Monday, July 23, 2012


We are lucky enough to live on the farm my husband's grandfather homesteaded. He bought the first parcel July 5, 1912, so what else could we do but hold a centennial party!

Grandpa John was quite a man. He worked for tree conservation, fought to bring electricity to the farmers, worked to bring in the local hospital, and belonged to and worked tirelessly in many organizations, among them, the VFW, Granges, soil conservation districts and more. 

He immigrated to this country in 1905 at the age of 14 1/2. By 1912 he bought his first 20 acres, by 1917 he was fighting for this country. We honored him this weekend with a party that almost all his living relatives came to. 

What a legacy!

 An incredible article in the Seattle newspaper circa 1961

 One of his many obituaries. 

He was proud to serve!

Because he was one of the first tree farmers in the country, promoting sustainable and responsible harvesting, we thought it appropriate to use a piece of one of his trees and mark some of the rings with major events. We have his birth in 1890 and his great great grandchildren's birth in 2008 and everything in between!

We couldn't leave out the little guy who marks all our celebrations!

We had archival papers, like the document when he became a U.S. citizen, enlarged, then displayed them on the wall for guests to read.
The table holds towels and water shoes and badminton rackets for games in the pool!

 The bar!

 Our signature drink was a lemon drop, with four simple syrups to flavor them, mint, rosemary, rose and lavender.

Long tables set up for dining, we added votives as the evening wore on.

Comfortable seating around the pool. I caught one of the cows eating my roses earlier in the day!

The day before and the day after it rained, but the day of was sunny and beautiful! 

We displayed both the Italian and American flag to honor his heritage and his new country! 
What a wonderful day.

Monday, July 16, 2012


If you have been following my progress on my dining room, you know it has been kind of slow going. I wanted to get it just right so I am taking my time. I ordered about eight swatches for the curtains and all the panels twice before getting the color right. I think you'll like it!

I also found an amazing pair of Italian candle sconces at a store downtown, they are just beautiful. 

 My plan is to be able to dine by candlelight!

 The blue curtains are perfect!

 It's hard to see because I cannot get a photo of both sconces in one shot, but they are on either side of the large bay window.

 The color of the little blue birds in the chinoiserie wallpaper are the exact color of the curtains.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

patio update!

I love the look of long drapes on an outdoor patio. They not only block the hot late afternoon sun, but they look beautiful when there is a gentle breeze. So, I decided to put some up! Of course I did not want to spend the money for curtains and rods and installation that I have seen in the design magazines, so I did it myself. The rods are from and they are very good quality, here is the link.

I bought two sets because the span is so long and I wanted good support.

The curtains are from Ikea, I think they were $19 a panel! Then I took extra wooden rings I had laying around and spray painted them black and they work great.

Here are some photos of the finished product with a few garden shots as well!

The curtains separate these spaces and make the covered area look like a room. 

 The pots look so good with just one statement plant. Very elegant. The chartreuse smoke bush is amazing. I went a little crazy on these, they pair beautifully with the pale pink David Austin rose, Eglantyne.

 So pretty!

These three pots have one Hydrangea in them, so simple and beautiful.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


There is nothing like a hometown parade. The kids on bikes, the drill teams, the horses, the princesses and of course the very best, the veterans. Our little town has many parades throughout the year and I have to admit I haven't been for a while. Time to go celebrate a little Americana!

The veterans always bring a lump to my throat, why is that? Maybe it is the way the look, so proud and patriotic, it is my favorite part of the parade.

Have a wonderful fourth, eat lots of great food, talk about our amazing country and be safe!