July 1, 2011

Porch of the Month ... July

For this month's porch feature we are headed to the desert ... yes to the desert in the middle of July! We'll be visiting with Karen Valentine from "My Desert Cottage"  {home of "Where Bloggers Create" blog party} ... if I hadn't told you we were in the middle of the desert, you would have thought a lush green oasis or a mirage or something ... Karen has created an outdoor paradise off her patio that is really tranquil and lovely ... I'll let her take it from here ...
"Even though I was born and raised in the desert, I have always loved the lushness and greenery that comes from living somewhere where it rains more than 8 inches per year.
Maybe it’s because I’m an Aquarius(the water bearer) or maybe I just always want what I can’t have!! LOL!!...

{all photos courtesy of home owner}
...My back yard porch and patio area is my sanctuary and because we do live in the desert, we are able to use our outdoor spaces almost all year round. Many summer nights have been spent sitting out on the flagstone patio with my sweetie, sipping on a cool drink, listening to music and just talking....
  ...In the cooler months, the mosaic table top that I made is replaced with a fire pit and with our friends, we all sit around the fire and drink Bailey’s and coffee. Those nights outside are my favorite way to spend an evening....

...My love of collecting old things applies to garden antiques as well. I pick up old watering cans wherever I find them (if they are the right price) and nestle them among clusters of potted plants or hang them from trees or shepherds hooks....

 ...One of my favorite finds was an old wheelbarrow that I now use as a planter. Basically, If it’s old, rusty and crusty I like it!!! 

  ...Because we are both such DIYers  we’ve achieved the look with as little money as possible. We built the flagstone patio ourselves one summer. (Yes, I did say Summer... what were we thinking???) and similar to  inside my home,  all the furniture on both the porch and patio came from Garage Sales and then was refinished with either paint or stain. There is such a wonderfully satisfying feeling when I rescue a piece that has seen better days and turn it into a beautiful and functional addition to our home."

 Not only does Karen share her beautiful outdoor living space with her human family ... there are a few furbabies who enjoy it as well ... can't you just see the smiles on their faces? Meet Jasmine {above} and Rocky {below}
 Thank you for your most gracious tour Karen ... I'm looking forward to meeting you back in your studio on July 15th !!

Want to join the party and share your creative space ... it's not too late to sign up here.

Hope to see ALL of YOU there!

Oh! ... and if your blog needs a little sprucing up before the big event, Karen can help you out with that as well ... check out here design shop here.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend enjoying family, friends, and your outdoor space!


  1. Love love love Karen's outdoor space and the doggies!

  2. Karen's outdoor area is just beautiful!! I love it!! Her puppies are pretty adorable too!


  3. I've always admired Karens backyard...she is a great inspiration!


  4. So full of beauty and relaxation:) Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful space with us.
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  5. Karen's oasis is absolutely dreamy! I wish I had the space to create something so beautiful!



  6. Hi Jill, wow!... what a beautiful and relaxing porch, I want to live there!... everything Karen does is fabulous (just like you!)... her fur babies are precious too!... wishing you a Happy Fourth of July!... xoxo Julie Marie

  7. really beautiful...i’m gonna try and copy everything

  8. HI Jill & Karen...
    Just LOVED this tour of Karen's outside spaces...how in the heck can she made the desert into such a beautiful oasis??? It looks like it could be Oregon, not Arizona!!!
    Just wonderful friends, I loved this post & can imagine Karen & her friends sipping Bailey's by the fire on a cool winter night when the skies are filled with stars!
    Hugs girls...

  9. Hi Jill..
    Thanks for sharing Karen's little sanctuary..love it.I live in the Phoenix desert too and that takes a lot of work to achieve an oasis!

  10. Hallo Jill,

    wow wow wow !!!
    So tolle Fotos!
    Und ich bin dein 1000. Leser!
    Ich lade dich ein meinen Blog zu besuchen.

    Ganz herzliche Grüße

  11. Oh I'm so inspired, it's lovely!

  12. Thanks for sharing. Love Karen...
    Her patio is stunning-like the greenery coming up through the walk way..

  13. Beautiful post Jill! Karen surely deserves to be featured with all of her talents, you did a wonderful post for her! Happy 4th of July to you and your family! Hugs Marilou

  14. Gorgeous photos and sweet interview with Ms Valentine.
    She is so creative, very inspiring.

  15. Oh I just LOVE ME SOME Karen Valentine! She is as sweet in person as she appears on her blog. We had sooooooo much fun going to Round Top together this past spring. Love her use of colors (that purple against the green just POPS). Thanks for sharing. HUGS!

  16. LOOOOOOOOve your photos! Very inspiring!

  17. Adore your post and shop.I love how inviting the outdoor space can be.

  18. After living in the desert (near Karen) for the last 12 years, I can really appreciate the beauty of her "oasis"!! Now I'm in Colorado, I I can get loads of green!

  19. Love the garden photos, beautiful!

  20. You sip drinks, listen to music, chat with family - that's haven, you've created it visually with your patio and emotionally based on how you use your patio. Wonderful


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