There’s only one sport that I consider a really beautiful one.  The fans clap politely, are silent while the players concentrate, and you begin at Love – Love.  You also have delightful fashion! Consider the ruffled skirt below.  It says “confection” to me, you’d have to have legs that looked like confection to wear it.

It’s made by Adidas and designed by Stella McCartney.   Hermes also has a fairytale white outfit with tea service.  (Darling doll house as well…)

I’m not quite certain how I’d have tea in this position, but a tree house would do.

Lacoste continues the fairytale theme by

making us dream about flying. I know that when I’m breaking a sweat playing tennis I don’t quite think I can fly, but these are lovely dreams.  Maybe if I were wearing a bracelet like this it would help.



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Love and chocolate (strawberries)

These are so easy to make, and so worth it.  I used one bar of good Dutch chocolate and one package of fresh ripe strawberries.

I melted the chocolate in a double boiler (you can use the microwave if you don’t have a double boiler.)  Then I washed and dried each one before rolling them in the melted chocolate.

Dh said he couldn’t tell whether they were really good after just one.  He had to try a second in order to really rate them.  By the third one, he was certain that they were good.

I commissioned one of the munchkins to draw something special just for you for Valentines this year. It’s a maze that you can solve!  You can click on the photo to view it larger. If you click on this link: Rose Maze, it will take you to one that you can print out.

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Cupcakes for winter

The rain is pouring, heavy drops hitting the skylights over the piano, in the dark.  It comes and goes as the clouds are blown this way and that across the hilltops at Deer Haven.  The porch light is shining through a glittery sphere of light it has created on the window’s droplets.

We watched Coraline this week, with it’s gray days.  Yes, it does get that gray in the Northwest, the inspiration for the film’s setting.  For a more in depth look at the concept art for the film you can go to illustrator Jon Klassen’s site.

What I recall with enchantment was the food in the film though!  Of course, that was the focus for Coraline, and they did a great job of making it inviting! The scene in my head tells me that there were pink cupcakes, but when searching for pictures from the film, I couldn’t find them.  So here are some cupcakes that are just as cheerful as the ones Coraline found enticing. The first is from baked and wired in D.C., the Lego ones that the munchkins were crazy about are from hello naomi out of Australia, and the third is the Periodic Table of Cupcakes, with a recipe for cupcakes.

I was drooling over the newest issue of Artful Blogging by Somerset Studios this evening.  Dh hinted that he might want to get a subscription to it for Valentines Day, if he had the information, so I purposely didn’t look at it.  However, when I looked at the website, you really don’t save much by getting a subscription.  I almost pouted, but it’s so beautiful, I feel more resigned than pouty.

I think I need to look at elephants from ekohdesign to cheer up.  You too? Ah yes, I feel better already!



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under the weather

I have to be a bit short and sweet tonight.  The munchkins are sharing the flu bug at Deer Haven right now.  Here’s what we used to cheer them up tonight.

Japanese cubee’s.  So far we’ve made Inigo Montoya and The FoxThe Little Prince has been downloaded for future construction.

One of the munchkins wanted to know where you could make your own font, so we found these sites:

Font Generator or Fontifier

This is one thing that I keep telling myself I’m going to create.  Both of these sites design a font in your very own handwriting.  (This is how to make it look like you always use your very best handwriting!)


This site allows you to download a simple editor to create any kind of font.

Word Editor:

This site explains how to access the font editor inside Microsoft Word.

If you like that kind of thing, I’d love to see the fonts you come up with…


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Beautiful on the inside


This blog is a place to escape into the beautiful, the innocent, the excellent.  Sometimes beauty is in the middle of the greatest storm, and there it stands and shines.  The following list of blogs are beautiful to me because of the storm that is surrounding them.  Being an encouragement to those whom we find beautiful inside makes their light shine even more brightly.  I want to feed the fire of their beauty.

Left above,: Host family in New Orleans for dh’s crew.  Center: DH in New Orleans, Right: member of dh’s crew with a toxic refrigerator

Below: Frequently Updated Information on Bright Spots in Haiti:

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Calendar Art

Art becomes meaningful when it touches an emotional chord, like music, a kiss, or a scent does.  In my studio hangs an Edward Hopper calendar from 1999.  It’s always open to January because the featured painting is “Room in New York” from 1932.  This particular piece leads me to a direct memory of a night in my life soon after we were married…and, as evidenced by the subject chosen by the artist, more than one couple has had this same night.

In college I always carried a weekly planner with art on the left side and the blank days on the other.  I recall choosing a Joan Walsh Anglund calendar as a way to remember home and one of my dearest childhood book authors. There was one with Renaissance angels as well, from the Met, probably a gift…

I havn’t used a physical calendar since the Expedition tangled with a semi on ice.  We’ve been operating on one vehicle, and therefore one online calendar to keep car usage tightly monitored. I’ve looked longingly at beautiful agendas, journal style calendar notebooks,

and the occasional wall hung with art prints in large format.  (I did purchase a Frank LLoyd Wright agenda simply for all the photos of his work.)

I just fell in love with a new calendar.  It is by Masha D’yans and it features a series of watercolored trees.  I love trees and the lyrical way she portrays them caught my eye as I walked past, not even thinking about getting a calendar at all this year.  Her line work is structural, an excellent compliment to the blending of the browns and greens in her trunks and leaves.  And one little touch she features is a sweet little bird, one of my other loves!


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When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad


The next munchkin and seeing my sister in the rear view mirror…


Christmas tea with friends at the Heathman Hotel


Making peppermint patty chocolate brownies; ice cream; and pomme frite with dh in downtown Portland. Finding a good book at Powells, tea and prayer with my girlfriends, (and running into her dad with 50% off coupons at Michaels!), homemade spaghetti, applesauce, apple pie, voice mails of my little niece saying “um”, goodnight kisses from the munchkins…

What cheers you?



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Fresh…are you ready?

It caught me by surprise.  The fact that my first post to you would be on the eve of the New Year.  How fitting, though, since this is where I think about my resolutions…

Here are some lovely ones that should not be too hard.  Let me know if you take the challenge.

Nine lovely things for the new year…

1. A new years resolution kept: do you have one from last year that you worked on?
2. A romantic idea for your Valentine: find a little something that fits their love language.  Dh loves to be encouraged and have things done for him. (Like planning a little get-away.)

3. A room swept clean: it always improves my attitude if I can find a place to organize.  Architectural Digest helps me every now and then with the impetus to work on a room.  Of course, the munchkins love to be in clean swept rooms, so it rarely lasts.
4. A letter mailed: is there someone you know who doesn’t need a little care package from you?
5. A project started: this one makes me feel alive!

6. A meal made: Christmas has filled my refrigerator with lovely leftovers.  I’m going to share some with a neighbor tomorrow.  Is there someone who would love a home cooked meal from you?
7. A place visited: I love to travel.  I think I actually need to travel.  I moved every two years while growing up, and I’m afraid it’s in my blood.

8. A child kissed: whether it’s a niece, nephew, grandchild, or one of your own munchkins, one kiss is never enough!
9. A new skill learned: I’m going to be taking photography lessons! I’ve never studied that before, so I’m excited! (I figure that if I take or teach one class a year, it will keep me thinking…)

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On a jet plane…

By the time you all read this, I will be flying to see my sister’s new little munchkin in Florida.  I leave at 6 am. Those of

you who know me well can laugh now.  I won’t be coherent until I hit Denver at 10 am.  That said, I thought I’d leave you with a few white Christmas photos. Everything but the tree is up around here, my promise to myself kept.  I knew I’d not enjoy Christmas at all if I still had anything to do by the time I got back home on the 17th. However, if you by chance are not yet finished, there are lovely white things at The White Company that I do like this year… (especially the stripey red and white children’s stockings and buckets.)

The Dutch celebrate Saint Nickolas’ birthday on the 5th and 6th of December, separately from Christmas.  He’s been here, as evidenced by the tiny pepernoten cookies under the shoes.  The shoes were filled with chocolate, but that’s long gone.  Below is the sheet music idea I wanted to share with you.  I have a lovely star that I got

at Willow’s Nest, made by Wendy Addison.  It’s sitting in our bookcase in the living room where I’ve used piano

sheet music to “wallpaper” the inside of the bookcase.  The paper has made it so bright and cheery that it will be a while before it comes down.

The last photo is what you get when you ask the munchkins to find something white to go under the wineglass domes.


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