a million shooting stars where are my longjohns

We are experiencing our first blast of arctic chill.


Coral Cottage chimney standing quietly

It is the season to be thankful, and I realize in-spite of what might seem like a little grumbling on my part, I do have a lot that I feel quite happy and thankful for.


I don’t care for cold weather.

I had made a promise to myself not to complain so much this winter about the cold and try to find some way to embrace, the cold, snow, ice and other such gifts that nature gives us at this time of the year.

That was before we discovered a major problem with our chimney.

We rely on our wood-stove to provide the primary source of heat in our old drafty house.

Our chimney runs through the center of the house.  For safety reasons it is off-limits and does not seem as though financially we will be in a place any time soon to rectify the situation.

So if I seem to be extra cold weather crabby this winter – pinch me – but beware, I may pinch back.


I am thankful that mother nature has given a bright sunny day that makes the ornamental grasses dance in the wind.

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When the sun shines behind the grass, it is a million rays shinning and sparkling full of magic. The seed heads look like stars getting ready to shoot off into the wind and grant a million wishes.

Right now I am wishing I could find my long underwear.

See you later, Bye!


myobrainial infarction

Laughing my way to the funny farm.

 Yesterday I sent my husband on a wild goose chase.

 I forgot what day of the week it was.

Which really shouldn’t be so surprising as I didn’t know what month it was until the other day.

 Yep, Mr. C took off from work so he could take me to my doctor’s appointment.

 Only to discover once I arrived at the doctor’s office,  that the appointment is today.

Mr. Cottage re-arrange his day so we can try again today.

It is bad enough when I make mistakes like that – that screw up my day, but to mess up his too.

As usual he took it like a champ.

We got  a nice lunch out of it.

Afterwords, we went to the grocery store, so that I could pick up a few things including

 the ingredients for the one thing that the family has asked me to make for Thanksgiving.

I forgot to get the ingredients.

And that my friends is what is called a brain fart.

I hope your week is going well.

See you later, Bye!


weekend at Coral Cottage

Weekends have taken on a new meaning for me.

Switzerland arrives on Sundays with

food for the soul.

Vegetable Soup and corn bread

Vegetable Soup and corn bread


Somebody got into the pound cake before their dinner.  I’m not naming any names, but that isn’t my hand – just sayin’.

I had mine with my morning coffee – awesome.

Apple cake – I’ll have that with my afternoon tea.


A new thrift store opened near us a bit ago, I’ve been anxious to go.

 Mr. Cottage took me there on the way to the grocery store on Saturday.

Fire-up the Singer.



Among my many scores was this skirt.

I removed the zipper, and cut it straight down the middle.


A piece of black binding with orange rickrack machine stitched, and  a big bold green button.  I’m embellishing with a few embroidery stitches.  This will go around the top of the wrap.

Playing with the design.


I’ve pinned into place an old zipper, for extra funkiness, and some green pom-pom fringe.

I’m not done yet.

When finished, I will have a one of  a kind new wrap cape, all made with scrap materials.

Switzerland agreed to model it when the project was complete, she just didn’t know what she was agreeing to.  Ha the laugh is on you – girlfriend!

My holiday spirit is usually brimming over by this point.  Not so much this year.

Plugging in the little snowman to my usb – easy and  sweet.

He changes color as the glittery snow falls around him.


Giving up my 25 year tradition of cooking and hosting Thanksgiving at my house.

That’s a tough one to swallow.  The rest of the family is taking over this year.

 At least this year I won’t have to worry about any of the jokes about turning the oven on –  that’s another story.

The sun is shinning brightly today and it looks as though all things are possible.

My friends embellished my cornbread plate will little inspirational quotes.


I like this one for today:

Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.

Hope y’all had a lovely weekend.

See you later, Bye!


Dream lists

Up there on the top menu you will find my dream list, or a partial there of.

I’m not talking about a serious save the world kind of list, but a fun light-hearted kind of list.

Some people call them bucket lists.

One of my dreams was to hold and hand-feed hummingbirds.

holding a ruby throated hummingbird

holding a ruby throated hummingbird



Way back early spring, this sweet baby flew into our window and knocked himself silly.

I carefully picked him up with a tissue and cradled him close.  I could feel his little heart beating what felt a million times a second.

After a few minutes I gently took him over to the feeder and held my finger out until he hopped over and grabbed on to the feeder.

Then I went and sat in the chair near by and watched him for a few minutes to see that he was ok.

He then flew over to the chair where I was sitting and sat next to me on the chair, for a few minutes.  He said his thank yous, and flew away.

Several months later I went out to the garden one day with a small humming-bird feeder and stood still holding the feeder, and to my amazement, over came several of the hummers and drank from the feeder.

It seemed like a miracle given to me from nature.

Scratch one off the list!

Do you have a list?  Have you achieved a special goal?

See you later, Bye!




Recently I had the pleasure to take part in a very special ceremony honoring and remembering The Greatest Generation.

 A ceremony honoring those that fought and gave so bravely for their country.

 Their belief  in freedom during World War II.

It is hard to put into words exactly how amazed I felt about taking part in this ceremony.  For me to hear these people, the last of their generation speak of the horrors that they experienced, the life long friendships they forged and the strength and fortitude that was theirs for the rest of their lives.

They all spoke of a believe that it was their God that got them through events that they should not have lived through.

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Invocation given by my dad, Mr. Harold Olinger

Joan Cabell shared stories of what it was like to be a child growing up in England during the war.


And when she was older, she performed for the solders.


That is Joan bottom, right.

Kitty Mann, brought me to tears.


Her father, LeRoy Collins, like so many lied about his age so that he could join the Navy.


He was 15 years young.

Her father died this past March, and her sense of loss is still very new and raw for her.

She told how her father, like so many never spoke of his time in the war.

 After his passing, the family found a letter he had written about his experiences.  Kitty read that letter to us.  His thoughts were powerful and moving, I shall not forget.


Art Ordel, Jr.  Army Air Corp. he was a bombardier.  He flew many successful missions.

I understand a book is being written about his experiences and that the French Government is about to award him one of the highest of honors.


His old leather jacket was amazing, and yet it made me sad for all the human loss.


Bill Sheads, so kind and gentle was this man.  His memories strong and sure.



These men shared experiences, I will never fully understand.  You could see it in their eyes and know that as they listened to their generation speak of their experiences, that it is something only they understand.


Thank you to all of these men that served during the World War II, and my state of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Forestry.

I have the honor of being part of a present day military family.

 I too know secrets of horror, and honor and have gratitude to all past and present.

Please join me in remembering and honoring.

See you later, Bye!


Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking

Vintage Barkcloth  and Chenille Stocking

I’ve finished a few sewing projects.

 Holiday stockings, all made with recycled material.

Some of the material is really old, vintage and some new, like the boho gypsy stocking was a skirt that I purchased at a thrift store and took apart.

When I purchased my first sewing machine last year, the first thing I wanted to make were stockings.

 Well, that didn’t happen.  A year later, and few false starts I’m on my way.

Vintage Bark cloth and Chenille

Vintage Bark cloth and Chenille

Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking

Vintage Bark and Chenille Stocking

Traditional Plaid stocking

Traditional Plaid stocking

Traditional plaid stocking

Traditional plaid stocking

Traditional plaid red stocking

Traditional plaid red stocking

Boho Gypsy Stocking

Boho Gypsy Stocking made from an old skirt

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy stocking

Boho Gypsy

Boho Gypsy

Body made from vintage fabric, cuff, new

Body made from vintage fabric.

The body of this one was made using vintage fabric, I’ve had for many years.  That piece of fabric on the cuff is new.  It is a left-over scrap from a chair I am reupholstering.

Tropical Red Stocking

Tropical Red Stocking

What projects are you working on?

See you later, Bye!


sewing holiday projects with recycled fabric

barn raisin’


Earlier this summer I received a wonderful gift.  Something I’ve always wanted.

 It was hand-made by my dad so it couldn’t have been any better.

Not really a barn – it is actually a Purple Martin house.


Betsy Beagle supervises the installation.


Dad and Mr. Cottage working on a plan.

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A job well done.

A pair of blue birds were checking it out the other week.

 Hopefully by spring the Purple Martins will have arrived and moved in.

My dad turned 82 last week, he is still rocking it!

See you later, Bye!



Threads that bind us together.

Last weekend, Mr. Cottage treated me to a trip to a few craft and thrift stores.

Honestly it isn’t an easy undertaking and I’m really lucky that he is so patient with me.

New embroidery thread.

The colors make me swoon.

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I always lose the color codes, and end up with a tangled mess of thread,  so I’m finally trying to organize and write down the numbers.


I used a craft punch to cut out the free artist pages from an old issue of  Somerset Studio magazine, wrote the color codes on the back and wrapped the thread as nicely as I could.


A sewing project using all vintage materials, except the sparkly button is a new find.


Each piece of old fabric scrap is sewn  to the piping and then the vintage buttons are hand sewn into place.


Burlap, a few french knots, pom pom fringe


The plan is to sew the finished piping on an old popcorn or chenille blanket that I plan to sew into a scarf.

Keeps my fingers busy and my mind in a good place.

I purchased this wool blanket from a thrift shop



I paid just a few dollars, it is in excellent shape.  My intentions were to cut it up and use it in a project, but for now we (the cats) are enjoying snuggling in it so much I can’t bear to take that away from them.

Going to the craft store and seeing  on the cover of  Haute Handbags magazine a bag made by my talented friend Debra of Monnie Bean Folk Art.  She has been published many times.  It felt good to see her work front and center.

monniebean haut handbags

Debra creates folk art that is very different from my glass art, but more in lines with  my mixed media work, and what my heart has been whispering to me to follow.  Debra crafts beauty with her words  and photography from her heart on her personal blog flowersmith-debra.  Her creations and her words have kept me inspired in the past few weeks. I can hear hear her whispering encouragement to me when I am sinking low and I know that her words are the threads to keep me going.

Coming home to a basket full of goodies from the girlfriends and these lovely orange Gerbera daisies.

So sweet.


The threads that bind us together.  Feeling the love y’all.

See you later, Bye!