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Healing Herb Garden Planning Baby’s Nursery Remodeling Costs Summer Library Programs

An advertising supplement of Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. | Summer 2013 Sonoma West Times & News • The Healdsburg Tribune • The Windsor Times


Your Special Place By Hudson Street Design

Your home is that special place that you look forward to reuniting with every single day. Whether you’ve been away at work or play, your home awaits you when you’re ready to relax and rejuvenate. If when you arrive, its initial impression leaves something to be desired, this is a great time to open your eyes to all the possibilities for positive change. A new front door, architecturally interesting columns, a new coat of paint, or upgraded windows can make a huge difference in the welcoming aspects of your home. On the inside, solid-core doors add to the sense of substance and permanence in a house. A new coat of paint can be an inexpensive upgrade that changes the entire mood. Updated window fash-

ions can create a cohesive look and feel throughout your home. Upgraded cabinets, counters and fixtures in the kitchen can instill pride and even inspire new creativity. The same upgrades in bathrooms can offer

you a healing sanctuary to begin and end your day. With housing prices on the rise, upgrading your home is a great investment. Hudson Street Design offers interior design, kitchen and bath design and color consultation provided by trained, certified, creative professionals. We’re also happy to provide project coordination and installation services for either your new home or remodel. Stop by our showroom Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or by appointment at 434 Hudson Street in Healdsburg, call 707431-3630 or visit We look forward to seeing you and meeting your special home.


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Custom Cabinetry, Design Services, Windows and Doors, Plumbing Fixtures, Window Coverings, Pre-Hung Doors, Hardware, & More

434 Hudson Street in Healdsburg 707.431.3630 Showrooms also in Marin & Napa! 2 Summer 2013

CONTENTS In the Good Old Summertime

When summer gets underway, libraries might be one of the last activities on our list, unless we’re seeking a good read to take on vacation. But Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez tells us that our community libraries have gotten really creative with fun, summer-specific programs geared to all different ages of patrons, including our non-readers—toddlers and babies.

Editorial Design Gail Sands Photo Editor & Photographer Sarah Bradbury Contributors Abby Bard Robin Hug Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez David Leff Homes and Lifestyles Magazine is published by Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. Publisher Rollie Atkinson Associate Publisher Sarah Bradbury Advertising Director Cherie Kelsay Advertising Sales Lacey Burdette Cherie Kelsay Steve Pedersen Paula Wise email us with advertising placement inquiries at: Homes and Lifestyles Magazine Advertising and Editorial Offices: 9025 Old Redwood Hwy., Suite E Windsor, CA 95492 P.O. Box 518 Healdsburg, CA 95448 Phone: (707) 838-9211 Summer 2013 Homes & Lifestyles is an advertising supplement to the July 4, 2013 issue of Sonoma West Times & News, The Windsor Times and The Healdsburg Tribune. This magazine uses zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) UV inks. VOCs create smog. Because it’s not printed using conventional Heatset, this publication has substantially reduced its carbon footprint. Printed by Barlow Printing, Cotati, CA.

from the editor

Managing Editor Sarah Bradbury Editor Pam Whigham

summer 2013

Speaking of babies... is your family expecting? Sonoma West staff writer Robin Hug is, and she has devised an easy plan for designing and furnishing baby’s new nursery, complete with referrals to helpful professionals and a variety of shopping options both thrifty and chic. For our second in a series about healing gardens, Abby Bard visits Merryl Mendelson’s West County herb garden, one that is productive enough to belong to Sonoma County Herb Exchange. Along the way, we get to learn about the healing properties of various herbs. Maybe you’ll be inspired to start or expand your own herb garden? But perhaps you’ve got bigger plans for the summer—such as a remodeling project for your home. Contractor David Leff contributes his expertise regarding the costs of remodeling and how people can avoid cost and time overruns. Interestingly, some of these problems arise when the wrong kind of cost-cutting attempts occur in the very beginning of the planning process. And you’ll find much more inside these pages related to home and garden, lifestyle and finances. Come along with us and make the most out of summer! Pam Whigham, Editor

FEATURES 6 Pre-Planning Pays Off by David Leff

10 Merryl’s Healing Herb Garden by Abby Bard

16 A Sweet Space for a New Face by Robin Hug

OUR TOWNS 4 Local Libraries by Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez Cover—Merryl Mendelson admires a healthy rambling rose on a trellis in her garden. Above—A few whimsical children’s items create a cute vignette in a new nursery.

Homes & Lifestyles 3

[ Our Towns ]

Sebastopol Library’s Tiffany Bronzan, Children’s Librarian, with teen volunteer, Ella Morrison.

Local Libraries & Summer Reading Story by Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez Photography by Sarah Bradbury


f there is an optimal season for reading, it could very well be summertime. Poolside days or beach blanket afternoons often lend themselves to delving into a good book. Whether it’s escapism, entertainment, or intellectual stimulation that one is looking for, chances are the local library can meet reading needs economically and creatively. “We’re trying to encourage exploration and life-long learning, but the most important goal is to have fun,” said Sebastopol Branch Manager Mathew Rose about the library. Reading is a pastime for all ages, and both children and adults can benefit from 4 Summer 2013

keeping reading skills up-to-par year ’round, but especially during those lazy days of summer. Parents naturally have the opportunity to model good behavior of all kinds, reading included. The experts argue that kids who witness adults picking up a book may be more likely to follow suit. Fighting off dementia and staying informed are fringe benefits for the older crowd that picks up books, while younger readers can look forward to sharpened skills for the next academic hurdle. “Studies show that kids who continue to read over the summer are better prepared for the next school year,” said Charity Anderson, Children and Young Adult

Librarian at Healdsburg Branch. But with iPods and video games competing on the fun-o-meter, libraries have stepped up their game, offering a competitive summer reading program geared to capture the interest of even the non-bookworm. “Dig Into Reading” is a countywide summer reading program featuring prizes, crafts, stories, events and performers at local library branches. Kids can sign up for summer reading clubs geared to various ages through the month of July. In fact, even babies can benefit from reading—the Rubber Ducky Club is designed for infants and toddlers under

the age of three years. As the name suggests, rubber ducks are an incentive here, but board books are also awarded for reaching milestones. The program’s structure features a reading log and literacy activities for parents to do with their young ones. In Healdsburg, regular story time for the 0- to 24-month-old is super popular. “Often about 40 or 50 attend,” said Anderson. The preschool crowd is also visiting the library in Healdsburg regularly for their age-appropriate story time that includes movement, songs, props and crafts. It’s normal for 65 to 80 children to attend with their parents. Art and craft programs for “tweens” (kids ages 9-12) can help attract this unique group to the library environment as well. Working with artist Siobhan Loughney, pre-teens will be transforming animal feed sacks into book bags this summer along with tie dying shirts of their own design and creation at the Healdsburg branch. Each local library has a flair of its own when it comes to kids’ programs and events. In Sebastopol, Children’s Librarian Tiffany Bronzan is excited about Reader’s Theater for youth. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since becoming a librarian and it’s another way for me to reach kids,” explained Bronzan, who will be studying scripts with readers who will then act out the story. But it must not be forgotten that libraries are not just for kids; sections reserved

for adults can be heavenly during long summer days filled with a busy schedule. Escaping to the library for an adult read in a quiet corner can be one of those simple rejuvenating pleasures. In Sebastopol, Rose encourages adults to explore a new section of the library. He also thinks that adults should have the right to play games too, so a bingo-style game for adults is available at the service desk. “Why should kids have all the fun?” asked Rose. The truth is, he feels a little left out because they didn’t have reading programs like that when he was a child. He’s not alone. At the Windsor Regional Library, the Adult Book Discussion Groups are a popular hobby for adults and an ongoing group meets throughout the year; but like the other local branches, it’s also a place for all ages. Windsor Regional Branch Manager Bill Coolidge summed it up like this: “We’re the center for the Windsor community.” Libraries have evolved right along with modern society, changing with the times yet remaining the same in form and function. Whatever the season or the reason, libraries provide a place for gathering and serving the public’s thirst for knowledge in a multitude of forms and fashions. Go ahead; take your imagination on a trip this summer—to the local library. For a listing of all Sonoma County libraries and their individual web pages, visit

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[ MILLIE’S COURTYARD ] Located in the heart of wine country, it’s fitting that the Healdsburg Branch of the Sonoma County Library would contain the Sonoma County Wine Library. Featuring shelves filled with books on every wine-related topic, it’s a unique resource on the multi-faceted subject that has attracted so many to Sonoma County. It might take all summer to make a dent in the mass of information contained there, but with an outdoor patio opening up this summer, the invitation might be irresistible. The outdoor patio will be named in honor of the late Millie Howie, a wine writer, enthusiast and publicist, and who was also instrumental in the establishment of the Sonoma County Wine Library. The new outside space will be equipped with a pergola and teak patio furniture. Surrounded by shade and greenery, patrons can sit and stay awhile, reading and researching with docents on hand and even perhaps enjoying refreshments like cookies and coffee.

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Pre-Planning Pay$ Off Making the right choices for a remodeling project can safeguard your budget and bring greater peace of mind.

The old saying “You get

what you pay for” is never truer than when you hire an architect and a contractor to remodel your home. Often, efforts to reduce costs by cutting a corner or by skipping a step will result in a poor quality job, a bad remodeling experience or a postponement of the cost to a point later in the project. Here are a few examples of the most common ways that project costs may appear to be reduced initially, only to discover later the trickle-down consequences that result.

many hours in meetings and conversations that result in a final design. Unless that vision is communicated in the plans with all of the details, it is impossible for the contractor to completely understand the intent of the design. When the missed element is later discovered during construction, the contractor can legitimately present a change order to the homeowner that will increase the cost of the project, usually by more than if the plans had been adequately detailed to begin with and the cost had been included in the contractor’s original estimate. In addition, this situation will usually result in finger pointing between the architect and the contractor about who is responsible for the oversight and the Two members of the Leff Construction team—job superintendent Matthew Bowles (with measuring tape) and Jo Wood, left—confer on an aspect of a building project


6 Summer 2013

When you hire an architect to work with you to design your remodel, it may seem to make sense to keep the architectural fees down by limiting the architect’s work to “the basics”—the minimum necessary for submittal for a building permit. The fact is, though, a basic set of plans with little detail or interior design, when given to a contractor to bid, is very likely to result in an estimate by the contractor that does not include some architectural element or detail that is an important part of the design. The homeowners and architect spend

increase in the project cost. By default, the untrained homeowner will be left to referee the dispute. Most people think that if a number of contractors are given a set of plans, they will all interpret them the same way. The reality is, however, if the plans are not fully detailed and complete, the likelihood that the homeowner would receive bids that could be compared as “apples to apples” is close to none. The homeowner is faced with the unenviable task of guessing which contractor most accurately interpreted the plans consistent with the intent of the design. The bid prices, in this case, provide no useful information to help the homeowner select a contractor. A remodeling project, even a relatively small kitchen or bath remodel, requires skillful corralling and organizing of the many and variable components that make up the project. These include

coordination of all of the labor and materials, tracking the many finish and material selections, project scheduling, selecting and managing subcontractors, managing changes and unexpected conditions, job site supervision, on-going cleanup, job site safety and much more. When the price of a remodeling project is reduced, it is often through the elimination of one or more of these project management functions. Many of the remodeling horror stories we all have heard, such as the job taking months longer than expected, days at a time with no workers showing up, low-quality work, mistakes made by untrained workers, dirty job sites, etc., are the result of poorly managed and inadequately supervised projects. It is that lack of proj-

A remodeling project includes: coordination of all of the labor •

and materials, tracking the many finish •

and material selections, project scheduling, selecting and •

managing subcontractors, managing changes and •

unexpected conditions, •

job site supervision, •

on-going cleanup, •

job site safety •

and much more.

ect management, supervision and coordination that results in these horror stories and which is almost always the result of an effort to reduce costs. Another area where corners are often cut is in pre-construction planning. After an initial design concept has been developed, this important next step is sometimes skipped, again in an effort to reduce costs. This planning step is the opportunity to turn an OK project into an excellent one through the architect and the contractor collaborating in the coordination between the structure, the finish details, the material selections and

the energy issues. At first glance, it may not seem worth the additional expense to pay for the architect and contractor to work together on this, and it does require that the contractor be selected and brought into the project earlier, but the irony is that this is the best opportunity for value engineering. Value engineering in remodeling is the effort to reduce costs by considering various alternative design approaches, structural systems and finish materials and selecting the ones that most cost-effectively match the intent of the design. The goal of pre-construction planning is to eliminate—as much as possible— surprises during construction that may increase costs, extend the project duration, or simply make for an unpleasant remodeling experience. When this step is skipped or minimized, decisions about finish details and material selections are left until construction is underway. In the contract, the contractor often provides allowances that may or may not be sufficient to cover the actual costs of the materials and installation. There are many design details involving interior trim, cabinets, flooring, tile, etc. that also may not be worked out prior to the start of construction. Minor changes in the design or selections made early in the process have minimal impact on the project costs. But if those same changes are made during construction after the plans have been completed and the permit has been issued, there are likely to be significant consequences affecting costs and schedule. When pre-construction planning does not happen, the result will almost always be a disorganized and uncoordinated construction process at best and may also result in unanticipated cost increases to the project. When you are planning a remodeling project, remember to carefully evaluate what you are getting for the money you are spending. Sometimes what appears to be an intelligent cost-saving measure may end up costing you more in dollars and peace of mind.

Home FurnisHings & Design

259 Center Street | HealdSburg 707.473.0980

David Leff is president of Leff Construction, a Design/Build remodeling and new home construction company in Sebastopol. Homes & Lifestyles 7


Drip Irrigation Basics The range of component products and system designs can suit any gardener or grower. By Rick Williams, General Manager, Harmony Farm Supply & Nursery

There are multiple advantages to drip irrigation systems. Farmers and gardeners alike have found drip irrigation to be a great time saver as well as giving them better yields from healthier plants that have a decreased incidence of disease caused by overhead sprinkler irrigation. Soluble fertilizers can be applied through a drip system, keeping nutrients near the root zone and allowing the plants to get the most value from each application. You also water only the plants that you want watered, discouraging weed growth. Israeli engineers pioneered early drip irrigation components, but you don’t need to be an engineer to put in a system. If you have ever created something with Tinker-Toys, you have the basic ability to put together a drip system. WATER QUALITY How clean is your water? The dirtier it is, the more careful you must be choosing the components to achieve satisfaction and low maintenance with your drip system. Component classifications that are typically most easily clogged to hardest to clog: 1. Soaker type tubing such as T-Tape and Chapin Tape 2. Small orifice emitters such as 1⁄2 gallon/hour (gph) emitters 3. Larger orifice emitters, such as 1 and 2 gph emitters 4. Micro-sprayers and micro-sprinklers over 3 gph 5. In-line emitters such as Netafim and Dripperline Within each classification there are performance advantages and disadvantages with different products.

The dirtiest water comes from ponds or lakes that have algae, etc. The next least desirable is water containing iron slime bacteria (these will not filter out) and also water that contains calcium or magnesium. Next is water high in sand; many wells pump some sand. Even some municipal water systems have crud in them, although most city water is pretty clean. WHAT EVERY SYSTEM NEEDS A filter is cheap insurance for all drip systems, regardless of the water source. This way, contaminants in the water clog the filter, not the emitters. Some systems require cleaning out the filter every time the system is run and some only once a year – it depends on your water quality. Most drip systems also should have a pressure regulator – especially if you are on city water or have a well set to run between 40 and 60 psi. If you are on a spring box or have a gravity-fed tank with not much head above the drip system, you probably won’t need a pressure regulator. CHOOSING COMPONENTS Here are our recommendations on what most people have found to work well: Emitters – Generally, people choose emitters when the plants are spaced somewhat far apart, as with perennial shrubs, fruit trees, vines, and vegetables planted in hills. On hilly ground (20 feet vertical change or greater), one should use pressure-compensating emitters,


either in-line or punched into hose, so that all of your plants get the same amount of water per irrigation. Soaker-Type Tubing – This is ideal for intensively planted beds of vegetables or flowers, also berries, turf, and other areas where you want to evenly water an entire swath of plants. Drip tape is popular with vegetable growers. It must be used in straight runs, otherwise the flow of water will be cut. Soaker dripline is often used in ornamental settings and can be bent gradually without affecting performance. Micro-Sprayers and Micro-Sprinklers – These are for watering a larger area and you can operate more micro-sprinklers on one drip line than would be possible with standard sprinklers. Like standard sprinklers, there are different spray patterns available, but they use less water volume and cover a smaller radius. Be aware that micro-sprayers and microsprinklers do not work well in heavy winds; you can compensate for this by running the system in the evening or early morning when wind is not usually a problem. Visit Harmony Farm Supply for more in-depth information about drip irrigation, whether you’re just getting started or want to improve an existing system.

Magic Tree Service

Remodeling Create More Space without an Addition By Leff Construction

An addition to a house almost always costs more than remodeling within the footprint. However, it is possible to add more space without adding on. An efficient house uses less than 10% of the square footage as circulation; most houses average perhaps 15% to 18%. An efficient design can reclaim that lost space. Ten percent more space can be added to many rooms by cantilevering off the existing foundation. It’s possible to gain a laundry room, pantry, or storage space by reorganizing the space under your roof. With ingenuity, a good design can: • R eclaim excess garage space • Ad d natural light and an open feel • Ad d a sitting room under existing eaves • El iminate awkward transitions and create a comfortable flow • T ake advantage of views that are blocked • T ake advantage of poorly used rooms If you find yourself learning to live with things about your home that really annoy you, it’s time to consider a remodel. You should be comfortable in your home and love where you live. Leff Construction is your one-stop shop for remodeling and building. Attend our free workshops. Call us at 707-823-4899 or visit for more information.

An Environmental Approach (707) 338-6178 • • insured • Artistic, Health-Enhancing Trimming • Safety & Ecological Evaluations • Oak Woodland Restoration • Tree & Shrub Planting for Long Life • Tree Removals – Difficult, Regular & Giant

• SOD, (Sudden Oak Death) Diagnosis, Education & Treatment Options • Chipping & Stump Grinding • Fire Prevention - Specializing in Rural Properties • Species & Type Consultation for Your Zone


More than a backyard.

Client: Magic Tree Service Run date: 3-28-13 Ad title/slug: 1/3 Page Returned approval due by: Scheduled to run in: H&L Spring 2013


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10 Summer 2013

[ The second in a series of visits to local gardens that heal and nourish both body and mind. ]



Herb Garden erryl Mendelson loves to grow flowers, vegetables and especially healing herbs in her organic garden surrounding the little cottage where she lives in West Sebastopol. She relies on a rustic, hand-built fence to protect her garden from deer, which thrive under the old pear tree and by the huge thicket of blackberry that lines the year-round creek running by her house. Drawn out of the house to the the tines of a fork and placing the garden by dawn’s first light and the scraped side on an injured spot. Plaintain is another topical herb. sound of birds, Merryl is barely awake, often still wearing pajamas Merryl will chew the leaf into a pulp and might find herself there hours and apply it to a wound. Peppermint later, pajama hems wet and muddy, has a cooling action; it can be used as hands covered with soil, intoxicated you would ice for a bruise. One day by the scent of flowers and the hum- when she was gathering peppermint ming of bees, tending her plants for for tea, she tripped and her leg hit a piece of wood, raising a goose-egg the sheer joy of it. Horsetails and spearmint were type lump. She had no ice nearby, already growing wild on the proper- so as an experiment, she chewed a ty when she moved there. Over the few peppermint leaves and stuck the years she has added other healing pulp on her leg and the mint reduced plants. Peppermint, bergamot, lem- the swelling. Merryl has always felt an affinon balm, nettles, feverfew, calendula, comfrey, dandelion, self-heal, ity for herbs. Although she took a and violets are some of the herbs few classes with Rosemary Gladstar she lovingly cultivates and gathers years ago and attended the first and uses for teas, oils, lotions and Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium in 1991, she healing salves. While working as a landscap- considers herself mainly self-taught, er, she would gather cuttings and learning by living close to the land. friends would give her plants from She finds that being surrounded by their gardens. She would bring these plants is healing on many levels, reliving gifts home and plant them in calling a time some years ago when her garden. The first healing plant her son was undergoing surgery she added to her garden was com- at Palm Drive Hospital and how frey, historically called “knit bone,” soothed she felt by spending time in which is traditionally used for inju- the hospital’s courtyard healing garries. The leaves can be made into a den during that ordeal. Aromatherapy is an important tea or used directly as a poultice for a wound by scraping the leaf with healing feature of herbs, for the


Story by Abby Bard Photography by Sarah Bradbury

Homes & Lifestyles 11

[ This page ] left—A fence made from branch and vine cuttings makes a natural barrier; right—Poppies, foxglove, and borage are other denizens of Merryl’s garden. [ Page 10 ] Merryl Mendelson, with her cat Zia, points out a horsetail plant in the herb garden. [ Page 11 ] Lavender flowers.

Being part of the Herb Exchange is a commitment. Once you have joined the Exchange, Leslie will call you if a particular plant is needed that you are contracted to provide. The Herb Exchange gets orders from buyers large and small—Rosemary’s Garden, KW Botanicals in Marin, Lisa Kurtz of West County Herbs in Occidental, Screamin’ Mimi’s, and Simplers Botanicals (both in Sebastopol), or from wineries that use horsetail as a fungicide.

emotional lift and the spiritual grounding they provide. If she’s having a bad day she can head out to her garden to clip a few roses or lavender, and within five minutes she feels more at peace. She finds that just touching and smelling the plants in the garden is healing in itself, and promises that you don’t even need land to have a healing herb garden—“just grow them in pots and you’ll get the same pleasure.” Five or six years ago she registered as a seller with the Sonoma County Herb Exchange. Leslie Gardner, the head of the Herb Exchange (which operates out of a small building on the Laguna Farm property on Cooper Rd. in Sebastopol), came out to assess her garden to find out if the Exchange could use the varieties and quantities of plants she had growing. Being part of the Herb Exchange is a commitment. Once you have joined the Exchange, Leslie will call you if a particular plant is needed that you are contracted to provide. The Herb Exchange gets orders from buyers large and small—Rosemary’s 12 Summer 2013

Garden, KW Botanicals in Marin, Lisa Kurtz of West County Herbs in Occidental, Screamin’ Mimi’s, and Simplers Botanicals (both in Sebastopol), or from wineries that use horsetail as a fungicide. Merryl also grows Chinese mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), which is used as moxa by acupuncture practitioners. Some plants are pre-ordered, some are on consignment; whichever plants are not used fresh may be dried. Find out more about the Sonoma County Herb Exchange on their website: The usable portions of the herbs— leaves, flowers, berries or roots—must be harvested first thing in the morning before the sun hits them, when they are at their optimum freshness and potency. They are delivered the same day they are picked if they are to be used fresh. From just after Thanksgiving until the end of January, the Exchange is closed to sellers, although dried herbs are available to buyers during that time. Merryl values her connection to the Herb Exchange mostly

for the camaraderie. As herbs are sold by the pound, harvesting enough to sell is time consuming and “not a real moneymaker,” says Merryl. “It has to be your passion.” She enjoys making salves and lotions from her healing garden, using a base of home-made calendula oil, which is very soothing for skin ailments. Sometimes she mixes the herbs with oils she crafts out of other plants, like arnica, St. Johns wort, plaintain or rose, often scenting them with essential oils. Employing the folklore method (meaning that the ingredients need not be carefully measured and also called the “simpler method”), she uses a tablespoon or two and/or measures in parts. Merryl makes her herbal combinations mostly for her own use and to give to friends, although she does market them in very limited quantities under the name “Coyote Moon Botanicals” and sells them at fairs, at Bill’s Farm Basket on Bodega Hwy. west of Sebastopol, or by special order at


Fill a Mason jar with calendula flowers—not just the petals but the whole flower. Pack them in. Pour in enough organic olive oil to cover the top of the flowers completely. Place some parchment paper or a plastic bag over the top (so no metal touches the oil and flowers) and screw on the lid. Turn the jar to agitate contents very gently and place it in a warm spot. It can be placed in the sun or in a gas oven with only the heat of the pilot light. Let it sit for 3 weeks, turning the jar every couple of days. Then open the jar, strain the oil through 3 layers of cheesecloth into another glass jar or bowl. Bringing the corners of the cheesecloth together, gently squeeze and wring the remaining oil out of the flowers. Make sure that none of the plant material is left in the oil, to prevent rancidity. Store in a glass jar. The calendula oil can be used directly on the skin or made into a salve.


To make a salve, grate or chip some pure beeswax.

Merryl’s Calendula Oil Recipe

Using an enamel pot (never use metal), heat about 1/2 cup calendula oil over low heat. Drop in one to two tablespoons of beeswax chips and let them melt. You can add a few drops of essential oil such as lavender or mandarin orange, if desired. To test for hardness, dip a metal spoon into the oil and put it in the freezer for a minute or two to check for consistency. Add more beeswax if you want a more solid product.

Homes & Lifestyles 13

TOMBE REALTY 58 Years • Established 1955


Low Water, Style and Beauty By Town of Windsor

Dick, Linda, Alicia & Chris Pellascini

Representing Sebastopol with Fairness and Integrity for 4 Generations. 127 North Main Street • Sebastopol CA 95472 (707) 823-6475

Most Sonoma County gardeners and homeowners realize that our water is precious. Seasonal droughts and population growth have added stress to this valuable resource. To ensure we have enough water for our future, we must avoid wasting water today. Nearly half of the water we use goes to our landscapes and gardens. Fortunately, water conservation through turf removal and drought-resistant planting doesn’t have to mean settling for a barren landscape. In fact, a welldesigned water-wise landscape can be lush and colorful, making your home a beautiful and inviting place. Elements of a drought-resistant landscape: • Provides 40% or greater savings on average summer water use • Can be varied, colorful, attractive and includes flowers and foliage • Is beneficial to wildlife and insects • Includes herbs and other edibles • Provides a much more efficient use of our precious water supply Many water utilities in Sonoma County offer incentives for replacing your hungry lawn with droughtresistant landscaping. A new program in Windsor called Windsor Efficiency PAYS® helps residents save water through a variety of water saving strategies. Windsor residents can learn how to participate by calling 707-565-6472 or visiting

ADVERTISEMENT 14 Summer 2013


Getting Some Screen Time By North Coast Mobile Screen Service

Nowhere in the country will you find better weather than Sonoma County. With primarily mild weather year round (who hasn’t done holiday shopping in 72-degree weather?), we don’t need to run the heater or air conditioner like many areas. Just open the windows and doors and let the fresh air do the work. Unfortunately, leaving doors open can be an unwelcome invitation to visitors—both the two and four-legged kind—to let themselves in. Add flies, spiders, bees and other insects to the list and it just isn’t worth the risk of leaving a front door open, no matter how nice the cross breeze might feel. Over the past few years, security

screen doors have become an affordable and stylish way to help cool your home while maintaining the safety of your family and keeping pests out. Security doors now come in dozens of styles and colors to compliment any

home and bring you peace of mind while you enjoy fresh air flowing through your home. If you’re ready to say goodbye to stifling summer days and large energy bills, North Coast Mobile Screen Service has a wide variety of colors and styles to fit your home. Best of all, we come to you! Our mobile screen trailer allows us to do the work at your home, making it quick and easy. To get started, call Ken today at 707-591-4782 or email We’ll schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and show you your many options. For your convenience, estimates are always free.




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Homes & Lifestyles 15

A Sweet Space It only takes a few simple steps to create a child’s nursery that functions well, exudes serenity and will be ready when the big day arrives.

by Robin Hug photography by Sarah Bradbury

16 Summer 2013


ecoming a parent for the first time is both exciting and nerve racking. There are so many things to do, learn and prepare for. As the expectant mother counts the months going by, she may begin to wonder where to start planning, what advice to take and what advice to leave, and how she will ever be prepared in time for baby’s arrival. Setting up a space or a room in the house for your child is one way to get organized for and excited about your new addition to the family. With the help of local businesses, the process can be fun and pretty painless—although be prepared to spend a few dollars because the rumor about babies being expensive is true.

Step 1: Furniture

First and foremost, figure out what type of furniture you will be using. A hand-me-down crib, plus a shabby chic dresser that will double as a changing table, and a pottery barn rocking chair (the latter two found on Craigslist) were the perfect fit for our little room. Don’t worry about the color of the piece, but rather pick the style that you like, then call Junk Chic Designs in Healdsburg and set up a consultation with Helena Nash who can paint or shabby chic your pieces any color you like. This stylish boutique is also a

great place to find furniture, frames and accent pieces. While you are visiting them in the complex on Mill Street, stop in at Sprout, a great consignment store for baby clothes, room accessories and even maternity fashions for mom.

Step 2: Cleaning Before hauling all of the furniture upstairs, we called Roy Ritchie from Northern Carpet Care to clean the carpet and add a stain repellent like Scotchgard for future sticky fingers and spills. Whenever we have carpet cleaning needs or emergencies, like the latest pink nail polish spill by my four-year-old niece, we always call Roy because he can fit us in right away, does a great job, and the price is right.

Step 3: Painting Next we had a visit with Vesna Breznikar of Vesna Designs, a local design and color consultant who has a wealth of information when it comes to picking paint. She explained the psychology behind color and why we should keep the room where the baby sleeps a soft, calming neutral shade. She also recommended that Homes & Lifestyles 17

[ This page ] left—A shabby chic dresser can double as a changing station; above—The expectant mom should spend some time in the rocker and visit the nursery at different times of day before baby’s arrival. [ Page 16 ] Bedding, like this personalized quilt, is the best place to start with inspiration for choosing paint and other colors. [ Page 17 ] Simple but comfortable furnishings pair well with a soothing wall color; inset—A whimsical wall-mounted jack-a-lope rack from Tallulah in Healdsburg.

Traditionally, blue for a boy and pink for a girl have been nursery colors, but with expert advice from Breznikar, you can follow the ideas of color psychology to find variations to tone pinks into rose, blues into several different directions towards purple or grayed down blues, or choose a soft yellow with a hint of peach to create a more modern look.

we chose the bedding before the paint, as it can be much easier to match than the other way around. “Paint is easier to adjust, with bedding you only have certain selections so pick the things that can’t be changed first. You may fall in love with a pattern that has a certain color so do that first and then the rug would be secondary to go with your bedding,” Breznikar. Once the bedding and rug have been chosen, think about the look of the room. Are you going with a modern look or something more traditional? Traditionally, blue for a boy and pink for a girl have been nursery colors, but with expert advice from Breznikar, you can follow the ideas of color psychology to find variations to tone pinks into rose, blues into several different directions towards purple or grayed down blues, or choose a soft yellow with a hint of 18 Summer 2013

peach to create a more modern look. “We have an actual physical reaction to color. Blues and greens are very calming and they also make the room look bigger whereas yellows, reds and oranges are stimulating and will make the child excitable. So if it is a playroom, maybe you want a bright color, but if it is the room where they sleep then you want to go with a very calm color,” Breznikar explained. Some of the traditional colors she recommends are Benjamin Moore Sunset Hill #1212, Paisley Pink #1261, Misty Blue #820 and Lake Placid #827. Choose greens for a non-traditional color, but be careful not to choose a green too close to yellow because it is vibrant and more excitable. Try Woodland White #463 or North Shore Green #456. “It should be pleasing to you as well, and subtle; but in all of the choices I would say that a little bit of color can go a long way—you don’t want a really saturated color for a baby’s room,” she said. One other important tip that Breznikar mentioned is not to forget to paint the ceiling. Babies spent a lot of time on their back and you don’t want them staring at a blank wall. Instead of painting the ceiling a solid color, try hiring a muralist like local painter Linda Shea. When she is not busy faux finishing, working on wall treatments or trompe loeil, Shea is available to work on specialty projects such as children’s murals. “I have had clients that have had an entire wraparound done and wanted to make the room a different environment, and then I have had clients that just want a small thing over the door, something small and personalized to make it warm,” Shea said of the

different options that she offers. It is helpful if you begin with a few ideas. Provide imagery, colors and goals for the project to give Shea an idea of what you are looking for. Projects can take a few days up to a few weeks depending on the scale.

Step 4: Accessorize

Once you have painted the room, the carpet is clean and the furniture arranged, you now have a blank canvas to start thinking about decorating. If you haven’t already picked a theme, I recommend you do so— it gives you some parameters. There are so many precious products out there that you may want to buy them all up if you don’t have a specific theme in mind. My first stop was Mr. Moon’s in Healdsburg where I danced around for an hour trying to decide which Jelly Cat stuffed animals to buy, ogled over the organic cotton toys and outfits by Under the Nile, and ended up with a porcelain owl light that seems dim enough to be a night light. Around the corner you can also peek into Cupcake on the plaza and Midnight Sun on Healdsburg Avenue for more room accents and baby gear. For a chic addition,

check in at Tallulah where I found a fantastic jack-a-lope wall hook and a non-toxic, pregnancy-safe nail polish made by Butter. The final touches will include buying clothes, swings, books and other treats for your child. For the best prices, peruse your local consignment stores often. Sprout in Healdsburg is where I found a dozen adorable outfits by name-brand designers, while the Children’s Closet in Windsor is a great place to find larger items like carriers and strollers. Sebastopol also has a few great stores including Butterfly Kiss Kid’s Consignment and Earth Child, which sells amazing eco-friendly, educational toys. At this point you should be feeling good about the space you have created for your newest addition and be getting ready to relax. A last few helpful hints: launder and put away the tiny clothes, spend a bit of time in the space, practice reading books in the rocker, and come in and out at different parts of the day. This will help you figure out if you need thicker drapes, more to look at on the walls, or whatever last loving touches you want to make so that everything is perfect for your baby’s arrival. •

Resources] All area codes 707 SERVICES

Northern Carpet Care 433-1545 or 857-3237 Linda Shea Designs 838-2523; Vesna Design & Color 433-2743;


Children’s Closet 6119 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor 838-4548; follow on Facebook Tutu-A-Gogo 9030 Windsor Rd., Windsor 486-1746; Cupcake 107 Plaza St., Healdsburg 433-3800; Junk Chic Designs 44 Mill St., Healdsburg 548-9158; Midnight Sun 328 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg 431-7085; Mr. Moon’s 316 Center St., Healdsburg


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Homes & Lifestyles 19

Service Directory


It’s Refinishing Time By Deckmaster Fine Decks

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20 Summer 2013

The sun has returned. The grill and chaise lounge beckon. You look forward to outdoor meals and glasses of wine at sunset on the deck. The only problem—your deck hasn’t been maintained and now the nails are popping up and the surface is rough and splintery. We would like to say that refinishing your deck could be quick and easy but the truth is, it is a big job that takes lots of know-how. Our company, Deckmaster Fine Decks, knows exactly what your deck needs for a full revitalization. Here is our game plan: • R emove the furniture and plants from the deck. • C lean out all debris from between the boards. If the spaces between your deck boards are filled with organic material, the deck lacks ventilation and the boards begin to rot. • S et loose nails or tighten screws. If nails are popping up high enough we can remove them and replace them with deck screws. • H and-scrub the deck with SuperDeck deck cleaner. • Bri ghten with non-toxic SuperDeck Brightener. • Rinse thoroughly to remove all residual chemicals and debris. Our highly skilled technicians CAREFULLY use a high-pressure washer. In the wrong hands pressure washing can cause irreparable damage. • Ap ply a stain selected to blend with the existing color. • R eplace your furniture and plants. After ensuring its continuing health and beauty, you can now spend the summer truly enjoying your deck. ADVERTISEMENT

Garden Healthy Trees, Healthy Landscape By Dudley Strassburg, Magic Tree Service

All of us are aware of the benefits that trees give to our planet: they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen to the air, they provide shade and sometimes food, their root systems keep the earth from eroding, and more. But trees in developed areas need occasional care in order to remain healthy and continue giving their gifts. Limb trimming, pruning and tree removal are probably the tasks most often required by homeowners with trees on their property. Dead or weak trees and limbs are hazardous, posing a threat to your dwelling or person. Sometimes limbs are interfering with gutters, wires, or are allowing pests (such as squirrels) access to a roof. Other types of tree trimming include shaping a canopy, thinning branches to increase light and air penetration, repairing the crowns of topped trees, and creating better tree structure to lessen wind resistance and potential storm damage. Trees can have insect, fungal or disease problems, but may not be showing any obvious signs or symptoms. It takes a professional eye to spot, diagnose and suggest treatment options. Trees need nutrition, too. A good tree service can recommend ecofriendly types of fertilization and beneficial mulching techniques. Drought mitigation is another important aspect of keeping trees healthy. Magic Tree Service takes pride in using a green and sustainable approach in all aspects of our business. We also offer free estimates. Take advantage of this—your tall, green friends will thank you for it!


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Structuring Outdoor Spaces By Burgess Lumber

Outdoor structures such as fences, decks, gates, trellises and arbors should be considered the underlying “bone structure” of any landscape. As walls in a house define the entire building, outdoor structures give shape to outdoor spaces. Often the most dominant presence in a landscape, structures can set the tone or style of the space. Think of them as the walls, floors, ceilings, and doorways of your outdoor living area. When you consider adding new structures or replacing them, take visual cues from the architecture of your home. If you echo an architectural element from the home in your outdoor structure, it will tie house and yard together, creating a harmonious design. Also study your surrounding landscape. Grading, trees, plants and other physical features of your site can help you determine the most natural or effective place to build your structure.

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Farmers Markets (Area codes 707)

SUNDAY Sebastopol Certified Farmers Market Downtown Plaza, McKinley St. at Petaluma Ave.; 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., year-round; 522-9305; Windsor Certified Farmers Market Windsor Town Green, Market St.; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., through December; 838-1320;

TUESDAY Forestville Farmers Market Russian River Vineyards, 5700 Hwy 116 North; 3 to 7 p.m., year-round; 887-3344.

WEDNESDAY Healdsburg Evening Farmers Market Purity/Cerri parking lot, North St. between Grove and Foss streets; 3:30 to 6 p.m.; through October; 431-1956;

THURSDAY Guerneville Evening Farmers Market First St. at Guerneville Town Plaza; 3 to 7 p.m., through September; 869-3865. Windsor Evening Farmers Market Windsor Town Green, Market St.; 5 to 8 p.m., through August; 838-1320;

FRIDAY Occidental 3611 Bohemian Hwy; 4 p.m. until dusk, through October; 874-8478.

SATURDAY Healdsburg Certified Farmers Market North St., one block west of the Plaza, Healdsburg; 9 a.m. to noon, through November; 431-1956; 22 Summer 2013


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Profile for Sonoma West Publishers

Homes & Lifestyle Summer 2013  

Quarterly supplement of Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. featuring articles on interiors, design, gardens, renovation, real estate, and entertai...

Homes & Lifestyle Summer 2013  

Quarterly supplement of Sonoma West Publishers, Inc. featuring articles on interiors, design, gardens, renovation, real estate, and entertai...