Friday Featured Art: Sandpit Near Abinger, Surrey

Today's piece is by George Price Boyce: Sandpit Near Abinger, Surrey. If you look closely, you can see a tiny bunny in the lower left corner. Happy New Year!


Thursday Tunes: Lord of All Hopefulness

Tony found this hymn on iTunes, and it's just lovely.



You may have heard that Kate Middleton was once a buyer for Jigsaw, the British clothing company. They're rather expensive, but their web site offers a lot of good ideas! I really love the embellished cardigans.


Norden Gateleg Table

My little desk in my craft room is apparently not sturdy enough to hold my sewing machine, so I may have to find a new option. I really like this Norden table from IKEA. It is solid wood, and the sides can fold out for extra space!


Tote Bag

When I went shopping for Christmas with a friend from church, we went to the Crate and Barrel outlet in Naperville. My best find was some Marimekko fabric that was on sale. They sell scraps for 95 cents a pound. And I got this cute tartan for $5 a yard. I adapted a tote bag pattern from Martha's Encyclopedia of Sewing to make this large bag. As mentioned previously, I really love yellow and grey together.


Friday Featured Art: The Three Wise Men

Today's image is The Three Wise Men by Minerva Teichert. Have a very merry Christmas!!


Thursday Tunes: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Last year we heard the UK version of O Little Town of Bethlehem, and we really love it. It is the same tune as I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly in the LDS Hymn Book.


Ruffled Cardigan

When I was at JoAnn's the other day, I found some cute yellow trim. I thought it might perk up my old grey cardigan, so I bought some and sewed it around the neck. I really love grey and yellow as a color combination.


Chair Project

I was realizing that I never posted the end of my chair project... Here is my little thrift store chair with a new Joel Dewberry fabric seat. I also made a ruffled pillow to match.


Koh-i-Noor Diamond

I recently read a book about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and learned about the Koh-i-Noor diamond. Queen Victoria wore it to the Great Exhibition of 1851. It later became part of the crown jewels and is currently housed in the Tower of London. Its story is pretty fascinating.


Friday Featured Art: Arthur and Lucia Mathews

When we were at the Art Institute on Saturday, I came across something by Lucia Mathews. What a great discovery! She and her husband, Arthur, were artists in San Francisco in the early 1900s. This top piece is Youth, by Arthur Mathews. The bottom with poppies is by Lucia.


Thursday Text: A Winter Night

Here's another season-appropriate poem by Sara Teasdale: A Winter Night.

My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold to-night,
The moon is cruel, and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

God pity all the homeless ones,
The beggars pacing to and fro.
God pity all the poor to-night
Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

My room is like a bit of June,
Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
But somewhere, like a homeless child,
My heart is crying in the cold.



Did you know that there's a name for those little feather hat things that Kate Middleton and other Brits wear? They're called fascinators. I think they're kind of fun, but I doubt that the trend will catch on over here. Here's a cute one that I found on Etsy.



Last week I went with a friend from church to Archiver's, the scrapbook store. It was fabulous. I don't really scrapbook, but I bought a ton of paper for other crafting. I especially liked the things by October Afternoon. I got some of their cute "Thrift Shop" paper and some great two-sided travel cards. Now I need to get crafting!


Merz Apothecary

We were in Chicago Saturday night for a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert. It was cold and rainy, but it was so much fun. Everyone was out doing their Christmas shopping. Macy's on State was especially busy (and festive!). They used to have a section called Merz Apothecary on the main level, but we found out that they've moved to a new location at the Palmer House. We liked the new space, and we bought some delightful fig and almond soap!


Friday Featured Art: Holiday Thorne Rooms

For the holidays, the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute are decorated all festively. It's fascinating to me that they open the rooms and clean things and move things around, etc. We'll be checking out this seasonal display the next time we're in the city.


Thursday Tunes: 'Til Kingdom Come

I was listening to Coldplay's X&Y CD the other day. It's one of my favorites of theirs. I really like 'Til Kingdom Come.

Still my heart and hold my tongue
I feel my time, my time has come
Let me in, unlock the door
I've never felt this way before

And the wheels just keep on turning
The drummer begins to drum
I don't know which way I'm going
I don't know which way I've come

Hold my head inside your hands
I need someone who understands
I need someone, someone who hears
For you, I've waited all these years

For you I'd wait 'til kingdom come
Until my day, my day is done
And say you'll come and set me free
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me

In your tears and in your blood
In your fire and in your flood
I hear you laugh, I heard you sing
I wouldn't change a single thing

And the wheels just keep on turning
The drummers begin to drum
I don't know which way I'm going
I don't know what I'll become

For you I'd wait 'til kingdom come
Until my days, my days are done
And say you'll come and set me free
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me.

Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me.
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me.


Brooks Brothers Madison

Brooks Brothers has a new fragrance. It's called Madison, and it comes with a sparkly lamb charm. I picked up a small one at the outlets yesterday - so cute (and nice smelling)!


Christmas Tree

We are still undecided about whether to get a real or "fake" Christmas tree. I have always loved real trees and think that if you get one from a local farm that replants each year, that's the best way to go (especially if you get the tree mulched after the holidays). My husband feels really badly about chopping down a 5-year-old tree (or older) for just a few weeks. We've been looking into artificial options, but most of them are made of PVC and/or contain lead. I'm still not sure what we'll do this year, but this fresh balsam arrangement from L.L. Bean is a cute option!


Royal Crown Derby

I've been thinking about china again. Royal Crown Derby has some really incredible pieces. I like these patterns - Darley Abbey for the two top, and Posie on the bottom. Completely out of my price range, though (ever). By the way, they're already offering commemorative pieces for the royal wedding...


Friday Featured Art: Isaak Levitan

When we were at the library doing some research for one of my classes, Tony found a book of Isaak Levitan's art. I had never heard of him before, but he's a Russian landscape painter. I really liked this piece. It's gotten cold and snowy over the past two days here, and I think these frosty trees are so beautiful.


Thursday Text: Classic Interior Design

Today's text is mostly a picture book. I recently ordered Classic Interior Design by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill (daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough). It's very beautiful. The subtitle is Using Period Features in Today's Home, but most reviewers agree that the homes pictured are not what most of us would think of as "Today's Home." They are really incredible spaces.


Zions Mercantile

Have you seen the Zions Mercantile products at Deseret Book? I really want a set of these beehive dishes. They are beautiful.


Martha Punches

Sorry for not posting yesterday! I was still in vacation mode... Have you seen the "punch around the page" sets from Martha? They make some really cute borders. I was excited to find a set on clearance at Michael's. I can't wait to use it!


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Alfred Stark

I mentioned a two-man show that they had at the art gallery at the college last week. Well, one of the artists was Alfred Stark, who also happens to have a shop on Etsy. His lovely woodcuts are usually based on nature. Isn't this downy woodpecker so cute? And how about the baby robin?



Happy Thanksgiving! It truly is one of our favorite holidays. Today we'll be enjoying roast turkey breast from Whole Foods and time with each other. I hope you'll be enjoying today, too.


Buri Animals Christmas Ornaments

These little ornaments are so adorable. They're from Martha's collection at Macy's. Forest critters are a great way to dress up a Christmas tree.


The Swan

I love having the Turner Classic Movies channel. The other day I saw part of The Swan with Grace Kelly. I didn't see enough to catch the story, but I did see the dresses. Beautiful.


John Derian

I'm sure many of you have seen John Derian's stuff at Target. (I know Sara got some cute tumblers.) I found a cool binder and some stationery on clearance last week. His official web site has some beautiful things, like this giant hare serving tray or some bookish wrapping paper.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: The Bee & Nie

Have you seen this fantastic Etsy shop? The Bee & Nie sends 50% of their proceeds to the Maricopa Burn Foundation in honor of Stephanie Nielson. They have some really cute items. I ordered the bee themed kit. I really like the cupcake wrappers, too!


Thursday Text: Thoreau

Our little college is having a two-man show at their art gallery that consists mostly of nature-inspired woodblock prints. It is lovely. One of the things that I really liked about it was a quote on the wall by Thoreau:

You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.

We have had many wildlife encounters in our family that make me believe this to be true.


Finding Neverland

I recently got Finding Neverland on iTunes. It's one of my favorite Kate Winslet movies. It is exquisite (and sad). Such a beautiful film.


Garrard Jewellers

Garrard is the official jewellers to British royalty and claims to be the world's oldest jewellers. Some of their famous pieces include crowns for Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, engagement rings for Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, and the Premier League trophy. They have a beautiful web site.

{P.S. I wrote this post before seeing the announcement of Prince William & Kate Middleton's engagement. Exciting!}


Antique Silver Jewelry Box

Here's another fantastic item from Pottery Barn. You can't see the smaller box very well, but I love how the pieces are tacked onto the linen backing using ribbon. Very elegant.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Snapcrafty

I've gotten some cute things from Snapcrafty on Etsy recently. She has a lot of vintage-looking plastic flower cabochons and some great findings (like these darling bobby pins).


Thursday Tunes: Quiet City

We went to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Saturday. The whole program was Copland. The first number was Quiet City, one that my husband really likes.



When we were in Cleveland, we stopped in a nut store that also sold candy and got some of these chocolate-peanut butter buckeyes. The Anthony-Thomas company is from Columbus, but of course we thought it was especially funny because Anthony Thomas is my husband's name!


Scarf How-To

Sorry I missed yesterday! We were in Cleveland for part of last week, and I'm still catching up around here... While we were in Cleveland, we went to an incredible 2-story, chandeliered version of Brooks Brothers. I'm not a scarf wearer, but sometimes I wonder if I should be. They seem like a great accessory, and there are some very pretty ones out there. To learn how to tie a scarf in a jaunty way, go to the Brooks Brothers web site.


Friday Featured Art: Michelangelo

Here is more glorious Michelangelo. I really love his sculpture. This is Dawn and Dusk from the tombs at the Medici Chapel in Florence. Another pair represent Day and Night. The bodies are amazing, but the faces are the most beautiful to me.