Saturday, August 18, 2012

A little better

Here is the finished bookcase.  Hmm, I may be a little obsessed given the titles of the books on the shelves.

My favorite is the book on epigraphy. It is fascinating.

The room looks way more inviting in this direction. Sorry for the uneven lighting from the skylight in the room. Whenever I watch a show on the TV where the people in the show are considering moving into or buying a house or apartment with a slanted ceiling, all I can think of is No!No! Noooo.... don't do it! This is the only room in the house with a slanted ceiling except for the living room which is only a single story (so the ceiling is high, but I don't like that either). Every time I walk toward the low end, I end up hitting my head.  It is quite annoying. And, I am not that tall. Just in case you ever think about moving into or buying something with a slanted ceiling, you have been warned. 

A few campy stuffed animals here and there.

A favorite metal bar table even though I don't like or drink beer (except I do like beer batter for deep frying food).

An old Mexican chair.

The other chair. They are not really for sitting anymore. Some old woolen ponchos from Mexico. Once we wore them to the San Francisco Opera. It was cold and we didn't have any jackets. I can't remember exactly, but I think we had been to the football game to see the 49'ers play earlier in the day and were not "dressed for the opera" but we went anyway. (Oops, another little stuffed animal, all of which my Dad bought at yard sales but that is another story). I bought the zebra skin rug at a yard sale, too, for $20.  You never know what you will find at one, it is real but not in good condition because of its age.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A tour of my garden

I love looking at other people's gardens and backyards. So, let me give you a little tour of mine. The view from my kitchen.

I try to enjoy it in the morning before the heat. Last year, I had a nice cool patch of grass.  Not this year.  Not because of a drought or anything but because I planted strawberries (the very fragrant Mara de Bois) in Earth boxes and I am running out of space in the back yard garden. So, I didn't water the grass.

My beautiful succulents. Shortly after I took this photo, an unknown critter ran amuck in it ripping out many petals from the florets.  I had little teeth marks and scratches, too.  I think it might be a thirsty rat. And snails. I have to go on snail patrol.  I hate snails. And slugs. Apparently, succulents are quite tasty to snails and slugs. They eat the strawberries, too.

Another planter of succulents. This is a tall, concrete pot.  I've planted lots of different stuff in it over the years that really didn't thrive.  But the succulents do.

More succulents. The big one on the left is in the mate to the concrete pot and thriving, too!

A close-up.

I love this combination, to me, it is very Japanese.

Maybe a better shot.  The little pink flowers have red centers and the petals are pin eventually getting more white. The geranium looks a little like maples to me.

Not a good photo but also very Japanese to me, too.  The denim blue glaze on the pots, the vinca (Titan apricot) which looks a lot like Japanese flowers and the color, is the color I remember of Japanese under-kimono.

I love coneflowers!  And, nasturtiums.  And, the blue-green color on the pot. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer Projects

I am in desperate need of bookcases.  I have bought a few that sit atop a table or desk.  Then I bought this at a yard sale.  I sanded most of the stain off.  Then, I painted it white.  Then, I painted it orange. Then I sanded it again on the edges for a shabby chic effect.  Here is a detail of the top.

Here's what it looks like in my "library". I'm letting it dry a bit longer as the paint still seems a bit sticky.  I thought it was all solid wood but it wasn't.  The sides are veneer.  Just the top and the facias are solid wood.  Note to self: quit buying veneered furniture. I had to glue the bottom facia board back in place, too.  I wish I had some large furniture clamps. I wish I had a nail gun and compressor, too. Maybe Santa will bring me one if I am a good girl.

See desperate need.

Here is my other project from earlier this summer.  My tall friend painted the back of my kitchen cabinets with metallicized paint and then black chalk paint.  The reason is that "stainless steel" refrigerator in the background.  How can it be stainless steel when not one of my cherished refrigerator magnets will stick to it? The metal paint is a bit dodgy.  It has 2 coats.  I should have sanded it down. I should have used a smoother paint roller tube, too. I couldn't imagine the dust I would have had to clean up, though, if I had sanded it down. So I am just living with it.

Michaelangelo's David, Queen Nefertiti, King Tut, Marie Antoinette, Piero della Francesca, Pompei, Bernini's David (I have seen Donatello's David in Florence, too, but, they didn't have any refrigerator magnets of him) are some of the trophies I have collected among others. A few homemade magnets, too, including one I made from my own photo of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
I bought a refrigerator magnet of San Francisco because it needed representation! Then, I wanted to write something on the chalkboard. The first part says, It's your story. Make if beautiful. Fill it up with what you love.  Remember what matters. Forget what doesn't. Have a happy life. Yes, it's from a greeting card but, really, it is  a nice philosophy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So far this summer...the county fair

 We went on a sojourn to the county fair.  I say sojourn because we were there for about 7 hours.  The grown ups wanted to see the farm animals, pies, jams and quilts.  The kids wanted to go on the rides, of course! So, we did a bit of both. The rain forest exhibit was refreshingly cool and filled pretty tame critters.
Cute armadillos!

The basic ferris wheel.  Basic or not, I still didn't go on it.  When I was a kid, it was the last straw before all the other rides and junk food I ate revolted from all the sloshing and g-forces.

I didn't of go on this one either but it was the last ride for those who did at the end of our day. I'm sure the kids enjoyed the feeling of flying and the cooling effect of being swirled through the air.

Other worldly scene at dusk.  It started to feel like something like a science fiction scene from another world.  The incredible noise from the tractor pull going on added to the effect.  We were all pretty tuckered out by the end of the day. I haven't been to the county fair in years but I'm glad I did and it was lots more fun with the little kids!