Friday, February 29, 2008

Easter Egg Tree

This is a tradition that started many years ago when my children were tiny and we still carry it on today. It so easy and fun so give it a try.
First you'll need a large branch or small tree. A dogwood branch is my personal favorite, but a failed ficus tree or fruit tree branches work well too. Paint the chosen piece white with spray paint and give it a glitter sprinkle if you're a glam sort of person. After it dries, anchor it in some oasis or floral foam that's been stuck in a clay pot or container with floral clay. Cover the top of the foam with moss or excelsior. Voila! You have an Easter Egg Tree. From now til Easter, when you use eggs, blow the contents out instead of cracking them. This is a good time to make lots of pound cakes and omelets. Now dye the eggs with food coloring and vinegar then decoupage them with pictures of flowers, birds, and bunnies. Attach a loop of satin ribbon covering the hole in the end of the egg and you've got decorations for your tree. Little baskets filled with Easter grass and tiny chicks look cute hanging from the branches and you can top off the whole thing with a big bow.

Leap Year

That fascinating day that occurs every four years, February 29 has come around again. If you were born in a Leap Year that means one real birthday every fourth one. I always felt sorry for those kids even though it is a rare and unusual occurance. What about the fable that says a lady could ask a man to marry her only on a Leap Year. Woman today would laugh at that old story as they regularly "get men's digits" and take men out. Guess that's the difference between a lady and a woman. Call me old fashioned, but I have a hunch real men prefer the old way of doing things.
So today there will be real birthdays for those rare folks born on February 29 and proposals will be made by those rare folks called ladies.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vizcaya One More Time

While we were in Miami last week we had a couple of hours of free time so Hubby and I took our oldest daughter Em to Vizcaya. We had visited the grand villa before she was born on my first trip to Miami and knew she would love all the fabulous gardens and rooms there. John Deering built the Italianate villa in 1916 when it was still legal to remove antiquities from European countries. As a result, there are Roman vessels, Elizabethan ceilings, Louis XV chandeliers, and Medieval Danish tapestries all in one house.The city of Miami runs the villa as a museum and it is number one on my list of things to see in Miami. This is the side of the house that faces Biscayne Bay. The weather vane has the sea horse motif that is repeated all around the house. It was the choice of the decorator. John Deering wanted a caravel(Spanish ship) so those are also found in stained glass and reliefs. This is probably my favorite room although it's very hard to choose just one. The Louis XV chairs and settee and massive chandelier make it feel like you've just walked into Versailles.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cute Little Bunnies part deux

Time for more cute little bunnies.
You can't eat African Violets, bunny. We can see all the action from up here on top of the cabinets.
What a view!
Better to be on the tureen than in the tureen.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Craft Thursday

Craft day got postponed this week due to events I blogged about earlier. When the dust settled, here's what I ended up with..................................................... It's my first stab at paper/collage art in a while. I've been collecting all kinds of bits and bots so now it's just a matter of putting them together in a fun way. I especially loved that polka-dot ribbon when I found it and couldn't wait to find a use for it. The baby is a long lost distant cousin. It's a picture among several old ones that my grandmother had saved. The back of it says, "To Aunt Leigh and Uncle Hugh, J.D. Hutchins, Age 7mo, 17 days , July11, 1908." His Aunt Leigh was my great-grandmother and her wedding pictures are in the stash I found. Can't wait to use them.......maybe this June.
This is just step one for the little guy. He's either going to end up in a shadow box or part of some other construction. I'm just waiting for lightning to strike and get my brain going.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Tonight everyone living in the United States living east of the Rockies will be able to see a total eclipse of the moon starting around 6:30 eastern time. The moon will be completely shadowed by the Earth at 10:26 EST.It will take almost four hours to go through all the phases and should be spectacular if it is as clear as it was last night in most of the country. Take advantage because this is a limited time offer. God only gives us a few of these in our life and the next one isn't until December 2010.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Worthy Woman

We are traveling to Miami today. My mother-in-law passed after a long illness. Thinking of her reminds me to always keep these verses in my heart.
A Worthy Woman
An excellent wife, who can find her?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands with delight.
She is like merchant ships; she brings food
from afar.............
She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard........
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hand to the needy.......
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
Proverbs 31

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Learn Your Lesson

Land ho! I just made a discovery that I can't believe I've missed all these years. Those smart girls who already know about this will just roll their eyes and say,"Where have you been?" , but I'm so excited I have to share. I just found the Mary Frances series of books which were originally published in 1916 by Jane Earye Fryer. The first story, Adventures Among The Thimble People, tells how Mary Frances learned to sew with advice from tools in her grandmother's sewing basket like Fairy Lady, Tommy Pin Cushion, and Sewing Bird. Throughout these charming stories there are actual instructions and 33 patterns for sewing doll clothes.I learned something just from reading about the Mary Frances books.Have you ever heard of a sewing bird? Well I hadn't and it is an amazing little item. Mary Frances has other lessons, too. There are books on first aid, knitting and crocheting, cooking, gardening, and housekeeping which includes etiquette and social graces.The housekeeping book comes with the Paper Doll Family of Sandpile Village to make the lessons more fun to learn.The Mary Frances series can appeal to a wide range of ages as older sisters can read them to younger siblings and any girl could read them with their Momma and learn all the valuable skills for the time when they have their own homes and children.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Your Easter Bonnet

In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.
I'll be all in clover, and when they look you over
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter Parade.
On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue,
The photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter Parade.New for spring.........COLORS!!!!!
Lots and lots of color.
They look so bright and springy, just like all the daffodils and crocus that are blooming in our gardens. Spring has sprung.

What will you be wearing this Easter?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all my internet friends! Hope you get lots of non caloric sweets from your sweety and beautiful bouquets from your beau.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And The Greatest Of These Is Love

How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are!
Your eyes are like doves.
Song Of Solomon 1:15 Arise,my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along.
For behold the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land.
Song Of Solomon 2:10-12
How much better is your love than wine, And the fragrance of your oils. Song Of Solomon 4:10

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dog Royalty

A beagle won the Westminster Dog Show in New York tonight. That's right........a beagle. He was really cute and bayed at his handler when he found out he was top dog and even got a standing ovation. But here's the dog that came in second.
Doesn't he just look like he should be wearing a crown? Now, I think I know who I would have chosen if I was the highly esteemed, vastly qualified, hugely respected expert.............the dog that looks like my dog.

Cute Little Bunnies

Got a soft spot for cute little furry animals? Then your day is know ....the holiday that makes it okay to have as many cute little bunnies around your house as you like. I personally have boxes and boxes of them(I even leave some out all year!) but that doesn't stop me from hunting for more. The day after Valentine's Day marks the official opening of cute little bunny season so I went on a scouting mission yesterday just to see how the crop is looking. Look what I spotted!
Aren't these two precious balancing up on their egg perches? I love this little lady with her tule tutu and egg garland. This sweet bunny couple is tying the knot. The bride has a very original bouquet and her tiara is one carrot.If you look carefully you can see that it was a triple wedding. Glitter is very fashionable for bunnies this year. This fleece lady has made friends with a chick and a frog(prince?). Stay tuned.....more bunnies to come.

Peachtree Road

It's pretty much common knowledge that if you visit Atlanta, you're going to spend some time on a street called Peachtree. You're probably even going to get lost because of a street called Peachtree. The lists of Peachtree Road, Street, etc. are legendary and don't boost the confidence of a newcomer trying to navigate the winding streets of Atlanta. But what they don't realize is it can be daunting for natives, too. Especially for the natives who navigate by landmarks. A driver can suddenly become lost when the landmark that indicates a turn disappears overnight. Persistent widening of roads and development gives Atlanta a constantly changing landscape. The once leafy and mostly residential Buckhead is rapidly becoming a concrete canyon. Gracious old homeplaces are being turned into subdivisions. Small shops are making way for hotel skyscrapers. Single story medical buildings are being replaced by gargantuan office complexes. More cars than ever drive on Peachtree Road but it is still just Peachtree Road. And as long as there's an Atlanta, people will be getting their Peachtree Streets confused with their Peachtree Roads.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Party Like It's 1799

George and Martha Washington were real party animals who hosted more than 677 guests in one year alone. George loved having company and treated them right with big dinners every afternoon at 3:00 sharp.
A February guest started off with a glass of wine or beer, then sat down to a table that makes our Thanksgiving feast look like an afternoon snack. There was a leg of boiled pork, goose, roast beef, cold boiled beef, mutton chops, hominy, cabbage, potatoes, pickles, fried tripe,and onions. A cruet set sitting on the table held salt, dry mustard, vinegar, oil, and a ketchup made from walnuts or mushrooms instead of tomatoes. For dessert Martha served mince pies, fruit tarts, and cheese. The cheese could have been some of the Cheshire or Gloucester George Washington imported or a soft cheese made right at Mount Vernon.
If the guests were still feeling a bit peckish, a final course of nuts, apples, and raisins were served with Port and Madeira wines.
We should all remember George Washington as he was toasted at Gadsby's Tavern during a 1798 Washington birthday celebration,"The hero whose birth we celebrate....may the virtuous principles which ever have influenced his conduct be preserved through succeeding generations."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

President's Day

The celebration of George Washington's birthday is coming up on Monday, February 18. If you're a fan of American history or homeschooling, here are some links to help you brush up on your knowledge. First, here's the site for Mount Vernon, Washington's beloved estate on the Potomac River. It consisted of five farms on 8000 acres, each with it's own overseer, workforce of slaves (who were emancipated in his will) and their cabins, outbuildings, and livestock. He planted 80 different crops and was constantly experimenting to improve the soil and output of each farm. The 500 acre site you can visit today was called Mansion House Farm and was a self sufficient village. The kitchen garden, outbuildings, and plantings remain just as George Washington planned them. A biography of George Washington can be found on the White House site here. If you'd like to read more about our first president, Joseph J. Ellis has written a fine book called His Excellency: George Washington that is considered to be one of the most important books on the subject. Elementary and middle school age children will enjoy reading the classic George Washington's World by Genevieve and Joanna Foster. The book explores what was going on in the world during Washington's life and how those events and people shaped his views and decisions.Sometimes we take George Washington for granted, but he has a fascinating story that changed the history of the world. America was blessed to have such a man as the Father of Our Country.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Lovely Cuppa Tea

What about this tea kettle?
I just fell in love with it's strong good looks. But it's not the silent type, on no, this kettle will whistle at you when it's boiling. And the best news is you can get one for a super duper sale price and free shipping at until February 11. I found the same kettle on some specialty chef and cooking sites for as much as twice that price so I jumped on this deal. This kettle is hand crafted in England (where they know a little something about tea) and has a lifetime guarantee. You can get it in copper or chrome over copper with a tin lining.
I'm already day dreaming about making my afternoon cuppa with this beautiful kettle. And it will look so handsome sitting on the stove the rest of the day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Courtesy Call

Son Jack called from Utah a little while ago. He had been watching the news reports showing all the devastation from tornadoes and wanted to check in. We're having a pretty day, though, with just a soft spring shower so he needn't have worried, but this is the son with the sentimental heart. He's so attached to the idea of home that I don't dare touch anything in his room while he's gone. Everything from movie posters to mountain climbing pictures have to stay right where they are on the wall. The black bears on the bed have their spot next to the pile of pillows. The coins, sunglasses, bank statements, and catch-all rice measuring baskets on his dresser haven't moved since the day he left before Christmas. His room would make a beautiful guest bedroom with it's big paladian window and high ceiling.....hmmmm......the old mahogany four poster with red and ivory toile and pink botanicals on the wall.....whew! imagination is running away with itself. There's plenty of time for decorating guest rooms coming in a flash. For now, that room belongs to my sweet, sentimental son.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Man Cold

If there's a man in your house with a cold, this video is for you. Check it out for some helpful hints.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Craft A Day

Today is the first Craft Monday. The plan is to get together with some young friends and using a box of junk from the thrift store, any junk found from drawers around my house, and some crafting tools we will create some interesting, if not beautiful, art pieces. And have fun doing it. No pressure to be incredibly original; I even printed some easy paper crafts from Martha Stewart for those who need step by step directions to be creative. In my mind's eye, the result will be fantastic collages that galleries will be knocking down our doors to get to.........and taking orders for as many as we can turn out.We're going to be using Sandra Evertson's book.............................> and Lynne Perrella's inspirational new book..... I can't wait. But even if we just end up making a colossal mess, we'll have fun doing it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thank You

Sandi at Whistlestop Cafe has a Center Piece of the Month roundup that any one can enter by sending a photo of a centerpiece they've created. The centerpieces are generally seasonal and always beautiful. My favorite this month was Sandi's own entry. It is a black wrought iron lantern on her deck table all covered in snow from the recent storm.
It's a great place to see how other women are decorating their homes and get ideas for your own table. You can imagine the variety of containers, linens, bulbs, flowers, fruits, etc. being used in all different parts of the country. Thanks, Sandi!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Littlest Angel

Isn't this the sweetest little cupid? His story is kind of misty but I know he spent a couple years in my great uncle's nursery and probably my dad's too. My first memory of seeing him was in my grandmother's apartment hanging high up in the back hall. He was destined for a thrift store box, but I rescued him and brought him home with me. There's just something about the cute little way he looks down on us mortals that made me save him from such an undignified end. So he's always had a place where we can greet each other every morning and smile at his happy place in the world.