Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcoming May...


Oooh... the month of May has got to be the most beautiful month of all to me... the gentle Spring breeze seems to call out my name... is it by chance because it is my birth~month?... perhaps... that may be part of it, but there are so many other delights May has to offer... my garden lures me as well with it's rebirth of beautiful blooms and the arrival of my beloved Hummingbirds, butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies and damselflies... this has been a long, long, cold winter this year... but I can feel the promise of Nature's beauty in my favorite month...
A cup of herb tea, my garden journal in hand, as I bask in the warm sun on my front porch... did I mention it has been a really long, long winter?... but of course I did... as I have been sooo impatient for Spring... I can hardly wait for my Lily~of~the~Valley to bloom... my birthflower and all~time favorite old~fashioned flower of mine as well... I love that beautiful Kate chose Lily~of~the~Valley for her bridal bouquet at her royal wedding... I also love that in doing so she honored the Queen, whose favorite flower is also the Lily~of~the~Valley... in the language of flowers, it has many meanings... my favorite is "return to happiness"... a beautiful flower for the return of a most beautiful month... sending happy thoughts your way... xoxo...



Friday, April 29, 2011

My Heartfelt Prayers...


For all of those affected by the devastating tornadoes...
My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are going out to you... xoxo...


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Once Upon a Time... A Fairytale Wedding...


Do you love fairytales and happily~ever~after stories?... I do... I always thought (and still do) that for sure if you kiss a frog he will turn into a handsome Prince... maybe that's why I am excited for the Royal Wedding tomorrow of Prince William and Catherine Middleton... to me, it takes me back to when I was a little girl, reading Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Princess and the Pea... every fairytale I could get my hands on... and letting my thoughts drift away... what if "I" were the Princess in the story???... what if I lived in a castle, and wore beautiful flowing gowns, and a crown of the most sparkly~ever jewels on my head, with my long hair cascading down my back... I do have my own Prince Charming now... (Jack)... and I didn't even have to kiss a frog to get him!... my home is my castle, (sometimes I wish I had a mote around it to keep all the solicitors away from our door!)... and I do have a pretty tiara... I guess you could say I am a "self~appointed" Princess, tee hee hee!...

Today, as my mind was full of thoughts of Kings and Queens, castles and the English countryside... a package arrived by post... it was stamped "Royal Mail" and I knew right away who it was from... Filly and Ellie live in London now... and the "Royal Mail" was a package for me for my upcoming birthday in May... I sooo wanted to open it, as I tend to get very excited and don't want to wait!... but Filly had specifically written on the outside of the package "Don't open it until your birthday"... sigh... I will have to wait... and wonder what is inside from "across the pond"...
The girls did send me a beautiful collectors thimble recently with the Royal Couple on it... it is so beautiful to add to my porcelain thimble collection... sorry for the glare, this is the best photo I could get of the front of it...
The back...

When my daddy passed away, Dino, my daddy's precious little doggie, stayed in the family, of course, and now he too lives in London... here he is getting ready as well for the Royal Wedding tomorrow... I think he looks like such a Royal Doggie... I love you little Dino!...
I would so love to be there in person, but I know the girls will take lots of beautiful photographs and share with me... through all of their emails and photos sent this past week, my mind continues to drift off, far away to a magical place and time... glorious London in all it's finery... as the world awaits what to me is a beautiful fairytale wedding...

No matter how old I am, I will always love fairytales and happily~ever~after stories... will you?... xoxo...


Friday, April 22, 2011

Wishing You All...


A Happy Easter...


May your day be filled with all things beautiful... xoxo...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Ball at Na~Da Farm... Where is My Fairy Godmother When I Need Her??? ...


Cinderella... my favorite fairytale... that ends happily~ever~after... I was five years old when I received my very own book of Cinderella, which the beautiful illustration below is from... Cinderella DID get to go the the ball... with a little help from her Fairy Godmother...


I'm wondering where my Fairy Godmother has been lately?... Spring has not really "sprung" here yet... days and days of cold, snow and rain with just a tad of sunshine in between... which has meant staying inside so much... I have been feeling alot like Cinderella lately...staying mostly inside... cleaning, dusting, mopping, I even cleaned out the cinders in the fireplace... I caught my reflection in the mirror... old housecleaning clothes on, hair tied up... dustmop in my hand... and began to dream...
Dreaming of going to the ball... I so want to go to Na~Da Farm in May for their big event... and shop... and attend the ball... and meet Anne Marie...whose beautiful home and farm is featured in Fifi's new book Romantic Prairie Style which I love...and I want to meet Fabulous Fifi... and so many of my beautiful blog friends who will be attending, ... I have some pretty glass slippers... and my own Prince Charming... (who doesn't want to go to the ball however)...
Cinderella's Fairy Godmother told her to go to the garden and get her the biggest pumpkin she could find...

I'm not sure there are any real pumpkins left around here...
Do you think a faux one would do???...
I promise to be back by midnight...
Where are you Fairy Godmother???... xoxo...



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quiet Pleasures...


Do you enjoy time spent in quiet solitude?... I do... nothing is more relaxing to me after a busy day than slipping into my jammies, robe and slippers... brewing a nice hot cup of herb tea...


And slowly savoring a beautiful magazine...

This is another special collectors edition from Victoria magazine called "Summer Cottage"... I pre~ordered mine and it arrived today... definitely quiet pleasures are in store for me tonight... sweet dreams... xoxo...


Monday, April 11, 2011

Vintage Bliss...


My beautiful May~June issue of Victoria just arrived several days ago... the gorgeous annual blue and white issue, my favorite!... maybe it's my favorite because May and June are my most favorite months of all too... (I know, I said that about April too!)...


I love reading the very last page always, "Chimes"... and this time, what a beautiful page that really touched my heart...
All about the classic "Anne of Greene Gables" and how "Anne" so touched the writer's life in so many positive ways... as it has my own life as well through the years... the page featured a photo of the 100th anniversary edition of the book... the writer of Chimes recalls her first discovery of the book many, many years ago... an old tattered copy, set apart from the other books at her library... "with it's green antique cover and tissue paper protecting the delicate illustrations within"...
I quickly went to my bedroom and picked up my own treasured book... my precious copy had belonged to my mama as a little girl... the original... with it's lovingly worn green cover... and delicate onionskin (which the writer called tissue)... inside... still in pristine condition...(I know some of you have seen my book before, but I wanted to post it again after reading this article)...
Mama's book has the copyright date of 1908... eleven years before my mama was born...
To my delight, when I first received mama's book, as I gingerly browsed through the delicate pages, I came upon a beautiful flower she had pressed between the pages, oh so many years ago... I believe it is a gorgeous Larkspur, undoubtedly out of my grandmother's cottage garden... each pretty petal preserved for all time...
A lovely favorite magazine... a treasured family heirloom... and my mama's love... my mama is gone now... passed away many years ago... much too young... and I miss her... but today, her beautiful book and carefully pressed flower make me smile... and I know she is close by... xoxo...


Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Pleasures of Herbs...Making Herb Vinegar...



Hello ladies... I have grown my own herbs for over thirty years now and so enjoy the many ways you can use them... from crafts to cooking to decorating... the list goes on and on... herbs are one of the easiest things in the world to grow, and you can even grow many of them indoors in a sunny windowsill... my gardens are full of herbs, mostly for cooking, some for decorative purposes... nothing is better than a cold glass of sweet tea in the summer with a sprig of my homegrown mint!... some of my tender perennial herbs come inside during our harsh winter months, which by the way, seem to be continuing... as we are in the midst of yet another blizzard here today... four days in a row now... so today I decided to make one of my favorite herb vinegars, and show you how I do it...

My Rosemary is one of my tender perennials that comes inside each year until Spring is really here... it flourishes in my sunny kitchen nook windowsill...
You can pick any number of herbs for your homemade herb vinegar... you will need approximately 1/2 cup of herbs for each pint of vinegar, more if you want a stronger taste... when you are making your vinegars in the summer, pick your herbs from your garden in the morning, after the dew has dried off of them, but before the hot summer sun has taken away some of their essential oils that give them their flavor... be sure to use only perfect leaves and flowers and none with any signs of pests... I never use pesticides, and most herbs do not need them anyway... wash your herbs gently then place on paper towels to dry... make sure they dry thoroughly, or they will cloud your vinegar... this will not affect the taste, but the vinegar looks so much prettier clear...
Be sure to use only highest quality vinegars... I use white wine vinegar, by Star... and be sure to always use a wooden spoon, as the vinegar can react to regular silverware...
Next, choose a pretty bottle to put your vinegar in... these are my herb vinegar bottles... your bottle must seal tightly... these seal perfectly with corks in them... after your herbs are dry of any water from washing, bruise them slightly before putting them into your bottle or you may use a ceramic crock with a tightly fitting lid... pack the herbs in with the end of your wooden spoon... pour your vinegar over the herbs to the top of the bottle or jar and close tightly...
For now, I will set my bottle in a sunny window to "brew"... for the next two weeks, turning it frequently... (I just hope the sun comes out ever again here!)... in the summer, I love to place my bottles of vinegar in my gardens amongst my herbs to brew naturally in the warm sunshine... kind of like when I make sun tea, but for a longer period of time... the warm summer sun brews them to perfection, and they look so pretty sitting in the garden...
For now, mine looks pretty sitting in my somewhat sunny~between~snowstorms windowsill in my breakfast nook... and it will remind me of sunnier days to come and long~awaited time spent in my gardens...xoxo...


Friday, April 8, 2011

"Eliza Dreaming" Doggie Couture...


If you think my blog has gone to the dogs... well, you're right!... Tessy is modeling her brand new handmade flower from the "Eliza Dreaming" Doggie Couture collection at my friends shop Madeleine L'Amour...


Here she is showing you a side view of it...These pretty felt flowers are each handmade by a beautiful local lady and are fabulous!... they are by custom order only, and you may contact Jeni or El at the shop here with a comment or an email to place an order... they slip right over your baby's collar and stay in place so pretty!...As you can see, Tessy loves hers!... please visit Jeni and El... and be sure to tell them Tessy sent you!... xoxo... Julie Marie and Tessy


Friday, April 1, 2011

Enchanted April...


Welcoming April... to me, the most beautifully enchanting month of all... delicate sweet wild violets fill my garden... the soft Spring breeze carrying their Heavenly scent through the now~warm air... teasing me... telling me to linger just a bit longer outside... in my garden...

Today I shall do just that... as I enjoy this magical time... and the newest of my wild violets I brought home from my Nature walk yesterday and planted amongst my roses and delphiniums, now bursting forth with new life... violets... also known as "Love~in~Idleness"... violets, "modesty, virtue, affection, watchfulness, faithfulness and love"... wishing you a beautiful beginning to a most beautiful month full of Spring's love... xoxo...