Friday, July 29, 2016

At Loose Ends

A morning walk along the beach is part of our daily routine, but the rest of each day is up to me.

This week I have been "at loose ends" and after lots of company earlier in the month, that feels pretty good.

I never have difficulty finding little projects around the house to keep me busy.

I think it goes back to my childhood of always playing with my mother's tchotchkes.

I love this enamel April Cornell bowl that gets used all over the house in vignettes.

When Steve hung this painting in the guest room, it really changed the color scheme.

Red pillows looked out of place so I stenciled a fabric scrap and made a pillow for the bed - I think I have an idea for another pillow to go along with it.

My neighbor's tree has little purple puff balls this time of year so I cut a bunch that were hanging on our side of the fence to create a pretty a lunch time centerpiece.

When I made this sign the other day, I used rub on letters and I neglected to put everything away,

but that turned out to be a good thing because Steve was tossing a clear wine bottle into the recycle bin when he realized I might want it.

I thought it might be fun to add numbers to the bottle.

I was no longer at loose ends because I grabbed various bottles from cupboards and started decorating them - words decorate another tall bottle.

A little bottle that held Lemon Curd last week now has a cute little label defining Home.

A simple grid adorns another bottle and if you look closely, you'll see numbers at the bottom.

I put all the bottles together for a photo and decided I liked them on the shelf, so there they sit for now.

I'm not rushing the holidays, but I had to use up those "scary" letters.

I leave you with a picture that might give you a clue to my next project - I finished it this morning, but I still have to take pics.

All in all, I am pleased with how I used my time when I was "at loose ends".

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Join me at Poofing the Pillows for Thoughts of Home Thursday

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Enjoy Life

I love the inspiration I get from blogging and Instagram - I read a post that gets me thinking and then see a photo that illustrates my thoughts.

The other day I saw a pic on Instagram with the comment, "I am so over summer, please can't it be fall!" and I told them "LIFE is too short to wish away time".

We don't have to do big, exciting things to make each day special and that was beautifully illustrated in a post, "A Cheap Date" I read on the blog, Podso.

Among other things, Dotsie took her grands to watch airplanes land and take off -no electronics, no expensive amusement park, no fast food - just a simple outing where they all just enjoyed life.

Like Dotsie and her grands, it hasn't taken much for me to enjoy life this week - sitting on the beach with Steve . . .

an adorable bouquet sent to Lulu from a recent house guest . . . 

sky flowers in bloom

and now on display in the living room . . .

a slow paddle in the harbor to escape the heat . . . 

seeing a sign I liked

and finally getting around to creating one of my own . . . 

getting a new bike (easier to shift) in a fun color . . .

and in case you were wondering, no, I do not ride the bike along the beach with a cute bouquet of flowers in the basket.

But, an IG friend suggested that a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine would fit perfectly.

As you can see, we had a week of small pleasures spent in our little cottage.

And our new week is off to a wonderful start with purple flowers that popped up out of nowhere and a special beach moment.

Instead of a beautiful blue ocean view when we got out to the beach tonight, we were greeted with fog,

but look who was playing near the shore and enjoying life.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Great Bundle of Little Things

Oliver Wendell Holmes knew what he was talking about

when it came to his philosophy of life.

Flowers in the garden were among the little things in my life this week.

We rode past this sweet little garden on our bicycles and I made Steve turn back with me to snap a photo.

Steve has been moving old paintings around the house to make room for new pieces.

The aqua tints of the painting called for a change on this wall of the guest room and it all makes me quite happy.

Another little thing this week was Steve hanging a new painting over the mantel.

I'll wait a month to show you how it looks on the mantel because one of the best little things this week was that we made arrangements for the last 3 rooms in the house to be painted white.

In a post, Change . . . Always Change, I showed Steve working on a new plein air painting in the garden.

Steve diligently painted the tall skinny painting at my request for a specific wall in the living room.

Like the painting of the boats, I won't show off this painting on the wall until it hangs against a crisp white background.

All these little things add up to a wonderful week

and I hope you had a great bundle of little things in your life this week.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dancing With History

Yesterday I was honored to guest host on the Instagram "party" #magpiemonday.

My duty as a guest host was to read and comment on every tag and then select a favorite - this stack of colorful tea towels shared by @patch_russell was my choice.

What I loved most about reading all the entries was the stories shared about the collections.

Ann of @collectingmama shared her grandmother's china.

Sandra of @vintageticking shared her thermometer collection which was started by her mother 3 years ago.

Cheri of @queenastuff started a teapot collection for her mother 25 years ago and she shared a portion of it.

As I scrolled through the Magpie Monday collections, the lyrics to the song, You Mean So Much To Me, came to mind and I looked around the house for pieces that have meaning to me.

There are lots of things on display in this cabinet, but there is only one collection that means a lot to me.

One of my childhood chores was dusting and these little pieces of Torquay Pottery were among the things I hated dusting.

Today, they remind me of my mother and as you can see one of the little pieces is broken yet I keep it on display out of love.

There are lots of things I love in this photo, but that yellow platter (another chipped piece) is what "means so much to me" - it sat in our family kitchen when I was growing up.

I vividly remember the day 42 years ago when I bought these little enamel bowls in an open market in Kingston, Jamaica - we didn't get to bring much home from our time as Peace Corps volunteers, but the bowls fit easily into our bags.

The red bowl sits on Steve's kitchen scale and is used daily.

This canvas bag goes with us on long walks with Lulu and the pink bowl is always inside the bag and ready when Lulu needs water.

I love the line, "dancing with history".

Our house is filled with pieces of history like the painting Steve did of a family vacation in Kauai,

furniture passed down from generation to generation and

and new treasures like the tablecloth and napkins from my dear blogging friend Rita, of Panoply.

"It seems to be like heaven to me, with you at the end of the day" might be referring to a person in the song, but for me it alludes to all the treasures that create our little piece of heaven.