Monday, August 8, 2011

Chez Nathanael's Faux Entry

The lovely Rene who blogs at Cottage and Vine started a new monthly party called "Room by Room".  I wanted to join too, so I thought I would share my faux entry.  Our 1980's Rancher doesn't have an actual entry way.  Side note: I would kill for one with a hall tree and umbrella stand or a center hall with a big round table in the middle (swoon!)  Anyhow, I created an entry area for my family.  Glass front credenza, with special treasures housed inside.  Mostly my "special gift" bunnies and other special treasures given to me or my family.  A lamp, a faux pathos, another bunny, a brass bowl for mail and a key box. I still want to find one of those cool umbrella stands for the left side of the credenza ~ next to the tiled "entry" area.  We tiled that little area to give wet shoes a place to land before hitting the carpet.  Mr Chez Nathanael does not like to ask guests to remove their shoes, so we compromised with a little tile area.

Some beautiful art for the wall by my favorite artist Betsy Brown; sorry about the flash glare in the first one.  I added a different angle without the glare : )
The "Entry" Credenza

Brass Bowl for Mail

I found this brass bowl at GW (I know, brass is so 80's but I love it ~ somehow to me it says "classy") the inside was all icky, probably used for a plant without a pot liner tray.  So I sanded it and sprayed it with black Rustoleum.  LOVE how it turned out, now when the mail comes I have some place to deposit it (after the junk mail goes in the recycle bin).

Box for keys

Keeps them all in one place!

Faux (dusty) pathos and Bunny
Funny the things you don't see until the flash hits them.
Thanks for stopping by, as always I love the company and would be soooo honored if you would consider following my blog.  I'm off to clean the pathos oh and and I'm linking to the Room by Room "Entry Way" Party at and Bunny (love the name!) at for her newbie party! 


Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Same ~ But Different!

I have a need to have balance in my life and in my decorating.  So when I found this great picture by James Lee I knew right where to put it.  On the wall in my exceedlingly tiny dining room.  I already owned the decorative shelves, so up they went too on either side of the picture.  Ahhh . . . Balance.

I already had the shiny(er) brass rabbit, which I feel complements the gold in the frame.  So for about a year the other shelf sat empty.  I couldn't find another brass rabbit. 
If I wasn't looking for one they would be at every thrift store or flea market I attend . . .
Then about a week ago I was browing e-bay, when "ta - dah" I came across brass rabbits.  I won the standing one and he arrived in the mail yesterday.
I like how they are the same (rabbits) but different.
One is standing upright, the other is crouching.
One is shiny brass, the other aged brass.
The same colors are in the frame
I'm still searching for something "scrolly" to put above the picture.
Everything is a process . . .and I love it!

Thanks for dropping by for a visit.  Take a minute to leave me a comment and I would be honored if you would consider following me too!


I'm linking to Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday's

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Have A Secret . . .I'll Share!

Okay it's a secret to ya'll, not to my beloved Family!

I do NOT like (dare I say loathe?) mis matched mugs!
Makes me itchy just to think about it. 

Pretty sure it's the same OCD thing that makes me "know" the exact spot the mat should be in front of the stove, even tho' everyone else can't understand -- 6 tiles from the left of the stove and 6 tiles from the right puts the mat DIRECTLY centered on the stove! 
How hard is that??

Make me sigh with contentment
(ignore the ugly cabinet - I can't decide what to do about them)

Makes me itchy and cranky.
But, there are good reasons why they exsist in my cupboard.

This one was a Birthday gift to me from my Son
I LOVE Hot Tea! 
Drink it every night. 
I appreciate the love and thought so the mug has stayed.

This one my Husband received when he purchased his newest "toy".
It used to reside at on his desk at work. 
Now he works in outside sales, he needs a travel mug.
So, home this one came!

This one was given to my youngest Daughter
The back says . . .
"I thought I'd won the Beauty Pagent
...but I was crowned Drama Queen instead!"
It stays because, well . . . ummm it's true!
Sometimes it's so hard to be 13.

My Son has no idea who the "Stones" are
He bought this one for the "tongue"
He watches "Gene Simmons Family Jewels"
I think he thought this was for him (snicker)
So, they have all stayed . . .I've tried hiding them so I don't have to look at them every time I open the cabinet, as soon as I do someone goes looking for "their" mug. 
There are two more I didn't include, one my daughter won in a raffle -- it's from Starbuck and another clear one with a creepy skull and crown, my son purchsed
Sigh . . .so we have an uneasy truce.
They stay because they mean something to some who is very important to me!
(and there are 6 of them so at least it even!)

Interesting how marriage and family force us outside of our comfort zone? I tend toward being very schedule driven, my family are all "go with the flow" people.
By the way, I took the mat out of the kitchen -- to much stress!! 
Besides it hard to cook with four cats sleeping on it : )

Thanks for stopping by, I love the company!

Happy Wednesday ~ Everyone!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Where Should I Put These?

My Son went snow camping last weekend at Lochleven Lake in the Sierra's (Northern California). He sent pictures from his phone but they wouldn't transfer to my computer (sniff, sniff)


Hiking on one of the days they came across a pile of these, pulled from downed poles due to the heavy snow.

The colors are amazing, one is wonderful turquoise green, the other is clear.  My Son's buddy got a beautiful deep garnet red one (sniff, sniff). 

The poles have a wonderful rusted patina with the added bonus of being threaded.  I've toyed with the idea of having my son make me two more of his amazing light poles so I could put them in the yard.

Maybe on either side of the fountain?

So many possibilities, I've never been so excited and so stumped at the same time.  They are so cool, I want to display them in a way to do justice to their beauty and I suck at tablescaping! I'll shut up now and show you the other pic's I took.  But . . . . I would LOVE input on how you would display them.  I drool over all the amazing tablescapes in Blogland but mine NEVER seem to look as good, at least to me!

And, as always; I am so thankful for all the comments and visits.  I would be honored if you would consider following my little blog.  I'm joining Courtney at French Country Cottage for the Blogger Block Part.  Courtney's theme is Shabby Summer Cottage.  I think my patined Insulators would be amazing in Summer Cottage Garden.  Come join all the fun at


Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Path Lights ~ He Fixed Them!

Two years ago when I removed the front lawn in favor of a front yard garden, I installed low voltage path lights.  They are wonderful, they add just the right amount of light to the slate path and are great ambiance at night.  Problem is, after two years of heat and cold the plastic pieces that screw onto the bottom of the lights so they can be stuck into the ground were snapping off. I was very frustrated!  I tried several "fixes" (see the little piece of rebar in the bottom right of the picture?) but nothing allowed the electrical cord to come out of the fixture.  I was venting my frustration to my son, he asked if he could take a look at them.  I said "sure", which really meant "your going to fix them??"
Plastic piece that goes into the ground
and (used to) screw onto the bottom
of the light so it would stand upright
in the ground.

End of plastic piece that used to screw
to the light.  The "screw" part
snapped off.

Two days later he came to me with these.  A short piece of galvanized pipe with a hole drilled in the end of the power cord, and short bolt on adapter that will screw to the bottom of the light and then with the little screw attach to the galvanized pipe that will then be pounded into the ground.  I was amazed!  They work great!  The light stay upright, now matter how many times the dogs or grand babies bump into them.  They won't snap off due to heat or cold.  I was so happy I think I did a dance and then hugged him really hard!  I am so proud of him.  He fixed my path lights ~ one small thing that makes me very happy.

Thanks so much for stopping by, I cherish all your visits and read every comment.  I would be honored if you would consider following me.  Until next time . . .


P.S.  I'm linking to Kim at Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays and to Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Fridays  Be sure to drop by these wonderful Blogs and join all the inspiration.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Home! The Best Place on Earth

I am so fortunate that my favorite (only) son loves to be home!  At 17 he still says "I love you Mom" everyday. He spent the day at the lake with friends and was wiped out, but wanted to stay up and watch a movie with me.  So I watched the movie and watched him, the dogs and cats sleep. 

He is also quite the engineer, tomorrow I'll show the idea he and a friend created to repair my low voltage path lights.

Children and pets -- make my heart happy!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


For the past few months life at Chez Nathanael has been a little tense.  My Husband and I were victims of the employment economy in California and while prepared; we didn't anticipate the length of time it would take for both of us to become re-employed.  The good news is; after much prayer and loads of paperwork, we get to keep our home!  Praise God!
To celebrate I took a trip to my favorite GW location - and it was a good day there too!

Really neat cork board for my office $3.00.  The bunny hopped right into my cart, and for $3.00 I said he could stay!  The brass ball - my mom calls them "A Nice", when you asked "what is that" she responds "oh, that's Nice".  So a "Nice" for (again $3.00) seeing a theme?  The fleur de lis was only .99 and I thought would be nice for tablescaping - when I learn how.  I spend hours studying the amazing tablescapes in blogland.  Maybe I could get Marty from "A Stroll Thru Life" to come do some for me, hers are always amazing. 

But the piece de resistance is the Coach Bag for $4.25!  Sold!! I love vintage Coach and it's in great shape.  Happy Day!  Even the rain and cold of Northern Caliornia can't dampen my mood or my spirits

Thanks for dropping by to visit, it's always such a pleasure.  I love your comments and read each and every one! 

I'm linking up with Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays.

Thanks again


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Be Back Shortly

Sorry for my silence last couple of weeks.  Within a day of each other my Chihuahua Daschund mix puppy was hit by a van ~ he's home (4 days in the hospital) on massive antibiotics and pain reliever, but needs 3 times a week bandage changes at the vet The VERY next day, my youngest Daughter dislocated her patella (knee cap) Ambulance ride to the ER, knee cap returned to right spot but she's on crutches with a brace from hip to ankle for 6 to 8 weeks.

So, I'm nursing my babies back to health . . .I'll be back soon, I promise!  I'll still drop in from time to time, checking out all the amazing inspiration in Blog Land.

As Always


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Would You Do???

Look what I found!!  About a month ago, I was at a meeting, we had a better than expected turn out so I went into the storage area to get chairs.  Sitting alone in a corner was this beauty! Minus the Cat ~ who will not get off!  I was giddy, I looked it all over (quickly) I was supposed to be getting chairs, and resolved to call the Facility Manager and ask if they were throwing him out.  I decided it has to be a "guy" he weighs a ton and is SOLID wood.

Next morning I promptly called to speak with the Manager - let's condense the next month to phone calls about every other day, leaving messages, you get the idea. 

Well, last night was the meeting again, in the middle of the meeting I get a note from the Building Manager!  I can HAVE the cubbies, they were throwing them out, but if I want the old junkie thing I can have it.  Meeting adjourned!!  (Not really) but 2 long hours later I convinced two gentlemen to load him into my truck and I went straight home.  My husband was not so thrilled with my find.  I believe his exact words were "you've got to be kidding me??!!" NOPE!!  Thank you Ms Funky Junk, I see the beauty in this ole guy!

What would you do with him??  The possibilities are endless and swirling in my head.  In my closet for shoes, NO!!! I will not hide the yummi~ness in the closet.  In the pantry for staples???  Hmmmmm . . . Don't you love all my "helpers"  I literally was screaming at the Shepherd to "sit and stay" so I could take pictures, they love the flash!

Maybe I'll put him under here for more storage in the Kitchen
He will need a little TLC, a really good cleaning out and washing; then some sanding and painting; since his previous life was spent as a shoe rack in a bowling alley.

What would you do with him???  I'm open to suggestions!

And, as always . . . thanks so much for stopping by for a visit.  I cherish the company!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Does Anyone Remember . . .

A week or so ago I stumbled across a wonderful blog -- a couple redoing an old barn, making it their "new" home.  I LOVED their pine floors and wanted to show them to my DH, but I can't remember the blog name, and like a dummy I didn't bookmark the page.  I do remember the Bloggess called her DH "The Cowboy" . . . can you help?  I would really appreciate it and then I might be able to "show" my DH what our floors could look like, he's having trouble visualizing stained pine, thinks it would be too soft ~ with critters and kids.

Anyway, if anyone knows, please drop me comment or an e-mail.

Thank you so very much!

And . . . as always,

I love having you stop by for a visit.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away -- Please . . .

Tuesday I was yearning to dig in the dirt in my front yard garden, plant new bulbs, weed, spruce up for spring but the News said there were 2 more storms heading for Northern California.  This morning we had rain off and on and I hoped the worst was over . . . until I heard the pounding on the roof!!

I ran to the window and . . . saw this

Hail the size of peas!!

The News is continuing to say more storm systems to come.  There was even a tornedo just to the North of us.

My daffodils and tulips are naked stems now.  It came down hard for about 10 minutes straight.

For all my Blogger Friends in Northern California, stay safe out there!  More storms are coming. 

Take care and thanks for dropping by for a visit. 

P. S.  Make sure you drop by Brambly Home and Garden Blog -- visit Ann-Marie, her amazing home and enter her give away.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I've Got Spring Fever -- BAD!!

 For years I have hated lawns (unAmerican, I know) but I just didn't see the point and I adore the look of English Cottage Gardens.  So after checking the CC&R's for our neighborhood, asking neighbors-both sides and across the street.  We proceeded to rip out the lawn (read: rent large "Toys" for my DH and DS to drive around what was the front yard).  All this happened preBlog so I do not have pictures.  After ripping out the lawn we, DH and I, entered the "negotiate" about relandscaping the yard phase.  I wanted a water feature, shrubs, bulbs, annuals, perennials, dwarf citrus, olive tree . . .are you getting a picture??  DH not so much; so the yard sat as we discussed various new landscape options.  Until . . . .Code Enforcement showed up!!  Apparently next door neighbor decided dirt was not to his liking and called them!  The Officer was very nice -- told me he couldn't say who called (the whole time shrugging his head toward next door neighbor).  He said the front yard had to be "green and growing"  and suggested weeds are green and growing!!  I explained all this to DH and he gave me the green light on my plans

For months I would purchase plants in gallon tubs, bring them home, stage them in the front yard then stand and stare at them, then move them and repeat.  Day after day I was out there drag, stand, stare. Drag, stand, stare.  Until I found an arrangement that was most pleasing, I thought.  I did get the water feature -- at Home Depot on sale!  I was gifted iris bulbs from a friend in Santa Cruz, purchased baby Olive Trees, Daffodil, Tulip bulbs and Daylilies.(The Daffodil in my header is one of the varities in my yard).  My DH and DD installed the slate path.  My DD has a gift for choosing just the right stones to fit together.  We put a little "fence" and a garden gate, with arbor which stays open to be more welcoming! 
Dwarf Alberta Spruce and Iris
Butterfly Bush - waaaay to big -- it's going to move and be replaced with a dwarf varitety
Water Feature -- timer has not been changed to reflect Daylight Savings Time and I'm NOT gonna mess with it.  I'll ask DS to fix it for me : )

Dwarf Citrus, Bird Feeder, African Iris, Foxtail Ferns, Mugho Pines, Azalea
and my shadow!

I love it, but the winter rains have taken their harsh toll on my Front Yard Garden.  I am longing to get out there and work but we have heavy clay soil that  takes forever to dry . . .so for now I'm planning the new additions and praying for no more rain!!  The News says 2 more storms are heading toward Northern California -- say it isn't so!  It's also time again to repaint the house, dark colors fade so quickly.

I want to play in the yard and plant more of these . . .

But for now I'm waiting impatiently and planning more color, plus resting in anticipation of the mulching process

As always; thanks so much for stopping by.  I love the company and I would be so honored if you would consider following my blog!

I'm linking to Kim at Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesday -- come join the fun there are so many inspirational post! 


Monday, March 7, 2011

Top O' The Morning To You!

I was so inspired by all the amazing tabletop displays last week I found another area to add St. Paddy's Day cheer. The top of my dryer!  (Does it count as a tabletop??) One of the links from last week was to "Today's Fabulous Find" Blog, she creates wonderful subway art (and let's us download it).  I printed out the one I liked best, framed it and added it to the vignette. 

A Boston Fern in a thrifted pot, a Leprechaun Hat plant pick, my bottles of Laundry Accoutrements on a thrifted silver tray with  their (e-bay find) decanter tags, and the shamrock runner I made several years ago.  Makes tossing in a load (or 10) so much more fun!  I just noticed the tear in my Rabbit border -- weird, I go into that room a gagillion times a day, how did I not see that????? 
Close up of those lovely silver tags.  I have since ordered 8 more from the same seller, after a little mishap with cooking oils in the kitchen, all the oil is labeled NOW!!
How does something so simple bring so much pleasure?  That's why I love shopping the house and using what I have.  I always feel so frugal and creative after (I hope I'm not the only one!)

AND NOW . . . .(changing the subject)

In celebration of the beauty of Northern California's weather today . . .

My Daffodils are blooming! I have 3 other varieties, these are the early ones.
And so are the Iris.  The rest of yard still looks a little bare.  I need to get more mulch soon.  Ugh, that's one job I really dislike.  I like the results, just not the shoveling and wheel barrow loads, then rake, rake, rake.  But, I do enjoy the finished product, so . . . .I'll add that to the "To Do" List.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by!  I love the company and I would be so honored if you would consider following my blog!  I'm joining Marty at "A Stroll Thru Life" for Tabletop Tuesdays and Courtney at "French Country Cottage" for Feathered Nest Friday   Why don't you join us to? It's always so much fun and the inspiration out there in Blogland is priceless!  I constantly find new ideas.


PS I have a question, so many of you have the blogs you follow on the sidebar.  How do you do that??  I can't figure it out to save my life.  Well, if my life was really in jeopardy I would probably work harder, I'm just saying . . If someone would let me know I would really appreciate it. 

****EDITED****  I FIGURED it out!!  I added ALL the inspiring Blogs I stalk visit often to my sidebar!