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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anniversary Giveaway!

Hello Everyone,
Summer has arrived and June is my anniversary month - it's been one year since I started this blog! 
What a year it's been, too! A year of learning, making new friends and being inspired to try new things. I appreciate each and every one of you! So, to celebrate, and as a way to say "thank you," I'm having a giveaway!  You have 3 chances to win and my blog title gives a hint of the prizes! That's right -  you may win art, a book or a teacup!

I went to a Peace Fair in our town this weekend (I'll be posting more about that, with pics, later.) This is where the first prize comes from - this colorful, handcrafted  songbird comes from SERRV, which is a fair-trade, non-profit organization that works with low-income artisans all over the world. Their mission is to  eradicate poverty by marketing their arts, crafts and food, which helps them find solutions to their problems.


Mr. Bird comes all the way from India. He is carved from solid mango wood, covered with glitter, hand-painted, then varnished. As you can see, he's enjoying himself here in Ohio, but he would be right at home with you, too! He can be hung from a window, etc., or nestled on your desk, bookcase, or table.



I know I have a lot of followers who have beautiful flower gardens. My cousin sent me a copy of this book a few years ago and I loved it! So now I want to share it with you. "From the Ground Up" by Amy Stewart. Even if you're not a gardener, I think you'll enjoy this book.



This is from the inside jacket of the book: Amy Stewart had a simple dream: she wanted a garden. When she and her husband finished graduate school, they headed west to Santa Cruz, California. With little money in their pockets, they found a modest seaside cottage with a small backyard. "From the Ground Up" is Stewart's chronicle of the seedlings, weeds, cats and compost, worms and watering that transform a tiny plot of earth into a glorius garden.


And next, I'm giving away one of my vintage teacups! This Foley China teacup in the Glengarry Thistle pattern. 

I wrote about this cup in a previous post found HERE. It was made in England, and according to the backstamp, was manufactured sometime between 1930-1936. It's a beautiful pale blue color with pink flowers. So pretty!


So, there you have it - art, book(s), tea! To win, just become a follower of my blog (if you're not already) and leave a comment on this post to let me know which gift you'd prefer. I'll ship internationally, so all my friends can join in the fun! You have until next Sunday to enter, and I'll announce the winners next Monday, July 2nd. Good luck!

Until next time,
Cindy

Linking to the following blogs:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Door Art ~

I have a thing for doors ~ old doors, new doors, colorful doors, ornate doors. Well, doors, windows and those old wrought iron gates and fences.  I like to imagine what or who's behind the windows and doors, but I also just appreciate the art and architectural beauty of them. In honor of Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, here's some pink doors I found online. Do you have a colorful front door? If not, what color would you like to paint your door? Would you ever consider painting it pink?





It looks like this door has shutters? I've never seen that before!





Until next time,
Cindy
All photos courtesy: Google Images

Monday, June 18, 2012

Author Lisa Unger

New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Unger
Photo by Jeff Unger

Do you enjoy reading "can't put this book down," thrilling, suspense novels? Then I have the author for you! Lisa Unger has become one of my all-time favorite writers. Her characters are complex, yet believable...people you find yourself thinking about long after you've finished the book. I first discovered Lisa's books several years ago when I read her earlier books, "Beautiful Lies" and its' sequel, "Sliver of Truth" (which are also very good, by the way.) Then, although I've always been an avid reader and profound book lover, I found myself going through a reading "dry spell" due to work, blogging, and other things that occupied my mind. I just didn't seem to have the time to read as much as I used to. But, a few weeks ago I got in the mood once again to escape into a good book, so I picked up "Fragile," (which had been on my bookshelf for quite a while.) I literally had a hard time putting it down, and in fact, stayed up until 5:00am to finish it! I hadn't done that in years!


Synopsis for Fragile:
Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on each other’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a kid, Maggie found the microscope of small town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she’s happily returned to The Hollows’ insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son Rick disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case – and also dangerous.
Eerie parallels soon emerge between Charlene’s disappearance and the abduction of another local girl that shook the community when Maggie was a teenager. The investigation has her husband, Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely. Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn. In a town where the past is always present, nobody is above suspicion, not even a son in the eyes of his father.

As soon as I finished reading "Fragile," I started on its' sequel, "Darkness My Old Friend." I just finished it yesterday. I get so excited when I discover a good book, and want to share it with my friends! So, if you enjoy fiction, and you're looking for a book to take on vacation, to the beach, or to read while you relax in the hammock or on the deck...I highly recommend either of these (although, I'd suggest reading Fragile first, since many of the same characters are also in Darkness My Old Friend.)


Synopsis for Darkness, My Old Friend:
After giving up his post at The Hollows Police Department, Jones Cooper is at loose ends. He is having trouble facing a horrible event from the past, and finding a second act. He’s in therapy. Then, on a brisk October morning, he has a visitor. Eloise Montgomery, the psychic who plays a key role in FRAGILE, comes to him with predictions about his future, some of them dire.
Michael Holt, a young man who grew up in The Hollows, has returned looking for answers about his mother who went missing many years earlier. He has hired local PI Ray Muldune and psychic Eloise Montgomery to help him solve the mystery that has haunted him. What he finds might be his undoing.
Fifteen year old Willow Graves is exiled to The Hollows from Manhattan when six months earlier she moved to the quiet town with her novelist mother after a bitter divorce. Willow is acting out, spending time with kids that bring out the worst in her. And when things get hard, she has a tendency to run away – a predilection that might lead her to dark places.
Set in The Hollows, the backdrop for Fragile, this is the riveting story of lives set on a collision course with devastating consequences.

To order either of these books, just click on the links below. They're also available in ebook format. To visit Lisa Unger's website, click HERE. I'd love to hear what you think of these books, or if you're already a fan of Unger's, please let me know!

Happy Reading!
Cindy


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lake Erie Getaway/Marblehead Lighthouse

I'm lucky to live only about 40 minutes (by car) from the southwestern shore of Lake Erie, so I try to visit at least once or twice during the summer months. For those who might not know, Lake Erie is the southernmost, and fourth-largest, of the Great Lakes of North America. My sister and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Lake Erie last week, so I want to share some photos. First: the Marblehead Lighthouse, built in 1821. It sits at the very tip of Marblehead Peninsula on a rocky outcropping of limestone. Inside, a spiraling staircase with 77 steps leads to the top of the lighthouse - but I've never climbed it (that's a lot of steps!) The views from the top are said to be fantastic, though, so I need to do it one of these times! 



 The very first lightkeeper was Benajah Wolcott, a Revolutionary War veteran and one of the first settlers on the peninsula. Every night, he would climb the tower to light the thirteen wicks of the lighthouse, which, at the time, were actually 13 small, whale oil lamps. His other duties were to keep records of the weather conditions and the passing ships, and to organize search efforts when needed. When Mr. Wolcott passed away in 1832, his wife took over the duties, making her the first female lightkeeper on the Great Lakes.

This is the lightkeeper's house that's just across from the lighthouse, I love the hollyhocks growing along the fence! This home was built in 1880 to replace the original lightkeeper's dwelling that had become inhabitable. You can tour the downstairs of the home, where there's also a small museum.


The rocky shoreline makes for great seating to enjoy the views, and it's also fun to climb the rocks and explore because they're filled with glacial grooves and fossils.




I also found this name carved into the rock: Jim Johans U.S.C.G. (United States Coast Guard)


I hope you've enjoyed this little "lakeside getaway!"


Until next time,
Cindy

Linking to: Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper
                                   Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer
                        What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants
                                          Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage
             Passion Parade Friday Link Soiree

Monday, June 11, 2012

Antiquing

Hello Everyone,
Well, it's a new week...and we're already almost halfway through June! Does time seem to fly by at warp speed sometimes...or is it just me? Last week, I promised to share more photos of my recent antiquing outing with my sis, so here we go!

For a "Good With the Wind" fan like me, this painting of Scarlett O'Hara drew me like a magnet. The sticker on it simply said, "Painting of Woman." Obviously, the owner didn't recognize Scarlett in her dress and hat made from "Miss Ellen's po'teers!"


I love old telephones. I'd like to have one like this someday (this one was too pricey for my budget right now!) but I do have my parents old, black, rotary-dial phone. Remember those? My parents passed away many years ago, but I sometimes dial their number...562-3934...the same number they had for years, just because it's comforting to me.


My Parents Phone

More items from the antique barn...an old toy Ferris Wheel


Victrolas


A lovely silver tea service

...and another painting of three young girls. It reminds me of the poem "The Children's Hour" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about his three daughters, "Grave Alice, laughing Allegra and Edith with the golden hair." I couldn't see a description, but I wonder if this was the artist's inspiration?


Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair..
                                                                           Henry Wadsworth Longfellow





Enjoy your week, everyone! Until next time,
Cindy

Linking to the following blogs: 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Goodwill Hunting

Hello everyone and welcome to the weekend!
Today I'm sharing a couple of pretty pitchers I found at our local Goodwill shop. I love these and have them in my bedroom. Each one cost only $2.00 ( I do love finding treasures at the Goodwill!) They almost look like they're a pair, although I found them on two separate occasions.



My bedroom is mostly white with just a few touches of pink, so these pitchers were the perfect touch!



Enjoy your weekend!  It's going to be a hot one here in northwest Ohio!

Until next time,
Cindy

Linking to Pink Saturday on How Sweet the Sound
                         Show and Tell Friday on My Romantic Home

Monday, June 4, 2012

Royal Stafford Teacup

Hello Everyone,
First, I want to thank everyone who visited my "high heels" post last week. It was fun reading your comments about the wearing (and not wearing) of high heels! I most definitely prefer cute flats now, but I would love to wear heels again for a special occasion. So, if, or when, that happens - I'll share with you, I promise!

My sister and I went antiquing in a nearby town last week, where I found this vintage Royal Stafford teacup. You won't believe how much I paid for it!


It was marked $2.00, and they were having a 20% off sale, so it cost me all of $1.60 plus tax! What drew me to this cup is the shape and color of the "bowl" of the cup (which doesn't show up well in my photo...but it's a very soft, pale shade of pink.)


From my research, I found that Royal Stafford is a "brand name" of an English company from Staffordshire, England that was called Thomas Poole. The Thomas Poole Company was founded in 1880 (and formerly known as Johnson & Poole.) In 1952, the company was re-formed again and became known as Royal Stafford China. The backstamp on my cup dates it to this period, sometime after 1952.




I'll be posting photos of some of the other interesting things I saw at the antique barn later in the week. For now, I'm sharing my teacup on the Tuesday Tea Time link parties and other blogs listed below. Have a great week, everyone!

Cindy

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Could You...Would You...Wear These Shoes?



For some reason this evening, I'm thinking about when I used to wear high heels...every day. Well, not on the weekends...but during the week, every day, I dressed up and wore high heels to work. I was in my early 30s and it was the late 80s. I worked for a large insurance company in downtown Sacramento, California and I didn't own a car. I walked...or rode public transportation all over that city...in high heels. Just like Carrie in "Sex and the City," I could even run in my high heels, if necessary! I always loved wearing dresses and skirts - even when I was little. Oh, I wore jeans or sweats on the weekends, but even though it wasn't required, I always dressed up for work.



I'm not exactly sure when I stopped wearing high heels. Sometime in my 40s, I started to opt for comfort more and more, rather than fashion. I also gained a lot of weight and stopped wearing dresses - feeling that pants were more flattering to my ever-growing, curvy figure. Then, at age 51, I fell and broke my ankle and ever since then, wearing flat shoes has pretty much become a necessity. But sometimes I miss high heels. I loved how they made me feel so feminine...and taller than my 5'2". I had heels in every color - white, black, navy, red, pink...





I even had a pair of lavender high heels that looked a lot like this:



 
I didn't pay a lot of money for shoes...in fact, some of them I got for FREE! Yes...I said free. My sister and brother-in-law owned a shoe store and my sister kept me well-supplied in shoes! Oh, those were the days!



My feet and ankles really do appreciate comfortable shoes these days...but I'm losing weight (down 19 lbs. as of this morning!) and exercising, and I'm thinking I'd like to wear high heels again...at least for special occasions. What about you?  Do you wear high heels? Or, like me, are they something you gave up long ago? Do you have a favorite pair of heels? Tell me...could you, would you, wear these shoes?


Until next time,
Cindy


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