Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Succulents In Winter

After last week's rainstorm, I couldn't help notice how beautiful my succulents were with the raindrops beading up on them like diamonds.

But it made me realize that now is the time to prepare them for the winter months ahead.

After a little research, this is what I learned:
If you live in a moderate climate, you can leave succulents outdoors, as long as they are under an eave, or sheltered, protecting them from too much rain.

For colder climates, bring the plants indoors and place in a cool room, but not in direct sunlight.

Do not overwater.
 Succulents don't need a lot of water anyway, but especially during the winter.
Also, they need adequate air circulation.

Don't forget that drainage is key.
Soggy soil will rot their roots.
Keep in mind that some succulents are more winter hardy than others, but with proper care, you should be able to enjoy your succulent plants all year long!

Do you have a suggestion for growing succulents through the winter?
Have you had much success or have you lost your plants anyway?
I welcome your feedback!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

How Can You Not Be Romantic About Baseball?

"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" asks Billy Beane in Moneyball.
To me, that question sums up baseball in a nutshell.  
Romantic.

Last night, my favorite baseball team did it again!
Two times in three years, we won the World Series.
This time, we swept them!

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants!
World Series Champions!
How romantic is that?
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Fixer Upper

Have you ever fantasized about buying a fixer-upper to renovate?
I certainly have!  
So when a "friend of a friend" mentioned that he had found a wine country retreat in our neighborhood, we drove by for a look-see.

Although we have driven by this house a million times, we had no idea that it was abandoned, and as neglected as it is.  It seems like no one has lived here for at least 10 years.  
I don't know the story on this house, but Mr. A and I were imagining all sorts of stories, even wondering if it is haunted!

A craftsman, built in the early 20's it felt like old, rural California, harking back to a time long ago when the road in front was probably a gravel country road.

Trying to take a photo of the interior, I discovered the view in the window's reflection.

This is what the front porch looks out to.  A beautiful vineyard!
Although the house sits very close to the road, I imagined a picket fence and arbor with a lawn and boxwood!

Inside, the house looks like it hasn't been touched, ever.
All the moldings are original redwood.  The floor plan looks great and the possibilities are endless.

If only these walls could talk!
It's almost like the house is embarrassed by her condition, begging to be loved again.

The original kitchen.
Oh my....

 
The best part of the kitchen:  this wood burning stove.

Although we couldn't go inside, we could see that this is one heck of a project.
It would be a shame to tear the house down and build a new one though.

However, looking at the crumbling exterior, it would be a huge undertaking.

I thought about how many times I have read magazine articles about a house in such a bad state of repair, abandoned and neglected, only to be bought by someone with a vision, willing to restore it!

The ultimate before and after article that makes me want to buy a fixer-upper!

That's why I took so many photos.
If my "friend of a friend" actually buys this, I know he will lovingly restore it.

With all the surrounding property, barns and outbuildings, this could be his forever home.

I'm going to wait and see what happens to this wonderful old house and keep you posted.
Hopefully, someday I can show the "after" photos!

What do you think?
Is this a fixer-upper or a money pit?
Are you brave enough to take on a project like this if you had a chance?


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good News And Bad News

The good news is that after waiting for 3 months for the new living room curtains, they finally came in.
I couldn't wait to pick them up from Calico Corners.

I'm very happy with them and love how the Ralph Lauren linen fabric looks next to the grasscloth walls.

I love the simplicity of the red stripe and how it picks up the red paisley on the chairs.

They even got the header right!
I always use this gathered, smocked header for all my curtains.

So what's the bad news you ask?
Well, apparently, they thought I only wanted four panels instead of four pairs for four windows.

Now I need four more panels!
But, will they be able to match the original four?
Will the dye lot be the same?
Will they get the header right?
I ended up sending one panel back to the workroom to be used as a template.
Fingers crossed that in four weeks, the living room will be finished--just in time for Christmas.

(Note to self:  always check, re-check and double check the work order!)



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Monday, October 22, 2012

Show And Tell: Gifts From France

Our travel-weary daughter arrived home last night after three weeks in France.
We all stayed up until one in the morning talking about her adventures and catching up.

She had lots of treasures for us all hidden in her suitcase!
Lemon curd and strawberry jam...

...creamy honey.

 Mustard!

And pate!
Oooh la la, I love these little epicurean delicacies! 

 Just for me, a porcelain canister for coffee.

 And one for tea.
I love them, and they are perfect in the kitchen where...

 ....they fit just perfectly.

Thank you Ashley for these beautiful gifts.
But most of all, we are all glad you are home again.  
Safe and sound!


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Show And Tell: Taxidermy Finds

 Thrifting doesn't have to be just perusing thrift stores and garage sales.
Sometimes you can find great deals online at places like OKL or Joss and Main.
Lately, I've found some great bargains.  
There is a theme here...!

Call it taxidermy?

Whatever. I found these, and yes, they are faux, online.
The set of three for a fraction of what one vintage real one would cost.

They are living in the Welsh Cupboard for now, which I'm decorating for the fall and winter months.

I wish I could take credit for this one.
My friend Jane found this vintage rack for me at a garage sale around the corner.
$10.
Call her my personal shopper, she is always on the lookout for what I'm on the lookout for!

 Apparently, it belonged to Paul!
Thanks Jane!  Good eye!

 Ok, since we have a deer theme going on, I remembered this majolica platter I found at Tuesday Morning.

Red tagged at $15.
Perfect for Thanksgiving, or just display.

And last, but not least is this cow head from OKL.
He was technically free!
$15 minus a $15 credit, plus shipping!
Proof that I can thrift just about anywhere!


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Show And Tell: What A Crock!

 The minute I saw these crocks, I didn't hesitate.  Why?  Because they were in a resell consignment store and I knew they would be a deal. 
Turns out, they were a killer deal!

 "Sago" 

 "Rice"

 "Currants"

All three crocks for $80.  
Inside each crock was an individual tag for $89 each.
It seems the person who consigned them just wanted to get rid of them.

 They join my growing collection of ironstone and crockery like this butter crock, sans lid, which I picked up for $5.

 And this butter crock with lid, which I paid too much for...

 And this tiny "horseradish" pot that I found on eBay.

For now, the three crocks live in the one cabinet that I removed the doors from.
Oh, and by the way, do you know what sago is?
I didn't!
It's a flour-like thickener made from palm leaves.

The thrifting bug bit me hard this month!
So stay tuned for more show and tell.
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