Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cloud Beds

This is the Private Cloud rocking bed by Manuel Kloker. You can make it rock by dangling your foot over the side and swinging it. It is hard to imagine how this would feel. Cradles rock from side to side as do hammocks. Both people in a couple would have to love to rock. I love anything that rocks or swings so this bed intriques me! Maybe this Private Cloud Bed would be better if it had a motor to keep it rocking like the baby swings do.

If you get tired of rocking you can use the Flexible Feet that come with each bed. Another option is the nightstand which has a peg to prop the rocker on. You can set the bed at any tilt - with the head above or below level.
"This Cloud Bed is inspired by Ming Dynasty-era Chinese alcove beds, and the idea of the bed as a "room within a room." Here the form is updated, and the mobility provided by the casters lends itself to flexible, open-plan contemporary living spaces." <>

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stick Insect

Do you see it there on the post? Look carefully.

I was sweeping the boardwalk that leads from our parking area to the deck. As I walked by this post I wondered how a twig could be clinging vertically. So I looked more closely and saw this insect called a Walking Stick. National Geographic's web site was very informative. These insects can range from 1/2 inch to 13 inches. This one was about 6 inches. When I went out a few minutes later he was gone.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Magazine Craft Room versus Reality

Creating and Crafting is what I enjoy. Join the Hooked on Houses Friday blog party to see what everyone else likes!

I'm starting with a lovely photo of a craft room from Country Living, March 07. Looks too good to be true, doesn't it?

Do you think anyone who actually creates in a craft room has it looking this picture perfect?
I have shown you pictures of my craft room (cleaned up). My supplies are there and I do sometimes work there but the picture below is the REALITY.

My rocking recliner in the living room (next to hubby B's chair) is where I like to sit and sew! I can watch the news or be with B while he watches ball games. One cat sits on the back of my recliner, another at my feet and one in the chair beside me. The gas log stove is a few feet away, a glass wall is in front of me and the kitchen is only steps away so B can bring me snacks and coffee! My mother always had so much around her favorite chair we called it her nest. So now, following tradition, I have a nest!

This is my sewing "basket." Pin cushion, lace, ribbons, buttons and thread are close at hand.
This is the tray I hold in my lap to be my work surface. Scissors, beads, wire, an antique ice pick and more are there.
This is what I have to show on my latest project. On the right are the gift bags I showed you last week when I told you where I was working. On the left are the brooches I'm sewing.
This is a close up of my brooches. Each one is made of fabric, buttons, lace and other odds and ends. The materials are vintage, recycled and new.

It's time for snack. Here comes B with a bowl of strawberry shortcake and a cup of coffee for me! Do you get such great service when you create?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Looking Closely

I like to look closely at things. It can be very surprising. There is so much more of this world to see if you get really close!
Yes, this is a tree stump. See the colors, texture and pattern. Amazing, isn't it? This is in the woods on the other side of our back lane.
This is a really close up of a portion of the stump. Isn't it lovely? See the sunlight on the top? Great colors! I wish I could do a painting that looks like this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sewing and Creating

I love to sew and don't even mind doing mending. Mostly I like to come up with ideas and create my own projects. Ideas can come from anywhere. The more I create, the more ideas I have! In fact, I have so many projects going they have spilled over from my craft room and are moving into the living room. My favorite chair is a rocking recliner - the perfect place to sit and sew. I can look out the large windows into the tree tops. All around my chairs are stacks of fabric and boxes filled with lace, beads, ribbons and netting. There is always a yellow cat at my feet and one on the top of the back of my chair where I can lean my head against him. Listening to that purr is very soothing!

My son and daughter-in-law came for a visit and brought me a magazine about jewelry making. Since I have been sewing brooches and making paper beads, that set me off on a whole line of ideas about making beads. I hope to experiment with polymer clay.

These are small gift bags. Perfect for presenting a piece of jewelry, money or a gift card. Each one is lined. This patchwork bag has a casing for a ribbon drawstring that is operated by a wooden bead. The stars are buttons. Size is 3 inches by 4.
Since I like to sew by hand, the patchwork is hand stitched and quilted. These are 3 x 3 inches.
These bags are made in one piece, turned and then half is tucked in to become the lining. A casing is sewn in the top. The leaves on the bag on the left are buttons. The gold leaves on the top of the bag on the right I purchased in the jewelry section at Michael's.

I'm Hooked on Sewing! Visit the Hooked on Houses Blog party to see what others are hooked on!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To San Diego And Back!

I'm back and it was an absolutely WONDERFUL trip! I'm back in time for the Hooked on Houses Blog Party. I'm hooked on San Diego, perfect weather, beautiful flowers and fantastic trees!

I really meant to do some posts ahead and have them automatically launch but I am not as organized as Struggler! There were too many last minute things to do. I had to leave the house tidy for hubby who was not coming on the trip. There was a detailed list of plants to water that I had to print and put on the refrigerator. And of course there were wardrobe decisions to be made. Then it all had to be squished into a carry on bag. (Who trusts the airlines to get your bag on the right plane when you have to change in Houston?)

Thank goodness my daughter (J) and her husband (T) knew all the rules about packing tiny amounts of liquids and what size plastic bag is required to hold those 3 ounce bottles. The morning of departure had us at the stores looking for plastic bags and trial sizes of toothpaste, etc. for me. The flights were the pits because in my opinion it is cruel to put humans into seats with that little space. You feel that the person in front of you is sitting in your lap!

I LOVED San Diego! Who wouldn't love a place with flowers like this everywhere? I wish bougainvillea would grow in Virginia!

It was so exciting to see my son, Kevin, onstage in three plays at the Lowell Davies Theatre in Balboa Park. J & T and I met some of his fellow actors/students who are earning their Masters Degrees in Fine Arts at the Old Globe/University of San Diego (as is Kevin). All three plays ("Twelfth Night", "Coriolanus" & "Cyrano De Bergerac") were well done and very entertaining. The actors were talented and the costumes were a treat to see. The proud mother says check out Kevin's website.

The weather was perfect with temperatures in the seventies every day and dipping into the sixties at night. And there was always a gentle breeze. We especially enjoyed seeing the different kinds of trees and flowers. Balboa Park was amazing! It is 1,200 acres of gardens, museums, restaurants, and fabulous architecture. We did enjoy one of the art museums and the Photograpy Museum which had a display of Ansel Adams photos. The San Diego Zoo is also in the park but I'll save that for another post.

This is one of the many gardens in Balboa Park and one of the arches leading into the garden. Notice the fantastic tree.
These trees are in the zoo. J, T & I together took nearly 1,000 pictures. Many of them are of trees, flowers and each other taking pictures!
The architecture in Balboa Park is Spanish and there are lots of arches. Do you love arches as much as I do!
This is the same garden as the second picture. The flowers are cosmos and lavender. With such lovely weather there were outdoor weddings in the Park on Sunday so two of the gardens were closed to the public. There seemed to be wedding groups everywhere having pictures taken. What a lovely backdrop!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cut Flowers

I'm hooked on Cut Flowers. Join the Hooked on Fridays party. Another trip to the farm market for sweet corn and the cut flowers in this sun filled corner made me glad I had my camera with me!

After studying the lovely photographs that you all put on your blogs I have decided to add a new camera to my Christmas list. I want my photos to be as luscious as Claudia's of the Dippity Road.
I think my composition is okay but my photos don't have the clarity I want. Am I being a bad girl or what? I just got my new 15 inch Mac laptop, a new Photoshop Elements program and now I want a new camera! Greedy girl!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Farm Market

In our continuing quest to find local grown vegetables in Virginia, my hubby and I visited Millers' Farm stand on the Orange Plank Road, in Locust Grove. The sweet corn was fantastic! Sweetest corn I ever ate! I cook it in the microwave in the husk. Four minutes on high for two ears.

They also sell cut flowers. Beautiful, aren't they?

I bought both colors of tomatoes. Haven't had the yellow one yet. Will it taste the same?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lazy Days in the Hammock

I'm Hooked on days on the porch swinging in my hammock! What better than an iced coffee, a good book and a couple of sleeping cats? The humming bird sips at the feeder then zooms past my head as if to say hello on his way to a nectar feast at the pots of flowers on the porch. I listen to the birds sing and watch the squirrels scamper everywhere, in no danger from the cats.
With the breeze from the ceiling fan keeping me comfortable, I swing, read, and doze. Hubby comes out to see if I need a refill and bring me a snack. Across the street I can see the creek as it empties into the lake.

This is the view of the porch from the living room. With the main living area being above a daylight basement, we look right out into the trees. It is like being in a tree house. It is very quiet here at the lake. Just this afternoon as we headed to Charlottesville we stopped to move a box turtle out of the road. Then we stopped to admire a doe and her two fawns (still with white spots on their backs) who were not very concerned about us watching them! On the way home we saw yet another doe and her fawn.

Sounds idyllic doesn't it? Yet we have decided to sell this house and move onto our next adventure. Anyone in the market for a lake house?

I'm joining the Hooked on Friday's Blog Party. Drop in and join us!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I'm hooked on SUNSHINE!

I took this picture in my front yard yesterday. After a day of rain I had to get out of the house for this moment of sunshine. It was still raining but I couldn't see a rainbow. Don't we all respond to sunshine? You feel your spirits lift when you wake up and see that the sun is shinning.

I'm participating in Julia's Hooked on Houses Friday Blog Party. Please leave a comment so I know you were here! Do you like sunshine?

Watch the sun rise and set all over the world on this real-time, computer-generated illustration of the earth's patterns of sunlight and darkness. Click on the picture for a full screen view.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life and all that

While taking my new computer for a spin today, I discovered this blog - pjsallday. While my children are all grown now, what I used to do to make learning fun for them is very similar to what these three home schooling Moms are doing. They have started a business selling the educational books they create called Trigger Memory System. So check out their blog which is full of ideas. Tell them I sent you from Porch Days.

On the home scene, I returned from the New England trip feeling under the weather. My caring hubby was up early to make an appointment for me with the doctor (a scary thing when you have no health insurance). Please, all of you contact your senators and representatives and tell them we need a public option for insurance. One's health insurance should not equal the cost of one's mortgage!

The actor son, Kevin, has recovered from the flu and is going back to work at the Old Globe Theater, the Lowell Davies Festival, tonight. See the outdoor stage. He has roles in three plays, Cyrano De Bergerac, Coriolanus, and Twelfth Night. Here is a review of Twelfth Night in which Kevin plays Sebastian, the boy twin. My daughter, her husband and I have reservations to see him in all three plays later in August. I am very excited!! My hubby will hold down the fort at home.

Twelfth 6: (L-R) Kevin Hoffmann as “Sebastian,” Katie MacNichol as “Olivia” and Dana Green as “Olivia/Cesario” in The Old Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, directed by Paul Mullins, playing in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre June 13 – September 27 in nightly rotation with Cyrano de Bergerac and Coriolanus; photo by Craig Schwartz.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Computer Death

Well, it finally happened. My six year old hand-me-down Mac laptop died! Just went black and that was it! Scary! I took it to be diagnosed in case it was only the power cord but no. Probably the logic board they said. Not worth replacing in a six year old computer. I was feeling lost without it.

My sweet, concerned husband insisted I buy a new laptop while we were at the store. I was keeping a stiff upper lip and said we couldn't possibly afford it and I would feel guilty spending so much money. He insisted. What a guy! Maybe I shouldn't mention that if I didn't replace the laptop I would be sharing the desktop computer with hubby and his ballgames.

So I have a new 15 inch MacBook Pro laptop. We were leaving for Maine the next day and I didn't even have time to turn it on!!! We arrived in Connecticut and No. 1 son-in-law helped me set up some programs and system preferences. Now I'm home and ready to get cracking! I have to figure out file sharing to move over photos and music. My sons and son-in-law will be getting some "help me" phone calls.

Always something to worry about.
The actor son has the swine flu and we came home to a sick cat - Paws. Here is Paws in a
non-sick napping moment on the back of my recliner. I put him on the recliner tonight and sat with him for a while. If he is not better tomorrow we go to the vet.

Hopefully I will have some Maine photos posted soon. Shopping on Commercial Street in Portland was fun and eating seafood was fantastic. We also went to see Portland Head Lighthouse.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Flower Planters

Don't you love planters and containers? They are the perfect way to highlight a few plants. They can also be rotated. If you have a low light situation where you want a plant, rotate the plant with one on your porch every few days. That way your dark spot is filled with no harm to the plant. This is a begonia in a basket. Easy to move wherever you need a touch of color.

Downtown Mercersburg, PA is the location of this planter. This coleus is perfect for this shady spot.

My former neighbor Joan is a genius with containers. This is a picture of her back porch.

This planter is sitting on the path in my garden in Pennsylvania. Marigolds and star zinnias combine for a great look in an old coal bucket.
I'm hooked on planters. Check on the Friday blog party at Hooked on Houses.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Special Pet Photo

This is my pet photo for the Week 27 photo challenge
@, the photography blog.

My cat Paws asleep on the back of my recliner. He curls around my head, puts his paws on my shoulders and wraps his tail around my neck. He loves it when I rock and doesn't even mind when I recline. He just hangs on and purrs!