Facilitate

I like to have get-togethers at our home.

A party can be simple or elegant.
A party can be simple or elegant.

But sometimes actually entertaining at home is not possible.

Lurman Woodland Theatre has free concerts on Saturday and Sunday nights in summer.
Lurman Woodland Theatre has free concerts on Saturday and Sunday nights in summer.

In our area there is an abundance of free music and free films.

Last night 6 of us visited a church (not ours) to watch God's Not Dead 2.
Last night 6 of us visited a church (not ours) to watch God’s Not Dead 2.

When I find something that really interests me I email a group of friends and tell them I’ll be there. I don’t judge the interest I just make the invitation; I facilitate.

Texting is an easy way to hook up.
Texting is an easy way to hook up.

I’m sure to add my cell number to the email with the instruction to text or call when they arrive at the venue, especially if it is a big venue like the parade grounds at our local Army base.

This cannon actually fires.
This cannon actually fires.

If it’s something I have done previously I add any details that might sway someone who is on the fence. For instance the U.S. Army Field Band is performing the 1812 Overture with real canons.  I’ve heard it before and it’s fabulous.  I reminded everyone to bring their own lawn chair.

Bug spray is de rigeur in Maryland in summer.

I encourage you to do some research and contact your social circle for a fun and different and free event.  Provide as much or as little as you like. Don’t for get the bug spray.

What event can you facilitate for your friends?

How the Changes Look

We had a big tree taken down this week.

The tree was dangerously dropping limbs and leaning toward the Cottage and house.
The tree was dangerously dropping limbs and leaning toward the Cottage and house.
Only the stump remains.
Only the stump remains.

The plan is to clear this whole area.

I'm not planning to make an actual structure.
I’m not planning to make an actual structure.

I have been wanting to make a chapel in the yard (#40 on my 101 in 1001 list).

Great is Thy Faithfulness mirrored window would work in an outdoor chapel area.
Great is Thy Faithfulness mirrored window would work in an outdoor chapel area.

I don’t have a clear vision of what I’m going for but I do have some ideas like the mirrored window I made here.

The stump is too large to remove so we'll try to work it into the landscaping plan.
The stump is too large to remove so we’ll try to work it into the landscaping plan.

And I could use the newly created giant stump as a focal point.

We have a few rounds to choose from.
We have a few rounds to choose from.

Perhaps some of the smaller rounds would be good, albeit heavy, stools.

Do you have a special, private outdoor space?

Risen Indeed

There’s a small magazine table in the dining room that I like to change with the holidays.

The tiny crèche at Christmas on our black stenciled magazine table.
The tiny crèche at Christmas on our black stenciled magazine table.

At Christmas it held a tiny crèche.

A tiny Limoges box which reminds me of the fishing boats by the Sea of Galilee.
A tiny Limoges box which reminds me of the fishing boats by the Sea of Galilee.

This Easter the items on it remember scenes in the life of Jesus. The little Limoges box has a scene reminiscent of the fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee.

This small Irish bowl and pitcher are reminders of the humble service of Christ.
This small Irish bowl and pitcher are reminders of the humble service
of Christ.

The bowl, pitcher, and towel remind us of the foot washing at the last supper where Christ gave his disciples a new commandment:  Love one another as I have loved you.

A small shrine.
A small shrine.

The palms remember Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The eggs remind us of new life.

Cross bottle
Cross bottle

The empty cross signifies our resurrected Lord.

He is Risen indeed! Happy Easter.

Today would have been my mother’s 90th birthday — Easter Sunday.

Eastery at Last

Easter is so early this year that I’m barely over Valentine’s Day, our birthdays, and winter. Today is Good Friday already.

The mostly grey/blue living room is brightened by flowery cushions and real flowers.
The mostly grey/blue living room is brightened by flowery cushions and real flowers.

Slowly but surely I’ve got a little Easter décor going.

A vase of yellow jonquils are in a clear vase with green glass pebbles to raise the height if the flowers.
A vase of yellow jonquils are in a clear vase with green glass pebbles to raise the height if the flowers.

Our daffodils are blooming like crazy out in the yard so I’ve been handing them out and bringing them into the house in bunches.

Mother made loads of pillows from scraps of fabric.
Mother made loads of pillows from scraps of fabric.

I also thought the flowered pillows that I usually use on the porch would brighten up the living room until the weather truly warms up enough to enjoy some porch-time.

These bunnies hopped down from my bedroom to take their places on the living room mantel.
These bunnies hopped down from my bedroom to take their places on the living room mantel.
The White House eggs are on display in Royal Doulton "Bunnykins" egg cups.
The White House eggs are on display in Royal Doulton “Bunnykins” egg cups.

I whisked away the tea party mantel and replaced it with lots of Easter items like 2 wooden eggs that my son found when he was a young boy and we went to the Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn.

You might remember the table runner my sister sent me early in our renovation.
You might remember the table runner my sister sent me early in our renovation.

I used the naturally dyed eggs and newly spray-painted figurines in the dining room.

These eggs continue to change color.
These eggs continue to change color.

The eggs started out pinkish, then dark denim blue, and have now morphed into teal — they turn a little greener each day.  Weird.

Duck basket and beeswax bee skep are on the ledge between the kitchen and dining room.
Duck basket and beeswax bee skep are on the ledge between the kitchen and dining room.

On the counter between the dining room and kitchen we have a duck basket with a Matryoshka egg — an egg with more nesting eggs inside — just waiting to be spied by an inquisitive child.

I'm hoping to delight Charlie by filling these dispensers with pastel M&Ms.
I’m hoping to delight Charlie by filling these dispensers with pastel M&Ms.

In the kitchen we have some bunny dispensers along with an Easter card.

We brought the little cup back from an Italian holiday.
We brought the little cup back from an Italian holiday.

In the mud room a not-very-Eastery spotted doggy espresso cup from our trip to Rome pairs with a recently received thank-you card.

The topiary is still tiny but still alive -- I'm hopeful.
The topiary is still tiny but still alive — I’m hopeful.

On the porch I have a big ceramic bunny along with one of the lavender topiaries I’ve been trying to train.

The side porch is our most-used entrance.
The side porch is our most-used entrance.

On the other side of the porch is a solar froggy lantern that glows in the dark.

We're already anticipating the dogwood with cups and saucers in the dining room.
We’re already anticipating the dogwood with cups and saucers in the dining room.

Alas, next week the chicks and ducks and bunnies will be stored for another year.

What’s next for your spring décor?

Pinterest-Inspired Egg Project

I saw this project marbled eggs on Pinterest which was originally posted at Alice and Lois DIY. I wasn’t sure how easy it would.

Blown out eggs with a bamboo skewer pushed through both holes.
Blown out eggs with a bamboo skewer pushed through both holes.

I blew out a half dozen eggs and pierced them with bamboo skewers.

I used a plastic Chinese carry-out container about 6 inches in diameter.
I used a plastic Chinese carry-out container about 6 inches in diameter.

I put room temperature water in a disposable plastic container.

I used the most inexpensive nail polish I could find -- less than $3 a bottle.
I used the most inexpensive nail polish I could find — less than $3 a bottle.

I put a few drops of blue nail polish in the water.

Any color or combination of colors will work.
Any color or combination of colors will work.

Most of it creates a film on top of the water.

The eggs can dry on the skewers stuck into the Styrofoam egg carton.
The eggs can dry on the skewers stuck into the Styrofoam egg carton.

It is as simple as spinning the egg shell through the water using the skewer as a handle.

A basket of marbleized eggs.
A basket of marbleized eggs.

My eggs are marbleized blue and white.

A basket of eggs for the mantel.
Each egg is unique.

This was as easy project but I felt I didn’t have much control over the outcome.

Are you coloring eggs?

Where Did I Put It?

I have looked all over the house for our Easter decorations. I keep them in a clear plastic storage box with a green top.

This little fellow usually sits in the child's rocking chair in the living room .
This little fellow usually sits in the child’s rocking chair in the living room .

We don’t have much but I’d like to put out a few hints of spring this week.

The blue box was hiding behind the chimney in a blue plastic tub.
The blue box was hiding behind the chimney in a blue plastic tub.

After looking from the attic to the basement and everywhere in between I thought I might have stashed a box in the attic in the Cottage. I found a box of vases which also was storing 2 sets of hot rollers for hair. No wonder I can’t find anything.

A tub full of Easter stuff.
A tub full of Easter stuff.

Finally yesterday morning I cleared my mind and went back up in the attic in the house. After moving around a few boxes I spied a blue plastic storage tub with a blue top labeled “Easter”. That’s right, blue not green.

I'm going to stash bunnies all over the house.
I’m going to stash bunnies all over the house.

Everything from chicks to bunnies to eggs to egg holders for dying eggs were all packed safely away.

The soaps came with their own nesting material.
The soaps came with their own nesting material.

I even found some small egg-shaped soaps which I put in a small basket to remind us of new life.

We remember Jesus washing his disciples' feet on Maundy Thursday.
We remember Jesus washing his disciples’ feet on Maundy Thursday.

I put these on an occasional table which also holds a cross bottle; a small bowl, pitcher, and towel; and a Limoges box with a fishing boat by the side of the sea.

A tiny Limoges box which reminds me of the fishing boats by the Sea of Galilee.
A tiny Limoges box which reminds me of the fishing boats by the Sea of Galilee.

All of these items remind me of Jesus and so are perfect for an Easter tableau.

Carved bunny box
Carved bunny box

But I digress. I put away the owl and the pussycat and replaced them on the kitchen window sill with a wooden bunny box.

Porch pillows on the bench say "Spring is here."
Porch pillows on the bench say “Spring is here.”

Finally I’m embracing the hope of spring with floral pillows on the side porch.

By the way, today begins the 6th year of this blog.

What have you put away for safe keeping that you can’t find?

Getting Ready for a Party – Setting Up

Although I still have a mighty cough, everything else is converging toward the positive.

2-1/2 dozen supermarket roses for less than $25.
2-1/2 dozen supermarket roses for less than $25.

First of all, my grocery shopping for the party is finished including two and a half dozen pink roses.  My color scheme for this Christmas is blue/green/silver but I thought a warm color other than red would complete the look.

Some pink candles would be festive.
Some pink candles would be festive.

I’ll be using pink roses, pink candles, and pink napkins.

Pink table linens will look gorgeous with out white china decorated with a cobalt rim.
Pink table linens will look gorgeous with our white china decorated with a cobalt rim.

Second, my boss told me not to come in today.  So, woo-hoo, I have another whole day to decorate and cook for our party.

Annapolis Blue china by Lenox
Annapolis Blue china by Lenox

Third, tonight is our final Christmas cantata.  I’ll be conducting the choir and acting as worship leader and when it’s over I can relax for the rest of the weekend. There’s just one small riff that I hope I can drill into Charlie’s brain (he’s the accompanist) before we perform.

I painted this small ceramic Christmas tree a few years ago.
I painted this small ceramic Christmas tree a few years ago.

Merry Christmas, Friends.

Do you have a favorite seasonal song?