Monday, February 28, 2011

Vintage Picnic Jug Lamps

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Please come back tomorrow for a tutorial on these lamps!

Join the Mosaic Monday Linky Party with me @ little red house.

Visit Debbiedoo's and see what all the Newbies (including me) are up to at her Newbie Party.

Don't forget my giveaway here.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Happy List #2

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1.   I am happy that I made my 100th post yesterday.  My bloggy friends are so supportive.  Y'all make me happy!


2.   Lake Martin in lovely Tallapoosa County, Alabama makes me very happy. The water is a little low this time of year, but that's okay!!!


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3.   Tea!  Tea makes me happy!  If you took it away from me I would need a twelve-step program!


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4.   Porch swings!  Porch swings make everyone (including me) happy!!!  :D


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5.   Home decor magazines make me happy because they give me ideas.  I might not be the most creative chick on the web, but by golly I have resourcefulness down to a fine art!


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6.   The time to sit on the porch swing with tea and magazines:  bliss!!!


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I hope y'all are having a Very Happy Saturday.  What is making your happy list today?  I would love to hear from you.  Leave me a comment, and link-up to Mamarazzi's "My Happy List" over @ Dandelion Wishes.  I love Mamarazzi's blog, so join the party with me!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Friday, February 25, 2011

Literary Friday: A Discovery of Witches

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This week has been so busy that I am stunned I actually finished A Discovery of Witches (all 579 pages), but I did.  It was difficult to put down, and I believe that this is Deborah Harkness' first novel.  I was also surprised to read that she writes an award-winning wine blog.  Click here for her wine blog, Good Wine Under $20.

Deborah Harkness has created an interesting world of creatures in this book. One tenth of the world's population isn't human:  it is composed of witches, daemons, and vampires.  The creatures' numbers have been dwindling; earlier in history, the percentages were closer to fifty percent human, and fifty percent other.  Another thing I liked about the book is that vampires are constantly drinking wine.  You can tell  Harkness is very knowledgable on the subject.  I also found the depiction of the manic daemons interesting because they are the highly successful artists, rock stars, and other creative-types. The witches in Harkness' world are the most formidable and scary of the creatures.

The book begins as Diana Bishop, a direct descendent of the first executed witch during the Salem Witch Trials, requests a mysterious book,  Ashmole 782, from the depths of Oxford University's Bodleian Library.  Diana is a willful scholar and university professor from Yale, and she is in Oxford researching allegory in medieval alchemical illuminations.   She has shunned the practice of witchcraft for success on a "human level" in her scholarship. She refuses to use magic and is unaware when she requests Ashmole 782 she has worked a very powerful spell.  Diana recognizes the book is bewitched, but instead of thoroughly studying it she takes a few notes on her computer, and then returns it to the rare manuscripts desk.

Then all heck breaks loose!

Suddenly the next day, the Bodleian is crawling with vampires, daemons, and witches, and they all want the same thing: Ashmole 782.  The book supposedly contains information about the origin of the creatures and also answers other questions about their existence in the guise of an ancient alchemical text.  The creatures are there waiting for Diana to recall the text because it has been thought missing for centuries. While using magic to retrieve another text on a high shelf, Diana encounters the mysterious and powerful Professor Matthew Clairmont, a doctor and geneticist.  The pair strike up an unusual friendship over yoga, meals, and scholarship. Matthew and Diana become closer, and he becomes her protector.

In this book, the biggest conflict is that witches, vampires, and daemons are not supposed to mix for fear of attracting too much attention from humans. The Congregation members, or two representatives from each creature group,  are determined to punish Diana and Matthew for breaking the Congregation's ancient covenants. These six leaders also want to understand and control Diana's magic.  Although Matthew is powerful at 1500 years old, can he help Diana cope with the emergence of rare magical powers she does not know how to control?

I really enjoyed A Discovery of Witches, and it is a hard book to categorize.  It is part suspense-thriller, part paranormal romance, and part historical fiction. I enjoyed the science, history, literature, and religion in the book.  Deborah Harkness is a scholar, and it shows in her carefully researched writing. Matthew is my favorite literary vampire.  Period. (Not that I know any real ones, but you get my meaning). The only negative to the book is that the ending is a huge cliffhanger!  I started getting concerned when I had about sixty pages or so left to read, and my worst fears were confirmed: cliffhanger!!!  I want the sequel now!

Check out Deborah Harkness' website here.  It is very neat: you'll find playlists for both Diana and Matthew, plus Matthew's wine cellar!  I need to return to the website and search for information about a sequel *sighs*.


Don't forget about the What We're Reading Linky Party the twentieth of every month!


Also, I am hosting a giveaway here.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

One Hundredth Post! *and giveaway*

Before I begin my 100th post, I would like to take care of a little business.  As many of you know, our cable and internet has been whacky lately.  However this is not the first time.  Our cable carrier has had to jackhammer our poor neighbors' driveway four times since we have lived here.  Our cable dude is like Eldin from Murphy Brown.  Do you remember Eldin, the painter who never left Murphy's brownstone? There is always a cable van in our cul de sac.  It is finally "fixed" although we have two unburied cables running across our driveway presently. Most of my blog posts have been posted at the Starbucks three miles from our house lately because what internet we had was so slow.  For those of you who have not heard from me, please be patient and keep leaving your comments.  I will get around to you.  And for those bloggers I have been following, I will get around to visiting you soon, too.  Thanks for your patience with me!






100th Post

Pull up a chair and have some tea with me!  How do you take yours?  I like a black tea, like Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast, with plenty of whole milk and a little sugar.


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I wish I could have tea with each and every one of you.  I feel so blessed to have met so many kind and creative women while blogging.  I must confess that I started blogging because I was ill and needed surgery.  A friend suggested that I start blogging because it would be a fun diversion for me. She said that every other artist she knows blogs!

So I started.  I made some friends along the way (you!), and I have learned so much from you.  I appreciate all of your comments, and your sweet emails and prayers have helped me recover.

I am humbled by your kindness, and honored by your friendship.  I am in awe of your talent, and appreciative of your humor!

Thank you.  All of you!

In order to celebrate my 100th post, I am hosting a little giveaway.  I took a little trip to Anthropologie and picked up a few things.  Check it out!

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I love these mugs.  I like the paint that is splattered on them.


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I have several mugs and cups with paint that won't wash off, so these mugs appealed to the artist in me!

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I like the designs and shade of green on these napkins.


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I love buying things that help others.  The napkin rings are made by women in Rwanda; buying these handmade products ensures the women's financial independence.


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I bought the dish towel because it reminds me of spring.

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If you are chosen, you will win the four mugs, four napkins, set of napkin rings, and dish towel.

To win, you must:

1.  Follow this blog, and

2.  Write a comment after this post.

If you want another (second) chance to win, mention my giveaway on your blog and link back to this post.  Then leave another comment letting me know!

That's it!  Maybe one day I can meet my blogging buddies and we can share tea and/or coffee together.

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Again, thank you for welcoming me in the blogosphere!


Please look for my Literary Friday post later this afternoon or evening.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Antiquing Failure

Yesterday I decided to go antiquing.  I did not have any luck.  Nope!  I did see a very pretty vintage 1940's tablecloth with huge yellow and orange cabbage roses, but it was $45, and I thought it was too expensive.  But I have never seen roses on a tablecloth that particular shade of orange, so I almost have remorse that I did not buy it.  I might try later next week and see if the vendor will come down on the price.  Do you think $45 is too high?

Because I was sad I was going home empty-handed, I stopped by a cute garden shop and bought some primroses for our coffee table.  I thought they would be fun until I decorate for St. Patrick's Day with Bells of Ireland and shamrocks.  Plus, primroses are harbingers of spring, and I cannot wait until spring gardening!


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Tomorrow is a very special day because I will be posting my 100th post!  I will also announce a very nice giveaway, so read my blog tomorrow!

I am linking-up to Fishtail Cottage's Flora Thursday.  I can't wait to start gardening and planting, but it is still a little too soon here in Central Alabama. What will you be planting in your garden this spring?

I am also linking-up to Chris's Linky Party at Us and Them.  Your post that you link can be about anything...kind of like a "come as you are" party.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Terry's *GORGEOUS* Pillow

The very talented Terry over at Forever Decorating had a giveaway last week.  It was for one of her pretty original pillows, and I won!


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Isn't it absolutely gorgeous!  



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I decided to put it in our guest bedroom because we have a mixture of creams, whites, and greens in there.  We call this room the dormitory because whenever the girls have sleepovers, this is where they sleep.  Plus, it is the largest bedroom in the house!


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I think Terry's pillow looks great with the matelasse coverlet and other throw pillows I have collected over the years.

If you have not visited Terry's lovely blog, Forever Decorating, click here and visit her. Terry is a Renaissance lady: she can do everything, and I mean everything, when it comes to making a home beautiful.  

Thanks again, Terry, for such a lovely giveaway prize!  I absolutely love it, and so do my daughters!  

Join me at Faded Charm's White Wednesday, and House in the Roses Show Off your Cottage Monday.



Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mosaicwares

I adore Mosaicwares.  The company manufactures "la picassiette" one of a kind home furnishings. La picassiette is a French phrase meaning "stolen from the plate."  It is an art form where artists use broken bits of china, glass, figurines, and other materials and cement them onto objects to form different surfaces.

I have a little bit of this art form in my dining room.  This piece is called The Breakfast Nook.  I sometimes use it in the very center of a buffet for either appetizers or desserts.

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This is a candlestick.

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These frames are fun, especially the heart-shaped one.

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This butler's tray is a versatile piece.

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I currently have it set-up as a bar for my husband.  He only drinks wine, and I wish I could think of a use for the cut crystal decanters that were given to us as a wedding present.

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I put all of his wine accessories, including his Laguiole wine opener, in a small berry bowl. Laguiole makes the best knives and wine openers in the world!

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You can visit Mosaicwares website here.

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Have you ever made any La Picassiette crafts?  I have made a mirror and a birdhouse. The mirror is at our lake cabin.  I will share that with you at a later date!

Linking to Courtney's Feathered Nest Friday, and Pink Saturday.






Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mommie! Help me!!!

Mom.  Mommie.  Hey, MOMMIE!!!


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You know I don't do stairs!!!  Come and get me!!!!!!

(It's true.  Bonnie is afeared of stairs.)

Linking to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Field Trip to 2nd and Charles

It is so nice to have nerdy friends.  I met some fellow Moning Maniacs at The Olive Garden for lunch and a book exchange.  Then we visited 2nd and Charles used books store.  My eighteen year old daughter, Shanley Belle, joined us.

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My husband had already taken lots of books to 2nd and Charles, so we have a pretty big store credit there.  Shanley and I had such a fun day searching through the stacks.

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Here are the books I bought.  I thought that How to Decorate with Books would come in handy because of my book addiction.  I will use these books for inspiration and post my decorating results next week.

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I also bought these books by Tana French.  I have had my eye on them for quite some time, and one of them is a signed first edition.

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I also had luck at my local library this week.  I had to return some books and pay a fine, which turned out to be a good thing because I saw a table of $5 hardcover books!  I bought a first edition The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, which has been on my Barnes and Noble Wish List for several months.  Now I only have two books left on my Wish List, and our anniversary is coming up next month.  Guess what I'm asking for....as if you couldn't guess!

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Don't forget that tomorrow is our very first What We're Reading Linky Party hosted by Bonnie this month.


What We're Reading


Please join us and share your book love!

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Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Friday, February 18, 2011

Literary Friday: A Red Herring Without Mustard

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This week I read A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley, the third in a series of Flavia de Luce murder mysteries.

I absolutely adore Flavia de Luce.  The year is 1950, and the setting is Buckshaw, a sprawling English estate near the small village of Bishop's Lacey.  Flavia is the eleven year old and youngest daughter of a widower. The two older daughters, Ophelia, 17, (Feely for short) and Daphne, 14, (Daffy), torment Flavia, as sisters sometimes are wont to do.  Each sister has her own passion: Feely is an accomplished pianist.  Daffy is a bookworm and loves Victorian fiction.  Flavia has taken a liking to her great uncle Tar's chemistry lab in the east wing; Flavia has a passion for poisons!  I love nothing better than an eccentric English upper-class family as characters in literature.

"You frighten me," the gypsy said.  "Never have I seen my crystal ball so filled with darkness."

This is how the third installment begins. Flavia accidentally catches a gypsy's tent on fire at a fair at Bishop Lacey's Anglican Church, St. Tancred's, after the gypsy references Flavia's mother's tragic death on a mountain in Tibet ten years earlier.  Feeling guilty for having destroyed the tent and an afternoon's wages for the gypsy, Flavia feels obligated to help her. She takes the gypsy and her caravan to The Palings, a pretty meadow in the bend of the River Efon on her family's estate.  Later, Flavia finds the gypsy bludgeoned almost to death in the caravan, and, within the same day, finds a local n'er do well hanging from Neptune's Triton atop a long-decommissioned fountain at Buckshaw.

Years earlier, the gypsy had been accused of abducting a local infant.  Could her bludgeoning be related to this case?  Is the murder at Buckshaw also related to the attack on the gypsy?  Flavia, with her usual brilliance, sets off on Gladys (her bike) and gathers clues to solve the case. Unfortunately, her tampering with and withholding of evidence aggravates Inspector Hewitt to his wit's end.  He requests that the Colonel keep Flavia at home.  Will Flavia solve the crimes before someone else is victimized?  How can she solve them if she is grounded at Buckshaw?

You can read my post about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie here. The Dixie Diva Book Club read it last October.  I have read all three of the Flavia de Luce novels, and I highly recommend all three.  These books are great for readers of all ages.

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You can visit Flavia's website here, and  Flavia's fan club website is here.

I review books I have read every Friday on my Literary Friday posts.  I read at least one book per week, and I only blog about the books I like. Please refer to the archives at the bottom of the sidebar for other Literary Friday posts.

I also want to remind you about the What We're Reading Linky Party Bonnie and I are co-hosting the twentieth of every month.  The fun will begin this Sunday, so please join us!





What We're Reading



Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill