2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas Tree Napkin Fold

.This is really cute and very easy to do!

Bring some extra cheer to your holiday table by folding the napkins into Christmas trees.



Toys From Our Childhood

I heard this on the radio and thought it was so interesting-

Interview with David Hoffman, author of the book Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood 

So many of the classic toys never started out as toys. 

Lionel Trains began their popularity when a toy store owner used a train as a store display, in a toy shop, to show off other toys.

David Hoffman
 When people walking by saw the display, they didn’t want the toy it was advertising, they wanted the train that was carting other toys around.home-bsa-see-what-we-made.png

Play Doh is one of the craziest things; it was formulated as a compound to clean wallpaper. The sister-in-law of the guy who invented it complained that the kids in her nursery school class(she was a teacher) really couldn’t play with clay because it was too firm for their fingers to manipulate. So he said, “I have something, it’s non-toxic, it’s great because if you keep it in a tightly sealed container, it stays soft and if you leave it out, it will harden just like clay does.”

Mr. Potato Head was originally supposed to be just a premium in a breakfast cereal.


It was a bag of plastic face parts that you could stick into really any fruit or vegetable, but particularly a potato. The guy who invented it showed it to Hasbro and they said, “We want this.” It was a good move, because George Lerner, who invented the product, would have made five thousand dollars had he sold it to the breakfast cereal company, instead he became a millionaire.In addition, Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television.

Christmas Memories and Collections




Whatever it is that you collect and get out of storage from the attic or the basement every year is undoubtedly something that means a lot to you and to your family. It is such a great feeling to see my Santa collection every year-it is like seeing old friends again. Of course putting the ornaments on the tree every year is also such a highlight-remembering where each one came from and reliving the memories. Christmas is such a magical time-enjoy it!

PS  thanks to friends for many of the pictures!

Progress at Woodstone


The red cedar roof (we looked at both red cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar but decided the red cedar was better with the colors we have picked for the house)is going on so we are good to work inside all winter…. but most interesting has been watching the 200 year old barn from Pennsylvania start going up.The Colonial Barn Restoration company worked for weeks piecing the bents together and then last Sunday they started putting them up.

The bent is the unit of barn timbers running from front to back. If a barn has four bents, it has three bays. Barns were easily enlarged by adding more bents on either end to lengthen the barn.


Have Yourself A Messy Little Christmas!

 This is from my nephew who has three children aged 12-8 years old. I just thought I should share it after yesterday’s blog about Christmas Creativity! It gave me a real chuckle:
“You should tour our house – the theme is “Childhood Christmas Mess.”  I particularly enjoy the way the rumpled clothes and towels on the floor make the shape of a Christmas tree.  The stairsare decorated with last week’s homework, a tie, and a shirt top. Down in the basement we have vestiges of last week’s movie night.  Perhaps I can pick up the left-over popcorn and make a nice string for the tree.The dishes in the sink remind me of the tinkling of Christmas bells as I scrub 3-day-old dinner off them and they clang together.Ahh, we could rival anyone’s house with a little imagination.”

Concord Museum’s Holiday House Tour

HolidayDoor21aWhat a fantastic event-despite the  heavy rains, the houses were absolutely spectacular-the bar has been raised again. Here are some of the things I thought were particularly creative(although obviously I loved everything in the tour!)

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These pictures(above) are taken at a house that was done by Hilary Bovey of Bovey Steers Design Group Copper Penny Flowers and Comina. Some great ideas-I especially loved the “package” made of little mums. I also noticed that a lot of the houses were decorating with  roping not on the rail but instead along the stairs-very nice effect!


The second house I just loved was done by Kathy Morris and Margaret DeJesus of Morris Interiors of Concord. They spent hours making every single floral arrangement in the house, and created several vignettes that were just incredible. Most of all though, I absolutely loved their “cookbook tree”-so clever!