"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Monday, July 19, 2010

Right now...

I believe I will...

Go out and pick yourself some posies that make you smile!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christmas in July!

Well, I did it!!!

I sent in my pics for Matthew Meads fun contest for Holiday!
It was very last minute and (OF COURSE) I had more tech nightmares so am not at all happy with the quality pictures I sent. Oh well, at least I did it. Next year? I'll be more prepared and maybe have more time to spend on blogging n picture taking... I'm sure there'll be thousands of entries but I had to try as I LOVE his work (and Linda's and Jenny's and all who create those gorgeous magazines and projects)!

Above is our tree last year. It was one of my all time favorites done completely in kiddie theme this time.   I went all out for bright color and FUN or home made decorations. This way all the kiddie school ornaments look right at home - those are soooo sweet! I even hung toys, animal cracker boxes and mini raisin boxes on the tree with tiny polka dot ribbons. Put a cascade of polka dot, gingham and even different color rick rack down from the top - stole that idea from the clever n colorful Life in Grace. Our angel topper is a Beagle dog, a gift from a silly friend!

Our awesome but ancient kitchen fireplace needs work before it's safe for a real fire - so I just tucked orange Halloween lights in amongst logs for a warm glow right now! (I'm all about instant gratification.)

Here's a current shot of our kitchen that I sent in... Lotsa tweaking needed but just had to get it sent!

My little Elves love two things about Christmas morning - their vintage stockings with candy and treats spilling out the top, and the new electric toothbrushes Santa sends with it all! They even love each other - or is he just trying to get his hands on her candy?!

One of our favorite traditions is driving our carriage round the neighborhood to visit with friends and pass out baskets of farm fresh goodies. When we're finished, even the horses are excited to find their stocking hung with carrots, apples and peppermints.

This pretty pic almost makes me romanticize the loads n loads of snow we got. No, scratch that, I'd rather move south and buy spray on snow!

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Linking to these fun parties!

FJI's Gitter Done! challenge

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sweet and Colorful Friends

That's the kind of night we had last night.
A sweet invitation from warm and colorful neighbors we didn't really know... Friends of friends.
Our friends now!

They held a "field" party in honor of their wonderful soldier son, newly returned from Iraq, due to ship back out in a few short weeks.

Their tiny 1770 log home sits beside the road amongst not so charming houses, yet is completely hidden by landscaping.
A treasure box to be discovered.
What an amazing treat when you enter the doorway - starting with the home made banner proclaiming
"Home of The Brave!"

They are a family of folk artists and rustic furniture makers.
They have tons of talent and even more heart.
Their creativity was clear in every.single.corner of their stunning home and yard!
It was NOT like the clear n uncluttered  homes I'm so used to seeing highlighted these days in magazines and blogs.
It was a thousand times more inspiring and warm and inviting and FULL of color and LIFE!
Low beamed ceilings in the original section had antiques or odds n ends hanging down...
Newer areas were made to feel more spacious by opening the ceilings to the higher rafters.
Stairs were stacked with books and gathered treasures.
And as accents everywhere were small lamps, twinkle lights, candle lamps and more twinkle lights.
And LAYERS of family photos that shared their story through time.
It did NOT feel "cluttered."
In addition to their lovely daughter and phenomenal son, they share the cottage with two large Labs, two small Chihuahuas and a cat! It was so cozy but clean!
 I don't know how they do it!

They've lived there for 24 years and worked to update and enlarge the tiny house over time.
They've planted several fruit trees in their backyard, strung them with lights and created seating areas beneath. Quirky items are snuggled amongst plants or rocks... A simple dry stack fireplace/fire pit was built in another area.
I LOVED how they mounted an old chippy shed door w/it's rusty hinges between the sink and toilet to create a narrow partition and privacy in a shared bath.

But my FAVORITE THING EVER was the self portrait their son did when he was seven,  framed and prominently displayed in their kitchen.
He drew himself wearing a green n white striped shirt.
Framed beside the drawing is that same old striped Gap t-shirt!
It seems that shirt was his, then passed along to our other wonderful neighbors three boy's...
For years it was to be seen constantly along our road or splashing in the creek beside...
I sure wish we'd met them back then!

Like them, their party was sooo fun!
Their friends were very kind and interesting.
Several brought guitars and sang.
Their was lotsa music, dancing and kicking up of heels (and skirts)!
My kiddos were the youngest there and everyone looked after them and played and danced with them...
We were all made to feel like family.
We stayed very very late as no one wanted to leave this wonderland!

A memorable evening that made me see my own home and world with fresh eyes.
I'm always striving to cut back on clutter and things all around me...
I am re-inspired now to edit out of my world those things that do not speak intimately to me and yet to layer on more personal treasures into our home.
And as is always said - the most personal decorations are FRIENDS!

As I came down early I saw the sun shining on my sweet n colorful peaches from another neighbors farm stand and was reminded again of our many blessings and the wonderful night.
Today a dear friend visits and later my sweet MIL so that The Farmer and I can do some work on the barn...

Hope your weekend is full of color and friends!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Belated Happy Birthday America!

Hmm, not much different than some other birthdays - late again in sending my greetings!

Each year we love to spend July Fourth at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster. We bring a picnic and enjoy the various performances, tours, activities and displays offered. The brochure states that it's mission is to foster "the preservation and appreciation of the rural culture of 19th century Carroll County and the spirit and values that this culture typifies."

As always, we walked the grounds admiring the various historic gardens, museums, critters and antique farm equipment. The kids had fun playing old games like hoops, ring toss, or, in past years, egg n spoon or three legged sack races. The Carroll County Cloggers are a favorite of ours and Sarah is sure she wants to join this year!

Here are a few pics. The cute Uncle Sam is from the next town over. The rest were taken here and the Farm Museum.

Hope your 4th was FUN!
What'd you do?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm baa ack!!!

Whoee, I've been away and part of it has been a honeymoon... I'm IN LOVE with the folks at the Apple store!!!! After an elaborate and lengthy diagnosis and repair, they FIXED my Mac (hopefully) AND it was still under warranty!!!! If when I have problems again, I'll be buying a macbook next!

I've missed all my blogging buddies but must confess that I got LOTS done while "unplugged." The kids, horses and gardens all enjoyed the increased attentions I think. We won't even mention The Farmer's thoughts!  ;-0

I have several small projects finally completed *tease* and will show more of the big picture s soon... Now on to try posting some pics! Prayers said and fingers crossed that it works better n faster than before!

I used blackboard paint in each child's room...

Lots of spray painting accents for their playhouse...

Some vintage blocks n twine to fashion a mirror frame...

A wee bit o upolstery detailing...

Hope you check back soon to see the full stories.
I promise to have MUCH to share.
Including... new additions to our family!  
I'm over 40 tho and not that crazy so, no, NOT 2 legged...

What have you been up to lately?