Gift #667: Garden cottage

The most charming aspect of Habig Garden Center I have saved for today.   Also on the site is a garden cottage.

image

It’s a perfect little gingerbread cottage, but without the candy.  Well, there is a lot of eye-candy in the way of silk flowers, home decorations, arrangements, wreaths, and gifts.  Though small, it is filled with treasures and very artistically decorated.  What I loved most was the layout of the cottage and I found myself imagining what it might be like to live there.  I was rearranging furniture in my head, deciding on color schemes….  a perfect storybook home.  There was enough room for a living room and kitchen downstairs and a bedroom/craft room upstairs.  I realize of course that living there is impossible, but I enjoy daydreaming about such things anyway.  There were lots of windows to give natural light and that made everything seem even happier.  But now to discuss the actual store.  Here’s a picture of one of the downstairs rooms.

image

They had one of the best selection of artificial flowers I’ve seen since my Denver days.  And they had something I’ve never seen before – fabric toadstools!!!  Aren’t they realistic?  And completely beautiful?  I think they would look great with some fall foliage in a hallway display!  I think I may be going back for some.

image

They also specialize in making custom wreaths and arrangements.  I got to watch one being made for a house tour while I was checking out.   Here are a few pictures of other arrangements scattered throughout the cottage.  I especially liked the bird’s nests – a special touch.

image

image

Blessings to you,
Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gift #666: Garden pots

This weekend my mom and I spent some time together on the north end of town visiting some of our favorite stores we hadn’t been to in a while.  We also had seen a garden center advertised in some magazines and it was in the area, so we dropped in to visit it as well…. and we fell in love.  Habig is now my favorite garden center in Indy.  In addition to having a well-curated selection of plants at reasonable prices, they also had a wonderful indoor collection of succulents and fairy gardens.  And pots!!!  Today we are going to focus on the pots.  I’ll share additional pictures of the garden center later in the week, but I didn’t want to overlook the pots.

image

I’ll share a carefully kept secret about myself (and you can’t tell anybody!) – I love, love, love terracotta pots and planters.  I also love beautifully glazed pots, but my heart is with rustic, weathered, well-worn terracotta.  (I dream of amassing a terracotta pot collection on par with the terracotta soldiers)   Well, imagine my intense delight upon discovering pottery that I’ve only seen for sale at a garden center in Denver!  Guy Wolff pots are amazingly beautiful.  They are all handmade and based on historic pot designs.  They come in a variety of sizes, all lovely, with delicate washes that evoke a slight weathered look.  They sold Guy Wolff pottery at our local hardware and garden center in Denver and my family and I have several pots that decorate bookshelves and hold special collections.  I’m looking at one filled with moss and ceramic mushrooms as I write this post.

image

I especially love the little tiny pots – they are perfect for growing herbs or miniature fairy plants.  There are also wide, shallow pots that would be ideal for a succulent garden.  And tall skinny ones are great to act as a vase for silk flowers and old branches.  I was so very happy to see these pots again and took several pictures of the display.  Beyond being pots that I love, they are also happy reminders of home.

image

image

Blessings to you,

Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gift #665: Rabbits

We’ll wind up the fair days by enjoying the rabbits today.  Since I had a pet rabbit in junior high, they are near and dear to my heart.  I loved my little Carmel, she was a sweet brown mini-lop bunny who enjoyed walks.  I also had a friend in elementary school with a pet bunny who had a fetish for stealing chicken nuggets off our plates when we weren’t looking.  She’d also get into the popcorn during movies, but that’s another story.  Suffice it to say, I have fond memories of the rabbits that have been in my life and I enjoy spending time with them.  There were many entries at the fair and they were all champions as far as I could tell.  Here were some of my favorites.

image

This breed is called Champagne de’ Argent and is a lovely shade of creamy gray.  They seemed sweet-tempered too.  I think they were the prettiest rabbits there.

image

This is fierce bunny.  He was not amused at the antics of his fellow fair-mates and it was clear that no one had brought him any treats, which no doubt soured his interpretation of the whole “fair experience”.

image

This bunny was very interested in his surroundings and wanted to play.  It was hard to get an in-focus shot of him, but a quick pause at the food bowl sufficed.  Some of the rabbits there were so playful and wanted lots of pets.  One of the nice things about this fair is you can pet the animals (at your own risk, of course) and there are stations for wash-up as you leave the pavilions.

image

And I couldn’t leave without getting a picture of the Angora rabbits.  These fluffy animals are often raised for their fur, which can be harvested when they’re combed out.  The fiber is spun into yarn, which makes for super soft and warm sweaters, gloves, scarves, etc.  A couple of my knitting friends have one or more Angoras as pets, plus they offer the advantage of a continuous source of fiber which they spin (I have very talented friends).

I hope you enjoyed the rabbits today and the other animals that I’ve posted on for the past few days.  The state fair comes up next month and you  can expect a look at the animals there too!

Blessings to you,

Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gift #664: Chickens at the Fair

As promised, here’s a look at some of my favorite chickens from the fair.  There was a good turn out this year and it’s hard to narrow down my favorites.

image

This was the first beauty I saw.  I didn’t keep track of the breeds, so I’m not sure what she is, but I love her plumage.  She was obliging enough to let me collect a few feathers from her cage – one of the ones I collected is at the bottom of the pic near the water bowl.  I’ll do something special with them – they are a soft brown color with tiny white speckles.

image

Which end is the head?  And which is the tail?  It’s rather a toss-up with this breed.

image

Who can resist baby chicks?  So soft and fluffy looking, aren’t they?

image

The world’s fluffiest chicken.  It looked like he was covered in fur instead of feathers.

And this was the most hilarious part of the fair.  Please note the egg that I have circled.

image

image

Here is the signage for this chicken.  It had been sexed as a cockerel.  Presumably after the appearance of the egg, the discrepancy was noted and it was corrected to pullet.  You have to keep an eye on those chickens every second – you never know what kind of trick they’ll pull on you.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures of the chickens.

Blessings to you,
Sarah

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gift #663: Farm Friends

Yesterday evening I went to our Hendricks County Fair.  I spent the evening admiring all the animals, the crafts, and the displays.  The weather this week is nice and cool, which is a relief for the animals, I’m sure.  Last year was very warm and even with lots of water and fans, many of the animals were heat stressed.  But last night they were perky and interested in all the crowds.  I made friends with one of the goats and we enjoyed a nice chat and head patting session.  As I made my leave, the goat decided that he wanted my scarf to remember me by.  My handknit scarf, mind you.  I was not inclined to surrender it and had to work for a while to pry it out of his greedy mouth.  The scarf survived without any injury, but was traumatized by goat slobber for the rest of the evening.

image

 

The highlight of the day was seeing the newborn alpacas.

image

image

The brown and white one, TobyRay, was born on the 9th and the little white one (Conner) was just born on the 11th.  Aren’t they sweet?  Below is a family pic of both little guys with their mothers.

image

It was fun to spend some time with the animals.  Many are raised by the kids in 4H and they do a fabulous job.  All of them looked healthy and happy.  And the kids were kept busy cleaning out the stalls, hauling in water and food, and blow drying their livestock.  Yep, they are blowdried – with a big industrial dryer.

I’ll show pictures of the rabbits and chickens later – I didn’t want to make the post too long.  Until then…

image

Make sure to give someone a hug today…. because there are days when we just all need a hug.

Blessings to you,
Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gift #662: Summer cards

Since we’re in high summer, I thought I’d share some summer-inspired cards I made recently.  These are headed off to Stampington and Co. along with some others to be considered for publication.  The first two cards are made with Red Lead Stamps.  One of my favorite companies, they’ve had a lovely selection of nature-themed stamps over the years.  They also have great quotes.  The paper is from K&C CO. collection called Que Sera Sera.  It came out a few years ago and it’s one of my very favorite papers.

image

I like the carefree, summery feel of this card.  It was simple to make.  I just stamped the quote, edged the panel with chalk and assembled the card.  I stamped the bird and flowers on scraps, cut them out, and colored with chalks.  I adhered them to the card with foam tape to give some dimension.  I like using chalks as a coloring medium because the colors are soft and easy to blend. I use a q-tip for fine detail.  And if you make a mistake, you can erase it!

image

At least once each summer, I enjoy making seashell-themed cards. I stamped this quote on blue paper and embossed it with white embossing powder to make the words stand out a bit better.  I also inked the edges and lightly dusted with embossing powder to make it look like sand.  I stamped the seashell and embossed it with white powder and cut out and then colored with chalks.   I really liked this look because it gave a lot of texture to the shell.

image

This last card was my first attempt at a chalkboard look.  This is very popular in the paper crafting world right now and I wanted to give it a whirl.  It’s simple to do – you just stamp with white pigment ink on black cardstock and give it a few smudges.  I used paper from Pink Paislee and the stamps are from Stampin Up.

Hope you enjoyed them.

Blessings to you,
Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gift #661: Stretchers of healing

My church is going through a study of the gospel of Mark and today’s sermon covered the beginning of chapter 2, where Jesus heals a paralyzed man.  His friends bring him to Jesus’ home, but there is such  a crowd that they cannot get near Him.  So they climb to the upper porch of the home, rip up a hole in the roof, and lower their friend on a blanket to Jesus.  This is one of the narratives I most remember from my Sunday School days because of the comical scene it brings to mind.  People standing in a crowded home, the ceiling caving in, faces peering down from the roof into the room, and then this man descends in a blanket.  Can you imagine the commotion this caused?  I wonder what Jesus had been in the middle of saying to all the guests.  Who fixed the roof?  Jesus is moved with compassion and heals the man, who rolls up his blanket and walks out to a new life.  I’ve always marveled at the friends – their dedication, creativity, and faith to help their sick friend.

The pastor pointed out that the friends didn’t just mention to the paralyzed man that “he should meet Jesus and be healed.” They didn’t tell him to “head on over to the house”.  Instead, they brought him.  He reminded us that today there’s still a world of difference between giving someone a set of directions versus bringing them to grace.  We can be quick to offer advice, tell others what they should and shouldn’t do and then feel self-satisfied that we’ve “helped” someone.  But it’s entirely different to bring love to someone, and that’s what we should be striving for.  The pastor left us with the encouragement to “pick up a stretcher, rip open a roof, and bring someone to Jesus”.

That stayed with me the whole day as I’ve been thinking about that phrase “pick up a stretcher”.  Quite frankly, all of us are on stretchers.  We’re all broken and hurting in some way, casualties of life.  None of us is self-sufficient.  We all need to be about the business of picking up each other’s stretchers and bring grace and healing.  This reminded me of a book that I had read a while back – the author was recounting how in times of turmoil or tragedy, to comfort her children, she would tell them to look for the helpers.  Instead of having her children focusing on the pain and hurt, she would train them to be on lookout for those that were counteracting cruelty with kindness.  I really took that advise to heart and have tried to implement that in my life too.  Look for the helpers – and join in.  We all have a choice, and with every choice we make, we are either being part of the problem or the solution.  I was reminded again today of how important it is to join the team – grab a stretcher, spread some love, and bring grace to your part of the world.

This isn’t what I planned to blog about today, but I felt it impressed on my heart to share.  So I hope that it is an encouragement to you.

Blessings to you,

Sarah

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment