Monday, December 12, 2011

Pony and Cat -- Stable Friends Forever

You know how much I love interspecies friendships! The pony clearly loves this cat and vice versa. via

Snow in Central Park

Bow Bridge, Central Park on a snowy winter's day.

Frosty Morning iPhone Pics at My Cottage

It is finally frigid here at the cottage. I ran outside in my bathrobe in my sock feet and quickly snapped some frosty images with my trusty iPhone. As you know from my previous posts, it has been unseasonably warm here...thus the little yellow buttercup.

The birdbath is frozen solid. This photo is my favorite.

Even weeds look beautiful under the cover of a morning frost.

Lamb's ears are fun to photograph with or without frost. I love their fuzzy leaves.

A Royal Nap

Are you smiling yet? I can't tell you how much I love this photo of 'The 11th Duke of Devonshire taking a nap in the Lower Library of Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, circa 1995' Shot by Christopher Sykes. I love peeking into the private lives of English Royalty.  via

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Great Easy Tutorial for DIY Paper Stars

I can't wait to make some of these out of brown paper. You could use wrapping paper, security paper, recycled paper. Almost anything. Contrasting colors would be good too.

Super easy tutorial HERE. Almost like origami only these stars require glue. Have fun.

An Important Royal Christening

The christening of H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. The sitters in this vintage postcard are T.M. King George and Queen Mary, T.R.H. The Duke and Duchess of York and Infant Princess. Such a happy day. via

English Country House

I never tire of the English countryside, do you? via

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gingerbread Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches -- Yum!

No recipe. Just a great picture I found. You could use any Christmas cookie shape. Don't these look good? via

Iron Gate Matches Door Surround | A.Mazing

Jaw-droppingly beautiful.

If You Love Diane Keaton, Read Her Book

I can't decide which would be better, reading her book or having Diane Keaton read it to me on an audio book! I found a great review of 'Then Again by Diane Keaton' at The New York Times. This biography had me at the dust jacket. I love her and blog about her often.

Webster, Doing What He Does Best

The best time for a nap is now.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Full Moon Tonight | 12.09.11 | Goodnight Moon

Go out side and look at the full moon. It's beautiful. I zoomed in on it with my iPhone, stuck my head out the attic window, and clicked the shutter. I'll try this same shot in a couple of weeks and see if I can manage to get Santa flying by with his reindeer pulling that sleigh full of toys for good girls and boys.

The Queen Mum at Birkhall - Scotland

Times spent at Birkhall were relaxed and informal. In her late years the Queen Mum (1900-2002) enjoyed sitting with her corgis and admiring the views of her magnificent sunken garden. She was 99 in this photo. 

Birkhall is an early Georgian house that was the favorite holiday home of the Queen Mother, where she and her husband (pictured below) would bring the young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

Vanity Fair Men of the Day caricature prints circa 1890 line the staircase wall. They are often called Spy Prints.

The hallway barometer was checked every morning by house guests in anticipation of fishing and other outdoor pursuits and the daily picnic. Lunch, their hostess would explain, is not a meal to be eaten indoors.
The walls are papered in Royal Stewart tartan and carpeted in a Hunting Stewart plaid. This is where the Queen Mum hung her pale blue gardening coats. Dog bowls and dishes and towels were always handy for the beloved corgis.

I found an old (1999) Country Homes & Interiors booklet I picked up on my last visit to England of the 20th century. It was devoted to 7 Royal Homes and Gardens. I'll share more with you from time to time. I used my iPhone to reproduce the photos from the booklet.  

Do Your Best

I can't even tell you how much I love this handcrafted log house in Ohio. It's a real labor of love and would be the perfect place to spend Christmas. via

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Door Decor

Have you decorated your door yet? I have not. I was so happy that my energy level stayed high today after my illness. I missed being productive. This arrangement of holiday greenery is lovely. via

Yummy Looking Holiday Drink

I have no idea what this is but I want it right now. I've had a very busy day so mom had a "well" checkup this morning and then I entered super highway land to get my car inspected. I stopped at the bank to cash a check after the doctor and left the money on the kitchen counter so I couldn't stop anywhere for a bite of lunch. I'm back home now and the cupboards are literally bare and I dread the thoughts of food shopping. But I don't see how I can possibly put that chore off for even one more day so I'm off again. I wish I had one of these drinks for mood and energy.

Snowy Night

It rained really hard all night long but quit sometime before morning's early light. The sun is in and out of the clouds and there is a little blue in the sky. The weather people had us all geared up for rain turning to snow but thankfully they were wrong this time. I'm not quite ready, are you? This city snow scene is lovely to look at from afar. via

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lost in A Book

Young girl reading a book she got for Christmas.

'Christmas Books For Sale Here' circa 1895 via

Favorite Book or Movie? 84 Charing Cross Road

I loved the movie but must confess I have never read the book. It’s the true story of a woman (Helene) who lived in New York in the 1950s, and wrote letters to a bookseller in England (Frank). Frank specialized in second-hand books and rare editions, and after seeing an ad for the shop, Helene started a correspondence requesting books she couldn’t find in the U.S. “I am a poor writer with an antiquarian taste in books,” she explained. “If you have clean second-hand copies of any of the books on the list, for no more than $5 each, will you consider this a purchase order and send them to me?” Over a period of 20 years, she and Frank exchanged stories of their lives and sent parcels to one other. The book is the collection of these letters.
There is a wonderful slideshow showing the author with Anne Bancroft, meeting the Queen Mother at the premier of the film, and several other stills from the movie. VIEW SLIDESHOW AND ARTICLE FROM THE TELEGRAPH HERE. Be prepared for chills and a delightful read.
See the movie trailer here.

Dog Day at The Cottage

It is raining pretty steadily here at the cottage and Webster has decided to test all of his favorite sleeping/resting places within earshot of the radio. He loves to listen to NPR and I do too.

Webster's Dog Bed

It looks best when he's sleeping on it.

Give Books for Christmas

Books are the perfect gift. via

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cat Wearing a Ruff

I adore this vintage piece of ephemera featuring a cat wearing a ruff...a projecting starched frill worn around the neck, characteristic of Elizabethan and Jacobean costume.

Scrimshaw Double Heart Mourning Jewelry Circa 1807

A lovely memorial for a departed loved one. "Beauty and youth in vain to these you trust For youth and beauty shall be laid in dust."


Encourage the Beautiful

"Encourage the Beautiful, for the Useful encourages Itself." Goethe
From A Collection of Bookplate Designs. Boston 1907: W. Porter Truesdell.

Christmas Tree in Waiting

I pulled up three white pine seedlings from the shrubbery bed at my real estate listing this past summer. I planted them in various locations here at the cottage. Two are doing great. This one has really taken off. So happy. Free is good.

A Cabin and A Cottage

This one would be a good vacation getaway. via

I prefer the architectural style of this one. via

Monday, December 5, 2011

Piggy and Clover

Piggy's mom sent me this cute picture of The Pig napping with Clover, the newest addition to their family. She was acquired over the summer. Piggie is coming soon...alone. I'm not good with 6 pound dogs that are needy :) Other friends are lining up to take care of her so all is well. I'm going to bed soon to watch The Good Wife on my DVR and a recorded Masterpiece on PBS. Goodnight, see you tomorrow.

Gray Day iPhone Photos

So far nobody has asked me to stop sharing what my iPhone and I see in and around the cottage. Webster and I just got back from a nature walk to the way back and we found tree bark to be the main topic of interest for the first Monday in December. Then we played with the soccer ball and did some crazy runs.

Do You Believe in Magic?

I got my foggy morning.

The air temperature must be warmer than the ground temperature this morning so we have the fog I've been wanting. I think it has gotten thicker since I first got up as the day gets warmer. Have a great week. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Looking in My Cottage After Dark

Tell me when to stop posting my iPhone photos. It's always in my pocket and this is the last thing I saw after Webster's final walk of the day. That's his disgusting bed behind the sofa that I never see from inside the room. I think the Wonder Dog deserves a new blanket, don't you?

White [Kitchen] Christmas

Who doesn't love a Christmas all decked out for Christmas? via

Chalk Board Kitchen

This chalkboard behind the stove gives new meaning to being an artistic cook. My house smells so good. I made a double batch of yellow corn cranberry muffins so I could use my giant muffin tins. I had fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving that I did not want to go to waste. So they will be going to my waist (haha). via

Here they are right out of the world's worst oven. I will never buy a gas stove with a gas oven again. I hope these are done in the middle after cranking up the heat and adding 10 minutes to their baking time. I'm sure they will be fine and I like burned crispy bottoms.

Taste test complete. My mother ate 3 muffins which is remarkable in and of itself because she eats like a bird. They aren't too sweet. I think most people would prefer more sugar. They would be great with an orange juice glaze. Success! The muffin photos were taken with my iPhone.