home decorating

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 most blessed life…

21 February 2011

!!!!WARNING…  SUPER LONG POST, LONG WINDED RAMBLINGS, LOTS OF PICTURES!!!!

Sometimes I am amazed at my blessings…  To the point where it almost makes me nervous.  Is it really true, is this my life, is it a dream that I will wake up from?  When I got up this morning this was what greeted my eyes…

It has rained quite a bit in the last few days and it was rather cold last night…  so…  if only for a brief time…  snow!

My husband and I are very lucky to live on a ranch, Dos Pueblos Ranch. The top two pictures are the view looking to the north from our yard over the Avocado orchard.

This is the view looking across the street towards the west…

That is the ocean in the distance.  As much as I love England and the Smokey Mountains and would love to live in Devon or Ashville, this is pretty wonderful!  It is quiet and the neighbors are great people who obviously love rural areas too. Our foreman often rides his horse up the street on his way to his cows.  There are cats and dogs everywhere, I love it!

Our home is beautiful, my Cat Man honey and I share it with lots of cats (for full story click here).  I also have tons of beautiful things.  Being almost 50, having lots of various lives, lots of traveling and hobbies and NEVER getting rid of anything means I have loads of the most wonderful things.  I have posted pics of our home and a few of my workspace (in mid event mode) before but not yet of my office.  There are bits from my whole life in here, the parts that I love that are an inspiration to me.  It is here that I write my bids for brides, paint, draw, pay bills, practice my guitar (I have just started learning!!!  Yea!!!), read, think, dream.

From here on you can click on the pictures for a larger size.

In the above picture on top of my Indian armoire and to the right is one of the sets of wings from the faerie wedding I had so much fun doing.  I have these wings all over, I just love them so much…

This is the view from my desk…

It makes paying the bills much easier!

I was going to say these are my secretaries but really they are my bosses…  That’s Flat Top on the printer and Tiger in front with his tail on the book “A Bit Of Velvet and a Dash of Lace” by Magnolia Pearl’s Robin Brown…  possibly one of my most favorite people on the planet!  To see her lovely web and blog click here.

“Munchkin”. She is my most special companion and muse.  For more about the precious kitties we look after click here.

Below, this is my art desk, where I play…

The wings I made for the Practical Magic Blog Party.  For the story click here.

My toys…

I love the colors in Tiffany style lamps.  They glow like jewels!

Some of the results of my playing…  faeries…  lately always faeries…

A few (surprise!) non-faerie results…

The painting of the blue door is one I did from a photo in a wonderful book on India.

It sits with several of my inspirational mementos.  That is a vintage picture from India on the top left, isn’t it cool?

Below on the right is a collage I made.   For the story that is part of it see an earlier blog (here). Of course I have lots of Tolkien books.  The father of the modern Faerie Tale I think.  I wish he could have lived forever so he could keep writing wonderful stories.  But only if his lovely wife could have too.  I understand they were madly in love…  sigh!

The “taro readings” sign (above hanging on the left) is  from a Moroccan themed 40th birthday party I did.  Like I said I do not throw anything away, especially when it is cool.

Of course I have lots of lovely book-friends I dream with in my office.

That is Nipper at the bottom getting ready to jump on the computer

(what is it with cats and computers, they just have to be on them!).

I love to spend an afternoon loosing myself in great stories…  cup of tea, incense…  bliss!

Of course there is always a cat tucked in here and there…

By the way all the books on the shelves I can highly recommend.  Especially the stories by Sarah Addison Allen. They are most magical and precious, in the same vein as Practical Magic only more sweet and innocent.

More friends…

Below, vintage faerie tale books from Europe.  On top of the stack is a Navajo hogan (their style of house) jewelry box with my tiara from when I was 5 on top.  That is a picture of my mom on the left (the black and white photo, not the painting…lol!).  Sometimes I miss her so, so much.  I think she would have gotten a kick out of my life.  I inherited my creativity form her.

Its weird… she has been gone so long (35+ years) that it feels like she is a figment of my imagination.  In some ways she is like a secret invisible friend I carry around with me, like you used to do when you were kids.

OK, this is funny…  my mom hated having her picture taken, absolutely loathed it!  Every other picture I have loaded so far as been fine.  The one of my mom I had to try 3 times before it would align properly.  I told mom to cut it out, the picture was beautiful and I would put it on the blog no matter what even if it was upside down so she might as well let me do it properly…LOL!

Here is one of my beautiful Indian cabinets that hides the ugly paper work, files and such.  All through out my office I display my most precious belongings.  On top of the cabinet is my collection of Native American pots.  I gathered these during the time in my life when I had a Native American art store.  This was somewhere around 15 years ago!  Boy does time fly!  Also…  surprise, surprise, faerie wings on the wall.  Those were Bathilda Buzzwings, the reporter for the Faerie Wedding I did.

Up close of the beautiful pots…

Just in case you are curious…  from left to right there is a Story Teller from the Cochiti Pueblo, a Navajo pot (brown), inside is a Zia Pueblo piece with an Acoma pot inside.  Behind those are a Chumash basket with a vintage tourist kachina on top.  Next is a San Ildefonzo black pot (not by Maria unfortunately) and a vintage tourist kachina.  Behind these in the center is an antique tea pot from India.  Then there is a Hopi (my favorite) Nampeo family pot with another Hopi pot inside.  Next are two more Hopi pots with a plate from the Zia Pueblo behind it.  Behind the plate is a Santo Domingo pot with a Hopi pot inside and on top an old Pueblo pot of unknown origin.  Behind that is a Navajo wedding basket (whew! ).

On the doors are a collection of Native American and Tuareg fringed bags…  That’s a flint bag on the left and a paint bag on the right which has powdered ocher inside.  They are in the Sioux tradition but made by a local Chumash man.

The green bag is Tuareg and the white buffalo bag is from Taos pueblo.

Another one of my favorite pieces is a traditional wedding dress from Pakistan.

That is an Indian wedding Sari on the right.

Another thing I utterly delight in is my ridiculously large jewelry collection.  When I had my Native American store we carried tons of jewelry.  So consequently I have an embarrassingly huge amount of turquoise.

Behind the jewelry is an antique doll clothing steamer trunk.  I used to keep my jewelry in it but slowly it has all come out to be displayed so I can see everything easily.  The jewelry is just too pretty to be kept hidden.

My turquoise…  There is a mix of new and old pawn pieces.

Do you remember the scene in Amadeus where Mozart is trying on wigs before he is to meet the king?  He tried on several, three of which he loves.  He says, and I am paraphrasing, “Oh there all so lovely…  why can’t I have three heads”… and then he gives one of those ridiculous laughs.  I wish I had more arms so I could wear all my bracelets at once.

My Indian bangles…

My earrings, definitely need more ears too…

Necklaces too. at least with these the more you wear the cooler it looks…

Look at this beautiful piece.  It is a miniature Buddha shrine.

Here it is open, showing the Buddha.  That is a rather magnificent turquoise pendant behind it.

And look at this adorable mini Christmas tree.  I got it from Karla’s Cottage. A lovely lady and beautiful artist.  I couldn’t pack it away with the Christmas things as it was just too cute.

Well I think that is enough eye candy for one post.  If you have made it the whole way through…  thank you for letting me share.  Don’t you agree I am one lucky lady!

Blessings!

Finally… a bit of Christmas!

13 December 2010
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Santa’s helpers finally showed up…

After they helped me decorate a couple stayed behind to hang out on the wreath…

We made this wreath by hot gluing different types of moss to a Styrofoam wreath base.  We then added bits of pepper berry and bark with a couple of beaded flowers for sparkle.

The tree…  we got a tiny one this year (because the house is so full!!)

Sorry I am not a photographer!  I tried to capture the lights at night…  it didn’t work too well.

I love to add natural bits in like Heather, Succulents and Eucalyptus.  It makes the tree look full and pretty even in the day time.

A drawer full of elves and Santas..

A collection of Nutcrackers, some from my mom and snow globes too…

My all time favorite story…  Peter Pan.  This globe is so fun. When you wind up the music box Peter flies around Big Ben.  Wendy, Michael and John are shown on the bottom flying around the buildings of London.

A Santa globe.

A little village scene…

I wish I could shrink down to a pixy size and play in the houses, except my cats would probably catch me and eat me!

There are only two of us but I have stockings for lots of feet!  They are just so fun!  Since we do not have a fireplace I just hang them around the walls.

Assorted books spanning my childhood up to the present.  “The Night Before Christmas” on the right I have had since I was one.

“The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads”

As a kid I used to look at this picture for hours desperately wanting to fall into it…  It is probably part of the reason I am obsessed with faries now.

Anyway just some fun bits to show you…   In the next post I will have a tutorial on how to make custom garland of which I made about 100 feet today!

Enjoy the festive season, don’t forget to go play and have fun in the midst of all the craziness!

Our lovely, eclectic, scitzophrenic, stuffed home

10 December 2010

I always love to look at beautiful home decorating sites.  Places like Vintage Rose or French Larkspur.  These sites always have gorgeous pictures of serene white on white homes with beautiful vintage items all in soothing shades.

I pour through old stacks of Victoria magazines admiring the sophisticated homes with everything just so.  I have created weddings with that beautiful cream and white rustic/vintage look.  I just adore them!

I have tried so often to create a similar look in our home…  but to no avail.  The 50 cats and the devastation in their wake not withstanding, I just have way too many wonderful, crazy, disparate, colorful,  things!

As I said in an earlier post I have been clearing out a couple of storage sheds and putting our house back to rights (we had to evacuate in a fire, lucky the house didn’t burn).  I didn’t remember how much wonderful stuff I had.  And of course over the last year and a half that our stuff has been in storage I collected (as I am wont to do)… more lovely stuff!

I am ready to move into the mansion any day now, one with at least 20 rooms,  a barn, a garage, work spaces and a huge library and kitchen.  Unfortunately those are a bit out of our price range (not too mention I would have to CLEAN those 20 plus rooms and of course we would have many more cats with all the extra room!)

So here I sit with all my lovely stuff thinking wistfully of those beautiful cream colored magazine homes.

I look at my Moroccan rugs with all their warm desert colors and imagine replacing them with a huge sisal or Berber carpet in shades of oatmeal.  No.. can’t do it.

My colorful Tiffany style lamps with their jewel tones glowing at night.  Instead a beautiful linen shaded lamp or wall sconces?  No,  not really me.

What about my Indian Sari collection in a rainbow of hues?  Put them in a cabinet and hide there joyous celebration of life’s happy colors?  No, the doors on the cabinet would have to be left open.

The other item that causes me such decor consternation and one that I rarely see in those beautiful pictures of pristine homes are books. At least not in the quantities that we have.

I wouldn’t mind them so much if we had an old English library, the kind that is two stories with walnut shelves, a huge fireplace and a brass ladder on railings that went around the room.  They would fit beautifully there, though maybe we would need three stories…

Did I mention we have a lot of books…

Ours are not the gorgeous large coffee table art books, ours are much loved, read and re-read tattered friends.  Some of them look like the cats dragged them in (or at least curled up on top of for long catnaps in the sun).  Many of these came from our families who also read and re-read them.

I actually do have a few beautiful art books, these came from my Grandmother.

Look at these precious tiny books…  I think they belonged to my Grandfather.

I saw in a magazine once a home that had turned all the books in the bookcase so their colorful spines faced the inside of the bookshelf and the plain pages side faced outward.  Maybe I am missing something but the obvious question to me is how do you know which book is which?  The plain paper edges blended in nicely with the color pallet of the living room but I DEFINATELY could not do that!

And my china.  I have dishes from both sides of my family going way back!

Hide them in a cupboard because they are jumbled and colorful?

No… can’t do it.  I love to have them out so I can feast my eyes on all their loveliness!

Look at this beautiful tea set from my Mom,

She would have no problem getting me to finish my tea…

You see there was a lovely surprise in the bottom of the cup, waiting for me…

Another fun item from my Mom…  The Old Man…

He is really a tall candle holder. Maybe he was supposed to be one of the three kings, I don’t know.  I just thought he was so cool when I was a kid, still do…

Our bathroom…  my husband is really very indulgent!!

I love vintage clothes…

A garden pot holder, sometimes I use it for flowers in a vintage wedding…

(More clothes…  for faeries…)


(our bedroom…  we love trees, can you guess?)

(my side of the bed…  I just love vintage suitcases!)                 (Vintage trunks across from the foot of our bed)

(My vintage steamer trunk… with curious Cleo the kitty)

(Across from the foot of our bed.  This used to be a display cabinet in my store 15 years ago.  Now it houses our TV)

Looking into our tiny kitchen…

I got a little crazy painting the walls in here (they used to all be white, now the bathroom and the kitchen cabinets are the only white left in the house!)

After sponging several colors onto the wall I then stamped old postal markings, watches, and dragonflies in various complimentary colors.

Vintage cloth napkins in a letter holder on the wall (the stethoscope is for the kitties…)

Our pantry… and tea storage…  My Mom trained me well with the lady in the bottom of the tea cup…  I am constantly drinking tea!

So as I carry on trying to find a place for everything and those things I can’t find places for shoving and tucking and squeezing them in all the nooks and crannies I am reflecting that my home though not the polished show home of my dreams is however my husbands and my home and should reflect us.

This is always the counsel that I give my brides and grooms, that their wedding should be about them and not about the latest style in the magazines.  I guess I am taking my own advise.

Unpacking these many boxes and discovering all my treasures, the road markers from my life and that of my husbands’ makes me grateful for my eclectic style and the generations of “crapstakers” that I come from (a friend once called himself that and after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard I thought that aptly described me).  I am so lucky to have all these wonderful, beautiful keepsakes!  What a joy to look at and use!

So when you get tired of dusting and organizing all your lovely wonderful stuff visit this post again and remember that these things are part of who your are, these things tell your story…  and be grateful you don’t have as much stuff as I do!!!!!!!

WHEW!!!  That was exhausting!!!

PS  I just got the Christmas goodies up…  I will post that soon (hopefully).