Happy First Day of Spring!

Spring Cleaning

March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.

– Susan Reiner

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(Graphic courtesy of Graphic Garden).

Show and Tell Friday: Spring Windowsill

When I took down my “everyday” decorations last fall to decorate for autumn, I finally took apart an old arrangement on my windowsill that had dried flowers and a bird and nest and had just gotten dusty and unkempt. After putting autumn and Christmas decorations away and getting back to everyday, I pondered what to put in that empty spot. I hadn’t seen or come up with anything until the spring issue of Kelli’s beautiful Seasonal Delights magazine came out and I saw the Hidden Nest Centerpiece. A smaller version of that would be just perfect!

So I assembled the materials this week, with a 5″ pot instead of the 8″. I originally wanted to paint the flower pot a cream color and the eggs blue, but the windowsill this would be on is white, so I thought a bit of color would be better with a blue flower pot. These kinds of decisions can stall a project for me for days, but I decided since all of these materials were reusable I could disassemble it and change it if I wanted, so I went ahead with painting the flower pot blue and using cream and brown eggs I found at Michael’s.

I had a bit of a problem, though, with the garland: mine was so bushy that it lost its “arch” shape almost completely (probably because the pot was smaller, so the arch was smaller — I am sure it would have done fine with the bigger pot size Kelli’s centerpiece had called for), and then I had trouble getting the wire to stick to the flower pot with hot glue. I remembered some variegated green picks I had and got a few of them and stuck them directly in the moss, then tucked the nest under the leaves. This is finally what I came up with:

Hidden nest arrangement

Hidden nest

I love it. When I am working at the sink I can see the little nest and eggs peeking out through the leaves. We often have little birds build nests in our hanging plants outside that I can see from my kitchen window, so this reminds me of that and fits right in with the scene.

I do still want to try Kelli’s idea with the garland shaped as an arch some time!

On the other side of my windowsill is this:

Spring flowers

It’s just a couple of spring floral picks I got years ago at a Home Interiors party, stuffed into a small creamer pitcher, but it has been a long-time favorite window sill brightener. It’s getting old, too, but I keep dusting it off.

This is the whole windowsill, cheery even on a gloomy day outside:

Spring windowsill

I also wanted to share a couple of things I was delighted to find while out shopping this week.

It’s very hard to find kitchen towels and such with pink — apparently that’s not “in” as a decorator color just now. But I was delighted to find these at Kohl’s — I was shopping in the men’s department for my husband’s birthday and investigated the housewares and decorating section while I was there. I was glad I did!

Pink dish towels

They’re almost too pretty to use — almost. But I will use them!

I was also thrilled to find these chair pads on clearance. I had been needing new ones and wanted to find the kind with the non-skid surface on the bottom rather than ties (which always seem to pull out after much use at my house). I had seen some blue ones at another store that I thought were too expensive. But these were not only less, they had little pink and cream flecks in them that matched mt kitchen/dining area:

Chair cushion

And I love the non-skid underside!! It works much better than the ties at the back.

Isn’t it funny how little things can brighten an area?

Show and Tell Kelli at There’s No Place Like Home hosts “Show and Tell Friday” asking Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there’s a story behind your special something, that’s even better! If you would like to join in, all you have to do is post your “Show and Tell” on your blog, copy the post link, come over here and add it to Mr. Linky. Guidelines are here

Spring WILL come!

When it is supposed to be almost springtime, but the skies and trees look like this:

Gray skies in spring

It’s good to remember this:

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.
~Hal Borland

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.
– Proverb from Guinea

We must live through the dreary winter
If we would value the spring;
And the woods must be cold and silent
Before the robins sing.
The flowers must be buried in darkness
Before they can bud and bloom,
And the sweetest, warmest sunshine
Comes after the storm and gloom.

–Author Unknown

Keep your faith in beautiful things;
in the sun when it is hidden,
in the Spring when it is gone.

— Roy R. Gibson

And in the meantime, it’s a good day to make these:

Congo bars

Congo bars. 🙂

Works-For-Me Wednesday: Autumn mini cookie cutters

wfmwheader_4.jpgI found these cute little cookie cutters at W*l-Mart yesterday for just a few dollars. We’re not really into sugar cookies much, though I can picture these with cinnamon and red, yellow, and orange colored sprinkled sugar. But I thought they’d be neat for cutting decorative venting holes for pie crusts.

Mini autumn cookie cutters

Mini autumn cookie cutters

Maybe they’ve been around for ages, but I just discovered them.

Michael’s had them, too, and though I don’t remember the prices I think they were a little more there. But then Michael’s usually has a 40% off coupon in Sunday’s paper.

As always on Wednesdays, you can find scores of great tips at Rocks In My Dryer.

Show and Tell Friday: Fall decorations

show-and-tell.jpg Kelli at There’s No Place Like Home hosts “Show and Tell Friday” asking “Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there’s a story behind your special something, that’s even better! If you would like to join in, all you have to do is post your “Show and Tell” on your blog, copy the post link, come over here and add it to Mr. Linky. Guidelines are here.“

Last week I showed a couple of fall door decorations. This week I put out most of the rest of my fall decorations. I don’t do a whole lot with fall decorating, partly because it’s a busy time of year, and partly because with all the pink I have around here, fall colors don’t really “go” very well. But I put a few out anyway because I love to bring the season in. None of these things was a major expense — they’ve just accumulated, a few dollars here and there over the years.

This is yet another door decoration. We don’t use this door, but it does face the driveway and we see it coming and going.

Scarecrow

I don’t remember where I got these little bows, but they used to go on the double doors that I showed last week. Now one is on the mantle and one is on a window.

On the mantel

On a window

I took several shots of this with and without flash and couldn’t get it any clearer, but this is a little scarecrow, a couple of small bales of hay, and a stuffed pumpkin on the mantle in the family room.

On the mantel

By the way, that clock is in the shape of Idaho. My husband is from there and his pastor did woodworking for a hobby and made this for us. Maybe someday I’ll showcase that for a show and tell. 🙂

I usually only put a couple of little things on the windowsill, but I decided to group several things there this time. I like it.

Kitchen window

Here’s a closer view of the left side…

Left side of kitchen window

…and the right side.

Right side of window

Close-ups:

Season of change

A little Thomas Kinkade house.

Little Thomas Kinkade house

Scarecrow

Scarecrow

I didn’t really set out to have a scarecrow theme, but that’s just what caught my eye over the years.

I love this figurine, the flurry of leaves and the label that says “Joy.”

Fall figurine

I also love the little strand of leaves behind it — I love the fact that they’re fall colors, but muted and pinkish so they go with the rest of the room. I’d love to find more like that but haven’t been able to yet.

You can visit Kelli’s to see more show-and-tells or link to your own.

Have a great weekend!

Update: someone asked for more details about the figureine above with the little girls tossing leaves. It is from the Vintage Virtues collection by Kathy Killip for Demdaco.

Show and Tell Friday: Autumn door decorations

show-and-tell.jpg Kelli at There’s No Place Like Home hosts “Show and Tell Friday” asking “Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there’s a story behind your special something, that’s even better! If you would like to join in, all you have to do is post your “Show and Tell” on your blog, copy the post link, come over here and add it to Mr. Linky. Guidelines are here.“

I’ve told you before that I love hearts….so when I saw this heart-shaped autumn wreath at Hobby Lobby I just couldn’t resist.

Autumn wreath

I usually look for something small and matching for our “back doors” (actually the doors by the driveway. As many come to those doors as to the front), and HL also had these.

Autumn door hangers

Those are all the fall decorations I have up so far — it has only started to feel like fall the last few days. I hope to put more out this weekend or the beginning of next week. This afternoon some friends of Jesse’s are coming over for a belated birthday sleep-over, and we’re all supposed to go tomorrow to one of those places with video games, laser tags, go-carts, etc. So I need to dash off to the store and do a few things to get ready.

Have a good week-end!

Signs of summer in the South

I posted this on a Thursday Thirteen last summer, but I thought of it again this week when I thought my skin was going to be flayed before I could get from my car to Wal-Mart. It’s not original with me: I received it in an e-mail a while back.

Thirteen signs of summer in the South:

1. You step outside at 7:30 a.m. and break out into a sweat.

2. The birds have to use pot holders to pull worms out of the ground.

3. Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.

4. The cows are giving evaporated milk.

5. You can make instant sun tea.

6. You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.

7. You decide the best parking place is determined by amount of shade instead of distance.

8. Hot water now comes out of both taps.

9. A parent laments, “I wish it would rain – not so much for me, cuz I’ve seen it – but for my 7-year-old.”

10. You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

11. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, “What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?”

12. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

13. The trees are whistling for the dogs.

The Barefoot Boy

barefoot-boy.jpg

Oh for boyhood’s time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone;
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night,
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Still as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too;
All the world I saw or knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy,
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!

From The Barefoot Boy by John Greenleaf Whittier (1855)

The picture is Boy and Dog in Nature by Eugene Iverd, from AllPosters.com.

Spring Musings

A few spring quotes and spring poems for your enjoyment. 🙂

sprung.gif

 

March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.

– Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning

cutecolorsspringline1.gif

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.
– Proverb from Guinea

Only with winter-patience can we bring
The deep-desired, long-awaited spring.
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
– Nadine Stair

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

— Anne Bradstreet, Meditations Divine and Moral, 1655

“Earth laughs in flowers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

cutecolorsspringline1.gif

WELCOME TO SPRING

We must live through the dreary winter
If we would value the spring;
And the woods must be cold and silent
Before the robins sing.
The flowers must be buried in darkness
Before they can bud and bloom,
And the sweetest, warmest sunshine
Comes after the storm and gloom.

–Anonymous

spring-basket.gif

(Most of the graphics are from an old set from Graphic Garden.)

The Winter Evening by William Cowper

Oh winter, ruler of th’ inverted year,
Thy scatter’d hair with sleet like ashes fill’d,
Thy breath congeal’d upon thy lips, thy cheeks
Fring’d with a beard made white with other snows
Than those of age, thy forehead wrapp’d in clouds,
A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne
A sliding car, indebted to no wheels,
But urg’d by storms along its slipp’ry way,
I love thee, all unlovely as thou seem’st,
And dreaded as thou art! Thou hold’st the sun
A pris’ner in the yet undawning east,
Short’ning his journey between morn and noon,
And hurrying him, impatient of his stay,
Down to the rosy west; but kindly still
Compensating his loss with added hours
Of social converse and instructive ease,
And gath’ring, at short notice, in one group
The family dispers’d, and fixing thought,
Not less dispers’d by day-light and its cares.
I crown thee king of intimate delights,
Fire-side enjoyments, home-born happiness,
And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturb’d retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted ev’ning, know.

 

Those are lines 120-143 of a 193-line poem. You can find it in its entirety here. Winter is easily my least favorite season — I don’t like the bare trees, grey skies, and short days. But this poem reminds me that there are many things to love about every season God made. The following lines talk about someone doing needlework —

But here the needle plies its busy task,
The pattern grows, the well-depicted flow’r,
Wrought patiently into the snowy lawn,
Unfolds its bosom; buds, and leaves, and sprigs,
And curling tendrils, gracefully dispos’d,
Follow the nimble finger of the fair…

And of

The poet’s or historian’s page, by one
Made vocal for th’ amusement of the rest;
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds
The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out;
And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct.

 

It’s a sweet picture of a winter’s night at home without the usual visitors, spending time together doing needlework, making music, reading aloud to the others.

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.

 

Hope you have a cozy, peaceful winter’s evening.

(Graphic courtesy of Grandma’s Graphics)