Sunday, June 30, 2013

Raiding My Childhood Garage

Two weeks ago I visited my sister and we dropped by our childhood home which is now inhabited by my niece.

I wanted to look through the garage in the hope of finding an old ladder, a few old folding chairs, film reels and anything rusty.

No ladder, no folding chairs, but I did find some fun items and there are 5 vintage trunks full of stuff just waiting for a day when Marcia and I have the time to dig into them.

I cleaned up the blue Pepsi crate for storage in my "creative space" to hold odd bits.

Growing up in the orange groves of southern California, orange crates were ubiquitous.

I remember my dad painting this one green for my sister and me for playing - it served as a grocery store some days, a library on others and most frequently it was used to play school.

I cleaned it up and installed it on a shelf in the garage to hold fabric and other sewing supplies.

The only rusty bit I found was an old lantern.

I cleaned it up the best I could and added it to a little vignette on the patio.

I didn't need it . . . I would not have purchased it . . . but finding it in the garage was a bonus and I am sure it will be featured in a variety of vignettes around the garden.

There was a bounty of boxes in the garage that day, but I won't be using these two for anything.

JP wanted the metal box because it had been his grandfather's.

is stenciled on each side.

Marcia and I vaguely remember the box and think our father must have used it for his supplies when he worked as a railway mail clerk on the San Francisco to Los Angeles line.

Steve grabbed up the old fishing box to store some of his supplies when he does plein air painting.

Inside the fishing box was a fishing reel given a new life on the hallway cabinet.

I love the texture and the color of the fishing line and might use it to crochet a little bag.

When the fishing line is gone, I think the reel would look good with ribbon or jute.

The reel sits next to my grandfather's bottle capper from his beer making days.

The webbing will come in handy for these flatware pockets I pinned from Pandora's Box.

I cleaned up the green wooden box and put it into the living room, but there was just too much green together.

This morning I got out my can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

I wanted to retain a little memory of the vintage green shade so I taped off a stripe down the center before painting.

I love the green popping through after a good sanding.

It doesn't look like much, but the visit evoked some great memories like the time I threatened to run away, but actually only made it as far as the garage - boy did I get in trouble after they searched the neighborhood for me!

And, those 5 trunks are just waiting for us to return.

What will we find?

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I am partying at

A Cultivated Nest - The Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop

Boogieboard Cottage - Masterpiece Monday

Twigg Studios - Sunday Show Off Linky Party

Little Red House - Mosaic Monday

Friday, June 28, 2013

More than halfway there . . .

This week has been one of play and creativity.

Each day I am doing a little bit on my 30 Days of Pinterest list and I am more than halfway to  completion.

I saw this grouping of galvanized tin at Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures and liked the simple vignette.  

Tracy commented "sometimes a really cool grouping is right under your nose" and like her, I gathered the pieces from around the house, garage and attic.

I wouldn't mind finding a watering can like Tracy's, but I am content with my vignette.

 Queen B Creative Me posted about this darling little banner made from a Charlotte Lyons kit found on Etsy.

My little banner dresses up the garden bench for the summer.

Brownyn put a lot more detail into her embroidery, but I am happy with the way mine turned out and just might start doing more embroidery.

I love letters and especially these distressed letters from Grandin Road.

A wooden rectangle, the letter J and some beads painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint gave me a cheap imitation of the Grandin Road letters.

I have some little wooden squares and small wooden letters on hand to create tiny versions with a variety of letters.

These little heart tags I pinned from Sugar Sugar are simple and sweet.

The hearts were super quick and easy to make and I was able to use scraps of fabrics that otherwise would have been tossed out.

I am totally hyperactive and never sit still and these hearts are an easy project to keep me awake on road trips.

I might finish . . .

One project just needs to be photographed and two more will be finished tomorrow and I have the supplies for three more.

But, that still leaves me a little behind.

I might not finish . . .

Either way, I am having fun.

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You can find me at

Rooted in Thyme - Simple and Sweet Fridays

The Charm of Home - Home Sweet Home

My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup Thursday

No Minimalist Here - Open House Party

Common Ground - Be Inspired

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When I Can't Sleep

I have not been able to sleep lately, lying awake and thinking even when I finally climb into bed at 2 a.m.

Last night, after going to a movie, I came home wired and started organizing the linen closet.

And, I kept going . . .

I moved furniture from room to room and even outside.

When KC was in town for my retirement party, she commented that she wasn't loving the sewing machine base in the entry.  

I moved my mother's cedar chest into the entry and grabbed some pillows from the guest room sofa.

Other embellishments were sand dollars Steve finds on the beach and some flowers still fresh from the party.

I moved pillows around and settled on the BEACH pillow along with a green stripe.

I started with a blue and white striped canvas bag hanging from the hooks, but I changed it for a few of our grocery bags.

The bags are special to us because they are from the city visitor's bureau and have 2 different paintings of Steve's on the front.

The base to my grandmother's sewing machine ended up on the patio.

All the embellishments that had been on my green bench were divided between the table and the ladder to create a welcoming sight when we walk outside.

I brought out the Button Checkers game my sister bought me last week when we were visiting and put it out on the patio table.

Steve says he is drawing the line on the game - you don't play checkers with buttons- but it is just so cute and so me!

The green bench which had been living on the patio is once again in the living room and vignettes were moved around and/or deleted to freshen up the space.

I am pleased with the new look, but there is TOO MUCH green.

The box in front of the fireplace is something I found in my parents' garage and I love that it was already green, but the color will have to be changed if it is going to sit where it is.

The green box on top of the green cabinet is definitely over the top, but I love the box, so the cabinet is going red this weekend.

Across the room is another green table (when did I get so much green?) and it will get a new color also.

I finished freshening up the house this morning by moving items to the hallway cabinet

and to the dining room.

Steve actually noticed the changes and asked me this morning what I had done with the sewing machine base - he didn't think to look outside.

When I explained my motive to him explaining that I couldn't sleep, he figured my problem out immediately.

We bought sodas for my retirement party - something we never have in the house and I have been drinking a diet soda each night, but not tonight.

Hopefully I will get some sleep!

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You can find me partying at

Lavender Garden Cottage - Cottage Style Party

Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures

Elizabeth and Co. - Be Inspired

Cedar Hill Ranch - The Scoop

Cozy Little House - Tweak It Tuesday

Sunday, June 23, 2013


. . .  mental stimulation . . . visual stimulation . . . 

Beautiful blogs lead to "flashes of inspiration" and a gloomy day provided time to change things up for summer and show my American spirit.


an old wooden flag from my "Americana" days was painted white

wooden flags were retrieved from the attic

pinwheels were tucked into flowers

Scrabble tiles spell out AMERICA


a little table copied from Maddiebella Home sits guarding the door

an old cloth flag rests against the house

a bucket full of flowers welcomes guests


red, white and blue (and yellow) on display

stripes of blue and yellow stand out on the shelves

stars decorate dishes 

a little patriotic block puzzle begs to be solved

All the inspiration is making me want to make more changes.

So much inspiration . . . so little time.

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 I am joining the fun at these parties

Rain on a Tin Roof - Give Me the Goods Monday

Little Red House - Mosaic Monday

A Cultivated Nest - The Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop

Town and Country Living - Summer Inspiration Decor Party

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Tale of Two Sisters

Two sisters. . . two years apart . . . living different lives in different worlds.

Marcia works in London, has a high powered job and dresses in the latest styles.

I do arty things dressed in flip flops and tees.

We spent a quick 24 hours together while she is home on vacation and I snapped some pics of her beautiful home.

A welcoming bench in the entry is decked out in lovely reds and yellows.

When we downsized to our cottage, several family pieces, such as this antique sewing cabinet in the entry, went from our home to Marcia's.

The colorful Chinaman and carved paint brush were gifts from me.

 It is difficult to buy for the woman who literally has everything so I am always pleased to see my gifts on display.

The first sight when you enter the house is the dining room table which is ALWAYS decked out in seasonal finery.

Fourth of July and Bastille Day are united on the table in my favorite color palette.

I love the little blue containers which tonight will sport colorful cloth stars Marcia purchased on our little shopping spree today.

The ceramic cups are from the yogurt she eats in London and she has promised to bring me back a set the next time she comes home.

Marcia dotes on detail and is always looking for the perfect pieces for her table.

The white pillow sat at the head of the table, but it was missing a counterpart.

On our shopping spree she found it's opposite - the blue with white stars.

 The "youth" chair in the corner is slightly taller than the dining room chairs and has been passed down through the family.  

My father sat in the chair as a child as did both Marcia and me.

The tradition continued with Marcia's children and when little Sophia is big enough, my niece will be the fourth generation to use the chair.

 I have not been to Marcia's house in several years (we tend to meet halfway for lunch or dinner) and had not seen her living room since she has redecorated.

Oh, the childhood memories the room evokes-

the oak buffet from our dining room
the tea cart which held my mother's precious tea set 
the china cabinet filled with "special occasion" dishes
the fireplace bench handmade by my grandfather.

The Queen Anne chair belonged to my grandmother and is another of the pieces that we gave to Marcia when we downsized.

Marcia tucks special pieces into corners and onto every surface throughout the house.

The library table my mother paid $.50 for at a school sale 50 years ago sits in the breakfast nook.

One of the few items I envy Marcia for getting is the Arab statue - although I hated dusting it when it was my turn to clean the living room.

Attention to detail is the focus outdoors as well with birds, lions and one of many westies guarding the front entry.

Marcia did not really want me to photograph the house and garden.

She says her house is missing "a woman's love" while she is away and the only occupants are her husband and step-son who don't notice little details.

It was lovely to sit with her in the garden last night and again this morning as we caught up, remembered and laughed together.

We followed yesterday's eating and shopping with more shopping - at a favorite shop in town and the garage of our childhood home.

I drove back home, after a long overdue visit, with a carload of goodies from favorite stores


some great finds from the garage.

I only found one thing I was looking for, but I found so much more and can't wait to find ways to use them.

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I am partying at

Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays

Common Ground - Be Inspired

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup Thursday 

My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday

No Minimalist Here -  Open House Party

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Numbers, Letters, etc.

It must be the teacher in me - I LOVE letters and numbers.

It should come as no surprise that I have Pinterest boards titled I've Got Your Number and Alphabet Soup.

And of course several of the projects on my 30 Days of Pinterest involve letters and numbers.

Instead of all circles like the ones from Say Yes To Hoboken, I mixed it up with squares and triangles too.

The shapes didn't all fit in the clear container, so Linden, the only toddler on our lane, will be getting a bucket full of felt blocks.  

Trader Joe's galvanized tins from roses are piled up in the garage so this project was basically a freebie.

I printed out numbers from the internet, cut them out like stencils and voila, numbered tins similar to those seen on Anton & K.

My next project is not on my 30 Days list, but I couldn't pass up the fabric.

The strip of fabric was already hemmed on each side and cost just $5.99 a yard.

For $12 and about 10 minutes to hem the piece, I have a new table runner.

The fabric comes with red stripes or blue stripes too.

My last project is copied from Maddiebella Home.

When I saw the post about a little table turned into a flag, I knew I could do it easily.

I already had the Ikea table sitting in the garden to hold my iced tea when I sit and read.

Thanks to Betty P at Maddiebella Home I have a start my Fourth of July decorations.

I am not doing too badly - 12 days have passed, 13 projects are completed plus 2 more that weren't even on the list.

There won't be any projects today.

I am going to LA to see my sister and we will make a stop in my parents' old garage.

I am looking for my dad's old film reels, some rusty pieces for the garden, an old ladder (oh, please be where I remember it) and a couple of metal chairs.

In addition to my parents' garage, we will visit Home Goods, my favorite dim sum restaurant and a great little antique store.

I haven't seen Marcia since Christmas because she has been working in London all year.

Even if I come home empty handed it will be a fun overnight.

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Take the time to visit  Corn in my Coffe Pot.

Pat wrote about some projects she was inspired to do after reading my 30 Days of Pinterest.

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I will be partying at

Cedar Hill Ranch - Tuesdays The Scoop

Elizabeth & Co. - Be Inspired

Cozy Little House - Tweak It Tuesday

Lavender Garden Cottage - Cottage Style Party

Ivy and Elephants - What's It Wednesday

Be Betsy - Brag About It

Fluster Buster - Creative Muster