Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's That Holly Jolly Time Already

It's that time of year again. Where has the time gone? Well, might as well jump in with both feet.

So, I did a little decorating yesterday. I'm actually putting most of the decor in my multi room where I spend most of my time. I bought the little red vintage wreath last year at the flea market and it's still one of my favorite pieces (bird added by me).

How long have I wanted to get back to doing some calligraphy? A long time!

It's been on my oh-so-long "to do" list forever, so yesterday I took out my pen and paper to play a bit. 

That was after I set up some Christmas items and spent some time taking photos. Still looking for more bottle brush trees. Our new Cost Plus World Market just opened and I hoped to buy some there, but it turned out to be a smaller store and they didn't carry them. Off to the big store!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. No matter what, we all have something to be grateful for in our lives. Thank you for visiting me today!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Missing Spring

Processed with textures from Kim Klassen at the Kim Klassen Cafe
Oh, yes. I know it's not spring. But I just had to experiment with some prettiness. I've been inspired lately by Sarah Gardner at Sarah Gardner Photography. Her work is very dreamy and pretty. So, I took this lovely spring flower, and added some textures to create this. Oh, how I wish ranunculus were still in season!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Fab Color Combination

White and Pink

What's your favorite color combination? White and pink seems so classic, soft and feminine. Right now, I can get enough white in my house. I've been painting my decor white, slowly. That cheery, yellow living room? I'm imagining it white, too. The two floral chairs? Need to be white also. Slowly I'll get there. For now, I'm having fun creating vignettes, and painting frames and memo boards.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Roses, Roses

Weekend Roses
No, these roses aren't from my garden; they are from Trader Joe's. I look forward to seeing their floral collection each week when I do my grocery shopping. Great prices and a nice selection, too. 

For these photos, I wanted to play with my 50mm lens at its widest aperature of f1.8 because I love the beautiful bokeh (blur) backgrounds it creates. 

I also like playing with different presets (filters) in Lightroom. This one gives the roses a vintage feel, with a warmer, more yellow hue overall.

Oh, and it helps to have a window that hasn't been cleaned recently!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

My New Garden

A Garden, At Last

About a month ago, I finally got my backyard to look how I'd only imagined it for several years. It's not a big yard, pretty small actually. But no matter. With just a few rose bushes and an ugly dirt patch, it did not look very happy. So when we hired a garden manager at work, I was hoping that she might help me with my own. Happily, she agreed and the end result is a pretty little garden.

I could not wait to put my reading fairy, garden troll and bunnies in there. Then, I added little mushrooms and mosaic balls. I love the added whimsy and am always on the lookout for more bunnies and fairies.

 Two white rose bushes were added to grow up the trellis for a little more privacy.

I've always loved my little white table and chairs. Since I have more space in the yard, I was looking for another set for the middle area. While at the flea market yesterday, I found this exact same set in grey. It was in the high eighty degrees, and so I thought I would finish going through the rest of the market, and then go back to see it again. Well, I went up and down every row and could not find that booth again. It was so hot, I had to give up because the heat was beginning to affect me. So I decided it was not meant to be just yet, and I'll continue my search.

Did I mention that in addition to micro bark to cover the soil, I also added cocoa bark? They are the cocoa bean shells and they smell just like cocoa. So often when I'm in the garden, the smell of cocoa wafts by. Smells so good!

So there you have it, my garden as of a month ago. Since then, I've added cosmos and the pansies have gone wild. They are the happiest plants in the garden, so full and perky. Oh, and some weeds have popped up too. The are tiny, light little things that I just keep pulling out. It looks so pretty now, I just hope it lasts through the winter. Hope you enjoyed seeing my little yard!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Catching Up

Hello there,

Summer is flying by, isn't it? Here we are in September already and I'm not quite ready for autumn (although the retail stores certainly are!). Luckily, we are having sunny, pleasant warm weather still as we usually do in September in the bay area. Gracie is still getting her morning and afternoon sun, but it is shifting so there is not as much. A few mornings were cloud filled and she was visibly depressed! Such a sun cat. Well, it  didn't last for too long but she did take to her bed (actually, it's mine but I just just say it's "ours") as if it was winter.

I have been enjoying my new garden, but I have to admit I was a bit dismayed when I saw all kinds of little green shoots popping up as they are some kind of clover-like weed. I think I was fooled into thinking that the wood chips would hold them down. That's okay, as garden work is a great antidote to being online.

Speaking of those weeds, I think that that is what I must do today, so off to the garden I go! And yes, I promise some garden photos soon!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Roses in Vase

More Busy Days

Well, how have you been? Life has gotten so busy! Besides much to do at work, I've been taking more online classes, my mom stayed with me for eight days last week, and I'm in the midst of having my backyard redone.

Most of the flowers went in today - all in shades of pink, lavender and purple. It's so pretty that I can't wait until it's done. More work to do this weekend, but luckily I had a master gardener who has done most of the work so far. My specialty is adding the bunnies and fairies! I'm hoping the flowers will attract birds, bees and butterflies. Nipper and Gracie will certainly enjoy watching the live nature show from their windows.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back in the Swing of Things

Gone Too Long

Oh, it's been a while since I've been here. I have been so busy including a one and a half week vacation recently. The highlight? A four-day photography workshop in Oregon by Karen Russell of Snapshots of a Good Life. You may know her from her online workshops that have been waiting-list only due to her popularity.  She has created a workshop for nine women that was the best photography experience I've ever had. Called the Hometown Workshop, it was a fabulous time in Jacksonville, Oregon spent in a historic house built in 1884. What a charming town it was! There is so much to say, but for now, you can see a highlight of the workshop on her blog here. So lucky and blessed to have been able to participate in it with eight wonderful classmates. 

After sleeping only four hours a night or so during the workshop, it took me the rest of my vacation to recover since we had record-breaking temperatures both in Oregon (100 degrees!) and at home during that time. I did get to the flea market before I went back to work which was fun. I only bought a few bits and bobs but I enjoy seeing everything the vendors sell.

In the meantime, I just finished up one online class and I'm starting another tomorrow through the Clickinmoms photography community. I'm always taking one class or another and I'd love to take a break but there are so many great classes out there. Are you a workshop junkie like me? Would love to know what classes you are taking or thinking of taking. So many classes, so little time!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rosy Times

Remnants of Roses

The week before last, I bought a bunch of mixed roses. After a few days, I put them from one vase into several small ones. They lasted much longer than the peonies I bought last week which only lasted a matter of days. They may be getting shabby, but I don't mind.

The floral selection was not so good this week at Trader Joe's. They had rearranged the store and that department seemed a bit smaller. So, since I had purchased a ton of things already from the farmer's market and will be so busy getting things prepared for Father's Day, I decided to forego them this one week.
Tomorrow, I'll check out my own rose bushes, and if there are blooms, I'll cut some of them. That's between a bit of cooking, cleaning, photographing, visiting... it's a busy day!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

More Reasons to Love the Month of June

So Excited for the Month of June

So far, so good this month. Yesterday I attended two classes given by Paul Van Allen, a national trainer for Nikon, at our local camera store. I got some great tips and was really inspired to try using the video feature in my camera.

My sister and I had a great lunch at the Fish Market in Palo Alto in between classes. The weather was really warm and we sat outside in their patio surrounded by flowers. I could have sat there all afternoon!

Today someone came over to see my sad backyard and help me determine what needs to be done to make it pretty again. I'm really excited that we'll be putting in a lot of new flowers and plants. There are so many ways to go in terms of options. Ground cover, shrubs, trees, vines, flowers, etc. So many decisions! So looking forward to getting my backyard in shape again and spending time in it during the summer. Of course, all my bunny and fairy statuary will be placed throughout the plants, giving them a new home. Who knows, I may have to even buy bunnies and fairies.

And the big reason I'm excited for June is that I'll be attending a photography workshop from Karen Russell. I've admired her photography for years but besides that, she's a really cool person. So down-to-earth and she has the most adorable family. I can't wait to meet them as I've followed them on her blog for a number of years. There will be nine ladies in the workshop and we'll be working together from early in the morning to late at night. So hoping I learn a lot!

Oh, and did I mention one of my favorite days in the year is June 21? Yes, the first day of summer always makes me happy.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just Pretty Flowers

Just thought I'd share some pretty ranunculus flowers. I love the softness they exude. And who can resist pink? Or white with a sprinkle of pink?
The week is almost over and I'm so looking forward to the three day memorial weekend.  Of course, I'll be making my usual trip to the farmer's market to buy more flowers. But it's also a great time to get caught up on things, and to spend some time relaxing too. So many things to do, so little time so yay for the extra day!