy! especially for a 110 pound woman) that makes attaching anything a breeze.

I picked out two different types of trim, one with robe detailing for the shelves and another for the doors.

The doors already have trim but by adding it on the outside edge it will really help to add bulk, architectural interest and much, much cheaper than buying new doors. Today I cut, and installed all of the trim on the shelves and tomorrow I will start on the doors, a bit more difficult because of matching the mitre cuts.But I made it though the day with all of my digits and now...

                           ....I really feel that once again, pardon my pun, I have cut the beast back to size.
                                             (I do however set the line on using the table saw!)

Stay tuned for the photos of the finished project, if you are patient it will eventually be completed and ready to share. How about you...have you tamed any beasts lately?

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Apple a Day

My apple trees are blooming! I have several different varieties, all have been hybridized for our warmer temperatures, which means that they require less hours of chilling to produce fruit. I love apple trees as much 
for their ornamental quality as for the fruit. I prune them to keep them relatively small to make them easier to manage and to bring out the beauty of their structure.

I think that these branches look so pretty against the stone wall.

In the back garden this row of apple trees has been planted to act as a screen.


Soon I will be having have lots of these!

And don't forget... "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Un Petit Quelque Chose

What do you do when you are out walking one morning and you see a perfectly nice headboard sitting at the curb waiting for the trash truck? jog quickly home, get in your little truck, go back and get it, and take it home.

With some lattice and bright red paint it becomes the new gate for the entrance to the garden work yard.
Then, if you are lucky someone shares cuttings of this lovely, drought tolerant succulent with you and all is complete.

Since this path leads to the storage and work area of the garden, I wanted a gate that would block out most of the mess and this does the job. The vine that you see is a Virginia Creeper and it hasn't yet begun to set it's leaves, when in full leaf it soften the wall.  A collection of old garden tools, including a scythe lean here; the door to the left is the entrance to the tool shed

                                                             Oh, the fun of re-purposing!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Banner

I wanted to make a new banner for spring that was all white and green but somehow it came out as you see here; it is definately not all white and green! The little pink checkered chair is in the sitting area in my bedroom. The red bistro set resides under an arbor in my garden and the last photo...a birdhouse painting from the garden on the easel  in my workroom. Put altogether I guess that they do represent my la vie quotidienne...everyday life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Plaisirs Simples ~ Travel Trinkets

I had a great time on my trip to Carmel last week. I drive up several times a year to visit my sister and so I have certain places I stop at along the way, and favorite stores that I look forward to visiting while I am there. I thought it would be fun to gather together all of my 'travel trinkets' from this trip and share them with you. The first is this little ant made out of pebbles that I got at a marvelous plant nursery and display garden in Carpenteria, Seaside Country Gardens, I think that I will put him outside next to a pot on the shelf under my kitchen window. They have a nice selection of succulents here so I also picked up one of those, just to tuck in somewhere. Don't you think he is cute!

In Carmel I always try to go to Casa di Campagna because amongst other things they have the cutest little much fun to add a touch of whimsy to a bouquet or arrangement. How about these two perky little fellows...

Brinton's is a fantastic home store in Carmel, they seem to sell everything and anything for the can always find it at Brinton's. I copied the idea from my sister of using this Plexiglas container for a dish soap in the kitchen.

At Sur La Tab I found this cute wire basket and fell in love with it. The Santa Barbara daisies are from Griggs Nursery in the Carmel Valley. They aren't hard to find, but at Griggs I was able to get them in six packs. They are great 'filler' plants and I never  seem to have enough of them. A few other plants seemed to find themselves in my shopping cart too, including some beautiful dahlia tubers. Griggs also sells plants from Annie's Annuals, unusual plants that are difficult to find in Southern California.

Along with the wire basket I got this little cloche at Sur La Table, inside is another little bird from Casa di Campagna.

And...drum roll please! This wonderful buy, a Martha Stewart turkey platter on sale at Macy's for $5.00. It will be very handy to have come Thanksgiving.

I hope you enjoyed this shopping trip with me. Do you bring home trinkets from your trips?

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lady Banks ~ Reine du Jarden

One of the first roses to bloom in my garden every spring is the beautiful, Rosa Banksiae` 'Lutea', commonly called Lady Banks. There is a white form which I also have, but it is not as prolific or as robust. This rose has been here for almost 50 years and was already quite large when we bought the house. A once-blooming, species rose, thornless, with very small leaves and little fragrance; the flowers come in buttery yellow clusters that blanket the entire bush in a lovely yellow haze. It is a rampant grower, completely covering this 30 foot arbor in front of my garden shed and needs heavy pruning to keep it in check.  The lack of fragrance, and single bloom is made up for by the lavish display it puts on every spring when for a month or so each year Lady Banks is the Reine du Jardin ~Queen of the Garden!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day of Silence



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Beleek

I returned from my trip just in time to wish everyone a Happy Saint Patrick's Day! And in honor of the day I wanted to share some of my Beleek china  from Ireland with you. I inherited this collection from my aunt who collected them piece by piece over many years. I am always amazed by the translucency and delicacy of some of the pieces, particularly the can see right through them, yet they are quite strong; strength, delicacy and beauty, what a wonderful combination.

I hope that your day tomorrow is filled with the luck of the Irish...maybe you will find a four-leaf clover!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Je Vais en Voyage

This morning I am leaving on a short vacation; I am driving up to Carmel, California to spend a week with my Sister. I will be back with my regular posts next week when I return. I hope everyone has a wonderful, creative, and interesting week. Au revoir!

photo: curtesy of Google

Sunday, March 6, 2011

'Sizzlin' Pink!

This is a little seating area in the street-side border in front of the house. I placed the bench here so people walking by could sit and relax for a bit; it is amazing how many times I come out and see someone sitting  here enjoying the day. You can see my wonderful stone pillars which are original to the house and the stone wall my husband built...he jokingly called it, 'Adrienne's Wall', a play on words after the famous Hadrian's Wall in England.

But what really captures your eye this time of year is the blooming Loropetalum, 'Sizzlin' Pink'. It's pretty fringe-like flowers last for quite a few weeks and  and are followed by burgundy foliage that adds interest to the area just about all year long. Next to bloom climbing roses. As you can tell I love all shades of pink in the garden!

I hope you enjoyed your touch of pink for the day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ode to Martha

A few days ago I shared with you some cachepots that I made from Martha Stewart containers, because of their color, I knew I wanted to put them in the kitchen and I found the perfect spot...the shelf  below the windows in the eating area. I am calling this vignette my, 'Ode to Martha' because I also included some of her covered dishes. I have other pieces of her whiteware ~ who doesn't,  but there just wasn't room to include them...maybe some other time.

Oh! One disclaimer, the beautiful french inspired casserole dish in the middle was picked up at Marshall's and is not one of Martha's pieces but I think that they all fit together nicely.

Is there anything prettier, or fresher than blue and white? Well maybe...but it certainly is a lovely combination.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Un Petit Quelque Chose

~ March ~

Comes in like a lion...

...and out like a lamb.

Front garden, Spring 2010

Won't you come and sit with me a spell...