Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wedding Weekend

Just when we thought we were home for the summer, ending our 9 weeks away, we jumped in the car and drove to Boston for the weekend for our longtime besties' daughter's wedding party.

It took place at their lovely home in Hingham.

They had just completed a major garden renovation, planting thousands of perennials over an acre of yard. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and everything looked spectacular.

The ceremony took place under the pergola at the top of the hill. We all just gathered around the gardens.

There was a tent for all the festivities in the lower part of the garden.

They had simple farm tables, which I loved and would like to duplicate.

The tables had zinnias and wild flowers.

Seating vignettes were set up all over the garden.

The bar was a couple large barrels and a huge slab of wood, festooned with twinkle lights. 

The portapotty was pretty fancy. Separate boys/girls with running water, lights and even music! Unfortunately, it failed pretty early on and we had to use the house bathroom.

We've known Rick and Fiona for nearly 36 years. They were our 'best' people at our wedding. 

We got the garden party memo and both dressed in floral dresses.

Dancing commenced immediately after the ceremony.

I failed to get a photo of the bride and groom but here are Fiona and her daughters, Caitlin and Sheena. Sheena is in the middle and it was her wedding.

Even though it was such a long drive and short visit, it was a joy to share this day with them.

On the way we were really hankering for a lobster roll. Thanks to mapquest, we found a place right off the interstate, a little drive in type place that had very good lobster rolls. Love this type of place!

We broke up the trip by staying at our friend's place in Connecticut. Scott and KK live in a very similar house, built in the mid-1800's. KK is an artist and is finally getting her own studio, moving out of a small bedroom in the house. 

She'll have this entire upper floor over the garage. She paints very large paintings so the window on the right will become a large door to hoist canvasses up and down. 

I always love going to New England. The architecture is lovely, the gardens beautiful and the scenery soothing. Since Houston does nearly all the driving, this is what I do, knit, knit, knit. We're a good team!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

While In Seattle...

While in Seattle I was able to see my friend, Karen and her hubby, Ted. I hadn't seen Karen for nearly 8 years! She's a long time friend of mine. We met while we lived in Florida 38 years ago. I was preparing to have a baby at home, in the large Victorian house we lived in. Karen rented a cottage on this property and was redoing a 1949 Coupe to resell and use the money to buy land near Flint Hill, Virginia. She was there for the birth of Aramin, making a 'birthday' cake in the shape of a butterfly. She left the next day for Virginia, in a 1946 2-ton flatbed truck. 

The following year I visited her in Virginia and fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains, which precipitated my move to Virginia. We've kept in touch over the years, with her moving from Virginia to Maryland to Oregon then Washington. In each place she restored a house, sold it and moved on. About 8 years ago, she met Ted, sold everything, bought a beautiful teak sail boat from Canada, restored it and sailed up and down the west coast and finally back up to Canada, living on the boat for a couple years. 

Four years ago she and Ted bought a 'lot' in a neighborhood in Seattle with a tiny cottage on it. Ted is an architect and designed this house to fit the site. While living in the tiny cottage at the bottom of the yard, they started construction at the top of the hill and when they reached the cottage, they tore it down, moved into the new part and continued building. 
Pictured above is the understated front of the house.

Fours years later, Karen is still working on it, putting up drywall, tiling and doing lots of finishing work. She is a perfectionist and it shows in her workmanship. This is the side of the house, cascading down the hillside.

Karen and Ted are thrifters extraordinaire. All the furnishings in the house are either from Craigslist, yard sales or the awesome thrift stores that Seattle is known for. This midcentury table is from Craigslist which they got for a steal. It came with 6 chairs.

While at their weekly thrift store visits, they found two chairs exactly like the others. 

The house is full of light ...

but also very private as they have put in all this greenery and over the four years, it's filled in nicely.

The stainless steel sink was bought at a close out and the fridge came with no doors! So she made doors and painted them.

Karen does all the tiling and I especially like this idea in their master bath. The tub is against the wall but you have to walk through the shower to get to the bath. So there's just a drain in the floor in front of the tub and a big shower head overhead. Genius!

In every house Karen has redone, she has dug out for a pond. This house is no exception. They had to do MAJOR excavation, bringing in large equipment to fix drainage problems and tons and tons of rock.

This is looking down from the bedroom balcony. 
I was so impressed with the house, the use of recycled, found, repurposed materials. I like the modern, industrial, midcentury look about it and look forward to seeing it finished. I think this will be there forever home.

We took a little tour of the lock in their neighborhood. There were 3 boats in it so they were being raised up while we were there.

This sculpture is nearby. This is where the salmon make their way upstream and there's a viewing window where you can watch all varieties of salmon swimming upstream.
So this concludes my most fantastic summer. Italy, England, and biking along the Pacific Coast Highway. Seeing friends in all those places, making new friends along the way and enjoying life to the fullest. I'll probably never have another year like this one, so I appreciate it all the more.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Rest & Recovery

The last week and a half of our vacation was spent in serious R and R.  Sue, Houston and I spent a few days at my brother and sister in law's place in Palo Alto. Jim and Pam were the perfect hosts, supplying wine, food and merriment. Thanks guys! It's just what my poor, tired knees needed. My niece, Audrey, was about to launch for college in Ohio, so I was glad I got to see her before the left.

Their adorable new puppy, Higgins, entertained us.

Since I hadn't had a project in 3 weeks, I was eager to get something going. Their table and chairs needed attention, so I got right to it.

Just a little orbital sanding, some staining and lots of waxing brought new life to this antique.

They trusted me to find some colorful fabric and I found the perfect one. Sue was a great help, taking the seats off and while I stapled the fabric on, she cleaned the chairs and screwed the finished seats back on.

Finished project! Ta da! I even made a table runner and I think it took me as long to sew that as it did to do the entire table and chairs! I am not much of a sewer. 

Houston had to attend a conference in San Francisco while Sue and I scooted up to West Seattle where Seal and Mike had rented a place right on the water and had graciously invited us to spend a few days with them.

 I call this their 'infinity' patio because it went right to the water.

We had the most beautiful sunsets. This charming lighthouse is right next door.

And on the other side are spectacular views of Mt. Ranier.

There was a constant stream of paddle boarders going by. This particular guy had his golden retriever on the board too!

I sat on this patio and knit and drank wine A LOT!

We chose the perfect day to go sea kayaking, calm and sunny.

Walking around the neighborhood we came across these little libraries where you can just take a book or leave a book. What a great idea! We have this sort of thing at our local Barnesville post office and that's how I get most of my reading material.

Alki Beach has many cute cottages. I was smitten with this deep purple one with the lilac and lavender accents.

One of Seal and Mike's favorite dining spots, The Calcutta Grill, is located on top of a hill overlooking downtown Seattle.

A bagpiper comes to serenade the sun as it lowers on the horizon.

Sue and I took the ferry over to downtown Seattle one day and walked around the city.

 I liked this view of the space needle. 

We were going to visit the Chihuly museum but ran out of time.

Pike's Market was overflowing with flowers. Bouquets are only $5 or $10!

Fresh veggies too.

View from inside Pike's Market

We spotted this cool project people are working on. They've made casts of a large hemlock tree and have millions of tiny pieces of cedar wood that they glue around the cast. When done, the cast is removed so only the 'skeleton' remains.

Thanks Seal for such a fun, relaxing time at your sweet spot in Seattle!

A perfect ending to a wonderful trip!