Thursday, May 17, 2018

~Mid~May~Many Blooms Month~







The next 2 trees were Mother's Day gifts:) Both are my favorites..the Serviceberry..white..when Caroline was expecting Lucas..so 13 yrs ago..




And the pink..a Flowering Almond..a couple of yrs later.May is their month to shine♥




Mid May..Mother's Day Monday..the Flowering Almond starting to bloom beautifully and my Serviceberry..so..May14th..
The crabapples will follow soon~
Then the lilacs..

After seeing Rose Cottage/La Maison Des Jardins..engulfed in snow for so long..I felt she needed a  rejuvenating serum:)

Donna had posted about her  charming bunting..

I had white plastic bunting but  I knew it would not last all summer long..

So I took some fat quarters..(each fat quarter makes 3 pennants..)..and sewed away..I used a wider double quilting cotton tape for the top..the pennants are stitched together..right sides together..then turned inside out..cotton wide tape sewn at top..

The earth is opening up to lots of growth..
I planted petunias in the flower boxes around the side..(you can't see them)..the front got hanging geraniums..(can't see..) and  begonias instead of geraniums in pots.. 
Soon the perennials will fill in this area..to the brim..some roses..clematis..seeds..it's all good;)

See what I miss come March? All this.If winter ender Feb..I would be thrilled.

I made another great little cake..this one is from The View From Great Island...
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake♥
Soon it will be strawberry season in QC..in the interim..we get the Costco ones that look like they have been on steroids;)


PS..never hesitate to give a tree as a gift..preferably..smaller..a standard or low growing..year after year..they bring such sweet memories to you.



Have a great weekend~


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Mother's Day Weekend in Canada and the US~







It's grown since I took this pic:)It's a hero in my garden.




Lungwort..hate that name..so Pulmonaria to me..;)Even that is not attractive a name..












Happy Mother's Day weekend~to those of you who are mothers..or daughters..to people or pets;)

Same old same old here..gardens and teas and cookies..
Great new stamped cookie recipe from Mix and Measure on IG.

You can find it here..I put melted chocolate on the backs of some..
They are sooo good.


So partial to Dark brown sugar now.
The birds are flying around ..so busy making nests emptying my feeders in minutes..lol
Like my chickens..

Only 1 is a laying:(


A bit of a crab here re my Hunter boots..granted I bought them second hand..(like new)..but $$$.and we drove to Neverland to pick them up..

but I have worn them 20 times max..apparently black matte..prone to this..
let's just say they are now strictly GARDEN wellies.

I have  had Walmart wellies that have kept their youth longer than these..
Buy shiny..my daughters have shinier..no sign of wear ..
that's why I am rattling on..beware of matte.

Garden Journal

Bought some hanging baskets

Geranium
Begonias..

Bought ind.pots

Basil,begonias

Planted Seeds

Double Cream Nasturtium
Borage
and my Nicotina Seedlings

Moved some clematis..installed the new obelisks

Bought a Forsythia and a William Baffin..Planted..
Bought a waterfall campanula..planted.

Cleaned the driveway wild area up a bit..it's just unmanageable..a field of ditch lilies and ferns and weeds and Lily-Of-The -Valley..nothing you can eradicate..I tried..

I painted words from Ms.Rumphius on the weathered fence section.. 
Jacques said:"You should paint that fence part first"..I said:" no".

While I was stenciling the words with my Susan Branch vintage stencils..he came out and said..in French: "I suppose it adds to the charm that the fence paint is shabby"..and he meant it:)
10 points!

Things are looking Springy!



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

End of April~ Beginning of May~




~And suddenly you know..
It's time to start something new
and trust the magic of beginnings~
~Meister Eckhart












Please note it's RASPBERRY almond;)



As soon as our Secret Garden sprouts Scillas..we know Spring has arrived..  crocus bloom and snowdrops..hyacinths make way..and garlic garlic everywhere.
Iris..and peonies and rhubarb and tulips stretching through the earth..
Miracles.
Wet and rainy..garden chores were on standstill for a few days..I finished my Orla Kiely wannabe blanket..Amanda at Eight By Six shared it..I knew right away I wanted to try..Marie made it..another reason..she said it was wonderful to make.I love Eight By Six..found her on IG..so MUCH inspiration on IG!!

It is a fun project....but honestly..I knew at one point I needed 9 colors and a 4mm hook..I made it w/ 8 (4 I already had for a next yr scarf..added 4 more..) and for some reason picked up my Susan Bates 5MM hook because I like the rubber grip.

I learned a few things..like recipes..read everything!!  Before starting;)
I learned a Picot edge..how cute is that?
I learned to roll my yarn into BALLS..see that purple?  From the first day..it started out in knots..worse that Christmas lights..it took me well over 1.5 hours to get the knots out and roll:( Oh lala..

and because I used the wrong needle..and 8 skeins lol..I started running out of yarn:(
Oh well..I know how now..although these are not my colors..(I can't get the proper wool here..)and I found it hard to pick 8 colors that go ok together..Orla happened like a hippie little blanket.
Still I like her...
The 2 orchids you see are my rebloomers♥
So I guess I will keep them up..the 3rd new one since my bday in Feb from Nancy is still of course in bloom.

The girls are home..♥Although we're not quite sure they are in fact Caramelle and Bécassine.. my heart  knows Bécassine is one of them...she was the smallest always.
They are very talkative now ..lol..I think they miss their OTHER family;)

I've baked and cooked a few new things..
Still enjoying all my teas..  my coffees.my glass..es of wine~
w/rose thorns up my arms and hands..getting a facelift for Bella..

One meal I made was ..wannabe tacos w/ home made Naans..
I sautéed onions and my garlic..browned low fat meat..and added a heaping tbsp of these nice spices..from Pattie..
I was misiing Worcestershire powder..added liquid;) I had the powdered  tomatoes!!
 I have sun~dried too..anyway these spices are good:) 

I made home made RANCH dressing..it was OK so I won't share the link and made Marie's Naans ..the only thing I would do differently ..I would make the Naans earlier:) I did everything AT dinnertime..the spices and dressing were made previously..
I have made Naans before..but wanted to try Maries..I think hers are prettier;


Another..being a recipe that Terry my Gardenbuddy sent me.. 
from Sally's Baking Addiction..
Raspberry ~Almond~Crumb Cake

easy peasy deliciousness..I only had frozen raspberries..next time I will make sure I have fresh too ..to pop on..

Gradens are keeping me focused~



Garden Journal~

Above is what is blooming this first week of May..along with some 

Anemones..and Pulmonaria Raspberry Splash.

No leaves on trees..

Irises poking up.Some tulips and daffs..all is so late this year..so much is still UNDERGROUND:(

I still have 2 small patches of snow in the front..don't ask.

Ranunculus are planted..I soaked the corms..

Basil and lemon verbena and curly parsley are bought.

2 yellow Dahlias I saved from last yr are planted.

All the leaves are gone..almost..
Some pots are filled w/ fresh potting soil..


ripped out more hydrangeas..poor shoulder..

Mulched Rose Cottage..
Linda's perennial sweet peas..(2) are planted..the ones I started indoors..fingers crossed..

Tomato seedlings are doing very well!!

Grass has been aerated by Jacques..

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pinks and Greens~Boys♥ and recipes~








After my lacking butter fiasco..I made a good little pound cake..a great little poundcake.Yum Yum.
I made half the recipe and used a Le Creuset loaf pan.
I read the reviews..:)

I only put a pinch of salt because my butter is salted and I baked mine at 315 F,70-80 mins.Check w/ a toothpick..I use a skewer.

You can find the recipe here~
Jacques makes his own crème fraiche now;)


I've been painting pinks and greens for lack of them here the week of April 15th..

Cheap cheap paper I bought at Hobby Lobby..in November..
Daniel Smith paints.

Hard to scan WHITE paper:(It's never white it seems..like in person.
I don't mind my fuschia buds..I HATE the full bloom one;)
Hate.

And a scraper from when I did ceramics..to scrape some paint off;)
Ho Hum ..this winter has overstayed it's welcome.
But as if a miracle..Spring has seemingly arrived..along w/ the perfunctory rain:)
I did some chores in the rain that involved going outside and I see how beneficial the rain has been.♥
Garlic up..all of it:)
Irises pointing..
Scillas starting,some Pulmonaria blooming..

2 of the Alphabet boys came over after school..their dad was away on business..mommy works..so they popped by here.
I only had daughters;)

Boys are so different:)And funny! We talked about the girls in their school..lol let's just say they are not into girls..yet;)

I can't begin to say how grateful I am that they are so sweet with us.
We watched a good movie after football..Hoovey..perfect movie  as they all 3 play basketball too.I cried 3 times lol.Football season starts Saturday.Next winter Max will do basketball ..Oli soccer.But all 4 play football.
They are sports nuts and I like that.Move move move:)It's social for them also..





He's the baby..8 ..he is the only one that has something from my dad's side of the family ..in all 4 of them..


Made these for them:) Good.Find the recipe here..They are so good a couple of hrs after and the next day..like Costco ones;)

I knew the rain was coming..so I prepped Terry's No-Knead easy easy bread.This tme..no walnuts..no cranberries..but a tbsp of Vital Wheat Gluten and a handful of cracked wheat..the rceipe originated from Sally's Baking Addiction and it's a keeper.
I have mentioned it to you before..but it's worth repeating.
If you have never made one..try it..it's no-fail..easy and you will love it~


Have a nice weekend..happy gardening..happy real Spring..

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A French Grand~Maman's no fail recipe.









The mini lemon curd tarts..are a combo of meringue..mini torched w/ no butane left;)

Jane's Small Batch Vanilla Lemon Curd,found on IG and then her blog:)

And this girl's nana's delicious pate sablée recipe..over 100 comments and only a few fails.I decided to try it..plus I was magnetized to it.Found on IG.

This isn't a pate sucrée..i.e. Dorie Greenspan's..(I love that one  too)..this is flakier..more pie crust typish..Typish?:)

I made it exactly as she said..except only let it rest1 hr in the fridge.I did not roll it out..I presssed it into my vintage molds..
The molds are ordinary aluminium..no teflon ..nothing.I did nothing as far as prepping them..the perfect little tarts popped right out.
A gem of a recipe:)Keeper category.

La Recette:

2 tbsps sunflower oil..I used canola
2 tbsps milk
2 tbsps sugar

100 gr semi-salted very soft butter
1 egg yolk
200 gr flour

In a bowl beat first 3 ingredients
Add butter and egg yolk beat until homogenous
Add flour and mix until you get a soft dough

Wrap and chill 2 hrs(I did one)
The use as your creativity suggests:)

So..I blind baked..it blind bakes perfectly..
I blind bake the little tarts w/ parchment..but I frill the edges..

I did not roll it out..I pressed it in my tins..placed the frilled edge parchment on top..and then the weights.
So good ..so easy:)

Moving on to my first greenery..with still lots of snow here..this is invasive..it's everywhere almost in the back of the mini pond garden..but what a respite after all white.
Let me tell you..and I know this will sound bad..
but everything everywhere is so ugly right now.
Dirty roads ,dirty snowbanks,brown grass when visible,fences to be painted..birdhouses to be put back up,leaves to be raked(again)..the list goes on..driving home yesterday we both remarked how these last few days have been so unsightly.
Freezing rain..sleet..grey..and our monochrome landscapes.

This too shall pass..is that saying true? Is it?:)

See that pretty cake? Made in that infaillable Ikea mold that I love?
This was a going to be an Eagle Brand treat for Jacques..he just likes a sliver of this or that after dinner.
Well..the recipe and the cake looked fab..
I made it.
Inedible.
I found the recipe here..

Then I Googled and so many similar recipes abounded..BUT.. 1/2 cup of butter too.They left out an ingredient!!
I know we all make mistakes..I should have checked other recipes..but how can something so cute  be so bad LOL?

I made up for it w/ a most delish but plain pound cake..I'll share it next time..

When I worked..I collected a few things that took my fancy..like these little sets..you know..soup and sandwich or soup and salad..I think I have 10 clear sets and 6 or 7 floral china ones.
I wonder who will use these later?

So weird that I think of these things;)



Just finished Bon Appé~tempt..on my sidebar.A coming of age story I really enjoyed.:)
A small excerpt after their trip to Paris..(You may remember ours:)..

"But if life is"mostly lived by timid bodies at home"*** we are mostly doing great.At that part of life,I know we excel.And though this may not be as easy to share at dinner parties with strangers("What do you do?""Well I love cooking dinner for my husband and myself and then eating it while watching House Hunters International."I'm realizing that's ok.

*** from the book Paris to the Moon.

Don't read this book for the recipes..these were her favorites as she was learning to cook..and bake..we all have different tastes and different degrees of experience:)



The sun'l come out tomorrow..tomorrow:)

Monday, April 9, 2018

April~ Malcontent so far~but ♥ Yupo!









Above..transparent Yupo..
below..white..looks grey and washed out..sorry..brighter ,whiter and sharper in person..



Transparent.. alcohol inks..brush and straw:)



Talk about cold..snow squalls..  wind to écorner les boeufs:)..There is no translation for this fantastic description of gale  force winds..if there was..it would be..it is windy enough to remove the horns from cattle.

I can translate for you..in other terms..you can't take a breath outside because it's so cold and so windy~

So..I have been painting and drinking tea and decaf coffee ..lots of tea as you can see..

I have to tell you that I find Sloane Teas..the packaging .. superb.
I have one..Pink Lemonade from Nancy..a few years ago..still good:)
They have minis too!
That book ..Madame Bovary ..is a treasure for me..My mom's..look at the cover♥
The blue tea is light,herbal and so pretty..bought on Ebay from Thailand..Keeper!
Super nice seller too.

You blink..and the Christmas Cactus explodes~




My seedlings are coming along..

My chickens are wandering ..lol..
I bought these 2 iron chickens for my gardens..  the paths  that Jacques snowblows.....are bare..but on the left side.. still a foot of snow..
these 2 were in our garage waiting for our gardens..

I looked out Saturday..while prepping the vegetables for dinner..and saw the girls:)

See our nice lush green grass? And that's the path Jacques snowblows..  we still have at least 1 foot to the left..like I said..above;)..and I don't even want to talk about the front.




Jacques had spent time tidying in the freezing garage and found my purchases..he put them out..
I actually said to him when I saw them..:" That's adorable"~!♥

Doesn't take much for me;)But honestly.. .how cute?

I made a few new recipes..

but in the interim..

fell in love with..

YUPO Legion paper.

I am a huge fan of Legion..I love their Stonehendge aqua..you may remember this done on it..




I bought white  5x7 (10 sheets)..and translucent (15 sheets).2 pads.Synthetic paper.
They immediately said to me..:"Oh, I am yours":)

I tried making alcohol inks for the transluscent and that is fun:)

Then I tried watercolors..on the white..
and fell in love.
And tried watercolors on the translucent.
The translucent is very much like vellum.

I prefer the white.



And I am planning on bringing the Yupo on trips.
It makes amazing watercolor effects.♥
The next trip I take ..God willing...

I hope to make a YUPO journal..and bring my watercolors..
maybe a new journal w/ darker colored paper and gouache as recommended by Miss Mustard Seed..

MMS..this girl..I tell ya..On IG..her stories and her posts..she is so talented!!
These young girls..I just cannot get over them.

While I am on an art spiel..if you have time..go read this..all my painting buddies..even if you do not piant I think you will be moved!

Made new scalloped potatoes..not bad not bad:)



I made half..and honestly we have enough for 2 meals.
You can find the recipe here.I liked the addition of caramelized onions..and they are baked in broth..allow for much longer baking time IMHO..My slices were perhaps not 1/8..but defiitely not much much thicker.

Had to squeeze this post in to tell you about Yupo..I think I found out about it later in life;)
And I hope you try it and enjoy it.

For the first one I used DS paints and Prima Decadent Pies..
For the other..Sennelier.
Let's hope May is far lovelier~

Have a lovely week~