Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer in The Garden with Jane ala UVU

 A Party is a Party, but a Party on a summer day, with like minded Janites, may just be the best possible party of all, even if Mr. Collins must be allowed to disagree.

The setting of this lovely event was the beautiful private gardens of an Orem estate. Above you see the harpist, Julie Edholm helping to set the mood. The delightful afternoon was planned by UVU as part of their 'Summer in the Garden' scholarship fund raising effort.

As you see my friend Robin, a fellow Janite and JASNA member. (the Jane Austen Society of North America) greets me as I arrive, unfortunately a bit more than 'fashionably late'.

The lovely food has been prepared by the UVU Culinary Arts Institute.

As I glance around I recognize a few other JASNA (Utah Chapter) people, easily identified by their period clothing.  To the left above is Aspen Anderson our Founding President.

Here we see the audience giving their attention to the program of educational lectures and dramatic readings of favorite bits of Austen's novels.

 As I walked by I noticed this lovely young Janite enjoying a blissful moment with her eyes closed.  She was gracious enough a moment later to 'reinact' that moment for me.  It wasn't until I looked at the picture at home that I noticed the obvious anachronism of the moment.

Scanning the crowd for more Janites in costume, I also noticed an old friend.  Sally is another ex patriot of my Cottonwood Heights days.  I haven't seen her since we were both juggling babies, and I can tell you that has been a while!!  What fun!!

Here we see the participating members of our JASNA chapter under an arbor.

And this picture is of those of us who can't get enough of Austen or the Regency Period that produced her.

Robin was kind enough to pose showing off the back closure of the charming dress she rented from the Hale Center Theater's Archive Costume Rental, as well as the hat that she allowed me to design to go with it.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the admiration of Jane Austen in an absolutely fabulous garden was no exception.  As we were leaving I saw the JASNA logo poster for the Utah Chapter and thought I would share it with you all.

If you have an interest in joining us at the Utah Chapter of JASNA activities please contact Ms. Anderson at

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reinventing: Trash to Treasure - In My Bedroom

We all love trash to treasure projects.  I love them because it often makes it possible to use pieces that I love or one that has sentimental value for me.  This chest is similar to the one that I inherited from my mother's estate.  She used it for storing her most valuable papers.  I wanted to use it but it obviously needed some changes to fit into my house.  I added bun feet, fancy French handles, some wood appliques and paint.
This is what it looks like in my bedroom now.  A great addition visually and it adds storage space that I desperately need since I cannot seem to let go of back issues of favorite magazines.

This is another project.  I love diamond pane windows and fantasize about living in a restored 1930's cottage.  Alas, I live in an amazing Victorian treasure, but it is still possible to bring in the 'cottage' feel I love. To this end I purchased this leaded window and added an architectural element on top.  I then decided to add the vintage 30's bark cloth behind the window to hide the funky double inside corner behind the window and I enjoy the vintage fabric against the great cottagy green I chose to paint the room.

 This amazing 'reinvention' is a favorite of mine, though I must admit I did not create it.  I had admired it at my friend Marci's house, after she purchased it in an Idaho Antique store.  I adore Marci's taste and fortunately for me she has a fairly short decorating attention span.  She often offers to sell me items she knows I love.  So when she found a piece she liked better (though I can't personally imagine anything that amazing), she remembered my admiration and offered the birdhouse to me.  Lucky me!!

By the way, it is huge!!  The base is two feet wide and it is over four feet tall.  Its perfect in scale for my house with its ten foot ceilings.  I just thought you might enjoy seeing it.  When I do house tours it is always a favorite.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Camping With Grandkids BEFORE the Bears Get There!!

Most people would consider camping with 8 kids to be a wild life all its own, and it was, wildly fun!!  When we got up to Payson Lakes for our Grandma and Grandpa date for July, we warned the kids about the importance of not having food in their tents because of the 'neighborhood' bears.
Zach, Kim, Shantell (our borrowed granddaughter) Ian, Scott and Kai,  with Eva and Alex in front.

Kai at eight, who is Brittany's oldest, on the far right, took us very seriously, asking if toothpaste was OK the tents, and even insect repellent.  We agreed the repellent was OK. 

Alex here, and his brother Kai came equipt with cameras and a promise that their Bachaun (Grandma in Japanese-ish) would go on line and make a book about their camping experience.  Hey Edie, I want one too!!

Of course Grandpa did most of the work, setting up the tents and then building the fire!!
Here's a rare picture of Ian with a smile, of course flashing pics at kids in the dark does have the effect of squinty eyed pics, but look what fun dimples he has!! (Ian is 10, my daughter Ashley's middle child)


And it's finally time to roast hot dogs for dinner.  Kai on the right is cooking one for grandma and grandpa too!!
Scott (age 8 and Trevor's oldest) is seen here mugging with Ian.

And sometimes your marshmallows catch on fire.  Kim later said the s'mores were her favorite part of the whole trip.

Finally we are all settled down, with promises that bears won't bother us if we don't have food in our tents.

And it's breakfast time.  It had rained in the night, and our rain flies were sopping, but it was mostly dry in the morning for breakfast.  It's a good thing that Shantell thought to bring her umbrella.
And Mister Rock Chuck finished off a pan cake for us.

 Next we were off for a hike to the lake ...  Later in the week we heard that Payson Lakes had evacuated campers from the camp ground because of two black bears who had had encounters with campers .... whoa.

 Fortunately for us, the only wild life we saw, besides the rock chucks, squirrels and chipmunks, was this little duck family at the lake.

Of course Eva's little four year old legs gave out heading back to the van to do another hike up to the Grotto.  Luckily Kim and Shantell could take turns carrying Chubs (Zach), and Grandpa could be Eva's Lacky, as seen here on our way up to the Grotto.

Some of the grands are more graceful hikers than others.  Here we see Alex (4, Brittany's youngest) doing a bit of a dance step!

They have really upgraded this trail to be kid friendly.  When I was last up this trail we stepped across the stream on rocks, or wiggly logs.  Now they have these planed logs that are nailed in place.

Ah yes, the Grotto.  Its like hiking in Hawaii.  The kids loved splashing in the water.  Earlier Eva had asked if we could swim in the 'little pool under the waterfall' I had told them about.  I told them it was very cold, and we didn't have swim suits.  She had said "Lets get naked and swim in that pool, Grandma!"
Of course we declined to go along with her suggestion and here is most of the crew fully dressed.  Well other than shoes. 

All in all we had a grand time.  The kids had fun with siblings and cousins, and it was our first time to take Zach on an outing.  He did great, of course having his 'staff' along which helped a lot. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Pretty Pretty Princess Turns Four!!

Being one of three generations of the Royal Perkins Family is just flat out fun and Amazing!!  Here I am with my son, the King of Quips with his adorable princess daughter Eva.  I, of course, am the Queen Mother.

Of course, as the queen mother it is important to have just the right gift for the occasion.  One would suppose that the royal tailors were to be called in and measurements made ... alas, it was more like, I found this fantastic princess gown and well made cape, both of which are 'show quality' at our last {flea.o.logy) sale for a mere $20.00 royal bucks!!

 I managed to persuade 12 year old Princess Kimberly and her most excellent lady in waiting, Shantell, to come along for the fun of a birthday princess tea party at Eva's house.  (I must here mention that Shantell is very gracious to even consider being on hand, since Eva calls her 'Show n tell'.) Eva was beside herself with delight, because she got to use real food in her play dishes.

 The grown ups got to enjoy a tasty tea spread as well.  With heart shaped sandwiches and yummy pasta salad.  The queen is seen to the far left, and as you can see, Kim and her  lady in waiting moved to the adult table, where the seating was more their size.  Aunt Sarah and 'Aunt' Jill fill out the group.

And now for the moment we have all been waiting for ... OK the moment that The Queen Mother has been waiting for.  The gift is opened and held up for size .... Isn't it perfect?  Well we shall see later.

The candles are blown out in style and secret wishes are bound to come true.  So now it is time to try on the latest princess dress in her wardrobe.

It appears that the dress is a success, but alas, after taking off the cape for pics of the princess in THE dress, it is realized that the dress is 'scratchy'.  Oh No, and we all know how important comfort is to a princess!!
After all, look at the fine footwear that Princess Kim and her lady in waiting have used to adorn their dancing princess feet!! 

Thanks for coming along on with me to the princess tea of all princess tea parties.  AND don't forget to hug your own princesses!!