Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blue Spruce

Another of my iPhone photos of a blue spruce bough with raindrops, the only decorations my evergreen trees ever get. I so admire people who make the effort during the holidays to decorate outdoors. I give them demerits though if they don't take them down pretty soon after Christmas. I am slowly undecorating my cottage and putting the boxes away for another year. 

Wonderland Fungus

This fungus is getting curiouser and curiouser. I wonder if it's one that Alice ate? I'm certainly not going to taste it to find out. It's been growing on a tree at the edge of my woods for quite a long time and is a perfect subject for iPhone photos.

The Most Comfortable Chair in the Room

I really do love the ticking slipcover on this wing chair. And the framed page from a children's book too. via

I Cannot Believe My Eyes

This is just too much, agreed? There is nothing left to wish for. I'll let you know if I find out anything more about the child who has everything.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sad Decay of An Architectural Beauty

Lost by Alecu Grigore
Urban Decay Slideshow

Bracken House | Typical of Colonial Williamsburg

The main room in my cottage is one room deep. As I sit in my living room I can see views of both the front and back. It is so nice to be able to catch the breezes when the windows are open in nice weather. My kitchen is almost the same except for the small entrance vestibule. My front door is glazed at the top and there is a french door from the vestibule into the kitchen so I can still enjoy both exposures. Then I have a hallway off the living room that leads all the way back to my bedroom at the end of the house which is also one room wide. The bathroom is on one side of the hall and the guest room is on the other. I love the layout.

I have a center chimney with a fireplace in the living room. On the other chimney wall there are enclosed staircases going downstairs on one side and to the attic on the other.

The first two iPhone photos are from a book in my architectural library:
Colonial Williamsburg Its Buildings and Gardens
by A. Lawrece Kocher and Howard Dearstyne 1976

In The Woods Last Fall

I am trying to post some earlier iPhone photo so I can delete them from my camera roll. I took this in October before we had that heavy snow that ended up breaking so many branches in the woods. We are having lovely weather in the low 40s today and I'm looking forward to a walk or two with the Wonder Dog a little later when the wind dies down. Enjoy your last vacation day before reality sets in again.

Saint-Leon-sur-Vézère - Medieval French Architecture

The peaceful village of Saint-Leon-sur-Vézère is located in the part of the Dordogne known as the Périgord Blanc. Dordogne is itself a department of the region of southwest France known as Aquitaine. Handsome medieval houses like this one dot the landscape. ©erjkprunczyk

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Bulb Photo Edited with Snapseed

Tell me when to stop and I will. I'm having such a good time playing around with my new free photo editing app. I learned a new word today too. It's iPhoneography so I guess that makes me an iPhoneographer

Best Brick House

with the best landscaping ~ swoon. It's perfect in every respect.

John Crump House - Williamsburg | Before and After Restoration

An 18th century house shown before the turn of the 20th century. I photographed this image from one of my books on Colonial Williamsburg.

The same house after restoration. You have to see the before picture to be able to fully appreciate the after photo, don't you? Such a labor of love.

Another Narcissus In Progress

I have bulb forcing vases all over the place in my cottage. I always look for them in thrift shops and at tag sales. This bulb is really reaching for the ceiling and the flowers should start popping out any day now.

I added a lot more information to my previous post about these bulbs so be sure to scroll down to find out about a free download for those of you with iPhones and iPads.

Forcing Narcissus Bulbs

I started forcing my narcissus bulbs way before Christmas and they are just starting to come to life. It must have something to do with my thermostat setting which is pretty low. That's fine with me because they last much longer in a cool environment.
This arrangement is right beside "my seat" on the sofa. I hope you like my first iPhone photo of the new year.

I did a little photo editing with SNAPSEED for iPhone and iPad. It was the iPad app of the year for 2011. It's not that easy to use on the iPhone bacause of the small screen but it will be awesome when I get the iPad 3 when it comes out. This app normally costs $4.99 but it's FREE for a limited time. Download it HERE. Video lessons for Snapseed HERE -- keep scrolling. Click photos to enlarge.

Happy 2012

January 1, 2012 I scanned a decorative alphabet from one of my old books and made this greeting last year. I still like it too. The first morning of the year is mild and beautiful here at the cottage and the coffee is wonderful. My New Year is off to a perfect start. Hope yours is too.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolution Generator

You can't believe how many times I forget to do this. Go to the New Years Resolution Generator and see what hits home for you.

My New Year's Wish for Everyone in 2012

Health, Peace, and Sweet Content Be Yours. Shakespeare
I scanned this image from one of my antiquarian books and sent it as my Christmas Card several years ago. It is still my favorite. I think it works beautiful as a New Year's Card too.
Click to enlarge.

New Year's Eve

Will you be able to stay up until midnight tonight? I found this delightful Maj Lindman illustration on Flickr and loved it so much I put it in my sidebar. I love the red orange and white striped pajamas, don't you?

My New Year's Wish For You

Who could ask for more?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Snowy Owl in Flight over Snowy Landscape

Amazingly beautiful photo via

True Assisted Living

No words could possibly express how much I love this image. Those steps would be hard for an able-bodied person with no railing and a millstone riser. I'm happy this lady has her son to help her. I see she mixes her clothing patterns too...just like my momvia

Winter in Bruges Belgium

It's beautiful any time of year, but Bruges is magical in winter. via

I have always loved Fidel, the most photographed dog of Bruges.  He is constantly looking out his window and usually has a pillow handy in case he needs a little nap.

Patiently waiting

to lick

the empty cereal bowl

The Countdown Has Begun

This photo says it all. It's almost time to say goodbye to 2011. When I look back I remember way too many natural disasters for my liking. I'm ready for a fresh start. via

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Cottage Style Home

It's refreshing to see that people are building new cottages. Is it possible that sensibility is back? This shingle style Dutch Colonial was designed by Ron Brenner Architects

Storm Damaged Old Tree

This grand old tree came down a few days ago for no apparent reason. There was no snow or wind...just some hard rain in the night. I was so sad when I drove around the corner on my way to the post office and saw the whole upper half of this beauty on the ground. It took a smaller evergreen down with it. I guess it was damaged when we had that freak snow while all the leaves were still on the trees in the fall. This area is still recovering from that storm and the tree people aren't able to keep up with all the work it created for them. The local Shade Tree Advisory Committee is starting to rethink their stringent rules for homeowners after so many were without power for over a week in October. I took this iPhone photo yesterday when the sun was going down late in the afternoon. (click photo to enlarge)

Bird Feathers Designed by Mother Nature

Mother Nature really is the best graphic designer on the planet.

Postcard Town -- Roros, Norway

I'm glad someone left the front light on so we could see this delightful town while it sleeps. via by Øystein E

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Girl and her Friends Writing Letters

This letter seems to be a real group effort, doesn't it? The girl and her dolls, teddy bear, and pets are very deep in thought and are putting their best efforts into good penmanship.
Illustration for The Christmas Letter circa 1905-07 by Wuanita Smith, American, 1866–1959. Black chalk, red and black wash on illustration board. In the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. via from here

Always Wear Your Invisible Crown

Original watercolor by JooJoo

Amazingly Beautiful Landscape

Two Smiling Sheep

I love to see smiling animals, don't you? These smiling sheep by Laura L. Ruth got my day off to a great start. It was good to see the sun this morning too after all that rain yesterday. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Remembering Hydrangeas

The hydrangeas of summer are such a faint memory. via

Cranberry and Chocolate Squares

Made for each other -- that's the contrasting flavors of tangy-sharp cranberries and sweet chocolate.


DIY Self-Rising Flour: In a one cup measure, place 1-1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, then fill to top with flour. Mix well and store in an airtight container if not used right away.


You probably have all of these ingredients on hand right now. Don't these look delicious? I was too lazy to type everything so I just photographed the recipe from my book: 
COOKIES irresistible biscuits, brownies and bars by Hilaire Walden published by Hermes House in 2002 

Do you cook for your dogs?

Today's breakfast was kibble topped with hot sweet potatoes and leafy left-over brussels sprouts from last night's dinner.

Webster whined while I took the picture of their bowls with my iPhone. Piggy just danced around silently. He has the fastest tongue in the east. This meal got 5 stars *****

Landscape Perfection

Perfectly planned path. via

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.