Friday, December 28, 2012

Breadman Bakes

Our colder weather has breadman baking up a storm, keeps the house cozy and warm!
The latest loaf of Sourdough, he has learned a technique for getting the best crunchy crust.

Garden Antiques Tablescape

I'm already thinking spring, so I raided the garden shop and created a little table scape to represent spring, right down to the empty bird nest I found in the yard one year.

Click images to enlarge

The earlier arrangement looking tired!

SPRING is just around the corner.....I hope!

I'm such a boo hoo California wimp when it comes to
 weather, I want it perfect all the time.
The colder weather has kept my pansies holding up longer though!

So cheerful.....

Saturday, December 15, 2012

19th C. Primitive American Bench

It's been a long time since I've come upon a 
 primitive furniture piece that I just had to have.
But, this week, I not only found one but two.
The 8' long bench has boot jack legs and the
backgammon board card table above it, C. 1900 - 1920.
I love the graphics on the old game boards and
have several of the lighter colored ones.


This was nerve wracking, watching Handyman Husband 
climbing the old wooden ladder he modified to fit on the stairs.

Whew, almost there!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Life without my Imac.....

a few days ago I received an email from Apple notifying me that the hard drive on my 27" Imac would need to be replaced and that they would need to keep it 2 or 3 days.
OMG, panic set in, could I live that long without my lifeline to family, friends and the internet?
Suddenly I remembered my long forgotten laptop that had been relegated to the back of the closet along with some old books!
That tiny PC fired right up and saved me! I had thought of selling or donating it, but not now, it's here to stay!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mini Pecan Pies - Handy Man Husband made these for Thanksgiving, yummy!

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes, plus cooling time for the pies

Servings: 12

Note: Makes enough filling for 12 to 14 mini-pies or 1 (9- to 10-inch) pie

3 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) melted butter

Scant ½ teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

2 1/4 cups pecan pieces

12 unbaked mini pie shells

Prepared egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tins in each alternating cup.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the corn syrup and sugar, then the melted butter, salt and bourbon. Stir in the pecan pieces.

3. Fill the pie shells: Brush the edges with the prepared egg wash and fill with the pecan filling, about one-fourth cup filling for each shell.

4. Bake the mini-pies, one tin at a time, in the center of the oven until the filling is set and the crust is puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

5. Cool the pies, still in the tins, to room temperature, twisting them gently every few minutes so they do not stick to the pan.
Each serving: 619 calories; 7 grams protein; 57 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 42 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 141 mg cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 455 mg sodium.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Old Books

I tried my hand at distressing a couple of old books
following Karen's tutorial.
Of course I added a few accents of my own,
easy and fun project!
I'll be making more of these cuties!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Coast Starlight

All Aboard
Our train trip to Seattle exceeded our
expectations, if you get the chance
pack your bags and get on board!
We met some nice people, the staff,
the accommodation's were fabulous.
I took a few pictures of course.....


this was taken from the train window
in Portland Oregon

 handyman husband in our little
space that had two seats facing each 
other, they pulled together to make
a single bed, there was a drop down
bed above.....guess who got that one? ; )

Roman our train attendant always 
had a great smile!

The boardwalk where we stopped for lunch
our first day in Seattle. 

My daughter and her friend Jen with actor
Joe De Paul from the Teatro ZinZanni production of

Our last day Denise toured us around and took us to 
a great beach for a picnic lunch she had prepared.

Then later we dined on fresh wild caught salmon 
that she grilled on her barbecue. Yummy!

We had an hour wait after getting to Los Angeles
Union Station before boarding the Amtrak and 
heading south, such a beautiful old building.
Just a little history, it opened in 1939 
and was partially designed by John Parkinson 
and Donald B. Parkinson 
(the Parkinsons) had also designed 
Los Angeles City Hall
 and other landmark Los Angeles buildings.

Tracks along the beach on the way home...

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Good Old Summertime

Not movin' too fast these days, 
too many scattered things to keep up with!
This is the only picture I've managed to get 
in the last week that I like. I keep my straw hat next to
the red cabinet by the front door. and the flag purse 
was a gift from a friend, I made such a fuss over it
 for so long, she gave it to me!  ;)
The inspiration for the photo came after
 I  cut a few hydrangeas and hung them to dry 
next to the hat and purse.
Kinda beachy, don't you think!

Red Eastlake Chair with Red Geraniums

This welcoming little scene greets us when we come home,
such a common little chair when it was a drab brown.
Now not only do we smile when we see it, others do too.
I hope I put enough paint on it so it will hold up to the weather!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Handy Man's Mushroom Tie from the 70's

He was still wearing it in the late 70's when I met him, 
I think he might've been smoking a few mushrooms
or something else when he bought it.
I've talked about it, and made fun of it through the
years and he's been a good sport and hasn't once made 
fun of some of my things hanging in my closet
 left from that time.

Now, are you ready for this, 
yesterday I mentioned 
I couldn't think of anything to Blab about on my blog.
This morning he comes out holding his mushroom tie,
and thinks I might be able to use it in a post.
Maybe he thinks someone in blogland will come to his defense!
If ya'll do, I might have to frame it with your comments! :)

Should you want your own mushroom tie,
Zazzle carries a whole line of them! ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wine Cork Herb Marker

Oh No, another memory lapse.....
can't remember where I came across this cute idea!
 I managed to find plain used corks in my
stash, wrote on them with a thin marking pen, gave it a little
spritz of plastic sealer (aerosol can) used a nail to start the 
hole then added it to the wood skewer.
These have been outside for a couple of months and still 
look new! Unfortunately the celantro has bolted, 
so now the pot is not as picture worthy
 as when I took this photo. ;(

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Antique Glass Door Knob Lamp

I took the knob to the local hardware store to
get the parts and the cord, everything screwed together.
I fed the electrical cord thru the hole on the side,
added the plug. The door knob needs to be flat so that
it doesn't tip to the side.
The cute little shade came from a lamp store.

Where Bloggers Create

I was so happy to be part of Karen's Blog Party, 
 the women who joined 
are so creative and inspiring.
Looking forward to next year!

Click pictures to see larger image.
This little workshop started as a garden/tool shed.
Not a pretty sight, see the last picture.
I believe it started to take shape in my mind after I
bought the large garden window at a second hand store.
I measured and came home to measure the opening
on the side of the shed, when that looked feasible,
I cautiously approached the handyman husband.
I was lucky he was between projects and must have felt 
this was worthwhile. He's done an outstanding job,
we've had many parties at the house and people always
gravitate to this little space

I now have a charming little space to display garden
 antiques, a long work counter, for crafts
 and potting plants, love, love, love it!

The garden window I drug home so many years ago!

The old seed box came from Colorado, it was old 20 years ago.

This oh so crusty painted little green birdcage
with ceramic birds has little glass cups for the seed 
and water.....just for looks only!  ;)

The sign is newly painted, but had the look!  ;)

The small chest came from an antique store,
it currently holds seed packets.

The lamp is made out of a large old thermos,
it has great graphics on it.

The old oil painting I've had for years, it moves around a lot!

This corner is a mess, I ran out of time to get it cleaned 
up for the blog party.

The original garden shed.

I just came across this Wall Street Journal gardening 
article after posting pictures of my garden shed,
 thought you might like it!

The garden shed was not the only eyesore,
this is a before and after view of the back yard as 
viewed from the side of the garage.

Walk along side of garage going to the back yard.

The office plus creative work space,
 I share with my husband.

Click to see larger image.
The interesting small things can be lost in a large picture.
The metal bill paying tin below is an example,
 it looks like it's from the 1800's the only stenciling
 I can read on the front is BILL HEADS
At the moment I'm using it to hold tags and small books.
The screen saver is a picture I took of an old typewriter
 backed by a vintage movie reel box. 
The juxtaposition of the old typewriter keys with the
wireless keyboard is so cool!

The antique oak file card holder, has addresses 
and a number of other things I need to get organized one day.

This office would not be complete without a pencil 
holder, of course this old pitcher holds more than 
pencils,  oh and my magnifyer needs to be close, then a 
small ruler, scissors, paint brushes, etc.

This little vignette is just for looks, love old globes,
I'd have more if I had room for them.

Believe it or not, I once had this pine cabinet in a store
for sale, I loved it, spent time displaying it just right,
got lots of compliments while I worked and when
I was done, I realized I couldn't part with it. I then broke
 the display down and hauled it home, it's been 
with me for 10 years or more.

Not just eye candy, it holds a lot of my stuff too.

This small red bookcase came home with me from an 
outdoor sale, I believe it cost $30.00
Stores many of my reference books.

Another couple of things I couldn't part with. the pansies
done in chalk pastels. The square black item is the top off a 
victorian box of some kind, possibly a letter box,
 it still has the hinges on the underside.

This is part of a description I found in an online dictionary.
laque burgauté, also spelled Lac Burgauté,  in the decorative arts, East Asian technique of decorating lacquer ware with inlaid designs employing shaped pieces of the iridescent blue-green shell of the sea-ear (Haliotis).

Master Bedroom
Almost everything in the bedroom is vintage or antique.
I've been collecting for so many years, much of it came from
 antique stores, auction houses, estate and garage sales.
The green and burgundy flannel throw on the bed 
was made by a talented friend.

This old green scale has just the amount of rust at the moment,
however if it stays by the open window long it will
have more. I must remember to wax it or use a spray sealer.

My husband added this wonderful fireplace when we 
added on to house 12 years ago.
We could only add 10 feet to the side, but it made
a huge difference, gave us room for another bathroom, 
walk-in closet and best of all the washer and dryer
 that had been in the garage.

I left the original coral color on the old wicker settee.
but had the cushions upholstered with the fabric used on
the bed pillows. It has a matching chair that I didn't have room
for, however I did find a spot for it in a guest bedroom.

I have a ton of antique reference books all over the house, 
I use the internet to do most of the research now, but I still
like using the books, and seeing the pictures.

This little waste paper charmer came from the antique store I 
used  to sell out of, actually I probably 
bought more than I sold. The owner used
 to tell me I was one of her best customers.  ;)

French Rolltop Desk bought many years ago,
at an antique store close to Santa Maria Ca.
I didn't have my van with me so I drove 5 hours home,
next day jumped in the van and drove back and
picked it up, came home same day as I remember.

I have a thing for desks, I have two in the master bedroom,
the larger rolltop desk is pictured in an earlier post

Master Bath
Not much to say except I love this bathroom.
Did I mention I love old black tole trays.
mostly I found them on the east coast.
Gosh, the things I used to bring back,
one year I fell in love with a round tilt top
table, we took the top off and crammed it into
my garment bag, which made it look pregnant.
I carried the 3 legged base on to the plane
with no packing.
The flight attendants were great on both
flights coming home and found places to
stash them.
No way could I get by with that today!

Then there was the time I brought a
rather large blanket chest home on the plane
by myself...I'll save that story for another day!

Guest Powder Room
The green lawyer's bookcase was the first new/old piece I
added to the remodeled guest powder room.
The green color set the tone for the room, the floral wall paper on the 
lower half of the room coordinates as does some of the art.
I also have a number of pictures of  what I call "Instant Relatives",
meaning they're someone's relatives, just not mine.

Green diamond shaped small tiles intersect the larger white ones.

I managed to find this cool old container 
that we use for trash. It says
 City Hotel, Wilmington, North Carolina
The small towel holder came from an antiques store,
I use it to display antique embroidered linen towels.

c. 1800's Empire Period Ogee Mirror
my little art project.

I had this old mirror for a few years in the garage waiting 
for inspiration to strike me.....then WHAM!
I took the mirror out then took the walnut veneer covered frame
to the hot tub I had preheated and dumped it in the water.
Guess floated to the surface, oh crum!
By the next day it was submerged and the glue that held the 
veneer was soft enough to peel and scrape off.
Underneath was pine, after it dried, I lightly sanded it and put on a crackle finish. The flowers were cut from the wallpaper and the writing at the top says 
"Nothing Is Impossible"

The final touches were stain and a coat of sealer.

Long narrow room.

Old music stand that holds antique sheet music and 
pictures of my mother-in-law and her sister when they 
were children.

I love old house pictures, I have 3 in this guest bath.

Love her work, I have another one that's
a cupid with a bow and arrow...sooo cute!

Living Room
OK, I confess I enhanced the color of the view out
the picture window. I had to stand so far back in the
room to get the pix that the view was a wash,
and the color of the boganvilla is so gorgeous!
Love Photoshop!

Another Instant Relative over the living room fireplace.
My own relatives were much too scary to hang on the walls!

1934 model of an ocean liner, lots of
crazed paint makes it look older than dirt!

This old 19th C. red cabinet I bought in Brimfield, Mass.
and had it shipped to my office loading dock.
It was in two separate crates. 
The men working the dock put it in the small pickup
truck I borrowed, unfortunately it had to ride home
in the upright position as there was not enough room
to lay both pieces down in the back.
It was a long nerve wracking ride down the freeway!

This grey wall cabinet is mostly original,
I believe originally it was a blind front, it's very
shallow and might have been used in a Barber Shop
 to hold customer's shaving mugs, although
the top is a little too ornate for that.
Anyone out there know what it is, besides bee-utiful?
I keep a collection of CD's in it.

The old ships model has moved around this old house a lot.
This is my current favorite place, it's almost as crusty as the red coffee table.

Our American Flag as Art and as History from 
the Birth of the Republic to the Present

Don't you just love anything with a lot of drawers!
The Howard Chandler Christy War Bond Poster is an original
from 1917.
 Howard Chandler Christy 

 Color poster depicts a woman dressed in a 
white gown and holding a U.S. flag in the air.
 Troops march in the background, also carrying a U.S. flag.

Looking over the wall to the stair landing.

Cut down early chair paired with ladies
high top, laced boots.

I love the old diaramas, hard to find on the west coast.
 The wood frames are hand carved
as well as the ships, a labor of love by some seaman.

The primitive green bench is very wobbly, I expect it to fall over one day.
I have an old Dobb's hat box, a large white chippy paint basket to hold magazines.
Last but not least a very old model of an Amish horse drawn buggy, 
bought it back east possibly from the Brimfield, Mass.
 antique show I used to love to go to.

Blue and white checked ottoman, has been around a for 
a while,not an antique but very serviceable,
 I keep thinkingI'll have it recovered,
 just haven't gotten around to it yet.
I'm such a procrastinator!

Photo Bowl
I found this idea somewhere years ago,
I have a lot of family and friends pictures out for
friends to look through if they're so inclined.
So much easier than digging out the shoe box.

Old ship model came from Boston, 
it's on a high shelf in the living room.

This old pine step back hutch I found in a California
antique store. This old house had the perfect wall
across from the farm table in the dinning area.

A closeup of the top shelves.

Being able to share my home with friends is a joy!
These girls are antique dealer friends that share my love of 
all things antique and vintage, well most all things anyway!
I might have a few things too primitive for them!

My neighbors are the best, we're way overdue for
a girls lunch!

Love the way the remodeled kitchen turned out, lots of
shelf space to display old bowls, tins, glassware
 and of course my Buttermilk sign.

Finding the green bowls is a challenge, 
I see yellow or cream colored ones,
but rarely green.
The wood dough board was a great find.

only have three under the old Challenge Butter sign
maybe a couple more would look nice,
if I could find the right sizes.

This sign was a gift from a dear friend who has since
 moved out of state, I miss her lots, 
but thanks to email we can keep in touch.

I've used this lots of decorative ways over the years,
never to cook fish though.

The handy man husband built all the cabinets!