Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Studio Office Progress Continues...

Little by little the studio office is taking shape. 
(I'm a slow mover - it's been years in the making!)
I know I've shared photos of this writing desk before, 
a favorite "Sidewalk Sale" find from many years ago.

I paired it with this antique St. Cecilia framed print, which was also a great find.
My good blogging friend, Claudia @ Mockingbird Hill Cottage
put me in touch with an antique store in her neck of the woods so I 
could purchase this vintage parakeet lamp. It was love at first sight!

The chair was a floor sample from Target a few years ago
and the unicorn bookends were found at Savers.

Little by little the room has come together.
The black floor lamp by the desk was found at a yard sale.
The gold crown on the closet door was from TJ Maxx.
The white desk lamp (there are two of them) were from Target.
The bookcases in the corner were part of a huge Craigslist score
and the black and tan rug was from

"You know who" saw me taking photos and, being the ham she is,
decided to strike her best 'Top Cat Model' pose.

 Baby then decided to channel her inner unicorn because, as she reminds
us each and every day, she is quite a magical and mystical creature!

I hope you are all enjoying the 'in like a lion, out like a lamb' journey into Spring!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Coloring Books = Relaxation

I wanted to share my daughter Amanda's BEDROOMS Coloring Book that was published earlier this year (available here in her Etsy shop).

It is a beautiful hardcover book, filled with many bedrooms to color as well as 
DIY pages for you to finish and color!

Earlier this month Amanda had a signing at 
Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street in Boston.

Her family and many friends were there to support her and we all had such a great time!

(Birch Tree sample page done by Amanda)
If you're looking for a special Christmas/holiday/birthday gift 
for someone who could use some relaxation...

(Desert sample page done by Amanda)
... coloring books are a great idea. And I absolutely love this one!

(Ocean View sample page done by me)
The pages are a nice, heavy stock paper. I even used acrylic paints 
to 'color' this ocean view bedroom.

Below is a sampling of a few of the pages in the book.
(Please forgive my photography skills. Trust me, the book pages are all crisp, clean, & white, and any shadows or "wavy" page designs are also due to my photography.)

There are bedrooms...

for Book lovers....

... for Bird lovers...

... for nature lovers...

... for Animal lovers...

... for Tree lovers...

... for Ballet / Theater & the Arts lovers...

... for Astronomy lovers...

There are even rooms for children. 
(You or your child could color these and and frame them for their very own room!)

I'm just so incredibly proud of my talented daughter! This is such a unique coloring book, and the pages are all so detailed! Again, the book is available in Amanda's Etsy Shop, and she will be happy to personalize the book with any message you'd like! I think you or your gift recipients will really enjoy this book!

Happy coloring, everyone!!

Yes, J! What a small world! It's Trident Booksellers &Cafe, at the very end of Newbury, almost at Mass Ave! And there are two cafes, one upstairs, one downstairs, where you can get AMAZING food and drinks. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Our house is a very, very, very fine house...

... with two cats in the yard (house). (I've always loved that song!)

Ms. Midgie wanted to thank everybody for all the compliments sent her way! 
They made this little shelter cat feel very special!!!

However, I'm afraid Baby cat's little nose is out of joint with Ms. Midgie being the focus of the last post.

After all, she's used to being the star of the blog and having the camera pointed at her.

So she and I had a little photo session the other day while she sunned in front of the slider.

It didn't take long for her to start working the camera in the way that only Baby can!

Yes, I think I see the hint of a smile!

Baby, you know that nobody can take your place.

After all, you're our one and only Baby cat!

So don't you ever worry. There's plenty of love to go around for you...

 ... and for Ms. Midgie 

(I don't think there's a cat alive who isn't drawn to warm towels fresh out of the dryer! I didn't have the heart to take these last two towels away from her after folding the others!)

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hello again!

 Hello again to everyone! It has been a very long time since I've posted anything; over a year, in fact, right after we lost our wonderful Mr. J. I thought I would check in and let you know that we are all doing fine here in New England.

I also thought I'd introduce you to the newest member of our family...

... this little Black Beauty (which also would have been a great name!). She's a little lady - always with her dainty front legs crossed!

We adopted Ms. B "Midgie" Cocoa Bean at the end of August from the Lowell Humane Society. She is a very affectionate kitty and loves to spend time in the studio office with me.

She's a 10-year old all black long-haired kitty and a complete purring machine.

I've always had a thing for black cats. There was Mrs. B in the mid-70's, then Mr. B in the mid-90's, and now Ms. B "Midgie" Cocoa Bean. I think it all started with My Nana & Gamp back in the mid-50's with their all black cat, Midgie. (It seems that every 20 years our family has a black cat!)

So that brings me to the reason for her l-o-n-g name. At the shelter she was Cocoa Bean. I don't know why, but so many of my animals have had "Mr./Mrs./Ms." before they names. It just fit them. Since I know she's a female but don't know her history, she is "Ms." I also wanted to pay homage to my Nana & Gamp who were huge animal lovers. My Nana named every cat she ever owned "Midgie," Hence Ms. B (for Blackie) "Midgie" Cocoa Bean, simply called Midgie.

As you can see, she has made herself right at home.

Isn't she beautiful?

She and Baby are getting to know each other. I will be honest, it was not love at first sight. I don't know that they'll ever be best friends or cuddle with each other, but they are content to sit or lay within feet of each other with only an occasional growl or swat. But there's no swatting or growling when they're in front of  the slider watching squirrels, chipmunks and birds.

I don't know this sweetie's history, but she is such a good girl.

If you're looking for your own furry friend, every single town or city has a pound or shelter where beautiful cats, dogs, and other types of animal are desperately in need of good homes. Please consider adopting rather than buying until our shelters and pounds are empty. If you're looking for a specific breed, do a search on Petfinder or Adopt-A-Pet (on my sidebar). The shelters are FILLED with cats and dogs of every breed! Just enter in your zip code, what you're looking for, and the mileage range you're willing to travel and you're on your way to owning a rescue! And believe me, they know they've been rescued and make the BEST pets!

That's my news for today. I may try to post a bit more often than once a year! I hope you've all been well!

All my best, Donna

Friday, October 9, 2015

It never gets easier...

Today we said goodbye to this special little guy...

As you can see from my sidebar, we've been through this many times over the years.
It never gets easier.

For the past week, Jarrett has been sneezing a bit harder than normal. He's so low to the ground that when he sneezes, he bumps his snout on the floor (which for the past week has given him a tiny bloody nose - not a lot of blood - one swipe of a tissue and it was gone). We assumed it was maybe a seasonal allergy, but decided to have it checked this past Monday.

We were shocked to learn that he had an aggressive cancer on the roof of his mouth that had started traveling into his nasal passage. That was what was causing the more pronounced sneezing along with the bit of a bloody nose. The recommendation: euthanasia. Treatment was not an option. Especially for a 15 year old dog. I have no idea how long he'd had it. Other than the sneezing/bloody noses, he'd shown no symptoms whatsoever.

We brought him home so our two girls, who no longer live at home, could come and say their goodbyes. And the past few days while on the pain killers he was sent home with, he did really good. He stopped sneezing and getting bloody noses, a good thing .

We knew his days were numbered, and that his cancer was aggressive and not treatable, but while he was still wagging his tail and enjoying life (and food), I was not ready to say that final goodbye. 

But things changed suddenly, and Mr. J took a turn for the worse overnight. We rushed him to the vet's first thing this morning to face the inevitable.

"My little old dog: a heart-beat at my feet." (Edith Wharton)

Till we meet again, Mr. J, our sweet, sweet boy. You will always live on in our hearts.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Studio/Office Makeover continues...

 This is the biggest change to happen... 

... since this room became my studio/office.

Our plan had always been to eventually move the bookcases that we've had in the hallway of our small split entry for the past several years (where they blocked an air intake vent) into the office.

Well, "eventually" came sooner than we'd expected. This is now the view from my desk. It's beautiful, and I love it...

... but how I wish this sweet girl was still my view. Every time Tiger would go up and down the 'stairs' to get into her bed, she'd pause and look out the window.

It's two days shy of a month since we lost our Tiger girl. She was my office-mate and my muse. She loved watching me at my desk from her bed, the same one she'd slept on for 22 years.

It was her spot from the time she joined our family as a tiny little kitten until the day she left us.

It took several weeks before I was ready to disassemble the bed and move the bookcases in, but I finally felt it was time to do so.

Some of you might remember that we used to have a baby gate on the office door. (You can even see where the bookcases used to be, down the hallway.)  The gate kept Mr. J from having access to the office. When Tiger just didn't have the strength to go up and down the stairs to the basement where the litter box was kept, we put one in here for her. Well, apparently what is deposited in litter boxes is a big treat to all dogs (yuck!), including Mr. J, so we definitely needed to keep him out!

So the gate has now been removed...

... and Mr. J is having a grand old time visiting me in the studio/office whenever he wants.

This is the view looking toward the window.

I hope to get rid of the clutter on the floor and in its place put either a small reading chair or the mannequin from the bedroom.

Right now I have my paints stored under my desk. I'd like to find a better storage solution for them as well, but for now this will do. 

Some of the books on the shelves are mine, but most are (or will be) for sale in our Etsy shop. 

Some shelves have family photos.

And, of course, sweet Tiger's comb and urn are also on the bookcase shelves.

And then, some things never change. Baby is Baby. She looked deep in thought when I snapped her photo today.

She had been staring at the window and eventually went over and stretched out on the window sill. Today was GORGEOUS here in New England - low humidity and a lovely breeze. All the windows were open and Baby really enjoyed it. We were all sick of having the AC running constantly, and there is nothing more enchanting than billowing curtains!


And always the clown, she loves to make me laugh!


Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! The next time I post it will most likely be September!! Hard to believe!