In late March I participated in a Handmade Joy Exchange organized by Anne of My Giant Strawberry blog. I'm finally getting around to posting it because I wanted to share the lovely gift I received. All the participants exchanged a piece of their handmade art with another participant randomly picked by Anne. Since we all have different talents (painting, sewing, crochet, paper arts) the piece we received in the mail would likely be a different art form from the one we sent out.
I sent a painting of an iris to my exchange partner, which she loved (seen below). The handmade present I received (above) came from Anne herself: a paper garland, a crochet necklace, a watercolor of red leaves and a postcard of Anne's pretty roses. This year's Handmade Joy Exchange proved the maxim that joy shared is joy doubled!
We seem to have zoomed from winter to summer this week with temperatures in the 80's. Gardens are rushing to catch up to the weather with plants expanding at amazing rates. The blossoms may have been lost to late snows but the rise of millions of dandelions made it into the paper as everyone grapples with the yellow explosion.
Clearly weeding is high on my list but I also wrote up some not-to-miss springtime activities. Here's what I'm looking forward to: Outdoor walks and hikes with my camera to capture the spring beauty.
Fresh mowed lawns - all that beautiful green! (plus the yellow polka dots of dandelions)
The return of nesting birds - we have robins and finches around our house.
Going to many farmer's markets and flea markets!
Throwing open windows to catch the breezes.
Cloud watching - the beauty of a late afternoon rain squall and the calm evening afterwards.
Luncheons and summer birthday parties.
Concerts under the stars.
Hands in the dirt - the fun of growing edible and flowering plants.
Designing a low-maintenance border for our front yard. The section in need once held old junipers, pulled out last fall when we replaced the driveway.
Going on a road trip to the mountains around Aspen and Montrose. Exploring southwest Colorado.
Another beautiful Saturday, another fun flea market! This time it was NestFest in Prospect, CO (Longmont). This market was more of a block party because there were food trucks and live bands to keep everyone engaged while shopping.
One of my favorite booths was the Rustic Elegance booth, full of flowers and springtime vignettes. It is part of a permanent booth in the Lafayette Indoor Flea Market which you can visit at any time of year.There were lots of charming temptations at this special little market. See for yourself in the photos below.
How about a lacy prom dress, a pretty as a scoop of sherbet?If praire modern is more your style, try putting trendy succulents in charming containers for a cheery windowsill or tabletop. Nostalgia reigns at flea markets with loads of creative ways to express it.
If you're craving flowers like I am, you'll be delighted to see that anything can be pressed into service as a vase!So what did I purchase? A pretty perfume bottle vase and a vintage tablecloth with pink and red flowers. I can't wait to use the cloth for spring luncheons!
I'll be working in the garden on Mom's day, planting dahlias! I hope your day is fun too :)
Each year Barnes and Noble issues a pretty tote like this one for Mother's Day. They're great for going to the farmer's market or swap meet and clean up quickly with a hose or sanitary wipe. I have several and always get compliments on them at the farm stand.
These blondies are so simple even a child could make them - which means they're perfect for Mother's Day! Let the kids make a batch or whip them up yourself if you're celebrating being a mom to your pets like me :) Crispy outside, gooey inside they're just right as a treat after dinner or as a break during a spring garden clean up.
Weekend Blondies (makes 16 squares)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 large egg 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder (3/4 tsp at altitude) 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Soften butter in microwave for 10 seconds. Put butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl and mix well. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread mixture in to a lightly buttered 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into squares while still warm.
Store in a tightly lidded tin for up to 5 days (if they last that long!).
After an exceptionally snowy April here in Boulder we are finally enjoying sunny spring weather (pictured above is our May 1st snowfall, twelve inches!). Last Saturday was the first Paris Street Market in Littleton, CO and it seemed everyone was there enjoying the spring day. May marks the start of many flea markets, garage sales and farmers markets around here - its my favorite time of year!
You never know what you'll find at the Paris Street Market and I certainly had fun looking for my favorite collectibles. I saw friends and vendors I'd missed all winter. We were all giddy about the sunny day, vowing not to mention the word s-n-o-w in case we jinxed ourselves. After all, it had snowed just 3 days ago!
My first purchase was this old watercolor set along with several old business stamps from the 50's (not shown). I like the idea of adding the "Scenic Film Company" or "Shirley's Hairdressing Studio" on some of my collages :)
How cool is this old transistor radio? It reminds me of ones my dad and grandpa had when I was a kid. Best of all it still works! It only gets AM radio but listening to the ballgame in its scratchy voice is part of the charm. The vintage red biscuit tin was also a fun find. It will make a pretty container for flowers at summer parties.
You probably know I love birds since I use them often in my artwork. This ceramic parrot's shape and colors made me smile. At $6 it made a bargain pet for me!
I love my latest flea market finds - a harbinger of bargains yet to come! Next weekend is NestFest, a spring block party and flea market in Prospect, CO. Its also graduation weekend for 6,000+ CO university students, not to mention Mother's Day. All I can say is "Yay! Bring on the fun!"
We may still be waiting for spring to arrive in Boulder but its already sprung in New Jersey! Last week I went back to help my mother-in-law through her second cataract surgery (she's doing great!) and took along my camera to capture the show. All around her neighborhood the blossoms were bursting open. I saw so much pink it made my heart happy! Here are a few highlights: The homes in this neighborhood are also impressive. They came in many styles and shapes with gardens to match. Which one is your favorite? I like the ones with big porches. I imagine myself sitting there in the morning sunshine with coffee and the newspaper or enjoying a summer evening with cocktails and friends :) Spring is such a magical season - so many beautiful flowers to enjoy! I'm so glad I got to see the lovely East Coast display and I can't wait for our trees to bloom. Open, open, open...
Hello- I'm Sharon and thank you for visiting today! I'm a graphic artist living in Boulder, CO. I started this blog as a creative journal for myself, motivated by my desire to notice and be grateful for the small pleasures that occur in everyday experiences. It is my hope that they will add a lift to your day as well. Let me know if they do!
About the blog name
The Teacup Incident refers to a broken teacup that was the catalyst for writing this blog. You can read about in this post: Tempest In A Teacup
Unless stated otherwise, all photographs on the teacup incident are copyrighted by me and may not be used without my permission. Feel free to blog my photos but please link back to this page. Thank you!