Saturday, December 13, 2008

Faulty Cottages



Almost every year we build gingerbread houses and usually we use graham crackers and homemade royal icing for our construction materials. This year, because of time and space constraints we opted for using kits-big mistake! Kelli and I worked as a team and of course Chad and Tasha were a team. We opened our kit to find amost every piece broken or cracked! This inspired me to whisper to Kelli- "We'll just build a cracked house." Well---Kelli thought I said "Crackhouse" and so that was her inspiration for the broken glass laying all around(which she made from scratch) and the bars on the side of the house, not to mention the general trashy appearance of the whole house. The neat and tidy 'Martha Stewart' side of the house is just a fake-out to keep people from getting suspicious!
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Newlywed's Cottage



Team Newlywed had some structural issues as well. No matter how much frosting they used, the roof would not stay on! So they made a nice little living room scene with a gingerbread man dressed as Santa . I think the X in the front yard is an alien landing strip.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cones for Christmas

A couple of weeks ago I saw these fantastic moss cone planters at Home Depot of all places. I knew I could do something fun with them but wasn't sure what. I bought two and then headed to my favorite nursery for inspiration. They just happened to have some wonderful cyclamen on sale so I chose this one , pink with white edges, lovely! Then I filled around the cyclamen with white dianthus and Santa Barbara daisy. I had considered planting a poinsettia in the cone, but thought I could get a longer lasting display by opting for the cyclamen. The cone hangs outside my breakfast nook windows where I can get a lot of enjoyment from it. As for the other cone, it still sits empty on the potting bench, waiting for me to have another bolt of inspiration, maybe filled with Christmas greenery and berries?
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


A very happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oriole Nest

All summer long I have been searching for bird's nests on my almost daily walk to no avail. But recently I stumbled upon this amazing oriole nest that was just a few feet from my path and right at eyeball level! I had been looking way up in the treetops. The construction is quite amazing- a hanging sack made of spider webs, lichen , grasses and who knows what else. Very delicate in appearance, but strong enough to raise a family in!
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How I Spent Election Day


This week I got to go down to Orange to spend some time with my mom and dad. My dad had a project in mind, revamping and replanting the fish pond. S0, we headed to Upland, to Van Ness Water Gardens ,the largest and best water garden nusery in the area.

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Here is my dad, Les getting lots of helpful info from one of the owners at Van Ness.
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For those of you new to the world of water plants, you might be surprised at how pricey the little buggers are! Named varieties started at $38 at this nursery. Non-named varieties (basically a grab-bag approach with no gaurantee of color) were only $14.99. We elected to get one named variety(for my mom who really loves the blue ones), and 4 no-namers.
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We hope we get one of these in our grab bag!
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After arriving back home, we potted up each lily in its own pot (with good old -fashioned dirt mixed with a little water plant fertilizer topped off with a layer of small stones, as per instructions)
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The water lillies are placed in the pond and the hose was turned on to fill it. Hopefully we will have lots of new leaves and maybe some blooms really soon!
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After a hard day's work, we were blessed with a beautiful southern California sunset. It's not every day you can see the Channel Islands but that evening they were clear as a bell.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Stacked Pumpkins

One of the great things about the french pumpkins is that their flat shape allows you to stack other pumpkins on top. Much more fun to decorate with!
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Chad and Meena


I love this shot of my son Chad and his good friend Meena taken at Chad and Natasha's wedding a couple of weeks ago. Meena is just too cute in her pink dress !
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a truckful of pumpkins


This pick-up full of pumpkins was hauled down to the Remnants of the Past antique show in Nipomo last weekend. My dear husband made several trips, packing each pumpkin carefully in the straw so as not to damage the writing. The weather was perfect and it was a great show! Lots of great vendors. Everyone I talked with was having a great time and most came home with at least one treasure.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Glorious Day!


My son, Chad and his stunning bride Natasha were married this past Saturday in Sebastopol, Ca.
Although it rained Friday night, Saturday was gorgeous. A beautiful, personal ceremony was performed by friend and pastor Paul Ortlinghaus. God was definitely glorified by the joining together of this couple. Celebrating the union of a Dodgers fan and a Giants/A's fan, the new Mr. and Mrs. Smithback exited the church to "Take Me Out To the Ballgame".
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Chad's beautiful sister (and bridesmaid) Kelli enjoying the reception
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Tania, the bride's lovely sister and maid-of honor signs the wedding license .
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Chad and Dad enjoying a moment at the reception
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Liam (Chad's cousin's son) was enthralled by the Prince and the Princess!
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Sweet Pea Sr. and Sweet Pea Jr. at Chad and Natasha's wedding reception this past weekend
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sweet Pea's Pumpkin


I have been without a camera for about a year but thanks to the generosity of my Dad I am now back in business, and just in time for pumpkin season! This one, made for my daughter Kelli, is one of this years nicest pumpkins and of course it is a Cinderella pumpkin
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