Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Art of Sophie Anderson ~

I recently discovered the art of Sophie Anderson (1823-1903) while doing research online about another artist. I can't believe I'd never heard of her before, or saw any of her paintings, but I love her work! What's even more amazing is that she was largely a self-taught artist, except for a brief period when she studied portraiture with Charles de Steuben in Paris in 1843. Here are a few of my favorite paintings by her. I hope you'll enjoy them, also!

The Time of Lilacs

 Far Away Thoughts

Love in a Mist
Sophia Gengembre Anderson was born in Paris, but her family left France for the United States in 1848 to escape the Revolution. They first settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, then moved to Manchester, Pennsylvania. Later, Sophie married British artist, Walter Anderson. They lived in New York and London, but eventually retired to Falmouth, Cornwall, England, where Sophie died in 1903. Her husband passed away the same year.

The Turtle Dove

Reading Time

Picking Honeysuckle 

Opportune Moment
Until next time, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Trip to the Antiques Barn

My sister and I took a spur-of-the-moment drive on Monday and found ourselves at an antiques shop/barn filled to the brim with antique furniture, glassware, lamps, and almost any other type of vintage treasures you can imagine! It would actually take several trips to see it all. I loved this cast iron pig planter!

 A couple more pictures of the inside - this is only a tiny portion of what's there!

This is what I came home with - a set of two vintage tea cups/luncheon plates (crumpet set) - both for $5.00! They're stamped "Made in Italy" on the bottom, but no other markings. There's a tiny chip in one of the cups, but I bought them anyway because I just love the colorful design, the shape of the plates - I love everything about them!  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Autumn Tea Party ~

Autumn is here, and in some parts of the country, the weather is still warm enough for a fall-themed outdoor tea party. Whether outdoors or indoors, just a few changes to the d├ęcor and menu takes a traditional “tea” from summertime to autumn. Here’s some ideas for autumn-themed tablescapes to get you started. The really great thing about it is that a lot of the decorations are right outside your door - twigs and small branches, colorful leaves, acorns and pinecones. Add a few pumpkins and gourds and twinkling lights and you’ve set the mood for a seasonal autumn party that everyone will enjoy. Remember the main ingredient for any tea party: keep it simple, relax and have fun!

A couple of autumnal tea time recipes you may want to add to your menu:

Sweet Potato Scones:
  2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  2 teaspoons baking powder
  1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  3/4 teaspoon salt
  1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  1/3 cup cold butter
  1 egg, lightly beaten
  1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
  1/3 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, sweet potatoes and buttermilk; add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; with lightly floured hands, knead dough 10-12 times. Pat into an 8-in. circle. Cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place 1 in. apart on a baking sheet lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 16-21 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 8 scones.

Other seasonal menu ideas are slices of apple (dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.) Serve the apple with a sharp cheddar cheese or brie. Or, you may want to replace summertime traditional tea party favorites, like cucumber sandwiches, with an apple and cheddar sandwich:

1 crisp apple, Fuji is a good choice
Very sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin
2 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons spiced apple jam or jelly
Pinch of powdered cloves
4 slices thin white bread

Mix together the cream cheese, cloves, and spiced apple jam.
Spread on one side of all 4 slices of bread.
Arrange the sliced cheddar on 2 slices of bread.
Add the drained apple slices (sliced very thin)
Top with the remaining 2 slices of bread. Remove the crusts using a long thin sharp knife.
Cut them into quarters diagonally.
Makes 8 servings.

Until next time, enjoy your autumn tea-time party! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

"I Believe in Pink..."

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”  Audrey Hepburn

Pink represents youth, innocence and purity. It is considered the color of good health, thus we speak of being "in the pink." The color pink can induce feelings of relaxation and calm, acceptance and contentment. Pink gemstones promote love, self-worth and beauty.

Pink roses signify admiration, gentleness, grace, joy and sweetness.

I hope you enjoy all the "pinks!"  Until next time, Happy Pink Weekend!  Linking this to How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Change of Seasons

The look and feel of autumn is in the air! Mild sunny days and crisp, cold nights. Time for sweaters, scarves and putting an extra blanket on the bed at night.  My sister, niece and I took a leisurely drive on Saturday and stopped at a country farm market/pumpkin patch. I love the colors of fall! 

Here's more of what we found. Don't you just love these rusty old wagons and farm equipment filled with flowers and pumpkins?

Some of the more creative displays and even a fort made out of hay bales!

 Rimelspach Farm Market is located at the intersection of State Route 12 and State Route 53 in Fremont, Ohio. Until next time, wishing everyone a happy week!

I'm linking this post to Outdoor Wednesday on A Southern Daydreamer

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gourd-eous Gourds for Fall ~

I've been a gourd artist for approximately 12 years. I'd never even heard of them prior to that, except for the small, decorative ones to display in the fall. But, one day I picked up an instruction book at a local craft store about painting on hardshell gourds ~ and I was hooked! I call them "nature's canvas" and I love the organic feel of them in my hands as I work on them.  I'm starting to experiment with different styles and methods of painting them now, but here's a few pictures of some of the fun gourds I've painted for Halloween and Autumn.

Birdhouse gourd with sunflowers

...and, this is a bowl I made as a gift for a friend.

For anyone who isn't familiar with gourds, this is what they look like, fresh off the vine. The hardest part is cleaning them, as they're covered with dirt and dark mold, which must be scrubbed off completely prior to painting and decorating. I used to love going to the gourd farm and climbing through the piles and piles of gourds, looking for the perfect ones for my creations. I must admit that today, I'd rather buy them already cleaned!

Here's one cleaned and ready to go!

Ghost on pumpkin - this is one of my most popular gourds!

Until next time, have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aunt Verba's Quilt ~

Today I'm sharing a quilt that was hand-made for me 37 years ago by a very special lady - my Aunt Verba.

A  bit faded and worn, this quilt is still in good shape, considering I've lovingly used it for many years. Sometimes I'll fold it up and put it away for a while, simply because I don't want it to ever wear out. But every time I get it out of the closet and cuddle underneath it, it's like a big warm hug from my Aunt.

Aunt Verba was a gentle southern lady who lived in the hills of West Virginia. She was married at 16 and lived in the same house where she "took up housekeeping" until she passed away ten years ago at age 85. She raised 5 children in a two-bedroom home, and could sew, quilt, crochet, and cook like a dream - good, old-fashioned southern favorites like chicken and dumplings and pecan pie. I also got my love of gardening from her. I never heard my Aunt Verba raise her voice or say an unkind word about anyone. Someone once said she was the type of person who would be herself, and be comfortable, whether she was having tea with the Queen of England or her next-door neighbor. I was lucky to have had her as a role model in my life.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shabby Chic ~ dans le jardin ~

Shabby chic is not just for decorating indoors - let's not forget the garden! It only takes a little careful planning to acheive that "wild, untamed" look of a shabby chic garden. Plant a variety of flowers randomly, and if you're not sure what to plant - you can't go wrong with roses! Lots and lots of roses!  Old-fashioned favorites such as hollyhocks, lilacs, hydrangeas and peonies are also wonderful for a shabby chic "look."  So, while this season is winding down, it's still not too late to add a little shabby chic touch to the garden...or dream about your plans for next year's!

This photo courtesy HGTV:  HERE

Many of your chippy, rusty, weathered containters can easily be transported to the garden to be used for container plants, such as lavender and other herbs, impatience, pansies, daisies and geraniums. Use buckets, wire baskets lined with moss, chipped clay pots, old wheelbarrows or a child's little red wagon they've outgrown. Do you have an unused, spare kitchen chair? Perfect! Paint it white or pale grey and, if you want, you can even cut a hole in the seat in which to place a pot of flowers. Two great shabby chic colors I've used are Dove White by Valspar and Table Linen White available at Wal Mart.

You may want to add a cozy place to enjoy your gardening efforts, kick off your shoes, relax with a good book and a soothing cup of tea!

Until next time, enjoy the last few days of summer in your shabby chic garden, as we all look forward to autumn!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...