Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Winter Woodland Dinner

We are so fortunate in Idaho to have some of the most spectacular forests
in the United States.  Not far from my home, the forests begin.  There are
majestic mountains, Ponderosa pines, beautiful glacier lakes and many
rivers and streams.

I love it up in the woods, so I have created a winter woodland theme tablescape.

I found these charming dinner plates at one of my favorite shops ~
Forget Me Not Antiques.  It is the Welcome Home pattern by J&G Meakin of
Staffordshire, England.  Such a cozy and welcoming winter scene.

I love these tags too.  I added them to mini grape vine wreaths to use as
napkin rings.

All of these dishes and napkins and accessories will end up in our cabin.
I think we have a plan selected now and David has chatted with a log
broker.  We are very excited and hope to be spending Christmas of 2012 in
our new getaway in the woods.

I am joining ~

Bentley is excited about the new cabin too.  He will have a friend up there.
Joey a cute little Maltese is just a couple of doors away and his Mom and Dad
are good friends of ours.  

Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tis the Season for Red

Ah yes ~ here it is the season for red!

Of course y'all know how much I love red ~
so I guess it's always the right season for red around here!

But I can really go wild decorating with red for Christmas!

I'm linking up to Rednesday of course ...
Wow Us Wednesday because reds wow me.

An update on Bentley's dental bone:  he buried it out in the yard and
dug it back up and is chewing it now.  I wonder if is still tasty?  He
seems to think so.

Susan and Bentley

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Decorating Ghosts of Christmas Past

One of the wonderful things about having a blog is that you can look at old
seasonal photos from years gone by and remember what you liked about a 
holiday decorating scheme.  

These are a few of my favorites from last year.  This was my Sun Valley
Christmas cloche.  It was fun putting it together for one of Marty's
cloche parties.

This is another one of my favorites.  Love that Christmas card that looks
like a vintage postage stamp!

And this darling little bird is another favorite.  
Now that I have the Christmas boxes down from the attic, I wonder what
I will create this year?  

For more inspiration I am headed over to 


Okay Bentley ~ let's gather up all of your Christmas themed
squeak toys and put them in a wagon for your display!

Susan and Bentley

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let the Christmas Decorating Begin!

I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.  We did!
Last night the kitchen was cleaned up and the china and silver safely
stored in the hutch.  And now ...

One of my favorite days of the year!  No, I'm not fighting the crowds at the mall!
But I am starting to pull out the Christmas decorations.  I have been itching to do
that, but I hold off until the day after Thanksgiving because I love to savor the 
specialness of each holiday!

Of course, I might run over to a few of my favorite antique shops to see if there is
something special to add to this Christmas holiday decorating!  Which reminds me ...

Tomorrow has been designated Small Business Saturday.   Please go visit the
independent shops in your area.  These small shop owners work hard to compete
with the big box stores and they often have such lovely merchandise and are
really happy to deliver great customer service.  Remember Kathleen Kelly's "The
Shop Around the Corner" in the movie "You've Got Mail"?  What a charming
shop that was and it was staffed with really knowledgeable people.

So there's your assignment ~ shop the small independent shops too!

So now that there are lots of leftovers in the fridge, a nip is in the air, and I
am all excited about decorating ~ I will leave you with this.  I have been 
dreaming of decorating my Mom's solarium all in pink and green for Christmas.
She does not know about this yet, so it will be a big surprise for her.  I will be
sharing it all with you each Pink Saturday in December!  In fact, I am headed
over to link this post up to Beverly's Pink Saturday and to visit the other
party goes to see their Christmas decorations!

In answer to your questions ~ yes Bentley had turkey yesterday!  He's 
napping right now but he will soon be helping me (watching me) bring the
Christmas decorations down from the attic.

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Phone Home

I have made it easy for you to phone home ~ that is to take Ash Tree Cottage
with you on your mobile phone.  I have created an app.  

Now you will be able to keep up with all of the adventures of Susan and
Bentley where ever you may be.

And be sure to stay in touch with Kim for great decorating tips and more
at her weekly party Wow Us Wednesday!

Bentley ~ send everyone a big kiss!!!

Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's All in the Details

What makes your home uniquely yours?  Have you ever walked into 
someone's home and had the feeling that the owners purchased every little
detail from a popular store?  A house that has been so depersonalized that
it does not look like a home?  

As a designer, I have seen it before.  I once had a client who did not think
that the members of her family were very attractive, so she thought that she
should keep the photos of the models who came in the picture frames she purchased
because they were so much more attractive than her family members.
How sad is that?

As we fluff our cottages this week and in the coming weeks getting ready to
welcome family and friends, let's remember to keep the "home" in our cottages.
Let's let our personalities shine through.  It's what makes each of us
unique and special!

I am off to visit Marty who gives us all great inspiration to
feather our nests.

Bentley ~ are you still napping?  Actually that's a good thing so that the
squirrels can peacefully eat the squash that I put out for them without
being disturbed.

Susan and Bentley

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hey Love ~ Let's Go for a Hike!

Hey lovie ~ let's go for a hike!

Oh ~ I don't know it's cold out there.  Just look at that popcorn snow!

No worries ~ we can bring provisions to stay warm and toasty.
Come on ~ it will be fun!

Okay ~ you talked me into it!

After the hike I will warm up by the fire and visit

Come on Bentley ~ let's find a sweater for you so that we all
can take a hike up in the foothills.  I think it snowed up there last night!

Susan and Bentley

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Romancing the Thanksgiving Table

If you long to set your Thanksgiving table in a very romantic, shabby chic
style, then head to your local thrift, consignment and antique shops.

Your will find the most charming of platters and pitchers.

Dessert plates and little sauce dishes.

Sweet and stylish stemware of all sizes and shapes.

Amazingly pretty but inexpensive silver serving pieces.

And wonderful serving dishes too.  Such soft and pretty patterns that
somehow all work together ~ so don't be afraid to mix and match.

For more romantic ideas to decorate your home lets go visit ~

Show and Tell Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Home Sweet Home
Potpourri Friday
Pink Saturday

Okay Bentley ~ I'll be finished posting in just a minute and
then we can play!

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost a week away, but it is.
It's truly one of my favorite holidays.   I am taking a short vacation and am really
enjoying getting ready for the big feast.  I'm playing around with centerpiece ideas
for the table.  Polishing silver, getting the crystal ready and just having so much
fun playing house.

I have decided to go with a rustic look with a touch of elegance too.
I love combining vintage well loved family heirlooms with some newer 
pieces too.  

This pearl handled flatware is from David's Mom.  She purchased it
years ago from Carl Forslund in Michigan.  I think she would
have been happy to know that we are treasuring it now.  

So now I am back to fluffing the cottage and planning my menu and
visiting with you!

I am linking to ~

Bentley ~ I just love being home with you!

Susan and Bentley

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cozy Cottage Elements

I want to thank all of you who come to visit me.  I have not been very good about 
returning the favor, and I do apologize.  Life has been very hectic around my
cottage for the last several weeks.  My Mom was ill several times, my hubby
David was too and then my Mother-in-Law passed away.  

I have been trying to balance all of my obligations, and frankly, blog reading
just took a back seat.  Now things seem to be settling down to a more
normal pattern and I will be happily following and commenting on all of
the great and creative blogs I love so much.

So until then, here are a couple of mosaics I have put together to bring the "cozy" 
feeling back into my little cottage and to share than coziness with you.

What a great group of friends I have made and I thank you from the bottom
of my heart!

I am linking up to ~

Bentley ~ your Auntie Robin flew over Idaho today on her way to
visit her daughter Taylor in Washington State.  Did you remember to look
up and send her a kiss?

Big Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Pink Surprise!

Hurry over to my Momma's other blog
for a Pink Surprise!

Momma told me to link up to

Love and Kisses,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cabin Dreams

David and I have been dreaming of the cabin we want to build on the lot we bought
back in September.  I have been gathering up things I want to put in the cabin before
it's even built.  I know ~ it's the cart before the horse.

These Ralph Lauren tartan plates are for the cabin and so are the birch bark 
candles.  It seems like every time I go into a thrift or consignment shop I find
something that would be perfect for up north.

We are going to have to decide on a plan soon, because we need to submit it to
the home owner's association for approval, then start pulling permits and also
get our logs ordered from the mill.  Thankfully we live in logging country, so
we can have our pick of logs.  

We already know that we want post and beam construction, open concept and a
big stone fireplace as well as a wood stove.  However, when we start altering
plans, we are a bit like Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in Mr Blandings Builds His
Dream House.  It's he wants, she wants, but we have a budget and it's not
a huge one.  

Primarily I want it to be cozy and charming and filled with vintage decor.  A real
vintage camp style place that our friends and family will love to visit.  A place for the
skis, snowboards, snowshoes and fly fishing gear.  A table where we can play Scrabble
and put jigsaw puzzles on days when we are snowed in.  

A dinner bell out on the back porch that we can ring when dinners ready and a 
martini flag that we can fly when it's time for cocktails.

It won't be spring until we will be able to break ground, but until then I will
be gathering up vintage items to turn our cabin into a cozy nest.

I am linking up to

Bentley ~ I see you brought out your moose.  You are anxious to go up
north too.

Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wowsa Reds!

I am starting to think about my plans for Thanksgiving dinner.  I found these 
adorable red silicone utensils at my local co-op the other day.

I  just could not pass them up because they are so cute and red!  Look at 
that sweet little whisk ~ I love it.

Back to Thanksgiving dinner.  Last year everyone loved the turkey, the yam
casserole, the roasted Brussel sprouts and the cranberry sauce.

The stuffing ~ not so much.

If any of you have a great stuffing recipe that your family and friends all love,
please, please let me know.  

What's this???  A Christmas spatula ~ I thought I said no Christmas
decorations until after Thanksgiving!

I am linking to 

Wow Us Wednesday

Bentley ~ you liked my stuffing last year didn't you?

Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hanging on to Autumn

Have you noticed all of the Christmas decorations in the stores?
In some stores they were up before Halloween.  

I am a traditionalist however, and as much as I love Christmas, I refuse
to put up any decorations for my favorite holiday until the day after
Thanksgiving.  Therefore I am showing you my autumnal cloche on the
entry table.  I'm hanging on to Autumn and enjoying each minute.

How about you?  

Life goes by fast enough.  Let's not speed it up!

I am happy to be joining Marty for

Bentley ~ let's not pull out any of your Christmas squeak toys until 
after Thanksgiving.  Okay?

Susan and Bentley


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