Pet Stay: Reno & Las Vegas

The Caesar’s/Harrah’s family of hotels has just added Pet Stay to their family of hotels. Dogs only, 50lbs and under. Small increase in nightly rate ($35 I think for Reno).

http://www.harrahs.com/petstay/

Guests participating in the PetStay program are greeted by several canine-friendly in-room amenities including a mat, food and water dishes, disposable waste bags and dog treats.

Each PetStay resort hosts a designated PetStay area within the hotel, equipped with welcome packets that direct guests to outdoor relief areas and dog walking routes. Additional Information about dog-friendly items for purchase and nearby dog services (such as grooming, walking and veterinary care) is available upon check-in at each of the participating resorts.

I’m so excited as we go to Tahoe/Reno all the time for thrifting & antiquing, and now we can bring our tiny dog. She is such a fabu travel pup. These seem like really humane amenities, they can stay in room with you, they have grassy walk area, etc. I hope this is a permanent move to accommodate our the pups!

Golden Gate Bridge: Butter

I grew up here in the East Bay and San Francisco... and had never walked the GG! So we set off on a gorgeous but windy spring day. Just before the first tower my Mother in Law lost her nerve and we turned back. Butter however, loved it! The wind! The rollerbladers! The massive traffic! Loved it.

Guess where we’re going this weekend??? Butter will report back on her first in-hotel experience!

Art Deco Rococo! Hand-embroidered vintage table cloth

Thrifted from Sebastopol antique shop. I love vintage embroidered linens, but there is so much out there I try not to bring too much home. It has to be special, useful… and CHEAP! This was about as much as a new tablecloth from Target, so I think it was a super deal. On the small side, which is perfect for our little mission style dining table, with wings extended it will be a perfect fit. I love the monochrome palette, keeps it neutral in my very non-minimalist house ^_^

There is A LOT of work that went into this little beauty! Love love love!

Hand-embroidered vintage table cloth

Found in Sebastopol antique shop! Natural linen, blackwork embroidery. Rococo theme!

Hand-embroidered vintage table cloth

Found in Sebastopol antique shop! Natural linen, blackwork embroidery. Rococo theme!

Hand-embroidered vintage table cloth

Found in Sebastopol antique shop! Natural linen, blackwork embroidery. Rococo theme!

Hand-embroidered vintage table cloth

Found in Sebastopol antique shop! Natural linen, blackwork embroidery. Rococo theme!

California Carnivores: In Search of a Hungry Garden

California Carnivores: In Search of a Hungry Garden

www.californiacarnivores.com These plants are not available in your standard nurseries... I was surprised! But we are lucky enough to have the world's largest collection & nursery of carnivorous plants within an hour's drive, in Sebastapol, Ca. I picked up a Gulf Coast variety pitcher plant and a little Venus Flytrap. We'll start small. Now, to create a bog!

These plants are not available in your standard nurseries… I was surprised! I’d been to three local well respected and exotic nurseries. But we are lucky enough to have the world’s largest collection & nursery of carnivorous plants within an hour’s drive, in Sebastopol, Ca. www.californiacarnivores.com!

We bundled the husband and the little dog into the Green Beetle for a little road trip. There’s also a number of antique stores along the same Old Gravenstein Hwy 116, we’d hit them all up! It was a hot day, and one of the larger antique mall’s was kind enough to let us bring Butter into the store on leash. Which was lovely until she pooped in one of the booths. I was so mortified I dragged a stool over the “stool” and sent Mr. Kallisti scurrying to the car for the poop bags (sadly I hadn’t stuffed them in my pocket). When he returned I stealthily scooped and disposed of in the bathroom. Oy! The owners were all so nice, offered her cookies, and the little cafe supplied me with juice as my blood sugar had started to dangerously drop. If they only knew! The husband, “it never happened.” It never happened.

Right next door was the “California Carnivores” nursery, famous for it’s large collection of insect eating plants, I’ve read about them a lot recently. Their showroom was well stocked with all kinds of varieties, they had pre-planted “bogs,” collections to create your own bog, and individual plants ranging from $10 to $50. A serious nursery, with incredible street cred, they clearly have a lot of fun with the subject matter. There were rubber lizards and giant mock spiders everywhere, and in the gallery they had many creative planters and arrangements that imbued a macabre sense of humor in a disarming array of meat eating plants.

I picked up a Gulf Coast variety pitcher plant (Sarracenia alata) and a little Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). We’ll start small. The attendant was super helpful and sent me out with a care sheet for my starter collection, that even told me that our East Bay water should be pure enough for the bogging (otherwise distilled water is recommended). I can’t wait to create our little bog! It will surely enhance our French Quarter inspired brick patio.

Hydrangeas in full bloom

Inspired by Anika’s beautiful garden posts… I braved the sun to snap a few shots of the hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas

My blue hydrangea that had been massacred by the deer in our last place for TWO YEARS.

Our house came with a huge hedge of white hydrangea up against the house.  They’re in full bloom now, but three days of 90+ degree heat has singed them a bit.  I brought two pots of hydrangea with me, blue and pink. They are doing spectacular hiding out in the shade of the Monkey Ball (Liquidamber) Tree.

Now I just need to learn the varieties, and educate myself.

Armchair Pride or, my big gay dolls!

It is Gay Pride 2011, and Licca & Billy are celebrating the victory in New York! California must surely be next ^_^

I used to watch Pride every year when I lived in The City, I’m more retiring these days, but my heart is always there, as are many of my very dear ones, friends and family alike.

Licca & Billy in The Parade & Proud!

It is Gay Pride 2011, and Licca & Billy are celebrating the victory in New York! California must surely be next ^_^

Licca & Billy in The Parade & Proud!

It is Gay Pride 2011, and Licca & Billy are celebrating the victory in New York! California must surely be next ^_^

I’ve also been collecting porcelain dandy figurines. I love porcelain, but most of it, the good stuff, is so far beyond my reach.  So I’m targeting mid-century-regency twee pieces, and they can be had for a steal. I look for good color, and the faces must be well painted. And anything “made in japan” is fair game!  I love the dandies, some of them are so poncy that the sellers on eBay often mistake them for women, such as my Mint Bicorne figure below.

Pretty Porcelain: I love my boys

Lilac Derby is by Cordoy, and the Minty Green Bicorne is "Made in Japan"

Pretty Porcelain: I love my boys

Lilac Derby is by Cordoy, and the Minty Green Bicorne is "Made in Japan"

French Prints: Fashion Plates & Louis-Leopold Boilly & Little Napoleon

French Prints at the Sugar Shack

And the craziest china cabinet we could find... full of glowy uranium depression glass and antique absinthe collectables!

I’ve been collecting these french prints for a few years now, this is the first time any of them has made it up on the wall!  We’ve grouped them together above a crazy art deco cabinet we got to house all the depression glass and absinthe collectibles.

The piece de resistance, a pair of large framed prints, were recently acquired at the Alameda Antiques Faire, I nearly fell over myself to get these, and the price was amazing. Shall I tell you? $75 for the pair.  The artist, Louis-Leopold Boilly, is an obsession of mine, seeing as his career straddled the Ancien Régime all the way through the Post-Napoleonic period. This pair of prints Defends Moi & La Lecon D’union Conjugal also reference the famous Before & After by Hogarth: depicting the struggle of seduction, and the exhaustion of surrender.  These are from the Directoire Period, circa 1797!

Thanks to Google Books for this quote:

“During the Directoire, Boilly produced a number of compositions, of which a good many were executed by an engraver of no very great talent, named Petit. Prints such as ” Defends-moi,” ” Tu saurais ma pensee,” ” Ah ! qu’il est sot ! ” and others in the same style are fairly common, and not particularly worthy of attention. On the other hand, certain coloured and uncoloured prints after Boilly have within recent years attained a considerable rise in value. ” — French Prints of the 18th Century

The rest are Directoire Period Fashion Plates & Kissing Games, Famous and Infamous Madames du Lettres: Mme de Staël, Mme Roland & Mlle Lemornand, a tiny print of the Palais du Justice & Conciergerie (last holding place of Marie Antoinette and so many others who went to the guillotine), and a tiny victorian miniature of Little Napoleon himself. Oh, and don’t forget the tiny dime store vase featuring Madame Recamier, the famous beauty of the Directoire and Empire!

On Collecting: I’m fascinated by Georgian & Victorian collectors, my stepmom just sent me this Guardian UK article (by AS Byatt no less) to a new book out on the subject: Magpies, Squirrels and Thieves

Volks’ White Rose: Ladylike Dress

Pintucks & poufy sleeves, I cannot resist! It’s been awhile since I’ve bought dolly outfits, and as I’m still unpacking what I already have and need to sort through it, I really have no business bringing any more home.  The White Rose collection from Volks usually consists of Victorian & Edwardian inspired “whites”… so much love!  I just happened to check the website late Saturday night, and The White Rose Ladylike Dress was one of the only sets that hadn’t completely sold out. Joy!

Aaaand a sneak peak at the Doll Nursery being unpacked… STILL!  Look at all the treasures, I’m unpacking goodies that haven’t seen the light of day for 4+ years, and two moves ago! Oops!

Sweet dolly chaos! Oy! What I'm doing today...

The season for antiquing & thrifting is upon us!

Or it is for me apparently! Some treasures trickled in via eBay (Marwal busts & the Nishi Snow Woman doll), some we drove 120 mile round trip TWICE to pick up (the two china cabinets), but mostly we bummed about the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, the Crockett City Wide Garage Sale, downtown Vallejo & Martinez Peddler’s Faire.

One of the greatest things about buying a house, you get to furnish it! We’ve bought some new furniture, all carefully thrifted via Craigslist and local shops. I’m a super cheapskate, which makes it challenging, but SO satisfying when I find the perfect piece. We’re almost done though. Anything else (aside from a sofa) that comes into the house, something else has to go.

The tchotchkes though, they keep coming! We’ll definitely have to have a garage sale soon. Or a virtual one. Most recent fascination: vintage “made in japan” china & decor & toys.

In any case, welcome to the new WordPress blog! I’m unpacking and decorating the Doll Nursery (see china cabinets below), and we’re still decorating and renovating the Sugar Shack in Crockett!

Gothic Cottage Kitchen Re-model and more

I guess I should blog about what I’m actually doing, which for the past six months has been a laser focused on actually buying the house, now that we are one month in situ at Crooked Cottage (so dubbed for now), we are making it our own and unpacking, with light renovations.
Lucky we are the house just needed paint and a few tightened pipes! There are enough extra rooms that we can effectively live in two (bedroom & kitchen) while 3 are full of boxes, and one undergoing renovation (rumpus room)!
In the meantime we’ve been frugally planning our updates, shopping for bargains and salvage, and putting in some good elbow grease. Yes, even me! Proper photos are yet to come, but I’ve been posting iPhone pix to flickr of our finds and treasures. Lots of Martha Stewart DIY products, she’s so good at the vintage!!!
1930's Gothic Cottage: kitchen hardware & paint!
1930’s Gothic Cottage™ $400 kitchen make-over! Schoolhouse Lighting, Celedon Paint (cabinets only), Iron Cabinet Hardware & Oiled Bronze Wall Mount Faucet. The stove came with the house, woo!

  • Martha Stewart: Paint Timothy Hay: Her paints are gorgeous, it is very easy to go all vintagey with her palettes.
  • Martha Stewart: Iron Bin Pull & Knobs: these are brilliant and look very Art Deco in our 1926 kitchen!
  • Schoolhouse light fixtures: the glass shades can be replaced later, this way I get the fixture mount for a bargain while I look for vintage schoolhouse globes!
  • Bronze wall-mount faucet: wall mount faucets are harder to find, but Amazon & Overstock.com make it so easy!
  • House of Antique Hardware: Gothic Style Surface Cabinet Hinges: These are gorgeous and really put the fancy on the old cupboards.

Other cool things we’ve picked up and have yet to install!
Doors from Urban Ore… $250 for these two amazing doors, the cross buck w/ purple glass will be the door to the garden from the Rumpus Room & the privacy glass (from an old bank) will go to the small powder room off the kitchen.
Dude! Purple glass crossbuck door, from rumpus room to garden For powder room
I’ll post more about Chez Blastmilk! And the treasures therein… and dollies to come!