Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Spring, Everyone!

Monday afternoon, 2:40 p.m.

Whether or not this is backed by any actual evidence, it seems as though we have had a very long winter--rain, rain and more rain! So when the sun made an appearance out the last two weekends, work got done around here!

In our front entryway, we laid the extra tile we had from our renovation. We chose a beautiful, warm limestone tile called "Inca Gold" to go throughout the entire house. The local supplier didn't have enough material, so we special ordered the balance from Saudi Arabia, and it pushed our move-in date back a whopping three months!

I should have taken a "before" photo. Anyway, this is how our new and improved entryway looks from the front door:

Don't you just love the kiddie bench?

And, we also started to take out the existing landscaping on the side of the house. We are leaving some of the plants, but removing 90% of what is already there. Our first task was planting our favorite tree, the puakenikeni. This flower is our favorite--it blooms a pale peach color, and turns bright, vibrant orange, and gives off a beautiful scent. We had three of these trees at our first house, and we were able to fill our house with bowls of these blooms. Simply said, these flowers make me happy.

Local wisdom says that you need to plant these trees in the front of your house, because they like to "show off". We will probably end up planting another one in the front, but we haven't worked our way there yet...

Here is a photo of my 16-month old, helping us with our spring gardening:

And a close-up photo of the beloved puakenikeni, now firmly planted in the ground:

I took this photo yesterday (Sunday) and this morning, one of the buds had started to bloom. So exciting! Also, I am thinking of somehow incorporating this image into my banner for my ETSY shop, if I can figure out how to do it....

In addition to the outside gardening that I have been tending to, I have been crafting my jewelry pieces like a mad lady! I still only have a few pieces, because if it is not absolutely right, I go back and take the entire thing apart. At a recent bead show, I purchased a strand of the most amazing rutilated quartz briolettes:

Let's see if the pieces I make can do these justice!

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Friday, 12:19 p.m.

I've had quite a long break from this blog. Since my last post, have you noticed that I've changed the layout of my blog? I've been experiencing some, ahem, technical difficulties with some of the fonts and colors in my older is a work in progress....

Here are some other status updates:

Shop sales- 90!
Bathroom renovation: no progress!
Outdoor fixes to our house: currently in progress but being hindered by inclement weather--photos to be posted later.

Now, moving along....

Two weeks ago, my mom retired from her Federal Government job. At the same time, it was also her birthday! We planned a lovely surprise birthday/retirement party for her. Amazingly, it remained a surprise up until the very end, although she became a bit suspicious that weekend because I insisted on going to brunch when I had a very bad head cold....

It was a small, intimate party with about 40 guests. The weather was perfect and all the guests were ON TIME! A thing of beauty when everything goes as planned. To dress up the tables, I decided on a very simple centerpiece, one that was both easy to put together and economical. Since my mom has a prolific green thumb, and her suburban back yard is lush with greenery, I decided to run with the "gardening" theme.

I bought some mint herb plants from Wal-Mart, placed them in a terra cotta pot, and tied a satin ribbon around the pot. Here is a photo of a row of the centerpieces in my kitchen before the party:

I thought they looked great--and I did receive many compliments at the party, so I guess they turned out okay!

Well, since spring has arrived, and because we are on the "gardening" theme, here are two items on my wish list, found while browsing on ETSY:

LOVE this birdhouse, cottage style, in butter yellow. I can see it somewhere in my backyard (or my Mom's!). This one is made by "baconsquarefarm" but sadly, it has sold. It's no was priced at just $15. They craft very cute birdhouses in other colors and styles, but this one was my favorite.

And, this pot by "PotteryPeddler" for some of my smaller plants. I have some dendrobium orchids that would fit in this and look great:

Hope this post makes everyone want to go outside and enjoy the start of spring. If I don't post before Sunday (what are the chances?), have a Happy Easter!