Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Whole Wack of Stuff, Decorating, Pets and Recipes

This post is going to be crammed. Instead of posting seperately I`m cheating and posting all at once :)
Thanks for all the great ideas from everyone! I wanted to keep that wall not too busy because of the window so I took one of my favorite pictures from the bathroom and moved it in here. The window table has a potted herb on it with a candle at the moment but my camera is out of batteries today...

It`s from a book I recieved years ago of Pears Soap adverts. I`ve looked for this same picture and can`t find it anywhere. I love it.

Here`s some before and after pictures finally of the livingroom.
Angus poses and matches well......

I just had to add this one because this is what happened next, LOL.....

The couch before I recovered it. There`s that 20 year old green rug...

This one shows before we put the middle window in to add more light. It was so dark in there....

Here it is now with only sheers for the summer.....

And curtain panels for the winter. A bit colourful, but cozy once I add a few throws to curl up under. It evolved differently than I at first had in mind. But maybe next spring I can get a few big plants and still get that garden room feel I was looking for more...

Yesterday was another nice sunny warm day and the cats enjoyed it too...

Izzy washing in the enjoyment of it all....

While Teddy chose best to sit on my knee. He really craves attention now and I can`t go outside to sit without him trying to climb into my lap...

We`re still getting a few tomoatoes yet and I made some fresh tomatoe sauce for our pasta supper with the herbs in the garden for flavour.

1/3 cup of olive oil
4 or 5 small ripe tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 chopped yellow pepper
small bunch of fresh Italian Parsley and Oregano

Saute the onion in olive oil until partially carmelized. Then add pepper and garlic. Saute a bit more adding chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs.
Gently simmer watching that liquid doesn`t soak up too much.

Pour over your favorite pasta.

I also had this stuffed bread recipe saved that I wanted to try. Yesterday seemed a good day to give it a go and it was good!

Stuffed with more fresh tomatoes, garlic and ham....

Ham-Stuffed Bread

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound chopped cooked ham
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the egg, oil and salt; beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a stiff dough. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add ham, vinegar and oregano; mix well. Cool. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 14-in. X 12-in. Rectangle. Spread filling over dough to within 1/2 in. Of edges. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal and tuck ends under. Place, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet. Do not let rise. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.
* Note: I probably next time will leave it in a few more minutes than I did. And also glaze it. I did it in the last few minutes with butter. It looked dull to me and I like to see a more golden look.

Then I went to bed eventually to read, but someone got there before me....

Now I`m off to add these recipes to hubby`s site. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. Stay away cold weather!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Kitchen Re-Do and Any Ideas?

I did an "about face" in the kitchen after acquiring and recovering those absolutely free side chairs.
It seems I`ve gone from pretty cottage Victorian to something else entirely. I loved the pretty one but these chairs seemed to take priority over that. This is what is evolving. Starker perhaps? Definately different. But I like it. It has the right feel to it, for me. Matching those chairs was a bit of a dilemma. Not really a blue colour person, I fell in love with this fabric. I ended up using a warm mustard french country fabric that has a tiny print with this same blue. Yellow is another "not my colour" but this one is warm and keeps the blue from being cool. Made the skirts so that they undo for washing. That metal "fluer de lis" glass fronted clock was on sale for $30!!

That table was a huge undertaking to strip, let me tell you. Aside from my old white paint job, underneath someone had painted it and tried to make it look like a stain. Makes no sense why they wouldn`t have just stained it instead.
I was too tuckered to strip the sides so I left them white. It matches the cupboards anyway. Well, that`s my excuse. In future I may finish it properly.
The wall with the chickens on it doesn`t look quite right to me. Any ideas what would look better there? Maybe if it were a tall picture instead of long. No. Maybe. Although I like it at the same time as it is. Boy am I glad I`m not an interior designer. I`d drive myself around the bend trying to get things just right.

Far too much on this window table. The whole spot looks disastrous. The fake arrangement is usually on the big table, but it`s been replaced with those pretty field daisies at the moment. And all those candles and things all crammed on it.
Would it look good I wonder with only one object? The old iron plant shelf, that I`ve had forever, is busy enough to carry something much more simple underneath. I will most likely put curtains up for the winter. I have the choice of 3 fabrics. #1 the blue on the side chairs, which I really don`t want to use. #2 the mustard french country and #3 a mustardy golden background with the old fashioned type cherries being largely spaced out on it. Or none of the above LOL
So many of you have such great ideas and lovely homes and I would love any thoughts :)

Hubby has redone his web site and it`s looking good! I`ve been busy there adding recipes. Stop by and feel free to add anything from a review to a great cookbook or even just to say hi :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Summer flowers, North Breezes and Angus has a Nap

I missed this picture when I posted these. But have a look at the three different stages of this Clematis happening all at once. I thought it was really weird that it`s started to bloom again after getting it`s berries for the autumn.

It`s a beautiful sunny, breezy and warm afternoon here. Hard to believe it`s almost the end of September. Some mums have popped up in the mostly jungle green front garden beside the sedum.

Summer geranium is blooming brilliantly still, in a pot out back near a snapdragon.

I forget what these are but I was really giving up hope of seeing flowers yet still blooming at this time of year.

A strange combination of autumn coloured vines and fresh pink roses....

Angus poses amongst the autumn sedum and mums in the back garden.....

Then decides it`s the perfect day for a stretch out and nap.

And for me it`s a perfect day to sit outside and read this wonderful book by Susan Allen Toth....

A taste from page 23....... "As I wondered through London and then hitchhiked from Stratford to Stonehenge, Warwick Castle to Loch Lomond, I found myself not just dipping my toe into the current of the past but almost sinking into it over my head. When I walked down Whitehall, where Charles 1, flawed but gallant, had been executed, or stood in the shadows of Donne`s shrouded effigy in St Paul`s, or strolled the pleasure grounds at Hampton Court where Anne Boleyn had dallied with Henry VIII, I felt historical ghosts thick around me.................................................................... .................................. But history seemed to have vanished from Iowa. (my thoughts, North America) In England, it was still alive."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Stunned Bat and Dressing the Kitchen Chairs

Hubby took some amazing pictures again! This time of a bat that must have banged into the wall because he seemed a bit stunned he said. He left for a few minutes after taking these and when he came back this little guy was gone. So hopefully he wasn`t hurt. I`ve left them big so you can click to get a better look.....

In this second pic, the poor thing looks upset...

He isn`t too terrible looking, but those wings really give me the creeps!

Sure glad we don`t have vampire bats in this country. Now that would be too much for me to handle. Have you ever seen what they look like? Despite this strange looking creature`s ugly wings, he`s rather cute and I hope he is okay wherever he flew off to. He looks slightly wet for some reason. I hope Elvis wasn`t licking him LOL

This last pic is of one of the 4 kitchen chairs I made skirts for. Needed something to compliment that deep blue on the arm chairs and for $3.99 US a yard, I was pleased with the results. I stripped and stained them along with the top of the table a few weeks ago. The kitchen is almost...almost the right feel for what I was looking for. More pics when all is finished and maybe a few inbetween. Nothing swanky or high end in this house , but I think I`m getting that cozy homey look I was after.
Still need to take a few pictures of the front room all done. No throw rug or hall runner in the near future, nor some big "real looking" fake floor plants, but I`m liking what`s evolving in there :) A bit different than I originally planned. The green and white was too cool feeling, so I brought in some faded red and I`m lovin it.

Off to have some supper now. Hubby is BBQing pork chops and potatoes. I`m having an extremely early night tonight because I worked till 11pm last night and then back up again after only 4 hours sleep to go back into work. Thankfully the rest of the week is in the daytime!
Thanks for all the nice comments. I agree, that Elvis does have so much expression in his face. If he wasn`t a real dog, he could be a good cartoon dog...if that makes sense. Probably not, but I`m half asleep LOL
See ya :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Caught in the Act!

I wonder if anyone`s looking......

Uh oh.....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Timber, Hubby and the Wasps and my Curtains

Our party was fun.Both hubby`s sisters came down from Oshawa and his daughter and her boyfriend and my son and daughter came too :) One sister brought her new baby.....


He`s a miniature Australian Shepard. I`d never heard of them, but he was soooooooo cute!!

He`s only 8 weeks old.
We had 51 people at one point. It didn`t rain as we feared it might and after rushing around, forgot to take pictures. Hubby put a nice little tent type gazeebo up to put the food out in. Worrying about Elvis going to town and grabbing it when we werent looking was no longer a problem LOL It looked so nice, darn it. And he brought my computer with his speakers outside so we could play our chosen music right off the computer through the sterio inside. Good friends and good cheer made for a fantastic time.
The funniest woops of it all, was that both of us forgot to put a lamp inside by the food so one could see better in the dark hehe It was light out when we set the table up. Oh well, you can`t have everything work out perfectly and the gazeebo did have two screened sides, so there was a dim light seeping through from the long string of small hung lights near by outside.LOL
Fairy lights, is what I think you guys in England call them.

This summer we had a lot more wasps than usual. Far far too many around and about any buildings, having made themselves right at home by becoming mini construction workers. It was time to get them where it hurts, instead of the other way around...

Pieces of their nests gathered up....

This unusual (unusual to me anyway) beetle with an interesting bright yellow symbolic looking mark on his back, was sitting in the wheelbarrow along with the nests. I picked him out and put him on the ground. Didn`t want him to have the same destiny as those nests.....

I made some different curtains for the kichen I can`t say new because it was with two 1920 net table runners. It pained me to cut them, but I really wanted to use them at the windows.

I don`t have any proper curtain rings at the moment so I used a buch of earring hardware. They`re so fine and small, that it`s not too noticeable exactly what they are when the end part is hidden behind.

I`m happy with them. It`s different. I wasn`t sure quite how easy it would work. I wanted something very thin, yet old fashioned so that the light would come through due to the kitchen not being the brightest room. The runners were from e-bay and only cost $20 for the two. By cutting both in half, I did the both windows. Boy, would the full runner have looked nice on the table. There`s always a case that one thing would look nice here, but look nice there too or over there, or in another room...or... Happens to me. I wonder if anyone else experiences that?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Hummingbird

We have seen a lot of hummingbirds in the back garden this summer, but every time we`ve went for the camera, they`ve flown off. But early the other morning, hubby was sitting outside drinking his coffee when this wee pretty bird came along to drink from it`s favorite flower, the bee balm. He was able to get some amazing snaps! I`ve left them all big so you can click on them. I won`t be posting for the rest of the week because after work, I`ll be preparing for our party.....getting music together, cleaning, praying it doesn`t rain etc etc. Hubby`s sisters are coming from Oshawa to stay over so I want to get the spare room nice for them. See you later :)