Thursday, April 17, 2014

Noon in the Garden of Good and Chervil*

It's been awhile! I get busy. And sometimes I even worry that what I type is dumb so I type nothing...And that's, like, the worst!
Here are some pics of my tiny garden. John and I spent the last two weekends working on it together. Planting a salad garden and filling in the succulent garden. And finding containers...
I had to make a little mini raised bed out of bricks to house some herbs. And rearrange a lot of stuff so it didn't look crazy.

And here is a collection of random containers I've used in my garden. If they have no holes in the bottom, I fill it half full of rocks, then dirt. That seems to help...
And because the back of our yard is a chain link fence, I have very few photos of the vegetable garden. I have one. And I wasn't even aiming at the garden.
In the pic you can see the marigolds around the tomatoes and maybe even some kale and lettuce? But mostly MeowMeow, who does not enjoy gardening. She does help keep the garden pest free, so there's that...

*Also, to be entirely honest, there is no chervil in this garden...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Also available in white...

My kids were home sick yesterday. I was also somewhat under the weather, but somehow my Nespresso kicked in and I wanted to paint this wall in my kitchen.

I keep seeing Pins of glorious white loft kitchens that are filled with light and that one modern chair and I wish I could have that. But a tiny bungalow in Altadena is the exact opposite. So I just pine and watch old episodes of The Office. And then suddenly hop off my bed and start painting.

Here's the before:
I originally painted the panelling a coral that I thought contrasted nicely with the blue in the rest of the kitchen. And while I love that coral color, it really limits the colors you can put in front of it. Everything has to be white or it kind of disappears.

I think, what this decision boils down to is that now I can buy more stuff from Anthropologie without worrying it's gonna clash. If I'm being honest.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Adventure Time

After Christmas is over, like the very next day, I no longer want to be in my house. The clutter of new toys and boxes and torn paper starts to get to me and I want to go somewhere; do something. This year we decided to drive up the coast, the Pacific one, and spend the night in Cayucos. It's one of my favorite surf towns in California. It's got tiny motels and sea shanty themed restaurants and a very pretty beach and pier.  

We drove into town about 4 o'clock and rushed from our motel room to the beach to take advantage of the sunset. The boys told me the water was too cold for them, but after about 20 minutes they were both so soaked we had to find a restaurant with outdoor seating.

Also in Cayucos, is the Brown Butter Cookie Company. It is impossible to walk by without turning on your heel and walking inside for a sample. They taste exactly as good as you'd think, like light, crumbly brown sugar happiness. And they make the whole town smell delicious. Salty, sugary, buttery air, it's like what Jesus smells like.

The next day we drove to Sacramento, we passed a couple of missions and day dreamed about our Central Coast farmstead. I love these kind of vacations, where the journey is part of the trip. We drive slowly and stop when we want, we take pictures and find new places to buy sandwiches.

All the while California is unfurling before our very eyes, shouts of, "Are we there yet?!" and "Why is it so far?!" and the strains of Adventure Time's Tree Trunks episode for the 14th time are creeping into my daydreams. Gone is my alpaca farm and my organic garden, now I'm just looking for a place for Hartwell to pee or an empty bottle for him to use when farms stretch out between towns.
These photos will help me forget all the crazy, though, and by next year I'll be ready to do it again. This time I'm bringing Depends and picking the dvds.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Reverse Stencilling or Showing Wood

I did it! I finally bought the Ikea dressers I wanted! But, alas, they are but raw pine and this morning my nutella fingered son tried to use it for balance as I assisted him with his socks...Argh!

So I need to paint or at least finish them soon...but there are too many options!

How about reverse stencilling? Where the wood is the "stencilled" part and the negative space is painted.

Now I just need to find the time to do this. I spent 6 hours building the dressers and they are still empty. And I need to paint the hallway and the living room ceiling...and my floors...

Images available on my Pinterest Board Projects.

Monday, August 26, 2013

DIY Prosecco, Soda, and Snow Cone Bar or Why Serve One When You Can Serve Three at Thrice the Price?

Saturday was Beckett's big 6th birthday party. And he's been planning it for awhile. He picked the guest list and the theme, a costume party, and even the menu, hot dogs and tacos. For dessert, he wanted a "wedding cake*" and snow cones. So we bought a snow cone maker and I decided to make my own syrups for them. Because I am crazy. And the electric colors of the store bought syrups frightened me.

It was actually so simple, hence the name, that I made peach, rhubarb, strawberry, cherry and pineapple mint. The strawberry was the simplest and the most flavorful. The cherry just kind of tasted like really sweet syrup with a little cherry. The pineapple mint took a really long time. I really should read directions first. You have to let the pineapple and sugars macerate overnight! But it was really tasty, so I'd make it again...

Since I made all the syrups, I thought it would be fun to also serve lemonade, so one could use all those syrups to make a flavored lemonade. And then, why not add sparkling water and Prosecco to the mix?

So my adult guests had a sort of DIY soda/Prosecco bar and the kids got delicious snow cones without artificial colors or flavors! But a lot of sugar. A lot.

Here are the recipes I used:

Rhubarb Simple Syrup
Peach Simple Syrup
Cherry Simple Syrup
Strawberry Simple Syrup
Pineapple Mint Simple Syrup

Some of the moms were a little tipsy after drinking one of my creations. Turns out I'm a little heavy handed on the Prosecco...which is best.

*A wedding cake is any two tiered cake in six-year-old.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

12 Tiny Living Rooms or Positively Primeval Design

My living room is 20' x 10'. Long and narrow. And the entry just opens right into it. No mud room, no partition, just "Hello, welcome to my mess!" So whatever I decide to do in there needs to be immediately impressive. And also covered in plastic and screwed down due to capricious children.

And, as ushe, most inspirations are for, like, double living rooms with enormous pointy coffee tables and seven sofas. So here's some of what I found...

Shelves and rattan! Stripes and yellow!
This is sort of what my entry problem is. Except I have a bit more room...for all the legos and food wrappers that collect. (Seriously, what is up with the food wrappers everywhere? Is it just my kids? They open them, toss the wrapper in the air, and then eat the food. Do they think my rug composts mylar wrappers? PS that is a great idea...composting living room rugs for food wrappers and loose Cheerios. Patent pending.).
Modern and functional. Masculine and feminine. Love.
This room is right up my alley. Except for the antlers. I'm over the animal heads. They are so everywhere. And serve no purpose except to say, "Yeah, I read Better Homes and Gardens and wear a fedora, you?" At least they also have a cowhide rug. And a fur blanket on the sofa.
White and cottage-ie. I can't say no to that. Unfortunately, my husband can.
Ooooh...tiny sofa, Lack table, tiny makes it look like I can actually get work done! And the turquoise rug...delicious.
Simple, bright, sheepskin, giraffe.
This one cheats a little in that it's a vignette in a giant room with high ceilings...but neutral and orange always make me happy.
To make up for that, here is an actual tiny space. I love these. They remind me of my dream of having my own Marie Antoinette inspired house. For escaping all the manliness that surrounds me...sometimes, it's like living with three Gaston's...
More fur. What are we Vikings?! How cold is it, really? Aside from that, I love the dark gray and the ceilings. And the built-ins for the TV. I just realized that none of the other rooms have TVs. Maybe they are all Vikings. But, if I were a Viking, which I technically am, I think I might watch that TV show Vikings. Mostly to scoff at the stuff they get wrong. And from where could I watch it? The internets, I guess...
Annnnd finally, this pretty space. Pale blue and neutral with lucite so it doesn't look full of furniture. Again, no TV, so how is one supposed to "relax?" I guess I could just read books. About Vikings.

All photos are available on my Tiny Space Design board on Pinterest.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pretty Colors! or Distraction Procrastination

I love pretty colors! And here are a few spaces that make me so happy! 

I'm also on the lookout for interesting hacks for my leather sofa. I discovered a small hole in a cushion and want to re-cover them in something until I can get my head around it, I'm just going to look at pretty colors!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Things I Want: Dustbins or White Trash...cans

Is it weird to lust after a trash can? I saw this wondrous piece of design and wanted it immediately. White powder coated iron with a magnetic coconut bristled broom? And the removable dustpan is designed to swing in and serve as a lid? It is everything I ever dreamed of. Functionality + beautiful design.
Also in red and black. They look like Sith Lords...

Now I just need to start saving for it.

Brendan Ravenhill Dustbin at West Elm. $199

Monday, August 5, 2013

Plywood Walls or White Plys (Vision Dreams of Passion)

I'm still searching for the perfect walls for my bedroom. I like the exposed lath and plaster situation, painted white, of course. But we only want to do that to the interior walls of the bedroom, which leaves the exterior walls. Now these walls are trouble. The house is over 80 years old, and has had its share of leaks. So those walls are kinda...skanky. Due to the expanding and contracting of the wet lath, the plaster is no longer connected to the lath. It kind of floats in front of it. And under the window, where my feet occasionally dangle off the bed and push into the cracked plaster, it has been removed.

So my options are drywall...myself...and spend an eternity mudding the walls and sanding until I get perfection. Or come up with something else.

Anything else.

What about plywood?

When done correctly, it looks nice. I'm not a huge fan of the yellow wood, so maybe I could whitewash it, keeping the grain...?

How does one find no knot plywood?
This is more like what I would end up with:
A little busy, but still natural. And there a cool built in shelf on the left!
Very simple, used as a headboard:
Oooh! Green stained!
I love this look with the mint bench! Industrial and yet vintage at the same time!
Mid century, anyone?
And danish modern:
And here's one of the only whitewashed plywood photos I could find:
I think it's the one, though! Wood grain and white and clean...exactly what I was hoping for in my tiny bedroom.

All images pinned to my Architectural Awesomeness Board on Pinterest.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pops of Color! or One Color to Rule Them All

I've been exploring the idea of not having every surface in my home covered in color. Which is new. Maybe it's also the trend? I don't know. But these mostly neutral rooms with a single splash of color are delightful!

The tricky part? Deciding on the color...

Because I love them all... 

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