Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tasha Tudor

The first Recipe post for my Sunday Supper with Tasha Tudor will be posted Monday evening due to a weekend that was out of control busy!  Life is what happens when we are busy making plans.
Please stop back.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Infectious Laughter...

Have you ever bee tickled to the point of uncontrolable laughter?
I was at a resturant recently having lunch.  It is a tiny place that has homemade food and a family atmosphere.
Anyway, as I was eating and journaling ideas in my little pocket journal a couple came in with three children.
They were obviously grandparents with treasured little ones.  Well, to make a long story short, one of the boys started to giggle that soon turned into belly rolling laughter!   The younger brother was so captivated by his brother's inability to stop laughing he joined in!  Now, before we knew it the little sister joined in and the grandparents were a bit embarrassed.until I started to laugh with them.  Before we knew it everyone in the place was laughing together! The cook, the waitress everyone was struck with their infectious laughter! The real remarkable thing about this experience was everyone LET GO! The grandparents were no longer upset, and everyone just enjoyed the joyful, wonderful raucous laughter!  It changed the whole complection of my day and was an awesome reminder that life is too short to live it all bunched up in the daily grind that can sometimes get the best of us.
Have you had a good belly rolling laugh lately? 
 Go ahead LET GO!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cooking with Tasha Tudor

Welcome! I am home and relaxing for a moment. Help yourself to a cup of coffee or tea and join me.

This little treasure is in fact an artful creation done by my friend Judy.  It sits on the counter in our kitchen by our coffee pot.  It tickles me.  I keep encouraging her to create mini versions for dollls and dollhouses and am selfishly hoping she will be inspired to do so soon. :)

I have been thinking alot about my blog and the things I have been sharing.  I'd like to do something unique for me. This may not necessarily appear unique for others but inspired by the fim and book, Julie and Julia",  I have decided to cook my way through Tasha Tudor's Cookbook.  I am going to do one meal per week using her recipes one at a time.  I will do the meal for Sunday's dinner and share the results in a post on Sunday evenings.
This beautiful cookbook was a treasure I uncovered at the bottom of a box lot at an auction I attended this past summer.  The box had books, paper products and a few pieces of pottery.  I bid $4.00 and the box of goodies was mine! You can only imagine how excited I was to uncover her book.
I look forward to your visits and to cooking from Tasha Tudor's Cookbook.
What's cooking in your kitchen?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Organization= Comfort and Peace

As you will soon find out I decided to begin the organization project and am having fun doing it. The organization project is truely underway!  I have created a mess but as time goes on the fruits of my labor should become evident.  The challenges presented are many. This room is 14'x 16' and must serve multiple activities.  This is not an unusual dilemma for apartment dwellers but none-the-less a dilemma.
I started with the closet and placed all the things we use only on rare occassions neatly on the top shelves.  Then I went through every piece of clothing I own!  All my tops went to an upper hanging bar on the right side of the closet and then all the sweaters, skirts, pants and dresses were hung to the left.  I had 18 empty hangers when this phase was completed.  I took those items to my local clothing resale shop and 2 bags of miscellaneous purses and such went to the charity shop.  Also, I am loving the wooden hangers!

The wash basket fits nicely on the floor and my case for the laptop and my shoes are tucked neatly to the far right.  The shoes are contained in 2 hanging shoe organizers. (purchased at St. Vincent's for 1.00 each)
Organization is good but so is saving money!

I need someplace to put all our office supplies, craft supplies and sewing notions so I opted for photo boxes that I will label when I finish sorting and filling each.

Glue, tape , and fasteners in one spot!

Paints and brushes for current projects that are underway.  A shelf in the garage holds materials and supplies not currently in use.  Saves time running the stairs to get a paint color or brush I might need.

I've lightened the load on the selves to have space for the storage boxes.
I have work to do yet but it feels good to be in the process of making life more comfortable and efficient in  our little home.
Have a blessed and fruitful day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Queen for a Day Continues...

It is 7:30 and I am on my second cup of coffee.  I would normally be at the door of my classroom greeting students as we settle in to begin our day.  However, weather has made it impossible for the school buses to run safely.  The roads are all ice covered and extremely dangerous to navigate.  So, I am home and need to decide how I'm going to spend my day.

I could spend the day being creative.  I have sewing projects underway, new dollhouses to assemble, button jewelry designs to execute, and fairy dolls to take off the sketch book pages and bring to life.

Then there is the whole organization project I have planned.  What"s a girl to do?

I could skip all the other ideas and write.  I love to write annd am in the midst of a project.
I am currently writing a story about a young girl who has grown up on a farm, lost her parents, and has to cope with the loss of her parents and the home she has known, moving to the city, living with an aunt and uncle she barely knows, and all the pressures that teens are confronted with today.

I could play with the dog and just do nothing!  I'll let you know how my day unfolds later.
For now let me wish you a day filled with activity you can immerse yourself in having the best day ever!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Queen for a Day

I had the day off to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.  I honored Doctor King's memory by reading about his life, planning an activity for my students to do tomorrow and clearly understanding that each of us has a contribution to make to this world.  What do I give, what can I give?  It may not be in the way that Doctor King moved people to achieve the dream of equal rights for all men but I can contribute.  I will work to give of myself and to be of service to those that touch my life.
On a less serious note...I have decided that I could be
"Queen for a Day"!

The position of status may be a bit over dramatic but I did spend the better part of the day doing things because I wanted to not because I had to.  I started the morning doing my schoolwork, lesson plans, and such in my pj's!  The mid-morning brought time for a walk and a breath of fresh air.  It is fascinating how my thoughts flow as I walk quietly taking in what's around me.  It was about 30 degrees but I was bundled up so I didn't mind.  After arriving home I proceeded to put the final touches on packing the remainder of the Christmas decorations and Hubby was kind enough to carry them to their resting place in the garage.
Lunch, blog visits and a baking adventure!  I made two pear tarts, I've never made them before so it was an experiment to say the least.

I started with a pie crust round in a glass pie plate, filled the center, folded the crust over and baked it at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  It was a yummy dessert.

Recipe: Diane's Pear Tart
2 Crusts-homemade or your favorite store brand

4 pears-peeled and sliced (be sure to remove the center core)
Mix the cinnamin,sugar and lemon juice with the pears-set aside while preparing your crust
1/3 cup sugar
1tsp cinnamin
1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Mound the filling onto the crust-fold the sides over and bake
at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Serve warm by itself or with ice cream!
Yield: two tarts
It was a very rustic, satisfying dessert.

After baking and putting chili in the crock pot I grabbed a cup of tea, my current read, and sat down in our office/guest room/ craft room/ everything else room and I became completely distracted by the clutter and disfunction.  Note to self- Get organized!

It seems that this is the time of year when I get this feeling of angst
over too much stuff and no space.  But where there's a will there's a way!

Before I jump in I need a plan so I got out my notebook and started making lists and sketches of furniture layouts.

Step one: declutter

Step two: determine what will be donations, sold, or shared with someone who needs the item

Step three: decide on furniture placement

Step four: figure out new ways of storing the things I use most often and those things that only come out occassionally

Step five:  Sit back and enjoy the new space!

This is an aggressive undertaking and I need to do this
in a way that doesn't drive me crazy!

Ideas are always welcome! 
What are your favorite organizing tips? 

With that I'll wish you a wonderful day. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frosty Morning, Hearts and All that Makes Us Unique

As we got ready to go to church and grocery store we had no idea what it was doing as we slept.  Much to our surprise the trees were glazed with ice and snow.  The ice was not heavy (freezing fog according to the weatherman) but it gave surface for the snow that appeared to look just like glitter.  So pretty...although sometimes too long winter does share it's beauty.  The picture does not do it justice.

As we arrived home our neighbor stopped over to deliver a package we missed yesterday.
The dollhouse kits have arrived! I can hardly wait to open the boxes and get started.
I think I will do the merchantile first.

The heart shaped boxes below were a purchase from a cute second hand store named "Ashury" run by the United Methodist Church.  I am thinking they will be the basis for a center piece for our table throughout February.  I be sure to share it when completed.

I have much to be grateful for and am going to do something that was suggested in the sermon today.
We are to be the unique person God created and share our unique qualities with those we encounter.
What makes me unique will be my meditation for the day.

What makes you unique?

"Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren't any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn't be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life's challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person."
                                                                                                        R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Buttons, Flowers, and Words of Wisdom

A beautiful mantra that will start my day.  I am posting this inspirational quote in a little frame and it will be at home on my nightstand.  So as I turn to get out of bed it will be there to remind me to live my day with grace, humility, and faith in all that is good...

This arty photo of a blume on my favorite plant caught my attention.  I'm thinking a large scale painting.  Something to consider.

And then there is my latest button creation.

My day was full.  Teaching, meetings, chores, cooking, crafting, prayer and a quiet moment of meditation, phone calls, and oh my I'm getting tired !  So as not to fill this post with ramblings I will acknowledge my gratitude for all the wonderful moments that made my day and wish you a terrific Thursday.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dollhouses Come in All Shapes and Sizes

I have become infatuated with the whole idea of creating dollhouses.  I have just about completed my second house and am waiting for two one room house kits to arrive.  A surprise from Hubby John the other day.  He was watching me explore the net for a new project and low and behold he ordered not one but two!  I had showed him pictures of the kit done up and mentioned how it would be fun to create a mercantile and maybe a bakery. (It will have to be a fusion of French and Polish desserts and breads.I must honor both our heritages.)  The book pictured below is a find I picked up awhile back for 10 cents at our local Salvation Army.  I pulled it off the shelf last night to read a bit.  We are setting aside at least one evening each week where the TV is off and we read. (Loving it because I just don't get enough time to read for pleasure.)  Anyway, I was taken by the photo on the cover.  Transform a bookcase into a dollhouse; what a fabulous idea!  I will have to start hunting for just the right one.

I apologize for the picture quality my camera (or the operator) is just not working well.  The exposures just don't look focused and crisp. But you can at least get the idea.  Isn't it fun!  I can just imagine decorating for the changing seasons and holidays throughout the year.

This is another favorite.  Remember the old woman who lived in the shoe?  This is a permanent display but oh so cute! The entire scene is enclosed in a glass sided box that is a lamp base. I simply must go shoe shopping.
Hope you are having a day filled with discovery, creativity, and fun!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tiny Little Faces

I was at the Saint Vincent DePaul Store today and found these beautiful little tins.  They are about 1" in diameter and have such pretty pictures.  I am sure inspiration will invite creativity and who knows what they might be transformed into.  Time will tell... 

Magnets, pendents, pins, ornaments, ring boxes, oh my the possiblities are endless!

What would you create?

And the House Becomes a Home...

As you can see the decorating has begun.  I have the major pieces in place and it is now time to make curtains, and add those little touches that help make a house a home.  The kitchen cupboard needs dishes and maybe some fruit for the little silver plate.  The livingroom needs a reading lamp, and the bed needs pillows and a coverlet.

Notice the little visitor on the railing...

The bench for ready for the garden.

The neighbors have come to pay a visit.  It must be a very chilly day.

The mail box is hung and the vines have begun to wrap the porch rails.

These little pots (1" tall) will hold plants to flank the porches.

And as you can see the coach has arrived at the house could he be bringing news from a far off friend?

And the house begins to become a home!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Buttons, wire, and a little creativity...

This was really a fun project.  Buttons, chain, wire and "Wa La"...funky jewelry.

Button Jewelry what a cool idea!  As you may have read earlier I made an awesome purchase of a ton of buttons.  I wanted to do something with them I've never done before...hence the jewelry experiment.
The above picture is the first necklace and earring set I've created.
It looks lovely on a black sweater.

My second piece is a bracelet.  I'm not quite sure if it's finished.  I may add a few smaller buttons for a fuller look ...I just don't know.
I think the next piece will be muticolored.  A long piece that can be wrapped around multiple times.
If you had a ton of buttons what would you create?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Like a Teddy Bear

Learn to listen like a teddy bear,
With ears open and mouth closed tight,

Learn to forgive like a teddy bear,
With heart open, not caring who is right,

Learn to love like a teddy bear,
With arms open and imperfect eyesight.

Have you hugged your Teddy Bear today?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My "Painted Lady" Dollhouse

Happy New Year!  I am bound and determined to finish All the projects I have started and there are many!
The first project on my list of many is the dollhouse I started and have not had the free time to complete.
With time off school for the Holidays I whittled out two days to work on little else but the dollhouse. It was a bit of a challenge in that there were no directions just the pictures of the parts and pieces. 

The box offered one suggestion, "Use the picture on the box as your guide."  That was it!  Not one other instruction offered.  So I got started by punching out every piece. (there were tons of them!)

Once all the pieces were punched out and identified I began painting.
I used three shades of blue, two shades of brown, and white.

Once the paint was dry I began assebling and gluing all the pieces together.

It began to take shape.

Some hours later the "Painted Lady" emerged.

                            With the exterior completed I will begin the process of furnishing the interior.
The rooms are not as large as I thought they would be but I think I can still come up with a cute finished house.  The remaining furnishings may require another house, Oh My!
As soon as the interior is completed I will be sure to share it.

How do you make your house a home?