Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Version of British Country Living

I fell in love with a particular cover of British Country Living. You can look back in my older posts in March and see the adorable cover! This is my version. I arranged some sweet treasures on my fireplace mantle. I was determined to not purchase anything for this mantle. I would look through my stashes and replicate my version of this bird-themed vignette! The bird's nest in the terracotta pot is real. It was abandoned by my house finches last year. Enjoy!

My Etsy Assistant

This is my kitty Peach. Wherever I am working on a project, she is there "supervising". She is quite nosy and loves to be in the middle of whatever is going on. She also "talks". She will carry on a "conversation" back and forth with you. I thought you might like to see her in action. She is so sweet and soft. She is four years old. When she grows up she wants to be me!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cabbage and Roses Giveaway

Carol Spinksi is hosting a give-away on her blog. A beautiful Cabbage and Roses tablecloth! It's absolutely lovely and looks like a gorgeous antique find from a Paris flea market!

Shabby Chic Garden

Today was a perfect day for working on my Shabby Chic garden! I love how these sweet pansies came in a paper bag....peeking out at me!

Some friends dropped in to observe! They are a little nosy...but very friendly! They offered quite a bit of "advice". They stayed long enough for a photo shoot and then fluttered off.

I love the wind chimes that my dear father made for me last year. He fashioned them from antique silverware. I had asked him to make me some because he is so talented and then he presented them to me last summer! They sound lovely and melodic!

I hope you love the sweet little china saucer border that I put around my flower "box". When the flowers grow there will be double holly-hocks, black seed sunflowers and lavender creeping phlox. It's a work in progress but I love it so far!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dead Horse Bay

Now for the news of the weird and curious!

My Poppy Seed Dressing

Since the first of this year, my husband and I have been on a mission to get healthy. We eat large amounts of lettuce salads. This homemade salad dressing is my absolute favorite. My husband loves it too! I hope you will try it and let me know what you think. I actually CRAVE salads with this dressing on it. I think about salads while I am on the treadmill. I come home from my fitness center and make up a plate of delicious salad. I mix this dressing in my Tupperware Quick Shake container and store it in the door of the fridge. Yummy!
Recipe for Poppy Seed Dressing
1/2 cup of water
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TB poppy seeds
3 TSP dried minced onion
1 TSP worcestershire sauce
1/2 TSP dried paprika
Shake vigorously in your Quick Shake and chill for at least one hour.
(You can adjust the amounts of the ingredients to suit your tastes)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Annual Nest

I have two metal pockets on my front door that I change throughout the year with seasonal artificial flowers. I love that they are a little weathered and distressed. Sweetly shabby! I just recently filled them with some pretty spring blooms. Every year, I can anticipate little house finches building a sweet little nest amongst the blooms. They make the prettiest little nests. Sure enough, I peeked today and there is a nest hidden in the posies! The birdy parents were not the slightest bit pleased that I was photographing their nest. They scolded me from nearby....I'm sure they would be flattered if they knew their home was on my blog.

Trying to Grow

I absolutely LOVE sunflowers! In my favorite movie, "You've Got Mail", Meg Ryan proclaims that "daisies are the friendliest flower." Sunflowers are just daisies on steroids! I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect variety of sunflowers to grow in my little patch. I have grown sunflowers before. I come from a long family history of amazing gardeners. I grew up in a garden....literally! So, I direct sowed my seeds and began watching. Let's just say, the weather here in Northwest Iowa has not been especially conducive to direct sown seeds. Too cold and too dry. I have a few little emerging seedlings struggling against the elements. I have watered them and watched them. Some got killed by frost, some dried up and the BUGS have been chewing them up. So, I just bought another seed pack. Let's not give up. Let's try again. This August I WILL have sunflowers in my yard! I am determined!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Signs of Spring

I went for a short walk/run around my neighborhood today. It was slightly drizzly and chilly, but I observed several wonderful signs of spring that I had to share with you. As the owner of My Sparrows Nest, it's obvious my eyes are drawn to the beauty of God's creation and my little feathered friends. Thank you God for our eyes that we can observe Your beauty!

First hatched bird egg shell on the ground!

The robins were busy filling their beaks with all kinds of nest building materials. It's so fascinating to observe what they choose to make their nests.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lace Envy and Regret

I took a few minutes to run into my my favorite thrift store today. I really didn't have time to, but I didn't want to miss any treasures. I was doing my usual "speed shopping" when it happened. I saw a nice lady carefully holding a stack of antique doilies. I wish I could have seen my face. I casually walked a bit closer to look at what she was holding. She probably had about five gorgeous, handmade, crocheted doilies in creams and ecru and they looked lovely. Not your usual dime-a-dozen variety. I did a little self-talk and told myself to not look again. BUT, I did! They looked even prettier. I casually sauntered over and took a closer look. I was very subtle...she had no idea. I walked around quickly hoping to find some more, but there were none. She was holding her husband's hand and standing in the line to pay. She seemed very pleased. I left with nothing but a case of "lace envy". I don't like when that happens. If I had been there a few minutes earlier, I would have been holding those frothy, lacy treasures. Ever have days like that? I would love to know what she did with them. I hope she treasures them and creates something lovely! Seriously, I'm happy for her and she had a happy day! Life is good! Next time it will be my turn! I hope someone will be happy for me too! Life is too short to waste our energy on, "could haves" or "lace envy."

Monday, May 9, 2011


 Apple blossoms, dogwood blossoms, lilac blossoms, forsythia blossoms, pear blossoms.....
fat bumblebees buzzing around their intoxicating sweetness......
fat pastels of tightly curled buds......
then the spring breezes come and scatter the little petals in a shower of beauty......
the beauty of these blossoms is so temporary so you MUST take the time to enjoy their fragile loveliness
while you can! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April in Nashville

I had the lovely privilege of going to Nashville to visit my grown-up daughter for a week. In looks, she favors my husband, but in style and tastes, she is all mine! It's so fun that we love so many of the same things. As she has gotten older, we have become more than mother and daughter, we have become best of friends. Anytime, I can visit her is a heart-filling time of joy! I wanted to take all of you in my carry-on but I didn't think the TSA would allow it. Security didn't like me one bit in Omaha. They took away my water bottle from my carry on and wouldn't let me drink my just-purchased cup of hot tea in the security line. My carry-on bag got stuck in the conveyer belt and they had to "pat me down" because the x-ray machine did not "like" my necklace.

So, here we go. Pretend you came along with me and got to see the sights I saw. It was the most beautiful time to visit, as everything was so green and the glorious dogwoods were blooming. So many homes are made of brick and the dogwood looks especially pleasing with a brick back drop. We visited antique shops in Franklin and Hillsboro village. We went hiking in the woods. We drank black tea lemonades at Starbucks and sampled lovely sandwiches at Bread and Company. We split a huge cupcake from a trendy shop and then realized that we shouldn't have eaten it when we both felt a little too "sweet". We made muslin rolled roses together. I had brought along the latest Somerset Life with me to read on the plane. The magazine gave great instructions for making them. Before you know it, it was time for me to say goodbye. I tearfully walked into the airport and tried to compose myself. She is the sweetest daughter and she has a love for God and for people. She is a hard-working nurse and I am so proud of her!