Image

Green Tea, Black Coffee

Tags

, , , ,

Some days I like my tea green and my coffee black. Straight up, no fuss.

Green and black succulents, tea and coffee style.

I wrote a menu

Tags

, , ,

It’s for a restaurant in my imagination. Outside, surrounded by trees and mountains and seas. The rush of wind and fall of water.
Whole Earth.
Five Courses – Water, Field, Tree, Rain and Root.

A menu for Whole Earth, a restaurant in my imagination.

A menu for Whole Earth, a restaurant in my imagination.

What limits your dreams? What stops you? What if you never quit? In addition to a dozen other professions out of my reach, such as surgeon, lawyer, scientist, glass blower, architect and machine engineer.. I would love to be a chef. Here is a menu for my non-existent restaurant, Whole Earth, with some of the courses. Don’t ever let anyone stop your imagination. You never know how far it will reach.

The rest of the hearts

Tags

, , , , ,

On Instagram this month, I posted a heart a day, #amonthofhearts. AllSparkledUpDesign . Part way through the month, I wondered if I would have the stamina and commitment to finish. Some of these took hours to complete. The discipline of taking a creative photo every day for a whole month taught me so much.
~ You never know you can do something until you try.
~ Don’t give up. Just keep going.
~ God has millions of ideas. Scripture says God is the author of all inspiration. If you hang out with him, you’ll find that out.
~ Don’t over think it. Sometimes what you do doesn’t have to be big or loud or even shared. God enjoys the flowers blooming deep in a jungle, unseen by humans, the songs of birds unheard by ears. Some creativity is just for your and his enjoyment. It’s ok. Slow down, breathe deep.
~ I had more ideas for hearts than I had days in the month. So I’m hoping to do this next February too.
Today is Day 28, the end of the month of hearts. Here are the remaining heart photos I posted on Instagram. Enjoy!

15.

Date Marmelade Scone and Turkish Coffee

Date Marmelade Scone and Turkish Coffee

16.

French Beaded Flowers.

French Beaded Flowers.

17.

Pennyslvania Dutch Heart. I'm still not finished with this one.

Pennyslvania Dutch Heart. I’m still not finished with this one.

18.

Our Siamese kitten and her favorite stuffie and scarf.

Our Siamese kitten and her favorite stuffie and scarf.

19.

Marble Heart.

Marble Heart.

20.

Coffee Heart in a cup I used as a child.

Coffee Heart in a cup I used as a child.

21.

Peach Walnut Flip. I usually bake this in a U-shape but twisted the ends to form a heart this time.

Peach Walnut Flip. I usually bake this in a U-shape but twisted the ends to form a heart this time.

22.

The old Remington Portable typewriter was really fun to use for the typed heart. I had forgotten how noisy but charming a typewriter sounds!

The old Remington Portable typewriter was really fun to use for the typed heart. I had forgotten how noisy but charming a typewriter sounds!

23.

A heart of Charms. Some from my childhood, some from my husband's family, some from my mom and grandmother.

A heart of Charms. Some from my childhood, some from my husband’s family, some from my mom and grandmother.

24.

I really didn't want this month to be about sweets. But... Chocolates!!!

I really didn’t want this month to be about sweets. But… Chocolates!!!

25.

Orange Ginger Cake. I didn't write down the recipe as I made it up. It was scrumptious!

Orange Ginger Cake. I didn’t write down the recipe as I made it up. It was scrumptious!

26.

I was feeling so rushed but decided there WAS enough time. And there was! I just had to believe it and it happened.

I was feeling so rushed but decided there WAS enough time. And there was! I just had to believe it and it happened.

27.

I drew this four times before I decided to just let it go and do it freehand. Words of wisdom from I Corinthians, chapter 13.

I drew this four times before I decided to just let it go and do it freehand. Words of wisdom from I Corinthians, chapter 13.

28.

For the very last heart, I made a paper cutting. So simple and yet so deep. Love them all, ALL of them.

For the very last heart, I made a paper cutting. So simple and yet so deep. Love them all, ALL of them.

A Charming Heart

Tags

, , , ,

On Instagram this month, I am posting a heart a day, #amonthofhearts. AllSparkledUpDesign . Today is Day 23 and I thought it would be fun to share the full size image here. I’ve had most of these charms since my childhood and some go back to my mother’s childhood. Some are old Cracker Jack prizes, some are homemade. My granddaughter and I spent a couple enjoyable hours placing these charms in heart shape for this photo. Click on the image to access the full size. At the end of the month, I’ll post the rest of the photos here as well. Enjoy!

A heart of charms. Can you find two toucans? A mouse with no tail? Two boxes of teeny tiny roses? Ken's missing sock? A Real Wicker Basket? A sphygmomenometer?

A heart of charms. Can you find two toucans? Three trains? A mouse with no tail? Two boxes of teeny tiny roses? A roll of paper towels? Barney Rubble? An old iron trivet? Ken’s missing sock? A Real Wicker Basket? Sparkly ballet slippers? A sphygmomenometer?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tags

, , , , ,

If you follow me on Instagram, AllSparkledUpDesign, you know I’m posting A Month of Hearts. Today is Day 14 and there are 14 days of hearts to go! Here are the hearts I’ve posted so far. Make sure you check instagram so you can read all the captions that go with these photos. Love to you all!

1

1-peach-valentine-box-6144

Pink Lace candy box

2

Candle-lit heart

Candle-lit heart

3

Real, edible, miniature chocolates.

Real, edible, miniature chocolates.

4

Mercury glass heart and pearls.

Mercury glass heart and pearls.

5

Beaded Heart, neat and tidy

Beaded Heart, neat and tidy


Beaded Heart, wild and unkempt

Beaded Heart, wild and unkempt

6

Circuitry Heart

Circuitry Heart

7

Welded Heart

Welded Heart

8

Tiny Raggedy Ann and Andy

Tiny Raggedy Ann and Andy


Tiny Raggedy Ann with her ILY heart

Tiny Raggedy Ann with her ILY heart

9

Vintage Valentines

Vintage Valentines

10

Ribbon Flower velvet candy box.

Ribbon Flower velvet candy box.

11

Silk Ribbon Embroidered heart box.

Silk Ribbon Embroidered heart box.

12

Stone and Crystal Heart.

Stone and Crystal Heart.

13

Pink Ribbon Flowers.

Pink Ribbon Flowers.

14 Happy Valentine’s Day!

Two swans heart.

Two swans heart.

We got a Siamese kitten!

Tags

, , , ,

She’s adorable! She was from a shelter and it was love at first sight.
1-coco-jan-7-1

2-coco-and-her-stuffie

3-coco-and-her-stuffie

4-coco-and-stuffie-sleep

Our Siamese kitten has a little stuffed Siamese kitten. How cute is that! The stuffie was from American Girl and our kitten instantly adopted it.
5-coco-with-her-stuffie-5998

6-coco

7-coco

8-coco-and-her-stuffie

9-coco-and-her-stuffie

10-coco-and-her-stuffie

11-coco-and-her-stuffie

12-our-siamese-kitten-and-her-siamese-kitten-stuffie

♡❤♡❤♡❤♡❤♡❤♡

I went treasure hunting… INSIDE an old quilt!

Tags

, , ,

We’ve had this quilt for about 30 years. We know who made it but the history of the quilt is now lost.

The old red, white and blue quilt.

The old red, white and blue quilt.

The quilt was mostly just displayed folded or kept in a box. When I got it out the other day, I noticed a new tear in the fabric. I looked closer and then peeked into the tear and was amazed that there was another quilt inside the old quilt! I know quilts have been “recycled” like this for centuries but had no idea the older quilt existed.

I carefully removed the hand stitched binding from one edge of the quilt and turned the quilt inside out to see the old quilt. What a beautiful surprise!

This old quilt is actually inside the red, white and blue quilt, which has been turned inside out.

This old quilt is actually inside the red, white and blue quilt, which has been turned inside out.

Such pretty fabrics!

old-quilt-3

old-quilt-4

old-quilt-5

old-quilt-6-b

old-quilt-7

There is significant damage in several places of the old quilt. But I find the worn spots warm and charming, much like the tattered sections of old jeans. It’s a sign of having lived fully.

The tattered sections of the quilt are beautiful to me.

The tattered sections of the quilt are beautiful to me.

The next quilt I make will have intentional peeks at the insides. It's all beautiful.

The next quilt I make will have intentional peeks at the insides. It’s all beautiful.

old-quilt-10

old-quilt-11

old-quilt-12

old-quilt-13

old-quilt-14

I think I’ll leave the red, white and blue quilt side turned inside for a while and enjoy this lovely pastel beauty for a while.

quilt-desktop-15

 

 

 

Succulent Garden

Tags

, , , ,

I made my first succulent garden! My mom gave me some of the succulents so long ago that they were starting to root into the paper towel on the plate. I got most of the others from Homewood Nursery.1-succulent-arrangement-materials

The platter is actually a big, heavy plant saucer, 14″ in diameter. Since it was so shallow, I decided to build a little stone wall in order to build up the soil. The stones used for the wall were all gathered from my back yard. Since the edge of the saucer was curved, I had to hot-glue the stones to keep them from sliding in to the center of the plate. It only took a small amount of glue to hold them together. I planned on using a cement filler between the stones but ended up not using it.2-succulent-arrangement-stone-wall

Since the saucer has no drainage, I covered the bottom with more stones.3-succulent-arrangement-stone-drainage

A layer of bonsai soil was spread over the stones. Not shown is a very thin scattering of charcoal to help with drainage.
4-succulent-arrangement-layer-of-bonsai-soil
A thicker layer of cactus/succulent soil was placed on top, with a little more bonsai soil mixed in. I also arranged and glued more rocks to make another wall on top of the soil, then built up more soil inside to give the arrangement height.5-succulent-arrangement-layer-of-cactus-succulent-soil

Not all the succulents got used.6-succulent-arrangement-planting-finished
I’m so happy with how this turned out since it the first time I planted succulents.7-succulent-arrangement
8-succulent-arrangement

9-succulent-arrangement

10-succulent-arrangement

11-succulent-arrangement

12-succulent-arrangement

13-succulent-arrangement

14-succulent-arrangement

15-succulent-arrangement

16-succulent-arrangementI got a container of “vase filler” from Target and sorted through to pull out all the black stones and light stones. The black stones were used on and near the elevated area in the center of the arrangement. The light stones were used everywhere else.17-succulent-arrangement

This dish is beautiful but I weighed it and it’s very heavy… 22 lbs! Wow! It’s definitely not a casual arrangement I will be moving often. But today, I’m really enjoying it on my dining room table.18-succulent-arrangement

Don’t miss it

Tags

, , , , ,

Yesterday I took a poinsettia outside to shake out the dead leaves. One leaf from the poinsettia had fallen. And then it rained during the night.

The day was busy but from the dining room, the tiny sparkle caught my eye.

The poinsettia leaf was no longer on the plant. During the night, it rained.

The poinsettia leaf was no longer on the plant. During the night, it rained.

I looked closer and it was even sparklier.

The poinsettia leaf had fallen but it was still good for something. It held rain.

The poinsettia leaf had fallen but it was still good for something. It held rain.

What are you missing today? Is there something you need to look at? What is tiny and quiet that you forgot? Love it all. And if you’re what has fallen, collect light from where you are.

Even a fallen leaf can still be bright. Don't waste anything, even hitting bottom.

Even a fallen leaf can still be bright. Don’t waste anything, even hitting bottom.

Never give up.

A Warm Winter Game Weekend

Tags

, , , ,

I’ve wanted to host a game night for a while but everyone’s schedules were really busy. So we freed up the whole weekend and let the gatherings happen when they could. What fun!

First of all, I wanted warmth and light. Right after Christmas is always so dreary. All the prettiness of Christmas is packed away and all that’s left is cold. So I did a little searching and gathered a bit of warmth from around the world.

First and most important, there had to be fur from Russia.
1-winter-game-weekend-fur-throws
I have a large fur throw in the living room but needed something smaller for the dining room chairs. I found the perfect fur at JoAnn fabrics and made two throws from 1.5 yards of fur to drape over the backs of the chairs.

I adore knits from Scandinavia and found a beautiful heavy knit, also at JoAnn Fabrics. 1.5 yards made two more comfy throws for the chairs. I also used another yard of fur and a lovely wool throw that a friend had given me.

On one chair is a pillow I made using Floral Wood Carving Stripe fabric from Spoonflower.  2 carved wood flower stripe fabric pillow.jpg Roostery sells premade pillows using the wood carving fabric too. The wood buttons were fun to carve while watching Gilmore Girls. :) 3-hand-carved-wood-buttons

On the table, more softness. “Go ahead and put your elbows on this table!” Oh the softness! 4 Winter Game Weekend soft table.jpg

I’ve never leaned on a table so soft that your elbows sink in, and there are no words to describe how comforting this is!!! If you want your guests to linger, you’ve GOT to try it!

To get it soft enough, I used these layers: Felt-backed plastic tablecloth, cotton table cloth, fluffy old blanket, chenille bedspread-turned into a tablecloth and a thick cotton throw. 5 Winter Game Weekend table throws and blankets.jpg

Our table belonged to my grandparents. Decades of love and laughter have taken place around this table. The only thing I’d change is if it were a trestle table with rounded corners and center pedestal so we could fit more people around it without bumping the table legs. My father made the family trestle table and I’ve always wanted one. This trestle table is beautiful! But really, all these tables are gorgeous here.

The first two nights I used the white bedspread/tablecloth as the top layer. The last night I put the maroon spread on top. You simply must try this! Make sure you use washable throws though, in case there are crumbs and spills. From now on, I’m going to be watching for thick, washable throws that can be layered on tables. I might even make one for my desk. Yes! … um… zzzz…. maybe too much comfort for a desk… ;)

For lighting, I wired old chandelier crystals and glass icicle ornaments to the light fixture. The crystals were salvaged from a family heirloom and I cherish them so much. 6 Winter Game Weekend icy chandelier.jpg They add a delightful sparkle and look quite wintery.

7 Winter Game Weekend chandelier with crystals.jpg Two corners of the dining room have lamps. The terrarium is still unfinished, tied together with cord but the plants are growing fine. They’re over a year old now. I finished all the carving but have yet to cut the wood base, glue it all together and line it with copper. The glass top of the terrarium is the old dining room light fixture that we removed when we bought this house.

8 light fixture and wood carved terrarium.jpg I also keep white mini lights on top of the china cabinet and dining room bookcase until winter is past. To me, mini lights don’t remind me of Christmas, they mean health and well-being. The more light in winter, the better!

While visiting my daughter in Tokyo, I learned about Japanese tables that were warmed underneath. What a great concept! To mimic the comfort of a kotatsu, I put an electric blanket under the table to tuck our stocking feet into. 9 Winter Game Weekend electric blanket floor.jpg

On the table I put a beautiful leaf plate from Arhaus. It was perfect for holding cookies – German Springerli and Viennese Chocolate Hazelnut Crescents.10 Winter Game Weekend Springerli Chocolate Hazelnut Crescents.jpg

One of my sons made me a gorgeous chalkboard tray for Christmas. He did a beautiful job on it! It was jolly fun writing on the tray, playing tic tac to and keeping score. 11 Winter Game Weekend Arhaus leaf bowl.jpg

We warmed our hands on cups of rich cocoa, Swiss chocolate of course. 12 Winter Game Weekend Chalkboard Tray.jpg

Friday night was just the girls. We played Old Maid, the very cards that I used in my childhood in the 60’s. So much fun!! 13 Winter Game Weekend playing Old Maid.jpg It had been so many years since I played with those cards. There was Fifi and her poodle, Greenthumb Gert, whose plantings were being nibbled up by rabbits as fast as she planted them, and Milkman Mo with his begging cats. Love the humor in these old cards, which probably would be deemed totally “politically incorrect” now-adays. 14 Winter Game Weekend vintage Old Maid cards.jpg

Saturday night, children and adults together played Clue. We did our best using  English accents and Oh the mystery and laughter!

15-winter-game-weekend-clueMiss Peacock, how can you be capable of such a deed! Mr Plum’s strategy was quite scientific. And Colonel Mustard actually held the pistol and knife. This view of the chandelier is only possible if you’re a game piece lying in the billiard room. haha 16-winter-game-weekend-professor-plum-looks-up

One of my favorite warming strategies was loading fireplace videos on tablets and displaying them in the bottom of the china cabinet. Fire where there is never any fire!  17-winter-game-weekend-china-cabinet-fireplace I sure wish some company would create a mini fake fire device that could play a simple, looping fire video like this and fit in a small space like a china cabinet. I would buy several in a heartbeat. Fire amongst the plants in the living room? Yes! Fire on my nightstand as I go to sleep? Yes! The last time we had a fake fire was when we made a fireplace in the oven. There’s something comforting about flame, even if it’s fake.

Sunday night’s beer and poker game ended up being postponed because the flu visited. Alas. But even as I write this, I’m feeling quite toasty. The throws are still on the chairs and I feel the warmth radiating against my back. My laptop is set up on this table and my arms are leaning in on the softness as I type. A Winter Game Weekend after Christmas has definitely become a tradition in our home.

18-winter-game-weekend-all-the-best-of-the-worlds-warmth