Saturday, May 31, 2008

Father's May Herb Pot: Planting a Tradition

Every year, my Dad & I celebrate Father's May. You see, our tradition is planting matching herb pots and we want to plant when the herb selection is best.

First, we shop for mint & sage & thyme, oh my! Then there are discussions about dirt (bagged or from the garden), who has the Soil Moist (usually me) and how the weather is looking for Memorial Weekend (gorgeous!). 

We plant a different herb in each hole of our strawberry pots. Sometimes, as a crowning touch, we add a "Sweet 100" cherry tomato plant next to the dill and orange mint on top. Sometimes the cherry tomato plant grows too big and it dominates the pot; other times it is just right. I certainly love seeing the bright red cherries, but in truth, it is probably best to stick to just herb. What choices there are!

Our little herb garden is compact, beautiful and smells divine. Happy Father's May.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Asian Fusion

Be still my heart. Tiny fabric & paper kimono. I found these little treasures in one of my favorite museum gift shops - Morikami. But I can't keep them in a little paper envelope anymore - they need to be seen! 

Today I am going to try and find the perfect little black frame for them. I think they will look darling on the tea cart in my living room. Come to think of it, I have a Japanese black noodle bowl that I could plant with a Maidenhair fern. is all starting to come together. Sake, anyone?

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Did you have some ice cream over the holiday weekend? I did. As a matter of fact, I had "the best ice cream in America."

Good Morning America searched the country for the most delicious ice cream and announced on Saturday that Moomers (our local ice cream shop & dairy in northern Michigan) had won!

We went for a scoop that night to celebrate and this sweet spot in the middle of the rolling hills of Traverse City was packed. The parking lot was part "ice cream line" and part "ice cream eaters." 

Cars roared by and honked their horns in celebration. It was a wonderful night. 

What flavor do I like? Cherries Moobilee (cherry ice cream with fresh cherries & chocolate brownie swirled in).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Second Spring

The beauty of Michigan is that you can experience a beautiful "Springtime in the Suburbs," wait a few weeks and then drive 5 hours north to the Lake Michigan shoreline and start all over again. The northern climate is about 3 weeks behind and offers an opportunity to "catch" any blooms that you missed the first time. I love the chance to appreciate the apple blossoms and magnolia trees in my second Spring. And look at this glorious weeping Shogetsu cherry against a bright blue sky. Magnificent.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Paris Delight

I love this photograph of the Eiffel Tower - a surprisingly good shot taken from a moving vehicle. 

My parents and I were whirling around Paris by car when my Dad called out "Take it! Take it!" 

He was sure that I could capture the neat angles and striking lighting that he also saw at that moment. So "take it" I did, and this is the super cool result.

Thanks, Dad.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Color of the Year

The June issue of Country Living magazine reminds us that the Pantone 2008 "Color of the Year" is Blue Iris. I couldn't resist showing you this spectacular blue iris that I photographed in northern Michigan. I hope the timing is right this year and that I can be there when the plants are at their peak (mid June?). This was a picture perfect day with bright blue skies and light breeze - simply lovely. Now that the holiday weekend is here, there is so much fun ahead! I hope you have a Happy Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New York, Paris, Charlottesville?

Caspari has long been my favorite brand of papergoods. They combine sophisticated colors & patterns to make beautiful products. I've found myself wanting to learn to play bridge, just so that I can have a scorepad and matching deck of cards (I mean it - they are beautiful). So a few years ago, when I left my hotel in Paris to explore Rue Jacob, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this shop window. The Caspari line is sold in fine shops all over the world, but to find a Caspari store was magic. Later when I looked online, I found that their design office is in New York, they opened their first store in Paris and their second store is now in...Charlotteville, Virginia. I live in Michigan and I rarely get to Virginia, so imagine my surprise when I was shopping on our Monticello trip and I found the only other Caspari store by accident! I was so thrilled, that I rushed inside and I forgot to take a picture of the storefront. Believe me, the entire space is magnificent. And I bought the sweetest periwinkle & white polka dot paper table runners. Lunch anyone?

Friday, May 23, 2008

S'more Cupcakes

Hershey bars & graham crackers are on every grocery store endcap this week. It's Memorial Weekend and parties are planned! Want to have them saying "Mmmmm" long before they take a bite? Tell them you made S'more Cupcakes.

My version is super easy and tastes great.
1 Betty Crocker Butter Pecan (trust me) box cake mix (plus the 3 eggs, 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil, and 1 1/2 cups of water - notice that I increased the water from the box instructions)
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tubs of chocolate frosting
(Hershey's syrup to enhance frosting, if desired)
Bag of Mini Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, water and graham cracker crumbs. Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full. Bake 17-22 minutes. Cool cupcakes. Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting (I chose one with Hershey's syrup in it...then added a few extra tablespoons of Hershey syrup for good measure). Top with a sprinkling of mini marshmallows. Give them one and they are sure to want s'more!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moments of Delight - Anne Reeves

Today is the first day in an exciting new "chapter" of my career - Author & Photographer of my first book! It is available on Amazon or click the link on my blog. So exciting! And you must give me feedback! Each moment is titled (i.e. "Sugar Secrets" or "Football and the Movies"), so I am curious to hear what people's favorites are.

Moments of Delight is 140 pages of stunning photography, creative ideas and simple pleasures that put the spotlight back on the beauty of every day life.

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pot of Herbal Tea

So cute! I was at the green house shopping for herbs and roses when I saw this beautiful collection of plants in a light green pot.

Literally a "Pot of Herbal Tea," it is loaded with Orange Mint, Chamomile and Lemon Balm to make tea from fresh leaves

It smells so bright & wonderful, I am going to keep it by the kitchen sink for as long as it looks "happy." After a few weeks, I'll move it to the kitchen deck to keep it flourishing.

Can't you see bright green leaves steeping inside a glass teapot? Gorgeous!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pink Dogwood

This beautiful pink Dogwood is blooming in my neighborhood. My tree is pure white and has finally started to relax and drape like it should. For years it looked like a Q-tip stuck in my lawn.

With blossoms like paper, Dogwood is a lovely tree to recreate in paper. One year I made Dogwood blossoms out of tissue paper and they turned out really sweet. 

I noticed that Martha Stewart Crafts sells a paper flower kit so that you can make your own little bouquet that will last forever.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Soap Bundt Cake

When I make something, I want it to be both beautiful and interesting. This soap Bundt cake is both, and it smells divine. I have seen soap Bundt cakes in gift shops with "slices" for sale. To me, the beauty is in the perfect molded cake, so I decided to make one for myself and leave it whole. I took a plastic Jell-O mold (the fact that it was plastic made it super easy to remove), purchased some dyes, scents (cucumber!) and a block of glycerin soap at Michaels and before I knew it I had my new favorite thing. I display it on a cake stand with a paper doily and it serves as art. Love it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Today is the Mt. Bruce Station Spring Fiber Day. A chance to visit a sheep farm, shop for wool and yarn from local vendors and even participate in a yarn craft workshop. All while enjoying a beautiful Spring day outdoors.

Did you know that sheep have names? I didn't. One year at this event, I started chatting with a woman who was operating a spinning wheel. I asked her about yarn weights etc. and as she began to elaborate, she kept mentioning "Stanley." She was spinning his wool at the time and seemed to know exactly how it would turn out because it was his. Interesting. Why was he named Stanley? He was born during the hockey playoffs when the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup...she missed the winning goal to be in the barn when he was born.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stop The Presses!

Okay, actually they are starting the presses.

My first book, Moments of Delight, will be available online May 23rd at and
Finally, a paper version of my photos, recipes and more!

140 pages of beautiful photography, creative ideas & simple pleasures that put the spotlight back on the beauty of every day life.

"Anne Reeves' brand of story-telling brings 'Delight' to life."

Antique Coffee Pots

I love this antique coffee pot and had always considered the hand-painted blossoms to be violets. But look! They actually match the lilacs perfectly - even the slant of the leaf.

I feel like whoever painted this years and years ago is sending me a message saying "You got it!"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Button It

Can you believe the selection? Seeing this makes me want to design a necklace out of novelty buttons. Loaded with color and texture (and a dash of humor), it could be the perfect Summer accessory. Talk about taking a plain red t-shirt from zero to sixty! Maybe this will be my Memorial Day project...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


My wisteria has outdone itself this year. Loaded with lily-scented blooms that hang like bunches of grapes, the effect is magnificent. It's probably the one time I would use the verb "cascade" without being overly dramatic.
Last Summer, one of the Garden Club girls showed me a drawing she had done. She pointed to the part of the page that was light purple, looked at me and said that she had used the (heavy emphasis) "Wisteria" crayon. She wanted to make sure that I knew she understood why that crayon is called wisteria. Mother Nature would be proud.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Room With A View

Can you hear the quiet? This is the view from the Garden Pavilion (shown here) at Monticello. Only a visionary would (in the early 1800's) build a 1-room building in the middle of a garden. The pavilion has full-length windows on all four sides to maximize the view and minimize the elements. It was constructed at the halfway point of the 1,000-foot-long garden terrace and provides unobstructed views of Jefferson's 8-acres of orchards, berry plots and vineyards. He built a room with a view. I want one.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Island Brie

How do you know when an appetizer is a hit? I knew that my Island Brie was a success when looked over to see my husband's grandmother sitting on the floor by the coffee table so that she could reach it easily. Seriously, it is that good. Rich and sweet and chewy.

Island Brie
1 round of Brie cheese
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. honey roasted peanuts, chopped
3 Tbsp. flaked coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 baguette of French bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place Brie on a beautiful oven-safe platter (with sides to catch drips). In a small saucepan, stir pineapple, peanuts and brown sugar until heated through. Spoon over cheese and bake 8-10 minutes until cheese is softened. Top with coconut and return dish to the oven to brown. Cut open with a pretty knife to invite your guests to dig in. Serve with baguette slices.

Photograph: Pineapple Fountain in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bradford Pear

More than 10 years ago, when our neighborhood was doing the main landscaping plan, I brought a picture with me to the meeting and chimed in "Bradford Pear" every chance I got. As a result, a ring of 5 trees were planted in the cul-de-sac by my house and they are spectacular.

One Saturday afternoon the "Garden Club Girls" ran into our backyard asking for me and proclaiming, "It's an emergency!" Knowing that their Mothers were nearby and that no one looked hurt, my husband asked, "Girls...Is something blooming?"
"Yes!" they shouted.
It was the Bradford Pears.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Gathering of Friends

What occasions do you celebrate? Most of us probably have the same list: Weddings, Birthdays, Holidays. Repeat. Well, today I was invited to celebrate
"Friendship." A table for 8, bountiful salads and the most precious element, conversation with old friends. We laughed and talked and shared bits about ourselves. Every one's shoulders started to relax and by the time the gorgeous desserts arrived we all felt even closer. The next time you are looking at your calendar, see if you can pull together "something" for your friends. They will love being invited. They will love looking forward to it. They will love attending. Now how can you resist?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Carbon Copy

People with a lot on their mind often keep a pad & pencil by the bed to capture ideas that come to them in the night. Thomas Jefferson kept his entire office next to his bed. By building his bed into an alcove, he could rise to the right and immediately begin working at his desk. Or he could rise to the left and start his day by the fire in a large private bedroom. You can see a lovely interior photo of the room here. Jefferson is said to have dedicated his mornings to "correspondence," personally answering over 10,000 letters. How can we know what happened 200 years ago? He kept a duplicate (!) of the letters he wrote on the double pen polygraph machine on the desk.
Remember what I said about VISION? Amazing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fruits, Roots & Leaves

Thomas Jefferson organized his spectacular 1000-foot-long garden terrace into plots by plant type: Fruits (tomato), Roots (carrot) or Leaves (cabbage). The beds look very "Martha Stewart" and I feel so lucky to have been to Monticello in Spring when the plants are at their best. I purchased seed packets from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants to try in my own garden. One seed packet reads "Thomas Jefferson sowed 3 rows of Alpine Strawberry on March 31, 1774." Neat, eh? So this Summer it will be Fraise des Bois and cream for me! You can order seeds harvested from the gardens at Monticello and start your own kitchen garden!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monticello in Spring

I am back from a beautiful long weekend in Virginia and Maryland. It was a picture perfect day when I toured Monticello - 73 degrees, full sun with a light breeze from the Virginia hills. I promise to show you the gardens & grounds in the coming days. But you should know that the overall theme of this trip was VISION. I love Thomas Jefferson's "mechanical novelties" that show how (in the late 1700's!) he designed his home to be beautiful, efficient and above all, cool. My favorite was the two-faced Great Clock in the main entrance hall. Not only does it have an indoor & outdoor face displaying the time simultaneously, but it was designed to tell the day of the week! As the pulleys move, the weights rest next to the day of the week marked on the wall. Yes, it still works, and right now the weight is resting next to "Wednesday." How cool is that?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Beekman 1802

Look at the beautiful goat milk soap that I just received from Beekman 1802. Handmade & wrapped in Sharon Springs, New York, this artisanal soap & farm was just featured on The Martha Stewart show (click link). The fragrance I chose is called "May" inspired by the scents of this month - love it! A virtual tour of the property and dreams of an heirloom vegetable garden are worth an online trip! Enjoy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

Did you have a lovely May Day? Isn't it wonderful to think of all the warm days ahead of us - Spring is here! I like to celebrate the 1st of May by hanging a paper cone full of fresh flowers on my front door. It is a nod to the tradition of making and leaving May Baskets on a neighbor's door and it is the first thing to say "Hi!" when someone comes to visit. So pretty...