Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve!

Where, oh where,

 did 2014 go?
 photo cb1_zpseb0b1ab6.jpg

A cup of Christmas tea... (Salted Caramel by Bigelow) hits the spot...

 photo cb4_zps06d892fa.jpg

And Christmas cookies... I will tell you, I had plans to try some

intricate iced gingerbread snowflakes... was going to post the results here...

Didn't happen!

(BTW, the piece of architectural "Gingerbread" is from my Great-Great

Grandfather's house... and did you notice the sweet little Patience Brewster

"Elf-Artist" on the tea towel? How could I possibly resist??)

~     photo cb5_zps5868b8a1.jpg
My husband did, however, make his mom's recipe for "Haystacks"...
just slightly different than the usual, with the addition of mini marshmallows...
Juanita's Butterscotch Marshmallow Haystacks

1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups chow mein noodles

1 cup mini marshmallows

Melt the butterscotch chips in the microwave or double boiler (we actually

used a make-shift double-boiler with a large Pyrex mixing cup in a pan...)

Mix the peanut butter into the melted chips and add the marshmallows

and chow mein noodles (you can also add 1/2 cup peanuts, but we don't),

coating well. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.

That's it!


My kind of recipe!

(Who am I kidding?...I don't even make this one!)
Merriest Christmas wishes and Happy New Year to you all!



Friday, October 24, 2014

A Most Fanciful Halloween Party ~ 2014

A Jolly Halloween!!

Well, almost...

A Jolly "Fanciful Twist 2014 Halloween Party"!

How about that?

 photo 4_zps6ee1b08e.jpg

So glad you got your invitation and decided to stop by!

(This sweet card was originally sent to a little girl in New York City 

for Halloween 1926.)

 photo 15_zpsde87e03b.jpg

You may leave those pinchy-shoes and your broom at the door, if you like...

Leo promises to take excellent care of them...

(He wants to know if he could take your broom for a few spins around the

backyard...he can drive a stick, he says...)

 photo 9_zpsb666e8cd.jpg

Make yourself at home!!

One of my favorite vintage decorations...

(because I am a vintage little girl) ~ the little pumpkin given to me by my Grandma when I was TWO!

That's fifty~....Ummm...that was a few years ago.

I'm so glad my Mom took excellent care of him for me until I was

old enough to appreciate the "keeping"of him... :)

(There I am with the pumpkin in the little photo.)

 photo 14_zps4a75a19a.jpg

Cyrus is ready...

 photo 13_zps4033a6c8.jpg

So are Leo and Tallulah!

 photo 11_zps18a3e6bc.jpg
 photo 10_zpsce74d060.jpg

Help yourself!

Spider cupcake, anyone?

 photo 1_zps09f85f80.jpg

Madame Tallulah will read your palm for a mere two kitty-treats...

 photo 12_zps2e5d61d6.jpg

Yummm....'Screme Eggs!

 photo 18_zps9a1bdf60.jpg

The Singing Kitties were a gift from my dear friend Elaine last was the fabulous little Halloween Girl to the right!

 photo 16_zps13d1db04.jpg
~ wouldn't be Halloween without my little October Angel...

another present from Grandma Elphia when I was small...

 photo 17_zpsda81a32e.jpg

How about a spooky tale or two??

Nothing TOO terribly scary, of course...

 photo 3_zps7f6b7471.jpg

Ahhh, and here is our star attraction, entertainment for the evening...

the lovely diva Witchy-Poo!...

Can you tell I had a lot of fun....(TOO much fun? LOL)

with Witchy's stage and set?

Her adoring froggy-fans have thrown flowers on the stage...

 photo 5_zps1c7590af.jpg

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Kitty;

a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy..."

 photo 2_zpsf28f930f.jpg

The vintage fireplace surround and hearth-plate have always looked

to me like a little stage, so I made it one...."footlights" and all...

 photo 8_zps4a1b191d.jpg

...And the theatre lights go down...

 photo 6_zps35300997.jpg

Witchy-Poo takes a bow!

(See Witchy's light-adorned post to the right? This was a porch post from my

Great-Great-Grandfather's house...I imagine that he would be delighted for it

to be included in my fanciful-fun!...Or he would think his 21st Century Granddaughter

has gone completely "'round the bend'...I prefer "delighted".. ;)


Thank you, everyone, for stopping by for a little Halloween whimsy

and fun...Please be sure and visit all the rest of the revelers!

I will be away until late on the 25th, so if you are another

Halloween-Party hostess, I'll be around to visit you soon!

Happy Halloween!

(Don't forget your shoes & broom!)



It's Almost Time....

Just a reminder... 

We will be joining Vanessa at "A Fanciful Twist" 

for her annual Halloween Party on Saturday, October 25th!

 photo 6a00d83451d99869e201b7c6e19010970b-400wi_zps98482b88.jpg
 photo 7_zps880620c6.jpg

Veronica Pumpkin says..."Come on by!"

Hope to see you Saturday!

(Our post will go online at 12:01 a.m.!)




Friday, October 10, 2014

Just Bee-cause... ;)

Happy Friday (and weekend) all! 

Can you bee-lieve we're a third of the way through October already?

 My flowers are still going, and I'm still watering... 

 And then this, yesterday...

 photo 1_zpsbe8f42b1.jpg

 There have been a few bees around the flowers all summer,

 but now there are bees everywhere... 


Are they gathering nectar for the coming winter...

is that why the sudden frenzy?

I don't know...but it was pretty cool.

I had my phone just inches from them, and they paid me no mind.

 (Their favorites are the Pentas and Marigolds)

 photo 12_zps99ac1145.jpg
 photo pollen_zpsf0bb926f.jpg

Look at the pollen on the bottom one's back!

 photo 4_zps405e26dc.jpg

The MaƮtre d' was heard to say..."Marigold for two?"

There were so many bees vying for nectar,

 there were two and three to a flower!


They are Eastern Carpenter Bees, and besides boring a few holes

in my trellis, they are beneficial...

They are non-aggressive and important pollinators,

according to the USDA Forest Service...

(interesting article here...)

 photo 11_zpsc85b49e8.jpg
 photo 5_zpsb8db8113.jpg

"You lookin' at ME?"

I was fascinated with the eye-pattern on this fellow...

it seemed to be just the way the sunlight hit the eyes, as they aren't all like this...

These photos were all taken with my Samsung Galaxy phone camera.

Can you believe it?

I am amazed, truly!

I rarely get my "good" camera out any more...I actually like these photos better ~

Of course, for every super-sharp insect or flower photo I get,

 I delete about fifty not-so-great ones off my phone, but still...

It's usually right there in my hand...or close.

So many things inspire me to snap away,

when I would probably not bother to go get the big DSLR from the camera bag...


 photo 15_zps770e8d8a.jpg
 photo 3_zps2935e9a5.jpg

Checking out a Cypress Vine flower...

 photo 6_zps2b4cdda2.jpg
 photo 10_zps1587476f.jpg

"Diving in..."

 photo 2_zps1abe7141.jpg

Check out the ant checking out the bee!

I didn't notice him until I was editing the photos...

 photo 13_zps1c0455ca.jpg
 photo 8_zps655a0160.jpg

A quizzical look!

 photo 9_zps33bb4a40.jpg

Nom, nom, nom...

 photo 7_zps5a3ca6ca.jpg
 photo 14_zps3d6c7ea3.jpg

Can't top this for sheer tenacity..

Little Vincas that reseeded and are growing between the concrete

and the brick edge on my front porch!

(There was a hanging Vinca right above...)

One more thing...

 photo 20141010_102339_zpsaf40efc1.jpg
 photo 20141010_102356_zps53f14ad0.jpg

Going to Vulture Fest again this year in Makanda, Illinois!

Click here for more about this little community and the festival ~

I've been painting Vulture-Rocks for days...

Rock on!

Have a great weekend!



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy October! Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy October, everyone!

 Can you believe it?

 (I don't even want to think about how many days are left

 or are not ~ until Christmas!)

 photo 1_zps1d6ba2fb.jpg

My October 1944 Etude Magazine...

Love the illustration!

(I wish I could identify the illustrator; the first name is definitely "Hy"...

but I just can't decipher the last name...

A good reason to sign all artwork legibly, for future generations!)

 photo 2_zpscc23f506.jpg

Did you remember??

For good luck?

My girls and I always say "Rabbit, rabbit" on the first day of

the month...(if you forget, you can say it backwards before you

go to bed...


My friend Gillian in England told me her father always said

"White Rabbits"... so today is White Rabbits Day for her.

I love things like this and the cultural variations, don't you?

You can read more about the custom in an article from

Yankee Magazine, here.

 photo 3_zps555f61c7.jpg

Yesterday we went to Diebold's Orchard in Benton, Missouri, for some autumn goodies...

I love the color combinations (and blends...some look like watercolor)

on these gourds!

 photo 4_zps4a792dba.jpg

The little stripey pumpkin is my favorite, though!

 photo 14_zps4742c0c4.jpg

Potential Jack O'Lanterns piled high...

 photo 7_zps5f9fe2b9.jpg

Diebold's also has greenhouses, and I always have to check them out...

This pretty coleus was labeled "Lemon Boy"...

I Googled it but couldn't find a variety by that name,

so maybe they just thought it looked like a Lemon Boy...

sounds good to me!

(Such a pushover for a name, always...that's me!)

 photo 8_zpsa5556e82.jpg

I don't know what this is, and forgot to ask...

It didn't even feel real...

(It honestly felt like plastic!)

Very unusual and pretty, though!

 photo 9_zps6bd29f78.jpg

A "Snow Bunny" Kalanchoe...

Love it!

 photo 12_zpsfc26535c.jpg

They also had some dwarf Sunflowers;

very cute!

 photo 10_zps2aefd701.jpg

The most impressive thing in the greenhouse, however...

hands down...

was this humongous Agave!

Pictures don't do it justice, but it had to be 15 feet tall...and as wide!

The sign said it was 20-25 years old.

 photo 11_zps4832048e.jpg

It had lovely patterns...and thorns...on the leaves, too.

 photo 13_zps374a8bc5.jpg

These little fellows were also at Diebold's...

The donkey seemed more interested in his friend's mane

than he did in the hay!

 photo 5_zpsa6d2e475.jpg
 photo 6_zps6cea3a5e.jpg

When we got home I went out to collect some flower seeds

(because after a trip to a greenhouse like that, I'm already getting

into "next year" gardening-mode) ~

This big Carpenter Bee was enjoying my Giant Marigolds...

I ran to get my camera, of course.

I haven't gotten stung trying to photograph anything (yet),

however, a red wasp "got" me a couple of weeks ago,

for no reason at all...just minding my business,

getting something out of the truck... :(

I hadn't been stung since I was small, and it hurt/burned like a lit

match stuck to my skin!

I will be giving red wasps an even wider berth from now on...

 photo 15_zps819f0d6c.jpg
 photo 16_zps60d6ee30.jpg
 photo 17_zps868abb50.jpg

Do you know what the above three photos have in common?

Besides being garden-y and all...

An Instagram friend said this and it just tickled me, because it's true!

She said, "It's the time of year when the flowers start fraternizing..."

And they do!! So funny...up until now when this kind of nonsense begins,

I quickly de-tangle, trim, cut back, set everyone straight...

but now...I just let them all go...they can visit, co-habitate,

fraternize, whatever they want.

And they are.

Not much growing-season left!

 photo 20_zpsa4427cd9.jpg

One last thing!

A cute little toad was hopping around the plants on the front porch the other night...
("Front-Porch Toad" has vacated...and it's probably a good thing, as if he'd decided

to hibernate in a flower-pot, he would have gotten too cold this winter...)


Well, I brought this little fellow in the house for Mr. B to hold,

 so I could take a picture to send to Jon (The Toad Whisperer) at school...

but, in "transferring" him, he got away and went under the couch (we thought),

which led to a flurry of kitty-activity and pulling out the couch,

 revealing an embarrassing amount of cat hair and

Dust Bunnies (Rabbit, rabbit!!) ~

I was worried we wouldn't find him before the kitties did,

and that could have been bad for both parties...

As I was coming back from the garage with a flashlight, though,

I spotted him hopping underneath the dining room table...


We got our photo and the toad will have an adventure to tell his


Have a great rest-of-the-week, all!