Monday, January 30, 2012

Accentuate the Positive

As this month is coming to a close, I think I am finally getting used to the idea that we are in a brand new year. I'm a little slow sometimes. As we get settled into 2012, I am thinking positive, putting a smiley face on my surroundings so to speak. It begins with giving the little green cottage a much needed clean and spiffy. It all began with the sunshiney yellow curtains from my last post.

I have also finally begun using Instagram, the photo app that has seemingly taken the world by storm, again I am a little slow. Though the photos are a bit grainy, I do love the instant pic satisfaction. All of the photos in this post were taken using Instagram. Just some happy snaps of the spiffying!

I think sometimes it is good to remind oneself that it is all going to be ok. Little positive affirmations about the cottage are doing wonders at the moment.

And Shine! Yes, one of my personal favorites. There you have the instant pics of my work this weekend. All that remains for the lounge is the difficult spot above the "couch that mocks me" to be given it's own bit of shine. I am in the mood for something new and possibly going big! We'll see.

I leave you now to get beck to some work that was overlooked this weekend whilst I was on my prettying up kick. I also leave you with a little link to remind us all to Accentuate the Positive!

Friday, January 27, 2012


I have spent the first part of my day wisely. I have pulled the lovely Miss B out of retirement for a bit of stitchery. My other machine had gone off for a much deserved spa week when I suddenly felt a desperate need for some new curtains. The lovely Miss B was my mother's sewing machine bought brand new in 1979. This old gal was the machine I learned to sew on. Let me tell you, Miss B has sewn more than her fair share of curtains over the years. She is a trooper and a solid piece of craftsmanship. When I moved away from my family, my mother very kindly sent Miss B with me. Up until just a few years ago, she was my constant stitching companion and only sewing machine. I love her madly, I really do and can't imagine parting with her.

So, Miss B and I reconnected and happily spent the morning stitching up a storm. Yellow, lots of yellow! Which is a bit out of character for me, but there was something so sunshiney about the yellows and greens, oh I admit I could do with a bit of sunshiney right about now. And wouldn't you know it, just as I was hanging up the new curtains - the sun came out and lit up the living room in a roaring dandelion glow!

The next thing I knew, Miss B and I were humming along once again and the "couch that mocks me" found itself decked out with a pair of new (rather large)cushions. It has me a bit giddy, as if I were living in a giant field of buttercups! Perhaps I am a bit drunk on sunshine; that can happen 'round these parts sometimes you know. And we shall see if it all stands the test. For honestly, I have not ever found myself surrounded by so much yellow, it might prove to be a bit much in the long term. Still, today it is making me happy.

I'm off now to shuffle some things about to complete the living room's transformation.

Have a sunshiney weekend all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Solo Flight

I've just returned from Northern California. Didn't notice I was gone? No worries, it was a short flight. Just a quick trip for family matters. I went alone. It has been a very long time since I have flown solo, and I had forgotten what it was like. Let me tell you; flying solo is EASY! Even with all the New World rigmarole one must go through these days; when the only person you need be responsible for is yourself... piece-o-cake!

Without the encumbrance of a car seat, coloring books, toys, games, 12 different types of snacks, 3 changes of clothes that will be needed for the 2 hour flight, and all of the necessary accoutrement for travel with a small child - getting through security is relatively painless. No need to apologize every 5 minutes to the person sitting in the row ahead for the onslaught of kicks to the back of his seat, no frantic searches for the shoe thrown off during final approach, no musical chair episodes for 4 bathroom breaks. I love my child deeply, but I actually got to read a good book uninterrupted for the entire flight to and from - and that is a small miracle in my opinion.

I did bring back few lovely things from my trip. Some gorgeous Liberty of London prints that were given to me by my mother. A basket of vintage bits and bobs from her as well.

And my Papa's hat; from a time when men wore hats everyday to work. It just so happens to fit atop my head just right, making me feel quite dapper indeed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gifts of promise

As I sit under lamp light hearing the drip drop rattatat of rain on the window, I wonder if I should put on another sweater; perhaps my weekend cardigan with the big wooden buttons... it's a damp cold you know? We've had a surprisingly dry winter up till recently, but now days are looming as far as the weather man can see - heavy, wet and dark.

This past holiday I was given a gift of promise. Seeds from a friends garden, what a wonderful gift! I've had them out today, daydreaming about the spring and the garden. About how and what we will plant; the flowers, the vegetables and the herbs that will grow and end up on our table, feeding our family. Knowing that when we dig into the earth - the heady scent of good soil will rise, our hands will get dirty, we will unearth 2 my little ponies, 3 buried treasures, and the garden spade I was looking for all last Fall.

I'm thinking about how long ago when people emigrated from their home lands, they carried with them seeds from their gardens; sometimes sewn into their clothes like precious jewels. I am thinking about how those seeds were planted, the plants harvested and the seeds passed on; how we are connected through the smallest seed.

When I plant these seeds, when they grow and when I harvest; they will be known as Crystal and Hunter's scarlet runner beans, marigolds, and poppies. And I will pass on the seeds for another year in another garden. What a lovely thought, what could be better than a gift of promise?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Once Over

It has been some time since spiffying up the little green cottage has been a priority, but I am beginning to think it is high time that changed.

So today, as the snow turned to slush in a most disappointing turn of events (at least according to Pony Girl), I gave the inside of the cottage a good once over. Looking here and there, with the occasional 'tsk, tsk' and 'oh dear'. Things are indeed looking a bit forelorn 'round these parts.

Gathering up a few bits of fabric, giving them the once over, not yet settling on anything. Still, 'tis nice to contemplate cushions and consider curtains.

Let the spiffying begin!

Have a grand day my friends!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blow the man down

Yesterday a wild and blustering wind blew through town. It was one of those crisp and bright winter days, a brilliant sun matched with bitterest cold - oh lordy! The neighbors are putting a new roof on and I kept thinking that one of the boys were going to be blown clean off.

The chickens took to the safety of the coop, feathers ruffled and complaining. The Buddha Cat stared out the window all the live-long day with a vaguely pensive look and the occasional twitchy whisker, but never once ventured outside.

I on the other hand, decided to attempt a walk to clear my head and try to budge a significant writers block that was getting in the way of getting down to business. One of those blocks that have you staring at the blank page (or computer screen as the case may be) for what seems like hours until a panic begins to rise up in ones belly, turning it sour.

So scarf on, winter wool coat and hat atop my noggin, and out I went. Two blocks later I was lamenting the loss of my good winter gloves, yet still I pressed on.
To the park, which was quiet and empty and still, but for the wind of course ... and ever so cold. However, the light was glittering, prismatic, and stunning.

Thanks to a friend, I've discovered camera apps for my phone. I had thought my phone was incapable of capturing a decent photo, oh but now, it's thrilling to know that I can get a fairly nice shot without lugging my big camera around. So, I may not have done much for my writers block (the wind was making much too loud a roar in my ears and my nose nearly froze) but the walk was invigorating and the pictures aren't too shabby.

Phone App: Pixlr-o-matic for Android

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011, Bravado, and the foolhardy nature of making grand proclamations

In 2011 I wanted to be Brave, and I was... a bit. I took risks, I leapt once or twice without looking; and what I lacked in bravery, I occasionally made up for in Bravado.

bra·va·do - noun \brə-ˈvä-(ˌ)dō\
1 a : blustering swaggering conduct
b : a pretense of bravery
2: the quality or state of being foolhardy
- Merriam Webster

Not so much the blustering swaggering conduct bit (unless you count that one night I decided that whiskey gingers were a swell idea).

However, the pretense of bravery was present; the old 'fake it till you make it' kind, which does work from time to time I might add. And certainly the 'foolhardy' thing, but that is not especially reserved for 2011, I've been practicing that for ages! Still, it does make a noted appearance in my year in review, in a couple of grand proclamations I made in 2011.

Remember that album I was recording...? It's ok if you don't and it probably isn't very prudent to remind you, but ummmm. You can read all about the grand plan here. So, that did not happen. Music was made, guitar and drums were recorded, an omnipresent cymbal made those recordings unusable, musicians went on tour, and something else came up that took all my time. It is alright though, I still want to do it and I will someday, but I might wait till the whole thing is in the bag before I make an announcement. I wrote some songs that I am proud of, I got to make music with some mighty talented folks, and that is always good.

So there were other things I had planned that didn't pan out, but let's not dwell on the things that I didn't do in 2011, because there were lots of things I did do. I went places, did things I'd never done before and I made stuff.

2011 was a funny old year. I am very much looking forward to 2012. I haven't made any grand plans, nor put together a list of resolutions; I think I might just go with the flow this year, see what might happen, and let it ride.

Here is to the adventure of a new year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012

From all of us at the little green cottage, we wish you a truly spectacular and very happy new year!