Saturday, February 23, 2013

Little Beans . . . Little Pillow . . . Little Giveaway

In January, I participated in the Grow Your Blog party at 2 Bags Full.

We were encouraged to do a giveaway and in the end I chose four names in my giveaway.

The third and fourth prizes were mailed off right away.

First and second place were customized for the winners and I just finished them last weekend.

Second place was a hand painted pillow.

The pillow was won by Nicole of My Garden Diaries.

Steve stretches his own canvases so I always have a stash of canvas scraps.

For all the pillows pictured above I used canvas, but for Nicole's I used a painter's drop cloth from Lowe's.

I really like the feel and color of the drop cloth.

I thought for a long time about what to paint on the pillow, scoured Nicole's blog for the color, and finally settled on green for the stripes.

I love reading her blog as she talks about gardening and life with her "little beans".

I painted "LITTLE BEANS" on the pillow

because she is the only person I have ever heard call her children that.

This morning I received this e-mail from Nicole. 

OHHH Carol!!!  I just received the pillow today!!!  WE LOVE it!!!  It is fantastic!!!  I mean it is the cutest thing anyone has ever made for me!!  I will cherish it!!!  You are one creative lady and I can not thank you enough.  I have nothing in my home that has "little beans" on it!  Thank you for capturing something about me in a creative way!  How wonderful!  I hope you are doing well and that your husband is feeling a bit better. And I hope you are having fun creating and working in the garden!  We still have snow so we aren't doing anything like that here yet,,,just making igloos and snowmen!  You take care!  Thanks again and all the best!  Nicole

I read Nicole's sweet e-mail before heading out for our morning walk and

as we were walking and I told Steve how Nicole's reaction made me feel.

Her love of the pillow made me feel very good.

So good, that I have decided to do another pillow Giveaway.

If you would like to win a custom pillow, leave a comment about what you would like.

I am not an artist, so you are limited to stripes and words.

I can do hearts and stars and probably checks.

Life is totally hectic this week -

I am taking 90 students to a UCLA basketball game ALL DAY tomorrow


my yearbook deadline is March 4.

So, I will leave the Giveaway open until Tuesday, March 5.


You can find me partying at

No Minimalist Here

Funky Junk Interiors

My Romantic Home

Life on Lakeshore Drive

The Gingerbread Blog

A Humble Creation

Lovely Crafty Weekend

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Curb Appeal

Just before Steve's surgery we took a drive in his little sports car.

It might be months before he drives at all, much less a stick shift.

We left the beach and headed for the hills.

Ojai is where we go - 12 miles inland - when it is overcast at the beach.

It was not so sunny in Ojai, but it is always fun to walk around the picturesque little village.

If you saw the movie, Easy A, it was filmed and took place in Ojai.

What I love about Ojai is the simple downtown filled with fun little shops, art galleries and restaurants.

One of my Pinterest boards is titled Curb Appeal and I have several shop fronts pinned in addition to cute houses.

The main street of Ojai definitely has "curb appeal".

We love to walk along the arcade just across the street from the iconic post office tower.

Steve's favorite is Rains, an old fashioned department store where you can find stylish clothes and at the same time pick up a toaster, garden hose or fun house decor.

I love the buildings twisted with greenery.

And buildings all along the main street decorated with stonework.

How fun that this restaurant had a giant chalkboard decorated for Valentine's Day.

And I love the touch of green on the tan door of the Ojai Vineyard.

It wasn't a day for sitting outside, but I can see us riding our bikes up to Ojai in the summer to sit and eat lunch at that red bistro table.

I have just decided that I need to go back to buy this sweet little piece.

I was walking around snapping photos and didn't really notice this sweet heart shaped welcome sign until I edited the photos.

We often ride our bikes to Ojai, but we have never ridden horses or taken a ride on the Ojai Trolley.

Steve will be limited to walking for the first few months- no tennis, kayaking, surfing, etc.

I see a lot of Ojai Valley hikes in our future.

. . . . . . . . . . .

You can find me partying at

The Tablescaper - Oh, the PLACES I've Been

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Loving Blue and White

I kept working on my list today.

Twelve out of sixteen complete and I did some shopping and planning for the others.

First thing on my list this morning was the dining room shelf.

 I rearranged this shelf when I took down the Christmas decorations.

And, I have not been "loving" it.

I look at this shelf every morning and night when I sit on the window seat eating.

I have "loved" the shelf decor in the past and thought about going back to this look.

But, some of the dishes are now on shelves in the kitchen and I like them there too.

When I was looking at blogs this morning, I came across a post titled Decorating With Blue and White at Beachcomber.

So out came the blue and white.

Each shelf holds something near and dear to me

I don't remember why, but I put them away in a cupboard and forgot about them.

The duck container and the chicken were gifts from my college roommate.

Steve bought me the soup tureen for Christmas one year and we used to use it all the time.

The Good Mother plate was given to me by my oldest friend for my very first Mother's Day.

The Manhattan plate brings back memories of the first time KC and I went to New York City.

I found it at Fishes Eddy and had space been no issue in my luggage, I would have bought many more items.

The blue Calico bowl is one of only 2 pieces of Calico that I own.

When we were first married, I wanted a set of Calico dishes, but they were far out of our price range.

I liked the little bit of red in the bowl, but then I remembered a yellow heart shaped bowl.

With the little bit of yellow on the shelf, I was done.

This was my view at dinner tonight and thanks to the Beachcomber, I am "loving" it.


You can find me at the following parties

Anything Blue Friday

Mod Vintage Life - Mod Mix Monday

Boogieboard Cottage - Masterpiece Monday

Funky Junk Interiors - Saturday Nite Special

Under the Table and Dreaming - Sunday Showcase Party

The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Monday

Alderberry Hill - Make the Scene Monday

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Makin' A List...Checkin' It Twice

I never saw the entire movie, Field of Dreams, but I like the philosophy - If you build it, they will come.

My philosophy on lists is sort of like that - If I put it in writing, I will do it.

 I am a "LIST MAKER".

Lists of books I want to read
Lists of places I want to go
List of daily "to dos"
Lists of projects I want to complete

We had plans to go skiing in Utah for the Presidents' Weekend, but with Steve's surgery a ski trip was out the window.

I have a four day weekend, but we are lying low - no plans to go anywhere.

So, I made a list.

A do-able list.

Buy flowers
Weed the garden
Plant flowers
Change the mantel
Make white placemats
Make a book for Mary Alice of Chateau Chic
Paint a pillow for Nicole of My Garden Diaries
Paint the watering can
Paint #3 weight
Put away the Valentine decorations
Find fabric in the attic for placemats
Start the laundry area redo
Organize linens
Find a place for unused vases, pitchers, plates, etc.
Redo the dining room shelf
Make a new cushion for the garden bench

On Friday, I took care of organizing the linens, finding a place for the vases and pitchers, and planting a few of the flowers in  the front yard.

First up today was to change the mantel from its Valentine theme.

Center stage on the mantel is always one of Steve's paintings.

This painting is particularly special - JP, KC and me walking on the beach at Hanalei Bay at Christmas.

Steve has had several inquiries about purchasing the painting, but he has said no each time.

The objects on the  mantel were inspired by all the lovely "white" rooms I see.

I gathered up all the white pitchers I could find and set them across the mantel.

A friend dropped off some flowers for Steve so I added the greenery to the end pitchers.

I was going to just use pitchers, but I love my cast iron hand with the heart.

I like that the mantel is simple and fresh.

I might add flowers to the pitchers, but the greenery seems easiest to maintain.

With the mantel finished, I moved onto painting.

I bought the large #7 weight last summer in Laguna Beach and paid too much money for it, but I loved it.

I was surprised to find the small #3 and the large #9 weights the other day at TJ Maxx - cheap, really cheap.

 I already had a green weight, but I figured I could paint one of them a different color.

First I painted the #3 weight red, but it turned out a yucky brown.

I like it in yellow.

And, I went with yellow again painting my old watering can.

I have had the watering can for 37 years - it was my grandmother's - and always wanted to paint it.

I saw one on Pinterest that was painted yellow.

I sanded it a bit, but I look forward to the weather giving it a lovely chippy patina.

The majority of my day was spent weeding.

Cold winter weather, the sun setting before I get home from work, rain...all of those contributed to the condition of my garden.

It was so bad, that I just couldn't bring myself to take a picture.

5 large tubs of weeds were dumped in the barrel before I actually got to plant any flowers in the back yard.

Even after planting a few flowers yesterday and three hours in the garden today, I am not finished planting.

And, I am definitely not finished weeding, but our garden is much improved.

When I started weeding, I couldn't even see the white wall below the window because the weeds were covering it.

After two days of weather in the 80s, tomorrow is not supposed to be as warm.

But,  I have to finish the planting.

I know I won't complete the weeding because I need to finish up the custom book for Mary Alice that she won in my Grow Your Blog Giveaway.

I have painted the pillow for Nicole that she won in my GYB Giveaway, but I have to sew it.

16 items on the list:

6 totally complete
4 in progress
2 more to be completed before I go to bed

First I put it in writing and then I check things off.

Now it is up to the attic to put away the Valentine decorations and hunt for white fabric for the placemats.


You can find me partying at

Funky Junk Interiors

Life on Lakeshore Drive


My Romantic Home

The Shabby Nest

The Gingerbread Blog

Common Ground

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fluffin', Fixin' and Finding Space

When you live in little cottage, space is limited and must be carved out wherever possible.

In between playing nursemaid and doing chores, I found the time to change the mantel from a Valentine theme.

The problem was - where to put things?

I use this cupboard on the porch for outdoor tablecloths and napkins, garden tools and supplies .

What if I use it to store my everyday linens and out of circulations vases, pitchers, etc.?

I moved some pitchers around and edited the contents of the cupboard.

Rarely used items were moved outside to the cupboard and 

things are much more organized - I can actually find what I need.

It is beautiful and HOT today and if it wasn't so windy, we would have eaten lunch outside.

The windows are open and the sun is shining down on Steve as he rests on the sofa.

I cannot clean inside for fear of disturbing him - darn!

I am forced to work in the garden.

I have fluffed and fixed and found space for all my linens.

And now, it is time to find a home for these lovelies.


I am linked up at