Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Agnes Obel ~ Riverside

I found this lovely song this morning on Blissitydoodah

Fritillaria Folklore

I've never even heard of flowering bulbs called Fritillaria, have you? According to folklore, there is a tear inside each one because the flower refused to bow its head when Jesus passed on Good Friday. Gertrude Jekyll wrote that in the middle of each flower, the tear drop looked like a natural pearl, but was of a soft liquid substance. She described this flower as the most strange of all flowers.

Picasso and Lump

Picasso and his beloved Dachshund named Lump.
Photo ©David Douglas Duncan

Lump by Picasso

Picasso loved animals and his work is rich with depictions of them. In contrast to his usual beautifully complex style, Picasso’s animal drawings are loved for their simplicity and minimalism. There is even a book devoted to the artist and his best friend – Picasso and Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey, the little-known story of Pablo Picasso and his lovable dog Lump, who is immortalized in many of Picasso's acclaimed works of art. Isn't it wonderful that a dog named Lump became an icon in modern art? via

Monday, May 30, 2011

It will soon be time for bed for Webster and me. Goodnight.

I hope I have a better night than this little boy. With Webster there is no guarantee. I think it's too hot for him since I have yet to turn on the A/C so he will probably sleep in front of the screen door. Poor little guy. I know exactly how he must have felt before he gave up and went under the bed. Webster goes into some sort of a coma when he sleeps on top of the bed and he's incapable of understanding commands such as -- move over. This vintage photo that appeared in Life magazine really made me laugh. I'm so glad the parents had a camera handy. I had a wonderful day today...hope you did too. Click on the link and see all the hilarious photos from Life Laughs Last. This will entertain you for the rest of the evening/day. See you tomorrow.

In Flander's Field by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

"In Flander's Field" is a memorable poem that was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in a cemetery in the Flanders region of Belgium on May 3, 1915, the day after the death of his young friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer.

Perhaps the most famous poem written during World War I, these simple but powerful fifteen lines, and the poppies they immortalize, have come to symbolize fallen soldiers. Learn more. I thought this was a perfect remembrance for Memorial Day.

Image: Painting by Willy Werner

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Into The Sunset

I hope your Sunday was as nice as mine. Goodnight.*

Colorful Bird Mother Sheltering Her Twins

I love the way this colorful bird is sheltering her young under her wings while they rest on a branch. So sweet. *

Outdoor Shower Raspberry Jam Love

Perfect way to start the day. Who doesn't love an outside shower?

Raspberry jam with hot homemade biscuits, please.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rolling The Bed Out to The Sleeping Porch Tonight

Wouldn't it be fun to have this bunk bed on wheels so you could roll it out to the sleeping porch on hot nights? That would be ever so much better than sleeping in air conditioning. I love the night sounds of summer coming in through open windows.

Refreshing Homemade Popsicles and Spa Pops

I love the idea of a nice cold healthy spa pop on a hot day. Recipe here.

Out of Africa

I wish I knew the history behind this amazing photograph. via

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yikes - Be Safe This Weekend

This vintage photo takes my breath away. It's a wonder any of us survived childhood. I look back on some of the things I did myself and wonder where I got the nerve. This however wasn't one of them. I would never have jumped off a building into the water. High dive, yes. Building, no. Be safe this long holiday weekend and have fun whatever you do. 

Folk Art Painting | Child with American Flag

Don't forget to display the American Flag this weekend.

Outdoor Kitchen on The Loggia

One can only imagine the design of inside kitchen and I'll bet it gets little use now that the summer season is getting its big kickoff this weekend. 

Lovely Little Planthouse

I love that this perfect small structure is called a planthouse instead of a greenhouse. I think it's the perfect size for me. An old friend who had one called it her adult sandbox. Is there one in your future?

Maybe you need something a little bigger?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spider Web Gate

Isn't this the best opening in this walled garden? The door is almost invisible, isn't it?  I want a decorative screen door like this. Awesome.

African Violet Flower Pot Cake w/ Devil's Food Dirt

From a creative baker's kitchen garden. Yum

Robin Hood's Bay England

The narrow streets of Robin Hood's Bay England

Robin Hood's Bay Fishing Beach
image source

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stonehenge at Night

Actually this might not be Stonehenge but it's beautiful by moonlight wherever it is. I can feel myself turning into a pumpkin any minute now at the end of another busy day. Goodnight.*

Green Label Kitchen

I have no earthly idea what those green string tags are all about but I do love this kitchen. *

Outside Covered Porch with Fireplace

I love the look of this outside covered porch even though I know in my heart of hearts it would require almost as much work as an inside room. I sometimes help a friend get hers ready for a party and every surface has to be wiped down to get the tree pollen off. I'm way too practical, aren't I? Anyone with this house would certainly have lots of help.

A Prince in Frog's Clothing

Isn't this the handsomest little frog you've seen in a long time? Beautifully captured by Dario4108 on Flickr.

Cheesecake in a Jar | Recipe

Cheesecake in a Jar
yield | 4-6 servings depending on size of jars used

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
zest of one lemon
2 packages cream cheese, 8 oz each; room temperature
2 large eggs; room temperature
¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh berries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, combine the sugar and lemon zest and mix until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the cream cheese and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.
4. Pour batter into canning jars until about ¾ of the way full. Place jars into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the sides of the jars.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have a little jiggle to it.
6. Carefully remove the cheesecake jars from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cheesecakes are completely cooled, place them into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Top will fresh berries and serve.

1. For glossy berries, simply add 1 tablespoon of hot water to ¼ cup apricot preserves. Blend until combined and thinned out. Place the berries in a bowl and gently brush and toss the berries with the apricot and water mixture.
2. If you are not a fan of lemon, simply omit the zest.
3. If you are missing the graham cracker crust, serve with graham sticks.

Nice for your Memorial Day Weekend picnic or cookout. Use red and blue berries for this patriotic holiday. I would dearly love to open my refrigerator and see these all lined up on a shelf. I hope the cheesecake fairies are listening.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hidden Hideaway

Take me away to this beautiful portal wherever it may be. This surely must be the way to the secret garden. *

The Secret of Happiness

"The secret of happiness is to make others believe they are the cause of it." 

Double Porch Swings

I hope the owners of this delightful wrap-around porch with the double swings are busy getting it ready for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Can you believe it's almost here? I cleaned the porch-balcony floor off my living room way too soon this year and you'd never know it had been touched. It's covered with maple tree sailor seed pods. Luckily the huge shop vac never made it back to the barn. It is still sitting in my kitchen ready for me to give it another go today. 

Now about this double porch swing setup; aren't they too close together? Are they designed for horizontal use only? If you were sitting upright and swinging wouldn't your shins bang into the other swing? Ouch. I'll take the one with the blanket and move the pillows to the other arm so I can recline and look at the ocean. You can have the other one. See you later.

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.