Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd [Video]


OMG---this is too fabulous for words. View this parody of 'Goodnight Moon' full screen if you can. Click here if you can't see this AMAZING video. I'm sure everyone will be able to relate to this modern bedtime story!!! It's not for kids anymore...it's for all of us. Hardcover book available here.

White Kitchen Love

I am totally in love with this kitchen. The placement of the island gives the look and feel of a galley kitchen. This would be a great place to really cook on that small commercial range. Raise your hand if you like it too. via

Wild Grape Vines at My Cottage

I always look forward to photographing the wild grape vines. The leaves are so interesting, both front and back. My iPhone photo.

Breakfast with Tabitha

I took this photo several days ago when Tabitha ventured upstairs for breakfast instead of having it on the lower level with my Mom. Luckily I had a cute cat dish in the cupboard and some of her favorite kibble in the pantry. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mr. Toad inside his Toad House [Video]

He's all nestled in and seems to love being inside the Toad House. I made another video for you to see me tilting back the house to check on him. I think this gaudy ceramic monstrosity is pretty tacky but rummage sale shoppers can't be choosy. I forgot was too lazy to bring it in over the winter and some of the glaze popped off but he doesn't seem to mind. It's hidden anyway among the weeds. This time I remembered to have my iPhone in the landscape position for a wider video. I think my garden companion will eat a lot of bugs and insects for me and that's a good thing! Isn't he cute?

Click here if you are unable to see the video.

DIY Natural Vegetable Garden Markers

These would look so nice in a rustic vegetable garden. Get out your alphabet stamps and make some. Will you whittle your twigs with a knife or use a power saw to get your printing surface? I think this is such a great idea, don't you? via

I Love The Shingles on This Porch

I love the siding on this house. The shingles appear to be covered with bark. How rustic and wonerful. Nice front porch too. via

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Hula Hooping Progress

I'm still enjoying the weighted hula hoop I ordered in March. I've worked up to a 20-minute routine that's perfect for me. I can only go in a counterclockwise direction though. I am trying to learn how to go in the opposite direction but it's very difficult and I don't know why. I'm not worried though. I will master it sooner or later.

I listened to this book author recently on NPR's Fresh Air and it was very interesting. Click here to read the article and listen to the podcast, (listen to the podcast called 'stand up walk around'), this is Part I of the interview. It seems that the 'health benefits' from exercise are achieved in the first 20 minutes. Sounds good to me. Listen and learn.


Phrenology Head with Sense of Humor

I bought this in England years ago. It's a reproduction of the famous Fowler's Phrenology Head but all the sections of the brain have been renamed for modern times. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

I have it a shelf in front of my bathroom mirror.

House Blessing

I photographed this terracotta plaque on a fireplace mantle recently. I am trying something new just to see if it works. I am posting from my iPhone. This is a test!
The verdict. I had to resize the photo on my computer because I had not selected image size in the settings. It was way too big to fit in my template. But now I know I can post and save as a draft for computer tweeking later. Could come in handy and now I have the free Blogger App on my iPhone and iPad. You can't change fonts or do anything with rich text. Pretty basic. Come on Google, you can do better!

Tiny Baby Elephant Tusk

This cute little guy is showing off his first tooth? Have you ever seen anything cuter? Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there. via

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Meet Mr. Toad

I was glad to see that Mr. Toad was so big and healthy and happy looking after the winter. I dug out his toad house and put him in it. 

Here is the link to view on YouTube. This is HD and it looks great viewed full screen.

Hummingbird Feeding at My Cottage

I have had the best time all week watching the hummingbirds. I have to fill this tiny feeder daily because it only holds 1/2 cup of nectar. That's perfect too because it isn't out there long enough to ferment. I had one bird buzz around my head waiting for me to finish my filling station duties. They actually chug-a-lug the liquid until as many as 6 air bubbles go up the tube as they feed. Goodness they are hungry (or lazy), I can decide which! my photo

Friday, June 15, 2012

Screen Porch Love

Now this is wonderful! I would love to see a photograph taken from the outside to see how it joins the house. It's so interesting from the inside, isn't it? I love the way the house architecture was preserved when the porch was added. I love the laundry hanging on the line and the screen door too. I would sleep out there if that bench were a little longer. via
Have a great weekend!

I ordered a Trygger iPhone Case w/ Polarizing Filter

Every now and then I see a great idea that needs backing prior to production on Kickstarter. Unfortunately I did not learn about this fabulous invention when it started out at the $35 backer level. I jumped in at $40 (with free shipping) and have only 17 days to go before the emails go out to choose preferred color. I'm going to get a white one. The sliding panel on the back has a wheel-operated polarizing filter to keep out glare. I honestly have been trying to invent something like this myself with all of my old Nikon filters from the dark ages that are in my camera bag in the closet. Now I won't have to. This will make the awesome camera on my iPhone 4S perfect. 
Disclaimer: I am not making any money on this. I just wanted to share a great find with all of my readers. I cannot wait to get this Trygger Camera Case for iPhone 4/4S!! Click on the link above if you want to become a backer and get yours for less than the final retail price with free shipping in the USA.

The Doryman by N.C.Wyeth 1933

I love this oil on canvas and am happy Wyeth succeeded in passing on his artistic talent. In his studio, in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, N.C. taught three of his five children and two sons-in-law to paint. via

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Royal Embroidered Monogram Crowned Initial 'E'

This is beautiful needlework, isn't it? I'm assuming it's for Queen Elizabeth II but I'm not really sure. See it full size at Townmouse on Flickr. You will be flabbergasted! 
Here's what she says about this piece in her embroidery photostream: "From an old, long out-of-print Italian book on beautiful monogram embroidery. It includes some of the best examples of this type of work I've ever seen. Many of these pieces were ebroidered for royal and titled families over the last century, hence the use of crowns in quite a lot of the work. The text is in italian."

I Scream for Ice Cream

I would become a criminal if it were! This would keep the 'food police' extremely busy, wouldn't it? via

Entrance Door into A Beautiful Walled Garden

This is very lovely and inviting, isn't it? I love a walled garden with a high wall just like the one in "The Secret Garden" movie. via

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Home Office in Summer

I worked on the third floor for a while today trying to organize my office. Unfortunately, it did not end up looking like this one. via

Henri 2 -- The Tormented Parisian Cat

Click here if you cannot see the video.
It's been 5 years since the original Henri film. I'm so happy he's still miserable :)
Pin It

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