Sunday, July 26, 2015

Starfish Giveaway; Christmas in July

Giving away this cute little double starfish ornament
in honor of Christmas in July!

It kinda came and went with very little fanfare this year, didn't it?

Some of you know that where I grew up
Christmas in July is a very big deal for all the folks
who live in "vacationland" in the summer,
yet never see their summertime neighbors at 
the true December Christmastime.

So many tourists really go ALL OUT -
 decorating cottages and yachts...

And many businesses have themed specials at the pubs and stores!

So when July 25th comes around my spirit is with them.
In my heart and mind I am home on the lake for Christmas.

Last year I celebrated here hosting a Christmas tea for my niece.

Here's a sneak pic of it:

But this year has been quiet and peaceful.
My two youngest nieces are at their two-a-day cheer practices,
my eldest niece is babysitting
 because she turned 16 last month and needs gas money.

This year my daughters had a big bbq party with their friends
hosting a "Couples Night Out Pub Crawl"
for my daughter Katie's and her fiance Jeff's
 bachelor/bachelorette party.

They wanted theirs to be together, not traditional.
That's not their style at all so this was perfect for them!


(They're getting married August 29th!)


This delicate and precious vintage hand painted Japanese teacup
 is a recent and lucky  thrifting find.

It is paper thin, and is a subtle nod to a Christmas in July tea!

It somehow just belongs nestled amongst the flowers outdoors!

Back to my double starfish ornament giveaway!

Simply leave a comment below
 if you'd like to enter to win it
is the only requirement.

I should be delighted if you'd be a follower of my blog,
but the "follower police" won't be after you if you are not.

Non-bloggers may enter as well, of course; 
but I will need a snail mail addy sent privately 
if you aren't so that you may be reached if you win.

Not just restricted to US this time, for once!

I will pick a winner next Sunday Aug. 2nd.

And I will close with this lovely poem by V. Watson:

As always, thank you for your visit!



Tea Time Tuesday   *   Tea Cup Tuesday   *   Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Tea in the Garden

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Garden Butterfly Tablescape

Ah, how fast the summer is flying by!

We hear the neighborhood children talking about
 school starting not long from now,
and my nephew heads to college for the first time
 in just a couple of short weeks.

However, I am not letting go of summer one stinkin' bit!

There is nice bright SUNSHINE here today!!!!

So, to celebrate summer I am sharing a pretty simple
 summertime tablescape
 with a garden and butterfly theme.

I found these fantastic butterfly plates
 the last time I went thrifting-
and they match my stoneware dinner plates so well
 I just had to add them to my ever-growing collection.

Who knows, I may sell them, I usually do-
 but for now I am enjoying them with you!

They pick up that odd color of green that has a hint of blue to it;
a neat color, but a bit difficult to match up.

 I am beyond thrilled.

Hand painted stemware works well to complement the theme. 

I usually keep two chairs each to the sides and 
one chair on each end of the dining table.

This time I put them all across from one another,
on the sides -  thinking the ends would be a good place
to place my tea/coffee tray on one end
 and another tray of condiments, etc. on the other.

I really like this new chair arrangement.

Isn't it funny how simple changes add so much sometimes?

I usually keep to six chairs out all the time.

We do have two more that we keep stored
 until we have a larger party of folks over.

These days most of my fun dish and glassware sets
 are in numbers of 6 and not 8,
 as I usually keep to entertaining six
as a more frequent number.

I've found the extra room at the table
(especially for afternoon teas)
works so much better.

Tea trays and 3 tiered servers take up so much room.

Thus, I keep to six most of the time now.

Even if it isn't tea I am hosting,
 having the added room has spoiled me.

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued,

 is always just beyond your grasp,

but which, if you will sit down quietly,
 may alight upon you. 
                                                                                    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Yes, you - my dear friends- are truly welcome at my table.

As always, thank you for your visit.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tea Cup Watercolor

I have been wanting to get this app for my phone for ages!

You know the one - makes an ordinary phone pic

It takes a regular picture and can turn it into
 a truly life-like watercolor painting!

My grandfather was an amazing artist
 who painted the most beautiful watercolors.

I didn't inherit that gene,
 so this is as close as I can get to creating masterpieces!

And if one adds just a bit of graphics to it too? Voila!

I can't lie, I totally nabbed the waterlogue teacup idea from my friend
 Angela from over at Tea With Friends. 

I wish each and every one of you a truly fabulous day!

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hodge Podge Wednesday

Well, we are at Day 17 of rain, rain and more rain.

We are growing gills and webbed feet around here!

Occasionally we get a glimpse of sun for 15 minutes or so
 and I can nearly hear the choir of angels singing from above!

 And we've seen three rainbows this week -
 but the sun is so short-timed that the rainbow is gone
before I can get my very-slow-limping-booted self
 to grab my camera and capture it to share with you!

What a hot, humid, unbearably wet awful summer its been-
 dark, gloomy, grey and rainy days....
not good for taking nice bright inspiration pics for the blog. 

I really do have so much beauty to share with you, too.

I need to just pretend it is pretty outdoors right now.

Please indulge me as I share some last year flower pics.

Have you ever heard of the linky party called
Hodge Podge Wednesday
over at the blog From This Side of the Pond?

 It's a fun question-and-answer party;
one to help us learn a bit more about one another,
 and to sneak in a post
 when lack of time, energy or sun
may prohibit one posting anything else.

It's an easy one to be a part of,
and thanks to A Haven for Vee I discovered it!

OK here goes mine:

1.  July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.
     What can you give away? 

Answer:  I have a few things in line, and do giveaways on my blog about once a quarter. Will you? Yes.

2. Do you have a mantra? 

Answer:  "A stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet." and "Never, ever be late!"

3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?

Answer:  My wonderful hubs loves to shop at the grocery (yuck) and/but was freaked out when we first got married because I had been a vegetarian most of my life. Apparently I just never bought enough meat. So now he goes almost always - a few times a week, with a list (there is a nice shopping app on iphones available by the way.) 

4. Is there a TV show you're embarrassed to say you watch? 

Answer: The last time I watched television was the last episode of Downton Abbey. We just never turn it on and have to set timers for when fav shows like that are on because we wouldn't even think of it otherwise.  We're voracious readers here. 

5. A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter:
that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless

Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?
Answer:  In blogville I use the word amazing much too often, but it is because I am sincerely and truly AMAZED at some posts - whether it be beauty, an impressive before/after or a most delicious dessert. They get the comment "amazing" from me often. As for the most overused and loathed in life in the USA overall- not necessary by myself but by my young nieces and every person 21 and younger? Like, like, like, like, like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  *

* Solution suggestion: Give a roll of coins to visiting young folks or whilst you travel with them, and make them pay you a penny/nickle/dime/quarter back every time they say the word "like." When it's time to leave your home you let them keep what they have left. They will have earned it for fun spending, and you will have taught them a lesson. Perhaps you will be instrumental in breaking them of a really horrible habit early enough. Like, totally fer sure.

6. So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It's called 'The Granny Hair' trend. Your thoughts? 
Answer:  It's funny, but works for me. I am no granny yet, but perhaps I will be trendy for the first time in a very long while, haha. 

7. A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they've read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let's try. What's one of the most beautiful sentences you've ever read in a piece of literature?

Answer:  Sharing three, a quote from my 3 favorite books:

“Their love was something which coloured the air between them like sunlight.”                                         

  Joanne HarrisBlackberry Wine

“There are times...when we are in the midst of life-moments of confrontation with birth or death, or moments of beauty when nature or love is fully revealed, or moments of terrible loneliness-times when a holy and awesome awareness comes upon us. It may come as deep inner stillness or as a rush of overflowing emotion. It may seem to come from beyond us, without any provocation, or from within us, evoked by music or by a sleeping child. If we open our hearts at such moments, creation reveals itself to us in all it's unity and fullness. And when we return from such a moment of awareness, our hearts long to find some way to capture it in words forever, so that we can remain faithful to it's higher truth......when my people search for a name to give to the truth we feel at those moments, we call it God, and when we capture that understanding in timeless poetry, we call it praying.” 

― Mary Doria RussellThe Sparrow

“Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” 

― Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel

8.  Insert your own random thought here:


Time is our most precious commodity and should not be wasted in ugly behavior. It should be well spent creating beauty or passing kindness outwards into the when we look back on our lives we will know our time was well spent.

- Michele M.,  The Nest at Finch Rest blog

As always, thank you for your visit!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Shabby Garden Room

A few of you have written asking to see more
 of our covered patio outdoor garden room
after my last post about the little garden breakfast tea
I hosted recently for my niece. 

The garden room is my very own girlie space,
 my favorite get-away spot;
a shady cool area to spend in the morning
 and then again in late afternoon
 after the sun sinks below the tall tree-lined backyard facing west.

It's a beautiful spot to watch the sun settling behind the trees.

That is when the sun is shining, which has been RARE lately!

My husband and his friend built this structure for me as a surprise,
 and it was really intended to be just a temporary "porch"until we could afford decided what kind of large
screened-in porch to have built onto the house.

Yet,  all these years later it still stands.
(Probably because they put roofing shingles on it.) 

One of these days we will finally splurge and "upgrade,"
 but for now it really soothes my soul; and gives me respite....

I am so happy to share it & a bit of our garden with you today!

My husband also built the deck here in pic below.

Yes, keeping it real: we need new deck chair cushions,
I should've opened the umbrella for this shot and 
perhaps could have swept a bit.

Blame it on the broken foot, aye?

BTW- we keep the half umbrella up (2nd pic)
 because that side of the room faces the full afternoon sun. 
The umbrella helps to keep the space much cooler for longer.

It's difficult to tell but the room is deeper than it looks
 so the umbrella isn't really in the way, if that makes sense.
Depth perception is a bit off in the pic to be able to tell.


Every year I seem to change up this space a little bit;-
this year it has a pretty feminine pastel floral decor.

My garden in-ground hydrangea bushes are deep pink,
 because our soil is so high in alkaline.

To get the blue/purple ones I have to buy them like that
 and keep them in pots....and constantly add acid amendments
 to keep them that way.

(Used coffee grounds and tea leaves make good acidic amends to soil.)

I love both colors, so it works for me.  

You will almost always find some birdhouses 
~real and decorative~  around Finch Rest!

Have been resting out panoramic pic taking -
 way too small and skinny but I liked the pic so including it.

This is the first time I've ever shown a pic at an angle
 good enough to see my white candle chandy.

I used our shabby shutters in place of my metal room divider -
which is now in our master bedroom.

I kept it simple because it just won't stop raining.
I haven't even bothered with my decorative pillows this year.

In the last 16 days it's rained 14 of them,
has rained all day today and supposed to rain for 9 more days.

Which is why we haven't been able to paint the wicker.
Which is why we haven't been able to do much of anything!

It's kept my violets alive though - usually they're long gone
with the hot sunny days - it's been super hot
 but not at all sunny, so they're holding on for dear life!

So there's my garden room tour-
the perfect place for tea sipping, visiting, 
reading, bird gazing, praying, resting......

So glad you came along for my little tour!

As always, thank you for your visit!