Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thank You

I begin this post with a great big

In my last post, I didn't want to complain and write about my health issues, but I did want people to understand why I wasn't dropping by to visit, posting anything new on my blog or answering emails.

What I did not expect was the outpouring of loving thoughts and prayers OR the great suggestions on what might be wrong with me.

I heeded your suggestions and told my doctor to look at my symptoms from a different perspective - and we got to the bottom of the problem - severe anemia.

By listening to my blog friends, especially Kris of Junk Chic Cottage, I received a blood transfusion, am taking iron pills and slowly (very slowly) returning to normal.

For this hyperactive lady, resting is very difficult, but I managed to find things to do.

I finished my mantel for Halloween

and changed the entry way display to fall.

I printed out some embroidery patterns

traced one onto fabric to make a little napkin.

I really like how the napkin turned out, but I know it will get stained by use, so I think I will do the next embroidery project on pillowcases.

I haven't found a home for the cute little banner Connie of Crafty Home Cottage 

made me, but at least you can see how cute it is.

I created a picture each day to post on Instagram.

And then I shopped - don't you just love that today we can shop any time of day right in the comfort of our living room while wearing pj's?

I absolutely LOVE all things Maileg and have wanted a Christmas elf for ages.

I found this one on Amazon for half the usual price and grabbed it.

I did not expect him to be so BIG - I think he might sit on this chair all through the holiday season.

Last Christmas I missed out on the great deals at H & M on Christmas decor because I discovered the website too late, but I have been stalking it weekly.

I am expecting the pillow and 2 sets of the napkins to arrive today.

I found this Etsy shop on Instagram and ordered a Christmas towel and one other towel that

 I can't show because it is a Christmas gift.

 I set up an assembly line on the dining room table and made some treats for my volleyball team.

I won't be able to coach the game this week, but I am sending them my love in the form of Halloween candy boxes.

I am feeling so much better today and I have 2 big motivations to reach 100%.

Three weeks from tomorrow, we are headed to Fort Bragg for a kayaking adventure

with my family to celebrate my Aunt Kay's 90th birthday - she looks fantastic here at 89.

I also have to get ready for ski season (assuming there will be snow) because Steve and I just purchased our season passes for June Mountain.

And now, I am headed to the garden to rest because I am exhausted - I know by my next post I will be at 100%.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Celebrate the good things . . .

I am not myself

and it seems like months since I have been myself.

Doctors orders are to listen to my body, something I don't do well, but I am forced to until I see a specialist next week.

I awoke this morning determined to just push on and do things that I haven't been doing like cleaning, decorating, gardening, creating . . . 

But, my body said no and I listened, a little.

I decided to "Celebrate the Good Things" and appreciate the simple pleasures in my life.

A little fall display I put together on the dining room table.

Precious little Leaping Lulu who gets me out on the beach every single day.

The weather that seems to get better every day and the water still warm enough to enjoy this late in October.

Letters I found in the attic this morning that Steve and I wrote to our parents while we were living in Jamaica as Peace Corps volunteers - we'll have some fun & teary reading tonight.

Flowers in my garden despite the lack of water.

Our son, JP,

who is happier than we have ever seen him because he is engaged to the sweetest girl.

Halloween decorations that I can play with tomorrow.

The guest room -  decorated and ready for company.

Yes, I celebrate all the little things in my life.

Slowly, but surely, I will get my fall/Halloween decorating done.

And, if I don't drop by or respond to comments quickly, I will be back in fighting form soon and back to regular posting, reading and commenting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let's Head For The Hills

The week we were having the house painted, I headed for the hills to be out of the house.

More precisely, I headed to the home of my oldest (longevity, not age) friend in town.

Wendy and I met through Newcomer's Club and formed a playgroup with our 1 year old children (soon to be 39) with a few other mothers.

Wendy is an amazingly talented woman - educated at Pratt Institute in NYC, she has designed children's clothing, decorated a plethora of local homes and now uses her talent to create award winning watercolors and collages.

Wendy's home bears little resemblance to the house I first entered in September of 1977 - the custom made stained glass doors were an early change made to the home.

The living room has also undergone many changes over the last 37 years.

 In the early years, when Wendy was occupied decorating houses, they bought a lot of art and I vividly remember when they brought home, "The Chair", or at least that is what I called it.

I fell in love with the quilted, batiked and painted piece and 35 years later, it still grabs my attention each time I visit.

The fireplace received a gorgeous facelift with beautiful detail.

The dining room was too small for their entertaining needs, but they solved the problem first by extending the room outward 5 feet.

Next they gained space for a china cabinet by going 36 inches into the garage, 

but not losing any space because there were already 36 inch deep cabinets in the garage.

The china cabinet, which is flush with the wall, displays family heirlooms such as the canisters which were given to Wendy's grandmother as an engagement present and a few of her mother's teacups.

The family room is another space that was remodeled - 10 feet was extended into the garden.

I would die to have all that storage along the wall.

One of Wendy's collages adorns the wall

and another smaller piece mimics the colors in the beautiful ceramic pieces that decorate the TV cabinet.

I have watched the kitchen grow through 3 different remodels.

 I love the island in the center of the kitchen and the windows along the wall that bathe the room in light.

Wendy has been a long time collector of teapots, but she has pared the display down to a few favorites.

I might even be tempted to cook if I had a spacious kitchen like Wendy's.

Somehow, I am missing the photos of the daughters' bedrooms - I guess I got a little zealous cleaning out my photos - so we'll just head upstairs to the master bedroom before we look at Wendy's creative space.

Wendy and I were in West Hollywood at the Pacific Design Center when she first showed me the beautiful leather bed with nailheads.

They added a built in dresser with space to display some of Wendy's beautiful (pared down) doll collection.

A smaller built in dresser and a window seat were also added.

The mural on the wall was hand painted by a local mural artist.

The door on the right side of the mural leads to a small office.

The door on the left leads to an amazing bathroom with a gorgeous ceiling, custom stained glass windows, and possibly more space than I have in my entire house.

I think it is time for a rest in the garden, but before we go outside let's take a look at the view from the terrace - the ocean is out there, but I needed a better lens to capture it.

The garden went through a recent change when an old tree fell, breaking the fence, but sprinkling the garden in sunlight most of the day.

Delightful statuary catches the eye

and an old bench creates a relaxing spot to rest.

It is difficult to leave this lovely space,

but we still need to visit Wendy's creative space which is why we stopped by in the first place.

An extra bedroom became an office when Wendy began working as an interior designer.

She continues to decorate houses, but the space is used more frequently these days as Wendy's art studio.

Lately she has been working on children's collages

like these 3 colorful pieces that are perfect for a baby or toddler's bedroom.

My photographic skills (or lack thereof) did not do justice to any of the watercolors in Wendy's home

so I took a couple of images from her website to give you an idea of the beautiful work she produces.

I was able to capture decent photos of a few of her collages.

To get a real understanding of the beauty Wendy creates

click here to visit Wendy's website where you will see professional photos and learn more about her work.

I hope you enjoyed your visit - it only took me 6 weeks to edit the photos and write the post!