Thursday, June 30, 2016

Neighborhood walk - 6/30/16

Things are going well with DH's surgery recovery and once again I'm able to get out in the mornings for my walk.

This time I kept spotting orange.  I must have that color on my mind.

I liked the orange flower against the blue grey wall of a building along my walk.  

Crate and Barrel

I also liked this orange chair.  It would fit my decorating theme for the River House but exceeds my budget by a long shot.

Then I spotted this.  I just stood on the sidewalk and laughed.

Molly b.

Here is a window side view.  Yes it is the display in a dress shop.  Berkeley politics.  I was chuckling all the way home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 6/28/16

Good morning, the coffee is on and the Tea Gang is waiting over at Elizabeth's blog.  This morning I have a puzzle for you to work out while you sip your beverage of choice.  You can see mine.  I am trying something other than French Roast this morning.

While poking around in a thrift shop I came across this interesting cabinet.  

I placed it next to a door in the photo so you could get an idea of the size.  Not really very useful sitting on the floor.  

Look carefully at the center and you will see one little knob is missing,  I accepted that.  Notice also that the shelf and top are scored to display something like a dish standing up.  The problem was neither the staff at the shop or I could get the cabinet open.  It looks like 2 doors on the bottom section but on close inspection there was no center opening for the doors, they appeared to be fake.  We jiggled it, we felt under and around it.  Couldn't find a lock.  Finally I used a credit card to run through what I could see was an opening at the top of the "doors".  I was trying to find a lock mechanism and discovered

if you lift the 2nd peg from the right (the only movable peg) 

the front section drops down.  (See that locking peg?)

To add to the mystery on the inside on the right is a rather large iron ring.

On the back there is a metal piece to hang it by.  At least that's what it looks like but the whole piece is so heavy it would be dicey to try to hang it in my opinion.

So why did I spend about $20 on it?  I simply had to take it home with me because it was such a curiosity.  So what is it? I don't have a clue and no one where I bought it had any idea either.  Anyone want to take a guess?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Paint in Sketchbook

It has been a very long time since I've pulled out the sketchbook and created a little art.  This time I used watercolors and a bit of ink.

This is a preliminary sketch for an idea I am playing with.  I want to do something on fabric.  I haven't painted on fabric for a very long time and no longer have any fabric paint.  I'll be going shopping for that later today.  

Have you painted on fabric?  If so, what is your favorite brand of fabric paint?  Can you guess what I have in mind to create with painted fabric?  I'll give you a hit.  You can't wear it.  Or... I guess you could but you'd look awfully silly.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Neighborhood Walk - 6/24/16

Continuing our discussion on decorating and color, how about using painted furniture?  I spotted these items in shop windows on my morning walk.

Old wood, chippy paint, tall cabinet.  Yes indeed.

Similar cabinet.  I like the lanterns on the top as well.  With the high ceilings at the River House I definitely need to include some vertical elements so it doesn't appear the furniture is sitting in a  hole.

The color and designs on this pot provide inspiration.

Do you find that once you start thinking about something you find related ideas popping up everywhere?  Ideas you might not have given a second thought to previously?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

*Crafting A Colorful Home* (book)

If you have been following this blog you know I am in the process of furnishing the River House.  You also know that a whole lot of the furnishings are being thrifted.  Not the beds and soft furnishings but most everything else.

Crafting a Colorful Home
Kristen Nicholas

I stumbled upon this book at the library.  After thumbing through it at home I was so excited I ordered a copy for myself.  Believe me that doesn't happen often.

Although not really indicated on the cover, much of the home decoration is in what is known as the Bloomsbury style with lots of painted walls and original art.  It is a look that really appeals to me.  I had already decided I wanted lots of color and this book shows color everywhere.

Here are some paint samples I picked up to play with. 

The house has white walls with high ceilings and what looks like miles of beige carpet.  It needs some color.  I have a couple of pieces of furniture on standby to be painted.  I'm not sure I'm up to painting murals on my walls but who knows once I get started.

Have you painted any furniture?  If so I'd really appreciate any tips.

P.S.  Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes for DH yesterday.  The surgery went well and we feel the recovery will do the same.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tea Stands for Tuesday - 6/21/16

Time to say hello to all my tea friends.  There is a "spicy" party is going on over at Elizabeth's blog this morning so why don't you check it out - or join us?  You'll meet a great bunch of bloggers.

Here you see my colorful knitting bag, my travel cup of coffee and my latest knitting project.  I'm making another charcoal grey beanie.  The one I made last year was sent to a family member and a couple of other's in the family requested one.

By the time you read this I will be heading out the door.  My DH is having total hip replacement surgery this morning at a hospital in San Francisco.  I will be there waiting and knitting.  I think (hope) I will be able to concentrate enough to knit two, purl two as the waiting time goes by.

I may be awhile to getting around to visit everyone but I look forward to seeing what everyone is up to this week.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Neighborhood Walk - 6/20/16

This time my walk started out at the River House.  I don't have any established routes there yet but due to very warm weather I try to start out at early as I can.

The street at one end of our property leads over a draw bridge.  I admit traffic can be a bit  noisy at times as cars rumble across it.  I see people walking or biking across the bridge and thought I'd give it a try.

I climbed the stairs on the permanent part of the bridge. This seems to be where it joins for the part that lifts.  That is our property on the left.  The bridge is much higher than I expected.  Of course the river is on the low side this time of year.

The walkway of the bridge is made up of wooden slats.

Here's another view of the walkway and bridge.  You can see down to the water between the slats on the walkway.  I did not find that at all reassuring.  In fact, I didn't continue over the bridge.

Years ago apparently quite a bit of river traffic passed this way but that is no longer the case.  I understand from people in the area that the bridge is only opened a couple of times a year these days.  Just enough to assure it works.  I want to find out when it is scheduled to open, I want to see that.

Meanwhile I'm going to find another route to walk.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pindo Palm or Jelly Palm Tree

We are learning our way around the the landscaping at the River House.  There are lots of trees, most of which we have little experience with in growing.

Here you see a pretty palm tree behind the garage, right at the corner of the property.  Ok, I think I can identify a palm tree.

Then we walk around the side of the garage to get a good look and see these very large bunches of fruit hanging from the tree.  Are they dates?  Dates grow on palm trees don't they?

Looking closer at the fruit that has fallen to the ground I'm pretty sure they are not dates.  They are small and round. About the size of a quarter.

My internet research (not always accurate) leads me to believe it is a Pindo Palm also known as a Jelly Palm.  Here's a description I found of the fruit.  Fruit: The one-inch, yellow to orange-colored fruits are round to oval-shaped, and hang in large sprays from the tree. Each fruit contains a single seed. The sweet-tart flavor is reminiscent of both apricots and a pineapple-banana mixture.

I did taste a couple and they kind of reminded me of mango.  I also found some instructions for making jelly from the fruit but it is a lot of work as they are mostly "pit".  The jelly would probably be tasty though.

Have you ever seen this palm tree growing?  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

More Thrifted China

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm visiting thrift stores in search of colorful china.  I'm mainly interested in solid colors to make a mismatched set of dishes to serve our meals on but I'm also planning to hang some colorful dishes on the dining area wall.

This is a shallow bowl.  It was priced at $3.99 which is more than I'm usually willing to pay.  However, it is unusual and colorful so it went home with me.

Here you see that back of the piece and get a better feel for the bowl shape.  Notice there at the top of the base rim there are two holes.  Clearly this was meant to hang somewhere.

I found this plate for $1.  It is larger than a saucer but smaller than a dinner plate.  It is marked "World Market" on the back so it isn't old or particularly collectable.  I bought it for the color and design.

Are you seeing a theme here?  I hope so.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tea Stands for Tuesday 6/14/16

Breakfast at the River House is ready.  Want to join me? 

The blue plate is more oval than it shows here.  Both plate and cup were thrifted.  And, yes, those scrambled eggs are a little too done. 

Here are some more thrifted dishes.  I'm trying to assemble a collection of mismatched colorful plates.  Think Fiesta Ware on a budget.  

Another dish still in the cart.  I think I saw these dishes at the Dollar store but anyhow it was a dollar at the thrift shop.

I will be posting more of my decorating plans for the River House in the future.  In a word COLORFUL.  

Do you use bright colors in your home?

Be sure to look in at Elizabeth's blog to see what others are up to this fine Tuesday morning.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Neighborhood Walk - 6/13/16

Another morning, another walk.  I took the route that includes the 4th St. shopping area.  I go very early so it is a good time for window shopping.

I like these a lot, I like the color and everything about them.

You can get them in white if you prefer.

Look at this lovely curbside planting of lavender.  It grows well here.

A little further along the sidewalk there are nasturtiums.  It is a plant that pops up everywhere in the neighborhood.

Does your neighborhood have planting strips between the sidewalk and curb?    They seem to have disappeared in newer developments.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Making Jam

The River House is located in the middle of a vast farming area.  For miles around you see fields where various crops are being grown.  Some I recognize, some I don't.

Right down the street from us is this fruit and vegetable stand.  So far we've only bought berries from them.  There is a huge strawberry field right behind the stand.  They also have delicious raspberries.

As I mentioned yesterday, we have peach trees.  Three of them.  The peaches are plentiful but pretty small.  I am told that is because the trees haven't been pruned properly.  We will take care of that this fall.

Meanwhile I couldn't resist bringing home some peaches to make jam.  There were also some raspberries we hadn't eaten so I tossed them in as well.  Our first jam from the new house.

Life is sweet!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

At the River House

We have been at the River House for a few days.  The house is on a little over an acre of land and surrounded by lots of trees and bushes.  Since the summers can be quite warm the greenery and shade is quite welcome.

Here is the covered archway at the front entrance to the house.  All that jasmine smells wonderful.

This is the walk around the North side of the house.  If you look closely you will see the covered patio at that side.  The kitchen window looks out over the patio.

At the back of the house there is a carport and beyond that there is this picnic table.  It sits under a peach tree.

Of course there is the big covered front porch which I showed before.  We have many choices for enjoying the outdoors.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tea Stands for Tuesday 6/7/16

I recently drove to Napa to join a friend from Tahoe.  We only get together a few times a year these days so we spent the night there to give us time for a good visit.   We did some shopping and went to Morimoto's for dinner.  Morimoto's is a very high end place with restaurants in a few cities including New York.  The chef has written books and I believe had a TV show although I never saw it.


You walk by the chefs working area on the way to be seated.

We started with martini's

and later switched to wine

The waitstaff was very helpful.  We had a number of dishes but here are a couple of my favorites.

Rock shrimp done two ways

salmon roll

Everything about the restaurant and the meal was fabulous. It was really a very special experience.  It was also very expensive - almost shockingly so to me.  My friend had been given a gift certificate over the holidays so the dinner was her treat.  

I'm hoping to link this to Elizabeth's blog for Tea Tuesday but since I'm preparing the post ahead of time I don't know if it will show up.  I hope so. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday, Monday....

It isn't Monday yet but now that song is going to be with me all day.  I'm trying to prepare a post to publish on Monday. I'm never sure about how to do that.   One can only try. When the time comes I will be at the river without internet so I will just hope for the best.

Here's a picture of the river from our property.  We have 250 feet of riverfront.  There is a levee between the house and the river.  I was standing on the top of the levee when I snapped this shot.

I will be posting pictures of our new get away home from time to time.  There is so much to show you.

Friday, June 3, 2016

*Junk. Digging through America's love affair with stuff" (book)

I've been visiting thrift stores lately looking for items to furnish the River House.  I won't buy anything upholstered (bugs anyone?) but have found a couple of pieces to fill in.

Junk.  Digging through America's love affair with stuff.
Alison Stewart

At about the same time I spotted this book at the library.  Stewart follows some "junk" haulers and she goes behind the scenes at some popular TV shows that deal with things people want to sell or want to know more about.  Antiques Roadshow being the best known although there are a lot of related shows out there.  AR is the only one I've watched and I do enjoy it.  Not familiar with the others.

She also wrote the following which I found interesting.

"You have people like my folks who were born in 1929 who were taught to save. And then you have baby boomers who were taught to buy. And then also it became cheaper to buy new than to fix, and now you have the millennial... everything is on the phone and I share my cars."

I enjoyed the book a lot but maybe that's because "junking" is what I'm doing at the moment.

How about you?  Do you keep a lot of stuff that you don't use?  Do you shop thrift stores and yard sales?  Do you watch any of the TV shows related to this subject?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Second on the Second - 6/2/16

It is the second of the month (already!) and time to join Elizabeth for The Second on the Second.  We have the opportunity to pull something up from our archives and show it again.

This card always amuses me.  I had ripped the words out of a magazine and had them for awhile and then the photo showed up.  They were meant to go together. I think you can click on the photo to enlarge it.  Looks like the gentleman is fixing something on the car and the ladies are helping him by watching.  

Hope you enjoy this glimpse a favorite card I made in the past.


Three Muses Challenge - Automobiles

This is the first time I've entered a Three Muses Challenge. This time the challenge was to create something using an automobile in the theme.

I created this card using an old photo from my box of Mystery People and scraps of text from a magazine.

Challenges are fun and seem to be the push I need to sit down and create sometime. It will be fun to see what other contributors come up with.

Have you challenged yourself lately? Maybe not in art/creativity but in some way?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

neighborhood walk - June 1

My daily morning walks continue.  Over the past month things have been blossoming.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I like poppies a lot.  Back in the day when I was doing more drawing and painting they were one of my favorite subjects.  Hopefully I will be able to get the art supplies out again soon.

I spotted this gladiola just coming into bloom.  I realized I don't see them very often these days.  Once upon a time they seemed to grow in every garden.  I guess flowers go through being in fashion just like everything else.

I don't know what any of these plants are.  I just like the bronze looking leaves next to the white and green.

Are you enjoying the spring flowers?  Have you spotted any gladiolas?