Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Time to Say Goodnight

Another exhausting day comes to an end. Piggy loves the special tiger we keep for him here at the cottage. Webster is asleep on my bed and I'm not far behind. Goodnight.

Early American Children

Sturtevant J Hamblin (American artist 1817-1884)
I've always love folk portraits by this artist. Let's pretend these youngsters are dressed in their Christmas finery. via

Santa Claus Drawing by Thomas Nast

Iconic Santa image by Thomas Nast circa 1881

Do you hang your stockings or put out your shoes for Santa?

Santa Claus was there to collect the Gift of the white fur slippers (Ikea) and to fill the red felt embroidered slippers (Voss Mountain). He has brought the family apples, nuts, pastries and marzipan. This 80 cm long cloth reindeer is at the front door and bravely keeps out drafts -- from (Gerda Hüsch). via 19 Great DIY Decorating Ideas for Advent with a Red and White Scandinavian Flair You'll have to ask Google to translate from German to your native language. My favorite thing is the reindeer draft dodger for the door. What a great idea...decorative and useful. My plain ones are all in place and they make such a big difference when it's cold outside as it is now. I just walked the two beasts and the ground is frozen solid. I'm steaming their sweet potato right now. See you later. xo

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Piggy's Baaaack


He hasn't been here very long and they are both exhausted. Webster was so glad to see his little French Bulldog friend Piggy again. We have him until the end of the year. I took them for a walk before dinner and they both zonked out after racing around like mad dogs. 

Beatrix Potter Christmas Drawing - Plenty of Buns

An entirely unknown drawing showing an inventive use of lettering on the jars, bag and label on the set of keys. The message reads:
 “A Merry Christmas and Plenty of Buns H.B.P.”
Beatrix Potter's full name was Helen Beatrix Potter. Since her mother's name was also Helen, she went by Beatrix.

Fine ink and watercolor drawing heightened with gouache signed lower right [within key label]. Size: 152x153mm
Sold at Sotheby's London July 2008 for 42,050 GBP

You will love my post about her other drawings -- The Rabbits' Christmas Party

Santa on Skiis

I love this vintage Christmas Postcard via flickr

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simple Greenery = Perfect Christmas Decor

I love the swags of Christmas greens in this early room. The simplicity is perfect with the beautiful paneled fireplace wall. What a nice place to dine on a cold winter's night.

Dog Waiting For Santa | Cutest Video Ever!

Watch Video
I posted this last year and I still love it. You will too, I promise! At the end of the video, there is an opportunity to download the photo as your Christmas wallpaper. Enjoy.

My Feet Are Planning a Party Later

When I get back from outside activities, this is what I'll be doing. This is my actual foot and my fireplace. Don't you love thick wool socks?

I scanned this wonderful dog frame from one of my antiquarian design books and added the wonderful text by Dorothy Draper.

Webster's Perfect Morning


I made Webster his favorite breakfast this morning. I washed and sliced a small unpeeled sweet potato and steamed it. When It was done, I dumped the slices and the steaming liquid in the bottom of his bowl. The excitement in the room was electric. Then I dumped his kibble in the steaming bowl and added some filtered water. I stirred and chopped everything up with a big spoon and served it on an oriental rug in front of the kitchen sink. He relished every bite and then went outside. Now he has settled down for a long nap. I know he is having sweet dreams after a perfect wonder-dog Saturday morning. I hope your weekend gets off to a great start too.

Vogue Christmas Cover 1914

Enjoy your weekend and try not to overwork your entourage. via

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker) played on a Glass Harp


I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
www.glassduo.com

2012 Calendar -- 12-Sided Geosphere, 3-D Calendar with Tutorial, Free Download



Your free download for 2012. I just finished making mine for the coming year.


This was my #1 most popular download last year. The 12-sided calendar is also known as a regular dodecahedron. The upcoming year (2012) will be my 5th year with one of these on my desk. It's pretty tricky to assemble - especially at the end when you feel you need another set of hands. Do all cutting, scoring, and folding first; then all you have to do is to remember to do NOVEMBER last. It is the only month that doesn't have any fold-over tabs. It is helpful to have a chopstick or bamboo skewer handy to poke inside to assist in securing anything that's not sticking or properly aligned. This prevents bending the paper. I used card stock and scored all the dotted lines with the sharp tip of a compass guided by a see-thru ruler. Cut out whole design before scoring and folding. Cut solid lines, score dotted lines. I also had to adjust the pdf to "fit to printable area" since without that correction some of the outside edges did not print on my printer.  If you have finished your shopping you might want to make some for holiday gifts. People love them and everybody needs one. You can't beat the price either. One sheet of paper, some glue and your time. The ultimate home-made present that will be used every day next year. Perfect!

Download PDF 2012 Calendar Template here. (showing MONDAY as the first day of the week)

Download PDF 2012 Calendar Template here. (showing SUNDAY as the first day of the week)
Most American calendars show Sunday as the first day of the week. I used this template to make my 2012 calendar.

I don't know if I can correctly call this origami because it requires glue. I highly recommend YES Paste - Acid FreeAn $11 one-pint tub lasts forever.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping in 1936

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by J.C. Leyendecker, 1936 found on Google images. Maybe this will motivate everyone to snap out of it and make Christmas before the last minute. Me included.

I Love This Wide Christmas Tree

The cards with photographs are a nice touch. I don't see any lights...just old glass ornaments and cards with photos of loved ones and houses. I like the wooden barrel too. It is simply lovely. via

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Saddest Christmas Tree on The Lot

I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the Christmas tree lot late in December to find nothing but trees like this! via

Red Barn in Amagansett

I love this red barn. Wouldn't a huge green wreath with no decorations look fabulous on the gable end? via

This old red barn near me is starting to show signs of neglect. I hope this landmark doesn't deteriorate much more before some repairs are made. This was a drive-by photo made with my iPhone without getting out of the car.

Let It Snow

Could anything be lovelier than snow falling on a wonderful country house? via

A few of my fine bindings.

I'm always on the lookout for beautiful antiquarian books with lovely bindings. These were photographed with my trusty iPhone in my bedroom.

Christmas Table Setting

I really like this rustic farm table all decked out for Christmas dinner. I love the brown and white transferware plates with the big cloth napkins. The napkin rings made from upholstery webbing are topped with a candy cane. The topiaries, greens and candles in the center of the table are perfect. via

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Will You Cut Your Own Tree?

I used to have a grove of Christmas trees like this that I planted from seedlings. I let friends cut their own and certain plantsmen dug and replanted them. It was a great way to farm the land at my former home. This will be my 4th or 5th year with an artificial tabletop tree. I'll show it to you when I put it up. via

The Elephant and The Watering Cans


Confused elephant wondering, "Are these my relatives?" via

The Chickens and The Underwear

This made me laugh. The shadows are much more graphic than the laundry hanging in the courtyard.

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Have you any wool? via

by Mother Goose
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
And one for the little boy
That lives in our lane.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Seamstress's Prayer




”...As the pieces come together, help me sew seams that are straight, so that nothing tears apart or unravels; and when it does, show me where and how to patch with just the right touch...”
The Seamstress’s Prayer by Jay Hanley

Interior Shots at My Cottage


Nothing monumental....I just liked the way the sun was shining on an antique splint basket early this morning. The wire basket underneath is filled with fire wood.

A client gave me this iron pot rack. I already have one in my kitchen so I put this one in the living room and I find it to be very handy and it doesn't take up much space.


A closeup of the titles of a few antiques reference books.

Dogs Barking Jingle Bells -- Video


I hope this canine chorus makes your day like it did mine :)

Floating Christmas Tree

How lovely!

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.