nature

This old ranch…

6 April 2011

I wanted to share some pictures of the magical ranch I live on.  We feel like we live in a time warp here.  Once you pull onto the property life seems to slow down, it is wonderful!

There are delightfully aged abandoned buildings scattered about.

I would love to restore this before it is too far gone…  It was built around 1915 used to be a stable for horses.

The old wood is so beautiful.  No mater how hard folks try you just can’t mimic the look of aged wood.

It has the most glorious rafters.

A tree has grown up right through the middle…  isn’t that wonderful?  If I had the money I would make this building into the most amazing home…  and I would definitely keep the tree.

Or I guess I should say trees…

Here you can see the top of the trees, they are rather huge!

All of the buildings have such beautiful doors.

There is a paddock adjoining the building with another tree going out of the side…

Looking down the front of the building towards another paddock.  Those are the foreman’s horses in the distance.

Another view of,  it is so magical especially in the setting sun.  Part of what is so lovely here is how peaceful everything is.  Just the sound of the ocean in the distance and the birds.  As the evening comes in the crickets start to sing.  Just beautiful!

My husband is doing some work nearby and we both feel like is it almost a sacrilege to start up the power tools.

However some “noise” suits the place wonderfully…

This is Tomas, our neighbor.

He has worked on the ranch for 30 plus years.

Can’t you just hear the music for the “Milagro Bean field Wars” playing softly in the distance?

We even have old Amorante’s pig living down at the end of the street…

If you haven’t seen the movie I can’t recommend it enough!  Directed by Robert Redford back in the 90’s it is about a small magical New Mexico village and how they adjust with the modern era.  Absolutely delightful!

Gosh I love this little “Milagro” ranch…

Blessings!

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

Winter whites,

12 January 2011

Some beautiful quiet winter whites with a hint of color for your enjoyment…

Winter Floral Arrangements

1 December 2010
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Thought I would share with you some lovely floral arrangements I have made.

Warm colors for cold winters

A touch of white…

And all cool tones…

I am a lucky lady to get to work with such beauty from Mother Nature!

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!!


A Magical Merman party

12 August 2010
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I mentioned a while back an underwater themed-merman party I had the pleasure of creating and I shared with you some of the night shots my husband took.  Well I finally received the CD from the photographer so today I will share with you the rest of the amazing pictures!

The photographer is Jethro Acosta from Infocus Studio.  His pictures are wonderful… judge for yourself.


This was for a fun gentleman who saw my faerie wedding on the internet and asked me to create a very special 60th birthday party for him.  He couldn’t have been more trusting and encouraging.  I kept reminding myself that he liked the faerie wedding so over the top was ok.  We chose the private beach on the ranch I live on and because it was by the ocean and a beautiful lagoon we went with a fantasy underwater theme.

I wanted the feeling of a coral reef just covered with lots of aquatic plant life in vibrant sea colors like what you would see when you dive at night with lights.   I also wanted it to sparkle so being a bit of a glitter nut I pretty much covered everything with glitter.

I started with Manzanita branches (covered in glitter) for the coral and screwed them to wooden planks.  On the planks I set a few rocks and oversize shells (also glittered).  Then I added tons of moss and smaller shells.

Occasionally I set in amongst the shells a beautiful glass float ball in the colors of the ocean.  I had also picked up at Michael’s right after Christmas some glittered foliage Christmas ornaments thinking I might use them on faerie costumes.  Instead they worked well as some of the sparkly underwater plant life.

The day of the party I added lots of beautiful cut flowers and foliage that were reminiscent of underwater plants.  I used chartreuse spider mums, Kermit Mums, (center of the picture above) Kale, blooming Artichokes (the purple bloom looks like a sea anemone on the left) purple Allium, Lilly grass, Silver Dollar Eucalyptus, green hanging Amoranthus (center right), and a few other bits and pieces.  The combination of the natural plant and flower elements and the glittered exotic items came together for a great effect.

This is a lounge I set up right by the table, you can see a bit of the lagoon in the background at the base of the trestle bridge.

A closer shot of the lagoon and some of the birds that call it home.

Imagine the sound of the crashing waves on the beach just beyond the table with an occasional seagull crying overhead.   Behind you is a beautiful large lagoon with Egrets in the huge Sycamore trees that surround it.  The trees right next to you are up-lit with soft green and teal lights and another light is casting water ripples on the ground around you.  As the night gently falls the table starts to come alive with lots of glowing blue and green lights nestled in the shells and under the glass balls.

I created this effect by placing dozens of LED lights in blues and greens throughout the tablescape.  The lights worked really well under the glass floats exaggerating their already blue or green color.  The table really glowed, the effect was truly magical!

That’s a large crystal geode on the right.

The birthday boy on his private beach for the day…   not a bad way to spend your birthday, don’t you think?

Summer flowers

2 August 2010
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Just thought I would show you some beautiful summer floral arrangements that I have had the fun of creating.Fun, bright, happy colors!

This one feels cool and lovely.

I love the combination of purple or lavender with oranges and mustards.

Every so often I will take a close up of some of the flowers with the idea of painting them later on. I never seem to get around to it, too busy making floral arrangements.

Happy flower filled summer to you!!!

Faerie Sightings

28 June 2010
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Some lovely summer solstice faeries for you…   have a mystical, magical faerie filled summer!

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.”

Albert Einstein

vintage eclectic barn wedding

24 May 2010
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As promised here are the latest barn wedding pictures, please know I am a designer not a photographer so pardon the horrible pictures.  If the photographer gives me some better ones I will post them…

The ceremony was across from the barn at the base of a 300 year old Sycamore tree…


In an earlier post I had shown you a few ideas for hanging windows from the trees and setting the pews outside, the bride liked the ideas so that’s what we did.  We also added straw bales as more seating

The vow site,

We used some old fence gates as the entrance to the aisle.

The welcome beverage table,

Really fun beverage signs,

The check in area with vintage trunks and hang tags with buttons which told the guests where they would sit.

Inside the barn,

Containers were an assortment of vintage boxes, wooden buckets, jars and bottles, old tin, and cast iron.

I made candles covered with copies of old French letters and ledgers as well as some covered with burlap with buttons…  very fun!

they used mason jars as drinking glasses,

At the entrance to the barn we hung up old keys, hang tags with the bride and groom’s names, old door handles, latches, locks, silver ware and all manner of eclectic items.

We set the cake on a glass table top which was placed on a couple of straw bales with a funky old wrought iron chandelier with crystals hanging overhead.

Another old, fun chandelier with crystals, and behind on the wall are a bunch of photos of the bride and groom.

Below is an old wooden grain trough that my husband turned into a couch.  I am having huge overstuffed white denim cushions made for it, they just were not done in time for the wedding so I used foam and an old quilt.



Another view of the barn…   it really is set in the most beautiful glade of Sycamore trees,

There were lots of fun and sweet details, almost a sweet as the couple…   Hope you have enjoyed the pictures!

Natural beauty

17 May 2010
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I have been deep in the creative process working on a precious wedding that happened last Saturday. I will show you all the pictures in a few days. For now some beautiful images and a quote that I find very true.

“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.” Unknown source

Photos by Elizabeth Messina

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