Thursday, July 30, 2015

Company Amidst Chaos...

This year has been long and trying and yet I remain so very grateful.  I am finally getting to say good-bye to the 1980's mauve carpeting.  Our home wasn't even built until the 1990's but the entire downstairs was mainly mauve in tile and carpet.  It just had to go for the sake of least that is what I convinced Mr. C.

Little did I know what a major amount of work it would entail.  I have already shared the bathroom remodel and how much I love the new updated look.  Here is the finished hall and bathroom link

So needless to say the removal of three rooms of overwhelming stuff and furniture was daunting.  I carried all I could upstairs into the Library and just piled it or dropped it where I stood. 

Mr. C and I are so old that we have massive heavy good quality furniture.  The bad news is that it is massive and heavy and where do you put it temporarily!

My studio got the brunt of stuff since it was the closest to the three rooms getting new carpet.  I won't bore you with more photos or tales of woe.  I will show the new carpeting when I find my camera in all this stuff!  I am grateful that the new carpet is installed.  Long story that I will left untold.  Now I realize that putting every thing back in order will be a much larger job due to exhaustion and overload...not to mention I must edit and reduce my stuff. 
There hasn't been any fun happening in this household and Summer is quickly waning.  The Moon gave me some much needed Bliss as I gazed at it last night and talked softly thanking my blessings.
Oh you are wondering about the title..."Company Amidst Chaos"?  Mr. C's son gave us three days notice and arrived for a week's visit.  Yes, I had to help with all the guest room furniture and it is very heavy solid wood antiques!!!  Mr. C and I were up most of the night before his arrival to get just that room ready.  I am praying my Chaos turns to Calm very soon or I may need a serious vacation.
Thank you for your prayers regarding the dangerous raging forest fire that is just a few miles from our home.  It has been a tense few days and far...the over 2000 firefighters and numerous amounts of planes, dozers and helicopters are keeping us safe.  Rain would be so welcome here in Northern California where there are over 1200 fires burning each day.  Yes, I did type that number correctly.  And to top it off we are back in triple digit heat wave temperatures. 
Soon I will share some creative bits I have managed to eek out in spite of my sewing machine being gone for repairs.  You can take the sewing machine away from the girl but you can't take the needle and thread from her fingers.
Yes, my July tag line is still fitting..."High on Life July".  Warm Summer Smiles and Creative Bliss My Friends... 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Welcome to Our Pond...

This is the walkway to our pond that Mr. C went to pond college and then built for us.  We have had it now for at least 12 years and it has its challenges from year to year.  I know I have shared many posts on this blog.  This is by far my most favorite place ever!  Mr. C did such a great job and I am so grateful to be able to sit and reflect while enjoying the wonders of Nature.

I have tried many flowers here but the deer and other critters always eat/destroy them.  Now I have mint planted and it has been left untouched.

This is a rather large pond that is very eco friendly.  I would explain but it is too technical for this simple girl.  These photos were taken in early morning as I am really here to trim the Wooley Thyme. and once the sun hits I cannot stay long.

We have Lillies that bloom in shades of yellow, salmon, burgundy, pink and white.  Lots of amazing dragonflies in colors of blues, reds and black with yellow stripes.  Just turn on the water spray and they appear like magic.

This is our seating area where I spend lots of time reflecting on life and enjoying our surrounding Nature.  Living here is truly dreamy.  Each year I must trim the Wooley Thyme around the flagstones.  When you step here the fragrance is delightful.  First I let the Wooley Thyme bloom its sweet tiny lavender flowers.  Then I sit back and enjoy at least 6 different types of bees flit from blossom to blossom doing their harvesting.  Once the blossoms completely fade then it is time for me to trim.

I have tried many types of trimming tools and find my orange handled Fiskars to work the very best. 

The trickiest part is finding the flagstone down under the growth.  Some years I admit my flagstone shapes are slightly different.  Rounded corners vs. square corners can depend on how tired I am at trimming time.  Oh and many teeny tiny little frogs live in the Thyme.  I tried to photo them but they are very quick and don't stay to pose for a camera.  They are the size of my fingernails...just 1/2 inch or so.  Very sweet but I must say they do startle me when they jump out of nowhere.  One day there was a very large alligator lizard in the way so I left until he was gone.  After all it gave me a much needed rest break.  They do scare me a lot!

Thank you for visiting our pond.  We could share a glass of wine or a cuppa anytime.  I truly cherish the moments when Mr. C takes time to sit with me and enjoy what he has built for us.

Now it is back up the hill to the house and other chores.  By the way I usually don't trim this walkway with the precision I do at the sitting area.  I like the walkway to be more random as it gets a lot of foot traffic.  I hope you feel relaxed and refreshed after visiting our pond. 
We are in another HOT spell with temperatures in the nineties.  Just down the hill is triple digit heat.  We are still completely dry and without rain.  Everyday the CDF Air Tankers are flying and refilling to put out numerous fires.  I added a link if you would like to know more.  So far...we are safe! 
May you be savoring your Summer.  Having fun and doing the things that bring you JOY.   I continue to be finding High on Life July perfectly fitting for me.  Mr. C and I have a very busy weekend of moving furniture and stuff in preparation for next week.  I will share all that very soon.  Creative Bliss and Summer Smiles...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lovely Calming Lavender...

Have you ever created a lavender wand?  Simply made with long stems of lavender buds and ribbon.  This one in the photo was made by my French friend (no blog) Catherine.  I learned how to make them several years ago when I visited Cache Creek Lavender Farm to harvest lavender for drying.  They had a workshop on how to make the wands and I was thrilled to learn.   Many years ago a wonderful elderly lady gave me a wand that she had made many years before.  Although it was very dry and brittle it still had that wonderful lavender aroma when you placed it between your hands and gently rolled it back and forth to release the calming scent.  I was quite intrigued with her gift to me. 

This year I was visiting my French friend Catherine and she generously went out to her lavender garden and snipped some long stems of lavender for me.  Then she proceeded to teach me how to make this lovely lavender basket with ribbon.  I am smitten with this and thrilled beyond words to know how to make these.  I actually made this one while Catherine made a separate one.  Her basket handle was much better than mine as it was more rounded on top.  I am pleased with this one being my very first attempt at a lavender basket.  Next year when the lavender is in season I shall be wanting to visit a lavender farm and harvest lots to make these gems.  They make wonderful gifts and last for a very long time.  I still have sachets I made and filled years ago that are in my closet amongst my clothes.  I believe they also retard pests from eating cloth which is a nice bonus. 
What have you created with lavender stems and/or buds? 
Our weather has been glorious the last several days.  Very cool and beautiful blue skies.  We did actually have 5 minutes of rain one evening.  I was literally outside thanking the heavens and praying it would continue.  They were the largest rain drops I had ever seen.  I am grateful for any rain even if it was only 5 minutes of moisture.  It is supposed to once again turn very warm this week.  I have begun my annual Whooly Thyme trimming on my flagstone seating area at the pond.  It will take me many hours and many days to complete this task.  I have to get on my hands and knees to find the flagstones and cut the Whooly Trim.  I use my orange handled Fiskars scissors as they work the very best for me.  I do love our pond and seating area.  Every year I share photos.  Maybe when I finish I will post another photo. 
My High on Life July tag line is working well for me.  Each and every day I am finding a solid reason why I choose this to focus on this month.  I prefer to be happy and have a positive attitude rather than get down with all the drama that can surround us in this daily life.  Creative Bliss and High on Life July my friends...

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sewing and Beading...

My little dress sewing is done for now.  Not by choice but by necessity.  I was sewing along and BOOM!  My machine had a metal on metal wreck and is now in for service.  I was able to sew four dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World.  Hopefully I was also able to introduce others to this wonderful charity project and they will contribute.  My daughter actually bought this little fabric for me years ago and it was just the perfect adorable addition to sewing a dress.

This is one of the four dresses I sewed.  I had fun putting pockets and ties together.  Thinking of the girl who might wear this dress and hoping it brings a big smile to her face along with lots of love into her heart. 

I also did a tiny bit of beading.  A friend had a very small childhood necklace that she thought would be fun to wear from time to time however it needed to be restrung and lengthened.  I selected some very small silver beads to add to the tiny little faux pearls and hopefully she will like it as much as I do.  It can always be put back together as it was when she wore it as a little girl. 
Now it is time for me to sort and purge my office desk.  Not something I look forward to doing but it is necessary.  I don't know why I save every little scrap of paper and paper clip and...and...and!
I hope you are enjoying your Summer/Winter and Creating what You Love.  High on Life July...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mr. C's Roses...

When I met my wonderful husband to be we each were well into the halfway point of our lives.  We became friends and fell in love with one another.  We made certain by dating for ten years.  Then we decided it was time to actually marry and make our future "do-overs".  We have just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary and couldn't be happier together. 

Mr. C never had time for plants or flowers until I came along.  I don't have my Grandma's green thumbs but I do appreciate beautiful plants.  Thankfully Mr. C has come to not only appreciate them but to also grow them.  He is partial to roses.  The deer ate all our roses when we first planted them so after lots of struggles with every deer repellent method known to mankind, Mr. C installed a black deer fence for the backyard.  Now he has his beloved roses.

This particular bush is a David Austen brand from Texas.  I cannot remember the "proper" name so we merely call it our Yellow Rose of Texas.  The blooms are spectacular.  Not much fragrance but so lovely to look at. 

On many days our home is filled with roses right from Mr. C's garden. We feel very blessed.  When we dated we always gave one another one red rose and one white rose.  Of course we had to buy them from the florist back then.  Why one red rose and one white rose?  Red for Passion and White for Truth.  That is how we continue to honor our "do-over" marriage.  Communication is the key to any relationship and we feel it is the most important element of happiness and longevity.  Happy Anniversary Mr. C.
Thankfully no crazy fireworks to light dry tinder here in our little piece of paradise.  I do appreciate all of your prayers for rain and I am not giving up on Mother Nature.  She will eventually bless us with water.  For now we conserve and try to keep us safe with clearing dry brown weeds.  I spent Saturday filling three large trash bags for collection.  It remains hot here but I prefer the heat to freezing cold temperatures.  Mr. C marched in a huge parade in Danville California.  The Devil Mountain Brigade has marched in this parade for something like 42 years and the crowds prove how much they appreciate this group. 
This year I am selecting a word each month.  Something that speaks to me as I progress along my journey.  June it was JOY.  And I truly did find JOY in each and every day.  Now for July it would be easy to once again select JOY however I am challenging myself to more positive experiences.  Therefore July it shall be "High on Life July".  I am going to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative as the song so appropriately said long ago.  When I get frustrated or overwhelmed it is easy for me to become negative and that is not where I want to be.  Positive and Happy is my place of preference.  So with that said, July and I are "High on Life".  Creative Bliss for all...