Sunday, February 22, 2009


Much as I want to complain about the never ending winter, it really serves no purpose, does it? So, I'll just try to remember to keep taking that extra Vitamin D, and focus on the beauty around me.

Here are some shots I took today.

Poor mourning dove, hunkered down on the deck railing, ruffled by the constant wind...

A little altar of inspiration to put me in a New Mexico state of mind:

Cosmo thinks that when I do laundry that includes rugs, I fold them just for him. He also likes to "help' when I put fresh linens on the bed.

Tomorrow, I should be able to post some in-progress photos of the doll I'm making with Sherry Goshon's "Jelly Bean" pattern. Here are a couple of looks at the fabric auditioning, and the decision making process:

Choices narrowed:
Chosen from:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Photo - 3; Birch Bark

Don't you just love the texture of this birch bark?
I think these are river birch - they are just across the property line in my neighbor's yard. Let's hear it for zoom lenses!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Love

Just for my Oldtimer - soft pretzels, made from scratch. I followed the recipe exactly. Next time, fewer but larger pretzels. And probably, bake just a little less. Still taste good though!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dog Beds

We bought two new beds for the hairy boys. Even though we have three dogs, we only need two beds, as Como prefers to sleep on the rug on my side of the bed.
These new beds are HUGE and squishy. Even Murphy has plenty of room. Of course, we can no longer walk around in our bedroom.

And poor Buddy almost looks a little lonesome!

Ye Olde Cupboard...

...for ye olde broad!

Wednesday was my birthday, and though I admit that my family says I'm difficult to buy for (I have or make most everything I need!), there are so many things out there to love, I'm still certain I'm easy to please.

My Oldtimer is particularly adept at finding things that make me happy. One of the things I've come to truly appreciate are old, primitive furnishings. When I was younger, Lolo loved the primitive furnishings, and I just didn't get it then. Now, there's just something about an aged, handmade table or chest or cupboard that gives me great joy. Oldtimer was with me when I spotted a cupboard that I loved, but couldn't quite justify buying. Weeks later, when I announced that I thought I had figured out a place for the cupboard, and was going back to see if it was still there, he told me that he called the shop and they said it was no longer there. That was not a lie - it was no longer there, because it was hidden in our garage, awaiting my birthday.

Here's a photo of the cupboard from the outside:

And the interior:

The well-worn latch:

And one of the rusty hinges:

Don't you just love the fact that it shows evidence of not just handcrafting, but extensive use, AND even the wayward child who apparently thought it would be a good idea to write on it?

I'm no longer certain where it will go in the house, nor am I certain what I'll display. I'm toying with something that includes old linens and doilies, and some of my old bottle or blue canning jar collection. I do know that during the time it spends with us it will be well-loved.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another...

Tonight, after watching "Fringe" (I *love* that program!), I took a few things upstairs to the treehouse. All I planned to do was tuck a few art supplies into the proper drawers, and perhaps audition some fabrics for the "Jelly Bean" doll I plan to make (Sherry Goshon's newest pattern).

When I got into the space, I had an inspiration for the paperdolls I'm making for the CPS swap. I tried that - and it worked. Ultimately, before I put anything away or auditioned any fabrics, I finished all three paperdolls. Then I began the fabric thing. Normally, I love this part, and have too many choices, but things just didn't fall into place for me. I do have a set of fabrics by one designer, which happen to incorporate one of the very visible fabrics Sherry used on her version of the doll. I just don't want to copy that closely, but I had such a hard time putting that set back on the shelf.

I finally got it put together, but in the way of those things, I had any number of supplies to put away, plus, while looking for bits of stuff for the paperdolls, I found the tiny fake eggs I'd purchased last spring, and knew I needed them for the living room display under the cloche.

And thing leads to another. I don't have pix of the paperdolls or the fabrics I chose, but here's the little cloche display from a couple different angles. Under the glass (which I bought with a Michael's gift certificate from my son and daughter-in-law) is an old occupied Japan cup with a nest that we've hauled around for years. A couple kinds of eggs in the nest, an egg ornament, a sparkly crystal that used to hang in the window, and Oldtimer's mother's butter spoon. Oh, I put on a tag I bought from Katie's Rose Cottage.

Here a a couple views of the cloche - light isn't very good at midnight, so watch for better photos soon.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday Photo - 2; Aging Snow

When we lived down south, everyone loved it when it snowed. My across-the-street neighbor would stand on her front porch, jump up and down and cheer. Having been raised in a snowy region, I never understood the fascination.

I think this is the difference. There it snows, looks pretty, melts and you are done with it. Here it snows, gets plowed, gets splashed, sticks around till more is added on top, and then as it starts to melt it gets this dirty, cancered look.

So...for all my southern friends, here's some snow for you - what's left of about 25 inches that fell in about 10 days, pushed and plowed, shoved to the side and splashed. You should see what some of the shop parking lots look like! Some of those piles will last till April.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sick Day

Today, I needed a sick day. I probably should have had a sick week - my poor co-worker has probably been exposed to enough coughing and groaning for one week, maybe for a lifetime. So I called this morning and said "could you please stay home today...I really feel lousy." I did feel lousy, and since we work out of my house, I felt pretty ridiculous, making him take a day off because I was sick instead of him, but what are you going to do? I can't drag through the house in my bathrobe with my hair in a snarl if I have a co-worker here.

So, I got a quiet day at home, with the house all to myself. Though it was cold this morning, only about 4 degrees above zero, the sky was clear and the day was sunny. I so rarely see the front portion of our house (which faces south) during the sunny daytime. Sure, I negotiate my way to the kitchen regularly for a cup of coffee, but I don't linger, I go back to work in my corner of the lower level, north-facing family room. Even on weekends, if I take time in the treehouse, it also faces north. So today, after a soak in the tub and a light breakfast, I gathered books and magazines, tea and toast, and settled in near the fireplace of the living room. It was a glorious day, with bright sunlight, quiet and peaceful. Despite my bleary eyes, throbbing head, and coughing fits, I took so much pleasure just being in my home. What a treat.

The hairy boys like it when I'm home and quiet and they get some attention, too. When I dozed in the chair, they dozed too. Of course, Murphy's snoring wakes me on occasion, but that's ok. Buddy sometimes sighs, and shuffles off to sleep elsewhere. Later in the day, I wandered into the bedroom and found him asleep on his bed in a pool of striped sunshine.

When we still lived in NC, the gal that did a lot of painting and repair work for us told us she thought he looked like a scatter rug. That's a pretty accurate description, isn't it?

Here's the view out the window and the cause of the striped sunshine. It doesn't look quite as warm as one would expect from Buddy's pool of light, but it has a certain stark beauty, doesn't it?

At the end of the day, I don't feel much better. I wonder if another sick day is in order.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Magazine Rant

I’m feeling peevish today about the number of favorite magazines going out of print. Yesterday I received a mystery copy of Martha Stewart Living in the mail, and when I called the subscription number,they told me it was good until August ’09. I don’t subscribe to MSL, and don’t want to. Couldn’t figure it out, then talked to a customer service rep. Seems that Mary Engelbreit Home Companion stopped publication, effective February 1, and switched us over to Martha Stewart. I don’t want Martha Stewart, I want ME, so I told them to just send me a refund. I'm getting a whopping $7 back. I subscribed to MSL for a while, and realized I never opened the plastic wrapper, and was giving them away without looking at them. But ME? I kept all my issues, I look at them over and over. I’m really disappointed.

And this on the heels of Country Home magazine going away. I just renewed that one in October - and the goofballs are still accepting subscriptions on their website! And of course the notice that Cottage Living was also folding. At least they wrote and said I’m getting the rest of my subscription as Southern Living. Why would I want Southern Living – I live in Cleveland, for crying out loud. I had all the Southern Living exposure I wanted when I lived in NC, and I just don’t feel there’s any comparison as to type of magazine.

So, out of all the magazines I get, that's three going away, thanks to this lousy economy. Those are my respites, my vacations, my inspiration and pick-me-ups, and now they are no more. Three left for me - Country Living, Romantic Homes, and Victoria. If those go away, particularly Romantic Homes...well, my mailman will be less burdened, but I'm going to be mighty unhappy.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Few Answers & Some Other Housekeeping

In the Monday photo, several of you asked about the chime. Here are the answers:

1. No, I didn't make it, darn it.

2. The purple fairy was purchased separately at Tuesday Morning, off the clearance shelf. I moved it there from some other location when we were painting, and never got around to putting it back. Now the two things seem kind of married.

3. The chime is called Tempest in a Teapot, and though I purchased mine in a store, you can buy them online, here:
As a matter of fact, looking around the site, I see two more I'd like to have.

4. I have another smaller version made by one of the artists from our NC store, Linda Callisto. I don't know how you find her these days, but she also made terrific button jewelry, and jewelry Christmas trees (Sherry got one of these from me last year). The small one from Linda C is actually "jointed," hangs in my kitchen window, but is much smaller.

And in other snowed again in Cleveland today. Surprised? And since I miss posting a photo a day, here you go:

Tagged by MaryO

MaryO tagged a few of us to carry forward a tag she the sixth photo in the sixth folder of the place you store your pictures. This was tough, because I have 3 places I store pictures. The first place, the sixth folder was empty! The second place, the sixth picture in the sixth folder was not a photo at all, but a scan of a vintage postcard. So...the third try, in the third place I store photos was it. Here's the pic.

Big deal, huh? This is one of the azaleas we planted on the landscaped hill we added to our house in NC.

I'm supposed to tag others, but I think most everyone I know has done this. But...if you read this... Betty, Phyllis, Earl, and Jude - you are the only ones left I can think of! If you feel up to it, I'm tagging you.