Sunday, July 31, 2011

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Hello to you! And welcome to another Show Off Your Cottage Monday; a blog party I host at the beginning of each week to celebrate the things we love about our homes and how we live. If you're new here, thanks for stopping by and if you've visited before, thanks for returning!
The House in the Roses

Where are you spending your summer? I’m lost somewhere here---in a jungle of Shasta Daisies and woody vines… of course, I like to call this place "a jungle", but it really is just my backyard… and this, the porch where I'm living my summer days...

A garden without a pleasant porch is an unfinished dream to me... I have a small and very humble porch; not the "dreamy" porch you would find in magazines and books anyway, but then again a porch doesn’t have to be necessarily amazing to feel amazing... right? And that's what I am celebrating today! What about you? Do you love your porch? What are you celebrating today? Take us there! Please link back to The house in the roses if you enjoyed "playing house" with me, this way other can come here and enjoy our party too! Thank You.

UPDATE: Since so many of you have asked about the frilly gingham ‘tablecloth’ on my “Show Off Your Cottage Monday” post, I decided to reveal the secret ;) This is actually a single bed dust ruffle made by some unknown industrious soul who later decided to give it away to charity... I found it at a local thrift shop and bought it for $4.00. I thought it would look lovely on my table paired with roses... I just love it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The enchantment of the butterfly bushes

Lush layers of texture in verdant shades of green greet me every day at the entrance of my garden...
It had to do with an overgrown butterfly bush and a blush colored New Dawn Rose that bloom profusely next to each other by the arbor which constitutes the doorway to my garden.
By midsummer the greenery have camouflage the pathway so densely, that stepping onto the other side of the garden is somewhat of an adventure… you would never expect to past this leafy barrier without a thorn in your flesh, a scratch or two on arms and forehead, but most certainly you would always always anticipate a new song in your heart as you walk by.
To step outside into this lush garden in the summertime is to be instantly transported to what feels like a secluded hideaway. I like to imagine that I’m Mary Lennox in her secret garden on the edge of the moors and that by the path, a raven unearths a hidden key so that I am able to enter the walled garden… that’s how magical this place is!
Every season has its rhythm, but perhaps summer’s is the most eagerly anticipated around here. As days are longer, the expectation for what I might do, see, and feel seems to stretch as far as the sun into the enchanting summer evenings.

There is something about nightfall in the garden that brings everything to life in a mysterious and delightful way. It’s an enchanting moment when all the voices of the world transpire to a soft hush and you’re caught in its magic. Our senses become more acute, bird songs and frog cheep are especially sweet and flowers seem to exude their perfume more profusely at sunset than at any other time of day.

That’s when you can expect to hear Nature speak; Nature to tease you, to take you into a timeless realm where you’ll be but the wind that weaves forgotten thoughts; a faint murmur dancing in flame... the rather mysterious and elusive scent of butterfly bushes would waft from the flower spikes to bewitch you, and if you let your senses guide you, you will be transported in time to places and dreamscapes untold. I often wonder what’s with certain scents that have the amazing capability to bring back memories long forgotten and which otherwise would never come to mind?

And thus, for a moment time stands still... I am transported in time back to my childhood, back to an Old World church with century old traditions. I am there with my sister Lissette—we have come to crown “La Virgen MarĂ­a” with blossoms. As we move, the light from the old lanterns on the wall shed tiny golden stars on Lissette’s hair and struck sparks from jewels the color of heliotrope on Mary’s cloak.
Special devotions to Mary during Passover celebration go back to medieval times, and in our remote rural town things were no different. Children of all ages would gather at the church every evening, where a large statue of Mary was to be decorated with fresh flowers and candles.
The heavenly smell was intoxicating. Wafting from the Virgin came the scents of Holly, Violet, Heather, Jasmine, Myrtle, and Lavender, and if you were not paying close attention to your senses you'd have miss the faint scent of butterfly bushes... so subtle, so enchanting and mysterious. So holly and perfect.

These verses, which by the way I think are the most pure form of poetry, remind me of trees and the lovely scent of Nature. I thought it was pretty:

"I have struck root among the glorious people, . . .

in the portion of the Lord, his heritage,

Like a cedar on Lebanon . . . a cypress on Mount Hermon,

Like a palm tree in Engedi, like a rosebush in Jericho,

Like a fair olive tree in the field,

Like a plane tree growing beside the water . . .

I give forth perfume . . .

I spread my branches . . .

I bud forth delights like the vine,

My blossoms bear fruit fair and rich."

(Sirach 24: 13-17)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Welcome back to another Show Off Your Cottage Monday in the merry month of July dear blogging friends and readers! It's high time for a cottage update here at the house in the roses I think. As you can see from my last few posts, I’ve been practically living day and night in the garden and have somewhat forgotten the inside of my house... so yes, it is time for some house love around here me thinks, and I'm so glad you decided to come by!
The House in the Roses

As we planned last week, this week is a Master Bedroom week, and thus that’s what we’re celebrating today! Wanna come inside with me? OK then!

We gave our master bedroom a little spring lift this year. We did two things... got a new comforter and pillows from the Simply Shabby Chic line at Target and added some new floral bed linen to soften up the whites… I love the happy combination of greens and blues and bright reds of the sheets; especially as everything else is white…
Love this window in every season
Little treasures from the garden
I love to see photographs of beautifully constructed “crumply rumply” beds. Do you like them too? The Rachel Ashwell’s types are my favorite. I love the abundant layers of linen beautifully rumpled and mushed, but for some inexplicably strange reason I would not allow that in my house ;) Yeap, an unmade bed gives me the creeps. Yes yes yes... I know! Weird me! ;) So I would never ever... ever, leave my bed or any other bed in my house for that matter unmade; not even for the purpose of attaining that homey feeling you want to see on a cold rainy day... ;) Ensuring every crinkle is smooth is like ensuring all my thoughts are in the proper place. ;) Must be a brainy thing I guess... The art is the same… The furniture is the same. But yet, those two simple changes offer a nice little pick me up.
The reading corner...
Placing a lamp in front of a mirror doubles the effect. Bunches of flowers also look twice as lovely when reflected....
Soaring temperatures and sunny skies around here; today the day began like a dream and is filled with the promise of wonderful things … on my kitchen table, some lovely dried roses I will be showing you soon… lovely pinks and the purest of whites… I like my roses dried just as much as like them fresh, and have a hard time tossing a perfect bouquet when they start to wither. So much to celebrate! What are you celebrating today?

Rules: Link your post, not the main page of your blog. Please include a link to the party or the party's button in your post. Celebrate life and see how others celebrate theirs by visiting!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The enchantment of the butterflies

Sunshine, shade, fruits, flowers, leaves; myriads of petals, feathers, birds and buttercups… all of my senses are aroused.

I love the feel in the air, the syrupy smell around the honeysuckle vine, the colors to behold and the sounds of summer winds, reminding me that this is where my heart lives...

It feels like a dream... it feels as if I’m walking on green lush seas and cotton candy clouds. But of course, that’s just because it is summer around here. And I've been enchanted by summer an eternity ago.

So here I am sitting on my porch on a perfect summer day thinking how this time of year reminds me of sea-foam blues... blues and yellows softened with a tinting of pink. Can seasons be associated with textile? Or how textile feel, or maybe with a taste, like the taste of ripe strawberries and guavas and mangoes? Oh I think so!

One is always embraced by a warm, magical feeling whenever out here. And oh how I want those happy days of frolicking in the garden to never never never end! And now is the time of the Buddleias; the season of enchanting purple profusion when the Butterfly bushes have waken up, and the air is sweet with fragrances and twinkling gems... or is it more like butterflies?

Ah yes, with the butterfly bushes the butterflies have arrived! Even their names are lovely: Swallowtail, Sleepy Orange, Dainty Sulphur, Tailed Copper, Fritillaries and Fairies. Doesn’t it sound dreamy? Pure enchantment... like fairies fluttering in the breezes—those butterflies!

Perhaps you have seen the myriads of small, yellow butterflies that have been quite abundant the past few weeks. They're everywhere in my garden. I think this Swallowtail lives here year around.
I must have charmed her with my charm bracelet... isn’t it pretty! At least that’s what I’d like to think...
Goodness me, I need a new spell! “Twisted trees, whistling leaves and ugly hands... bring a gardener my way! SOON!” Phew! Look at those hands!

Ah yes, I need a gardener who would do all the dirty chores in my garden for me. Do you do your gardening with or without gloves? Whenever I’m in the garden I don’t care about beauty at all... I just don’t! So I practically go out devoid of protection from the sun, and that means few clothe, no sunscreen for wrinkles, not even a hat! And gloves? It’s amazing how much more reliable my actions are without gloves. And I don’t worry about scratches, about soil under my fingertips, about thorns, and that broaden my movements and my capacity to love the earth...

At the end of the day my hands are a total mess; schafed and scratched, and few more wrinkles are added to my skin, but my wild heart is always fully content. ;)

May you all have a day filled with laughter and sunshine my sweet friends!