Monday, May 16, 2011

Bell Shaped Cloche with Tray for Starting Seeds

This is one of the most beautiful garden accessory I've seen lately. I have a couple of bell cloches without trays. I'll have to look around and see if I can rig something up. That is if the sun ever comes out again. Available here. Many thanks to Cynthia from Beach Coast Style for finding it for us.(See comments) Thanks so much.

Perfect Outdoor Room with Fireplace

This would be my pick for the perfect outdoor room to be used virtually any time of the year. Post and Beam Shelter designed by Bosworth Hoedemaker Architects via Pinterest. Who doesn't love a big rugged picnic table? I spent my childhood sitting on these at family reunions and church picnics with no store-bought food anywhere in sight. 

Portrait of A Buttercup

Photos by Rosemary Beck. Webster and I took a walk yesterday when the rain let up for a few minutes. I do love the wild buttercups and will pick a big bunch later today to decorate the house for the dark, gray week we're going to have.

Webster has placed a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the bedroom door knob until further notice.

DIY Lavender Linen-Freshening Spray

Homemade Linen-Freshening Spray
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 16 drops of lavender essential oil
Mix the ingredients and put into a spray bottle. Spray directly onto towels, sheets and pillows.

This sounds like a great recipe for Sweet Dreams.

Source: The Joy of Green Cleaning

Monday is my usual laundry day but I don't think it's happening today or even this week as you can see by the weather for my area. I'll probably just do a load of small items that can dry on racks in the house. It's feeling very jungle-like here at the cottage after a wet weekend. I am so glad I got the grass cut beforehand. See you later.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Greenhouse Garden Room

For the person who has everything - an old greenhouse converted into a garden room. It's beauiful, isn't it? I love the stone foundation and the storm-shutter doors. And the hydrangeas too.*

The Owl and The Pussy Cat | A Real Friendship

Honestly this is too wonderful for words. If only this cat could fly and try she does. Interspecies Intermingling of the Day: Fum the cat and Gebra the barn owl live out their days as an Edward Lear nonsense poem. *

Library Ladder Love

Do you think a library ladder could help me overcome my fear of heights? I do love them so. On regular ladders I get nervous after the third rung but somehow I think I would be okay on this one.*

If you are considering selling or buying used furniture online you must read this. It is the most hilarious thing I have ever read. And so true. I am still laughing. Thank you Justine Taylor.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Wouldn't Change A Thing

I wouldn't change a thing except the name on the deed and the mailbox would be my own. It is absolute perfection, isn't it?

Elephant Love

I never tire of looking at pictures of baby elephants and their mothers. I just completed a big mowing job before this afternoon's predicted rain. I have a new system this year; I mow a little almost every day in sections until it's finished. I've divided my property into five distinct areas: front, back, middle, lower, and way back. I can't believe how expensive gas is this year -- the can that cost me $5.00 to fill last summer now costs $8.00. I can get two complete mowings from one can so it's not the end of the world but I've decided I'm not going to mow as frequently as I usually do. Have you made any changes this year? Have a great weekend. *

DIY Nautical Rope Mirror

I love this nautical inspired rope mirror. Instructions for making a similar one here. Image and other rope covered items found here. Now go and find some rope. Maybe you'll want to make a sailor's knot bracelet too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Have an Entertaining Weekend

" Do you think he knows we're here? "

Office For Two For Me and For You

Dibs on the window seat. Actually I love this setup for one person too. You could sit at the window for fun stuff like blogging and day dreaming and sit in the interior chair to pay bills and other things that seem like punishment. That could be the "Time Out" space. *

English Cottage Garden

Isn't this watercolor charming? Teleport me there this instant. I read something humorous on Twitter today .. "There's no future in time travel." Tell that to Doctor Who. *

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ferns and Flowers

This photo makes me want to risk getting poison ivy and dig some ferns from the woods. They are just beginning to come up intertwined with the itchy stuff. Isn't this scene absolutely stunning in its simplicity?!!

I'm tuckered out from a long day of mowing, hand trimming and weeding. Goodnight. See you tomorrow.

Amy Sedaris’s Child-like Decor

The Craft Corner in Amy Sedaris's New York City Apartment. She made all of the potholders on the floor. She decorates as if she owned a child but she never has children over. I don't think she wants them touching her stuff.
Amy Sedaris’s Child-Friendly Abode: Slideshow and Humorous Article in New York Magazine 
"I wouldn’t call myself a shut-in. I have the ability to leave my home; I just choose not to. But because I’m such a homebody, it’s important to be surrounded by things I love. I prefer items that convey a sense of mystery, playfulness, or theatricality. My favorite things often have a story behind them and are usually handmade or discovered at a flea market. My furniture is small and low. It’s not unlike living in a dollhouse."

Early Blooms From My Garden

Wild Forget-Me-Nots are everywhere.

My three Lily-of-the-Valley plants have expanded to four. Hooray. I have a new pip. They are spreading after all. [Photos by Rosemary Beck]

Sudeley Castle Gardens Gloucestershire UK

I'm in The Cotswolds this morning having one of those virtual English breakfasts I'm so fond of. No lunch will be required. Sudeley Castle's glorious gardens are among the very best in England, from the centerpiece Queens' Garden, billowing with hundreds of varieties of old fashioned roses, to the Herbal Healing Garden. Flickr photo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Goofiest English Bulldog Ever

English Bulldog in a swing.
It's is the perfect pastime for this non-working breed. I've owned several so I should know. What a mug.*

'Old School' Garden Shed

Calico Apron aka Sara made this garden shed from windows salvaged from an old school. View all 8 photos here. This is one of the best recycling projects I seen lately. It's lovely in the snow too. Now if I could just find an old school that's being torn down. . .

Please Water the Potted Pansies

I have an office meeting this morning and broker open house tours before lunch. I'm excited about seeing a home with English gardens. I'll be back later. *

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happiness is A Warm Puppy

Prince Harry with a puppy. *

Lucy with a Puppy named Snoopy. *

Most Amazing Vintage Stove Ever

Photo ©Björn Wallander

Mr. Fox Returns with Mange

Remember this fox I photographed at the cottage over the winter with the almost bare tail?

I spotted him yesterday walking in the yard and he looks awful.

One of my readers commented about his tail and said he might have mange.

Should I be worried? Will it get worse? Will it go away; will the fur grow back? Poor thing. He looks otherwise healthy, doesn't he?

Potting Sink and Lots of Watering Cans

I wish I had more information about this outdoor potting sink hanging on a stone wall. Have a nice week working in the garden. Webster and I did lots of hand trimming right before bed last night. You might remember that I don't have a string trimmer and do all of my edging the old fashioned way...snip, snip, snip by hand.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Brunch on The Balcony with Quinoa

Who is Quinoa? Oh, you mean what is quinoa? It's considered to be a super food because it contains more protein than any other grain. The protein in quinoa is complete and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is especially high in lysine, methionine and cystine. Quinoa is rich in iron, calcium, riboflavin, potassium, B6, niacin and thiamin. It’s also a good source of manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and folate. Another great reason to eat quinoa is that it’s high in dietary fiber. Okay, enough of the technical stuff. 

I bought some quinoa at Whole Foods and those tiny little seeds have been sitting in a jar in the refrigerator staring at me every time I open the door. I found a recipe that looked promising for Quinoa Burgers so that became the start of my Sunday Mother's Day Brunch. I always improvise. I didn't have any green onions so I coppped a whole white onion. I didn't have any carrots so I added 1 cup of frozen organic mixed vegetables and cut the green beans with the kitchen shears after they defrosted. I added more cottage cheese than was called for. I omitted the sugar, doubled the cumin and added 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar too. I decided not to fry the burgers but to make a frittata instead in my cast iron wok. I sprayed the bottom with olive oil using my Misto. I put the shredded cheddar cheese on top and baked it at 375 for about 40 minutes. It was delicious and I will definitely make it again and again. Next time I will add halved grape tomatoes and kalamata olives for more intense flavor. Broccoli or asparagus would be good too. This is something to play around with and make it your own. It baked up like a crustless quiche just as I knew it would. It was a 'super' brunch.

Dumbo ~ 'Baby of Mine' Lullaby [video]

This never fails to make me cry. It speaks volumes about motherly love. Sniff, sniff.

Keep Calm and Call Your Mother

Just Do It.

Happy Mother's Day

It's a beautiful day here at the cottage and the coffee is good. I'm making Mother's Day French Toast in a little while. I've already given my mom her (chocolate) presents. I'm going to weed her garden and work outside today. Enjoy your mom if you have one and being one if you are.

Handmade cards ©Alisa Nordholt-Dean via Flickr

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mämä, I love you!

Happy Sheep-Mother's Day via The Animal Blog

Ten Ways to Garden on A Budget

  1. Get Free Advice
  2. Grow from seeds
  3. Take cuttings
  4. Swap seeds and seedlings
  5. Plan for next year
  6. Get equipment second-hand
  7. Go to discount stores
  8. Make your own compost
  9. Make your own weedkiller and plant food*
  10. Go from green to grey 
*You can make your own weedkiller and plant food mixture. To kill weeds, spray them with white distilled vinegar full strength, reapplying on any new growth until the weeds die. To make a plant nutrient liquid, mix vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:8, then combine with a separate solution of sugar and water in a mixture of 1:8.

Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty
Full Article The Guardian UK

History of Mother's Day

In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day to be an official holiday, and in commemoration of that declaration J. C. Leyendecker painted 'Pot of Hyacinths' to be used on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post's May 30, 1914 issue. Not only did 'Pot of Hyacinths' singlehandedly create the American tradition of giving flower arrangements to one's mother on Mother's Day, it also helped create the modern flower delivery industry as a whole. That's the story .. I didn't know any of this, did you? Source

House of Cards Sculpture

Auckland-based designer Fletcher Vaughan wanted to represent the precarious balancing act we are performing with our planet so he created this giant house of cards installation titled 'Collapse'. See additional photos and read more here. I love the symbolism.

I'm off to recycling with Webster. It's the highlight of his week. Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Classic Understated Kitchen

Hold on to your hat and be prepared to be blown away when you see a gallery of Harvey Jones Bespoke Handmade Kitchens. Have a wonderful weekend.

First Wisteria Blooms

When it gets a little warmer these new wisteria blossoms will make the yard smell like a perfume factory. I pruned this bush rather severely last fall and it is filled with new growth and long hanging blooms. You can't keep an old wisteria down, can you?

Parham House and Garden UK

Welcome to Parham. It has always been a well-loved family home, and only three families have lived here since its foundation stone was laid in 1577 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Read more.

Kentucky Derby Hats

Slideshow Kentucky Derby Hats
136th Run ~ 2010 (in the rain)

My Symphony

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Country Cottage Kitchen | Like

I like the use of a real antique table instead of a built-in kitchen island. Love the sink and cabinet paint color.*

Modern Farmhouse built around ruins in Scotland

In Scotland, a Modern Farmhouse Rises From Ruins. A house on the tiny Isle of Coll was built on the remains of one abandoned 150 years earlier. The home is on one of a group of islands known as the Inner Hebrides that has a population of about 200. Constructed on sand, it was abandoned in the mid-1800s when large cracks began to appear in the structure. View the New York Times Slideshow. Read the related article "Warm Respect for a Scottish Ruin"

Dangerously Simple Cookies

Not only are these peanut butter cookies delicious, but they are impossibly easy to make. Simply combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of peanut butter, and one egg. Mix the three (yes three!) ingredients thoroughly and roll into small balls on a cookie sheet. Flatten the balls with the tines of a fork (old-school style) and sprinkle with Fleur de Sel (sea salt). Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes.

I'm off to the kitchen to mix up those three ingredients and have cookies for my afternoon snack. Yum.

Here are the ones I made. One rack is already gone and there is one more to go. They were quick, easy, and delicious. I used chunky peanut butter. Recommend!