Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Family Crust

Last week when we arrived at my Mother's house, she had just taken an apple pie out of the oven and had sat it aside to cool.  For some reason the design on the top caught my eye and I asked her if it was something new she had just come up with.  Well.  Let me tell you I was caught off guard to find out that it was the same design that my Grandmother and perhaps even my Great Grandmother had always done on all their double crust pies.  I never even knew there was a family crust! 

Tonight in the midst of my Thanksgiving preparations, it was as if I could feel the presence of both my Grandmothers peering over my shoulders as I set off to recreate this family tradition in the blueberry pie I was baking.  I suspect they would be smiling and nodding to each other as they patiently waited for me perform this rite of passage. 

Could I get it right the first time?  Could my Grandmothers really be watching me do this?  I actually felt a bit nervous. 

It reminds me how thankful I am to still have my Mother.  Someone I can still see, hear and embrace in real life.  Who I can still share giggles with and memories of growing up and spending Thanksgiving as a child at my Grandmother's house.  The white farmhouse with the beautiful floral pattern wallpaper in the dining room where we sat at the long wooden table, together, so many years ago.  With pies that all had that same distinctive family crust of which I realize now I hadn't remembered as a child. 

As I add my own touch to the family crust,  a sprinkling of coarse sugar crystals, I snap a quick picture to document it for future generations that may wonder what that shiny stuff was on the pie. 

 Wishing all my sweet readers out in blogland a very blessed Thanksgiving Day and hoping you always leave enough room at Thanksgiving for some pie!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Bough To You

 I usually wait until December 1, which is the day after Henri's birthday, before I start my Christmas decorating.   But that was before I read this article written by the talented Sharon Lovejoy, for Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden.  Sharon, who I have gotten to know through her blog, divides up her time between living on an island off the coast of Maine in the warmer months and then as cooler weather approaches heads back to California to enjoy the winter!  The article she wrote inspired me to simply shop my own backyard to decorate for the holiday season. 

I don't know how, but Henri recently moved this heavy wrought iron birdcage from where it was sitting in our backyard, up onto our small deck all by himself.   He also attached 3 birdhouses to the top of the rail for me.  (My steadily growing collection of birdhouses that I still hadn't figured out what to do with yet.)   He did this as a surpise for me and waited for me to discover it by myself.  I was thrilled and Sharon's tips of how to decorate for the season using nature's bounty were all I could think of! 

My favorite of the 3 birdhouses is this red one. 

A diagonal sweep of pine boughs is all this cage really needed with a few rose hips tucked here and there. 

The yellow are fruit that were scattered around all over the ground right below my Japanese Quince bush. 

This birdhouse cried out for a few pine cones, the only ones I found right near the quince bush. 

The most rustic and weathered of the birdhouses. 

The metal trim on the roof and entry add to its rustic charm.   

From inside looking out, a geranium in the foreground that Henri brought inside for the winter. 

As evening approaches, a decision to add a strand of icicle lights had me getting a little carried away.  When it got too dark to do any more gathering I decided it was good enough.

See what happens when you get a little blog inspiration.  Next thing you know, I'll be inside baking Christmas cookies!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simply Stated

Look what I won from a giveaway Rebecca had over at Simply Stated. This gorgeous pair of pineapple finials! Rebecca runs an antique shop in Campbell, New York, is an amazing photographer, AND she makes cakes too! It's no wonder I always enjoy my visits over there.

Here's a close up to show the richness of color on these beauties.   Thank you so much Rebecca, they are simply beautiful! 

Speaking of color, here's my most recent painting I did in my Adult Finger Painting class.  

I call it "Chinese Lantern Plant In Vase".  At least that is what it was SUPPOSED to be anyway!   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Carousel For My Nonpareils

With a little liquid gold leaf, I gave this lazy susan I found at a thrift store a quick Parisian makeover.  

Since then I have been collecting glass stoppers and interesting lids to fit into glass bottles to use as a place to display my sprinkles. And I do love a French inspired theme.

So now I have taken to collecting sprinkles.

Wondrous and beautiful sprinkles like these sugar pearls and pink nonpareils.  Have you ever even seen pink nonpareils before? 

Did you know sprinkles are relatively inexpensive?   

Wouldn't these pink nonpareils look stunning on some dark chocolate? 

All I had on hand tonight was some white chocolate morsels, so I made up a handful of candies for our after dinner snack.   

Check out these vivid canary yellow nonpareils.  Who knew?   I hereby declare that sprinkles are my latest obsession! 

It's such a happy obsession though, anyone care to join me? 

Linking up with Michael from Inspired By Charm


Monday, November 1, 2010

Late Fall in Maine

Post Halloween at our place, with more leaves on the ground than in the trees. 

The grackles have been coming to our feeders in droves today.  Every time I grabbed  my camera they would see me and scatter, but I managed to get this shot through the window before they saw me. 

There is still some pretty color left along the route we take on our daily walk. 

Yet by the time we finish our walk, we've noticed it gets darker a little bit earlier each day.  

Henri took this zoomed in shot of the early morning fog right outside our window when he woke up at the crack of dawn the other day. 

We just got finished unloading 2 tons of bio bricks into our cellar that the delivery guy brought tonight after dark.

Now I think this tired Maine gal will retire for the evening and thoroughly enjoy a good night's rest.  And we'll see whose feet hit the deck at the crack of dawn tomorrow.  I already know it won't be mine.