Thursday, April 28, 2011 0 comments

The Evening Walk.....

Of the cutest childrens book to me is called "The Evening Walk" by Joanne Ryder.  It's a story about a Mama Skunk that takes her babies out for an evening walk and shows them the stars, the moon, fireflies and other things that are out at night.  My family and I try to take walks every night and I'm always reminded of that story when we walk because we always get to see the night time critters starting to come out for the evening.  It's also a really beautiful time to be outside.  We are fortunate enough to live in an area that has a lot of greenspace.  We have nature paths and creeks that we walk along and it gives us a chance to enjoy the nature and scenery.  However, the greenspace didn't come easily.  Since we live in south Texas, when it rains it really rains. The creeks that look calm and still rise very quickly and it's amazing to see how fast this beautiful landscape can be totally submerged.  As a result of constant and severe flooding in the past mostly due to tropical storms ( 38" of rain from one storm) the homes that lined these creeks have been removed and all that remains are the remnants of circular drives and what used to be landscaped yards.  At first it's kind of creepy to be walking along a path that was once someones beautiful backyard, but after a while you really enjoy it for what it has become and the value it provides to the local wildlife.  With camera in hand, I photographed our evening walk to share with you. 

Here's one of the paths that we take along the creek.  What used to be someones private backyard is now a nature trail.
This tree is amazingly still alive however there is this section that is totally hollowed out and ravaged by woodpeckers.  I took these pictures to show you the amazing will this tree has to live. 


I wonder what calls this little pocket home?

As you come around a bend in the creek, you co
me across this huge lot of Giant Timber Bamboo. It makes the prettiest sound when the wind blows and the poles rub together.  The tops are easily 75 feet high and you feel so small walking past them.  The fallen pieces make great garden stakes.
Another bend in the creek.  
As you come around the previous bend, this is what you see.  More greenspace and hills.  
As we head up the hill to street level, Spanish Moss covers most of the trees here and I think it's beautiful.  We walk a big circle around  the street and return home. 

Back at home I check our garden to see how the newly planted veggies and herbs are doing before it gets dark.
Tomatoes are growing nicely.  I can't get enough of the smell of tomato leaves.   Indescribable.
Well, maybe I'll sit out here for a little longer before it gets dark.
Thanks for going on the evening walk with me.  I enjoyed sharing a little piece of our world with you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 0 comments

A place for fun..... (Part Two)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday.  Our house was full of fun, laughter, good food and good company.  In the midst of all that fun, I was able to sneak away for a bit and finish the space that I was working on last week for my daughters.  There might be a few little changes here and there but the finished space is soooooo much better than it was and I'm excited to share it with you and hear what you think about it. Here are some pictures of the space before:

The best part of this space has to be the great light that comes from the windows.  We have a lot of big trees on our property so when you look out the windows, you feel like you're in a treehouse. 

Not a fabulous picture I know.  I just wanted to give you an idea of the size of the room.  

Now, let's move on to the fun stuff.

Just to recap, here's the $45 Ikea Dining Table I found at the thrift store. 

And here's the space now.....

This little nook has now been transformed into a budding artists space complete with paints, glitter, pencils, pens and more paper than you can imagine.  Let me show you around. 

The stools are from Ikea and have a plastic seat that I recovered with oilcloth and vintage pom pom trim.  All from remnants that I had so these didn't cost anything. I'm so glad I was able to re-use these stools because they are perfect under this table.  I also like the playfulness of the patterns and the pop of color it provides against all of the white. 

The bookcase was originally in this space but I moved it under the windows and attached a rod to it and used some old white linen curtains to cover all of the paper and other supplies that budding artists need to create masterpieces.  In other words, stickers, staples, tape, paper, more paper, a little more paper, water colors, tempera paints etc.  I went back and forth on the window treatments because I really like the light that comes through here.  I did a window treatment (actually I tried several different options) but decided on hanging a fun garland instead.  This might change down the road but for now it feels right.   The sparkle FUN letters represent what the room is for.  Fun and creativity.   I have always dedicated a space for art and getting messy since my girls were babies.  It's very important to me that they enjoy expressing themselves through art and using different media to be creative and imaginative.  As they've gotten older, I've noticed that art has become an outlet for them and it makes me happy to see them enjoy art and all that encompases.  Okay, enough talking.  Let's see more....

I wish you could see the colors of this vintage globe better.  The globe is navy blue and the rest of the colors are pink, yellow, green, purple and orange.  They remind me of candy.  Pretty and educational. That's what I'm talking about.
I picked up this old metal tray last week at a thrift store and decided to put it to use here.  This fits perfect and it's on wheels which makes it even neater.  It says Atlas Products on the front and since it's two tiered, the glitter and flocking powder have a place too. 

I like to re-use cool containers for other stuff.  I bought these candies at World Market and decided to keep the container for pencils.  I hot glued the can to the base of a pedestal soap dish that I had laying around.  The dish part broke but I kept the base so I could re-use it. 
  We clearly haven't put all of the stamps in here but you get the idea.  This works well because the stamps dry fast after they are cleaned.
Lastly, this is where they display their work.  There are two of these on each wall.  I call these trays but I have no idea what they were originally used for.  They are very versatile and they have a great patina to them. I'm glad that I can put all of them together in here.
Well, that's what I've been working on the last week or so.  The desk and bookcase combo is coming along and I got the rug delivered yesterday for her room and it's going to be fabulous.  I can't wait until it's done.  I'll keep you posted on the progress. 
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 0 comments

A place for fun.........

Well, we are currently into week 2 of the most recent project of the bookcase/desk unit for our daughters room.  It's SLOW but moving forward.  My husband had a little hiccup (we couldn't get the piece he had built up the stairs) but luckily, by taking just a few steps backwards (i.e. take part of it apart) he was back on track.  I was however moving forward at my own pace on a different project.  Let me explain.  The upstairs of our house is basically just for our daughters.  There are two bedrooms, a bathroom, a very large walk-in closet (I'll share what we use that for at a later date) and a dormer that provides a small nook.  This dormer has great light and I've always treated it like a little library.  As cute as it looked, it never got used as a functional space.  I've been back and forth with this space seriously since we've moved in almost 6 years ago and while shopping at a thrift store last week, it came to me.  After going home and taking measurements, I went back to the store and bought it for $45. Here's what it looks like:
This is the table.  It's an Ikea Dining table that's inspired by the Saarinen Tulip table.  The base is plastic and the top is in great condition and it will be perfect for where it's going. 

Want to know what it looks like in the space?  Well, you have to wait just a little longer.  There's just one more thing that I want to finish before the reveal...........  Stay Tuned.
Thursday, April 14, 2011 0 comments

Around the house.....

Remember that suitcase that I got last week and I wasn't sure what to do with it?  Well, I found a place for it and I wanted to show you.  I put it on the bottom of the bar cart that I have in my library/sitting room.  I love the fact that it fits perfect and I can put cocktail napkins and other things in it.  The tags on the suitcase are from a rail line here in Houston.  Evidently the owner of the bag lived in Galveston because that is what the address says on all of the tags.  I wonder how many adventures that suitcase has been on? The other items on the cart include a vintage gooseneck chrome lamp, vintage gold glasses and mixer, an old tray with a reverse painted Asian scene on it, an old drawing in a tiger eye maple veneer frame and an old laboratory mixing tube used as a vase.  What do you think?  I thought I would take some additional pictures around my house of some of the smaller parts to share with you too.  Here's hoping your day is full of blessings and inspiration. 




Monday, April 11, 2011 0 comments

Bookcase Inspiration......

For some reason, our house just makes more sense with built-ins.  Of course it does help that my HH can build really great things.  Our next project is going to be built-in bookcases and desk for our daughters' room.  Currently she has a vintage vanity that she uses but she needs more workspace and storage.  The wall we chose is perfect because it will flow with the rest of the room and it will maximize the space.  My husband sketched out the plans and got started over the weekend.  Meanwhile, I've been looking for alternate storage containers and unique things to put on her bookshelves.  I'm also taking a look around her room to freshen it up a bit.  Perhaps a new rug?  Maybe a little seating arrangement?  She's a stylish 11 year old girl with a spunky personality and great taste.  Below are some inspiration pieces and pictures for this project.  I'll keep you posted on progress.

These are the plans.
Here's the space.  The plans are on the wall and the electrical has been started.

Love the contrast of the bright colored books in this room.  Photo by Chotda
Definitely think that this pen set from iomoi would be a great desk accessory.

I think this rug will add just the right amount of contrast in her room.  Plus, it's on sale now at Rugs Direct.

Monday, April 4, 2011 0 comments

The Goods....

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine was overfull   full of trying to do a thousand things out of which I accomplished 10. Oh well, there's always next weekend....  I did manage to take time to make my rounds at resale and thrift shops and thought I would share some of my finds.  If you like some of what you see, I have listed several of these items in my etsy store. This week I will share some details about the next project we are going to do.  We will be starting it this weekend and I'm excited to share the details and inspiration with you. Until then, have a great Monday.

Not sure if I'm going to use it or sell it yet.  What do you think?  What would you use this for?
Love this old souvenir.  it's stamped ont he bottom Made in France Paris.  I have the perfect place for this (I'll share it with you at a later date).

I can't pass up gold glasses.  These in particular are FABULOUS!

 Great old set of Biographies.  The stories are wonderful and the books are art.

Friday, April 1, 2011 0 comments

Shopping Local....

It's no secret that I love good wholesome food.  Lately, I've really tried to focus on buying more things locally and while doing some research, I came across a website called Local Harvest.  This site is a fabulous resource if you want to support your local farming community.  You can search by zip code and identify all of the farms and ranches in your area and see what they offer. You can also buy items online that are not available locally and have them shipped.  Looking for a Farmers Market or Co-Op in your area?  Want to plant your own garden with heirloom seeds?  It's all there.  Going to your local Farmers Market also gives you the opportunity to meet the people that grow the food.  They are so passionate about what they do and it builds such a good sense of community.  Whether it's a small farm stand or a Grand Market, buying locally makes sense in every way.  Oh yeah, and don't forget to bring your own bags.  Check out some of these great versatile bags I found that are affordable, made out of recycled materials AND support good causes.  Happy Shopping!

 Photo Courtesy of Sebastian Schlueter.

Photo courtesy of :  Stacey Shintani


Chelsea Market Photo Courtesy of:  Sayan Chowdhury

Vegetable Stand Photo Courtesy of: GeishaBoy

LA Farmers Market Clock Tower Photo Courtesy of:  MrAnathema

Photo Courtesy of: Natalie Maynor

LOVE this Recycled Jute Backpack.  Handmade in the Himalayas.  $29 at World of Good

Recycled Flour Sack Tote.  Hand Made in Ghana through Fair Trade.  $18 at World of Good.

Large Star Bag made out of recycled plastic.  Supports SPEED Trust.  Fair Trade Imported from India.  $50 at World of Good.

Cotton Tote made out of post industrial organic and natural cotton scrap.  Printed with Green water based ink.  Made using Fair Labor in India.  $16 at World Of Good.