Living Room, Before

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

I just realized that I never actually did a full “before” post of my Living Room here at Pear Tree Cottage. It was included in the very first post for the house, (“Welcome to Pear Tree Cottage“) that I did back in (gasp) 2007, but I never looped back around to show you the nitty gritty. So, since I’ve decided to get this room done, done, finally done, I thought I might go ahead and give you the goods on what this room looked like when we bought the house.

It’s been through many, many iterations since then, and I’ll share a little summary of those next week, but for now, here’s a little look back to 2007, featuring my [Read more…]


You May Have Missed: Spring Gardening Posts

You May Have Missed: Spring Gardening Posts via cottagemagpie.com

You May Have Missed: Spring Gardening Posts via cottagemagpie.com

So, you may or may not remember this, but about a year ago January I decided that I was going to go back and fill in all the history from my adventures when I had time. I have taken all these pictures, and for one reason or another, not all of that made it onto the blog. And that’s okay, you know, life happens. But the blog has really become my own historical documentation as much as it is a way to share, and I wish it were more complete for that reason. So, I decided that I would just go ahead and put posts up at the date those things would have happened and let them life in the history. At least they’re there for me to reference that way! :-)

I thought that every once in awhile I might let you know that those were there, in case anyone felt inspired to check them out. So from time to time you’ll see a “You May Have Missed” post, and [Read more…]


A Summer Quilt for Tiger

A Summer Quilt for Tiger via cottagemagpie.com

A Summer Quilt for Tiger via cottagemagpie.com

With all this quilting going on up in here, I’ve been feeling a little guilty that I haven’t done more for Tiger (formerly Rocket Boy). Granted, he was the first person in the family to get a quilt made (you can see it in his room from a few years ago), but since he developed some strong opinions about colors and styles, he’s been waiting every so patiently for a quilt that matches his new tastes. Not that he’s complaining, mind you. He’s a very easygoing person in general. But everyone else has gotten new quilts, so he really is next in line.

For this quilt, I wanted to try making a two-color quilt (or, really one color if you don’t count the white). I’ve always admired old vintage quilts that are made this way and I thought it would be [Read more…]


Continuing Progress in the Back Garden

Continuing Progress in the Back Garden via cottagemagpie.com

Continuing Progress in the Back Garden via cottagemagpie.com

Flowers continue to bloom and fade, and little creatures come and go, and I keep chipping away at cleaning up the back garden so I can feel guilt free about focusing on the shed garden this summer. Now that it’s June, the proportion of sun to rain has increased, though we still have little spatters here and there.

But with the increase of good weather, and the decrease of children’s schoolwork, I’m starting to make bigger strides out here. The herb garden I put in a few years ago had gotten kind of ragged. Originally it had herbs, decorative and [Read more…]


Spring Flowers in the Rain

Spring Flowers in the Rain via cottagemagpie.com

Spring Flowers in the Rain via cottagemagpie.com

The garden here evolves on a daily basis this time of year. With the mix of sunshine and rain, things are growing so fast (*ahem* like my lawn *ahem*). I find myself wanting to take a little tour every day just to see what’s newly blooming, what’s about to bloom, what’s already fading.

The weather is mercurial. Some days we have squalls and rainstorms sweeping through the otherwise sunny days. Other times it’s unrelentingly drizzly, and the flowers bend under the weight of all the water.

My favorite days are when it’s a little bit of both, a little but sunny, a little bit rainy. Then the light does amazing things, and [Read more…]


Garden in Bloom: May 2014

Garden in Bloom: May 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Garden in Bloom: May 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Luckily for me, the garden doesn’t care if it’s cleaned up or not. It just blooms and blooms anyway. This time of year is so fun with the peonies all peeking out their heads and gradually opening to a frilly, blowsy celebration of joy. I love waiting for this show every year. Most of the best action in my garden all takes place in this one little part, the garden around the Gazebo Thing and the part next to it where I put the bird and butterfly garden. I did all that work our first summer here. I took lots of pictures, too, but never shared them. I’ll have to go back and do that, soon.

But in the meantime, you see what’s blooming. These gardens don’t have as many blossoms as they did originally–I think they need a bit of dividing and editing, but I’m still enjoying what’s going on, and [Read more…]


Bohemian Squares Quilt

Bohemian Squares Quilt via cottagemagpie.com

Bohemian Squares Quilt via cottagemagpie.com

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share my newest quilt with you! After I showed you all the fabrics I had gotten to put in it, I just kind of got it all done lickety split! It’s been finished for a few weeks now, so I’m glad to finally share it.

This quilt was such a huge departure for me from the quilts I have done in the past. It’s almost all modern or vintage-inspired fabrics. It uses large squares. It has a scrappy backing. The opposite of my usual fare! But I really love it. It’s so colorful and cheery. I meant to put it in the family room, but I haven’t quite been able to bring myself to do it, since there’s an awful lot of rambunctious play that goes on in there, with quilts on the floor and dogs and children… [Read more…]


Refocusing: My Sewing Studio

Refocusing: My Sewing Studio via cottagemagpie.com

Refocusing: My Sewing Studio via cottagemagpie.com

So, I have a little bit of Decorating ADD. I think you all knew this already. I think I knew this already, but wasn’t quite ready to admit it to myself. But it’s true. Sometimes it’s for practical reasons (can’t afford the next step, can’t logistically do the next step, can’t physically/mentally do the next step, don’t have the skills for the next step). But sometimes it’s just, you know, “OOooh, SHINY!” (This blog is called Cottage Magpie for a reason, people.)

Case in point, my recent obsession with the once-again-large family room (and the new-to-me iron daybed I got to put in it (and the Bohemian quilt I made to put on that)). I mean, yes, it was the right thing to do, and yes, it was a good evolution in our space to open it back up, etc. etc. etc.., but [Read more…]


Happy May Day 2014

Happy May Day 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Happy May Day 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Is the sun shining where you are? The flowers blooming? The birds singing? Well, I live in the land of rain and more rain, but today, oh, today, the sun is shining and it’s the perfect beginning to summer. May Day! Happy May Day! A few days ago it was in the mid-fifties and raining, and today it is 80 degrees and gorgeous.

Of course, 80 degrees feels hot to me now, but by the end of summer it’ll seem cool and refreshing. But for now I’m just enjoying the sensation of my bones being baked warm. I feel like I’ve been cold since November. Even the hot car seems soothing to my aching joints and chilled feet. Food is growing, people are smiling, and it’s a joy to be alive, it truly is.

I know I’m gushing, but I just can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have the sun on my face, to live in a beautiful place, to eat food grown by my friends, to share the joy of life with the community around me. My heart is so full.

My May Day wish for you is that wherever you are, whether the sun is shining or not, that you will feel the warmth of it in your heart. That you will be surrounded by love and light and joy that carries you through summer. That you can have a moment to savor the unfolding of the season, to look forward to the pleasures of sweet berries, juicy sun-warmed tomatoes and cool water on your tired feet.

All my love to all of you,

Happy May Day!!

~Angela :-)


My Tree Peony Bloomed!!!

My Tree Peony Bloomed!!! via cottagemagpie.com

My Tree Peony Bloomed!!! via cottagemagpie.com

Wow!! Last week when I shared the enormous buds of my tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), I never in a million years thought it would bloom so soon. The herbacious peonies won’t bloom for weeks, so I had no idea this one would bloom so early. Color me stunned.

Plus, as I said before, it’s pretty exciting since it’s never bloomed before in the 10 years I’ve had it. That’s mostly my fault, since I had moved it so many times it was really unhappy. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s growing at all, let alone blooming.

But blooming it is, and goodness, it’s pretty spectacular. Can you believe how big those blooms are? I mean, wowzers, they are HUGE! [Read more…]