Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Goblins here, just a Princess...

We don't really bother with Halloween in this house...I am a mean mummy and do not allow lil Sara to have candy of any sort, so there is no point in the Trick or Treat thing either....BUT we did take advantage of the costume aisle at Walmart to get her a Snow White Costume for her dress up box...If you can't tell by the picture she LOVES Snow White lol.

Hope yall had a wonderful weekend no matter how you celebrated it.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Decor - Homemade and Free

I am running a little behind this week for Show and Tell Friday, I had planned to share some great thrift store finds but they will just have to wait *wink* instead I am sharing what me and the girls put together this morning...

How pretty do these jars full of "prickly berries" look?...I was inspired yesterday by Olivia's Romantic Home blog (see my side bar for her link)...I do still intend to paint some pine cones...But Lil Sara and I got a little side tracked during our hunt for pine cones by these lovely spiky things (am sure someone will tell me what they are actually called lol) and came home with a red wagon full of both these and the pine cones.

If you look very closely they are different colors depending on how long since they fell from the tree...At first I thought we would be painting them also, but then once I noticed how pretty they are naturally.

I found some fall inspired fabric scraps in my sewing room add some green and brown ribbon, then suddenly 3 empty canning jars and some "prickly berries" are a fun start to my fall decor ...I grouped them all together on my kitchen bar with a birdhouse hand painted by lil Sara and a gorgeous black rooster I was supposed to send to my mum and recently found tucked away in a box...Oops sorry mum *grin*

A wider view of the kitchen bar...Notice I added some pine cones to my fruit basket that nests nicely under the heart shaped birdcage I found a few weeks back.

Close up of the pine cones and bird cage...On suggestion from Kari I am thinking I will be painting the birdcage hand rubbed bronze, which will match both my light fixtures and the kitchen hardware...I also want to add some wooden eggs to the cage....But that is a whole other project lol.

I balanced the other end of the kitchen bar with a wicker basket to "catch crap"... A dark wooden box for change and keys and hidden behind is the candle that is for now still decorated for spring lol...The candle is a must stay because of the frequency of power outages we have.

SO that's it, my fall decor...Oh I guess I should mention since I don't have a mantle the kitchen bar is my substitute.


Be sure to pop over to Cindy's for

Sharing piece of amazing artwork...

This piece is "fan art" was done by my eldest daughter and is called Sisterhood, inspired by the video game BIOSHOCK and features her interpretation of 2 of the main characters, Big Sister and Little Sister. She uses a drawing tablet and the SAI graphics program to create all her digital artwork.

I am sad to say that due to lack of funding none of the public schools my daughter attended offered Art Classes so she has never had any formal instruction. I have tried to impart some of what I learnt at art school to her but...well...she is my daughter and therefore does not listen to me lol...Everything she knows comes naturally...Her amazing sense of balance and composition, use of color to create drama and most impressive of all, her ability to create a sense of movement in all her pieces....What can I say, this girls natural gifts make me sick...Mummy Loves you Mouse *hugs*


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Festival 2010

Saturday Night was our Church's annual Fall Festival...Lots of fun and food was had by all.

Sara got her face painted like a Tiger...they had run out of black paint so brown and orange had to do...She did not mind and spent the rest of the evening "rowring" at everyone lol.

First Pony Ride...
I had to over come me fear of horses for this one...arg

First Hayride...
As you can see Daddy was not loving the hay part at all.

Near the end of the night, I am not sure if Sara had more dirt or paint on her face.

In the car going home...Look at the size of that red balloon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The sky is falling

I could not wait to share this October inspired gown... A total bonus of living in the country is the views of the night sky. Every year The Orionids Meteor Shower is visible to the naked eye from our front porch. As the earth passes thru the trail of debris left by Halley's Comet we are given an amazing sky show to enjoy...This week marked the peek of this event for 2010 and though this year visiblity was hindered by a full moon, I was inspired by the memories of viewing it in years past...

Now available for purchase on my website


Friday, October 22, 2010

What do you see?...It is all about the *RE*

It started 7yrs ago when hubby and his brother were doing a clean out and fixing to do a scrap metal run...(this is what car guys do when they are nagged enough about the "crap" around the yard...if you are lucky)

So BIL arrives with his contribution to the load, lo & behold he has a big ole Weber BBQ grill lid...Much to my hubbies horror I claim this and one of his many spare car rims.

I was like, look hunny a divine planter...
He was like, umm really??
I was like, yer YOU just got to paint it...

Fast Forward 7yrs later....Because yesterday it finally got painted lol

Not only is it really cute, add instant height and much needed eclectic cottage feel to the front garden....

But also much needed protection to the corner of the bed from the garden hose during watering.

Sharing today for

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crockpot meal - Braised Ribs in Tomato Gravy.

With the cooler weather moving in for most ppl in the northern hemisphere, it is time for some good old stick to your ribs, hearty meals....This recipe certainly fits the description, not to mention, what we are having for dinner tonight...I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do.


Braised Ribs in Tomato Gravy
Servings depends on size of rack of ribs…Average 2 or 3 ribs per person

Rack of Ribs ( Beef gives a good hearty flavor or you could use pork)
Salt – Pepper – All purpose seasoning
2 28oz Cans Crushed Tomatoes
2 large yellow onions (sliced thick)
2 or 3 smashed garlic gloves.
Mushrooms (prefer fresh but canned will do)
Olive Oil

2 cups of Cooked Rice...(cook this at the end to server with the ribs and gravy)

Cut ribs apart and rub down with salt, pepper and All purpose seasoning. In heavy pan ( I use cast iron) heat a dash of olive oil. In batches, sear ribs on all sides, placing in a platter when done.

Using same pan, lower heat and add another dash of olive oil, add sliced onion and garlic, cover and sweat for about 5 minutes. While the onions are sweating, peel mushrooms and cut in half. Increase heat and add mushrooms to onions and garlic, lightly brown.

Add onions, garlic and mushrooms to crockpot (or Dutch Oven)

Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes to the crockpot and stir in with other veggies.

Add Ribs crockpot and pour second can of crushed tomatoes over them to cover.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hrs or on high for 4 hrs.

30minutes before it is ready, taste for flavor, if not rich enough (pork ribs give a milder flavor) add one packet of brown gravy mix to ¼ of water and make a paste, add to crockpot…Increase heat to high.

Serve over cooked fluffy white rice….You might need to serve biscuits or crusty bread on the side to sop up the delicious gravy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tea with childhood friends...

Today I am sharing with yall a very special tea set...It was my first "real" tea set..But that just makes it special, what makes it VERY special is that it was a gift from my big brother to me for Christmas when I was just 7yrs old, (He was 11yrs old at the time)...It was a surprisingly thoughtful gift from the brother that was more inclined to ditch me walking home from school, than to spend his hard earned money on something so sweet....and because of that, it will always be my very favorite tea set.

The full set includes two more cups and another saucer all of which I left off the table since I only had two guests for tea today...(we will get to them in a moment)..It also has a sugar bowl that is currently somewhere buried with some of my Silkstone doll house props (makes a great vase for flowers in their dining room) and the lid to the teapot is also missing for the moment, but I am sure it will turn up as I unpack more boxes from my doll studio.

My guests and I have enjoyed many a cup of tea from this very set over the years.

This is "Dolly"...I am sure at one point I gave her a name but I have long forgotten it...She arrived that same Christmas from my older sister. My sister is 10yrs older than I and it would surprise me if she was not responsible for nudging my brother to give me the tea set...But back to Dolly...She was my first china doll and the beginning of my doll collecting...So I guess that would also make this doll the first step towards my career as a doll fashion designer....Goes to show, you just never know how a gift to a child could some day shape their future.

And Teddy...This lovely antique bear was given to me when I was just 9 months old, she had belonged to my Father's older sister and while our family was visiting that side of the family in Holland, this bear was waiting for me in the crib at Grandma's house...Teddy has fully jointed arms and legs and is stuffed with straw and we guestimate she is pushing 90yrs or more old...MUM will correct me if I am wrong :)

These scrumptious miniatures are handmade by a wonderful artist Dawn K Anderson whom I am honored to call a dear friend...She is so gifted in both painting and sculpture, her works of art can be found in doll collections around the can see her amazing work on her website

She signed each slice of cake...
To give you a better idea of the size, these pieces were actually created for Barbie size dolls.

I am so glad you could join me and my childhood friends for tea today...

We are also joining the following Tea Parties this week...

Rose Chintz Cottage & Inspirations - Tea Time Tuesday

Lady Katherine Tea Parlor - Tea Time Tuesday

Wander Lee and Pam's - Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday

and party Co-hosts:

Martha's Favorites - Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri, Artful Afirmations - Tea Cup Tuesday

Saturday, October 16, 2010

End of pear season...

Sara heading out to the clump of pear tree's in the hayfield behind our house.

The season is coming to an end and it is slim pickings now...
The birds and the squirrels have eaten well the last few weeks.

Now it is filled (almost) with the last of the pears, it's Mic's turn to carry the bucket home.

Good thing they taste better than they look lol.

Mic in the kitchen cooking up some of the pears in to a pear crumble...

I am still hoping to get some more pears from the neighbors Pineapple Pear tree before they are all gone too....Just not enough hours in the day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Country meets Runway

This little number is Shabby Chic Country meets the Runway...Inspired by so many of the lovely romantic blogs I have been enjoying while getting ideas for decorating my guestroom, I wanted to create a lovely romantic jacket, but since my "client/doll" is more inclined to want Runway ready High fashion with an edge, I blended the two and this was the result....

This fashion can be worn so many different ways for many different looks.

I love how all the layers work for a very fun eclectic feel...I had so much fun creating this look and have the bleeding fingertips to prove it *grin*

I know not everyone reading this collects dolls...Actually most of you probably don't...But if you would like to see more pics of the outfit you can visit my website

I am sharing this today

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turkey Sausage Rolls

Making an Aussie Classic with an American twist...

Like most Aussies who have moved away from the golden shores of OZ, there are certain "cuisine" we miss...And I am no different...Over the last decade I have slowly searched to find these Aussie staples at an affordable price here in the USA. I found a online place to order the black gold that is Vegemite (most other stuff too but often too pricey by the time I figure in shipping from CA to FL)...My mother delights us each Christmas with a packet of Tim Tams each and Walmart is now carrying a goodish range of Cadbury Chocolate (though sadly have stopped carrying Milo *sad face*)

Alas the baked goods that I have truly craved have eluded me...So, started my quest to find and tweak a recipe to my own satisfaction...Today I share with you one of my all time fave savory snacks...The Sausage Roll...I know some of you are wondering about replacing the pork/beef meet with turkey...This was purely on a whim because I like turkey and it worked really well and of course the fat content was greatly reduced making them just a little healthier...SO now on to the recipe.

Yields 12 Rolls
1 pound turkey sausage meat.
1 medium/small carrot
1 small onion
Dash of whipping cream
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 tsp Sage
1/4 tsp Curry powder
Pinch of Thyme
Pinch of Garlic

1 Sheet Puff Pastry - Cut into 3 equal lengths, longways.
1 Beaten Egg

Add meat, spices and bread crumbs to a mixing bowl.

Finely chop carrot and onion in food processor or grinder...Add the dash of cream to help loosen it from the sides then add to bowl also.

Using your finger tips only, gently combine all the ingredients. Divide into 3 even size balls.

On a floured cutting board roll out the puff pastry strips to make them wide enough to wrap around the filling.

Take each ball of filling and evenly spread into a long sausage on top of each pastry strip, roll pastry around filling with as much overlap as possible, brush with egg to join.

Cut each large roll into 4 even pieces, place join side down on large cookie tray lined with parchment paper....Use the tip of a pointy knife to make small slits into top of pasty...2 slits per roll should be enough...Brush tops with beaten eggs.

Bake in preheated 350degree oven for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest on a cake rack for 5minutes...
Serve with Ketchup and Enjoy


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pear Picking at the Neighbors

We arrived at the neighbors house early yesterday morning while it was still misty and cold, but that did not stop Sara from enjoying a quick swing before we got to work.

The trees are fully loaded

We quickly filled the bucket just from under one tree

Then 2 plastic shopping bags...
And still did not even begin to pick any fruit directly from the trees...
Today I hope to get them all in the freezer. Time permitting tomorrow we will go get some more...The neighbors tell me they have already put up 12 quarts.

I could not resist sharing this beautiful rose from Miss Lucilles garden...
I am a sucker for a yellow rose.

After all the swinging and fruit picking Sara decided it was nap time...
Hmmm me thinks she needs a bigger bed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bargin Price for my new Crockpot/Slowcooker *updated*

If you have read my blog before you will know I have a love affair with my crockpot, and if you read my wish list post last week, you would know I was wanting a new one...After 16+ yrs the large crockpot's heating element finally died, it was a sad day...Though the chickens did not mind as they got a pretty new ceramic water dish lol....Now I am fearful for my small (2.5 quart) upright one that I used for soups because I know it is also over a decade old.

Yesterday while in Walmart with hubby I wanted to show him a 5 quart crockpot that was on sale for just $16, as I was questioning if the bowl was big enough to do our favorite "Braised Beef Ribs in tomato gravy" recipe..Promise to share this recipe with yall soon...Well as luck would have it, there on the shelf above the 5 quart one was a 7 quart cooker for...are you ready for this...$9....Well needless to say, there was no question as to which one we purchased lol.

Even though today I had been planning to make Turkey burgers for dinner, I was just itching to try out the new crockpot....Of course for a test run, you want to start with something basic....
Couple of onions, 4 large Potatoes, 2 large sweet potatoes, garlic cloves and seasoning salt.

And a big old hunk of Pork

So in 8 to 9 hours we should have a delicious Pork Pot Roast for dinner...

The Pork was melt in your mouth scrumptious.
Two thumbs-up to the new crockpot.

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