Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Find: Pyar & Co.


With the world becoming less and less large....with cultures mixing and expanding beyond their borders, it is inevitable that we all become the beneficiaries of all of the beautiful things people around the world can create.


Pyar & Co.  is making their debut at the New York International Gift Fair this year with a brilliant collection of pillows. Founder Paula Queen has adapted textiles and hand selected beads found in India creating a perfect array of pillows that will delight your eyes. 


Hop on over to the Pyar & Co.  website and see more goodness, and learn more about how it all started. If you happen to be in NYC, August 19-22, stop in a say hello to Paula at the NYGIF and learn all about her new venture.....


Monday, June 25, 2012

Just Riding Around......

Parking the bikes in front of the garden shed at our first stop on the ULI Bike tour.
A couple of weekends ago, Tim and I took to the streets of Sacramento with a group from the Urban Land Institute to check out urban infill projects of note in the Midtown area. Every couple of months, anyone interested in architecture and what is happening to the fabric of Sacramento's urban core can join in the fun and tour different areas by bike. Everyone meets up at Old Soul Coffee (some swear the best coffee in California!) at 9:00 on a Saturday and we all follow the leader to the first destination.

This time we toured what is known as the Fremont Park area. The first stop just happened to be a house that is across the street from my old work place, so I was very familiar with the house. Designed by architect Ron Vrilakas, it is one of my favorite infill residences in town. It looks like it has been here for decades. A modified version of an American Foursquare design it is full of charm.....
  

One of my favorite aspects of the house is the backyard where the owner has planted raised beds with perennials and vegetables. You can see another ongoing project behind the garden....a new take on the traditional Victorian, also prevalent in this area.....


Thought you might like a little peak at the flavor of the interior......



Next up was a project that takes full advantage of the many alleys in the midtown area. We parked our bikes in front of a great old carriage house on the alley.....


....and were met with refreshment. One could get used to bike trips like this. I loved the garden design on the alley which included roses, salvia, lavender and other drought tolerant plants...


Here is a long view of the alley where the builder took advantage of this small street and made it the pedestrian entrance for the residences with plantings all along the way.....


After a few more stops, we arrived at Fremont Park, which has been much improved over the last ten years, thanks in large part to the Friends of Fremont Park,. It is now home to the annual Chalk It Up Festival, Farmers Market, and the Hot Lunch Concert Series (next one coming up this Thursday!) We stopped to admire the Art in the Park before our appetites got the best of us. What luck! Hot Italian is right across the street (Pizza anyone?)......so no surprise that they are one of the collaborators of the Hot Lunch Concert Series!


Hot Italian is home to perhaps the best pizza in Sacramento.....although you know pizza lovers....they are an opinionated bunch! For me....Hot Italian takes it.......


And for we bike riders....another place to look at bikes....and hot Italian scooters.....




Sorry....I was busy eating....I am back now.

Meet the amazing and dedicated Andrea Lepore, one half of the founding team of Hot Italian. The other half is Fabrizio Carcatore,  a most talented pizzaiolo from the Italian Riviera. Both are committed not only to great pizza, but but also to building great communities. Their motto?  "Tutto e possibile"...


Hope to see you on your bike for the next ULI Tour!
Ciao!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sweet Days


My daughter is home from school this week. She's the baker....you may remember THIS and THIS. Her sister is quickly following in her footsteps. They were busy little bees last night after I went to bed.

 I have been trying to end my addiction to sugar and have been doing really well lately....but these two are out to get me. I really only had one of the little ones. Seriously. 

Although I am not a huge fan of Red Velvet cake, I have to sat this recipe may convert me. I just have to close my eyes to the red color.

Are you a Red Velvet Cake lover or....not?

THIS recipe may make you a believer.




Friday, June 15, 2012

Our Garden Rewards Us


If you have been following along with our house progress over the years, you understand it is and will be an ongoing project for....forever. One thing that has been the most enjoyable to us has been the garden. There is nothing quite like planting things and watching them turn into a lovely garden.

I posted about this bit of side garden awhile back HERE. And it looked like this......


Tim made concrete stepping stones and we filled in with baby tears moss and ferns. It is pretty shady most of the time, so a shade garden was perfect. 


The neighbor has been kind enough to let his creeping fig climb over to our side, as well as his jasmine, so now we have a little oasis on the side of the house. It is so nice to be able to look out from my office down the stairs and see green....


Another of my favorite things are the Blueberry bushes we planted a couple of years ago. This year is our first harvest and I get to go out every morning and pick fresh blueberries for breakfast. There is nothing quite like that kind of satisfaction. I have picked off all of the ripe ones but there will be more soon......


Here is breakfast....


I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!





Thursday, June 14, 2012

Volcano Melts Me Down



Wanting to just melt into the past for a little while? No cell phones, no facebook or twitter demanding your attention? Just an afternoon of appreciating where you are the moment you are there.

The Mother Lode town of Volcano is a place you might want to visit to lay down and play Rip Van Winkle for just a day.....or two. You might just wake up in another time.

We wandered around on a very peaceful day. Just a little breeze rustling through the trees to disturb the quiet......


There is just one street....or maybe two if you turn the corner at the stop sign. If you decide the charm is too strong to leave, you could stay at the historic St. George. Closed at the moment but opening soon they say.......sigh.....



Or you could try the Volcano Union Inn and Pub. A Bed and Breakfast, Live music every Sunday afternoon, Sunday Brunch, and a pub to love......


After dinner it might be time to head over to the Volcano Amphitheatre for the latest play in the park under the starry night sky......


You could wander and look at the buildings like the Old Bavarian Brewery built in 1856. The cut stone wall facade is still plumb after all this time......


Down by the creek lives a house with red and white striped awnings and red roses climbing up the chimney.......


It looks like a game of Badminton just finished. Maybe they would let us play a game?....


Or maybe we could just enjoy the butterflies.....


It was time to wake up and head home. We thought we were waking to 2012, but perhaps not......


Gentler times, these......

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Came Home with Me! Water Street Interiors


Sutter Creek was full of surprises since I had not been there in such a long time. One of my favorite shops is still there, but in a different spot, and with a different vibe: Water Street Interiors aka Water Street Antiques still has a huge showroom of reproduction furniture and antiques from Eastern Europe. But the happy surprise is that they had lots of textiles from India. How could I resist this ikat top....grey and white with a little accent of tangerine around the neckline? It was staring right at me after all! Perfect for summer.

I remember the days when I would see pieces from their 40,000 square foot warehouse in Jackson and Sutter Creek making their way to antique shops in the Bay Area at triple the price. Many dealers would come here to buy inventory for their shops in S.F. and Marin County. (Shhhh....I think that is supposed to be a secret!)

After snapping up the tunic top, I did stick to just looking at the rest of the beautiful stuff throughout the rest of the shop. .....








This is but a smattering, just a tease of what is in this fabulous place.

Happy Hunting!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gold Country Interiors: The Antique Gardener


Historic charm is easy to find in the Sierra Foothills of California where I prospect for treasure other than gold. If I have a sudden yen for antiquing, this is a good place to start. I promised that I would show you a couple of the shopping treasures in Sutter Creek, and The Antique Gardener is first in the list!

There are things here that can be used in or out, and I love the many folding things....chairs, tables, etc.

I hope you enjoy the scenery....







The Antique Gardner also has a blog HERE

AND you can buy from their ETSY shop HERE!

Happy Hunting and....

Happy Monday!