Sunday, January 18, 2009


I awoke this morning to find that I had been tagged by Larkspur at Garden Mother. The instructions were to open my photos and go to the fifth folder and select the fifth photo.

here it is - maybe I'll get an architectural award.

This blog is all about the renovation so these photos are not pretty by any stretch........but this has been a good exercise for me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the scope of the project - or upset at the lack of progress - or lack of $$ which would allow me the means to make it FABULOUS. Some times it's a creative drought.

But this photo review has reminded me that despite all set-backs - there is progress !!

This was two offices in the back of the church - added on in the sixties. I tore down the wall between the two and added a full bath and closet. It is the California Suite - initially had guests only from California. I know that will change - but I think the name will remain.

Work in progress - but comfortable.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I think I'll just keep a kettle on all day. The wind chill was -20 when I woke-up ..... and may get to -40 on Thursday. I think today's project has to be sealing little cracks and insulating around old drafty windows - oh yeah.
This wonderful tea kettle was painted by a local High School student and I found it at an art festival. LOVE the student exhibitions!
Stay warm - stay cool - whatever.......

Sunday, January 11, 2009


"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers ! Deliver this award to some bloggers who must choose some more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
I would love to give this right back to Joan ...... but that would put us back in the sixth grade
"You're the best" "No, you are" "No, You" "Na-a, YOU are"
So in the category of life time achievement awards I have to thank Joan "for the love of a house" and Willow for agreeing to interview me.
Now I would like to pass this on to a few women who have welcomed me to their worlds as well:
Content in a Cottage - Rosemary -for her incredible daily posts. Rosemary has such a wide range of interests - she always amazes me and I am flattered by her interest in me and my church.
A Perfect Beginning - Joyce lives not far from me and we are alike in so many ways. She has a loving, gentle perspective on life and I hope someday we will meet.
Canyon Wren Cottage - Sandra was the first to recognize my blog and follow it and I found so many of you through her. I have loved her postings about her home and our "real"lives.
Paris Atelier - Judith has been such a cheerleader for me....maybe because I told her I think I was French in a past life. She has an amazing grasp on the French - both their culture and history. I am in awe of her intelligence and grace at such a young age.
Show Me Vegan - Lisa is so young and bright - she makes me think I'M COOL. Embracing the vegan lifestyle after the big "C" has not been easy - but she always has something wonderful for me to try and keeps me encouraged - without even knowing....SURPRISE!


Wasn't the moon incredible!?! As a Cancer - I am more affected than many. Luckily we had clear skies all night and it followed me from room to room ....I think trying to let me know something was going to happen. I sleep under a glass block window and in the early morning I awoke and for a magical moment there were 20 full moon shining over me. And this morning I found that my new friend Joan from "for the love of a house" had sent me this award.

Thank you so much Joan and yes, flattery will get you everywhere.

This is such a new world for me - didn't even know it existed until a few months ago. I think it was Willow's "Blog of Note" award on my page that caught my eye........I clicked on it and this whole universe in my computer revealed itself to me. Yikes. Somehow, one by one, I have found you . And some of you in return have taken the time to know me. Now I have to go digest all this ...... and my brunch.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I am so happy to be interviewed by Willow - but as we all know - it's because I raised my hand and said "Pick me Pick me" least I'm honest:

1. How in the world did you come about living in and restoring an old church?

I lived in Orange County, California for 30 years and most of those years were spent in a planned community. It was a lovely home and a great place to raise the kids, but as an Interior Designer, looking out my kitchen window and seeing a tract house exactly like mine was sad.....I could use so many words - but basically, it made me sad. And even though my last 5 years were spent in the quintessential beach cottage in Laguna, I vowed that when all darlings were finished high school I would search for a wonderful, unique place to live. I was raised in Wisconsin and that is where I set out to find a church, barn, schoolhouse, cheese factory, mill ..........ANYTHING that was not a tract house. So I happened upon the church - yes, it was a "drive by" and here I am !

2. Did you leave the sanctuary section of the church as is or did you section it into rooms?

Basically, I left the church sanctuary "as is". I added a loft at one end of the church which gave me a master bedroom upstairs and created a ceiling for the kitchen downstairs where I could have recessed lighting and a vent for the cook top. But in the loft, the walls are only as high as the incredible tin cornice. When you are on the main level there is no visual break because I wanted to be able to see the whole ceiling.

3. If you could have dinner with an historical figure who would it be and why...

I wish I were smart enough to impress everyone with some little known, eccentric genius - but I'm not. As a designer, I would have to look to someone who had great knowledge of ALL aspects of architecture, design and landscaping and that would Thomas Jefferson. I would sit at his knee and be the student. Well, for dinner I would sit at his table.

4. Other than your loved ones, what is your most treasured possession

Is this a fair answer - my imagination ? This is what allows me the vision for designs - and transports me. I basically live in a fantasy world. My clients tell me how they want to live and I am able to translate that into their realty.

5. Before blogging, what, if any, was your main mode of personal expression?

I am not really an accomplished blogger. I started my blog solely as a diary of my progress on the church for all my family and friends. Prior to this I have enjoyed all aspects of design . My degree is in Interior Design and I have worked in that field since '76......but I am also a third generation milliner, and enjoy everything having to do with the arts and design. I once had a Christmas card that said "If it doesn't move - decorate it".

Now - here is your chance to be interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment asking to be interviewed

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions ( my choice of questions)

3. You will update your blog with the answers to these questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post

5. When others comment and ask to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, January 5, 2009


After a trip to Chicago - I returned home to
I am so excited !! Don't have electricity in there yet so the opener doesn't work ...but I am thrilled. I have to use the back door for my only entrance right now and it has become increasingly depressing.....the garden tools were bad enough - but add shovels and car tires !!

Tires and shovels and rakes - Oh My!

There was freezing rain while I was away so everything is covered with a sheet of ice....very scary.

My back steps looking from the lower level

This is where recycles and trash pile up. When I had to have snow tires put on the car - this is where my regular tires had to go....there or under the Christmas Tree.

This is what greeted me upon you understand why I was so determined to get a garage

What a great project to have to start off the new year.

A Clean Slate

I may even get to make it pretty....
imagine that .