Saturday, December 26, 2009


It was a lovely day at my mother's with all seven of my little nieces and nephews and their parents. Children make Christmas so much more lively.
I wrapped my gifts in tea dyed tissue paper with bits of old sheet music and vintage, yellowed lace. It was difficult to use the delicate tissue paper, but the result was very pretty.
My culinary contribution was the Swedish rice. It's a traditional pudding our family makes by cooking rice in milk for a seemingly endless amount of time. The result is lovely, light and fluffy. It's served topped with a lovely, bright dollop of tart lingonberries.
In spite of all the hassle and difficulty of Christmas, it is lovely in the end. I think the important parts have more to do with joy and family.

( Oh, and the mulled wine recipe I tried this year was fabulous: )

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thrifted pretties: electric lamps

I discovered an electrified oil lamp in one of my local thrift stores. It is on my little nightstand, now, with a velvet posy beside it and a black crocheted doily underneath.

Intrigued by the concept of electrified oil lamps, I looked into their manufacture. You can, apparently, buy kits to make an electric lamp out of an old oil one. The electric component just screws on to the top.

I think it's a wonderful idea, and looks charmingly old fashioned. Now I'm on the lookout for a pretty pair of oil lamps to make into electric lamps for my living room.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A little note on seasons and preparations

All Hallow's eve has passed with cute little lady pumpkins with stars on their cheeks, chocolate, and bits of lovely black lace and tulle. I'm beginning to plan Christmas preparations. I think they will entails some velvet roses, as always, but I'm not sure what else.

Now begins the season of making sweets. Lefse, fruitcake, plum pudding, all sorts of lovely thing can go into Christmas preparations. Only lefse and a dish called Swedish rice are considered essential in my family. My mother and I have a merry little holiday cooking session every year. One of us rolls the lefse out into neat rounds, and the other puts it on the griddle and tries to make sure it cooks evenly.

The leaves turned to bright brilliant colors and have fallen off almost entirely. We've had two little snowstorms that felled the last of the flowers and stripped the trees bare of leaves, and sometimes branches. Now we have bare branches against a sunny blue sky. Soon we will be deeply into winter.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Decorating: my frilly bathroom project

I've been slowly redecorating my bathroom. So far it is developing a theme of shades of pink and blue and a tendency to have fleur de lys on everything.

I purchased pink and blue towels and mats, as well as a pink glass toothbrush holder and soap dispenser. I looked for something readily available for wall art and found some pictures I had taken of the spring flowers blooming outside of Notre Dame. They were lovely and pink against the blue sky. The frames I found were of silver brushed metal with little fleur de lys at the corners.

This is my most recent addition.

I had a very difficult time finding a curtain in the proper colors so I decided to pretty up the old one. I found the fleur de lys shower curtain hooks at Ross for about $4 and bought two spools of ribbon on sale for $1. It turned out to be much cheaper than buying a new shower curtain and I think it turned out to be quite lovely and sweet.

I've already begun my next project, which is to pretty up the mirror. I purchased a vintage lace window valance and tea dyed it to make the color more similar to the shower curtain and give it a pretty antiqued look. I intend to gather it up into a pretty silver button in the center (I know I have some lovely Art Nouveau lady buttons stashed away someplace.) and perhaps add beaded dangles. Then I'll string it up over the mirror with blue ribbon and secure it on either side with a bow . . . Hopefully.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

little fleurs

The pretties I planted are starting to get some lovely, lovely blossoms on them. When I was trimming off the dead blooms the other day I decided to bring some into the house. I put them in a little vintage teacup I keep on the bottom tier of my plant stand.

I especially love the little purpley black pansies.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

where the colombines grow

Spring's coming around and, hopefully, we'll have flowers soon.

Living in Colorado, with its rather usual climate, I've ended up learning a lot about native plants. Initially it was just out of a desire to find things that could survive our scorching summers and lack of rain. However, I've found that a lot of pretty, odd, delicate native plants were available through local nurseries and that there was a sound ecological reason for using them.

Native species of plants can die out due to the effects of human settling and cultivation. If we keep some of the wee delicate blooms in our garden, we are helping to ensue their presence for future generations. They are also quite delightful and out of the ordinary.

I've discovered many dainty little plants that rather like the dry climate, high altitude and hot weather. It's nice to have something a little different, and, because they often take less water, its very handy in times of drought.

Most areas have a native plant society that can help provide information on what's available locally. Locally run plant nurseries are often helpful as well, carrying an array of native plants.

Colorado Native Plant Society

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

new pretties

I found some lovely vintage teacups to do odd things with. I think I'm pleased with the result.

I think I would usually be rather disturbed to find a bird had built its nest in my teacup, but he liked how the flowers matched his little blue feathers.

Perhaps this is the result of a little too much fun gardening.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pretty flowers for a dreary Wednesday

I found this in an old children's book that belonged to my grandmother when she was a child in the 20's.

If you have any use for this illustration please feel free, as she's out of copywrite and it seems a pity to leave her shut in an old book forever.

I liked how sweetly cheery she is and her little, bright bundle of flowers. I think I should come up with some springy craft project for her. Either that or she may, in fact, be adorable on the lavender sachet I've been meaning to make for my coat closet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Lovely Mr. Keats

To introduce my new blog, I thought it would be appropriate to include the poem from which it got its name.

To me it's a lovely poem about rebirth and renewal and very fitting for spring.

Faery Bird's Song

John Keats

Shed no tear - O! shed no tear!

The flower will bloom another year

Weep no more! O! Weep no more!

Young buds sleep in the root's white core.

Dry your eyes! O! dry your eyes!

For I was taught in Paradise

To ease my breast of melodies -

Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead!

'Mong the blossoms white and red -

Look up, look up. I flutter now

On this flush pomegranate bough.

See me! 'tis this silvery bill

Ever cures the good man's ill.

Shed no tear! O! shed no tear!

The flower will bloom another year.

Adieu, adieu - I fly, adieu,

I vanish in the heaven's blue -

Adieu, adieu!