Where Rustic Living Meets Refined Elegance

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Cowboy thinks he's funny

The Cowboy is rather serious by nature.  Not that he doesn't have a sense of humor, he married me and I'm always giggling about something.  But he's certainly no comedian.  
I told him soon after we were married that he wasn't funny, he was fun to be with. Two totally different things.
He took great offense to this and has ever since made considerable effort to be considered funny.  Sorry it's just not his nature. He's not a joke teller, he doesn't act goofy and would much prefer to watch a western over a comedy show any day. It's just the way he's made. And I like that about him. So because of his "considerable effort" he actually can be quite funny now and then.  But as our girls and I agree, it's so much funnier watching him TRY to be funny.  So whenever he does actually do or say something funny he immediately follows it up with "See? I'm funny" to which we immediately reply "No but you are fun to be with".

So recently he and I were watching "The Cowboys" on TV.  I absolutely love this movie.
Notice the VERY young John Carradine in the back row right of John Wayne?  Anyway, I have always just loved this movie, sad but good.  (I was going to insert here the YouTube clip of when he makes it so the one little boy gets over his stutter, it's sad but sweet.  But it does have some language in it and since my mother reads this blog I thought I would forego that part.)
So as we sat there watching the movie it came to the part early on where he goes into the school house to see if any of the young boys look capable enough for a trail ride.  When he enters he informs the teacher that he wants to speak with the boys before school lets out.  She asks if he would like to speak to the "young ladies" and he replies "No" to which she says, (and I quote),
"Well, we will acknowledge that it's a man's world and leave you to your business."
I found this statement so archaic and funny. I looked over at the Cowboy and before I could say a word he slightly nodded his head and said "And don't you forget it".
Ok, that made me absolutely HOWL with laughter.  I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard.
It was hilarious!! He then smiled and said on cue "See? I'm funny"
I wiped the tears from my eyes and said, "No but you are definitely improving. Keep up the good work"

He didn't laugh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is it just me?

I'm a clean person. I dust and vacuum (although without our landscaping around the Barn it should be done almost every day).  I bathe everyday and wash my hands often throughout the day so why?
 Am I the only one who thinks the "Q" in Q-Tip stands for Qomputer Qleaner? Am I the only one who vacuums my keyboard.  Am I the only one who if out of compressed air will tilt the keyboard up on end and blow into it until I'm dizzy to try to blow the dust out?
My notebook is six years old (which is about 10 in technology years). So I really have to baby it.  You can see it's used a lot, the R, S, T, L, N and E are almost gone.  Hey who knew the Wheel of Fortune people were actually right, they are the most commonly used letters
in the English language. Actually the E IS gone.  The Cowboy keeps telling me that I need to fix that because when he uses my computer occasionally to get online he can never find the E, lol.   I just leave it because I don't need to have letters on the keys since I can type without 'em and that makes him crazy.

Oops, I see a squidge more junk between F and G and E and R.  Where's my Qleaners?

The little heart shape on the left is a worn spot because when I type I rest my left hand on the keyboard but my right hand stays above.  Weird. Hey, am I the only one who does that too?

Am I the only one who would rather clean my computer and blog all day instead of bills and office paper work? Is it just me?

Monday, August 23, 2010

I hate to say good bye but she must go

I absolutely love this piece but sadly it will have to leave the Barn.
I bought it several years ago thinking I would put it in my master bathroom. She is very old and has a gorgeous original black patina.  Can't you just see her sitting there with white towels stacked neatly inside those lovely curved front doors? Large apothecary jars sitting on top filled with cotton, Q-tips and epsom salts?  And a small wire basket on the lower shelf filled with white soaps?
That was the plan.  But somehow when we moved in there wasn't a wall available for her to sit.  I've held on to her thinking I would find a spot but the other rooms in the house are just too big and she looks completely out of place.  So au revoir my lovely friend, up for sale you go.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I do when I'm not working on the Barn

Since I did a post showing how crazy my kitchen aka "Studio" can get because of my line of work and it showed those crazy panels I was working on, I thought I would post the final product. 
First the arches where I installed the premade panels:
These were installed 3 separate arches. Then faux "iron" bands were applied to the outer edges and center "seam" with french nail heads hammered in.
Another arch going into the kitchen.
Here's a closeup of one of the panels.  This client, (an absolute dream client! Exquisite home, fabulous taste and and a joy to be around) loves very old, rustic and aged looking finishes. So these were done a little more cracked and chipped than normal.
The third arch going into the kitchen from the dining room.  At the same time we did the arches we (my daughter and I) did the Aged Tuscan Red Wainscoat around the dining room along with some areas of plaster relief to make it appear that the upper plaster had all fallen off over time.  Then we Glazed the entire upper half of the room to give it a more aged look and to soften the design done previously.  She had asked for the dining room to be done but I knew these arches would really compliment this room so she said "Let's do it!" 
 Here's a view of one of the dining room walls.
Is this home not Gorgeous?!!!  I have to admit I have used this home as a lot of inspiration for the Barn.

Anyway, that's what I'm doing when I'm not here, I'm doing finishes in other wonderful homes and constantly getting inspired to create beautiful things.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Evolution of a blog

When I originally started this blog it was simply a way for out of town family and friends to keep up to date on the progression of work on our home.  I have found though that it has become something much more.  

First of all I never dreamed of having followers.  When I added my little "Followers" button I really just thought my family would sign on so when I look at it now and see almost a hundred people following me (and oddly not one of them family, hilarious!) I just can't believe what this blog has come to mean to me. It has sharpened my awareness of my everyday surroundings and single moments.  I am starting to carry my camera with me more and find myself filled with regret each time I don't.  I am constantly looking at people, places and moments in time and thinking "That would make a great picture!" or "That would be a great post!".

For instance, this last week I drove my parents to Santa Monica for some medical visits and test.  When we got there we had some time before we began running from one doctor's office to another so we went to the 3rd street promenade to look around and have some lunch. There was a shoe shine stand there and my dad, aka Jamesy, hopped up to have his loafers spiffed up with a good polish.
As a boy he shined shoes to earn a little money so he really appreciates a good shoe shine.
(this picture was taken with my camera phone shortly before it died because I forgot my charger)
My parents are in their '70s and I am becoming more aware of how precious each moment is with them as life passes us by so quickly.  There was a moment as the three of us were sitting in the room waiting for the doctor to come in, there was a huge window with a beautiful view overlooking downtown Santa Monica,  El Segundo and Los Angeles.  My mom was raised in El Segundo and this is where my parents met and married.  At one point my parents stood up and were looking out the window pointing out different things and talking about points of interest.  As I sat there looking at them in silhouette in front of that beautiful view, watching them point to different areas and talk about where things "used to be" and how things look now, I realized it was really a touching picture that I missed.  54 years of marriage, homes remodeled, properties bought and sold, a business started and still going strong, two children, five grandchildren, one great grandchild and yet this tiny moment of them standing in a doctor's office together was really sweet. 

As my blog evolves into so much more about the house, I thank everyone who reads it and comments.  When I sign on and read some of the nice things people have to say it really makes my day.  I guess on some small level it gives a sense of validation that what I'm doing is not just crazy existence but meaningful moments enjoyed by people other than just myself and my family.  

I have to say, all the positive feed back is really good for my self esteem and I am a firm believer that self esteem is like chocolate and toilet paper......two things you can't have enough of and something you certainly don't ever want to run out of!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's not always this bad.......well.....

I have been on a job all week and I have to say I'm tired.  Fortunately this is for my favorite client, (beautiful home, fantastic taste, laid back and just a nice person to work with).  But today my daughter Olivia and I spent the day making the panels we will be applying to some of the arches in her home and so even though I normally use a corner section of my kitchen for my studio (temporarily), today when I came into the house after running into town it hit me just how crazy hectic it can be to have a "studio" in my home.......
The table gets pulled out and covered in plastic to work on, sample boards laying around to dry (one is still sitting on the little coffee table in front of the settee) and panels have to be hung from the rafters.  And this picture doesn't even show the furniture piled in front of the opening into the kitchen to keep the little grandson from crawling in and eating the chips of dried plaster that fall on the floor!
I was laying these outside on a large steel table that belongs to the Cowboy but the wind kept kicking up and blowing them onto the ground.  So necessity being the mother of invention I realized if I wrapped a beam with some plastic I could throw them over to dry.  So yes this is what I am walking around to make dinner and breakfast in the morning.  Two more to go.  Olivia will finish them tomorrow for me and we will install Monday and finish the whole dining room Tuesday.  I so love what I do but so often as I'm working I have the voice of a Bouncer yelling at me in my head, "HEY, HEY, TAKE IT OUTSIDE!!!"  If only I could.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another artist

My middle daughter Cait recently grabbed my camera and took some pictures outside of the Barn.  I think she may be a budding photographer.
 Some grapes just starting to bud
Gotta have a picture of this guy.  His is so beautiful.  I keep saying I'd love to have him stuffed to put in my kitchen which my girls say is "Totally Gross!" but I can't help it, he's a beauty.
Group shot.  We need to get a few more hens as these girls are getting older and not laying like they used to.
This was my favorite.  I love how she captured the look of the truck through the old Pomegranate branches.  This will someday be my work truck and although it doesn't look like it, it is actually in really good shape structurally.  The Cowboy has most of the stuff to restore it and when he does it will be great for me to use for work.
I really like how she tries to capture the unusual.
And of course a self portrait.  Not to bad for just playing around, I think.


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