Saturday, December 22, 2012

from our home to yours

another season has crept up on us like never before.  i swear i was just celebrating the 4th of july....trying to figure out how to cool off and NOW it is chilly out, the heater is now turned on, the tree is up and i am wishing i could magically snap my fingers and all my loved ones would be in the same location.

this year we are staying grandma would say, " just us'ns".  no travel this season as we are all worn out and need some time to recoup some energy (i see many naps in my near future). 

i wanted to share a few shots of holiday at the city apt.  the wreath from red ticking seattle..purchased this year, the paper mache pinecones also from red ticking (vintage 2008) and the iron dear from great, great grandparents.

i wish for each of you that this season will be filled with hope and thankfulness.  i know that is how i am feeling this year.

peace to all of you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

the ship came in

my favorite french antique importer in san francisco welcomed her largest container from france EVER.  all i can say is i was overwhelmed when i walked into the warehouse.  i have never seen so much STUFF..and most of it was still wrapped up in boxes.

she actually lets me dig by box.  i found a box full of enamelware and my heart started jumping out of my chest.  why you may ask, well...because she has the best prices ever and i can actually walk out with a box full of goodies for under 100.00.  they are covered in dirt and grime and in need of a little bit of tlc, warm wather and soap and a splash of hope.

here are a few goodies from my recent box of smalls. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

wintery weekend

we went to seattle last weekend and were embraced by blue skies in november, which go hand in hand with, some cold temperatures.  i is a sign of getting old...talking weather, but boy oh really was an awakening to how spoiled we are in northern california.

even though my bones were on the verge of splintering with the cold weather, our host was able to share their warmth and cozy abode, which made the chill all the more enjoyable.  and i have to say, they really know how to make the simple things elegant. 

there is nothing like a working fireplace in the pacific northwest.....brings back many memories of my 15 years living there.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


who would of thunk i would have spent so many months searching for the perfect faucet....i did and not proud of it.  it is much easier when shopping for others and finding that perfect fit, but for me there was not as much ease.

and..i found it on there was a bit of blind faith with this one and thank goodness it worked out.  another one down.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

things are a cookin

we never did end up cooking any meals in the original kitchen at hillside.  as a mater of fact, ripping out this kitchen was one of the very first projects at hillside.  it was super easy taking everything down and getting it recycled or to the dump and really opened up the space.  long gone are the above the counter cabinets at hillside...never to return.

now, putting it back together again did take a bit longer than we had hoped, but that is all par for the course.  and honestly, our makeshift kitchen grew on me and its charming dysfunction had its way with me and i kinda miss it.  

BUT..after a few years of saving pennies for the kitchen fund...we got started and now we are so close to the finish least for the one side of the kitchen.  about one more day with our contractor/friend gus and the drawers will be installed and the baseboards assembled and BAM. so close....


Sunday, October 7, 2012

more before and after

so, here is another look at the side path next to the cabin.  i wish i had before before shots, but could not find them...but, as you can see,  it is coming together...slow and steady.

the painting is very therapeutic for me (as it is for many of us)  and i have been painting since i was a wee kid and find it to be one of the most rewarding long as i am not on a schedule..then it becomes a bit tedious.  i should be on a schedule as we have company from now until the first of the, i am not sure how much more i am going to be able to get done before winter comes, but happy to have a bit more completed.  

here are a few tidbits of truth:

Saved $$ on stepping stones:  had our guy make a basic form (with my specific measurements) and then create basic cement pavers/slabs vs. spending $$$$ on buying premade ones.

Saved $$$ by painting the house myself vs. paying thousands to have someone else do it (i am almost halfway finished).  paint color is BM Encino Willow for the walls and Mascarpone for the trim.  i might change the trim to black..but will not sold quiet easy one to fix.

Saved $ by using a medium gravel instead of the fine gravel i was dreaming of.  we had some major sticker shock when we went to stone supply and found the gravel we loved was about 3 X's more than what we ended up with.  lets just say we love it even more now.

some kitchen shots are coming....

Friday, October 5, 2012

now i don't feel so old

ok, i know these images should give away the destination.  all i have to say is i have never seen so much beautiful architecture and history.  it was stimulatingly exhausting...did i already say that?  these structures were so old i don't think i am capable of wrapping my mind around it.

i was inspired by the simple details...the same things that alway catch my breath.  i know these images are not necessarily simple details, but the little villages we visited were packed with them...i left my heart there....well, a piece of it anyway. 

have a great weekend.  heading out to hillside and i should have a few new updates to show you...fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


well, i was out of country for 2 weeks and this time it was a personal trip and not a work one...YAY.   lets just say it was  visual stimulus overload and i finally gave in and accepted that the best images and memories will always be captured in my heart and thoughts..... as a camera just cant seem to capture the essence and color that my mind holds closely to, or maybe i just need to take some photography classes.  :)

can you guess where i was from these images?  one thing i can say is the doors, the doors, the doors reminded me of my friend donna at perfect gray.  i was able to capture one image of a gray door that i can share now,  but i have many more to share soon.

images by me..instagram filters included

Thursday, September 13, 2012


part of my absence from brock steet was because i was swept into the instagram vortex and couldnt get was quite easy to share images and i quick fix.

well, as everything seems to do in life, it ran it cycle, much like pinterest has and now i am back to brock.

here are some of the images i shot this summer.  those filters really make one feel a bit accomplished....LOL.

i'm off on vacation for 2 weeks and hopefully will find some time in my remote location to post a few moments.

until then...

Monday, September 10, 2012

more on my "slow and steady" campaign

as some of you know, most of this cosmetic renovation is being done by b-mo ( us'ns).  as many of you also know and feel,  life tends to creep up on you and before you know it your projects are piling up and being trumped by unexpected "other projects" and for us, guests.  i guess i need to throw in some travel and then it is 2013 already.

no more excuses...the show must go on.  so, right now i am tackling painting the exterior... one wall at a time.  i started with the front of the house (which is small) and am slowly moving around.  my second round was really the smallest wall on the house, but i needed a bit more prep and i was working alone (more excuses). 

here is my before (7 different colors on that patched up wall before i cleaned er up) and after. 

slow he goes....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Squeeze in one more walk

Always hard to say goodbye to the dirt roads, rolling country hills and quiet walks after a great weekend at hillside.  short and sweet.

b-mo and i.

Friday, September 7, 2012

getting close.... having one side of hillside kitchen complete.  having problems downloading images of the progress, but for now i thought i would post an inspirational space.  i love this looks old world, sturdy, practical, non-shiny and slick, and like a room that has had several great conversations and meals.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Morning Stretch

First weekend at Hillside in a while (3 weeks....seems like forever) and someone is taking in the morning sun and all the Sonoma mountain scents.

Hope this finds u deep into a long weekend relaxation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


..or should i say spinning....or maybe whirlwind.  i think you get it.  this is how life is feeling for me and so many of us.  what is it..why does it feel different...i think it is because i am getting old.  that is it, i am old and tired and need naps..and god knows i don't get any of those.

well, along with this moaning and groaning comes moments of clarity, joy and grace that attempt to center me.  i just got back from hong kong and shanghai (work) and as usual, the personal time is limited, but i had one of those moments of peace..right in the middle of talking production, cost increases and the usual scary stuff you do not want to recall hearing. 

well, one of the general managers of one of our facilities walked us across the street from the production line to his private pottery studio.  i was floored and speechless by the calm and still of his studio (right in the heart of a bussling suburb outside of shanghai.  he told me he goes there when the chaos starts to kick in.  he calls his art/creative buddies and they all get together and throw clay...the tension lifts and beauty blooms.   can you believe this......???

next city on my list to live in..shanghai.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

home again

seems like i am never home anymore, either traveling, at the cabin on the weekends or working.  after i walked in the door from one week trip to asia (work), i couldn't think of a place i would rather be than our sun filled living room in san francisco, california, usa. 

while in shanghai, i had a feeling, that turned into internal contemplation, that turned into realization.  should i just throw in the towel and stop this brock street blogging or should i keep on keeping on...overwhelminingly i knew i needed to keep blogging.  the cyber friends i have made....well, i like them (you) and i miss my creative connections with you. 

i hope you are still there and hope we can re-kindle our pittering.

apt. living room.  august 26th.  2012.  usa.  jet lagged.

Monday, June 25, 2012

wide open space

lets see, where do i start and where do i finish with what i think is great about this room:  it has everything.  i could take this space and it would be all i would need (with a small bath and kitchen).


Thursday, May 24, 2012

summer stripes

these images really evoke relaxation and encourage my eyelids to gently close (maybe i am just exhausted from the daily grind and spin cycle).  i hope this finds you all well into your long weekend plans and some time to reflect and enjoy yourself.

images found here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

everyone has an opinion...

....and everyone has shared theirs on this particular wall.  i know someone very well that loved the old way (with the filled in window, not matching to original stain) and felt it added quite a charm, indeed it did, but i had other plans.  lets just say it was probably a fair balance between who said to leave it and who said..stain it to match.  i just had to make an executive decision :) and proceed with the staining.

i included some photos for a historical reference.  the condition of this wall when we moved in was a wallpapered (a textured grass wallpaper) sheet rock wall.  well, one of the first things i did after we ripped out the dropped ceiling was see what was behind all of the sheet rock.  well, we were thrilled when we found the original redwood plank wall that was from the late 1800's and the more we tore down the  sheet rock the more we were mesmerized by this incredible wall... and then we found the hole in the wall that was originally a window. 

well, i finally got tired of the unfinished wall, as well as the ceiling (which we also loved so much..had a great rustic feel).  the ceiling had equally beautiful aspects as the wall, but it has 3 different types of wood, with 3 different stains and three different widths.. and there just wasn't a workable way to address this without more demo and i wanted to paint it as we desperately needed some light paint to reflect the natural light (gets dark in the winter).

so here are the results, that only took 2 weekends to complete.   its the little things that bring joy and this one small task feels like we made a huge impact on the project....that feeling will surely last a month, and then reality sets in. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

nothing new

the city dining room with a great instamatic filter.  i tell ya, this instamatic feature has really tricked me into thinking i can take a decent photo.

anywho, nothing in this photo was purchased new...every thing is old and been around the block a few times.

hope this sunday evening finds you in a restful and peaceful moment.  just got back from the very rustic open with the faint hum of the city background noise, feels like home.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


i don't know about all of  you, but i have a closet full of art that needs to be framed.  we all know how much good framing cost, so i usually put everything away and forget about it...until i try to find something in that closet and everything comes flying out...and the rest of the story is probably pretty clear.

well, i found this great little vintage frame for $4.00 at goodwill and i had this perfect little piece of art i bought at a craft show from justin kerr (the best value of any art i have purchased) and it fit perfectly in this frame.  the bzzzz bug is beyond charming so, i did some operating and nipped and tucked and voila...magic.

isn't that original photo priceless too...almost backed out and kept it as is.

Friday, April 27, 2012

weather dictates

we have been so lucky with 70's and 80's the last month and that has forced me to the outdoor projects (twist my arm..i would rather be outside with the birds any day).  anyway, i have had a major bee in my bonnet to get the front of the house fully painted, so we can live with it a bit to determine if we are ready to tackle the whole place in this color.

it has been so therapeutic as the progress at hillside seems to have taken the back burner in life.  the kitchen and bathroom are still waiting for their day, there are so many unpainted walls, the floors still need to be stained...and on and on.  this exterior paint job has allowed for a little hope.... and to me, the change is dramatic and just enough to feel a bit accomplished and not totally lazy.

all done by a sprayers on this property (although it might not be the most efficient way), no rollers...just elbow grease and a very sore neck.

i also included a photo of our country retaining wall.  part of the hill has been sliding...ever so slowly and our local friend and landscaper Jermillo has been working on this for us.  all rocks and logs from our property and his approach is old school and just my style.

i promise to get back on the wagon of blogging soon.  i am hoping the moment of crazytown is passing.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

this ones for you donna

a friend is working on his kitchen and wants to paint the cabinets and we have been discussing colors. we finally landed on something very earthy and mushroom like...with some grey hues...but muted.

story boards are so easy, so fun and approachable for all of us. gets those creative juices flowing. just grab some favorite images within your color scheme, slap them on the board and then layer some color chips. it brings it all alive and makes it feel official for some reason.

of course, when i was putting this little story board together for him i thought of my friend Donna at a perfect gray.

hoping to get her stamp of approval. i just realized i am missing a few of your recommended colors donna...i'm on it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

color story

a phrase i hear almost every day....what color story or pallet will this accessory marry back too... is neon still trending for the 2013 spring collection..and so on.

well, when it comes to our own color can get complicated. i wanted to show you our first stab at exterior color for hillside...actually our second (the first was a deep grey..charcoal...dark and beautiful, but not right for this little cabin).

i wanted dark and rich on the outside (to mimic a deep, seaside shingle) and found this Encino Willow from Benjamin Moore. For me it was love at first swatch card. there is this wall of color cards and i immediately went to this color and have been sitting on it for 5 months....waiting for just the right moment.

well, it was in the 70's this weekend in Sonoma, the birds were chirping, the wind chimes gently singing and it was time to paint a bigger section.

what do you think? the trim will change to a creamier white or a charcoal grey..jury is still out on that too. it is only monday and i'm itching to get started again.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

keep it simple

heading out to hillside for a 3 day weekend with lots of "to do's" in store. i get way ahead of myself and have a project list that is beginning to way me down. i just have to remember to take it one at a time and find joy in each little accomplishment, besides....its about the journey..right?

this great home that is also in NorCal really brought me back to reality. keep it simple, nothing fancy, nothing complicated...just enjoy the space and the simplicity. it really feels like a home to me...

have a wonderful weekend..i hope to have some progress reports to share with you next week.

images found here

Monday, March 19, 2012


spring has been here for the last 2 months...and we missed winter all together...until last week that is. winter sprung up in the beginning of spring.

well, the rains came and do did the blissful music of the creek that runs through the backyard. when we got there Friday night it was raining and it sounded like a freight train was driving through our back yard...i was so excited i immediately went out back and the stream had become a raging river...brown water and all.

well, by 8am and blue skies it had calmed a bit, but all the windows remained cracked so we could hear the falls...all i wanted to do was lay down and take a nap...a dream state.

a little instagram filter

Sunday, March 18, 2012

over crowding

i am as slow as molasses when it comes to furnishing rooms. i have learned to be patient and wait for that "just right" item..and of course it has to be at the "just right" price....... and these days it is not as easy as the days of past, or maybe my expectations have changed :).

finally found a dresser small enough for the "cozy" guest room and boy oh boy is it just every way.

this little room is finally finished...well, maybe not totally finished, but at least there is a new place to store "stuff". the funny thing is, i am so used to no clutter that it is starting to feel crowded.

happy sunday.