Friday, January 29, 2010

Blogger's Blurg

     It was a balmy 3 degrees Farenheit in my part of Vermont this morning. (That's -16.11111111111111 degrees celcius says the farenheit to celcius converter on the computer.) It warmed up to a breezy 7 degrees - and I mean BREEZY! (By the way, 7 degrees F equals -13.8888888 ... well, you get the idea.) Most importantly, today, it was sunny! It seems like the whole world has been cloudy for weeks now. It's been the perfect time to learn how to blog!

     A few years ago, I saw this wonderful idea for a winter planter in the December 2008 issue of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The basic premiss was to feed the birds. The picture they showed looked like it was from a sunnier clime but when it's frigidly cold like this, the need for bird charity seems keener. Well, this is my take on their idea.

The birds have loved it! I have loved seeing the birds but I haven't seen them for a while. (Too stormy?) Finally, today, with the sun, they've come back. Well, at least, I saw evidence that they'd been there ...

It looked as if Someone had taken a frosty, glittery bath

Actually, I think that this is more like a birdy landing pad.

I decided to set up my chair and to become a wildlife photographer but first, where in the world did I put my cup of tea?

I felt like Jeremy Fisher in that picture by Beatrix Potter, when he's sitting on the lily pad fishing and all of the minnows were jumping out of the water and laughing behind his back.  The birds flittered and twittered in the lilac branches having a grand time - just out of clear sight.

Finally, they came. There are sunflower seeds in the clay pots and millet spray nestled behind them. Then his friend visited too.

Finally, my favorite fella came. He usually likes to nestle right down into the pot like it's a nest and stay for a while.

Three visits to my site!

I've been focusing pretty intensely on learning how to use a computer and how to blog. I just installed a site counter so that I can know if any of you are out there somewhere and I've been looking up what a copyright means and, have you spotted the tools on my site? Tools on my blog of all things! (If you haven't spotted them, you could go on a "Where's Waldo" hunt.) Well, I need to figure out what to do with those too. I think that I have "Blogger's Blurg"! (Actually, I'm pretty sure I do because I have a numb bumm.) Therefore, after I finish this installment, I am going to go and check if I need to make a move in any of my computer Scrabble games and then hand the computer over to Tom to hide from me this weekend. THAT should cure me!

By the way, if you noticed the wintery scene at the beginning of this post, that was a crafty Christmas card from my son. I can't believe that I didn't include that as one of my "winterscapes" yesterday. (I love the art teacher at our school!)

Looking forward to a pleasant weekend,

Katy Noelle

P.S. "Great minds think alike", or so they say! One of the blogs that I follow is by Rhoda Parry, the editor of one of my favorite magazines, Country Homes and Interiors. She had concern for the birds today too. She has fun sharing the multitude of beautiful things that come her way and today, she showed us a very clever birdhouse. If you want to have a look, here's her link : 

Thursday, January 28, 2010


     It's a whitish gray day here in my world. Sometimes it's snowing, occasionally a watery sun glows through the hazy sky. As I look out my window now, the snow is a blur on the other side of the pane. It makes this side of the glass look very cozy indeed. Winterscapes are so elegantly beautiful!

     Here are some winterscapes that I've brought inside.

Has anyone else ever found themselves alone with a wardrobe and gone inside? (If you ever try it, remember that it is a very foolish thing to shut oneself completely in.) When I was young and lived at home, my parents bought an antique wardrobe to put in my bedroom. Finding myself all alone with it, I tried to go to Narnia; but, no matter how hard you wish, it only happens when you're not looking for it.

One of my most favorite and happy things to do is to set a beautiful table. I started doing this when I was in grade school. Because of my special love for this genre, my parents bought me a book by this lady that very few people had heard of. It was filled with wondrous ideas for special celebrations, parties and elegant table settings. It was called, Entertaining, and it was by a first time author named Martha Stewart. Ahhh! I remember when the world was new!

Bye for now,

Katy Noelle

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"I am excessively fond of a cottage. If I had any money to spare, I would build one myself!"

     I used to work in a British tea room in California where I grew up. It was a lot of fun and had such a beautiful atmosphere. When we (my Mom, sister and I) discovered the little beehive cottages tucked away in a magic pocket in downtown Pasadena, we were completely enthralled but didn't realize what a huge impact it would have on our life. For one, it introduced me to, and made me fall in love with quite a bit of British style. I don't mean to be an anglophile and I don't try to know everything about the British Isles. I just cannot help being deeply attracted to British culture, style and people. It's wonderful fun to me.

If you go to this page  and scroll down, you'll see a picture of the original cottages where we went for tea every Saturday afternoon when we were finished with our house cleaning chores. Happy memories and YUMMY tea and scones!

Well, one day when we were there, my Mom bought the most adorable tea pot in the style of a thatched cottage. I've been fascinated with it for probably twenty or so years now. I've hinted for ages to Tom that I'd love to collect them and wished that I had even one to call my own. What I wound up with was the card* that you see above to sigh over. Well, we can't have everything in this life.

As I mentioned in my last post, Tom bought me a gift certificate to the local Antiques center. Just look what I found on sale, buried in one of the stalls!

I'm still in learning mode. This style of tea pot is called "cottage ware" and this one comes from the Keele St. potteries in Staffordshire, England. Cottage Ware started being produced somewhere in the 1940s. The real point is that I love it!

     One of my very favorite things in this world are fabrics and china. I love pattern and color! (Does anyone else collect paint chips? Yum!) I can't wait to share more with you on that score and wait till you see what else I got with my gift card at the Antiques Center.

By the way, Freckles, our gracious old lady bunny has accepted baby Flopsy as her own. Wee baby bun is so happy to have a "family" again.

     So, with everything light and bright here, I have to move along and put those boxes of christmas things in the attic now.

With happiness,

Katy Noelle

P.S. Here is a link to Rose Tree Cottage! I love you Edmund and Mary - you'll never know how much you've meant in my life.

*Patti's Dresser. Photography Charlie Colmer

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Freshness after the storm

     It used to be that I thought it only properly festive to keep my Christmas tree up until after Valentine's day. I felt that it was a cheering presence to get us through the long, stark winter months; but, contrary to their promising name, pine trees, if we cut them down, are not evergreen. I guess I feel that I've waited so long for a holiday to arrive, it can't be over already. (Ask my husband, Tom, about the St. Patrick's day pumpkin.) My allergies, however, have helped me in the past few years to accept that once the tree gets that pungent, sickly, sweet smell, it's time to move on.

     This year, being slightly pressed for time, I had the marvelous and very dangerous idea to just take all of the ornaments off and put them away at a later date. So far they've survived and are carefully laid on a side table. I'm putting them in boxes today but felt like I have a little pile of treasure and thought that I'd share some pictures of them in an (after the storm) sunny spot.

     For Christmas this year, Tom gave me a gift certificate to the local "Stonehouse Antiques Center". It's so fun to dig through the stalls there and there are so many fun things that I want to take home with me. (Poor forlorn orphans - I love you!) I have a hard time, however, justifying those "extras" that my family doesn't really need. Gift Certificates yield so much freedom. I've picked out four things so far and have a little bit left on my account. Here's one of my finds - just look at what I got!

Vintage ornaments from Poland! I love that they're still in their first box with their original tissue paper and the old strings to hang them by. Not forlorn and abandoned anymore!

What's wonderful is that there's a very good chance that I'll forget all about them by next Christmas and when I open the box, what a happy surprise I"ll get! 

     Well, when I first started to take down the Christmas tree, I felt slightly traumatized. As I got further though, I started to feel that incredible sense of January freshness after the rich, breathless, tempestuousness and  glowing darkness of December. The fresh start doesn't come so much because it's a new year for me. (New year's day air feels the same as New Year's Eve air.) It's just that I've been so focused on what was before me (a mad rush through November to the end of December), that I've hardly had much time to think about what was coming next. Hence, I have a lovely blank slate that's full of hope.

     I had such a happy time today sitting in my sunny spot dreaming about what to do next and enjoying the peace and quiet after the storm. I'm wishing you a refreshing moment today too!

Katy Noelle

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunny Spots on a Rainy Day

It's a rainy day and I'm waiting for a sunny day to take a picture of one of my sunny spots. Happily, though, sunshine can come in many forms. Get ready for some vitamin D!

My first prototype for this blog was titled "Purple, Pups and Buns". Absolutely terrible! I was more worried about how to format than about what I was writing. Out just came three of the things that I think about most. I love everything purple, puppies (in canine or little boy form) and bunnies. I love other things as well, of course, but those three things were on my mind at that moment.

Here's an explanation of the bunny fixation:

I've had many bunnies in my life but this wee one is becoming my favorite of all time. What a personality. Innocent and outgoing and perky!

She was sitting on my hubbies lap and being petted and turned into bunny jell-o. She was so relaxed that she slid slowly off of his tummy onto her back and just lay there. She was still completely in dreamy land when I picked her up. I've never seen anything like it! Look at those furry feet!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christmas in January

All of the blogs and magazines seem to drop Christmas like a rock come the New Year but the reality is that many of us still have a huge Christmas presence still in our home - the Christmas Tree.

I had a revelation this year as I was decorating my tree. Although I am known as a musician and most people would guess that the love of my life is singing (barring family and friends and bunnies, of course), truly, I love to decorate as much as sing. Christmas trees are a full out opportunity to do just that (AND you can sing Christmas carols while you're at it!)

I don't know how to express how wonderful Christmas trees are but, I'll just point out that they pretty much call deep and universal "OHs" and "AHs" out of people. Kids love them and that should pretty much settle it because they haven't lost sight of what's wonderful and magic in this life. I rest my case. Anyway, you probably know what I'm talking about and I'm just arguing with myself.

Well, here's a few pictures of my beloved Christmas tree of 2009.

Love, Katy Noelle

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Brand Spankin' New

I'm brand new to the computer and am amazed at this world that has opened up. Full of perils and wonderful opportunity it is. 

I live hermited away in the countryside of New England, nestled at the bottom of a glorious, meadow covered hill in a high valley. I love my home and little world and it's hard to come down off the "hill" to the valleys below. This strange invention allows me to go anywhere I want without making me leave my Eden; but, you knew that already.

What is so amazing to me is that I could find such beautiful like minds who share a bit of their hearts and the things that are precious to them.  What I'm trying to say, is that this little electronic invention doesn't ONLY yield information, it can bring encouragement, refreshment, inspiration and friends! "What a fascinating modern age we live in!"

My inspiration for this is a blog, Curlew Country.  I just love to see what she's up to and thinking about. It's so much fun! Simply, honestly, I want to do the same.

I've also included two other links off to the right. The first one is to Rose Arbour, which is the tea room, gift shop and B&B that I came out from California to start. Now my sister, Suzy is in charge while I run after three boys. You can follow her link to see her gorgeous equine art.

So ... "here goes"!   testing, testing 123 ... is anybody out there?

Katy Noelle