Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Peter Rabbit & Friends Run Amuck @ Spottswood PL

 It's true what they say that bunnies do multiply.  I'm finding that out at Spottswood Place.

It started with this collection.  I purchased these bunnies at Pier1 last year and the year before.  At the same time I started to develop a fascination with Beatrix Potter drawings as well as her Peter Rabbit stories.

Last year I vowed that I would start a Peter Rabbit collection of some sort.  This box of Peter Rabbit Postcards were the first item I purchased and received.  They are made of exquisite heavy paper cardstock.  I can frame these,  I can even use them as a postcard if I wanted to but I'll wait to do that when the grandkids are a little older.  What a treat to get in the mail if I were a young'un.

 I also ordered two mini-Peter Rabbit figurines.  There are so many to pick from, at least 20.  This is Jemima Puddle Duck - remember her?   She's a few fries short of a happy meal.  She friended a sly fox thinking he was a very nice gentleman but the only one thing on his mind, was having her for dinner.

Here we have Peter Rabbit and Mrs. Rabbit.  She's buttoning his jacket just before he goes out to play.  She reminds him not to play in Mr. McGregor's garden unless he wants to end up in baked pie like his father.  But does Peter listen??

This bunny hopped his way into our front lawn from across the street.  Guess he just wanted to check to see if the grass was greener on the other side.  ;)

 My grand-daughter greets him every time we go outside.

This bunny is on the opposite side from the other bunny.  He belonged to my mother in law and there's no telling how long she had him but I plan to keep him as long as I can.

 I love drawing bunnies and lately have drawn quite a few.  I drew this picture specifically for my sister.  It's not a copy from anyone's drawings, just created it in my head and drew it by hand with my Wacom art tablet.  If you look at those house shoes, they are the exact replicas she and I own.  We will be drinking a lot of tea together once I move near her.  I love my sister very much and we are very close.

 This is a curio shelf that I fell in love with and bought it for pennies back about 30 years ago when we lived in Germany.  For years I had placed in it a hodge-podge of German trinkets that we bought.  Lately I've hung it up with a few seasonal items and always dissatisfied the way it looked.  But now I know what I will begin to put in it, my new Peter Rabbit mini-figurines.  If I buy two a year, it will take eight years to fill it up and I'm okay with that.

This is a quote from Beatrix Potter herself.  They are also the first words you hear in the movie titled, "Miss Potter" (a must see movie about Beatrix Potter if you haven't seen it yet).  I used this framed quote when I created a Peter Rabbit mantel vignette which I copied from the blog, "Be Book Bound".  I blame this blog for the reason and beginning of my Peter Rabbit fascination.

These bunnies are multiplying at my house, how about yours?

Have a lovely and wonderful week and remember to savor every moment!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Happenings @ Spottswood Place

What a beautiful Easter day we had here in central Virginia.  The sun was shining bright, there was a light breeze and temps in the high 60's - low 70's.  Family at church what a blessing, the music was a blessing and the sermon was a blessing as well.  Couldn't have asked for a better day for many reasons....

I baked these shortbread cookies earlier in the week and just kept them in the refrigerator.  I finished decorating them with the Violets yesterday.  I copied this recipe from Yvonne and StoneGables blog, click here.  Hubby was very skeptical in eating this but he finally caved and guess what, he's still alive! :)

I made the following gift boxes thanks to Monique's blog at La Table de Nana.  She is a very talented artist, photographer, baker, Grandmother, cook, etc.,).  My boxes don't compare to hers but I had so much fun making them even though it took me most of this past week.  Here they are:
German Cottage

Farm House (front side)

Farm House (back side)

Old Brick House

English Cottage I

Victorian House

English Cottage II

Beach Cottage (front side)

Beach Cottage (side)

Each house box had some treats inside, my Violet Shortbread Cookies (picture near top of this post).

Here's a link to the template for a house.  Have fun and create!
I downloaded it from coveredinglue.blogspot but since hers was a shorter house, I went ahead and extended the house to make them taller. 

These two pictures are of my new Beatrix Potter-Peter Rabbit collection.  They arrived yesterday just in time for Easter.  I will purchase two a year ;) 

These are some cutie-patootie cupcakes my daughter made for our Easter meal.  Green coconut held down by chocolate frosting.  Peeps top them off.  Cute and delicious!

I created this drawing (copycat from a Beatrix Potter painting*) on my Wacom art tablet and gave it to my granddaughter.  It's supposed to be  Grandma helping her put on her jacket.  I added the wooden crate because I drew the little girl bunny too high.

This is another drawing (Beatrix Potter copy cat) that I made for my grandson.  A grandmother hugging  her grandson.

This third drawing is for both kids.  The grandmother is a copycat from Beatrix Potter painting but the grandfather and the rest of the house I created.  I wanted to draw a Grandpa and Grandmother with their precious grandchildren.

and here are my grandbabies and I (grandpa was inside taking a nap).

We are so blessed.

I pray you had a wonderful, blessed Easter.

*I create my drawings by hand using my Wacom art tablet.  They are not traced, they are not photocopied in any way shape or form.  Most of all, these are never, ever sold.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 lb. red potatoes, diced
5 bacon strips, cooked and diced into bits
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
5-7 tbsps. butter
5 tbsps. all purpose flour
2 cups milk
4 cups water
Chicken bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
5-10 fresh broccoli flowerettes, steamed
2 cups shredded Colby/Cheddar Cheese or 1/2 cup of cream
2 green onions, sliced

Boil diced red potatoes for 10 minutes then set aside.

Once the bacon is cooked, drain on paper towels and set aside.  Once cooled, dice into bits and set aside.  Empty most of the bacon grease from pan and return to stove.

In a dutch oven, add milk, water and chicken bouillon, heat thoroughly but do not boil.  Stir often.

In the meantime, over medium heat add onions and celery to bacon grease and saute until onion is translucent.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add broccoli and cheese to hot milk mixture under low heat, stir often.  Salt and pepper to taste.

To make the roux, melt butter in a heavy sauce pan, add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time to melted butter and constantly stir.  Keep adding flour one tbsp. at a time until mixture is thickened but not too pasty.  Keep stirring until it turns a golden brown color.

Add onions, roux and potatoes to milk cheese mixture.  Under low-medium heat,  stir gently and thoroughly for about 5 minutes.

 Garnish with bacon bits and green onions.


I halved this recipe and still had plenty of leftovers but then my meat and potatoes man had a very small bowl only because he's not crazy about "soup" although he said this was very tasty.  Anyway, this soup is a guilty pleasure and goes against everything my doctor would want me to consume.  So my excuse is that I've been pretty good so far and I convinced myself that I needed to cheat.  How can one resist anything with cheese and bacon??  I also added the broccoli to the recipe only because I needed to have my daily allowance of a vegetable :)  I need to work on the right cheese though, anyone out there know which kind of cheese that will melt into a creamier consistency?  I'm still new at this stuff :)

Have a blessed weekend and remember to savor. every. moment!

2014 Spring Time at Spottswood Place

It's really nothing to brag about compare because 1) so many of these plants are perennials and they  grow back in their glorious selves every year, 2) there are so many other beautiful, green thumb gardeners out there in blogland.  3)I am very thankful for what I can see out my window and I give credit only to my creator and His beautiful handiwork.

What a wildly wonderful world, God!
    You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations. Psalm 104:24
 The only Dogwood Tree on the property, in the backyard.  I truly wish they would last longer but pretty soon, these blossoms will disappear.

 Creeping Phlox - one of my most favorite ground covers.  Another blossom that disappears way too soon.  I wish it lasted all through the Summer.

 Daffodils - I'm blown away by God's handiwork!

 Periwinkles running amuck.  Another favorite ground cover that keeps coming back full throttle.

 Camillias - Another early spring blossom that has become my favorite.  They look like roses to me and have a wonderful fragrance.  They also disappear way too soon. 
Si Gnome and Hubby Gnome.  These guys will jump out and greet you by our front entrance.

 Hyacinth  (Bunny watching guard is sad that Hyacinths time is almost done).  I only had one Daffodil bloom out of this bunch (in the background) and I believe it's because of some certain deer roaming the neighborhood.

Iris (thanks to SweetPea)

Tulip - this is the only Tulip that has bloomed so far.  The others are slowly following behind.  What's the hurry?  They all want to "shine" separately and I like that idea!

Pansies - I'm not sure why they're called Pansies.  These hardy florals can withstand a Spottswood Place freeze and still wake up smiling.  They definitely are not sissies,  I absolutely love 'em! 

Table Centerpiece

Mommy Bunny and The Tale of Peter Rabbit book I cherish

Homemade fence along the rest of the mantel with some faux moss, eggs and carrots

Baby Bunnies, faux carrot and to add to my Beatrix Potter-Peter Rabbit collection, The World of Peter Rabbit Picture Postcards - 110 of them! 

Enjoy your Springtime y'all and remember to savor every moment!

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