joy of nesting

joy of nesting
Shiree Hanson Segerstrom Design and Wellness for Women with Arthritis and Other Chronic Pain.

Home Makeover with over One Hundred Yards of Silk Ticking

I was going through some old files recently and found this project. It was a beautiful custom house and I was called in to do the window treatments, throw pillows and one piece of custom upholstery.

All pinch pleated draperies and box pleated valances were done in silk ticking on custom iron rods and rings. They were absolutely exquisitie. We ordered over 100 yards of silk in subtle, neutral shades of caramel and taupe.

For the throw pillows we did a sweet little basket print trimmed in brushed fringe.

This mahogany "balloon" chair was done in a sunny yellow silk with a bee motif. The chair and the clock behind it were family antiques.

Roasted Vegetable Terrine

Terrines with roasted red bell peppers or sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese are dishes I find very appealing. Since becoming vegetarian about six months ago, I haven't missed meat one bit mainly due to the fact that I adore this type of meal. Since it's quite rich I like to pair this with a big green salad with pears and toasted pecans or a bowl of black bean soup topped with sharp cheddar cheese and minced yellow onion. It might work well with Polenta and it's a hearty appetizer for parties.

Terrines make a "meaty" statement much like a meat loaf or lasagna and that's especially helpful if you're the only vegetarian at the table. I'm often cooking for two hungry men who like meat. I enjoy exposing  them to kinder, healthier, and much more delicious ways of eating.

Here is one recipe I found recently for advanced cooks. Keep in mind terrines  require a lot of prep time.

Roasted Vegetable Terrine


1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1/2 C. olive oil, plus more for brushing vegetables
1 small eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
freshly ground sea salt and pepper
2 lb. fresh spinach
4 oz. goat cheese softened
1/3 C. minced basil
2 T. minced oregano
2 T. minced parsley (I like the flat leafed variety)
1 T. minced thyme
1/2 t. crushed red Chile flakes
1 C. sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 C. walnuts, chopped
1/2 C. grated Parmesan
2 T. balsamic vinegar


Position a rack 4 " from broiler, and heat to high. Slice peppers in half, remove seeds, place on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil SKIN SIDE UP until charred evenly, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a plastic bag and let cool for 20 minutes. When cool, peel and set aside. 

Heat oven to 450. Brush two foil-lined baking sheets with oil. Place eggplant slices on one baking sheet and zucchini slices on second baking sheet; brush with more oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables turning as needed until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool.

Saute spinach in a large skillet until wilted, about ten to fifteen minutes. Drain well in a colander then pat dry with a paper towel., set aside. Combine 1/4 cup oil, goat cheese, half the basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and half the Chile flakes in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and mix until smooth; set goat cheese mixture aside. Place sun dried tomatoes and garlic in a bowl, and cover with two cups boiling water; let sit for ten minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor along with 1/4 cup of oil, remaining basil and Chile flakes, walnuts, Parmesan, vinegar; salt and pepper. Puree till well blended and set aside.

Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting about 4 " hang over the edges. Use 2/3 of the spinach to line the four sides of the pan. Place eggplant slices on bottom, and then cover with half the basil; top with zucchini slices, then the goat cheese mixture. Spread peppers over goat cheese mixture, and then top with remaining pesto; top with squash, and then the remaining spinach. Fold excess plastic wrap over the top of terrine and cover with a piece of cardboard cut to fit the inside of the loaf pan. Place a few canned food items or something heavy on the cardboard to weigh the terrine down and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. 

Unwrap terrine and invert onto a nice serving platter and slice into 1 inch thick slices to serve.

It's a delicious recipe. Enjoy. Recipe courtesy Saveur.

Christmas Home Tour Pictures plus...a Special News 10 Appearance

Thanksgiving is next week and everyone is looking forward to family gatherings and fabulous food. The day after Thanksgiving whoever is staying at my home in Sonora always accompanies us to the annual Christmas parade on our little historic main street. We usually grab a bite to eat and a glass of wine at the Diamondback Grill then head outside for the spectacle. Truly, it's not your usual type of parade. I'll say no more. Anyway...

Sacramento News 10 has invited me to share some of my Thanksgiving decorating  ideas so I hope you'll join us Saturday morning at 6:00 and 8:00 for some tips and tricks I've learned over the years.

In the meantime, peruse these pictures of last year's AAUW Christmas Home Tour. It's my own home decorated up with my Christmas books, Spode china, pine cones, moss, and lots of fresh greenery. Enjoy.

Right Sizing with British Style

I just put the final touches on a project for clients who moved from a larger home to a smaller one. I had done their other residence so when they asked me to help with the new one, I was very pleased.

This little chair and armoire are adorable together. I ordered the chair from North Caroline. Its covered in warm white quilted fabric with yellow welts.

Most of the furnishings moved over beautifully without much change. All we did was alter the draperies and recover two arm chairs. The little dining area  is open to the entry and there are blue drapery panels to match the slipcovers.

I have a special announcement to make on Friday...I'll be making a television appearance.  More later.


I was out shopping for antique area rugs with a client yesterday and found some fabulous vintage light fixtures. If I had a place for them I'd bring them home but alas.

I'm quite enamored with the combination of iron and crystal. I love the contrast. They are perfect for the kind of masculine/feminine interiors I love doing.

These aren't winged bats, they're deer or elk.

Thought we didn't find any suitable rugs I did snag myself a little red lacquered table. Have a great weekend!


Our nesting urges kick in when the seasons change. Mine seems to be strongest in the fall. Knowing the days are shorter to me means I have less time to accomplish the things I have to do, let alone the things I "want" to do. 


When I do seasonal decorating it usually consists of going to my storage closet and pulling out ready made items like wreaths, garlands, and swags in seasonal materials. I don't have time to do a lot of crafts. Additionally, it is easier to do crafts when you have a designated room which I don't.


Your local farmers market and grocery stores have some of the best seasonal decorations by way of fruits and vegetables. In fall it's all about gourds, squash and pumpkins.

I love all Martha Stewart's crafts and seasonal decor. Her team creates tasteful, timeless decorations that don't overpower your interior design.


The best seasonal decorations are made from natural materials like the wreaths, swags, and stems seen here. You don't have to redecorate your home every season but leave room on your walls and tables for things that signal in our traditional festivities.



All decorations Martha Stewart.

Nandina Bamboo, Peony Leaves, and Other Foliage for Autumn Arrangements


One of the many things I love about having a garden (for years I had decks) is that I can go outside virtually any time of year and find beautiful, seasonal foliage for using in indoor arrangements.

If you have a good selection of vases, vessels, urns, a good pair of clippers, and some "frogs" you can create some really lovely arrangements.

Obviously foliage mostly requires tall vessels. And when you use foliage you need to make sure you pulvarize the stems. Foliage usually has woody stems and they don't absorb water well unless you pound them a few times with a hammer.

The floral arrangement above is peony leaves with miniature pumpkins on stems. Peony leaves in the autumn are stunning.

One of my favorite autumn foliage is the rather homely Nandina Bamboo. For years I wondered why people bothered to plant it. But living through a few harsh winters I understand now. It's because Nandina is about the only thing that looks good before the spring flowers and greenery arrives.


Nandina mixes well with flowers too. I like to use sunflowers with mine.

Autumn Foliage

Olive branches
Peony leaves
miniature pumpkins on stems
Japanese maple (the small leaf varieties)
strawberry tree (beautiful but hard to work with because the berries fall off easily)
mock orange
myrtle (year round)


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