Thursday, April 2, 2020

RARE Antique Figural Drinking Game Glass

A 17th-Century Drinking Game
This glass was designed to drench the drinker in alcohol, and put on an entertaining display for onlookers. What is better than that?

“Joke glasses” challenged drinkers to figure out how to get the alcohol out with minimal spillage. If they spilled? The glass then refilled. This one is the world’s only intact example resembling a man.

The Head

It is really hard to grasp the rarity of this intricately beautiful example, especially since it is in three pieces --the body, the funnel, and the head. How in the world did it survive since the 1600s??????

I found this when I was searching more of those hilarious photos of people who are enacting art in their homes while in quarantine. It was started by the Getty Museum on Twitter. You can see more if you go to Twitter and search #betweenartandquarantine -- I can't get enough and really enjoy seeing what people are doing at home while in isolation. Be well and be safe. xo

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April First. A Frog and A Rabbit

My antique cast iron frog that looks right into the window of my pantry where I sit to pay bills. He has a hole in his mouth because he was once a fountain. I set my iPhone camera on portrait mode to blur out the background. I so love this feature.

Hare and Quail by Australian artist Anita Mertzlin. Found on Instagram @glendoghalcottage

Happy April Fool's Day. No jokes here. Ready to jump into bed now. xo

Getty Museum Art Challenge

I don't remember when I have been more entertained by art masterpieces reenacted at home while in quarantine.


Here is the link, keep scrolling to make sure you see 35 or 36 examples. The girl with the black eye by Normal Rockwell above is one of my favorites.

You can also see a few more at Getty Museum. There is also an application if you want to enter a creation of your own.

Have fun looking. I shared the first link with numerous friends yesterday and everyone loved it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Garden #2 and SOME GOOD NEWS

Looking left inside red circle is the first garden I put in over the winter on mild days. The daffodils from my mother's garden are in bud and should be blooming soon. I am excited about the red poppies later too. Wish me luck. The daffodils that are completely dried up and crispy on my windowsill came from the garden on the right. 

I'm not sure how I found SGN (SOME GOOD NEWS) on youtube, but I did and it is very enjoyable.


Click here to watch if you cannot see the video above. I love John Krasinski and look forward to watching all the episodes I have missed.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Darling Brown Lamb

I love the color of this sweet lamb. The yarn made from this wool would be perfect. Wouldn't you love to have a nice thick sweater made from it? Or some of the yarn to knit you own creation? I would! via

Sunday Morning Views at My Cottage and a Mask

A rarely shared corner of my living room this morning. That glow in my bookcase door is a Himalayan Salt Lamp. I leave it burning 24/7 with a 25W bulb inside. I have one in the basement too. I didn't even know what they were when I purchased them at the Annual Firehouse Sale last September. My friend knew immediately and she has one in almost every room in her house. She told me they helped purify the air and a lot of other things too. The one thing I have noticed is increased concentration. It could be all folklore but maybe not. I like the nice glow, so why not?
The one I have with a dimmer is available from Bed Bath and Beyond for $24.99. I leave mine on all the time and it makes a great night light. (Good luck, Penny.) 

I found this image on Instagram. It is probably photoshopped but maybe not. Masks were common in the Elizabethan era to help keep out the noxious odors everywhere. This one is quite beautiful.

I made a new garden I can see out my kitchen window. There is another new one to the left near the bluebird house to be photographed later. I had the antique sundial already and the base is something I have had for a long time but wasn't using. It is perfect among the snowdrops and daffodils transplanted from different locations on my property. This was a fun project that started very early in February during the mild winter days. It sort of evolved with no plan. I just started out wanting to see my mother's daffodil clump near the house that I couldn't see without physically going outdoors. I planted them near the birdhouse and also planted a year-old packet of red poppy seeds, Papaver rhoeas. That was certainly a challenge, like planting ground black pepper, only finer. It took me forever to space them out a pinch at a time and I'm happy to report they have sprouted and I am beyond thrilled. Nothing is blooming there currently since the snowdrops have stopped but will post when something springs forth. Stay inside and be safe. xo

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Good Saturday Morning

Monster bird? No, just a mom carrying her chicks under her wings. This is a JACANA, a tropical wading bird found all over the world. 

It took me a while to get this.
This little piggy stayed home 🐖🏠☺

TP cake. Looks pretty real, doesn't it?

A beautiful study in black and white.

Cat unaware. Wonder what happened when she woke up? People are dreaming up so many ways to entertain themselves while in self-quarantine.

I am still fine and hope you are too. Have a great weekend. All of the photos above were saved on my phone while reading various emails. Most are from Tumblr. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sheep Dog and Owl Camouflage

I absolutely love this photo. Such a happy face on this dog stuck in a herd of sheep. Found on Instagram @wildlifeowners. Photograph by Charlie Mackinnon, a Tasmanian farmer. This photo went viral when it was published in the Daily Mail Australia. 

Great Gray Owl
Hiding in Plain Sight
British Columbia
This is the best Owl Camouflage I have ever seen. You have to look really hard to see the body. Found on Instagram @wildlife_private. Photographs by @alanmurphyphotography.

Here is a back view of the same owl with no face showing. Honestly, he is almost invisible! This is the second photo on the same Instagram post above. All the same links apply here. This is amazing.

Continue to stay at home and try to keep busy. There is a case of Covid-19 very near me and I know the lady. Very scary. She is recovering at home. Stay home, wash your hands, and try to stay busy. I will continue to try to uplift you in my meager ways. xo

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Needle Felted Duckling Love

This is just too adorable. Hope it brightens your day. I have no intention of ever trying this craft but in case you are interested in how it's done, here is a YouTube Tutorial for making a simple owl.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Cheerful Photos

Fresh Acorna via

Backlit Bunny via

Brown and White Kitten via
This is a rare color in cats.
See an old post of mine with another brown/white cat.

Monday, March 23, 2020

18th Century Paper Cut Flower by Mary Delaney

via
Cut paper collage by Mary Delaney, English, 1700-1788. She began making these lovely intricate paper flowers when she was 70. It's never too late to start being awesome, is it? xo
Be sure to click on the link with her name -- her biography is fascinating reading!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Miniature Daffodils on Sunday

Last spring I went to a Broker Open House and the realtor was giving out pots of miniature daffodils instead of having a luncheon for the agents. I rushed home and divided the pot into three clumps and they are such a source of joy in these trying times.

They are planted near my hellebore.

I am still overjoyed with having this hellebore in my front garden. The window in my pantry where my laptop lives, overlooks this area behind my birdbath and I can see it from my living room too.

This intense shade of yellow is stunning.

My front yard photographed in the late afternoon yesterday. The governor officially closed down New Jersey last night to all non-essential travel and we are to stay home in order to prevent further spread of Covid-19. Stay put and be safe. I will continue to checkin and post frequently. xo

Friday, March 20, 2020

My Bluebirds are Building a Nest and MORE

It's a good day when the first thing you see when you first wake up is a bluebird sitting on the edge of a birdbath. His mate was entering my birdbox and they both have been busy since then setting up housekeeping. I couldn't be more thrilled. There are birds of all kinds scurrying around the lawn looking for worms, mostly robins. I have seen bluejays, cardinals, house wrens, mourning doves and chickadees too. The photo above is from Instagram and I've been saving it on my phone because I love it.  See my previous posts about bluebirds here.

My oven is preheating, the oatmeal is soaking, and I'm almost ready to stir up another batch of Oatmeal muffins that are getting rave reviews. I added 1/2 cup raisins this time.

This recipe really is forgiving. Somehow I turned off the oven when turning off the timer for the 15 minute soak. When I was ready to put my heavy vintage blue enameled cast iron muffin pan in the oven, the temperature registered 176° but I put them in anyway and turned the oven on and set it to 425° and set the timer to 25 minutes. They turned out fine and I took them out before the timer went off. I left them in the muffin pan for 10 minutes just in case. They are so good with the raisins!

This made me laugh.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Oatmeal Muffins Using Minimum Ingredients

Here is a photo of one of my oatmeal muffins on a cupcake stand, a Christmas gift from Stacey Snacks long ago. Here is the muffin recipe I found online. I really like it because it is so flexible for these times. It uses a minimum amount of sugar and oil and there are numerous substitutions if you are out of anything. Uses no baking powder, only baking soda. Almost all of the ingredients you will probably already have on hand plus there are many add-ons too for variety. This is just the basic recipe and my muffin is a basic one too, but delicious.

Ingredients: start preheating oven set to 425°
1 cup milk (almond, soy or rice milk works great too) I used my homemade soymilk yogurt.
1 cup quick-cooking oats or 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (off-brand works perfectly and they are no different from the name-brand) I used old-fashioned oats
1 egg (or 1/4 cup of mashed banana or 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of water) I used an egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil or 1/4 cup canola oil I used Avocado Oil. Otherwise I would have used oiive oil.
1 cup all-purpose flour (or wheat flour) I used whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white sugar I used organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon I also added 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°f (220°c). Grease or spray 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. I just oiled my muffin pan with avocado oil and a pastry brush.
In a small bowl (I used a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup), combine milk and oats. Soak for 15 minutes. I used this same cup for the other wet ingredients after the 15 minute soak to save dirty bowls.
In a separate bowl, beat together egg and oil; stir in oatmeal mixture. In a third bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, just until combined. I never sift anything but stir with a wisk. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups until cups are 2/3 full.
Bake in preheated 425° oven for 15-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. 20 minutes was perfect in my oven.

300,000 Free eBooks: Free w/ Library Card


There's good news for all the e-bookworms out there. The New York Public Library released an app today that allows anyone with a library card (and an iOS or Android phone) to "borrow" any of the 300,000 e-books in the collection.

It's called SimplyE and will allow you to read books on your phone, but beware, there might be a wait list for some popular titles, including the Game of Thrones series. (Check out the Harry Potter books, quick!) The online collection will continue to grow, and there are Kindle and web browser versions in development. But, for now, take a break from Pokemon Go and read to your digital heart's content.

All you have to do is download the app called SimplyE

I have already downloaded it from The Apple App Store. So this is what the IOS version looks like. If you have an android phone you can download it too. I think you have to do it thru Google Play

I hope Audio books come next. Take care and stay busy. xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Help is On The Way

Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. is donating 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million protective face masks to the United States. The Chinese billionaire already has pledged 2 million protective masks to European countries.

Read the article in the link below.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/14/21179624/alibaba-co-founder-jack-ma-coronavirus-test-kits-masks-us

The Washington Post has a daily free newsletter on coronavirus. I signed up for it and it's very good. I cannot find a link devoted to the newsletter alone but it appears on today's Washington Post article. Look closely and sign up. It's got all the information most of us need.

Look for a black box with the words Sign Up and a circle with a red envelope indicating email and the wording below:
Get our Coronavirus Updates newsletter
Receive the most important developments in your inbox every day. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
Sign up

I put my outerwear out in the sun to disinfect after I went food shopping yesterday. I put my phone outside too. It's raining today and will be again tomorrow; I'm so glad I went out when I did. There were lots of empty shelves but I got everything on my list. There was no bread and absolutely no canned goods and not much cereal. I keep trying to sign up for InstaCart for home food delivery but I can't make it do what I want so far. The things I want don't seem to come up on the list. Will keep trying and keep you informed.
I am a homebody at heart and I love being at home anyway so my life seems much the same. Friends are checking in with me and that's comforting in case I need them. Be well and hang in there. xo

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas FREE during coronavirus closure. Read more here.

Free Digital Concerts - Berlin Symphony. Read more here.

I just found a really darling video of an Australian shepherd giving advice on how to protect yourself from this virus. Follow @my_aussie_gal showing you how. You will have to click on the arrow to start the video. She is the smartest dog ever.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Best Carriage House Ever!

Best Carriage House Ever!
Photo from Real Estate Listing via GSMLS
The main house in Madison, NJ is amazing too.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Still Life Saturday

Still life with raspberries and cherries
Eloise Harriet Stannard (English 1829-1915)
via

Still life at my kitchen sink.
Posted on Instagram here.
*Baby pilea plant.
*Antique opera glasses for looking out my kitchen window in style.
*Antique porcelain funnel.
*Old one-cup porcelain coffee filter.
*Happy Easter rabbit dish picked up at a resale shop.

Happy Saturday and have a great weekend. xo

Thursday, March 12, 2020

We Are All Scared

Charlie Mackesy on Instagram -- follow him if you don't already. His illustrations are wonderful and he has just done a book that looks fabulous 
Charlie’s first book -- The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is now available to buy. I love this illustration and find it very comforting, don't you. xo

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Handmade Buttonholes

These are the most beautiful buttonholes I have ever seen and are definitely a lost art. They are too lovely to even cover up with a button. The twine is gorgeous! via

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

My Old Clothes Line with Webster

As I mentioned in this old post, I lost all the trees to the right of my garage/barn after Superstorm Sandy but I still have the white pine on the left. Webster the Wonder Dog used to love watching me hang out the wash. All I need is a new post and I could have a clothes line again. I still manage quite well with drying things outside on wooden clothes racks and my balcony railing so all is not lost. In the winter, the clothes racks are perfect in my furnace room for all but large top sheets which I dry on my balcony. I love sleeping on sheets that have been dried outside and I can honestly report that sunshine leaves an aroma on them like no other. When I enter my bedroom after putting on clean linens, the whole room smells like sunshine. The items dried inside have no aroma at all because I use a detergent with no scent.
The sun can kill the Corona Virus bacteria that can live on fabric for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent should kill it on items in the washing machine. Winter clothes that can't be washed can be put out in the sun to kill the virus. Continue to wash your hands often and be smart about being out in public. xo
PS: I just found an easy recipe for DIY: Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Cutest Little Chick w/ Flower Hat

This darling photo caught my eye this morning after getting up way too early thanks to daylight savings time. I am now ready to go back to bed but dare not. Isn't this little yellow chick darling? xo

Friday, March 6, 2020

Waiting for My Daffodils

Title: Daffodils. 
Etching, Isabel Saul (early to mid-1900’s)
I am still waiting for mine, The shoots are several inches out of the ground but I don't have any buds yet but it won't be long. via

Daffodils come before the swallow dares, 
and take the winds of March with Beauty.
The Winter's Tale. William Shakespeare.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Snowdrops are So Delightful

This photo doesn't begin to capture the true beauty of a clump of snowdrops along my walk and almost against the foundation at my front door but it will have to suffice. I moved a few more clumps I found in the woods to different locations in the front and back yards. I cannot ever remember doing so much gardening so early in the year and I'm loving it. Hooray for mild winters. All of my snowdrops are the result of just a few clumps I brought from my last house. They are trouble free and they multiply like crazy. The bulbs are very tiny and it is hard to weed around them later in the year without pulling up a few so I try to dump the weeds in certain spots in the woods so I can dig them up again a few years later after the clumps become sizable.
Take care, try to stay healthy, and wash your hands often. The only thing I have stocked up on so far is Bathroom Tissue. I went to Costco yesterday and there was none...the shelves were bare. I went immediately to Wegmans and got what I needed and then some to store away. It's my favorite brand anyway. No panic buying there....yet. xo