Christmas too soon? Tell it to the cactus

  Today this little Christmas cactus reminded me that the holidays are almost upon us... Hey, little Christmas cactus - you are like weeks and weeks early.  What's up with that? You're like a bad pre-holiday sale at Macy's - rushing me toward a wonderful thing that I'm not quite yet prepared for. People, this plant looked … [Read More...]

The table that knew more than I did

One day I was in our local consignment store and this console hall table called my name:   I tried to ignore it. It was orange with a marble top and gold do--dads all over it. Not me at all. But it kept calling to me - and I kept trying to walk away from it.  I tried to seek out some Shaker style things, some patina-ed metal … [Read More...]

Garden after the rain

It seems that it has rained here for 40 days and 40 nights.  Every time I wake up - boom! - more rain!  The garden loves it, but the new blooms aren't too fond of pounding rain.  Just as they open their little flower faces, the rain either pelts their little petals off or bends them low until they are lying in the mud. Weather forecast says MORE … [Read More...]

End of a chapter….

I haven't posted this week because I'm going through a big change:  today is my last day at my job. And I don't have another one. Yep - I'm laying low for a while. My job was great - I mean look at what I got to see everyday...   I mean seriously.  I WORKED there. It is a beautiful museum perched at the edge of the world … [Read More...]

This is NOT going well

I am so disappointed. I had such high hopes for this project, but it is just turning out badly, badly, badly. Why is it so hard to paint these lamps?  I mean, I've painted lamps before - and it turned out pretty well.  And it took me practically no time at all. But this project is different.  It is taking FOR-ev-ER and the results are … [Read More...]

An amazing story of antique wisteria and garden karma

When I was a very young girl growing up in suburban New Jersey, my mother would sometimes take me to a place called the Van Vleck estate in Montclair.  It was a huge and mysterious place - its perimeter was surrounded by mounds of rhododendrens that were tucked behind tall, black metal gates. Beyond the gates, there was an Italiante villa … [Read More...]

How NOT to paint a basket

basket of white azalea blooms

I found this cute little basket at the dump the other day and brought it home....   It was nice and sturdy and had strong handles...   So I thought I could load it up with mail in my hall...   And here it lived for a week or so until I decided that I just HAD to paint it...   Silly … [Read More...]

$79 dining room sideboard

As part of last fall's renovation-that-wore-me-out, we turned our old kitchen screened porch into our new dining room.  Before it was done, I knew I wanted to have a sideboard for that space to hold all of our tablecloths, candles, etc.  I loved the look of this piece from Thrifty Decor Chick:   The color, the legs, the … [Read More...]

A morning visit to the garden: fringed tulips

Its so nice to watch a new garden rise in the spring.  We did a lot of planting last year, and this spring we are reaping the benefits of our hard work. Of course, there are always little oops moments that appear - this is too close to that, there is too much space here, that died.  Little details that make a gardener's to-do list always … [Read More...]

Ugly – really ugly – lamps

1970s ugly lamps

I have this odd thing for ugly lamps.  I truly cannot explain the attraction, but I get all daydream-y when I see a lamp (or OMG a pair of lamps!) that look like monstrous freaks of design. Here's a pair of lamps I came across several weeks ago at our local ReStore. Now really.  Look at those.  The curves have potential, but the brass … [Read More...]