Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Paperwhite Portrait

I have two stems of fully opened blossoms and they are nice and upright like soldiers standing at attention. I am so happy they aren't drooping and don't need staking.

Recreating Print Rooms

Print rooms were popular in 18th and 19th century England where they served as charming exhibit rooms for prints.

An unusual way for those returning from grand tours abroad to display a sort of souvenir album of visited landmarks, print rooms often featured engravings of favored classical ruins and city scenes.

I photographed these two print rooms from one of my design books: Decorating with Paper by Donna Land and Lucretia Robertson. They were created by English artist Nicola Wingate Saul. What a fun way to display old prints and engravings.

Wonderful Wall of Books

I love books and I love cubbies so this bookcase wall really caught my eye. I'm not at all comfortable with an open fire surrounded by all that wood though. Something like that would send the building/fire inspectors into orbit around here. via

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yawning Cat

Looking at this yawning cat makes me sleepy. I think I'll close up shop and catch up with programs on my DVR. First on the list is 'The Good Wife' recorded last night while I was watching Downton Abbey. Oh, by the way was anyone out there but me annoyed when a big red rectangle appeared on the screen asking viewers to go to Facebook and discuss something or someone? I think it wanted members to vote for the man they wanted most for Mary. If this is going to be commonplace, I hope there is a way to disable it. I watch TV to get away from the computer! via

Today I Will . . .

Today I will be more like Miss Pomeroy even though I have Walter tendencies. I photographed this image from 'Today I Will, A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself' by Eileen and Jerry Spinelli.

My Paperwhites are in Bloom

Narcissus papyraceus
I snapped this photo with my iPhone last night just before I tucked myself in to watch the first episode of Downton Abbey Season 2 on PBS last night. I was listening to NPR yesterday afternoon and they kept reminding everyone to watch DownTown Abbey. Whatever you want to call it you should definitely try to catch this 2-hour episode or watch it online before next Sunday.
I bought 15 paperwhite bulbs and started them the week before Christmas and only two are in bloom. One is in a bulb-forcing vase and the other is in soil. The one that is blooming in the clay pot with soil has another bulb beside it that has barely started to grow. I guess they have their own internal clocks. At this rate, I might have blooms in the house all the way up until Easter. This would be fine with me because they are very strongly scented. If they were all blooming at once you could easily fall over from perfume shock upon entering the room. How does your indoor garden grow?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blue Pantry Cupboard in The Ford Mansion

I have always liked open pantry cupboards and this one is a beauty. I photographed it while on a tour at the Ford Mansion or Washington's Headquarters in Morristown NJ. 

Decor for the New Year.

Now that the Christmas tree is down it's been fun playing house and doing some new tabletop decorating here at the cottage.
Mother Hubbard's cupboard is bare and poor lucky Webster had to eat Cheerios and cat food with soy milk for breakfast. Needless to say he was thrilled.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

DIY Postcard or Photo Papered Wall

I love the idea of a doing this to a small single wall. Looks like an easy weekend project, doesn't it? via

Under the Ice

There was a brief period of cold weather earlier and the birdbath was a solid block of ice. I edited my iPhone photo with Snapseed.

Sunrise at My Cottage This Morning

You have to be fast to capture the beautiful color of a sunrise around here. It can change dramatically in the time it takes to find your camera and go outside. It's going to be a nice day getting up to the low 50s. I have some real estate showings this afternoon. Cross your fingers for me and enjoy the weekend.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Webster Likes Winter Too

You can always get warm in the winter if your human throws a wool blanket over you after you arrange the pillows the way you want them. You can't always get cool in the summer. Life is good here at the cottage. Have a great weekend. Goodnight.

Please Use A Bookmark

Folded over pages in books are another of my pet peeves.
WPA poster showing a boy ironing down the page of a book. Chicago, WPA art project circa 1936-40. Artist: Arlington Gregg. From the collection of The Library of Congress via

Are you using all of your crayons?

I need to use more of mine. Some are worn down to little nubs and others haven't been touched. I'm talking about the small box too. Forget the big one!

Bookcase with Dog Painting

I adore dog portraits and bookcases full of books. Do you personalize your home library shelves with other items too? via

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do you fully embrace winter?

I think this is hilarious. I almost never complain about the cold unless the power is off and the furnace doesn't work. But absolutely nothing brings me to my knees like the heat of summer. via

Cleaning Frenzy

I  don't know about you, but I'm feeling an intense cleaning frenzy coming on. I never did get a good job done before Christmas because of Piggy, the little white French bulldog that was my houseguest through the New Year. I pinned a site this morning with 25 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes for the Whole House. Now mind you, I said I could feel it coming on but it hasn't actually started yet. I photographed this pic from one of my books entitled Spring Cleaning, the spirit of keeping home by Monica Nassif. I'm off to do some marketing first remembering to take my own canvas totes with me. I need to pay some bills too. Life really is getting back to normal, isn't it?

A few things that bother or puzzle me . . .

Here are a few things I don't understand:
  • Google+
  • What am I supposed do when I get a new follower?
  • How can I possibly follow back when the new follower has more than one blog? Which one should I use?
  • I don't understand Google Friend Connect either. Is it the same thing as following?
  • What is the best way to respond to comments?
  • Why do my photos look so perfect on my Mac and so awful on my PC? Macs are awesome!
  • Screens are getting smaller. Do my photos shrink when viewed on a mobile device?
  • Why do I keep getting all the annoying emails from people who want me to say I know them on LinkedIn? I'm not on it.
  • I'm not on Facebook either. Should I be?
  • Why do people watermark their blog photos? I'm thrilled when people copy mine.
  • Why do people publish incomplete posts requiring a 'read more' link? I usually delete these subscriptions from my reader.
  • Why am I still in my bathrobe? Leaving now to get my day going. See you later.
  • Note: a few of the things on this list were pet peeves.

I Slept Like a Log and Woke Up Here

It's so much playing virtual beds. I slept like a log last night and this is where I woke up. Actually it would have been better this morning to wake up in the other white bedroom. I always think I would like to have a window behind my bed in the summer but not on a cold frigid winter day. Brrrrr.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wonderful Bedroom All Dressed in White

This would be perfect if I had a white dog. It is stunningly beautiful, isn't it? I like the recessed cupboards full of books on either side of the bed. Lots of reading lamps too. Very nice indeed. via

I got a lot done today. Everything Christmas has been boxed and put in the attic closet for another year. Things are getting back to normal and some of my favorite TV shows are showing new episodes again. I'm looking forward to watching REVENGE tonight. See you tomorrow.

Ford Mansion - Washington's Headquarters

The Ford Mansion in Morristown, New Jersey was built by Jacob Ford, Jr. in 1774. My mom and I took a tour on a frigid Sunday in December. It served as George Washington’s Headquarters from December 1779 to June 1780.

The grand front entrance is beautiful. 

Doesn't this Park Ranger have an interesting job?

Nothing compares to 18th century wavy glass, does it? It appears that some of these panes are replacements. 

I'll post more of my iPhone photos from time to time. Read more about this historic site here.

Craving Plain Food

I don't know about you, but nothing tastes good to me except fresh fruit and green vegetables. This must be my body's way of recovering from all the fancy rich food I've been eating lately. I had my first office meeting of the year yesterday and I took some candy for the agents to enjoy so it wouldn't tempt me at a weak moment. 

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.