Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Comforts

I live in Los Angeles and enjoy mostly temperate weather and beautiful sunny days much of the year.  We  have our rainy season and have gotten some unusually cold temperatures this winter.  But for the most part we have enviable weather. 
I grew up in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and went to college in Maine.  I do miss the seasons from that part of the world, with gorgeous crisp autumns, beautiful winter snow falls, and glorious spring weather.  And so when it's February in L.A. I tend to revert back to habits from those days on the east coast.  This is the time of year when I love to stay home and be cozy.

 I put hydrangeas and roses in one of my favorite vases

I work through my stack of books from Christmas

I spend more time writing  

I love to bake and recently made these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting from "The Barefoot Contessa"

I want to make these Brownies from the February issue of "Bon Appetit"

I am getting the garden ready for Spring.  It will be on a garden tour in May.  The pressure is on! 

We just cut back the roses and mulched everything.  I am dreaming about Spring and Summer blossoms, but am also enjoying the bare bones look of everything right now.

I am learning how to needlepoint so I can make this pillow that I got in England.  It is a reproduction of a pillow designed by Vanessa Bell and the original is in Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, England, where the Bloomsbury Group spent so much of their time.

 The canvas for the pillow  

This is the Garden Room at Charleston with the original pillow

And I am learning how to play Bridge!


Looking forward to enjoying this winter and all the pleasures that can be found in the heart of the home.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I can't wait to snuggle into that pillow...

  3. Please let us know about the Spring Garden Tour. Those of us in LA would love to attend. Especially if the tour supports a charity.

  4. The garden tour I mentioned is sponsored by the Garden Conservancy and is called "Open Days." You can go on their website and get the information. The other fabulous garden tour in Los Angeles which you may not know about is the Virginia Robinson Gardens Tour. Both of these are in May and support wonderful charities. You can find out about them by going to their website.

  5. Love the Bloomsbury pillow - great design and colors, as expected.
    I used to design and paint needlepoint canvases for my grandmother. Love having the pillows she did now....so many cozy memories.

  6. I want to come visit - I love everything in this post - you lovely flowers in your wedgewood vase, your tempting treats, your beautiful back yard and garden and I will learn how to needlepoint and play bridge with you!! Sounds like a wonderful time!!

  7. Quintessence, I am so glad you enjoyed this post. I just returned home after taking my first needlepoint class and it was a lot of fun. It will take me forever to get this pillow done, but if it looks anything like the one I saw at Charleston I will be thrilled! Thank you for your kind words. Between the bridge and the needlepoint my brain is definitely in overdrive, but it's good for me, right?

  8. Sunday, I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing some of the things that inspire you. You and I seem to be moved by many of the same things but what struck me most was your comment about your bare bones garden. This time of year when everything is cut back can be somewhat disheartening for a gardener. Fortunately, we have just a few weeks of the emptiness and much to distract us until the warmer days of Spring arrive.

    I'm looking forward to reading about your garden progress and watching your needlepoint pillow come to life.

  9. Your garden is absolutely fantastic--what a beautiful space. You are definitely a girl after my own heart--love Barefoot Contessa pumpkin cupcakes and am learning bridge too! More snow here in NYC so I am going to take your advice and hunker down today too! Love your blog and am a follower :)

  10. Lovely photos! I adore Dorie Greenspan & Ina Garten, too :)