kriselkeeper: September 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lots of White Pots.

16 white pots to be exact.  We bought them at Ikea when we first moved in.  The plan was to place them all along the back and north side of our pool. We wanted to fill them with bamboo or something that would stand tall and give the pool area a green and lush feel. 

We first tried a couple of bamboo but they died of root rot.  And they needed watering almost daily in the winter.  So, plan b. I drilled holes in the bottom of all the pots to allow for drainage. We got rosemary thinking it would grow tall.  Then we spent our first summer in the house and reality hit. The plants needed watering every single day! Or else they die, and they did, and we lost half.  The ones that survived were transplanted to our south wall in our backyard.  They are thriving now.

Meanwhile onto plan c with the pots.  I think succulents would work and make it through summer without as much water.  They won't be as tall as we wanted but they will look good and green and not be as much work....I hope.  I've always loved succulents but they intimidate me. There are so many varieties. Some are rare with price tags to go with them. I've tried learning their names like I'm majoring in botany or something but I'm over it. Unless they have a layman's name like "baby toes" I'll have to describe it to you.  

I bought two new varieties yesterday (in the picture above) and planted them in their own pot.  The idea is to mix a few to create great arrangements like the ones at the Getty.  However, I planted different varieties a few months ago and one is proving to be a pot hog. It's this one. 

I've had to cut it back quite a bit.  So, I'm going to get a few more kinds and learn their growing patterns before I build my bouquets.  I am finding succulents to grow quite easily from trimmings.  This is good and it'll save me some money on filling all 16 pots. 

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hallway Art

I've been cleaning out our office. There are boxes and drawers that have not been touched since we moved in three years ago.  I'm finding little treasures with memories here and there.  

Many years ago when I was single and traveled often, I bought these picture hanging magnet wires in NYC.  I found them in a drawer, still in their packaging.  The farthest wall of our hallway has been empty.  It's been waiting for a great work of art.  At one point I wanted to blow up this picture and put it there.  
I took it in Big Sur. It feels like a photographic version of a Rothko, whose work I love. 

When I found the wires I knew the perfect spot.  P's paintings and drawings are a better art collection than any other photograph or pricey painting (even if I could afford it).  Since she makes so much art they are perfect for having a constant rotation.   

After I hung up the two wires with P's paintings I wanted to add pictures so I hung the third wire in the middle. It might be overkill but somehow the clutter of art and love fills my heart.  Three years ago, when we moved in, I never would have considered a wall like this, let alone two. I have another narrow wall dedicated to her art but it doesn't hold very much. It now holds the large works of art she does. Parents before me were right; parenthood changes every perspective of life, including our taste.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Dresser for P

Our almost 3 year old wants to do more things "by myself" including getting dressed.  A lot of her clothes were out of reach in the closet but that never stopped her. I've found P scaling the shelving to get to the thing she wanted at the very top.  Needless to say it was time to buy a new dresser.

I wanted a white, low dresser with drawers in the $100 range. Even with Ikea's new Stuva kids line there was nothing that worked.  Everything went more vertical than horizontal.  Knowing how kids play I wanted something low enough for P to put her doll house or whatever on top. Plus the space called for a horizontal piece. Do spaces in the house ever speak to you?  "I want this and nothing else" they say to me all the time and it's usually something I can't afford. The nerve of this house! 

I searched from DWR (inspiration) to Craig's List (redo-makeover project). Crate and Barrel has the True Low Dresser that looked really good for $200 down from $500 but it's almost discontinued.  I could only get it from the warehouse and shipping ($80) would have made it too much.  So, I got creative. 

The piece from Ikea that I liked was the set of drawers from the Stolmen Series. The drawers are meant to be used with the entire rack and not self-standing.  However, they were exactly what I wanted so I got them and added legs. They do have two small holes on the top that I'll need to cover or put a cool screw in....or leave alone.  The drawers are the perfect height for P, the perfect width for her room and the perfect amount of storage for her clothes. 

The coolest part about building this thing was doing it with P.  It was a great learning experience for her. She counted screws. She helped me "read" instructions. We separated each different kind of screws and pegs and put them in little piles. She helped me hold the pieces to make them fit. She lasted for the assembly of the box but not the drawers and I thought that was really, really good.  Then she sat close by with her dollhouse and played while I continued.  Who knew a piece of Ikea furniture could be so educational?

This little nook of her room is my favorite place.  A friend of mine gave me this letter abacus. Before bed we go through it together...sometimes she'll know a letter and sometimes she won't but who cares. It's fun to just sing the letters and spin them.  Then she picks a book from her little pile beside her bed.  I read it and she goes to sleep.   This is our "together" space.  The frame I bought is still empty. I'm trying to take the perfect picture of the three of us....again, the frame told me what kind of picture it wants and nothing else will do.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Outdoor Accents

I needed to find cheap vodka shot glasses for a popsicle recipe I was making. I decided to give the Ross around the corner from our house a try because I didn't have enough time to drive to Ikea.  I found the shot glasses (9 for $6) and I also found these two lanterns.  

I'm so in love with them. I haven't bought any accent pieces in a long time because we still need to get large items, like outdoor furniture, but I couldn't pass these up for $5 a piece!  I mean, seriously this is the kind of thing I'll see in Sunset Magazine and desperately want but they'll generally come with a $60 price tag.   They're inspiring me to build some outdoor loungers with all the spare wood we have laying around.  

On another note I must mention the popsicle recipe that comes from one of my favorite food blogs,  Orangette.  My neighbor introduced me to Molly's book " A Homemade Life" and I've been in love with her recipes and writing ever since.  If you're into cooking check it out and if not this popsicle recipe is so delicious, easy and requires no cooking.

PS: Ross has some great, basic, good quality and very well priced bedding. But like all discount stores you have to look.  

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