Monday, August 27, 2012

Off The Shelf

In 2002, we began remodeling our little house.

Our contractor put in a window seat and added a shelf across the length of one wall in the dining room.

I put my collection of pitchers along the shelf.

It is now 2012, and I still have the same pitchers decorating the shelf.

I have added and removed pitchers, but I guess a decade is long enough for a display.

On Sunday, I removed every piece on display in the dining room.

My original plan was to put some of my wire baskets on the shelf after seeing a fun shelf in Romantic Prairie Style, but I decided to start with some plates.

I knew I wanted to keep the red, yellow and blue color scheme.

With the shelf much less crowded, I moved on to my metal rack.

I only had red and yellow on the rack and decided to move to red, yellow and blue to reflect the colors in the window seat cushion.

I brought in some of my collection of hands and moved some books from my green table.

I noticed that I am using a lot more white in my displays since I made white slipcovers for the sofa and chair in the living room.

After the rack was done, I moved on to the entry.

Now my pitchers are in view instead of up high.

 I painted the star pitcher just after we moved to the beach.

The blue spatterware pitchers are both antiques from my mother.

I still had all the different red and yellow dishes that had been on the metal rack to deal with.

I moved them into the kitchen where they will actually be put to use.

My work ended with placing a favorite pitcher on the dining room table.

When we travel, I like to buy something that will always remind me of the vacation.

I bought the pitcher several years ago in Taos when Steve was taking an art workshop.

I'm glad I moved it down off the shelf, because I rarely looked at it on the shelf.

The remainder of the day was spent cycling through the harbor and reading in the garden.

I finished my weekend relaxed and ready for work.

And, I have the entire week to get my plans together for a closet redo.


I am linked up at

Make It Pretty Monday

Cozy Little House - Tweak It Tuesday

Sunny Simple Sunday

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Footloose and Fancy Free

I love Saturday mornings.

Steve has a long standing tennis game every Saturday morning so after our beach walk, I am usually "footloose and fancy free".

I began my morning by meeting up with KC in Montecito.

She is in Santa Barbara for a Bachelorette Party and we met up at a charming outdoor cafe for breakfast.

I was back at home by 9:30 with a full day ahead.

Ideas have been floating around my head all week for a weekend project.

I decided to do something with this old bench.

Steve surprised me one day last year by splurging on this bench.

He paid $1 at a neighbor's yard sale.

It isn't is the best of shape, but I love it.  

It has been in the front yard next to the door. 

But, I decided to move it to the garden so I can sit on it when the sun is too much for me.

I dug the white pillows out of a cupboard.

I originally made them for the fire pit bench, but when we added on, the fire pit was too close to the house and we never use it anymore.

The pillows are made from  a set of chenille bedspreads I had in my childhood bedroom.

There is still a lot of chenille in an attic cupboard and I often use it for the back of pillows.

The old watering can is something Steve found in my parents' garage 35 years ago.

 I debate painting it and letting it chip and fade to a lovely patina, but I have yet to touch it.

As soon as I was done gardening, I plopped myself on the bench and thumbed through Romantic Prairie Style.

It was a lovely summer afternoon to be relaxing outdoors.

And, I got a great idea for my Sunday afternoon project.

It was a Saturday well spent!

I am linked up at

2805 Potpourri Friday

Twigg Studios Sunday Show Off Linky Party

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Accentuate The Positive

The past week was difficult for me.

I am back at school and have had little time for me, my house or my garden.

I was wallowing in self pity, when I recalled the words to the old Johnny Mercer tune

Accentuate The Positive

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene.

A little switch from the negative to the positive made a huge difference in my attitude.

I was focusing on all of the projects I didn't complete.

But, when I started looking at what I did complete, I felt pretty good.

Yesterday, I had the time to paint my wooden cabinet

with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Old White.

Steve says he likes how it lightens up the room.

It isn't quite finished.

I have to wax it, but I wanted the house in order because we have friends from Arizona visiting today.

I love how the  'word' knobs look on the white.

I had the same knobs when it was just dark wood, but I always felt the white knobs looked funny against the wood.

I also added a yellow stripe down the center of my red bench.

Just a little yellow stripe really peps up the bench.

I really hoped to do some rearranging in the back yard

to move this bench from the front yard.

I want to make a bench cushion for the bench and create a look like this bench I saw at American Home & Garden.

But, I ran out of time.

I can complain that I don't have time


I can "Accentuate the Positive' and tell myself it will be a fun project for the quarter break in October.

With a positive attitude, we are off to dinner at a seaside restaurant with old friends who are visiting.

It doesn't get much better than this!


I am linked up at
Lavender Garden Cottage - Cottage Style Linky Party

My 1929 Charmer  Sunday's Best

Sunny Simple Sunday

Friday, August 10, 2012

Life in an Art Gallery

My house is ALWAYS neat.

It is not always clean.

We do our best, but a dog ( who believes the house is hers and we are her guests) and sand make it hard to maintain.

Steve's studio is in our home and that means a patron might drop in at any time.

Potential customers and limited space in our cottage require us to maintain order.

Last week 20 women from a Los Angeles art group dropped by with just a day's notice.

Today Steve had visitors stopping in to select 15 paintings for an art show at an investment bank.

I was at school getting my classroom ready while Steve was home prepping the studio and bringing out art that was tucked away in the attic and garage.

I came home to the table set with gifts.

Steve set out wine with his artwork for his visitors along with 

canvas bags from the Ventura Visitor's Center sporting one of his paintings.

He placed paintings on easels in the garden

and moved paintings around in the house.

The mantel had a painting of the beach when I left this morning

and now it has a painting of the mission.

A painting of the garden was over my chair

and now Father Serra presides.

In two weeks, it will all change again when 15 paintings leave the house and Steve changes the look in every room to fill in vacated spaces.

The cows in the dining room were just selected by one of the LA visitors so that wall will be changing soon.

Living in an art gallery is an adventure.

And, that is a good thing.

Because the house is always 'picked up', cleaning is quick and I have time for projects.

The wood cabinet next to the chair is tomorrow's project.

Next time you see the cabinet, it will be white.

And, most likely a different painting will hang over the chair.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Using Up The Leftovers

Most people, upon hearing the word - leftovers - would assume this post will be about food.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not cook which is why I have time for projects.

In this case, leftovers refers to a bag filled with leftover canvas.

Steve stretches his own canvas and there are always bits and pieces left over.

Earlier in the summer, I used some of his scraps to make a rug for my porch.

I love the textures of the different grades of canvas he uses, so I washed everything and put them into a bag for future projects.

This is my last full week of summer vacation, so yesterday I rose early, with plans to accomplish a few things on my list.

I saw this pillow last Friday in Laguna Beach and knew that I could make something similar.

I dug out some canvas, masked the stripes and then looked for stencils.

I know I have some.


But, I didn't find them.

Instead, I found these alphabet magnets I purchased for my classroom at the Dollar Store.

I love the font.

I traced around the letters and liked how it was looking 

so I began another pillow at the same time

Left over Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was used for the stripes and words.

The finished products were on my sofa 5 hours after they were started.

I didn't have any zippers so to keep this project "no cost", I finished one pillow off with ties

and the other off with buttons.

The total cost:

canvas - $0
paint - $0
pillow inserts - $0

Definitely affordable!


I am linked up at

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures

Sew Chatty - Made With Love

Coastal Charm - Nifty Thrifty Tuesday 

Boogie Board Cottage - Masterpiece Monday

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day Trippin'

Steve and I rarely take a vacation in the summer.

We live in paradise and with everyone else on vacation in the summer we prefer to take our getaways during my October school break and winter ski trips.

This summer we planned several day trips.

Yesterday, KC flew to Southern California for a girls' weekend in Laguna Beach.

Several weeks ago she mentioned to me that her flight was much earlier than her friends so she would work remotely in the airport while she waited for the others.

Instead, we drove down to Laguna to get some time with her and to explore one of my old favorites.

It was a blessing for KC because the others were to arrive at 11:30 a.m., but their flight did not leave San Francisco until 1:00 p.m.

This little cottage in Laguna Beach is the reason I live in a beach house today.

a screen shot from Google street view

I have always loved the beach, but my parents were not beach people.

The only time we would go to the beach would be for my mom to visit her cousin who lived in Laguna Beach.

I loved visiting Cousin Gladys in this charming little house on Wave Street, just 1 block from the beach.

Gladys had the most exquisite taste in decorating and after beach time, I would just sit and look around her house and soak in all the details.

Some of my favorite memories took place in this little cottage.

As we walked along the boardwalk, I shared Laguna stories with KC and Steve and they kindly indulged me and feigned interest.

The lifeguard tower is cute just like the rest of town.

 We stopped in at Tuvalu just to see what was there and to get some inspiration.

Steve stretches his own canvas so I have a big pile of leftover scraps that I just washed.

I think I will make a few of these pillows.

I love the heart made from bits of driftwood.

There isn't much driftwood on our beach, but if we head up to the estuary we will find a wonderful supply of bits to create this heart.

I have been into clock faces and found some great large pieces, but I really have no wall space since our home is Steve's art gallery.

This wonderful clock was about 3 feet in diameter.

And, I wish I could have gotten a better photo of this table because it was beautiful.

I was good and only bought one of these little clock face plates that came in a variety of designs.

Since the girls had still not landed, we headed up the Laguna Canyon to drop by the studio of Ken Auster.

Steve studied under Ken in Taos at Donner Ranch about 8 years ago and we have always wanted to stop in to see his studio.

Ken showed us around and then generously offered us free passes to The Festival of Art.

We parked and rode the shuttle to the festival.

After viewing some amazing art we headed to Cliff Drive.

Our timing was perfect.

We arrived at the condo overlooking the Pacific to drop KC off just as the taxi arrived filled with her friends.

And then, we had a 3 hour drive to travel the 109 miles back to Ventura.

At home, I looked at my purchases and decided where to place them.

The weight ended up on my "number" mantle.

And the clock face plate ended up in my scale vignette.


Day trips are the perfect way to get away without needing to pack or find a sitter for Dorje.

No more day trips for awhile.

This final week of summer vacation is "finish all projects" week.


I am linked up at

Lavender Garden Cottage  - Cottage Style

Sunny Simple Life for Sunny Simple Sunday