Sunday, October 30, 2011

Plaisirs Simple ~ Seasonal Entry Hall

As you can probably tell from my fall banner the following is a repost from last year. I liked it so much that I decided to share it with you again. Incidently this year I did much the same decoration, sans the eucalypses which I just found out is poisonous to cats!

I thought it would be nice to make a vignette and seasonal flower arrangement for my entry hall that would take me through both Halloween and Thanksgiving. I have completely fallen in love with all of the white pumpkins this year so I decided to use some of them...along with gourds, small pumpkins, berries and other dried foliage. For Halloween I included the black crows but for Thanksgiving I will change them out for a wonderful turkey I bought last year at Marshall's. Ah...the simple pleasures of life!

Thank you for visiting me, I hope that you have a fun, but not too scary Halloween.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Winter and Spring Annuals

Here in Southern California it is time to plant for winter and early spring color. I am rather excited about it this year because I have been doing lots of garden editing...a nice term for digging out plants you deem unsuitable, or overgrown, or just plain too much work...and this has left me with several areas within the borders to plant annuals. Because my garden has been so intensely planted I haven't had the space to do this in a while. So, I must admit that I have gone a little overboard, and I really haven't finished yet.

So far I have purchased some the fragrance...several dozen Iceland Poppies, Calendulas, and a few dozen Snapdragons.

And, of course some Daffodils...who can be without daffodils

You also see I have several little succulents to add as accents, courtesy of the local Dollar Store.

I still have many more plants to put in, amongst them will be Pansies, Feverfew, Foxgloves, Stock, Primroses. and lots of Nasturtium and larkspur seeds. And you never can tell perhaps something else just might find it's way here.

I realize that many of you live in areas that preclude planting this time of year and in many ways I envy your winter downtime. Here, gardening is a year round necessity and sometimes I think how nice it would be to have a little down time to relax and enjoy reading seed catalogues!

Thank you for visiting me and wherever you live...happy gardening!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rose Chintz

Although Chintz-ware seems to have fallen out of fashion I still have special affection for it. These little desert plates were given to me by my daughter and I love to mix and match them with my other china patterns. To me they speak of English manor houses, and leisurely afternoons...sipping tea and nibbling on delicious treats in the company of special friends.

I have paired these dishes with an the equally elegant, Bewitched, a rose I hope to never be without. It is so generous with it's large, profuse blooms and classic form. Here, in Southern California we are lucky enough to have a flush of re bloom on many of our roses in the fall.

Thank you for stopping by to visit. I hope that you have a little beauty in your day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have always thought that this Martha Stewart template for a ghost was very cute, but I never had a place to use it. Then the other morning when I was eating breakfast I looked at the blackboard in my kitchen and thought...aha! That is a perfect spot for a not-so-spooky little ghost.

I down loaded the pattern from her web site and enlarged it to fit the chalkboard. This is by far one the easiest and cheapest Halloween  projects. If you really want to get fancy check out here the absolutely wonderful Martha Stewart Halloween fans my daughter about spectacular!

For the minute investment of time and money I think this little guy makes quite an impact...

Now except for the treats I am ready for Halloween.

...last year I made mice and this year a ghost. Thank you Martha!

How about you...any 'Martha' inspired decorations this year?

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Thursday, October 13, 2011


It is early in the morning and the pumpkins are ripe for picking...but shhhh...we must be quiet because there is something in the pumpkin patch!

Oh my...a little garden elf has found a place to fall asleep and it would be such a shame to wake him. It isn't often that I find such a magical creature in my garden although I know that they exist.

So I will tip-toe quietly away and wait another day to pick the pumpkins for my front porch, after all it isn't everyday that a vision from a fairy tale appears before ones eyes.

Actually this cement sprite was a gift to me from a local garden shop for winning a contest a few years ago. I have always thought he was very cute. He is supposed to be a representative of Fall and I think he he is perfect to be amongst the pumpkins...which by the way have done very well this year, especially considering that they are volunteers and seem to flourish without any care or extra watering. Some of them are 2 feet wide and will need a strong back to lift them to the front porch.

Have you found any little unexpected creatures in your garden lately?

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Centerpiece ~ the Kitchen

This year I am trying to do my fall holiday decorations in a more simplistic way, using natural-themed elements that with just a bit of gentle tweaking, will take me through both Halloween and Thanksgiving. I am also trying to limit the use of orange as it really doesn't blend well with the other colors in my home. is the centerpiece I put together for the kitchen table.

The idea came from this photo I saw in the October issue of Country Living magazine, somehow though along the way it kind of took off on it's own!

Instead of  the bird silhouettes I used these two little iron birds

By stacking two Martha Stewart cake stands with two of her cupcake stands I was able to get the height that I needed. I used a product called, Fun Tac, left over from my teaching days, to hold it securely together.

I had all of the fruit with the exception of the grapes. Most of it, including the sparkly pumpkins, came from Pic-n-Save, they always had the best holiday decorations; Big Lots just isn't the same.

Although this turned out to be a lot more opulent then my inspiration photo I really do like it and I think it adds just the holiday touch I was looking for in my kitchen.

Thank you for visiting me. I hope you will come back soon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bedside Reading

I usually have a couple of books that I am reading, or listening to at the same time. But on my bedside table I also have one of these little books. I came across this idea a couple of years ago and it has been lots of fun. These books are based on the concept of daily devotionals, historically religious in context, but these have a twist in that they are Intellectual Devotionals. they come in a variety of areas, of the two I have one covers the seven fields of knowledge, such as Monday is history, Tuesday, Literature, and so on; the other one is on American History. The idea is to read one entry or page everyday. Each book has 365 entry's for an entire year.

The other book with the same approach is one that as a gardener I am really enjoying. It is, The Bedside Book of the Garden. Like the Intellectual Devotionals, it is meant to be read one page a day.

I find it fun to read some new and interesting fact everyday. It might be something I am already familiar with but then it usually has some added tidbit that I was unaware of.

So, when I am ready to turn off the light I pick up one of these books and end my day learning a little something new...

...there is just so much to learn !

The beautiful red roses you see in these pictures are the last blooms of Prospero a David Austin rose of extravagant color and glorious multi petaled form.

Thank you for visiting me, I hope that you have a good book to whisk you off to sleep.

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