Monday, December 26, 2011

A Landscape Designer's Masterpiece

I have no information about this stunning geometric garden and reflecting pool. It's really wonderful, isn't it? via

A Fun Project -- DIY Chalkboard Mugs

I've never even heard of chalkboard paint for porcelain, have you. I love the idea of decorating some coffee cups this way and personalizing them with chalk. Read more...

Chalk up your mug before you fill it with a hot beverage.

Webster, King of the Bedroom

Webster just wanted to show everyone that HE doesn't have to sleep in a crate. I think the reason he is so good with Piggy is because he doesn't have to share the bed with him. It's always good to have your own private place, isn't it? 

Country Manor House, Completely Unadorned

No more Christmas decorations. This stately manor looks perfect to me with nothing extra. Great architecture is like that. I would love to see more, wouldn't you? via
Are you venturing out to return any gifts or buy anything on sale? I'm not. Be careful if you have to travel home again in the next day or two. It's a lovely morning here at the cottage. Webster has already been out but Piggy is still fast asleep in his crate. I always drape my polar fleece bathrobe around most of the cage to keep out any drafts and he loves his warm cave. We have him for one more week...hooray! See you later. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Snow on A Wooden Boat

A beautiful image for the end of A Merry Christmas. via

Merry Christmas --Ho Ho Ho Hermès Santa

I love this graphic of a happy Hermès Santa flying over the roof tops on a hang glider. He totally missed my house but I don't mind. Have a wonderful Christmas Day. via

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Quiet Christmas Eve

Visions of sugar plums are dancing in his head.

Another view of my Christmas tree.
Merry Christmas to all my friends and blog readers. I hope Santa is good to you. Enjoy your friends and family and don't forget to get treats for your pets.

My Christmas Tree is Finally Up and Decorated

My tree looks about the same every year. No lights, only old glass ornaments that reflect the light in the room and wooden cranberry beads. I'll probably take more pictures later. I don't know why I didn't put it up earlier since it is faux but I didn't. Christmas comes but once a year and I'm never ready.

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be here. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sleeping on The Laptop

Snoring too.

Webster and Piggy are ready for a long winter's nap.

We are all so tired we can hardly move.

Is it dark yet?

We just got back from the last walk of the day and this was the 5:15 pm sky.

Snow on Wreath on Barn in Maine

At least someone is going to have a White Christmas. via

Christmas Around the Fireplace

Faux fireplace full of real wood. How do I know it's not real? Look at the floorboards -- there's no hearth. I think this room looks beautiful, don't you? Maybe the wood isn't real might be a photograph. Anyway, it looks nice. via

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trio of Holiday Mice with Free Knitting Pattern

Anna (my mom) and Piggy

It looks as if she's trying to choke him.

They really love each other as you can see.

My mother was 91 this past October. Doesn't she look great? She doesn't dye her hair and has always been blessed with great natural beauty. She is legally blind due to macular degeneration but is otherwise healthy. Having her share my cottage is my greatest blessing. Maybe she will start a trend of mixing prints with plaid. She always wears jumpers and she doesn't look like herself in anything else.

Great place to bake Christmas Cookies

But wait -- where's the oven? I'll take this kitchen even if it doesn't have one; I adore the commercial cooktop. The ovens are probably in the island or on the wall just to the right. I bought a great big fat cookie cookbook this week that I love and I've been doing a lot of virtual baking while reading it. It's on my coffee table instead of in the kitchen. via

Here is an example of an island oven. via

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Small Tree, Big Presents

The benefits of a table top tree. via

Hierarchy of Punishment

I guess they are all on Santa's naughty list. Wonder what they did? via

Beautiful Christmas Room

I don't know the source for this lovely room. I've had it saved on my upstairs computer forever. Isn't it perfect? I love the Airedale Wirehaired Wire Fox Terrier by the fire.

What I'm Liking This Morning

A colorful knitted Sock Monkey bearing gifts.

Knitted woodland creatures wearing scarves and hats. Knitting Patterns here.

100% Christmas -- please follow these instructions.

And last but not least. I couldn't resist these otters.

It is drizzling rain and my quest to get ready for Christmas continues today along with the rest of the world. See you later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Follow the Rooster

Those girls are not about to let him get away, are they? via
I adore this woodcut and watercolor Christmas card. via
I love this early Christmas greeting card showing Santa holding his sleigh bells. I got a lot done today inching toward the big day. via

Knitted Advent Swag ... Love It!

Wouldn't it be fun to wake up in this bed each morning in December? Other super-creative ideas for advent here.

Happiness is . . .

not having to share the oatmeal pot. Webster got the yogurt container so he was happy too.

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.

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.