Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Bountiful Harvest Nest...



Yesterday, my beautiful "Harvest Nest" arrived that I ordered from my friend Vicki at 2bagsfull... I was soo excited!... I actually pre~ordered this little nest almost a year ago, as they are designer nests she knits and spends almost an entire year creating them... truly one of a kind treasures to be cherished always!... Since I grew up in the little town of Bountiful, Utah, right next to the town I live in today, I love that she calls her post about these beauties "A Bountiful Harvest"...

It is the most beautiful Harvest Nest... full of luscious Autumn colored yarns, only the softest, most delicate kinds... and knitted in amongst the nest are the most enchanting Autumn treasures from the trail... seeds, berries, flowers... leaves... truly a "Bountiful Harvest" as she calls them...

A darling little Harvest tag was attached to the pretty Autumn leaves tissue it came wrapped in... the tag is handmade by Vicki's friend Sue... (the photo below I snatched from Vicki's blog)...

As soon as I took mine outside to photograph on an old log, a sweet little pair of squirrels arrived... they were as excited as I was over this beautiful nest and set about making it their own... they knew the birds were heading South for the winter, and this would make a delightfully cozy place for them to settle in on a crisp Autumn's eve...

A stunning vintage brooch in luscious Autumn colors adorns this side...

One of the little squirrels jumped right in the middle of it... as inside Vicki had placed the most brilliant Autumn colored beaded acorns... how could a little squirrel resist!...

A teeny little tin heart, representing the love Vicki puts into each nest... the love she has for Nature... and all mankind... and the love and support she has received from fellow bloggers... (and so generously gives back to us!)...

Stunning glass Autumn leaves and flowers entwined throughout...

A pretty sunflower...

The secret acorns the little squirrels uncovered, resting on a soft mohair bed deep inside the nest...

Soon the other little squirrel took a turn inside... ahhh... so soft... just right!...

Beads and pearls and berries and such...

My little squirrels couldn't be happier with their Bountiful Harvest Nest, and neither could I!...

Vicki wanted her nests to capture the colors and feel of a sunny walk in the woods on a crisp, cool Autumn day... and she did just that... I own three other little nests created by Vicki... two of her Woodland Nests you can see here and one of her designer Shorebird Nests which you can see here... I also love that she donates much of her profits from these little nests to such worthwhile charities... the proceeds from the Harvest Nests will go to a local church by Vicki where ladies knit scarves and mufflers for the homeless and those in need for winter... if you have not met Vicki yet, please stop in at her blog, 2bagsfull and introduce yourself... please tell her Julie Marie sent you... you will be as enchanted with Vicki and her blog and sweet nests as I am... Thank you Vicki!... it is so amazing, and will be such a beautiful addition to my Autumn decorating... I will enjoy it so much!... xoxo Julie Marie (oh yes, and the little squirrels will enjoy it too!)... I am linking this post to Debra's fun parties at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday~Fall Fun...


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Conghaile Cottage...


Have you been to Conghaile Cottage?... oooh, such a delightfully enchanted cottage... hidden deep within the woods... where magical things take place and every day is full of sweetness and bliss...

where a beautiful lady named Donna lives... a kinder lady one could not hope to meet... and she always welcomes one and all with something enticingly delicious from her kitchen...

where sparkly beads mysteriously pour from vintage teapots into lovely vintage Heisey cups...

and bears are most welcome to join her for tea... so long as they behave, mind you...

where you will dine on beautiful treasures from days~gone~by that are fit for a Queen...

and all of God's precious little creatures delight in this magic as well...

where mice come a' carolling at Christmas time, inside out of the cold... are you mesmerized yet?... I am... and I have been since the very first time I happened upon this most endearing cottage...

(Above photos courtesy of Conghaile Cottage)

Yesterday... as if brought by some of the same magic... a package arrived for me... from Conghaile Cottage!... inside, dear Donna had sent me the most wonderful surprises... "just because"... how fun to receive a surprise package full of gifts "just because"... a beautiful garden flag full of Delphiniums, birds and a birdhouse... I couldn't wait to put it right out in my garden (which has taken it's toll from our heat these past weeks)... but now, voila!... beautiful Delphiniums flourish once again!...

Donna knows how much I love and miss my grandmother whose name just happened to be "Delphine"... she also knows I plant beautiful Delphiniums in love and memory of my sweet grandma... besides the pretty garden flag, she sent me four gorgeous fine bone china plates from Crown Sterling in England, "Windsor Delphinium"... they are the most beautiful plates I have ever seen... and so very special to me... she also sent me the pretty vintage doily... my beautiful grandmother Delphine in the photograph below...


a precious card that she says is me, Tessy and her having tea... ooh!... too cute!...

"True Blueberry" tea bags... I can't wait to try some...

and a wonderful book called... "Julie"... can it be about Moi?... oooh how exciting... I shall sip my tea and begin reading it... Merci Donna!...

See... magic really does happen at Conghaile Cottage... and now a part of the magic has come to me... but how do you get there, you ask?... you must follow the brightest star in the nighttime sky... past the tallest towering pines 'till you come to a clearing... there you shall see the warm glow of a candle flickering through a shuttered windowpane in the distance... and the air will be filled with the Heavenly scent of raspberry scones... tread lightly on the ivy~covered stones... and... and... oooh... you are afraid you might lose you way?... then you can take my secret path here to this most beguiling cottage... please tell Donna Julie Marie sent you... but then... she will already know that... of course... since you arrived by way of my secret path... Believe in the magic that awaits you!... xoxo...


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Approaching Autumn...


Can you feel it?... that subtle change in the rhythm of the Seasons as Summer makes it's way into Fall... I can... the mornings are alot cooler here now, and it is darker later than it has been... Tessy and I take a flashlight now on our early morning walk down the trail... a raccoon scurries across the path in front of us... pausing for a moment to check us out as we do her... then she goes about her way, off into the thicket which is heavy with morning dew... Tessy is full of energy this morning and bounces down the trail... excited to see what early morning pleasures await us next...

As we approach the end of the trail, the sun is just beginning to peek it's head up above the foothills to the east of us... the outline of pines on the crest of the mountains is breathtaking in this early light... we stop to breathe in all of the beauty surrounding us... we pause for a few minutes... to say "thank you" to God for creating this lovely place in the countryside we call home... then Tessy is pulling on her leash, anxious to explore some more... like her, I am in no hurry to go back home... it is much too pleasant outside this morning... I glance once again at the hills and notice that many of the trees are already showing some signs of their stunning Autumn colors... soon, Mother Nature will have taken her paintbrush to the hillside and it will be a blazing kaleidoscope of brilliant colors... Autumn... my favorite time of year... the time of year I want the days to linger... and the nights to be cozy and enchanting... soon, it will be September... September sings her own beautiful song... such a gorgeous month as well... the last night of August is the second full moon of this month... did you know that it is called a blue moon when there are two full moons in one month?... 'tis so... reluctantly, we head back home... but our thoughts are full of a beautiful day ahead just waiting to be enjoyed... perhaps I shall pack my vintage picnic basket, like I did last year in the photo above... even if I just enjoy it in my own backyard today... and make plans for a day soon when I take my basket once more on a trail up the canyon from my home... and find a comfy spot under a tree full of russet colored leaves to eat my lunch, sip my coffee from my favorite vintage Thermos... and read a favorite book or magazine... or just laze away the afternoon... yes, Tessy thinks that sounds like a wonderful idea too... Autumn... the anticipation is such a delightful part of it... do you anticipate Autumn's arrival as much I do?... xoxo...



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dreamy...


Somehow... in our near one hundred~degree temperatures... this sweet little Fairy Rose is determined to bloom...

I've sprayed her with a gentle mist of cool water... a thank~you of sorts for making my hot, hot late~Summers days a bit dreamier... I don't know how she does it... keeps her "cool" in all this heat!... xoxo... **6pm... Updated weather just now... cooler temps tonight and thunderstorms predicted... Yippee!...



Monday, August 20, 2012

Julie Marie's Secret Zucchini Bread Recipe...


Okay... so it's no secret... you know I simply can NOT keep a secret... many of you wanted my recipe, so I decided rather than email it, I would post it... I love to cook and bake, especially in the Fall (can you tell I am in an Autumn mood already??? YES!... my favorite time of year!)... what with friends and neighbors giving us lots of zucchini, I love to make my zucchini bread... this is the BEST in the world... really...

One of my many little squirrels that loves Autumn as much as I do has been guarding it for me...

"Secret Recipe for Zucchini Bread"~ Julie Marie

3 eggs
1 c oil
2 c sugar, 1 brown, 1 white *** I use all brown... makes it sooo moist!
2 c grated zucchini (don't pack)
3 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (I always use sea salt)
3 tsp or more Cinnamon ** I use about 3 1/2 tsp
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped nuts *** I use walnuts

Mix eggs, sugar, oil and then zucchini... then add dry ingredients. Last add nuts and vanilla. Divide into two greased and floured loaf pans... Bake 1/2 hour at 350 degrees or until the top of the loaf "cracks" and a toothpick comes out clean...

Fix yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea... maybe a handful of grapes with it, and relax and enjoy!... you deserve it!... wishing you a blissful day... xoxo


Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Bowl of Stew for Debra...


Okay... so you think that is an odd name for my post?... let me explain... my dear friend Debra, of Common Ground is one of the sweetest ladies I know!... she was one of my very first followers when I started my blog, and I hers... I have joined in on many of her Vintage Inspiration Fridays parties... so much fun!... I especially love her Autumn and Christmas ones... her blog should simply be called "Inspiration Debra" as that is what I find each time I visit her... she inspires me to keep a positive outlook on life, to enjoy life, to be a better person... there is nothing this lady cannot do!... and always with a smile... she is always happy, upbeat, positive, and inspires me to be the same... I left her a comment on one of her recent posts about how much I look forward to her sunporch all decorated for Autumn... Debra and I both LOVE Fall and always get an early start on our Autumn decorating... anyway, I commented that I had made homemade peach jam that day, (yesterday) and was making stew in my crockpot today with all of the fresh veggies I have from neighbors and our Farmers Market... love the Heavenly aromas that say "Fall" to me as it simmers all day...

Last night I got an email from Debra, saying she would be posting her Autumn sunporch soon... and how much she loved stew and how good that and homemade peach jam sounded to her...

Well... since Debra lives in Missouri and I live in Utah... ( a little more than a stones throw away!)... I had to think of a way to get it to her!... so, Debra... here is a nice hot bowl of homemade stew for you, along with a yummy roll covered in my peach jam!... Decaff Lady Grey is brewing in my teapot and my homemade zucchini bread should be out of the oven any minute!... we are not fancy at our house... (yes, we just use paper napkins)... but the food is yummy and you are always welcome here... Enjoy!... xoxo... PS If anyone would like my zucchini bread recipe, just drop me an email... it is the best ever!!!



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lavender Dreams...


In my post just previous to this one, I showed you my "messy bed"... I re~decorated my bedroom all in dusty lavenders and other gorgeous hues of purple, lilac and the oh~so~softest violet colors... and I am loving it... I have had these pretty purple roses, but they needed something more... so, yesterday I took them to my friend El, of Madeleine L'Amour and asked if she might do her magic with them... and she did!...

I knew I was going to buy one of her stunning handmade shabby~chic style pillows for my white wicker chair in my bedroom... LOVE this ruffly pillow!... and I wanted my flowers to sit in the chair beside it...

Look at all of the yummy silk ribbons and shabby vintage lace she added, along with more delicate blooms...

The look...

Lavender dreams... oh so pretty!... now I am fufu'ing up my lampshades and my bedroom will be complete... sweetest of dreams await me!... xoxo...



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Nuts" About Autumn...



My little vintage Steiff squirrels are like me... we're all "nuts" about Autumn!... they couldn't wait any longer to come out...

The basket is actually a plate "charger" I have had, as well as the Autumn pumpkin and berry picks I added around my set of three natural beeswax candles... the candles are in birch~bark and I have had them forever... I love that they are unscented!... no allergies here with these!... I bought my little vintage Steiff squirrels off Ebay years ago, from two different sellers... I love them!... actually...

I am "nuts" about them too!...

It is almost 100 degrees here today... and I am hoping my little squirrels can hurry up Autumn's arrival and cooler weather... how about you?... are you "nuts" about Autumn, like me???... xoxo
Linking this post to Vintage Inspiration Fridays, Fabulous Fall Fun with Debra at Common Ground...


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Looking Forward To Fall...

I love that we have all of the changing seasons here in Utah... although I must say Winter is my least favorite... our surrounding countryside is beautiful when the fields are all covered with snow, but just too darn cold... but Autumn... oooh... we have the most beautiful Autumns one could hope for... this time of year, when the lingering Summer's heat puts our temps at near or above 100 degrees, I start anxiously awaiting cooler weather and the first signs of Fall...

I wanted a beautiful new decoration for my front door that would welcome the season to come, perhaps sooner than usual... and hopefully stay well into a long Indian Summer... I found just what I had in mind at JoAnn's Crafts... the perfect sunflower swag, at 40 percent off even... are you anxious for Autumn too?... my very favorite time of year... xoxo...



Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's the Weekend...

A cozy spot... a place that is yours alone... where you can relax and daydream... and while away a late Summer's afternoon...


Wishing you a beautiful day that is serene and blissful... xoxo...