Thursday, May 31, 2012

Enjoy The Scenery

Days have been flying by like hours here!  Between work on the yard and the landscaping, road trips and other assorted commitments, all of my best {blogging} intentions have been coming up short.  I have some really fun projects and ideas in the works, but have been lacking the necessary time to pull it all together.  However, sometimes you have to just pause for a few moments and enjoy the scenery, which is just what I did this morning.  Below is a bit of what I took in, shot from a single vantage point on my deck, as a lesson in looking at things in pieces, instead of just as a whole.

It was interesting to watch the way the light played through the trees, and to see the dew on the leaves.  I must remember to take a few moments more often to notice the small things!

I hope that you are finding joy in your moments also, dear friends.

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, May 26, 2012

{Love Birds}

I can not even believe that a full week has passed since I last posted!  And not one of my best weeks, either; so very glad that it's over.  It's all uphill from here; a fun and festive holiday weekend is next on the agenda!

Let's move on to today's topic, shall we?  I came across these love birds the other day when I was cleaning up the yard, and they are so sweet that I wanted to share them with you here.

I was very surprised by how close they let me get to them!  About an hour after I took the pictures above, I visited them again and found that they had changed positions, so I took some more photos.

Later the same day, I came across my fur babies hanging out together, not unlike those birds.

I just adore these two!  They put sunshine back into the cloudiest of days.

I have some blog reading to catch up on, so if I have been absent on yours, I'll be around later today.  I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to!

Here's hoping that the sun is shining in your corner of the world today, dear friends!  And I also hope that you have a wonderful weekend underway.  What memory making plans have you made for this Memorial Day weekend?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pictures of Bliss

Inspired by Liv Lane, blogger at Choosing Beauty and creator of the Little Bliss List Link Party, I decided to look through my recent photos for some blissful ones to share for this week's post.  And I'm glad that I did!  I noticed while going through them that I have not been shooting as many random pictures as I would like, opting instead for the typical 'smiling people in a moment' shots.  While I love those, I need to spend more time just looking at the world through the lens and capturing what I see.  I've clearly fallen out of my photo a day habit, and it's time to get back into it!

Here are a few recent photos that capture a bit of bliss ~

A bud and a bloom in the garden.

Chalk board love notes.

Straw hats...

...and summer shoes.

I hope that your weekend is off to a lovely, even blissful start, dear friends!  It is a perfect spring day here; sun shining, clear skies and a slight breeze.  And since it is one of those rare weekends with no company and nothing on the social calendar, I intend to spend my time divided between working outside and sewing inside.  The dress I cut weeks ago has been neglected long enough!

Are there moments of bliss in your world that you would like to share?  Please tell me about them in the comments or link to your post; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Handmade, With Love

A few months ago, my BFF from high school (that's her on the left; I'm on the right) posted on Facebook that her mom was selling handmade afghans.  She loves to make them, and donates most of them to the maternity ward of their local hospital for newborn disadvantaged children to go home with.   Any money she collected from the sales would be used to buy yarn to make more to donate.  It makes me so happy when someone uses their talents and gifts for the benefit of others less fortunate!  I immediately sent my friend an email asking for two lap sized afghans for my living room, each in a different pattern, and done in a cream colored yarn.  We exchanged a few emails about patterns and sizes, and her mom went to work.

Fast forward to the beginning of May, and I received an email that the afghans were on their way!  In the meantime, we had mister's family visiting from out of town, and spent this past weekend celebrating Mother's Day and a graduation.  {I photographed this beautiful rose during a graduation party.}  When I arrived home from my Monday morning airport run, a package from my BFF was on the front porch!

They are just so beautiful!  Soft and warm and perfect for taking the chill out. 

In other handmade news, I've made a little progress on my owl tote ~

It doesn't show up very well in these pictures, but I blended a matching metallic thread in with the floss for the blacks of the eyes, and the pink dots.  I love a bit of unexpected sparkle!

Have you added any handmade pretties to your home lately?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To My Mother {On Mother's Day}

I have been a Motherless Daughter for more years than I care to count, having lost her while I was in college.  During the weeks and months that followed, my college friends often accompanied me home on weekends to help me pack up her belongings for storage at the home of one of my aunts.  At the same time, I packed my own personal belongings to take to another aunts home, where I would be staying on future breaks and vacations.  During one of those weekends, one of my friends came across this:

Before it was in a frame, it was in the form of a greeting card.  It was one of several in a bag from the card store, with no name or other markings as to which of her two daughters my mother had intended it for.  In truth, she probably hadn't decided either; she was one of those people who loved to send cards, and since she wasn't able to get out as often as she might have liked, she kept them at the ready for the appropriate occasion, or for whenever the mood hit.

The day it was found, my girlfriend read it out loud, as tears streamed  down all of our faces.  These days, I like to take it down off of the shelf and hold it while I read it, and it still brings tears.  I always feel my mom close with these words, knowing that she intended them for her daughters:

To My Daughter
When you were born I held you in my arms and just kept smiling at you
You always smiled back your big eyes open and full of love
You were such a beautiful good sweet baby
Now as I watch you grow up and become your own person
I look at your laughter your happiness your simplicity your beauty
and I wonder...
where you will be in fifteen years
and I wonder where the world will be in fifteen years
I just hope that you will be able to enjoy a life
of sensitivity goodness accomplishment and love
in a world that is at peace
But most of all
I want you to know that
I am very proud of you
and that I love you dearly.

                                                                            ~Susan Polis Schutz

Today, I say to my mother that the world is different from the one you left; it's faster, harsher, scarier.  But I know how to survive in it, even thrive in it, because you taught me how to find the beauty and the joy in each and every day.

As to your dream of peace, your candidate of choice Jimmy Carter has done a great deal toward that end, but we still have a long way to go.  I don't think that we'll get there in his lifetime, or mine either, for that matter.  Someday, though.

I daydream sometimes about how different my early adulthood might have been had you still been with me, until I remember that you were even younger than I was when you lost your own mother.  With that memory I realize that you would tell me not to waste my wishes on what can never be, but rather to focus them on what I can achieve. 

And so I thank you today for setting me upright on the path, and for giving me the skills I've needed to stay that way.  I only hope that I make you proud, each and every day.  I love every bit of this life you've given me.

I can't wait to see you again!

xoxo, nita-bird

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{Vintage} Inspiration ~ Mother's Day Brunch

With Mother's Day just around the corner, (this coming Sunday, May 13) I've been looking for ideas for brunch here at home.  We are fortunate to have mister's parents visiting from out of town for a few days, and I really enjoy cooking for them.  They tend to favor foods prepared traditionally, without a lot of flourish or trendy ingredients, so it gives me an opportunity to revisit the recipes that I grew up on.  But as often happens when one is cooking for several people, the list of options gets whittled away by the varied tastes and dietary restrictions of the group. 

In need of some inspiration, I turned to my favorite source for vintage ephemera, the NYPL Digital Gallery, and found some great mid century menus for brunch held at a New York City restaurant called Park Lane.

After perusing these offerings from 1960 and 1962, I am leaning towards Eggs Benedict, with some options for varied tastes.  In addition to the traditional ham, a Florentine version with spinach and tomatoes makes a nice vegetarian selection.  And you can't go wrong with a crab meat mixture here in Maryland!  A selection of fresh fruits and some type of bite sized pastry would round out the food menu nicely, with Bloody Mary's, Mimosa's and Irish Coffee as beverage choices. 

What are your favorite brunch selections, dear friends?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Day At The Races

While many people consider the summer season underway on Memorial Day, for me it starts with race day; the International Gold Cup Races in Plains, Virginia, held every year on the first Saturday of May.  It features hurdle and timber horse races, Jack Russell Terrier races, vendor booths for shopping, and tent, tailgate and hat contests.

And what a lovely day it was!  Overcast skies and a nice breeze kept it from being too hot, and good friends, wonderful food and the party atmosphere made it the best summer kick off to date.

For one lucky couple, who met at the race five years ago, it was also their wedding day!

Cars, tents and people in various stages of revelry covered the grounds to watch the races.

And just like that, we've lept into the outdoor season, with lots of plans for golf outings, picnics, music and craft festivals and time spent near the water. 

How do you like to spend your time outside, dear friends?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Joyful Moments

Happy Friday!  I'm celebrating the end of the week by listing a bit of bliss, and linking up with Choosing Beauty.  It's such a great reminder to take a look around and find the joy in the moments.

While looking around on Etsy one day, I found a great new shop named Adoption Hero, that sells giclee prints that celebrate adoption. 

Family is very important to us!  It's also very important that we recognize that all families do not come together in the traditional way.  It's wonderful when a man and woman marry and stay together forever, but things don't always work out that way.  Single parent families, step-families and blended families deserve the same recognition and respect as traditional families, same sex partners the same rights as a man and a woman, and adopted children the same acceptance as birth children.  It makes me very happy to have this print hanging in our home as a small reminder of the larger picture.

It is with a joyful sense of accomplishment that I am able to report that we managed to tackle one of the goals on our do it yourself life list; we learned to groom our dogs!  It is as much a learning process for them as it is for us, and we are enjoying it immensely.

Time in the studio is always a source of joy!  I feel blessed every day to live in a home filled with music.

What is bringing you joy these days, dear friends?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita