Saturday, February 23, 2013

Are you a Nature lover like me?... .




Do you take the time each day to notice Nature...  I am hoping that you do...  my life is full of Nature everywhere...  from our daily Nature walks in our beautiful countryside, to the colors of Nature in our home...  to the treasures we gather from the trail that sit about here and there in our home...  and to my gardens which soon I will spend much of my day in... and to the little critters who call our home outside theirs as well...  deer and squirrels... birds of every kind...  all of God's precious little creatures are welcome here... I love Nature and celebrate and savor every single bit of it...  many of my books are Nature books, field guides, wildflowers...  and more...  and the magazines that call out to me speak of my love of Nature as well...


Some of my favorites come from "across the pond"...  Country Living British Edition is a favorite I have been buying for years...  our Barnes and Noble gets them a bit behind schedule, I just barely got the February issue...  but they are sooo worth the wait... I must admit that what once was my favorite magazine ever, Country Living (U.S.) has been a disappointment to me the past few years...  soo many ads and nothing at all like the original Country Livings I loved...  the British Edition has stayed true to their original magazine...  and I find so much enjoyment in it...


Besides wonderful recipes and decorating ideas, it is chock full of beautiful photos from Nature and fabulous articles...



Aren't these froggies adorable!...


 Another favorite from the UK is LandLove magazine...  the title says it all...  this was my winter edition...



I love all the little Hedgehogs they have over there...  here, they are reminding you to give them shelter of some kind for the winter, as they hibernate, but often awaken to come out for food...  the little shelters will keep them safe from predators...  we do not have Hedgehogs here in the US, unless someone has brought them over as a pet... I would love to see a baby Hedgehog!...  the name "hedgehog" comes from old Middle English wording because they frequent hedgerows and because of their piglike snouts...  I think they are adorable!...



This is one of my favorite photos in the latest issue I have (January~February)...



The caption reads "A moment of calm...  how many winters has this old farmhouse seen? Nature is still sleeping but Spring is near and soon the cycle of country life will start afresh"... I love that...  as Spring is near here too and soon the cycle of country life will start afresh in my countryside as well...  xoxo...  Julie Marie 

"One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin" 
~William Shakespeare




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nature's Program...



I've collected alot of treasures over the years, but I have to say some of my most precious ones are my vintage books, especially my vintage Nature books...  today, I want to share what is probably my most favorite one with you...


It is called "Nature's Program"... it takes you through each month of the year... one month at a time...  through the eyes of Nature... what birds are migrating back, what flowers are beginning to appear, which of God's precious little creatures are coming out of their long winter's nap...


My copy is from 1926... so very long ago...  yet, everything is still so very relevant today...  Jack and I take a Nature walk every single day...  I love that the book reminds you "not to think that you must always walk in a new direction... go often to the same fields, the same woods and become very familiar with them... you may not see so much the first time, but each succeeding walk will show you so many things you missed before... when you get to know every fence corner, every stump, every pile of stones, you will find a hundred interesting things that you never dreamed were there on your first visit"...


I just stated reading the chapter on March again...  here is a little excerpt from it: 

"March, the Wakening or Crow Moon...
The Indians, to whom Nature's program of the year was an open book, named each month for the most striking event taking place in it.  So March, with it's first stirrings of flowers, trees and animals from winter sleep was
the Wakening Moon"...


"For the Nature lover, March is truly the dawn of the year.  Even in its first days, when patches of snow still cover the ground in the woods, you will quite likely come upon the very first blossom of the Spring.  You may even find it in the first week of this month, piercing the melting snow in a boggy spot"...


"During the bright days in late March you may even see one or two kinds of butterflies on the wing, in open glades of the woods"...



"Nature in March, the Wakening Month" is so full of interest and excitement for the Nature lover" (like ME!)...


Nature is such a huge part of my everyday life... so many wonderful things in store for us, each and every day...  I have studied and loved Nature ever since I was a little girl... I cannot imagine a day without stopping to listen to the singing of the birds, or linger over the early morning sunrise...  or notice even the teensiest bud just beginning to swell on a tree...it's just my nature...  I was born with this passionate love I have for all of God's precious little creatures and flowers and life...  I hope you share this love as well... xoxo...  Julie Marie 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bunnies and chicks and more rites of Spring...


I LOVE Easter... and Spring... and bunnies and nests...  and chicks and eggs... and lambs and Easter candy...  foil wrapped eggs...  pale pink and lavender Peeps... jelly bunnies...  oooh, what a happy time of year it is!...  Easter is early this year, March 31st, and it always comes and goes sooo fast...  so, I like to decorate early...


Do you know how it is determined when Easter is each year?...  of course you know I am going to tell you!...  Easter is always the first Sunday following the Paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the Spring equinox...  got it?... I learned this long, long ago as I am a curious kind of lady who always wants to know "why"... about most things in life... the Spring equinox is on the 20th of March, although I grew up with it always being on the 21st of March...  not sure who or why it was changed?...  nevertheless, the Paschal full moon is on the 27th of March... Paschal is derived from a transliteration of the Greek word "Pascha" meaning Passover...  here is a photo I took last year of the Paschal Full Moon...


The sun is shining here today and the sky is blue...  a perfect day for some of the bunnies to come out to play!... I purchased these darling little whimsical bunnies and chicks from my sweet friend Amy at My Shabby Bungalow from her Etsy shop over the past several years...  I love the detail she puts into each and every piece...   vintage bunnies and vintage millinery flowers...  aren't they precious!...






Not sure if she has any in her shop this year yet, but you may want to check with her... they are all sooo sweet!...   here is a pretty little sign I have had for years... and like everything else... it comes out to celebrate Easter...


This is my little Annalee "gardener" bunny...  she presides over my little "potting shed" in my laundry room...


Sweet little chicks roost on top of kitchen canisters...


I know how this chick feels...  some days my hair goes just like this!...


Pretty pale pink polish says Spring to me...  yes, gardeners have short nails...my favorite silver leaf ring my niece Liz gave me... inside it is inscribed "Live Simply"...


And some yummy Easter candies sitting out in pretty Springy flowery Cath Kidston bowls...


Lots more bunnies to come out still...  you know how those little guys multiply!...  and I am still working on my crafts from my "Fairytale Easter" book...  can't wait to show you my eggs with the pressed flowers on them!...  also, my niece Filly had a little birdcage she wanted me to fufu up for her...  she already had the flowers, so I just put it all together for her...


I added a little nest with eggs, two sweet little Goldfinches... some peatpots filled with moss... and some vintage lace and silk ribbons dangling from the top...  I was happy with how it turned out and she loved it!...


And I made a pretty arrangement in my vintage French enamel pitcher with faux Forsythia and Pussy Willow branches...  it will be awhile before our real ones are out...


Wishing you all a beautiful, sunshiny, blue skies,  blissful, starting to look like Spring kinda day!...  xoxo  Julie Marie

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hedgehog Love...


I am absolutely smitten with Hedgehogs!...  I think they are just the cutest little critters ever... as I told you in a previous post, Hedgehogs are not native to North America, and those that are here have been brought here (or born here in captivity) as pets...  I would love to see one, but I am one of those Nature lovers who thinks God's precious little wild critters should remain in their natural habitat...  with hedgerows to play in and other Hedgehogs nearby...  but in the meantime, I can still enjoy my own little Hedgehogs...  I just ordered two darling handmade "felted" ones from an Etsy shop...  I will post them when they arrive here in their new home... and is this the sweetest little Springtime Hedgehog ever!...  and of course the bunny and squirrel are precious too!...


This is actually a picture I took of a candy wrapper off of some chocolates I bought here that are made in Britain by House of Dorchester Ltd.   I love that they came here all the way from the old town of Dorchester in the County of Dorset, England... Filly and Ellie are going back to England for a visit the end of April...  I hope they will take some photos of the little darling Hedgehogs playing about freely in the London Springtime hedgerows... wishing you all a beautiful Sunday...  daydreaming about things that make you smile... like sweet little Hedgehogs... and Springtime...  be happy!...   xoxo...  Julie Marie

Happy Birthday today Ellie!!!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

"Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat Ivy...




"a kid'll eat ivy too... wouldn't you"...  remember that little old song?... originally an old nursery rhyme...   kinda silly...  but then, I am a kinda silly girl sometimes too...  like today...  maybe because the sun is shining, the sky is blue... and our temps are going to be in the 40's today...  hurray!...  it finally feels like Spring really IS coming this year!...


Are these just the cutest little lambs "ewe" have ever seen?...


Spring is showing up all over our home today...  little lambs, birdies, nests...  pastel flowers...  (pastel M&M's!)...


This little cutie actually belongs to Tessy...  my sister brought it to her from Scotland a year or so ago...  but Tessy said mama could "borrow" it for a while... (no Tessy... don't take it...  let mama play with it for a bit... I promise I will give it back to you...  soon...  maybe) ...


Wishing "ewe" all a beautiful, sunshiny, blue~skies,  laugh and be~silly... happy Springtime kinda day...  xoxo...  Julie Marie


Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Valentines Week...



Wishing you an old~fashioned Valentines Day...  filled with hearts... and flowers...

(my one and only vintage Valentine postcard)

And lots and lots of love... (oooh and some chocolates too!)...  xoxo...  Julie Marie


Saturday, February 9, 2013

The fine art of puttering...



"Putter:...  to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual manner"

Our weather here is certainly not as bad as our friends back east, but we are still getting more  than our fair share of snow and cold...  so, on days like these, I like to stay inside and putter...  over the years, I think I have mastered the fine art of puttering...  it is an art, you know... first... in order to putter properly, one must make herself a warm cup of tea...  I chose Earl Grey this time... as it slowly steeps, I look about our home and decide how I want my puttering to begin...


First...  a photo outside so as to remember why I stayed inside today and puttered...  the hoar frost on the tree outside my kitchen nook window looks beautiful...  but cold... 


The kitchen seemed like a good place to start... remember, a key word in puttering is "leisurely"...  so, I leisurely hand washed my vintage crystal...  it sparkles so now!...


I took my time as I washed each precious piece... remembering where each and every one came from... next, I started sorting my cookbooks...  I have a lifetime of collecting cookbooks...  I keep each and every one... and the old, old ones are still some of my most favorite...  the recipes are still never fail...  I placed many of my favorites on my bakers rack after I cleaned it all off...


Cups, colanders...  everything got a nice washing...


 Cleaned off all my countertops...

(My cute piggy cutting board Jack and Tessy gave me for Christmas)
 
I don't have room to keep all of my cookbooks out, so many are in my pantry...  with more of my favorites that I use often in a corner on my countertop...


Moved some of my plants onto the little tables by my kitchen nook window...  along with some pretty silk Peonies that make me smile... (if you are puttering properly, you will smile as you are doing so)...


Another cup of tea... then some more puttering...  I had washed my beautiful English Roses quilt so many times over the years...  it barely covered my Queensize bed anymore...  I will have to use it somewhere else now...  so I ordered a pretty tea~stained quilt set that I absolutely love... this time, I bought a King size...  fits great!... when they say fits a  "Full~Queen"...  don't believe them!...


Then, I hung some pretty floral point lace sheers to filter the west sun that comes in this window...


A perfect day spent puttering around my home...  now, it's time to decide on a yummy recipe from one of my favorite books to fix for dinner...  do you love to putter too?...  to me, it's a relaxing way to spend a day... and I love the end results!...  xoxo...  Julie Marie 

Friday, February 8, 2013

My "Fairytale Easter" Vintage Coffeepot for Spring...



I recently showed you a pretty little vintage enamelware coffee pot beautifully decorated for Spring I saw in "Fairytale Easter", the new book I got, that I wanted to make one like with my own vintage enamelware coffeepot... sooo...  here is my version...


Theirs had tiny real Violets planted in it...  since my own violets are still deep under mounds of snow, and our greenhouses and nurseries did not have any yet, I used silk flowers for mine for now...  as soon as the garden centers get them, I will replace my silk flowers with some pretty little Heartsease (Johnny~jump~ups)  planted in the nest...

(Fairytale Easter Jeanne d'Arc Living)

A flowery twig wreath around the top, a tiny  little moss~lined nest rests inside... and inside the little nest are three sweet little eggs...


I already had most everything I needed to make this...  only the flower wreath around the top is new...  I love creating pretty crafts out of things I already own... so I came right home and made it that day... 


When I was at JoAnn's Crafts that day buying my wreath, I also picked up some little craft supplies to help Filly and Ellie with a little birdcage they are decorating for Spring...  we were going to do it this morning, but had to change our plans for another day...  we'll get together next week for sure girls!...  I also found this darling little birdhouse plaque...  "Live life simply"... I think this says it all...  xoxo...  Julie Marie   PS  Thank you all so much for my sweet Tessy's birthday wishes on my previous post...  I read each and every comment to her and she wagged her tail and sends you all BIG doggie kisses!...  Linking this post to Be Inspired Fridays at Common Ground with my friend Debra...