Thursday, November 18, 2010

Winter Cottage Giveaway...

I realized it has been a year (almost to the day) since I hosted a giveaway, so when I received a 20% off coupon for The Christmas Tree Shop last week, Amanda and I headed over to see what we could find...

Being from New England, I thought it would be fun to offer a Winter Cottage giveaway.

So I found a sparkly little cottage ornament, complete with smoke coming out of the chimney.

And a glittery red bottlebrush tree to match the cottage roof.

And every winter cottage should be surrounded by birch trees, cardinals...

... and snow that glistens like a million little diamonds when the light hits it just right.

I thought this little Winter Cottage vignette looked nice displayed on this red, green, and tan woven placemat (white tray not included). This is a very simple (and not at all costly) giveaway. Anybody who lives near a Christmas Tree Shop can attest to that! But if you would like a chance to win it, just leave a comment on this post and I will pick a winner after midnight of Friday, November 26th! I'm sharing these goodies I found on Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home, so be sure to stop over and see what everyone else is sharing this week!! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
COMMENT UPDATE: I've had a few queries - yes, this contest is open to everyone, even those outside of the States. Thanks for asking!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The picture of innocence... not!

I have to admit, it has been a l-o-n-g time since we have had a young animal in our home. To put it into perspective, our girls, now 21 and 24, were in preschool and 1st grade the last time we had baby animals.
(click any photos to enlarge)

Our last two dogs, Mr. O'Malley and Ms. Gizmo, were adopted at ages 7 and 8 respectively, so they were well out of the "into everything" baby stage. Ditto for our 3 cats, who by that time were also heading toward 'middle age." So this turbo charged little ball of fur has definitely been an adjustment! Just wait till you see what this child cat, the picture of innocence above, is capable of...

I woke the other morning to utter chaos and clamor coming from the living room. I had a pretty good idea who was behind it so I grabbed my camera along the way. Baby was perched on top of the shutters, the crocheted runner on top of the chest askew....

The minute she spotted me she jumped down and that was it for the runner.

It was now in a ball behind the chest, with Baby peering down and trying to grab it with her outstretched paw. After all, it's just another of her playthings, right?

Within minutes she had tired of that game and was once again focusing her attention on the shutters.

I could pretty much read her mind as the shenanigans played out before my eyes...

... although I still can't quite figure out WHAT was keeping her upright on top of the shutters since only her two rear legs were on them!

She had a grand old time grabbing at the shutters...

...and trying to get into a reclining position...

...that only a young cat could find comfortable. She stayed there a few more minutes, enjoying the scenery outside, until I spoiled her fun and told her it was time to open the shutters....

... at which point she adoringly watched me, her indentured servant, from an upside down pose, as I tidied her mess and put the crocheted runner back on the chest. How could I scold her - just look at that face!

It wasn't long before she jumped from the chest over to the sofa, tucked her little face under her tail and purred her way into dreamland (where she planned her next impish episode, the subject of a future blogpost)...


Friday, November 12, 2010

bare naked windows...

I love the look of bare naked windows. Whenever I wash them (which last happened a few days before Halloween), I always take down the valance. The windows tilt in for easy 'outside' cleaning, and the valance always gets in the way of the tilting...

We have shutters on the bottom half of the window for privacy, so it's not like I have to put the valance back up, but for some reason I always do... Anyhow, I got my supplies ready and went to work.

After all the windows were washed and the woodwork cleaned, it was time to put everything back in place. I love the scalloped edge, embroidery and eyelet trim of this runner that I use in the window. I've even grown fond of the worn wood where the shutters rub as they are opened and closed every morning and night...

The aloe vera planter got dusted and put back in place...

...along with several of our fur babies' urns...

My boy, Blackie, is kept in a blue cotton ball holder.

And finally, the little decorative candleholder is cleaned and put in place (it's actually just a dust collector since the only time it is ever used is during a power outage, and during those times it is moved up to the mantel so furry little feet won't knock it over)...

And speaking of furry little feet, as soon as the valance was back in place, little Baby had to climb up and inspect my work. She looks so sweet and innocent in this photo, but just you wait until I show you her dark side in a future post!! Yes, Baby, I captured it all!
Wishing you all a lovely weekend! I'm off to the Cape on a one-day 'mission' tomorrow and it's supposed to be glorious weather! Yippee!
I'm linking up to Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home so be sure to stop by and visit all the other participating bloggers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

They're multiplying....

Last year I happened across this beautiful white cat at a Salvation Army.

She was quite heavy, a chalkware or plaster type statue. She was dinged, chippy, and the tips of her ears were missing.

In other words, she was perfect! So naturally she came home to our little cottage.

Months and months later, what did I stumble upon in a second hand store but this beauty! She's a lightweight ceramic statue and, like the other kitty, she also had a chipped ear and big blue eyes. She is signed on the bottom with the most heartfelt message: "1982 Happy Valentine Cindy, Love Mommy and Weldon" with a little hand drawn bouquet. How very precious!

And so the two of them, who look like long-lost sisters, became our long-haired white cottage cats.

It seems that an awful lot of BIG kitties have found themselves in thrift stores in the past couple of years because earlier this year I spotted this guy at yet another Salvation Army. I happen to be very fond of long-haired black cats (you can see My Boy and My Girl in my sidebar), so there was no way I was leaving him behind.

Like the others, he's not perfect. He has some minor chippy issues, but mostly he has a 'haziness' that I can't seem to clean off. He looks dirty, but he's not. And he's a bit of a wild man. Whoever painted him (he's also ceramic) gave him some wild and crazy cat eyes and whiskers! Such a character - I love him!

And then, of course, in August we got the real deal... A total mix of all the fake kitties with her long-haired black and white coat and her crazy eyes! Here she is doing her best imitation of the reclining kitties. I think she nailed the pose and the wild-eyed look (visible if you enlarge the photo)!

So like I said, they're multiplying!!! But I think we have reached our limit. Our little cottage is just that - little - and these guys are HUGE!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone! And I'm linking up to Cindy's (My Romantic Home) Show & Tell Friday post, and White Wednesday at Faded Charm, so be sure to head over and check out what everybody is sharing this week!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So Halloween is now over...

...and the few decorations I had out...

...are now packed away until next year.

Baby has made herself quite at home in the living room bay window (which, by the way, used to be Spotty's favorite hangout. There are quite a few similarities between the two of them which will, I'm sure, be the topic of a future blogpost.)

Once again, I seem to have captured an orb in a photo, right next to all our fur babies' urns in the bay window. I capture orbs on a pretty regular basis, and they always seem to have an 'energy' to them (as opposed to being just a round speck of dust... you can click the photo to enlarge it)... So today, the house is back to normal, but this is what it looked like on Halloween night when the trick-or-treaters arrived...

Lamp Bandit took center stage in the bay window and greeted everyone (I washed the windows that afternoon. They were SO dirty I didn't think anyone would even see Lamp Bandit if I didn't!).

Baby was not thrilled at having to share the window with Lamp Bandit...

...and she made that perfectly clear by sporting her "ears back, ticked off" look every time I tried to take her photo. I promised her the lamp would be moved back over to the side of the window as soon as trick-or-treating was over...

..and that seemed to put her in a better mood.

Not to be outdone by Lamp Bandit, Ms. Floor Lamp Floozy wanted equal time.

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Concord Center

We love visiting beautiful Concord, MA, especially in the autumn.

Amanda was home for a couple of days in mid-October so on a particularly sunny afternoon we decided to visit Concord for a few hours of fun.

That almost always includes a visit to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (click here for last October's Sleepy Hollow post, much more in-depth!).

A closeup of gifts that visitors have left on top of Emerson's grave.

... and in front of Thoreau's grave.

Louisa May Alcott's grave.

And one of the black squirrels that make their home in the cemetery. All of the Sammy Squirrels in our yard are gray (with an occasional red squirrel), so I was quite excited to see this little fellow and his friends as I have never seen a black squirrel before!

After the cemetery we visited Concord Center.

Here is the beautiful (and reportedly haunted) Colonial Inn...

... that I blogged about here last year, including photos from inside the 'haunted' room!

Old church spires against blue autumn skies... gorgeous!

And the old graveyard right next to the church.

Concord Center is just so picturesque. We were a couple of weeks early for the peak fall foliage, but you can click here for my post from last year, Colors of Concord , to see how this exact spot turns spectacularly GOLDEN at the height of its autumn splendor!

Red Lamp Lady is still the mascot for the Concord Lamp & Shade shop. I think she'd look fantastic in our little cottage, but since we don't have any extra room or money these days, I'm afraid she won't be moving in with us...

The colors of autumn were everywhere...

...especially at one of Cafe Chatelaine's favorite shops, Nesting on Main!

They are geniuses with vignettes and arrangements...

I always want to bring a little bit of everything home with me!

There is eye candy around every nook, cranny, and corner.

Be still my heart.. I soooooooooooooooo would love this for our little cottage! Maybe some day!

So Happy 375th birthday, Concord!!! It is always SUCH a pleasure to visit you!