29 June, 2010

the poor man's gard[en]

today's poor man's gard[en] feature is more of inspiration
than of new happenings. because, i, unfortunately, came down with the
nastiest flu this past weekend. all i could do was feast upon saltines and
sparkling water. Oh, and watch 'lost', of course 

although i did not work on our garden this past weekend, jonathan did buy
more plants on clearance & assemble the free fountain -- photos to come.

for now, here are some photos i captured today while at the
descanso gardens in la canada flintridge with my sisters-in-law. 
if you live in the area or ever visit, the gardens are beautiful 
& provide for a very restful and gorgeous setting to a nice daytime 
outing. and it is only $8 admission for adults. a great deal in los angeles. 

here are some of the photos i took today. the gardens here make me want to plant even more flowers & have a pond [okay, but i choose a craft/garden shed over the pond if it comes down to it]....

and simply because i love the idea of a shed in our backyard, i have to post these. i know my backyard cannot contain a greenhouse nearly as gorgeous or spacious as this one, but i can dream and be inspired. right?




i hope your weekends were full of warm sunshine and playtime.


25 June, 2010


it is [free]day today!
i love these days.
today's free find is going to be quite an interesting project.

this credenza i found on craigslist free.
it was a cherished but unwanted piece - the owner had inherited it
when his friend passed away but did not have room for it. he was quite torn with the thought of giving it away but he loved
the idea of it being upcycled and given a new home.

the credenza has a mommy bookcase/desk/credenza that i will
try and take photos of soon 
(it's too big to maneuver and take photos of on my own...)

his name is earl

i am thinking of grey with a splash of color 
and, of course, some new knobs. 
i might try to incorporate some fabric, too.
what would you like to see earl wear?

have a great weekend everyone!


24 June, 2010

lost & found

this thursday's lost&found feature is one of my favorites:

these beautiful patio chairs
my husband actually found on craigslist free.
yes, i told you 'free-ing' is amazing. and, yes, 
we made up a verb for our habit.

we spent, in total, $60. This includes: outdoor upholstery,
spray paint for the structure of the chairs, some staples & a new patio table.

i think it is a great deal. considering it completely transforms our back patio into a lovely hang out.

what was once, very very lost

is now, wonderfully found

do you have a fun, upcycled project brewing or completed? 
i would love to hear about it. 
do you need inspiration or ideas for a project? send me a note & i'd love to help.

and on an even more personal note, 
thank you to all of my wonderful readers and friends
who have, in the last few days, told me they love my blog.
it is always encouraging to hear from you. 
i appreciate you all.                    

22 June, 2010

poor man's gard[en]

after a week-long birthday hiatus, i am back. and, i am posting some photos of our garden. phase 2 is completed. 

a few days before my birthday 
(& my husband's. his is one day before mine),
we went to our local hardware store to check out their 50% off garden section.
as we were walking in i told jonathan i would love to have more 
lavender in our garden 
(knowing that each pot is about $5.00 i figured i might come home with one or two). of course, since it was almost my birthday, i said "whoever knows me well, will know to get me something related to my garden & creativity for my birthday". 
when we walked to the back section, there were, wait for it, seventeen pots of lavender for $1.00 each! yes, i am loved by someone. 

so, our phase 2 is complete. 

things we accomplished:

cut out planters along the perimeter of the backyard
lay wood fence cuts along the perimeter of the planters
tilled the soil in preparation for planting
planted herbs in pots (herbs include, at this point: chamomile, basil, oregano, rosemary, dill, sage, & parsley)
dug holes & placed flowers & free plants in the ground
made signs for our herbs (out of an old wood fence & some wire)
found (for free) chairs for our patio 
upholstered & painted the chairs
made a table for the chairs (out of an old door & found rod iron piece)

in total, we spent another $100 
(in addition to the $70 we spent in our first phase)
not too bad for less than $200. seriously.
it looks & feels like a completely different backyard. if you don't remember what it looked like before, check my post here.

of course, there is a phase 3. but that will come in time. 
(phase 3 consists of adding a shed, building a compost, putting a fence up to hide the trash can area, transplant potted flowers & herbs, plant some squash (suggested by a lovely friend)& watermelon, & begin working on the front of the house. okay, i know. maybe a little too much for one phase. 

again, please forgive me for not blogging during my birthday week. i was busy. very very busy. 

check back again on thursday for 'lost & found'. this week i will post on our patio chairs. the biggest transformation (& one of the cheapest & easiest). 


a birthday gift

my husband, jonathan, took me to some of our favorite spots 
in orange county for my birthday.

one of those spots is this amazing store in 
newport coast called 'juxtaposition'.
restoration hardware meets anthropologie. the storefront 
is gorgeous & i can only imagine the creativity that 
happens in their studio. 'juxtaposition' is a store owned 
by a couple who travel throughout the world & find treasures. 
they bring pieces back & sell them here in southern 
california (& beyond, of course).

i LOVE going into this store for inspiration. 

via their website

don't you want to buy everything in the store? yes please.

well, for my birthday 
(& with my birthday money, thanks family!)
we bought an amazing metal basket that i am using 
as a centerpiece on our dining room table.

it is seriously one of my favorite pieces 
in our living room right now.

here are some photos of the tablescape 
(basically, an artistic way of saying a centerpiece) 
i did this past week.
included in it is, of course, my birthday basket.

i had so much fun being inspired with a garden theme. 
it seems to be a major theme in my life right now.

stay tuned for my weekly tuesday post 'the poor man's gard[en]'


08 June, 2010

the poor man's gard[en]

today i did not work on our garden. but i did work on our house.
added a rug to our dining room, changed out some chairs, prepared curtains to sew for our living room/dining room, & changed our bedside tables in our bedroom.
oh, don't worry. i will post photos once the lighting is good. 

in the meantime, i am posting a photo that is my inspiration to get back to gardening. it will be beautiful. it will. 

i love love love the rainboots. and the mixture of pots.
doesn't this photo give you a deep desire to open all your windows, sit near one 
& read a good book?

too bad it is blazing hot out. otherwise, i might just do that. maybe tomorrow morning before i burn to death from the heat 
[i know. it has not even reached triple digits yet. i'm a baby.]

enjoy your summer evening. 
tomorrow is wednesday. it is almost the weekend.


04 June, 2010

friday night in the garden

a friday night full of yummy food.
i decided to make a surprise meal tonight, 
since most nights i don't get to cook for my husband.
dinner consisted of butternut squash with 
a syrup base(brown sugar, butter, cinnamon & nutmeg),
oven-baked chicken with garlic & onions, & some couscous.
my inspiration for the meal? honestly, the butternut squash.
jonathan loves sweet. and, the brown sugar. 
so, i knew that would be the hit. 
the chicken could have been more savory & the couscous less dry.
but, for not using any recipes, it was great.
oh, & how could i forget the beer we sipped. blue moon. 
glory on a summer evening.

here are some photos i managed to take 
while i was preparing dinner & feasting.

 home cooked meals are the best. and cheapest.
do you have any favorite recipes that incorporate any of the ingredients i used tonight? 

i'll be back monday with an exciting week full of new 
blog features & new creations. 

enjoy your weekend.


03 June, 2010

a garden party inspired by {love}ly natalie

this past sunday evening, my husband and i were
privileged to host our beautiful friend, natalie.
the minute we found out, we got our backyard ready for
some good food & great friends.
here are a few photos from the event.

 such a good time with sweet friends. 


01 June, 2010

garden inspiration

after about a month-long hiatus,
i have returned to the blogworld...

don't think i wasn't inspired during these last few weeks,
or that i wasn't creative. there were moments.
i've had some time to dream, think & be encouraged.

june is going to be full of new ideas & creations.
i am determined & motivated.

though i could not garden today, i am posting some 
items that inspire me to till soil, plant, paint & decorate.


these could be full of some cute little flowers
used as a centerpiece for an outdoor garden party 

and, once i have that outdoor garden party, i thought it might 
be nice to dress accordingly

via the lovely anthro

or this

via the lovely anthro

and, either blouse, with these

via anthro

and, this necklace handmade by 
my lovely and talented friend, lindsay coleman

check out her etsy shop

i know. doesn't this outfit make you want to 
throw a garden party every single day? 
or at least sit outside, 
while drinking iced tea & reading a good book?

you could sit at my table with the floral centerpiece,
[both listed above]
wearing the listed outfit, & on these chairs

summer tea anyone?

so, aside from my future garden party wearing 
my dream garden party outfit,
i might also be productive....

i've recently [with the strong help of my husband] 
started phase 2 of cultivating disregard[en]'s garden.

i will show you a before photo to create some anticipation,
and, prove to you why there is even a need for cultivation....

i know. you need to see it in person. it is even worse.
the wood blocks that create the 'flower box' area are rotten, 
the grass & weeds closest to the wall should be soil, 
and that wall of cinder blocks should be covered with jasmine.

it actually looks a bit better, now. 
after a few hours of using that axe & some shovels.
i will post some photos once we get flowers in the flowerbed...

i am reminded of my future garden party & motivated to work hard.

and, just to be even more encouraged to use my muscles 
& till the soil

shoes to complete my outfit

ahh, 'tis life. in my garden.
 [then i sip my iced tea]

more to come:
- phase two photos
- some furniture i have been working on
- future ideas
- my new website!
- photos of recent events i attended & decorated