Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Am I Doing Sitting Out on the Porch???...


I'm freezing my tush off, that's what I'm doing!... it's still winter here in Centerville... but, today I am joining Jill at Gypsy Brocante for the Porch Club, so... by darn Jill!!... I am out on my porch!...


I grew up in a little Mayberry kind of town called Bountiful, Utah... which borders my little Mayberry kind of town of Centerville I live in today to the south... my homes and my heart have always been in the country, where simple country pleasures means time spent on the porch... whether it is writing in my Nature and garden journals as I savor my morning coffee, gazing at our beautiful sunrises over our majestic mountains just to the east of our home, snapping beans fresh from our farmers market, sipping iced~cold lemonade and visiting with a neighbor or just plain ole daydreaming... I love anything that reminds me of simpler, gentler times... I live in the present, but as I state in my profile I cherish the people, places and objects from the past, for they are all a part of who I am today...
Jill's get~together reminds me of when I was a little girl and my mama would start each morning out getting together with her two best friends, Bobbi and Dee, more often than not, at our home... Bobbi lived right across the street from us, and Dee lived several houses down... the coffee pot was always on at our house and mama usually had a yummy fresh~baked goodie of some kind for the ladies... sometimes they would sit outside, sometimes at the kitchen table inside... I loved to hear mama laugh as she and Bobbi and Dee chatted away, sipping coffee and catching up on what they had all been up to, how the kids were, perhaps sharing a new recipe they had made... simply enjoying being together with friends, and savoring the beginning of a beautiful new day... I always think of the old Andy Griffith show and how much time was spent out on their porch... Andy playing his guitar as Aunt Bea sat and knitted or just relaxed as he strummed...ahhh... the good old days...
We have a smallish front porch and a larger back deck, which I call a porch, just 'cause... porch sounds more romantic than deck... and I spend alot time on both of them... sometimes, Jack sits and strums his guitar, just like Andy used to do... and we relax and watch the sun set into the Great Salt Lake... (not sure if he will let me post a pic of him doing that, he's kinda hesitant about me posting his pics!)... just like Aunt Bea did, I often sit and daydream as well...like so many things, I think "porch sitting" is just as much about a state of mind as anything else... Aunt Bea looks so happy and content... wonder what she was daydreaming about?...
If you are new to Idyllhours, I must tell you, there is nothing fancy about me... the simple things in life really DO make me the happiest, and porch sitting is one of those simple country pleasures... not much out on our porches right now... but as the weather warms, out come the chairs and flowerpots that will soon burst forth with cottage garden plants of all kinds... the Hummingbird feeders will go back up so we can sit and watch our beautiful little winged jewels... like me, my porch is not fancy schmancy but rather simple... cozy and inviting and life seems just a bit sweeter on the porch...

Thanks Jill for hosting our porch get~togethers... by the way, the darling top I am wearing was made by none other than sweet Jill herself... I purchased it from her shop ... she made it from vintage doilies and lace and it is stunning!... I love how she has named all of her Faded Prairie collection and tells little stories about them... mine is called "Olivia Sue" and here is how she describes this Prairie gal... "Olivia Sue was one sassy gal that would sass any cowboy out on the Dakota prairie... she had what they called "spunk""... hmmm... sound like anyone you know???... Jack always calls me sassy... perhaps Olivia Sue was one of my ancestors and I inherited a few of her traits?... it's perfect for sitting out on my porch and enjoying a cup of coffee and good company... 'till next time... sending happy thoughts your way from the porch... xoxo


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Love My "Junk"....


Can you honestly believe there are people out there who call these treasures "junk"???... these are just a few of my vintage galvanized metal pieces which I LOVE!... (I took this photo last Spring, it is still winter here!)...


The geraniums are potted in a vintage sap bucket from Vermont that I bought twenty five years ago, the smaller watering can was an estate sale find for 25 cents last year... the larger watering can was a gift from my sister almost twenty five years ago when we lived on our little farm I have posted about, and it is one of my most treasured things ever, and the little scoop was a real find at a local "junk" store for 50 cents!... to me... they are priceless!... I am linking today with Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday... I LOVE my "junk"!... xoxo...



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Garden Visitors...


It has been warming up alot here this past week, making me oh so anxious to get out in my gardens... I moved my pots of succulents back out to the back deck where they will get the warmth of the sun from the west, which they thrive on... then, wouldn't you just know it!... yesterday we had a huge blizzard and they are now covered in snow!... I am joining Tracie at Fishtail Cottage for Cottage Flora Thursday so today I am showing some of my photos from last Spring once more... soon, my gardens will come alive again and I will post the rebirth of my cherished blooms!... our yard is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat... we have birdhouses, birdbaths and feeders scattered throughout the gardens... this is one of my little favorites... my Jackmanii Clematis grows up an obelisk next to it... the birdies love flowers right outside their front door too!... did you know that most birds actually scout out their Spring nesting sites in the winter!... they do... "For Rent" signs have been out on all of our birdhouses, and I have filled them with wood shavings... the new "renters" like to "clean house" before they build their own nests inside, so they will throw out the shavings I placed in them and make it "their own" cozy nest...


Butterfly kisses to you!...
Sweet little Hummingbird Moth... I love to get up close with Nature... they can sense I love them and would never hurt them...
A gorgeous Swallowtail tickles my finger as we chat at my Butterfly Bush...
A pretty little butterfly house provides a shady place for them to rest on hot summers days... Saint Francis watches over all who visit my gardens...
If you look closely, you will see pollen this little sweetie has scattered on one of my Petunias...

Bee happy!... xoxo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dear Hawk...


Thank you for visiting us in our back yard today... and allowing me to get close and photograph you...


Yes, you are a beautiful, magnificent bird, but I do believe you are a bit pompous!... just look at you, sticking your chest out like that... I think we need to have a little talk about your attitude...
Hey!... I am talking to you!...please look at me when I am talking to you!... there goes that attitude again!...
Really?... you say you follow my blog, and you read I love all God's creatures?... that's correct... all God's precious little creatures are welcome here, however, we do have some house rules you will be expected to follow...
You are most welcome to come here to dine... we feature a tasty assortment of goodies in our backyard buffet, including gourmet seed mix, deluxe nut and fruit mix, cracked corn, peanuts in the shell (unsalted, of course), Woodpecker's Favorite Suet, Berry Suet, plus orange and apple slices, along with fresh peanut butter... HOWEVER... birds, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, and any other wildlife enjoying our sanctuary are NOT on the menu!...
Do I make myself clear???...

As long as you follow our house rules, I think we'll get along just fine... yes... I will feature you on my blog... yes, I will let the female Coopers Hawks know you are available...yes, I will let you know if you get any emails... (I still think you are pompous...but I love you!)... xoxo...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Sweet as Sugar...


Hello there!... I posted this about a week ago, then found a beautiful blog today that I fell in love with called Verde Farm where they are hosting "Farm Friend Friday"... and am linking to this fun party as well!...

Hi there!...I am linking today's post to Vintage Inspiration Fridays at Common Ground also...I have often posted about how in addition to my love of collecting vintage treasures, I also try to find out the history behind them...


Recently, I was looking at my friend Kelly's blog "Farmstead Lifestyle"... (you may remember my beautiful vintage white cowgirl boots I wore for the Barn Chicks party posts... I bought those from Kelly's shop)... on her latest post, she posted about her adorable new little country cafe she opened and also showed some darling aprons for sale in the cafe made out of vintage sugar sacks... I fell in love with them!... a closer look and I saw they were from the old Layton Sugar Factory, in Layton, Utah... a town which is about a ten minutes drive to the north of where I live!... Kelly lives in Missouri on her farm and her cafe is just across the Kansas border in Leavenworth... I talked with Kelly and told her the story about the old Layton Sugar Company and that I just had to have one of her aprons!... this is beautiful Kelly in the photo below...
Kelly is such a cutie, so full of life and her sunny disposition is contagious!... she loved hearing about the old sugar company and then told me how she came to own the old sugar sacks... she bought them last September at the Junk Bonanza in Minneapolis, Minnesota... she knew she would be opening her little cafe and bakery and thought they would make cute aprons... so she designed them herself!...I couldn't wait to put my apron on when it arrived!...
Several days ago when I talked to Kelly, I told her I would drive to Layton and try to take some photos of the old sugar company if it was still standing... it used to be on, where else, "Sugar Street"... sadly, I could not find it in the masses of industrial areas now out where farmlands once sprawled... but I did take a picture of the street sign...
Below is an old photo of the sugar company taken in 1936 provided to me by the Utah State Historical Society... they are researching more for me and will let me know all the details...where exactly it was, if it is still standing... you know me, I want to know everything!... in doing some further research, I found out that in the early 1900's sugar beet seeds and heavy equipment were transported by riverboat to, guess where!... Leavenworth Kansas!... the same town Kelly's cafe is now located in, and where she would be shipping my apron from!... The seeds and equipment were then transported by 52 ox teams across the plains to Utah...
I was so loving my little vintage sugar sack apron, I didn't want to take it off!... so I kept it on and baked an apple pie!...
For now it will hang on one of my bakers racks in my kitchen, waiting for me to bake the next pie or cake, looking so cute, and reminding me of my friend Kelly who is just "sweet as sugar"!...
I hope you will visit Kelly at Farmstead Lifestyle... more aprons will be available out of vintage flour and sugar sacks... they are so well made and such high quality, you will just love one!... I also loved what Kelly wrote to me in an email after hearing the history of things... she said what an interesting history and little life this old sugar sack has had and how it has come "full circle" with she and I... after all of these years, and so many miles away... now back "home" in Utah... don't you just love stories like this!...




Thursday, January 20, 2011

Farmhouse Kitchen... Vintage Inspiration Friday...


Happy New Year everyone!... today, December 29th, I am once again joining Debra at Common Ground for her Vintage Inspiration Friday, Favorite Vintage Post Party... here is one of my favorites, hope you enjoy seeing it, or if you have already seen it, I hope you enjoy it again!... xoxo Julie Marie


Hi there!... today, I am joining Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday... thanks Debra for hosting these fun get~togethers where our beloved vintage treasures are shared!...
Probably my most favorite room in our home is our kitchen... there are alot of reasons it's my favorite... I love spending cozy days in there... sipping a cup of coffee as I bake yummy things, (and eat them!), usually from an old recipe of my mama's or grandmothers... and I also love all of my vintage kitchen treasures I have collected over the past thirty plus years... I not only display them, but I use them all as well... for me, I feel like this keeps me connected to so many of the people I love who are no longer here... I can just feel their special touch on these items... and sometimes hear their gentle voices as my thoughts drift away... such a simple thing, sifting flour... but there is a certain satisfaction in doing so...
These are some of my vintage flour sifters...oooh how I love them!... they are all so gently worn and shabby... our kitchen is totally farmhouse style and these look so cute on top of my hutches, ready to grab at a moment's notice when I decide to bake a pie or cake...
Each one is unique and has it's own special stories to tell... do you listen to your vintage treasures for stories as well?... I always try to find out as much as I can about every vintage item I buy or am given... who did it belong to?... where did they live?... why didn't their family want these things?... that is one question I can never understand... I never part with things that belonged to my family... but, lucky for those of us who love to collect, so many of these treasures are out there, waiting for us to give them a new home!... flour sifters like these are still pretty much available, and still reasonably priced... making them a perfect collectible!...this one with the red handle on the crank is my favorite one!...
I also collect vintage pie tins, like this one... "Acme Toasted Pies"... too cute!...
Can't you just picture a sweet little grandmother using this one so many years ago... sifting the flour... baking something yummy that filled her farmhouse kitchen with a Heavenly aroma...
Years of loving use...
Shabby and worn...but still does the job... good as new... actually, better than new!... it's my favorite one!... ooohhh... I already said the other one was my favorite one?... hmmm... actually, they are all my "favorite one"!...
And this little "favorite one" is so cute and little... I really do love it, you just shake it back and forth to sift ...oops!... just noticed the dust on top of my hutch in this photo... well, it is "vintage" dust, so I guess that's ok to show, right Debra?... tee hee hee!...

Time worn treasures... filled with love and precious memories... what could be better... xoxo



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Kiss of the Sun... Cottage Flora Thursdays...


"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
the song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth"...

My favorite little garden quote holds so true for me... my little cottage garden is still fast asleep, just a few teeny little green shoots here and there, newborn little lives just waiting for the warmth of the sun and skies of blue... like me, they are anxious for Spring... not much to photograph yet, but I wanted to support Tracie and join her Cottage Flora Thursdays party at Fishtail Cottage, so I am posting my little pots of Heartsease from last Spring... I love containers bursting with beautiful blooms of all kinds in and around my cottage gardens as much as the gardens themselves... my little garden center down the lane is opening up in a week or so... promising Pansies and pots of Heartsease once more... I can hardly wait to bring some home...
The flower~fairies are dreaming of Spring...


And so am I... sweet dreams to you too as we await the rebirth of all God's beautiful creations as the most glorious season of Spring draws near... xoxo...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nature's Treasures...


Being the Nature lover that I am, I love to mix little finds and gatherings from our Nature walks with vintage treasures I already own to make pretty little vignettes...


I had this wonderful older wire cloche, can't even remember where it came from, but wanted to put it out somewhere... so I searched my little garden room and thought my little verdigris squirrels would look cute sitting by it... if you follow my blog (Merci!) you know how much I love squirrels!...
Next, I delved into my stash of odds and ends of mis~matched vintage porcelain plates and found the perfect one... a beautiful old one from Germany in the prettiest colors of Nature...

Made a little bed of moss in the middle, where three little acorn caps plucked from the thicket on our walk now rest...

"Nature is the art of God" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope you too take the time to notice Nature... take a Nature walk and gather little finds along the path... then make something pretty for your home with them and I promise you these teeniest of treasures will brighten your day!... xoxo