June 29, 2014

Urns........Before and After

Our client purchased a pair of urns and bases from the shop recently. Beautiful together, however the top and bottom are from two separate manufacturers. The urns were a warm cream and the bases, decidely gray. What to do? 
Paint them!
The Amy Howard paint line we represent is a form of chalk paint with unending applications. What you can paint is astounding; wood, brass, fabric, laminate, fiberglass, mirror, concrete...... Two major attributes of this paint is the added adhesives which makes the product adhere and the ability to just paint without priming, stripping or sanding.......have to like that! The only prerequisite is to clean your piece with 'Simple Green' degreaser. Viola!
We chose 'Metropolitan Gray' as it is a brilliant match with her homes trim. The above image displays the top portion waxed and the lower in waiting. The wax I favor is 'Antiquax' which imparts a warm glow and further protects the paint.

What makes me cringe are urns that are too small in relation to their homes. Here, perfect! They are an integral part of the overall design. Will recommend extending the brick to under the urns to prevent splatter.

Lovely indeed, just too many, too small........
This shade combination includes;
   Birds Nest Fern
   Lysimachia 'aurea', aka, creeping jenny. When the bright chartreuse foliage begins to cascade, it imparts a touch of pop
   Streptocarpella, purple/blue flowers
   Sunpatiens in coral/orange. This plant can tolerate both sun and shade
   Coleus 'Vino'. The color of Port with chartreuse edging which will become more profound when the Lysimachia grows.
As this begins to grow, and fill out,  it will be an exciting color combination to offset the neutral palette of the home.
Here is something I learned in rendering classes; Look at your nightly news set, what are the colors?
Typically orange and blue, it is the color combination that most excites the brain. Take a look, let me know what you see.

So, if you want to change up your pots, or say you moved and your pots no longer match your new homes color ways, no problem.......just paint. No chipping, flaking or cracking with Amy Howard One Step paints. That includes; terra cotta, concrete, wood, iron and even glazed. We recommend a touch up of wax 3-6 times a season, depending on the climate where you live

                             Here is a project in the works.........

 Found a lovely pair of chairs; very comfortable, quite dated, but good lines. The velvet upholstery was terribly sun faded and seriously spotted, however in excellent shape. Hmmmm, I could reupholster, or, paint! And that is what we did, straight from the paint can. Now all that is needed is to lightly sand with fine sandpaper or steel wool to bring the nap to it's former luxurious hand. Next up, painting the frames........stay tuned!

Have a great holiday! I am off to my semi-annual shopping extravaganza; Atlanta gift market and southern antique shows.  Hee Haa!!


June 22, 2014

Coveting.......by nature

Twice a year our premiere faux floral manufacturer based in San Francisco, treats myself and others to a free trip, and lodging to their warehouse in the city to buy, without the crowds of market........pinch me now!
When business is complete it is off to my favorite spot in the city, Flora Grubb's Gardens. Instantly I am inspired and seriously covetous, what beauty and possibilities in such a mild clime, in the artistic hands of Flora Grubbs

Her vignettes are imaginative
Yes, that is the interior of the car above, profuse and alive
Need a new deck? Bring in an old truck, viola, raised deck! (see the chairs?)
Succulents abound

In vertical gardens
And creatively disbursed everywhere
What we can learn from these plantings is TEXTURE. Flowers are far and few but the container plantings excite. The use of varying colored and diverse foliage makes for all season impact

This is a great example of varying textures, and it works beautifully

Air plants are abundant and imaginatively displayed. Like an important sculpture those above had me immediately
Plant protector turned private hiding spot by cutting an entry hole and wrapping in rope to soften the cut edge
The staff indulges me as I snap away and linger for hours.  Thank you Flora, you never disappoint!


June 8, 2014

An herb to know......Pineapple Sage

A summer season never passes without the addition of Pineapple Sage in my garden for both culinary purposes,  and as a hummingbird draw. Did you know these charming birds favor red, well maybe you did, after all hummingbird feeders are always red.
Reaching a stature of 4', the scent and taste of the foliage is pure pineapple bliss. Infuse your water, slip under the skin of your chicken breast, chop into fruit salads, make a tea, slice and add to turkey wraps..........this versatile herb will become a garden favorite
Pineapple Sage Salsa
2 cups of  pineapple (tidbits work well)
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 pickled or fresh jalapeño
10 leaves of cilantro, sliced
10 leaves of pineapple sage, cut in chiffonade strips
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Chop the first three ingredients into pieces about the size of your small fingernail. (That’s my standard chopping size for salsa-making. I read that some years ago, and it has served me well!) Combine with the other ingredients in a nonmetallic bowl. Cover and let stand for at least an hour. We like salsa at room temperature, but be sure to refrigerate any leftover salsa.
Pineapple Sage Grilled Chicken
Overnight marinate the chicken breasts in olive oil, julienned pineapple sage, pepper, salt and paprika. Grill
Pineapple Sage cocktail
10 ounces white tequila, 12 ounces fresh pineapple juice, 12 ounces lemon-lime soda, crushed ice, 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple 1/4 cup pineapple sage. Crush, infuse, and serve!

On another note, we had a nest full to observe up close. Enjoyed the cascading nest effect!

Lastly........one of our growers is just releasing her topiary succulents. I just love these, easy, full sun, blue/grey foliage and different. They will be in later this week

Thank you for visiting!

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