Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude # 9 at Heart and Home


"Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic"
- John Henry Jowett

It's time once again for Wednesday Gratitude. Thanks so much for stopping by! MckLinky will be up by 6:00 PM Tuesday. Remember to link to your actual Gratitude post, and link back to Heart and Home in your post. When you're done leave me a comment! I love to hear from you.

I don't know where last week went! Between worrying about the darn tree removal, dealing with the insurance company (lots of phone calls, waiting on hold, faxing paperwork, and more phone calls), and getting things ready for Easter, the past few days have just flown by.

Any free time I did have I spent doing fun things, like hanging out with my family, visiting the garden center, and planting pots with fresh new plants for the back deck. We get a lot more sun out there now, so I got to choose from a wider variety of flowers to plant. I had such a great time picking and choosing.

 But, I also seem to have overdone it a bit!  I pulled some muscles in my back, and right now I am alternating heat and ice, and having a very hard time moving around. I'm all stooped over like a little old lady, or someone from a fairy tale. I can walk, but when I do I look like the bad witch in Snow White!!  At least I'm not cut off from all of you, my blog friends! I can use the laptop wherever it is most comfortable for me to sit.  But there is so much I still need to do this week! I've got a bunch of people coming on Sunday!  I didn't get my holiday decorating done, and still need to shop for Easter dinner. This back of mine better snap back into good shape fast!!  I'm not used to sitting around for very long, I'm usually moving around taking care of the mundane tasks of running a household. I guess the chores will wait....this quote seen at 320 Sycamore is a perfect reminder for me right now:

"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.

As you create a home, don’t get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don’t dwell on your failures, but think about your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey." ~Marjorie P. Hinckley

Today I'm feeling gratitude for my good health, and the strength and resilience of my body. I know that in a day or two I'll be up and at it again, full speed ahead! I don't have any pressing issues other than migraines, (they're a pain, but I can deal with them), for that I am truly grateful. All the little aches and pains and annoying things that come with aging (which I try to do gracefully of course!) are small potatoes compared with what some people have to deal with on a daily basis. I'm grateful that on most days I feel pretty good, and that I can make myself stronger and leaner if I work on it (which is something I am doing - it's an ongoing lifelong project!).  Also, I'm grateful for my two wonderful daughters who will gladly pitch in and take care of things until I'm back up and running again! I'm feeling the "joy in the journey" today, as I'm forced to slow down....

I'll reflect on this post as I lie on the floor with the ice pack!  I'm okay, this is just not the way I had planned on spending the day! But, I'll keep the quote above in mind, and stop beating myself up over something that I can't do anything about right now. I'll try to focus on my accomplishments of the last week, and I'll take advantage of this time to do some reading, relaxing and blog-hopping!
Thanks for stopping by, I look forward to reading your Gratitude posts! I hope you all have a wonderful day and that you'll be back for another visit real soon.

Until next time,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flying Trees and Mantelscapes at Heart and Home

Welcome back. I hope you all had a great weekend. We experienced quite a dramatic change here this weekend, and a subtle one too.  For both I'm linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Thanks, Susan for hosting.

First, the dramatic:  We had an interesting time, watching as our old oak tree got turned into logs and then flew over our house by gigantic crane! It was sad, but also a bit of a relief when most of the big pieces were moved from out back, and there was no additional damage to our home or property. I could envision tree limbs falling and hitting the roof...thankfully that wasn't the case and all went as planned. The crane operator really knew what he was doing, and it was exciting for the neighborhood, that's for sure. Everyone wanted to see what was going on, and to check out the equipment! I'm glad that part of the saga (read all about it here) is behind us now, and we can move on with plans for a new, improved back yard!

First the guys had to cut the tree into manageable lengths.

Then the crane lifted each piece up and over our house,

and set them down in the side yard. Tomorrow they'll be back to chip and split wood, and remove the rest of the debris, which includes my beloved, squashed flat gazebo. I've decided to save one nice, big oak log and have it milled into boards to make a new mantel for the family room. (Thanks, Denise Marie, for the great idea!) But there is nothing salvageable from the gazebo, and I'm researching replacements. Does anyone have any recommendations?

And now, on to the the subtle change:  Last week I refreshed the living room for spring. I redid the mantel as well, and thought I'd share that with you too. 

Here's the room, freshened up for spring: (you can see more, here)

and here's the mantel's new, simple spring look:

I left plenty of room for the Easter decor,  I'll add that to the mantle and the room tomorrow. That snuck up on me! It's hard to believe that Easter is just next weekend!

My favorite candle sticks, all twisty and beaded, came from Pottery Barn about 12 years ago.

These orbs are what I'd call purely decorative, non-functional thingamabobs! But I like them.

And I love the glass cloche, especially with these big shells inside it.

This weekend I also managed to accomplish a couple of fun projects that I'll be sharing with you in a few days. I'm so glad to have them done, and scratched off my list.  I hope you'll want to come back and have a look! Thanks for visiting, remember to leave a comment. Remember, Wednesday is Gratitude day. I hope you'll join us! MckLinky will be up by 6:00 PM on Tuesday. See you soon!

Until next time,

I'm also linking to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Thanks, Kimba!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Heart and Home is Fresh For Spring !

Hello everyone. Thanks for visiting! If you're here for Transformation Thursday, I hope you'll take a look around, and then go read my Wednesday Gratitude post from yesterday (scroll down or go here). It's a little thank you note to all of you! Also, remember to leave me a comment.  I read each one and  love to know who came visiting!

Do you have Spring Fever?  I do! I get it every year. I start feeling restless, and I want to mix things up a little. It helps motivate me to get some things done around here!  So, I'll be celebrating Spring all month long, and showing you different projects as I complete them. Last week I switched things around in the living room, to freshen up for the sunnier days ahead. This is what the room looked like for most of the winter:

I had thick, soft tapestry covers on the pillows, lots of warm throws, and a wool rug thrown on for extra warmth and color. With a fire burning the room felt very cozy on cold days.

When we turned the clocks forward I knew it was time to renew and refresh! I threw the windows open, let the fresh breezes in, and got busy! I like to change the color scheme of the room with just the quick switch of a few slipcovers and accessories. I made these white and blue pillow slipcovers a few years ago. I bring them out every year when winter has ended. I popped them on every pillow I could find, and then plumped them up so they would be nice and comfy. They're all down filled, so they are soft! 

Here's the room in a very minimal Blue and White (well, mostly white!):

The new slipcovered chair is working out great! It's really comfortable, and a great spot to put up my feet to read and relax. I brought in an extra lamp, and moved the little triangle, three legged table to this side of the room.

I removed the throw rug and some of the accessories too, just to make it feel a little lighter and brighter in here. There's a  wicker "butler's tray" on a stand next to the sofa, that holds books and the lamp. I use the stand as a side table, since there's no butler in sight around here, unfortunately! It was used as the "coffee table" in here for a long time, until I moved the trunk in.

The white metal tray corrals some of my favorite magazines. I have to recycle pilesof them every couple of months, or the house would be taken over by them. It's bad enough to have stacks of books everywhere! But that problem will soon be taken care of with my next project...stay tuned!

All the little tweaks add up to a subtle change,  just enough to feel "Springy" in here! We don't live a "fancy" life, so this is not a fancy room - all the light colored slipcovers on the loveseat and chairs go in the wash and can be bleached, feet go up on the trunk, the dog and cats sit on the furniture. This room (like every room in our home) is filled with mementos, books, candles - things we love.  

We gather in here to sit and talk, or play games, or to eat dessert after big family dinners. The steps down into the room are a great place to sit when we have extra people over! I like to use all the rooms in my house, and I try not to worry too much about things getting messed up! Because we do live here, after all. For us, this works!

Awhile back, I cut a few branches from the downed Japanese Maples (more about that disaster, here!), and put them into a tall vase. They were just bare branches, I didn't know if I could force any growth but thought they might bud eventually. I thought I'd bring some Spring inside!

Look what happened after two weeks:

Spring growth! Pretty little maple leaves and blossoms, the final blooming of this tree! The vase sitting in front of the fireplace makes it look less dark and cold. Like the daffodils in vases in different rooms of my home, those green leaves make me smile every time I walk by. Do you have any special things you like to do to your decor to bring Spring in?

Have a great day, blog friends! I hope you'll come back soon for another visit. Why don't you join Heart and Home for Wednesday Gratitude sometime? I would love to have you at the party.

Until next time,

Go check out these other fun blogs! I'm linking to Transformation Thursday at  Shabby Chic Cottage, Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeriteville, Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home, Beautiful Life Friday at The Inspired Room and Finer Things Friday at Amy's Finer Things.  I'm such a party-hopper!! Thank you one and all, ladies!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #8 at Heart and Home


“Let's be grateful for those who give us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who make our soul bloom.” - Marcel Proust 

Hi everyone!Wednesday is Gratitude Day at Heart and Home. MckLinky will be open by 6:00PM on Tuesday. Please link to your actual gratitude post, not your home page. And remember to link back to Heart and Home in your post. Thank you!

Today I'm feeling thankful for all my friends, those in my "real life", and the new friends I've made since I started blogging in July last year. When I started writing Heart and Home I didn't realize that I would develop warm friendships with people who live all around the country, and all around the world.

I was surprised to find myself welcomed into cyberspace by you: a lively, friendly group of people (mostly women!) who have treated me with kindness, and inspired me with your talent and ingenuity. Kimm, Kim, Kimba, Kelee, Kathryn, Denise Marie, Glenda, Beverly, Cindy, Riet, Chari, Sherry, Sarah, Delores, Pat, Nerina, Rhoda, Susan, Tam, Mary, Gina, Leigh, Melissa, Marty, Julia, Donna, Yoli, and all the rest of you...You are a special community of women who open yourselves daily, always help each other out, and offer support and encouragement. You constantly inspire me with your cleverness and creativity, and you share your secret recipes and teach me how to do things I might not try on my own. You make me laugh. You share your thoughts about your lives, homes, kids and husbands, and you don't sugar coat anything. You're not afraid to laugh at your mistakes. You're always ready to try something new, and you can stretch a dollar like nobody's business! You have spirit, grace and true compassion for one another. You encourage me to be the best person I can be.

I wish I could invite each one of you, my friends, to join me on the deck for quiet afternoon "thank you" tea! We would sit outside on a warm afternoon, at the table on the deck. We would share stories about our days, our lives, and our dreams for the future.

I know we would laugh together, a lot!

I think you would like the blue, white and yellow table setting,
and the spring Daffodils.

I would want everything to be especially pretty for you this afternoon, and for us to enjoy an hour or two of warm and comfortable companionship.

The birds chirping, the view of the trees in the orchard,  and the soft ocean breezes would create a relaxing atmosphere.

I'd make something delicious for us to eat, perhaps a light quiche, a fresh green salad, and some warm, crusty bread. I'd like to serve you just-from-the-fields strawberries and cream, for dessert. We would drink cups and cups of jasmine green tea with honey. ( Or, if you prefer, I can brew you some dark and fragrant coffee!)

Sometime during our afternoon, I'd want to share the story about Colette. I heard about her from my friend Kelee, at the Katillak Shack. Colette is alone, and fighting cancer. Kelee and some of her friends, through "Design Gives Back", have been recreating her broken down home into a warm, healing space for Colette, where she can feel safe, nurtured and comfortable while she recovers from chemotherapy sessions.

Sherry, from Country Wings in Phoenix, had a wonderful idea! It's her plan to help cheer Colette up with cards and letters from all of us. I know you would want to send a card or two with a kind and encouraging word for Colette. Won't she be surprised when the cards start filling her mailbox? To get Colette's address, you can e-mail me or Sherry. We'll get right back to you so you can start writing and sending those love notes her way.

In the meantime, I'll get you another cup of tea and some more strawberries. Because that's what friends are for!  Each one of you is unique and special to me, I appreciate you and am so thankful for you! I'm looking forward to our next visit here at Heart and Home, on the Redwood coast.

Until next time,

I'm happy to be linking to Between Naps on the Porch, for Tablescape Thursday. Thanks for all the great parties, Susan!

Wednesday Gratitude, where you can post about anything that "makes you happy and makes your heart sing."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Heart and Home "Lightens Up"

We had lovely weather this weekend!  I hope you all had a nice one, too!  I was very busy, and got a lot done. We also were able to take a nice long walk at the beach, and I filled my pockets with some more sea glass. I just can't get enough!

I'm glad you stopped by.  I'm always so thankful for your visits.  Have fun, look around, and remember: I read each and every one of your lovely comments so don't just look, leave me a note!

Here's a peek at what I did in about 20 minutes the other day.

First, I gathered my supplies: burlap scrap, seam binding tape, spray adhesive and my scissors. Oh, and of course, the stained drum shade for the lamp. It had been sitting in a storage area, and I had used a more traditional lamp shade on the lamp for the past year or two. But I wanted the lamp to have a new look!

I like the way the smooth black stripe of the tape accentuates the rough texture of the burlap.

I pulled a thread to make a straight guideline, and cut a piece of burlap the right size to fit around the shade, with just a little (1") overlap at the seam.

Then I sprayed the adhesive (only use this stuff outside in good ventilation!!) on the burlap in sections, and layed it on the shade.  I pressed it smooth, and added the tape on the bottom edge for detail, again using the spray adhesive.

This was super easy! The burlap covered the stain, updated the lamp,
 and gave the room a whole new look.
Then, I moved the lamp into the family room.
I think it looks better in here, with all the other wood and textures.

A brand new look, for $0.00. Excellent!

What do you think? It took me awhile to get used to seeing drum shades on lamps again, but I finally did, and like the way they give a kind of "retro" modern look to the decor. Heart and Home is so trendy!

Thanks for visiting, I hope you'll be back for Wednesday Gratitude. I'd love it if you'd join the party.
 Until next time,

I'm linking to  Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch,  DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land,  and Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented, and Penny Pinching Party Wednesday at Thrifty Home,  thanks everyone!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday Morning at Heart and Home

Hi There! If you've been visiting me for awhile now, you might remember this. If not, I hope you'll enjoy one of my favorite posts, from August 2009. This is a lovely way to take time for myself on a quiet morning! (Not that there are many of those around here!) Thank you, Chari, for hosting Sunday Favorites, at Happy to Design.

On some early mornings, especially the gray, misty ones, there's nothing better than heading back downstairs, to spent a little quiet "me" time after everyone else has left the house for the day.

I've fixed myself a tray for a light breakfast,

I'll fill it up with all the essentials to keep me comfortable for the next few hours: hot tea, soft-boiled egg, croissant, fresh fruit, and of course a flower from the garden.


The lace-edged napkin, table runner, and silk place mat make me feel pretty important this morning!

I'll relax against the small silk pillow and the overstuffed, lavender toile bolsters and pillows - they help make a cozy spot even more comfortable.

This is a lovely way to start the day!

I'm going to snuggle in, enjoy my breakfast, and then get down to the serious business of re-reading one of my favorite books:

I'll enjoy this tranquil few hours, until it's time to join the real world again, and start in with the day's chores.

Unless, of course I decide to turn out the light and take a little nap.....
(You can see my other favorite spot to take a little nap here.)

Back to today: How do you spend your "alone time"? I'd love to know. We all have our own ways of taking care of ourselves. If you're like me it's often hard to justify taking time just for myself, when so many other things are screaming for attention. But it's important to take care and pamper ourselves just a little, don't you agree? Everyone needs a break from routine and daily tasks. Besides, the chores will always be there, waiting for us, when we're done with our little break from reality! So, I say - enjoy the peace and tranquility for a few minutes, and then get right back into "real life"!

Thank you for stopping by! I've got some fun projects coming up, and this year Spring will be full of surprises. If you want to see other tablescapes you can look here, here or at another pretty one here.

I hope you'll come see me again, soon.
Until next time,