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).

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.

Enjoy!

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!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Don't Get Tied Up

3rd and final in Coffee Creamer Upcycled Bin

What a fun project this was, once I got the hang of it.  I painted two coffee creamer bins in a beachy coastal theme.  I then looked on Pinterest to get ideas to see what I could do with it next.  When I found this site and the instructions on how to make a Fish Net, I knew I could do it, especially since I had plenty of jute string.  Here is the tutorial on how to make a Fish Net:  CRAFTBERRY BUSH. Scroll down a couple of times until you get to the tutorial.

Doesn't it look cool??

Thus ends the "coffee creamer bin" series.  Upcycle people!  Your community will love you, the earth will love you but most of all, you will love you! :)
Here are my links to the other two:
Rusty Business
Upcycled Plastic Creamer Bins

Have a great weekend and remember to savor every moment!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Upcycled Plastic Creamer Bins

#2 of 3 in my series of coffee creamer upcycled bins.

I'm on a roll now.  Making something out of my plastic creamer and coffee bins has got me really excited and in a crafty frenzy!  I used the same bins yesterday to make them look "junky/rusty" with a chalk label painted in the front.  So much fun!  Check out my rusty bins here.

  • Two plastic coffee creamer bins
  • Rust-Oleum spray primer
  • White acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Sponge brush
  • Clip art print outs
  • Mod Podge glue
  • KRYLON Matte finish sealer
First prime the bins with the Rust-Oleum primer.  Once they dry, paint them with white acrylic paint.  It took about four coats to paint the bins completely.

I printed some French writing, a French wreath with a bee and a French label for cacao.  I found all these print outs at this awesome website:  The Graphics Fairy.  Check it out!  The only Mod-Podge glue I found was this one that gives a Fine Crackle effect.  It's not the effect I was looking for but I'll still use it and see what happens.

With a sponge brush spread the Mod-Podge throughout the back of the torn print out.  Make sure to cover the whole surface.

Place it carefully on the bin and gently smooth out towards the edges.  Spread a layer of Mod-Podge over the top of the piece and spread it past the edges.

I repeated the same with the picture of the French Wreath with a Bee and the French Cacao label.  Once it dries, spray with the Matte Finish for protection.

The French script writing looks so good, I love it!!

So far these past two days I have upcycled and painted nine plastic bins.  There are two others bins I painted in a beach them and I will post those tomorrow.  Told ya I was on a roll!

**UPDATE  3/16/14**

I added flowers to both bins.  Don't they look so much prettier?!

Here's the link to my Beach Coastal ones (wait 'til you see what I did with these ones):  Don't Get Tied Up

Have a great weekend and savor every moment!


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