Tag Archives: spring

picnicspot

Around this time of year, I always start thinking about grassy meadows, naps under trees, and picnic baskets.  We saw this Coke commercial last night on TV and I almost choked up a little bit; my longing to be on a picnic was so intense.

(Some of you will point out that I live in L.A., so I could go sit outside on a blanket right now.  However, even here, it’s not quite the same until the sun is really warm and you’re wearing something sleeveless.)

Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to start my spring sewing wish list.  I have visions of picnic blankets, summer dresses, and fresh table linens.  I love warm weather sewing, because I can really experiment with patterns and colors and worry less about what my husband will say.  I can just tell him “this is for outside, not the bed,” and he’ll be fine.

My wish list so far:

  • some Spring/Summer bags:  I think I need two.
    • a library bag (a la Posie Gets Cozy)
    • an “adventuring” bag:  I want something casual that can go to the zoo and the garden, maybe even Disneyland and Hawaii.  (It’s good to set goals, right?)  The bag needs to hold a camera, water bottle, keys, wallet, and hand lotion.  There should be room for random scraps of paper since that seems to be most of what ends up in my purse.  I haven’t quite decided on a shape yet.
  • And last but not least:  a picnic set.  I have plans to fully deck out a picnic basket with the works – a basket liner, matching napkins, drawstring pouches for the silverware.  Cute little matching tins and containers.  I’m not sure if I’ll get to it this year, but it’s on the list.

Anyone else with picnics on the brain?  I might have forgotten some important accessories. I am torn between wanting spring to arrive and thinking I might need another few months to get my sewing list in order first.  ;-)

Spring Suspicions

Walk_Woods_550

Spring is the season I am slowest to accept. I do want to trade my weather in for sunnier days, but I’m suspicious of the whole thing.

The minute I peel off those winter layers, I just know the weather is going to shift and I am going to be caught out in the cold, far from home. By far from home, I mean the parking lot at the grocery store. Just to be clear, we’re not talking Siberia — but still. That could be a very unpleasant walk to my car.

Perhaps I just don’t want to get my hopes up. We had one blissful weekend where we sat outside on the deck wearing shorts and flip-flops. I tried to position myself so that I would not blind any of the neighbors with my pale, ghost legs. I drank a lemonade. I wanted to cry from happiness.

Butterly_Shower_550

However, it’s best to pretend that was a freak incident and will not happen again. It’s too crushing to put the sweaters back on when you have had a taste of something else.

My friends and family in Southern California make sad, consoling noises on the phone when I talk to them about the weather. (You can tell we don’t have family in Chicago or Minnesota or someplace that might put our temperature-related problems in perspective.) The thing I am now realizing is that I have always been this moody about the weather. It’s just that in LA, you are highly trained to appreciate the shifts even a few degrees could make. There is a delicate balance to be maintained. Do I wear the t-shirt or the tank top? IT CHANGES EVERYTHING.

Spring_blossoms_550

I try to be upbeat about Spring.

My neighbors and friends up here are so positive. I don’t want to ruin it for them. And they have reason to be. It’s ridiculously beautiful. I just need a few more weeks to be convinced. I was thankful I went the conservative route and wore black boots and a warm jacket to church for Easter Sunday, feeling very relieved I had not purchased a pastel sundress in a fit of optimism.

Rotunda_Neimans_550

I think this may sum up my life right now. I am convinced that good things are on the horizon. I know they are. However, I am not rushing either. It is one step at a time. I want both eyes open, prepared for anything. When it’s time to embrace that sunshine, I plan to do it with abandon.

{All images are taken by me for my tumblr blog.}

Filed under Gardens & Special Places, Random Stuff. Tagged with , , , .

Backyard Makeover Needed

pink-trees-2

Last week, I managed to snap a few photos of the gorgeous pink trees peeking over our backyard fence. I am glad I did. Their fresh Spring pink has already dulled to a dark, mauve. The tree at the right-hand of that photo burst into fluffy, white blooms a few days ago — and the parade moves on.

I gushed about Spring last year when everything felt new to us up here in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I thought that maybe this time I’d be less impressed.

However, now we are in a house as opposed to a high-rise apartment. We’re closer to the trees and bushes and flowers then we ever got from our balcony, and it feels more intimate and personal. Even though these are my neighbor’s trees — they feel like mine somehow, too. The view from my second story window looks right onto their huge, pink boughs.

For a few really glorious days, we had a lot of sunshine and wind, and outside, the pink petals drifted by the window like snowflakes.

pink-trees

And that’s about where the fantasy ends. I know. I hate to burst the bubble.

Apparently, we are supposed to mow the lawn and pull weeds and, eh-hem, repair that fence. We try not to make eye contact with the neighbors. Did you notice the boards all askew in that top photo? The other side of the yard is worse — the whole fence up and keeled over.

I try to have a sense of humor about the never-ending list of things to maintain. I am so grateful to have discovered the writings of Gladys Taber last year. I hear her wise words and laughter in my head when I think about the chores and rhythms of the seasons. I look out back, and think — oh, this summer, we’ll build a new fence and landscape those beds and re-paint our deck and, and, and… The reality will be much less productive than that. There will be hot days sitting outside with Popsicles – too warm to think straight let alone do any physical labor.

I was asked to write about waking up your outdoor space with 5 personalized art projects (at P&G Everyday) and that was so much more my style. Let’s just decorate instead. I’ll paint a nice faux rug on that deck, and everyone will forget about the fence.

Right on cue, it has started to rain. I guess we’ll table this discussion for later. We don’t really have to get started yet, do we? What about you — any outdoor projects you’re planning to tackle this year? (Balconies and apartment steps count in my book!)

Filed under House & Home. Tagged with , , , , .

Springtime In Seattle

WA_spring5

Spring is different here.

Over the weekend, we went to the Washington Park Arboretum.  (It’s hard to believe we have only been here for 7 weeks, and we’ve already been to two zoos and two gardens.  Can you tell we’re looking for something that reminds us of home?)

WA_spring3

We saw some familiar faces — camellias, cherry blossoms, and daffodils, but they looked different against their backdrop of moss and damp earth.  The forests here have a monotonous sort of beauty.  Everything is carpeted in green and guarded by seemingly endless trees.

WA_spring

I was telling a woman I met how pretty I thought Seattle was.  ”Your trees have moss on them!” I exclaimed.  The lady looked at me like I was insane.  I think this is akin to saying, “Your dirt has grass on it” in most places. However, I have never seen so much moss.  Not like this.

I am realizing that living in Southern California for so many years, I never really understood the concept of Spring.  Spring, to me, was just the weather “trying to be Summer and failing at it.” I never thought of it as a destination all its own.  Outside, it looked nice, the weather was warm, but still not quite warm enough.  I wore the same combination of t-shirts and hoodies year round.  There was no dramatic shift — only the same sun, the same ocean breeze. The temperatures rose slowly, so gradually you could miss them if you weren’t looking.  And usually, I wasn’t.

WA_spring4

Now, I see why people like Spring, look forward to it, wish for it, need it.  These new blossoms stand out here — bright spots in those stretches of green.  The fact that it is still so cold and sometimes raining outside only makes them feel more miraculous.  How did these flowers get here?

WA_spring2

I feel hopeful that I will be able to find lots of inspiration in this new place.

P.S. – THANK YOU to everyone who has left me such sweet notes about Storybook Lane.  Don’t forget the free fabric give away ends on Sunday, April 1st at midnight!


Filed under Gardens & Special Places, Photography. Tagged with , , .

Picnic Spot (and accessories!)

picnicspot

Around this time of year, I always start thinking about grassy meadows, naps under trees, and picnic baskets.  We saw this Coke commercial last night on TV and I almost choked up a little bit; my longing to be on a picnic was so intense.

(Some of you will point out that I live in L.A., so I could go sit outside on a blanket right now.  However, even here, it’s not quite the same until the sun is really warm and you’re wearing something sleeveless.)

Anyway, I thought it would be a good time to start my spring sewing wish list.  I have visions of picnic blankets, summer dresses, and fresh table linens.  I love warm weather sewing, because I can really experiment with patterns and colors and worry less about what my husband will say.  I can just tell him “this is for outside, not the bed,” and he’ll be fine.

My wish list so far:

  • some Spring/Summer bags:  I think I need two.
    • a library bag (a la Posie Gets Cozy)
    • an “adventuring” bag:  I want something casual that can go to the zoo and the garden, maybe even Disneyland and Hawaii.  (It’s good to set goals, right?)  The bag needs to hold a camera, water bottle, keys, wallet, and hand lotion.  There should be room for random scraps of paper since that seems to be most of what ends up in my purse.  I haven’t quite decided on a shape yet.
  • And last but not least:  a picnic set.  I have plans to fully deck out a picnic basket with the works – a basket liner, matching napkins, drawstring pouches for the silverware.  Cute little matching tins and containers.  I’m not sure if I’ll get to it this year, but it’s on the list.

Anyone else with picnics on the brain?  I might have forgotten some important accessories. I am torn between wanting spring to arrive and thinking I might need another few months to get my sewing list in order first.  ;-)

Filed under Fabric & Sewing. Tagged with , , , , .