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'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.