Thursday, May 31, 2018

England's Lake District ~ Land of Beatrix Potter


Earlier this month (before THE WEDDING) I was so excited to go to NW England for a 
Beatrix Potter tour of the Lake District that she loved so very much. We toured several 
farms that Beatrix Potter (she wrote the Peter Rabbit books) bought during her 
lifetime. She bequeathed 15 farms and over 4,000 acres of land to the 
National Trust when she died in 1943, with the stipulation it not be sold. 


I was greeted by Peter Rabbit as I started up the walk to her beloved Hill Top, 
the first home and farm that BP purchased in 1905 in Near Sawrey.  


The entrance to Hill Top! Everything inside Hill Top are kept exactly as Beatrix wanted us to see it
with all of her favorite things and furnishings. Set, just so, by her instructions to the Trust.


Beatrix' straw hat and clogs remain on her chair, as if she just came in from her beloved farm.


Love these silhouettes that are all the rage for collectors today!


The designs on these transferware plates were drawn by her father, Rupert, 
and her brother, Bertram. They were a talented family.


Her treasure room, as she called it, contains many of her collections. This room brought 
me to tears, as I realized she loved her treasures, as much as I love mine.


A collection of Peter Rabbit china and a pace egg that she made for the children
of Sawrey every Easter to use in their egg races.


A doll house like the one BP wrote about in The Tale of Two Bad Mice.



The furnishings, inside the doll house on display, are Beatrix Potter's
own collection and are absolutely fabulous. 


Beatrix' bedroom with the canopy that she embroidered and made herself.


And a walk in her lovely garden that she loved so much.

After spending time in Hill Top and in the National Trust gift shop, we headed to
Castle Cottage her marital home with her husband, Willie Heelis.

  
This is Castle Cottage where they spent their married years and where Beatrix died. We were
so lucky to get a private tour inside because it is not open to the public. What a tour!


The sixteenth century barn at Castle Cottage! It's as good as new. 


We all went to a picnic with Susan Branch (Isn't she darling?) and her 'girlfriends' (us)
from all over the world. It was held on the Castle Cottage pasture.
I got gifties from two lovely ladies, a picnic basket charm and
Hollyhock seeds from a new Dutch friend.


This is my new friend Emily, who was on the tour with her mom Amy. Isn't she darling in this 
Herdwick tweed fascinator? They were both such fun to explore with.


And this is the class picture of a group of fun picnic girlfriends!
I am in the back between the red coats in the middle.


After the picnic lunch, we went to the Tower Banks Arms pub, which is just across the street.
The owners are delightful and welcoming with the best hard cider on draft!
BP drew it for The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (page 42).


We ended a magical day at Yew Tree Farm, which served for the outside scenes of Hill Top
in the movie Miss Potter (one of my favorites). It is also one of BP's farms.


This is the Yew Tree farm barn. I just love these old, old barns of wood and stone!
I have a lot more share about my trip and will soon in my next blog post.
Hope you enjoyed seeing the places Beatrix Potter called home.
I had the best time there with other BP lovers.
Melin

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Peter Rabbit Easter


 I can not tell you how excited I was when my daughter, Mia, told me her theme for 
her family Easter celebration would be Peter Rabbit this year!

 
Mia and I go way back with our love for Peter to when I chose that for her nursery theme.
 I was introduced to my love of Peter and all things Beatrix Potter, when I visited England as a
 teen and wanted that for my one day baby's room. Now, my grands love her books!


I have to show off all the detail she put into this party! Garden and carrot touches every-where,
even the green cutlery are "carrot" wrapped. Books and Peter mementos were scattered too.


I must tell you Mia's cupcakes, with their lemon curd filling are the very BEST I've ever tasted!
I had too many to count, although Quinn could probably tell you....please don't Q! 


A gingerbread garden shed just for fun!


The Easter tree centerpiece even had a few vintage PB ornaments. I lent her my sweet
PB plates and she got the place mat new from Pottery Barn.


The theme was carried out to the backyard and patio area. We were so grateful to outside
 and in the sunshine after weeks of wet weather (snow for me).



Food always tastes better wearing bunny ears!


 The kids had such fun but wondered all morning about their egg hunt tradition.


 And what was this giant hanging carrot? It was filled with eggs and treats. The Easter
Bunny really fooled them this year! All the kids had fun giving the carrot a whack.


Sweet kids showing off their Easter treasures from the giant carrot handmade by Mia.


We didn't open our darling Peter goody bag until we got home. Wow, what a surprise
to find a wonderfully scented candle in a bag I will keep as a
memento of the most fun Easter ever!
Thank you so much, Mia & Matt, for
making our day fabulous!
Happy Easter to all!
Melin
xoxo

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Valentine Fun



Valentine's Day is nearly here and I wanted to share a few goodies for the occasion.


These darling cupid's arrows were made by our daughter, Mia, for our Valentine's Day gift!
 She said they are easy and all you need are sturdy sticks, from your yard, felt and hot glue.
Aren't they darling? I hung them here and there among my Valentine decor.


I bought this awesome Mickey Mouse Club Scrap Book at a local flea. I opened it and
was amazed to see the fabulous valentine card collection. They were glued in
by a 9 year old girl and some have stickers attaching them, as well.
Check out the date and price back then.


Here are what the pages look like. They are chock full of retro Valentine fun! I want to keep it intact
and share some of the cards, over time, here and on Pinterest. There are a few from other
holidays too but mostly sweet valentines.


I love them all! Look at the detail and the funny sayings back then. Remember the joy
of getting special valentines from your classmates and teachers?
Why didn't we all save them? I am a saver and I didn't.


This lion, with a collar and tie, is accented with silver glitter!


And this sweet girl has a red flocked trim on her pinafore. Flocking was used a 
lot on the cards back then. The hearts with the birdies are flocked too.
Follow me on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/wrenlizgifts/
to see more vintage valentines like these and craft ideas.
WE wish you a fun and fabulous Valentine's Day!
Melin
xoxo

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holiday Speed Decorating with Cedar


My husband is laid up from surgery on his arm and was not able to trim a few 
pine  branches from our yard, so I took matters into my own 
hands and bought this garland at Costco for $15.99!
I used clippers, floral cutters and scissors to tear it apart. It was so well built.


I deconstructed it on our kitchen island, which was a mess but warmer and sweep-able (is that a word). I want to share with you the ways I used the one garland in and around my Christmas decor.



I started a few tins, both new and vintage, I had, added the cedar and in most
 all examples I added faux  or real flowers, berries, glass balls and pine cones.


These are two vintage scoops we collected and set on the hearth.


I added a few sprigs, here there and everywhere!




Here are two on top of an antique frame.


Some were used "as is" in garland form. 



I even added some to our old sled that holds wet boots!


Then I added the what was left to the porch.


We added a buggy seat to our old red wagon and put a few faux tress
 in the middle,  then added the cedar casually around it.


I think you will have fun with this simple project and a 
big plus is the fresh scent it imparts.
Happy Holidays,
Melin
xoxo