Friday, July 29, 2011

Freeze Frame: A Giveaway

Normal day, let me be aware of
the treasure you are.  Let me learn
from you, love you, bless you before
you depart.  Let me not pass you by
in quest of some rare and perfect
tomorrow.  Let me hold you while
I may, for it may not always be so.
~ Mary Jean Iron

You know those delicious 
split-seconds in time
 that you want to sear into 
your mind and heart?

The kind that you 
are actually aware of 
as they are happening.....?

You think, I am exquisitely
happy and content right at this
very moment.  I wish this lovely
slice of time could last forever.

But nothing lasts forever.

To me, the next best thing to
capturing that perfect essence
of what it means to be so very
alive and in the moment 
is photographs.

I came to love photography as
an expressive outlet when my
kids were tweens.  I now drive
them crazy trying to catch
all these special, normal days
and moments in their teenage lives.
{Well, my son is still 12!}

Some day they'll understand.

One collection that I didn't share
in my last post was one of my
 picture galleries.  Even though
I didn't take these pictures, they
document ages, stages and faces
that I hold oh so dear.

I have been very inspired to add
more creative photo displays to 
our house from images that I have
seen and admired on the internet
and in magazines in the last year.

One I especially appreciate is 
from Monica Rich Kosann's book,
Living With What You Love.
It is an awesome 40x60 inch
stretched canvas photo of her
three sons, casually propped
in her home.  I am completely
enamored with this idea!

But where, you ask, could you
get a photograph you love 
transferred on to a big canvas
for a reasonable price?
I was recently asking the same 
question and searching for a 
company that would fit the bill.

The universe heard
and responded.

Last week Marinelle from UPrinting
contacted me to give away* one of 
their wonderful products to one
of my wonderful readers.....anywhere.

And they offer photo 
canvas printing!

Which is what I chose 
for one of you. 

While it isn't 40x60, it IS
16x20, which is pretty darn sweet.
It will give you an opportunity
to try one of your photos on a
rolled canvas if you haven't before.
{They do have many canvas sizes,
including a rolled 40x60.}

Rolled canvases give you
the option to frame your photo
traditionally or have it stretched
over a wood stretcher frame. 

To enter, just leave me a comment.
A little bit of love wouldn't hurt, either : )
I will use next Thursday,
August 4th to select a winner.

I am planning to order one, myself.

The hardest decision will be 
choosing which of those perfect 
blink of an eye seconds that I 
will capture on canvas.

Here are a few more precious 
winks in time that I caught
earlier this week when we visited the
Washington Coast with my parents.

If only those moments
 could last forever.

If only.


Thank you to those of you who
joined my show-n-tell last week.
What an amazing line up of unique
and beautiful collections!  I was
so touched by the heart that is 
evident in each and every collection.

Like potato chips, I couldn't 
just visit one, but had to see
each of  your collections.  And
like chips, I greedily ate up
the linky list each day, hoping

A collections glutton I am.
Thanks for putting up with me.

*This canvas printing giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting; 
no monetary compensation was given for hosting. 
Check out for more details about canvas sizes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mrs. Magpie: Collector's Edition

I never set out to be
a collector.....
Even saying the word collector 
brings to mind someone with
a wine cellar filled with vintage
bottles or a man wearing a
monocle, studying his vast coin
or stamp collections....

But somehow, over many,
many years, I have amassed
groups of similar things,
unwittingly cobbling together
my own sorts of collections.

I didn't grow up with
parents who were collectors,
although Mom and Dad
did encourage my brother
and me to start collections.....

stamps and coins {him}
dolls and horse statues {me}
sea shells {both}
rocks {him}
silver charms {me}

I think adults like the idea
of adding to children's collections
as well as the idea that the
collection itself might be 

Ironically, it wasn't until my
brother and I had left the nest that
 my folks began their own collecting.
They now attend auctions regularly
and my mom is a regular hunter
at thrift shops!

While I no longer collect dolls,
I do have some horse and dog
art around our house.  I use that
word lightly, as none of it is valuable
in terms of money.  It simply appeals
to my love of both of these creatures.

And  really, isn't that the 
best sort of collection?

When I travel I like to bring
home a rock or shell and add it to the
ledge in my shower.  It makes me
smile to see that tiny collection

My dad's parents retired in Florida
and spent hours shelling.  They had
buckets and buckets of shells and
shark's teeth in their little seaside home
and it was always a treat for all of
their grandchildren to visit and comb
through the treasures.

I believe, in the end, it's not having
the things that means a great deal to
me, but rather being a part of the
history and stories that the pieces hold.
Even if I didn't inherit the item, but 
purchased it at a flea market or thrift shop
love to think about who the previous 
owner might have been and what
 kind of life each thing possibly had 
before it entered mine.

And honestly, if I lost all my collections
tomorrow, I would be sad, but as I often
remind my daughter when she's forced
to tackle her unkept room and make the
tough decisions about what to keep and what
 to set aside for the church rummage sale:
They are things.

The thing is not your health.
The thing is not your loved ones.
The thing is not your past.
The thing is not your future.

It is, indeed, an object.

And while it might bring back a
wonderful memory, the thing,
in itself is not the memory.  Only
our heads and hearts can truly
contain those.

That said, what truly makes a home
welcoming and cozy in my eyes are 
those little things that reveal hints
 about the people that live there.
When you step into our house,
the vintage clocks on the mantle,
the silver plate and tea pots, the
horses and dogs all tell you a wee
bit about the lady of the house.

I wish my husband shared my love
of collecting.  Aside from books that
he has read and enjoyed {and none
of them are rare or first-edition}, his
only collection is kept at his office ~
kaleidoscopes ~  which is pretty cool.
But there is nothing in our home,
per say, that lets you in on who he is.

Except, like him, the dwelling 
itself is solid, warm and handsome.

Like my parents, I have encouraged
both of our kids to start collections.
And similar to us, it is our daughter
who has many different collections and 
our son who has only a few.

The proverb that beauty is in the
eye of the beholder is especially evident 
in the varying objects that people collect.
But whether they be precious, kitchy,
sentimental or simply call to our spirits,
collections are also reflections of some
part of what make

Here is a peek at a few more of
the collections that this Mrs. Magpie
has brought home to the nest 
over the years.

Okay, now it's your turn to show-n-tell.
I'd love to peek in your window and
see what you collect.....or to hear what
things you hold dear to your heart.  
So please, link up your collections,
below, and pop back all week to look 
through the other windows with me!

{You know you want to, right??}

The linky party will run until Friday,
so come on in and stay a while!

Also linking up here:


1- The first of many tea cups.
2 - Skeleton keys
3 - Boxes
4 - Vintage trophies
5 - Horses and dogs
6 - Travel rocks and shells
7 - Ball jars and silver plate
8 - Ball jars
9 - Tea cups
10 - Walking sticks
11 - Porcelain box
12 - Vintage clocks
13 - Part of my son's frog collection
14 - Hand mirrors
15 - Lake art
16 - Transferware
17 - Planter urns

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fur Real

When our dog Winnie
crossed over that bridge
that we all dread when we
bring home a new puppy
or adopt a special dog,
~ the rainbow bridge ~
our then five year old
daughter cried off and on
about her loss for years.
Not every day, but when
she was super tired or
feeling lonely or if any other
strong emotion rose to
the surface, she mourned
for Winnie, all over again.

Beautiful days

At the time that Winnie passed
away, I also had an 18  month
old little boy and a gigantic
hole in my heart left from this
experience of saying good-bye
to my first baby, a 100-pound
Great Dane-Lab Mix who had
soothed a place in my soul that
craved mothering for five years
before our first human baby
came along.

The question of Can we get a
puppy? was therefore met with
this edict:  When you are ten and
can help Mommy and Daddy take
care of a puppy, we will get one.

In the interim, my daughter became
increasingly enamored with the
canine species.  Big dogs, little
dogs, pure bred, mixed breed,
she loved them all.  At five she
even declared that some day she
would marry Scooby-Doo!

Boy those five years went fast.

Now we have a scrappy little
Toy Fox Terrier whose papers
dub her Gracie Marie, but whose
name I extended to Gracie Marie
Margaret Delilah.  All seven pounds 
of her have captured our hearts 
and helped to fill the tear in the
fiber of our family that 
 was there after Winnie died.

E's love of dogs led to one of
her biggest collections:  vintage dog
figurines.  A Japan stamp on the
bottom of many of her dogs indicates that 
they were made post World War II,
most likely in the late 40's and 50's.  

They don't all have stamps verifying
their age, though.  Often she just falls
in love with one and its pedigree is
really secondary to the beauty that it
holds in her eyes.

On Tuesday, July 26, I will be hosting
a linky party to show and tell some
of my collections and I hope you will
join in and give us a glimpse of yours.
I am fascinated by collections, their
history and how they got started, so
please, come back and share!

Privet and Holly

Dogs are our link to paradise.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a 
glorious afternoon is to be back in
Eden; where doing nothing was not
boring--it was peace.

~ Milan Kundera

Have a wonderful weekend!