Monday, December 27, 2010



The first day of winter was December the 21st, and she has certainly made her presence known here in Raleigh, NC.  It has just snowed for the third time this month, gifting us with a white Christmas.  What better time to stay inside and craft a charming necklace and to read a bit of classic poetry?





       ~By William Allingham~

Good-by, good-by to Summer!
    For Summer's nearly done;
The garden smiling faintly,
    Cool breezes in the sun;
Our thrushes now are silent,
    Our swallows flown away,--
But Robin's here in coat of brown,
    And scarlet breast-knot gay.
        Robin, Robin Redbreast,
            O Robin dear!
        Robin sings so sweetly
            In the falling of the year.

Bright yellow, red, and orange,
    The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian princes,
    But soon they'll turn to ghosts;
The scanty pears and apples
    Hang russet on the bough;
It's Autumn, Autumn, Autumn late,
    'Twill soon be Winter now.
        Robin, Robin Redbreast,
            O Robin dear!
        And what will this poor Robin do?
            For pinching days are near.

The fireside for the cricket,
    The wheat-stack for the mouse,
When trembling night-winds whistle
    And moan all around the house.
The frosty ways like iron,
    The branches plumed with snow,--
Alas! in Winter dead and dark,
    Where can poor Robin go?
        Robin, Robin Redbreast,
            O Robin dear!
        And a crumb of bread for Robin,
            His little heart to cheer!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Rose & Robin Adornments is head over heels for anything vintage (including ephemera, or paper collectibles) and for anything pink.  Inspired by the bar of rose-pink Dove which is sitting prettily in a dish in my powder room, I decided to pull out my vintage advertisement for the soap...hope you "get the picture." 

Dove soap is a classic in the world of bath and beauty.  For whatever reason, I hadn't thought much about it's petal-scented pink cousin in quite a while--out of sight, out of mind?  It isn't carried in just about every drugstore and supermarket, as is the original white bar.  One day, I happened into a local Food Lion store, and as I was perusing the beauty aisle, lo and behold, there on the shelf sat a stack of Pink Dove boxes!  I was caught quite off-guard, as Food Lion was the last chain store at which I would have expected to find a specialty soap that can be scarce.  Have I ever seen it at Harris Teeter? Nope.  Eckerd Drug? Nope.  Kerr Drug? Nope.  WalMart? Nope.  Target? Nope.  You get the picture!

As it turns out, I just happen to have a vintage pink rotary dial telephone, which it appears the lovely lady in the ad might be using.  Perhaps this is another gift idea--these old phones are sturdy and reliable, though the ringer on mine can be a tad startling to the ear if I'm sitting really close by when it brrrrrrings!  A telephone might not exactly fit into a stocking, but again, I think you get the picture!

As Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, "It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."  So instead of getting in a lather, drop a few of these pink treats into your own stocking and into your loved ones' stockings, take a warm bubble bath while you phone them to say hello, and perhaps even paint your nails pink--sounds like a surefire way to get tickled pink!

And let it never be said of you what Dame Elizabeth Taylor has admitted to:
"I fell off my pink cloud with a thud."

mErRy ChRiStMaS!!!

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Here is a link to those perfectly lovely bars of perfumed pink goodness on

And while you're at it, check out the Pink-Headed Fruit Dove, which I discovered while googling "Pink Dove!"

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Life is a challenge not a competition

You can still smell the roses and be on a mission
Just take a moment to get in touch with your heart
Sometimes you feel like you've got something to prove
Remind yourself that there's only one you
Just take a moment to give thanks for who you are

~ From the song "A Beautiful Day" by India.Arie ~

Hmmm--don't agree with this part of the song:
"Life is a journey, not a destination.  There are no mistakes, just chances we've taken."
But, it is such a lovely song nonetheless ☺

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Monday, October 4, 2010


If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

~ Emily Dickinson ~

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here is a link to a free robin wallpaper on  There are also plenty of other feathered friends from which to choose!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


...That is the question!   

I thought that since it's the middle of summer, and I'm just as pale and pasty as ever, I might as well blog about the suntan.  Moreover, my birthday was last month (the 24th to be exact), so what better time to discuss birthday suits--skin, that is.  And I do have to admit, the suntan is a subject I simply enjoy rambling on about. 

I was surprised to find that a complete history of the suntan hasn't been written--it seems as if I have heard about quite a few "histories of" that have been published; ones about lipstick, salt, brassieres, seeds, aprons, and bikinis come to mind.  A history of tanning in 20th-century America has been published.  Maybe tanning wasn't an issue or a fad before then.  My own personal suntan history is not book material, but here goes....

The first thing I think about when the issue of tanned skin arises is the summers my family spent at the beach when I was growing up.  I'm not the fairest-skinned person on the planet; my skin will burn, and after a few days the burn will turn into a tan.  There is one sunburn in particular that I remember--I was in my pre-teens, and it was the only time I blistered.  Another thing I remember is the delicious shrimp burgers we would get for lunch from a little seafood shack near our condo.  But, I digress....

The second thing I think about when the issue of tanned skin arises is the fact that I wish I had been more careful with my skin during those summers at the beach.  The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that we get about 80% of our total lifetime sun exposure in the first 18 years of life.  I don't recall devoting much time to thinking about sunscreen until the end of high school.  My mom always encouraged me to use it; however, the dangers of the sun weren't discussed as much back then as they are today.

The third thing I think about when the issue of tanned skin arises is how my little sister just loves to snicker about how pale my legs are.  And sometimes my mom will mention that I'm looking a little pasty.  Thus, I do carry around a bit of a complex, but there is a pretty big possibility of that happening since I live in the south, and Raleigh is near the coast.  In fact, my sis lived at Wrightsville Beach while she attended college, and as she is more naturally fair than I, I've tried to encourage her to be more careful with her skin (no snickering included).

The main reason I choose to go the Way of the Pale is for the health of my skin.  It's always a little bit of a shock to me when I see people baking in the sun or streaming out of the local tanning bed franchise.  That's just not good for you!  The second reason is that I think there is beauty in all shades of skin--why isn't my natural skin color good enough?  The third reason is practicality.  I'm just not that interested in spray tans because of the time and money involved.  And forget about a spray tan if an actual person is standing there spraying ya' instead of an inanimate object!  In addition, I'm a neat-nik, and I don't like my clothes and bed linens to be stained--tssk, tssk!  Occasionally I'll use Neutrogena Build-A-Tan on my legs, but it does stain my sheets at night--an irritating no-no.  As for self-tanner on my face--no way, my skin is way to sensitive. 

Lastly, there's the issue of absorbtion.  I've read that the skin absorbs 60% of products which are topically applied, and the chemicals are absorbed by the bloodstream; elsewhere I've read that the number is much higher.  In fact, it's possible that using a bar of soap that's made with salt can cause one's blood pressure to go up (according to a post on  That's precisely the reason I like to use all-natural lotion, which I get at Whole Foods MarketBut, I digress....

Avoiding the sun versus avoiding life can be a fine line to draw.  Just put on a wide-brimmed sun hat and go!  Then there is the research that is surfacing which extolls the benefits of controlled sun exposure; for example, the sun is supposedly the best source of Vitamin D out there.  In fact, I was pleased to find lots of good information on this subject in one of Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletters.

When a P.S.P. (Pale-Skinned Person) needs a little confidence boost, she can always look to other women who have been admired, not in spite of their fair skin, but possibly (at least in part) because of it.  Some modern-day ladies who come to mind are Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore.

Okay, I'll admit it; I used a little digital magic on the photo above--I'm not quite that pale....

As for me, I'll continue to care for my milky complexion by bathing in milk as Cleopatra did.  Okay, maybe not, but I will add a little color to my cheeks by using my Clinique blush.  And, by the way, we P.S.P.'s aren't pale, and we're not pasty--we're porcelain

Now, what can I do about those pesky, dark, under (and over) eye circles?  I inherited those from dear old dad.

~ ~ ~

Here is the link to The Environmental Working Group's 2010 Sunscreen Guide

Here is a link to an article about the history of suntanning.

Here is a link to a post about suntanning during the 1920's-1930's on

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Monday, July 5, 2010


My mom, my sweet nephew, and I took a little jaunt to a pick-your-own farm in Creedmoor, NC.  We filled our baskets with fresh strawberries that were warm from the sun....

"Like jewels the wild strawberries
are hidden, ripe, and red."
~Louise Driscoll~

My nephew noticed that the teenager who was working the register was wearing Silly Bandz, so they each picked a bracelet to trade....

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To the Strawberry

~By Helen Maria Williams~
The strawberry blooms upon its lowly bed,
Plant of my native soil!--the lime may fling
More potent fragrance on the zephyr's wing;
The milky cocoa richer juices shed;
The white guava lovlier blossoms spread--
But not like thee to fond remembrance bring
The vanished hours of life's enchanting spring,
Short calendar of joys for ever fled!--
Thou bidst the scenes of childhood rise to view,
The wild-wood path which fancy loves to trace;
Where veiled in leaves, thy fruit of rosy hue
Lurked on its pliant stem with modest grace--
But ah! when thought would later years renew,
Alas, successive sorrows crowd the space!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Though this lovely poem ends on a slightly sour note, not so our trip the farm!  After we returned home, we drank plenty of cold iced water along with our strawberry shortcakes....

I was even inspired to make these berry summery necklaces, which can be found on my website....

Life is sweet indeed!

• ~ • ~ •

*Here is the link to Lyon Farms' website.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010


It was the day before Mother's Day last year, and I was getting in my car to go and get my mom a Mother's Day gift.  I usually wouldn't have been so tardy in picking something out, but I was that year.  Mom had planted a rose bush right next to the driveway, and as I got into my car, something caught my eye.  I had just inspected the bush one or two days prior, and there were only a few blossoms on it, and they were a bit wilted at that.  However, that day I noticed that three little buds had appeared right in a row, and immediately I knew they represented my two sisters and I.  There was one more new bud on the bush which was smaller than the other three and had bloomed behind them.  That was also interesting to me, since my mother's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.  Needless to say, I went back into the house to retrieve my camera, took a photo of the buds, went to the photo shop to have it developed, and then framed it....

This year, one of the gifts I'm going to give mom is a necklace I made for her.  Years ago I gave her a vintage pin--it was made in Austria, and it has the prettiest colors and enameling.  However, the clasp broke, and she asked me if I could convert it into a necklace for her.  Being very creative, she picked out several hand-dyed silks in complimentary colors from which to hang it.  The pin and the silks have been sitting in my project bag for quite a while, and I finally ordered just what I needed to make the necklace.  I can't wait to surprise her with it!

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Friday, April 2, 2010



While learning more about robins after creating Rose & Robin Adornments, I found that there is a Christian fable which attempts to explain why the robin has a red breast. There are different versions of the fable, but their major elements are the same. The robin was originally brown or gray all over. One day he flies by the scene of Christ's crucifixion, and seeing His suffering, tries to remove a thorn or a nail with his beak. A drop of Christ's blood stains the robin's breast, and from that day forward, all robins have red breasts in honor of his valiant effort to help Christ.

Here is a link to a version of the fable.

Here is a link to a longer version of the fable by Swedish author Selma Lagerlof (1858-1940), who was the first female to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

A picture book for children has recently been published which is a retelling of the fable; it's entitled, The Story of the Easter Robin, by Dandi Daley Mackall (illustrated by Anna Vojtech).  Here is a link to it on

One other retelling of the fable is a children's book that's entitled, How the Robin Got its Red Breast, by Belva Green (illustrated by Monica R. White).  It was published in 1990.  Here is a link to it on

I am so pleased to have discovered a poem about this fable, which was written by an American churchman, hymn writer, and published poet by the name of George Washington Doane (1799-1859).

Robin Redbreast

Sweet robin, I have heard them say
That thou wert there upon the day
The Christ was crowned in cruel scorn
And bore away one bleeding thorn,--
That so the blush upon thy breast,
In shameful sorrow, was impressed;
And thence thy genial sympathy
With our redeemed humanity.

Sweet robin, would that I might be
Bathed in my Saviour's blood, like thee;
Bear in my breast, whate'er the loss,
The bleeding blazon of the cross;
Live ever, with thy loving mind,
In fellowship with human-kind;
And take my pattern still from thee,
In gentleness and constancy.

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Friday, March 12, 2010



On the Web Site Links page on my web site, I have a link to a very special blog, and I want to do a post about it here on my blog because it's so precious.

In the spring of 2005, a lady named Julie Corsi discovered that a robin had built her nest under Julie's bedroom window on top of a rose trellis!  She took photographs of the nest for nearly a month, chronicling the laying of the eggs through the departure of the babies from the nest.

It's really a pleasure to read the blog, and the photos are beautiful.  Julie also has the photos posted on flickr.  You'll find the links below:

I've just now discovered another photo stream of a robin's egg-laying on flickr:
Enjoy these photos as well!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010


~By Louise Driscoll~

My garden is a pleasant place
Of sun glory and leaf grace.
There is an ancient cherry tree
Where yellow warblers sing to me,
And an old grape arbor, where
A robin builds her nest, and there
Above the lima beans and peas
She croons her little melodies,
Her blue eggs hidden in the green
Fastness of that leafy screen.
Here are striped zinnias that bees
Fly far to visit, and sweet peas
Like little butterflies, new born;
And over by the tassled corn
Are sunflowers and hollyhocks
And pink and yellow four-o-clocks.

Here are humming birds that come
To find the tall delphinium,
Songless bird and scentless flower
Communing in a golden hour.
There is no blue like the blue cup
The tall delphinium holds up,
Not sky, nor distant hill, nor sea,
Sapphire, nor lapis lazuli!
My lilac trees are old and tall,
I cannot reach their bloom at all.
They send their perfume over trees
And roofs and streets to find the bees.

I wish some power would touch my ear
With magic touch and make me hear
What all the blossoms say, and so
I might know what the winged things know.
I'd hear the sunflower's mellow pipe,
"Gold-finch, gold-finch, my seeds are ripe!"
I'd hear the pale wisteria sing,
"Moon moth, moon moth, I'm blossoming!"
I'd hear the evening primrose cry,
"Firefly.  Come firefly!"
And I would learn the jeweled word
The ruby throated humming bird
Drops into cups of larkspur blue
And I would sing them all for you!

My garden is a pleasant place
Of moon glory and wind grace.
O Friend, wherever you may be,
Will you not come to visit me?
Over streams and fields and hills
I'll pipe like yellow daffodils,
And every little wind that blows
Shall take my message as it goes.
A heart may travel very far
To come where its desires are,
O, may some power touch your ear,
Be kind to me, and make you hear!

*Image reblogged

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Life has so many hidden woes,
So many thorns for every rose;
The "why" of things our hearts would see,
If I knew you and you knew me.

~Nixon Waterman~

*Image reblogged 

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


My Neighbor's Roses
~By Abraham L. Gruber~
The roses red upon my neighbor's vine
Are owned by him, but they are also mine.
His was the cost, and his the labor, too,
But mine as well as his the joy, their loveliness to view.
They bloom for me and are for me as fair
As for the man who gives them all his care.
Thus I am rich, because a good man grew
A rose-clad vine for all his neighbors' view.
I know from this that others plant for me,
And what they own, my joy may also be.
So why be selfish, when so much that's fine
Is grown for you, upon your neighbor's vine.

*Photion reblogged from tumblr

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