12.16.2014

Gifts for Guys that have all the Power Tools They Need

My pinterest board is loaded with gift ideas. Here are a few that might appeal to the men in our lives.

This post is not sponsored by any product or company mentioned.

Chelsea Clocks have been hand made in Boston since 1897. 
The choice of Presidents and presented to kings. 
Coveted by captains of the sea and barons of industry. 
The Chelsea Cable Paperweight Clock is made with the same precision and skill. 
Perfect for his desk or dresser. Chelsea Clock


In design, one foot is in the client world, the other in the trenches with the trades.

Today as the guys were going through the client's punch list, I was writing this post. Focused on punctuation rather than the goings on about me, I distractedly voiced my thought, what would a guy consider a good Christmas gift?



From Wisconsin. 
Penzey's Grill and BBQ Rubs and Seasoning.
Guys like to grill.
They'll tell us it's the taste of the food. 

I think the flames and smoke have a certain appeal.



Anthony and his assistant Sean were on duty today. I have yet to hear a coarse or off-color word between the two of them. Sean regularly attends Bible Study and Anthony just recently stopped calling me Ma'am.








Designed by Brian Johnson of Boston.
City Map Glasses for his bourbon.


Not hard then to imagine my surprise when Sean immediately volunteered, "Anthony needs a blond." Anthony, "I have all the power tools I need." 

Me, "we are done with this topic."


Great stocking stuffer. City bar towels from Lulu and Georgia.
Not that anyone I know needs to mop his bar.
This towel works in the kitchen as well.


My life is full of these 30 second conversations.


Toulouse Dartboard from Jonathan Adler.
Don't hang it in the living room.

Since Anthony and Sean were less than helpful, what do you think?


Nautical Chart Cuff Links
Another Massachusetts concern, York River Traders.  
These elegant links can be customized with your favorite nautical location. 
Beautiful, if cuff links can be described as such.



Check out my Holiday pinterest board for more.

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan



12.05.2014

Christmas Decorating

Two posts in once week. Wow. There's a reason.

Christmas decorating -- with live plants. These plants are available now so look for them while you are out and about this weekend.

They will not be so plentiful (or in good shape) by Christmas week.

Hellebores, the Christmas Rose, with Albuca spiralis, and preserved moss.
I spray painted the metal container red.
If the green preserved moss is a little too garish for you, try the tan.


Hellebores, The Christmas Rose. An elegantly simple white blossom with dark green foliage. Placed in a red pot, a Hellebore earns its common name, Christmas Rose.

Winter Hellebores bloom November through January thus giving rise to the story of a young girl with nothing to give Christ on the night of his birth. Down came an angel, she touched the ground and out popped a beautiful Hellebore. Little girl presents it to the King of Kings. A new religion and a new legend. All in one night.






Winter Hellebores are agreeable indoor plants. If you buy them now, look for plants with many buds. With a modicum of care, they will still be alive next Spring when they can be transplanted to a somewhat shady spot. They thrive in Zones 4-9.


New to me is the Cape Star Frizzle Sizzle (Albuca spiralis). I could not resist the whimsical corkscrew foliage.


Frizzle Sizzle is an easy to care for South African bulb. I'm told a stalk of small, lily-like blossoms will appear in February (that will be nice). I suppose it could be transplanted to your garden once the weather warms up but bear in mind it is tropical, Zone 10.

Try this for a more traditional Christmas look. Mini cypress, Winterberry and a frilly fern. 

I glued felt to the bottom of this heavy cement pot.


Very Christmasy.
Tip: never spray paint cement pots.

A pair of demilune tables sit on either side of the fireplace in our living room. They are constantly begging to be decorated. Those under 35 call it styled, not decorated.

Plan A, a dismal failure.

Cypress topiary. Moss. Pine cones. Lonely. Boring.


I am not a minimalist. I am firmly in the Bunny Williams camp:

Minimalist rooms can be so beautiful, but I can't live in one; I love objects too much.
Bunny Williams 

Plan B, better.

What's more Christmasy than a topiary and a gold pomegranate? 



Close ups make for good styling pics but the real life view must be considered. How does it look from the other side of the room?

I love these Frizzle Sizzles! Wild.
It needs more balance.



Better. It may not be a traditional Christmas look, but it is festive. It's a start anyway. Still needs a little tweaking. Candles? Maybe. Christmas week I will replace the feather wreath with fresh evergreens.

Except for the plants, everything else I already owned. The bowl was a wedding gift, the black planters I bought at a garage sale 5 years ago, also a recipient of spray paint, the faux pomegranates came gilded gold. The feather wreaths I've had for years. Come Halloween one hangs on the front door adorned with an orange ribbon. Recycling isn't just for bottles and cans.




When there's so much to do to get ready for Christmas, why bother with real plants? 

Because with very little care all of these plants will still be alive and green long after Christmas. This obviously does not apply to readers in warm climates. For those of us with six months of Winter, green plants are a welcome reminder of life after snow. 

And what's nicer than a real green plant in the dead of Winter? 

With no mental effort on my part, two weeks of Hawaii instantly came to mind...real green plants were way down on the list. 

But you get my point.

Do you decorate for the holidays? If so, have you started?

Happy Weekend! Happy plant shopping!

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

and thanks to my patient friends at Berry's Greenhouses in Boston!