Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Have a Howling Halloween!

In years past, Halloween was huge at our house. Now we have one daughter away at college, and another in the midst of applications for college. Things have certainly quieted down around here for this holiday! But we still have pumpkins and bags of candy to distribute! And I did want to share a bit of the scariness with you!

I took my daughter over to the Dorothea Puente  (mass serial killer!!!!) so she could take pictures for her school newspaper (proud mom of the photo editor for said newspaper!).....scary!..... and remembered this house was is the vicinity....also very scary!......

There are rumors it is haunted.....sand there has even been a TV interview with the owner about the goings on.....

And then I saw this video! This is not a place you will find me on a dark night......

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hope for Fall

As many of you faithful readers know, I travel up to Lake Tahoe every year for a girls' weekend. Usually we get together in the Summer, but this year life threw a little curve ball and our trip was delayed until this last weekend. My friend Lori, her friend Marlene and I headed up on Friday to see Diane at her home in Lake Tahoe. This weekend was truly a silver lining because, for some reason, I had never been up to the Sierras in the least not at the right time to see the Aspens turn. And now I am wondering.....why have I let myself miss this spectacular time of year up here?!

Really, the timing could not have been better. The trees were in full display, and the weather was stunningly perfect....perfectly stunning. 

My good friend Diane decided we would drive over to Hope Valley where there is an abundance of  Aspens. We stopped in at Sorenson's Resort, a magical little place nestled in a grove of the Aspens, and a more charming place would be hard to find. It is hugely popular, and the restaurant here usually has a wait time of about an hour. This day was no different. Deciding not to wait for lunch, we leisurely walked along the pathway between the little cabins and exhausted the photo ops....I especially loved the hammocks strategically placed throughout the area. We ended up talking to a young couple who stay here every year at this time without fail. It may become a tradition for Tim and me too! 

We grudgingly pulled ourselves away so we could see what else was around the bend.....huge stands of Aspens, lazy gurgling creeks and grassy meadows all splendid in their Autumn colors.....

Who would ever want to leave?

But the day was we pushed on back to the Tahoe Basin stopping at a friend of Diane's. We were welcomed in to see the garden and take in more beautiful scenery. This particular friend has a perfect lawn that works its way down to a creek. Aspens and Cottonwoods were gorgeous.....

Down at the creek, the leaves were falling into the water, and the beavers were busy building dams for the winter.....

And the Mallards were deciding when would be the right time to head south.....

Wild Dogwoods were turning bright red and the Cottonwoods were in full glory....

As time goes one it is the simplest things give me the most pleasure....Nature just cannot be outdone.....

Wishing you all a beautiful Fall and much Hope as we move toward the Holidays and the New Year!

And many thanks to my good friend Diane, who always knows how to find the best in everything!

Monday, October 15, 2012

You're Invited! Nathan Turner Book Signing

I am sure all of you have  Nathan Turner on your radar, right? Even before Bravo's Million Dollar Decorators made him a superstar, he was already a star in the design world. Nathan has mega talent, and the charm to go with it. I believe he possesses the key to great success (other than his obvious design skills!) : sincerity, a great sense of humor and the ability to make every person feel at home in his company.

You all may recently have seen his beach house in the September Elle Decor. So livable and so fun. I could be very happy here......

So, to my point....I had the good fortune to be chatting with Mr. Turner this afternoon and realized he has a book signing for his new book, Nathan Turner's American Style, happening up near my neck of the woods tomorrow evening. I will be doing everything in my power to make it there after a full work day! So worth every effort!

Perhaps you all would like to come too?  You are all invited! 

The Book Signing event takes place at the Pottery Barn in Walnut Creek and here is all the scoop.....

Hope to see you there!!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Architecture in the Valley and Blue Trees

Anyone in Northern California looking for cool stuff to do this weekend or next? Hop on over to Sacramento and the Central Valley for a two week long Architecture Festival. The Festival kicked off with a party at Hot Italian, Friday night and continued today with bike tours, seminars, film viewings, and a Blue Trees installation by Konstantin Dimopoulos.

There will be continuing events every day through the duration of the festival, so check out everything HERE and register.

Check it all out on the AIA Architecture Festival Facebook Page HERE.

I had a busy morning with some client furniture deliveries, but we did have a chance to take in the Blue Trees this afternoon in downtown Sacramento.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I count Anna Karenina as one of my very favorite novels. Seeing a preview of the latest incarnation of this story brought to the silver screen has me mesmerized already. It is a new take on story-telling by director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). He has set the epic story in a theater, which, when I heard about it had me scratching my head. But after I saw the preview, I am waiting on pins and needles until I can see it. Period films like this are my personal favorites. Give me pomp, extravagant costumes, dramatic historic settings and music that can take me to another world any time!

Starring Keira Knightly as Anna and Jude Law as her husband, Karenin, the cast is as pedigreed as the fantastic crew. It looks to be a feast for the eyes.

I found a few more photos of the production on W Magazine....brilliant sets!

And Vogue features Keira, Jude and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Vronsky) in their October 2012 issue  (Photos by Mario Testino).....

Lovely Keira
Keira is so wonderful in period pieces I think. And the costumes in this movie are just so beautiful! 

Vogue captures the spirit in their photo shoot with some stunning gowns, like this Chanel gown (over 5000 feathers!).....

And this midnight blue gown with an embroidered William Morris Tree of Life motif by Valentino Haute Couture.......

Jude Law plays the stiff and proper husband in the film. A bit against type, and I look forward to the performance.....
Handsome Jude Law
Captivating Aaron Taylor-Johnson
 One can see why Anna would have had a hard time resisting the affections of this version of Vronsky! I like the dark hair much better than the blond color Aaron sports for the character. At 22 years old, this young actor seems to be on the rise. I wasn't sure I had seen a movie he has been in, except for The Illusionist...and I do not remember him in that. But I realized I had seen him in Nowhere Boy where he played John Lennon. So good!

Will you be watching?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cameras and Dale Chihuly

I dropped my camera when we were on vacation this summer, and it has not been the same since. It does take photos, but it does not zoom. And what use is a camera, really, without a zoom? (Unless one is getting artsy with a box camera, or instagramming with a smartphone....) Anyway.....the iPhone5 is shipping this week (woop!)......but I do need a new camera.

I am soliciting advice. Canon or Nikon? Detachable lens or just a really good zoom? I am looking for a camera that will take really good, no, excellent photos ( the iPhone will take care of photos on the fly)....... you know....great interior photos, artful photos, photos that are good enough for a website and a blog.

John and Sherry over at Young House Love just got a Nikon 3200 and seem very happy with it.  Does anyone else have a camera they love?

Luckily, I dropped the camera in question towards the end of our vacation after taking most of the photos of our trip to Oregon, Washington and Vancouver, Canada. I have been borrowing Tim's point and shoot for the last month or so. But it is time to move on.

As you can imagine, one of the things I wanted to see in Seattle was Dale Chihuly's new Exhibition Hall, Chihuly Garden and Glass. I was awestruck. There is an enormous exhibition hall with a beautiful solarium greenhouse structure as well as exterior gardens to go through. All of the spaces are full of Dale Chihuly's beautiful works of blown glass, all created with his team of brilliant craftsmen.

I felt at times like I was in a fantasy world....or outer space....or under the sea....or just Alice through the Looking Glass.....

I could have spent days here with my camera snapping away....

But vacations often are too short, and we had to be off to meet up with family.....

Next time I will plan for more time to stay and visit the theater (I missed that part!).....and take my time with a new camera.

I hope you all get a chance to visit! Chihuly Garden and Glass is described as "a long term Exhibition that will be viewable for an extended period of time." Not sure, but it sounds like it will be there for awhile, but not better sooner than later!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Birthday Dinner

We had a birthday to celebrate the other night. 

Dad brought home sunflowers and made the perfect meal......filet mignon, scalloped potatoes, and arugula salad with pears and blue cheese.  Grandmom picked more things from the garden for the centerpiece. I set the table and arranged flowers. Sister made a delicious spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  And the dogs warmed our feet under the table......

.....all for the most sunshiney girl in the world.