Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Changes at the LA Times

Huh? %%$#@! Where is the Home Section? OMG! It is bad enough that the LA Times failed to include gallery Art Reviews the week following the fourth of July! DGMS (don't get me started)! Now I am truely in mourning for the Home Section as it was. I just glanced at the open letter from the editor but was too busy to read it on Sunday. I looked forward Thursdays just because of the Home Section...

Monday, July 28, 2008

$olutions: Moveable Curtains Keep Out The Heat.

To keep out the summer heat my hubby and I put some curtains on a tension shower curtain rod and fit them into the window frame. We are not big on curtains or blinds, unless they are absolutely necessary. When the forecast is for hot, hot, hot, in the morning we pop up the curtain on the east window.

In the early afternoon, we switch it to the west window. The difference that it makes is noticeable.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where Do You Read?

I like to read the paper in the morning
on the stairs with the front door wide

I like to browse AT,,
on the couch. That's why it is called a laptop.
I love flipping the on-line pages of the Crate & Barrel
catalog at
I prefer my West Elm catalog as a hard copy (

I like to read, re-read
and re-re-read
my favorite shelter
out on the

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pool and Patio Tour: So Cal So Cool.

We spend a lot of time outdoors here in Southern California for good reason. Today, we visit the pool and patio of my Mum and stepfather Tosh. Their house and landscape have evolved over a span of 25 years.

Architect Pat Killen ( designed a new entry, living room and deck for what was once a "plain jane, L shaped" ranch house. Talk about an upgrade...

The original pool was too large for the hillside, it was made smaller and safer. The stone planter/wall and rockery were designed by my Mum and Tosh.

Care to dive in anyone? "No canon balling during happy hour"!

I love this railing, the butterfly roof, the cantilevered deck and the rockery in the foreground.

The family is just about to swing into full time party mode because the rellies are hopping over the pond for their hols. Cheers!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Okay, It's not the table and chairs...but I scored this enamel plate off of the fifty cent table at the flea in Old Torrance. Yes, it is marked with the makers initials on the back. OMG, please do not ask me to take another picture of it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Who could possibly complain about doing the laundry here?

dzinelvrslc's flickr photo cast a spell on me! That full moon's a workin.

Originally uploaded by dzinelvrslc

Look at this laundry room. A work top for folding laundry. A place to hang things up. Good lighting. Very efficient use of space. I'm making plans already.

Oh honey...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Out of the Cupboard

Open shelving in the kitchen is a popular trend these days. I, personally am drawn to it because upper cupboards in the kitchen can be too obtrusive especially when the kitchen is small, and I just go gah gah for anything that is cantilevered! On the other hand, clutter and dust can be equally off-putting. How do you feel about this? Should the dishes stay in or come out of the cupboard? This is a great example of a combination from Metropolitan Home. Day dream away!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thrifted: Dining set by Hans Olsen for Frem Rojle

I pine for this set almost daily, even though I have two dining tables already. As a child I spent a summer in a fantastic mid-century home in North London. I was about seven at the time, but can remember every nook and cranny of it. I remember this table from the house. The lovely example comes from flickr courtesy of monkeysox. Monkeysox stole it from the thrift store for a jaw dropping $29. Thanks for the memories.

A True Artist Can Find Beauty In A Job Undone

H. K. Zamani took this photograph of a failed brush clearance attempt in our neighborhood.
We are upwind of this part of the hill and there are two of these herds grazing on it.

More about Habib at

Saturday, July 12, 2008

When I Grow Up...

Be still my heart! This is my dream living room!

Sunday Trip: South Coast Botanical Gardens for a Workshop on Succulents

My Mum and I went to a talk succulents this Sunday. It was a great idea since I have all ready planted and propagated like crazy. I changed my front yard from overgrown hedged lavender to (work in progress) mostly succulents, lantana and roses. My policy has been not to purchase any new plants, just to rearrange and propagate them from different parts of the property. I have bought some cinder blocks to make granite benches and of course, good potting soil.
What We Learned:
1. Mum and I live in different climate zones. She can put plants in unglazed pots because she lives by the coast. I live near Pasadena so I should put my plants in glazed pots to help retain moisture.
2. Leave room in the garden for succulents to clump. Luckily, these plants can handle being almost nomadic so they don't mind being moved around when a certain person changes her mind.
3. Watering should be set for twice a week for 30 minutes not everyday for 5 minutes. Five minutes of water only penetrates about 2 inches deep and most of it evaporates.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Massimino "Martha" Menesci

I just spoke with my Italian uncle Mo in Harrow Weald, England. He has just sold his semi-detached cottage and will soon be retiring to the Italian countryside. Mo is a master gardener and landscaper. This photo was taken last January and it was bloody cold. This was the only sunny afternoon I experienced in my 8 day trip.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Out of the Cupboard

Confession: we have not unpacked all our boxes from our move two years ago. It feels like more since we have been in our house for three July fourths. In this box I also located missing cloth napkins. I bought this beautiful casserole dish at the Old Torrance Antique Market (4rth Sunday) about 4 years ago.

Okay, it is finally manana!

Here is my garden bench! It has a removable "sink" where potting can be accomplished without making a mess. I have lavender, rosemary, rose geranium and jasmine volunteers just waiting to be potted. I love this bench, but will level the wheel side with wood because they look a bit dodgy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My 3 Favorite R's: Recycle, Refurbish, Reuse

Has anyone tried out the Pregra Shredded Rubber Mulch from COSTCO? My hubby and I were drawn to it thinking it was real bark. "It is made from 100% recycled tires. Pregra's most natural looking rubber mulch is available in realistic color and is all weather rated. The process used to make rubber mulch removes all toxic elements, steel belts and threads as well as adds UV protection so the mulch looks good year after year. Rubber Mulch is resistant to mold and mildew, which can attack plants and structures that touch the mulch. It is also insect resistant, providing a less than ideal environment for termites, ants and other bugs. Since it is made out of rubber there are no slivers after working in the garden and the color lasts up to 10 years without fading or decomposing. "

It comes in bags at the store and can be ordered on line, an entire 80 cubic feet of it!

The big question: Is it dog friendly/proof?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Potting Around the Garden

Yeah, my hubby assembled the gardening work bench that my Mum gave me for Xmas! For most of the morning I potted succulent cuttings and volunteers. I will photo the bench manana!
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