Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where a Garden of Kindness Blooms-Part 2

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. ~Author Unknown

Wolfgang Sauber; GNU Free Documentation License
If it were within my power, I would make each and every one of you Queen for the Day. Alas, that power is not within my realm of possibilities.

But I feel I would be remiss not to give royal recognition to a certain handful of wonderful ladies, who have given me a leg up in this blogging adventure of mine.

First, I would like to thank the witty and charming Kendall, of Finesse Your Nest.

Not only is her blog loaded with great ways to, well…finesse your nest, but her humorous style of writing will definitely make you smile. 

Recently, she so kindly featured the Brambleberry Cottage–during a weekly feature of some of her favorite blog newbies.

Thanks so much, Kendall, for finding the cottage noteworthy!

Then there's the daring, designing Kathy, at Creative Home Expressions, who chose the Brambleberry Cottage to be her Blog of the Week feature.

Kathy has enough creative ideas to keep us all busy for a very long time. Yet, she charitably shares the creative limelight with those whom she chooses to feature.

Where does she find the time for all those wonderful projects she shares? ; )

Thanks again, Kathy, for featuring the cottage!

Next, a special thanks to the domestic diva, Maryann, at Domestically Speaking, who chose one of the cottage's paint projects to spotlight.

Not only does Maryann share a bounty of her own great ideas with us, but her Power of Paint Party draws a creative and crafty crowd weekly who shares terrific ideas as well.

Wow!  Thanks, Maryann, for choosing a Brambleberry Cottage project to feature!

And I had only been blogging for eleven days, when the charmingly funny BJ, of Sweet Nothings...A Nesting Place, asked if she could introduce the Brambleberry Cottage to her readers.

What a thrill for this newbie that was!

BJ is quite a ham, who loves tempting everyone with her yummy-looking, sweet treats. She shares her family, home, and recipes with readers in a way that has them in stitches.

A big hug, BJ, for your kind introduction of the Brambleberry Cottage to Blogland.

I would also like to thank Kim, of the Daisy Cottage, for allowing me to showcase her lovely home on Day 5 of the Fourteen Days of Love.  

After visiting the inside of your charming cottage, we're all seeing red, Kim!  ; )

Have you ever visited Cindy at My Romantic Home? Her romantic vignettes keep many of us coming back for more...and often!

Even after being stretched between the time she spends photographing and composing those wonderful posts and working full-time, Cindy still graciously agreed to an interview with me here at the Brambleberry Cottage.

She was even sweet enough to let readers know about the interview on her own wonderful blog!

I very much appreciate the time you shared with me, Cindy!

And last, but in no way least, a huge thank you to the generous, sweet Susan, of Between Naps on the Porch. She hosts two wonderful blog events weekly, Metamorphosis Monday

and Tablescape Thursday...

and spends enormous amounts of time and energy providing us with the wonderful eye candy in her posts.  Plus, she works outside the home, as well.  She is one terribly busy bloggin' lady!

Yet, she has never hesitated to take time to answer my "newbie" questions.

Thank you for your unfailing generosity, Susan!

 Then, there's the sweet, talented group of ladies, whom I met and partied with during my Fourteen Days of Love Valentines's Party.  Ladies, thank you all for joining me in a marathon of fun!

Finally, a heartfelt thanks to all who have left sweet, encouraging comments on my posts.  You have blessed me far more than you will ever know.

Long before I ever experienced the charity firsthand, I had read about the profound kindness floating around the blogosphere. Being on this side of it now, I can assure you it exists…abundantly!

If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Where a Garden of Kindness Blooms-Part 1

Image Source: Marlith; GNU Free Documentation License
The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person's life. ~ William Wordsworth

In the short span of time that I have been a blogger–forty-eight days to be exact–I have experienced abundant both word and deed.

Image Source: R Neil Marshman; GNU Free Documentation License
Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. ~ Scott Adams

Image Source: User:Erin Silversmith Dec 2005
Each act I've encountered has been a sweet, fragrant bloom presented from the vast garden of kindness here in the blogosphere.

Image Source: Mr Poortom; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. ~ Amelia Earhart

Image Source: Amanda, Jonathan & Hannes Grobe; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license
Each of you has been a cherished contributor to the mosaic of beauty here at the Brambleberry Cottage–with your sweet comments and willingness to encourage and lend a helping hand.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Painterly Touch

I'm aware that there are many purists among us, who feel that to paint an antique is a most despicable deed.  And, I respect that there is such diversity of tastes in the world.

When it comes to painting vintage or antique items,
the Yankee and I consider a number of variables, prior to taking that plunge.

For each project we tackle, we determine the steps necessary to enhance the unique features of the individual piece.

Some antiques have suffered such ravages of time that simple refinishing
will not suffice. Those are the very pieces we believe to be
the ideal candidates for a painterly touch.

We jokingly say we're in the rescue business.  It's not uncommon
for us to retrieve items from trash heaps or burn piles
 in an attempt to resuscitate them.

If there is even so much as a single breath of life existent in something,
we feel compelled to revive it.

I wish I had a before picture of the actual Depression era vanity that we delivered
from certain destruction—atop a rather large pile of  trash, about to be burned. 

Just imagine, if you will, a vanity very similar to the one pictured below, but...

Remember this sneak peek I gave you in the post about the Yankee?

That was a peek at our rescue efforts for the once
abandoned vanity we recovered.

When we found it, the mirror was missing, and the bridge that connected
the two sides was beyond repair.  The Yankee cut the piece apart
and disposed of the irreparable bridge.

Though one of the sides had some nicks and dings
and a few small areas of missing veneer, and two others needed to be replaced altogether, 
we knew we could totally transform the much neglected castoff.

To most observers, the piece had breathed its last breath.
To us, though the breath was shallow, it still existed and was therefore worth reviving.

After the standard thorough cleaning—that was my job—and a good sanding—
that was the Yankee's job—the Yankee set about making the necessary repairs.

We are of the opinion that to totally rework a piece,
eliminating every little imperfection, negates its vintage character. So, more often than not,
 we will leave certain minor flaws.

Being the incredibly creative man that he is,
the Yankee masterfully designed and crafted new backs from vintage wood.

Once those lovely details were added, I knew we had to
adorn the stands with lots of sweet, feminine flourishes!

One of the characteristics I absolutely love about older pieces is 
the quality of construction found in details like dovetailed drawers.

After the draws were sanded and cleaned, and all structural repairs complete, it was time to decide on the decorative touches.

My favorite part!   ; )

We sifted through numerous fabulous appliqués 
in search of the perfect embellishments.

This lovely three-dimensional rose, accented by a
delicate scrolly vine, could not have been more perfect for the backs.

With our creative touches, the frames went through a Cinderella-like transformation

They're now dripping with sweet little roses and
wildflowers cascading down from tiny ribbons.

The pretty, scalloped apron fronts were also gussied up a bit with
 the cutest curly ribbon appliqué.  It's knot even resembles a rose!

As if all those sweet details weren't dreamy enough, we then painted everything
the softest, cottagey white we could find.

That was followed by an ever-so-light distressing, from the top right down to the lovely little turned legs. 
 It was the perfect finishing touch to amplify the delicate beauty.

The shabby sweetness!!!

And where there was once one ugly duckling...
there were now, not one, but two beautiful swans.   ; )


Thursday, February 18, 2010

In the Eye of the Beholder

Have you ever found beauty in something that someone else thought of
as less than beautiful?

To many—including the Yankee—this modest, nondescript, little well-house, situated
 in a remote corner of our front yard, is anything but beautiful.  Yet, from the
moment I laid eyes on it, I thought it to be quite charming.

 It was midsummer, the year we located our small farm with its tiny, quaint
cottage—affectionately called the Brambleberry Cottage

I instantly fell in love with this simple, bucolic structure—its bright white architecture
 contrasting sharply with the deep greens of the lush environment surrounding it.

It was fall of that same year, when we purchased the property, and, by that time,
the landscape had begun to cloak itself in the various hues of the season.

Perhaps it was because it was my favorite time of year that when I spied the well-house,
 enveloped by a kaleidoscope of fall color, I became even more
enamored with it.

Even as the last of the gorgeous, multihued leaves cascaded from the trees, and
the scenery filled more with gray fog than fall-fanfare, my enthusiasm for this charming,
little structure did not wane.

Although I had witnessed its beauty in a wide array of conditions, all paled
in comparison to the dramatic display of its snowy winter covering.

As I have observed the little well-house through every distinct season, year after year,
it has become apparent that its surroundings have only served to enhance
the simple beauty I find inherent to the structure itself.

The Scottish philosopher, David Hume, expressed the sentiment this way,
"Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them."

Indeed, it is true. 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Monday, February 15, 2010


The second week of our Fourteen Days of Love Valentine's party was a blast.

It's so hard to believe it's over!

Everyone did such a fantastic job with the topics. Please be sure to take a look at all the wonderful posts linked to each of the fourteen days.

A big Southern hug to all who participated.  ; )

Now, take a look at the trove of treasure this week's grand prize winner receives:

Day 8 – Must Love Pets!    24 Gorgeously Detailed Reproduction Victorian Valentine Cards – Cup O' Cats

Day 9 – Sweets For the Sweet    Sweet Treats Cookbook & Emergency Chocolate Bar

Day 10 – Flower Power    Adorable Wire Carrier Planter

Day 11 – The Perfect Gift    Set of Three Decorative Valentine's Gift Bags

Day 12 – Romancing the Palate    Trio of Delicious Gourmet Spices

Day 13 – Plan Your Escape    Two Sets of Lusciously Scented Candles

Day 14 – Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing    Precious Pink Floral Picture Frame
And so, without further delay…

the winner of the giveaway for week two, the final week of


none other than...

BJ of


Wow!!! It looks like Texas walked away with all the goods from this party!

So...I guess it's time to put my thinking cap on, and see what other kind of trouble I can get us all into! 

For now, I think I'll mosey on over to Mary's and join in on the Mosaic Monday fun.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fourteen Days of Love - Day 14 - Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Happy Valentine's Day!

There may be one or a hundred and one loves in your life. But this day, Valentine's Day, should be dedicated to that special someone who can make your heart sing!

I'm a person who loves easily. By that I mean, caring for and about people seems to come naturally for me. 

And those I love, I love deeply.

I am blessed with two wonderful parents, four very special sisters and their husbands and children, two terrific children of my own, and one super, incredibly cute granddaughter…all of whom I love dearly!

 But the person who can make my heart sing with the greatest passion is my Yankee sweetheart!

Yet, you've most likely realized, from my previous posts, that he and I are two distinctly different personalities, with unique and sometimes ofttimes opposing takes on life.

In many ways, we are the clichéd "odd couple."

image source:
No…not that odd couple.

We actually more closely resemble the couples portrayed in these magazine ads.

Over the years, the Yankee has summed up who we are as a couple with some very familiar metaphors, and I'll just let you guess whose who in these images.  ; )

Leather & Lace

Fire & Ice

image source:
Oil & Water

image source:
OK, so you get the idea.

In essence, what I'm attempting to communicate to you is how different the Yankee and I are. Yet, even with all our differences, it works. 

Or should I say we work at it?!

Any relationship takes effort, but a relationship such as ours takes even greater effort...

and commitment. 

That's what we have...a lifetime commitment.

Though there are at times points of disagreement between us, there is one thing the Yankee and I totally agree upon.

There is no one either of us would want to share our lives with more than one another! 

Our love truly is a many-splendored thing!

Now for today's final addition to this week's giveaway—and the finale for the Fourteen Days of Love—this sweet little frame. 

There couldn't be a prettier way to decorate your home than with a photo of that special loved one tucked inside!

Reminder:  Please be sure to publish your
Valentine's post, before you link to the party. And
don't forget to mention the Brambleberry Cottage
in your post.

Remember to leave a comment to be entered in this
week's drawing for the giveaway!

It is so hard to believe, but we've actually made it through fourteen consecutive posts!

Please be sure to link any posts for days 8-14 by 12:01 a.m. PST, February 15th.

Mr. Linky will be closing sometime after that.

2. Donna
3. Marilyn
4. Jenn Raley
5. lululiz