Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sleepy Sea Otter

I've been really, really busy for the last several days. This sea otter has the right idea. It's time to say goodnight. 

Wonderful Sign - Rules for A Nice Life

An alphabet to live by. I took the photo of this sign in the home of a friend.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fabulous salvaged farm sink.

Repurposed, salvaged sink in a renovated Vermont kitchen. Smith and Vansant Architects. I love everything I see in this photo. via

Spectacular Morning with Snow

The most beautiful dusting of snow ever.
Teleport me there now, please.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Earlier iPhone Photo with Edits

I'm still loving my iPhone camera and having fun playing around with different photo edits. Now that the brilliant fall colors have disappeared, I toned down this Japanese maple branch.

Antique Tartanware from Scotland

I have only owned a few pieces of Tartanware in my lifetime of collecting. I would love to have a grouping like this one to decorate my slant-front desk, wouldn't you. via

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rare Horn Bottle Opener -- Reindeer Form

This cool bar tool with an antler handle resides on my kitchen counter and I can't remember the last time I needed his assistance in opening a bottle. I've never seen another so I think this form must be rare. Purchased years ago from the owner of  an old log cabin. Finding unusual things is such a thrill, isn't it?

Chilly Weekend on Tap

A scene in my trench after the rain from the last several days started to freeze.

Saturday Sunrise from My Kitchen Window

I was up with the sun this morning standing at the kitchen sink getting the coffee going. The day got off to a colorful start but quickly turned overcast and gray. As this Saturday progresses I see blue skies, white puffy clouds and some bright sun starting to appear.

My wish for you this weekend.

Just enough snow to look nice but not enough to be a problem. via

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's the Weekend

Have a great one!

Awesome Winter Sky at My Cottage !

click photo to enlarge
The sky got very beautiful for just a few minutes and I was able to grab my iPhone, run up to the attic, throw open the window with no screen and snap away. I'm amazed at the beauty that surrounds me when I'm not even looking. 

Patiently Waiting for Pizza

  I popped a couple of Totino's frozen Party Pizzas in the oven for lunch. My mom and I love them. We always get triple cheese and add some toppings. Today I added feta cheese, green olives and the pimentos from the salad olives. The oven was preheated to 450 and I cooked them directly on the second from the bottom oven rack for 13 minutes. I used the wooden rack puller/pusher twice.
  This was a perfect cold weather Friday lunch without leaving the house. Webster enjoyed a crusty bite from each of us. 

Two indispensible kitchen items at my cottage.

   I use both of these wooden kitchen items on a daily basis. The top one is homemade and is used to pull out a hot oven rack and push it in again without burning your hand. You could easily make one yourself by carving up one of those sturdy paint stirrers, available free at The Home Depot. I got mine at a garage sale. The total length is 14 inches but it could be longer if desired.
   The other item I couldn't live without is my trusty wooden toast tongs. They are great for fishing out English muffins without using a metal fork. No more danger of electrocution or burned fingers here at the cottage.

A Very Young Prince Charles and The Queen Mother

The young Prince Charles adored and was adored by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. We haven't had a dose of British Royalty lately and I know everyone will love this delightful vintage photo. via

Thursday, January 12, 2012

After Dinner Drinks at Mousey Hall

After a pleasant dinner with Miss Mousey, Froggy and Mr. Rat enjoy drinks and pleasant conversation. Froggy appears to be doing a little courting too. Don't you love the wonderful fireplace wall? Randolph Caldecott's illustrations always gave the animals small mansions with fine antiques and he dressed them in the finery of the day. 

Webster Says

Any day that begins with an oatmeal pan is a good one. A while later I discovered this scene in the bedroom.

Please don't put the pan in the sink to soak yet. I'm not finished with it. Is this the dog equivalent of breakfast in bed? I know this looks like a dog bed but it is actually MY bed. The wonder dog jumped up on it with the pan in his mouth.

Rainy Day at My Cottage

At least it isn't snow. I think it will be a good day for paperwork in my office before getting my hair cut this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Randolph Caldecott Illustrations are So Charming

This was photographed from one of my antiquarian picture books by R. Caldecott (1846-1886). It is a scene from 'A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go' that couldn't be more charming. Mr. Rat and Froggy are on their best behavior while being entertained at Mousey's Hall by Miss Mousey herself.

Iron Bed Becomes A Gate

I love this repurposed antique iron headboard that is now a beautiful gate. PURE GENIUS!!! I hope they were able to use the footboard somewhere too. via

A Kitchen to Adore

Look...it's one room wide. I love this kitchen. How are the counters being lit? Who doesn't love a black and white diamond floor, open shelving, and lots of marble in the heart of the home? This is an elegant well-designed kitchen. I'm off to spend some quality time in mine and rustle up some breakfast. See you later. via

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.