Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WhiteWork Pincushions

 Earlier this year I vowed (to myself!) that I would make a gift for one of my favorite bloggers.  Jacqueline at Cabin & Cottage.  I LOVE her posts!  She is so talented and feeds my love for vintage linens with not only her collection, but also her photographs and words.  So, I did make her a small pincushion and recently mailed it to her.  Yesterday, she posted it and I nearly fell over when I saw it....she made it look so very extra special.  I was, in my own way, thanking her for her beautiful blog posts which I so enjoy, but, it turns out she did something very kind for have to go and see her beautiful photographs, click here to see:  Cabin & Cottage

 After I made the pincushion for Jacqueline, I tweaked the pattern to make a smaller one for myself, not only because I loved doing the stitching, but as a reminder each time I would see it of the pleasant times I have spent reading her blog.

 And, yes, I HAD to use the Bird Bowl just because I love it too and wanted it in a photo at some point.  That point was today.  Jacqueline's pincushion is about five or six inches square.  This one is 3 inches by four inches.

 I used DMC Floche to do the embroidery...the first time I had ever used it.  Such a pleasure to stitch with.

 And, I beaded the edge with different beads also.  I do my best to never make anything more than other words, no repeats, no two will ever be alike.  I like each item to be unique and I sincerely hope they will become someone's idea of an heirloom, stitched by hand, by me, with great love.

 As I fast approach the age of 71, my days spent making things like this are numbered.  Mostly by the fact that I have OLDER EYES.  But, I will "carry on" until I just can't do it any longer.  

  So, there you are....a very small WhiteWork pincushion.  I hope you will visit Cabin & Cottage to read and SEE the story of these pincushions and how they came about.  And, enjoy viewing everything in her archives.... a great stress reliever, a treat for the eyes and a treasure trove of vintage linens.   Thank You, Jacqueline, for all you do and for showing off my work.  I am thrilled!!!

On my post of July 22, 2015, I showed some sunflowers my son was growing on his deck in San Francisco. Then, on Thursday, August 20th, I posted the heart shape I found on a recent walk.  He likes to joke around with me about finding these hearts shapes....some of which I know he considers 
barely hearts.  But evidently, he gave the whole idea enough thought to send me a heart.  One he crafted himself......The heart above is made from the harvest of seeds from one of his sunflowers.  How sweet is that?  

From Bird Nest Cottage,

Until next time,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Finding Hearts

 If you have read this blog before, then you know I love hearts, the universal symbol of love.  I make them in various mediums and I look for them in my everyday life.  The last few years I am obsessed in my search for Heart-shaped rocks, among other things.  So, imagine, one day last week, when out for my morning walk, I just happened to find THIS heart.  Now, I've walked by this same place countless times, but never noticed the heart until that particular morning.  I don't know why.  It just caught my eye.  Perhaps the light?  (The top photo was taken on one day, the bottom two the next day.)  Now, I have been accused of seeing hearts 'that aren't really heart-shaped.'  The suggestion is I SEE them because I WANT to see them.  Well, so what?  I do want to see them and so I believe this "heart in the curb" really is one.  What do you think?

I probably will never take my morning walk again without stopping to admire this heart.  It's just the way I am.  Some tell me finding them is a 'sign' from the Universe....a message of some sort.  Could be.  I don't know.  All I can tell you is I'm open to receiving the message.....

From Bird Nest Cottage,

Until next time,

PS.  Yes, I realize that a car could have recently hit that curb, thus creating this heart.  I get that.  But, I could also have never noticed it.  There's that.  And, please don't burst my bubble...I'm enjoying finding such things.♥

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When You Come Into My House

 I haven't been able to come up with a thing to post the last couple of 'summer dry spell??"  But, yesterday, I saw my friend, Kathy, who is inspiring, which is where I got this lovely 'rock flower' and I just had to find a place for it this morning.  After doing that, I thought "Aha, a post!"  Kathy has the cutest little shop in I think next time I go over there, I will take some photos and then you all can see it.  I love going there!  Anyway, now inspired, I wanted to show you where her 'rock flower' found a home. 

This 'spot' is just to the left when you enter my house.  I have no entry, when you come in the front door, you are in the living room, but there is a little corner on either side of the front door.  I'll show you the other one later.  This one is where I have placed a lot of my 'bird' stuff....what else would there be if you named your home "Bird Nest Cottage?"  Do you see the flower on the right side of this corner?  Yeah, right there by the mirror.

 Here is a better view of it.  Just an old piece of wood, which Kathy made into an art piece using rocks she gathered herself.  Now, you know I love that!  Such a cute flower.  I wanted to put it somewhere where it would really 'show' and this is see it right off when you come in.

 She used jute for the stem, lace and buttons for the leaves, etc.  I LOVE it and I love that it came from her, a special friend.


 Who knew rocks could look so cute?  Thank you, Kathy, for the inspiration!!


 Now, some of you might be wondering just how I could possibly put anything else in this corner.  (Yes, I know you are.)  But, I'm sure I could manage to find more room if something special comes along! 


So, okay, there is the door.  I took these photos early today, so there is a lot of light coming in that side window by the door.....but, I could still manage to get a few photos.  I call this the "bird corner."


A vintage print, one of my very favorite things in the house, a bird house, made from other recycled wood, and various bird themed items.  You'll see.


Here are bird feathers I have managed to collect in the time I have spent in this of now...a year, can you believe that??  I'm always looking for feathers when I go for my daily walk...well, rocks also!  And, bird nests.  These are all real nests.  The large one I found in a neighbor's yard.  An ACTUAL 'bird nest on the ground.'  It had been there for days and finally I asked for it and they gave it to me, thinking, I am sure, that I was nuts.  The two very tiny nests came from my daughter's yard.  I like to put little labels in the nests telling where they came from.  


 I find little birds here and there, these made of wood.  Sometimes at the flea, sometimes gifts.
 These are sitting on a mirrored tray.

I found this bird house at one of the fleas....made by a local guy.  It's taller than you think and I loved it instantly.  The flower pot holds paper flowers made by a friend, from book pages.  


Sorry this photo is kinda blurry, but you get the idea.  That apothecary jar is filled with feathers gathered from my former home.  During the time the 'old navy man' was ill and I needed a bit of a 'time out,' I would walk around our back yard for a few minutes.  All these feathers were gathered during those times.
It gave me something to look for and I would share them with him...he loved to watch the birds.  So, this jar cannot be added's a reminder of how we tried to find one good thing a day to be amazed by or to make us laugh.  A lesson I still practice today.


A little metal bird dish....the tiny basket was given to me by a friend very long ago, and the thread buttons are from my collection.  


See.  Adorable, right?

Here is a vintage English tin with birds/nests and poetry on it.  It, also, is one of my favorite 'bird items.'  So sweet.  And, that nest is real.  For the life of me, though, I can't remember where that one came from.


I was reading blogs the other day and came across an English lady who had placed photos behind the edges of her light switch plates.  I loved that idea instantly and had to do the very same thing right away.  Now, there are light switch plates here and there in my house with photos or cards behind them.  Maybe you wouldn't do that....but me, oh yeah!!!


 My friend, Bibi, has given me real leaves over the years, Mod Podged and glued to paper or burlap.  These are several years old and still look just great.  I had gotten the little wreath from Kathy and decided to add the leaves to it.  Nothing to do with birds, really, but I liked it in the mix.  (And, you know me and my clothes pins!)

 The funny thing is....when you live alone, you can do just about anything you want.  I only have to please myself and am not overly concerned with what others think.  That being said,  I find being inspired by others just makes my day a lot of the time and I am so grateful to my sweet friends and even strangers in blogland, who constantly leave me thrilled with what they do.  

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my 'bird corner' and it's special items.

From Bird Nest Cottage,

Until next time,

Monday, July 27, 2015

Just Something Pretty

Sometimes words just aren't necessary!

 And, that's how it is...

From Bird Nest Cottage,

Until next time,

Friday, July 24, 2015

Of All Things!

OF ALL THINGS!   You know there is a story, so here it is:  Several months ago, my dear friend, Jim...brought his used, very dirty, and mostly destroyed Otter Box to me.  Why, you ask?
Not to worry, I asked the very same question.  Jim, or Mr. G (as I often call him),  thought it would be amusing to challenge me to make a piece of 'art' from this pitiful bit of garbage.  It is so like him to do that....for laughs.  Well, I thought it was a nutty idea and told him I'd have to think about it. has been taking up space in my little sewing area for way too long.  My first urge was to just chunk it into the garbage, after all, life is short and did I want to spend any time working on such things?  No.  But, then I got to thinking about it and decided he really wanted me to tell him I was unable to come up with an idea...and he would win.  But...NO, I told myself...he can't win, so what can I do?   I gave it a bit of thought, gave it a good cleaning and decided I could make a....

 A bit of hand embroidery, a silly bit of wording and there you have it.  It has to be a fitting end to the story, because this is all the time I will devote to this crazy Otter Box art thing.  But, let it be said....I DID make something. 

Didn't get the wording on the back quite lined up....but let's just look over that.  It's ok.  Now, do you think there will be a big rush to make Otter Box Art out there?  I think we know I may be the only crazy person willing to even try it (that I am aware of)........and there is one benefit from this experience.....maybe my little attempt at art will keep this one item from the landfill!!!   Or, not!  Ok, Mr. G....expect this in your mailbox!!!

From Bird Nest Cottage

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

After the Bloom

A couple of posts back, I showed you a tea pitcher full of summer flowers, purchased from the grocery store.  Among them were two sunflowers.  Usually, several days after purchase, sometimes up to a week, the flowers begin to fade, then are totally spent.  I keep an eye on these flowers and when some begin to fade, then die, I remove them from the bouquet and rearrange those left.
Those could last a few more days.  At that point, I take the ones I believe will dry and still keep me entertained...and save them in one way or another.  Often, I just place them in a container and admire them until such time as I tire of seeing them.  (This sometimes takes years, as I have dried roses at least a couple years old!)  So, these two sunflowers are from that tea pitcher bouquet and have been given a new purpose here in Bird Nest Cottage.


Along with them is a single dried bloom of Queen Anne's Lace.   These are sitting in a vintage cigar box in my guest bath.  I think they are still gorgeous!


 Some of the other flowers from that tea pitcher bouquet were also saved...and they are the kind that dry quite nicely anyway.  Those are in my smallest guest room...along side some vintage photos and such.  They are sitting in a small dish I bought from the flea...seemed to fit the situation, and the purple flowers are sitting in a child's glass I have which I think was from a set of 'doll glasses.'  Very thin dainty.  I use them most often to hold a single blossom when one is available.


I think these flowers may last into Fall, as they are dry and the colors would be appropriate for a tiny Fall arrangement.

 Thinking of sunflowers made me think of my son, who is trying to grow some of his own on his back deck in San Francisco.  I didn't think his efforts would produce much in the way of results, as it's cool there and he only has a few pots on the deck for growing things.  Here you see his house.  It is definitely a house from the 60's.  He has three housemates.  It's difficult to find a place in San Francisco and when you do...well, unless you are quite well off, you have to have roommates.  So, this is where he lives. There is a nice deck off the kitchen.  And, so far, his sunflowers seem to be doing just fine. 


 These two really began to "show their stuff' over this last weekend.  And, he has sent me photos everyday this week so I can see how they are doing.  It's amazing.  Here, the one on the left is trying it's best to open.


And, the next day......


Then, the next day...


And, now look at that center...gorgeous!

 He sent these photos this morning...A family of sunflowers!  Who knew a couple of pots on a deck could produce these?  They are about six feet tall at this point in time.  And, at some point, Scott can save some of these....after the bloom, and enjoy them inside.  Well, there would really be just a sizable seed head, but they are so beautiful, he could enjoy them dried, and placed in a window sill or something.  

So, there you are....a bit of nature this great day, whether from the grocery store or the back be enjoyed later....after the bloom.  

Until next time,

from Bird Nest Cottage,

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.