Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

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I wish you bluebirds in the spring, to give your heart a song to sing,
And then a kiss, but more than this, I wish you love.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Frankly, I love the various visual accompaniments, as well as the gastronomical delights associated with this holiday, but have always felt it was kind of over rated. Like New Year’s Eve {IMHO}.  Still, I do love some of the things creative people come up with for parties, wonderful floral beauty, inspiring table settings and fabulous menus.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

{via}

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

{via}

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

I wish you love on this and every day of the year.  There are so many ways to express love and it doesn’t have to be St. Valentine’s Day.

Some of my favorite ideas for displays of affection…

Entertaining.  It can be Mr. B and me, or sometimes we invite a few close friends for dinner the weekend before or after.  I’ve made this flower arrangement before (below).  You use a straight sided square or round glass flower container.  Then you center a smaller glass or vase inside (the glass or vase should be as tall, or just slightly taller than the first container).  Then you fill the space between the glass container and the insert glass/vase with whatever valentine colored candies you choose.  Carefully fill the inside vase/glass with water and add flowers.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Table settings don’t have to be red or pink.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Other little gestures include Flowers

A bouquet for anyone, including yourself, says love better than a lot of other things (in my humble opinion)

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

For the Paper and pen/pencil person in your life, these great journals from Minted would be a welcome item showing your thoughtful care for them.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

{Minted journal}

~or~ what the men in my family like to use when keeping a journal…

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

{Moleskine journal}

Home Baked Goodies are always welcome.  I love the idea of giving someone, including Mr. B. cinnamon rolls for two (I’d have to insist he share), wrapped as only Jenny of Everyday Occasions demonstrates…

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

These cakes could easily put a smile on my face…

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

It’s the Little Things …any one of these hearts would speak of fondness for the recipient.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Whether you’re staying at home this Valentine’s Day, by the fire, or out for a walk…

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

I wish you love all year long.

Garden, Home and Party: I wish you love

{Home} Television, then and now

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Hi Everyone!  Happy Wednesday.  Since I love the cooler months of the year, and since one of the many reasons for that is the excuse to watch more TV,  I thought it might be a good time to talk television…then and now.

Garden, Home and Party 10.2.13

I pretty much like to think of myself as a ‘live in the moment’ kind of gal.  I plan ahead, but I truly do try to avoid looking back too much…there are some pretty nasty pot holes that plague me (why didn’t I save 10% out of every paycheck from my first job at Judy’s boutique and all subsequent jobs, why didn’t I become a dental hygienist, and why, oh why didn’t I wear sunscreen when I was a teen?!).

Garden, Home and Party, Television, then and now

More than that, I swore to myself I wouldn’t be the kind of “older” person who declared, “In my day we _______”.  That kind of looking back bothered me when I was younger and still bothers me today.

But…and you knew this was coming…when did television sets become the size of the screen at the local theater?  I know technology has made great strides in the size of the overall piece, no more large tubes that create the equivalency in weight of an over-sized box filled with boulders.  The weight of most television sets is now very manageable, unlike a large set we once owned that took 3 very strong men to move.  But *we have definitely decided somewhere along the way that we have/need to have life sized images staring at us when they speak their lines that broadcast in surround sound.

*we – read people in general

As winter sets in I’m certain there will be more indoor time, which might lead to more television viewing so here you go…

Garden, Home and Party 8.25.13 television in the home

Garden, Home and Party, television then and now

{Better Home and Garden}

I’ve covered the topic of how to hide a TV in a room but I thought this might help with those of us who have thrown in the towel and now have Daniel Craig in HD, a TV picture that shows every eyelash surrounding those dreamy blue eyes, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Garden, Home and Party: TV then and now

{Jennifer Brouwer Design via Home Bunch}

And for those that enjoy keeping up with sports while watching a movie…

Garden, Home and Party, television then and now

{source}

Garden, Home and Party, television then and now

{source}

Garden, Home and Party, television then and now{source}

Garden, Home and Party, television then and now

{source}

Garden, Home and Party, home theater{source}

Garden, Home and Party, television in design

{source}

Weigh in, do any of these speak to you?  They aren’t me, even though I love to watch movies and television.  I’d love to hear how you’ve solved this design dilemma…in my humble opinion, television is a necessary evil. And I’d love to know if you have a new favorite TV show from the fall line-up.

Garden, Home and Party, television in design

{source}

{Garden} Recipe for growing moss in the garden, and a winner

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The winner of the Carolyn Westbrook book is:

Sheila of Our Bungalow’s 2nd Century:

Happy birthday, Karen! My favorite mirrors are also those whose silvering is losing its luster! When I was a little kid, we didn’t have a lot, and my parents started making use of cast-off family antiques (which now fill my house). I remember them not wanting a mirror because the silver was going bad, but even as a child I thought it had such character. To this day I love old, beat-up mirrors!

Congratulations, Sheila. Send me your shipping information via email and I’ll send the book.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors and a giveway

I love to work in the garden and living in Southern California I can do this without concern for weather most of the year.  This is something that has great benefit and at the same time leaves me longing for the occasional snow storm or an abundance of rain found in so many other places.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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One of the many things I admire in a garden is the moss-laden stone where weather encourages this growth.  England comes to mind, but I’ve seen beautiful moss growing on stone benches and planters in Washington state and other regions of the world.  Where I live I have to work at it if I want something to have the patina that comes with moss and rust and such.

On my visit to the Bloedel, Bainbridge Island, Washington last fall I found plenty of beautiful moss, including a moss garden they created.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{2}

…and then there’s this…England {sigh}

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{4}

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{5 ~ Bruges, Belgium}

Recently one of my favorite sites, Design Chic, featured “Marvelous Moss” in the garden, and in the same week I stumbled upon a recipe, in fact 2 recipes, for growing moss on stone or terra cotta (I have searched in vain for the source, but here are the recipes I had copied and pasted for future reference).

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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The moss on this bench is the goal, I love it, especially the rich green in contrast with the white hydrangea.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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I’d guess that moss grows in abundance in the shade of these willow trees.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{9}

I love this fountain in part because it looks antique and for it’s pond-like basin, so soothing to listen to water dripping gently into water.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{10}

I’ve seen man-made water features such as this, isn’t it pretty?

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{11}

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{13}

I would love a stone wall, maybe one with a better gate, in the back yard.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{14}

I confess, my sundial is starting to look a bit aged, like this one, but it’s in too much sun to truly grow the emerald stuff.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

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Garden, Home and Party: Recipe for growing moss

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

{Newton Winery, St. Helena, California}

{As an avid fan of blog-reading and general online fanatic  enthusiast, I’m forever wondering how I survived without all of this information at my fingertips before.}  First of all, did you know you can buy actual live moss spores?  I was very surprised.  {What doesn’t Amazon sell}

If you decide to try the recipe, the first one suggests you can use moss from the garden as a starter, or obtain moss spores.

Garden, Home and Party: Moss in the garden

Adding Moss Works Best On
Terra Cotta Stone or Concrete Containers ~ Stone or Concrete Sculptures

There are 2 ways to go about doing this. Both ways work really well, so choose one that best suits your tastes.

Moss requires an acidic environment to grow, which can be developed by painting a pot with buttermilk or yogurt, that’s why both recipes below have one or the other.
Recipe 1:

  1. Collect mosses either from around your yard or a friends or neighbors (you can also buy moss spores at a garden store)
  2. Finely chop the moss up (or sprinkle in the moss spores into the mix below if you purchased them)
  3. Allow the moss bits to dry up for a couple of days (if you collected them yourself)

Then mix together in a large bucket or bowl:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1-1 1/2 cups dried, crumbled moss

Once the above is mixed together, put the bucket in full sun for three days.

When the mixture is good and smelly, brush it generously with a paintbrush on the outsides of your clay pots. Then wrap the pots in plastic wrap and put them in partial sun.

In two weeks the pots will start to grow mold, and by eight weeks the pots will be nice and furry with moss, and looking very antique and old.
Recipe 2:

  • Blend pieces of dried moss or purchased moss spores into
  • 2 cups yogurt or buttermilk
  • Paint onto your pot with a paintbrush
  • Put your pot into a plastic bag to create a humid environment for the moss to develop
  • Set the pot and bag in a cool, shady spot until the moss begins to form, which will be about 10 days
  • Make sure to plant the container so you will be watering it regularly, which will keep the moss alive and growing.

I know moss growth isn’t for everyone, in fact we had a door to door salesman stop by one day selling some “special” cleaning product.  Before I could stop him, to demonstrate his wonder product he sprayed a part of the brick at our entry and was so proud that it instantly removed the bit of moss that had grown there!

So would you actually apply one of these recipes to a planter in your garden? I think I may try it…I’ll let you know if it works.

{1} tumblr Connoisseur, Oxford :: {2} Garden, Home and Party :: {2 England, 3 England, Yorkshire Dales, 4 Bruges, Belgium} source unknown :: {5} Design Chic via Cheryl Rowe :: {6} Design Chic via la maison gray garden :: {7} Design Chic via Mother Earth Living :: {9} Irene Suchocki Photography :: {10} Haus Design,sadly Barbara has stopped her blog posts :: {11, 12} Pinterest :: {13} Providence Ltd. Design :: {14, 15} source unknown :: {16} tumblr, Connoisseur :: {17} Wasping through the Countryside :: {18} Pinterest

{Home} An honest reflection, mirrors; and a giveaway

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Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors, II

This isn’t my first post about mirrors, I really like the beauty they add to a room, large or small, mirrors and the frames around them are always lovely.  In many instances they do double duty with the size enhancing of a room they offer.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

{unknown}

But it wasn’t until I read my blog friend, Victoria’s {Restoring our 1890 Victorian} post about her “kingdom” mirror that I saw the impressive benefit a really big mirror adds to a room.  This post is for you, Victoria.  Just look at these mirrors, aren’t they fabulous?

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

{Restoring our 1890 Victorian ~ Kingdom Mirror}

A trumeau mirror is the ideal combination of art and reflection…here’s a DIY if you’re crafty and would like to try your hand at making your own.  I would love to find an antique but I hear they are cost prohibitive.  {Maybe Victoria can find one for me on Craigslist}  Since it’s the search that I love I will continue to see if I can stumble upon a steal someplace.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

A shelf with a mirror behind doubles your collections, right?

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

{New England Home}

Is this a great mirror? I love the black paint on the wall, contrasting with a white framed mirror, tub and walls.

Garden Home and Party: Mirrors II

{Roses and Rust}

I am especially drawn to mirrors that have lost some of their reflection by aging.  There’s something almost magical for me in mirrors that have aged this way.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

{via}

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II{via}

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II{via}

Garden Home and Party: Mirrors II

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This room is so light-filled and simple…the mirror adds light and the feeling of space, don’t you think?  The clock is a favorite too.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II{via}

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

Ah, the patina of the mirrors and candle sticks…yes, please.

This vanity mirror is being put to good use…it looks so nice with the mirrored vanity and trash container (under the vanity).  In the reflection of the mirror you can see a diverging mirror.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors II

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The mirror below was once a door…I think this is such a great idea.

Garden Home and Party: Mirrors II

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This looks like something out of Versailles.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirror II

Do you have a favorite mirror?  So on to the fun part, a present to one lucky reader…

My birthday is January 27th and  I want to host my first giveaway.  I’ve thought long and hard about just what I’d like to give to one lucky reader.

I lean toward English country / traditional design, but there’s always been a hint of French country influence in my decorating.  Charles Faudree, who lost his battle with cancer this past November, was master of combining the two seamlessly.

A few years ago I was introduced to Carolyn Westbrook, “The French Inspired Home” through a blog site that loves all things French.  {This is where I would install a link if I could remember which blog site it was…apologies}.  So when I learned, a little late, of Westbrook’s newest book, Through the French Door:  Romantic Interiors Inspired by Classic French Style,  I thought it would be fun to offer a giveaway to my readers who may not know of her talents and would love to be inspired by her work.

Garden, Home and Party: Mirrors and a giveway

To enter, simply leave a comment.  I will randomly select a winner and announce it in my post on Wednesday, January 29th.

Happy Wednesday.  I hope your week is going well.

{GHP} They say its your birthday

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Today we celebrate birthdays.  Martin Luther King Jr., Saint’s quarterback, Drew Brees and Mr. B.  (Husband, and love of my life, my raison de vivre)  Some of you may even have the day off from work. :-)

Since my official weekly blog post day is today, I thought I’d share some images that I believe he would approve of.  A modern collage dedicated to you,  Mr. B.

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

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Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B. Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B. Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B. Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mr. B. (my Mr. Darcy), thanks for everything!

Garden, Home and Party: Mr. B. Birthday

♥ Karen

{GHP} Word of the year 2014

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I get a lot of post ideas while reading other blogs.  There are so many talented writers and I often gain inspiration for a subject to explore while reading someone’s account of a topic.

This happened on New Year’s Day.  While reading as many of my favorite blogs as I could with a day free of obligation or industry (I was typically behind in my blog reading due to fun with my granddaughter/Christmas celebration) .  When I read Layla’s {The Lettered Cottage} account of her choice of a Word Of The Year for 2014, something she does annually, I knew this word would fit with some of my goals for the year.  As Layla explains,

That’s what choosing a Word Of The Year is all about. You live with it, you let it speak to you…you follow where it leads. There are no rules…it’s just supposed to be a little spark.

With the new year comes analysis of life in the rear view mirror and ideas for tweaking this or that.  The goal is to improve in some small way, or to maintain things that are working well.

Garden, Home and Party: Word for the year

So with that grain of wisdom and inspiration, I decided to go with the word Simplicity as well. That decision sparked the need to share, it’s what we bloggers do, right?  

Clearly, great minds think alike.  I’ve since read a reference for using a word as inspiration for writing.  Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project guru, posted a helpful tip for writers about using a single word to stir creativity.  Posting a single word in your conscious to help with self-improvement holds great appeal for me.

I then came across the post by Ted Kennedy Watson sharing the cover of his new book, Style and Simplicity, An A to Z Guide to Living a More Beautiful Life.  For those who have not had the good fortune to visit one of the Ted Kennedy Watson stores in Seattle, or visited his blog, you’re in store for a treat. This is what he had to say about the title to his book…

Simplicity is such a prevailing theme throughout the book, and the table I set that was chosen for the cover speaks to that word and philosophy.

I even had two dear friends mention in a comment on my blog that one of their goals (respectively) for the New Year is to simplify {thank you, Linda and Gretchen}.  So that will be my goal for 2014.

So, I pledge to give simplicity in life a try this year.  I hope to pare down and simplify my lifestyle in every way I can.  With that, I hope to take more time to relax and appreciate what I have and the great beauty in nature that surrounds us.

Here are some simply lovely images for your viewing enjoyment.

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

Garden, Home and Party: Simplicity

♥ Karen

Garden, Home and Party wishes you a Happy 2014

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want. ~ Traditional Irish toast

Garden, Home and Party: Happy New Year's 2014

I haven’t given any thought to my “goals” for the new year.  I don’t like to call them resolutions…that sounds so definite.  I try to limit the goals to 3, I’ll have to get back to you on the specifics.

Garden, Home and Party: New Years

I hope the coming year is a good year for all of you.  I appreciate your visits and comments and hope to continue to hold your interest in the new year.

Garden, Home and Party: New Years Eve

Most years I take down Christmas on New Year’s Day, but I really enjoyed the simplicity of the decorations this year and will wait until next week to take it all down.

Garden, Home and Party: 2014

Did you take down Christmas yet?  

Happy New Year’s Eve my dear friends 

Merry Christmas

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

I hope you are enjoying the pleasures of the season…

…hot cocoa by the fire,

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

{via}

…all your presents are wrapped…

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

{via}

…you’ve sent and received cards with words of good cheer…

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

…you’ve delivered any packages that had to be sent…

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

…wreathes and garlands are hung, adding fragrance to your home…

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

because we know the time is near, when Santa will harness his reindeer and make his rounds.

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

Have a very happy holiday, my friends!  Another year draws to a close, it’s been wonderful.  I wonder what adventure 2014 will bring?

Garden, Home and Party: Merry Christmas

{Home} O Tannenbaum

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The countdown is on…only 1 week until Christmas.  I’m really getting excited.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Garden, Home and Party: O Tannenbaum

I know most of you have your holiday decorations up, especially your tree.  Still, I’ve found so many pretty images of trees and I’m at a loss to think of any other topic besides trying to finish my list of presents to buy, things to do, rooms to clean, so here’s some online goodness of my favorite Christmas trees.

You’re green not only
in the summertime,

Garden, Home and Party: O Tannenbaum

Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.

Garden, Home and Party: O Tannenbaum

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles!

Garden, Home and Party: O TannenbaumGarden, Home and Party: O Tannenbaum

Garden, Home and Party: O TannenbaumGarden, Home and Party: O TannenbaumGarden, Home and Party: O TannenbaumGarden, Home and Party: O TannenbaumNo matter what size tree you manage this year, I hope you are enjoying the season and are further along on all you need to do in preparation for the holiday than me.  Stop and smell the pine needles. 

{GHP} Christmas, a childlike faith in magic

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

A dear friend gave me a copy of The Polar Express the year it was published, 1985. {Thank you, Carla} I’ll never forget the first time I read the story and how it touched me.  There is something about the idea of believing in the spirit of Christmas even as we age that has always stayed with me.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Stories

This time of year I display my Polar Express book with the silver bell I had purchased a few years prior to the release of the book.  I hope, when Olivia is a little bit older, I can read this to her and she will remember it with a fondness for the season that her grandma enjoys.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Stories

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Stories

Both of our son’s enjoyed Christmas books.  They often choose The Grinch who Stole Christmas and tolerated the Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, mommy’s favorite.  I collected nutcrackers back then and the story still holds my attention.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

With this abbreviated season, one of the highlights of Christmas this year will be when Olivia arrives…her thrill with the smallest of things gives me such joy.  When asked what she wants for Christmas her reply, “Minnie Mouse socks, Grandma, mine have a hole in them!”  {Lest you think we are negligent, her socks have a hole in them because she wears her Minnie Mouse socks every day}

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

These are the books in our library of Children’s stories that we’ll be reading…I’m sure there will be some books read that aren’t Christmas themed as well.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

The 12 Days of Christmas was a favorite in part because of the incredible illustrations of Jan Brett…

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas stories

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Stories

All things Christmas makes me *happy* so I’m joining RJ at Art@Home for her happy party and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow us Wednesday.

Share your favorites.  Do you have a tradition of reading a particular Christmas or Holiday story to your family?  I hope you are having a wonderful December. ♥

Karen

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