Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry after Christmas!



Once again. I missed Christmas in Bloglandia, but to those of you who happen to stop by,
“Merry Christmas” from my cottage to yours!!
It has been awhile, hasn’t it? I think I say that each time I stop in and each time it feels like more time has passed since my last visit. Thankfully I"’ve been given a moment to catch my breath and hopefully catch up with many of you.


We had a wonderful, peaceful Christmas spent with Jim’s family…Good food, children’s laughter, and just being us. For the first time in many many years I actually baked and had my plates ready when the neighbor's stopped by. I’m sure they wondered what was up since Cori is never on time.

For my 51st birthday Jimmy bought me a harp. It’s a pixie harp with 19 strings which, is perfect for me being one of my nick-names is “Pixie Queen.” I’m sitting here laughing to myself so I’ll go off on a little bunny trail and explain. You see, I have a friend…we’ll just call her Honey Bee. One day Honey Bee and I were bored when we noticed a book of baby names lying on the shelf, so we decided to look up the definitions of our names. Her definition was, you guessed…Honey Bee while mine was a pixie like creature that dwells in a hollow near a stream. So Pixie Queen I became…ok…hopping off the bunny trail and back to my new harp.
I read on the internet that before you play your harp, you are to give it a name, since they are not considered to be mere in-adamant objects, but each one having a unique personality of its own. So I decided to give mine an Elvish name, what else could I do? After much research and debating I decided to name her Erulissë (Air-oo-lee-say) which means Grace. There were so many beautiful Elvish names to choose, but I kept going back to this one. I like the way it gently rolls off the tongue. I’ve been playing and tuning her each day, but need to find a teacher.

So, you now know that I got a harp for my Birthday, but where else have I been and what have I been doing? I’ve spent the most intense semester in all my years of schooling…thankfully it’s over, but while I was there I learned…

1How to paint in Photoshop.
I took a class and we painted trucks, apples, robots, and all manner of boy things. It was so much fun! I also learned that somewhere inside my heart is a children’s story waiting to be written down on paper.

cGagnier_FINAL truck



I opened a Bakery (fictitious of course) and created every imaginable piece of packaging that I could think of. I also learned that things created in Illustrator don’t transfer well to the web “-(.





I learned that not every picture you see on the internet is real and that if you take a great amount of time and care, you can create your own little visual worlds.
Next time you look at a photo look real hard.



And I’ve learned, that when you are ready to come down off your shelf, God will move you in a new direction, but I’ll tell you about that later.

If I don’t make it back before New Year’s I hope you all have a lovely one and please be safe! It’s a crazy world we live in!!

Until next time…
xoxo Cori

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flying High over the sky’s of Southern California



If you’ve been watching the news you probably know that today was the day when the Space shutter Endeavor made her last flight.
Hubby called, from work, to remind me that she would be doing a fly-by over the magic kingdom, but sadly I forgot, until I pulled onto Magic Way and landed in the middle of a traffic jam. I couldn’t get to Down Town Disney for anything and then it dawned on me. “Oh yeah, today is the day that the space shuttle was doing her fly-by.


People were pulling into the huge Disney parking structure to watch from the roof top. Me? I pulled around the corner into a parking lot of a near-by hotel. There sat a woman on the tail gate of her truck and a man in a lawn chair with a cooler. I asked if they were there to watch the shuttle. “Yep.” They had the same thing in mind. The woman told me to pull up a seat next to her so I did and the three of us talked for about an hour.
The sun was blazing hot and people were starting to leave just as we heard the turbine engines of the 747 that carried her to her final destination.
Was it an exciting moment in the life of this 50 year old woman? You bet it was!!!

Did you get to see her final flight and where were you when she flew by?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Vintage Marketplace


Hello Hello! Once again I’ve managed to find my way back to this special little place in the blogisphere. A place where we share little snippets of our lives, dreams, and the inner workings of our hearts.
I love it here and have been inspired by so many of you, but alas, life has a way of twisting and turning while traveling down its own path. Sometimes, if we fail to pay attention the path leads us to who knows where and that’s where I’ve been of late, the land of “Who Knows Where,” doing “Who Knows What.” Life, school, working on my cottage, and other such things. Sometimes I feel like one day melds into a month and then a year. An entire year gone in three days…do you feel that way too?

Anywho, this past weekend I decided to take time off from Who Knows Where and visit The Vintage Marketplace in Rainbow, CA.


I’ve been following Christie and Rita on pinterest so naturally I was curious to see what the two were up to. Oh, in case you didn’t know, Christie and Rita are the two talented women who host the Vintage Marketplace four times a year.


This darling old truck set the stage for the entrance and was the perfect place for a photo opp, which would explain The many girly girls dressed in lace just waiting to have their pictures taken on the bails of hay. Me? I just wanted to take the truck home, but all I got were a few pictures…such is life “-).


There were so many beautiful displays and the vendor’s tents were works of art themselves. Above is one of the sweet little arm chairs Rita had upholstered in burlap and Christie painted with her signature roses. I talk (or type) as if I know them, don’t I? In case you are wondering, “no I don’t” but I did get to wear Rita’s socks once and I always stop and say hi to Christie, even tho I’ve never introduced myself. I’m a wee bit shy at times. Note to self…”never leave home without a pair of socks in your bag because you just never know when you may run into the perfect pair of boots.”


I loved this pink tufted chair but decided to pass it up since I have six of my own waiting for my upholstery skills to be put back to use.


One of my favorite vendors was there…Sweet Magnolias Farm. It’s a mother daughter duo and they always have the sweetest set up. Their theme for this event was glampin’. I thought the converted chicken coop idea was darling, but of course it wasn’t a chicken coop at all, but then I suppose if you had an abandoned chicken coop in your backyard it would be a perfect spot for an afternoon nap provided it had a comfy day bed.


The day turned out to be one of the hottest since I can’t remember when, but then many a day in southern Cal has been strange. Humid, hot, and always the sky filled with giant thunder heads. Very strange weather we are having. Very strange indeed. It was so hot that I didn’t stay as long as I would have liked, but I wouldn’t have missed the event either.


I came away with a darling shoulder bag crafted from fabric and peach colored lace, a new/old table scarf for my wee little backyard table, and a fun scrap of fabric embroidered with roses and butterflies. I’m still not sure how I’m going to put it to use, but I know I’ll think of something.


All in all it was a wonderful day filled with tons of inspiration and eye candy.

Now back to reality…the new semester started two weeks ago and I have classes Monday thru Thursday.
You would have thought I’d be done by now, right? Me too! I call it one of those twists and turns along the path of life. Somehow things seem to take longer the older I get. Well, that’s life!

I hope life has been treating you well and any twists and turns along your path have been blessings in disguise.
Until we meet again, in this wonderful little corner of the blogisphere…
xoxo cori

Pictures from a past Vintage Marketplace

Friday, June 22, 2012

An afternoon stroll down route 66



Yesterday, I finished painting the baseboards in my living room so I thought I’d take a stroll down Route 66. Care to join me? I thought you might.
For about a year now all you could see were tall wooden walls and “Coming Soon” signs throughout the park, but last Friday the walls came down. The Big Reveal! Carsland in Disney’s California Adventure!


As you can see, traffic jams along the route. Wall to wall people. Oi Vey was it ever crowded!! There were people walking about with tires on their heads, which I failed to get pictures of, but I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities. After all, Disney does pride themselves on the fact that they are a “Retail Destination” and no longer a family destination for making memories. Don’t get me wrong, I love the mouse and his magic kingdom, but one shouldn’t have to take out a loan in order to take the wife and kids on holiday…Oh! So sorry about the rabbit trail ranting. Where were we? Oh yes! Route 66.


Everywhere you turned there were people people people. So many people that it was hard to get pictures of anything. So I did a lot of looking up.
Speaking of looking up, up ahead you could see Flo’s Diner serving up an assortment of tasty treats. I couldn’t tell you what they were since it was so crowded, but it looked like fun.


The interior of Flo’s was like stepping through a portal into the past. Black and white checkered floors and lots of 50’s décor. Flo and her fabulous girls were painted across one of the huge walls. The colors were just yummy.


After spending about an hour in the hot sun I decided to escape the crowds and headed to the new Ghirardelli Soda shop. I’ve always wanted to visit the original one in San Francisco, but never made it there. Now I understand it’s closed, so Disney’s will have to do. I stopped to enjoy a Ghirardelli Chocolate ice cream in a dark chocolate covered waffle cone. It was delicious!

After that I headed back home to do more work. Hubby and I decided that since the room was torn apart we may as well replace the trim around the windows. I think we may be working backwards, but often that is our way.

Have you ever taken a trip down route 66? I remember as a child road trips taken with my family. The three of us kids piling into the back seat of the old Cadillac and taking off for destinations unknown. I think the section of road I remember the most was in Holbrook Arizona with the Wigwam Village Motel. Does any one remember that place? How I longed to stay the night in one, but we always kept driving right passed the wigwams. Makes me wonder if they’re still there, but then since I added the link above, they must be “-).

So, if you have any memories of route 66, I’d love to know what they are “-). 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It’s that Magical Fanciful Time of YeAr…


Can you guess what it is?



It’s the 5th Annual MaD TeA PaRty Hosted by the most adorable Fanciful Elfin creature to exist…Vanessa Valencia and her Beloved Beau…ThE MaD HaTTer…
(aka, Mister Lovee)!
It doesn’t get any funner than this in Bloglandia,
(and yes! “Funner” is a real word)
so won’t you join us for another fun filled wacky few days of blog hopping through the list of party goers?
I know I’ll be there and it would be fun to see you too!!

Don’t forget the date!

July 28th 2012 

you can click on the image above for more details 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coming up for air



Well, I managed to make it through another semester and am hoping to have only one more to go…hopefully! Last summer I took an online class in “code writing” which I really enjoyed, but I decided to take this summer off and get some projects done around my beloved Brambleberry Cottage. The effect time and neglect have had on our weence little dwelling is staggering. Where does one even begin? I decided to start with the living room. I have been in the mood for a bright springy color after staring at brown walls for the past 15 years. And yes! I did say “15.” I looked around one day and realized I was living in a time capsule…nothing had changed in 15 years. No furniture rearranging, no fresh new fabrics, no change at all. Quite disturbing for a girl who thrives on change.


So I painted the rooms green.  This past week I finished the living room and entry and now I’m replacing the baseboards with help from my dear hubby. He gets to do all the measuring and cutting while I paint.
You can see to the left of the door the new moldings, which are very exciting in my way of thinking. I just love progress, don’t you? Even if it’s a bit slower than I’d like, but much depends on my hubby who has to work all day then come home to the wife who’s head is bubbling over with ideas, which in turn means more work for him. OH! See that front door? I’d Love for him to cut it in half and transform it into a Dutch door. Seems simple enough, right? Right! I might even paint the inside of it pink. I’m definitely painting the outside of it pink! Pink doors make me extraordinarily happy.


Now here’s something that I’ve wanted to do for many many many years. Paint this old filthy fireplace white. Don’t get me wrong, I find the old brick to be very charming, however it’s also dark and dingy at the same time. While it worked well with the brown walls it seems perfectly out of place with the fresh spring green.


So, armed with a can of paint and a brush…viola! It is now white. Well, at this stage it’s only primed and there’s still more to come.

284923113895734214_1R35KOa8_c About 10 years ago I bought these gorgeous tiles from Dard Hunter’s grandson while at a local Craftsman Faire. I had always planned to design a surround for the fireplace, but never got around to it, so, this is the year and I’m very excited about this as well. I wish you could see the colors in real life because the picture just doesn’t do them justice. They’re very vibrant and glossy looking. Beautiful to my eye.
Of course the existing mantle will be removed and replaced with a new one that will be fully integrated into the surround. Plus it will be removable just in case we move one day, which I’m sure will never happen, but just in case “-).

I also bought 15 yards of fabric from Calico Corners to make new drapes. They’re having a 20% off sale so the timing was perfect! I’m still waiting for it to arrive via post. It has a very English feel with its creamy yellow background and pink roses scattered among apple blossoms. The shades are all soft and muted tones. “Lovely,” says I.



Then once all that is done I’ll be able to start re-arranging all the lovely little vignettes scattered about Brambleberry cottage. So much fun!

Do you have any fun plans for this summer?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Song of God’s Majesty and Love…


Every day I will bless You. And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another. And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts. And I will declare Your greatness.
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.
The LORD is good to all, And HIs tender mercies are over all His works.
Psalm 145: 1-9

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Well, maybe the “woe” is too strong a word, but at times it feels that way.

So, let’s see…where do I begin. I think the last time anyone in Bloglandia knew what was going on, here at Brambleberry Cottage, was last year. Maybe it’s time for an update.
Last year hubby was unemployed and much was accomplished around here. We painted and built and worked in the garden. We built raised vegetable beds in the backyard and nibbled on lettuce, radishes, and other yummy veggies.
My new semester started and with it came a new job for hubby. I think it’s a bit peculiar that his job at Boeing ended the first day of my last semester while his new job began the first day of this semester. But anywho, this semester has been both challenging and woeful.


I’m not sure what it is, but every time I’m enrolled in an art/graphics class I feel so inadequate about my abilities to create anything worth looking at…weird, don’t you think? Me too!  Well, this semester I have two drawing classes, a sewing class, and Quick Print on Friday. I love my Quick Print class!!! I love my sewing class!!! I despise my Doodling & Noodling class as well as my Intro to Advertising and Graphic Arts…yuck! Yuck! Yuck. The two classes I despise (another strong and maybe overly dramatic word, I know) are Tuesday’s and Thursdays beginning at 8 am. I’m not sure about the other students, but I think 8 am is way too early to start class. We all shuffle through the door looking slightly catatonic and find our way to our seats.
So, this is where the “woe” comes in. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, my instructor and I seem to be at odds with one another and nothing I do is right.


I’ll bet you didn’t know you were going to have to listen to me whine, did you? Please forgive me as I continue my tale of woe :-).
You may be wondering about my strange little pictures so I’ll tell you what they are. We were given an assignment where we had to create pictures that represented a word out of nothing but characters from 1 font family. These were a few of my finished designs. My instructor was not thrilled that I chose fonts from home instead of the computer lab, but after the fact I remembered that I specifically asked, “can I use fonts from home?” to which she replied, “I don’t think there should be a problem since they’ll be converted to outlines.” I think part of the problem may be that we are both forgetful and neither wants to fess up to it. Oh well, such is life. I keep telling myself to get over it and go on. Easier said then done. Am I making any sense or are you completely confused?


Any way the next assignment really has me stumped and I just can’t seem to get it done. The good thing is I only have 5-6 weeks left then I’ll be done for this semester and hopefully only 1 semester to go…but then there’s more Quick Print classes…so much fun for a girl who loves to print!!!

OK, I gotta run for now, but hopefully I’ll be back sooner than not.
Hope you all have a fun rest of the weekend!!!

xoxo Cori

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

After the Rains

What is it they say…”April showers bring May flowers.”
We have had plenty of rain this year and it’s been ever so glorious!


This morning, as I wondered through my garden, I noticed all the roses had opened over night.  Almost as if they knew the rains were coming and wanted to bathe their petals in the gentle cleansing drops from heaven. Have you ever noticed how the light is different after a rain?
The sky is bluer, the clouds are fluffier, and the sounds of the earth ring clearer.


Before going out to my garden this morning, I saw the funniest sight through the kitchen window. The back end of a huge possum strolling down the path with a head of lettuce  tucked safely in its mouth. I would have loved to have taken a picture of her (or him), but my camera was in the other room.  Apparently this little bunn missed it too.


There have been two doves coo-cooing in the wisteria for days and I wonder if they’re the same two that fly in every spring. They build a nest in the branches of the vine and the mother patiently sits and waits for the appointed time, for her little clutch of babes to arrive. She is so quiet and still that you’d never know she was there. And no matter what’s going on below she will not abandon her wee ones. It’s amazing how the Lord has created in them a protectiveness for their young. I think we humans could learn a lesson or two from the doves.


I have two classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a 3 hour gap in between so this is where I can be found during that time, daydreaming beneath the shade of the wisteria tendrils, while contemplating the heavens and all the riches they store…and ignoring my homework.
I think this has been the hardest semester I’ve had when it should have been the easiest. My Tuesday-Thursday classes are both drawing classes and drawing is not something I do well, at all!! So, I’m trying to spend time each day doodling and noodling, but that’s another story for another day.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I saw an old friend today


I saw an old friend today.
One I haven’t seen in years,
but each day, every day, I pass her craftsman cottage
on my way to school.


And as I pass by I send up a little prayer
for her and those that are in her care.
I wonder how she is, how her life has been going
as I hurry on my way
and I say to myself, “if I see her tending her roses
I’ll stop to say hello,” but I’ve never seen her there…


Until today. A day when I had to hurry on my way.
Does she ever think of me or even remember my name?
Does she know that I am praying for her
sometimes twice a day?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some Bunny thinks it’s Spring!

Even though it’s still blustery cold outside!!!!
But then Bunnies are always ready for spring even in the dead of winter.


Last week my friend Nancy and I drove to Riverside to check out the historic Mission Inn…
but this post is not about that.
It’s more about what happened at the end of the day.
Nancy had been wanting a new camera and finally got one for her birthday, so who better to call then her shutterbug crazy friend Cori. Off we went for a day of picture taking, exploring, and just plain ol” fun!
I met Nancy that morning at her mechanic’s in Tustin just across the street from one of my favorite stores…”Whimsy.” have you heard of it? Have you been there? Twice a year, Whimsy hosts one of the most amazing Artisan Fairs filled with, well, amazing artists and their wares. It’s called “GLITTERFEST,” and you guessed it! It’s filled with all kinds of glittery goodness.


(Me thinks this Bunny lady is taunting me with her tiara’s. Do you think she will let me try one on)?

Nancy’s car wasn’t ready by the time we made it back to the mechanic so we decided to venture across the street and visit Whimsy. It’s a wee little store jam packed with all sort of creative wonders and in the back, right out of view of the front door, is my favorite section. I never know what I’m going to find there, but it’s always a delightful surprise. This day was no different!!! 


As I rounded the corner, there she was…all decked out for Spring.
All I could do was stand there and laugh at her ridiculous expression and choice of silly attire. It was almost as if she was yelling at me, “HEY YOU! Yeah you! Come here! I want to show you what I’ve got!! How would you like to buy one of my tiara’s???” Can you hear her too, or is it just me?


Anywho, this spring’s Glitterfest will be held on March 10th and here’s a list of some of the amazing artist who will be selling their wares…
oh! And wouldn’t that be funny if my Bunny lady friend would be there to greet all the guests at the door?? I think it would be most delightful!!