Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome Autumn

Fall is approaching with tiny steps in my part of the world. It is still very warm here but the nights are getting cooler and the leaves are dropping. This is my favorite time of year! I love jeans and cardigans and all the gifts God gives to us in the beauty of the earth. I love decorating my home with nature-inspired elements and I especially love all the little furry and fluffy creatures that share God's creation with us. When my grandmother was still with us, I loved picking out Marjolein Bastin cards to mail to her. My gram loved little squirrels and bunnies and I knew that sending her these cards really brightened her day. You can read more about Marjolein Bastin here
I thought I would share a couple of beautiful Autumn inspired pieces by this beloved artist. 
The squirrels have really been busy around my home lately. They really love chestnuts. Iowa squirrels are larger and reddish like the one in this drawing.
These masked cuties seem to be prowling around more than ever as well! I cannot help it I think they are so cute! Probably because they remind me of kitties!
I love the details on these leaves and I love the tape that cause this to look like a naturalist journal. Very Beatrix Potter!
The artist's tools and her inspiration!
The gold finch is the Iowa state bird. I bought a beautiful thistle feeder late this summer but so far no success in attracting these little beauties to my yard. My husband tells me it is because our two cats are always looking out the window watching the world go by...I suppose that might be a correct theory!
I hope whatever you are doing today that you are enjoying the details of the smallest of God's creations today! They are gifts especially for you from a God who adores you!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crazy for Mason Jars

The other day I found the most beautiful antique canning jars at my favorite vintage shop! They were in such perfect condition for being so old. If only they could talk...they would tell stories of canned green beans, sweet pickles, ripe red tomatoes....sitting quietly on a cellar shelf....waiting for the cold winds of winter to blow and the lady of the house to make a hearty stew with their contents to serve up hot to her waiting and chilled family!
I took these perfect jars home and my mind got to spinning with ideas! It was a beautiful day outside and these jars needed a lovely kiss of paint! I chose a warm French vanilla and loved the result. The raised graphics on these pretty jars now stand out with their beautiful lettering! Aren't they lovely?
Now they have a different tale to tell!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Such a sad day!

My dad has loved cats all of his life.He grew up on a farm and I have photos of him as a little boy of four, holding a kitten in his arms. 
My dad is a tough guy with a soft heart. Every time I hear Toby Keith's song, "Made in America", I think of my Dad.
He can fix anything and really does! He can be found daily in his garage fixing something for someone or creating a new gizmo for some gadget. He restores antique trucks and tractors, many times fabricating the parts himself. I have realized that I get much of my creativity from him.
Years ago, he adopted two stray cats that have become his buddies. They sleep in his garage and he made them a bed next to his woodstove, so they can be warm in the winter. They greet him when he has been gone and bring him little "gifts" that we won't talk about here.... ewww!

They were feral cats and for the most part my dad is the only one that can handle them. He named one Baby and one Rusty.
Rusty has been sick for awhile and has been losing weight. The vet said he had cancer. Today he took a severe turn for the worse and was suffering incredibly.
My mom and dad wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the emergency vet. My mother told me that my dad held Rusty until he was gone and suffering no longer. It broke my heart to picture this. When I talked to my dad, he said he was worried about how Baby would do without Rusty. Such a sad day!
Most days I really hate living so far away from my family, but especially on days like this. (They live in NY and I live in Iowa.)
Rusty lived for 14 years and for many of those years, had a good life being loved by my dad. I'm glad that memories can live in our hearts forever!