Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tea Time!

Yesterday I had my annual tea, and this year it actually happened in February!  Last year had to be postponed until April because of the weather.  This years theme was Aprons.  We all wore our aprons and told our stories about them.  My Aunts was made for her in the 1960's by her grandmother.  My sister and my niece wore matching aprons that my sister in law gave them.  I have several aprons and made a new one for the occasion.  I make a new apron each year for my Art Is Retreat, with the retreats theme in mind.  I have Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Dr Seuss so far.  My mom wore a apron made for me by an Art Is friend, Elizabeth.  I served Chocolate Cherry muffins, yogurt with raspberries and homemade granola, Strawberries and Cream scones, shrimp tea sandwiches and cream cheese and cucumber tea sandwiches and minted citrus fruit.  Dessert was a raspberry trifle, and of course we had tea!  Peppermint, lemon ginger, peach ginger, chamomile and my mothers favorite, Tetley.  Here are some pictures of the day! 

Debbie was coordinated to her apron!

My mom and Deb catch up.

Tracy Pat and Patti

Tracy Pat and Patty with my niece in the backrground

Mom, Olivia, My sister Janice and me, and the doggies!

Raspberries in yogurt, with homemade granola

Chocolate cherry muffins

Mint citrus fruit

Raspberry trifle

cucumber and cream cheese, shrimp tea sandwiches

Strawberry and cream scones

Tea and talk!

Rosie had to be a part, sitting between my mom and Patti.

My sister Janice and my niece Olivia!

Oliver looks sad so.....

Oliver got to wear an apron, don't tell daddy!

I made a banner for the mantle, and my wool roving tree is in the center. Everyone got to take a heart home.  I had so much pink and red felt left over from a previous project so I made little hearts with lace and ribbons and fun stuff on them.

We all had such a good time catching up and eating and drinking tea!!  Now I will have to start thinking of next years theme.  Will it be prim, flowers, butterflies, gardening, baking.....

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Joys of a 3 Day Weekend!

What a glorious weekend it was.  The weather for February in Ct is so warm, I was able to get outside and rake and do some weeding.  The daffys are starting to peek up out of the ground. I raked the little garden by the back of the house.  If I waited to long, they would be to tall for me to rake. I pulled the grass out of the main garden that got out of control last summer, I will have to fence that end this summer.  I had to be careful of my beloved Ladies Mantle, I did not want to rip her up if she was growing.   I visited the blue bird house, it appears they will be nesting there as we keep seeing them, but no nest yet.  I checked on my mason bee house, and I see the mud so there could be bees in there!  Mason bees job is to pollinate, they do not produce honey.  The lay their eggs, put mud in, lay more eggs, put more mud in, you get the picture.
lil Daffys popping up!

See the mud, that is how they protect the eggs.
 I made cherry almond granola as I had purchased some wonderful yogurt from the farmers market. I love making granola, and I hadn't made it in a long time.  I did not have enough honey, (maybe I should raise honey bees!) but I used maple flavored agave syrup and it came out delish!

 The fish monger at the farmers market had skate wings so I decided to try them.  I was told to make them like you would make Chicken Francaise.  We are not big fans of Skate Wings. I thought they looked pretty though.

I played in my sewing room, and finished up some UFOs or UnFinished Objects, cannot post pics though as they are gifts!

Then I got brave and fed my sour dough bread starter Sat nite, so I could make bread Sunday.  Todd from Farm to Hearth taught a class and gave us a starter.  It came out wonderful, but the structure needs to be a bit more delicate.  Tastes good though!
Straight out of the 450 degree oven!

Smells wonderful!

Tastes great with some lavender chevre from Butterfields Farm.
So that was my long weekend, I had a great time.  I have to go get the laundry out of the dryer, as some chores had to be done!

This is what Rosie did all weekend.  She did help me garden a bit.

Have a wonderful inspired week, I know I will!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bluebirds visit

I know the song that the bluebird is singing,
Out in the apple-tree where he is swinging;
Brave little fellow, the skies may look dreary;
Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.
Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat,
Hark! was there ever so merry a note?
Listen awhile and you’ll hear what he’s saying,
Up in the apple-tree swinging and swaying.
“Dear little blossoms down under the snow,
You must be weary of winter, I know,
Hark, while I sing you a message of cheer,
Summer is coming and spring-time is here!
“Little white snowdrop! I pray you arise;
Bright yellow crocus! come, open your eyes;
Sweet little violets, hid from the cold,
Put on your mantles of purple and gold;
Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear?–
Summer is coming and spring-time is here!”
Emily Huntington Miller.
Bluebird house that my brother made for me.

This morning I got up to make ebelskivers for breakfast I looked out the kitchen window.  I was so pleased to see a pair of bluebirds investigating the bluebird house that my brother made for me one year.
The male had his head in the hole and was looking inside.  Then he moved so the female could look inside.  This went on for about an hour, with the pair looking inside, then flying off to the pear trees, then coming back.  I never saw them go into the house.  Needless to say, our breakfast was slightly charred, but still tasted good.  I read that the male starts to look for a place to nest in February or March, and the female has the final say.  Once they pick a place to stay, it takes 4 to 6 days to make the nest, and it could take longer if it is colder.   Above is a picture of the house my brother made.  We put it up to late last spring so we did not get any bluebirds.  This winter we started to see them around for the first time!
I hope they pick our house to nest at.  More to follow if they decide to nest here!