Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Preparing for May...

My preparations for May-time this year include finishing a book. As some of you may have guessed, the reason for my silence is because I've been laboring away in my Writer's Cloister again, this time trying to finish my fourth novel, The Midnight Dancers, due to be published at the end of May. For those of you who've never read my novels, I hope you'll consider starting with this one: it's the beginning of a new series, of a sort, a romantic adventure with philosophical undertones, all disguised within the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I am trying to delicately weave into the narrative some themes that are very dear to my heart, including beauty and Our Lady. If you could spare a prayer for me as I labor, I would be truly grateful.

I leave, for your appreciation, this holy card which is one of my favorite images of the Blessed Mother and our Savior, with whispers of the Holy Spirit about her. The passionate expression on Our Lady's face never fails to move me. Here is a woman in love.

Peace to your day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Random Moment of Beauty: Blue and Pink and Yellow Light

I love how the morning sunlight filters through the clear pink oil in the lamp, the blue of the vintage bell jar, and the yellow leaves of the daffodills. Also, my three colors (red, blue, and green!) in yet another natural incarnation. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Colors of Spring: Blue and Pink

As I've mentioned before, my three favorite decorating colors are red, blue and green, and I naturally try to fit everything in my house into that scheme. I didn't mention that I use the lighter shades of all those colors as well, so light blue and pink are "within my scheme." Shifting from hue to hue between seasons becomes easy then.

Pink is a natural spring color, and this year I'm going to try to pair it with blue. To inspire me, I collected some coordinating jewelry from my cache to add to my dresser display for the season, going with my usual theme of decorating with useful things. In my basket are: (clockwise) a pink apple blossom resin pin created by a local woodcarver; a sparkly vintage blue-flower pin (unusual, so it caught my eye at a garage sale a few years back); a pink beaded necklace I bought in high school whose hue, although merely plastic and paint, continues to enchant me; a blue glass bead necklace made out of a broken rosary (my husband gave it to me as a Christmas present and I wanted to keep it even after our children had lost nearly all its pieces); and blue-purple-pink cloisonne earrings I made myself some years ago.

Enjoy the spring colors in your own life!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Cleaning: New Pictures!

Thanks to finishing another room in our addition, we have freed up the upstairs hallway room to be used as a playroom! While rejoicing in the sudden amount of space, I decided to do something about the walls. Two aspects of spring cleaning nicely coincided as I decided to take the contents of my girls' portfolio from art lessons and hang them up. I was happy to show off the talents of two budding artists and cover up a wall as well! I think if you click on this photo, you can see the pictures on the wall a bit more clearly. They're mostly fairy tale illustrations, animals, and landscapes. (Plus a papal flag collage from religion class.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Favorite Things: Teapots

As a tea lover, I am naturally concerned about passing on my passion to the next generation, and in our family, that means making sure that our children have properly-sized utensils to that they can enjoy their own cup of tea whenever they want.

What this means is that any time I see a small teacup or miniature teapot, I buy it. Right now we own several teapots, including the Grand Dame, an antique 12-cup vessel I inherited from my grandparents, a fat white low 3-cup that is the veteran of many tea sessions between my husband and I, a chipped white 5-cup pot that is the "family everyday" pot (whose lid was replaced and now doesn't fit), and this pretty Blue Betty in the photo, which was a holiday present for baby Joan. We used to have a larger Brown Betty that belonged to my oldest son, but it has vanished except for the lid, which we use on my oldest daughter's white one-cup pot.

So yes, we have many teapots, and pretty much all of them are in daily use, except for the Grand Dame, who holds court in the china cabinet and may not be touched by anyone under 30 without the shrieking banshee emerging from my innards. We also have our very own china teaset-with-pictures-all-in-blue, but that is so much of an antique that we all look at it, without using it, by common consent.

As blog reader Jim commented, a good pot of tea is one of life's joys! I hope you -- and your children -- get a chance to indulge.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hot Breakfast on a Cold Morning

Since spring is really, truly coming at last, the winter mornings where we made breakfast on the woodstove in the morning are numbered. At times I get impatient with not having "real" central heat. But I have to admit there's nothing better than a roaring fire on a cold morning, with the smell of breakfast cooking slowly on the woodstove cooktop. On some mornings it's just browned sausage and tea, but other mornings we have eggs, fried potatoes, and pancakes as well, as on this morning. (Note the already-coooked sausage balanced atop of the tea kettle, a homey method of keeping things hot on a crowded stove!)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Random Moment of Beauty: Dishwasher

This is one reason why I love having a comprehensive matching scheme for my house. Almost everything I own is either red, green, blue, or some neutral or natural color. So I take a ridiculous amount of pleasure from the fact that a random assortment of dishes in the dishwasher can look harmonious.

Peace to your day.