Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bird Bath Makeover

I had picked up this birdbath several years ago at an antique shop. Never did much with it. Well, I take that back, for a while it doubled as a stand for a potted tree, simply because of its convenient size. It didn't fare well in the elements, though, and although I loved its verdigris finish, it was becoming chipped and worn and quite rusty. So I asked my hubby to paint it a new color. I was thinking either another verdigris green color, or a faux marble look. He looked at a few finishes and brought home a finish with the texture of a white stone. I was a bit concerned that it would fill in the detailing on the piece too much, but since the bowl had areas where the metal had corroded, I figured a bit of filling in would be good.

So here it is in its original way-past-shabby look. This sweet little bird was one of the reasons I fell in love with it, it was before the current theme in birds as home decor was common.

Here it is after my hubby sanded down what he could and painted. So now what to do with it?  Since I have two cats who have proved their prowess with bird hunting on a number of occasions, it didn't make sense to set it up for its original intent. So I devised another plan.

My Beachside Find

I had blogged last about my latest visit to Seal Beach, and how I loved exploring Brita's Old Town Gardens there. I also enjoyed hunting through a couple of antique shops there.  I ooh'ed and aw'ed over several items, but being the fastidious shopper I am, put down almost everything. One item I had been looking for was an apothecary jar. I had seen one recently on someone's blog and admired how they had used it to hold miniature soaps. I don't have miniature soaps, but I do have an accumulation of miniature lotions and bath oils, those small sizes you receive in gift baskets or from hotels. I thought they would look good displayed in an apothecary jar. I had checked at a few shops, but not found what I was looking for. Then, Eureka! In of all places, a shell shop!  This shell shop has been on Main Street in Seal Beach since I first discovered it over 25 years ago. I've always loved browsing it's crowded aisles cluttered with all sorts of sea treasures and beach decor. That's where I discovered it, a good size apothecary jar with a silver lid fashioned of a collage of sea shells, with a seastar centerpiece. I thought it was beautiful, but a bit pricier than what I hoped to spend. So I walked away.

I walked through an antique shop further down, and checked out a box of marked down objects outside, where I found a delightful little crystal dish. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it was too sweet to not snatch up at $2.  I went into a cottagey shop, where I was enchanted by its selection of white shabby chic everything. I dallyed some more at a tea room with its own gift shop full of lovelies. Then I walked back and bought that apothecary jar. When I go back and still want it, that's when I know it's mine and must come home with me.

Do you like it?  And the sweet little crystal dish as well, which beside the seashell jar does seem to be begging for some shell shaped guest soaps, doesn't it?

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I went into Seal Beach last weekend. It's one of the lesser known beaches in So Calif, but charming in its quaintness. It's been a favorite spot for me to go when I think of 'the beach'.  I always consider it more a traditional beach town than some of its more famous neighbors, with its quirky winding streets and small town feel. It has a much less developed Main Street, there are a few of the chain restaurants and of course the boutiques selling bikinis and board wax to the younger crowd, but there are also some small antique shops and specialty places and mom and pop restaurants. One place that has managed to thrive is Britas Old Town Gardens, halfway down Main Street.

Not having a very large lot to work on, the owners have still managed to fill it with an assortment of plants and pergolas and hanging baskets.

It isn't just the delight of wending your way through the tightly wound paths leading you around the selection of gorgeous groupings, it's the small town feel of watching the people potting new baskets chatting with the customers as if they were their next door neighbors - maybe they are!  There is also a lovely black and white cat in residence there. He is usually splayed along a sunny spot, as much at home there as any begonia or bougainvillea.

As much as I love gardens and beaches, I certainly love a garden at a beach.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Patio Planning

I have been working on organizing my patio more.  It had been getting a bit overcluttered, so I've trimmed out a few things and rearranged others.  The scheffela tree I was thinking of getting rid of, I took another look at and decided it was mostly one large extension growing at a 45 degree angle which was taking too much room.  So I brought out a good kitchen knife (No, I don't know where my hacksaw is) and sawed it off.  I had recently purchased this post? designed to hold a candle outside, it is the perfect stake for my fuchsia.  This fuchsia is 3-4 years old, I'd been waiting forever for it to bloom, it's finally doing so.  I will say, for being slow to blossom, those blooms will last a very long time.

My daughter mentioned to me that I really wanted people to know this was my garden.  I hadn't noticed that before!  But we'll just call this my garden wall.