Teacher, author and illustrator.

Jan 272014

colorful readers with book!

by Loretta  Hayward
I love everything about good books beautifully bound!

portrait of girl reading
I even love the paintings of people reading books!!

My love for books was a gift to me from my parents
who read books aloud to me and my brother!

christmasstoryThe stories read at Christmas time to the family are my favorite ones today!
Father faithfully read God’s Word to us daily and set our feet on the right paths.

2 children  in the reading chairI love the feeling of holding a beautiful bound book in my lap.

read to little brotherOne of my favorite illustrators,
Jessie Wilcox Smith, illustrates childhood so beautifully!

lady reads treasured bkWhile we lose ourselves in the books we read
we may find ourselves there too!

I love to touch the pages and feel the texture of the paper as I turn  and  explore each one. The scent of the book becomes part of the book’s unique  imprint on my mind. The title, the author, the characters of the story all begin to live and speak to me. The all begin to teach! The illustrations must be accurate to the story and reinforce the adventure’s importance. My hunger to meet real people that have depth of character sharing their  joys, sorrows, and vast experiences with me is more than a gift of love and adventure!
I believe good books are like great friends when they put more heart and purpose into our life!

reading under the tree

Good books can be building blocks  for the learning and making of good people! People filled with good thoughts, wisdom and love for others are also people full of good deeds and walk a path worth following!!

readers made on mom  s lap

Wonderful people have touched my life as I was growing up!  I wish that some of those lives could have been put into print and illustrated so that I may introduce my children to them and their wonderful love for life, their family, home and country!  Family photographs and albums are treasuries and precious reminders of good times spent together. They can so easily be lost as memory fails and  times fade away. The next generation may have features of parents and even grandparents,  with a similar voice and familiar gestures that bring loved ones to mind and warms the heart again!

reading bby jessie smith“We can double the joy of a good story every time we share it!”

(I hope these thoughts I have shared  will  increase your desire to read books that are going to enrich your life and the lives of others that you share them with!   Thank you for respecting our copyright.  Quotations other than my own are properly punctuated and credited with the name of their author. )

“Some books are so familiar that reading them is like being home again!”
Louisa May Alcott

Interview With Joe Gagnon Fox 21

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Jan 152014

          It is amazing how much happens in a year or even a few months! I want to share a few pictures that were taken when Fox 21 reporter Joe Gagnon andSummer  (the camera lady) met  us for  “live”  broadcasting  and  8 interviews!    My son Ronald and I enjoyed meeting with  Joe and his wife Summer and introducing them to some of our rabbits that we raise here at Garden Gate Rabbit Park.            Yes, we were excited!

Set Up Time!

Set Up Time!

         The Fox21 van was parked and the satellite equipment mounted on top was extended during the setup.

A quick picture before we are "on TV"

A quick picture before we are “on TV”

 I set up my camera off to the side on a tripod to get some photos made between each broadcasting. My photos show details not included in the filming made by the TV camera that Summer  was using.  Our rabbits were very entertaining  and  Mindy one of our English Lop rabbits is posing in front of Joe.  He really enjoyed  the rabbits whether we were “on the air” or off!

Summer  and Joe meet Mindy our English Lop.

Summer and Joe meet Mindy our English Lop.

     Summer and Joe liked feeding the rabbits as you can see and met  six of our rabbits that were different breeds.    They saw firsthand how much our bunnies liked all the special attention as well as the fresh violets that the rabbits enjoyed nibbling every opportunity that they could get!

Ronald introduces Spike our Flemish Giant.

Ronald introduces Spike our Flemish Giant.

     Ronald told about our Flemish Giants and Spike is posing in the picture waiting for his turn to talk “on the air”  as Joe holds the mic.  Spike would have been much more interested if the mic was edible!

     We enjoy sharing with people news, various humorous experiences we have had raising rabbits,  our extraordinary work raising different rabbit breeds and dressing the bunnies for picture taking time.  The various events we attend give people time to meet  a lot of rabbits.  A variety of information is shared through our educational programs, various slideshows and presentations!  These unforgettable  experiences  make lifelong impressions!

Jul 092013

Roses in a silver pitcher.
Roses short or with long stem,
Rose teapots or cups and saucers
Blissful treasures where I find them!
Loretta Hayward

There are so many ways we can bring roses into our homes.
Every loving deed and kindness can change a plain room into a sunny garden!

“Some roses are red
white, yellow or pink
Any rose color
Is lovely I think!”

“Bloom where you are planted!
God has plans for you today~
A fragrant blossom along life’s pathway
Cheers and brightens the passageway.”

Have a wonderful Day!

~  Loretta

Oct 312012

Joys of the Shop Hop!
Gloria & I had the rare privilege to take two dear friends ( we hadn’t seen for a year) on their first Shop Hop!
We headed for Heirlooms and Comforts Quilt Shop in Central, SC. The hour traveling was spent sharing family news, current projects and laughing with the girls over their college memories. Inside the shop quilts we enjoyed gazing at the beautiful variety of quilts that were displayed like fine art pieces on the wall for everyone to admire.



 I kept busy with my camera taking pictures and close-up shots of the quilt blocks in batik and stunning embroidery embellishments.

We enjoyed  refreshments, had our passports stamped,
a gift package of needles given to each of us, and made special purchases
of thread and a book of William Morris quilt patterns before leaving.
This autumn quilt hangs in Franklin, NC at Deb’s Cats & Quilts!
When you go to Franklin there are two wonderful quilt shops with totally different fabric lines, themes, kits, and notions!

We are now at the Quilt Cottage in Inman, SC.
The friendly ladies that work there have wonderful samples and quilts to see in several rooms.
I have bought many fabrics here too! Part of the joy of sewing is working with beautiful and quality fabrics!

The Viking Quilt Shop was also a favorite stop. The Shop Hop Quilt was amazing and finding the Morris tapestry fabrics by Moda -a wish come true!! We all were able to choose fat quarters of fabric for our free gifts at the next 3 shops where our eyes feasted on bright fabrics and new craft patterns!! The day was so eventful we plan to shop hop together again!

Oct 172012


 Our Vacation on Mackinac Island! 
The seagulls are first to greet you as you arrive at the island docks!



Our luggage is sent on ahead to the Bed & Breakfast where our reservations were made months in advance! We decided to stay in one of the most historic homes. We start up Main Street and try out our  “land legs”  now that we havestepped off the ferry!    

Many visitors come to the island every year and if they do not bring a bike they will probably rent one sometime during their stay to pedal around the whole island! 
I will be stopping often to take pictures! I love the flower gardens, the history and quaint victorian homes everywhere!

 Yards are kept so neat! The vivid colors of all the flowers hold you spell bound! I could sit all afternoon in this yard and gaze!  We must move on and capture the sights !

 On the Island!

 Part of the delightful island experience is that there are not any cars or motorized vehicles here! Really! That cuts down on the noise, smog, and congestion quite a lot! The horses are available to rent, a buggy, or bicycle are also for hire. Many will walk the sidewalks and stop at various shops, vendors, entertainments &  historic sites along the wayside.


 The homes are so sunny and are a welcome sight too!

A pair of grays pull the carriage headed for the Grand Hotel!  Everywhere we look is so picturesque.

Ah….another beautiful home!  A true rock garden!  This is worth a closer look…I am always getting ideas for my gardens.

The side streets must be explored as time allows!
A fine china shop! Oooh this will be a wonderful stop on the way back!
Maybe I will show you some of the lovely purchases that I made-it was as wonderful as I had anticipated!
I found a beautiful bone china pitcher with a blue chintz pattern from England!

The weather changed throughout the day and  we missed a brief rain shower while we were busy exploring a shop!

As we headed up to the Bluffs we  pedaled over the wet pavement passing the Grand Hotel, golf course, and stables.  This will be much more fun when we come back and travel down hill!

The view is always worth the trip uphill!  Along the Bluffs are some famous historic houses.


We also visited the fort! 


The view from the Island fort was spectacular!

There was plenty to learn and  enjoy.

Those re-enacting life at the fort were very talented.

The museums had great displays. Seeing pictures of the development of the island was impressive too!

The buggy museum was so interesting!  Is this a fancy covered sleigh or what?

It is amazing where you can find relatives. Looks like some of my kinfolk!

  Our days passed quickly! The day of our departure was cloudy and we were glad to be heading home to the sunny south!

Oct 172012

Garden Blooms

Whether you visit a garden or create a flower garden spot of your own
the beauty and benefits of your labors will speak to your heart
in ways that words will fail to say! 
Take time to linger among the blossoms.
All the blooms face the sunshine and grow in loveliness wherever they are planted.
Their beauty transforms a common place into a paradise.

In my opinion beauty speaks in a language all its own!

 When you surround yourself with flowers the lovely fragrance
is the scent of beauty.


Enjoy the natural beauty and  pure simple pleasures again.
Life is a gift we unwrap each and every day!



The most beautiful gifts are from God!

Would you call them blessings?

Behold the beauty of a thankful heart! 


Oct 152012

I love America and I hope it shows! Our land has a wonderful history, beautiful countryside, and amazing people! The people that love America have never tried to change this country because they labor to strengthen and help it thrive and prosper! Our God’s blessings upon us for over 200 yrs., our liberties & choices, resources and inventiveness have been the envy of the world. Our privilege to clear our land, establish a home and raise our children to love God and our country opens up marvelous opportunites! Our hearts overflow with gratitude and thanksgiving for the multitudes of families that blazed the trails of freedom so that my family could know peace and what “Home Sweet Home” really means!
Our garden work and developing our family business is a constant challenge. We decided long ago that we would work with local families & businesses to maintain and support the finest quality and workmanship that is produced here in our state and country! We have companies in the USA worth our loyalty and support.

Oct 042012

It is amazing where one can find inspiring ideas! Many times I look for small print fabrics to help create miniature bonnets or a cute pinafore for my bunnies to wear. Stopping at a quilt shop is a great source of help! People do not know what they are missing when they pass by a quilt shop! I was especially fascinated by the clever use of a particular sewing basket on display…so I got permission and took this photo! An enchanting miniature sewing room! In my world of rabbits we often work in miniature too! I find unlimited enjoyment working with my rabbits whether trying the new bonnets on them or fitting a custom made dress. Of course that is just the beginning. Preparation are made for taking pictures of them next for those moments that the rabbits very briefly pose! Of course bunnies sniff about and sample the nearby flowers. There are sudden bursts of excitement which result in bunny leaps and flights about the flowers or potted plants! The merriment is meant to be shared! So my new note cards and calendar will bring our smiles to you so that you may share them too!

Sep 242012

Meet Miss Poppins!
Posing by our  impatiens blooms is Miss Poppins, our Jersey Wooly.  Of course our rabbits like to look their best for pictures! This is one of over 50 pictures taken during the photo session. It is important to change positions of the rabbit to get pictures with a variety of views. Some views do not have as many blossoms, or the rabbit may start exploring or stop to wash their paws. We never know what to expect!
It is fun to fix a “hare”-do. Thankfully our Jersey Woolies have wonderful fiber fur that is easy to care for and seldom needs brushing. Miss Poppins will not need a hat today. How would you like the polka dot bow? The red one looks great! Can bunnies get any cuter??  I  have an idea. I am going to sketch her picture and maybe make a watercolor illustration!
We enjoy raising many different rabbits here at our rabbit Park. The Jersy Wooly is one of our smaller dwarf rabbits breeds.  This has been a very eventful week with 2 litters born and visitors coming to our park now that the weather is cooler!

Aug 042012

Taking the bunnies on a hayride is more then fun ’cause the little rascals like eating the hay too! Putting all 5 rabbits in the wagon was a little too crowded so we decided they needed to take turns. The Thriantas were content to enjoy the hay and climb on the bales. The Dutch wanted to see more and the runt of the litter was the first bunny to jump off the wagon to explore under it! Just like kids! Well to make pictures even more special-I decided to put bandanas on the bunnies! Can cute bunnies look any cuter??