You Can Do IT – Take off the limitations

I have talked to so many people who feel as though they have nothing to offer the people & the world around them. I don’t believe that! I want you to know, that I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone has something to give…something uniquely them…something that will bless the people around them if they will only take the time to share.

Lynda, a good friend of mine from Happy Little Homestead, shared this amazing video with me, and I knew that I had to share it with you.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself…

1. Why are we living with limitations?

2. Why do we go through life feeling like we have nothing to give because there might be someone who does it better?

3. Why do we value the gifts & talents of others, while feeling like we are bankrupt in that area?


You are unique ~ You have something to give ~ You are special ~ You do not have to live with self imposed limits anymore!

Take a few minutes to watch, listen to Diane’s story, and be inspired to see what you can “give back” of your talents & treasure to the world around you!

Scenes From Cades Cove – Great Smoky Mountains TN

Covered Bridge - Cades Cove

Last week, I was able to go with my mom, my daughter, and a dear friend, for a day trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, TN. A big part of our day was spent enjoying an 11 mile scenic loop through a section of the park called “Cades Cove”.

You know how much of a romantic that I am! So… you can probably guess how I responded when our friend Candy shared a little known tidbit of information with us, just as we were entering the park.

She said… that this was the very place where they had filmed the movie series “Christy”! It’s a heart-warming romantic tale of the life of young Christy (played by Kellie Martin), as she ventures off into the backwoods to teach the Appalachian people to read & write. She encounters various & sundry obstacles along her journey, and has to lean heavily upon her faith and courage as she starts her new life in “Cutter Gap”.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch it, I highly suggest picking up a copy from Amazon or your local movie store.

Anyway… as we drove around the cove, I started to recognize many of the mountains, open pastures, babbling brooks, and historic buildings from the lovely tale, which made being in those gorgeous surroundings that much more romantic!

Here is a glimpse into our special day.

There are approx 1,500 black bear in the Smoky Mountain national Park – and many live in and around Cades Cove

Black Bear - Cades Cove

I LOVE the mixture of stone, moss, and rocks while walking through the forest

Stone Wall - Cades Cove

You can spy many different waterfalls around the park. Wouldn’t you just love to spend the day in the pool beneath this one!

Waterfall - Cades Cove

There’s something so heart-warming about seeing a farmer “putting up” provisions for the upcoming winter months

Landscape of Cades Cove

I love the workmanship of this log & stone home

Historic Building - Cades Cove

This tree was begging for some attention πŸ˜‰

Porch Historic Building - Cades Cove

Steps Stone Wall Historic Building - Cades Cove

The historic mill is still in use, as they demonstrate the ways of yesteryear

Historic Mill - Cades Cove

Tools of the trade

Moss Covered Mill Stones - Cades Cove

I love the workmanship on this stone chimney!

Historic Farm - Cades Cove

The little settlement in the cove

Historic Farm - Cades Cove

Farm Building - Cades Cove

I just had to get a closeup of this moss covered shake roof!

Shake Roof - Cades Cove

Historic Farm - Cades Cove

I love the way this creek flows right over the crossing!

River Crossing - Cades Cove

Another cute little guy πŸ˜‰

Black Bear - Cades Cove

There’s no cost to enter the park, so it makes for a nice family day trip! Here’s a link with some more information – Cades Cove

Here is a video, so you can take the tour with me :)

The next time you watch Christy… be sure to think of me πŸ˜‰


Camden NY, The Queen Village – a peek into my real storybook life!


Today, as I sit at my window dreaming and gazing at such beauty on the other side of that thin piece of glass, I am again reminded of just how much God must love us! Not only am I thankful for the earth and all of it’s wonders, but I think the “wonder” of our little slice of heaven, The Queen Village, warms my heart just as much. I like to think of it as… my own little storybook world!

Today, I thought I would invite you to spend some time with me in our little Victorian Village. She is aptly named The Queen Village… because she is said to be fit for a queen!

Here are a few recent pictures of our winter wonderland! The little river tucked deep in the forest is a favorite place of mine. Even though the village had just been covered with a heavy blanket of snow, you can still see the steam coming up off of the water. The beautiful snowflakes that cover the river banks and the surrounding woodlands, almost look like someone opened up a window of heaven & scattered a wealth of tiny crystals for us to enjoy!

This is our secret place, where just up the hill, we decided to carve out a little knoll to put our cottage so we could be as close to the river as possible. You’ll also see a few of our country roads, where along each side stately pines and mature maples stand guard.

Photos Β© of Pearl Sanborn

Here’s a little description about Camden NY… my storybook world :)

This little village is definitely something out of fairy tale land! The homes are mostly Victorian in style, and often there are some very special homes to be had for great prices!

In the center of the village is our village park. There you will see green lawn spread out like a blank for us to rest, surrounded by beds of flowers, benches, stately trees, and our quaint gazebo where most of our village socials and events are held.

Many evenings throughout the summer we are able to enjoy performances by area bands. The kids especially love the dancing tunes! It’s so cute to see the little ones arm in arm dancing in circles around the lawn.

Two or three times per year, we have large celebrations with parades down main street. You never know what kind of float you might see with all of the great talent around here πŸ˜‰

During the Autumn season, you may hear the fire whistle going off a few to many times. This is our signal that rides are being given down at the fire house. While we’re waiting for our turn to ride atop the fire engine, free juice & doughnuts are served. It’s a great time to catch up on all of your visiting with the town folks, as well as a great way to celebrate fire prevention week.

Each Christmas Santa comes to the Queen Village in a horse drawn wagon (I think their jingle bells must be one of my favorite Christmas sounds!). As the horses take us through the village streets, our carols are accompanied by villagers who are putting the finishing touches on their holiday decorations. On this night, we all gather around the manger scene and sing Christmas carols, while we enjoy the sights and sounds of the season over hot chocolate and donuts.The thousands of little lights that encircle the trees, light poles, and street lamps are especially beautiful with a blanket of freshly fallen snow! Ever planted in our memories, are those joyful evenings spent with family and friends. We just love the 5th season of the year! What? You didn’t know there were 5 seasons? Well, around here folks call us “The Village With 5 Seasons”, because we celebrate Christmas in such a big way.

Our little library sits on the corner right off of the main street. On cold winter days, you’ll find a rocking chair pulled up to the big fireplace for a day of quiet lazy reading. The walls are always decorated with the work of local artisans.

One of my children’s favorite winter pastimes, is to go across the street to the “hill.” This is where we go sledding, tubing, and snowboarding. It’s a great way to spend time with the kids after a big snow. Of course, after all that “work” we need to come home & enjoy some hot coco beside the wood stove πŸ˜‰ And while I’m on the subject, there’s something truly romantic about a night so cold, that the smoke from every village chimney is almost frozen in time – all of this against a backdrop of the full winter moon!

It’s wonderful to be a part of a small community where folks truly care about each other & work together for the good of all.

A friend of mine has a local TV show, where they take road trips to area villages. Take a ride with her as she travels home to Camden.

Forest park, as mentioned in the video, is a place that we enjoy as much as we can! It’s a wonderful place to talk walks, follow the nature trails, or to simply rest on the benches to do a little bird watching & enjoy the view of the river! A friend of mine has put together an awesome website about this wonderful public forest (thank you Chris ;)! Forest Park, Camden NY

I hope you have enjoyed spending some time with me today… and may your life be a storybook one!


Camden NY | The Queen Village

Creative Spaces – Nurturing Our Need to Create Pt 1

vintage printer box
Picture by Leesiebella – info below

When we were each created, I believe that God deposited a measure of creativity deep within us… which is now just waiting to be released to the world around us. You may have already experienced the joy that comes with sharing your creativity with others, or perhaps you’re still waiting to find out what your gift is. In any case… of one thing I am sure… I know it’s in there!

Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, as well as many different expressions.

Maybe your gift will be shared through music, or song. Or perhaps you have been gifted with words, and can share poetry, notes of encouragement, or letters of love to lift the spirit of those you come in contact with. The most important thing is not what type of creativity you have been gifted with, but that you share your gifts & talents to help brighten the days of those around you!

Many people wait to create, because they don’t feel like they have the “right” kind of creative space in their home. There’s never really a “perfect” place to create. What you might consider your dream creative space, might not ever measure up to someone else’s expectations. So… we each have to determine what helps bring out the creativity inside of us, and try to surround ourselves with those things.

In my case… my creativity is usually best revealed through words & ideas. And, if truth be told, just a peek into quaint little homes, cottage gardens, and far away places, can put my thoughts in order, and my mind in the mood to write. How is this done? Through the little bits of captured time & place that we call… pictures.

It is for this reason, that I wanted to share a few of the special little creative nooks & crannies of my friends with you. My hope is, that these pictures might ignite the desire to finally prepare a special place in your home, that is set aside for creativity.

As you will see, it doesn’t matter how big your space is… or what you have to fill it up with. It only matters that you finally give yourself a little place to nurture the creativity inside of you!

** Most of the pictures below are best viewed in the larger size. To see the picture bigger, simply click on a picture, and click “all sizes” at the top of the picture itself. Then, choose the largest size… so you can view all of the sumptuous details!


dream banner

My friend Madai loves to create beautiful little treasures to fill a home with joy! She recently made me a beautiful banner made of individual letters that make up the word “Dream”… I love the way the glitter sparkles in the sunlight! When she gave me the choice of what word I would like, “Dream” was definitely the word that I wanted to hang above my creative space!

You can visit her blog here.

I love how she organizes her space using everyday objects! Madai has such a way of turning everyday object into beautiful displays.

You can see how Madai uses similar colors in her space, so that it remains something beautiful for her to look at while she creates.

decor in the home office

Notice the little muffin tin & glass baking dish, that are now put to work cooking up little treasures. I’m sure you have things like these stashed away in a kitchen cupboard πŸ˜‰

I love how she uses this branch to display pictures, banners, and other pretty things! This idea wouldn’t cost you anything!

decorate a tree in your office

Andrea Singarella

You’re going to love the way that Andrea organizes her creative space! I’m sure you’re going to want more from Andrea once you see her work, so stop by her little shop, and her blog to visit!

There are so many pretty things to look at, and ideas for your space… so be sure to study each picture to pull out ideas that you can apply to your space.

I just LOVE this little wire basket with its pink chippy paint! What a nice way to organize her ribbons.
vintage bike basket


Beth creates beautiful jewelry & art. Please take a moment to visit her blog – Beth Quinn Designs. I just love to see how people take every day ordinary things & turn them into something wonderful! Beth’s space is an inspiration!

Look how she uses a glass cake plate to display flowers that have yet to find their way into one of her creations.


I love the soothing color on the walls!

What a wonderful use for a vintage suitcase!

Similar to Madai’s inspiration board or decorative tree, wire forms can be a great place for displays.


Look at how Beth has taken everyday wooden clothespins (that you can pick up at your local discount store for a few dollars a pack), and turned them into little ladies clothed with silk ribbon… standing proud in this glass jar.


Tiffany has such a way of making everything look beautiful, and turning everyday ordinary things into objects of value. She doesn’t stop at just the objects that she creates, but the way she pulls together her space, is inspiration for us all.

YouÒ€ℒre going to love TiffanyÒ€ℒs website – Beyond the Vintage Path! Also – stop by her blog & share some comments!

What’s not to love about her use of this vintage standing printer’s box, that is now used as her place to organized all of her needfuls!

This ordinary cork board now becomes extraordinary in the hands of Tiffany. I think I could walk by this same space, and see something new each time πŸ˜‰

Another printer box gone chic! I LOVE this picture… and it has been a fav of mine since I first saw it!


Lori has a love for everything vintage, and she has such a wonderful way of taking little bits & bobs & bringing them together in a beautiful gathering… so that even her craft closet is a sight to behold!

You can see more of her ideas on her blog – Vintage Flair

I love how Lori has used a vintage clothes hamper to store & display rolls of vintage wallpaper.

It’s always good to have lots of shelf space. After all, you can fit so much into a tiny space! If you don’t have any shelves, don’t despair! Go to, or better yet… your local “freecycle” list & request one. Price? FREE!

Then, you simply give your new shelves a nice coat of paint to match your room, and away you go!

Vintage books are always a welcomed source of inspiration. I have found some wonderful vintage books at my local library books sales for pennies! One such find included a set of french poetry books with a nice deep red binding… oh how I love red!

Wire racks sold for other purposes such as storing vegetables, can now be considered for organizing items in your creative space. They have some nice wire hanging baskets in the discount stores that are meant for veggies or growing plants, that could be used in a beautiful display!



You’re going to love Sugar Sugar – Leesiebella’s blog! There are just so many pretty things to look at! Here’s a sneak peak at her talent!

Oh how I love this beautiful place to display items that would otherwise be considered a “work” space! Do you see how all of our friends have made their “work” a beautiful space… and a place where they WANT to be?


A rod that would otherwise be used as a place for curtains, paper towels, a quilt, or hand towels, has now become a wonderful ribbon dispenser.

I love the idea of using ordinary hang tags as a way to organize your ribbons & lace.

Leesiebella has taken the ordinary clothes pin a leap ahead by giving them each a coat of yummy color.

Who says you can’t paint your vintage muffin tins to match your decor πŸ˜‰


Some people love to go into stores filled with expensive large items, but I am happy as can be, while surrounded with tiny beautiful bits & bobs that fuel inspiration for my home. If you feel the same way as I do, take a minute to visit Heather’s store Pretty Petals – or visit her blog for even more inspiration!



Just look at all of this pretty eye candy!

Here’s a close up picture of how Heather organizes her vintage hats & milinary supplies

I hope you’ve enjoyed these wonderful places that our friends create! Be on the look out for part 2 in a few days, as there was simply not enough room for all of the juicy goodness that has been pulled together!

Now… go find yourself a small place in your home to turn into something wonderful in which you can release your creativity!

Creatively Yours :)

Creations Under Glass – Part 2


First of all… I want to thank all of you who participated in the “Creations Under Glass” segment! What wonderful displays for our eyes to behold! However, there were several friends that I had asked to participate, that for one reason or another, where not able to do so at the time.

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of their finished creations, so I decided to have a “part 2” to the segment. How could I resist with such sumptuous pretties to enjoy!

In case you missed it, here is part one of this segment:
Creations Under Glass – Creative Displays to Fuel The Imagination


Just look at the beautiful creations that Carol has put together for us to enjoy… all the way from Germany!

And… if you love her work here, you’re going to love her blog BoxwoodCottage, where she shares all kinds of ideas about crafting, gardening, and decorating!

Be sure to click on the pictures & leave some “luv” in her Flickr comments!

creations under glass - doll head

lady under glass


egg and nest

Easter display





Hop Hop Jingle Boo will keep your creative thinking at it’s peek! Debra is an amazing folk artist, and I know you will love peeking at her creations as much as I do! And… don’t forget to stop by her blog as well… lots to see there!

bunny under glass



You can visit Andrea at One Hundred Wishes – and find lots of beautiful tidbits to beautify your space! You will also enjoy her blog which she calls Velvet Strawberries – where you can get to know Andrea better!




You’ll love her Etsy shop with all of her pretty little things!



Have a great time visiting Jo’s blog Old Flowers For Me, and her Flickr pictures as well!

I love how Jo uses a piece of an old wedding veil along with the little paper flowers, a bird’s nest, and some other odds & ends to make this beautiful display!



Visit Cammy at Freckled Farm! You’ll find lots to take in & be inspired by!


** My next big segment will be Creative Spaces – Where Creativity Rules, in which we will share the special spaces that allow your creativity to shine! We want to highlight the ways you organize, how you decorate your creative space, beautiful shelves, etc.

Please feel free to send in your pictures, flickr links, and blog address if you would like to participate.

If you would like to be a part – please feel free to contact me!

Writing to you from my little cottage tucked deep in the woods, beyond the stone wall, and just before the bend in the river.

Creations Under Glass – Creative Displays to Fuel The Imagination

birds under glass
by Madai from Wren Cottage |details below

Once upon a time…

There was a little old lady who lived in a vinegar bottle…

Even though it was many years ago, and I was just beginning my days at school, I can still remember exactly how the story began.

I can still see my friends and I sitting in our favorite reading corner, all nestled on the story rug listening intently to the librarian as she read to us… the tales of other times and far away places.

I’ve always thought of this story as one of my favorite childhood tales, but as I tried to recall it recently, I realized that the rest of the story didn’t make it’s way into my memory whatsoever. However, the very first line was enough to fuel my imagination for all of these years!

I remember as if it were yesterday… as I heard the words… wondering into that little glass house with the little old lady and making myself at home.

I remember my teacher describing the little cottage as being tucked away deep in the forest, so that no one could find it without already knowing the secret path to her front door. She warmed herself with her tiny wood stove, in which burned a cozy crackling fire, sending tiny rings of smoke out of the top of the chimney. In front of the wood stove was a little rug and a comfy little chair where she would sit and read amongst the pretty pillows.

As I read the original story online today, all of those juicy little details were mysteriously absent from the text!

So now I’m left to wonder…

Did my teacher actually describe the little glass cottage in the woods… or did my mind begin to wander after hearing the very first sentence and creatively fill in the blanks…

How it really happened I can’t honestly be sure, but what I am sure of is my long time love of tiny little things – especially when they are under glass.

So what I’ve done is…

I’ve asked some of my friends to share their creativity with us. I simply told them… “use your creativity to put together a display under glass.” I asked them to try to use a cloche or cake stand, but if they couldn’t find either of those… to use what they could! And… they didn’t hear my little story, so they are sharing things that fuel their creative imagination!

I know you are going to love what they’ve come up with… almost as much as I do πŸ˜‰


Let me introduce you to Tiffany. She has a wonderful ability to create displays, and somehow, she can make anything look beautiful… from little snippets of paper… to left over bit & bobs from the tool drawer! Just look at what Tiffany has put together! You’ll have to look at it for a while to see all of the beautiful little bits that she’s included in her piece! I especially love the little nest, and how little Ms. Birdie has built it with so many pretty things πŸ˜‰

Tiffany's creations under glass

Here are some of Tiffany’s other creations where she uses glass as a way of “collecting” beautiful objects!

display under glass

spool display

Secret treasures!
tucked in a bottle

candy under glass

Where time stands still
watch pearls

You’re going to love Tiffany’s website – Beyond the Vintage Path!
Also – stop by her blog & share some comments!


My dear Madai has some of the most beautiful creations I’ve ever seen! Her sumptuous glittery bits make me wish for one of each! You can “try” to pick up one of her creations in her Etsy shop, but you must hurry… as people seem to swarm for her things :) Do stop by her wonderful blog Wren Cottage and get to see all of Madai’s creations and decor up close!

Here the Princess tried to sleep… she really did… but who could sleep with such beautiful things to gaze upon!

quilts under glass

Layers and layers of beautiful lace and quilts


There’s that pretty little pea πŸ˜‰

Here Mr. Bunny is ready for tea

With such lovely little treats… who could pick just one!

It’s the Spring Baby Bird contest & Mr. sheep is the first to vote!

birds under glass


As you look through Cathy’s website, blog, and Flickr pictures… one thing becomes very clear… you know you’ve seen these beautiful things somewhere before! That’s because Cathy’s beautiful decor has been featured in many different publications. She is especially known for her wonderful little pink garden cottage. When I asked Cathy to share a creation with us, just look at what she came up with! Don’t you just love the little momma bird caring so deeply for all of those beautiful eggs!

blue bird under glass

Stop over at Cathy’s website – Treasured Heirlooms to pick up a few pretty things for your home, or her blog to share a few thoughts, you’ll be glad you did!


Debrina, from “spark your imagination“, always does just that… she takes you to beautiful places with each piece that she creates!

You can’t bottle up the music inside!
birds in a bottle


Eunice had some lovely things to share! I just love this sweet little bird… way up high caring for her nest!

And how about this “dream” banner!


What a lovely little angel… and all of that snow looks like diamonds!
angel and snow under glass

Take a stroll through her Etsy shop to see some more of her lovely things!


Jennifer once made me buy a magazine! Well… let me say… the feature of her house was what made me have to buy that issue and add it to my “keeper” collection at home πŸ˜‰ It was wonderful to find her online, and see even more of her beautiful decor! You can take a peek inside of her home, and see some of her creations at her blog – Sweet Eye Candy Creations. I know that I am just one of many who love Jennifer’s style… because when I asked her to participate in this segment, she quickly made such a little sweet creation… only to have it sell within minutes!

Well… who wouldn’t want this little sweetie in their home to greet them each morning!

Easter candy egg art


Mary created the most lovely little display! I think I would like to have this in the center of my table when my friends come for tea! Mary… shall we πŸ˜‰

Mary’s blog “Little Red House” is always filled with beautiful things! You & Mary must become friends… especially if you shall be greeted with such “pretties” on the table when you call for tea :)

tea cup under glass

tea cups


Becky has such a beautiful home! You’re going to love visiting with her over at Sweet Cottage Dreams!

She made this lovely “collage jar” a while back, and I thought it was such a lovely way to display all of your favorite little things! Look at how much you can fit in one large jar… and you could turn it around to display whichever side you were in the mood for at the moment!

null null

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Judy does lots of things with pretty papers and fabrics. I found her on Flickr, while looking at her pictures of beautiful far away places… and I’m so glad I did! You’ll want to be sure to look at all of her pictures, as well as visit her inspiring blog

This little fairy is out gathering flowers, while draped with her own shabby chic bunting! We love this Judy!

fairy under glass


The motto of the Birds of a Feather blog, is “dream, inspire, create”. That is exactly what Heidi causes us to do… when we look at her beautiful creation!

Just look at this sumptuous collection of lace, ribbons, and glittery things in Heidi’s creation under glass! Look how she has propped the lid of the cake stand open, and made it appear as though it is the roof of the little birdie’s home! And… I love the sweet Spring colors!
ribbons, lace, under glass

Here you can see the little princess up close!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the wonderful “creations under glass” from my very creative friends!

** My next big segment will be “Creative Spaces – Where Creativity Rules”, in which we will share the special spaces that allow your creativity to shine! We want to highlight the ways you organize, how you decorate your creative space, beautiful shelves, etc.

Please feel free to send in your pictures, flickr links, and blog address if you would like to participate.

If you would like to be a part – please feel free to contact me!

Writing to you from my little cottage tucked deep in the woods… beyond the stone wall… and just before the bend in the river. Thankfully my cottage doesn’t have glass walls πŸ˜‰