Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Free to Good Home -- Which One Would You Choose?

I'll take the cat. Isn't this hilarious? Found here along with a lot of great cat quotes.

Cats and Books Just Go Together

It's been one of those days here at the cottage. Rain, rain, and more rain. I thought about taking a cat nap so many times but never got the chance. I'm glad somebody did. Cats and books add so much to any interior, don't they? via

Tree Sampler Enlarged

[Click Photo to Enlarge]
I enlarged this lovely sampler on my iPad and took a screen shot.
I see now that it was created in 2008.
Will the artist please step forward so I can give proper credit?
I love this sampler so much!
How did I take a screen shot with my iPad?
All you do is push the home button and the off button simultaneously.
You will hear that lovely shutter sound.
Photo is saved to your camera roll. I cropped it later on Picasa.
Don't you love learning new things?
This works on the iPhone too.
Angela a.k.a LadyHawthorne to the rescue again. She found this sampler pattern at Rosewood Manor. It is called "And A Forest Grew" and the price is a very reasonable $17.50.

Idea for A Covered Porch

If you've always wanted a covered porch maybe you can put a roof over an existing deck and make one. This looks pretty simple and would provide nice cover in all but a driving rain. I like it! Photo by Toby Scott via 

Monday, June 11, 2012

I love this tree-themed sampler ! ! !

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." ~ Martin Luther
I wish I could find a larger image of this delightful piece of needlework so I could read what's in the lower right portion. It's wonderful, isn't it?
Three Four readers were able to read the small print within the tree lower right. It says, "He who plants trees loves others besides himself." I love that quote by Thomas Fuller too. Thanks so much!!!
This sampler called 'And A Forest Grew' was designed by Karen of Rosewood Manor and the xstitch pattern is available here.

Now That's A Garden!

This is the kind of garden my grandfather always had. Really big with no fence and pretty close to the house. He grew everything and my grandmother canned it all. I think it was just force of habit. Once a farmer, always a farmer. I don't think he ever learned how to plant for just two people. via

Espalier Heart

Espalier (ess-PAL-yer) is the practice of controlling plant growth so that it grows relatively flat against a structure such as a wall, fence, or trellis. In the 17th Century, espalier originally referred to the frame or trellis on which the plant was trained. Today, espalier refers to both the plant and the horticultural technique of actually training the plant.

Espaliered plants can be used to create a focal point and as a form of art. In an area where space is limited or where a plant is needed to accent a large blank wall an espaliered plant can be an outstanding landscape feature. A mature espalier plant will catch the eye of almost any visitor to your home. image source This one is a real 'labor of love' isn't it?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Interesting Summer Bedrooms


I'd love to sleep in each of these rooms at least once before deciding which one I liked better. I'm a fresh air freak and have to have an open window so that might be a deciding factor. The glassed-in bedroom looks as if it could be a hot box in the summer. I think I'd like to bed down in the first one and wake up in the second one. All things are possible in the virtual world. 
photo #l -- photo #2

The Wisdom of Webster

I said yes to his request.

Hummingbird Visits My Cottage

I got this cute little hummingbird feeder at a thrift shop several weeks ago and finally got around to cooking up a batch of nectar for it. I like this one because it's small and has only one feeding hole. I positioned it so I could see the frequent visitors quite easily. I got this photo with my iPhone last night while I was sitting on the balcony with Webster after a long day of weed trimming. It's not very sharp because a lot of quality was lost because I was zoomed all the way in. I'll take my SLR outside with me and see if I can get something sharper later in the week. I love these wee birds that have migrated to New Jersey for the summer. My red geranium has big buds that will be open soon and they will love it. They have been buzzing around my lamb's ears too because their tiny flowers have deep throats. Enjoy your Sunday.
Nectar recipe: one cup of sugar with four cups of water. Stir to dissolve sugar, bring to a boil on the stove, cook for 2 minutes to slow down the fermentation and cool. Store excess in refrigerator. 

The average ruby-throated hummingbird weighs 3 grams. In comparison, a nickel weighs 4.5 grams. More fun facts here.

I found two photos online. The first is for my female ruby-throated hummingbird shown more clearly than in my blurry photo. The second is an antique print of the male found @ Natural History's blog.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Royals in a Playful Cable Car

George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Brilliant. I would love to know the history behind this vintage photo, wouldn't you? via

Tree with Orchid Blossoms | Catalpa

I have two towering Common (or Eastern) CATALPA trees that are in full bloom right now back in the lower reaches of my property. The ground around them is covered with blossoms that have fallen.

The clusters of flowers look rather orchid-like, don't they? According to my tree identification book, these trees are common in the south but have migrated as far north as New England. Later in the year, long seed pods will be hanging from these trees. They are rather messy so I'm glad they are in an area where they can 'do their thing' in a naturalized setting. The leaves are huge and give new meaning to 'falling leaves' each autumn. [iPhone photos are mine]

Friday, June 8, 2012

Have a Relaxing Weekend

I know that's a tall order this time of year. I don't know about you but I really don't know how to pace myself. I alternate between killing myself and doing practically nothing the next day. Wouldn't it be better to do a normal amount of work every day? Yes, it would but the weather lately has not allowed this. I mowed for about 6 hours straight yesterday and got almost all of it done after weeks of rain. Progress has been made but I have had no energy at all today. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel energized. Fingers crossed. via

Garden Shed with Roses and Chickens

Isn't this a nice place for the chickens to hang out? I'll bet it smells wonderful inside with the fragrance of the roses wafting inside the open awning-style windows. If it were mine I would figure out a way to put a screen door on the building so I could see outside while I was working inside. via

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe


Recipe from chef, Scott Peacock (Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Gaorgia) courtesy of The New York Times

Making your own baking powder by combining fresh cream of tartar and baking soda will produce biscuits with the most lift. Don’t be afraid of the hot oven temperature either as this will allow the heat to get on the biscuits quickly and sufficiently brown their tops. When forming the dough, mix in the buttermilk until the mixture just holds together. The last thing you want to do in this recipe is overwork the dough and ruin the biscuits' flaky, buttery texture.


1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
5 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed lard or unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 cups chilled cultured buttermilk, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Place a rack in the upper-middle position of the oven and preheat to 500°.
Make your own baking powder by sifting together the cream of tartar and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder and salt. Add the lard or butter and quickly work the pieces into the flour with a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers. The pieces should be coarsely blended and resemble large peas.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk. Quickly mix the ingredients until the mixture just comes together and forms a shaggy mass. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of buttermilk if the mixture seems dry.
Immediately turn the dough out onto to a generously floured surface and quickly knead the dough about ten times until a ball forms. Gently flatted the dough and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out a thickness of 3/4 inch.
With a fork that has been dipped in flour, pierce the dough at half inch intervals before using a fluted, 2 1/2 or 3 inch biscuit cutter to stamp out the biscuits. When you have run out of room to stamp out more biscuits, carefully reform the dough and press out as many as you can.
Arrange the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven a brush the tops with the melted butter. Serve warm with butter, honey and/or jam.
Makes about 10-12 large biscuits

No matter what you like to put on your biscuits, rest assured that if you follow this recipe, you will be rewarded with outstanding results. Photo and original inspiration from here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cottage Lawn and Garden

Portfolio photo of a Water Mill (Long Island) project by Mabley Handler Interior Design

Otter Water Bed

Another image to illustrate my love for otters. Floating and sleeping -- no problem. Carrying a passenger on your belly while doing the latter -- no problem. Looking adorable at all times -- no problem. via

Best Sliding Barn Doors Ever!

These doors are spectacular, aren't they?

Read more about the interior and exterior designer Barbara Colvin here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gardening Under Glass

Do you yearn for a greenhouse? Would you rather have a screen porch or a sunroom or a potting shed? via

My Virtual Breakfast

I wish I could snap my fingers and have this story board appear in front of me. I already have the coffee. All southerners love home-made biscuits. via

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

La Maison

La Maison. Fenêtres éclairées, 1900
Henri Le Sidaner

Small Stone Cottage

I love the look of this small stone cottage. The size of the main house looks perfect for me. Anything that doesn't fit can go in the long addition in the back. One of the rooms back there will be a potting shed. Another will be a guest room. It's very charming, isn't it? Low maintenance too. Just wonderful!!!!! via

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth by Pietro Annigoni

'Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Regent' by Pietro Annigoni, 1954-5.
Copyright The Fishmongers’ Co.
I love this portrait; she looks very Napoleonic, doesn't she?

"The Queen: Art and Image," organized by the National Portrait Gallery, comes to London following a highly successful tour to Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.
“The Queen is the most represented individual in history, but she remains an enigma. All we really have are images. This exhibition explores the creation of the queen’s public persona and the way such images reveals a world of changing ideas and values,” said Paul Moorhouse, curator of "The Queen: Art and Image," and 20th-century curator at the National Portrait Gallery. Read more...

Monday, June 4, 2012

19th-century Wardian Case

Isn't this the best architectural-form Wardian Case you've ever seen?  It reproduces the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851. via
Terrariums are generally credited with being invented by a gentleman named Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. He invented them during the Victorian era and created a style of glass case with a metal frame that was very popular during the era. These terrariums were called "Wardian Cases" after Ward.

Double Decker Porch

When one porch is not enough, stack them. via

Cooling the Pies

If you close your eyes and inhale deeply, you can smell these pies cooling on the windowsill. via

Ivy Covered Dream House

Here is another classic country house with more cooperative ivy than the last one I posted. It's lovely, isn't it? I woke up to another cool rainy day. It seems the British weather has come to America. I enjoyed watching bits and pieces of the Queen's Jubilee yesterday with similar weather. Have a great week. via

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Jessie Wilcox Smith illustration

This looks like a good idea. Hope you had a good weekend. Goodnight. via

Moth on Window Screen at My Cottage

I still use my Nikon SLR for photos like this. I couldn't have captured this moth on the screen in my bedroom with my iPhone. It's good to have more than one camera. 

Piglet Rescues Tiger

Piglet cures broken heart of Tiger Mom. Click here for full story. Awwww.

No Mow Cottage

I'm drawn to this image since I spent the better part of two hours late yesterday afternoon 'mowing' my front lawn with my electric weed trimmer. The grass so long after all of the rain we had I had to whack it before I can mow it. This looks like a great solution, doesn't it? via
I must say this delightful photo makes me dislike house numbering in certain areas. Thank goodness we have normal house numbers where I live thanks to the town fathers that refused to go by the system shown on this old house. One can imagine this one is located is a very rural location and not in on a street where there are 1,014 houses before you get to this one. Maybe it's 1,015 miles to town center. Who knows? I think it deserves a lower number because of its age, don't you?

Best Sunroom Ever!

Deborah Leamann Interiors - From the floor to the ceiling and everything in between, I love it all. Have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ivy Covered

Right ivy to left ivy, "I'll meet you in the middle." via

DIY Garden Gate

I love this idea!!! You should be looking for inexpensive gardening tools at garage sales to make this clever gate for your garden. via Unconsumption

SNAPSEED Photo Editing App | Free Download

This doesn't happen very often. I got my copy while it was free for one day several months ago and I love it. This is an award-winning photo editing App for iPhone and iPad normally priced at $4.99. It's still the best one too so be sure to grab it while it's free!!! Found here.
Apple's FREE App of The Week: Download link.
HERE IS A GREAT SNAPSEED TUTORIAL IN PICTURES. Pay no attention to the $4.99 quoted price.

Everything is Buzzing in England for the Jubilee

I thought it would be fun to post this photo again of a Royal Foot Guard getting a haircut. Don't you wish you could be in London for the next 4 days to be a part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee? I've been looking at old pictures of her 60 years of service ever since I got up this morning. Now I love her more than ever!

Emma Bridgewater Mug via

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekend at The Lake

Abolyont Lake...Wonderful photo © Ömer Dindar

Wonderful Window Wall with Door

Isn't this a spectacular floor to ceiling window with concealed door? It is cool and windy and feels almost like fall after that heat wave a few days ago. Mother Nature can't make up her mind. via
Have a great weekend.

Limeade Leftovers

Photo is mine.
I made a big pitcher of limeade yesterday and today I'm drinking limewater made from what was left in the bottom of the pitcher. Just like Martha!

A Magnificent Entrance

One can only imagine the loveliness at the end of this long drive. via

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Cat with The Heart-Shaped Whisker

It's a very sweet image, isn't it? I makes me sleepy just looking at it and it's way too early for me to be thinking about going to bed. We had a very lovely day today with sun and the first blue sky I've seen in ages and very comfortable temperatures. I was so happy to turn off the A/C before retiring last night. See you tomorrow. G'night. via

Great Quote for the Disorganized | A .A. Milne

                                                                                                 I made this.
Not properly planned and controlled.
(of a person) Unable to plan one's activities or surroundings efficiently.

Listen to A. A. Milne himself read from Winnie-The-Pooh in 1929 on a gramophone recording. This video is delightfully illustrated with family photos and illustrations from the book. Click here if you are unable to view.

Woody Convertible? - YES

This is the only convertible I would ever consider owning. via