My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

my current view...because of the flu!

Hello my friends!
I am afraid that I was unable to attend today's big event at Horton's!
I am laying here in my bed....with the flu!
My current view is not too shabby though!

I am curled up here on the Murphy bed with as many blankets I can possibly wear and watching television!
Something I do not often have time to do!

So since I am here, I thought I would do a really quick post and let you know ...
I have not forgotten about the give-away to celebrate my 300 followers!
In fact, I have given it alot of thought!

My gift wrap this year is from one of my favorite places to buy fabulous things!
Ballard Designs!

And since I bought an extra roll...I thought I would give it to you as well as a $25.00 gift certificate to Ballards!
I just know you will find something wonderful for yourself!

I have also had several inquiries about the rug in the cottage. It too is from Ballards.
It is called Le poeme. It is the tale of a cricket and an ant in French!
I love it and have included the link for this rug as well!
Mine is in Chocolate.

Le poeme rug at Ballards
Several other questions have been about the It's a wonderful life pillow on my new slipcovered settee.
Yes! It's one of mine and I think I will include one in this give-away!

So...all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post and tell me what color thread you would like your pillow  to be embroidered with!
It's made from cream linen and mine is embroidered in a mink gray.
Also, what do you think you might buy with your Ballards gift certificate?
I would love to know!
I am going to rest for a few days and when I return on Tuesday...I will let you know who won!

Thank you so...much for following along!
It has been so much fun meeting everyone!
As I start to feel better...I am going to make the rounds and meet all my new friends!
Until next time!


  1. Sorry to read that you're under the weather. Very kind of you to offer this giveaway. Were I to win, my embroidery thread color of choice would be the same as yours. As for the Ballard Designs gift card, well... I've got my eye on some candleholders. :)

  2. Oh no, I'm sorry you missed the big event at Hortons! I'm also sorry you have the flu--crummy timing (I guess there's never a good time to get the flu). But hopefully with rest, and that lovely view, you will be back to normal in no time.

    As far as the thread color, I like the one you have. Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful giveaway!

    Take care and get well soon!!!

  3. Hi Sweetie,
    I hope you feel better soon. I just did a little post because I've been sick too, can really relate. It's day 4 for me but got out for a short walk and am going again in a few minutes. Just take it slow, at least you've got a beautiful view!

    I've been looking at that rug at Ballard's for quite a while. It really helps seeing it in your beautiful place. I love Ballard Designs and have been shopping there for about 20 years, I bet you have too.

    Of course, I want to enter your giveaway. I'll tweet your giveaway, Donna.

    Feel better! (You inspire even when sick.)

  4. tweets up!

  5. Get well soon! What a drag to get the crud this time of year. The pillow is gorgeous just the way it is...I wouldn't mess with perfection.

  6. So sorry to hear your under the weather :( Up here in NE Indiana it's been bitter cold, so I've stayed indoors as much as possible. Hope that flu bug flies away soon!

    Hmmmm....I'd love to see a blue grey thread on that cream linen :) And I've been eyeing the light fixture in Ballards that you use to change a socket outlet to a hanging fixture. Want one for in front of my recently redone fireplace.

    Thanks for a terrific giveaway!

  7. Oh Donna, I do hope you're feeling better soon! If it is any solace, everyone who has had it that I'm close to, said it's a quick bug! Hopefully you will back to yourself in no time!

    AMAZING giveaway!! Thanks for the chance to win! I would choose gray thread for the pillow, and I just love Ballards, so it would not be hard to find something wonderful from there!

    Feel better, and happy holidays!!


  8. Oh I am so sorry you are not feeling well. I have a bit of something myself! Your little cottage is lovely. I love your little pillow. I guess I would choose black for the thread...I just love that saying...
    Feel better soon!!

  9. I'm so sorry you're not feeling well today, but take the opportunity to relax. I wish I could, but always so much to get done this time of year.

    I love your giveaway and this store. The wrapping paper is amazing and I know exactly what i'd use the gift certificate towards.....their wonderful script fabric. I wanted to get someto make stockings this year, but never got around to it....maybe a pillow would be nice. Also love your pillow and think the gray is perfect.

    Thanks again and hope you feel better soon.

    Take care,


  10. Hate to hear that you're feeling icky. (I don't have an excuse to still be in pj's at 4 pm) but I DO love your gorgeous view!! The wrapping paper is just yummy as is the pillow. I'd love mine in a linen color please!!LOL!
    Take care, let hubbs wait on you and feel better soon!
    lots of love,

  11. Sorry to hear you are sick, it's hard this busy time of year to be laid up. Feel better soon.
    What a great giveaway. I love that pillow and like the thread in a light blue/green sea color.
    The rug is so cute too. Everything you have there is lovely.
    Thank you for the chance to win.
    Be well,

  12. Poor baby! But what lovely surroundings you have to be sick in.

    Your pillow is just perfect the way it is - I wouldn't change a thing! Love the tone on tone effect! And there are some fleur-de-lis glasses from Ballards that would be wonderful to sip from!

    Take care girl!

  13. I am so sorry you aren't feeling well! What a beautiful sight you behold when lying about, though. Your home is just gorgeous! I, too, love love love Ballard. Right now, I have my eye on laptop bags. Have you seen them?
    Take care! I hope you feel better soon!

  14. The answer to the pillow question is: BLACK. So lovely :).

  15. I'm sorry you are not feeling well, but you seem to be making the most of it!! Don't forget to rest! I'd love aqua thread on my pillow.

  16. Whoops I forgot to tell you what I would buy. Anything at Ballard's love it!

  17. So sorry you are ill, but what a view...that should lift your spirits. and that paper, wow! I would buy even more of it! I love it! Lezlee

  18. This is a wonderful giveaway that I would just love to win. If I won I would like silver thread for the pillow. I have my fingers crossed.

  19. Bummer! Hope you start to feel better soon! What a great giveaway! I love Ballard Designs-maybe some fleur de lis towels.
    I love black and white so how about black for the lettering on the pillow(if I win)! Love the wrapping paper too!


  20. Awww, I'm sorry you're not feeling well though I'm guessint that stunning view helps a bit! I love your choice of neutrals throughout. I would pick a neutral color as well and spend the $25 towards a chandelier for my studio. I love Ballard!!!

    Hope you feel better real soon:)


  21. Well that stinks - under the weather AND missed Hortons. Of course with a view like you've got, you'll be up and about again soon. Right?!! I mean who wouldn't feel better looking at all that wonderfulness!!!

    Thanks so much for hosting this give-away! And while wrestling with a bug no less?!

    the pillow? Same colors as yours. And at Ballard Designs? Oh what is not to buy?! Okay. At the top of the list would be the Angel Santos. That would be so wonderful to have living with us. Not that there are not already angels know the fur covered ones ;)

    Hoping you feel better soon!

    "Her" and Romeo

  22. Oh Donna, I'm so sorry you're sick. No way to spend the Holidays, so get well soon :)
    I love this giveaway, how generous of you! My choice of thread would be a jute or burlap color. And I would die for those quatrefoil tags from Ballard. So fun!
    Thanks so much for including me :)
    Blessings for a speedy recovery
    Becky C

  23. Sorry you are feeling poorly. I am hoping I avoid the creeping crud this year. I paid my dues last year.

    I have been eying that paper in Ballards but could not justify buying some because of the 20 some rolls I have from prior years still unused. : (

    SO that is what I would purchase or put it towards a new sisal for the porch since pooches have destroyed part of the one there...

    I would choose a taupe or brown on the linen I suppose.

    Stay warm....try hot lemon water with honey, and get better soon.

    : D

    merry merry


  24. Hi Donna,
    So sorry you are not feeling well. Hubby has had a bad cold, but is pretty much over it and I don't want any bug to visit me. Hope you get better real soon!!

    I love the pillow just as is so I would go with that color thread.

    I love the paper, love script fabric and other things so it would be hard to choose, but I would certainly do it if I won! LOL

  25. I hope you are feeling better soon.

    I love Ballard! Thanks for the giveaway! My choice of thread would be like yours.


  26. Sorry to hear you are ill. Get better soon I hope. If I won I would choose the same colors as yours, and I would love some new candlestick holders.

  27. Congrats on Passing the 300 Followers mark.... What a Wonderful Give~Away
    I was just looking at the website & fell in Love with the Mesh Totes they have, but then again, there is a ton was Great items.... If I were to win ~ Fingers & Toes are Crossed, I think I would like the thread color a Dark Gray or Black.... Just Fabulous~

  28. Sorry, in the excitement of all the Goodies, I did forget to wish You Get Well Soon Greetings, You do have a Beautiful View, But Sick is Still Sick ..... Feel Better!

  29. Bummer that you are sick. Hope it doesn't last long. I spent the last 2 weekends on the couch - VERY glad to be up and doing stuff this weekend:)
    Love your little cottage, you have done wonders with it!
    I would want my pillow embroidered in grey like yours. LOVE grey!!
    Ballard has quite a few things I would love to have. Right now my absolute fav is the set of metal crowns in their catatlog. I put them on my Christmas list but if 'Santa' doesn't get the list I just might have to buy them myself! Especially if I had a GC to use!!!

  30. Great giveaway!
    I love Ballard Designs and just got a new catalog in the mail today!
    If I were to win I would love that pillow with the grey thread just like yours, it is so pretty :)

  31. Let's see... Grey thread would be lovely, but I am not picky--I think it would be pretty in any color! As for the Ballard certificate.. I have had my eye on a pretty desk in their catalog for a while... this would certainly help!

  32. i hope that you're feeling better, soon.. taupe or a dirty beige for the embroidery, please...
    something small for the voucher... i live in australia and postage is a bummer. :)

  33. Oh, Donna. I do hope you are feeling better soon, although I am glad you get a day or more of enjoying your sweet cottage all decorated. It is just so charming and looks like the perfect comfort for what ails you.

    I almost am embarrased to say my thread color of choice would be "green" as I have already won one of your fantastic giveaways. I don't mind you taking me out of the loop so someone else might get an extra chance.

    Take care!! Carol

  34. Hi Sweetie
    Sorry you are still down... I was in bed three days and I still am coughing some. Nasty stuff going around.
    At least your decorating is done and you can lay there admiring it.

  35. Gold-colored thread for the pillow and I don't know what I'd get at Ballard Designs, I've never been before...

  36. hi there....first of all I hope you get better soon...second I have just found your blog, how, I don't remember...just glad I did. I want to move into The Tinker House, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it !!! Third, I am also a Hoosier in southern Indiana, with a totally different style (primitive, farm, country)....but, I so enjoy your home too....smiles, Linda

  37. Sorry you feel bad, get better soon! I got the measurements of that vent and finally found a box for the wreath! I had some issues with pregnant daughter this week so I'm behind on my jobs! I will e-mail the measurements!

    Oh, I would love Chocolate thread for my pillow!

    Every time I see more of your cottage I am blow away! I can see into the kitchen this time, a part you left out! I love the black cabinets!


  38. Hope things are looking up, I looked up and saw your blue ceilings, just perfect for your wonderful home. I'm still on the top row of our followers, I bet that won't last long. Your site is wonderful.

  39. oh donna so sorry you are under the weather! but wow what a view you are enjoying! your home looks gorgeous. I am a huge fan of ballard designs and never knew they had wrappping paper. It's gorgeous! I would love to enter your wonderful and generous giveaway. I hope you are better soon my friend!

    Hugs, and hot chocolate,

  40. I hope you feel better soon! It's a great view.

  41. Oh that is a great view, I hope you are feeling better soon!

  42. Oh Donna I am so sorry that you have that mean ole flu. Sending you all kinds of WARM wishes to you. If I had that view, I might find myself being sick A LOT!!! I LOVE your home. It is so inviting and beautiful.
    What a crazy amamzing giveaway! I love the mink grey stitching. Hmmm, if I ever won a gift cert. from Ballards, I have had my eye on a spool of button garland.
    I can't believe how much time I have been away from your amazing place, so I had to go back to see all that I had missed. Your settee slipcover is gorgeous!!!! Everything in your house is! I think, if you don't mind I will curl my feet up under me and sit on this beautiful thing and enjoy all the holiday decorating that you have been doing here in your cottage.
    You inspire me Donna.
    love to you...

  43. Hopefully you're starting to feel better and back on your feet. Thanks for the opportunity to win your very generous giveaway. A soft petal pink thread would be lovely I think and thanks for turning me on to Ballard Designs.... I spied an embosser that I'd love to have!

  44. Oh Donna, This is not a holiday you would have wanted to welcome with being sick and all! I am so excited that you felt well enough to do such a beautiful job on your post.

    If I were sick I would love the view you have. The French cart is to only dream that I would find one, the driftwood tone is so me.

    I just love the pillow, and almost ashamed to say I don't even own a pillow with words, and you would think I would with all the signs with words that I paint.

    Indeed it is "A wonderful life" with all the blog friendships, inspiration, and well wishes when one is not up to par!

    I would love the Thread in "GRAY"

    I would love to be included in on the GiveAway!

    Who ever wins congrats on such a treasured gift!

    Get well soon girl!
    Come visit my Joyeux Noel, I think it would look great in your Cottage.

    Joyeux Noel

  45. So sorry to hear you're not feeling well, but at least you do have that beautiful view! May you be feeling 100% again soon so that you can enjoy the Holidays fully!

    Christmas Blessings... Dawn... The Bohemian

  46. So sorry you are not feeling well. It is such a bad time of year to get sick but I hope you will rest and take care of yourself!

    The pillow is perfect in the color you chose for it and I would choose the very same-

    Your view is lovely and I love all those presents piled in the pretty basket!! Not a present one has been wrapped here yet!!

    As for the GC I would love to use it on a pretty new lamp!

  47. You are so creative and I love to visit your blog and see your beautiful and inspiring photos. Thank you for having such a great giveaway. I would love to be entered and would choose a bluish grey for the thread if selected.

    My contact info is bwrawling at

    I hope you feel well soon. May God bless you during this advent season.

  48. So sorry that you are ill with the flu. Right now, a nice hot cup of tea and your creative blog is soothing my head cold! If I were to win, I would choose the same color thread as yours. I'm in the process of redoing our bedroom in the muted colors. Thanks for the inspiration!

  49. mean ol' flu! ugh.

    gray mink thread --- oh yeah, baby!

    ballards? i live in a vacuum...never heard of ballards, but i went to their site and i'm still woozy with excitement. fabric, like anya noir or document brown! then there was the cake stand....i need smelling salts here!!! LOL!

  50. I decided I needed some of that wrapping paper because I just loved how your packages look and was totally disappointed to find out they are out of stock and not going to reorder any more:(

    Let me know if you've seen anything similar to it anywhere else.



  51. Oh no... I haven't gotten the shot and am hearing about a lot of flu cases already. Hope you mend quickly.

    I would love dark brown thread, yum, just like chocolate, grin.

    Ballard Designs is so fun! I am currently drooling over some of their artwork. Fun!

  52. Sorry you aren't feelin up to snuff:(. But Im glad you're well enough to share with us. I love the wrapping paper. Wanna purchase a china hutch soon and I think this would be great to back the shelves with. If I got that lovely pillow I too love it as it is. Soft with big impact.

  53. Dear Donna, Sorry to hear you are under the weather ~ I must admit your view is as good as it gets for recuperating. I don't think the Dr. could have ordered any better ;)
    I love Ballard too and can never decide which treasures to choose but perhaps something from their holiday decorations or maybe a set of their push pins so that I could see them everyday and think of you :) .... oh and a rich dark brown for the embroidery....I feel like I am giving Santa my wish list!!!
    Hugs and Merry Christmas ~ Rebecca

  54. Poor dear :( The flu stinks! And to think you missed out on your own party !! Only you would be sick in bed and think of everyone else! This giveaway is sooo ironic - I literally was just on Ballard this am!! Im looking for a pendant light and I have been wanting the cotton branches from Ballard FOR-EV-ER. So yep, thats what my lil heart will get if I win!
    (and maybe the small Provost sign to go over the inside of my interior garage door.....hehe)
    Hope you are back in action soon sweetie!


  55. Oh, feel better, Sweetie! I would love to be included. I love everything from Ballard so I would have a tough time choosing. Congrats on your following. xo

  56. I love your little have a very cozy ..beaytiful home.I think the pillow is soo cute..gray thread sounds perfect..thanks for sharing your home with us..

  57. HI Donna ~ I do hope you are up and about soon ~ but hey, stay on the sofa another day and watch old Christmas Movies (White Christmas) Im pretty sure you deserve it. ~ Dee

  58. I hope you start to feel better. My thoughts will be with you!
    I just found your blog and first saw the Tinker House which I just love and was telling my husband about it and showed him your photos with the snow covering it. Thank you for sharing the beauty.
    I also shared with him the fact you are living in a cottage while you build your home. Your cottage is so inviting and you have been so creative with the space. I would love to give your gifts a home here in our "warm" house (we have cold here down to 5 degrees for NC is pretty rough for us. We are keeping cozy though. If I had a choice for thread on a pillow, turquoise, white or grey would be wonderful. Thank you, Always, Teresa T.

  59. I would love the pillow embroidered in a khaki color and I would have no idea what I would buy because I love so many of Ballard's things, but I know I'd have a ball picking something out!


  60. So sorry you're sick, feel better!

    I'd get the Ballard's wrapping paper, and the pillow print in grey.

    C'est ravissant!


    Sandy @ My Shabby Streamside Studio

  61. So sorry to hear you are not feeling well, Donna - but what a view to convalesce.

    What a wonderful giveaway! I love Ballards.

    Warm wishes for a quick recovery,

  62. ...oh, and I forgot to add that I love the mink grey thread you chose on your pillow and I would probably buy some fabric!

  63. If I had your digs, I'd pretend to be sick but I'm sorry that you actually are! No fun & I hope you feel better soon. Lovely giveaway. Congratulations on 300 followers & here's to many more. That wrapping paper is gorgeous. If I won the $25 gift card, Lord knows what I'd buy...there are so many things. Most likely the Everyday Silver Candlesticks, 4-arm candelabra, or a mercury glass huricane. Or the bee tumblers. As for the pillow, whatever you chose would be beautiful but I'd go with the Mink gray, flax, or black.


  64. Sorry you feel bad... hopefully better by Christmas..

    I would like a pillow just like yours. I love all the monogram stuff from Ballards. Just recently ordered crimson twill with monograms.

    Take care... plenty of chicken soup

  65. Bonjour Donna,

    SO sorry to hear you have been under the weather. Lots of vitamin c - my remedy for everything! Your view is gorgeous, you have done a lovely job on your cottage...hmmm, cottage - that sounds so nice and cozy. Love the cart with all those beautifully wrapped gifts.
    Please get well soon and have a very Merry Christmas my friend. I look forward to getting to know you even better during the new year!
    P.S. Is Tinker too cold to relax in?

  66. I just found you from NaDa Farm...Oh be still my beating heart. I love your lil home/studio, gardens, and that tinker cottage in the snow! Beautiful beautiful beautiful! I am so inspired. and am a new follower. ox`kerrie


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~Donna Reyné