23 February, 2009

Spring, Spring, wherefore art thou, spring?

This is what I woke up to on Saturday morning:


We didn't get alot, but it was cold, only 19 degrees, and dreary. Luckily, the beautiful sunshine came out and warmed things up to the high 40's.

Our winter here in Colorado has been fairly mild, compared to other winters, where it dumped on us Big-time (think 2006). That was one of the worst I can remember, with 2 storm, back to back. It left us completely buried for days, and our roads a nightmare for weeks and weeks afterwards. I think my car is still suffering the effects of driving through snow sinkholes 2 feet across!

I thought I'd post a few pictures of my garden last year, for those of us who are suffering from Spring fever, and are sick of the cold weather. My snapdragons, delphiniums, and roses are my favorite, so full of bright, cheerful color.

I'm excited to get out in my garden and start planting. I am totally redoing 2 of my beds, by relocating some of my salvia (I had salvia overplanting issues last year!), and pulling out 2 large Russian sage, to let the Liatrus I planted there last year have some room.

The dang squirrels kept digging up the bulbs, after I planted them, and so I had to keep going out and reburying them! They could smell the fresh dirt all dug up, and knew something was going on, so they wouldn't leave the area alone!

This is not one of MY squirrels; when I went out to take pics of the 59 squirrels that live in MY yard, of course, there were NONE to be found! I borrowed one off of a squirrel picture website. Who knew there were so many squirrel fans out there?

I am an avid birder, so I have no fondness for squirrels anymore. Sure, they're cute when they frolick around the yard, with their stupid little antics, but when they destroy all my bird feeders trying to get the seed out, and gnaw their teeth down on my wood deck, and dig up and eat my bulbs, then they are on my black list!

I have baffles and deterrants on my feeders, but I am really limited on where I can place my feeders, due to the many trees on my property. My inlaws live out in the country, and they get those cute little ground squirrels, you know the ones that look like a chipmunk? They hate them , because they burrow tunnels everywhere, and ruin the lawn.
Today marked the return of Doves to my backyard. I have the Eurasian collared doves, and the mourning doves. I love the way they coo in the morning, so soft and sweet. Soon they will have babies, and bring them into the yard for food and water. Here is a baby from last year.
And a robin, freezing in our late spring snow!

The dove babies are so unafraid, that you can literally walk right up to them, as they are laying in the grass. They just stare at you, so cute and small. I'll post pics of them, when they are finally here. Just today in my yard, I've had Juncos, assorted Sparrows and Finches, Robins, 2 kinds of Doves, Black-capped Chickadees, Flickers, Blue Jays, and a few hungry squirrels. The juncos will soon be moving on, and we'll have spring migration moving through. What do you get in your yard during migration? Comment on your favorite visitor!

Hang in there, it's almost Spring!
(As promised, tonight or tomorrow I will post pics of all of the journals I made, covered with vintage paper ephemera.) I'll also do a short tutorial on how to make these darlings, so start scouring your local flea and antique store, for old paper things to use.

18 February, 2009

Do you love vintage images?

I wanted to post a quick note, to let you know about some of my favorite web sites, that share free vintage images to use for whatever you want. The first is Vintagerio, which has many cool images, Victorian, and what not. Look for the free section in that one. The second is The Vintage Moth (Love this One). It has so many Old fashion and vintage images, all free. The third is Art-E-Zine, which has really old style vintage images, though not as many. I have used all three of these websites to pull images for my paper collaging, and journals. I'll post pics of those soon.

Love this darling Easter bunny. He'd look cute on the front of an old paper mache type box, with lots of old ribbon entwined through out.

Aren't these too cute? I love these labels, you can size them, to fit your particular bottles. Have fun searching, and finding just the right one, for your projects!

Also, I wanted to tell you about a blogger I love, Joy over at Cupids Charm. She recently did a post about quotes, also. She has a great love for quotes also, and shared a post about happiness. She gave me permission to post one of her quotes.
Thanks, Joy, for cheering up my day! And today, make up your mind to be happy, no matter what.

16 February, 2009

A quote will cheer your day!

I thought I'd share a story with you, that started me on my way to collecting quotes. My mom used to have this book full of quotes that she collected, and wrote down. The book was very, what we crafty girls would call, primitive. It was just a small 3 ring binder, and I remember it being covered with something like contact paper printed with small flowers. Obviously this was back in the day, before Michael's and Hobby Lobby, where you could buy something to bling up your stuff.

We were in the basement one day, after I was grown and out of the house, going through some stuff, when she pulled it out and showed me. I flipped through it and thought "What a cool idea". She told me she had just written stuff down, as it inspired her, and the book had come to be.

Well, years went by, and I thought I would like to start my own, so I got just an inexpensive blank book, and added a few I had found here and there.

My book is about half full now, with many inpriring quotes that I turn to now and again, to lift me up, and help me to be a better person. I noticed in looking through it recently, that I have a lot of quotes that relate to courage, and trying harder, and not being afraid. That probably stems from being picked on when I was in Elementary school.

I had no clue how to defend myself, and I wished my parents would've taught me how to stand up for myself. Trust me, it wasn't in me, I just had no idea!

Anyhooo.... I'd like to share a couple of my favorites, and then, I'll add a few here and there, when I post, as a tradition. I'll also challenge you, my readers, to go out and get a blank journal that speaks to your soul, and start your own quote book. Start filling it with things that uplift and inspire you, and read it often.

Some of my favorite quotes are by Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...You must do the thing you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt.

and I love this one:

Life is like a field of newly fallen snow; where I choose to walk every step will show. - unknown

My mom's book? I don't know what ever happened to it. When she died last summer (from Alzheimers) my sister and I went through everything with my dad, and I didn't see it in her things. Maybe she thought it wasn't important, and threw it away at some point. I know I will keep my book, and someday give it to my daughter, so she can see a glimpse into her mom's life, and what made me happy.

Mom, I dedicate my quote book to you, for all the love and inspiration you gave to me.

15 February, 2009

What's in a name?

So I thought I'd explain how I came to the name of my blog, The Cozy Chickadee. Several years ago, my Brother in law got me interested in birding, or Bird-watching, as some call it. Now let me tell you, he is BIG time into birding. Keeps a jounal of a list of daily birds he sees in his backyard, along with what the weather was that day. etc. Also catergorizes by state, and Life list, of course. Has every Birding book known to man. Worked in a Wild Bird store for awhile, just to get the discount on birdseed, which can run a couple hundred a month, according to my sister. Also takes awesome pictures of birds from all over, some of which have been published.
I really have just enjoyed it as a side hobby, and I put out seed on a regular basis, and have had alot of really cool birds visit my yard. My rarest sightings have been a Lazuli Bunting, an Oven Bird, and a Spotted Towhee. But for some reason, my favorite bird of all is the Chickadee. Doesn't matter if it's a Black-capped, or a Mountain Chickadee, I love them both the same. Their perky cutenes steals my heart, and they are not greedy at the feeder, like alot of birds. They take one sunflower seed at a time from the feeder, flying up into my Pine tree, and peck it open. Then they come back for another. They also have the cutest 2 note whistle ever, which just cheers my day right up.
Can you believe, I actually got to hold one of these darling little creatures a while back? One afternoon, we heard a loud thump against out patio door, and ran over, knowing it had to be a bird.
There, on the deck, was a very still Mountain Chickadee. I about died, thinking it was surely dead. I picked it up, and it seriously was light as a feather! I could feel it breathing really fast, but it's eyes were closed, so I thought it would probably die of shock, or a broken neck.
Then, it slowly opened it's eyes, and fluffed up a little. It sat in my hand for a minute more, with me saying words in little birdy talk, and then it perched on my hand, and flew up into the nearest tree. What a neat-o experience!
I was shopping at my favorite Goodwill store a few weeks back, and already having named my Blog, and getting it ready, it was fate that I stumbled upon this darling picture of a Chickadee. It was like a nubby material stretched across a wood frame, really plain.


Of course, my creative spirit could not let it stay like this, so here's what a little imagination and creative spirit did:
And here is a farther away shot, showing on my wall, above my little craft studio: area:

I will post more photos of my craft area, probably next week, to show you how I manage to stay organized in a such a small space. And by small, I mean one area of our already small master bedroom. You can get creative, and still have an area to call your own. Have any ideas for creating in a small space? Any cool bird stories? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear inspiration from my fellow Bloggers!

13 February, 2009

A tail waggin' full of Love!

I used to love Valentine's day as a young girl. The preparation of filling out the Valentines, sorting through, and picking the biggest and best ones out of the pack. One for the cutest boys, or the girls who were my favorite friends. So many politics, like how to sign them: Love, or Like? If you gave a big one to someone you liked, would they get the wrong impression? (How impressionable could you possibly be, at 8 years old?)
Back in the day (the 70's) you didn't have to be nice, and bring a Valentine for every boy and girl in class, you just brought to those you liked. I remember one year, coming home and counting the Valentines in my bag, measuring against how many were actually in our class. I wanted to know how many snubbed me, and then figure out in my mind who was mean enough to leave me out!
I hope this year, no one leaves you out, and if they do, tell them to go take a hike!

This Valentine is dear to my heart. My husband gave it to me several years ago, because he knew I collected vintage Valentines, so he went to a nearby antique store, and bought it for me. He surprised me with it on V day, with a sweet sentiment on the back.
Now, my husband is not romantic by any stretch, or really thoughful. Not in the way us girls THINK should be thoughtful. He has a hard time buying gifts, period, even when I post ideas all over the house! Just doesn't get it. But I'll tell you what really makes my heart pitter patter ( and when I say this, I know I've been married waaay too long), is when he empties the dishwasher, or takes bath duty everynight with our active 6 year old, or when he runs to the grocery store at 11 p.m. for Kleenex and cold medicine. Now THAT is love! I love you, Honey! Happy Valentine's day!


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