Archives For January 2014

Pink Cabbage Roses

January 21, 2014

I would argue the pink cabbage rose is at the top of the BEAUTIFUL flowers list!

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Mix and Match Brown

January 20, 2014

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SOURCE: Unknown


SOURCE: Unknown



Beatrix Potter was an English author and illustrator of beloved children’s stories. She published over twenty-three books, but is best known for The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

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Helen Beatrix Potter was born on July 28, 1866 in Kensington, United Kingdom. She was born into a wealthy family and together with her brother, Walter, spent most of her free time taking care of her pets and drawing them endlessly. Her summer holidays were spent away from London in Scotland where she discovered her love for nature.

She was educated privately by tutors, and like other women of her class in the Victorian Era, she did not go to university. She was noted to be particularly interested in all branches of science except for Astronomy. In her studies she maintained drawings of her specimens with increasing skill. She grew fascinated with mycology (the study of fungi) and was drawn to fungi and its interesting colors through the influence of family friends and a mycologist uncle. Beatrix delved into fungi research, frequently accompanying her work with drawings and paintings. She spent years on mycology drawings and experimenting on fungi, resulting in a scientific paper titled On the Germination of the Spores of the Agaricineae she submitted to the Linnean Society in 1897. She could not present the paper in person due to her gender, and subsequently withdrew the paper after realizing some of her samples were contaminated. Her paper has only recently been rediscovered and is now being properly evaluated. The Linnean Society issued a posthumous apology to Beatrix Potter in 1997 for having allowed sexism to impact the handling of her research.

Her work on The Tale of Peter Rabbit started out as letter drawings that she would send to the children of her first governess particularly to the eldest child, Noel who was frequently ill. When she found herself without anything more to write to the children she decided to introduce the story of four little rabbits. Later on she revised her story and created a mock up book that she published using her own money. It wasn’t until December 1902, when her book previously rejected by Frederick Warne & Co, was published. With the increasing popularity of children’s books Frederick Warne & Co decided to publish it to compete in the trend. In hindsight a very wise decision, as Potter’s books have become some of the best-selling children’s books of all time.
With her independent earnings as well as a substantial inheritance from an aunt, Beatrix purchased a farm and slowly learned sheep farming. As she settled into country life it reflected in the storybooks she wrote. The Tale of Tom Kitten (1907), and The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (1908), along with others, mirrored her growing happiness with rural life.

Working and managing three farms was not easy, so Beatrix coordinated with William Heelis, a local solicitor, to help her maintain and secure the boundaries of her property. In 1913, at the age of 47, she married Heelis and together they settled at Castle Cottage Near Sawrey. Potter became a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep. Her fascination for sheep farming grew that soon she purchased a vast sheep farm and became one of the major sheep farmers in the area. She was an avid land preservationist and is credited with preserving much of the land that now comprises the Lake District National Park.

In her later years Beatrix continued to write, although it was mainly for her own pleasure. Her later books included The Fairy Carava (1929), published only in the US during her lifetime, Sister Anne (1932), and the final folktale called Wag-by-Wall, which was published posthumously in 1944. Beatrix died of complications from heart disease and pneumonia in 1943 at the age of 77, leaving nearly all her property to the National Trust. Her gift to the Trust included over 4,000 acres of land, sixteen farms, and herds of cattle and sheep. Even so, her most important gift is no doubt her lovely literary works that have enchanted children and adults for decades, and continue to delight readers throughout the world today.

Vintage Belle loves Beatrix Potter and her work makes for some beautiful pieces of broken china jewelry. See our collection here.



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Winter Mantles

January 18, 2014

I always have a hard time decorating my mantle in January. All of fall and Christmas decor are gone and everything just looks so bare. I love the look of these mantles. Off to the store I go!

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Orchids and Roses

January 17, 2014

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
-Marcel Proust

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Gourmet Hot Chocolates

January 16, 2014

I love a warm mug of hot chocolate on a cold night and these chocolate mugs look delicious!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

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Smores Hot Chocolate


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Old Country Roses

January 15, 2014

This beautiful bouquet is based on the popular china pattern Old Country Roses.


SOURCE: Unknown




Peter Rabbit

January 14, 2014

Peter Rabbit will always hold a special place in my heart.


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Pink Flowers

January 13, 2014

Pretty in pink holds true for newborn baby girls and flowers!







The Northern Cardinal

January 12, 2014

The Northern Cardinal is a North American bird from the genus Cardinalis, and the family Cardinalidae.  It is commonly known as redbird or cardinal.  It is found throughout the eastern United States from Maine to Texas, as far south as Mexico and Guatemala, and as far North as Southern Canada. The male cardinal is perhaps the most common bird responsible for inspiring people to open up a field guide. It is the epitome of noticeability and style with its mesmerizing red plumage.  The fawn-colored females are striking their own right sporting red accents on the wings, crest and tail feathers. Northern Cardinals used to be a prized pet but its sale in a cage is now banned in the United States.

Northern Cardinal Range Map

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(Map Source:

The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized song bird with about two dozen songs. They are territorial birds and they mark their territories with their song. The female Northern Cardinal sings usually perched on the nest, this gives the male information on when to bring food back to the nest. They mainly eat seeds and fruits but they supplement is with insects and they feed nestlings with insects as well. Common fruits and seeds include wild grape, dogwood, buckwheat, sedges, mulberry, grasses, blackberry, sumac, hackberry, tulip-tree, and corn. Cardinals eat many kinds of birdseed, particularly black oil sunflower seed. For insects they eat beetles, leafhoppers, cicadas, flies, crickets, centipedes, spiders, katydids, butterflies, and moths.

People have noticed a bizarre behavior in the birds during the early spring and that is attacking their reflections on mirrors and reflective surfaces consistently. Both males and females do this to protect their territories. Like other birds, they are very protective of their territories and during the period where their aggressive behavior is at its peak, they confuse their reflections as another bird intruding their territory hence the constant attack on their reflections.

Cardinals mate for life and mated pairs travel together all year round and sing verses together. The songs are learned so songs vary regionally and one can distinguish the sex of the bird by its song alone. The Northern Cardinal have a distinctive alarm call, they also have a chipping call that they use to locate their partner. During courtship the male Cardinal will feed the female Cardinal beak to beak and if the courtship is successful the feeding will continue throughout the incubation period.  During nesting, it’s the male Cardinal that brings the materials for the best while the female does all the work in building the nest.

The bird is a continual favorite among those for whom the Cardinal is their state bird: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. It is also the mascot to numerous sports teams as well as mascot to many schools in college athletics.

The common cardinal is often found in residential areas attracted by feeders set forth by birders that offer sunflower seeds and safflower seeds.  The feeding in residential areas has been beneficial to this species, their population has remained stable and they are not yet included in the list of threatened species, and hopefully they never will be.

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 Broken-China-Jewelry-Sterling-Silver Cardinal-Bird-Pendant

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