Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

Are you surprised it's time to welcome in a New Year?
I sure am! Where did 2009 go?

Whether you spend it with your sweetie,

Or make it a a family affair,

Celebrate with happy crowds,

And come home all party'd out,

If you find it hard to stay awake,

Just remember Father Time won't wait!

I wish you all a wonderful 2010!

Cheers! Chris

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Three or More...Vera Bradley Bags!

I haven't participated in Three or More Tuesday with Tam @ The Gypsy's Corner for a while! I've missed doing it, and since I actually have something to show...Well, here I am!

My Daughter & I are huge fans of Vera Bradley's designs. I not only love her fabrics and the products made using them, but also the interior design of her stores! They are gorgeous! (All that Thibaut wallpaper is to die for!)

As a result, our Holiday had more than a little a Vera Bradley "flair" this year. Our Christmas shopping trip revealed that several of our favorite fabrics were being retired! What's a girl to do? Why, buy a bag for one another in each fabric, of course!

So, these beauties were under the tree on Christmas morning. The Mini Hipster is mine, from my daughter. The fabric is "Yellow Bird". (I am so sad this fabric is being retired!) The large Mailbag is my gift to my daughter. This fabric is "Raspberry Fizz". The blue bag is my daughter's gift from Santa. It is the Olivia style in "Mediterranean Blue".

This Messenger Bag in "Frankly Scarlet" fabric, also retired, was a gift to myself. I purchased it at One Kings Lane, which is a "secret sale - members only" site that closes out mostly decor items. Best of all, the bag was less than half price! I use it to carry around my Tupperware catalogs and traveling office. Love it!

I'm off to visit the rest of the Three or more Tuesday participants.

Why don't you come along?

Monday, December 28, 2009

All Is Calm, All is Bright...

I had a wonderful Christmas!

From a fun day Christmas shopping with my daughter (we are professionals, you know) to a rousing post-Christmas lunch at Tahoe Joe's in Vacaville, with my family from Santa Clara/Cupertino, it was all I could have hoped for!

Add in the joy & blessing of our church Christmas service, Christmas Eve snacks with my sister & BIL and dear friends Don & Marthine, and then the same four peeps for Christmas Day dinner... Whew, I had a very busy but so delightful time!

Now, I plan to enjoy some quiet time. This peaceful morning dawned cold, and a little foggy, but with the promise of a few hours of sun before the rain returns. I am going to relax and enjoy doing just whatever I want today!

How 'bout you?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Reason for the Season!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2: 8-14 KJV)

Wishing you the many blessings of Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Introducing Sallee Peterson - Plein Air Artist

Sallee is my favorite artist! Her style, Plein Air, results in beautiful light & life filled paintings.

I am very lucky to own a couple of her originals. I have been following her career for many years, and am thrilled to see that she has finally launched a website AND blog! I hope you'll take the time to visit both! I think you'll have to agree her work is beautiful!

(Sallee's Website HERE - Blog HERE)

Did I mention, Sallee just happens to be my sister? *Ü*


Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday Morning Fun at High Hand Nursery

You may know by now that one of my favorite places is High Hand Nursery in Loomis, CA. I have mentioned it HERE.

This past rainy Saturday morning, my friend Nancy & I took a class at the High Hand Flower Shop. The class was called "A Fanciful Garden" and we had a very good time! The Flower Shop is a recent addition to High Hand. It is located in the historic fruit-packing sheds and it is a delight to behold.

The structure of the building is so interesting and the design and merchandising of the shop is really wonderful. I've included some of photos below.

I like this very tall Scheffelera plant, and this view shows the metal walls of the shed.

Here's another view of the interior structure. Isn't that topiary dress form wonderful.
I need that!

Not exactly sure why, but I took a fancy to this corny vase!

I just had to show you this beautiful white hydrangea.

I am especially drawn to the succulents. What a variety!

This one is so interesting. It's called Table Aeonium.

The purpose of the class was to learn about the method and plants suitable for a container garden. For the price of the class, we had many nice pots and varieties of plants to choose from. Of course, Nancy & I both "upgraded" to larger pots and I added additional plants! I'm telling you, when you get me in that place, I just can't stop finding things I love...

We both chose from the evergreen plants; dwarf pines, junipers, cedars, etc. I think I'm going back for a succulent garden though. I took photos of most of the container gardens made in the class. I think you'll agree they turned out well, even if my photography isn't so wonderful!

The first two are from other "students". Cool, huh?

This one belongs to my friend Nancy. Love that pot!

This one is mine. You'll notice that there is some bare dirt in a couple of them. That is because the little plant with the red berries, Cotoneaster, needs room to spread.

Do yourself a favor. Go play in the dirt!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow! Well, sort of...

Now, I know many of you are laughing hysterically. I do understand, really. My brother in Wisconsin sent photos last night of the 15" of snowfall they had in 24 hours. But could you cut me some slack here?

I was so excited to awake at 2:30 am on Monday morning to see it snowing! We haven't had even a dusting of snow in the Sacramento area since 2002, and then, where I live, it didn't stick at all. So to see this scene come daylight, beautiful!

By the time it was light enough to take photos, the drizzle had started and the snow was melting. Still, I enjoyed it so much! Of course, I did not have to go out in the cold (I work from home). Nor did I have to get on the road with all the goofballs who don't know that even a little snow requires a change in driving habits. We also did not lose power, for which I am very grateful! Even now, there are thousands in the area who are still without it. Hopefully today...

To all of you who are feeling the effects of this storm as it works it's way eastward, I do know this isn't necessarily fun for you. I wish you nothing but warmth & safety. I'm sure Idon't have what it takes to live where you all do!

A snow day, every 7 years or so, is fine with me!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am a big fan of treillage. (n. Latticework, especially a trellis for a vine.) I think a garden is always more interesting with a trellis placed as a focal point here & there. Whether it be to adorn a blank wall, or freestanding in a perennial bed, I love them!

My garden is really only in it's infancy. Trying to carve out a garden where the northern California grasslands are constantly battling with me to reclaim the space is quite a task. But, whatever small space I am able to turn into garden is going to have some treillage for certain!

I've been saving photos in my inspiration file for a while. Here are a few I'd really love to use in my garden.

A trellis box like this one would be great at the corners of the knot garden.

Look at this beautiful spiral trellis! All it needs is a climbing rose or a clematis.

Would love to find a place for an arbor made of twigs...

I'm liking this idea to fence around the rose garden. I'll have to be 8' tall to keep the deer out!

And then, when I win the Super Lotto, I'm going to shop HERE to buy a few of these! LOL!

Do you have a trellis in your garden? I'd love to see it!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Afternoon Tea

Today is my daughter's birthday.

Since her friends had Veteran's Day off, we had her birthday tea today. The girls all had a great time. My daughter and I have cooked for two days...we're pooped!

Roasted Carrot Soup
Black Forest Quiche
Jamaican Banana & White Chocolate Raspberry Scones
Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Lemon-Pepper Cucumber Sandwiches
Lemon Lime Raspberry Bars
Toll House Cookies, Melissa Style

Earl Grey, Buckingham Palace, Caribbean Christmas, Southern Hospitalitea, Sweet Jasmine Blooming Tea & English Breakfast Decaf

Happy Birthday Melissa! Love, Mom

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Love These Ideas!

Remember the beautiful Japanese Maple tree we just brought home to our garden? I purchased it at my very favorite garden, High Hand Nursery in Loomis, CA. This isn't just a nursery, it's a destination!

While we were waiting to make our purchase, I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. The picture quality isn't great, but these items just fascinated me, and I wanted to share them.

This tall ceramic pot is planted with succulents. The top is planted similar to a "rock" garden. Then on the sides the holes have a small "hen and chick" type planted at the top & a burro tail planted below. It is going to be spectacular when it grows in some. Did you notice the iron bench with the planted seat beside it?

The nursery has the largest collection of garden art actually in use, that I've ever seen. Below, this planter had just one bronze flower in it, but it was very striking.

Speaking of bronze garden art...Who could resist this snail baby? I think this might be coming home with me if it's still there when I go back the next time!

Oh boy! Do I love what they have done with this old stove! Again, they've used succulents here, but there is another in the garden, which during the spring and summer is planted with very colorful annuals.

But this is my very favorite. It is beautiful in its simplicity. They have takes a piece of bronze wall art, a lily blossom, and laid it face-up in a clay pot, then planted moss around it! Simply gorgeous! And it wouldn't be difficult to duplicate.

I plan to go back to High Hand Nursery for a longer visit, with a better camera soon. There is the Cafe in a beautiful conservatory, the shops in the old fruit packing shed and even a gallery featuring local fine arts. There is just so much to see! By the way, the folks who work in this nursery are not only experts, they are genuinely nice people! And the food in the cafe is delicious, seasonal, and a work of art on a plate!

I linked to their website in the first paragraph of this post. You have to check them out. And if you live in the area and haven't visited, you must!

Enchanted, Chris