Category Archives: Exteriors

Positive Contagion

In our world today ‘contagion’ is on every mind.  As we take steps to slow the spread, to flatten the curve, as they say, we can also create an atmosphere of positive contagion.  Walking in my new neighborhood yesterday, as the sun shone briefly in the late afternoon following rain, I was surprised by a new feeling of community.  Children out on their bikes with parents jogging alongside, couples walking dogs, and babies in strollers, lone walkers and runners.  As I passed, a smile, a nod, a word of greeting – a sense that we are in this together.  We’ve always been in this life together, whether acknowledged or not; now we have a common thread running through the fabric of our lives.

My job involves bringing beauty and order into the lives of others.  I like it to be a collaboration – my clients ideas and sensibilities, filtered through my eye, executed to our mutual satisfaction.  So many different ways exist to share beauty….a picture, a story, a thought, a word of endearment or encouragement….the list really is endless.  In the digital age in which we live, we can be contagious in a positive way, without risking the negative.

Logging in this morning, I see that I have not posted on this blog since 2017.  Many events    conspired to rob me of the joy I once had.  In 2020, in the mist of pandemic, I’m taking a fresh look at life through a very different lens and finding it more beautiful than ever.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Several weeks ago my five year old granddaughter took what we had accumulated from a bit of garden clean-up and fashioned  a still-life on the flagstone….beauty in my eyes and hers….possibly in yours as well.


I hope to continue to share that which is beautiful in my world, to reconnect with past loyal followers and make new friends.  Please respond; let me know what your world looks like today  – spread the beauty!  Be well!



Filed under Art, Exteriors, Family history, Garden, Inspiration, Nature, Welcome

Day in LA…part 2

Blocks from Terroni to our destination venue filled with amazing sights:

the Broad Art Museum


Mural at MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Artimg_3591


Walt Disney Concert Hall


Ramon C Cortines School of Visual and Performing Artsimg_3609

grounded by the 101 freeway in the foreground – 21st Century reality!!!

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Filed under Art, Exteriors, Inspiration, Travel

Day in LA…part 1

Los Angeles is rarely my destination of choice…however….a friend, a concert and the promise of an Italian meal tipped the scales.

the restaurant


housed in a former bank building, the juxtaposition of grand architecture and contemporary decor…arresting




open kitchen, pantry, and liquor cabinet…all fascinating.



Intrigued by the design elements, I neglected to get a picture of the best lemon pasta ever!!!!

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Filed under Exteriors, Food, Interiors, Travel

Meanwhile back at the ranch…episode 25

Admittedly less attentive than in past years, we have fretted about the barn owls.  The usual chirping sounds as they fly have been absent; a silhouette atop the owl box missing in the twilight of the evening. 


Listening for them, we have heard, in the distance,  the hooting of the Great Horned Owl also native to these parts, a natural predator of our owls.  


Have the barn owls moved on to a safer domain, leaving our box uninhabited for this season???


Working this past week to clear the wedding path behind the hedge, I imagined (heard?) ever so slight noises coming from the box. 


Dedicating my labors to making their surroundings as enticing as possible, I vowed to sit outside that evening from the first hint of dusk until I could no longer see the box in the dark…watching…listening…


and…they came in the twilight!!!…one swooping in silently over the yard, wings at full spread, the other from over the field.  BUT, flying directly into the box – no silent contemplation on the roof as in years past…AND they are quiet, no chirping to announce their arrival.  Are these simply a different pair with their own behavior pattern, OR could the hoot owls be causing them to keep a lower profile this year???  I wish we could communicate – I would ask.


Actually, I choose to think that we do communicate in a fashion:  the next morning a ‘thank you’ left under the box…perhaps in appreciation of my efforts with the landscape!



*Great Horned Owl:  photo of reproduction of The Original Water-Color Paintings by John James Audubon for The Birds of America


Filed under Exteriors, Nature

Farrow & Ball *footnote

Farrow & Ball paints not only offer amazing color choices…the names are highly entertaining!!!

Pictured:  Down Pipe – Sugar Bag Light – Arsenic – Hound Lemon – Mouse’s Back – Dead Salmon – Smoked Trout – Savage Ground – Clunch


Also:  Mole’s BreathChurlish Green –  Elephant’s Breath

Love the English wit!!!

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‘Backyard’ treasures: part 1

‘Right in my own back yard’…a cliche, yes… but so true!

a day trip with a dear friend, mere miles from home


Thomas Aquinas College


on the grounds:  Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel


a quiet, prayerful moment spent here…




Ojai Road, Santa Paula, California

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Filed under Art, Exteriors, Inspiration, Interiors, Travel

Prickly Postcard

Drought-driven…learning to embrace alternative beauty


at Santa Barbara Stone

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Hingham, Massachusetts…part 2

The town of Hingham, just south of Boston… established in 1635.  Driving south from Boston to Wood’s Hole (to catch the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard), I stopped along the way in Hingham in search of my roots.


Having built a colonial revival home in a lemon orchard on the ‘left coast’ some years before my first visit to Hingham…


…the shiver which ran through the double helix of my DNA the first time I visited was palpable.

   I now understood my lifelong love for the simple, solid, well-proportioned architecture of the east coast…the very essence – even in pictures –  has always spelled ‘home’ to me – seeing in person, in the town where my ancestors had once lived, the reality.



It was love at first visit!


The town itself is quaint without being cloying…

(of course I love the name of the ice cream parlor!!!)


Winston’s Flowers


Historic but current…

The Old Ordinary dating from 1688, once a stop where stagecoach travelers could find ‘an ordinary meal’ of the day, now maintained as a museum…



and Old Ship Church and Old Ship Burying Ground…my family connection.




Next:  Hingham Part 3…Old Ship Church

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Filed under Exteriors, Family history, Travel

Postcard from downtown

Santa Barbara architecture and design…


…an acquired taste???

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Use your words…exploring color

Visualizing a beautiful space, incorporating my client’s wishes and dreams, and my concept of bringing them to reality…only part of the job.  Conveying my concept to the client is the next step.  Much of this process requires words…. words of explanation, description, education, persuasion.  Since some of the needed words can be technical in nature, I have decided that a good way for me to grow in this area is to ‘tighten up’ my vocabulary – starting with the words we use about color. 

hue, tone, value, saturation…

Webster defines hue:  a gradation or variety of color, tint

 hue = color



again defined by Webster, tone:  a quality of color with reference to the degree of absorption of light, a slight modification of a given color

tone = shade of a given color



value:  a degree of lightness or darkness in a color

value = lightness or darkness of a certain color



saturation:  the degree of chroma or purity of a color, the degree of freedom from admixture with white

saturation = degree of purity of a certain color


in the classroom we would now be asked to use each word defined above in a sentence……………

‘The value of the tone of the hue is saturated.’



Filed under Exteriors, Interiors