Thursday, November 29, 2012

The kitties were nestled all snug in their beds...

Cats are known for their love of napping...
 ...and our two are no exception.

 Our sweet Tiger, adopted back in September of '93, is over 19 years old. She has always been on the shy side. When she was younger, she spent a lot more time out and about in the house during the day, but always returned to Amanda's bed at nighttime.

 Now that she's older, she spends the majority of her days - and nights - on the bed in Amanda's old room. This is Tiger's spot, the place she has slept every night of her life since she was a wee kitten. You don't see me post too often about our Tiger because, frankly, she does spend most days doing just this - sleeping!

 She won't climb into covered cat beds (which we thought would provide her with a bit more warmth on cold winter nights), so instead we create a makeshift tent of sorts out of pillows and blankets. She happily crawls into it, snuggling up in the back where she feels safe and warm.

Of course her favorite times are when Amanda is home, as she was over Thanksgiving (when I snapped this photo). At those times, she gets to sleep with her favorite person in the world! Pure kitty bliss!

Now Baby, on the other hand (who is, by all rights, Court's kitty), well she truly is just a babe, only a few years old.

She's perfectly content to curl up anywhere to catch her 40 winks.
All the better if it's in the middle of all the action (like the living room bay window). She thrives on being the center of attention.
I disturbed her nap a bit and she cutely stretched her paws outwards and then went right back to napping. This is one of her favorite spots because the heating vents are just on either side of this chest and when the forced hot air comes on, it rushes up the back of this chest making it a very warm place to nap (especially when the temps outside are in the 30's!).
Here's a little clip of her eyebrows and whiskers being tousled about by the force of the heat.
With all my picture taking, Baby woke up enough to do a kitty's second favorite thing - washing!
"I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul."
(Jean Cocteau)
I'll joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Masters of Classical Music

I've been lucky enough to be in the right place (thrift stores) at the right time (three different occasions), resulting in this eclectic collection of composers.

Mozart is a plaster type bust, very rustic and chippy.
As a matter of fact, he's missing a bit of his nose as you can see in this photo. I think it just adds to his charm. Vintage imperfections always seem to have a positve, rather than negative, impact on me.
Mozart usually spends his days on the fireplace mantel, but I thought I'd try him out in the bookcase for a while.
Beethoven, on the other hand, is made of a resin type material.
Like Mozart, he's usually on the fireplace mantel, but I rather like the way he looks in the bookcases.
I must admit, though, Beethoven looks a bit grumpy in his new location. That being said, he looked grumpy on the mantel as well :)
My newest acquisition is Bach, who is just a small, plastic bust found at a Salvation Army a couple of weeks ago. Plastic or not, he looked quite regal with the late afternoon sun streaming in the other day.
Unlike his counterparts, he has lived on the library shelves since his arrival at the cottage.
A handsome trio, I'd say. Never mind the different materials, sizes, styles, or ages. I think they complement each other nicely.
And of course you know I was not tweaking this all by my lonesome!
Just peer down the hall a bit and you will see that I had a pair of eyes watching my every move whilst rearranging and snapping photos!
This week I'm joining Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for Favorite Thing Saturday
and Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday.
Have a great week, everyone!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I {{{ heart }}} my garden gates...

Oh how I will miss this old garden gate...
Four years ago, I even wrote a "love post" about it...

But the years have taken their toll, weathering the wood beyond repair.

It aged gracefully, and served us well for almost twenty years.

During that time countless children, now young adults, passed through this gate to play in our backyard.
And throughout the changing New England seasons...
... through all kinds of weather...

... it has provided a place for birds to rest...
... and chipmunks to play....

With each passing year, the weathered gate watched the clematis grow taller, fuller, and more colorful as it cascaded over the simple arbor.

We knew that this day would eventually come. We couldn't delay the inevitable any longer.

So last week, with great care, the old gate was removed and hubby started building a new gate, using the exact same design I came up with so many years ago.
With the frame built, it was time to start staggering the pickets...
Taller ones on the outer edges, gradually getting shorter toward the center; pickets spaced out just a bit so as to offer a hint of the secret garden that lay beyond the gate.
The gate had to have a heart in the center to represent love, and the memories of family and friends who passed through it over the years.
This new heart is perfect in its imperfection. Simple. Rustic. Made with love.

Just as the old heart was.
And then it was time for this beautiful new gate to be attached to the fence under the old arbor.
Hello, beautiful new gate.
May you, and the new fence that was also put up this year, last at least another twenty years, eventually weathering to that driftwood shade of gray that I find so charming.
This week I'm joining Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
and Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.
Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You're such a silly woman, Baby cat!

"Put the Lime in the Coconut"
I had the house to myself Sunday morning, so before starting my spaghetti sauce I put on a couple of soundtracks and cranked up the music. (Yeah, I'm old school. I still listen to CD's.)
As you can see in the background, I had some company.
At first Baby was content to just sun herself atop the kitty condo...
But then her little ears perked up and she got into the music right along with me!
"Little Miss Curious"
In this little video she had gotten on top of the TV in the family room, right behind the windows that separate the dining room from the family room. She's too funny!
"Getting in the Groove"
Baby and Patience enjoying the music together....

"Grace in Motion"
 After watching me load another CD, she leaped to the top of the TV,
one of her direct paths back to the kitty condo.

 "Do I need a tonsillectomy?"
This one cracks me up. Baby was acting adorable, playing with her toys, and then I got a bit too close for comfort and Baby decided to chew me out... Literally!
(P.S. If I say "Whatcha doing?" to Baby one more time I'm going to whack myself with my wet noodles!  OMG, I sound annoying!!!!!)

This week I'm joining:
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


So what have I been up to this week?

Well, we had amazing weather over the weekend and earlier this week. The temperatures even climbed to the high 60's one day!

We lost the majority of our leaves in the high winds of Sandy a few weeks ago, but this clump of leaves outside our bedroom window has been tenaciously hanging on.

An extreme closeup looking through the floral suncatcher on the window.
(Altered with the colored pencil filter on my photo software)

This photo was taken from the deck. It's the same cluster of leaves visible from the bedroom; the leaves still brilliant while most others form a crunchy carpet of brown.
(Photo altered with a watercolor filter)

So what was I doing while all this gorgeous weather was happening just outside my window?
I've been very focused, practically chained to my desk, working on some new designs for my publisher with a "thisclose" deadline! (How's that for tenacity?). Here's a funky little collage combining tiny sections of two of the paintings I just submitted.
(Can you guess whooooooooo they are?)
Have a great week everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, Durgin Park & Newbury Street

I think I'm going to wrap up our walking tour of Boston with this post.
Again, we had such a great time last month getting together with our girls in the city. October is the perfect month for doing this kind of walk (especially if the high humidity and temps of the summer just drain you, as they do me!)
After leaving King's Chapel we headed toward Quincy Market.

Here are the girls standing in front of a statue of Samuel Adams.
The old Faneuil Hall meeting house, in the background, dates back to 1742.

The whole Quincy Market area is a feast for the eyes. I love the blend of old and new architecture.
And you never know who you'll see walking by!
We decided to stop and grab a bite to eat...
... and when I spotted Durgin Park I was very excited as I hadn't eaten there since the 70's.
Can anything live up to past, nostalgic memories?
Probably not.
I enjoyed our time at Durgin Park more for spending time with my family than our actual meals. We're really pinching pennies these days so we opted for the least expensive items on the menu. I got a simple fish sandwich which was good, but nothing spectacular.
Back in the 70's the dining area had communal tables and the wait staff was not known for making you feel welcome (that was a part of the charm - it was a no-nonsense place to get great food).
On this day, parties were all seated at their own separate tables. No more shared conversations with people from other states or countries. And our young waiter was charming, which one should never complain about (although, admittedly, I did long for an older, curmudgeonly waitress to make it seem more like old times!)
Amanda with the almost life-size mural downstairs of some of the original employees. Clearly their brusque ways were a put on as they all look delightful in this photograph!
Unfortunately lunch took a bit longer than expected, and since Court had plans to go to a corn maze later that afternoon, we quickly headed back to Newbury Street so she could meet up with her friends.
We said our goodbyes to Court and then headed back up Newbury St. to the parking garage...
... with me taking pictures all along the way.
It was such a fantastic way to spend this spectacular autumn day, with the bluest of skies and not a cloud in sight.
I think if I lived in the city, having an apartment above a shop on Newbury Street would be one of my top 3 locations!
Maybe in any one of these!! A girl can dream, right?
I hope you enjoyed this little 3-part tour through Boston.
I feel so fortunate to live so close to this beautiful city!
Wishing you all a beautiful week!