Thrown to the Curb

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Years ago I talked my husband into picking up this cute little dresser from the road side trash. Someone had used her, abused her, and tossed her out. She sat weathered, broken, and neglected, but something about her called to me. Maybe it was her curvy lines or her petite stature, or just that she had been around for so long I thought she deserved respect. So the little hitchhiker got a ride to our home.We let her reside on our covered patio and each summer I would promise to restore her beauty (I'm a bit of a purest when it comes to antiques). But there was so much work to be done. Would she ever be as beautiful as she was originally or would she just become the Joan Rivers of old furniture (so re-done you hardly recognize the original)?
Then it came to me. I would take what was left of her original beauty and add to it. Instead of giving her back her old life, I would give her a new life. She would be proud to call the back porch her home. She would be valued, even though her drawer panels were missing and her top was beyond repair.
With a little spray paint, some thrifted knobs, and a new top covered in vinyl, she would become the diva of the patio. Her competition is tough---the newly slip covered wicker, the galvanized steel topped table, and ketchup and mustard colored antique metal chairs, but she holds her own. She has become a star!

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It's a Two in One Day

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Wow! Two posts in one day! This week I've been showing my outdoor decor, but I couldn't resist joining the mantle decorating party being thrown by Kari and Kijsa.

I've posted pictures of my mantles before:
(Technically this is not a mantle, just a very large shelf.)

I really enjoy changing out my decorations.
Here's what my mantle looks like today
decorated with an old ceiling tin,
milk glass vases and moss balls

I'll be changing things soon to 4th of July decorations,
so check back next week. Thanks for stopping by!

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Great Home & Garden Stuff from Los Angeles

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We're are addicted to the Home & Garden section of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. It comes in the Thursday's edition and is full of useful information--which can be applied anywhere you live in the country.

In case you miss it, or do not have access to the papers, here are some of the good tidbits from the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Home & Garden happenings this month:

June 29-Venice Home Tour-Home Tour sponsored by the American Institute of Architects-a tour of home in a 1-mile radius such as the 23 Breeze House by David Reddy, Canal House by Emily Kovner, Cube by Mark Baez etc. 213-639-0777.

Neutra Tours-Managed by Cal Poly Pomona's College of Enviromental Design. Open this Saturday 11-3pm.

AWA Exhibits-work from 34 desginers in the fields of architecture, interior designs and landscape at the Pacific Design Center through July. Free.

Saturday 6/21- Composting Class by John Lyons at Descanso Garden, 11418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flinridge $20. 818-949-4200.

Also, here is a wonderful article about growing a vegetable garden all year round in California. It's a great read.

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Ketchup and Mustard

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I'm really not a matchy-matchy kind of decorator. I prefer things to look like they have been carefully planned, intentionally selected, and acquired over a period of time, even when it comes to my outdoor furniture. To achieve my desired "haphazard, yet pulled together" design, I painted part of my metal pieces a soft yellow and for the rest I chose a warm red. I really like the combination. It's fresh and fun. But leave it to one of my witty sons to remark, "It looks like ketchup and mustard!" Some days I just can't seem to win with the critics that live in my house.

I'm waiting to hear what they have to say about the treatment I chose for this piece.

I'm sure it will be something like,
"Why did you ruin a perfectly good paint job?"

And then there's this before and after:
It's no longer a heavy brown
. The shades were transformed by removing the bamboo. I may add some trim, or replace them, or remove them all together.
But for now, it will stay like this.

I'm sure that one of the critics will say,
"Now it looks like a chocolate covered strawberry!"

Yes, some days it's hard to live with a bunch of critics.
But they are lovable, laughable,
and I couldn't imagine my life without them.

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A Cast of Chara-chairs

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Oh yes, I love spray paint! And, it may come as a surprise, but I actually use more than just black or off white. I've got the evidence to prove it.

Aren't they pretty, all painted in the color of summer squash and lined up in rows?

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Kravet Upholstery Fabric

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Lately it seems as if everything is going green! And that’s exactly what Kravet fabrics is doing! They’ve launched a new line that’s environmentally friendly and made from natural sustainable yarns or recycled materials.

Not only do they have a fabric line that is completely echo friendly, they also have a very fresh and elegant look. Make your home modern and edgy by adding clean lines and bold contrast. Kravet Upholstery fabrics are a great way to turn your home from drab to chic.

They also allow you to choose a cut-out-approval order where you will be sent a sample of the fabric you purchased prior to shipping it. Already have a style in mind? Just type in the the pattern number or color you had in mind in the keyword search box and you’ll have your desired fabric in no time.

They make online fabric shopping easy and they make it affordable! Don’t miss out on discount Kravet fabrics, they offer affordable prices on everything they sell and you’re able to save up to over $500 on stylish fabric!

Buy Kravet fabrics and give your home a new look and attitude for summer.

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Outdoor Dining

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Who doesn't enjoy eating outdoors in the summertime? It's one of those Norman Rockwell type memories---the happy family sitting around the picnic table, while dad, sporting an apron and chefs hat, stands proudly at the grill. Mom is smiling as she brings out the tray of condiments and delicious homemade salads. . .
That's not really the picture you'll see at my home. It's more like dad calling mom, who is shopping at the grocery store buying
store made salads and other last minute picnic items. She answers the phone and hears, "Honey, pick up some more hot dogs, I just set the brats and burgers on fire and now all we have to eat is charcoaled meat."

Oh well, at least we built a great picnic table for those occasions. It's nice and big, measuring seven and half feet by three and a half. We covered the wood with galvanized sheet metal so that it's weather proof, although my husband jokes that in the noon day sun you can cook an egg on it while you're getting a suntan (that problem is easily solved with a table cloth).
Ahhhh, Summertime memories!

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Cushion Solution

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Embrace creativity, not perfection!

#1-Outdoor cushions looking a little tired
New cushions will cost $75-$150
#3-Owner (me) tired of the print
#4-Hard to find desired colors-
yellow, red & tan

Two pillow shams to cover chair cushions
Crib sheet to cover bench cushion

My "slipcovered" cushions make for a more relaxed feel.
It's not "store bought perfect" but I think it's beautiful!

$21-including all the pillows

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