Thursday, September 23, 2010

Qui me Heart and Home

This brass bell
hangs on a post just outside our side door.

It's big and loud, and, when rung, can really get a crowd's attention!

The inscription in Latin, reads: "Vocem meam audi, qui me tangit".

Which loosely translated means: "Whoever touches me hears my voice."
That's right,  I can read Latin. *

It's true, just the slightest tug on the chain sets this bell in motion.
The clapper rings loud and true on the brass.
The entire valley can probably hear it.

This is a reproduction, possibly of a ship's bell.
We use it to call our guests in from the side yard.

Our croquet games out there can get a little rowdy,
 and my delicate voice isn't loud enough to get every one's attention.

But, the bell never fails.
When people hear it, they come running.
The clanging means "Dinner is served!"

Rowers, dragons, and an angel were used as decorative elements.
The angel seems to be a sentinel, keeping watch.
She sees everyone coming and going, in and out of our home.
She's been keeping guard here for over 10 years.
She's seen a lot.
If she could talk I wonder what she'd say?

Above, I noticed the Japanese maple is changing colors.
This is the coldest spot on the property,
and the first to show signs of the new season.

Soon all the leaves on this tree will have turned red,
and then, it takes just one or two days for them all to fall to the ground.

All the branches will be bare.

Fall is here, winter on the way.
Another cycle of nature, complete.

"Alius curcumtitus natura perficio". *

 And, because it's Show and Tell, I'll show off a little:
 "Il ciclo della natura, completo."
Parlo un po d' Italiano.

Until next time,

*To translate your own phrases into latin, go HERE. It's fun!

Linking to Cindy's Show and Tell. Thanks Cindy and "Felice Compleanno",
and to Southern in My Heart's Inspiration party.
Stop by and when you do tell them Heidi sent you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inspiration and Creativity, at Heart and Home

I met Susan Liddy at the SITS seminar in San Francisco. She impressed me with her  warmth, her elegance and her professionalism.  I was thrilled when, a few days later, she asked me to write a guest post for her site Aspire Life Coaching.

Susan suggested I write about inspiration and the creative process, something I have been familiar with, and struggling with, and in awe of my entire life.

 It took some time for me to figure out where my inspiration comes from and what inspires me to get going and get creative.

But, I did it!

I'd be so honored if you'd pop over to Susan's blog and read my guest post.
Let me know what you think about it. You can leave a comment there, or come back here.
Either way, I'd love it if you'd share your thoughts, and I'd be very interested to know what inspires you.

And, for something completely different, take a look at some quick fall decor, and Wednesday Gratitude #31, by clicking here.

Until next time,

For more information about Susan Liddy, check her out at:

Her Book:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #31, and Blue and Brown at Heart and Home

“To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” -Albert Schweitzer

Thank you for being here for
 Wednesday Gratitude!

Today I'm thankful
for the slight chill  in the air this evening, as the weather turns to Fall.
I'm thankful for the sun streaming through the windows late in the afternoon,
and the long shadows and changing leaves.

But, I'm not ready to redecorate the living room for autumn, not yet.
It's still warm and summery during the day.

I'm thankful I have extra space in my house
to store all these very important accessories!

A few Fall-ish items are just what's needed
 to ease us into the season.

And, since I'm joining Cindy's Blue and Brown party today,
there's some of that around, too.

Blue and white are the basics in this house.
I love the combination, and it works so well with just about any other color.
It's only natural to add a little brown, for Fall.

I collected a bunch of orbs for the mantel.
What are they for?
Does it really matter?
I like the way they look!

Their spherical shape is echoed
in this bunch of dried Love-In-The-Mist.
I gathered these in my garden
and left them on the hammock in the sun to dry.

Brown leather cushions
 and a striped woven table runner say "Fall" to me.
I'm leaving the painted sisal rug in here for a few more weeks.
(For the how to go HERE)

It's too early to bring in the dark wool one,
but soon enough we'll be glad for the extra warmth on our feet!
Year round, white candles are a staple in this house,
I always keep plenty on hand.

I love using lots of cushions to make things nice and cozy!
I whipped up these burlap ones this weekend.

They have a knife edge with a double row of black top-stitching.
I decided not to monogram them, but may change my mind.
For now I think they look nice just the way they are.
Sometimes simple is best, in my opinion.

Speaking of simple:
Here's Maggie, in one of her favorite spots.
I wonder what she's thinking about?

She's probably thankful for her sunny nap-spot,
 her bowl of food, and the bacon-flavored treats she gets when she's good.

At least, those are the things I'd be thankful for, if I were her.

As for me, I appreciate all the pleasure I get from this home,
 the joy I feel making it warm and cozy,
and the happy anticipation I have for the coming season.

Until next time

Linking to Cindy's Cottage Instincts, for the Great Blue and Brown party.
Thanks, Cindy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How to Paint a Mural and Win Bonus Points, at Heart and Home

Hi Everyone,
Here at long last is an actual PROJECT that I completed recently.

Daughter #2 had been begging me to paint a mural in her room.
I put her off as long as I could.

We finally got to work and created an "art installation" that
makes the room sunny and bright all the time.

More important, it made my daughter happy.
And I got a few extra hugs for my efforts.
That made me happy.

First, we repainted all the walls in the room.
I told her if she taped I would paint.
I came home from the store and the room was ready to go.
Blue tape was everywhere.
I couldn't back out of my commitment!
The walls went from pink to a soft butter yellow.
I used the Home Depot paint with the primer in it.
It worked great, one coat and the pink was gone.
We used a satin finish, and the acrylic paints for the mural just glided on.

I got instructions from my "client":
Paint the sun,
Paint a tree
Paint birds,
and many flowers.

Make it fun!
Make it bright and stylised!
Use unusual colors!
Sheesh, bossy.

I told her I would do my best.

I painted the sun, looking sunny.
I painted tulips, and lavender, and sunflowers growing in a field.
I didn't use true perspective, or realistic colors,
 or try to be botanically correct.
It was fun!

And yes, pigs were a special request.
I should have charged her extra.

We had a few creative differences when it was time to paint them.
It seems the artist and the client weren't exactly communicating.
There may have been a few heated discussions about little piggies.

A few got scrubbed off, and painted more than once.
we finally agreed on these.

They look happy and silly and not too realistic.

A real-looking pig is not good in a bedroom,
or so I've been told.

My very discriminating client knows what she likes,
and what she wants.

As an adult that trait will be very beneficial.
Now, it leads to a few verbal exchanges, if you know what I mean.
We don't always see eye-to-eye.
But we always work it out.

There are three swine in the room.
Cartoony-swine, but all the same
it's too bad the lavender isn't scratch and sniff.

The hummingbird would like that, too.

The sun is looking benevolently out over the hills,
Is it rising or setting?

We still haven't decided.
I don't think it matters.

I'm just glad my client was satisfied.
The room's all back together now.
The bookshelves are back up, the furniture in place.
John, Paul, George, Ringo and Harry are back where they belong.
And let's not forget that great looking chandelier (see it here)
that I fixed up for her awhile ago.

Everything looks pretty good.

Growing up, did you have a bedroom that showed your personality?

When I was young I didn't have the room I envisioned for myself.
There were a lot of constraints about what could and couldn't be done in base housing.
Years later, finally living in a home my parent's owned,
 I was able to express myself in my decor.

 I went a little crazy.
Wild, brightly colored, flower-patterned vinyl wallpaper,
 and bright white and yellow furniture everywhere.
Posters of Mark Lester and the Monkees.
It was quite the hip space.
Or so I thought.

But, no pigs, anywhere!

Until next time,

linked to Metamorphosis Monday, at Between Naps on the Porch.
Hi Susan, and thanks!
Making Monday Marvelous, thanks ladies!

Pigs inspired by "If You give a Pig a Pancake", by Laura Numeroff

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dinner and Gratitude (#30) at Heart and Home

Welcome back!
I'm so glad you're here.

After that walk on the ocean cliffs (go check it out here),
you're just in time for
a hearty ranch house dinner, with margaritas!

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus

It's nothing fancy, but you're always welcome.
Gather around the table set for a casual meal.

It's a lovely, almost crispy Fall-ish early evening.
(still not officially Fall until Sept. 22 at 11:09 PM - according to WikiAnswers)

Autumn-y colored linens, rush chairs, hand-painted rooster plates.
Margarita glasses.

Well, for some of us anyway.
The rest can drink sparkling limeade.

I'm thankful for spontaneous celebrations.
I'm always thankful for the pleasure of a shared meal.

I'm thankful I can set a pleasant looking table in my own home,
 and serve abundant, tasty, healthy food and drink to my loved ones.

You already know candle light is on my list of things to be thankful for.
And these little polka-dotted votives make me smile!

See what I mean.
They're cute, right?

I'm thankful for the simplicity
of the blue and yellow and white color scheme,
and the ease of choosing
 from among my favorite linens, dishes and flatware.

I love mixing it up with patterns, textures and colors.

I'd rather have a few favorite items that I use regularly,
than an overwhelmingly huge stash of things stuffed in the cupboards.

The exception apparently being my desire
 to own one zillion candles in every shape and color
as long as they are white.

Well, a girl's gotta have a hobby.

Excuse me while I go light the bar-by.
It's almost time to start cooking dinner.

Around here we use real charcoal,
in an old Weber that's been part of the family
 for a very long time.
Not very high-tech, or high-end, or glamorous. 
Kinda like me. 

I'm thankful I don't have to worry about those things
 among the people I love.
And that simple pleasures bring me joy,
every day.

What are the simple things that make you smile?
I'd love to know.

Until next time,

Linking to Tabletop Tues. Thanks!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

La Selva Beach and Heart and Home

Welcome back to Heart and Home, and thanks for stopping by.

I spent a delightful afternoon
 at a "new-to-me" store PATINE,
in the teeny-tiny downtown of La Selva Beach.

I finally left close to two hours later,
after poking around,
checking out all the wonderful reclaimed ticking linens,
candles, jewelry, pillows, scarves, lanterns and more.

I had a great time talking with Dani, co-owner of the business with her husband.
I will tell you more about Dani and PATINE in a future post.
And show you pictures, too.
In the meantime, you can find out more HERE.

After my shopping expedition I continued on out of town.
I came upon this at the end of the road:

On one of the most glorious days of the late Summer,
the sun was sparkling on the water like diamonds.

For a little while I had this part of the world to all to myself.
Peace and tranquility free for me to enjoy as long as I wanted.

The temperature of the air was so perfect I couldn't feel it on my skin.
I love days like this!

The sunlight glistened off the gentle waves.

The beach was nearly abandoned.
For miles in each direction I could count only a handful of walkers with their dogs.

Railroad tracks seldom used 
provide symbolism for my feelings this afternoon.
I'm on my way somewhere, but to where exactly?
Who knows.

I felt the urge to join the group of children playing in the surf,
But there was no obvious way down the cliffs to the shore.

 I think this part of the world is kept a secret from the rest of us
 by those who are in the know.

I can't blame them.
I would want to have this quiet place to myself, too.

I would divulge it's location to only a few chosen,
special ones, dear to my heart.
People I know and trust to keep a secret.

I can't take you there,
But I can share this place with you today.

Enjoy the harmony and the beauty of the ocean,
on one of the most perfect last days of Summer.

Until next time,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Remembrance
September 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #29 at Heart and Home

Hey everyone! You're just in time for Wednesday Gratitude.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

I spent three great days with my husband, sans daughters.
Daughters spent three fabulous days sans parents.

For us: no fancy hotels or room service.
a long walk,
dinner and a movie,
a baseball game,
an air show.
All wonderful.

For them: time at the dorm and in the city.
Shopping, cooking, talking, reading.
Watching movies.
Eating, giggling.
Two sisters, doing what they do best, together.

Sometimes simple weekends are the best.
We all returned home happy.

It was a good weekend!
I'm very grateful for those three days.

And now, I'm back to the daily routine, 
I'm feeling particularly grateful for Guadalupe and his team.

They stopped by the house this morning with their squeegees and soapy water,
and worked some magic on this house.

Eleven  exterior French Doors.
Four interior French Doors.
25 BIG windows.
Four skylights.

All are clean, sparkling, and spotless.

Daughter #2 came home from school this afternoon and said the light looked different.
Said the rooms seemed to glow in the sun.
That everything looked "crisper".

I noticed it, too.
That bright, brilliant, fall-ish sunshine, streaming through the windows.
NO fingerprints, no dust, no streaks.

Ever notice how clean windows make the whole house feel fresh?
It's lovely!

I'm very thankful for the clean, clear views.
I'm thankful I didn't have to climb up the ladder myself,
 armed with buckets and rags,
but instead know a nice man and his three nice helpers, 
who will take care of that chore for a reasonable fee
 and leave with a smile and a handshake.

And give me the gift of sunshine and shining glass.

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

What are you grateful for today?
Link in, and let us know!

Until next time,

ps. all pics taken through windows! see what I mean by clean?

linking to Outdoor Wednesday, thanks Susan!