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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

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Monday, January 31, 2011

A Winter's Walk ...

I've been thinking about the Winter storm heading our way ...
It is calm, but bitterly cold again today ...
We bundled up ...
And enjoyed our Winter's walk with the geese...
Happy is the man
who has acquired the love of walking
for it's own sake!
~W.J. Holland~

Monday, January 24, 2011

A man who goes out alone
can start today,
but he who travels
with another
must wait
till that other
is ready
~Henry David Thoreau~
***
We were out & about antiquing this past weekend.
Stopped for coffee
and while Ernie was having a walk, met a new friend :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

In the Mid of Winter...

I've gone into the fields
to take
what this sweet hour
yields...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley~
It didn't take long for the branches of French Pussy Willow I clipped & brought inside, to bloom.
The beautiful little soft gray catkins have appeared creating a little Spring in my kitchen in the Mid of Winter.

It is COLD today!
-20 C with the wind.
Even colder weather & more snow is on the way for the weekend!

The catkins have shed their little brown coats in the warmth of our home :-)
Forcing French Pussy Willow Branches
***
~cut a few branches for indoor forcing
~bring indoors and place in a jar of tepid water ( I save and re-use large pickle jars for this)
~ keep in a dimly lit spot until they bloom
~enjoy
Once the catkins appear, you can remove them from the water, place in a dry jar and allow them to dry naturally to use in Spring arrangements. I place the branches in my outdoor Spring wreath.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful {things I love} Thursday...

I LOVE Perpetual calendars!!
and the idea of being able to use a calendar over and over again, year after year.
Then add to that, a bird, some script, a crown and a stamp ... perfection :-)


Not enjoyment
and not sorrow
is our destined
end or way
but to act
that each tomorrow
finds us further
than today
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Walking Angel stirs ...

The greatest achievement
was at first
and for a time
a dream.
The oak sleeps in the acorn.
The bird waits in the egg;
and in the highest vision of the soul
a walking angel stirs.
Dreams
are the seedlings
of realities.
~James Allen~
***
Walking & dreaming on a cold January morning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Practice ...

This year, I plan on experimenting more with my camera.
{I can't remember what mode I was on to get this photo, but it's my favourite}
I love the soft blurriness & textured feel.
In the past I have always been a frame, focus and shoot photographer, usually in Auto letting the camera do all the work for me.
My Nikon D90 has numerous buttons and picture controls and it's been exciting trying out various shutter speeds, exposures and lighting, with/without flash etc ...
Seeing the different results each gives me.
I plan on taking a photography course this year, but since I'm a visual learner, I do best hands on.
I have my Nikon Users manual and have been reading and experimenting.
The poinsettia and roses around my home have been serving as models (and of course, Ernie)

I have a tri-pod I never use, so that is something I want to try this year too.
Creative photography...
Using the manual exposure mode and choosing the shutter speed and aperture.
By the time I get through the manual, Spring will be here & I can put what I've read to the test outside :-)
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live
as if this is all there is.
~Mary Anne Radmacher~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let it Snow ♥ ...

Snow ... Snow... & more Snow!!
Big, fluffy flakes covering are home and garden ~ glistening like tiny diamonds.
I couldn't resist leaving a message on the window of my son's car early this morning :-)
Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in
on silver-toed slippers of snow
And we, we were children once again
~Bill Morgan Jr~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A recipe to share...


I haven't shared a recipe for a while. This one is so easy to prepare & tasty.
Quinoa Vegetable Salad
1/2 cup organic Quinoa
1 cup water (or low sodium Vegetable broth)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 Tbsp extra-virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Asst of favourite vegetables - we used what we had in the refrigerator
Green Peppers
Carrots
Tomatoes
Celery
Red Onion
1/4 cup Kalamata Olives
Optional : nuts, cheese, dried fruit
***
Directions
Bring 1 cup water to boil. Add 1/2 cup Quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and fluff with a fork. Add vegetables and stir to combine.
Enjoy. This salad tastes even better the following day when all the flavours have blended.
***
Winter is the time for comfort
for good food
and warmth
for the touch of a friendly hand
and for a talk
beside the fire:
it is the time
for
Home
~Edith Sitwell~

Monday, January 10, 2011

Something waits beneath ...

I love these 2 chairs...
I'm not sure who placed them there - I often see people sitting in them enjoying the Lake and quiet serenity of this little spot ...
They make me smile every time Ernie and I pass them on our walks.
Too cold to bring the camera really, but when I would pass something like this little empty nest I would wish I had my camera with me.
Sparrows were singing in the bushes nearby ...
I could hardly see them, all nestled together, but their song was very familiar...
And the roar of the whitecaps...
I can't think of a nicer way to begin each day...
Quiet
Serene
Beauty
♥ Love ♥ I prefer Winter and Fall
when you feel the bone structure
of the landscape --
the loneliness of it --
The dead of Winter.
Something waits beneath it
the whole story
doesn't show
~Andrew Wyeth~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thankful {things I love} Thursday...

I LOVE creating photo/inspiration boards & have 3 hanging up on the walls in Sparrow Studio.
I also found while doing a big purge in Sparrow Studio, many file folders, hidden away in a large cupboard that were bulging with photos I haven't looked at in ages.
So with the start of a new year, and after a big clean up, it's now time to get organized :-)
I picked up some Scrapbooks at the Dollar Store, and sat, one file folder at a time, organizing the photos into categories ~ Garden ~ Home ~ Studio.
I have really enjoyed sitting quietly, with a cup of tea, gluing the photos into each scrapbook.
It didn't take long to see the "look" I love :-)
Lots of dark wood, cream coloured walls, heavy furniture & antiques
were a consistent theme.
Of course, I had to include quotes here and there :-)

I've also added paint chips for reference...

It's a good source of inspiration for my "to do list" :-)
I'd love to have covers like these made for my dining room chairs for the spring/summer months.

Some kitchen inspiration...
Another favourite of mine - exposed brick walls! I like the contrast of the covered chairs with the wood table.

I love everything about these rooms!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
***
This bright New Year
is given me
To live each day with zest...
To daily grow
and try to be
My highest
and
my best!
I have the opportunity
to pray for peace
to plant a tree
And sing
more joyful songs !
~William Arthur Ward~