Subtle Changes

The gallery wall in our office is charming enough on it’s own as it is an eclectic collection of original pieces from various artists and friends … and/or friends who are artists.  Why “Yes” that IS a needlepoint of Chris Cornell stitched in chartreuse thread.

BeforeI, however, recently stumbled across this Etsy Shop and figured why not make that gallery wall even more fabulous…which I did with the purchase of a series of ornate frames and an equally ornate clock.  Taking the fab gallery wall to nothing short of uber-fab.



Putting the Zen back into my Zen Patio Garden

Clearly Los Angeles has some lovely homes or why would the rich n’ famous flock here and set up shop? For the not so rich n’ famous, however, finding a delightful place to live in Los Angeles can be a challenge. I was lucky enough to not only find a charming place to live, but within a 2 block walk to work. My house comes complete with all the amenities one wishes they could find in LA – a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a garage, an office and a dining room, in addition to the multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. It also comes with a gigantic front porch AND a separate patio garden complete with moss covered bricks, a surrounding wall of foliage, and a fountain. 


The patio came complete with leftover patio furniture, albeit in desperate need of some refinishing, but, it was a start and the landlord said do whatever I want to it. I wasn’t in the biggest rush to tackle it. Mostly because there were 4 pieces – a lounger, 2 chairs and a little table – it seemed like a big job and I wanted to tackle other areas of the home first.

Not too long after we moved in I scored a wicker lounge chair and rocker in da’ trash. Also in need of a little love, I spray painted them in a delightful key lime green color. A bench had been leftover from previous owners which I tossed some outdoor friendly pillows on for comfort. From my prior apartment I scored a bistro table n’ chairs for $25 on Craigs List. At a yard sale I found what was once the back of a bench in a lovely iris pattern, which I propped up as a trellis in the herb garden. Rubber duckies swim happily in the fountain.

But, the leftover patio chairs stared at me every time I walked into the garden whispering “what about us?” I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I knew the old weather worn wood was gonna soak up paint and it would take me layers and layers and hours and hours, and maybe even multiple weekends to finish. It seemed like a ginormous task. I finally picked up a few cans of spray paint to use as a primer, which sat under my kitchen sink for approximately 2 to 3 months. While at the hardware store looking for paint for another project, I stumbled across a tintable wood stain. Not a new concept by any means, but I didn’t know I could make a “Cherry Blossom” stain either. Um, it was fuchsia! Now I couldn’t wait to start this project!!

I finally had a weekend that I could devote to the magical remake of my patio furniture. I got some puffy little stickers at the local craft store for the table and put “relax – unwind – enjoy” and some little flowers n’ fluff on the table. Then I spray painted the table and all the chairs with the spray paint primer. After that, I excitedly got out my fuchsia stain and put about 3 coats of it on everything. It cured into a lovely deep, rich wine finish … not quite the fuchsia finish I had envisioned, but beautiful just the same. After that, I placed all my beautiful new cushions I scored with my Xmas gift cards and laid down and took a nap. The best part? After all my procrastination, the whole project took me only about 3 hours to finish!

Cost of zen patio fix up…

• Bench – $0 (left by previous tenants)
• Wicker lounge chair and rocker – $0 (found in trash)
• Spray paint to refinish wicker furniture – approx. $8.00
• Patio lounger, 2 chairs and table – $0 (left by previous tenants)
• Sticker embellishments – approx $.10 (total for containers, maybe $8.00, but I only used a few and was left with practically full boxes for other crafty projects)
• Tinted Cherry Blossom stain – one quart – approximately $10
• New cushions for patio furniture, plus throw pillows for bench – $0 (purchased with Xmas gift cards)
• Rubber Duckies – $2.00
• Bistro set – $0 (we’ll call that one free since I brought it from my old apartment)
• Iris “trellis” $10 (yard sale purchase)
• Dozen string of fairy lights $0 (Xmas gift)
• Total: $22.10

A Hot Pink Pagoda

Gargoyles watchin’ over everything.

Time spent in my zen patio garden sippin’ sangria…priceless…