Saturday, March 21, 2009

Delightful Site

*This site* was sooo much fun to see that I must share it. It all began with a Google search for swans. I never expected to find all these delights plus this swan. What an incredible doll maker!

By the way, Easter is on its way and last year I made bunny rabbits for the grands. If anyone sees something sweet and doable, please share. I'll thank you in advance.

Enjoy your weekend, Dear One!

*Pictures used by permission of the artist Tamar Mogendorff

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Proper Centerpiece and a Beautiful Gift

It's that season once again known as the dreaded tax season. My dining room table has been a fright show with papers piled here and there. Plus there was much shredding to be done. The only decoration was the tray of vitamins and salt and pepper shakers. Not a charming look. Fine for a kitchen table, but not so fine for the main table in the home.

After I visited LaTeaDah at Gracious Hospitality and read her post entitled Centerpieces ala Spring, I received fresh insight into why it's important to have a beautiful centerpiece on the dining table. I promised myself that once that chore of paper pushing was complete I'd be able to do my table right.

By late afternoon, most of the shredding was complete, most of the bills had been paid, and most of the paperwork had been properly filed. When I opened my mail, I found further reason to get it together because my gift from Karen Harvey Cox @ A Scrapbook of Inspiration had arrived.

This gift is very special to me because it was given at a difficult time for Karen and her girls. They were about to lose a precious family friend named Dapper. Karen was following a lesson her mother had taught her that in difficult times one gives a gift. Talk about an amazing life lesson. It's one that I won't forget. Thank you, Karen, for your generosity in a grieving season.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Potato Peeling 101

Last night found me trying this new method of peeling potatoes. I first saw it on a Japanese site a few years ago and promptly forgot about it until... Well first the photo showing me peeling a potato.

Yes, I test everything I present to you. The point is that it really does work! You can see Dawn Wells do it even better on the video clip from You Tube. It's less than two fascinating minutes long. (The other fascinating thing is that Miss Wells was born in 1938. Sigh.)

When it comes time to making potato salad, I hope that I remember this one. Oh wait! I don't peel my potatoes for potato salad. Hmmm, this may just work to amaze your friends the way the banana trick did.

Heading off to do a little dance of joy that winter is so nearly done... Perhaps you'll be doing a happy dance, too!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What in the World is Going On?

Things are happening in the oak grove next door just in case you don't think that anything ever happens around here. What would give you that idea anyway? Is it because I never have anything exciting to report? No matter, all of that has changed as of last Saturday when two people were discovered hugging a tree on my neighbor's back lawn. I could not imagine what they were up to. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Hmmm, still not quite close enough...

Ahhh, I see a bucket! Huh? What?

This one's almost full...

So this oak grove that I've been living in for over 15 years is really a bunch of maples? Where did all those squirrels and acorns come from? What kind of maple syrup does oak sap make?

Guess that I've been laboring under some false impressions. I do that a lot it seems. How about you?

Have a fun Wednesday! I think I'll go call my neighbor...

ETA: Mystery solved...see my comment in the comment section.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Feel Irish

Wishing you all a Happy St. Patty's Day. I'm wearing a sign today that says "Kiss me, I think I'm Irish."

I wish that I were making Pat's Irish Stew, but instead I'm making Campbell's Creamy Potato Soup.

Creamy Irish Potato Soup

From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

Serves: 5
This rich and creamy potato soup is subtly flavored with celery and green onions. It's the kind of soup you'll want to savor slowly...even though it's ready in just 35 minutes.


2 tbsp. butter
4 medium green onions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth OR Natural Goodness™ or Certified Organic Chicken Broth
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
3 medium potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups milk


HEAT butter in saucepan. Add onions and celery and cook until tender.
ADD broth, black pepper and potatoes. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 15 min. or until potatoes are tender.
PLACE half the broth mixture and half the milk in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining broth mixture and remaining milk. Return to saucepan. Heat through.


Of course, I'll bake soda bread, too. I wish that I were baking Carol's. Mine will be a less tasty version I can tell already.

Just wanted to share a photo I took last night of a certain husband wearing a different shirt. One of my commenters, who'll remain unnamed, suggested that my hubby's wearing the same shirt in every photo was more the photographer's fault. Well I never!

In case you missed the wall hanging velcroed on the piano, I did pop it into yesterday's post at the end. My niece says that she'll give me four songs and I can do a poll and she'll practice and then I can take a video for my blog. What a fun offer! I'm going to take her up on it, too.

Well, I'm off to find a Swede who feels like being Irish for today so I can give him a big kiss. Have a great day!

Photo Source: Dover Publishing

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Gift for My Niece

Over the weekend I worked on the project for my niece's birthday. It's been one of those things that came together so slowly and was so vague that I feared whether it would come together at all. Flea market visits were always made with "the project" in mind and several purchases were made that were not used in the end...a daffodil plate, a small vintage bottle, some lace; they'll get used in other projects, I'm sure.

It began with the gathering of quotes using my niece's favorite singers and tossing in one that I especially loved.

I used Dawn's method and can't recommend the purchase of her tutorials enough...$10 is a bargain for all the information one receives. I'd have had to take a class to find all these tips.

I know that these sorts of images can be done on PhotoShop, but I don't know enough about PhotoShop to accomplish it. The photo above is a sheet of my music with cut images from other sources...both The Feathered Nest and The Vintage Moth, I believe. I literally copied them and printed them and cut them by hand and placed them on the sheet music and scanned them into the computer. It took forever! Good thing that my beloved was reading to me all the time. His voice is so soothing.

Then I played with the layout. At first, I thought that I'd be using painter's cloth for the background, but in a moment of serendipity when I was using placemats from the table for a size reference, I thought to purchase a placemat and alter it. This helped tremendously.

That vintage birthday card is the one that I also tucked into the pocket. Doesn't it look like a great March birthday card for my location? P.e.r.f.e.c.t. Even the quality of the light is the same and the level of snow and every little thing about it.

Yes, that's my favorite quote, which I stitched front and center. I also tucked a quote made into a bookmark into the pocket made from a crocheted doily or antimacassar. I created some tabs to hang the entire piece by and in the end this is how it turned out...

My niece is a very special gal who taught herself how to play the guitar and the piano. She had taken a few lessons as a child, but had hated them. Even though she sounded great, she really wanted to know how to play the piano properly so began taking lessons over a year ago. She found a teacher who respected her talent and ability to play along with her need to know the basics. It's been a great combination and I'm very proud of her. She says that she is going to hang this on the end of her piano and use it to hold some of her music notebooks. I'd love to see how she's planning that and if I ever get a photo of it, I'll add it to this post.

Thanks for visiting me today! Have a wonderful Monday...

Edited to Add:

Nothing that a little velcro can't handle!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

~Frederick M. Lehman

Some weeks ago, God and I were having a rough go of it. Strike that. I was having a rough go of it and took God along for the ride. I spent an entire morning speaking ill of the Father. (This is going to shock a few of you.) I said things like "God doesn't care. God doesn't come through when we need Him. He never has done a thing when I've asked him to. He always takes His own sweet time." And on and on I went. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't faith-filled.

Somewhere in the middle of my rant, I heard that still small voice. You'll be surprised at what it said, but first let me say why I think that a still small voice was heard in the first place. I don't often hear it; it never sounds like anything that I would say or think; and it redirects my racing, stinking thinking. It's always so quiet that it amazes me I can hear it at all given my whirling thoughts.

Okay, this is what the voice said: Say 'You.'

Me: Say what?

The Voice: Say 'You.'

Me: Okay, I don't get it.

The Voice: Say You. Talk directly to me.

Me: Ahhhh...

"You don't care. You don't come through when I need You. You never do anything when I need You to. You always take Your own sweet time."

Only thing is, I didn't get past "You don't care." My hard heart was melted like snow. He allowed me to know smack in the middle of my complaints that He did care. Has my situation changed? No. Do I think that it will? Yes, it must. Do I believe that God has my best interests at heart and is on the case? Absolutely.

Listen for that still small voice. You may be surprised by what He has to say to you today.