Dining Al Fresco

 Where did Spring go?
Are you a lover of dining outside?  
I sure am and we try do do it as much as the weather will permit

Simple tables are beautiful in the garden and does the food taste better outside?

 I have saved a boat load of images from magazines over the years
 and love to pull them out for inspiration 
 Now that we all use Pinterest we can save our favorites digitally 
and look at them everyday if we need to....
 I'm not sure which magazines I pulled these from 
but I suspect some are over ten years old
 But it is wonderful how a beautiful garden setting 
and a dining table are timeless
 Wicker in the garden.....a classic favorite
 And of course cafe' style chairs....love this table!!!!
 those lanterns!!!!
 modern farmhouse dining
 shabby and weathered with hydrangea....so pretty
 a little photo inspiration 
for the long weekend coming up
 these last three are from our little house in Ojai
we had some memorable and wonderful meals in the garden....(big sigh)

have a relaxing holiday and see you soon!


A New Chair for Twister


Have you ever watched the BBC series Lark Rise To Candleford?
It ran for 4 seasons finally ending in 2011 
but you can watch it now on Amazon or Netflix.  

The series is set in 19th century Oxfordshire England with wonderful character actors, many of whom you will recognize from your favorite Masterpiece Classics such as Downton Abbey.

As with all BBC productions, the costuming and sets are wonderful.  It is worth watching just for that but the semi autobiographical story lines are charming, funny and sometimes a little sad

 There is love and gossip
 jealousy and envy, all of which make the series great
(and the hats are over the top great!!!)
  what I enjoyed most were the characters of 
Twister and his wife Queenie

Twister is a lazy lovable curmudgeon who sells nuts for a living and when he's not sleeping, complaining or hiding from Queenie 
he drinks away the rent money
then stumbles home to sit in his chair by the fire

 With no money for rent,
 Queenie decides sell Twisters chair to the Tallyman for 2 pounds....
just enough to get them through the winter

 Twister of course is furious and his way of punishing Queenie
 is to sleep with his feet at the head of the bed
A very clever idea I would say!
The tiny bed totally cracks me up too

 Queenie feels terrible and vows to get the chair back
 but alas it is long gone

They reconcile and all is forgiven but Twister is without a chair and now must be content sitting on a wooden box....his head resting on Queenies shoulder 

 I love old hand sewn linens and mismatched scraps of fabric and decided to slipcover
 two modern wing chairs 
in a manner fitting lovable Twister and Queenie

sent me about 6 old French grain sacks 
all with hand sewn mismatched patches...much like Twisters britches

The sacks were opened up and placed on the chairs 
in order show old monograming and all of the interesting vintage hand sewing
as you look at the chair from the front

We also used plain homespun and some additional striped fabric 
to in fill in areas where we needed larger pieces.

The fabric is very old cotton, flax and hemp
with simple dye and lots of texture

The seats are down with extra fill
for a large crown at the seat
The sipper runs down the center back and is covered with a large flap 
which I think makes sense with a rustic chair cover like this.
 Why try to hide the zipper?

The sacks and fabric were washed twice and I always use lots of fabric softener.
 Any areas that started to unravel were repaired or hand stitched prior to sewing all of the pieces together
 to make the final slipcovers

If you are a good seamstress you could probably do this project at home 
but I used an upholsterer that I love and trust 
they know how crazy some of my projects have been, so nothing really throws them.

The chairs are one of the first things I designed for our Santa Barbara casa 
and I think they look right at home!

The chairs were made by Van Thiel & Company 
and can be found at a variety of retailers...without the slips of course

I'm enjoying this little old house much more than I thought I would.
The garden is a huge mess but coming along slowly so I will share what I can soon

Have a wonderful weekend...I can't believe its already May!