Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Fairy Garden Camping Trip and Tale

It is well known that fairies love nature.  They flit from
flower to flower in gardens.  They love trees and the
woodland forest.  Next time you are out for a walk in the
woods or along a nature trail, look carefully.  You just
may spot a little camp ground like this one.  

Look very closely.  See the little tent set up in the clover?
Tiny twigs serve as the poles to hold up the bit of
fabric they found to construct the tent.  These clever 
little spirits  created a little camp stool and a sign to let
others know that this is the place they are meeting.

A tiny little lantern on the left.  Do you see it?  Oh, and
look, a little table too set for tea.

They must be out in the forest for a bit because I 
don't see them now.  I imagine they will return a bit
later for their tea.

Here is a better look at their lantern.

I think this must be a sleeping bag tied up with bits of yarn.
They will no doubt want to take a nap after their tea.

Lets wait a bit and see if they return.

Be very quiet ~ they have returned.  One of them has 
opened her sleeping bag.  She turned it down and set 
out her pillow too with a teddy bear.   It will be a perfectly
cozy spot to take a nap under the stars.

Have a magical weekend everyone!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, August 29, 2014

Best of Ash Tree Cottage ~ Fairy Garden

Labor Day Weekend starts for us in a couple of hours.  Hopefully,
we will be able to enjoy three full days without any interruption.
Often my husband gets called away on an emergency on
weekends and we are keeping our fingers crossed that everything 
will be calm until Tuesday.  So, in order to make the most of the
precious time we have together, I will not be posting until 
Monday.  In the meantime, I am leaving you with pictures from
some of my favorite posts over the last several years.

So let's begin with my fairy garden and a visit to Tinkerbell Cottage

This was one of my favorite projects.  I built the little 
fairy cottage out of twigs I found in the yard.  I carefully
snipped them to be the siding of the cottage.  The roof
underlayment was heavy cardboard and it was covered in
pine cone segments.  The whole fairy garden was 
laid out in an old whiskey barrel which sat at the 
entry to the back porch of our house in Idaho.
I hope to make another one this coming fall.

Next post will be another fairy garden scene ~
the fairy campground.

Have lot's of fun!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Labor Day Tablescape Ideas

Although Labor Day is not officially the last day
of summer, it signals to all of us that summer 
activities are coming to an end.  So what are your
plans?  Maybe a backyard BBQ?

Or cocktails on the patio?


Or a wine and cheese spread?

A pack and go lunch to take along on a drive down lovely
country roads?

Or maybe just hang out on the back porch.

Grab some tropical feel linens and a hand painted southwest

Add a small bowl of salsa and some chips.

And a couple of vintage glasses with tropical stir sticks and fill
with ice and the beverage of your choice.

Don't forget the limes.
And you are ready to party on the porch!

Bentley had a wonderful National Dog Day.
He had an extra treat, extra play sessions, extra
tummy rubs, meatballs for dinner and a long,
long walkie afterwards.  It was a good day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'm Sorry Bentley! What Was I Thinking?

There is that better Bentley?
How could I ever forget National Dog Day!

I do love you little peanut!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Emotional Eating and Anorexia

When you are feeling sad and teary eyed, do you 
grab something to eat to make you feel better?
A cookie perhaps?

Or more than one or two?

Just a little something sweet to cheer yourself up?

Or maybe your medicine of choice is a warm and 
comforting bowl of soup.  Something creamy and delicious.

Or something savory like a slice or two of pizza ...

And wine ~ maybe a glass or two or more.
After all, red wine is supposed to have good health
benefits right?

After all that emotionally charged eating you have put on
a few extra pounds, or unfortunately many extra pounds.
Then you panic when you step on the scale and you reach
for the latest, newest way to drop those excess pounds.

Then there is the other side of the coin.  A side that I know only too
well.  Anorexia.  I have battled anorexia twice in my life, and
both times it was during an emotional crisis.  

My first battle with anorexia was when I was 11 years old.  It 
happened while my Mom was in the hospital for extended visits.  I
discussed this topic in a previous post.  You can read it here.

I battled anorexia once again in early adulthood.
Just as it is a battle to keep from eating too much, it is also a very
real battle for an anorexic to eat enough.    Mealtime is an empty
plate.  Day after day.  Then the pounds begin to slip away.  After a
while you reach the stage of being too thin.  Yes, despite the old
adage you can never be too rich or too thin, you indeed can be too
thin.  And I was.

My friends would beg me to eat something, anything.

Anorexia for me at least, was always about control.  
Whenever I was in a situation where I had no control over
the outcome, I would stop eating.  It gave me a sense of
comfort just the same way eating an extra cookie or two
gives comfort to someone else.  

For some young women anorexia stems from a desire to 
achieve unrealistic bodies.  Girl are bombarded with
pictures in magazines and online of models who either starve
themselves or have been airbrushed to unreal proportions
or both.  Once they get on the diet slide it's a very 
slippery slope.  Every calorie is an enemy.  

The truth of the situation is that we all need food to
nourish our bodies.  Some of us use food as a salvo and
others deny food for the same reason.  

While I don't profess to having a definitive answer to anyone
battling either side of this coin, I can tell you what I have 

Life is about balance.  None of us are perfect or will we ever
be.  What each of us can do is to find a balance in life.
Work a little, play a little.  Find your passion in life and 
concentrate on it.  Spend some time in prayer each day and
be thankful for your blessings.  And lastly, focus on others
and not so much on yourself.  When you focus on helping
others your own problems are lessened.

Thanks for listening.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, August 25, 2014

Three New Tweaks in the Family Room

It has officially happened ~ I have turned into my Mom.
I keep moving things around.  I have caught myself doing it
more and more often.  Well, y'all know what they say,
Like mother like daughter ...

I added one of my vintage horse prints to the bar in the 
family room.  I just suddenly felt compelled to do it 
because of the lamp base ...

You see how the base is decorated with a hunt scene?

I thought this print would feel right at home here.

Do you remember how just a few weeks ago I painted the
drum table between the cozy chairs at the library end of the 
room and thought maybe I would paint the dresser at the
opposite end of the room the same color?

Well ...

I did it.

And here it is.  David was a bit dismayed at first.  Men are
not usually crazy about painted furniture, but he got over it.
Our flat screen is on top of the dresser.  TV's have never
ever fallen onto my list of favorite decorating accessories,
but they are a fact of life.  

And I did something else.  I hung my Daddy's old framed
map of the world over the TV.   He loved this map and so 
do I.  It used to hang in our family room when I was a kid
and we would keep track of where Daddy was on his 
business travels around the globe.  Now it hangs in mine.
Y'all know by now that I am a sentimental fool.

Actually, I love maps.  I always have.  David does too.

And one last little thing ... I added some hydrangeas to this
wicker basket.  Why the Cocker Spaniel?  I just like him.
Yes M'am ~ I am turning into my Mom!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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