Friday Featured Art: Interior with Young Woman Tracing a Flower

Earlier this week we spent some time in St. Louis and revisited the St. Louis Art Museum. I thought that this painting was fun. The artist has a pet squirrel keeping her company!


Thursday Text: Kindle Fire

Our major joint Christmas gift this year was a Kindle Fire. It's pretty exciting. I downloaded this version of the complete works of Jane Austen for $.99!


Fan Chart

I finished our 6 generation family fan chart for Christmas. I used this template from Martha Stewart. I used a pretty script font, so the names our rather small - but it looks great on the wall. I made it 18"x24" and had it printed at an office store. So exciting!


Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

One of the things that we got for Christmas was a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker from Williams-Sonoma. (It's on sale!) We tried it out on Christmas Eve, and it made some delicious ice cream!


Lone Star Lap Quilt

I hope that you all had a great Christmas. We sure did! This is the lap quilt that I made for my husband's grandma. I was in way over my head with the lone star pattern, but I found some great clips on YouTube that helped me out.


Friday Featured Art: The Magpie

Here's a wintery Monet to wish you Merry Christmas! It's called The Magpie, and it resides in the Musee D'Orsay.


Thursday Tunes: In the Bleak Midwinter

I really love the Christmas song In the Bleak Midwinter, so I was not surprised to see that it was written by Christina Rossetti with music by Gustav Holst (two people I love). Here's the text.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


Onitsuka Tiger

I recently bought these Onitsuka Tiger sneakers by Asics from Zappos. Have you ever ordered anything from them? They are fantastic. Free shipping both ways, and orders often arrive the day after they are ordered. I ordered another pair of shoes that didn't quite fit, and it was very easy to exchange them.


Custom Wedding Printables

I found some fantastic free printables from The Wedding Chicks through How About Orange. They have some really great monograms, and you can even choose the colors!



The Church has a fabulous new web site for Christmas. It includes Christmas ideas and traditions, Christmas music, and Christmas videos. I thought that this one about a young Heber J. Grant was especially sweet and beautifully done. Find the site at christmas.lds.org.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Happy Little Artist

Etsy seller Happy Little Artist has some really great linocuts of the Salt Lake Temple. Sara told me about them when she bought the image on the bottom. I think I might get this one with the wheat image. They are really beautiful original designs.


1-2-3 Stitch!

Today was my last Jane Austen class. It was a lot of fun, and I am sad that it's over. It's given me a lot of good ideas, though! This web site has some really fabulous Jane Austen-themed cross-stitch patterns. (Just do a search for Jane Austen.) This little pillow looks like a fun project.


Embroidered Pillow

We had a Christmas decoration exchange last Friday, and we were supposed to make handmade gifts. I used some clip art to embroider this holly wreath on linen. I thought this little pillow turned out pretty cute.


Penhaligon's Scent Library

We really love Penhaligon's perfume/cologne, so we picked up the scent library the last time we were downtown. It has 10 scents for men and women. My husband has the large size of Blenheim Bouquet - it smells fantastic. Of the ones that I've tried, I really like Lily & Spice - a beautiful floral scent.


Friday Featured Art: White Wash

I have to feature Joe, again, because I just saw this painting on his site, and I love it. It's called "White Wash," and it reminds me of living in Missouri - there was an old vacant white house across the street from us, and I loved to look at it.


Thursday Text: The Mansion

President Monson mentioned a book called The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke during his talk for the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday. It's an interesting old book with a great message for Christmas. This is the 100th anniversary of its printing. You can read an edition with some beautiful illustrations on Google Books here.


Hobby Lobby Flowers

Remember the cute little vase that I got at the barn sale? Here it is with some fantastic flowers from Hobby Lobby. They have really beautiful silk flowers and while they're kind of expensive, they're usually on sale. I just got three and cut off the stems and wired them together. I like how they turned out - I'll have to save up to make some more arrangements!


The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos

Did you see the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday? It was really great. You can view it here. They introduced the new Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos that the Church has been working on. So exciting! Go here to preview.


Needlepoint iPad Case

I saw this cute needlepoint iPad case in Country Living. It's from Lands' End, and if I had an iPad I think this would be a pretty fun cover.


Friday Featured Art: H.M. Brock

In working on my latest class project, I discovered some fantastic tinted line drawings done by C.E. Brock and his brother H.M. Brock. This one is Elizabeth Bennet gazing on a portrait of Mr. Darcy at Pemberley (by H.M. Brock).


Thursday Tunes: I Vow To Thee My Country

I Vow To Thee My Country is a beautiful British hymn set to a variation of Holst's Jupiter theme. You can read the lyrics here. Below is fabulous Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins with her rendition.


Ariat Boots

It's boot season! I bought these Ariats a couple of years ago, and they're really comfortable. I wish fall was a little longer, though, because winter is coming fast, and then we'll have to wear snow boots!


Native Bees

When we attended the Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden in October, we learned about native bees. You can provide a habitat for them without doing full-blown beekeeping. All they need is a house like these ones and some blooming plants with lots of pollen. Learn more here.



I just finished reading Jane Austen's Persuasion for my class. I really love the book. It was even better the second time around. Have you seen the latest BBC production? It's the version that we'll be watching in my class. Yea!


Friday Featured Art: Hugh Thomson

Don't you love this cover art for Pride and Prejudice by Hugh Thomson? It's from the 1890s, and it's fantastic.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful holiday! Here are some pretty place cards from Martha.


The Key of A

When we went to the Best of Missouri Market this year, we found a vendor called The Key of A. Most of their jewelry and accessories were made from old typewriter keys. Check out these great cufflinks made from Midwest Transit railway tokens.


Eddington Cake Stand

Here's a beautiful cake stand that I saw in the British edition of Country Living. It's from John Lewis.


Cross-Stitch Family Portrait

Did you see this fun project from Martha? The pattern includes 19 different pictures, so you can customize a cross-stitch to resemble your family. Fun!


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Dutch Door Press

I featured Dutch Door Press three years ago, but it's time to talk about them again. Their Etsy shop now has prints featuring state birds and flowers. They are so beautiful. I like the North Carolina one with a cardinal and dogwood. And, of course, the Utah version is fantastic. I really enjoy symbols of my pioneer heritage.


Thursday Text: Ode to Autumn

Here's a poem for the season: Ode to Autumn by John Keats.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Home Made Cookie Stamp

Here's something cute that I saw in the pages of the British edition of Country Living Magazine. It's a cookie stamp that says HOME MADE. Isn't that a great idea? It comes from Velvet Brown.


High Apple Pie

Did you know that there really is such a thing as "high apple pie?" We saw some fantastic pies at the Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden in October. I think this is what we saw - the Levee High Apple Pie from The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery. Yum!


Country Living UK

I picked up a copy of the British edition of Country Living Magazine at Barnes & Noble. It is fabulous (but kind of expensive). One thing that was really exciting was the Christmas Fair that they will be holding this week in Glasgow. We did not find Glasgow that exciting/fun/wonderful when we were there, but I would definitely go back for this.


Friday Featured Art: Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

The Kimbell Art Museum has a Van Gogh on display from a private collection. It's called Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. I really love the color. It's a fascinating piece.


Thursday Tunes: Handel's Water Music

We went to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last Saturday and heard Handel's "Water Music." It was very nice. Listen below.


Martha Stewart Crafts Paint Line

Have you seen the new paint products from Martha Stewart Crafts? I found them at my local Michaels. There is a whole fabulous line of acrylic paints and stencils from Plaid. I'm excited to try them out!


Felicity Hall

I found out about Felicity Hall through How About Orange. She creates modern needlepoint designs that are so beautiful. You can purchase a kit to make a pillow or wall hanging. There are even a couple of free patterns on her web site. Lovely.


Friday Featured Art: Near Sydenham Hill

We visited the Kimbell Art Museum when we were in Fort Worth last weekend. It's a small collection, but it's pretty fabulous. I liked this painting by Pissarro: "Near Sydenham Hill," painted in England and given to his wife for their wedding.


Thursday Tunes: Ashes & Fire

Here's yet another new $10 album that I want to buy from Amazon: "Ashes & Fire" by Ryan Adams. It sounds like it's one of his more country-sounding albums. Should be good.


Corner Bakery Cafe

When we were in Fort Worth, I ate breakfast at the Corner Bakery Cafe. Have you been there? For two mornings in a row I ate their new honey banana oatmeal. It was heavenly. And it probably could be made at home pretty easily...



Silhouette making was yet another creative project from my Jane Austen class. Here's one that I made with a traditional bun and frilly shirt. I also did one with my hair down - I'm thinking this could be a fun family project.


Live Oak

We were in Texas this weekend. Fort Worth, to be exact. We really like all of the beautiful live oak trees that line many streets in Texas. They are evergreens that grow in the South.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Maggie Jane's Vintage

Maggie Jane's Vintage is one of the vendors that was at the barn sale I went to a couple of weeks ago. Her Etsy shop has some cute pillows and vintage linens. This patchwork pillow is so cute - and I like the quote.


Thursday Tunes: The Goat Rodeo Sessions

There's a new album out that sounds like it is a great one. The Goat Rodeo Sessions is a bluegrassy kind of album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile (from Nickel Creek). It's only $10 on Amazon - you can sample it here.


Tartan Flower Pin

My sister Beth called yesterday to tell me about these tartan flower pins from Lands' End. They come in three colors, sell for $19.50, and are back-ordered. Beth thought they looked a lot like the one I made last year (see below). My version was made from my family tartan (which cost about $30 for one yard of fabric). For the center I used a gold golfer button that was my great-grandma's. I like the fluffier version - but now you know that they can be made for less!


Men's Shirt Redesign

Here's a fantastic project that I found through Pinterest. It's a cute redesign of a men's shirt from Old Navy by Tricia of Leafy Treetop Spot. It's always so hard to find cute shirts, and I think this is a great solution!



Have you heard of Pinterest? It's defined as an online pinboard - you can "pin" projects and ideas. A friend from church told me about it, and I've looked at it twice and found tons of great ideas both times.


Friday Featured Art: Simple White

Joseph Alleman has some great new works posted on his site. This one is called Simple White. The colors and lighting are very different than his other works. I like it!


Thursday Tunes: Bride of the Noisemakers

I am really excited about Bruce Hornsby's new album: Bride of the Noisemakers. It's a 2-disc live album that runs about $9 on Amazon. We ordered it the other day, but it's not here yet - but I can guarantee that it will be good. Everything Bruce does is good. Except, perhaps, this silly picture of his band members!