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Realizing "me" is just fine.....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

O.K.---- I was cleaning up the kitchen this morning, a task I had happily ignored doing last night. And as I was waiting for the water to get hot enough to fill the sink, ( you see I'm a girl that prefers hand washing dishes, instead of dishwashers.....please no lecturing!)....I was wondering why I am always a tad bit behind the mark?....always a day late & a dollar short? in point, leaving the dinner dishes till morning??....

No matter what I have going on, it seems instead of one project I have 5!....I have so many ideas, so many things I want to do in a day, but instead of concentrating on one & completing it, I run around trying to do it all & none of it gets truly finished? What's up with that!?

In one day can one middle aged woman truly believe she can,.... bake muffins from scratch, straighten the house ( main floor mainly, the upstairs is a whole other project!), plant seeds for a winter garden, even though the summer garden is completely out-of-control, do laundry & stencil & sew tons of pillows for her Etsy shop!!?...not to mention eat healthy & exercise!? I don't think so....

Now for years I ran my own interior design business. Working with clients, I believe I was quite organized & efficient. I did my job well, answering questions & solving homeowners design issues. I was the "go-to-girl" when it came to anything having to do with pretty interior design decisions!....I had great ideas & knew exactly how to accomplish them. I got very used to being the expert....And I think somehow I still am trying to be that.

I believe a new approach is needed. First of all I don't have to be an authority on anything...nor do I want to be. For once I would just like to be the "student", the novice....the girl without all the answers. I don't have to be an over-achiever.....
Instead of being the teacher , & want to be the person being taught. I want to do things slower, take on less & sometimes fail.....but in the process enjoy it all a whole lot more! :)

Yep...It's time for me to give up trying to be superstar Martha, & instead be just average me.

I think I love the sound of that.... "just me".

I believe I'm onto something!





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today our subject is "gardening". And since I wanted to chat about the glorious "sunflower"...I thought I would combine the two.
Now to be very honest,..... this year the sunflowers I planted in my garden were sad disappointments. I thought I had done everything correctly, but my sunflowers were wimpy & pathetic. .....I have been a gardener long enough however, to realize that sometimes that is the way it is.....
Next year I will re-evaluate the situation, but for now I just need "sunflowers"!

So this August, I have had a lovely relationship with large bunches of sunflowers,.... all of which have been bought at the open market & the grocery store. No problem at all!...
I have displayed them in large ironstone pitchers, in galvanized buckets & even on my front door in an old grapevine basket....It is August after all, & I must decorate the house with sunflowers!

You see there is something quite curious about sunflowers. As far as decorating is concerned, sunflowers look amazing in all styles of interiors!....Obviously "country" by nature, the sunflower is quickly associated with farmhouses & red barns....However, they also are very European, showing up in old French manor houses, displayed in large earthenware pottery.....& lastly the sunflower is so large & graphic in shape, that placing them in a very contemporary home is quite charming as well

So today's gardening tip is this....

1) Plant sunflowers in your garden ( which is usually very easy to do!)
2) or purchase sunflowers to display throughout August
3) rejoice in the classic simplicity that is the "sunflower"!

Enjoy a happy Wednesday!......




"Decorating Tuesday"....How To Arrange Your Hutch

Monday, August 22, 2011

I have been attracted to "hutches & cupboards" my entire life......There is just something terribly romantic about an old piece of furniture filled to the brim with treasures!....For me, it is all about my collection of "brown transferware".....another collection of "Guy Wolff gardening pots".... & of course a few incredible pieces of my "Emma Bridgewater Pottery"....who can resist all those darling words on classic pieces of creamware!

Today being Tuesday, & the topic "decorating, I thought it might be fun & informative to show how to arrange a hutch-top/sideboard!....For years, I have been doing this for clients. What I have learned is you need to please yourself!...After all the hutch resides in "your" house. It is an area that can make quite a statement, so make sure that statement feels right for "you"! No decorator can feel what you do, so forget the rules & just please yourself!...

#1- Remove everything from your hutch-top; & remember too that this piece of furniture does not have to be a prize quality antique!...look at mine! The bottom is a very old Mexican sideboard, picked up at a consignment shop,... & the top is a "far-from-great-quality" hutch-top I found in an unfinished furniture store,.... brought home & painted black. I paid $400 for the sideboard & $40 for the hutch!!....I always thought I would paint both pieces a wonderful color, but somehow have always kept it mis-matched...which I find really charming!
#2- Dust & clean thoroughly before decorating; everything looks a little prettier without layers of dust!

#3- Take inventory of all the items that might possibly find a home on your hutch;I happen to love a fairly neutral color-scheme of browns, creams & whites,...but you may prefer stronger colors, which will work beautifully as well! Of course displaying dishes is the traditional choice for hutches, but remember again to collect & display the items you love, not what you happen to see in a magazine! I have used some very unusual items when putting together hutches for clients,.... among them, a collection of African masks/pottery....another all silver pieces from top to bottom.... & even a hutch filled with all the darling items of babyhood, all in the sweetest nursery!

#4- Place the largest items, as well as the background pieces first on the hutch; As you can see, for me that is all the large serving trays, as well as a pair of old iron urns & my Target lamp, with a lampshade I borrowed from my grandson's room ( my daughter had just switched it out for a much preferred bright red one!)
#5- Proceed to fill-in with the medium sized items....gradually going smaller & smaller; remember to slightly overlap a few of your pieces;
example: after placing a large platter near the back of the hutch, adding a pitcher or vase in front of it creates depth, & in turn interest to the space!....You want to create layers, which is exactly why you begin with the largest & work to the smallest of items; make sure too to have tiny items near the edge of the shelves, so they can be admired & enjoyed.

#6- After all your pieces are placed, be sure & add "life" to the entire space with flowers, greenery, moss, or really nature of any kind; do make sure to use what is seasonal....& remember too,... to choose flowers in the true colors they are in nature!

#7- As a final touch, & if space allows, add a pair of chairs, or a darling bench or even a collection of large baskets in front of your hutch; this again adds layers of interest to your room....
Possibly add a hand-made rug, pretty pillows or even a soft throw, bringing softness & a
"sense of home" to the entire arrangement!

O.K. my friends, I believe you are ready to have some fun!....

Off you go to create a personal statement with your hutch-top!

Any questions.....please just e-mail me!....or leave me a comment, & I will get right back to you!

Be creative & make your home fabulous!

Till tomorrow!~ heidi


"Paula Deen's Zucchini Pie".....

Happy Monday to you all!.....That time of year is here again..."Zucchini Season"!...And if you have a garden, you know exactly what I mean!.....Zucchini, zucchini & more zucchini!
Like many of us, I am constantly looking for recipes that will help me use this crazy prolific vegetable. So when I happened across this wonderful recipe on Paula Deen's website, I just had to try it!....."Zucchini Pie" was a recipe that an anonymous person submitted to Paula...Paula tried it, changing a couple little things & then added it to her website, along with lots of other incredible recipes!
I decided to make this zucchini pie last week, along with grilled burgers...& every member of my family loved it!!...from my 7 year old grandson to my vegetarian daughter to my husband!....It was a big hit!....In my opinion it's more of a bread/pudding, than a pie. It has a great texture & incredible flavor!...Absolutely delicious!
So when searching for yet another recipe for all that zucchini, try Paula's Zucchini Pie!.....I'm sure you will love it too!
Here's to gardens, summer & lots of zucchini!

Your friend,..... heidi xo


"Thursday's Housekeeping Tips".....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lately I have been in the mood to clean?....Not sure why,.... but somehow it seems when the weather gets really hot, I simply cannot stand an untidy house!...instead I prefer everything in order!...
So needless to say, my house is pretty darn clean, considering it's mid-August in Southern California! :)
For my housekeeping tip today, I have two items that I L.O.V.E!!

1. white sponges (12/$18)
The white sponges I purchase from designer Tricia Foley's new on-line shop,
"The New General Store". Now for sponges they are quite price-y..... However they are incredible sponges & "white" which I adore! fresh & clean at my sink! You must check them out!

remember too, that running your sponges through the dishwasher, helps to disinfect & keep them clean!)

2. olive oil soap (Savon de Marseille Soap/$8)
These large blocks of soap are amazing! They last forever & can be used for every task around the house....from washing people to pots & pans to laundry!.... & they are also incredible for your skin!....I think the taupe-y color is lovely & again looks great sitting next to my white sponge in my clean kitchen!

I think a chuck of this soap is pretty sitting on an antique transferware saucer, or a top a pile of pebbles in a small ironstone bowl
Both these products are a tiny bit of expensive, however, both are functional, utilitarian household items,.... so why not splurge on items like these that elevate housekeeping to a whole new level!

Happy Housekeeping!


"I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, & gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a "home"....I am thankful for the piles of laundry & ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby."
~ Nancy J. Carmody


"Crafting 101".....Creating a Workspace

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today is "Crafting 101". Before you begin any craft projects, you simply need a place to work.....and for many of us it is the kitchen table!.....As wonderful as working at the kitchen table can be, it is also a place that is continually being used for various activities.....making it possibly not the best choice for crafting.

With that said, crafting doesn't require a fancy room or lots of space. In fact any little area of your home or garage where you can have a workspace, a little storage & a source of good light will work just perfectly!

For me, it is a skinny little area in my garage!...Now this is not the most attractive crafting area, but it does meet all the requirements!.....
After moving into our house, I noticed there was a long counter in the garage, which I believe had been used as a carpenter's table. It was a little dirty & used, but nothing I couldn't scrub up & make all mine! So that is precisely what I am showing you today!.....

Organization is key!.....Decide what you truly need to do the crafts projects you love & get rid of the rest!...holding onto tools & such that you know you will never use, just contributes to the madness!
I have used old glasses found at a thrift shop to organize my pens, lint brushes, scissors, etc. I have also used a little old dish to place tacks in , as well as always having a pin cushion at the ready! A package of pretty note cards, tucked among the utilitarian items, adds a little bit of prettiness to the area!

In this photo, you can see how I have used inexpensive particle board shelving from Target, to create convenient storage....& I have arranged them so they will give division to my cardboard boxes & pillow forms....keeping them accessible, as well as nice & tidy!

Plastic buckets & cheap waste paper baskets work very well for storing all my cellophane & wrapping paper. I can easily see what I have at a glance....making wrapping a lovely gift all that much more enjoyable!

As you can see, I have a crazy mis-mash of containers, but each one houses exactly what I use most!....My crafting area in the garage, is one where I can leave out a project if I wish too, & /or work on something without worrying that I am ruining our good furniture or creating a huge mess. This space works incredibly well for me! It has been inexpensive to put together , & a bit "home-ly" decor-wise,..... but this area is so very efficient for me!...
I love sewing, stenciling, & doing crafts of all kinds... This little space helps me be a creative...something we all need to nurture!

So claim a small area in your house or garage & get to crafting!....You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish!

Happy crafting!

Your friend,......

Next week: How to transform 2-thrift shop lamps, into a gorgeous pair, using Martha Stewart's new decorator paints!!


"A New Idea".....

Dear Friends, With this summer turning out to be one of our busiest yet, there has been very little time for blogging or writing my monthly newsletter, "Living Little with Heidi". Between my pillow business, & trying to keep up with the house, garden & family, there simply are never enough hours in the day are there!?
So after much thought, I have decided to combine my newsletter into my blog. I have divided the week into the 5 categories, each being near & dear to my heart!.....


Every week, I will share ideas centering on each of these topics, some my own & some borrowed from talented friends!....
And will continue the philosophy of "Living Little",....
"Creating a Beautiful Life with Little Money, Little Time & Little Space".

In doing so, I hope to provide "knowledge & inspiration" that you will find useful!...along with some lovely quotes & lots of pretty pictures!
I hope you will join me for lots of great ideas we will all enjoy!
See you tomorrow!

Your friend,



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