Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY Topography Pillows with Tutorial

I love quotes by Audrey Hepburn via

Tutorial via my pin on Pinterest

Dog Cache Pot

Snapped this morning at a wonderful realtor open house tour.

Owl's Eye View from Inside a Hollow Tree

I stuck my iPhone in an old hollow apple tree to get a view of what the owls and other animals see when they are on the inside looking out. It looks pretty safe and cozy in there, doesn't it? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Calm Stream This Afternoon

I walked past the stream today and it looked completely different with blue skies and white clouds instead of the gray skies and fog I showed you last week. I love the blue reflection on the dark water. 

While we are on the subject of SWANS

Will it fit? Don't you wish we knew why this swan needed to be driven somewhere? And on the passenger side too! via

Ex-libris with Swans Circa 1907

From A collection of book plate designs by Louis Rhead, Boston, 1907. via

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Webster on The Timeout Porch

"I promise not to make the lady sick."
I had a really good turnout at an open house I hosted today. I was doing it alone in an empty house so I decided at the last minute to take Webster along. It turned out to be a genius idea. He was Mr. Meet and Greet and [almost] everybody loved him. One lady said she was allergic so I put Webster on the sunporch. He did everything imaginable to keep this from happening. He made himself small and put on his dog brakes. He was in there for 10 minutes at most out of a 3 hour stint. He licked babies, played with little boys, kissed men and women both young and old. He was a great ice breaker too. From now on, he's my new assistant. He is exhausted from all the excitement and has already gone to bed after his early dinner.

Almost February in NJ or The Winter That Wasn't

We had winter in New Jersey in the fall during Halloween and since then it has been unusually mild. Maybe this is our reward for all the damage we suffered when we had a blizzard while all the leaves were on still the trees. Our poor mature trees are still suffering and losing branches and even whole treetops because of their October injuries.  I took this iPhone photo at a friend's house yesterday. I know I sound like a broken record mentioning the camera source in my posts but I still can't believe the capabilities of my mobile phone that's always in my pocket. Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Following the Already Traveled Path

I think these sheep are very wise to travel in the path made by a big vehicle instead of wasting calories forging a new one. Maybe it will take them closer to the barn filled with hay. via

Snowdrops in January

Mine haven't come up yet but few leaf tips are just barely poking through the  earth. I usually don't get them until February because they don't get any direct sun where they are planted at my house. I photographed these this morning at my friend's house. Snowdrops are always the first sign of spring. 

Architectural Elements This Morning

Webster and I fed the dogs of a friend this morning and I had such fun taking pictures with my iPhone while the animals socialized. As you can see we are having a wonderful spring-like weekend. Hope you are too. More later.

Garden Passage

Hidcote Gardens -- Cotswolds, England. Absolutely wonderful! Actually it's almost too lovely if that's even possible. Maybe that's why the French doors are there...so you can block some of it out when you can't absorb the enormity of it all. Wouldn't you love to sit on one of those benches and soak in the beauty? via Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Imperial March- Barked and Classical?

The Bark Side -- It's not the only Super Bowl ad evoking past hit movies. Volkswagen, which had a hit last year with its little Darth Vader ad, will be tapping into the Force once again with dogs barking out the Imperial March.

Darth Vader's Theme -- I wasn't sure what I was listening to at first with the dogs until I heard it played by an orchestra. I think they did a good job after I listened to the barking version again. It is going to be a Super Bowl hit!

iPhone Photos of The Day

We had pouring rain overnight and real downpours this morning. I went for a walk after it subsided. The stream around the corner was flowing pretty swiftly almost overflowing its banks. I was standing on a one-lane bridge while taking this photo looking into the soft fog.

I was standing on the bank looking in the opposite direction for this shot. I'm so lucky to live in an area with lots of open space and conserved land thanks to our Land Trust.

Countess of Grantham and Lady Mary are to release a record album

Are you watching Downton Abbey? I read two press releases recently saying Maureen McGovern and Michelle Dockery costars on this wonderful PBS Masterpiece series were pairing up to release an album.

I must confess I wasn't that impressed with Lady Mary's voice in last week's episode. We will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mudroom in Waiting

I do like this mudroom off the kitchen in New Hampshire. The fine woodworking is wonderful. I love the built-in boot bench and the paint color too. Designed by Smith & Vansant Architects. via

Medieval Woman Feeding the Chickens

I love the woven chicken coop, don't you. I scanned this image from a datebook I no longer own. I keep discovering images I saved before I even had a blog. 

Big Beautiful Dried Leaf

I have a tree on my property with giant leaves and I must remember to gather some this summer for still-life photography. I love this a lot! via

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Library by Elizabeth Shippen Green 1905

I would love to have this painting hanging in my cottage! via

Audubon's Birds of America - One Page Per Day

   PHILADELPHIA (AP) – One of the world's rarest and most valuable books is out of the vault and on public view as part of an unusual daily ritual at the oldest natural history museum in the United States.
   Every weekday at 3:15 p.m., a white-gloved staff member of the Academy of Natural Sciences lifts the locked protective cover from 19th century naturalist John James Audubon's influential book, The Birds of America, and turns a double elephant folio linen-backed page to reveal the bird of the day. More than 180 years after Audubon created the life-size illustrations that now link his name with ornithology, their vibrant watercolors and fine details are still remarkable.
   Full article here. View the birds being unveiled day by day.

A Beautiful Frost

This is not my photo but I really wish it were. I think it's so lovely. When I posted a view of a dusting of snow in Scotland, a commenter said it looked like hoar frost. I asked google images to show me what hoar frost looks like and this was my favorite photo of all. via
English: Hoar frost, white frost or rime is the tiny solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air which occurs when the temperature of the surfaces is below freezing point. It occurs generally with clear skies. Air hoar, surface hoar, crevasse hoar and depth hoar are all types of hoar frost or technically: Radiation frost.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spectacular Boat House

Magnificent Boat House in Soulby England

Wonderful back entrance all in white

Yes please. I love everything is see in this photo and I really wish I could see more. It's all black and white and brown. Nice! via

Raindrops instead of Snowflakes

   Photo was taken yesterday. What a difference a day makes. The fog is rolling in now as the warmer air hits the snow on the ground. I wrote this paragraph late yesterday.
   Today is bright and sunny and almost all of the snow has melted. I went to broker open houses wearing just a wool blazer over a sweater. It's in the low 50s right now. Everybody was in a good mood and optimism was in the air at my office meeting.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Very Wise Advice Indeed

Geranium Leaves Backlit by Snow Reflection

All of the leaves have turned to face the window. I love the backs of my geranium leaves just as much as the fronts. I have one that is blooming on the third floor. I think the ones in my living room are intimidated by the paperwhites. You really can't blame them either, can you?

Snowboarding Crow

I always knew crows were smart but I have to say this video really surprised and delighted me. A family with a good view of this steep rooftop recorded a crow repeatedly using a round plastic lid as a snowboard. I guess birds like to have fun too! Click here if you can't see the show below.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Staffordshire Spaniel with Paperwhites

My living room mantel rounds the corner on one side to meet the back wall. A large Staffordshire spaniel is posing there alongside a bulb forcing vase with blooming paperwhites. They are reaching for the ceiling but are still very nice and upright because of my cool (as in temperature) house.
Linking to: Small But Charming: Flowers in the Wintery House

Webster the Snow Dog Dressed for The Weather

He's so happy to be wearing his horse-blanket coat again. You know how he likes to be wrapped up.

-click photo to enlarge-
I thought this was a nice snow pattern on one of the spruce trees out front.

Snow on My Balcony

It is still really cold but we have bright sun this morning. I took this iPhone photo through my French door and screen door. Nothing has melted yet and I doubt any will today. Webster and I took a walk to the rear of the property last night in the dark and it was very easy because the snow is like powdered sugar. Stay warm and enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Anxiously Awaiting Bedtime

It's been a busy day since my feet hit the floor this morning. I am looking forward to having my head hit these pillows very soon. I need a good movie too. See you tomorrow. Goodnight.

Cats on Tiptoes

I can't imagine what these three cats are looking at, can you? Found on a site devoted to humorous cat photos guaranteed to make you smile.

Have a Great Country Weekend, Snow is Optional

Many of the homes around me have these cattle grates across the driveways to keep the deer out with extensions on the fence posts to make them higher. It is almost easier to plant the things they don't like in my opinion. Rumor has it there are more white-tailed deer in this country now than when the Pilgrims landed. I don't care what they eat at my house but wish they would keep the deer ticks to themselves. I've had Lyme disease several times and it was awful.
I scanned this image from an old magazine and just discovered it on my computer. It's a very pretty farm, isn't it? We did get snow overnight..about 5 inches of powder. I am shoveled out, plowed out and my car has been cleaned off with my trusty rubber broom so I'm all set. Have a great weekend with or without snow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Natural History Museum - London

Wow. I wouldn't even care whether or not there was anything on exhibit. The architecture itself is enough for me. It's really a museum within a museum. image

Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds

click photo to enlarge
This iPhone photo snapped from my third floor window doesn't even begin to show the number of blackbirds flying into the woods. What a sight to behold at my cottage this afternoon. Blackbird pie is not on tonight's menu.

click photo to enlarge
This happy family appears to be thrilled to see such a pie on their dinner table. Here is another Randolph Caldecott drawing from one of my antiquarian books illustrating the nursery rhyme Sing A Song for Sixpence.

A Dusting of Snow in Scotland

I fully expected to wake up to a dusting of snow this morning but the weather report turned out to be much ado about nothing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining one bit. This probably isn't snow in Scotland either, but a heavy frost. See you later. via

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sleeping Under the Stars

Wouldn't it be fun to sleep under the stars in this delightful bedroom? The stars have been amazing here at the cottage the last few nights and I could see the constellations quite clearly starting with Orion's belt. I haven't taken the wonder dog out for  his last walk yet and I think it will be cloudy. A dusting of snow is predicted tonight. Sleep tight. See you tomorrow. via

Restorable Carpenter Gothic House in Decay

I hope someone saves this great old home. via

Cottage Bungalow Circa 1923

I love this tiny cottage with a front porch and an upstairs sleeping porch. I want the plan book too!
This house and plan were shown in the 1923 plan book, The Books of a Thousand Homes. It featured 500 small house plans. Most of them really were small by today's standards. This one reflects the post WWI movement away from the horizontally oriented Craftsman-style to the more modern and very romantic aesthetic of the 1920s. This particular plan was by Olsen & Urbain, Architects.
The Books of a Thousand Homes: 500 Small House Plans edited by Henry Atterbury Smith.
via ©American Vintage Home on Flickr

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sleepy Sea Otter

I've been really, really busy for the last several days. This sea otter has the right idea. It's time to say goodnight. 

Wonderful Sign - Rules for A Nice Life

An alphabet to live by. I took the photo of this sign in the home of a friend.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fabulous salvaged farm sink.

Repurposed, salvaged sink in a renovated Vermont kitchen. Smith and Vansant Architects. I love everything I see in this photo. via

Spectacular Morning with Snow

The most beautiful dusting of snow ever.
Teleport me there now, please.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Earlier iPhone Photo with Edits

I'm still loving my iPhone camera and having fun playing around with different photo edits. Now that the brilliant fall colors have disappeared, I toned down this Japanese maple branch.

Antique Tartanware from Scotland

I have only owned a few pieces of Tartanware in my lifetime of collecting. I would love to have a grouping like this one to decorate my slant-front desk, wouldn't you. via