gardens

Our wonderful old Hobbit hole

28 February 2011
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I ran across these old pictures from the cottage we used to live in before we moved here…

We loved it so much, it was tiny, one room actually, divided by a large book case.  That is Micco in the pictures.

I have WAY too much stuff now to live in a place like that again.

It was the perfect little cottage absolutely adorable!  How about a second breakfast or tea?

However it was the garden that was so beautiful…

I planted it from scratch, there was nothing there before except for the trees.

There were lots of little pathways that meandered here and there…

With lots of secret “rooms” that you could curl up in with tea and a book.  That’s a window of the cottage looking out into one of the garden rooms.

The walkway to the front lawn and driveway.

Here you can see the chimney of the cottage behind the parasol.

The pathway to the front door.


Another wonderful “room”.  When the evenings were pleasant we would often sit out here.  At night when all the lanterns were lit it was like being in a faerie woods.

I think Sam Wise Gamgee would be proud.  However I have a quite a bit of work to do on my current garden.  I will keep you “posted”  Get it… post-ed?

Blessings

A Magical “Green” Woodland Party…

4 November 2010

OK all of my blog friends…  get ready for a mega-super long faerie packed post.

Remember a while back when I said I was working on a fund raiser for the Community Environmental Counsel that was to be a faerie themed event?  Well I finally got the pictures back…

I feel like a proud parent that is dying to show off pictures of her children…  all 100 pictures.  So consider yourself warned…

It was held in an outdoor large rotunda of the Fess Parker’s Double Tree resort.  We filled this huge space with approximately 250 trees, 400 shrubs and divided it into two spaces, one for cocktails and the other for dinner and dancing.  You are looking at the diner area in the front with the stage on the left and the cocktail area to the back on the right, behind the curtain.

The theme was an enchanted woodland forest.  As they are a non-profit that consults on local environmental issues they wanted a green event.  Well as you can probably guess green means a bit more to me that the average person.

I wanted to remind people of our heritage, of the myths and legends that surround the forests.   Of a time when we were intrinsically tied to nature.  When our daily lives were so mixed with nature and it’s folk lore that there was no dividing line.  Now because of the marvelous wonders of technology and science many of us live a life that is very removed from the rhythms of Mother Nature.  Our Earth is beautiful, and so magical.  To walk in the forrest or on the beach or any place where the magisty of Mother Nature is felt is to heal your heart, calm your mind, and remember your part in the big picture.  I get so frustrated at how political environmental issues have polarized us…  in large part because of the crazies on BOTH sides.  To me it is just good manners to care for this precious Earth.  My Mom taught me to not take more than I need and say please and thank you.  To strive to live a healthy earth friendly life is to do the same.   OK I am done preaching…  thank you for listening.  Anyway…

Some of the tables had wild fantastical trees complete with feathers, flowers, butterflies, bugs and hanging candles…

And some of the tables had low arrangements which were an eclectic mix of fun items like birdcages (with the doors tied open…  it is a thing I have against caging flying creatures) filled with butterflies (fake), lanterns, plants, garden statuary, cloches, funky old bottles with feathers, birds nests, and all manor of magical woodsy beauties.

Our Faerie court…

(click on the picture for a larger size)

We had a Faerie Birch Queen who rode in on a Unicorn and would you believe it…  I do not have one picture!!!!!  Maybe it is the magical nature of the Unicorn that does not allow for photos…  However here is our lovely Queen

She sat on her Birch throne up above the rotunda and with her ladies in waiting reigned over her forrest that evening.

Along with the Queen we had Satyrs.  Does this picture make you giggle or what?…

There were lots of beautiful details…

And some just fun silly details…

Kenny Loggins played for us…

The deserts were adorable…

I think everyone had a fun time and came away thinking more about our beautiful Earth.  Even though a party of this size does have an impact on Nature no matter how you slice it.  Everyone did their best to keep it to a minimum.  The trees and statuary were loaned to us from three wonderful people…  , Katie Oriely Rogers Landscape Architect, Eye of the Day Garden statuary and Cal Western Landscape.  Everything went on to their respective permanent homes in peoples yards.  These people were brought in by the Event Coordinator Merryl Brown. She is wonderful at connecting all the right people together.  This event would not have been possible without the trees plants and statuary.  Imaging a forrest without trees!  She kept the big picture in mind and got anything that I might need… usually donated!  Most of her events have a huge on being green.  The food was locally organically grown, the decor (me) was mostly plants and props (which I use over and over) with a few locally grown flowers.  The costumes I made were mostly of recycled items from thrift stores.  The party supplies such as dishes, tables, chairs, etc were all rented and used again.  Fewer dishes were used (such as no bread plates and limited amounts of glass wear) so the water usage in clean up was reduced.  And I composted the remains of the flowers on the ranch that my husband and I live on.  Not too bad for such a decadent party!  Hope you enjoyed all of it!!


Sweetly Vintage

26 October 2010
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Hello Everyone,

I have mentioned a couple of time about how busy my season has been…  well finally I have some pictures to share with you so you don’t think I have just been lounging around on the chaise eating bon bons all summer.

This was a lovely vintage style wedding I had the pleasure of creating a couple of months back.  The couple were just as sweet as the details!

The ceremony was held under the Oak tree at the bride’s family’s home.  We hung lots of whimsical ribbons from the branches.

The guests found their table number by looking for their names on cards clipped onto the “clothes line”.

This is the walk way to the backyard where the reception was held.  We hung lots of pretty ribbons some plain and some with flowers and lots of lanterns and candles.  At night it was lovely!

Some of the hanging posies…  (can you tell were in California by all the citrus?)

The table arrangements were lots of sweet vintage (some actually old and some just vintage in style) containers filled with flowers…

There were lots of fun details, this bouquet was tied to the entrance gate just for fun…

The cake was a flower covered delight!!

The back yard at night…

Some more of the fun hanging bits that were everywhere…

See…  I really have been working,  I will post more weddings and events very soon.  I can’t wait to show you the faerie woodland event I did.  That was crazy fun!!!

All these lovely pictures are from the most talented Katie Moos Photography

By for now…

The faeries in my garden and Stevie Nicks…

12 September 2010

Well my goodness…  I didn’t mean to take such a long break but I guess thats what I did!  Lots of weddings this summer and lots of other things going on too!

First I have to tell you I am deep in faerie heaven!

“Faerie Head Quarters”

There is a huge fund raiser for the local Santa Barbara Community Environmental council in October and they hired me as the designer of the event.  Now some may not realize this but when people ask me for a “green” party that means something a bit different to me.  Not only will the party be as environmentally friendly as possible but green to me brings in the mythological forest beings as well.  Soooo…  This party will be a beautiful celtic themed forest complete with hundreds of trees and a faerie queen and the green man and loads of faeries and elves.  Therefore I have been buried in making costumes and fantastical table top “trees” as centerpieces.  Lots and lots of fun.  Here are some of our lovely actors being fitted for their magical transformation.

“Indigo”   

“Moss”

“Moss’s” wings

Details of “Indigo” and “Moss”

The Birch Faerie Queen who rides in on a Unicorn.

Detail of a set of wings made from Indian saris.

In the center where the wings meet I tucked in a birds nest.

Here are some of the mossy eclectic “trees” that will be some of the centerpieces.  They will have hanging candles and lots of small ferns and plants at the base with the addition of mushrooms and more moss.

I love putting in lots of details, here is a birds nest along side a pine cone.

All the while we have been working on the faerie party the house was being re-plastered and painted (it looks a bit like it snowed around here what with the plaster dust and overspray).  This meant that I had to rip off all the beautiful flowers on the front of the house and then in the process of the men working on the house the remaining garden was pretty much trampled.  Now I love an overgrown packed full garden so everything only looked lovely and complete to me in this last year having planted from scratch 4 years ago.   Well I guess I get to have a “do-over” on the garden.  The men just finished last week so I went out and splurged on several large plants (I am impatient and do not want to wait another 4 years!).

I got the most lovely trailing rose called “Flutterby”  with the most beautiful yellow and salmon 4 petal roses.  I also got all my favorites like sage, lavender, rosemary, scented geranium, penstemon, jasmine and a few other goodies.

This is the most wonderful smelling flower called snail flower (I think).  I placed it right next to the front door so every time you come in and out the scent wafts into the room.  I will take more pictures as the garden progresses.

Well if the outside of the house was having a makeover I felt like I needed to address the inside.  I mean if you wash the outside of the car you kind of need to clean out the inside too or it just doesn’t feel right.  Soooo on top of everything else I started overhauling the interiors.

2 years ago we had to evacuate in one of California’s crazy wildfires.  We had enough notice so we literally packed it all up!  It went into storage and I have only just started puling things out bit by bit.  Reworking the interiors meant that I got to pull out tons of stuff and redecorate.  It has felt like Christmas as I open box upon box of my precious goodies that I haven’t seen for 2 years!

My vintage suitcases and fun trunks.  I hung lots of saris and a beautiful Indian lamp.

More saris,  a vintage lamp and one of my pastel and charcoal drawings.  I tried copping one of Brian Frouds art pieces…  boy is that man an artist!!

I also made a Birch branch garland with twinkle lights woven in.  I also tucked in a few hanging crystals and a faerie or two (of course!). It casts the most beautiful glow.

Yea my dragonfly lamp is back!!!!

I hung the Faerie Brides wings from my faerie and elf wedding photo shoot over a lovely cabinet my husband got me for my birthday which is sitting on a vintage trunk.

My Indian Lion chair…

Or should I say Cat chair…

As with the garden the house isn’t finished yet so I will share more pictures as I finish each room.

I have also had the pleasure of creating several fun weddings that I will share pictures of when the photographers give me copies.  Mostly they were wonderful eclectic vintage affairs (my favorite!).

Lastly I will leave you with a picture my girlfriend took of one of my all time favorite rock goddesses, Stevie Nicks.

Remember a post I wrote a while back about wanting more magic in my life?  Well I got it in spades.

I got to go to a Stevie Nicks concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl.  We had sixth row seats but spent most of the evening dancing right in front of the stage.  Very soon I will tell you the full story which involves a set of faerie wings that lead to another set of faerie wings for a very special girl and tons of amazing serendipitous moments.  For now enjoy this picture, this is how close we were able to get!  Can you believe she is 62?  What an amazing woman!

Wild Gardens

15 July 2010
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Here’s to wild abundant gardens!

No box cut hedges for me, just Mother Nature in all her glory,

All flowers are welcome, no discrimination with this flower or that flower being more important, all are beautiful in my eyes.

I adore vine covered walls and roofs, Mother Nature decorates so much prettier than most of us.


To look out my window and see such natural beauty is to experience magic and wonder.

I could easily live in a green house, a Hobbit Hole, or a Faerie’s den.


Just wild overgrown beautiful flowers and plants.