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...]


Iron Daybed for the Family Room

Iron Daybed for the Family Room via cottagemagpie.com

Iron Daybed for the Family Room via cottagemagpie.com

I feel like all of my progress in my house is kind of a groundswell. It really doesn’t seem like much is happening for… well, years, but then all of a sudden things start to come together. I think by this time next year our house is going to look quite different, and it’s going to seem like we just did our house all in one swoop, although really we’ve been working on it for years, it’s just not much to show! Or maybe it’s just that I finally know what I like.

Either way, I think the fun stuff is going to start happening. [Read more...]


Progress on the Garden Shed (and “Ungarage” Sale)

Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too via cottagemagpie.com

Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too via cottagemagpie.com

Last weekend, I went outside to weed a little. I was thinking I might clear some more of the area around the shed, keep that project moving forward. But then I noticed how all these old doors I’ve collected up were piled on the porch, along with some salvaged wood for another project, and I thought to myself, “Gosh, I should clear a little space in the shed so I can store these things in there until I’m ready for them.” Just a few things, mind you.

Somehow, I got on a roll, and we ended up spending the entire weekend clearing out the shed. It was amazing. I had all this stuff that I had collected and collected and I just knew I didn’t need it anymore. Good stuff. nice stuff. But stuff that I didn’t have room for in my house. Plus a few treasures–I’ll tell you about those in a minute. First off, I thought you’d like to see how much emptier the shed is. [Read more...]


Bohemian Color for Bohemian Squares

Bohemian Color via cottagemagpie.com

Bohemian Color via cottagemagpie.com

So, I may have mentioned that it was my birthday earlier this month. To celebrate, I spent the entire day on quilting. My local quilt shop gives a discount on your birthday, and I really wanted to take advantage! But for what? I have so many projects already started, and so much fabric already purchased, it didn’t seem like a good idea to go buy more. I mean, I am on a budget around here for goodness sake!

But then I figured, it’s my birthday, I can give myself something, right? So I decided to make something fun and colorful for the family room that I could tuck my feet under when I read a book or watched TV. At first I had tried to pull fabric from my stash to make something like one of the million ideas I already have floating around in my head. I just couldn’t settle on anything. I wanted something new, something fun, something fresh, something cheery. [Read more...]


Beginning the Shed Garden Layout

Beginning the Shed Garden Layout via cottagemagpie.com

Beginning the Shed Garden Layout via cottagemagpie.com

As Spring rolls on, if one is going to relocated large, woody things like trees, and one wishes to be successful and not lose or stunt the tree in the process, one needs to get it in gear and get it done. That’s what I did last week. You see, I planted a Japanese elm (Zelkova serrata)last year. It was August, things were not going particularly well, and I just wanted a shady tree outside my window. So Mr. Magpie brought one of my favorite trees home for me and we planted it together.

I really do love these trees. They have graceful shapes, pretty leaves and absolutely stunning fall color. Unfortunately, I completely misjudged the size of the tree in comparison with the house. It’s hard to envision a tree 50′ tall and 50′ wide when [Read more...]