Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hurray for the Weekend!


Friday night found us worn out from a frenzied week.  And... it was our night to host our church's Supper with Friends.  But, as I moved through preparing the food and setting the table... the stresses of the week began to melt away... I do enjoy a good meal with friends.   


Mixed Greens with Oranges, Blueberries, Dried Cherries, Candied Walnuts and Feta Cheese
with a Raspberry-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
Braised Brisket
from Ree Drummond's Pioneer Woman Cooks
(my friend, Kathy, gave me this book.  thank you, Kathy!)
Creamed Mashed Potatoes
PW Cooks
 Peas with Onions and Mint
Rue Tatin Sweet Crescent Rolls
Chocolate Delight Ribbon Cake


I tried four new recipes and OH, MY GOODNESS!  I loved them all; but, Mary's minted peas and crescent rolls were my hands down favorites!!  Those peas tasted like Spring!!  Amazing. Her One Perfect Bite did inspire more than One Perfect Bite to be exact.


The Braised Brisket was really good, too.  And, it might have been even better when we heated up leftovers for a late lunch today.  The potatoes were creamy and rich.  So, all four new recipes were big keepers and will be repeated here at the Bungalow.


I love old silver... mixed dishes... simple wood...


Shiny glass beads... a glass of good wine...


Festive new drinks...


And hot coffee with my dessert...


And, today... I finally had time to paint a little... and to blog... to do the fun things I enjoy... =) 
Gotta love the weekend!
Hope you are doing some fun things, too!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Parallel Passions

 Step One

Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from Little Man's Momma.  This is what it said:

LM's water color technique:

It includes three crucial steps.
  •  Step 1. Dip the paint brush into the bowl of water.
  • Step 2. Stick the paint brush into your mouth.
  • Step 3. Apply the paint brush to the paint-with-water page.

 Won't be long before he's ready to tackle layering with Soon Y. Warren. Ha!

 Love you!

 a.

                            
                                                                          
  Step Two

                                                                      
 Step Three


Noni is very excited to be learning watercolor with Little Man even though we are 1200 mile apart! We are enjoying parallel passions... kind of like parallel universes, but not.  I have to say that Little Man makes much less of a mess than his Noni. Little Man's Momma might not like us painting together at her house. LOL!

I have just started another rose.  More about that later.  Thank you, California Girl.


Still in the first stages... lots to go... fun to watch the progression!


I did this one last week... Not in love with it, but it is my Friday Favorite I am linking to Sandi's Whistle Stop Cafe.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend... and share a parallel passion with someone you love!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Love Bug


Another thing that makes me smile?  These precious hand-made (literally) cards that we receive for every holiday or season.  Little Man's Momma is quite the creative one.  And much more than that, she is gifted in expressing her love and appreciation.  That quality has always made her so very easy to love.


Those of you, with any miles on you at all, know love is work.  Doesn't matter if it is with your love, your family or your friends.  There is work to maintaining and growing love.  Love that is reciprocated flourishes... grows... spreads... stays strong.  The opposite of that... well, is the opposite.  Love is a verb, an action, a decision.


Long distance love requires extra effort.  Extra work.  Extra costs both physically, emotionally and financially.  I so appreciate how both Jerry and Amanda work to come home when they can.  It is hard to travel that far, to justify the cost of making that hard journey... and just to be away from home for weeks at a time... not in your own bed... with your own things... able to relax in your own space at the end of the day. It is a hardship.  It is the work of love. 


It is no secret to those that know me that the past two years have been hard for me.  I miss my daughter, who is my friend.  I miss my grandson, who I so hoped to be near as he grew up... to see his new milestones... to share in his life... to be the grandparent I never had around.  But, that said, I appreciate what we do have... that is a willingness to work at our love.  To continue to care for and tend it though it is not always easy any more.


And, I deeply appreciate my husband, who has continued to show his love for me in so many, many little ways... especially when I haven't had the energy to do as much of that as he deserves.  It is my prayer that we all continue to have the strength, the will and the desire to love each other in the same way that we have enjoyed in our present and past.  That is  my Valentine hope for each of you, too... that you choose love. 

I know I will.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Smiles... and a thank you...


A couple of things that make me smile...

The tea service at Tazza's coffee shop...

We enjoy coffee and treats after yoga on Friday mornings:  I love their coffee, straight--no frou-frou for me, while my friend, Patrice, always orders tea.  And, I LOVE the way they serve her tea with her very own beautiful little pot.  The cofee mugs are beautiful, too... Just not as beautiful.  I have no idea why I didn't get a photo of the delicious cinnamon roll I enjoyed; could be because I was much more interested in devouring it!  LOL!


And, Kim at Southern Savvy Style.  She is a dynamo that makes me tired just to read about all she does!  Seriously, reading her blog always inspires me and gives me a smile.  Her positive and tireless energy is a daily boost!  She recently made her  Wow Us Wednesday features to include those of us who don't have a decorator's bone in our bodies; and, she was kind enough to feature my Vogue Wide Brimmed Hat!  Thank you, Kim!!  And, thank you for including your less-than-decorator sisters.  ;)

I have another smile that I am saving for tomorrow...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coming Attraction


It will be spring before we know it.  And, that's time for the 31st annual Historic Tyler on Tour weekend.


These lovely homes will be open for touring the weekend of March 25-27, 2011.


Our beautiful historic neighborhood will be full of blossoms and style.


The Tour is Historic Tyler, Inc.'s biggest fundraiser and the monies raised go back into the neighborhood through grants, advocacy and education to preserve our historic treasures.


It is a fun weekend, filled with many other activities including the breathtaking Azalea Trails.


If you have a chance, come join us.


We know you'll enjoy your visit. 

See Historic Tyler's website for ticket and other information.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vogue Wide Brimmed Hat


Just off the needles.  A Vogue Wide Brimmed Hat that I first saw on Days at Buttermilk Cottage.  Susan has a wonderful etsy shop and, if you are not a knitter, she has this hat available WITH a sassy red flower on the side!!  Hers is gorgeous!  Made me run right out and get supplies to make my own.  Hers is a bargain, I might add!  Susan, thank you so much for the inspiration!  Love being inspired by my blog friends!!


If you knit, the pattern is available on the Vogue Knitting, here.  I used Brown Sheep Co, Inc's Lambs Pride Super Wash Bulky in Combustion Grey and Finch.  If I were to make it again, I would use a bit heavier yarn.


I love the big ole brim.

 
And the curve...


But, I have to confess.  This little dragonfly is not just for looks.  My brim is a bit too soft to stand on its own:  reason that I would use a bit heavier yarn with the right size needles to get a stiffer outcome.


But, I like him perched on the side and it will keep my head warm tomorrow as the COLD is on its way back!  I'm grateful for the warm days we have enjoyed over the weekend! 

I am joining Kim at Savvy Southern Style for her Wow Us Wednesdays party.  She has kindly made a place for those of us who are decoratingly challenged.  ;)
Happy days to each of you...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Playing With a New Toy: A Review for Bonnie


Pork Chops with Balsamic, Onions & Figs
Peas & Carrots
Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts


Bonnie, From A Writer's Kitchen, has asked about a new toy I have.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you are missing a pleasure.

I received a gift certificate from Little Man, his Momma and Dad for Christmas to Williams-Sonoma, one of my favorite places to shop.  I ordered this Cuisinart Pressure Cooker and finally played with it today.  You can sear/brown on this setting.


Saute on the next setting...


Then add it all back to the pot, lock on the lid and set it to pressure cook.


NINE minutes!  Tender and juicy (THICK) pork chops!  I have to admit my favorite part was the plumped-up dried figs! Yum!  Bonnie, I will have to try it for more cooking before I'll give it a grand recommendation, but it is off to a good start!  It was easy to operate and easy to clean.  Did what it said it would.  Can't complain about that.

I'm waiting on a cherry cobbler to come out of the oven right now.  We need some comfort food.  Have I mentioned that we have a tenant with an IQ to match the temperatures of the day?  Humph...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Anatomy of an Art Lesson


This is the last version of my first rose.

My friend, Patrice, and I have not been satisfied with our watercolor class.  So, we have been having our own lessons in Patrice's studio.  We have Soon Y. Warren's book; and, we are muddling along on our own trying to learn some of the techniques.


Soon does layers... and layers...


And layers...


This is a close-up of the rose after three layers of shading over a yellow wash.  I really kind of wish I had stopped here with the rose.  This was my favorite stage of it. We have seen you can keep going, until you have passed the point of no return!


You can see how the layers begin to give depth...


A blue wash goes over the reddish tones..


This was the second wash... The reddish hue over the yellow...

And, before this... it was only a sketch on a piece of paper. 

I am fascinated with the way the watercolors work... Water is BOSS.  The color goes where the water goes.  You CAN go too far and lose the whole thing.  I think that is part of the fascination. 

I look forward to continuing to learn more... hopefully!

We have real class again tomorrow.  We'll try to pay attention and not be off on our own.  LOL!

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