Monday, July 31, 2006

learning to swim

Hello, my friends. Oh, what a weekend! I spent most of it playing with Seth and Maggie (my nephew and niece) and you know how much I love that.

Early Saturday morning, I went to watch Seth's swimming lessons.

He's such a good little fish. And he was so happy to have me there watching him. He listened to his teacher intently and followed her directions very well. I am so proud of him.

p.s. Do you see how tall he is getting? He's almost a head taller than other 4 year olds!

After Seth's lessons, my sister Jennifer and Baby Maggie hopped in the pool for their time. They played lots of fun games like ring around the rosie. The sound of all the little babies giggling and splashing is a very happy thing. Maggie loves the water. She especially loves drinking it. I think she gulped up half the pool.

I used my friend Mo's doo dads to decorate these (and almost all of my) photos and make them extra special.

Friday, July 28, 2006

club little house-round 3

My friends, are you ready? As promised at precisely 12 noon, here is the sign up for Round 3 of Club Little House.

Click here to sign up

Round 2 is just wrapping up and, oh my goodness! You just wouldn't believe the tiny greatness! It floors me. Some people have posted their littles on their blogs...

and here
and here
and here
and here
and here
and here.

Can you believe how spectacular and tiny? I think I would like to shrink myself and live in this tiny, perfect world we are creating at the rate of a dozen things at a time.

mini-lunch break

I just couldn't wait to show you. I know I should've waited just another week but, well, I couldn't.

It's all I can talk about, these little lunches. Talking to a friend on the phone about something entirely unrelated, I will interupt her to tell her, yet again, about these little lunches. "Did I tell you that the sandwiches are only 1/2 inch?!"

These little lunches are my contribution to Club Little House's second round, which is just wrapping up now. And I can't take full credit for creativity. I found instructions for these little lunches in American Girl's book, Tiny Treasures

In fact, you can click here to get the instructions for making the sandwich yourself.

I made a few modifications. For instance, I couldn't find the expandable sponges that were flat enough to be bread for a 1/2 inch sandwich. So I used felt. It's more of a Wonder bread look. Also, I didn't have a green plastic bag to use for lettuce so I used a green tissue-like paper. Cut up rubber bands, indeed, made the most wonderful ham and cheese. I set up a little bit of an assembly-line. When you have 12 sandwiches to make, big or tiny, doesn't it make sense to do it that way?

In the book it says to make french fries by cutting up a toothpick. Believe it or not, a toothpick made french fries that were too big for this sandwich. If you know nothing about me, you must know that I'm resourceful, right? Well, I chopped off a small handful of broom straws and cut them into the tiniest of tiny french fries. I took a tiny red thread and glued it on top as ketchup.

And for dessert, are you ready?

Miniature pies. From the same book. The very best part? They are made in a bottlecap! Don't you just love that idea? I am so very pleased with how they turned out and mostly about how very fun and easy they were to make. So easy, in fact, that a child could make them easily. Easy as pie!

The felt that I used for the piecrust was a bit on the doughy, uncooked end of the spectrum so I lightly dusted them with Distress Ink and Voila! blue-ribbon worthy golden pie crust!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

anyone up for a mini-round?

Okay, I know lots of you were disappointed that you didn't get into Club Little House. Here's your chance. Tomorrow, at precisely noon EST, I will open up the lines for another round of Club Little House. It will be open to anyone who wants to participate on a first-come, first-served basis. I will put up a little signal and limit the participation to 12 people. To give another person a try, I will sit this one out but I will make a little something for everyone as a bonus.

Also, I am organizing a regular dollhouse gift swap. It will be unlimited...tons of you can sign up and I will match you up with one other little house enthusiast. The last day to sign up is August 14. On that day, you'll receive information about your swap partner. You will have until August 31 to send off your little treasure. Click here to sign up for the swap. The password is ilovelittles. Please be sure to only sign up if you are fully committed to participating.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

the hydrangea queen and her home

My friend Debbie asked me to take some portrait-style pictures in her blooming garden for her site. Isn't she pretty? And just look at those hydrangeas, will you? She is the queen of hydrangeas. I think she has about a hundred of them.

Her husband used to have a landscaping business and one of his clients only ever wanted blooming plants in her gardens. After the bushes' blooms expired, he'd dig them up and replace them with something in bloom. Meanwhile, Debbie would be the happy benefactor of the discarded plants. How lucky is that? In addition to that, she's collected so many different varieties including a climbing variety. As a result, her sweet garden is a treasure trove of the most wonderful hydrangeas you'll ever see.

While I was visiting with my friend, I just had to take some pictures of this wonderful corner of her home. It is so perfect and nice...just as lovely as my friend.

Monday, July 24, 2006

big flea

This weekend was the DC Big Flea. And guess who was there? Here's what the Cottage's space looked like...

Tune in later this week to see the wonderful things I found!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

attn: bloggers

This post is really only of interest to other bloggers.

Want to add a graphic to your blogfeed on bloglines? Here's what you do...

1. Log in to Bloglines
2. Click on Account
3. Select Publishers Tools
4. Claim your blog
Step 1: Identify the feed(s) you want to claim
Step 2: Provide proof that you control the feed
Step 3: Bloglines will verify your claim
5. After your blog is verified, select edit beside your feed in this publishers tools section
6. you can add a graphic to appear with your blogfeed on bloglines. You can also change the icon but it's a bit trickier. If you want directions, speak up here. I'll whip 'em up another day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

sweet sweet so sweet

Here comes another photo-filled post. I hope you are all of the same thinking as I am...that there's no such thing as too many.

My dear friend Rosanna sent me these photos of her patisserie-inspired kitchen in Italy. It is truly amazing. And beautiful. And, above all, sweet. So sweet.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Do you know about bloglines? It's wonderful. Here's how it works. You add all of the blogs that you like to keep up with to your list of "feeds". Whenever a blog on your list is updated, it will appear bold in your list. Now you don't have to impatiently click "refresh" a hundred times waiting for your favorite blog to be updated. (Oh sure, I've done that.) I check my bloglines a few times a day and am always wildy excited when I see my favorite blogs with new entries.

{If you already know about bloglines, forgive my redundancy.)

hippily bunny

I am head over heels for this wonderful movie made by four-year-old Enya and her father. Here's the description by her father:

My 4 year old daughter began drawing a bunny she called "Hippily" on 3 X 5 cards over the past two weeks. She told me that she's doing it to make a 'movie.' Who am I to deny her that? So I added some copyright safe music (I learned my lesson from the Vertigo movie) and had her narrate it. Be sure to watch to the end to see the 'outtake.'

I found this over at YouTube after seeing it posted on Mahar Dry Goods' Blog.

Monday, July 17, 2006

whimsy is my middle name

I'm recovering nicely from camping, and the long trip to and fro. To help make this day extra special, something really wonderful arrived by post. Mr. T asked with his pipe between his teeth "What do you think it is, Miss Amy?" to which I replied over my shoulder as I ran back into the house "It's a gift! It's a gift from my friend!" He chuckled and tooted his horn and drove his mail truck to the next house. I love Mr. T. Did I tell you that he toots in front of my house...just a sweet little tootle of a let me know that the mail has arrived? Someday I will take a photo of him so you can see how cute he is, my wonderful mailman Mr. T.

For now, I'm sure you'll want to see what my friend made for me.

Here's what the little note that came with it said...
"Woven with love from Nature's bounty:
Lavender, Mint, Chamomile, Rose, Sweet Grass
Add a touch of whimsical thread and ribbon,
And this little nest becomes a sweet home for
Little fairy girls or precious pink birdies!
With appreciation to my dear friend Amy...
Love always, your Bliss Sister, Deb"

I love it! I love it! I love it!

Visit my friend Deb's blog by clicking right here.

camping the amy way

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I hate camping. I hate everything about it. If I had to say what I hate most it would be that it is impossible to feel clean while camping. Second runner-up in my hate list is the hundreds of spiders crawling all over me while I sleep. The list goes on and I could rattle things off without even thinking very hard.

(maybe you've noticed?) I'm a positive person. It is not in my nature to rattle off lists of things I hate. I would much rather rattle off lists of things that I love (and show you pictures).

Being a positive person, I try to spin negative situations (like turning myself into a real live version of the Peanut's character Pigpen.)

It took some work, some creativity and lots of packing but here is what camping the Amy way looks like...

I have lots of ideas already on how to make next year's trip even better. Who knows...someday I might even learn to love camping as much as Rich does. Until then, I will keep my complaining to a minimum and do whatever I can to make it as enjoyable as possible.

p.s. I sent out an email to all of those who requested instructions for the money book. Be sure to check your bulk or junk mail folders because it might have turned up there. If you didn't get it, just send me an email ( and I'll get them out to you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

seaside retreat

I'm just back from the girls-only birthday celebration/seaside retreat. We had so much fun. Lots of heart-to-hearts, laughs, potty-talk, and love. It was good for the soul. And our surroundings! You wouldn't believe how beautiful my friend Claudia's house is. Words just can't, luckily for you, I took pictures.

I am hoping to send directions for the money book to all that have requested them by this evening. If I get too busy though, I'll send them next week when I return from camping. Ann loved the money book. Here she is opening it...

We gave Claudia a karaoke machine and I can't believe the neighbors didn't call the police to report us for disturbing the peace. We (and by we, I mean me) were belting out tunes like "I will survive" and "Jitterbug". No, I don't think I should be auditioning for American Idol anytime soon.

The memory jars were a wonderful success. We so enjoyed collecting little mementos of the weekend and putting them all together in a jar. Here's how they turned out...

We stopped on Ann's birthday at a roadside stand to buy her a bouquet of her favorite, sunflowers...

Here we are at the boardwalk...

I have so much to do...I can't believe we're leaving tomorrow for camping. Panic is starting to creep in. Hope you enjoyed this photo-filled post.