Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Which one have you been?

One of my favorite ornaments. She decorates my tree every year.

I love the song, "O Holy Night" .

Another favorite is "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

Blue and silver are two of my favorite colors to decorate with at Christmas.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Autumn's here! Now don't get me wrong... I love summer and her long, hot days. Of running barefoot through freshly mowed grass and of being so hot, my clothes stick to my skin like honeyed molasses. But. I'm always happy when the season changes and fall moves in with her fiery rainbow of light.

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

From last year's autumn, a lovely bush that grows beneath my front windows.

I have three trees in my front yard & about twelve in my backyard. This one is the second biggest. All of the trees are filled with birds' nests. In fact, I had an owl hunting in my trees two years ago. Did you know owls bark like dogs? I sat outside, late at night, many times, with camera in hand trying to capture her on film without success. Though I heard her, I never saw her. My brother-in-law did see her one night. She swooped out of the tree, with a sparrow in her mouth and flew about three feet above his head.

These gorgeous trees are at the local park.

Fallen log with fallen leaves! I love the crackle of leaves as you walk through them.

When I started to look through my photo archives, I was surprised to find that I hardly have any photos of fall. So this year, I plan on taking TONS of autumnal pictures.

By Alice Cary 1820–1871

Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips
The days, as through the sunset gates they crowd,
And Summer from her golden collar slips
And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud,

Save when by fits the warmer air deceives,
And, stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower,
She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves,
And tries the old tunes over for an hour.

The wind, whose tender whisper in the May
Set all the young blooms listening through th’ grove,
Sits rustling in the faded boughs to-day
And makes his cold and unsuccessful love.

The rose has taken off her tire of red—
The mullein-stalk its yellow stars have lost,
And the proud meadow-pink hangs down her head
Against earth’s chilly bosom, witched with frost.

The robin, that was busy all the June,
Before the sun had kissed the topmost bough,
Catching our hearts up in his golden tune,
Has given place to the brown cricket now.

The very cock crows lonesomely at morn—
Each flag and fern the shrinking stream divides—
Uneasy cattle low, and lambs forlorn
Creep to their strawy sheds with nettled sides.

Shut up the door: who loves me must not look
Upon the withered world, but haste to bring
His lighted candle, and his story-book,
And live with me the poetry of Spring.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Practical Magic

Why do I love "Practical Magic"?

I love the book because Alice Hoffman is a magical writer who transcends the ordinary and weaves fantasy into everyday lives.

I love the movie because it's a wonderful portrayal of sisterhood, love and magic. I have two sisters of my own so I enjoy the complexities of sister relationships whether in movies, tv shows or books.

Magic, love and sisterhood are the underlying themes not only in the movie, but in the book as well. So for my Practical Magic party post, I have decided to combine both the movie and the book.

"For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally endured that fate as well: As children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats.

But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared, even into adulthood, brought them back--almost as if by magic..."

I love old houses. I feel drawn to them. Most of this is because of my mom, who also loves old houses. As a child, she'd drive my sisters and I around neighborhoods full of old houses. We'd be so excited, pointing to this one or that one, deciding which one we'd live in once we were older.

Probably like everyone else, who's ever seen the movie, I am in love with the house. It's my goal one day to build my own Victorian, so I hoard pictures of Victorian homes whenever I run across them. This house is amazing with it's two staircases, attic room, attached conservatory and kitchen.

"Anyone who dared to stand on the porch, where the ivy grew wild, could try for hours to look through the windows and never see a thing. It was the same looking out; the green-tinted window glass was so old and so thick that everything on the other side seemed like a dream, including the sky and the trees."

"Sally, three hundred ninety-seven days older than her sister, was as conscientitious as Gillian was idle. She never believed in anything that could not be proven with facts and figures. When Gillian pointed to a shooting star, it was Sally who reminded her that what was falling to earth was only an old rock, heated by its descent through the atmosphere. Sally was a take-charge sort of person from the start; she didn't like confusion and mess, both of which filled the aunts' old house on Magnolia Street from attic to cellar."

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is Sally's Amas Veritas spell. The best part of Sally's "love spell" was that she didn't ask for a certain man to love her, but she asked for a man with certain qualities.

Sally: He will hear my call a mile away. He will whistle my favorite song. He can ride a pony backwards.

Gillian: What are you doing?

Sally: Summoning up a true love spell called Amas Veritas. He can flip pancakes in the air. He'll be marvelously kind. And his favorite shape will be a star. And he'll have one green eye and one blue.

Gillian: Thought you never wanted to fall in love.

Sally: That's the point. The guy I dreamed of doesn't exist. And if he doesn't exist, I'll never die of a broken heart.

Sally's letter to Gillian: Sometimes I feel like there's a hole inside of me, an emptiness that at times seems to burn. I think if you lifted my heart to your ear, you could probably hear the ocean.

The moon tonight, there's a circle around it. Sign of trouble not far behind.

I have this dream of being whole. Of not going to sleep each night, wanting. But still sometimes, when the wind is warm or the crickets sing... I dream of a love that even time will lie down and be still for. I just want someone to love me. I want to be seen. I don't know. Maybe I had my happiness. I don't want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon.

Raising the dead. Of course, you're going to get something more along the lines of a zombie rather than the person you loved.

"You put the lime in the coconut." Another of my favorite scenes from the movie.

When Gillian finds Ben (Ben is a character in the book who didn't make it into the movie): A circle of pale yellow light seemed to hover around Ben and Gillian; the light rose higher, then fanned out, across the street and above the rooftops ...

On the afternoon when Kylie stood in front of Mrs. Jerouche's house, she wasn't the only one to sense something unusual in the air. A group of boys playing kickball all stopped, stunned by the sweet scent wafting down from the rooftops, and they rubbed at their noses. The youngest turned and ran home and begged his mother for lemon pound cake, heated, and spread with honey. Women came to their windows, leaned their elbows on the sills, and breathed more deeply than they had in years. They didn't even believe in hope anymore, but here it was, in the treetops and the chimneys.

Magic is all around us. It lives in all of us. Anyone can tap into it. It's in the flowers that grow wild by the side of the road, the trees that shoot from the ground to the sky,

the bushes that bloom their brightest in summer and in the stream that gurgles hello to you.

There's a little witch in all of us.

Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you to Frosted Petunias for hostessing this wonderful blog party. Please visit the other participants here at the Practical Magic party page.

All italized script is from the book.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Magazine Copy Cat Challenge!

There's a magazine copy cat challenge afoot!

It all started at Debbiedoo's blog and if you click on the blog link, you can see what the other copycats are up to.

I love magazines. They're full of so many great ideas and I always find inspiration between the pages whether it's Victoria Magazine or Vogue. So after deciding to participate, I had to find an image I wanted to re-create. There were so many, it was really hard to narrow it down to just one.

The magazine photo I chose to imitate was shot outside. So I thought, I'll do this outside, but then I didn't like the way the pictures turned out.

So I thought... hmmm... maybe I should try this inside.

Here is the original page from the May/June, 2010 issue of Victoria Magazine:

Below is my inside version. I switched the fruit to strawberries and since I didn't have a taller jar with a lid, I used a vase. The only thing I had to buy were the flowers.

Thanks for stopping by and having a peek! And thanks also to Debbie for hosting this event!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Goodies in the mail!

I love snail mail. I love to watch the postman place letters and such inside my mailbox. I don't have the words to tell you how happy it makes me to receive sweet little packages or magazines or holiday/birthday cards or even just an old-fashioned letter in the mail. So I wanted to take a minute or two and blog about all the great things I've received these past few months from some great bloggers.

First up, from Wendy at Bliss Angels, is this lovely wall hanging and tag. Please click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

This little girl is just precious! And I love the material and the flowers that were chosen to go with this print.

Check out the little paper crown pictured below.... It's so perfectly cut out that I can't help but think of tiny little scissors and lots & lots of patience!

Next is this lovely journal book cover. I adore this patchwork design with the different colored squares. This is from Jenxo and here is a link to her lovely blog. She was wonderful enough to include a journal book with the cover. And the best thing is that the cover can be removed and placed on the next book!

This is a lovely, lovely print, titled "Guard Your Heart", I received from Cindy at 12 Tribes. Around the woman's arms, it says: "Watch over your heart with diligence for from it flows the springs of life..."

Here is a close up of the heart she holds.

From Jennifer, at Jewelry by Jennifer Pride, I received these beautiful earrings. The colors of the glass beads are amber, purple and blue. The beads are translucent and just gorgeous!

Here is a simply wonderful mixed-media, wall hanging from Anna at Cottage 6 Studio. I love vintage photographs. The different papers chosen for this wall hanging are mixed together just right.

Anna has placed typed words to read: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Look at this beautiful heart from Janine at Jeany's Brunnen. There's an embroidered flower on either side of the heart. And the roses are raised as if they were blooming straight from the heart.

She also sent me the most divine card. It's so beautiful! I haven't made any cards these last couple of years, but now I'm completely inspired.

And I also received this sweet little book from Cheryl at In My Workroom. This book is handmade with a cloth binding. It's the perfect size to fit inside my purse!

The blank pages are all ready for my pen to begin its magic!

Here is my "Lucky Dip" package from Lisa Sarsfield. Can you see all the goodies? Lisa included a book page, cutout words, paper, vintage birds and lots of other wonderful ephemera.

OK... so I didn't get her in the mail, but everytime I spread anything out to be photographed, Ali Cat has to get in on the action:)

Thank you all so much Wendy, Jen, Cindy, Cheryl, Janine, Lisa, Jennifer and Anna!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mary Modern

I just finished this book called Mary Modern by Camille DeAngelis.

The main character, Lucy, is a 27 year old woman, who's a scientist and lives in an unbelievable fantastic house, a Queen Anne Victorian. Her boyfriend, Gray, moves in with her and then Lucy decides to have a baby, but she can't conceive. So, Lucy finds an apron with her grandmother's blood on it and clones her own grandmother. Wait, there's a surprise for Lucy! Instead of having a new baby, she gets her grandmother, Mary, at the age of 22, who isn't too happy at being brought into this world.

At the beginning of the book, there's alot of setup for this madcap plot, including the romance of Lucy and Gray and tidbits from Mary's life. Mary is the most developed character in this book. Gray tries to be well developed, but retains his one dimensional status throughout the novel.

Downers: I'm not sure what politics have to do with Lucy's shenanigans, but the author, Camille DeAngelis, felt the need to throw in her political views. I confess I skimmed through those passages. And near the end, there's a "showdown" with a preacher, which I also felt unnecessary to the plot. All the politics and minister scenes did was add pages to the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed reading "Mary Modern" and would definitely recommend it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Italian Vogue

I love Vogue magazine, in fact, I'm really quite addicted. I've had a subscription on and off since I was about 15 years old to American Vogue. Recently, though, I've found myself straying.

That's right, I've imagined my way across the ocean and have discovered Italian Vogue!!! It's soooo Bellissima!!!

The best thing about Italian Vogue, besides all the incredible photography,

is that you get extra little mags... such as Accessories, Grand Couture, Casa Vogue and the season's latest runway mag.

These next two pictures are from Casa Vogue, Fall 2010.

I'd love to live in an Italian villa... and have a big enough pond that I could float in all day in a swanlike boat...

Or maybe I could just live in an Italian Vogue layout... and encase my body in layers of lace and silk and tulle and feathers... dressed in Marie Antoinette-esqe type clothing... and oh my! don't forget the ruffles... lots and lots and lots of ruffles!!!

Grand Couture... a small sampling from this extra magazine that's packaged every so often with the regular issue.

"A dreamy touch" Lacey dresses for... the outdoor swing... picnics...

walks in the woods... daydreams... romantic repartee...

The incomparable Christy Turlington:

I love the advertisements as well. Check out the camisole on this model. It's metal shaped circles.

And I adore this feathered dress from Chanel. Though if I did have the money for this dress, I'd probably spend it on something else such as another trip to Europe.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my Vogue obsession!