Monday, May 23, 2011

Life's Little Instruction Book | Volume II, Page 38

More great advice from a father to a son. 

More Interior Barn Doors to Love

Sliding barn doors used inside the house are a design element I love and frequently blog about. I found two more images you will love that use two different types of hanging hardware. 

See my other posts on this theme. You will need to keep clicking on "older posts" so see them all.

Homemade Molasses Taffy for National Taffy Day

Today (May 23rd) is National Taffy Day
It's real. I did not make this up.

2 cups molasses
1 cup sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Click on the link for the rest of the recipe. My brother and I used to make taffy all the time and it was so much fun, especially the pulling part. This is the only recipe I could find that wasn't loaded with food dye and corn syrup and it's the most authentic too.

Today is also World Turtle Day. And you thought it was just an ordinary Monday with no cause for celebration.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Antique Door Hardware as Art

Don't you want to start colleting old door hardware now? It's beautiful with or without the door and it's getting harder and harder to find. Old house parts are big business in architectural salvage. Stop and ask if you can look around the next time you see an old house being demolished. Who knows what you might find and save from being dumped in the landfill? Happy hunting. 

Sunset | California Vineyard

Too beautiful to comprehend. Would this be considered gardening or farming? via

Nancy LaMott: I'll Be Here With You

How is it that I never knew about this song or this departed singer who was still performing 11 days before her death? This is the most beautiful song; a real lullaby for a person of any age. Did you already know about her? If not you may want to read about Nancy LaMott here.

Dog Enjoying the Sunset

I love this dog portrait. The reflected light at sunset and the peaceful expression are perfectly captured by the photographer. Don't you wonder what's on this beautiful animal's mind? 

Best of Burning Man: Art on Acid | Wacky Archives

Best of Burning Man: Art on Acid | Wacky Archives: "The Burning Man gathering is an annual event held in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada. It begins the Monday prior to Labor Day and concludes on the day of the American holiday. This unusual gathering of people from all walks of life derived its name from the ritual burning of a towering wooden effigy."

The desert is the perfect backdrop for giant pieces of way-out art. I'd love to know more about this spectacular elephant house.

All I have to do is ask and usually someone helps me out. Thanks to Lee (see comments) we now have the complete history of the 45-Ton Mechanical Elephant. Thanks so much. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sunset with Dandelions

Even a field of dandelion puff balls looks wonderful with this sunset in the background. Goodnight. See you tomorrow.*

Every Baby Needs a Stuffed Toy Owl

These Turkmenian Eagle Owlets were rejected by their mother and are being hand raised at The Linton Zoo and Gardens in Cambridgeshire, UK. There are 3 owlets...see pics of them when they were first born with a stuffed hedgehog (or maybe it's an owl) keeping watch over them. They certainly have grown since they were hatched last Easter.

The Most Successful Essay Ever

Make sure you find the time to watch this commencement address over the weekend. It's really good advice no matter what your age. Now I must go and put on sunscreen.

The Duchess and the Garden

The Duchess and the Garden - N Y Times Slide Show
A project that started at the whim of Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, has become one of the most ambitious public gardens created in Europe since World War II.

One of the features is a Rose Garden containing 3,000 roses in 180 varieties.

Alnwick Castle, her husband's ancestral home, played the role of Hogwarts School in the first two Harry Potter movies. Tourism to the castle, and to the gardens, has increased because of the popularity of the films.

The project has amassed plenty of admirers, but more than a few critics as well, who have challenged the populist bent of the design and the money required to build it. Its overall budget now stands at £70 million ($140 million). Don't fail to click on the link at the beginning of the post to see all of the photos.

Have a great weekend and do some gardening if you can.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Accessories Fashioned from Food

Blackberry Bag

Watermelon Helmet

Eggplant Shoes

Broccoli Purse

These stunning pictures of accessories made ​​with food are the work of photographer Fulvio Bonavis. See more food-fashion creations.

William Morris Stamp Set | Royal Mail

I've said it once and I'll say it again---The best stamps in the world are issued by the Royal Mail in the UK. This William Morris Stamp Set that was issued on May 5, 2011 is especially wonderful.

Note card sets are available too.
Read about The Million Dollar Stamp.

Yale Opens Online Digital Library with 250,000 Free Images

Zebra oil on canvas painted by George Stubbs in 1763. View a wonderful slideshow showing the great diversity now available from Yale with delightful background music here.

The Garden Path

This garden path caught my eye this morning and I thought it would be the perfect first image of the day. It's finally Friday after a long rainy week. I don't have much color yet...just some buttercups and forget me nots and of course a few lily of the valley that are in full bloom. I found a friend who is going to let me dig up more from her happy about that. See you later.

Now if I just had a beautiful breakfast like this. Instead I'll just have to stare at this photo as I eat my oatmeal.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

20+ Popcorn Seasoning Ideas and Recipes

Here are a few homemade popcorn seasoning recipes.

Parmesan Dill
1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 1/2 TBS Dill weed
1 tsp Garlic salt
*refrigerate excess

Parmesan Nacho
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp pepper
*refrigerate excess

Cheesy BBQ
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 TBS Butter (melted)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Lady's Mantle after The Rain

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is one of my favorite perennials because of the way rain and dew drops collect on the leaves. The flowers are rather insignificant but they really do look very nice in arrangements. [photo by Rosemary Beck]

This picture from The Herb Companion shows lady's mantle in bloom around the edge of a rock garden and pond. There is a lot more information about this prolific herb here. Now is a good time to buy a clump or two for your garden since June is the month for perennials. You'll be so glad you did.

Must Shield My Eyes. Is that the sun?

I simply couldn't resist using this graphic Piero Fornasetti plate to illustrate how unaccustomed my eyes have become to seeing the sun. It is in and out of the clouds today and the rain has stopped. Hope you can say the same. 

Rose Royce | Cutest Car Ever

Don't you just love this happy little car? What fun it would be to ride around in it and to be able to say that you own a Rose Royce.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Big Fish in Small Pond Meets and Greets Big Dog

Here is another unusual interspecies friendship. This carp doesn't seem to be afraid of the dog and the dog seems very interested in getting to know a koi from Japan. I'm convinced that all animals can converse with one another. I just love this photo.

Expecting Noah's Ark any minute now.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if I looked out of my window and saw Noah's Ark in the distance. The never-ending rain all over New Jersey is unbelievable. When I opened my front door this morning to let Webster out there were big bugs lined up waiting to get inside. Oh dear, this is going to be one crazy summer if the month of May is any indication of what's to come. How is it at your house? I found this image on -- it's from a Noah's Ark Theme Park in Hong Kong.

Bedroom with Framed Maps and Two Good Dogs

I wish I could reach into my computer screen and adjust the bottom right frame just a little bit and pet the dogs too. Don't they look like statues?

Alternating Arches of Purple and White Wisteria

I would live to see this heavenly wisteria in person. What a labor of love this must have been and I can appreciate the work behind it too. I'd love to sit on that bench and soak it all in, aroma and all. I love armchair gardening, don't you? I'd love to know more about the construction of this arbor. *

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm Otter-ly in Love with These Two Otters

I love otters and they love each other too. *
See two more of my otter posts:

Wisteria Explosion at The Cottage

I'm guessing this is a great year for wisteria if the explosion here at the cottage is typical for others. As I mentioned earlier, I pruned mine rather drastically at the end of the season last year. I can't remember ever seeing these standards so loaded with long purple blossoms . . . and they smell wonderful. Just look how they are reaching for something to grab in the first photo. I'm going out with my clippers the next sunny day. [photos by Rosemary Beck]

Gene Kelly ~ Singing in the Rain

Perfect entertainment for a rainy week. Love this. I shall embrace the rain.

Airing the Pillows and Comforter

I love to air my linens on a fine summer day. The down pillows puff up so nicely and smell like sunshine at night. There is no sun in my forecast until Sunday at the earliest. Maybe next Monday I can do this on my balcony railing and hang several loads of wash on the line. Stay dry and I'll see you later. *

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. *