Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Sweet Little Coffee Break

After a busy day of tidying up,
(How can 2 people, 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 bird make such a mess?!)
I took a well-deserved break to treat myself. 

My new polka-dot coffee mug was calling my name :)

Isn't it cute? There was only one in that color, 
but I brought it home anyway. 

A little gift, just for me. 

Of course, I had to have something to go with my cuppa! 

These are sugar cookies that I baked for my Ramblin' Man. 
(His favorite - but then again, he says that
about everything I bake! I think it's a ploy...:) 

I took two....

I just found this pretty vintage plate. 
Again- there was only one,
but I thought it was so pretty. 

My Dear Mum taught me that it was important
to reward yourself with a little treat for those endlessly
thankless chores a woman does every day. 

It keeps us from going on strike. 

Fresh flowers are another little treat. 
These bright red carnations cost 
less than a Starbucks! 

They also have no calories, unlike a double mocha latte!

The galvanized bucket and stone birds
were my souvenier's from the 
Northwest Flower and Garden show. 

I sewed some sweet mug mats to go with my new cup. 

One for me, and some extra for guests. 

I find that guests don't use the coasters I set out, 
so I am hoping these might be more enticing. 

I made them out of vintage fabric and rick-rack, 
with thin cotton batting inside.
 I sprayed them with fabric protector, 
and they can also be thrown in the wash. 

I have been changing the decor in my kitchen 
a bit - from blues and greens to red and white. 

I have been finding inexpensive white 
dishware at my local home-goods store,
a piece at a time. 

I have fallen in love with this new color 

I painted this urn to hold my new angel. 

It was originally bronze. 

Just a light coat of  'cream' craft paint,
letting some of the bronze show through, 
gave it a whole new look. 

I tucked some moss around the base of the angel. 

*Sweetness and light*

While I take my break, I like to look through
magazines or books.

Whenever I went to visit my Dear Mum,
(who lived just down the lane from me for 30 years),
we would do this very same thing.

We built our homes 'together' on land
carved out of wilderness.

We would spend endless hours pouring
over decorating books, cookbooks,
and magazines.....dreaming.

She always made me feel welcome
and it was a sweet break from the hardships
of our lives.

We especially loved vintage cookbooks,
and we each had a small collection.

She was an excellent cook, and could
whip up a meal using whatever she had on hand,
without even using a recipe.

Her talent was passed down from her Mother,
Beatrice Euphemie, who raised 8 children
(seven daughters and finally, one son :)
during the depression and WWII.

These are three of my favorites,

I love hand illustrated cookbooks.

This one is especially charming.

'Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens',
a year 'round guide to growing and using
herbs and vegetables.
by Mary Mason Campbell,
pictures by Tasha Tudor.

Published in 1971. My Ramblin' Man
and I were dating then.

Oh, the years fly by, don't they?

Look what I found.....
one of his little notes tucked in the pages. <3

Another charming cookbook with sweet illustrations,
'Just a Matter of Thyme'
from the 'Among Friends' collection.
by Shelly Reeves-Smith and Roxie Kelley.
Published 1992

It just makes cooking such a delightful experience!

And of course, the iconic cookbooks
by Susan Branch are always a delight.

This one was published in 1986.

I found these cute paper clips which are perfect
for marking pages.

Oh, yum, these cookies are good!
My grandmother, Bea's recipe.

You can find the recipe Here.

Coffee break is over...time to get back to work.

Hmmmm - what shall I cook for dinner?

Wishing you a lovely week, Dear Friends!
Don't forget to treat yourself!


Linking with: Roses of Inspiration

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show - Part III

As we continue the tour of the
 Northwest Flower and Garden Show
at the Seattle Convention Center, 
the first garden we will explore 
is called the 'Steampunk' Garden. 

You can find an explantion 
of the term 'Steampunk', 

This is a growing movement 
in Seattle (and elsewhere) and has evolved into
a sort of retro-futuristic style
of what the industrial era might 
have envisioned for the future,
using steam powered engines! 

I know......strange......, although
I am sure you have seen this style
in home decorating trends. 

I call it 'Back to the Future'! 

Right away we notice the garden shed
with submarine style portholes in the roof. 

The lighting was tinted, which distorts things
a bit, but we see a flowering viburnum and 
some narissus in the foreground. 

I like the diamond paned windows, 
the arched double doors, 
and the hayrack window planter. 

The scalloped roofing, porthole
windows, and telescoping pergola
add a nautical feel. 

I can see this in a garden by the sea. 

A recycled grinding stone 
adds interest to the retaining wall. 

I like the pink tulips with
the purple hyacinths. 

One of the main features of this garden, 
was the fantastical water fountain. 

This fountain was made of a large musical
instrument (a tuba?), copper tubing, 
and salvaged, miscellaneous junk,
along with many gears, 
wheels and moveable parts,
propelled by the water's path. 

Later, when perusing the vendor booths, 
we found these for sale in many different
configurations and sizes.

The other main feature of this garden was the large
clock, also made with many gears
 and salvaged industrial parts. 

The bright, colorful plantings added 
to the imaginative setting. 

Large slabs of stone anchor this garden 
to the site. 

Of course we can't forget to provide for the fairies! 

The next garden we will explore is  what I call the 'Recycled Garden'. 

Right away we notice the tall spires of crates
that form recycled garden sculpture for housing bees! 

This garden uses lovely shades of rose, lavender, gray and blue
in an informal setting. 

A small rock-lined water feature sits to the left. 

Colorful birdhouses, pots and a reclaimed wood shed
 give this garden charm. 

Nature collages (insect hotels) add artistic creativity
 to the crate bee towers
and front of building. 

There are many delightful details, such as the stone birdhouse, 
the heart on the door, and the informal stone path. 

This garden shed looks very inexpensive to build
and would add character to a country setting. 

A side view showing the pretty gardens
and interesting nature collages (insect and bee hotels). 
We found these for sale at one of the vendor booths. 

Recycled windows provide a backdrop to a bird bath 
nestled among tulips, heather, and lily of the valley. 

Tulips everywhere! So pretty with the grape hyacinth. 

The large ceramic pots and colorful watering cans 
are so bright and cheerful. 

A large driftwood bench nestles among lush plantings. 

Notice the colorful water bottles? 
They are 'keeping it real'. 

The liberal use of dwarf evergreens 
 guarantees this garden would look 
nice year round. 

Having the large stacks of crates would be wonderful 
for spring planting. :) 
Or bee-keeping! 

The last garden we will view today won 'Best in Show' 
for its amazing lunar lighting feature. 

It was difficult to photograph the lunar details, 
but it looked just like the face of the moon
with an owl in flight. 

A rather wild landscape frames this garden with red barberry, evergreens, 
 white birch and woodland plantings, along with rose and white flowers.  

The main feature of this garden was this Scandinavian
garden house. 

The backside of the building was framed with
lovely white flowers. 

I love the traditional Scandinavian detail. 

I hope you enjoyed exploring these beautiful gardens with me! 


In the next installment, we will take a look at 
a Shabby Chic Garden, a Picnic Garden, 
and a Woodland Gazebo Garden. 


I hope you will join me! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five on Friday

Sunrise on Mt. Rainier, illuminating lenticular clouds.

I am taking a break from the Garden Show Series
to participate in a new meme hosted by 
called, Five on Friday. 

If you would like to join this fun meme, 
click on the link above. 

Today I am posting 5 photos of Mt. Rainier. 

Moon Rise over Mt. Rainier at sunset 

14,411 ft. Mt. Rainier dominates the Cascade Mt. Range
here in Washington State,
and produces its own weather. 

It is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes
in the world due to its large amount of glacial ice.
A potential eruption or lahar could bring down massive 
amounts of mud and rock into populated areas -
with a potential of burying the Puyallup Valley 40 ft. deep.

We are high above, protected by large ridges of mountains,
and not in the path of danger.  

If you would like to learn more about this beautiful, 
but dangerous mountain, you can read about it Here

Dramatic sunrise over the Cascade Range
As a young Mother, my husband and I moved onto raw land
overlooking this view, to build our dream home. 

You can read about our journey Here
and under 'Our Life Together' on my side bar.

Hole in the sky above Mt. Rainier
This was not an easy journey,
but this beautiful view made it worth
the struggle.

Lenticular clouds portend a coming storm

Living here on the edge of the wilderness may be quiet and lonely
in human terms, but there is always something interesting and dramatic
going on in nature.

I live by nature's rythyms and have learned to read her signs.
I have a profound respect for this beautiful place that we call Earth,
and a continued realization of how fragile this planet can be.

It has been my priviledge to live here
despite the hardships,
for I have learned the true
meaning and value of nature's beauty.


Linking with: Five on Friday

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