Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Incredible Bulb & New Etsy Shop Additions

This assortment of blues includes the prettiest blue and white Delft iris.

Planting bulbs in autumn has been a yearly tradition my mom and I have kept for as long as I can remember -- something excitedly discussed and planned for weeks in advance and looked forward to with near-uncontrollable anticipation. This time of year means frequent trips to Home Depot and local garden centers as we hunt for new varieties of daffodils, narcissus and Dutch irises. I think our record is planting something close to like 1,000 bulbs. This year we've come across new (to us) colors of Dutch iris to add to our gardens and have added a few to our etsy shop, too, for fellow bulb fans. Also new to our etsy shop this week are some velvet ribbon trims and delicate miniature pom pom trims in a TON of colors.

Plush velvet ribbon in Royal Blue.

We love this pretty Monet-esque mix of yellows and purples.

This beauty is called "Carmen."

Bright violet velvet ribbon trim does it's best iris impersonation.

"Rosario" boasts a beautiful lilac-hued blossom.

Miniature pom pom trim in Buttercream.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Garden Project: Painting the Porch Pale Yellow

Last week we had a run of ideal paint-drying weather as Santa Anas coaxed temperatures into the 80s. Having trimmed my plants back the week before, I spent the good part of Wednesday with brush in hand and ladder in tow taking advantage of the dry heat. Here are a few shots of my completed porch painting project.

The porch railing design was inspired by a tip in a 1980s issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

This hanging basket was lucky enough to have an impatien broadcast a seed onto the outside tip of the cone. It's been thriving for about two months now and has outlasted the plants that were actually in the cone.

I've had good luck with coleus this year (usually snails don't give them much of a chance) and this particular group is right outside my back door. My bench and porch swing are the same blue of the doors and I plan on touching up their paint when the weather heats up again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe Thursday: Vegetable Frittata

Hearty and easy to prepare, frittata is a favorite dish around these parts when hunger calls for something quick, fresh and satisfying. Here's a simple recipe for our favorite vegetable version:

1 tbsp. olive oil
8 eggs
1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes, drained
1 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. diced jalapeno
1 c. grated cheese (we like mozzarella)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350˙F. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet; add onions and sautee until translucent.
2. Beat eggs. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper to eggs. Add mixture to skillet.
3. Cook on medium flame for 5 minutes.
4. Continue cooking in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are firm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer into Fall

Summer passed in a whirl of beach days, gardening and, of course, creating new pieces for the upcoming Christmas season. As ocean temperatures begin to slowly drop and nights grow chilly, I'll fondly remember the summer this way:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Making Pine Cone Santas: A How-to Video

For those who like to make their own vintage-inspired Christmas decorations, we offer a small selection of craft project kits with the vintage enthusiast in mind.

A Pine Cone Santa Project Kit

A completed Santa.

Here's a clip showing a brief demonstration of how to make pine cone Santas using one of our kits:

Supplies included in this kit.

This kit arrives in a wooden box and includes:
• 4 silver-glittered pine cones
• 4 spun cotton Santa heads
• 8 red bumpy chenille stems
• 16 vintage silver mercury glass beads
• 4 small silver bells
• 30" of silver pennant Dresden foil
• sturdy paperboard for bases
• 2 1/8" circle template
• instruction sheet

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Neighborhood Walkabout Part 3: A Little Structure

Continuing with photos from our neighborhood walk....

My mom moves in for a better view of an interesting statue as I covertly snap another "I'm taking a picture of you taking a picture" shots.

This house has always reminded me of a lodge, well, except for those surrounding palm trees.

This adorable cottage received a remodel some decades ago by one of our favorite people. I'm partial to the tree house platform in the avocado tree to the right.

Looking northwest over the tennis courts of a house with a grand view toward the blue Pacific.

We passed this little U-Haul conversion about a block from home packed to the gills with a gardener's stuff. Was just about to put my camera away and couldn't resist a last shot.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Neighborhood Walkabout Part 2: Flora

Here are a few more shots from the blustery spin my mom and I took around our neighborhood.

This stay of horsetails was the largest I've ever seen -- about 6 feet tall and packed stalk-to-stalk. I have a couple of these growing in pots (my grandmother had cautioned me against planting something so invasive in the ground, "They're horrible, they'll break concrete!") but mine are downright tame compared to these.

Up the road, an avocado tree had dropped the world's tiniest avocado -- poor thing was lime sized and probably all pit.

At the risk of shooting side by side and ending up with similar pictures, I took a sneakier approach and tried to capture my mom while she was occupied and unaware.

Past the farthest houses in the distance is the Pacific Ocean and a cliff that slopes about 100 feet down to the beach. Also in the distance down the hill are the train tracks and Coast Highway.

A short cut for pedestrians along a private drive led us to a fence covered in the most beautiful purple blossoms.

Tomorrow check back for a more structured view of our neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Neighborhood Walkabout Part 1: Curious Creatures

Yesterday afternoon I invited my mom to walk on the beach while I surfed, but the winds blowing down from the north had other ideas. The waves were whipped into a mess and, despite the warm summer water still hanging around, stiff winds promised that even the most brief dip would be a chilly one. Instead we opted for a walk around our neighborhood with cameras in tow.

Despite living in crowded Southern California, pockets of agriculture dot our area. Behind the bushes below are rows and rows of greenhouses that have been there as long as I can remember.

This pretty butterfly caught my eye as I took the above shot. He landed just long enough for me to snap his picture before moving on to a more flowered yard.

Our neighborhood is a series of slight slopes and a few steeper hills. At the very top we passed this mailbox decorated with a modern art twist.

The honking geese are a favorite stop: it doesn't matter how many times we pass, they always honk and approach the fence. My mom moves in for the shot.