You say it's your Birthday?

It's my birthday too!  And for the first time in years and years, it's sunny and 72 degrees. Sheer bliss, I tell ya.

Here is how I feel today...like brilliant daffodils clustered in a big, happy posy.  I even sacrificed my super cute white flip flops to trudge thru our boggy backyard to give you all some of these sweet spring daffodils to help you celebrate the birth of ME 43 long years ago!

May the beauty, fun and brightness of spring fall down upon all your heads today as a special gift from me to you....I'm thankful you have all become such a cheery part of my creative life!  Thank you for the gift of your comments, suggestion, smiles, and love....


Make it For Monday #18

Hello beauties!  So glad you could Make it for Monday!  I have a new button for the link party with the code over yonder on the sidebar, so feel free to add it at your place to spread the word about how much fun we've got going on over here at ::cottage instincts:: every Monday. (Do I sound chipper?  I'm really trying to sound chipper.  I really don't feel chipper.  At all.)

Once again, I want to highlight some of the fab.U.lous entries from last week.

{show & tell}

Less than Perfect Life of Bliss


Lemon Tree Creations

My Frugal Family

She Endeavors

Lagoa Design Studio


Decorating My Tin Shack

One Handy Chick

Sense and Simplicity

Thrifty Parsonage Living
Cappuccino Cottage
Persnickety Peacock

The Decorating Diaries

Brambleberry Cottage

Lily's Pad and Petals

Beyond the Picket Fence

Organize and Decorate Everything: letter wall

Here's MckLinky to get the party rolling. Make your post showcasing something your made FOR YOUR HOME and be sure you add either my button or a link back here somewhere within that post. Then add your post's URL to MckLinky and make your way to the refreshments whilst you mingle with the other guests.  Thanks for making my party a success week after week :)


Thrifting Haul.

At a cost of $45, wet hair and chilled-to-the-bones body, and 2 glorious hours....my net gain was the following:

Let's take a closer look at this loot, shall we?

Raise your hand if you know what will happen to the mirrors?  Ding Ding Ding!  Paint, glaze, hang in collage, repeat.

I found these fall/winter barn scenes completely gorgeous.  If you look closely, you'll see touches of my beloved robins egg blue....which will of course direct the painting of the frames.

I think I'll do a two toned aged effect on them, and save them for cold season decorating.  This is the other side of the barn I believe.  Looks like the wilds of my home state of Indiana.

Check out the glorious glass...even though I'm not normally crazy for hearts, give me hobnail hearts on a pale green hurricane lamp any ding dang day.  Come on now.

Don't I know it.  See that date?  I think it might be a repro due to markings on the bottom, but shhhhhhhhhh.  Don't tell. 

Couldn't pass by the two wee oil lamps.  And I totally dig that pale greeny-blue vase.  Aren't her shapely curves amazing?

Now see, you must understand that each time I enter a thrift shop, heart puttering and hands sweating, I always look for white pitchers.  Always.  I heart them.  My house is becoming not only a bird sanctuary, but a white pitcher museum.  Ask me if I care.

How could I pass up this little white diddy?  I mean truly, couldn't you just eat it up, scalloped edges and all?

And yes, another retro birdie print.  How could I resist?  The frame will be dressed in you-know-what.  Have you ever?

So there ya have it.  Pretty good take home, eh?


Where my brain is going these days.

I tend to waver between the pragmatic and the utterly impractical in my decorating.....always trying to find that ever-elusive balance between the two.  I get certain perks when I lean either way, but end up unsatisfied ultimately with either extreme. I know none of you have this issue. Ahem.

I know what I'm drawn to, yet I when I try to imitate those 'looks', something doesn't feel right.  I've gone thru my ruminating exercises with quite a bit of success lately, but I'm still not 'there' yet, ya know?  I do the same in my dressing.  I've been visiting all the blogs I've followed, subscribed to, bookmarked, etc since last August.  Kinda doing the whole "who really speaks to my heart" thing.  Whether in personality, decorating style, and/or dress. What stuff do I LOVE, and what stuff do I simply LIKE and my time would be better spent elsewhere? I'm trying to narrow down my preferences. 
For instance, if I could pull it off, I'd dress like Fairmaiden of Sea Cottage in a heartbeat. Soft, flowy skirts and layers all in white or subtle colors.  And birkenstocks.

I love her decorating too.  Airy, beachy, cottagey.  Whites and soft creams with touches of aqua and pink.  Yummy. She has a sweet temperment, and her blog is a taste of bliss each time I visit.  I love her imagination.....

Then there's the strikingly beautiful Kate of Salvage Dior, who always looks like a fashion model and whose decorating style is a fabulous combination of thrifty finds, romantic touches, and lots of white.

  Again, I'm inspired whenever I visit her place.  She's what I'd call a 'classic'.  First class all the way. Determined to make her world better for those she loves.  And a sweetheart to boot.

And you all know Jayme, of Coop Keeper fame....she's a bouncy, energetic, encourager with a sense of humor that knows no bounds.  She always looks 'put together', and adds some whimsy now and then via vintage hair styles, a kitchy apron, or some wicked cool sparkly earrings.

Her farmhouse is warm, inviting, and beautifully decorated with meaningful touches, always with comfort in mind.  She's the mother everyone wanted growing up!

Next is Maggie of the White Farmhouse.  She absolutely cracks me up every.single.time I visit.  She has an edgy realness tucked inside her wit that I so admire.

(This is her profile picture and perfectly encapsulates Maggie!) She's a DIY'er with wonderful taste in decorating too.  Great balance of practical, down-to-earth, up-to-date, vintagey goodness. She's someone I simply *must* meet sometime soon....I just 'get' her. 

There are many, many other talented and beautiful gals who inspire me thru their blogs, but these are some of the very first who drew me to blogging in the first place.  I see lots of myself in each of them in different ways, and I esteem other parts that I *wish* were part of me.  They each have unique 'styles' in their decor, though much is similar.  I want to be all of them when I grow up.

So where does this leave me?  Still trying on styles for myself and my house in life's florescently-lit dressing room.  *sigh*  Sometimes feeling I'm hitting the mark, most times feeling like I'm searching for the proverbial golf ball in the woods. 

It's been helpful to pull away sometimes from the blogworld and my decorating books/mags.  Just 'be' in the house I'm in with the furniture and closet of clothes I have (not to mention the overweight, aging body I'm in).  Focus on the people in my life, the bits and baubles that decorate the moments of my life, not the spaces I move in.  The fourth grade humor that brings out my 10 year old son's brilliant smile and contagious giggles.....the determination and exuberance of my 8 year old as he climbs up the magnolia tree with it's wee buds....the teenage angst over hurtful comments made by friends and the thought that 'that boy' finally texted.....the simple smile of a husband who loves to come home to his family.  It's humbling.  It's what we artists of the sacred home life must do in order to get grounded again and hear our hearts.  Gives us some perspective and turns down the 'gotta do/be' meter that shreds our peace of mind.

Spring is upon us (finally), and it's the perfect time to open the windows of our hearts and air out the stagnant winter list of to-dos that keep us functioning thru cold, grey days.  They've done their job, but now we need freshness fill our minds with renewed hope in and understanding of the most precious parts of our lives....those people, those Works of Art who bring passion and beauty and love and peace and joy to us by just being human beings in relationship with us. 

My hope for this season is to find contentment in the world that surrounds me, not in a perfectly decorated house or body.  I'd like to welcome 'me' back to the conversation and ask her some pretty frank questions.  And to let her have space to to say, "Not now, I'm watching a caterpillar." To give her permission to navel gaze a bit if she wants.  To eat peanut butter and cinnamon toast.

With all this in mind, I've found a tool that I'm learning to wield....and I hope that in eventually using it properly, much of the frustration in 'finding myself/style' will go POOF!  I'm not a 'woo woo' person, but I've always been fascinated with personality typing, body typing, gifting identifiers.....the problem is that I can never quite fit myself into the right 'type'.  I seem to be a mishmash of so many.  And I kinda hate being 'labelled'.  I enjoy being an enigma.....though it can get lonely, and it definitely causes frustration in my day-to-day struggle with being me.

Anyway, I mentioned in a previous post that I've stumbled across an 'energy profiling' program that I'm going thru. My new blog design is the first fruits. Basically, it gives 4 elements from nature, describes their movement and energy and you find which fits you best.  We have all four, but 'lead' with one.  Once you settle on that, you begin to 'live your truth' and 'dress your truth' and I'm hoping to 'decorate my truth'.  Takes away judgement of yourself and others.  Leaves more room to relax and stop comparing and competing.  Also takes away the myriad choices and helps narrow down the field to a manageable size.  Sounds much like what I do with my decorating exercises....and so as I walk thru this course this spring, I hope to share with you what I'm learning.  Maybe together we can stuff down that jealousy monster we women carry on our back that demands attention and wreaks havoc upon our own individual uniqueness.  'Course, maybe it's out in left field, but that would be par for the course in my game.  Hasn't stopped me yet.

Side note:  Went a'thrifting today and scored some pretties.  I'll throw them up here on the blog this weekend methinks.

Side note #2:  I know I have several questions to answer from previous posts, and I promise I'll get to them, but it might take a few days.  Thank you for engaging me, visiting my corner of the blogworld, and letting me be who I am....or at least humoring me as I try to 'create my style'.


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