"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I went shopping today and took some pics of some things I love. This large dog painting on a paper mache tray is something I covet; would love to have it but I never will. It is English from the 1800's.
I love these two dog oil paintings too. I could paint these paintings myself, but then they wouldn't be English from the 1800's.

The pic below is a huge french cabinet, but I just took a little shot to show you the cute vintage lace edging on the shelf. It had little shell buttons sewn across it.

I love the turquoise cabinet below. It didn't have any glass in front, but had great lines.

I have always loved primitives or shabby chic as they call it now. Though very old, I usually don't see the plate shelves on top of primitive cabinets like this one. I like the size of this piece too.

I love this screen door too. Okay, I love everything. It is sturdily made and has cute hardware on one side. I don't think you can see it, but the center slats down the front have carved flowers down them.

Now, would my junking friends tell me a thing or two. I have been out of the biz for quite a few years and here is what I'd like to know. No matter what area of the country (though tell me where), what would you pay and what could you get for the green primitive hutch, the turquoise cabinet, and the red screen door? If you want to know about the dog paintings I'll tell you how much they are, but I sure won't ever be able to afford them!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Little Chickadees

I decided I had better look in all the birdhouses around the place to make sure they were clean and wasps hadn't taken them over. When I opened the back door on one, 6 little chickadees and I looked one another over. I think we were all shocked momentarily. These little birdlings are almost ready to fly away; it will only be a day or two.

This award means a lot to me. Not only because one of the neatest ladies I know gave it to me but because I love awards. My friend Josephine, at A Brit In Tennessee, has a beautiful blog and I visit it often, sometimes even when she hasn't put up a new post. I learn lots of things from her and know that we would be the greatest of friends if we lived close. Thank you Josephine.

The rules of the award are: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Here are 5 of my favorites that you should visit.

Cindy's Clipboard
Artsy Fartsy Finds
delighted heart
Listen 2 Auntie

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Picasso Can't Have A Dog

Congratulations to Jo, A Brit In Tennessee and Cindy of Cindy's Clipboard. They both answered the question of what was this dog's name which is Picasso Can't Have A Dog. If you can enlarge the pic you will see a spiral on its shoulder. I wrote around the spiral like the 'Beats' did; a sort of stream of consciousness style. It says "Picasso can't have a dog, no Siddhartha he. Manipulator manipulated, whatever..." That's how the dog got his name.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Giveaway Post

Here it goes. Beginning at 9:00 CST sharp, be one of the first three followers to answer the question below and I'll send you the horse pic and/or one of two necklaces. Answer in the comments section on this post at 9:00 pm CST. I made a red dog and what is its name?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The time for the giveaway has come. This Friday, April 24th at 9:00pm CST, the first three followers to answer a question about a previous post, will receive the above artwork. The first item is a painting I did in gouache, of a horse in a vintage frame. The second item is a necklace made of snowflake obsidian with a silver cowboy hat charm at the closure. The red cowboy boots are also a gouache I painted. The third item is a necklace of champagne pearls with a tiny gouache floral arrangement.
So, all you have to do is become a follower. Just click on the followers icon to follow my blog. Next, Friday night at 8:30 pm CST, I will ask a question about a previous post. Be the first to answer the question (and second and third) in the comment section at 9:00pm CST and voila! Hope you win!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Tidings

JUST BE GLAD was published in 1907 and written by Charles F. Raymond. As you can see, this old tome was well-loved, with hand torn pages and thoughtful essays. It is a sweet little book. Here is the first essay.

The Tree At The Door

We observe that nature carries all her plans forward in harmony and that there is order in everything.
We do not wonder at the growth of a tree; we know that it yields itself willingly to the influence of the season, giving the blossom and the bud, the leaf and the fruit. We see nothing unusual in its growth.
Yet when we behold a man who grows, who goes steadily forward, who appropriates circumstances to himself, the sorrows to make him gentle, the dangers to make him brave, who keeps his face to the storm, we mark that man in surprise. Yet are we not more than the tree at my back door that, though stationary, holds captive the sun and soil to produce the fruit.
We observe that nature does not hurry; there is no confusion in the woodland at this approaching spring-time, although there will soon be a great beating of carpets in our back yards.
The leaves do not come until they are introduced by the buds, and the buds do not venture until they are wooed by the sun and rain; neither do the birds appear until nature bids them.
We observe that nature is just and that she is a great appraiser of values, and knows how to build. The snowdrop comes quickly, a prelude to the springtime, but it disappears as we admire. We are taught by these things. We know that the grain grows more slowly - it must bear the heat and cold, it bows before the wind.
The flowers are beautiful, the grain is commonplace - but by the grain the world is fed. So we who are plain people, we who are not lithesome of figure, elegant of speech, or handsome of face, we who are the rugged of life, may take heart again. We are the producers, for it is by us the world is fed.
Yes, the flowers fill their purpose, the flowers of springtime; the grain fills its purpose, and up from the earth, cold, hard, and dark, comes both beauty and bread, for the seed lays tribute to nature and nature pays it willingly.
So let us, her children, appropriate to ourselves all the sunshine to make us glad, all the good-fellowship to make us responsive, all the patience we find in anyone, all the virtue we behold in our neighbor. Let us grow. The tree at my back door has but the soil, the air, the sun, the snow and rain. We have the wide world. It is all ours, and let us strive to make everything good a part of ourselves - the thought dropped from a friend, the strong work in a book, the poetry, the painting, the beautiful sunrise, the lull of the lake, the rush of the city, the solitary country way, the music of the orchestra in the theatre, the witchery of the wind through the balsams, the going and coming, the actors on the stage and the actors all about us - let us make everything and anything captive if it will but make us better and stronger men and women.
Let us grow.
We may learn the lesson of confidence from the sparrow who sits in this tree at the back door waiting for his morning crumbs from the tablecloth, or the lesson of majesty from the stars in their silences.

The following pic is the homily at the end of each essay.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Buttons Galore

What do you do with hundreds and hundreds of buttons? Well, I glued them on an old mannequin.
I probably have about 5 gallons of old buttons. I've been collecting them for many years.

Here is a closeup of some of them. I used to buy those mason jars filled with old jewelry etc., and buttons.

This is my most recent button. My friend gave it to me. It is Bakelite and about 3" long. I'd like to see the button hole for this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bush Birds

This big guy is as big as a real turkey. Though he needs a good clipping you get the picture.
Here is a mother turkey and 2 little poults that I planted last summer in the ground. They seem happy there.

I just started trimming my bird bushes. They are so easy to grow and I can leave them out all winter. The bird in the back is sculpted from a Japanese boxwood. It is a different look. Most of the birds are made from Green Mountain Boxwood. The Green M. B. has smaller leaves and the plants are much denser. I would advise you to first experiment with the GMB. You can start with a 1 gal. bucket all the way up to 5 gal. Of course, the larger bushes will give you a specimen plant right away. First, look for a plant that has a single solid base or stem coming from the dirt. It can branch off into several (look at the second plant) just as long as the branches aren't all coming up from the dirt. This makes it look more like a foot. Then, visually divide your plant where you think the head and tail would be. This will take a few minutes of looking it over; holding it this way and that. Then get those shears out and play like you're Edward Scissorhands. I would like mine to be sloped more on their back as it makes them more birdlike. When spring and summer come around, just give them a 'haircut' and that's all they need. Hint~I planted quite a few smaller 1 and 2 gal. plants last year and will wait until they get bigger before I shape them. It's a good way to save money. The 1 gal. plants are about $6.99 and the 5 gal. are around $25.
Don't forget the upcoming giveaway! The instructions were posted a few posts back. I'll let you know exactly when, what and how in the coming days. The giveaway will be on my 100th post.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Apple Pie 101

Everyone has their own favorite recipe for apple pie. I will share a few pointers from mine. First, use tart apples. I always use 6 or 7 large Granny Smith apples. Along with the juice from 1 whole lemon, I also use a combination of brown sugar and white. A sprinkling of cinnamon is a must. I also add flour as a thickening agent. Afterward, I dot the top of the pie with butter and finish with a top crust and voila! The recipe for the crust is listed under the pecan pie post but you can certainly use a pate brisee. I rarely ever measure when I'm baking etc., but if you would like the recipe for the pie filling, leave your email address and I'll send it to you.
Remember the Victory Gardens of old? Well, if you are too overwhelmed to create a vegetable garden, plant some fruit trees. Everyone has time for that. It won't be long before you have your own apple pies.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Crabapples And A Potting Shed

Here is my potting shed again with a flowering crab apple tree next to it. If you remember, we built the shed out of old windows. If you want to know more about it, go to the previous blog I did on the potting shed or greenhouse as it was formerly known.

This crab apple tree has grown from a one inch diameter trunk to a large 15 or more foot tree in only 5 years. If you have a place that needs a fast growing ornamental tree, this is the one for you. It is fragrant and attracts bees but the fruit is small. I have a white flowered crab apple I planted on the other side of the potting shed that is smaller, but has quarter sized fruits that are delicious for juices and jellies. I would only suggest with the pink blossomed tree, that you make sure and put it in a fairly open space as it sends underground runners all over the place

My Granddaughter

Easter Cookies

Isobel helped bake cookies only she kept digging out the M&Ms to eat. That lady behind her isn't me. I know my daughter wouldn't take such an unflattering angle of me, much less take a picture of me without makeup or brushing my hair for the day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where Have All The Cowgirls Gone

Here is a picture I painted in gouache on a brown grocery sack. Back in the days of the early rodeo, cowgirls were tough as old boots. They even rode bucking broncos and bulls; did everything the men did. I don't know why it didn't carry over to rodeos of today.

Friday, April 10, 2009


As you have heard the past two days, wildfires have devastated towns and range land. I posted this pic of a wildfire south of where our farm is a few weeks ago. I was home alone and thinking about how I would use my water hose to wet the house down. After hearing of the fires yesterday, I think my only hope would have been to run to the pond. It is scary to think of the poor people that lost everything, not to mention all the little and large animals that didn't make it. The wind was howling; there was no stopping the fire. A lot of these fires are started by the ranchers wanting to burn off pastureland or to burn off the woodlands to make more pastureland. They do this to make range land for their cattle to graze and burn off the weeds so feed grasses will grow. The fires always seem to get out of hand and burn for miles until it rains or the fires finally reach a firebreak. But, oh the nature; the flora and fauna that is destroyed in the process. You see, the turtles haven't come out of hibernation quite yet, and if they have, they move too slowly to escape the firestorm. Ditto for all the other animals, pastured and wild too. One byproduct of the burning happens when the hay grows deep in the spring. The mother deer lay their new fawns down in the grasses to go some distance away to graze. A hay mower told me that the mowers chop up the new baby deer while they are mowing, and also quail nests...you get the picture. And all for the ranchers to raise their cattle and send them to the slaughterhouse. Some relatives in my own family do this. And this goes on on a global scale everyday. Why can't they just burn and mow hay later in the season? I don't have all the answers. What I do know is I quit eating mammals 4 years ago. I haven't missed the red meat at all and my family were big meat eaters. You have heard the old saw, you can't save the world, but do what you can. This was one way I could.

As a postscript~According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the animal agriculture sector contributes to global warming even more than transportation does. Reducing the amount of meat, eggs, and dairy products in your diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Humane Society of the United States, humanesociety.org/food.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Windows For The Soul?

I love windows. Windows of all kinds. While I'm waiting for pics to upload, which on my computer takes a long time, I read the dictionary. So I looked up window and it had nothing romantic; no connotations of anything I would like to rehash. So, why are they romanticized in song, literature and art? Uh, I don't know. But, I like all shapes and sizes of them; especially stained glass and primitive ones. The bunny window must be a dancing rabbit. If I wanted to lecture, I'd tell you about the Battle of Dancing Rabbit Creek. It involved the Choctaw Indians who were given the southeastern part of Oklahoma.

This grouping faces east and are beautiful in the morning. The large windows were from a church and have latches to open and close them. Just imagine how they must have looked when they were in the church.

Here's a closeup. I must have had a few drinks when I took this picture. Just kidding.

I really love this Gothic window. The colors are so pretty. I had two and sold one. I don't know what I was thinking. I would have really loved to see them in their original setting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kinda Crafty

Here is something you can do with those old peeling mouldings and shelves. This hangs over my bed. It is pink painted over green. Most of these primitives have been painted many times. I scratched out the United States with OK in the middle. Then, the African continent with Saudi Arabia and India and lastly, South America. Maybe someday, Australia.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Aquarium of Sorts

This is one of my favorite finds. It is a fish bowl holder for lack of a better name. I have had a betta in it before and a goldfish in another bowl. I have a green fish bowl that goes very nicely with the piece, but you can't see the fish swimming around in it which defeats the purpose. I love the way the children are looking down at it. I have another one like it only it is terracotta. The two children are fishing over the bowl. The terracotta holder is much older than this one and had a fountain coming up the back of it. I was going to turn it into a fishbowl lamp, but like many of my projects, it ended up being difficult, as I am having a hard time trying to wire it for electricity. Right now, no little fishies, but I might just try again.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Broken Dishes

Well, what the heck. The pictures didn't turn out like I wanted, but you'll get the idea. And no, I didn't throw all these dishes at my husband though most were broken by us at one time or another. This photo shows about half of a flower bed on my back porch. The blue and white dishes serve as edging for this bed. Just need to break about two more to finish it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Somewhere In Time

This is in honor of all the summer weddings coming up. I bought this bride's trousseau many years ago at Round Top, Texas. It is over a hundred years old. The box is handmade and lined with an embossed paper and edged in paper lace. Inside are the bride's accoutrement; a veil and a tiara/headpiece made of beeswax flowers that look somewhat like snowdrops. There are also several additional wax pieces such as the groom's boutonniere. The bride even made little wax pierced earrings that are lying atop the picture. Notice the groom's handmade bowtie.

Here are the bride and groom in a full length pose. Wonder what they are looking at off to the right? Probably to keep them from closing their eyes to the flash.

The groom's bowtie is still lovingly pressed, with tiny pink embroidered flowers and designs and pink stitches around the edges.

The wedded couple in closeup. Is that a handshake to seal the deal? Somebody lied to him about his hairdo. The happy couple was from Hondo, Texas. Anybody know them?