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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunbonnets and Smiles

Have you ever had your face ache from smiling too much?

It feels SO wonderfully special.

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Yesterday, at the Laura Ingalls Wilder 150th birthday celebration I didn’t stop smiling for over four hours.

Everywhere I turned there were happy people.

Happiness is contagious isn’t it?

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I just wanted to soak up ALL the happy.

These awesome ladies were from the Log Cabin Village Museum.

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They were overseeing butter making demonstrations, sampler crafts, “Little House” paper dolls and other wonderful pioneer inspired activities.

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This darling wee pixie created a waterfall of joy in my heart.

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Oh and these sweet girls…sigh. The eldest was wearing her mom’s dress from the 70’s. That’s what I call a lifelong Laura fan.

I also have to talk for a moment about that bundle of boy cuteness. He was SO good with all the littles and my mom heart was turned to mushy goo.

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There were also several awesome cowgirls at the event. This was fitting since it was held at the National Cowgirl Museum.

You should have seen this vest in person. It was made from a sumptuous pinstriped velvet. I wanted it!

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Here are the winners from the Laura costume contest.

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I am SO glad that I didn’t have to decide who won because everyone was SO cute!

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I had set up a display of antique clothing that people could touch and appreciate a wide variety of handiwork.

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There was also a table that held a few pictures, antique dolls and some of my foreign language “Little House” books. A family attending the event, who were originally from France, appreciated the French version.

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The day ended on a truly sweet note.

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I know several of you inquired if I could share the presentation itself. I never want to disappoint my dear treasured readers. However, it was an hour long interaction with an enchanting, standing room only, crowd.  I was a bit… delightfully overwhelmed. (This was a small section of the room.)


I’ll see you in a day or two with some spring inspired projects.

Be joyful!


“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” ~ Philippians 2:2

Friday, February 24, 2017

What’s Brightening My Day Right Now ~ Vol. II

Right now I am focusing on being thankful for even the littlest of things.

Here’s what’s brightening my days right now.

My dear friend Nicola sent me three lovely old glass molds. While I will eventually use them for their intended purpose for now they make a pretty vignette that helps keep our cut organic dill fresh.

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Nicola and her husband Patrick were dear mates of Mr. Decor’s while he was stationed in England. I of course have now claimed them as my own wonderful friends. It’s been far too long since we have seen them. (This was Sweet Guy’s christening.) But I hope we get together this July when we travel to England.

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The sweet springtime hyacinths and daffodils greeting me in our garden are SO cheerful.

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They are a day brightener to be sure.

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We use honey to sweeten many things here at Storybook Cottage. I have to be honest that I bought this bottle of Bumbleberry Farms honey at HomeGoods just for the adorable bottle. But it is SO good in tea and oatmeal.

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Tracy and I are celebrating 41 years of friendship this year. She recently came by plane to brighten four of my days this past week. Come to think of it, she is a LIFE brightener.


A wee package arrived at Storybook Cottage containing Beatrice, The Book Mouse.

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Beatrice was lovingly handcrafted by my dear and talented friend Louise.


Beatrice joins Bertram, who was a Christmas gift. Louise does not have a shop, but does take orders. If you need a wee mouse of your own feel free to leave her a message in the comments below.

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I’m gearing up for my presentation tomorrow at the National Cowgirl Museum to celebrate the 150th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Next week I will share some of the things I made for the display.

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Lastly, a deep and heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who left such sweet comments and comforting thoughts regarding Franz' s passing. They are truly bright pockets of sunshine on a gray day.


I’d love to know what is brightening your days,


Friday, February 17, 2017

And In The End…

…There will always be a question as to who really rescued whom.


Two weeks ago we shared that our beloved Franzie was ill.

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We had a stretch of warm weather that had him rallying a bit and we took advantage of this gift to enjoy all of his favorite things.

Walks.. err… rides around the neighborhood.

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Watching the ducks at the local park.

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Enjoying his first ice cream cone.

You can view the funny video HERE.


But despite all this I could see the pain increase in his eyes.

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He valiantly still tried to follow my every move. But his legs began to give out more and more.

This past week I carried him everywhere so that he could continue to do what he loved best~ be my faithful companion.

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Franzie was never a vocal dog.

He would lift his right front paw when he wanted to be picked up.

This and many more sweet, small signals between us became our own love language.

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A few days ago he warmed his old bones in the dappled sun while I planted a few spring flowers.

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Even with such pockets of happiness my heart knew and began to shatter at the unspoken words I did not want to hear.

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My beloved friend lived the truest meaning of unconditional love and loyalty everyday.

Nothing I did for him will ever equal this precious gift that Franz gave to me.

He will be deeply missed.

The very best thing I can do in Franz’s honor is to encourage you to adopt a dog (or other animal) that nobody wants.

The neglected and abused.

The older dogs.

If you’re real special, there are also sickly dogs that need a good foster home.

I promise, PROMISE, PROMISE that they will reward you 1000 times over with their loyalty, kindness, and love.

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Miss you sweet boy,


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This year I created small, simple vignettes here at Storybook Cottage using Grandma Jingles’ collection of antique Valentines and ostrich feathers.

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Some groupings were accented with the pearl hearts that I shared yesterday.

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The entire family will enjoy the holiday with a simple pasta dinner probably served in the cozy kitchen. 

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How will you celebrate?


Monday, February 13, 2017

DIY: Pretty Pearl Hearts

These pretty pearl hearts are so easy to make and add the perfect finishing touch to romantic d├ęcor.

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The Supplies

Wooden Heart Shapes

Craft Paint in shades of white

Craft Glue (I apply it with an old paintbrush.)

Pearls (I used a combination of vintage and new pearls.)

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For a smooth finish you could sand the hearts. I was in a hurry and didn’t. I simply applied a layer of white, then champagne colored, paint.

Some of the hearts were drilled with a hole so that antique lace ribbon could be strung through once the paint was dry.

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A thick layer of craft glue was applied to the entire top flat surface of the heart.

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Then pearls of various sizes, shapes and colors were sprinkled over the top of the wet glue. It takes about an hour for the glue to completely dry and secure the pearls. If any spots are missed on the heart just add a pearl here or there with a hot glue gun.

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The hearts were then tucked into various vignettes around Storybook Cottage.

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I may leave them out even after Valentine’s Day.

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They mix well with antique and vintage Valentine’s.

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Happy Crafting!