9.23.2007

A Sunday Supplement

Just found this blog...wonderful recipes and a good read.

It's Here!



The first full day of fall...my house has the beginnings of a scent imprint from the mulling spices still on the stove. It's "no-cook" Sunday--there's plenty of stew, and some crusty bread to dine on. On the agenda today:
  • Re-read Oedipus Rex for tomorrow's class (and quiz!!)
  • Walk around the neighborhood and take pictures.
  • Laundry and the dreaded ironing
  • Read my favorite blogs...you never know where they'll take you

9.22.2007

Conjuring Autumn


Last weekend here was just beautiful...cool temps, clear skies, and that hint of autumn. With the last few days hovering in the low 90's, I'm having a severe craving for fall...the soups, stews, foods, colors, and scents that give us that warm & cozy "nesting" feeling. To honor my fall feeling, today I'm going to :




  • Clip the last of the hydrangeas to dry
  • Re-do the mantle in the living room to include the hues of autumn; pomegranate, rust, golden green, and chestnut brown

  • Brew mulling spices on the stove top to scent the house

  • Make Harvest Stew from Susan Branch's Autumn from the Heart of the Home

Last, but more importantly not least...adjust the airconditioner!



9.21.2007

Celeb siting at work


Michael Rosenbaum of "Smallville" fame was spotted in our soon-to-be opened cafe at the library. Included in his entourage, Matt Rowe from the library, and Jim Herrell of Tootie's @ Central Cafe.

9.16.2007

Bulb Planting

I'm always thrown off by bulb planting. Yes, I "get it" that they have to overwinter to produce, but just when it's time to really enjoy the beauty of autumn...the leaves, the mums, the angle of the light...you have to remember to plant the spring bulbs. I remember one year I was planting bulbs as the snow was falling...this year is different; I purchased my bulbs this week at Sam's Club (it's so sad that Sam's is one of my most favorite places to shop). One box (70!!) of Angelique/Montreaux Double Tulips (shown above) and one box of Creme Upstar/Red Double Dutch Tulips...to be planted in half-barrels with an overplanting of mums. One planting, two seasons of color. With so many bulbs, I'll have a few for pots to be left out on the unheated back porch for early forcing.





9.15.2007

Espresso Nights

I love coffee, and I've missed it so much this past summer. It was just too darn hot to enjoy it. I drank some iced espresso just for the jolt, but it was not the same as sitting and savoring a really good cup of java. My favorite bean (as I've mentioned before) is Sumatra Black Satin. There is nothing better as far as I'm concerned. My favorite method of brewing coffee is a french press or this little machine...

I feel so "professional" when I make coffee in this shiny little gadget...and the resulting brew is wonderful. So nice on these cooler almost-Autumn evenings!

9.14.2007

What I Made Today...


While shopping for a few fall items the other night, I found myself looking for a necklace. Couldn't find anything I really liked, so I decided to look through the many jewelry/beading books in my collection. I found a simple waxed linen/bead combination I really liked...and it was so easy to do. This one's from Simply Stunning Beaded Jewelry by Donatella Ciotti. What I really like about it is that there is no wire involved. I purchased my beads from Hobby Lobby (30% off this week), and picked up a few more beads for another project. One of my friends made a necklace this week...I was so impressed that she made something, so I had to make something too!

9.09.2007

Planning for a mini vacation


Doesn't the chalet look inviting? It's been a few years since I've been there, but a few friends are planning a weekend craft/do your own thing getaway for after the first of the year. The chalet sleeps eight and comes furnished with linens and kitchenware. You just need to bring your own personal needs and food. Fireplace, TV, comfortable bedding...it's all there.
I started attending these little getaways with a quilting group I was involved with. 25-30 people attended for one weekend twice a year; spring and fall. The chalets are all in close proximity to each other, and the weekends were such a blast! Sound like fun?

9.08.2007

Saturday Errands


The bright spot of errand running happened here. I love shopping at Dick Blick! The handmade papers are beautiful, and even though I do not (and will not) "scrapbook"--only because I just don't have it in me--they certainly have the goods to tempt me. I found exactly the paper I wanted to use for the rose leaves.

I bought the floral wire at JoAnne Fabrics; they had a fabric covered wire that matched the leaf paper. Now I have everything I need to make the roses...

The purchase of a new wireless router wasn't nearly as successful. The in-store pickup at Circuit City was a breeze. It certainly beat standing around at Best Buy last week trying to buy the camera. I'm now boycotting Best Buy. The installation of the router went smoothly enough, but I could not for the life of me connect to the internet. After two hours of unsuccessful attempts, I gave up and went back to the old set-up. When it works, it's good...just not really reliable. Can't diagnose what the problem is.

Homework is finished...all 270 pages of reading and the list of poetry terms. Maybe the roses will get made tomorrow.

9.07.2007

Magazines, Inspiration, & Weekend Plans

I love magazines. Always have, always will. Some of my very favorites are Country Home, Country Living, Cottage Living, Home Companion, Coastal Living, Veranda, Martha Stewart Living...I could go on and on. I'm especially looking forward to the return of Victoria in just a few months. These magazines are always chock full of wonderful ideas and inspirations. As I look around my house and the debris of "living" this week, I should be ashamed...if only I had a stylist to do my rooms...and a dumpster outside to get rid of the clutter!

Plans for the weekend: buy a new wireless router. The current one has started maybe working/maybe not. Very unreliable. I ordered one online from Circuit City and will be picking it up during late morning errand running. Also on the list...floral wire so I can start making paper roses. I am so excited about this project! I can't believe how lovely roses made from coffee filters are. Later in the afternoon, I plan on walking around the neighborhood and taking pictures. There are so many wonderful houses in the immediate area, and I just noticed a freshly painted Victorian on my roundabout way to work yesterday.

9.06.2007

New Camera!

This past weekend I purchased a new camera...now I just need to learn how to use it. I've been taking a few shots here and there the past few days, but none of the pictures look that good.
I need to just walk around town with the camera and take lots of random shots...they have to be better than anything I taken on the cell phone or the little tiny camera on my voice recorder!

The camera is a Sony Cybershot W55. It's so sleek and tiny. Can't wait to get some good use out of it!

9.05.2007

Will it every get cooler?


I am so anxious for autumn weather...brightly colored leaves, pumpkins, the scent of woodburning fireplaces, cool overnight temperatures...
I'm also ready to pull out the Halloween decorations. I love decorating for Halloween, and I guess if I want to pull the stuff out early, I can. Who's to stop me?
It will also be nice to not run the airconditioning. Got my Vectren bill today...$228.00 to keep cool this past month. Just think...in a few months it will double that just to keep warm. We need a few weeks of not running anything. Free days, so to speak.

9.04.2007

Can You Guess What This Is?

This is our cafe garden at the library. The sculpture was installed about two weeks ago. It makes for interesting conversations...


Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Last Night's Class


All day long I dreaded it...class on Monday evening...and a holiday to boot! At least I didn't have to work yesterday. The class was actually pretty entertaining; even though it was poetry (it can't get much worse than that), and even though we had a quiz on the 270 pages of reading, I actually enjoyed myself.

9.03.2007

Paper Roses

Photo from mommymakesroses.com



Several weeks ago I read about paper roses on Cindy's blog at My Romantic Home. The roses are just beautiful and look so real. Here are the directions, from Martha Stewart's website. There is a video located here.

Tools and Materials:

Box of disposable cone coffee filters (8 filters will make one full bloom rose)ScissorsCoffee filter rose templates16-gauge floral wireFloral tapeWater color paintFlat brushBamboo skewerGlue stick
Coffee Filter Roses How-To1. Trace and cut petal shapes through both layers of filters, as per templates.
2. Form rose. With coffee filter No. 1, take four connected petals and poke an 18-inch length of 16-gauge floral wire down through the center of the bottom of one end petal so 1/2 inch of the wire remains sandwiched between two opposite petals.
3. Wrap adjacent two petals tightly around first two petals; wrap with floral tape around base, then 1/2 inch down wire, to secure.
4. When working with floral tape, pull it as you work to expose the sticky part of the tape.
5. With coffee filter No. 2, take four connected petals and sandwich "flower bud" between two opposite petals. On the adjacent petal pair, gently tear the perforation of the base so that you have a strip of 2 side-by-side petals. Wrap this petal strip around the other two petals and secure with tape.
6. With coffee filter No. 3, take four connected petals and gently tear the perforation at the base to create a strip of four petals. Wrap this petal strip around flower bud and secure with tape.7. With coffee filter No. 4, gently tear the perforation at the base of petal shapes to create a strip of five petals. Wrap this petal strip around flower bud and secure with tape. (The folded petal gives rose stability and a more rounded form.)
8. With coffee filter No. 5, place three petals, overlapping slightly on rose and wrap just once (to avoid bulk) with floral tape to secure.
9. Wrap remaining three petals opposite the first three. Repeat for shapes cut from filters Nos. 6, 7, and 8. Use finger and thumb to separate petals, creating air pockets and making petals curve outward from the base. Use 3 or 4 extra single petals to fill in holes and give a rounded shape.
10. To paint the roses, use watercolor paints, mixed with a bit of water. Paint the base color, first doing the bottom, then the top, working from the inside out. Accentuate with a darker color on the tips. Use a flat brush to apply a third color of undiluted watercolor to edges. Let dry overnight.
11. Once painted roses are dry, curl left and right sides of outer petals around a bamboo skewer to create a point. Work your way from the outside to the inside of rose. Curl inner petals just slightly by wrapping top straight down around bamboo skewer.
12. Add five paper sepals secured with floral tape to short stem. Wrap floral tape in a spiral down wire stem several times to create a thick roselike stem. Burnish stem with skewer to smooth tape. Cut 6 paper leaves and sandwich a 4-inch wire between. Use a glue stick to stick 6 leaves together with a 4-inch wire stem.
13. Secure leaves to stem with floral tape.
Resources"Van Gogh" brand water color paint. Green fibrous paper used to make sepals and leaves is from paper zone, paperzone.com. For the Princess Diana rose base color, we used a diluted cream (a mix of "white" and "yellow ochre"); for the tips and edges, use diluted "permanent rose." for the Peace Rose base color, use diluted "cadmium lemon yellow" and "titanium white"; for the tips and edges, use diluted "permanent rose." Recommended filter brands include Connaisseur and Western Family.
Special ThanksCassie Chappell, mommymakesroses.com

Iron Chef


While engaging in my usual Sunday evening activities (this summer it's been watching HGTV and Food Network), I saw a flash of a name on Iron Chef. I tuned in mid-challenge, so I didn't hear who was challenging Bobby Flay. He looked vaguely familiar but I couldn't believe that anyone I knew would be on Iron Chef. Way back in 1984 when I ventured out of the heartland and into South Florida, I had a part time job at a Holiday Inn. John Vinczencz was the chef at Maxie's, the wildly popular (with the early bird crowd) restaurant at the HI on Powerline and Commercial. He was very young and very arrogant, but was amazing in the kitchen. Read more about his restaurant at http://johnnyvlasolas.com/.

9.01.2007

Movie Day and shopping


Another lazy Saturday at home...I watched a few movies on TV, flipped through some magazines, and napped. Pretty pleasant. I found a JJill coupon in Country Living...$25.00 off a purchase of $100.00. After the nap, I went to the mall...all of the sale items at JJill were an additional 25% off, so I ended up with 6 items for $86.00. One of the tops had an original price of $139.99, so I did end up with bargains; the sweater at left had a final price of $11.00 and change...I got it in the color shown and in a pale celery shade. I love cotton sweaters; easier to work in than wool...you can never tell just how hot it will be at work, especially with my personal "power surges."