Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sparkling like a Snowflake

We did wind up with six inches of snow.  More than some, a lot less than others.
May you enjoy your precious, sparkling moments and be safe.


Bird Nest Cottage
next time

Monday, January 18, 2016

SNOW! A Surprise.

Looking out my front door: 

I awoke this morning to a temp of 25 degrees....and SNOW!  It came as a total surprise to me, as I had not heard the weather forecast last night.  The way weather has been lately, it could be 75 and sunny tomorrow.  In Arkansas, we never know!  One of my friends has a nice bunch of purple Iris blooming.  Who knew?


Bird Nest Cottage
next time

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What is it about Vintage Embroidery?

 Early Morning Light.  You know I love it as it gives each little thing it touches a soft kiss and then silently moves on.  Yesterday morning, as I watched the light move across my bed, I got my usual thrill from seeing the "sun glorified"  embroidered pillow I had just added to the "pillowing," as the Old Navy Man used to call it.   There just can't be a better visual treat than the one provided by the morning light.  Don't you love it?

 And, just a few minutes later....that glow is gone,  the light in the room is less dramatic and morning has fully arrived.  This pillow was made from a vintage piece of embroidered linen...falling apart from age and use.  I do love it so when a piece of embroidery has been just loved to death and its parts rescued by some resourceful lover of embroidery.  

And, to keep the record straight, I did not stitch this, but I did rescue it on one of my gathering expeditions.  Also, I did not make the other two pillows....the embroidered one was given to me by my friend, Jean, and the small heart was given to me by my friend, Bibi.  And, I am grateful for their generosity.

 This is a fine example of Satin of my favorite embroidery stitches and one requiring a certain amount of skill and patience to stitch at this level.  I hope you enjoy these photos of vintage embroidery - beautifully made.

 OMG!  Aren't these leaves fantastic?

I hope you enjoyed seeing I never tire of looking at them.


Bird Nest Cottage

next time!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

On a Sunday Afternoon

 This afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen and decided that although it was dark in here, I could probably manage to get some semi-decent photos of my little breakfast area.  This room either has too much light, or not enough.  It faces west.  I can't handle a really bright room, so if it's a bit too dark, I don't worry about it.  I never have the blinds wide open, as too much light can give me a migraine.  I have a tendency to be photophobic.   

 I have this little breakfast area right to the side of my rather small kitchen.  I think I'm lucky to have it and, of course, since it is small you'd think I'd have less in it, but you know me....."too much is never enough."

 And, I LOVE managed to drag these in from the property behind my house....a rich source of twigs.  The property belongs to a clinic.  They have an extra acre full of trees, among which are two big, fat, very tall pine trees.  I call that acre "Two Pines Park."  I'll tell you about it sometimes and show it to you....but for now, just know I go pilfer twigs from there whenever I see any "GOOD ONES."  They don't mind that I'm their "Twig Thief."  The really tall twigs by my fireplace came from there too. 

When I saw this twig, I decided it would be great for the kitchen and I could put a bird, heart and nest on it for a little Christmas decorating.  I've decided it can stay through Valentine's Day too.  (I'll show you a closeup of them around that time.) 

 Naturally, I have more here that should be here.  I'm ok with I've quit fighting my hoarding tendencies and am just trying to keep things from getting too far out of hand.  For instance, I love old bottles....I don't know what the little one had in it...but the larger one had vinegar in it.  It has a partial label on's from St. Louis.  The little wooden heart on it was painted by my friend, Bibi.

  That bird house was a gift from my friend, Patsy.  I have a plan for it...when I can get to it.  I think it may be a good plan, if all works out.  Vintage dishes.  There are always a lot of them around here.

 I bought the Hyacinths at the Walmart Neighborhood Market down the street.  My daughter calls it  "Smallmart."  I laugh everytime she says that.  Anyway....a nice Hyacinth bulb and a glass bulb vase...$3.33.  Cool.  They will be white when they bloom.

 I loved that tiny little shelf...of course, filled with tiny little things!  These cute birds are Salt and Pepper shakers.

 Here's the bird house again.  It opens...yes, plans for that....if I can get the plan carried out, you will be the first to know!

 Patsy also made me this beautiful paper heart collection.  I said she should open a business called "HeartStrings."  I don't think she was too crazy about that idea, but I LOVE the one she made for me!!!

 Some pretty glass beads and such add to the gorgeousness of the "String" and I love the little silver bird house at the end.  So very cute!!!  It's about twenty-five inches long and I knew right away where I would hang it.  LOVE IT!

 An empty thread spool with the words "hanging by a thread" burned into it.  Given to me several years ago by my friend, Kay.  Holding a heart pin from my 'quilt life' of long ago.  And, being admired by a cute little bird!

 I love these little cups....very vintage and just had to snap a photo of them with this tiny heart.  I have no idea where I got it...I think in a jar of old buttons.

 My little breakfast table is old too and twenty-eight inches across.  Just fits in my little nook.    The crocheted doily, which is quite large came from my mother-in-law's collection.  I remember it in her house.

 I've had these various linens in this old compote for a very long time....the red glass heart hanging on the twig usually stays in here, right on top of those old needlework pieces.

 But for now....two sugar Cherry hearts will do!!

 So, there you are.  My Sunday afternoon in the kitchen.  Now, I need to go make something to actually eat! 

 Bird Nest Cottage
until next time

PS.  I forgot to mention that I am auditioning my white apron collection as a kind of valance thing in this nook.  Right now they are just tacked up there, but I plan on actually making them into "real" valances, which requires me to make a casing for them at the seems I have a way of auditioning things...sometimes they work out...sometimes they don't.  I'll keep you posted!♥

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Simply Astonished

 "Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it."

Mary Oliver

So what does the dictionary say about being astonished?  I looked it up in my newest Dictionary.  Purchased just today.  (More about the book further in this post.)

To surprise; to amaze; to confound.

I realize that probably each of us would have our own opinion of what makes a thing or event astonishing.  My own astonishment level goes up when there are certain facts present...such as viewing items  from long ago made by hand,  by a person I never even knew...which is why I have a collection of old photos, other people's sewing tools and the actual sewn items themselves, old baby shoes and clothes, letters, books, etc.  And, it's even more astonishing to me when items like this are being GIVEN to me by a relative of the person who made or owned the item.

 And, what am I astonished by here?  Well, it all began last October while I was in Texas visiting my sister.  She and I had lunch with our good friend, Jackie.  And, true to her generous nature, Jackie brought me gifts.  See that pretty bottle here?  With a delightful bird stopper.  Well, that is one of the gifts she presented to me.  Well, I was astonished....because wrapped around that bottle is lace from Jackie's grandmother's sewing box.  There are buttons from her box and also a length of tatting from the same box.  OMG!  Having nothing from any grandmother, I was so pleased to have something from a friend's grandmother.  Yes, I would call it astonished!!! 

 Another astonishing thing shown the hand embroidered cloth beneath these sweet birds.
(No, the birds have nothing to do with the story...I just think they are cute!)  Just look at those stitches....beautiful Satin Stitching, collected on one of my hunting/gathering expeditions. Astonishing!

 Also, something else....this beautiful print.  It's 8" x 10."  A label says...."PEONIES" by Albert Williams, printed in England.  ©️ Stephen Selby Pictures, Ltd.  And, oh MY!  My maiden name is Williams!   Love that!

 Another peek at that stitching.....beautiful!

 And, another!  Plus a closer look at the lace, the buttons in the bottle along with the tatting.

 And, here are the buttons poured out of the bottle...old, simple, beautiful!

And, here is the tatting.  I LOVE tatting.  The only needlework method I decided I loved, but could never do.  And, I sure tried.  So, I love tatting done by others...and in this case, Jackie's grandmother.
A precious thing to be gifted.  And, astonishing!

And, here is the 'new' Dictionary I purchased today.  I love old books.  And, here's the title page...I love
this --"containing EVERY USEFUL WORD to be found in the English Language and in a compact 5" x 7" size.  Very hard to see, the date here....1880.  Another astonishing thing!  

So....some folks need a really important thing or event to be Astonished.  Me, no.  I can be very Astonished with very simple things and as Mary Oliver says to do....I am telling about it!!!

And, Thank you, Waco friend, Jackie....I love my gift! 
 Jackie also gave me something else completely astonishing which I will show you as soon as I can find out more information about it.  I've been looking and hope to find out more about it so I can tell you ALL about it. 

from Bird Nest Cottage
until next time,


A Bit of Heaven

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