Tuesday, May 7, 2024

ALL THE LITTLE FLOWERS...






Yesterday we had rain. 

 Yes, we did.  

Last night we were supposed to have snow. 

 No, we didn't. 

 Today we have sunshine again. 

 So far we still are.

  The weather score card is hard to keep up with

 and is not something you can count on.





As of last week, 

we had a wonderful view through lace curtains 

and thought the upcoming weekend could include 

a fun trip to the nursery 

for a head start on some summer color 

but, instead,

 the lilac bush which was full of beautiful blooms, 

was barely holding up under rain and wind

 and the Cecil Brunner was wishing,

 I'm sure,

 it had stayed under cover a while longer.




In honor of spring 

our little town has decorated the main street 

and it really looks pretty. 

 During the height of Covid,

 restaurants added tables on the sidewalk

 so that they wouldn't have to close their doors. 

 It was well received

 so it was decided to close off the whole street, permanently,

 by adding cobblestones, planters 

and places to walk, shop and dine without cars. 

 The only problem is

 that parking is limited around the area 

so don't know how it will hold up over the long run. 

 My friends and I don't go to lunch

 in the downtown area for that reason.




Corn Flowers 

but I grew up calling them Bachelor Buttons


Nothing too exciting going on around here

 so I have been practicing painting...




I have tried tulips many times 

and only have this one to show for it.




I think I am getting the hang of the sunflower

 but know this can be much better.



 California poppies

 in case you were wondering.



Hydrangea

my favorite so far.



I think I enjoy painting Bachelor Buttons the best.


At least I am drawing them all freehand now. 

 If that means I'm improving, I'll take it. 

 It seems to be three steps forward 

and one step back 

but it still is a fun way to spend my time.


Have a wonderful week.


...xxoJudy...




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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

STANDING ON THE CORNER...







"Standing on the corner 

watching all the girls cars go by"

The Captain said these words this morning,

 "Rugby and I are going to go stand on the corner 

and watch all the cars go by" 

which made me think of this old Dean Martin song. 

 Of course, one word in the title of the song is changed from the original

 but in my mind it made sense for the title of this post.





We, as a neighborhood,

 have been trying for the last few years

 to get the city to do something on our street 

to slow the traffic down. 

 I guess it was named Race Street for a reason. 

 We pleaded, to no avail, for speed bumps. 

 They did stencil 25 mph on the street, 

which was washed off when the first rains came, 

and installed a few signs saying slow down, 

but when you are pushing a large vehicle 

at a high rate of speed 

who has time to read some silly little sign?

  In the last month 

they started digging up the asphalt 

and we were all excited to see what was happening 

and when we found out

 they were putting in a speed bump AND a crosswalk,

 we were overjoyed. 

 With all the on and off again rains

 it was a longer process

 but yesterday it finally was finished.




The speed bump IS the crosswalk. 

 The city workers put big bright orange signs 

up and down the street saying "BUMP"

 so for now, cars are slowing down, 

just dipping their toes in the water

 to see how it feels to go over a speed bump, 

but by the looks of things 

I give them a few days to get used to it

 and then move back to their old ways...! 

 As you can see,

 after the speed bump, in both directions, 

there is a long stretch of street 

where you can make up any time

 that you might have lost

 slowing down for the bump 

and drivers have already figured that one out! 

 I don't think it will make a very strong statement when it comes to solving the problem.

  Hopefully, I'm wrong, but we shall see.




In other news, 

the front garden is greening up nicely.  

We are having some nice weather now 

so with the amount of rain that we had

 plus the sun shining brightly in between, 

the weeds are coming out in full force also.


"Weeds are flowers too, 

once you get to know them."

Winnie The Pooh, A.A. Milne



In spite of the weeds,

 the Valerian is bursting out in blooms...



...the Old School Phlox 

is a mass of green before

 the white clouds of flowers come on...



...the dainty Lily of the Valley 

is beginning to peek out of the green leaves...



...the Lady Banks is starting to shine...



...Cecil Brunner is soaking up the sunshine...



...and above them all

is the gorgeous lilac

 starting to show off.



Before all of the above happened

 the buds of the Lady Banks

 were peeking into the parlor window. 

I thought this shot was interesting 

as it shows the flaws in the original Cottage windows. 

 Most of the Cottage's windows are still original 

and even though it is not exactly energy efficient,

 they are just too wonderful to change. 

 Some "old" features need to be changed, 

but, in my opinion,

 this is not one of them.




The blooms on the inside of the Cottage

 are coming forth

 and I have chosen a new pillow cover

 with the prettiest and cheerful 

embroidered daisies on it...




...another happy purchase from Temu

 with a $6 price tag.


I started putting this post together a few days ago

 and, guess what, 

the weather is still beautiful and sunny. 

 We might have made it after all.


Have a wonderful week.


...xxoJudy...





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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A RAINY DAY KITCHEN...






Two steps forward and three steps back. 

 That seems to be the name of the Spring Game.

  You all seemed to enjoy our big red camellia bush

 so I thought I would pick some to bring inside

 to show you how they would brighten up the kitchen. 

 It was a very sunny day when I did that 

and by the time I was ready to take a photo,

 the sun had disappeared and the rain came down.





The lighting was so bad 

that you really couldn't tell 

exactly what color the flowers were

 so, I thought about the pretty 

red and white checked tablecloth 

that I used at Christmas

 and thought that might do the trick

 of brightening the room up...





...it helped a little but just not enough.





By this time, 

the camellias were falling off the stems 

and it was too wet to venture out to pick some more

 so, I added a few faux red poppies 

that I had stowed away 

and that seemed to do the trick.






"There's no use in grumbling

When the rain drops come tumbling

Remember, you are the one

Who can fill the world with sunshine. 

When you smile and you sing 

Everything is in tune and it's spring

And life flows along

With a smile and a song."

A Smile and a Song Published in 1937

By Frand Churchill and Larry Morey

Performed by Adriana Caselotti in the 1937 Disney movie, 

Snow White and the Seven Drawfs


Have a wonderful week.


...xxoJudy...




A little bit of sunshine

 on a painted piece of paper.


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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

SNOW IN SPRINGTIME...

 





This was my view out of the

 kitchen window the other morning. 

 Quite a difference from last week 

but just as beautiful.

  I guess the small amount of spring 

we have been lucky to experience so far 

has changed my perspective on things.

  I don't mind a little change in the weather 

as I know the worst of it 

is in my rearview mirror...




...and for now,

 I am very happy to see

 little bright spots of pink 

peeking out through the sprinter landscape.




Growing Floret

 is starting a new season on Magnolia Network. 

 For anyone who loves to grow a garden, 

even if it is only in their heads (like me)

 and in their hearts (like me)

 this show is a must see. 

 First of all, the flowers are so beautiful 

and the photography is stunning. 

 The keepers of this wonderful property, 

Erin, her husband and crew,

 are such caring and talented people

 with a very down to earth and well managed approach to flower farming.  

The viewer is transported along the journey 

with the tiny seedlings 

and all of the worst and best scenarios

 that can happen

 during their growing process, and

to the most gorgeous display of Erin

 walking the rows of her fields

 with a large armload of the rewarding outcome. 

 It is a treat to listen and to see

 how Erin's thought process is played out in the way

 that she learns the right thing to do for the flowers 

and in the way that she cares 

about sharing them with the world.  

As I mentioned, the photography, done by her husband, is so stunning

 and I highly recommend the show to anyone who is

 a lover of all things beautiful and heartfelt. 





This is my first try at painting 

from a real live subject.  

This Vinca flower, which I grew up calling Myrtle, grows along the edge of our garden. 

I am happier with the outcome

 than I have been with any other attempt...

 




...and this rose is a little more to my liking also. 
 Just two more practice pieces
 that will help in the grand scheme of things.
 

Hope you are lucky enough

 to have a little springtime where you are 

without an earthquake! 

 What's up with that?

 Last Thursday we felt a pretty hard jolt 

from one that was a few counties over 

then I saw all kinds of reports 

from all over the place.

Come on Mother Nature! 

 Your only job is to bring springtime on now!


...xxoJudy...




A photograph of lilacs from the book,

 Floret Farms, A Year in Flowers, 

Erin Benzakein.


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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

THE COLORS OF SPRING...

 




On Easter Sunday 

we had a small amount of rain earlier in the day 

but early evening brought a stunning pink sky

 that lit the Cottage from within with a rosy glow 

and that continued on the next day 

with blue skies and sunshine. 

 April showers are sure to come, 

but this was a beautiful part of the process.




This is one of our four camellia bushes 

that are in bloom now. 

 It stands against the side of the garage 

at the end of the Secret Garden. 

 I don't know how old it is but 

it was this large when we bought the Cottage

 over 30 years ago.





I showed this photo of the bunny painting 

in my Easter post. 

 I had first seen a similar one on Antique Farmhouse and fell in love with it, 

but not with the price tag 

which was pushing $90.   

Are you familiar with Temu? 

  I had seen it on Pinterest 

but, frankly, thought it might be

 a shopping experience better left alone!  

The first time I saw this item...




 ...around Christmas time,

 I debated over it a long while. 

 I really thought it was cute but, again, would it just be some cheap item that was better off left alone?

  I decided to send for it anyway as it was only $12 

and so didn't have much to lose.  

When it arrived I was really flabbergasted.  

 I just couldn't get enough of looking at it. 

 It is well made out of a kind of balsa wood 

but sturdy enough and the details are very sharp. 

 The colors were wonderful

 and when I put the batteries in 

it shines beyond belief.

  I ended up ordering Tami and Jacenda each one for Christmas. 




 Back to the bunny picture...  

When it popped up on the Temu site

 I couldn't believe it. 

 The fact is, it is smaller

 than the one on Antique Farmhouse

 but with a much smaller price tag,

 everything else looks exactly the same.  

Here, again, it is well made and very cute

and......the price was also $12! 

(I clicked on the site

 just to make sure I am giving the right address 

and I see the price is down to $9 now)

  Not everything is $12 on the Temu site 

https://www.temu.com/

but prices seem to be very reasonable. 

and I will be ordering again 

when something takes my fancy. 

 I am not being compensated

 for anything I say about the Company

 but am happy with their products and their service.




I have been practicing painting 

and even though I think I might be improving,

 that isn't always the case.

  I am still having trouble

 doing leaves for some reason, 

but I keep trying.


Hope you all had a Happy Easter.


...xxoJudy...





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