Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 4)

Just a hint of what views can be seen from the finished house. I will have to take my fancy camera out there on the next visit, so I can zoom in on this view and capture all the lush landscape details of the Red River valley. This photo was taken with my iPhone which doesn’t have much zoom ability.

With the foundation complete, I and my architect, Charley McKenney, took Eco Friends Pest Control out to Tumble Moon to do the first phase of the termite treatment. The second and final treatment will have to wait until after all construction and exterior grading have been completed.

Country Retreat

Tumble Moon (Update 3)

Please don’t laugh. I know it’s just the garage, but it’s physical proof of progress. And this makes me happy.

Tumble Moon now has a well, pump house, and garage. Things are really beginning to pick up steam, and if I’m not careful, I could easily become overwhelmed. Even though I experienced the renovation of my home here in Dallas, building something from scratch is a whole ‘nother ball game. And then there’s the driving back and forth to Saint Jo in a single day (two hours there and three frustrating hours back) that will have to be done more frequently.

Landscape & Gardening

What’s Blooming Now

Taken just before today’s nor’easter blew in.

My Giant Leopard Plant (Farfugium japonicum ‘Giganteum’) is in full bloom and would have continued this wonderful show for another two weeks if a nor’easter hadn’t blown in. When I snapped the photo this afternoon around two o’clock, it was 71 degrees outside, then two hours later it was 55 degrees, and now six hours later, it’s 27 degrees. Their beauty will not survive. Our Texas weather extremes can be devastating to us gardeners.

Film: Design & Architecture

The Remains of the Day (1993)

Dyrham Park, near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire, England
Dyrham Park, near the village of Dyrham in South Gloucestershire, England

Traveling vicariously through film. If I am unable to physically travel to admire historical architecture in a foreign country, watching a film such as The Remains of the Day can be a fun substitute. This film runs so seamlessly that it’s deceptive that numerous English country estates were utilized to comprise just one estate, Darlington Hall. I have captured stills and carefully matched each of them to the actual country home they belong to. They are Dyrham Park, Powderham Castle, Corsham Court, and Badminton House. It’s been a fun exercise. Enjoy!

Just Because

Bags of Booo•ty

Halloween 2016
Halloween 2016

What’s in the bag this year? A large can of Tricky Mixed Nuts, a Warheads Pucker Pack, two gum eyeballs, one Witch’s Potion slime pot, and Zombie Finger Bubble Bottles. Hopefully, this will be enough to entertain the trick or treaters for a minute or two. Adult supervision may be required for the littlest ones, and adult supervision may be required for some adults who open the can of nuts. Boo!

Just Because

Another Quiet Moment

A scrap of embroidered fabric found in an antique mall.
A scrap of embroidered fabric found in an antique mall.

For the first post in two months, I offer something small and quiet. It’s just a piece of stained embroidery that I found in some antique mall back in the 1990s. Because its charm and beauty remained intact, I chose to frame it. I’m glad I did, because after twenty plus years, it still makes me happy to look at it.

Just Because

A Journal of Detailed Moments

Welcome to the third reincarnation of smallrooms®. This new version doesn’t start with a fancy entry page, but instead opens directly with the journal. The entire site, for the most part, has the same information and images as the 2012 design. But in this reincarnation, the images are larger and sharper, and the overall design is cleaner and less blog-like. Additionally, the copy is set with a sophisticated web font at a larger and looser scale, making it much easier to read. Please remember that smallrooms® is a journal and will always be an evolving work-in-progress.

Just Because

New Design Coming Soon

Photo by Harrison Evans
Photo by Harrison Evans

smallrooms® is currently going through its third reincarnation. When I designed this second version in 2012, responsive themes were just being developed, and there wasn’t much to choose from. That’s definitely not the case now. This old bloggy look is in desperate need of a new sophisticated, yet simple and timeless, wardrobe. I use the term “wardrobe,” because a WordPress site is nothing more than a database dressed up in fancy clothing. In the meantime, I will not be creating any new blog posts until the design is complete. I anticipate this third reincarnation to be up and running by mid-September just in time for the change of seasons.

Just Because

Fancy New Business Card

Since I work from home, I decided not to print my phone number on the card.
Since I work from home, I decided not to print my phone number on the card.

Having a business card is kind of important if you’re a graphic designer. Aside from having the essential contact information, a designer’s card should be something the recipient would want to hold on to, a keepsake. Creating this tactile treasure was more difficult than designing my website, because I knew that once it was printed, there would be no way to backtrack and undo or redo any portion of it.

Landscape & Gardening

What’s Blooming Now

This is the only way to make concrete look good. With Four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris scaposa) mixed in with Dwarf Coreopsis (Coreopsis auricular ‘Nana’) at the base of my Texas Whitebud tree and a backdrop of sundrops, who will notice the concrete?
This is the only way to make concrete look good. With Four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris scaposa) mixed in with Dwarf Coreopsis (Coreopsis auricular ‘Nana’) at the base of my Texas Whitebud tree and a backdrop of sundrops, who will notice the concrete?

Today is blooming Earth Day, and I have some bodacious beauties to share with you. I took these photos about a week ago thinking the predicted week of rain would destroy their beautiful massing effect. The sun’s back out today, and they have fortunately recovered. Though I’m glad I shot them earlier on a cloudy day, because these particular areas do not photograph well in full sun. Dappled shade would be ideal, but these flowers are either in full sun or full shade. For more photos of the blooming bits of my garden, click the link below.