Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thank You, Doreen!

Wow! I've received my first award from Doreen!

Now I need to list 5 of my favorite things:
1. Family and friends!
2. Animals, especially shelties!
3. Decorating cottage style!
4. Reading!
5. Nature!

Now to pass it on to five others:

1. Cathy at Hazelruthe's.
2. Christine at Change of Heart.
3. Angelandspot.
4. Dottie at D & G Garden and Crafts.
5. Sue at Gossamer Creations.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Vintage Children's Books & Illustrations

For as long as I can remember, I've been collecting children's books. I love the illustrations from long ago. Those from primers and other school books for young children are some of my favorites. Don't you just love the old picture of this beautiful farm collie!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rabbits and Rocking Chairs in the Kitchen!

Rabbits frolic in our kitchen and I wouldn't have it any other way! I found this rabbit border many years ago while redecorating our previous home. It went right up in that kitchen and then...and then, we sold the house and moved. I could hardly bear to leave that beautiful old Victorian but we had to move closer to work. 
So I saved a few of my favorite things for the new place, our vintage cottage home! I went back to the wallpaper store and bought all they had of this discontinued rabbit pattern. It was to be a few years before it was finally hung but now we get to enjoy it every day!
The rabbit sign was discovered at a yearly antique show. This hand-painted piece made quite a rabbit-to-do as we carried it out to the car! Of course, we were just tickled with all the excitement over our purchase. The sign had come from a farm near the Ohio border where rabbits had been the happy crop for many years.

The "Country Living" sign and the antique rockers print came from Home Goods. I love how they all compliment each other. With rabbits and rockers everywhere, what more could a cottage lover ask for?

(Let me just add that the move to our cottage home was one of the best decisions we've ever made! Not long after we were settled here, my daughter got married and because her husband needed to be closer to work, they moved to our same area. Now that the grandchildren have arrived, we are only twenty minutes away. Who knew we'd end up with such wonderful gifts!)

Thrifty Vintage Cottage Home Find!

A quick trip to our local Salvation Army Thrift Store yesterday on the way to appointments provided this wonderful framed cottage collage! I could hardly believe I'd found it at all, let alone the thrifty price of $4.99!
Our local Salvation Army store has a rapid turnover so there's always hope of finding something new, unique, and interesting. Thrift stores are just too much fun! One person's junque is another's treasure. And who doesn't love searching for treasure? You never know what amazing cottage bargains you might find!

The Camera Monster in a Rare Moment of Repose!

I just had to post this photo taken yesterday by Jim. It's so seldom that Bonnie Lass (the camera monster) will put up with having her picture taken that this is a rare shot indeed. Of course, the truth of the matter is that she was outside on the deck and Jim was inside. Had it been me behind the camera, this would never have been possible. She knows exactly when I'm going to take pictures for the blog and does whatever she can to prevent it.

This is what we usually see. (Aha, Jim! Caught in the act!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quilt Blocks Made from Vintage Fabric

This was one of the patterns I especially liked from the Persian Pickle Club Sampler quilt block workshop I took at our local quilt shop a few years ago. I thought it would be great to see this pattern made from vintage fabric. So these blocks were made from vintage cotton and feedsack florals, solid colored broadcloth and plain muslin fabrics! I love how the different colors and patterns compliment each other!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cottage Art: Watercolors To Look For!

I love a good day of shopping estate sales and have found over the years that often it's the unplanned sales where one finds the best bargains! While my husband and I were on vacation last year, we spotted an Estate Sale sign and decided to give it a try.

The house we entered was a huge old Victorian with wide oak staircases and French doors leading to charming rooms filled with fine china, shelf upon shelf of books, Asian rugs, handmade baskets of all sorts and shapes, and art pieces of various textures and sizes from around the world. The prices on these ranged from $40 to $1200.

However, on a small table across the room from the more expensive art pieces were a few paintings the elderly woman had created herself in a watercolor class. While most shoppers seemed aloof to these, I was immediately attracted to them and bought two for $5 each. 

As soon as we returned home, I framed this one and just love seeing it every day! It seemed to fit immediately and seamlessly into my vintage cottage collections!

The Wind!

I just love these vintage poems. This one from the 1932 book of Poems for the Very Young Child. A recent thrifty find at an Indiana antique mall, the book of poems was compiled by Dolores Knippel and illustrated by Mary Ellsworth. Published by Whitman Publishing Co in Racine, Wisconsin.

Oh! Bread Pudding Recipe Just Like Mom Used To Make!

Here's another recipe from the vintage recipe box I bought at an antique mall not long ago. Lots of treasures in this little box! And bread pudding is one of my favorites!

I also collect old cookbooks so will, from time to time, get some of those ready to share. And I have quite a few recipes left by my mother in her own handwriting. Now those are the real treasures.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Snow! But Mr. Squirrel Is Safe!

Still more snow arrived this weekend and we're beginning to wonder when it will all stop! 

But the good news is: my little squirrel has made it through the below zero weather and has showed back up again! I didn't want to write about it earlier as I was sadly thinking he didn't make it through some days as cold as 15 below! But now I can happily say he is okay. 

Yesterday, Jim discovered little Mr. Squirrel has made a soft bed in the rafters of our garage. Seems that old brown blanket we've always loved so well through the years has been recruited by Mr. Squirrel to get him through the coldest part of winter.  What a relief! Now I'll have to find something else to worry about; at least that's what Jim says!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Hummingbirds and Wedding Memories!

When Jim and I celebrate our 20th anniversary later this year, we'll have some beautiful memories of our hummingbird themed wedding. Beginning with our specially designed invitations down to the multitude of frosted glass holders with pink candles at our reception, everything was just perfect...well, almost perfect!

There were a few glitches! For example, our photographer fell asleep at his home and arrived late holding up the ceremony for almost a half hour! To add to the confusion, my daughters just barely made it to the church on time due to having been caught up in traffic. Still the wedding went off without a further hitch.

Until...until we lit the Unity Candle. I didn't realize it at the time. Too excited I guess. But watching the video after the ceremony and early on at the reception, I realized that, after lighting the Unity Candle, I had immediately blown it out! But Jim had swiftly saved the day by relighting!

We received beautiful gifts at the reception, including hummingbird books, Helsinki glass my mother had purchased in Finland, and last but not least a gorgeous music box made especially for us by my daughter-in-law. She had ordered it made with our wedding invitation as the top of the box.

But when we were just about to open it, she made this announcement, "I have to apologize! It's not the tune I ordered. The company said they will replace it for you but I wanted to warn you!"

"Oh, I'm sure it's fine!" I said. But when I tipped the top up, the strains of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" sang out loud and clear! Every wedding guest, family and friend alike, laughed loud and long. To this day, it is the single most outstanding memory of a day highlighted by hummingbirds and, more importantly, the love of family and friends!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

1970's Wedding Dress Pattern

It's always fun to look back at women's dress patterns to see the styles of the times. So I look for vintage dress patterns whenever we get to one of our favorite antique malls. This one was found in Indiana on a recent day trip. I'd been searching for a few "new" vintage valentines when I came across this charming bridal party pattern set. Since engagements often follow Valentines Day and weddings follow engagements, finding this pattern was quite timely.

The year was 1971 and this Simplicity pattern sold for a whole $1! I haven't priced wedding patterns lately but I'm sure the cost would be considerably more today.

Remember the styles from that decade? In many ways, completely different from our current fashions. I'm fairly sure no bride today would select headscarves for her attendants but they certainly do have an interesting flair to them! Reflected in this wedding pattern are the popular peasant dresses of the 1970's. Quaint and charming to us now but quite the rage in 1971!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vintage Parasols Novelty Handkerchief!

Collecting handkerchiefs—or hankies as we called them—during my growing up years was one of my favorite things to do. Those were the times in which greeting cards arrived for a birthday or special occasion with a beautiful hanky as a gift.Many hankies were printed with a variety of fancy florals in all colors imaginable. They were all beautiful to behold. But every so often one among the many stood out as exceptional such as this sweet old Irish linen parasol hanky, handcrafted by the Herrmann company.Wedding and baby shower invitations, greeting cards, and handkerchiefs with parasols printed on them were especially popular in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. And from these photos it's easy to see why!What did you collect as a child? Are you still a collector today?

Room with a View: Cottage Memories!

I really enjoy having this beautiful indoor/outdoor view from my workroom! I have always been attracted to stained glass and finally found this awesome piece a few years ago. It's so peaceful to turn and see these radiant dragonflies shimmering in the sunshine.

Brings back memories of our family cottage and good times on Hagerman Lake in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, rowing out to the islands in the little robin's egg blue boat, and watching the turtles sun themselves on fallen logs.

I see them still: dragonflies of many colors flitting about, landing here and there, their iridescent wings skimming pink and white water lilies. Then speedily flying away to dart and dip in the light. More than ten thousand days gone by but the memory lingers long.

More Designs from Instant Memories "Babies"

After posting the Bluebirds, Babies, and Butterflies design, I decided I just had to share a few more from the book Babies from the Instant Memories ready to use scrapbook pages series. This is a wonderful book that comes with a CD containing hundreds of high-quality color images in a variety of scrapbook layouts and can be downloaded onto both PC and Macintosh computers. There are all kinds of nostalgic designs to use in your creative projects. The project ideas, too, are endless and wonderful!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bluebirds, Babies, and Butterflies!

I've been tagged by Sharon I'm to pick the 6th picture from my 6th folder, post it, blog about it, and then choose 6 other bloggers and let them blog about their 6 and 6!

My 6th picture from my 6th folder is this beautiful vintage postcard design from the book Babies from the Instant Memories ready to use scrapbook pages series. This is a wonderful book that comes with a CD containing hundreds of high-quality color images in a variety of scrapbook layouts and can be downloaded onto both PC and Macintosh computers. In this particular book there are whimisical storks, chicks, presents, infants and other nostalgic designs that can be used to create one's own unique projects.

Now I'm tagging the following cool people:

1. Jenny at

Beth at

April at

BJ McCart at

Sylvia at

6. Laurie at

I think this is really fun and know many of you would agree. But I also know how busy we all are so am leaving the tag up the individuals who would like to participate to go ahead and leave their 6 and 6. Have fun everyone!

For the Love of Nantucket Rabbits!

Here's one of my favorite cottage accessories! There isn't a day that goes by in which I don't marvel at this wonderful design by Claire Murray. This lovely hand hooked wool rug called "Strawberry Patch" was produced by Nantucket Needlepoint and I was fortunate to "win" it on eBay several years ago. 

Claire Murray has an interesting story about how she came to leave the busy life of NY to move to her beloved Nantucket Island. A true cottage dweller, her artistry of flowers, animals and the beauty of her island is unmatched! I feel honored to keep a small part of her spirit in my cottage home.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Persian Pickle Club Quilt Sampler

These sampler quilt blocks were made through participation in a local quilt shop's monthly workshop. We were all given the book The Persian Pickle Club to read along with the workshop presentations. I'm not sure this book really had anything to do with the particular quilt blocks but it was fun to share it along with the quilters in the group.

Each month, we received a quilt block kit to put together at home. Then when we returned with our completed blocks the following month, we were able to receive the next month's block.
I especially like the beautiful reproduction 1930's fabrics chosen for the quilt block kits. Everything looked beautiful against the plain muslin background!

Vintage Stationery & Greeting Card Boxes

I have a passion for vintage decorative boxes. I don’t actually find a lot of them in my antique and flea market travels so I only have a few, but I’m always on the lookout! The colorful illustrations with their quaint and charming hearts and/or flowers speak to me of long ago and gentler times.

This box makes me think of springtime and all the pleasures it brings: starting anew the gardens, the return of the robins, and the ease of warmer weather. Not that I really mind so much the colder weather; I don’t. Still it’s awfully nice to look forward to the coming of spring with all its magical charms of the season.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Snow Arrived Overnight!

We were sort of hoping the snow would take a vacation for a few days but here it is again. Still the new snowfall is beautiful! And I love how the snowflakes are described in this old-fashioned poem!
I discovered this 1932 book of Poems for the Very Young Child last week when Jim and I took a day trip to visit antique shops in Indiana. The book was in "falling-apart" condition with pages ready to fly away but the poems were intact as you can see. A lovely find!

Compiled by Dolores Knippel and illustrated by Mary Ellsworth. Published by Whitman Publishing Co in Racine, Wisconsin.