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Al Young Studios Newsroom
Floral arrangements Articles


May Day and maidens

By Al R. Young For the third year straight, we received another delightful bouquet from our angelic, anonymous May Day benefactress.  
While thinking of angels, we remembered this under-quoted piece of verse from the rather angelic Godey's Lady's Book editor, Sarah Hale (most famed as the author of Mary Had a Little Lamb--and speaking of under-quoted, we've always loved the fifth verses best:  "What makes the lamb love Mary so?" /The little children cry-/ "O Mary loves the lamb, you know," / The teacher did reply:")... Read more »

Tags: 2013, Floral arrangements, Flowers and garden, Holidays


Goodbye summer! Back to school

By Nancy Young
Kate Douglas Wiggin and her sister, Nora Archibald Smith, have been our companions all summer long.  While reading Kate's autobiography, My Garden of Memory and Nora's biography Kate Douglas Wiggin As Her Sister Knew Her, our home has been filled with dinner-table stories of Kate's early sallies into the Kindergarten movement, community theater at Quillcote's Barn, or her chance meeting with Charles Dickens on a New England train.  We've quoted their quips and read long sections aloud to any passerby—quite as besotted with Kate and Nora as they were with Dickens... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 5, 2012, Floral arrangements, Home quotes, Recipes by Nancy Young, Recommended reading


Catching up

By Nancy Young
 Though it's a month since the most recent issue of The Storybook Home Journal, Our Mutual Friend, wended its way through the US Posts, it's been way too long since we caught up posting sans that venerable institution, so here's what we hope will present a reasonably creditable reparation. We didn't have space to include Elspeth's water-colored label that we used in our own version of clearing Old John Harmon's mounds, so we send it in its easy-to-download form here for anyone's personal use--whether gardening is involved or not... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 12 No. 4, 2012, Beauty and home, Floral arrangements, Flowers and garden, Recipes by Nancy Young


Happy May Day

By Al R. Young
While men cultivate flowers below, God cultivates flowers above;  He takes charge of the parterres in the heavens . . .   ~Henry David Thoreau

Our valiant and anonymous May Day phantom sent another luscious bouquet yesterday, and our sole means of thanks is to share their beauty with all of you.  A happy and flower-filled May (of both the garden and heavenly variety) to all you from all of us at The Storybook Home Journal!... Read more »

Tags: 2012, Floral arrangements, Flowers and garden, Holidays


Spectacular speculaas

By Al R. Young "If you would live a beautiful life have a beautiful farm," though not a precise quote from the Shakers, is certainly a concept they would have empathized with.  It is just as certainly a description of the world Carol Cordiale shares with her husband in their country acreage in historic upstate New York--as Carol describes it, situated "on a rise nestled between two hills with a brook flowing from East to West."  Together they have long cultivated an herb and cottage flower garden, raised sheep and goats, and even opened a little wool shop where, for a few years, Carol could sell the yarns she spun from the wool she gathered from her Nubian and Angora goats, and her llama, "Tommy-Hawk... Read more »

Tags: Vol. 4 No. 3, Vol. 12 No. 1, 2012, Floral arrangements, The Veranda


A touch of spring

By Al R. Young Krista, a dear friend and Storybook Home reader, brought us this glorious touch of Spring from her carefully tended garden. They added the perfect touch to the kitchen mantle and, in turn, we wanted to share their beauty with our readers. These "Pink Impression" tulips put us into the same frame of mind expressed by Monet: "I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."
(Painting, right, by Claude Monet.)... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Beauty and home, Floral arrangements, Flowers and garden


Summer in January

By Al R. Young January in Utah can mean light skiffs of snow, blizzards or seemingly endless temperature inversions with foggy, smoggy days. Every summer when the flax blossoms are scattered through the wildflower garden, we cut and put them into arrangements, like this one tucked inside our entryway fireplace—but we also let them stand in place to dry and drop some seed. Even if they get a bit disreputable looking amongst the fresh-blowing blooms of July, it ensures us new flax for ensuing Junes, and also gives us fat bunches of dried flax to brighten winter days indoors... Read more »

Tags: 2010, Floral arrangements