Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Bit of Beauty for You Today...

BRING FLOWERS
by Mrs. Hemans

They speak of hope to the fainting heart,

With a voice of promise they come and part,
They sleep in dust through wintry hours,They break forth in glory ~ bring flowers, bright flowers!Wishing you all a bright and glorious day of blooming where you are planted!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Photos: Taken on the banks of Mammonth Springs last week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OOOPS, I Did It Again.....

After a long hard day of toil my husband and I turned in for the night. A grateful sigh escaped my lips as my head hit my soft down filled pillow. Good nights and I love yous were exchanged and then it was off to slumber.

From the edge of a dream I was startled awake by my husband bolting out of bed, thumping open the bedroom door, flipping on the living room light. I raised up on my elbows frowning at the strange noises emanating from the next room. I heard drawers being opened, rustling of papers, then the slide and slam of each drawer only to hear the process began again. Finally after the fourth drawer I heard a soft, "Aha!"


I flopped back down thankful that whatever it was he was searching for was found and that it was not an intruder. Suddenly I am blinded by the overhead light being flicked on. I was about ready to snap and complain when I caught a glimpse of his face. He stood in the doorway grinning like a Cheshire cat waving a piece of paper pinched between his thumb and finger. I managed a civil, "What?" To which he replied, "Happy Anniversary!" The paper was a beautiful copy of our marriage certificate that I had done in calligraphy and intended to frame. I had put it in one of the sofa table drawers so it would not get marred until I had it framed.


He leaped across the room and pounced on the bed almost bouncing me off as we both laughed at his sing song, "I remembered, you did not!" How could we have totally forgotten our 15Th Wedding Anniversary? Well, how could I have forgotten, he did remember somewhere around the stroke of midnight. We still laugh about the time we forgot our Anniversary.
Well, I did it again, only this time it was my one year blog-aversary! That's right, it slipped on by unnoticed by me until yesterday. My very first post was on August 16, 2007. It passed by quietly while I was on my blogging break, actually I have a confession to make, I thought I was at the end of August. So with that in mind I think a celebration of some sort is called for. How about a give away?

Let me stew on this a day or two and then I will announce the prize. The above wedding image is from my personal collection, feel free to copy it and use it in any way you wish. In the meantime, I hope you will celebrate this day for the gift that it is, for no special reason, just because! I wish you a blessed and happy day. May it be filled with joy that is uncontainable, smiles and laughter, health and happiness, and a little something unexpected!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Few Goodies.....

I have been discovering all kinds of delights lately and I wanted to share some of them with you. I was visiting Counting Your Blessings and saw something that I thought was note worthy, a new magazine called PORCH. It is a professionally printed magazine, really more of a special feature book, for bloggers, about bloggers, and written by bloggers! This very first issue is about over the top shops. If you have an idea, pop over and visit with Polly and you may just find yourself tucked within the pages of PORCH! This publication is scheduled to be printed six times a year with a holiday issue currently in the works. The price of the publication is $10.00 with a low shipping and handling fee.

I recently discovered some farm fresh goodness both within the pages of a magazine, MaryJanesFarm and by visiting Flower a new blog link I have added to my blog roll. I have to tell you that both of these are a feast for the eyes!

I shamefully confess that I had no idea who MaryJane was. I learned of her publication from Dawn. I happened past it at the news stand and it promptly came home with me.
I am hooked. I never subscribe to magazines because I love going to buy them and not all issues of a particular publication may appeal to me so I like to pick and choose.

If you like flowers, beautiful farmscapes, yummy recipes, a fun and informative read, you will enjoy visiting here. Just look how lush Flower's flower garden is!
This farm is so beautiful! Here is one of the views:They have flower and vegetable gardens, a Christmas tree lot, as well as some very lush natural wooded landscape. This blogger is a watercolorist and she designs flowers for weddings, some of which are held on her beautiful farm. Wouldn't this little vignette be a perfect subject for one of her paintings?I received the sweetest email from a blog reader, Mildred, she sent me the most beautiful link to a youtube posting. She had no idea that the poem being featured was by one of my favorite poets, Helen Steiner Rice. This is a banquet for the ears with the beautiful background music, amazing images of natural beauty, and words that will speak to your soul are combined into one worthwhile visit to this link. Thank you dear sweet Mildred for blessing me.



I am deeply touched, knowing a bit of Mildred's days and the toil they at times take on her, that she can continue to give beyond good measure with such an overflowing spirit of thoughtfulness and kindness. This lady has true servants heart and my world is better and brighter for our paths having crossed. This land of blog is an amazing place. I have had the privilege of "meeting" some pretty amazing people who have been such an encouragement to me. My cup runneth over!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gone But Not Forgotten.....

It has now been a little over one month since I announced that I was taking what was supposed to be a short blogging break. I wondered when I opened my poor neglected little piece of cyberspace what I would find. Much to my surprise, the wonderful gift of friendship awaited me. In my absence little offerings of love have poured my way in the form of emails, encouraging comments and prayers, little gifts arriving in the mail, and even sweet awards and a tag. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all who venture past my little cottage and stop by for a friendly visit. Many thanks to all who enter here. Thank you that even though I was gone, I was not forgotten!

In my absence, Quill Cottage was thrice blessed with the Brillante Weblog award.
Carol of Charli and Me, Zetor of Mog's Blog and More, and Carrie of Oak Rise Cottage were the generous givers of this award. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.

I was tagged by Schotzy of Wings of Eagles. The tag instructions were to share five things I love. Hmmm, no other rules, just five things you love. Five is an awfully limiting list. I'll skip the obvious like the Lord,
family, friends, etc. and go to personal preferences. In no particular order, here are five things I love:

1.) I love to flea market on rainy Monday's. I always find my best bargains then.
2.) I love sunrise, the quite hush of evening being ushered out and the promise that comes with the dawn of each new day.
3.) I love books, reading and learning new things, traveling through the written word into the lives of characters and the places they inhabit, the weight and feel of a book in my hand, the quite rustle of turning the pages, and the descriptive language that each page holds.
4.) I love the joy of discovery through a child's eyes. I love caring for my little grandson and seeing the world afresh and anew through his exploration and delight in the simplest of things.

5.) I love my Father's world, all nature, rocks and trees, skies and seas, all things His hands have wrought.

If you want to play along consider yourself tagged. I'd love to read your list so let me know if you post on this.

I also received a goodly share of love in the mail. First there was a package from Cindy of Cindy is Crafty. This little package came along with a bonus blog award. I was so deeply touched by Cindy's kindness and for her thinking of me "just cause". Cindy sent me a wonderful little vintage hardbound volume of table graces for all occasions. I LOVE this little book. The prayers contained within its pages are not just meal blessings but words of thanks and praise, requests for God's blessings, special prayers for children, and prayers that are appropriate for holiday's and special occasions. The hope of the author of this little volume is, "...that this book may become a reminder of our dependence upon God's grace, love, and mercy which are ours in abundance."

This precious blog friend knew I needed a pick me up and I thank her for so richly blessing me "just
cause". My dear friend Cindy, I am sending one of these beautiful graces back to you:

Dear Father, with the dawning of each morning,
through this friendship rare,
May Cindy's each day receive adorning,
through your blessings and your care.
Amen.

While on break I did a little etsy shopping over at Laura's Decor to Adore. I saw a must have necklace she had made with vintage charms and I ordered it. When the order came I was quite surprised by the size of the box, a bit large for a little necklace. Well, I should have suspected that my wonderfully generous friend would have tucked in some extra goodies! I was stunned when I opened the box and found not only my purchase inside but and item that I wanted to seek out for my kitchen! How did she know? Who told her? Not me.

My necklace was packaged in a sweet little muslin bag which was tied off at the top with a bit a raffia and a little silver bird charm, so cute! She even included two extra vintage rose
charms that I turned into matching earrings!I lifted it out to find some wonderful embroidered pillow cases and a delicate cut work linen!A sprinkle of yummy candy. Sorry no picture, we ate it!

And...this stunner piece, a hand painted plate with fruit on it!I literally said to my daughter the day before this arrived that I wanted to find two such plates to hang on either side of a vintage framed lithograph of fruit that I hung in my kitchen! Laura, I am bowled over by your thoughtfulness and I will cherish all your wonderful gifts, thank you so very much.

Last, but certainly not least, one day last week I went to my mailbox and there was a package inside from a precious blog reader, Vicki Page. The handmade card Vicki sent with the words contained within blessed my heart more than she will ever know. The first thing I noticed about the box when I opened it was the scent, heavenly! Just look at all this goodness:
The sweetest satin bon~bon sachets! Don't they look darling displayed here?
She included some crafting goodies!Just look at these feathered friends for the Quill! These little doves are perfect for displaying on my writing desk which has a matching motif! I have a special affinity for doves and I will always treasure these.For some quite time of relaxation and reflection Vicki included some herbal teas and a devotional!If I am correct, I think Vicki used her seamstress skills and made this awesome batik fabric handbag!This bag is beachy perfect and full of summer fun! Look at the fantastic stitching, colorful fibers, and glass beading. I have to say that one element of this lovingly crafted creation that stuck out to me were the glass fruit beads that line the top row of this side of the bag. These beads will always remind me of a blog friend that exemplifies the fruits of the Spirit in extending her friendship and taking time out from her busy life, in spite of her own health struggles to uplift and encourage me at a time when I really needed it. Vicki, you have blessed me beyond measure, may it be returned to you tenfold dear friend!

How many Marie Antoinette fans do we have out there in blogland?
Then you must go over and visit Viv La Reine! a new blog that is a gallery of Antoinette inspired art! Some of you may already be familiar with this blogger, Kimberly Ryan of It's All About Romance Kimberly Ryan Art. Are you a creator of all things Marie? Pop over and see the art of fellow bloggers showcased there. Perhaps we will see your designs featured next!

Lastly, how would you like to win this original beach inspired painting? I know I would! My friend Helen of Brushstrokes, Etc.is having a give away for this oil painting!
This original 5" x 5" oil painting on canvas is titled "Cockleshells" and is valued at $100.00! Go here to get details and to enter to win! I own one of her paintings and let me tell you the detail is fantastic and I would love to have this one to go with the one I already own! Hurry on over as this give away sign up ends on September 1st!

This gets me caught up and ready to begin blogging again! I'll be back at the first of next week on a more regular and consistent basis. Thank you all for hanging in there with me while I refueled!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Few Changes.....

"A change came o'er the spirit of my dream."
Byron ~ The Dream St. 3
photo source

A change has come over the spirit of my dream for this blog. You may have noticed a few of the physical changes going on here at the Quill during my extended blog break, such as a new banner, new back ground, some color changes, and a shrinking sidebar! My lovely new banner is thanks to the great graphic designer, Kris of Blissful Elements. I learned how to add a background to my blog compliments of Dawn of The Feathered Nest. I also borrowed an idea from Lidy of French Garden House and created a new blog that links to this one with my blog roll on it. I felt my blog was getting too busy with all that stuff hanging out over on the side. Some of it I may replace with other goodies as time goes by but for now I like it clean and neat. I have also started to rebuild my play list and it is now located at the very bottom of my blog should you wish to see what is playing.To visit my links all you have to do is to click on the blog roll photo like the one above. It is located on the side bar just below the daily quotes and it will take you to wonderful places of refreshment and enchantment! You will encounter nourishment for the soul with links to Cups of Encouragement from fellow believers. You will find new friends to visit where Artful Blogs showcase the talents of painters, seamstress, mixed-media artists, etc. Divine Design & Decor Blogs where high style and fashion are a passion. Vintage Collectibles, Antiques, & Romantic Decor reign in this category of links. A Bit of This and That contains great blogs to read with a wide variety of topics. There will also be a section of Writing Inspiration. There are also some links on the side bar for your viewing pleasure. As time goes by I will be adding more categories and links. Keep in mind that this is only a beginning list and I will work on it as I have time. I have listed most of my previous links already and hope to add new ones throughout the week.

I still have two more scheduled posts and after that I will be back to regular blogging. When I return, I will tell you about the new dream I have for Quill Cottage. I look forward to visiting with each one of you very soon!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Party Favor Basket.....

We have our invitations, a sweet corsage for the new mommy which can be made in to a little piece of decor for baby's room, now we need some party favors! This nutty design was inspired by Lori, who is always making darling little nut cups. The idea was birthed, (pardon the pun), when seeing some of Lori's creations. I wanted to create something reminiscent of a frilly bassinet.
You know how some things seem like such a good idea at the beginning and not so much at the ending? This was one of those ideas. By, oh say, about the 20th cup I thought I'd go nuts! The party goers did go nuts over them, so all in all they were worth the effort. We filled these little darlings with pink and silver candies, strawberry malted milk balls and Hershey's kisses, yum!
To make these magical little baskets you will need lots of blue and yellow fluff:Touches of pink puff:And all this stuff:MATERIALS:

Large size nut cups
Pink, Blue, Yellow, and Green Crepe paper streamers
Iridescent pearl strands
White chenille stems
Pink, Blue, and Yellow thread
Needle
Scissors
Wire cutters
Hot glue and glue gun
Pink satin ribbon
Pink cupcake liners
Hole punch

*Punch a hole in each side of the nut cup just below the rim, evenly spaced apart for connecting handle.
*Trim white chenille stem to 8" using wire cutters and insert ends into hole from the outside, bend end of stem up.*Repeat for other side of handle.*Bend ends over the rim of the nut cup as pictured below.*Cut a 30" strip of blue crepe paper streamer. Thread needle with matching thread and gather on edge.*Adjust ruffle to fit the edge of the nut cup and secure the end with a dab of hot glue.
*Slip ruffle around the handle and secure the other end over lapping the other end slightly.
*I found it easier to work from the bottom of the cup by slipping the cup onto the palm of my hand. *Using small amounts of hot glue, gently pull the ruffle over the edge of the nut cup, securing just below the cup rim.*Smooth down the ruffle and trim away any excess using the bottom of the up as a guide.*Cut a 30" strip of yellow crepe paper streamer and fold the streamer lengthwise leaving a 1/4" over hang. Tread a needle with matching thread and gather the folded edge.*Adjust the ruffle to fit the top edge of the nut cup and glue in place with the 1/4" over hang on the bottom and the shorter edge on the top.

*Gently pull the shorter ruffle up towards the top of the cup, creating a frill. Glue iridescent pearl strand around the gathered seam.
*Tie two pink satin bows and hot glue them to the sides of the cup over the pearl strand where the handles meet the cup.*To create the pink carnation, go here for step-by-step instructions. You will need to scroll down in the post to that section.*Cut a 16" strip of green crepe paper streamer. Holding the streamer by one corner between the thumb and finger of one hand, use the other thumb and finger to begin to gently twist, pull, and stretch the streamer into a a tight twisted vine. Secure one end of the vine just inside the cup handle with hot glue. Twirl the vine around the handle, securing the shape with dabs of hot glue as needed along the handle, ending on the inside of the other handle, securing with hot glue, and trimming away any excess vine. *Hot glue the completed pink carnation to the handle.*Line the nut cup with a pink cup cake liner. This will protect the cup from food stains and can be discarded and replaced if these are kept for reuse.This darling little basket could also be used to decorate and Easter table, as a luncheon favor, or as a springtime table setting treat! In the next post I will show you a personalized banner for baby to use as party and nursery decor, so stay tuned!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy
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