Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vintage Cottage Bouquet...

I've been in need of a bit of a pick-me-up lately. I ventured out to the front yard where my perennials are blooming and being outside for a few minutes, looking at the beautiful flowers, and listening to the birds chirping, really did help.

Lately, I've been feeling a lot like Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in You've Got Mail (one of my favorite movies). In one scene, Kathleen wishes she could talk to her deceased mother about what to do with her failing bookstore...

KATHLEEN (talking to her aunt Birdie [Jean Stapleton] about what to do):
All this publicity and not one bit of difference? Oh Birdie, what am I going to do? What would Mom have done?  
BIRDIE Let's ask her. (She opens the locket hanging around her neck. There's a picture of Kathleen's mother inside it. Birdie holds the locket up to her face).  
BIRDIE Cecilia, what should we do? (Birdie holds the locket to her ear and listens. A pause).  
KATHLEEN Birdie?  
BIRDIE Shhhh. (after a beat, shrugs) She has no idea, but she thinks the window display is lovely.

I miss my mom so much. There are so many decisions to be made about Dad, and how I wish I could talk to her.

I snipped off some small sprigs from the garden and tried them in a few different vases; first a small green vase and then a vintage milk glass vase. They both looked good next to this old photo of my mom, circa 1930, when she was about 4 years old. Having this little bouquet next to my mom's photo really did brighten my spirits a bit.

And even though I can't hear my mom's voice, I do know that she is watching over us and that everything will be okay. But, oh, how I wish she were still here....

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful spring. I finally planted some annuals in our windowboxes and clay pots today. After an unseasonably cold, rainy spring, we are finally getting beautiful weather. And believe me, in light of the latest weather patterns, I am not complaining about our cold, rainy spring or the frigid winter we had. My heart goes out to everyone in the areas that have been hit so hard by tornadoes, and my thoughts and prayers are with you...


Monday, May 16, 2011

I feel so blessed...

Lyn, I will be writing to you, but I wanted to thank you immediately for the stunning tag you created and sent to me. I agree, this image is just beautiful - so serene... And the lace trim, rhinestone design, flowers, and silk ribbon you added are just perfect....

As you know, I love my Blessed Virgin Mary statues, busts, and planters, and your tag is such a beautiful addition to my collection.

Not only that, this tag arrived just when I needed a little lift. It's been very stressful to see all the changes my dad has been going through lately, and your sweet gift could not have arrived at a more perfect time.
Thank you so very much... I feel so blessed.


Friday, May 13, 2011

A stroll around the yard...

It's been so beautiful lately, so I wandered around the yard and snapped some photos to share with  you...
I know I showed you the hoppa crab trees from inside the other day, but I had to take a few more because they are just so beautiful.

I'm not sure if Mr. & Mrs. Wren have officially moved into this birdhouse yet. They have been checking it out, along with others in the backyard. I'll keep you posted.

Every year we toy with the idea of cutting off the lower branches to make mowing easier. But every year we expand the bark mulch a bit more because we just can't bring ourselves to cut them off.

As you can see, these were taken almost a week later than the previous... The blossoms are now a pale pink and have started dropping off the tree at at a furious rate, thereby carpeting the lawn in pink.

I love everything about these trees, including their gnarly branches.

Goodbye, sweet apple blossoms. I will look forward to seeing you again next year.

Adding to the pink show in the front yard is our bleeding heart. It is, by far, the fastest 'grower' in the yard. One day I will see tiny sprouts peeking out from the bark mulch...

... and in record time, the entire plant has skyrocketed out of the earth...

... covered with the most perfect little pink bleeding hearts.

I didn't plant these (that I remember!) but they pop up every spring, adding some much needed color to a far corner of the yard.

The honeysuckle is loaded with buds, which I'm sure the hummingbirds are keeping an eye on, just waiting for them to blossom!

This photo is from several weeks ago. I had just take the plastic off of my vintage Mary garden statue, and she clearly survived another cold winter. The cement paver should be replaced and the birdbath in the background (along with all the others) needed to be cleaned when this photo was taken (all the birdbaths have now been cleaned and the birds are happily bathing and drinking on a daily basis).

So thank you for peeking through the garden gate with me...

Now let's sit in the Adirondack chairs for a spell... This is the view, looking skyward. The birch tree leaves are just starting to open, giving it a lacy appearance.

Dad got home from the hospital/rehab yesterday, and life is changing for all of us... I promise I'll get around to visit you all soon. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day lately.

I hope you're enjoying spring wherever you are!

I'm linking up to Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home... Come join everyone!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's a "We Love White" party - and you're invited!

While visiting Donna at the beautiful Funky Junk Interiors earlier, I learned about a fantastic We Love White party being hosted by Marianne at Songbird, and everyone is invited!! Marianne is also having a giveaway at her beautiful blog (3 giveaways, in fact!!) so be sure to visit her to see why she loves white, and why all the other participating bloggers love white!

Anybody who visits my blog knows how much I love white! Over the past 6-7 years, we have transitioned from a darker, primitive decor (which I still do love!) to a lighter, brighter shabby cottage decor.

(click any photos to enlarge)
The dark pine trestle table that we've had for the past 21 years is always covered with white (or light) table coverings, and the dark bow back chairs were replaced by six white farmhouse chairs. I also painted our old primitive hutch white, giving it instant cottage charm (before & after photos).

All of our living room furniture was painted white as well, which really brightened up this small room. In addition, our 21-year old blue Sturbridge Plaid loveseat is concealed under a white slipcover. Color is easily added through the use of pillows and the vintage bedspread throws that cover our old, threadbare wing chair.

The same goes for the family room. The matching Sturbridge Plaid sofa is covered with a white slipcover and an equally old, threadbare wing chair is covered by a variety of spreads, just as in the living room. Having the white slipcovers, bookcases, and lamps allows me to easily switch accent colors.

Our teeny, tiny windowless kitchen was once a dungeon (before & after photos here)... but not anymore! It's amazing how a little white paint made this small room seem so much bigger! And our old brick fireplace, that hubby would not let me paint, is now hidden behind the new white fireplace cover he built (before & after photos here).

White lampshades, lace runners & table scarves, and pillow shams help make the small rooms in our little home seem so much brighter.

Vases filled with white buttons, white sparkly holiday decorations, pale white & pink pillowcase shams (used as curtains on our front doors), and a white church and tan angel keep the white theme going...

... while white cats (some real, some not) provide a little whimsy here, there, and everywhere.

Our Halloween decorations are light and bright rather than the standard orange and black...

... and white is the predominant color ...

 ... of all the Christmas decorations, too!

And as you can see, the white theme carries right through to the outside as well... There is white wicker patio furniture, our little white backyard shed, and the most beautiful WINTER white for several months out of the year (this is New England, after all!!!).

I hope you enjoyed these collages of Why I Love White! Now be sure to click the button below to head straight to Songbird's WE LOVE WHITE party!!

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pretty in Pink

The view from our living room window...

is spectacular right now, thanks to our hoppa crab tree.

It's hard to believe it was only a little over a month ago, during our April 1st storm...

...that it looked like this!!!

Even the bird lamp birdies are enjoying the view!

It's hard to believe that when we bought these trees back in 1982 (we planted two in our yard)...

... they were so small ...

... that they both fit ...

...  into the back of my VW bug convertible (with the top down, of course).

Spring was a long time in coming, but it was well worth the wait!!

I'm linking up to My Romantic Home's Show & Tell Friday. Be sure to stop by and see what everyone is sharing this week!
Also, I'm sorry I haven't been able to visit a lot of you lately. My dad has been in the hospital/nursing home/rehab for the past two weeks and I'm spending a lot of time there. Hopefully, if all goes well, he will be coming home some time next week and I'll have more time to get around and visit. Till then, I hope you are all enjoying spring wherever you are!!