Saturday, February 18, 2012

New [Vintage] Tartan Plaid Blanket at My Cottage

The rummage sale at the Methodist church on the second day scored a wonderful vintage wool blanket. I changed my linens yesterday while I was cleaning my room and this blanket turned out to be perfect on top of my Matelasse spread. It is a thin weave and is so long that it has to be doubled lengthwise. The two bound edges wound up under the pillows. I'm sure it was made this way for double insulation because the bottom crease has always been this way. Maybe someone even made it from woolen fabric--there aren't any labels. It's in perfect condition without a single moth hole. Webster loves it too as you can see. It keeps both of us warm, cozy, and happy.

Have a restful weekend keeping watch while lounging in bed if at all possible. Everything looks better with a dog on it; doesn't the first photo look empty?

Webster and the Dust Mops

Webster has stationed himself right in the line of fire between me and the dust mops hoping he will get priority. We are not Swiffer people here at the cottage preferring the old-fashioned way to dust floors. Sort of like the catch-and-release method in fly fishing. There was a church rummage sale this week and I resisted with all my might buying one of those cutsie signs saying "this house is protected by killer dust bunnies" because it hit too close to home. I decided to get rid of them instead---thus the resulting cleaning frenzy. Wish me luck.

Best Slipcovers Ever

Don't you love the ties on these slipcovered chairs? Here's hoping you have a weekend filled with easy chairs, beautiful fabrics, good food, long walks, a movie or two, and hanging out with pets/family/friends. While you are doing all that you can picture me half-way through a cleaning frenzy pushing around vacuum cleaners and dust mops! via

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lake House in Winter

I don't think it's in the cards for us to be tucked in with snow this year. I don't really mind because we deserve a mild winter after last year, agreed? Lake house in winter. Maine home by Whitten Architects.

Tight Quarters

This is a really ceative small bedroom -- or is it a closet? I love seeing how people make the best out of a small tiny house, don't you? via

Morning Sun Shining Through the Fog

I stuck my iPhone out the one attic window that doesn't have a screen to capture the sun trying to burn off the morning fog. It won't be long now before we have a nice sunny day after two days of rain. Have a great Friday.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Remembering the Beauty of Winter

Isn't this one of the most beautiful winter scenes you've ever seen with the perfectly distributed dusting of snow? It really accents the geometric garden design. via

Adele Plans a 5-Year Break | What!

I feel as if we just got her back after her throat surgery. Five years off is way too long. I can understand the need for a vacation to work on a new relationship and to rest but don't lose your whole audience Adele. We love you. Read the whole article here and watch her music video of 'Someone Like You'. The author of the article said he/she felt like writing a breakup album. Maybe Adele will record it.

Seascape in Progress

How nice it would be to have talent and paint on site as you travel. via

It would be especially wonderful if you lived here and had artistic ability. ©Darien, CT waterfront home 

Could I Please Sit In This Booth?

Who doesn't want to sit in a booth at the diner? Wouldn't it be great to have one of your own at home? This one is perfect and it has everything. I like the antique drop leaf table, the upholstered cushions, the cubbies above and the built-in [cook]book shelves. The storage drawers under the seats are nice too. Sigh. I told you it was perfect! via

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dachshund Love

This adorable little guy looks very worried. Does he think he's barking up the wrong tree? 

Are you smiling yet? Little Friends - Lifestyle Pet Photography ©Seth Casteel

Wild about Owls

An elegant owl among the wildflowers. via

Wonderful and simple owl decoration on a cake or pie. via

Double Door Desk Conversion

How cool is this double door converted into a desk? via 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Corner Cupboard Filled with Shells and Coral

I took this iPhone photo today. I wish I could have avoided the reflections in the bright room but I couldn't. The large-scale items from the sea looked so pretty inside this corner cupboard.

The Real Sitters for Grant Wood's American Gothic

I love this photo of the couple who posed for Grant Wood's American Gothic. He looks exactly like the painting because of his bald head. Her curly hair style makes her a little bit harder to recognize but the face is the same. via
~~~Happy Valentine's Day~~~

Sleeping Porch Love

Sleeping porch of a rural Georgia farmhouse. Wouldn't it be great to wake up in this delightful room? via

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day is For Everyone

A heart-shaped spatterware baking dish I got at a tag sale.

A walnut shell photographed in my birdbath. I never knew there was a heart shape inside.

I still can't believe this picture I took of a wildflower with heart shaped stamens. This is real...not photoshop trickery.

A heart shaped leaf on one of my wild vines.

Happy Day of Hearts via Thresca back in 2009. 
All of the photos are mine.

Low Country Cottage

I adore this cottage somewhere in the low country. Disregard the Christmas wreaths and swags on the porch. I see roses blooming and a palm tree so that makes this photo timeless in my book. Too charming for words. Shall we knock on the door and ask for a tour? via This is one of the most popular projects ever for Allison Ramsey Architects. There are plans for this charmer too. HERE

See more views of Holiday House cottage -- HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Perfect Galley Style Kitchen

This larger than normal galley kitchen had me at no upper cabinets. I want to watch the Grammys tonight but just to see Adele who is nominated for 6 Grammy Awards. I'll probably watch it until Downton Abbey starts and record the rest. DA is two hours long tonight (hope I can stay awake) and the last show of Season 2 is next Sunday. Boo Hoo. image source

Sweet Potato Patties w/ Sour Cream and Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

Sweet Potato Cakes with Sour Cream and Chipotle Black Bean Salsa
via Lisa is Cooking
For the sweet potato patties: (Makes 34 small cakes)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 green onions, both white and green parts, finely chopped
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 tablespoons butter

-Steam the sweet potato chunks for 15-20 minutes until completely tender, and then transfer to a colander and allow to drain until dry.
- Once very dry, place sweet potato chunks in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher to break up chunks. Add flour and finely chopped green onions, and mix with your hands to form a smooth batter. Using your hands here is best so that it doesn’t become over mixed. In a food processor, the sweet potato mixture could quickly become gummy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Once the mixture is smooth, and the flour and green onions are mixed in, you’re ready to fry. Note: the mixture should be sticky but not wet, so more flour may be needed.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Form round, flat cakes from about two tablespoons of batter per cake, and fry four or five at a time for three minutes per side until golden. Transfer finished cakes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Add more oil and butter to pan between batches as needed, and continue frying a few cakes at a time until all are ready for their toppings.

For the black bean salsa:
1 16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
1 small, yellow bell pepper, small diced
¼ cup finely minced red onion
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon salt

-Combine all salsa ingredients, starting with one chipotle, in a small bowl and stir to combine. Taste for chipotle heat and add more if desired, and taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Salsa can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

To assemble for serving:
½ cup sour cream

- Place sweet potato cakes on a serving platter and add a small dollop of sour cream to each. Top sour cream with a small spoonful of black bean salsa, and enjoy.

I wish I had a plateful of these right now. Yum.

Meet The REAL Jane Austen

I know that many of you reading this are fans so prepare to be amazed - as this portrait is said to be a recently discovered portrait of Jane Austen. I'm going to let Mary Jenkins from Wales tell you the rest of this fascinating story.
Read the Jane Austen scholar's story here as reported in The Guardian. She owns this portrait.