Saturday, May 26, 2018

My New Glasses: Eyewear

I have never mastered taking selfies so this is my version that looks like a double exposure. My reflection in one of my balcony doors also looks through to one of my living room walls. I wanted to show you my new glasses and the photo below is an enlargement.

I am very camera shy and I can take better photos of myself than anyone else.

This closeup shows the subtle colors in the tortoise-shell frames. My old ones had smaller lenses and wire frames with nose pads. They were quite comfortable but not that becoming. I bought them because I had clip-on sunglasses that fit and soon after I got those glasses, I lost the clips, so that was a wasted effort in economy. I have clip-ons that fit my new glasses too but I didn't realize it until I found them in a drawer full of old glasses. I can see more clearly out of my new frames but when I watch TV in bed, I can see better out of my old wire ones since the lenses are smaller. My new eye doctor tweaked my left lens making it easier to read street signs so, overall, I'm happy. I think it takes a long time to get used to your own reflection in a mirror before you look like yourself to yourself if you know what I mean.
Enjoy this long Holiday Weekend. Be safe if you are on the road. xo

Friday, May 25, 2018

Organizing My Closet

I have only just begun, but this is an early view of the closet in my second bedroom. The room where I sleep doesn't have a closet so that's why I call this my dressing room. I dare not take a photo of the rest of the room right because it looks like a war zone. That's the only way I can work, by tearing everything apart and slowly putting it back together again. The two stacked shoe organizers, purchased yesterday at the church rummage sale, started it all. I have a way of stepping out of my shoes when I first enter my kitchen and leaving them there. No more! Now each pair has a home.
The books on top of my lingerie chest, decoupaged on all sides and inside the drawers with old sheet music, houses all the books I got at the church sale too. The chest was a garage sale purchase years ago that my mother enjoyed for many years. I need to look through the books before they find a permanent home. Most are on gardening. By the way, my nasturtium seeds are beginning to sprout!! There is more depth on either side of the closet for hanging clothes so it's larger than it looks with storage above for winter blankets, etc. I'm still not finished organizing my clothes into keep or donate piles, plus I wear the same few things all the time. Don't we all?

Here's a closer view. The two vintage shoe organizers with dividers are made from heavy duty cardboard and are covered with paper that makes me happy every time I open the double doors of my closet. When they were new, they were sold folded and flat and required some assembly. Someone kept them in perfect condition and they waited for me until I could get to the sale on the second day. Lucky me!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wisteria and Outdoor Furniture

My wisteria was beautiful for a while until big halestone pellets destroyed the blossoms in a storm a couple of weeks ago. The setting above is gorgeous. I love the stone wall and the tiny patio. I see a base for an umbrella to shade the sitters from the hot sun while dining. It's so nice to be outdoors this time of year. My project for the day has turned in to my project for the week. Cleaning out and rearranging my closet has is a long overdue chore and I've just started chipping away at the iceberg. But it is quite satisfying to see that progress is being made. photo source

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Official Royal Wedding Photos

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released these three official photographs from their wedding day and the newly-weds are said to be "delighted" with them. 
Photographed were taken by Alexi Lubomirski 

I couldn't resist this adorable photo of Prince George below. He looks so handsome in his pageboy uniform. I was thrilled with the wonderful behavior of all the children in this beautiful wedding.

Gorgeous New Colonial

What a nice new house that looks old! I love the architecture with so many interesting features, especially the porch with a beautiful balcony above. via

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lilibet's Playhouse: Royal Birthday Gift

Princess Elizabeth’s little cottage at Royal Lodge, a gift from the people of Wales on her sixth birthday. Could anything be more wonderful? The estate is located three miles south of Windsor Castle in Windsor Great Park and has been the official residence of The Duke of York (Prince Andrew) since 2004. photo from Instagram

Since posting, I have more information. Click HERE for more perfectly delightful archival photos of the Royal Family and the history of "The Little House at Royal Lodge" called Y Bwthyn Bach.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Meghan's Bridal Bouquet Deconstructed

These named white flowers were handpicked by Prince Harry for the bride's bouquet from The Diana Garden at Kensington Palace. I am so happy to learn the meanings of the chosen specimens and this very touching way to include his mom in the ceremony. 
AP photo.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nasturtium Seeds and An Acorn Tile

I found the seeds for trailing nasturtiums and bought 4 packets. I have already planted 2 packets in various planters in my front garden. It has rained every day since and I have turned on my heat twice. Mother Nature is still on a rampage of sorts but I'm ever hopeful the seeds will do their thing and give me a wonderful display. Fingers Crossed. I will put in supports for the ones I want to climb and leave the rest alone so they can trail.
The fabulous blue acorn tile was purchased at the same estate sale as my silver trophy. I adore the impressed acorn design, the intense blue color, and just looking at it makes me happy. Enjoy your Sunday. xo

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Royal Wedding: Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Did you get up early to watch? As promised, I did and I'm already planning my afternoon nap. This photo is from The Telegraph, @telegraph on Instagram. My television set will be on all day so I can see everything again and again and watch the specials tonight too. It was a glorious, beautiful, happy event, agreed? Princess Charlotte was adorable and I can't wait to see the Royal photos. See you later. xo

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cotswold Cottage: Burford UK

I shall be in England all day tomorrow for the Royal Wedding. I haven't been glued to the TV leading up to it but I got up early for Charles and Diana and will do the same for Harry and Megan. I started watching SUITS from the very beginning in 2011 and have seen every episode so I'm a long-time fan of the bride. I just heard on the news this morning that Charles is walking her down the isle and I think he is a fabulous choice. My dilemma is what channel to watch. BBC America might be the winner but I'll probably keep switching around until I find my favorite hosts. Maybe I'll even bake some scones today to have with my morning coffee, or should I switch to tea for this occasion? Nope. I'm a coffee girl. photo source

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Sewing Project at My Cottage

This was my introduction to sewing as a child. I sewed doll clothes by hand. I love this illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith found on Google Images.

I really shouldn't show this photo yet because the pillow cases aren't right. I just threw them on while the proper ones were being laundered. This spread is my current completed sewing project. I purchased this large piece of old unbleached linen at an estate sale and hoped it would become my lightweight summer bedspread. It was already sewn in three panels. I brought it home and laundered it but the center panel was too wide and the two side panels were too long. So up to the attic I went to get reacquainted with my sewing machine. It was a pretty easy project and I'm pleased with the results. It was just a matter of measuring and a lot of ironing. I put French seams where the side panels were attached so there are no raw edges and I top stitched them too. The deep hem on the side panels is so much nicer than the shirt tail hem that was there before. I cannot sleep on or under anything but natural fabrics that breathe. If there is one drop of polyester or another synthetic, I can tell and it smothers me. This must make me a close cousin of The Princess and The Pea.
Now I'm thinking about making some new curtains for my attic windows that I can close in the summer to block the morning sun. Will keep you posted. xo

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Louisa Moore's Farm Property near Charleston SC

A hammock on a screened-in porch. How heavenly.
See more photos of Louisa Moore's farm property here. Read about this delightful woman and her historic home in South Carolina's low country.

Raised to live off the land, Louisa Moore nets all manner of nature’s goods on her historic North Mount Pleasant property in Charleston County, South Carolina. She looks like a strong southern woman I would enjoy knowing. I like people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Casa Calvet: Barcelona Balconies

Casa Calvet de Barcelona (1899) is one of Antoni Gaudí's earliest buildings. Some people consider it his most conservative work but it also contains markedly modern elements, such as the façade which terminates in a curve and the attic balconies, which look like something from a fairy tale. 

The ground floor now houses a restaurant. Read more about the history of this building here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Foxglove at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg has the best old-fashioned gardens. This photo is from one of my favorite frequent posters on Instagram. She wanders around the village capturing the old houses and gardens, both flower and vegetable, and they are all fabulous. This garden is happening there right now. xo

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018

Anna 1920-2012
Photo above on my first birthday September 1943.
It's true. Nobody loves you like your mother and I had a great one. This will be my 6th year without her but she lives forever in my heart. We had a long run together and I'm happy about that. She's still my guiding light. xo
I was looking through some old Mother's Day posts and you might enjoy some really wonderful home-made cards celebrating mothers here.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Trophy Cups on my Mantle

I decided to have a graduated display because I wasn't pleased with anything else. I brought out some of my miniature boxes and chests from other parts of the house and came up with this as my final staging. The silver trophies haven't been polished since before Christmas and they don't look that bad in this photo but in person they are quite tarnished. Once I get started, it won't seem like such a chore. I enjoyed polishing my newest addition yesterday but it's time to do something else around the cottage. Enjoy this Mother's Day Weekend. xo

Antique Engraved Armorial Trophy Cup

This wonderful English hand-engraved trophy cup with an armorial crest was my favorite find yesterday at an estate sale. It was black with tarnish but it is now transformed. I spent the morning rearranging my collection of trophies on my fireplace mantle and their mounts too. I collect small boxes too and have for years. This cup is silver over copper and I love that the engraving has exposed the copper after years of being polished. I shall try to find this armorial in my Royal Book of Crests. No matter what I bring home and no matter how small it is, I usually spend the day finding the perfect spot and arrange and rearrange until the new (old) items are perfectly at home in my cottage. This was a nice way to spend a dark and gloomy Saturday morning and I finally have achieved an arrangement that is pleasing to my eye(s). I haven't been to a sale in a very long time and I'm glad I went to this one. 
Have a great Mother's Day weekend. xo

Friday, May 11, 2018

Wonderful Pantry in Madison NJ

Is it possible to buy a home just because you love the pantry and it's your favorite room in the house? One of the agents in my office has the listing in Madison NJ and the rest of this 1925 cottage is nice too. MLS # 3460000 -- $595,000. I would love to find the perfect buyer so let me know if you have an interest or want more information. xo

Thursday, May 10, 2018

His and Her Marble Sinks

This bathroom is beautiful and very well thought out. I love the two marble sinks with the high back splashes and sides against the shiplap wall fitted with sconces and hanging mirrors. The cabinet with drawers and shelves in the middle is handy for both sides and eliminates the need for built-in vanities which would hide the beautiful walls, baseboards, and penny tile floor. The brass fixtures are lovely and the pipes, though functional, are now statement pieces. Now if only we could see the rest of the room! via
UPDATE: A wonderful reader found the link for a complete tour of this house showing another view of the bathroom too. Thanks Lesliec.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Coral Charm Peonies

Coral Charm Peony ~ Mia Tarney
I honestly can't tell if this is a painting that looks like a photo or a photo that looks like a painting. Either way, these peonies are gorgeous. I don't have this variety but mine are coming up very nicely and are about two feet tall with small buds. How does your garden grow?
After more research, I learned this is a painting and it's simply gorgeous, isn't it? Her flower paintings are beyond amazing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

House Wrens are Busy at My Cottage

I adore these little birds who have built nests all around me in my Bird Bottles from Williamsburg. This Carolina Wren is building in the back and loves to sit on this post and sing to me. I could never get this close with my iPhone and took this photo from my balcony with my Nikon. Deep blue skies are over the cottage today and the sun feels good and not too hot. See you later. Enjoy your day. xo

Monday, May 7, 2018

Climbing Nasturtiums

I absolutely love this idea. via
Nasturtiums are my favorite summer flowers whether they are blooming or not as I adore their round leaves too. They are really showing off their climbing ability from a single stake in a rather small pot. This gorgeous alcove is the perfect place for this beautiful photograph. LOVE!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Curious Barn Owls in UK Church Window

Richard Brooks photographed the three young Barn Owls looking out of the quatrefoil of a local church one evening in July after staking out the site most evenings over a three week period. Enlarge this amazing photo here.

As the perfect place to perch, it must have been the answer to their prayers.

Three inquisitive young barn owls used this lofty window for an early evening surveillance mission in a Norfolk churchyard.

Standing in the stone quatrefoil of Christ Church, Fulmodeston, they were keeping a beady eye open for a tasty snack of mouse, vole or shrew.
Read the article in The Daily Mail here.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Amazing Chalk Stream in England

This crystal clear stream is in Ovington, Hampshire, UK. I fell in love with this on Instagram where it was posted by stampsandstamps and is shown there as a video showing the moving water of this crystal clear stream. I have never heard of a chalk stream, have you? I hope that's watercress growing on the bottom. Click here to see the video. Enjoy. You're welcome. Have a lovely weekend. xo

Friday, May 4, 2018

Open House Tour Yesterday

I would love to have my washer and dryer off the kitchen like this one in a mud room.

The pink weeping cherry tree overlooking the backyard, barn and pool in the way back was very gorgeous.

I wasn't able to gain entry to the barn complex but I loved the outside.

Thursday, May 3, 2018