Friday, February 27, 2009

Sharing Little Moments of Beauty.....

"The most beautiful view is is the one I share with you."
~Author Unknown~
It is Beautiful Living Friday again and Melissa of The Inspired Room is hosting a linking event to share beautiful living goals. I encourage you to go over and visit her post today and explore its links as well as visit those who have linked up for sharing the beauty of their lives. This week I am rerouting you to a couple of links for previous posts that fit in with some of my original goals.

One of my original goals was to, "...include more festivity into daily life, refraining from ordinary business as usual and to enjoy little moments of beauty like watching a sunset or a sunrise, listening or observing more, creating little vignettes around my home that please the senses through sight, sound, taste, hearing, and touch...to indulge in more creativity..."

As I read through this goal I was reminded of a previous post that perfectly expresses enjoying the little moments of beauty and giving thanks for the little things. I hope this next week of beautiful living for each one of you is infused with festivity, creativity, and plenty of pauses to enjoy the little moments.

Miss Sandy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I *HEART* Nature Art.....

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive."
~Eleonora Duse~
(click on any photo to enlarge for better viewing)

It is no secret that I adore the natural world and all things nature related. I was thrilled to have recently won two fantastic nature inspired works of art from two equally fantastic artists! I have been gathering some items to put together a little nature inspired vignette in the corner of our family room and can't wait to integrate both these wonderful pieces into my little nature nook! I love how both of these blend well with the sepia look I want in this vignette. Here it is all in a muddle, a work in progress:I picked up this sweet framed print for $1.00 this week!I received this awesome painting from Rita of phthalo blue. Rita is a graphic artist who shares about art, poetry, culture, and daily life on her blog. I am so extremely in love with this darling little bird painting! Thank you so much Rita, this little painting has me all twitter~pated!I also received this spectacular nature assemblage from none other than my favorite feather nester friend Dawn! I am so doing the happy dance. I have been trying to purchase a piece of her work and it is snapped up as soon as she gets it made. Dawn, THIS is now my favorite book on my shelves, thank you so much.You might or might not remember, it's been so long, when I started a mixed media nature collage featuring a watercolor of a blue bird on a background of vintage sheet music. I originally intended this to be a sweet collage featuring a nursery rhyme but as often happens once I picked it up, it took off in its own direction. Here is the finished project:The base of this piece is a scrap of foam core covered in vintage sheet music. After reading this line as a caption in a magazine I knew it would be perfect for this collage. Dried rose petals and bark, snippets of old lace, vintage shell buttons, and a little wooden bunny surround the caption.
Torn decorative paper strips, stamped butterfly, and a vellum flowering bulb grace the right side of the piece. The bottom of the piece is finished off with a row of vintage crochet lace, a corsage pin holds another snippet of lace and colorful button in place. The twig hanger is wired to old rusty square tacks. The copper wire ends are spiraled into trendles.The handmade suede branch is textured with bits of handmade paper. Leaves cut from a scrap of vintage velvet adorn the branch tips. A little rubber stamped nest rests on the branch.This is my favorite part of the whole piece, the handmade branch with the little nut cradle! I love the vine curly cues and the fat speckled egg resting inside!An embellished shipping tag hangs from the branch and illustrates the caption of sleeping in the garden. The background of the tag is painted, layered over the background is a row of roses from a vintage greeting card, a textured natural grass wallpaper, a copy of a vintage postcard, crochet lace, and a little copper jewelry piece topped off with snips of paper. I think this one is a keeper, at least for now. In other nature news here at the Quill, the jonquils are in bloom!!!I found this little bouquet blooming at the edge of the east woods near the bramble where the cardinals are building a nest. I wondered how they got there so far away from house. Perhaps Mrs. Red Bird planted them there to brighten her front stoop!And the robins are running rampant!!! Yesterday, when I opened the shades, my yard was teaming with an entire flock of these beauties. I let the door swing softly open and stood in the chill of the early morning air listening to their happy chirps. They were rustling through the dried leaves, pitching them up in the air as they scratched the damp earth underneath hoping to find a lucky worm.Over the next few days I will be doing what this little robin is doing, looking for signs of spring!
My soul is alive at the thought of spring! Have you seen any signs yet?

Miss Sandy

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Serendipity Sunday: Seeing God.....

Serendipity: Making a delightful or unexpected discovery

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
~Genesis 1:1~

This weeks delightful discovery was actually a rediscovery while visiting a favorite volume of poetry, Heart Gifts, by Helen Steiner Rice. This poem expresses beautifully the fingerprint of God in His creation, evidence that He is with us at all times. Since I am revisiting a favorite poem, I thought I would illustrate it with a few favorite photos that I have taken, which have previously been featured here on my blog. Enjoy God's best blessings in your day today!

Everywhere Across the Lane You See God's
Face and Touch His Hand

~Helen Steiner Rice~

Each time you look up in the sky,
Or watch the fluffy clouds drift by,Or feel the sunshine warm and bright,Or watch the dark night turn to light,Or hear a bluebird gayly sing,Or see the winter turn to spring,Or stop to pick a daffodil,Or gather some violets on some hill...Or touch a leaf or see a tree,It's all God whispering, "This Is Me...
And I am Faith and I am Light
And in Me there shall be no night."

Miss Sandy

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beautiful Comforts.....

Comfort: Satisfaction or physical well being provided by a person or thing

"Comfort was allowed to come to them rare, welcome, unsought: a gift like joy."
~Ursula K. LeGuin~

(Making progress in the Master Bedroom decor!)

This week beautiful living here at Quill Cottage consisted of beautiful comforts. The week began with Darling Daughter being sick and needing the comforts that only a mom can give when one is under the weather, soothing words and prayers as well as homemade chicken noodle soup. For Darling Daughter, holding her hand and praying for her is one of her favorite comforts.
(The new headboard arrived and has been installed. I love it!)

Midweek, on the day of my friends visit I found myself in need of their comfort. Daughter-in-love ended up in the hospital with something, thankfully, unrelated to the baby, and is home and both are doing fine now. Having my two best friends presence and the distraction of one gorgeous little grandson was a comfort for me that kept me from worry. Even under the circumstances we had a wonderful visit. There is nothing like the comfort of friendship in times of crisis.

(I found a bed skirt! I love the quilted tailored look and the slight sheen to the fabric gives it a touch of luxury. I wanted to tone down all the floral and not overwhelm Handy Hubby and make him sleep in the land of precious so I chose a solid bed skirt rather than the stripe that went with the bedding. I picked out a tone that runs throughout the pattern that also brings in a little bit of a masculine touch. This is a Waverly bed skirt purchased from Target.)

After things were settled and Gorgeous Grandson returned home I started to feel under the weather. Oh the comfort of my very own bed! Yes, it is that super sized one that Handy Hubby insisted upon, and it was a veritable cradle for me to snuggle in. Nothing ever felt so good as to lay every aching part of body upon that fluffy mattress with my head resting on down filled pillows. I was comforted by the cool sheets on my fevered skin and warm blankets pulled up to my chin when I felt chilled.(This is what it would have looked like had I chose to use the full line of bedding, a little too much for me. Bedding pattern is Garden Dreams by C & F Manufacturing Co. Maye it is just me but if you could see the watermelon stripe on the bed skirt against the quilt, I don't think it compliments it well. I purchased my pieces from Belk)

Little kindnesses came my way in the form of favorite comfort foods, creamy buttery whipped potatoes to sooth my sore throat and a favorite sore throat hot drink, jell-o. When I was little and I had a sore throat my mother would make me a cup of hot black cherry jell-o to drink and to this day it is my favorite sore throat reliever. Comforting words of , "How are you feeling?", "I hope you feel better soon.", and "I love you." were a soothing balm.

(The throw pillows are left over from my other bedding. They are a bit bight for this bedding so I intend to remove the stuffing from them and tea dye them slightly. After dying I am going to use some old needle point pieces, found at a flea market, as well as new and vintage trims to gussy them up a bit.)

I thought a lot about how I take small comforts for granted just assuming they will always be there. I have much to be thankful for. I was even able to find comfort in sickness this week as it heightened my awareness of many of the beautiful blessings in my life, those who people it and the simple creature comforts. All these comforts did come my way, unsought, most welcome, little gifts of joy.

(For back pillows I chose not to use matching pillow shams but a less expensive alternative, king sized pillow cases in a gold color to match the bed skirt. A simple trick to gussy them up is to gather the end as shown above in a pleating fashion and secure with a rubber band.)(Have handy a corded tassel tie to match your bedding.)(Knot tie over rubber band area and then remove the rubber band.)(Tie in a bow and you have a pretty and inexpensive decorative touch to add to your bedding.)

To see how others are reaching out for their beautiful life goals, visit Melissa at The Inspired Room where today she shares 5 lovely ideas for adding ambiance and cheer to your life.

Miss Sandy
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