Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Inspiration Board

We all have one, don't we?

Someplace to put those little snippets and treasures.

Well, there's a long story behind my inspiration board - let's just say necessity is the mother of invention.  (Someday when I fix it, I'll share the story of what's under the quilt.)

My inspiration board is a quilt I pinned to the wall!  

I didn't intend to keep it, but now that it lives in my little craft room I LURVE it!  

Can you believe I was going to donate this quilt?  I'm so glad it never made it to AmVets (sorry AmVets).

So....what inspires me?
A best of show ribbon for one of our table settings from the fair.

Sparkly cherries!  So glamorous!
Homemade cherries (by Baby Bee) - the BEST kind!
A cute little Mary Engelbreit teacup.  Lovin' the cute details!
One of the tags from an apron tag swap.
Another sweet tag from the same swap.

Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham organized this sweet little swap last summer.  I look at those aprons all the time - they are so adorable.
A sweet birthday note from Reader Bee, my niece.
More ribbons from the county fair!
A pretty little tag from Betty at She's Sew Pretty.
A Mary E. postcard that never fails to stir my creativity.
Something that used to be on my inspiration board, but .....well.....I got inspired!
The sweet little hearts above are from a card that Amy from Into Vintage sent me.  I'm sure she didn't imagine I would save it, but when I saw it with this Susan Branch mat, I just knew it would look spectacular.  This little pretty is now living on the side of our computer armoire in the kitchen.
What's on your inspiration board?
I shared mine, won't you share yours?

Thank you so much for coming by! 

I am so delighted to see you.  I hope you can stay a minute to enter my giveaway.  Just click on the sidebar photo to leave a comment and - maybe - fingers crossed - win this giveaway!

Thank you Cindy for giving us the opportunity to share our treasures

Hope you can stay!  We're having a delicious green salad with grilled chicken and homemade blue cheese dressing for dinner tonight!  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Ahhhh......4th grade!

I loved 4th grade (although I did NOT love my 4th grade teacher).  I loved learning about the California Gold Rush.  I loved learning about the missions.  I loved learning about our state flag and flower and our state bird (our own California Valley Quail - I've seen them run across the country roads here in the fall).  4th grade is when my love of history began.  
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my degree is in U.S. History.  Maybe my love of vintage started then too.

Well Baby Bee came home with a special project a couple of weeks ago.  Her assignment?  Build a model of a California mission - there were 21 of them.  Well my sweet Baby Bee picked Carmel - one of the most beautiful missions in all of California - and one of the most complicated.
So for the past few days our library has been a mess of paper, cardboard, craft paints, spackle, and hot glue threads.
I found a pattern for us to use, but Baby Bee traced it out.  I cut it (sharp knives, you know).  She then spackled it to give it an adobe texture and painted it.

  Do you see how she scalloped the roof?  
That was to make it look like roof tiles.

Can you see inside? 
 We even made a spackled floor that we tried to make look like the terra cotta tile on the floor of the mission.  There are benches in there for you to sit and rest a spell.
Don't worry!  The real mission doesn't look like an earthquake just hit it.
I am proud of Baby Bee.  She definitely had more patience with the project than her mom did.  She set a good example for me.  

Best thing about the whole thing? 

Getting to spend time with my girl and seeing how grown up she's getting.  I miss that little girl I had, but I am proud of the young lady she is becoming.

Oh and she gets to be one of the class ambassadors at her Open House tomorrow night and wear her prairie girl costume from Halloween 2009.  She is so excited!

So.....I can proudly say........and Baby Bee can say.......


Oh and if you want to enter my giveaway, click on the picture on the sidebar to take you the post!

Thanks for buzzin' in!

Monday, March 28, 2011

400+ Follower, 300-Posts - Oh Let's Just Call It a Spring Giveaway!

Sometimes when I'm out and about I think of you.  Yes, you.  I think of how much I enjoy visiting your blog.  Or I am so grateful you stop by for a quick visit, even if you don't have a blog.

So, in honor of spring and you,
I'm having a little giveaway.

Giveaway now closed!
Congratulations to Lois Laughlines!
You'll be receiving:

 a lovely robin's egg blue polka dotted mixing bowl by Spode,

A cheery Easter towel,

A handmade spring garland (um...not this one, 'cause I accidentally bent it, but one VERY similar - LOL),

An assortment of Shabby Chic magnets and tags,

And this sweet little teacup print.

(Sorry, the wire cake stand is not included in the giveaway.)
Here are the rules:

1.  Please leave a comment to enter.

2.  If you would like a second opportunity, please post my little sidebar picture on your blog and let me know you've done so with a second comment.


4.  And, really, I mean it.  You don't have to be a follower to enter.   But, of course, if you decide to follow I'd love it if you would!

5.  Sorry friends from overseas, but due to shipping, this giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada. 

6.  This giveaway ends on Saturday, April 16 at midnight and I hope to get it to you so you receive it before Easter.

And thank you.  Thank you for your kind words, prayers, thoughts, and visits.
You - yes you - are a blessing in my life.
That goes for everybody here at Sweet Bee Cottage.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Tea Party and Book Exchange - At Last

Yesterday was a wonderful day and just perfect for a warm and cozy tea party.
My special guests were:

My mom, the Sewing Bee, my friend, the More Creative Bee, and my friend, the Fabulous Phyllis, plus Betty from She's Sew Pretty and her sweet daughter.  My daughter, Baby Bee, was our server and also fellow partaker of tea and treats.
The menu:

We started with homemade scones, lemon curd, and a version of clotted cream.  I found a recipe for clotted cream that used mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, a little sugar, and a little vanilla.  

I made two teas - English Tea and a Wild Berry Plum green tea from the Republic of Tea.  We (okay, mainly me) enjoyed the Wild Berry Plum tea so much that it's all gone!  I'll have to buy some more.  It was just delicious.  We also had ice water and pink lemonade.

After scones, Baby Bee served us some savories.  I made mini quiches, cucumber sandwiches, and - what I thought was the most delicious - a chicken salad with dry roasted almonds on oatnut bread spread with basil butter.  Those were yummy!  We also a had a salad of spring greens with a pomegranate dressing.  
The book exchange:

The guests brought 3-4 books each and then we drew numbers for who got to choose first.  The first time we went in number order, then reverse order, and then we went by everyone's first initial.  The book exchange sparked lots of conversations about what we had read, wanted to read, and our favorite authors. I think everyone went home happy with some new books to enjoy.  There was lots of Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, and Jodi Picoult.  

The table:

I finally decided to kind of have a garden/spring/literary theme.  Alyssa from Boston Bee had a great idea to include literary quotes but I had such a hard time picking out the "perfect" quotes that I ended up running out of time to get those made.

I used a burlap tablecloth for that garden look.  

The plates were Nantucket Basket from Wedgwood - my wedding china.

On top of the white plates I put my green depression glass in the dogwood pattern.  
Our teacups were the blue glass (depression glass???) and our stemware was from Tag.  

The flatware was my grandmother's silverplate - Spring Garden by Holmes and Edwards.
I used my Nantucket Basket teapot and my Song Bird teapot from Rosie B. Farmer.  I used this set's creamer and sugar too.
The napkins are some I've had for a long time.  I think they might be Martha Stewart from Kmart, but I'm not 100% sure.  The napkin rings were just some mini wreaths I picked up several years ago at Beverly Crafts.

My centerpiece was a vintage looking blue pot filled with pansies.  (some left from the 1/2 flat my friend gave me)  I stacked some books with blue and green covers around the flowers to continue the color scheme.

The lovely surprise:

When things go wrong, they always seem to happen at the most inopportune time.  Well, Sweet Bee Cottage has old pipes and an old main line. might already know where this is going......but about and hour and a half before the party our main line clogged.  Lovely, right?  I don't even want to think about what would have happened if someone had to go to the bathroom as soon as they arrived.  Luckily we found a plumber to come out and clear the clog.  So as we enjoyed our tea treats, right outside the windows in our sunroom, our main line was being cleared.  More loveliness, right?  Oh well.  At least it was cleared quickly and by the end of the party I could allow my guests to use the bathroom.
I also gave each of my guests a S-P-R-I-N-G garland I made and some other sweet little feminine treats.  And I got to use my milk glass taco again to display them.  

Well, now I'm in the mood for another cup of tea.  Baby Bee has agreed to join me in a cup.  She found she enjoyed the tea.  Won't you join us too?  Or,  I could still make a latte for you.

I'm so happy to be sharing this table at Between Naps on the Porch.  

Thank you so much for coming by!    

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

More preparing for my little tea party on Saturday.  

Trying to decide which dishes, flatware, etc. to use.  Thought you might like to chime in with your opinion.

First up are teapots:

Which one do you like?  Actually I'll probably use two of them.  I only have one tea cozy though.  Hmmmm....I don't think that will be too much of a problem though.  

Now, on to the glasses for water or lemonade.....

I have to confess, I think the depression glass is my favorite, but it doesn't have much capacity.  (Can you guess who just taught their third graders metric and customary units of measurement? Yep, that would be me!)  Which one would you enjoy?  

Okay, now for flatware....

Some are a little more casual than others.  I love those red and white ones, but I'll probably go with the silver.  I might even use my new incredible bargain silver plate.  The ones I mentioned here.  (I took a picture of them, but it was too blurry to show you and I was just too lazy to go and reshoot them.)

Let's look at plates next.......

I have always loved layering this depression glass on my wedding china.
See any combinations you think might be the bee's knees?

And I can't forget the all important teacup.....

Well....what do you think?  What do you think would look good together?  

I didn't even talk about linens or a centerpiece.  

Now remember, we're also having a book exchange....

Should we have a more literary looking table?

Or should we celebrate spring?

The weather is supposed to be rainy (again) on Saturday, so maybe not too springy.

Oh I am so excited for Saturday!  
I sure wish you could come!  
Wouldn't that be a delight?

Thank you so much for stopping in to visit.  
I'm always so delighted to see your bright and shining face!