Friday, March 29, 2013

Succulents and an Indoor Garden

Good day from the Sunset Coast! Have you noticed that succulents have really become popular? Garden centers are stocking up all kinds of them. I've started collecting them  and replanting them in pots as they propagate. I call them 'babies' when the plant kind of clones itself and makes a new plant. It's easily snipped off and just put into another pot or right into the ground.
I have several pots of mixed succulents and I just keep taking clippings and adding them to other pots. Here are a couple on my front steps.

They're so easy to grow and don't really need much care.They do well in my Southern California climate because they are drought resistant too. Sometimes a neighbor will give me a little 'baby'  off their succulents. Sometimes I take a little piece on my dog walks.
I found some fabulous and inspiring plantings of succulents on Pinterest.

Some of the ideas are for indoor succulent planters, so I decided to give that a try.
 I had this sorry looking plant for several years. It just doesn't seem to grow!

First thing I did was add some indoor planting mix soil!!!
Then I just started harvesting little snippets of succulents from pots around my yard. Simply popped them into the soil.
When the pot gets overgrown, I'll just take some out and replant them elsewhere.
The newly planted pot found a home in my kitchen.
Do you have a place for succulents in your home or garden?
Have a Sunny Day!
I'm sharing here... Check them out too!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quilting and the Sewing Circle Show Off

Good Morning ! Welcome to Sunset Coast. Today is all about quilting. Every Tuesday I attend a class of fun women, our 'Sewing Circle'. We bring whatever project we want. Most of us quilt, some make garments, some just visit and talk. It's pretty much anything you want it to be and fun and therapeutic.
Whenever someone is finished with their quilt or quilt top, we pin it up for everyone to 'oooh' and 'ahh' over. Sometimes we pin up our quilt designs and everyone puts in their 2 cents and opinion on how things should be arranged or completed with borders and suggestions for binding or layout, etc.
Tuesday brought us these beauties to  check out...
Ginny made this gorgeous 'Fun in the Square Quilt'. She is our resident long arm quilter and did a great job on this one. The pattern of quilting is called 'Angel Wings'. Check out the detail on the back too!

Diane is working on this pretty, scrappy Batik quilt. She really has a knack with batiks!

Jasmin is finishing this Christmas table runner using holiday fabrics. I hope I can share the awesome tree skirt she already made to match.
Barbara finished her quilt top using a log cabin pattern. Love the modern fabrics and colors. The square arangement really has depth, like windows!

Cassandra pinned up her quilt squares in shades of blue to check out the arrangement. Louise, our teacher, contributed the nicely appliqued Greek letters. This lovely quilt will be finished up real soon!
Mimi completed this darling quilt made from her son's baby clothes. She's giving it to him to cuddle with . So sweet!
Lastly, I'm showing off the quilt made by Bobbie. Isn't it wonderful?
Bobbie made this Stars and Stripes pattern, for The Wounded Warriors Project. It will be donated to a worthy veteran. Ginny did the detailed long arm quilting for this also; love the freehand star design!
 Click on this link to learn more about the Wounded Warriors Project and the great work they do.
That's it for quilting show and tell today. What projects are you working on? Send me a link if you have one!
Have a Cozy Day!
Sharing at these sites too...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vintage Lamps and Lighting Makeovers..Obsession Confession

     I confess, I might have a little problem. I love lamps! I'm looking around my bedroom right now and there are 5 lamps. Some women like shoes, I like lamps. Okay, not every room has this problem, but I just rescued a lamp from a thrift store that I couldn't pass by. And 4 of the lamps in the bedroom are ones that I have redone, upcycled, painted or whatever making over is called.
Here's a partial tour of the lighting addiction I can't seem to shake.

My Latest Adoption
Seriously, could you pass up this beauty? I love the roses and floral motif.
Actually, if I bought all the lamps I wanted, I'd have a dozen in every room. I try not to look too hard for them. Don't want to be a hoarder you know...

Restoration Hardware Redo Times 2

I have a pair of the lamps pictured above. It started out as a brass lamp from Restoration Hardware about 20 years ago. Living near the  ocean was hard on the brass so I painted it with a bronze spray paint a few years ago. Recently, I made up my own chalk paint for a softer look.  All I did was mix some green paint, white paint, a couple spoons of plaster of paris and some water to thin it to paint consistency. Paint it on, let it dry, wax it or spray with a clear spray. VOILA!! Instant shabby chic lamp. Don't be afraid to paint a lamp! If it's metal or wood and has good bones and an interesting shape, make it over!
     This is just a classic marble lamp I picked up in my thrifty shopping travels. Typical hoarder regret.. I didn't pick up the other one I saw at the same time. I know.. tmi.

Another vintage lamp find. I've had this one a long time. Love the metal details and glass blob. Probably won't be painting this, EVER.

This is one of my painted brass lamps. It's an old favorite and has been in a bedroom, the kitchen and now makes the family room home. I've painted many brass lamps. If you love the shape, just sand it, prime it and have fun with acrylic paints .

Here's a lamp I just spray painted. It was brown for many years and with all the amazing spray paint colors out there, I decided to add some color. I found this orange shade for just a few dollars. Obviously, I'm not afraid of color!

This sweet and petite lamp is sort of a problem child. I do love it, but I've tried to sell it on Etsy and a consignment store at different times. I think it needs to be in a shabby chic baby girl's nursery. For now, it makes a great lamp in my hall downstairs. I added the teeny tiny beaded trim on the shade. I think it's so cute, but I guess I get to keep it!
And now, to end today's lamp museum tour. This was a garage sale find that got a recent makeover. I painted over the original greenish metal finish. I think winter was getting to me and I needed something bright and happy. The color is a mix of some red and orange paint I had. I'm telling you, don't be afraid to paint a lamp. It's an easy DIY project with instant results.
One more thing... I have to say something about this post. I'm still learning how to photogragh in the home and realize some of these shots don't have the best lighting. Ironically, a whole post about lighting and I can't get good lighting for the photos. All these lamps and the lighting sucks! Oh, and the lamp shades aren't crooked, really! C'est la vie!
Have a Bright Day!
Sharing here...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Painting Furniture--The Cute Hall Cabinet Makeover

I love this little cabinet! It's very shallow and fits in my downstairs hallway. It's handy for dropping keys and sunglasses right off the doorway to the garage. I was given the cabinet by a neighbor that was moving and FREE is the best price! For a few years I left it in it's ugly varnished state until inspiration struck.
I've been painting vintage furniture for years, but lately I've gotten intrigued by the chalk paint craze and when I saw the paint at a local store, I thought.." I can paint furniture that looks like that with latex paint". So this little piece was my experiment.
After taking off the hinges and handles, I lightly sanded the  varnished wood down and gave it a coat of water based primer.(Whatever they have at Home Depot like Kilz or Bulls Eye works great). 
There was a key hole that I filled with wood putty and I sanded that smooth too.

Now, for the easy paint technique on this not quite antique wood furniture... I had a couple tones of blue paint. One was 'Languid Blue' from Sherwin Williams and the other was a Blue Cypress color from Behr. (It's a light turquoise-ish/blue-ish hue). First I slopped on the Languid Blue, then while it was still wet, I blended on the other Blue Cypress color.
I didn't blend it completely, I wanted some streaks.

When the paint was completely dry, I waxed it with Fiddes and Sons clear wax polish. I like their brand better than others, it's smooth and not grainy like some I tried.
So after a good buffing, replacing the hardware and adding a knob........Here it is!
I don't know if I got the 'ASCP' chalk paint look, but I like it and I decided not to distress it. It's not distressed, it's 'de-stressed'!
The paint really highlighted the cute details. I especially like the curvy bottom trim that was hardly noticable before and it's new shabby chic charm.

On another note, I framed those old flower prints you see above. My mom had them in a closet for years and years. I just cut them to fit 2 in a frame that I had from something else. Instead of buying a mat, I simply used some grosgrain ribbon to hide the seam between the prints and to surround them. Easy DIY project!
What furniture needs an update at your house?
Have a Productive Day! Cindy

Friday, March 22, 2013

Huntington Beach Butterfly Park: My Mini Adventure with the Dogs

Every morning I take my dogs Tinker and Pumpkin for a walk. It's not a very vigorous walk, they're old dogs. Tinker is a white poodle and 14, Pumpkin is an apricot mix of who knows what. I rescued her 7 years ago, but she is probably about as old as Tinker. When her fur grows out she looks like a teddy bear and everyone asks, 'What kind of dog is that?' Then they usually laugh or squeal because she looks so cute. Then they proceed to bend down to pet her...Big mistake! She snaps at them defensively.  Anyways, I digress!
Yesterday we went to the Butterfly Park.
Actually, it's the Norma Brandel Gibbs, former mayor of Huntington Beach, park.

Name this flower!
It's a pretty little park. Lots of eucalyptus trees for butterflies to lay eggs and the sides are lined with garden beds full of plants that attract butterflies. The weather is great here, but the plants aren't in full bloom yet. I captured a few pretty flowers. The beds are taken care of by volunteers and they even have labels for many of the plants. Did I remember to write them down? No...!
                                                                Sweet Pea Bush

      The other nice thing about 'Butterfly Park' is that it is fairly enclosed and people let their dogs run off leash. It's not allowed, so don't quote me on this!
You can also dedicate a bench or tree to a loved one in their memory. What a nice place to contemplate your love of someone lost.
How I see Pumpkin and Tinker on a Walk

Anyways, it was a beautiful morning, the birds were chirping, and tweeting and cawing. As we were leaving, I noticed a large dog running off leash. No big deal, but then a man started shoo'ing it away. It was a COYOTE! We have such a coyote problem in the city of Huntington Beach. So I quickly left the park with my little appetizers doggies. I guess I'll have to be more careful at Butterfly Park. Did I mention I didn't see any butterflies?


Where do you like to go to see nature where you live?                                                      
Have a peaceful day! Cindy

butterfly park sign