Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Never Ending Story

Our big project for February was to do a makeover of the living room.  (Remember our ceiling mess from December?)

Well, we're still working on it.  I think we'll be working on it for the rest of my life...

OK, it's not quite that bad.  But as we go along every step of the way we are having to do 2 to 3 times the work it should be because of the shoddy workmanship we continually find.  So instead of having it done by today, my goal is to be done by 12 March.  

Before that would make me giddy with happiness...

...and give me time to catch up on my other projects!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Art and Craft in Feb

I didn't do many projects this month, tho a couple I did were rather labor intensive so that kind of makes up for a bit.

Made this cute sign at a Team Red, White, and Blue social.

Did my letters a bit differently.  I wanted them to have the look of granite ware.

Here's my BIG time consumer.

I did another altered deck/artist trading card swap. 

Fifty-four tiny little cards.

Fifty-four tiny hand drawn and water color painted 2.5x3.5 cards...

Himself asked me if I was going to do this again.


And you've already met little Linty Bear.

February was Mexico month with cooking (coming soon) and some other stuff.

My first ojo.  Now that I've got the feel for it, I'm going to do some serious ojo making for my studio.

And I FINALLY got the photos from my mission trip to Celaya, Mexico in an album!

There's both photos and memorabilia.

The blank areas are where I will put journaling once I'm done writing it.

And there are some special pages for special stories...

I've gotten a few projects started but haven't had time so see them through.  We have  big project going that just keeps getting bigger...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Manual Gone?

The February Home Kit was to make a place for all instruction manuals.  It could be set of hanging files, an accordion file, a folder... even a designated box would do.

I chose a notebook.

I have quite a stash of them in all sizes; including this 4 inch binder.  The other reason for a notebook is that it can be carried around easier.

I came up with a list of headings that works for us.  Each person's list will be different.

I gathered up the manuals I could find (I'll be adding in for a good while...).  Next task was to cut away the portions in languages besides English.  The sizes dropped to half, sometimes even a third of the starting bulk!

Then I used my hole punch.  Sometimes the manual was big enough to use all three holes.  On the smaller one I just punched the top two holes.

It now sits in a designated place with the BIG RULE of "put it back when you're done"!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Famous" French Onion Soup

The other day Himself had a taste for some French Onion soup.  Not the canned stuff mind you, but good old fashioned homemade.

With a smile, I pulled out my old copy of the much beloved French Onion soup that was served that the Famous-Barr Department store in St. Louis, MO.

He cleaned out our onion supply.

And then he started them to caramelizing. 

Looking good!  And the house was smelling great too.

The finished product.

Himself likes a lot of cheese and bread on top to dip down into the broth.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Herald of Spring Ikebana

I've been studying the art of ikebana for several months but hadn't done any arrangements yet.

"Ikebana (生け花?, "arranging flowers") is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō (華道?, the "way of flowers").  Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form

As is true of all other arts, ikebana is creative expression within certain rules of construction. Its materials are living branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms.

What distinguishes ikebana from other approaches such as "flower arrangement" is its asymmetrical form and the use of empty space as an essential feature of the composition. A sense of harmony among the materials, the container, and the setting is also crucial. These are characteristics of aesthetics that ikebana shares with traditional Japanese paintings, gardens, architecture, and design.

Another common but not exclusive aspect present in ikebana is its employment of minimalism. Some arrangements may consist of only a minimal number of blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves. The structure of some Japanese flower arrangements is based on a scalene triangle delineated by three main points, usually twigs, considered in some schools to symbolize heaven, earth, and man, or sun, moon, and earth. Use of these terms is limited to certain schools and is not customary in more traditional schools."  Wikipedia

My first arrangement is about 14 inches high.  I especially selected the left stem as it reminds me of the bushiness of a natural forsythia bush.

The second arrangement is much smaller at about 8 inches high.

My pots were made by a local Tennessee potter. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Salt Preserving for the Food In Jars Challenge

January was marmalade month in the "Food In Jars Mastery Challenge" and I've told you all about the yummy marms that we made.  

Now February, the challenge was 'salt preservation'.    I really didn't think there would be all that much that interested me.  Wrong!  I tried 4 totally different projects and had fun with each one.

First was salt preserved citrus.  Most common are lemons, which are used a lot in North African cooking (think tagine recipes).

Salt Preserved Lemons

Salt Preserved Oranges

Salt Preserved Lemons and Oranges

Then there are seasoning salts...

Cilantro-Lemon Seasoning salt.

Lemon Salt

Third was a weird one...

Salt cured egg yolks.

The photo right above is the yolks after a week of being buried in salt.  Now they are in a muslin bag curing for another 10-ish days in the fridge.  When they get done and we try them, I'll devote a whole blog to them.  So far the people in the challenge are giving rave reviews, so I am very hopeful.

And finally the one that has my German hubby excited...

... small batch sauerkraut! 

This particular batch is cabbage and carrot with black pepper and bay leaf.  This is another one that takes time to finish up, so I'll blog on it later too.

This was such an interesting challenge!  I've found several other recipes I want to try but I have other things I need to get done around here!  But I will be doing more salt preservation in the very near future.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Out For a Spot of Tea - Burdett's Tea Shop in Springfield, TN

This week Himself and I went out with a group of friends to a local tea room.

It's a lovely little restaurant with a full menu to tempt your taste buds.  We were there over the lunch hour and it was quite busy.

We had the best waiter...he was so charming and very efficient too.

In the front and all along the wall are cute thing available for purchase.

It is a great place to get a unique gift.  I'll remember that for future gift giving.

But we were there for the food!

My choice:  Turkey-Ham Melt -Served open faced on Schlabach’s Bread with tomato, mushrooms, bacon crumbles & a rich cheese sauce.

Oh my goodness!  I actually scraped my plate...it was so wonderful.

For a my side: ham and cheese scone.

Himself had the 7th Ave. Chef Salad - Fresh mixed salad greens topped with ham, turkey, cheese, egg & crisp veggies. Served with crackers & your choice of dressing.

One of our friends had the Salad Jumble Plate - Scoop of Chicken salad, one ham & cheese scone & crackers with your choice of two side salads (she had the broccoli salad and the frozen strawberry salad).

A strawberry almond scone.

Everything was very very good...we will be going back!

Burdett's Tea Shop

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fuzzy Wuzzy Bear

So what is Persia doing with that Teddy Bear?

The story starts with a pile of old Goodwill wool sweaters I have been making a stash of for a while.  The reason for this are felt projects I want to do... mittens, stocking caps, and the like.  If you wash a wool sweater in hot water and throw it in the dryer a couple of times you end up with beautiful felt.  (More on that at a later date...)

You also end up with a washer and dryer full of wool fuzz.

A lot of wool fuzz...

Since it looked like shredded up roving I decided to see if I could needle felt with it.

After a lot of serious poking, I ended up with a tiny bear.

A little fuzzy wuzzy dryer linty Teddy Bear.

(The grey is from the felted sweaters, the colored areas are from roving I have.)

Monday, February 13, 2017


We had the most glorious sunset the other day.  I just had to share it.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Storm Season Begins

Tennessee storm season has officially begun.


We're far enough north to have cold weather into March.  We are far enough south to get really warm weather (70s) in early February.

Cold + Warm = Nasty

On Tuesday we had nasty.  In the morning there was a small tornado 24 miles due west of us.  At noon we encounter the above hail clouds (mammatus) in Nashville.  We got pinged a few times before we drove out from under them.  Then that night we were pounded the last two miles home.


Looks like we got the storm closet done just in time.