Loving Instagram

When I launched Ivy and Ironstone, my daughter suggested I join Instagram as a way to promote it. Oh, yuck, I thought. More social media. I’ve already admitted I’m not very good at FaceBook, (which I pretty much think of as a place to view pictures of my friends’ children and grandchildren). I still have so much to learn about blogging and now I need to learn Instagram?

However, this is what Maggie does for a living, and she’s good at it, so I started scouting some of the Instagram feeds of the bloggers I follow. I fond lots of great photos, and I could choose the kinds I wanted to see: gardens, travel, decorating, entertaining, food. This is like putting together your own, special-interest, electronic magazine.

Like other social media, Instagram intuits what you like and sends you more of the same in a separate search feed. So, I started following (on Instagram) some of those bloggers, a few designers, and so on.

Now I’m enjoying it so much, I’m spending way more time on Instagram than anything, and definitely more than I should. Of course, it helps that I now have a few (very few) “followers” and “likes” (what a boost for my ego!).

So, as they say, without further ado, here’s just a small sampling of my Instagram feed.

I love missmustarseed.com. She likes blue and white transferware and white ironstone (sound familiar?).  I also really admire her keen business sense.


Frances Schultz is the author of The Bee Cottage Story and blogs at francesschultz.com. Her Instagram is loaded with images from her homes, travels, and much more. Her wide-ranging interests make her feed especially interesting.


The French Tangerine was one of the first blogs I found and followed, below. (You can see her attention to French detail in this image of nesting birds beside her door!) Then came  Sharon Santoni’s My French Country Home and The Enchanted Home both favorites not just for their style, which is beautiful, but because of how their love of home and blogging has led them into remarkable new directions.

Babies grew up and are leaving the nest!

A photo posted by 🍊 jan vrana (@thefrenchtangerine) on Jul 19, 2016 at 5:51am PDT




Travel. Instagram is loaded with travel photos, domestic and international, funny and breathtaking, but I don’t think anyone captures Paris (though we all try) like Georgianna Lane does. And I enjoy getting a regular Paris “fix.”

Focusing on the long view today. Peace and love to each of you. 🙏💕🌎 More @aparisianmoment and @photosbydcp

A photo posted by Georgianna Lane (@georgiannalane) on Jul 18, 2016 at 9:22am PDT


Because a part of me would secretly like a bit of a farm, and I love his approach to gardening, I’ve been following P. Allen Smith. Aren’t these chickens wonderful? His gardens, flower and vegetable, are gorgeous.


Finally, in a world in which the news has lately been so bad, so often, words to live by from Ted Kennedy at Watson Kennedy He is witty, wise, and always, always gracious.

It so often comes down to the basics… This is always such a simple reminder that I come back to time and time again.

A photo posted by Ted Kennedy Watson (@watsonkennedy) on Jul 19, 2016 at 6:17am PDT


I could go on and on, but you can link to my Instagram on the left so see more of what I follow. If you are on Instagram, please share. If you aren’t, give it a try.

See you next time!

My miscellaneous file: gardens, a geeky book and crepe-y skin

This point in the summer seems a bit of a lull to me. The flush of spring is past. The fourth is behind us. Our trip to the beach is still a few weeks away. And it’s finally getting hot, which always makes me feel a little foggy at first. So today’s post is a bit of this and a bit of that from what I think of as my miscellaneous file.

Stalking my garden

Although I love spending time puttering in the garden, my skills often seem a bit sketchy. Or maybe it’s just that gardening is so dependent on weather, water, bugs. There really are a lot of variables. However, my daylilies are awesome this year. I honestly don’t know the names of these, but this is one of those times when a picture says it all. Aren’t these grand?


I have also been nurturing a white garden in one area. I have never done one with a theme before, but I am really enjoying this.


When one book leads to another

I’ve been reading Max Perkins, Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg. Yes, I realize this is a geeky read. But I was an English major in college, concentrating on 20th century American literature, so a bio of the venerable Scribners editor who introduced the world to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, to name just a few, holds a particular place in my literary heart.

This is the flip side of reading these novels, learning how Perkins struggled to focus Fitzgerald to complete The Great Gatsby, how he convinced Thomas Wolfe to cut thousands of words (and hundreds of pages) from Look Homeward, Angel to make it readable. However, Perkins was much more than an editor. He was a friend, counselor and financial planner to his remarkable stable of writers. Most importantly, by nurturing their talents he introduced some of the most important literary voices of the century.

Now that I’ve read the backstory, their works are on my “to read” (or in some cases re-read) list. I’ll let you know how that goes…

In the meantime, if you are looking for a fun beach or back porch read, pick up White Collar Girl by Renee Rosen. Jordan Walsh is a recent j-school graduate (from a family of writers) who goes to work at the Chicago Tribune in 1955.  These are  heady times (Richard Daley has just taken office as mayor), but women like Jordan are relegated to the society pages. Of course, she is determined to change that. This is a fun and fast read, especially if you are familiar with Chicago or the pre-feminist workplace.

All the talk about “crepe-y” skin

As I was puttering around in my kitchen this weekend, cutting, chopping and dicing to make potato salad for a pre-Fourth barbecue, I realized that I was listening to a 30-minute infomercial on the plague of “crepe-y skin,” the dry, finely wrinkled dermis of women of a certain age and the lengths to which they will go to cure it.

Well, as much as I hate to admit it now that I’ve made light of it, I too am afflicted with this condition. Somehow my mother’s finely crinkled, crepe-paper textured arms and hands have become mine. I’ve been aware of this for some time and have just pretty much looked the other way. (Although it’s getting harder.) If you pay attention to the informative television presentation, this same condition impacts the skin on our necks, chests, legs, etc!

Apparently there are some treatments (endorsed by the likes of Dorothy Hamill and others). My question is this, have any of you tried this? Does it work? The cure seems a bit pricey, but if I get my own arms and hands back, I’m willing to try.

What’s in your miscellaneous file?

See you next time!