Small Space Container Gardening

Living in a top-floor condomenium with a lovely southern exposure, we are enjoying the coziness of the deck. Well on the way to making it feel like home, we have refinished a small table, found the perfect chairs, picked up a practically new barbeque grill for next to nothing (thanks to CraigsList!), and started growing herbs, tomatoes and flowers in containers.

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Last year I snagged this gorgeous Dutch Colony antique armoire from Singapore off of the local Craigs List for an unbelievable rock-bottom bargain price. How old it is, I don’t know enough about antiques to tell, but have been told that maybe it is as old as 18th or 19th century. From the hand-carved floral design on the doors and trim up top, the hand-hewn markings on the lumber lining the inside and the basic design and stability of the piece, I am absolutely delighted with it and admire its detail.

Antique Dutch Colony Armoire from Signapore

Antique Dutch Colony Armoire from Singapore

I originally configured this armoire as a desk for an old desktop computer system, and while I’ve streamed the occasional movie on this computer, having a laptop computer and a Kindle Fire, it seems I rarely sit at this desk and compute. Besides, if I want, there is a desk in the study/guest room right in front of a big, beautiful window where I can sit and use the laptop if I want to do some serious computing. Thus it seems this armoire, although a beautiful piece of furniture in the main part of the condo, is totally under-utilized as a funtional piece of furniture.

Currently configured as a computer desk

Currently configured as a computer desk

Recently, while working on a sewing project on the dining room table, I got the idea that I ought to turn this under-utilized armoire into a useful sewing area. Looking for inspiration on armoire reconfigurations on Pinterest, I found the most amazing piece (go here to see more – ). This is exactly what I had in mind. Well, I won’t be painting that beautiful, hand-hewn wood that lines the back of my piece; but the shelves in my armoire have been replaced with modern lumber, so I can paint those. I can also make colorful fabric and ribbon bulletin boards (something like this – – only in a color that matches my color scheme) to attach to the inside of the doors of my armoire and I can add a hinged (or pull-out shelf) to use as the sewing machine/pressing surface. Don’t you just love projects that create something useful out of something so lovely – and under-utilized?

Inspirational piece from Pinterest - an armoire configured as a sewing station

Inspirational piece from Pinterest – an armoire configured as a sewing station

Here it is after relocating the computer to the desk in the study and the sewing machine, fabrics, supplies and tools to the armoire. I’m loving it as is, and there was so much room, I was able to use one of the shelves to store my watercolor and other painting supplies. Yeah!

Filled with sewing machine, fabrics, sewing notions & watercolor supplies

Filled with sewing machine, fabrics, sewing notions & watercolor supplies

Yet to do:

  • Paint the interior shelves.
  • Add a slide out shelf just below where the sewing machine is now to use when sewing, and paint that shelf
  • Make fabric and ribbon covered bulletin boards with pockets for inside both doors – for notes, patterns, photos, pin cushion, other little supplies
  • Add a small flourescent lamp under the very top shelf to add better lighting when sewing

So far there has been no immediate cost for this recogfiguration. I  have a quart of paint on hand that I got as a free sample a year or so ago that is about the color of my inspirational cabinet that will be perfect for this project. I have plenty of fabric and ribbon in my fabric/supply stash for covering the bulletin boards, but will need to purchase the actual boards to cover, and I will have to purchase a small flourescent lamp. I will first, of course, check our local ReStore for these items before i head to a real hardware store.

Even though it is not yet quite finished, already I love it!

Categories: art shows, craft shows, photography, quilting, quilts | Leave a comment

Leucistic Robin

Having observed this bird ourselves in the neighborhood, turns out, our bird of a different color is famous in our hood. On our walk home from the grocery store, we spied this 8″ X 10″ glossy displayed on the community bulletin board outside at Nelson’s Market.

Our leucistic robin's photo displayed on neighborhood bulletin board

At first sighting, I would never have guessed it was a robin as I would not expect to see a robin with a white head. It is a robin though – a leucistic robin. Leucism is a rare genetic mutation that prevents the development of pigmentation cells as seen in the abnormal plumage on our neighborhood robin. For more information on bird leucism, go here –

Categories: Hikes and Walks, Outdoors, People, Places, Things, photography | Leave a comment


Just when I start to feel that our gloomy, rainy days will never end, as if making up for all that gloom, a beautiful rainbow (double at that!) appears.

Double rainbow . . .

I am sorry that I have complained so much, so often about the wet, windy weather of late, but the gloomy weather keeps me from enjoying hikes along the trails. Really though, a rainy day on the trail is better than no day on the trail! I should simply purchase better rain gear. You can go here – – to read about my hikes.

Categories: Outdoors, photography | 2 Comments

Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated with a delicious dinner of goat cheese and sundried tomato stuffed ravioli, sauted chicken breasts and mixed sugar snap peas and baby carrots – all drizzled with a thick marinara sauce and sprinkled with flaked asiago and parmessan cheese. Followed by a grand finale flaming birthday cake – a cheese cake with fancy chocolate dipped strawberries, this turned out to be the best birthday celebration ever.

Happy birthday to you . . .

Happy birthday to you . . .

Happy birthday dear Kent . . .

Happy birthday to you . . .

The best birthday EVER, and it wasn’t even MY birthday. What’s up with that?

Hanging the "memories" birthday gift . . .

Hanging the "memories" birthday gift . . .

Happy birthday memories . . .

Categories: Events, People, Places, Things, photography | Leave a comment

Taylor Dock Walk

What is the difference between a walk and a hike?

I found myself asking that very question as I walked along Taylor Dock with a friend today. We had a great time as we walked, and it felt absolutely wonderful to be outside in the sunshine. The coffee and conversation made for a wonderful break in the afternoon, but I didn’t break a sweat. I wore my regular shoes and we basically just loitered the entire duration of our walk. It was a beautiful day to enjoy a stroll and the view. The sun was shining so gloriously on the newest addition to our waterfront, Grace.

Grace is art, gorilla art. A beautifully graceful steel and rivited sculpture snuck in by an anonymous artist in the middle of the night during a low tide and mounted to tin island (a pile of tin scraps left over from the hay day of foundary work along the antique Fairhaven waterfront.) Snuck in during the dark in order to avoid the complex permitting process for such a piece of art, her beauty is appreciated by all.


But it was during this walk that I found myself questioning the difference between a hike and a walk. You see, with 2012 being the year in which I turn sixty, I am well on my way to meeting a goal of completing sixty hikes before my sixtieth birthday. (You can go here – Sixty Before Sixty – to read about those hikes.)

Today my friend and I walked approximately 1-1/2 miles in and around Fairhaven, along a portion of the South Bay Trail, along Taylor Dock, over Pattle Point and around Boulevard Park, but I did not consider this walk a hike. Today we walked slowly. We strolled really. We chatted (even a little about the difference about a walk and a hike). Often we stopped along our route to enjoy the waterfront views. At Boulevard Park, we stopped in at Wood’s Coffee, ordered coffees and sat outside for practically an hour as we sipped our drinks and continued our conversation.

That was when I realized the difference between a walk and a hike!

You see, last month, I did categorize some of the same walk route as today as a hike (you can go here – South Bay Trail – to read about that hike). Last month’s South Bay Trail hike consisted of a brisk walk of well over five miles in snowy conditions. I wore my hiking boots, I carried my pack, the conditions were harsh and I broke a sweat. It was not just a stroll, nor did I loiter. I got some good exercise out of my effort. That’s the difference!

The basic Wikipedia definition of a hike is, “Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails“.

Categories: Hikes and Walks, Outdoors, Parks, People, Places, Things, photography | Leave a comment

Washington Park

It was definitely a white Christmas season in Denver, so being from Washington State, it seemed most appropriate to celebrate the season with a walk in the snow through Denver’s own Washington Park.

Park bench full of snow . . . at Washington Park in Denver

One of my favorite parks in Denver, The park includes several trails, including one that goes around the perimeter of the park, tennis courts, a lawn bowling/croquet field, and two playgrounds. A recreation center with an indoor pool, free weights, and other athletic facilities is also located in the park. Smith Lake has a boathouse that can be rented out for various events.

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Denver Snow

Here’s something I really love about Denver. Practically before it even stops snowing, not only have the streets been cleared, but even the trails at the local parks! Here I am, shoveling a path through the back yard.

That's me, shoveling a walkway through the back yard . . .

Wanting to get out and enjoy the snow, I walked the trails around Lollipop Lake at Garland Park. What an absolutely beautiful snow day!

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Categories: Denver, Hikes and Walks, Outdoors, Parks, People, Places, Things, photography, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cherry Creek Trail – North

Just because there was a little snow on the ground, I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying the trails. With trekking poles and hiking boots, I set off along the Cherry Creek Trail.

The Cherry Creek Trail

The Cherry Creek Trail, beginning in downtown Denver, is a 40-mile trail that connecting the city of Denver to Parker, Centennial and Franktown. A paved path beginning near the Platte River Trail and Confluence Park, the trail runs parallel with Cherry Creek through urban landscapes, parks and on into the suburbs. I followed the trail for about three miles beginning at Garland Park in Denver, going past the Four Mile House and Historic park and then on to the Cherry Creek Shopping District before I turned around and headed back.

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For more information on the Cherry Creek Trail, go here –

Categories: Denver, Hikes and Walks, Outdoors, Parks, photography | Leave a comment

Colorado State Capitol Building

Cold and blowing snow, it seemed like a good day to be inside, touring the State Capitol Building while in downtown Denver.

Colorado State Capitol Building

The dome is coated on the outside with gold (real gold!) and I find it impressive from the inside too.

Looking up inside the dome . . . in the Colorado State Capitol Building

I love the details in building like this and greatly enjoyed my tour. For more information about the Colorado State Capitol Building, go here –

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Categories: Denver, People, Places, Things, photography | Leave a comment

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