Sunday, February 26, 2012

Garden Plans for the Spring

We've been having some mild weather here in Maine and I just love it!  Spring is just around the corner and that!  We moved into this house at the end of November so we don't have a clue as to what will come up for flowers, but I'm curious to know what I'll discover.  Once I know what we have, then I can go from there and add to the garden.

I really love a touch of whimsy in gardens.   I love garden decor and could spend a fortune on cute, whimsical items if I could.  I also LOVE using old things--such as old men's boots, old flower pots, rusted hoes, an antique brass headboard, or an old tub and washboard as shown below.  Oh, these photos are not from my garden.  I downloaded them from different sites.   I also love vintage garden sculptures or that style if I can't afford an actual antique garde sculpture.   How about using items normally found inside a home that can be used outdoors?   It's these little things that make a garden unique and fun to enjoy.  

This year, my husband and I want to put in a garden trellis/arbor.  I'd love to grow some Clematis because those flowers are gorgeous as they grow along the trellis.  My husband and I are fans of Morning Glories as well so I know that somewhere along the house, Michael will put up a trellis (probably by the diningroom windows) for the morning glories. 

My goal this year is to have my garden blooming from May until end of September (fingers crossed).  In order to do this, I need to sketch out what flowers will bloom during these months, so that I have constant color.   I also need to determine the height as well.  I remember one year, I had all my flowers the same height (about 5") and it just looked so .....flat!  Ugh!  But, I'm not the best gardener in the world either.  I have great intentions, but sometimes my ideas fall short.   I would love for my garden to look like this:

how about this!:

Hey, I can dream!  To do this, though, I would definitely need a full-time gardener.     someday.....maybe.

Just thought I'd share some Springtime goodness.   I'm linking up to The Cottage Garden Party over at

Monday, February 20, 2012

Teacup Pincushions

I thought I'd share with you two teacup pincushions I received this past Saturday as part of a swap I was in over at Your Paper Pantry. Jonnie was the hostess of the Sew Crafty group and January's theme was to create two teacup pincushions and received two different ones back.  I was greatly surprised to receive two fantastic ones in return.  Oh, the other requirement was to add one stickpin with each teacup.  Of course, Jonnie went overboard and sent several. LOL!  But, that's Jonnie--she has such a generous heart. 

The first one was made by the hostess, Jonnie, and it just reminds me of everything sweet--candies, cookies, cupcakes--and I think that was her intent.  Her teacup is whimsical and fun whereas Cynthia's (further down) is more elegant.   She also sent me some Valentine candies, an altered glassine bag (that hid the candy), and an eye mask---all in pink. Psst.....I think that's why she goes by "Pinkalicious"!

Look at these adorable stick pins!  The teapot
and cupcake are just too cute!

 And the other teacup comes from Cynthia Soto.  It is just stunning.  It's the total opposite of Jonnie's.  The cushion is black satiny material that looks embroidered.  The cup itself came from her own collection of teacups. She trimmed it with pink flower bling and a gold type mesh edging.  The handle has a big pink bow with a vintage looking brooch.  I'm telling you, these pictures don't do the teacup justice at all.   Both of these teacup pincushions will be treasured for many years.  And, I suppose you want to see what I made.  Well, scroll down and take a peek.
This stickpin is fabulous!  Wonder where she found
the teapot charm? 
And here is one of the two that I made:
This teacup came from my own collection as well. It's decorated with faux pearls, bling, a feather, flowers, velvet ribbon and is edged in fringed trimming.

I have to thank Jonnie so very much for hosting this swap. It was alot of fun. If you're interested in getting involved in some great swaps, head on over to Your Paper Pantry and check out Jonnie's "Sew Crafty" group.

Wishing all of you a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Picture Mantel

I thought I'd share my fireplace mantel because I'm linking up to "52 Mantels" which I discovered through "5 Days....5 Ways".  This is the link, if you want to browse through some wonderful mantels--Click Here.  I just LOVE the blogging world!  It's like a game of dominoes.  You click on one blog only to discover tons more fantastic blogs and when you view those blogs, there's more....and more....and more!  So, this is just a short post to share my Picture Mantel. 

I have a 12 foot long mantel---yes--12 feet!  I've tried to only decorate the center of it, but then I go crazy and I'm decorating the whole length of it!  I need to add more books (or something) to raise some of the pictures a bit higher.  I don't know what it is, but it's missing something.  Is it too much, maybe?   If you have any ideas, whatsoever, I'd love to hear them.  Also, I need a bigger wreath, I think, but I'll wait until it's closer to spring.  For now, this will do.  

Thanks for looking, my blogger friends,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thoughts of Spring...

It seems as though this blog gets neglected quite a bit and that's because I spend most of my time on A Scrapmom's Musings.  Today I thought I'd post on this blog because Etsy is having a blog party.  Yay!  I LOVE blog parties!

Etsy Cottage Style is having a Cottage Garden Party (  right in the middle of January.  Now, I can't even begin to think of planting a garden right now as I look out into my backyard that's covered with 8" of snow with a thin layer of ice.  But, I do know that Spring will be here before I know it.   Of course, those of us who are sharing in this blog hop are showcasing photos of our gardens or garden inspired projects from last year.  

Here are some pictures from last year.  We don't live in this house anymore as we finally bought our own home just 2 months ago.  Can't wait to create a new garden (or see what will bloom that the previous owners planted). 
We had beautiful Morning Glories growing up our lamppost. 

The landlord planted these Irises several years ago and each year they multiplied. These were growing on the side of the garage.
Petunias on the side porch
I think this is a Gerber Daisy plant.  My daughter bought this for me for Mother's Day.  What a beauty!
Hummingbird feeder hiding in the Morning Glories.

And, for a Spring themed project, I made this mini album:

Thanks for looking at my little garden.  It wasn't much, but we enjoyed it.   Looking forward to Spring!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Blog Hopping----

I have totally neglected this blog.   It's just been a busy year for me and I've been more dedicated to my scrapping blog (A Scrapmom's Musings) than to this one.  I've done very little decorating or flea market shopping as well so I felt I really didn't have anything to blog about.   But, now that I finally have my own home again after 5 years, I'll be more motivated to share my love of thrifty decor, eclectic decorating and whatever else I feel like blogging about.  

While browsing some blogs, I came across some wonderful Christmas-themed blog parties!  And, I LOVE blog hops.  It's such a great way to be inspired.  I just hope I can inspire others as well.  So, read along and along as well!   Enjoy!
I just recently re-visited Etsy Cottage Style blog and discovered the "Holiday Edition of the Cottage Colors Party".  I thought I'd join in on the fun. 
   Click here: Etsy Cottage Style to link up or visit other blogs.  The Cottage Colors for December are RED and GREEN.  I hope you enjoy my Christmas decor and collection(s):

Here is our tree.  It's the smallest one we've had in a long, long time.  We down-sized into a ranch home and our living space is much smaller than before.  Our tree is 6 feet tall and about 4 feet wide.  My tree is an assortment of ornaments that I've collected over the years or have sentimental value to me.  It's not a fancy tree and isn't a 'showroom' type tree.  I do not have a 'themed' tree unless "eclectic" counts--LOL!   Still, we love our tree.  When I open the boxes of ornaments each year, and pull out each one, I remember moments of my past and it always brings a smile to my face. 
Here are some of my favorite ornaments:
I bought this bread dough ornie for my daughter when she was 3 years old.
And at the same time, I bought this one for my youngest daughter who was just a baby at the time.  They're now 26 and 23.

This is the first ornament my husband and I bought as an engaged couple.
This is the fireplace.  Pretty big, huh?

Here are some close ups of the hearth:

I've been collecting snowmen and Santas for many years.  Considering that I have a much smaller place to display my collection, I did manage to put out every one of them--some on the hearth, some on the mantel and others on the hutch:
And this is the display on my 'coffee table', which is actually an antique trunk:

Different angle, different setting on the camera:

Close ups of the Snowmen on my hutch:

And of course, we can't forget the Reason for the Season--the birth of Our Lord, Jesus Christ:   This nativity set is 26 years old.  It was given to us as a Christmas gift all those years ago.  The paint is wearing off here and there, but it's a treasured family heirloom:

I'm glad you stopped by to see my Christmas decor.  I'll post more tomorrow or Tuesday of my Gingerbread kitchen.

I'm also linking up to these parties:
Help Save My Christmas Spirit at A Fish Who Likes Flowers
Creative Bloggers Party Hop at Homemaker On A Dime

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wow! It's been tooo long!

I've been spending alot of time over at A Scrapmom's Musings and have neglected this site.  I am in the process of finishing up swaps and have been invited to create a home decor project over at Mini Album Scraps.  Once it's completed, I'll show it off here.  Please come back soon. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gloucester's Haunted Castle

Hammond Castle Museum

In celebration of Vanessa's Haunted Halloween Party over at A Fanciful Twist --, I thought I'd share a place that I've once visited, used to drive by several times in a week when I lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts. 

Gloucester's Haunted CastleHammond Castle Exterior

Hammond Castle was built in the 1920s by American Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr.  Hammond holds the second largest number of invention patents next to Thomas Edison. He was a very wealthy man. His fascination with historical European culture led him to include many artifacts from old Europe in the furnishings - he even incorporated ancient tombstones inscribed in Latin and had them made parts of the walls. There are many ghost stories about Hammond Castle. Some think that Hammond brought spirits into the house along with the artifacts he collected. Others think that Hammond and his Wife summoned the spirits through their experiments with Spiritualism.
Even if you don't see a ghost during a visit to Hammond Castle, the site has plenty of eccentric features to entertain. Among the features are a working drawbridge, the tomb of a child from ancient Rome, the skull of one of Christopher Columbus's crewman, an eighty-five foot tall pipe organ (the largest ever installed into a private residence, an indoor swimming pool complete with facades taken from Medieval European storefronts and many, many historical artifacts.

The Cats of Hammond Castle

During their lives at Hammond Castle, John Hammond and his Wife, Irene had dozens of pet cats. Whenever one would die, Hammond would preserve the cat in formaldehyde. He would then lead a slow vehicular funeral procession around Cape Ann that would start and end at the castle. Ultimately the preserved feline would wind up in the master's future burial vault, much like an Egyptian pharaoh taking his pets with him into the afterlife. The burial vault is on the property.

John Hammond expressed a wish to be reincarnated as a cat. Some believe that Hammond did indeed return as a black cat that lived on the grounds in the years after his death. The stray chose the place to live and frequented the stone Bishop's Chair that Hammond liked to sit and smoke in.

The Dead Spot

There is a section of floor in the main hall of Hammond Castle that is bleached lighter then the rest of the floor. This is the result of the Hammond's experiments with Spiritualism. John Hammond created an elaborate Faraday cage that surrounded psychic mediums with an electrical field during seances. The concept was that the electrical field would keep out psychic impressions of the living around the medium and only allow in the spirits. The electrical field bleached the floor where the cage once stood. Some say that the "Dead Spot" has focused the energy of the castle's spirits into this small area.

The Supernatural at Hammond Castle

Items have been known to disappear, reappear, or be moved by unseen residents. There is a spectre who sometimes appears in the organ loft. Workers at the castle hear voices when nobody else is around. A ghostly red-haired woman occasionally appears amongst guests at weddings held at the castle.

Castle of the DamnedBurmese manuscript chest

During the Halloween season, Hammond Castle is transformed into the haunted attraction, Castle of the Damned. The annual Halloween haunt is put together by an interactive theatrical group that aspires to provide more than the traditional haunted attraction. The attraction varies from standard methods of scaring its guests and relies on more visceral means (through haunting images and scenery) to leave a more lasting horrific impression on those who pass through.

Tombstone Walls

Sometime soon, I'm going back down to my old stomping grounds and visit Hammond's Castle.  Another stop that's a must for anyone at Halloween----SALEM!  The home of the Salem Witch Trials.  But that's another story for another day.  I hope you enjoyed this post and hope you get the chance to visit this truly unique castle.