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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Friday, May 17, 2019

Escape to a French Garden

Like many parts of the country, we are finally getting some warm, dry weather.
Lilac bushes are blooming, flowers are popping,
 and we've brought the patio cushions outside to relax.

Please take a moment from your busy day and escape to my French garden. 

I'm drawn to this little corner of my garden
where I can dream and plan my next step in the garden. 

This salvaged brick path winds through the garden,
beckoning me to enter "Cafe Bleu." 

Come on in and join me.
Cafe Bleu is open.

We all crave a bit of solitude, don't you think?

Even though we live in a densely populated area of Denver,
this garden feels like I'm in Provence, a private place to read or watch the birds at the feeder. 

 I found this metal pitcher at a garage sale for a dollar!
Originally dark green, I spray painted it white and added some cheery yellow flowers. 

The French tablecloth pulls the yellow and blue pallet together. 

I found these blue seat cushions at WalMart. 
They are a perfect match to the blue in the tablecloth.

My eyes are drawn to the basket of my vintage blue bicycle
overflowing with artificial flowers. 
(I don't think I can kill these ones!)

Roxy enjoys exploring the Cafe Bleu garden too.

A' bientot (see you soon) and keep on dreamin'.


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Friday, May 10, 2019

Why it's OK to Fake It

Hello Friends!
Today, let's talk about "faking it."
Yes, it's OK to "fake it!"
Hey, I'm talking about indoor plants.

Don't be afraid to use dried or artificial plants in your home.
Today, artificial plants look real and 
some dried flowers are even prettier dead than they were alive,
especially a bunch of roses.

Don't have a green thumb?
Faux greenery can go anywhere -- dark rooms, can't remember to water, have allergies?
No worries.

During the occasional spring snowstorm when I can't play in the garden,
I find pleasure in my indoor plants.
Yes, most of them are dried or artificial,
but they sure do last a long time like these delicate white larkspur. 

I like to use mostly white flowers throughout the house for a consistent look.
Plop them into an ironstone vessel for a farmhouse feel.
And they're no-maintenance!

You can dry your own plants by tying them in a bunch and hanging them upside down until dry
or hit the hobby stores for a variety of artificial flowers and stems. 

I think dried flowers add a bit of romantic intrigue to your decor.
Maybe it's remembering who gave them to you or perhaps where you purchased them 
that evokes lovely memories.

Dried roses or hydrangeas seem especially evocative.

So remember, sometimes, it's OK to fake it!


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Friday, May 3, 2019

Looking for Some Colorful Inspiration?

Welcome back to my blog. 
Today we're visiting Holland to see the bulbs in bloom.
OK, maybe not Holland but that's what it seemed like.

Actually it's right here in Denver, Colorado.
We're going to the Denver Botanic Gardens to see more than 14,000 bulbs in bloom
winding through 24 acres of this urban oasis.

Ready for some colorful inspiration?
How about these tulips that just go on forever?

I love the reflection in this pond.

Pink and purple is one of my favorite color combinations.

So vibrant!

While the bulbs are breathtaking, there are other blooming plants to admire as well.

Brunnera is one of the plants that blooms in the shade. 

Be still my heart.

Graceful sculptures are sprinkled throughout the gardens
including this beauty in the bamboo garden.

And, if you just want amazing landscaping, visit the Japanese garden.

The gardens are open in the summer from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
at 1007 York Street in Denver. 
Every month is a different experience.

For a different look of the gardens, you may click on the link below.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Ready for an Adventure?

We had pretty much given up on going to our mountain cabin until late May or early June 
because there was so much snow up there this year. 
We'd heard our area had more than seven feet of snow!!!

What a wonderful surprise when we heard from a cabin neighbor that 
the county road had been plowed and was passable. 

So we planned a day trip to the cabin. 
Although Denver was completely socked in and rainy, 
the roads looked bare and the sky was blue on the mountain cams. 
Rarin' to go!

I couldn't wait to see what the cabin looked like in the snow. 
(Here's the cabin with about three feet of snow).

We hoped we could drive up our old road to the cabin. 
If not in the Jeep, we thought we could shovel a path.

Yes, the road had been plowed 
but the snow and ice had been piled up on each side of the narrow road. 
You can barely see the cabin in the distance. 

We were grateful for Ron's Jeep and new tires 
but we had to park on the county road and hike into the cabin. 
We couldn't carry any of the things we'd packed
as we were trying to stay upright.

The mountains were breathtaking with puffy white clouds and a stunning blue sky. 

Now to make our way to the cabin. 
In the morning, the snow pack was icy and solid, easier to walk on . .. 
except for the few times we fell through the snow past our knees. 
Believe me, it's not easy to climb out the this situation. 
It made me wonder how people ever survive an avalanche. 

Here's one of the waist-high drifts in back of the cabin. 
Good thing we didn't need to visit the out house.

The propane tank was buried too.

But the weather was just perfect -- blue sky, sunny, warm temps, no wind 
which we appreciated since we get some pretty strong winds up there.

Inside, it was cozy and surprisingly warm.
We didn't stay too long, just enough to check the roof and skylight.
No leaks!

On the way out, the snow had softened and we kept falling through it. 
Then we found some wide boards that distributed our weight on the snow
so we could work out way out to the road.

(I saw something similar once on Survivor where they had to build a bridge with two boards)!
That came in handy.

Although it was still pretty wintry at 11,000 feet, we had an exciting adventure.
Still, it's always a little tense, thinking we might get stuck in this remote area.
So I'm fairly sure we'll  wait another two to three weeks before attempting it again. 


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Spring Garden Update

When warm weather arrives, 
I can't wait to head outside to work (and play) in my garden. 

Honestly, I don't even think about indoor decorating once the garden calls.
It's like my favorite naturalist, John Muir, said, "The mountains are calling and I must go."

For me, spring is calling and I must go!
It won't be long til the allium and phlox, early bloomers, 
are blooming and the garden looks like this photo from last year.

This year I finally ordered a load of compost (a level amount in the bed of a pickup truck), 
to enrich my soil and feed my plants. 

Let me tell you, my friends, a "yard" of compost is a LOT of compost. 
The pile under the white tarp was originally double the size in this photo.
It's gradually shrinking. 

I've spread it over the bare spots in my lawn and sprinkled grass seed, 
then added it to all my perennial beds and put some aside to mix in 
with my potting soil when it's time to plant flowers. 

And guess what?
I still have enough left over to cover both of my neighbors' yards!

Ron also pruned a dead limb from the big ash tree this year 
and I snagged the smaller branches to lay over the seed. 

Hopefully, this will keep birds and squirrels from snacking on the seeds. 

We recently had a big snowstorm and the moisture should help the seeds germinate. 
Once the snow is melted, I'm going to spread more compost on the lawn.
That can't happen too soon. 

Although I'm fine with using dried or artificial plants indoors, 
there's one faux thing I can't handle. 
Artificial Grass!

Yes, the real thing is more work but you can't beat walking on a cool grassy lawn 
in your bare feet on a hot summer day -- once the snow melts.