21 April 2017

Potting Shed Revisited

Hi. I hope everyone is doing well. We have had our hands filled with trying to train my daughter's pug.  Some mornings are just disastrous. The other day, it was not even nine-thirty in the morning and the slipcovers on the porch were put in the laundry after just coming out of the laundry, because she used her head to force open the french door and beat me in from the garden. By that time muddy footprints were all over the porch couch and the clean slipcovers. I waited for them to dry and brushed all the dirt off the un slipped couch and rewashed the covers. We all have days like this!  It's busy, but there is always a lot to be thankful for. Like a clean potting shed...

This gate from the garden right next to the porch leads to the potting shed.
It is right inside that gate to the left. There is a hallway, and that leads to my spouse's office, which is also on the left and then the carport.  I like to hang some fresh flowers from the garden here, and beach towels. It's a welcoming site. Though lately no towels hang, because someone named Esther grabs them and drags them around the yard.

For whatever reason these photos are not as clear as on my computer.
I spent two weeks cleaning here. The room seems to collect things that family members can't find a use for. Also, the room is open at the top of the walls for ventilation and natural light, so dust gets in, especially in the summer, and I had not picked up in awhile.  And a lot of times, I would only work ten minutes at a time, because I would get pulled away to something else. I also walk five miles every day.  But it also took me a long time, because I get interested in something else. That is a long list of excuses.

These baskets store some items that would normally go in a kitchen, because the kitchen is small.
I cover some of the ones I like to keep clean with Ikea mats for 3 dollars. It's pretty effective to keep the dust out. When they are dirty, I just shake them outside and then throw them in the wash.
There is an entire set of shelves to the left that are just as organized, but didn't fit in the frame of the lens I was using. Those baskets contain arts and crafts and extra pans.

You got to love old houses for the odd spaces. When I first saw this space, I thought potting shed, but other people thought goat. We put in these cabinets by breaking down an entertainment unit. The stone countertop was a remnant, and can be seen slightly behind a painting coming up. It is cantera stone, a Mexican "limestone". It's beautiful, but erodes easily.

I love all kinds of containers for my flowers, and I store them out here:
tins, bowls, empty bottles, baskets, buckets, and some vases.
You can also see that we have a refrigerator out here.
This one is a side by side with a freezer. The kitchen is small, and it couldn't fit a conventional size refrigerator, and our retro SMEG has just a box for frozen items, so we have one here.

It is nice to have the counters free again.

Over here is my crafting painting area.  It's in front of that stone countertop mentioned earlier. I found this table a few years ago and gave it a faux zinc top with various spray paints.  No rhyme or reason to my painting, just what looks good. My randomness can drive my spouse crazy. If conventional painting needs to be done, like a door or a wall, he is the best.

Here is an older photo without a project in it. My most recent home tour 2017 is here and my living room changes are here.

Sharing with:

French Country Cottage


Shabby Art Boutique

16 April 2017

Easter Pretties 2017

I wanted to publish this before the holiday, but the week slipped by quickly.
With work in the garden, cleaning the potting shed, staining a bench, and the passing of our kitty, Jack, I did not get to this until now. 

Here we have flowers gathered from the yard arranged in a Lenox bowl with a butterfly pattern, but beside it are the linens I have to iron.  They just looked pretty together.
 This post is all about "pretty pairings or things that are pretty together'.

Hard boiled eggs are paired with a white bowl that sort has the cast of an abalone shell.
Pretty together...

These flowers are the inspiration for the eggs' colors.
I love them against the robin's egg blue table.
So pretty together.

Colored eggs next to the bouquet that inspired them with some eggs left white like the white roses.
A pretty pairing...

This is such an easy recipe.  It's  lemon cake with poppy seeds added. The best... Add as much as you like to a Krusteaz lemon cake mix. I added at least a quarter cup, maybe more. It's delicious to pair with vanilla manuka tea.

Here is where the flowers came from. I love this faded blue chair in front of a gray bed.

Here we have roses mixed with the tomatoes just picked. Together they make a beautiful photo. I will use the flowers in a bouquet and the tomatoes in a Caprice salad: mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette. 
Pretty perfect together. 

This is hair. Both beautiful. 
My daughter is past bows in her hair, but Madeline is not. 

Butterflies look pretty with angels.
Happy and blessed Easter and Passover to all.


My home tour 2017 is here.

02 April 2017

The Petite French Secretary

In case you missed the recent home tour 2017. It is here.
I don't think I had done one, and if I did, well we were still fixing this place.
It is really nice to look at what we as a family accomplished.

If you have been reading here a while, you know that the porch is my personal favorite space, and recently, I found another reason to spend time here.

This small space for our French secretary desk area was fashioned out of a unused doorway to a bedroom, and it is tucked behind an open French door to the porch.  It has just the right space with lovely light and a often a morning breeze. A personal spot for relaxing... or light reading or gentle living...

I am not without company. In the mornings, Lucy sleeps across from the desk on the other side of the armoire; basking in the breeze from the French door, and she is quite content.

It's a lovely spot.

Just outside one set of doors where Lucy naps, Esther and the poodles continue their morning play, but that doesn't stop them from trying to get a treat early and interrupting Lucy's nap.

I've started making my bouquets here.  I like to have fresh flowers from the garden in the house.
I may have ice tea; today's is passion. 
I also read here sometimes. That's Somerset Life's latest issue, and you can read the lovely article by Dore at Burlapluxe.

Here's another one of those bouquets. I usually use small vases, bowls, and teacups. Except for one bush, most of my roses have shorter stems, because they do well here.

Sometimes, I prefer hot tea here. Early Grey is fine.

Outside my French doors...

Isn't it funny how you can stare at a spot and not know what to do with it!
Ever since my daughter wanted a different desk a couple of years ago, this one had been pushed against a wall in the porch. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. She never uses that door to her bedroom, because she has a desk on the other side of as well! We closed the door, because the two cats were getting lazy. They were only going from the bed to the porch, because that's where everything is. (In case you were wondering... they have a really nice automatic litter box.) Now they have to walk through the house to the porch. Forced exercise...

Featured at:

Shabby Art Boutique

Sharing with;

Shabby Art Boutique

28 March 2017

Home Tour 2017

This is an older small home. 
I chose the colors based on Burano, Italy and a once neighbor who had a pink house. 
I didn't want a shade of brown house.
It looks like a beach house, but it's in the desert. I spent almost half my life in California, so it probably had some effect on the choice as well.
It is small... less than 1100 square feet, but the porch is almost 300 square feet.
The porch has no AC... You would think that would be a problem here. It's not, because there is a really thick foam roof over it and new insulation in the walls. I can leave the doors open all year round, and we can do the laundry and work out there without fainting. All I have is a fan on the ceiling. That's it.

This is what I love. When you walk in you can see all the way to the porch.  It didn't always look this way. It was a lot of work, mostly done by my husband and I over the course of four years. 
My style...
I love French country and Nordic style, but I also love Italy and the Mexican influence in the southwest.
Sometimes, you can see the influences in what is displayed.

This is the place for keys.

Living Room
Antique couch.
New table.

Antique couch.
Antique mirror.
Old candlesticks.
Newer tray.

These are not paintings, but the frames are exquisite.

This is a small kitchen. It has about 80 square feet. 
I wanted my kitchen to look Swedish or French Country. 
I love Swedish kitchens because they are small and white.
I love French kitchens because they are creamier and have texture and rougher surfaces.
I did something in between.

That's our Italian refrigerator, Swedish stove, French pans, and American mixer.

The glassware is a mix of found, new, old, and an accent of Anthropologie (no one made me say that.)

Outside the Kitchen Door in the Carport
Because it is a carport, I had to have something pretty to look at directly outside my kitchen door.

Dining Area with View to the Sleeping Porch
Presently I have Easter decor on the porch, but I change the display in front of the chalkboard seasonally.

Sleeping Porch
I drew the art and made the eggs, white pointed garland, and wreath.
The chalkboard, the console, the chair are all second hand.

A Place to Read 
Old with new and handmade again...
The walls on the porch are block bricks and wood siding all painted white.

We use this as a daybed or a spot for relatives when they come into town.
The pillows are from local shops.

One of the desk areas...  I had not shown this before.  I've had this desk sort of pushed off to the side for awhile, because I did not know what to do with it.  I love it, and I didn't want to put it in storage. One day last week, I was looking at this wall, and I thought, turn it to fit in front of the door to a bedroom that we don't use, and move the painting to this side.  Well it looks so pretty, and now it is a favorite spot! There is also a table behind the sofa for projects and a computer station and armoire by the laundry area.

On this side of the porch is the laundry, computer, and tea/coffee area and storage for towels and more books.

The Madhatter Library 
Whenever I can, I prefer a painting to a print.
I love landscapes and sometimes portraits.

Our library is a little over the top. We love Alice in Wonderland.

lots of books and lots of collectibles
Most of the furniture and accessories are second hand finds except for the Bombay chest and mantel.

Fireplace Mantel in the Library

"Master" Bedroom (more photos)

3rd Bedroom

Our One Bathroom (more photos)

We make up for lack of footage in our sheds.

The Potting Shed Entry

The Potting Shed
This room is open to the weather.

My Spouse's Office and View of the Potting Shed
My spouse has a portable AC to cool it.

The Teen She Shed

The Garden

We grow oranges, grapefruit, mandarins, Meyer lemons, tangelos, and peaches.
We also grow lettuce, tomatoes, arugula, basils, rosemary, lavender, mint, cilantro, sage, and oregano.
We also grow flowers like roses, sunflowers (in the fall though they will grow twice per year), and others.  Plus there hopefully will be a wild flower bloom. Some years it is good, some years not so good.

The pergola follow the shape of the patio, so it's curved.

That's our olive tree. 

The three amigos. My older poodle never gets involved in these adventures.

Thank you for visiting