Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summery Cushions at Heart and Home

 I hope you all had a terrific weekend! I know some of you down there in the southern states 
are suffering through very high temperatures, 
I don't know how you handle that every summer!
Obviously, I'm not a heat person. 

Here, we enjoyed a beautiful
couple of days in the 70's -
with perfect, cloudless skies, cool ocean breezes,
and lovely, clear evenings with a full moon.

There's no mistaking it's summer!!
I'm getting it to look a bit more summery around the house.
The abalone shell is a local find, from one of our beaches.

The Mr. and I spent one evening at the Theatre,
and the rest of the weekend working in the yard, (him) 
cleaning cars (him, again), and listening to the Giants lose (us).

What did I do this weekend?
Not much!
 But, just look at this gorgeous fabric, which I found
when I was searching for a replacement fabric for my outdoor cushions,
(You can read all about how I did that here.)
I sewed it into some quickie pillow slipcovers.

I whipped these up on Saturday.
They have french openings in the back, so they were super simple.
No zippers or buttons or hand sewn closures, just cushions tucked in
with overlapping fabric in the back.

Then I went to work on another project that I'll show you next week!
It's a good one, I promise

It looks a little more summery in the living room,
with the addition of that bright yellow in the fabric design.

A little more tweaking and it's even brighter!
The before:

and the after:

What do you think?
Not a huge change, but any change is welcome!

And, Duckies, it seems like everyone was out
enjoying the nice weather this weekend.
 These guys stopped traffic,
 and took the scenic route through the golf course.

Well, I'm off!
I'm on my way
for a few days with my girls.
Three blondes, on a road trip.
We are  heading south, with our cameras and sunscreen,
and looking for adventure!

 I'll be back after the 4th
to share any adventure I found with you,
and with news about Heart and Home's
anniversary celebration, and the giveaway.
Wednesday Gratitude will resume on July 7th.

(There's a peek at the other project in this picture, if you look hard enough -
can you guess what it is?)
Leave a comment and let me know what you think
 about the mini-transformation!

Have a wonderful week!
Enjoy your fireworks!
See you soon.
Until next time,

Linking up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heart and Home and A Tuscany Inspired Tablescape

Welcome back my friends!
Thanks for joining me today.

After the craziness of yesterday I was having a "relaxing day" today.
Which means I only ran around for a few hours doing errands, instead of all afternoon.
When I got back, I had some time for myself,
 which I used to get creative.
It's been so nice outside that I got an urge to put together a tablescape for the side deck.
I thought it would be fun to do something Tuscany-inspired.

I think this fits the bill perfectly.
I already had everything I needed to set the mood:
vibrant linens similar to the lovely prints at April Cornell,
 woven place mats and chargers, and pretty little fruit-patterned plates.

The green goblets are my favorite.
I like them so much, I think
 everything tastes better out of them.

It was a breeze putting this together.
There was a slight problem , however.
Keeping the candles lit in the breeze proved impossible.

You'll just have to imagine how this looks by candlelight.
When the wind calms down, I'll light the candles
and turn the dimmer on the overhead star lanterns way down.
(You can see those great big stars here.)

We might have to bundle up to eat outside tonight!

It's a good thing only the tablescape is Tuscany-inspired.

I've got a big pot of tasty, bone-warming Hungarian goulash
simmering on the stove for dinner tonight!
There's plenty, stick around!

You'll want to come back for information about the great giveaway I've got planned.
That's coming soon, don't miss it!
In the meantime, enjoy the long summer evenings!
And, if you like what you saw here, follow along!
Until next time,

Linking up to Tablescape Thursday, at Between Naps on the Porch.
If you've never been by to visit Susan's blog, you don't know what you're missing!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #19 at Heart and Home

"Reflect Each Day On All You Have To Be Grateful For And You Will Receive More To Be Grateful For." -Chuck Danes

Howdy to you my blogging friends! I'm late getting this post up, because I've been running around like a maniac all day!!
If you're here for Wednesday Gratitude, Linky is below. Welcome, and please be sure to link back to Heart and Home in your Gratitude post.

Right now I'm feeling grateful for the nice cup of hot tea I had about an hour ago, sitting outside under the redwoods at a neighborhood coffee shop with daughter #1.

I've been to the dentist and need to schedule an appointment for a root canal.
You can imagine how this thrills me.

After the dentist we went shopping for dorm necessities for the fall.
We like to get a head start on things like that.
But, I will not lie, it was exhausting!
Making the right choices, and filling our cart with stuff she might or might not need starting making my head hurt!
I'm thankful for the 90 day return policy at Tar-jay.

Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes, but for some reason today, after starting out early running to art lessons for daughter #2, and Costco, and home, and one hour back and forth to the dentist, and then shopping, all the while fitting in phone calls, and filling out forms on the computer, and getting stuck in traffic.....

I'm feeling particularly grateful for the prospect of a calm morning tomorrow (and maybe even part of the afternoon!)  spent out here, on the deck. Enjoying the Summer break.

You'll find me in my favorite spot, with another cup of tea and a stack of magazines and my new book "San Francisco Style", which was published some time ago and I was lucky to find on sale for $5 at the book store.

That aforementioned cup of tea, that one I had an hour ago, revived me just enough to get us home and the car unloaded.
Now, I can take a deep breath, and enjoy the warm late afternoon sun and the lovely view from the wicker settee.

Because this morning at Costco I picked up a delicious looking Margherita pizza, and all I have to do tonight is pop it into the oven and make a salad - ta-da - dinner.
I'm really feeling grateful for that pizza, and for having planned ahead.
Clever me!!

Some days are like this, there's no way around it.

I'm grateful for being able to see a dentist when I need one, and to shop for stuff, and for a family that will not mind one bit that dinner tonight is not the usual home-cooked affair.

I'm grateful that we'll all sit down together and enjoy our pizza with tomatoes and basil and mozzarella and pine nuts, and that tomorrow is another day, and I get to do it all over again.

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know you were here - leave a comment!
And come back again soon.

Until next time,

Linking up to Outdoor Wednesday, at Susan's A Southern Daydreamer!  And Works for Me Wednesday, at We are that Family.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mirror Makeover at Heart and Home

Hey ladies!! How's it going?  I hope you're enjoying the first week of Summer. We've been loving the time off from school and our regular busy schedules, and took some time this weekend to enjoy the ocean, sand in our toes, wind in our hair, ice cream cones and barbeques.
I'm glad you're here. Tell me, what do you think of Heart and Home's NEW LOOK?

And what do you think of this mirror?

It's been hanging at the foot of the stairs in the very dark hallway downstairs.
I walked by it the other day and thought it looked grungy.
Not "shabby chic" grungy, just dirty grungy.
I decided to spruce it up a bit.

Naturally, I pulled out the Krylon paint.
Since this was going to be a quickie, no-cost project,  I used what I already had.

After several coats of paint, it turned out a bit shinier than I wanted, which is what happens when you use semi-gloss paint!
But since I didn't want run out to buy more paint, or delay finishing, I went with it.

I added some silver accents here and there.
Then I applied brown stain all over it, and rubbed it up and into the grooves to sort of antique it up a little.
And then buffed the stain off really well with a rag.

Very "Versailles meets Farmhouse-Chic".
Which is a new design style I just invented, I think.

I'd love to leave it out here on the deck where it can reflect the pretty hydrangeas.

But that spot in the hallway looks even darker without the mirror, so I hung it back in it's former spot.

I think I would prefer the frame painted flat white, against the celadon green walls.
I can always spray it again when I get tired of the Versailles-Farmhouse look! I never have a problem with changing things if I don't love them the first time.
I'm really good at changing my mind!
I've learned that sometimes it just takes awhile for things to grow on me. So I'm going to give the mirror a few days before I do anything to it again.
Because I might change my mind again, and decide I just love it all shiny!

Thanks again for stopping by today! I appreciate your visits and I love to know what's on your mind. Don't be a lurker, leave a comment. And follow along if you'd like, it's easy and very rewarding!

Coming soon: information about Heart and Home's One Year Anniversary fabulous giveaway(s)!You don't want to miss that!

Until next time,

Linking today to the fabulous Susan's Between Naps on the Porch and Reinvented Trash to Treasure Tuesday. Thanks ladies!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heart and Home and Father's Day

Surprise! How do you like the new look at Heart and Home?
I wanted to make a change in time to celebrate my one year blogging anniversary.
It's coming up pretty soon, so I got a head start with a new layout! 
Stay tuned for some surprises in the next few weeks.

Today we're going to take a long walk along the beach.

It's very breezy and I expect the waves will be pretty impressive!

Although there are always moments of calm along the shore.

Happy Father's Day to our girls' favorite guy.

He's the one who makes their hearts soar.
The one to whom all other men will be compared.
He's my girls' first love!
And my true love.

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know what you think of the new look.
And remember to come back again, soon!

Until next time,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pink Flowers in Abundance at Heart and Home

Happy Pink Saturday! I'm honored that you decided to drop by for a visit today, thanks so much for stopping at  Heart and Home!

I'm joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. 
Go check out her pretty pinks when you're done here!

The hydrangeas are just starting to bloom out on the side deck.

I've never been very lucky with these plants, and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Whatever the case, the few blossoms that are starting to open on this plant make me very happy!

Inside, I've got some pretty alstroemerias that have a hint of pink on their petals.

They seem so graceful and delicate,
although they are very hardy and last a long time as a cut flower.

On the back deck, the new fuchsia is busting out with blooms all over the place!
Double, deep pink blossoms swing in the breeze, and attract the hummingbirds.

I love my little spot of paradise - my deck gardens bring me so much joy!
Over the years I've had to adjust my expectations of an old-fashioned country rose garden,
and instead I plant anything that will survive long, shady mornings,
 hot, full sun in the afternoons, and brisk ocean breezes on most days.

It's tricky, but after almost 11 years living here,  I think I've finally gotten the hang of it!

I'm eagerly anticipating the first blossom on this fuchsia, seen here last year.  I love the pale, pale pink double blossoms, they remind me of a dancer's tutu!

Did you turn fuchsia flowers into dancing ballerinas when you were little?
I did, and I remember getting in so much trouble for pulling the blossoms off my mother's cherished plants! 

Don't you just love how much pleasure and happiness a simple grocery store bunch of flowers can bring to your home? I always pop a bunch into my cart before I leave the store, and rarely go without flowers in the house. If I can't find any I like, I'll cut branches and bring in clippings from outside.
Nature is wonderfully abundant around here, another reason I love our spot on the redwood coast.

Until next time,

For a wealth of interesting information about anything flower related, you might like Order Flowers , check it out!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #18 at Heart and Home: Beauty Is In the Eye of The Beholder


Welcome to Wednesday Gratitude!
 Linky will be up by 5:00 PST Tuesday.
Please leave a comment after you link your Gratitude post!
And remember to link back to Heart and Home.

photo credit: Greg Grant

"Reflect Each Day On All You Have To Be Grateful For And
You Will Receive More To Be Grateful For." -Chuck Danes

If you walked by the garage at our house during the last week or so, you might have wondered what the washbasin filled with water and empty bottles was for.

True to form, I got right to work planning something practical and necessary to the yard.
Before the new fence is put in.
Or the arbor that I want back here is designed and built.

I made a bottle tree!

 I used bamboo stakes pounded into the ground, (thanks for the muscle and help, RW!)
 and bottles that were cleaned after soaking for a week in soapy water to remove their labels.

The new fence can go in anytime.

Meanwhile, I'm planning one more bottle tree, for a different spot in the yard.

 I'll enjoy the sunlight shining through the bottles, keeping the evil spirits away from our house.
And keeping more trees from falling and making big, ugly, empty spots in our yard.

I was inspired by the fabulous bottle trees
And by the mention of them
at Susan's a while ago.
 I'm grateful my family doesn't think I'm crazy, and they support me in my endeavor to "beautify" the surroundings with unusual art installations.

I'm grateful for something so simple that makes me smile.
I'm grateful for the human spirit's innate desire to create art,
 and our ability to make something beautiful out of nothing. 


Thanks for dropping by today, I hope you'll join me next week for another Wednesday Gratitude. You can post about anything that makes you happy and makes your heart sing!

Until next time,
Linking up to Outdoor Wednesday at Susan's A Southern Daydreamer,   Leigh's Thrifty Thursday, and Cindy's Show and Tell Friday. Thank you ladies!