Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Little Love and Affection

One of Steve's passions is music

Music is playing in the background nearly every minute we are in our house - he usually turns it off at bedtime - but not always!

I am nursing a sore back  - 5 straight days of sewing my slipcovers and two 15 mile bike rides have done me in.

Neil Young, 'Falling From Above', just played on the stereo.

One particular verse resonated with me and I asked Steve to find me the lyrics.

"Mamma said, A little love and affection in everything you do
Will make the world a better place
With or without you.
A little love and affection in everything you do
A better place
With or without you."

That one line

"A little love and affection in everything you do"

is what I am seeing as I scroll through all my favorite blogs.

 EVERY post shows homes, gardens, craft and sewing projects where women put

"A little love and affection"

in everything they do.

One of my passions is creating a special place for my family.

I show my 'love and affection" with

fresh flowers

thoughtful table settings

handmade creations

hard work in the garden

and decorating, redecorating, moving and tweaking everything in the house.

It's what we do, daily.

Have fun showing "love and affection" for your families today.


You might have noticed that there is nothing about cooking in what I do.

I show "love and affection" for my family by not cooking.

When the kids were little, on my nights to cook, the most common question was - "can't we just go out tonight?"

Fortunately, Steve shows his "love and affection" by creating wonderful gourmet meals - and cleaning up afterward!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Constant State of Change

It is amazing the difference the new slipcovers  made in the living room.

Going from floral to white brightens up the room and calls for more white.

I went up in the attic this morning to see if there was anything white to be had - shopping at home saves money!

I found the sewing machine cover from my grandmother's old treadle sewing machine.

The base of the treadle machine sits next to the sofa.

I replaced the wood notions chest that has been there for awhile with the wood cover.

I used some of the same items for the vignette, but decided that a little visit to American Home and Garden was in order.

My blog friend Kathee who writes Chateau et Jardin has a space at AHG and she was in the shop today.

Her little area of AHG is so welcoming and it is hard to decide what to buy.

I have a major plan for my garden that involves moving an old bench under the tree and decorating it just like this bench.

I love the old scale, but I don't have a place for it.

I will gather up some of my old keys to add to a vignette.

The spool with red, yellow and blue chipped paint drew my eye, but I didn't plan on buying it.

Kathee made me an offer I couldn't refuse, so I ended up with these little lovelies.

And, I snapped a few pics for ideas and wish list items.

I have so many old baskets in the attic - I must do this with one of the them.

My shoulders and back are still aching from bending over my sewing machine.

You can't tell in this photo, but the height of this table would be perfect for sewing without bending over.

I must make some of these number tags!

Back at home, I finished moving things around a bit.

The fleur de lis provided just a little added height to the scale.

The little white pedestal bowl was filled with letters and added another touch of white to the vignette.

I am happy with the little change.

My neighbor Judy thinks I should add a yellow stripe down the length of the red bench.

It is worth a try.

If I don't like it, it is easy enough to go back to all red or make a move to all yellow.

Tomorrow we have an appointment out of town and I have coerced Steve into leaving a little early so we can stop by Bungalow Antiques Shop to pick up some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

It will be just a quick trip into the store for yellow and white paint.

I wasn't sure what color I wanted to paint this cabinet - most readers suggested white - but I was favoring red like this beautiful cabinet painted by Kim at Savvy Southern Style.

The white slipcovers sold me on white for the cabinet.

I have less than 2 weeks until school begins so I have to get busy.

Will I ever stop changing things around?

No - things will forever be in a state of change.

I am linked up at Faded Charm - White Wednesday

I am linked up at The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Monday

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Factory Is Closed!

I started sewing on Tuesday morning.

I finished everything on Saturday afternoon.

My original estimate was a week, but I was extremely motivated - we needed our house back to normal ASAP.

We live in a small cottage and I don't have a sewing room like I did in our former home.

We put our extended tabletop on the dining room table on Tuesday so I would have a large surface to cut and to sew the large slipcovers.

Fortunately the weather has been wonderful because we ate dinner every night in the garden.

We went from this on Monday.

To this on Saturday.

No project I begin ever ends with my original vision.

I bought this fabric on Monday, but I did not use either the red or the yellow for the pillows as planned.

The first thing I made was the blue check pillows while I was washing 24 yards of white duck canvas.

I put the blue pillows on the sofa (minus the slipcover) and I put the red check pillows from the chair on the sofa with them.

Steve said he liked the red and blue checks so I cut my labor down by two pillows.

My neighbor Judy, shares a similar color palette to mine and we agreed that I needed yellow pillows too, but the fabric I bought in LA was too orange.

I found a different yellow fabric at the store when I was buying more sewing machine needles - I broke 7 needles going through 6 layers of fabric.

I still have 4 yards of fabric left - enough to do the window seat - and I might make some white pillows also.

I have not had blue in the living room, so I dug this shallow yellow and blue bowl out of the cupboard and filled it with shells.

It is a favorite bowl because KC brought it as a gift on a vacation she took to Madrid while she was in college.

Our house is back to normal.

The dining room is for dining again.

The living room is pristine with its white sofa and chair.

Bits of thread and scraps of fabric no longer litter the floors.

All is good with our world.


I made the project sound so easy.

I neglected to mention the frustration, tears, unladylike words from my mouth, aching shoulders and pin pricked fingers

I don't think I will ever make a slipcover again although the chair went a lot faster after learning with the sofa.

I figure the next time we need slipcovers it will be time for a new sofa.


I am linked up at

Chic On A Shoestring- Flaunt It Friday

Funky Junk Interiors- Full Room Make Overs

Homespun Happenings - Rustic Restorations

Be Different Act Normal - Show and Tell Saturday

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I Love Now

I have been on vacation, unplugged and enjoying a wonderful family reunion in San Francisco.

3 generations exhausted after a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge

Just before we left town, we read a commentary in our local Ventura County Star by Woody Woodburn.

Time spent with my family made me think about Woody's commentary which I had saved.

It brought tears to our eyes as we read it.

Appreciating What You Will Miss
by Woody Woodburn.

My kids. Nick. Spring. Fall. Waffles. The concept of waffles. Bacon.
These are the first few things writer-filmmaker Nora Ephron listed in her short essay titled "What I Will Miss" in her most-recent book "I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections."
A walk in the park. The idea of a walk in the park. The park. Shakespeare in the Park. The bed. Reading in bed.
It is a superb essay, like all of Ephron's writing, but when I read it — not in bed, for I am not an in-bed reader — I remember thinking it seemed out of place; she was too young; this was an essay for a future book.
Fireworks. Laughs. The view out the window. Twinkle lights. Butter. Dinner at home just the two of us. Dinner with friends. Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives.
I had missed the clues that seem so obvious now: the essay "What I Won't Miss" ("Dry skin. Email. Funerals. Small print. Email. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.") on the two previous pages; and the acknowledgments page that concluded, "And also, of course, my doctors."
Like the great writer she was, Ephron had told us without telling us.
Paris. Next year in Istanbul. "Pride and Prejudice." The Christmas tree. Thanksgiving dinner. One for the table. The dogwood. Taking a bath. Coming over the bridge to Manhattan. Pie.
She, of course, knew then what we know now. She was battling leukemia. A battle she lost Tuesday at age 71.
Here is what I hope, that Ephron wrote "What I Will Miss" long before she became ill — but under a different title, such as perhaps "What I Love Now." Such a list is something we should all write, right now, whatever our age, to help us more fully appreciate and enjoy these things today.
Here, off the top of my head, is my working list of "What I Love Now" — I hope you will take some time to start your own. Here goes:
My kids. My wife. Pop and family and great friends — and Murray, our boxer, who is both.
The beach. The ocean. "The Old Man and the Sea."
The Ventura Pier. The Channel Islands. A Pacific sunset with a few clouds on the horizon that explode in flames of color.
Yosemite Falls. Niagara Falls. The fall colors.
Summer. Daylight saving time. Watching fireworks on the Fourth of July.
The smell of sunscreen, the smell in the air after a rain, the smell of Thanksgiving all afternoon long.
Fleetwood Mac. The Beatles. The Who. James Taylor.
Running along the beach, any beach, in a park, especially New York's Central Park, in the sun, in the rain, in a road race and the adventures of running in a new place.
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." "To Kill a Mocking Bird." "Once a Runner." Any really good read and this definitely includes the new page-turning novel "Fog" by Venturan Ken McAlpine.
A hot shower. A warm bed. A cold pint. Not in that order.
The last moments awake in bed after a long, full day. Even better with the sound of rain on the roof.
The sound of Vin Scully on the radio.
Date nights. Van Gogh's Starry Night. The tiger painting, among others, by my son.
Visiting my daughter at Purdue and her texts, emails, phone calls and trips home.
John Wooden's "Pyramid of Success" and my favorite "Woodenism": "Make each day your masterpiece."
The simple grace and quiet strength of trees and rivers — and some people. People who have empathy and authenticity. Curious people who never stop learning.
The Internet.
Chocolate-chip ice cream. Chocolate-chip cookies. Chocolate chips.
Finishing writing something that I feel is as good as I can do.
Movies, which for this list today seems fitting to pick three by Nora Ephron, even though I get them confused: "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail."And yes, waffles over pancakes, definitely.
My kids. Lisa. I know I already said this, but I want to emphasize it.

And so, at Woody's suggestion, I begin my own list.

Walking on the beach. In the morning.  On warm summer days.  At night as the sun sets.

"Doggie Playgroup" and an incredible sunset

Finding shells and sea glass. And, perfect little sand dollars.

Found a sea urchin for the first time this morning

Time with my family - kayaking, cycling, skiing, talking, laughing...

7 people...7 bikes...1 bridge...priceless

Riding the ferry to San Francisco

My cottage.  Decorating my cottage.  Thinking about decorating my cottage.  Looking at books for ideas for decorating my cottage.

My garden.

Working in my garden.

Reading in my garden.

 Eating dinner in the my garden on a warm summer evening.

Enough for now.

 My list will be a work in progress-

as I continually count my blessings for a wonderful life.