The Old Girl Gets a New Look

bright orange roses for summer

Everyone loves a good Before & After Story right?

Well, I orchestrated one this week (actually in just 36 hours)

It’s not quite finished yet and I did pilfer a couple of items that will have to be returned to their rightful places in my home eventually, but the results made me so happy I just couldn’t wait to share.

I even have music to accompany your stroll (If you love Bryan Ferry and old fashioned Big Band music you should check out his new CD “Jazz Age”

Um. Just one other thing…I forgot to take the “Before” photos, but trust me, it wasn’t exactly bad, but it’s much nicer now!


It all began with the massive antique lantern below.  Over 3ft high and heavy with detail, I bought it in London eons ago and never found a home for it.

I know it looks like rubbish here

photobut with my newly invigorated passion for bright pink coinciding with getting bolder in my dotage I said to myself ;

“Slim, that old lantern is kind of fahbulous- why not paint it bright pink, I mean bright pink, replace the glass and hang it in the conservatory for the summer?

In days gone by, we used this wonderful room right off our dining room so much, but a few years ago it began to leak (hellooo-the house was built in 1895) so we moved most of the furniture out, save an old table and chairs and slowly stopped using it.

I can safely say “Hey, let’s all go to the conservatory!” is not a sentence you hear often in a household of boys.

 Even after I had the glass roof repaired (the swearing-ist glass repair workmen ever. How unreasonable is it to ask them not to walk on the antique glass??) I never got around to putting the furniture back in.

890A8465Until this week.

Summerize your cocktail barHaving recently been so inspired by the colours and textures of Morocco, along with my love for lively Sri Lankan style,

and with Summer almost upon us…

Summer decoratingAll of a sudden I wanted the room done like yesterday.

Know that feeling?? It doesn’t just apply to hair and nails.

A summer conservatoryOne of my favourite vintage Suzanis in hot pinks & purples served as my colour wheel

The silver tray I brought home from Morocco. Seriously. I love British Airways.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy walking by and seeing it every day.

brightly coloured rosesThe roses are from my garden

Summer cocktail bar

What’s more fun than setting up a Summer bar?!

The drinks…OK, Smarty Pants.  I love these tiny tropical bananas from our local Asian grocery store.

 High/Low; Wicker lamp from Pottery Barn (in stores now) glassware from Christian Dior (couldn’t resist those sea glass colours and unusual shape)

gingersnap rosesVerging on vulgar in the garden but so great brought inside, these orange roses are for real. NO photo enhancement.

890A8536Tons of inspiration in the beautiful book “Rajasthan”


Long time readers know of my weakness for a touch of red & white stripe come summer

890A8549Striped “dhurrie” from Pottery barn, ottoman “George Smith”, vintage leather poof


890a8572Yellow throw pillow “Pottery Barn”, straw hat “Maison K” Montecito


890A8574A couple of fav. mags always beckon one into a room

summerize your bar

890a8568Now I can’t wait to get up in the morning and have my tea in the conservatory-it’s positively singing with sunlight

(the hat is a must-slightly weird with my bathrobe but what the hell. Sorry for that visual)

890A8581and the perfect place for cocktails at Day’s end (or Day’s middle-towards-end..ish)


 I know that some of you still in possession of a decent attention span might be asking

“But Slim, where’s the hot pink lantern??”

Still in the garage of course.

Stay tuned.

Let’s not get tooo crazy! :)


Slim Paley Daily #7


I made it!

Slim Paley Daily #7…where I’ve saved the best for last;

Just a very small sampling of the beauty to behold at “Rose Story Farm” in Carpinteria, California right now!

L1150254This gorgeous, long lasting and, may I add, impressively virile climber is called

“Berries n’ Cream”


A gentle scent of apple adds to its charm.


Owners Dani & Dr. Bill Hahn have a passion for the art of growing roses that translates to virtually every corner of the farmL1150265Just put your face in that


L1150263They even raise plastic cattle.

L1150267Roses simply do NOT get any better than these.


loving my Instagram pics, even if I do say so myself  :-)


“Rose Story Farm” ships both bare root bushes and cut roses country wide.


These are your grandmother’s roses!


Slim Paley Daily #4

IMG_4308“Cecil Brunner” climber outside my office window this week.

 Thank you so much for all your kind words and wishes on our 25th  anniversary yesterday, both here and on the FB page.

I was truly touched.

Happy Thursday night!

Now, back to the daily share, before it’s Friday…

If you’re anything like me (and you know you are because you’re here) you have about 50 million photos saved on your computer but aren’t printing any of them. Am I right? Sure, digital photography is utterly awesome and we’re taking TONS  more pics than we used to, but other than on a computer screen, they’re not tangible…

One of my Spring resolutions is to change that.

You saw my Moo cards-I’m on a roll…

Here are two more fun ideas to help get your memories off the screen and into the hands of someone you love ( that could just be yourself!)

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 9.30.23 PMI’m totally in love with the look of these photo books you can create at Artifact Uprising

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 10.36.21 PM

I’ve been following them for a little while on Instagram and I’m so inspired by their style and company ethos.

They also have a blog that might ignite some grand ideas for your photos-they attract a charming crowd.



Have you ever thought of making tiles with your photographs?

These large slab tiles (12 x 12) at  Image Snap are only $35


Or an 8 x 8 square for $27.  Dude. Seriously.

Great gift idea.

You can even make teeny 2 x 2 tiles for $4 each.

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 9.54.52 PM


I could do a bathroom wall of my roses!

Have I made anything with Artifact Uprising or Image Snap yet? No.

Am I sharing them with you to push myself? Kinda.

Great. Now I have so many ideas and images swirling in my head, I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight.

Thanks a lot. Until Friday…

Good Night!



As Valentine’s Day is but a breathless day or two away,

I thought I’d gather a few of my roses for you.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.24.26 AMSome fun with Instagram 

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 2.57.51 PMI zoomed these roses through a shop window in Paris. I think the glass had a beautiful effect on them, don’t you?



The Beloved

It is enough of honor for one lifetime

To have known you better than the rest have known

The shadows and colours of your voice,

Your will, immutable and still as stone.

The shy heart so lonely and so gay,

The sad laughter and the pride of pride,

The tenderness, the depth of tenderness

Rich as the earth, and wide as heaven is wide.


Sara Teasdale


L1010648From my garden.  

K, I’m ready for spring.

screen-shot-2011-02-13-at-1-41-21-pmDo you have any special plans for this romantic day that, let’s admit, has become just a tad commercialized ?


Remember way back before political correctness when as kids in primary school we were allowed to send Valentine’s cards to whomever we wished and not necessarily the entire class, girls & boys both??

I DO. Oh, The Horror.

I will have dinner out with my husband of 25 years (this April. He would have sent me a Valentine in class) and then we’ll rush home to watch the opening season of “Survivor!”

I know. Can you believe how hot that is?!


Thank you to all you sweethearts that have voted for me in the final round of the  HOMIES 



And have a beautiful Carnation & Baby’s Breath-free Valentine’s Day!



(moving pic & children via Tumblr)

Instagram Friday


Good Friday to you all. It’s very dark and raining heavily in Santa Barbara. Practically pea soup as I look out my window. Sunset was at 4:38pm yesterday-yuk ( I have a Sunrise/Sunset App.).I snapped this Instagram photo of the granite grey sea and sky yesterday morning. It made one want to just stay in bed with a frothy hot drink and a great book while a hearty stew simmered on the stove. I wish I could say I did just that, but I dihn’t.

77e9008038f711e2a88722000a1f90d0_7The sky the night before was a good predictor of what was coming. I’m having fun with my Instagram App.  Are you using it? Are you following moi? This is with no filters, just plain.

db1f8d0a3b1711e292a022000a1faf61_7This morning there was a brief lull in the rain so I took a walk through the garden. Look at how gorgeous the trunk of the Cork Oaks get when they’re soaked through.  I think these are such under-rated, beautiful trees.  I wonder if Oprah has any on her property :)

1c8ece443b1911e29f1422000a1fbc0e_7Still with the roses… God bless em.

825649843b2111e292eb22000a1fbd89_7-1And can you believe it’s this time of year again?!  The house is filled with the scent of drying orange slices for the Christmas tree.


It’s definitely this kind of day today. I’m staying in, staying dry & cozy and hopefully get some writing done.

Cocktail hour might even commence before 5. The weather made me do it.


PS. I took the above photo with the “Cinemagram” App.-it’s also fun, check it out.

Hey wait- did that just technically make this a “Friday Favourites” post?!!

Wishing you a wonder-filled weekend.