Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's For Lunch?

Today it's tuna salad on a bed of arugula.  I added cannelloni beans, pecans, green apple, red onion, celery, and a little mayo to tuna.  I sliced some cucumbers, an avocado, and some heirloom tomatoes.  Add a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and it's ready. 
Quick, easy, and yummy! 

My husband joined me for lunch so that's why I made it pretty. 
If it's just me I don't arrange the plate like this. 
Yes my husband actually eats this and doesn't wonder where the main course is?  When I met him he drank a liter of soda a day and lived on beer and carne asada burritos.  He has totally bought in to eating healthy with me.  It's much harder to eat healthy if your spouse isn't on board.  I'm lucky mine welcomes meals like this.

What did you have for lunch? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Succulents In The Fountain?

I'm doing a landscape design for a client that has a house in Del Mar very close to the Polo fields.  We had a 7:30 AM meeting.  I got there a little early and took this picture of the sun coming up over the fields.  You can't see the Polo fields they were blanketed by morning mist. 

The house is a Spanish style with colonial and Moorish elements.  Right now the landscape is a sea of green and the front door is hard to find. The client wants color and her favorite is red.  They live in the North East and this is their vacation home. I'm recommending removing the tree in front of the fireplace because it will grow to 70' tall and it was planted to close to the foundation. 

Some of the tree ferns will be remove from the front of the house because they are blocking the windows and hiding the front door.  Can you see the awnings on the windows?  Hard to see but they need to be replaced.  I would like to add lights to either side of the entryway to better define it.  Right now there aren't any lights.

While the fountain is pretty, it looks as if it was just plucked down in the grass and doesn't tie into the landscape.  One of my ideas is to create a planter around the base of the fountain to better connect it to the front yard. 

Another idea is to plant the fountain itself.

They homeowner loves succulents.  This prompted a trip to the Nursery.

I took these pictures at Cordova Gardens in Encinitas, Ca.

They do amazing succulent displays.

Check out this succulent topiary ball.

Beautiful Agave are so architectural.

Here is a small fountain planted.  I have seen larger more grand ones that this nursery has done.  This one cost approx. $500 for the plants and the installation.  Large fountains fully installed by the nursery can run up to $1,500.  Not sure that's in my clients budget even if I did the installation for them?  The popularity in succulents in recent years has driven up the price.

The front gate of Cordova Gardens is beautiful and all drought tolerant.

Here is a picture of a succulent creation from Solana Succulents.  They use succulents to create "Seascapes."  They always have fabulous displays at the Del Mar Fair.

I couldn't go home without something for myself.
This is what I planted.

Here is my little bird bath I planted years ago by my front door.  The winter rains have helped everything bloom, even my succulents.

What do you think about succulents in a fountain?

Thanks for checking it out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The CSI Project- I made the top ten!

I wanted to share with you that I just won an award for one of the Top Ten best Reduce, Reuse, Recycle project challenge from the CSI Project
Thank You to Beckie, Jen, and Amanda for creating a forum like this!


Janell Beals from Isabella and Max Rooms and the soon-to-be-released House of Fifty E-Zine was the guest judge and she picked my Metal Hanging Planter Light as one of the top ten projects.  Definitely check out Janelle's blog.  She is currently in the middle of redoing her dining room and it already looks amazing.

I am so honored and surprised by making the top ten.  There were so many amazing and creative projects!
Here are three of my favorites.  There were 200 entries so it was hard to pick just three.

Beautiful refurbished old suitcases form House of Chic and Pinoche  Unfortunately I couldn't add a picture of them to my blog?  But if you click on the link you can see how cool they are.

This amazing necklace from Easy Peasy Grandma

A toad stool from Dragonfly Designs

Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you and congratulations to all the winners!

Re-Purposed Japanese Screens

I have had this Japanese screen from my Grandmother for many, many years.  I am lucky to have many family heirlooms.  I also have some of her water colors hanging in my family room.  My Grandmother acquired this screen while living in Japan in the early 1950's.  My brother also has one just like it.  They started out brown.  I painted it black.  I've used them in different rooms in my house, but they never quite worked?  My house has ten foot ceilings and the screens always looked out of scale with the tall ceiling height.  Another problem, (maybe it's just me) I like the top detail of the screen, but not the bottom basket weave portion.  It just seemed too busy together?

Here's what they look like now.

Grandma isn't around anymore to ask if she minds me redoing them.  This is how I re-purposed them.  I removed all the hinges and used my dad's table saw to cut the bottom basket weave and the top wood extension of the screen off.
I hope Grandma doesn't mind?  She was a very stylish woman so I'm hoping she would approve. 
At this point of the project I was liking the screens better already!

I primed them and painted them white.  I used wood glue to repair some of the loose wood detail. 
Here they are primed.

I planned on using the screens in my powder room.  I painted the powder room  like a castle ten years ago.  OK, before you start laughing remember it was ten years ago.  I wanted to re-paint it sooner, but my kids didn't want me to.  My tastes have changed so the castle went bye, bye last year.

It was my "Old World Tuscan"  period.

Last year I painted the bathroom black. No, I haven't transitioned into a "Goth" period.  I just have always loved black and white.  Sorry about the bad pictures.  This room is small and VERY difficult to photograph.  Black rooms are hard to photograph.  Did I mention photography isn't one of my strengths to begin with? 

 I added the Upholstery tacks to the ceiling detail and around the Ikea mirror.  The light fixture is from Habitat for Humanity.  I painted it silver and swagged it from the ceiling.  The room needed something else? 
 I just wasn't sure what?  I was looking for artwork and was considering painting something myself or stenciling a pattern on the walls?

How about Grandma's screens? 
 Re-painted and Re-purposed.

I hung four of them horizontally on the empty black wall next to the sink.

One behind the concrete shelf (another Habitat for Humanity find) above the toilet.

 Thanks Grandma!

I'm liking the added architectural detail and the contrast of more white.

Although the room is painted black it looks much bigger then when it was painted like a castle.  The black makes the walls recede.  To see other back rooms in my house click here.

 This mirror was free and I painted it white many years ago.  It was in my daughter's room in our old house.  I tried to give it away last year because it was sitting unused in my garage.  I found a home for it on the opposite wall from the screens.  It makes the room look larger (just not in pictures).

I would love to hear your thoughts. 
Do you think Grandma might be upset with me redoing her screens? 
Have you been faced with the same dilemma with one of your family heirlooms?

Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In the Gym

Hope you had a great weekend.  I spent it in Anaheim in the Convention Center coaching volleyball at the Junior Olympic Qualifier.
Here is my team. They're an under 12 year old team and this is their first year together.  The man on the left taking a picture of the parents is my friend and head coach Nick Fotias.  Our team finished second in San Diego County and sixteenth over all in Southern California.  Being a new team, this is an amazing accomplishment.  All of the higher ranking teams come from established veteran programs.  I am very proud of them! 

 Casey's team went too, so I got to see her briefly throughout the weekend.

It's so rewarding to work with these wonderful girls and watch them grow and develop into exceptional young ladies on and off the court. 

They aren't just learning the game of volleyball, they're learning life lessons.  Their character is being challenged in only ways that playing on a team can do.  They are learning patience, how to win with grace, how to loss with grace, how to achieve goals, how to handle failure, how to work as a team, and how to have fun!

The pay is little, but the rewards are priceless.

Hope you spent the weekend doing something you love!
Thanks for checking it out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

DIY Designer Glass Lamps

I know, I'm posting another lighting project.  But it's one of the quickest ways to update a home and I really needed a lot of updating. 

I have been on a lighting DIY marathon lately.
Have you seen these beauties showing up in pictures on the internet?  I saw this glass light in a store and thought it was pretty cool. This one is $600.  Not that cool, even if it was on sale for 50% off,  it would still be out of my budget.
I like that the center of the glass base is completely empty. 
The cord runs off the top down the back of the lamp.  The bottom is open.

Here is another picture of a similar lamp. 

  This isn't my first attempt at making a lighting fixture myself. 
Like I said earlier, I've been a little cuckoo for lighting.

After closer inspection, I made this one for $37.

I wanted to make two of these glass lamps and I wanted them to be tall.  I already had vases that would work for this project but not a pair.  I ended up buying two identical vases from Home Goods.

They are 27 and a half inches tall, but any size will do. 
 I picked a vase with a mouth(the opening) that was wider than the bottom to insure sturdiness when I flip it over to make the lamp.  If the mouth is smaller then the bottom your lamp might tip over.

They were $9.99 each

I used some Goo Gone to get all the sticker residue off. 
Clean the vases well before you start gluing. 
You will still need to clean any leftover finger prints after assembly.

I bought lamp parts at Home Depot.  I ended up not needing the lamp harps.  The shades I used did not require them.  You can't add the harps later so use them if your not sure of the type of lamp shade you will end up using.  You can buy everything you see here in one kit, but I wanted silver cord so I had to buy the pieces separately.

Start by drilling a hole in the side of the bottom of the 3 way socket.  It's very thin metal and easy to drill.  The hole needs to be big enough to feed the cord wire through.  This step needs to be done because you can't run the wire through the bottom of the socket and glue it to the bottom of the vase.

Feed the wire through the newly drilled hole and follow the package directions on how to assemble the socket.

It should look like this assembled.

I removed the small screw (the washers won't fit over it) from the bottom neck of the socket and glued three washers with the Gorilla Glue. 

Stack the washers on top of each other with glue in between each one.  This will create a wider surface area to glue the socket to the bottom of the vase.

Now glue the harp to the bottom of the vase.  Once the harp glue is semi dry, glue the socket with the three washers to the harp.  You might need to add some tape over the top to secure it while it dries.

It should look like this.

The first lamp shades I used were ones I already had and they required a harp.  I thought they looked to small for the base so I had to purchase two lamp shades.

I found these at Target for $19.99 a piece.  This is included in my total lamp cost.  They are made by Thomas O'Brien and they are a light silver color.

I put them on my Craig's List buffet that separates our eating area from the family room.

The kids aren't allowed to eat on the couch so they like to have a snack at the table and catch some TV.  These taller clear lamps make TV watching easier now.

I like the airiness these lamps bring to the room.  They also provide great reading light at night for the couch.  I like the clean lines of the new lamps with the curvy details of the refurbished buffet.  Another benefit is they are hollow.  If I get tired of the clear glass I can easily fill them.

Lighting is an easy way to update any space.
I'm linking this up to a Knock Off Party over at Homebody.
I would love to see your lighting makeovers.

Thanks for checking it out.

I'm linking this to Remodelaholic.


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