Sunday, January 31, 2016

Rainy Days

We have not had a real winter since 2012 - almost no rain and sunny days have been the norm.

But this year, El NiƱo is in full force and today we had heavy rain, crazy wind  (42 mph) and even an emergency alert on our phones regarding flash floods.

I used my indoor time wisely and finished up a bunch of projects.

I found this IKEA hamper in the attic the other day (my kids are great about dumping stuff at our house) and it's quite functional, but not my style.

 I thought I might make the hamper work in our house with a bit of drop cloth and the word laundry was easy to add with my metal Decor Steals stencils.

It amazes me how much better the hamper looks with a lighter colored bag.

I'll admit that I "staged" this pic (my purse doesn't usually hang here nor does the sign,), but I did clean out the stuff Steve had hanging there - he did not need 7 jackets, 4 sweatshirts and a vest.

Next up was finishing the cable knit pillow I decided to make after seeing a pretty pillow here that Lory of Designthusiasm shared a couple of weeks ago.

All I had to do today was sew buttons onto the back - I haven't knitted cables in years and had to play around with creating a pattern.

But, I'm liking how it turned out and with my color palette, I'll move it from room to room.

In my last post, I said I was going to make cookies and a rainy day seemed perfect.

I love this recipe card because it shows that it has definitely been used - the only recipe I use for oatmeal cookies.

I can't believe that I actually typed out the cards on a typewriter.

After eating a few cookies, I packaged them up into bundles of 6 and gave them to neighbors - otherwise, I could have eaten them all.

It was still raining so I grabbed my grandmother's school slate (circa 1890),

chalk and little metal stencils to write a new message.

The chalkboard triggered an update in the entry.

I had moved the red cart out of the entry, but I love it and I didn't get to look at it in the guest room.

So, the cart is once again in plain sight and Grandma's slate has a place of prominence.

By 5:00, I had the table set for dinner - Steve is making pork ribs tonight.

I had a very productive day and the wind is supposed to howl all through the night and tomorrow so who knows what else I might finish.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Living Well

I was sitting in the dental chair the other day  (a simple cleaning) when a lyric on the surround sound caught my ear, "there's a difference in living and living well".


As we drove home along the beautiful Pacific Ocean from our dentist's office in Santa Barbara to Ventura, I googled the lyrics 

and discovered the song is by George Strait and is titled, "Living and Living Well".

I thought about our life and the little things that we both do to make sure that we "live well".

Each day I do some sort of fluffing around the house -a vignette here

and there.

I try to keep fresh flowers in every room - thankfully Trader Joe's has lovely flowers at reasonable prices.

I like buying roses and then drying them to stretch their life

and using plants

that will end up in the garden the next week.

Every night, I set a table worthy of Steve's efforts in the kitchen - this week we have dined on Veal Stroganoff, Filet of Sole, Beer Can Chicken and Cioppino.

Last night I used the new rabbit dishes I love and Steve hates - he wants solid colored dishes to showcase his creations.

I took time with the centerpiece

using roses I recently dried and a book page heart garland.

And of course, I had to use my favorite primary color combination on the table.

But now, our Little Lulu says that we've had enough time in the house

 and it's time to check out the beach which is quite different lately.

The sand has eroded, the massive boulders beneath the sand are exposed and sea glass abounds.

Once we're back from the beach, Steve will work on a painting and I will putter around the house.

I might finish the pillow I'm knitting,

I might plant some flowers in the garden,

but I am definitely making some oatmeal cookies.

How will you live well today?

..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

I'm sharing at Thoughts From Alice - Sundays At Home

Monday, January 25, 2016

In between . . .

I ran into an old friend at an art show last night and we got to talking about retirement and how we spend our days.

I told my friend that Bob Dylan's quote pretty much sums up how I spend my days.

Today my "in between" involved a bike ride along the coast, 

the requisite walk on the beach with Lulu 

and not much else.

There was a bit of shopping  - I couldn't pass up the soft rainbow colors of the napkins

or the sweet bunnies on the dishes.

Steve was making pork belly for dinner so a pretty table setting was in order.

And then, there was picture taking - 

a neighbor's gate . . . 

my fortnight lilies in bloom . . . 

a vignette in a cupboard.

We have no plans for tomorrow, 

but I'm sure I'll find a way to spend those hours "in between".