31 March 2015

The Hatter's Room

Following the floor installation, I've one room together! I have a ways to go, because I even have to put the sleeping porch back together, because that was the staging area.

This is our little library, and we call it the "Mad Hatter's room".  It is the second bedroom in this house, but it small and one of the doors leads to my daughter's bedroom, so we decided a long time ago that it was not Jack's or  Jill's room. Maybe you can find some decor clues. There is also at least one butterfly in these photos.

I have a rug, but we are going with bare floors for the summer. Our beautiful weather is about gone until October.

This is an electric fireplace. In the cooler months it is fun to turn it on, but we can also turn it on and use it without heat when using this room. My daughter was right that this would be a  good Christmas present for both of us with one of the mirrors we had over it.

These are the hatter's chairs, and there are settings for tea in the china cabinet.  The little library bell is for the door mouse.  There is a clock that looks like a mora clock, but it is two-dimensional.

Some "family" photos.  The "cheshire" cats are postcards. One is from Ikea, and the other was from Venice.  Also, you never know when you will need your crown.

Giant Chess Piece and Sewing Basket

The trunk under the window is a nice spot when the window is open, because the fountain is right outside.  So even though the room looks serious, it's not.  So how many references are there to Alice? I don't know. I probably don't even see all of them.  Did you find the butterfly?

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” 
― Lewis CarrollAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

28 March 2015

New Floors

This is what we have been up to, but we paid someone to do this project, because it was quite involved. We put down wood flooring in the kitchen, the open living room/dining area, and the library (2nd bedroom).  We wanted to do this almost three years ago, and now, we finally could. It was hard to choose, because I wanted it to look nice with the kitchen and my furniture. I brought home lots of samples. I finally decided on this, and the product had to be in the house for 30 days before it was installed.

The floor is grayish with brown streaks and off white scrapes. It is hand-scraped and distressed, so it looks older, and looks nice with my French style furniture. Yet with this place mostly empty due to the installation, it does have an almost a contemporary feel, and it could work with more modern furniture as well.  Believe it or not, it is bamboo, and it doesn't look like it, even up close. It's super hard, much harder than oak, which we had in another home, and it is sustainable. It is going to make a huge improvement in how the piano sounds in the home. Not only did we have concrete floors, the original exterior/outside walls are concrete covered with plaster.

There is quite a bit of orange dust everywhere even though they used a vacuum.  In retrospect, besides covering the furniture, we should of taped plastic to the walls. The concrete floors had a finish that we applied in the areas where it was badly damaged. It also had an original finish where it was in better condition. The finish had to be sanded off to glue this down, otherwise the floor would have to float, which would have created a hollow sound.

In the last photo are the windows that we had restored. They now have twice as thick glass and were re puttied. It was difficult to find someone to do it, but so worth it. They are called haveresque: nine-paned mid-century cornered windows that go to the floor. We still need to redo the wall paint, but it is just as well, because the wall paint needs a touch up everywhere now. So now we have to put the living room/dining room, kitchen, and library back together and reinstall the baseboards ! It will be a good chance to clean this place out and donate what we don't need. It's like we are moving in again!

The pictures are not the best, because I took them when it was already getting dark.

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26 March 2015

Random Thursday

Last week we hung some breezy curtains in my daughter's room.

Lace Dresses

Mornings in the garden...

Purple basil, purple tomatoes, lavender....

Anya's spot. 

Just sharing some photos.

18 March 2015

From the Garden

A pretty bowl is always fun for gathering fresh finds and flowers.



Little Tiny Peaches: These will be ready sometime in May.

Mint and Garden Clogs

Here's my landscaped yard and here.

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Random Spring Photos

Just some photos from around the house. Truth be told, the home needs to be cleaned, because I've spent more time outside than inside, and there are lots of uncompleted projects.

This is a handmade pillow that I picked up a few months ago at this once a month warehouse sale.  I love its wide shabby ruffle. It is probably the only thing I've ever found there, besides buying a copy of the Jeanne D'Arc Living magazine.

Touches of spring in the home... Someone also made the slipcover.

 More blooms from the garden...

My Valentine's wreath from 2014, still looks great, and it is now in the library.

I love her mittens.

It's really warm here, almost hot.  I hope it is warming in the rest of the country. My spouse made a corn beef without the cabbage and served it with Irish Beer. (I don't drink beer).  Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? I forgot to get out the shamrock china.

12 March 2015

Close up in the Garden

It's really warm here this week! It's probably ten degrees warmer than usual, and with the yard done I've been spending time out here. I love candle holders, and over time, I've found some interesting ones at various second hand shops. I use to put candles in them, but I would forget them outside and they would melt. This one makes a nice vase.

Over here we have a Painted Lady. We like to buy them as caterpillars, and then release them as butterflies. We had five this time, and will have another four soon.

The roses are beginning to bloom.

Here's another candlestick. 

Our lettuce is huge, but our tomatoes have not red yet.  

Our Angel Face rose is doing really well and has a heavenly scent. I know that I promised photos of the windows we had repaired and puttied the old fashion way, but the inside paint touch up on the wall is stalled and so is rehanging curtains. On a side note, my third finger wound finally closed.  The previous day, we all agreed that it still looked bad, but then in the morning, after a good night's rest, it looked amazing. It was not stitch or glue worthy due to the location, and its depth, so the laceration has taken quite a bit of time to heal.

08 March 2015

Landscape Part II

We have accomplished so much here! 
We have a patio off the sleeping porch now!  Not too long ago, the porch was four or five broken windows and a door, but we replaced them with two doors and new insulation and siding. The porch repair involved demolishing all the previous concrete patios and walkways, because the previous pad allowed rain to enter. The new yard is graded with a lower patio fitted with a track for drainage. 

I don't know if you can tell, but the pergola's slats follow the shape of the patio, but otherwise, it really looks as if it was always on this 71 years-old home! It is also oriented perfectly toward the garden the giant old cactus when one walks out of the carport hallway. We didn't want it to look out of place. Where the opening is to the hallway, there will be a white wooden gate that leads to the potting shed and my spouse's office.

It is hard to believe it is the same home! I still can't believe how many dump truck loads of junk we had hauled away: patio concrete, bricks, cement blocks, pavers, an aluminum fence, one torn down block wall, and tons of leftover debris from previous owners. I really think it just accumulated over time. I couldn't find anyone to take it, or pay someone to take it, until somewhat suggested demolition. And the demolition man saved the day. He was really charming. He looked at the embarrassing mess, and said, "it can be gone tomorrow." Can you guess what he usually demolishes? He removes swimming pools!

There is now a path of crushed decomposed granite (1/4 minus palomino) from the new patio to the four beds that my spouse built last year, and the trellis that we made and recently finished.  They look less deep, because the landscaper partially buried them. I think it will keep the beds a bit cooler and retain water a bit better for around here.  We grow vegetables, herbs, and some flowers that are safe to plant with food such as roses and lavender; we don't use pesticides. The landscaper installed sprayers in the beds, and it has already reduced watering, because in the desert this is the best way to use water efficiently and effectively.  We can adjust the days, the time, the amount ....   Over time, we plan to add some pots with irrigation lines.

A reader ask how to you care for the rock?  Just brush it with a wide broom.  Around the paths there is madison gold granite. I think it is the next size up in granite.

My spouse installed sliding screens on the French doors, and we really like them, because it keeps out bugs.  The screens are a product of Canada that can be found at Home Depot, however this size was a special order. (My blog is a hobby with no ads, so I was not paid to say that. ) The six citrus trees that my spouse planted last year will eventually partially screen the patio/pergola from the garden. They also follow the patio curve over to a shed that will someday be a craft/art room. For now, my spouse is putting the finishing touches of white paint on the outside of things. Did you see the tall palm tree? There are three of those in the yard, and we have no idea how old they are. Most of the time in photos all you see are their trunks. Here is part I.

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