A Haven for Vee

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It Turned Into a Rant

I so seldom show you the unlovely and, when I do, I cover it with something pretty.  In *this case,* I covered it with a butterfly, copying a device PW once used. (In fact, I found that post by searching for "rip-off" and I was shocked to discover how often I have ripped people off in this blog of mine. Four pages of rip-offs! Scary.)

~Garbage from here...~

The butterfly was covering a truck wreck sitting in the backyard of a neighbor. This unsightly view is clearly visible to us as we sit at our dining table. (The mess is, in fact, the reason we so seldom sit at the dining room table.) Since that time, nearly four years ago now, the property has become so run down that I use a severe camera angle when taking a photo of my near neighbor's beautiful trees and home.

~to there~

Four years ago, the property was purchased by a family with three boys in their teens. Perhaps they were a hardworking family. Perhaps the man of the house was working hard to raise plants in his basement, if the traffic every Thursday was any indication. Perhaps life was very hard. It is for a lot of people these days.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, the house went into foreclosure; it took two years to have the process work its way through the system; the family, now a broken one, left a few months ago. The house sat in its own filth over the winter and was finally purchased for a song this spring. (Some of our neighbors looked at it to see if there was any way to purchase it as a fixer-upper and determined that there was simply too much to do. Bulldozing seemed the only option.)

I tell you all this to show you exactly what I see from my windows daily. These days I am encouraged because a new owner is gutting the house and has brought in a giant dumpster. It may be a long, hot summer, but one day there'll be improvement. The house is going to be rented out or flipped. The current owner isn't sure. One thing is certain: he has a lot of work ahead of him.

Thing is, there are many homes in town that are in equally rough shape. (In fact, I have never seen the town look any more in shambles even during the C*rter years, which were difficult times as well.) I grumble about the disgrace of it all because it is one thing to be poor and another to not pick up the trash. It is one thing not to be able to afford new siding (I well know) and another to allow the shutters to hang by the last nail.  There is one thing about taking down the shutters and quite another about leaving the Christmas tree on the front step. I think people's spirits are in shambles, too. Yes, I'm feeling disgruntled today. I feel as if I'm walking around in 1932. Am I the only one feeling this way?

~and this is why I don't open my front curtains...~

Here's to better times ahead.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Joel 2:25

This is not a tutorial. I am showing my process minus detailed explanations. Google, if you need details, and you'll find many tutorials that do a fine job.

So I had an idea. It was a gathering of ideas from many different places including *this post* at Sweet Nothings. It was a swirling of thoughts over the past months about how to find more presence in my displays in the home, how to incorporate meaning into those displays, and how to work with what I already have.

So I had this old frame purchased at The Christmas Tree Shop in 2008. ☺ It had a garish print perfectly matching what was going on at our place. After a very short while, I grew weary of it and tossed it into a hallway corner where it's been  gathering dust for the past two years.

When I took the frame apart, I found a nice sturdy backing hard as a board. Excellent.

Going directly to the computer, I found a font I liked and a size that would work and printed off Joel 2:25. The photo above shows testing the font behind the old print. The computer screen lit it up nicely. I was looking for a font that could be traced and filled in.

Found my burlap, cut the correct size, ironed it well, placed the font beneath the burlap and centered it more or less...I had extra. Then I carefully traced the outline using a black Sharpie. 

Then all I had to do was fill it in. This is for John. It's his favorite verse. He considers it his promise from the Lord. Some might consider it his "life verse." Does he like this project? The jury's still out on that...

I wrapped the burlap around the sturdy whatever.it.was. and taped the edges on the back down. That's the really ugly part. I'm not sure how such things are professionally done.

So to sum it all up:

Meaningful √
More Presence √
Used What I had √

Now I'm waiting for some light so that I can show you where it is. (I'll pop another photo in soon. Done!)

~on the beam~

What has been your latest project? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Five Spring Wreath Ideas

Love a great spring wreath! I've been taking notes as I wander through Blogdom and I've found a few more for your viewing pleasure.

1. This "wreath" is darling. You may need to visit the Dollar Store for a child size unbrella, though everything else you probably have at home already.

A Child's Umbrella Becomes a Spring Door Decoration at Bungalow

2. Take a look at the wreath on this Faded Roses door on the post title Spring or Summer. So feminine and lovely!

3. Made in a Day offers another great idea using burlap to wrap the wreath frame on Spring Wreath Time.

4. Manuela at A Cultivated Nest has been at it again with this Super Easy Spring Time Wreath. Super Cute!

5. If you don't have any junk mail, don't check this one out because it's made from exactly that: Junk Mail Spring Wreath from  My Serendipitous Life.

Two of these great wreaths were found at Hope Studios Tutorial Tuesdays. It's a great feature of the blog. Check it out sometime!

Oh. My spring wreath? A Joann special right out of the discount bin two years ago. Further, I've been stealing eggs from it for quite some time now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Surprise Snow

Welcome to my world; I won't mind if you don't want to come on in... ☺

Snow was promised for tonight and came a day early and probably is coming tonight as well. Poor lilacs with their buds already set and poor daffodils all smashed low. Even the poor plate is bowed. At least the maple sap bucket looks good now. So, tell me, what's the temp in your world?


I have been working on a button for the Note Card Party and will have it available later in the morning. Look for it on my sidebar. It'll be linked to a post explaining the rules without any additional phrasing. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I tell you, the most that I've accomplished all day, thus far, is to boil eggs. It's pathetic. I'm blaming the return to winter. I'm going to make cookies in a few minutes. Does that count as something? How about you? Tell me about your accomplishments of the day. Perhaps I'll be spurred to action.


~Gifts from Little Birdie Blessings~

Abby sent me these sweet cards created using digital art. They are so pretty. I am now in the market for a frame to display them in my bedroom. Sweet promise from the Word of God. Abby offers many vintage images with Christian themes. If you haven't checked out her blog, you can find her and them at Little Birdie Blessings. Thank you so much, Abby!


Off to make those cookies... **No Bake with chunky peanut butter**(Nadine's recipe is just like mine only I substituted chunky peanut butter.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Do You Shake Your Daffodils?

Because I heard on the Garden Hotline that if you cut daffodils for an indoor bouquet and then give them a little shake, they'll last days longer. I'm thinking of gathering some to allow to bloom in the house. We need cheering now that we've slipped back to March days that are windy and chill.


~Gritty Determination~

Darling grand is headed back to school this week. I certainly hope that no one clocks him at 13 mph! He's been chomping at the bit to get back to work and to see his teacher and all his friends.


I learned this from Quill Cottage. Wouldn't you know that Miss Sandy would mention something that would send me scurrying! It's a new photo editing program that doesn't require registration: iPiccy. Very cool. Very fun. I did Sam's picture above using it and all the mosaic pictures of yesterday with it. Hey! Come back here!!


~Print directly to the Paper~

In the current issue of Country Living, they provide an addy to an *envelope template.*  You could use any sort of paper for it. My sister brought me her 2011 Lang calendar and so I used that. CL suggests printing the template and cutting the paper using the pattern. I suggest that you trim the paper you wish to use to standard copy paper size and print the template directly on the back side of the pattern, which becomes the inside of the envelope instead. Far fewer goofs that way. Also, anyone to whom you send the envelope has a template to use.

Enjoy your day...is it still spring in your corner?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Pitcher's Worth a Thousand Words~Mosaic Monday

Desperate for a title...may we just forget that these are mostly creamers?

To enlarge: right click on photo, select "Open Link in New Window" using left click (the usual click), then click again for largest size also using left/usual click.

1. Chickie~ Pat Pending ☺
2. Vermont (probably a maple syrup pitcher)~ no markings
3. Anne of Green Gables souvenir~ Royal Winton-Grimwades-England
4. Yellow Tiger Lily~ Royal Winton-Grimwades-England
5. Maternal grandmother's china~DerbyTone-Myott and Sons-England
6. Paternal grandmother's china~Friendly Village-Johnson Bros-England
7. Segmented glass~Flea Market Special
8. White Creamer with Gold Handle~Limoges-France
9. Cut Glass~Another Flea Market Special
10. Tiny Creamer Blue Windmill~ 603-Dripps-Holland
11. All Lined Up to Take a Bow—Oops, #3, please turn around.
12. All Lined Up to Take a Bow
13. Waiting in the Wings—The easy way to show the pitchers creamers, though there'd have been no mosaic!

Linking to Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Hope that there'll be lots of flowers. I need some!

Do you have flowers?

March Skies

A beautiful day to you...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First Easter Bread Party of 2012

John woke me at five this morning just as I had requested. What was so urgent of a Saturday morning? Two words: Easter Bread.

My sister, her husband, and her daughter were all coming for breakfast at 8 and I had to have Easter Bread freshly baked. It's just a terrible chore don'tcha know. ;> Then I heard my cell phone beeping and found a message saying that things were going to be delayed for an hour, which one might think would have given me more time to document. Not so much. I thought of the camera when the aroma of baking bread wafted about.

There I am in my ooh-la-la apron peeking through the oven door at my nicely baking loaves. Oh, there's Molly right there peeking through the oven door with me. That dog has a nose for news. Gosh that's a great picture!

Then we had a delicious breakfast that included a savory egg casserole, crispy bacon, Gevalia coffee, refreshing orange juice, rum pound cake from Jamaica, and Easter Bread. We were so full. Did I think of the camera? No. Did I take a photo of the yummy food? No. My family? No. 

Therefore, portions of this post have been re-created. Easter Bread, coffee, and frosting. Oh yum. What I won't do for the cause!

~Something to Cheep About~

If you've never eaten Easter Bread before, you can find the world's best recipe for it right *here* at Mennonite Girls Can Cook or you can stop by this evening and I'll brew up a pot of tea and we'll have ourselves a time. Sprinkles! I knew that I'd forgotten something...

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Banner Spring Day

Reality sets in this morning as we return to normal spring weather. Still we have our memories. ☺ Four days of glorious temperatures, low humidity, and dreams.

Dreams arrived in the mail yesterday in the form of books, postcards, and art. What a blessed gal am I!

Brenda of Coffee Tea Books and Me sent me two classics: L'Abri and Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer. If you read Brenda's remarkable blog, you know that she discusses books often; she has referred to both books more than a few times. I sat down at my earliest opportunity to read and I was not surprised that she references the books often nor was I disappointed in what I was reading. I'm only 41 years behind, and longer, with these wonderful books. Thank you, Brenda. (Brenda announced a new venture in yesterday's post. Check it out!)

Kate of Postcards From a Real Life sent me postcards. Wonderful postcards. They feature Maine scenes of 100 years and more ago. What a thoughtful thing to do...thanks so much, Kate!

This one is meaningful to me as I spent many happy summer days at Schoodic Lake. A family member has a year-round home there and I do believe he'd have some interest in this postcard.

My paternal side of the family hails from Bangor. Wonder if they know any Seaveys. Love the writing on the back of the card on the right. Jack wrote it. Jack and not Lee, Jack's wife. I'm not sure if I believe it. Perhaps Lee wrote it for him. What do you think?

This last package contained gifts and my order. I have loved this piece since Miss Sandy (Quill Cottage) first featured it over a year ago now — maybe over two. She recently decided to sell some things that have been "piling up." I hope that she doesn't regret sending this to me because I love it. Love is not too strong a word to use either as the layers of design and thought and meaning in this creation just amaze me.

...a Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there...If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation. ~Edith Schaeffer

So attractively packaged...

Sigh... Do you see the bird in the hand? 

In Place

And Again

Such a scrumptious detail...

Thank you so much, Miss Sandy! 

Told you that I had a banner spring day! You go have one, too.

Love Vee

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Now That Was Fun!

Thank you so much for making the first Note Card Party so.much.fun. Let's do it again! I'll have a new button made up in plenty of time for April 18, 2012, which is the third Wednesday of the month. Remember, you have an additional month to post pictures that may be used for the party. Only four! F.o.u.r. FOUR. Just four. Mark your calendar. You guys are the best! One gal said, "You have the best friends." Why, yes, I do! (If you have any feedback on this event, please feel free to mention it in comments or email me.)


Today is the fourth and final day of temps in the 70s and 80s. My little Mr. Snowman on his head will be leaving asap because this is the last of the snow as of 7 this morning. It's all gone now.

Oddly enough, we may have another snowstorm in the middle of next week. Crazy weather!

Enjoy your spring day...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Note Card Party Welcome

Okay, friends, I had to select a theme for myself. Otherwise, I'd have been sunk. I found the photo that a few had commented on as a favorite (it was also a favorite of mine) and from that photo settled on the theme: dishes. And, yes, I would like to have a set of note cards featuring dishes.

Note Card Party Rules:

1. Let's try not to make too many rules... ☺
2. Search for four photographs on your own blog that would make a nice set of note cards. They must have appeared on your blog by the time you link up. 
3. Write your post.
4. Link directly to your post below. 
5. Visit ten or so others (at least) and comment. Knowing that new visitors are viewing and commenting is part of the fun. (Permission granted to look and not comment at blogs practicing safe commenting. All those word verifications get very tiring when trying to visit a lot of blogs.)
6. Have fun!

Let's see how this goes. If we enjoy it, perhaps we can do it all over again on the third Wednesday of every month. Twelve times a year sounds about right to me. What do you think? One thing is certain, we all have pictures to share! 

Love Vee

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just a Quick Chat

Blogging friends are the best...they want to know things like how John is doing after cataract surgery and how my grandson Sam is doing after breaking his leg.

First up...Sam. Saw him last night and he was gimping along like a trouper on his little walker sized just for him. He'd spent the most wonderful afternoon outside in the Adirondack chair watching his mom set up her garden and plant her snow peas. Talk about the life! He told me that he didn't know that it could be in the 70s in winter. So cute. I hadn't ever thought of it that way before. He was not terribly impressed with me as I had not brought pizza for supper. Well some fine day, I'll have to surprise him.

John's second surgery did not go as smoothly as the first. Did you know that we have nationwide shortages of many medications? Yes, we do, and John found out about that first hand. Let's just say that if he had a third eye, he'd probably not return for any more surgery until the proper medications are available once again. He did have the same wonderful results, however, so that is a very good thing.

~I'm trying to decide if I can get used to him without glasses.☺~

It's been so delightful here that even I have been out and about today. I've raked both leaves and mud and John and I have taken a walk...a short walk, but still Dr. Oz says it's good for starters. We have to start slow with my back still wonky.

Oh, and before I forget to mention it. My header is a blatant rip-off of something I saw at Melissa's Inspired Room. I think. I've been looking for it and can't find it. So, if you know whom I stole this from, please say. I have got to learn to send myself an email or something.

Hope that you are all going crazy looking for four photos to include in a note card set for Wednesday's party. It is much more difficult than I thought! =D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Evidences of Spring~Mosaic Monday

~This daffodil pierced the brown oak leaf~

From ferns starting to green and fill in along the banking to vivid green moss growing on a rock wall to a muddy drive or daffodils and peonies coming through the hard earth, even a lone iris spiking up through the icy snow, spring is on her way. And, believe it or not, she is early. Is spring early in your corner, too?

Linking with Mosiac Monday at Mary's Little Red House, come visit. If you've never participated,  please consider it. It is a lot of fun!

Difficult People

This is a series of lessons by Beth Moore on Loving Difficult People. At one point, perhaps video two or three, she says that whoever doesn't have a difficult person to love does not get out enough. Difficult people are everywhere. =/

When coming to grips with the fact that our difficult person (a parent, a child, a friend, a sibling, a co-worker, whomever) is going to be a part of our lives, we need to believe that better days are ahead: Romans 5:5...hope does not disappoint...

Moore also discusses the uncomfortable fact that sometimes we ourselves are the difficult person. Ouch. I really learned a lot from this series and was completely invested because I do have a difficult person in my life...very. (No, not John, Silly!) I'll allow you to seek out the other five videos on your own, if interested,  as this is video one of six.

A blessed day to you!

Love Vee

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Do you receive the *Dover Sampler* every week? I keep a folder of sweet Dover graphics and have been saving this one for just such a day.

We are planning a quiet day with more rest than a person ought to be allowed. I will be baking some soda bread and making some delicious potato soup. What fun to celebrate a remarkable people and a beautiful country!

Blessings to you...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Decorating Ideas

1. Hide the tv  (You know how much I've complained about the tv showing. I'm trying to figure out how I can employ this method.)

2. Label Those Jars (This is great and she even provides the downloads for free!)

3. Make Your Own Carriage Doors (Nope, I do not care for my garage doors. I wanted carriage doors. The budget did not allow. This would be a great, and cheap, compromise.)

4. Photography Tip (Always looking for the simple things I can do to take a better photo.)

5. Mantel Makeover (Love everything, even the spray painting, except the chalkboard. Having taught for all those years, there's little about big chalkboards that I appreciate.)

Now here's my bonus offering... I am always trying to add "presence." That's because I tend to drift off to lots of little things with my decorating. Hence the changes to my refrigerator.

The picnic basket and trays...

and the picture attached by magnets to the front of the refrigerator. I like to keep the front cleared of magnets and stuff, though I find it much too stark. Why not try using something with more presence? It could be a framed piece...anything really that isn't too heavy to be held up by magnets. I'm using seven magnets on this 8 by 18 inch frame. (Edited to Add: For those not wishing to use magnets or not able to use magnets,  Command Strips would probably do the job.)

A wonderful weekend to you...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Funny Old Book and Downeast Humor

Yes, what with two surgeries in the family this week, we're in need of a bit of levity.

Thank you for praying for Sam and family. He is home and doing a little better and will continue to do better. The family is still a bit frazzled...you know how vile the guilt monster can be. Sam will require more surgery in about a year as that metal plate in his leg can NOT stay. Odd as it seems, there is no cast. He'll move about on crutches or using a walker just his size.

And John and I thank you as well for praying for John's cataract surgeries. As of nine this morning, both eyes will have been done and he will be one happy camper. Though I do swear that he's ready to drown in drops. Twelve drops a day per eye until we run out of drops. Is it wrong to pray for the end of eye drops? It is, however, a small price to pay for his good sight and good eye health.


We have a lot of old books hanging around the place. They're in various stages of disrepair. I'm not much of a fan of the latest new decorating thing where the covers are torn from old books and they are displayed wearing nothing more than their longjohns.

John is completely disgusted by decorating with books. To him, books are for reading and that.is.that. He tells the story of shopping for old books at the Salvation Army store where he overheard a discussion that went like this:

Lady 1: No, no, not that one. It has to be blue.

Lady 2: Blue?

Lady 1: Yes, the covers all have to be blue.

Lady 2: Will this blue work?

Lady 1: Yes, any shade of blue.

Finally, John could bear it no longer so he asked the obvious question: What in the world does blue have to do with a good book?

The answer: Everything, if you're decorating a client's room and she likes blue.

Sunday afternoon I happened to look at this old green book. In my world, it's hanging about for its green color and the cute embossing on the cover. I had never looked inside before. I couldn't even remember if it was one that belonged to my family or one that John had picked up in his travels. We now believe it to be his.

The cover is nearly off so I opened it gingerly. Inside there were quaint graphics and the most unusual dedication.

How funny I thought. Wonder who wrote this book...obviously not Josiah Allen's wife (Samantha—she's shown on the front cover in the first picture).

It was not long before I was reading snatches of the book to John and we were laughing our heads off.  At one point, a character named Widder Doodle (Widow Doodle) enters the story. Her head is so soft that if she hit the top of it nothing would prevent it from flattening like putty. Maybe we were tired, but we laughed at that for five minutes. And on and on. After a while, I became convinced that Mark Twain must have written the book (though I had never heard of his writing under a pseudonym).

Thanks to the internet, I soon had an answer to my questions. The author was Marietta Holley who in her lifetime was as popular a writer as Mark Twain. Mark Twain was not only a contemporary, he was also a personal friend. By clicking her name you can find out the interesting tidbits. She told stories in the Downeast tradition, which about explains everything.

Downeast humor is known for colloquialisms, malaprops, exaggerations, irony, pure nonsense, etc.

Yes, we have a long tradition of Downeast humor in my corner. One of our state treasures is Tim Sampl*. Above, you see a sample of his style in this short clip called "Is That Your Cell Phone?" If you listen carefully, you'll hear him slip "out of character" ever so briefly. Some may recognize Tim from CB$ News Sund*y M*rning where he submitted a P*stcard From Maine piece every few weeks.

Which Way to Millinocket?

We also have Bert and I stories, which are a wonderful listen. Some are quite lengthy, but worth every second. And dry. Dryer than a hot August Day with a Canadian high blowing in. The clip above is about a minute and a half long and represents the style well.

Our contemporary lady of Downeast humor is known as the Marden's lady: Birdi* Go*gins. Do you suppose that's her real name? And, after listening to this short piece, I really want to know more about her sister!

Have a great day...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Prayer Request for Sam

We had a call at ten last evening. My little grandson Sam fell off his bike around 4:30 yesterday afternoon and broke his femur. He had to have surgery and a plate and screws and whatever is used to repair such breaks. We're all feeling terrible about it and yet we are so grateful that he was not even more badly hurt. It is tough to learn life lessons when you're six. Speeding on your bike (thirteen miles per hour) is not such a good thing.

Thank you for your prayers. We're trusting God to restore Sam to good strong health with strong and healthy bones. Sam's parents are a little frazzled...they could use prayer, too. Grandparents and aunties are a little frazzled...count us in as well.

Edited to Add: 8:00 PM

Sam is home from the hospital and feeling as well as can be expected. The doctor made sure that he could move and function on crutches or with a walker before he was allowed out. Sam told me that he still hurts a lot even though he'd left the hospital. I guess he thought that leaving that place behind was going to mean feeling better instantly. His parents are looking forward to a good night's rest in a bed. They both spent the night with him last night while his little brother stayed with his maternal grandparents.  Little brother was very happy to see his family! Thank you so much for your prayers and concern. We appreciate each and every one.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Note Card Party

~Yellow Tulips~

Have you already started looking for your four favorites? I realize that such a low number is a challenge; that's part of the fun. It's going to be interesting for your visitors to see the ones you've selected. 

It took me quite a few tries with the "grab the button" feature. Speaking of which, I used *this tutorial* from Manic Mother. It was excellent, though don't be like me, be a good student and pay close attention when and if you try it.  (This button I speak of is coming soon. I'm working on it right now. I just needed a post to link to first.) ETA: Though I can not seem to get the feature to my post, it is now sitting in my sidebar. Let me know if it's working, Somebody.

I also offer a regular button in case you prefer that method. I believe that you can copy and paste the following without taking the added steps of saving to your own picture files. I'll check that in a minute.

Note Card Party 

True! I just copied and pasted this from my sidebar; however, it can not be placed into your sidebar that way. 

Rules Summary: 

1. Search for four favorite photographs on your own blog. They must have appeared on your blog by the time you link up. (ETA: It might be helpful to remember that you're pretending to create a set of four notecards. Who knows? Maybe you really will!)

2. Write your post.

3. Link directly to your post when Mr. Linky (or whatever) is available here. 

4. Visit ten or so others (at least) and comment. Knowing that new visitors are viewing and commenting is part of the fun. (I give permission for you to look and not comment at blogs practicing safe commenting. All those word verifications get very tiring when trying to visit a lot of blogs.)

5. Have fun!

Looking forward to setting things up here on the evening of March 20! Have a great Tuesday and thank you for helping me get the word out.