July 25, 2012

Christmas in July

Yes, of course we needed no excuse to celebrate Christmas' Half Birthday. 
And set your clocks.. as of this moment it is 152 days. Surely we don't have to tell you that this is cause for celebration!

We have been listening to Christmas music all day while we were baking up our goodies!
(But of course we listen to Christmas music all year round.)

And since there isn't much hope of getting any snow on July 25th, we made our own DIY Snow!

So as we sit back and enjoy a good cup of tea with our cookies and music and cheer, we hope that everyone remembers that it's good to kindle Christmas in our hearts all the year long.
As penned by the great Mr. Charles Dickens...

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,'' returned the nephew: ``Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!''
- A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens


July 18, 2012

Peaches 'n Cream

A long time summer recipe that our family has enjoyed for many years is a refreshing bowl of Peaches and Cream. My grandfather used to make bowls of this for my mum when she was young, and now she's got me hooked on them as well. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like it. And so, here it is for all of you to keep cool with this summer (or anytime!)

Peaches 'n Cream

5 to 6 large ripe peaches
a little sugar to taste
whole milk

1. In a large bowl peel and slice ripe peaches. 

2. Sprinkle with sugar to taste, and since no two peaches are alike, pour whole milk over them until they are slightly covered. Stir gently. Cover and refrigerate. Let set for several hours as this will allow the milk to take on the sweetness from the peach juice and have a great flavor.

3.  Enjoy!

By the way that pretty floral bowl belonged to my great-grandmother. We use it for our favorite recipes.

July 12, 2012

A Day Off, Summer Pondering & Thinking Trees

Yesterday the heat got the better of me, and I succumbed to painting a face on my pulled pork sandwich. He is done in the world's best honey barbecue sauce, and after I was finished I actually was quite pleased with his magnificent handlebar mustache. I'll admit that I felt somewhat guilty to eat him after I gave him a face and a name. So I just closed my eyes and munched, it was all over very quickly. 
But he lives on here, my Mr. Sandwich.

Those potatoes in the back are nothing short of magnificent! Baked potatoes that were fried with parsley and butter. Oh my! I should probably take this time to say that I am a huge fan of potatoes. Potato anything, I'll eat it (so long as it doesn't have mayonnaise)!

The whole scene is placed on my Grandmother's apron, the brown gingham is so pretty and vintage! She had quite a collection of aprons. She always ironed and starched them to a perfect crispness. They are so pretty! They make cooking fashionable, and they make me think of her. 
I will have to show some more of her aprons here sometime.

Added to our meal was a delicious salad that we picked from our garden. Yes, the organic lettuce is here!
As is the apple pie and sweet iced tea. Really is there any other way to drink it than from a mason jar?

I had taken the day off from the easel to ponder a few new projects, so after our meal we headed to the out-of-doors for some more refreshments and conversation!
I brought along my notebook to capture ideas while we sat under our Thinking Tree.

Fresh ideas were flowing from underneath the tree that I helped plant as a little girl. It has beautiful white flowers that bloom in the spring and lovely foliage in the fall. It was grand to just enjoy each other's company and the Queen Anne's Lace was too pretty to leave out of the picture!

Just one of our little pieces of Heaven.

July 10, 2012

The Visitor and the Bee Pendant

Despite the dry weather, our garden has been prospering. We have been braving the heat to give it a well deserved watering every night. While tending to the raspberry bushes, an unexpected visitor presented himself among the brambles. The largest moth I have ever come across, spanning a good five inches from one wing tip to the other. 

Needless to say after encountering such a wondrous specimen I dashed into the house and snagged a butterfly net. I was so certain that I had discovered a new species that would turn Gene Stratton-Porter's ears red with envy (who also happens to be one of Mum's favorite naturalists and authors -writer to her favorite "The Keeper of the Bees").

As it should turn out there was no need, he was so gentle he didn't even try to escape. He must have only recently emerged from his cocoon apartment. 
I actually think that that might be my undiscovered moth in Miss Porter's hands...

Though he didn't turn out to be the find that would earn us national acclaim, he did win a spot in our hearts, as the treasure hidden in the wood-chips.

Boys and girls meet the Polyphemus Moth!

Speaking of winged things, the bee necklace is now up and available at the shop!

I absolutely love her! She is such a regal tiny queen bee and the white background looks striking against the antique bronze! I think I might be getting just a bit obsessed with these little wearable arts!

Well off I go, happy trails!