Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year From Ash Tree Cottage!

In a few short hours 2011 will be but a memory!

Bentley and I want to thank you for all of the wonderful hours we
have spent together in 2011!

We are looking forward to many more in 2012!
Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!!

Cheers and Big Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, December 30, 2011

It Was a Very Pink Year

I really enjoyed creating posts for Pink Saturday in 2011.
Here are my favorite pink posts.  I love collecting anything vintage and pink,
especially dishes, fabrics and prints.

I had fun bringing pinks together for decorating schemes.

What can be better than pink for dollhouse creations?  I had so much fun
creating this pink bed for my dollhouse.

Sewing and crafting with pink floral fabric is delightful.

There were pinks in the spring.

And pinks in the fall.  Remember the pink floral pumpkin?  

And a little pink cottage for under the Christmas tree.  I must make
more of these for next year.  I wanted to make a whole village, but
just did not have the time.

And finally ending up the year with my pink ice skate.  I created this skate
for a special Christmas card for my friend Juli who has worked very hard to
become a very good figure skater.

It was a wonderful Pink year!

I am joining Beverly
and I am looking forward to many pretty Pink Saturday's in 2012!

Thank you Bentley for always being by my side when I am creating.

Susan and Bentley

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

Bentley and I had lot's of fun around the cottage in 2011.
Let's see ~ we have been setting up tea parties in the garden.

Painting furniture.  I think my hubby is afraid that every piece of
furniture we own will be painted white.  He does not need to worry ~
I am painting the hutch in the kitchen red!

We have been designing tablescapes.  There is that chicken again!

And making miniature furniture.
Don't you love those little saddle shoes?  I sure do!

Setting up a fun and feminine tent in the backyard.

And playing in the garden.

Painting yet more furniture.  Bentley ~ have you noticed that your
Momma is a bit obsessed with dogs?

And turning more trash into treasure.

It's been a very fun year!

This is the last time I'll be joining these fun parties in 2011 ~
but look forward to joining them again next year!


We had lot's of fun in 2011 didn't we Bentley?

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I Love About Cottage Style Kitchens

Farmhouse sinks and chippy cabinets.

Big tables where I can roll out a pie crust, set trays of cookies or invite a neighbor to
sit down for a cup of coffee or tea.

Charming bits of this and that.  Beloved pieces that don't match, but somehow work together.

Cute vintage style aprons hanging up on hooks.

I love it all!  How about you Bentley ~ what do you think?

Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What's Your Decorating Inspiration?

I am experiencing (as are many of you) the after Christmas let down.
While the cottage looks all warm and cozy with all of the Christmas 
decorations still up, soon it will all come down and everything will look 
a bit less cheerful.

What to do to spice up the couple of cold and dreary months ahead?


All of the reds in the Christmas decorations have made me realize that I want to
use more reds in my accents.  Red and white.  Happy and clean and uplifting.

Oh and chickens.  My heart was stolen by my neighbor's chickens.  I never
knew how very fond of them I could be.

David and Bentley have prevented me from having a few running around our
yard ~ but I can still enjoy their presence in other ways.

My Mom has decided she would like to have some chickens.  There is a little cottage
just one block from my own that is for sale.  It is a really sweet little place.  Mom's
neighbors have been moving into assisted living facilities (neither of us want that for
her) and she may be ready for a change.  If we bought that little cottage for her she
would be close to Bentley ~ AND she could have her own chickens and a 
chicken coop.  I am going to share a sweet design I found on William Poole's
site of a Grandma's cottage.  The one down the street is very, very similar and we
could make it the cutest little cottage!

So once again ~ chickens are inspiring!

Oh and one more thing before I let you go.  Stop over and visit our BFF
Brenda she found a wonderful source for crafting fabrics.  She bought the 
cutest rooster print you all must see.  I don't know about you, but little
sewing and crafting projects just relax me and make me feel all warm and

AND ~ I am about to start painting my kitchen hutch.  It's currently blue with a 
white interior and Laura Ashley fabric covering the shelves.  You know the one,
you have all seen it.  Well, if I get the nerve it will be painted red with white

Okay Bentley ~ send everyone your biggest grin and a wave too!

Susan and Bentley

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

Christmas Eve ~ my favorite night of the year.

My heart is filled with such great joy and peace knowing that
tomorrow we will be celebrating the birth of Our Savior.

May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas not just tonight
and tomorrow ~ but all year long.

Bentley and I are so grateful to call you our friends.

And we send our very best wishes for a Blessed and Merry Christmas to
each one of you!

Please join me in visiting 

God Bless,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, December 23, 2011

Survey ~ What Are You Serving For Christmas Dinner?

What is your traditional Christmas Dinner?
Is it roast turkey or ham, roast beef or goose?
Or perhaps you are a vegan or vegetarian.

Our traditional Christmas dinner is a very British one.
Although the Brits are not known for their fine cuisine (sorry to all of
my British friends) we always serve roast beef.  It's a standing rib
roast served with horseradish sauce, Yorkshire pudding (in honor
of Bentley's roots) and Brussel sprouts (much to hubby's chagrin).

Dessert is always a pecan pie ~ especially for David who is from Texas.

One year while I was living in Bahrain, I had 25 friends over for Christmas 
dinner.  I had the only Christmas tree ~ a spindly little thing shipped in from
Jordan.  I roasted a turkey which took forever because the thermostat in my
oven was not working.  I ended up putting the bird in my neighbor's cooker.

Guests brought specialties like smoked salmon from Scotland consumed with
bottles of champagne.  One fellow brought over caviar from the Caspian Sea
which was excellent.  He brought along several bottles of Russian Vodka
that he froze in ice.  By the time we got around to the turkey everyone was
feeling extremely jolly.  We were all wearing those funny little hats that come
out of the Christmas poppers.  I steamed plum pudding in a pressure cooker and 
that's what we had for dessert.  Everyone told me it was the best Christmas
party they had ever attended.  Must have been ~ because the next morning
my house was a mess.  

But ... one of the guests thought to send his houseboy over in the morning
to clean up!  What a blessing that was.

What is your favorite tradition for Christmas dinner?  Or what is your
favorite memory of a Christmas celebration?

The best thing about celebrating Christmas is sharing it with those 
you love.  For me, those the best memories of all!

Susan and Bentley

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas at Mom's House

Let's go visit my Mom's house.  
Her mantel is decorated for the holidays.  That frame over the
mantel came from my Great Grandmother's farm in Pennsylvania.

Daddy brought the sconces back from a trip to Rome.  We are the
lucky recipients of his many international business travels.

A pretty ornament on the mantel.

Let's move over to the coffee table for some cheese fondue and a glass of wine.

Daddy brought this fondue pot back from a trip to Switzerland.  We always
serve fondue at Christmas.

Would you like to stay for Christmas lunch?

Have a seat at Mom's cozy table.

Or find a comfy spot in her solarium.

A Christmas angel will welcome you ...

And a comfy throw will too.

Don't forget to help yourself to some chocolates in the Christmas candy box.

Thank you for coming with me to visit my Mom.  She loves company!

I am joining ~


Bentley ~ I know you just had Birthday presents, but there will be lots
of Christmas presents for you too.  What a lucky dog you are!

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bentley's 6th Birthday

What do you give to the sweetest little dog in the world for his birthday?
Why a box filled with peanut butter biscuits of course!

Happy Birthday my sweet boy!  Momma loves you!!!

Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Late Night in the Mini Christmas Cottage

I love Claudia's and Brenda's series on Defending the Small House so
much that I am joining them once again today to show you an example of
the mini cottage vignettes I have in my house.  Here is my little Christmas
mini display tucked into my library stack.  I can just imagine a little fairy 
reading a Charles Dickens classic or perhaps one by Beatrix Potter in that 
cozy little red and white chair I made a few months ago.

Stop by and visit these talented women.  You will enjoy the visit!

And ...  Be sure to visit Kim for

Wow Us Wednesday

Susan and Bentley

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Recycle Wrap-it-Up

I like to recycle for two reasons, well actually three.
First, is the obvious because I am a conservationist.
Secondly, in a small house we make use of every inch of
space, and that includes spots to store wrapping materials.
And finally ~ who can afford to buy new all the time in 
this current economy?

So ~ here is a Christmas wrap from an used brown paper bag.
Some white craft paint.  A few twigs and a pine cone found on
a walk, and left over yarn from a crochet project.

Suddenly I have a sweet little forest scene for pennies from items
I already had.  No trip to the store for wrapping paper.

I am joining


Bentley ~ your big day is Wednesday!  Are you excited??

Susan and Bentley


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