Saturday, August 31, 2019

Late Summer at the Cabin

Late August is a wonderful time to visit the cabin. 
The air is fresh and cool, a nice change from the 90+ degrees in Denver. 
The wildflowers are blooming and the daytrippers have left to get ready for back to school. 

The cabin is surrounded by wildflowers and rock outcroppings.

After a storm ... mist settles into the pines.
When it storms at 11,000 feet, the lightning literally bounces off the mountain tops.

We've whittled down our "to do" list.
Our front deck had too much space in between the boards, making it very unsafe. 
Here, Ron is putting 2x2s in between the boards to close up the spaces, a simple fix.

 I really like how it turned out!
We'll use this deck more often now that we won't twist an ankle.

Inside the cabin we brought a primitive bench I had up to the living space.
It makes a perfect small coffee table.

We're loving this room.

Roxy is really adapting well to the altitude.
She's our new Scrabble partner!!
I think she's saying, "What do you mean Grrr is not a word?"

'Til next time.


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Friday, August 9, 2019

Ready for a Sweetness Overload?

Brace yourself for the sweetest faces you've ever seen! 
Ready? Here they come!

Alpacas! All fifty of them on a beautiful ranch in Colorado. 

I'd met the lady rancher/weaver at a vintage market earlier this year 
where she was selling Alpaca socks, scarves and other items. 
As we talked about these adorable animals, she told me they open their ranch 
once a year to the public. I made a note to follow up and find out when it was. 

When the day finally came, I couldn't wait to see these unique animals close up. 
What made this so fun was being allowed to walk among the alpacas, 
quite a different experience than viewing animals at a zoo.

Sometimes we saw them at a distance, other times they were curious about us 
and checked us out up close and personal.

There were several yearlings that were just too cute for words.

How do you catch an alpaca?
You sneak up on them from the rear and straddle them from behind,
then hold onto their long necks.

And no, this picture is not out of focus.
That's just how soft and airy their hair is.

Alpacas are not pack animals. They're raised for their wonderful hair!

This ranch was located in an area I'd always considered the plains
but it was surrounded by giant pine trees and green green meadows.

Alpacas, originally from Peru, come in several different colors -- 
white, dark brown, light brown. black and light gray.

And when they sleep, they really rack out. 
Their breathing is so shallow, they appear to be dead.

This group had been sheered three weeks ago but they do get quite a thick coat.

I must have taken a hundred pictures but I think my favorite was these "babies."
Don't you just love their "leg warmers and top knots?"

And lest we forget . . .
this adorable farm dog eyeing a few treats while all the attention was on the alpacas!

What a perfectly beautiful day.
I think I left a piece of my heart on this ranch. 


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Thank you and enjoy your summer!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Mountain Cabin Summer Update

We've finally been able to reach our cabin in the mountains. 
The last time we attempted it, there was still lots of snow blocking our road. 
So, now that the snow has melted, we've visited the cabin a couple of times so far this summer.

Everything is so green!

I had purchased a super comfy chair from Habitat for Humanity back in March
and now we could finally moved it from the middle of our guest room floor to the cabin. 
Then I moved all the furniture around until it was cozy and not too crowded.

I think this arrangement works!
What do you think?

Here's a "before" picture of this tiny space on the day I bought the cabin..
It's come a long way. I think it doesn't even look like the same room.

My main objective in the cabin was to have a comfortable space.
For those of you who don't know, this cabin is only about 350 square feet!

One more thing I added was a thick area rug to soften the tile floor. 
Roxy is happy to have her favorite green chair back. 

I'd found an old galvanized bucket under the back deck of the cabin 
and thought it would make a cool battery-powered chandelier. 
Ron took the project on and I just love it. It looks especially pretty at night.

In keeping with our Rustic Western theme, we had fun decorating with
 old snowshoes (above) and this incredible elk antler we hung over the bed.

A few sweet items in the bedroom. Don't you love the little western vest?

Some old lanterns look perfect atop our cast iron stove.

There's an interesting story here . . . I was standing on a ladder trying to hang a lantern from
a beam when I couldn't quite reach the nail. I put one leg on the stove and one on the ladder
and wham! The ladder went out from under me and I went sailing onto the tile floor. Ouch!
Just a few bruises and some pain but all is well now Won't do that again!

We replaced the long table top that had been under the front windows with a shorter top
that fits perfectly as an end table next to the loveseat. I added a few western items
like this 1920's calendar, some dried grasses and feathers, and a deer antler.

Last year when the cabin was broken into, the burglar shredded our magnetic door screen.
We hung a new and improved one guaranteed to keep the hummingbirds from flying into the cabin!

And when all the decorating is done (is it ever?), 
we retreat to the secluded back deck with this amazing view. 

More projects next time. 
Stop by for a visit!
I hope you're having a wonderful summer.


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Friday, June 28, 2019

Downton Abbey Comes Alive

Are you a big fan of Downton Abbey like me?
You wouldn't think the small steel town of Pueblo, Colorado 
would be the home of a magnificent mansion reminiscent of the PBS series. 

But after driving about two hours south of Denver, 
we toured this gorgeous home called Rosemount
and many of the features like the pantry, third-floor rooms, and grand entry
reminded me of my favorite show. 

The lady of the house loved roses and the house perched atop a hill, thus the name. 

Referred to as Colorado's Crown Jewel, the house is fitted with a communication system 
similar to the one on Downton Abbey. 
But instead of bells ringing in the servant's quarters to different rooms in the house, 
Rosemount used a system of speaking into a tube from various rooms. 

Built in 1891 by successful merchant and banker John Thatcher, 
its 24,000 square feet was constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. 
It cost approximately $100,000 to build, an enormous sum in those days 
when many homes were adobe and the streets were not paved.

I especially loved all the intricate woodwork, the hand-painted ceilings, 
and the huge stained-glass windows shipped from New York.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside the house. 

Nearly all of the fascinating furnishings are original to the house. 
Thankfully, the family didn't throw anything away. 

Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. 

Psst. In case you haven't heard, a Downton Abbey movie is set 
to be released this September with the original cast. Can't wait!


Friday, June 7, 2019

Happy Summer and a Decision

Hi Friends! Happy Summer!

After a catastrophic hail storm here in Denver, summer has finally arrived. 
And wouldn't you know, the hail hit right after I planted my annuals. 
My roof is totaled and so are my annuals. Hopefully, they'll come back in time. 

So, I've made a decision about my blog. 
I'm going to take a partial break this summer and post once or twice a month 
instead of once a week. 

After the snow melts at our rustic mountain cabin and we can navigate the road,  
I'll probably write about summer at the cabin.
I imagine there will be lots of wildflowers poking up through all that snow.

We have quite a to-do list! 
And also lots of snow to melt!

Meanwhile, there are lots of posts archived on my blog for you 
to re-visit or maybe enjoy for the first time. 

Enjoy the long days of summer. 

Love and hugs, Pat


Friday, May 31, 2019

Hunting and Gathering -- Find of the Month #4

Welcome back to my new feature, Hunting and Gathering - Find of the Month 
where I share a new treasure recently found.

Today I'm sharing an unusual find -- a beautiful little enamel candle holder.

Purchased at one of my favorite antique malls, Sweet William, in Colorado Springs,
this unusual candle holder is eight inches high with a saucer at the base to catch melting wax. 

There's also a glass slit in the stem of the candle holder; 
I'm assuming it's so you can see how much of the candle remains.

I love the faded gray painting of a vine
overlaid on the worn white enamel. 

The candle holder certainly adds an elegant feeling to the dining table.
I'm sure this candle holder has supported years and years of candles,
as evidenced by the wear and chips in the black rim of the saucer.

I know I'll get a lot of use out of it. 

I had some fun with my camera with this photo.
When I blew out the candle's flame, the smoke swirled up in the room,
resembling a ghostly presence.

How cool is that?

If you know anything else about this piece,
I'd love to hear from you as I can't find anything online about it.

Whether I learn that it's a rare find or a modern reproduction,
I just love it.
Isn't that what counts?

Thanks for stopping by.


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Friday, May 24, 2019

Stand by Me

It's been driving me crazy trying to find the perfect spot for this 
little red three-tiered stand that I purchased at least twenty years ago.

I'm not really sure what it was used for but I like to imagine it holding
beautiful wine decanters, sparkling glasses and fancy hors d'oevures
in a penthouse, of course.

I also admit I bought it because it was red!
And I admired the Bakelite handles and chrome trim. 

Moving it here. Trying it there. 
I think it's been in every room in my house. 

Now I'm pleased to report I finally found its forever home.
It has settled in next to my red leather chair and ottoman in my office. 

With a small lamp on the top shelf, it's a perfect quiet spot for reading. 

I untied the sheers on the tall windows to soften the light. 

And recently my lovely neighbor gave me this chippy column.
(We both grabbed a column when a house was being demoed.
Now I have a matching pair!)

I love accessorizing the table with some vintage finds like this metal lotion holder. 
The bottles are triangular-shaped so all three fit together perfectly. 

This vintage compact beautifully complements the lotion holder. 
I can still smell traces of the powder inside
reminding me of my mother. 

In the middle row are old black and white family photos in art deco frames.

And the bottom shelf holds inspirational books and a vintage silver alarm clock. 

Ahh, it's good to be home. 


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