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Sometimes I like to sew stuff. Couldn’t find a  bedspread for this 60s-style bedroom so I decided to make it myself.

A note about the fabric–The material is Luna Compass, a cotton/wool blend which is why it hangs really nicely. The retail price is horrendous but I bought a bolt of 10 yards from Winter Beach Modern for about $90. I made the welting from cord and bias tape.

Actually, sewing something a bit like writing. There are lots of metaphors here. If you start with incredibly great material, you’re more likely to be successful. I don’t always love the process but it’s nice when it turns out well.

Aaaand, I taught myself a new WordPress trick–inserting a “gallery” of photos instead of one at a time. Ridiculously simple. You can click on each thumbnail for a bigger (much, much bigger) view.

Katherine won the last drawing! And I’m desperate to try the black cherry soda. Today’s question is at the bottom of this post.

Makeover time! I’ve written many a page in my trusty old puff rocker, but it needed a makeover.

faded old chair

faded old chair

So I dragged out my trusty rotary auction sewing machine and got to work.


It was kind of awkward to sew.

It was kind of awkward to sew.


...but at least I had a nice view.

...but at least I had a nice view.

And here is the result. Barkis gives it a paws-up!






The next drawing is for a copy of a terrific new book–Blood Bayou by the lovely and talented Karen Young. I bought a copy, and then Karen was nice enough to send me one, so I have an extra! And of course, a signed copy of Just Breathe. Today’s question–what gives you “happy hands?” Do you have a favorite craft? (even if you don’t practice it!) Post in Comments below, and you’re entered.

Here’s a magazine article about this fun, retro beach house I live in. Rebecca Teagarden is a fantastic writer and editor. Photographer Mike Siegel took some beautiful shots–slide show here.

rat pack decor in the bedroom

rat pack decor in the bedroom

Great blue heron photo by Mike Siegel

So Mike came over to take some photos of the house for a magazine article. He’s a talented photographer, and here’s one of his recent images. I love this shot because it shows how truly blue a blue heron is.

great blue heron on my beach

great blue heron on my beach

In contrast, here’s a shot of a heron on my beach. Nice lines, but you can’t see how blue it truly is.

This heron seems to be territorial because I see it here a lot. It’s the most patient of hunters, standing as still as a statue for the longest time before it strikes.

Sonny finds a way to escape Barkis.

Sonny finds a way to escape Barkis.

There’s a heron statue in my pool. Here’s a shot of Sonny, who swims over to the rock to escape Barkis, who refuses to get wet.

My kitchen was boring. This house is all about the view outside, but still. Off-white formica and linoleum squares were starting to get really depressing.

boring kitchen

Then the garbage disposal broke and I thought…I never liked that sink. And while I was at it, I hated the countertops, the cooktop, the backsplash and the floor. Time for a makeover! Time to go green!

My habit of watching “Living with Ed,” the Ed Begley show about going green, finally made sense. I ordered bamboo floors, Vetrazzo countertops (in Hollywood sage, just like the ones in Ed’s house; they’re made of recycled Coke bottles) and stainless steel tile. Oh, and something called a magnetic induction cooktop which looks like a flat sheet of black glass. Check it out! NOW we’re cooking!

new! improved! green!

 Here’s a wider shot of the space:

too pretty to cook in

…and a close-up of the cooktop:

magnetic induction cooktop

But still, I spend most of my time looking out the window….

the view from here

I’m all about keeping it simple this holiday season. As my girlfriend J.F. says, “If it ain’t eating or shopping, I’m not doing it.” According to something I read–I think this was on Unclutterer–you can create a lovely holiday atmosphere in your home without hauling out six generations of Christmas tchotchkes and gee-gaws. Simply put out some fresh greenery (that way you can compost it rather than store it on Boxing Day) and put some Christmas music on the stereo, and that’s all you need. My advice–put up the tree and light a scented candle, too. Once you’ve done that, your house will scream “Christmas” and people will feel good just hanging out with you.

tangled lights displayOne more tip–don’t even try to untangle the light strings. Mine came out of storage all wadded up, so I threw them on the ground and plugged them in and parked a bunch of poinsettias around them. (There’s a rebar sculpture by our front door; that’s what those vertical bars are.) My Inner Martha is extremely lazy. But having fun.

Okay, holiday season. I’m ready. Bring it!

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