Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Very Own Tree Bed

Okay, my dearest blog all know that I've been searching for the perfect bed frame for our bedroom ever since we moved in to Catty-Corner Cottage. Well, I take that back...I've never owned a bed frame (headboard & footboard) in my adult life, in part because I was always searching for the perfect one.

And you know I've been longing for a tree themed bed frame too.

Well, my dream has come true.

On Monday, I was searching around the local Craigslist, and I put in my regular search under "Furniture by Owner" for "Queen Bed," going through the results like I've done for months and months.

And then I clicked a link, and I gasped out loud. With trembling hands (yes, seriously) I emailed the seller to inquire if the item was still available. And it was. And we went and bought it last night. And we put it together today. And I am in love.



Another view of it, with flash:
Another view of it with flash, with curtains drawn like it will look at night:
Another view of the room. The cedar chest we used to have at the end of the bed...we tried sliding down into the dormer space just to see if it would fit...and it fits as if it was made for the space. So now we have a little seat under that window, for Corvin, and for us (once I put pillows on it...yay for an excuse to buy more throw pillows!!!)

Just a reminder...there are six trees painted on the walls all around the room, not just the two above the bed.

I am SO VERY GLAD now that I never settled for another bed frame.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Butterflies in the Dreaming Room

Today I get to reveal to you the project I've been working on, on-and-off, for a little while for the Dreaming Room!

I was utterly inspired by artist Mia Araujo's photos from an art installation she made for her artworks. She and her sister cut pages from old books into the shape of butterflies, and suspended them from wires on the ceiling. The effect was so stunning, I really wanted to do something similar for the Dreaming Room. It's the room where I go to read, create, and imagine, so it was perfect.

However, my original idea of hanging the butterflies from string wouldn't work, I realized, because in the warm weather, the ceiling fan simply *must* be on if you're in the room. Cape Cod upper levels get warm, even with air conditioning, and string + breeze = tangled mess. I mentioned this to my friend Andy when he was visiting, and he suggested I adhere them directly to the branches I had planned to use as bases for mobiles, rather than dangling them from string below.

I don't have nearly as many butterflies as her installation...yet....but I do have quite a few still cut out and uncolored to work on over time. I also want to invite any guests who visit Catty-Corner (since the Dreaming Room is also our guest bedroom) to color in a butterfly if they so desire.

Each butterfly is completely unique. Thank goodness for library books with images of all the different varieties. The shapes were cut by me, and then the designs were done with colored pencil (usually while we were watching tv). The pages are from an old book on the War of the Roses, I believe, full of wonderfully romantic words.

The butterflies are attached to the branches with glue dots. So far a couple of them have fallen down, but hopefully I can get them all adhered solidly.

There are almost 30 butterflies on the branches so far, and I can continue hanging more of them over time. When I run out of room on the branches, I can suspend a few from wires below them.

I still have some of the pages I cut the butterflies from, and I plan to back them with colored paper, and frame them on a wall near the branches.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

40th Wedding Anniversary

Today is special not only because it is Father's Day, but also because it is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. My mom and dad are an absolute inspiration of a couple. If anyone has ever told you that a marriage cannot stay as passionate and enthusiastically loving throughout its course, I only have to ponder a second before I can give their marriage as an example.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

I tease my dad all the time about an incident that happened when I was an early teenager. My dad and I heard about a sale at JoAnn Fabrics on lighted Christmas village houses, and I wanted to go get one for mom for Christmas. Dad and I decided to go to the store at the last minute, and I nervously approached the store, wearing a shirt and pants I had thrown on in a hurry, and said "I really hope no one notices in the store that my clothes don't match."

So what did my dad do? He went up to every single person in the store and said

"pardon me, miss, did you notice my daughter's clothes don't match?"

"Excuse me sir, but I just wanted to point out that this young lady's clothes don't match."

I was mortified, but I was giggling the whole time. That mix of reactions about sums up much of my childhood response to my dad.

My father is a clown. No, really.. As in, he puts on makeup and large shoes, and does shows for church events and children's birthday parties. He is also a magician, balloon artist, and juggler. I was raised with a father who was the perfect blend of authoritarian leadership, and silly adventure. Mom likes to tell people that when the family would all sit down to a meal when we were kids, she would chastise us not to chew our food with our mouths open, only to turn around and find dad doing so, enthusiastically, behind her back while we giggled.

Dad never misses an opportunity to find a pun in a statement, and we grew up groaning at the awful ones he could think up (or trying very hard not to make any reaction at all, as that would encourage him).

But guess what? My father is also a loving husband. He and my mom never once argued once in front of us, the entire time I lived at home for 20 years. They were constantly flirting (sometimes in ways that I look back on now as an adult and say "DAD!") and acting like lovebirds. His adoring love of my mother served as the example I sought in my own life partner, and I am so thankful I had that to look for. It helped me find that level of romance and commitment in my husband.

My father is a loving father. He cares deeply for all three of his daughters, and as the only man in our family, he was able to both be strong and protective, and also cradle us with love and affection.

I have an amazing family. We have difficulties like any other, and we have our disagreements. But a large part of why I have such an amazing family is because I have such an amazing dad.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garage Sale Saturday

Allow me to share my garage sale finds of the day today.

For $1.50, I got two lovely frames in which I put artworks for the Dreaming Room upstairs.

This lovely was $.50 and I filled it with an artwork by Kinuko Craft.

This lovely was $1, and I put inside an artwork I discovered from a reference database on my library's website. There was a link to an Art reference site where you could look up available artworks by title or artist name. I looked up Edward Burne-Jones and saw this lovely sketch for his Briar Rose series of artworks. The sketch is done in blues and greens, and shows the courtyard of women asleep outside Briar Rose's chambers.

For $5 I got this comfy oversized chair. The upholstery is dirty in a few places, and the screws for two of the feet of the chair are stripped, so we may have to glue them to get them to stay on when we have to move it, but I can just picture it with a floor lamp beside it, for late night book reading. We put it in our bedroom (after much struggle getting it up the infamous stairs)

Tom doesn't seem too wild about the chair so far, but I hope it grows on him.

Finally I couldn't resist this vintage cook book from 1938 for $.25 Our house was built in 1935, so it's just the right era!

The Wardian Case from last weekend now has a rescue African Violet in it (sale bin at a local greenhouse for $1) that I hope I can resurrect.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I don't like lilies. Well, I'm just not a huge fan of them. They wouldn't be my first choice to put in my garden. But there were several lilies that popped up in our garden this year. planted by a previous owner, and one should always wait to see what plants look like in bloom before one gets rid of them.

Boy am I glad I waited.

I don't like lilies. These....are not regular lilies. I'm used to seeing the small orange-headed blooming daylilies around here, and what we have entirely different.

My hand for size comparison. The last bloom on this plant was even big as my hand with my fingers spread.
I don't think I'll be getting rid of this stunner anytime soon.

Edited to add: According to Google-fu, what I have here is an Egyptian Queen Daylily. Love the name.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wardian Cases

Yesterday morning, mom and I went garage saleing. We got several treasures, but I was especially excited when she gave me a miniature Wardian Case.

I knew I had wanted one of these for a while, and I knew there was a term for it beyond just "terrarium," but I had to google it to remember the original term for these lovely gothic-esque miniature greenhouse-looking plant holders. And when I looked up information on Wardian Cases, I discovered more about their fascinating history.

Did you know that Wardian Cases were an accidental discovery of Dr Nathaniel Ward in Victorian times? The discovery that ferns and tropical flowers thrived in a small enclosed glass case led to the successful importation of all sorts of exotic and useful plants from Asia to the West. And all of that could not have happened without the Wardian Case!

I'm looking forward to figuring out what to put in my Wardian Case. Right now I'm leaning toward an African Violet with some Spanish Moss.

You can see in the above picture how it is not only the outdoor plants that are thriving at Catty-Corner, but also the indoor plants we took from our old apartment are now elated at all the sunshine in their new home.

Including the ivy:

And even this little plant, which was cut back to almost nothing in the old place.Friday morning before we could join her at 9, mom went to a yard sale and found this mantle clock for me for the Dreaming Room.
I also found this frame for one of my most precious objects, an original artwork by Niroot Puttapipat.
Niroot's art is jaw-dropping. This piece is an ACEO...(Art Card, Editions and Originals), which means it's about the size of a trading card. And yet the detail in this piece is so incredible, I've literally taken a magnifying glass to it to see it all.

Here is a better image of the artwork:
I'd like to get a better frame for the art eventually, but this one will work for now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Old House

He who loves an old house --
Never can love in vain.
How can an old house --
Used to sun and rain,
To lilac and to larkspur
And an elm above --
Ever fail to answer
The heart that gives it love?
--J.F. Conant

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mystery Plants...again

Two more for anyone who may know them to identify!

Also, when they were smaller, I assumed these were wild strawberries behind the garage. Now...I'm not so sure. Anyone venture a thought or guess?

Edit: You all never cease to amaze me! Thanks to Joe, Jo Lynne and Shane for first identifying Bee Balm, Sedum, and Mock Strawberry (sadly not real strawberry) in my yard.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Signs and Wonders

There's something new on the front stoop at Catty-Corner Cottage. Can you see it?

Nope, not these, although the lamium and lavender continue to thrive and grow...

Did you notice the new sign?

Don't blame us for those holes in the vinyl siding below the idea what they're from, but they were there when we moved in.

Everyone deserves to know the name of our beloved home, so I figured I might as well make a sign proclaiming it! I've been waiting for unfinished wood project items to go on sale at Hobby Lobby, and finally this past week they did. I searched the internet for inspirational examples of cottage signs, and found the motherload at this website. I modeled my sign after one of theirs.

And yes...if you click the close up image to view it larger, you can see that there is a crowned cat at the top. Corvin is the king of this castle.