Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Potted pathway garden ~

I usually plant winter greens in raised beds at the back far reaches of the garden, but on dark, cold nights it just isn't appealing to trek back there to pick fresh lettuce or herbs for my dinner never knowing if I will come face to face with a raccoon or coyote. It can be a little daunting.

So this year I decided to try something new.

At Home Depot I found six packs of mixed lettuce and  asian greens, along with chives, parsley and sage. this was all I really needed.

I had two wide, but not deep pots, that were perfect for the lettuces, and as you can see in the pictures  they have thrived. 

I put the pots along the pathways closest to my back door. It has worked out so well that today I potted up a Swiss chard plant to add to my little potted pathway vegetable plot.

I know that Swiss chard can grow quite large so this will be an experiment. It would be nice if it does as well as the other vegetables. If this works out next year I might expand my list and perhaps try some peas on a little trellis in a pot. I love Chinese pea pods.

I fact maybe it isn't too late and I can plant some for this year.  I think I need to make another trip to the nursery.


Winter has become one of my favorite seasons in the garden. Not many flowers but what is blooming stands out and the greens look so intense. Even the bare branches have a certain beauty. And, it is so nice not to have to deal with the increasingly intense heat of our spring and summer days.

Thank you for visiting


Monday, January 21, 2019

Add a little sparkle ~

 After putting the holiday decorations away the house looked a bit sad, I missed the sparkle and glitter. So instead of putting all of the the silver serving pieces away that I used to entertain in December, I kept some out and combined them with crystal to make little light catching vignettes in the kitchen. 


This silver Brides' basket was given to me many years ago. I have always thought it to be a very pretty thing. The bouquet is a result of  winter pruning, the branches from this shrub almost made it into the bin before I realized how nice they would be in the house...in they came!

Across the counter, on an old iron shelve I put a collection of small objects mostly related to tea: strainers, a tea caddy, jam pot and a crystal tooth pick holder holding a baby spoon and fork. The little vase is just the right size for one perfect winter rose. These are mostly antique pieces that my Mother collected.

 The silver footed gallery tray, two tiered silver and crystal stand and Fostoria pedestal, along with the powered sugar dispenser were given to me as gifts over the years by my bother. 

In February I will polish up the larger pieces and put them, along with Hagarty anti-tarnishing strips, in plastic bags and store them until next year, or another festive occasion. The smaller objects will return to the corner cabinet in my kitchen, but for now I am enjoying their elegance and sparkle.


The work in the office is progressing nicely. I have most of the cabinets and book shelves painted. I hope to finish tomorrow and then I can put all of the painting mess away. I am waiting for a wallpaper sample to arrive. I want to back the book shelves with some type of damask wallpaper, the one below is my current choice, when you order samples on line you are often surprised, I hope that this will be a good one.

Thank you for visiting.

I hope you have a happy day.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A new project with a surprise ~

I have been planning to completely re-do the office for a while. It was my husband's favorite room and he spent many hours here, which adds to my enjoyment of using it now. With all of the windows and a view of the garden it is quite a nice room to work and spend time in but it has become very dated and quite shabby and the huge over-sized desk and chair commanding much of the room was far more than I need.


Increasing the space and function of the room was one of our first remodeling projects years ago when we first bought the house. We knocked out the exterior wall, the driveway beyond limited how far we were able to go, but by making it all in windows it gave an feeling of spaciousness and certainly a more pleasant view. 

Below you see the room with the desk and chair on the day the shelter I donated it to came to pick them up. I was so happy to give them a home where they would be appreciated, but it was a little sad to think of all of the times I would go in and see my husband sitting here, working, listening to the music he so loved, and talking to various people on the phone.

In the past few years when I have been trying to decide what changes I wanted to make in this room it always included painting the natural wood ceilings white, removing the old carpeting and installing a  brick veneer floor laid over what I remember as a combination cement, and wooden sub floor where we had added the addition to the room. My goal was to make it into a combined office and sun room.

Then...Juan (my wonderful helper) came to remove the old carpeting and prepare the floor for laying the new brick.  He took up a bit of the carpet and surprise, surprise under it was tile! I have absolutely no memory of ever laying tile in this room and we did all of our own tiling. Not only do I not remember tile but neither do my children, or any other family members. But it is here, in a suitable color, and excellent condition - there was no way I could reconcile removing it for brick.  

The big problem, although the tile was in good shape the carpet had been glued down. It took days to clean up the glue during which time I had to keep Miss Twiggley (and myself) away from the toxic odor. It was a horrible mess!

 Beside cleaning up the floor Juan also removed all of the old wallpaper, primed the walls, painted the ceiling and installed recessed lights to replace the old, and in my opinion, ugly track lights. I have painted the walls in Bahr's Cottage White, I still have the woodwork and bookcases to paint.

I love picking out fabric and adding details to a room. After hours spent on line and ordering several samples, I found  Laura Ashley's Hydrangea fabric for the drapes, I was lucky enough to get the last 9 yards of what is now a discontinued pattern. After three tries I found an area rug to match the sage green and pinks in the fabric.

So...a new project for a new year. Lots still to do including picking out window coverings and ordering a new desk, but the worst is over and the rest is the fun part.

Thank you for visiting!


Saturday, December 22, 2018

One last little tree ~

The other morning I was standing at my kitchen sink looking out the window to the deck outside. It came to me how much time I spent here and thought how much a little Christmas tree would add to my viewing pleasure.

All of my decorations have been up for weeks...but...I did have one little tree left languishing in the barn. A little Charlie Brown tree that would be perfect!

I brought it up to the house and rummaged around until I found a few things suitable to be outside: some red glass ornaments and a wicker garland, plus one little bird and a red watering can.


 A little sparsely decorated but still charming and has made cleaning up the dishes so much more pleasurable.

~  Merry Christmas ~ 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Fun and fairies ~

I have had a lot of enjoyment decorating with traditional things this year. To begin, I decided to bring my vintage ornaments out of storage for the tree in the living room, complete with tinsel. I can't remember when I last put tinsel on a tree, I had forgotten how pretty it is.

Then to add a bit of whimsy I tucked in some Mark Roberts Christmas fairies.

I don't have many of these, although they could easily become a bit of an obsession - they are so cute and it is fun to put them into unexpected places as tiny surprises. ( I have been gifting myself one each year for my birthday).

Here on the mantle among the decorations...

taking center stage on a table arrangement...

and presiding among the gifts under the tree.

I think they add a bit of charm and certainly a lot of fun.

~ Wishing you a Merry Christmas ~

So little time and still so much to do!


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Holiday mantle ~

I always try to coordinate my mantle in the living room with the tree. This year I did a Victorian themed tree using all of my vintage glass ornaments, with burgundy glass balls and ribbon. For the first time in many years I have tinsel on the tree, but decided to forego it on the mantle.

I tried to reflect this in the mantle decorations with burgundy colored silk flowers, gold beads and ribbon. I used eucalyptus and pepper branches to soften the effect. 

It is a rather dramatic change from last year when I used soft pastels throughout the room. 

Miss Twiggley seems to approve. So far she has completely ignored all of the decorations. I consider myself lucky as many people are unable to decorate with a feline friend in the house.

It's nice to have the house all decorated and so much fun in the evening when I go around and turn on all of the little lights. Houses are never as lovely to me as at the holiday season. It is well worth the effort to add these festive touches.

~ Merry Christmas ~