Friday, January 15, 2016

Bleu et Blanc de l'hiver~Or Noir et Blanc












I love snowshoeing and x-country skiing..believe me I am not great at either..warmly dressed..with THE SUN..I need the sun..and it has to be hovering close to 30F..it's just so picturesque and peaceful..like a deserted beach when you can take nature in all alone..a little snowshoeing or skiing gives you that same AWESOME feeling..that's when the word  awesome works for me....the awe of nature.
I found Jacques' pocket Fuji camera from 2004..it's the only camera that does fit in our pocket comfortably..and I am going to use it..in the car..in my purse..in my ski jacket;)
it is zero indoors..but outside on a sunny day..it gives the general idea..
I love looking at the trees..the light..the sky..the trails..♥
It's a cold beach..;)
And then you have the non technicolor winter..black and white monochrome~

Apart from that..garden seed catalogs..stitching..painting..and the usual subscriptions..
I much prefer the UK Country Living..you?

I know I am taking a watercolor class..but Jacques likes oil..I'll always love watercolor and just ordered some new books etc....
but I do like to play with oils too..My friend Nancy is GREAT..and she emailed me..a list of things I should have like odorless solvent and some walnut or linseed oil..her fave paints and colors..I had a small sampler set..minute ..the white was finished in a heartbeat..  so I went to a local art store and bought a set of brushes on sale..I don't think I love that boar hair feeling..there was a synthetic set I liked better but the girl said I needed this set..and Pebeo had huge tubes on sale..a really nice young woman/shopper told me they were fine for what I wanted to do..so ..no..none of the colors on the list were there..but I did pick a few..  I went in for two  things and blush came out w/ more..
it's fun too..I used a pic of Lucas and Oli fishing last yr..because I don't do faces..I see Oli looks out of kilter and I need way more practice..but Jacques walked by and said he wanted it for his car LOL:)♥

The plus to this little expedition is that although my craft room looks the way it did before..it's more organized..it's not cute at all .. it's a lovely big room w/ natural light in the basement..because of 2 above grade windows..but there's nothing cute in the decor..a sewing station..a yoga area ;) a tv spot..watercolor table..craft table..kid's craft table..an easel  storage..photography umbrellas.. I like to try it all;)
I love those cute craft rooms where everything is white and shiny and storage looks like Martha Stewart did it..but that's not mine..I have stamp and ink bins under the computer area..fabric in another..a couch..get the picture?
I would love someone to say :"you have just won a craft room makeover to your liking!:)"

And since that's not happening...I'll get back to food~

I saw the above soup on Pinterest..and gave it a bit of a twist.I made half..added mushrooms..and more liquids..there was not enough liquid for the soup..when halved.You will have to make sure you have more stock than specified..it would have been a thick stew had I refrained from adding much more liquid..
it's delicious!


Please go see her great shots here that made me want to get up and make it..and here's what I did..

Italian Sausage,Kale and Tortellini Soup~

1 Mild Italian Sausage (Costco),they are long and substantial.
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
 2 home grown garlic cloves;)
3 large mushrooms,sliced..
1 small tin diced Italian tomatoes..ap 14 ozs**I had bought a large  tin..I halved it and saved the rest.
1 tbsp tomato purée in a tube
1 cup water
 4 cups  beef broth
4.5 ounces of refrigerated cheese tortelllini
2 cups torn kale only the leaves not the spine..loosely..stacked..
Italian Seasonings to taste..

I sautéed the sausage in a bit of EVOO..added the onion..carrot and mushrooms and sautéed for a few minutes..added the garlic.. a few more minutes..added all liquids and Italian seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.. and simmered for about 15 minutes..added the kale and tortellini..and let simmer an additional 10 mins.
Add shaved parm on top..and some chopped parsley.
Really good..and you may still need to add some liquid..
This makes 6 portions for us..  


One day after school this week Max told me he already knew what he wanted for his birthday even if it was months away.: " a butler"~
I thought why on earth? He already has his mommy:)


I don't know about you..but I would be so uncomfortable having an Anna..if I was Lady Mary..to pick up my dicarded clothes on the floor while I revealed my fab undergarments.
Never a butler for me:)
It's either blue and white in winter here or black and white.
I'll take color thank you.~
Bon weekend!

56 comments:

  1. Oh that Max. What a thing to say. I would love a maid and butler and gardener etc. Love the juxtaposition of blue and white; inside and out. I decorated my shelves at the city house in blue and white. I just love it. Your oil looks great. Love that you are game to try new things. Really, you just need the following paints and can mix with them. White, burnt umber, raw sienna, cadmium red light, yellow ochre, cad yellow medium, sap green, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue and I think that is it. Alizarum crimson if you want and it goes a long way. Also cerulean blue. Those brushes are used but also the sable brushes are necessary. Have fun. It does look gorgeous outside there. My grands would love it since we usually don't get that much snow.

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    1. You named many on Nancy's list:)I am sure I will get there..paint supplies wise..:)
      I know..Max..I never thought of a butler all my life..

      I think we need more city house pics Donna..I do~

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    2. Just don't buy the most expensive oils as I recently noticed at Hobby Lobby a vast difference in prices. I have an app on my iPhone that gives me 40% off of any object every day. I use it all the time. I will have to take more pics. Lots of creams. Just love it. I sent my bed back. Did I tell you that? It was gorgeous, but they sent gray and I ordered ivory. It was just too expensive so it gave me the excuse to get my money back. Oh well. I am dying to be able to start painting again. Hopefully soon.

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    3. I loved that bed!
      I wish we had HL..I spent 45 minutes there this last time in Fl.. 5 mins the time before..alas we may fly next time so HL willbe limited..

      Thansk for the heads up..I won't buy the most expensive..until I know what I am doing and even then..
      thank you Donna..love your work..appreciate your input.

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  2. The soup looks perfect for a winter's night. I adore those individual covered bowls. Your staging is perfection!
    I admire your painting talents, Monique. The painting of the boys is charming. As for me, these cold winter days are spent stitching or reading. I've yet to get a new post created. Waiting for inspiration! '-)
    UK Country Living is a wonderful publication, but very expensive here and only sold at Barnes and Noble. I rarely purchase magazines anymore because I read so many beautiful blogs like the one you share with all of us. Amazing talent in the Blogging World!

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    1. I second your thoughts on blogs..so much inspiration right at our fingertips and never ending once you start..the magazine is very expensive here also and available at our B and N..Chapters/Indigo..
      do you remember Mary of Once Upon A Plate?
      Mary gave me the covered bowls many many years ago..I still love them.



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  3. So much to love here this morning Monique! I know I always say that, but it's true. I can almost hear the snow squeaking beneath my feet looking at your wintery photos. And that soup. This is soup season. Oh how lovely. It looks delicious! You are a wonderful artist! I am loving the painting of the boys. Well done! I think you sell yourself short on your talent. I think you are very talented and in so very many ways. Haha, I had to laugh about your grandson wanting a Butler. Like you, I could not handle having someone else doing things for me. Much too intrusive. Having worked in that position for the wealthy, I decided a long time ago that no matter how much money I had, I would never want others working in my house and knowing all of my business. I am far too humble. Have a great weekend! xoxo

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    1. We are twins for that for certain..I watched my mom clean her house..I've always cleaned mine..and I would be uncomfortable otherwise..yet my daughters have cleaning ladies and I think..good for you:) LOL..I am happy they feel comfy letting someone else do that..gives them more time w/ the kids or to do other things..
      Plus truth be told I like cleaning .I like seeing it sparkle.When Jacques married me....we had been married 2 months..maybe less..I hope..and one morning he said..don't you think we should change the sheets?Again LOL but my mom always did that..

      things took a huge turn when I became the fussy one..he created a little montser.
      I love plaiying with paints..you CREATE.:)And beautifully.
      I know you are the same.

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  4. Just love your winter photos, Monique. Peaceful and I can almost feel the cold.
    I've made that soup...it's fabulous and freezes a dream. Great presentation too, soups are difficult to photograph.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. They are! even now..I see the rim at the top:)
      I find brown things hard..like mushroom soups..they have to be buried under something:)
      Grey today enjoy that Fl sunshine..!

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  5. Max must have been watching Downton Abbey at home - LOL. What lovely shots of your outdoor snowshoe and cross country ski 'course'. I wish I had taken photos in the late fall on our walks over our 'course'. Still haven't figured out the show shoes for me. I really need to go in somewhere and talk to an expert. My preferred temp for hiking outdoors would be in that same temperature range :) I haven't seen UK Country Living! I'll have to see if it's sold somewhere to see a copy. I'll bet the garden pictures are fabulous! What a sweet painting of L and O. Even sweeter that Jacques wants to put it in his car ♥ The soup looks delightful. So well photoed too! I know John would love it also with the sausages in it :) Made your muffins - delicious! Bon weekend, M!

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    1. It's another show..on Netflix..Jesse? Caught a few minutes of it..a little like Full House which they love..
      Not only the gardens..the kitches..♥ So pretty in that UK mag..
      Happy you like the muffins nana:)

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  6. You always manage to make your nature scenes and your food styling match. The blue shadows in the snow mimic your blue and white tureens. Lovely. Your painting of the boys is very good. So is the soup recipe . . . just my kind of meal. Have a great weekend Monique.

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    1. Just circumstance this time:)I save Mary's bowls for special..we have 2..so a new soup warrants them..
      Yes a soup is my kind of meal too!I am going to make that mustard chicken one day:)

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  7. The countryside is so peaceful when it's covered with snow...and quiet. No matter how hard I try not to I always start thinking of spring right after the first of the year. Your painting of the boys is so sweet. We are our own worst critics, aren't we? Enjoy the snow and the sunshine and have a good weekend.

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    1. We definitely are..about many things..but I do know his proportions are off;)

      Someone I know is in Switzerland and France right now..she emailed and of course recognized the spot as she lives here..so neat:)She's at the market having a ball meeting a new grandson!

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  8. I too love all your dishes and plates, I wish I had a vast array like yours! Max is so funny. I really didn't get to understand how much a butler does until I started watching DA. Anna is the best and always knows what to say. The writers for that show are outstanding, I'm sad to see it go but will always enjoy the reruns from Season 1 - the end. I don't have snowshoes but want hubby to buy me some. Our snow fell a few days after Christmas and has stayed. I love the scenery, I love gentle falling snow but not when it comes in like a blizzard. Oh! please let me know when you plan to start your grass seeds for Easter, it comes early this year - end of March! Bon weekend to you too! :)

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    1. Oh my gosh Bev..now you have me thinking Easter!You're my little motivator..I have fennel now:)End of March..you can always mow it w/ scissors if it gets too tall..I worry leaving it until only 2 weeks before but usually that is more than enough..I love Peter Rabbit..:)
      Dishes..compared to ..the wonderful bloggers that set tablescapes etc..I don't really have a lot..yet in my mind I have too many.I don't think I will ever buy another unless it is a real heartbreaker.
      Funnily enough the set I use most is a clear very cheap set looks like lace around..I have a set for 12..so for the family it gets used the most..
      You have all the dishes you could want Bev..get the snowshoes instead:)

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  9. Beautiful photos and those lovely bowls caught my eye. Love the look! You are keeping quite busy. You have such great talent with capturing and presenting your photos. The staging looks like it could be in a magazine. Love looking at the beautiful snow. It looks serene and peaceful. We have none. Nothing like a hearty soup to warm our souls. I feel guilty not posting, however I have been knee deep in designs, in which I love.

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    1. And you are great at them! The snow is peaceful and serene..and I am never looking out thinking..I should be in the gardens..like I do all other 3 seasons..

      it seems QC is messy..in Spring everything bursts forth but we are cleaning up late fall's debris..and then helicopters off the maples..and then pollen..Oy..where you live it seems everything is always just so:)
      Thanks Linda..enjoy your weekend..you have THE dishes:)

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  10. Another lovely and homey entry Miss M. Max has the right idea but i would prefer a personal cook.Pretty snow scenes and beach painting. Keep them coming. Please!

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    1. I think you have a long weekend? Have a great one!!!

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    2. Yes, thanks. I think I will play with balloons tomorrow.
      Did I get the title The Baker's Daughter from your blog? I look at your books now and then.Anyway I downloaded it from my library. Very moving and at the end there are recipes. Lost on me but good for you.

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    3. You know..I read a lot now..and I am ashamed to say that i forget the books I have read..I checke..and I have bookmarked it.I want to read this one..thanks A!

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  11. Well you are going to find a butler-you can tell Max he has one-himself. Ha Ha. I know-no Anna for me either. I do like your soup crocks.

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  12. Very ambitious venture.
    Bravo! I would keep painting from that photo of the kids. Try different attacks...go abstract even. You'll learn a lotand get more confident faster. As my teacher used to say over and over to us, "Lose the subject!"
    Bon chance

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    1. Great idea..I try too hard..at an art ..s I know very lttle of..a few classes might be a grand idea..in person..although I love the intimacy of being in my own home online learning..
      Lose the subject......lose the subject..

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    2. Also ..what do you do when there is nothing cool or abstract about you?
      I am so not cool..nor abstract.I have matching night tables.. says it all..just read Patti Smith's book..it was hard for me to get into it..she's too cool.

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  13. Your photos of the snow make me almost like snow :) and the idea of thinking of it as a cold beach is fabulous. I made my husband promise me I would never have to be cold again...be careful what you wish for. That Max and his butler! How cute, but I think it would be hard for him to wrap his head around the fact that he already has one...his mother. As for Lady Mary, they may begin to feel the Depression soon and it will be interesting to see how all of the Lords & Ladies handle it. The idea of Lord Grantham polishing his shoes seems unimaginable. Hope all is well Monique. I miss you.
    Sam

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  14. I do love the blue and white of winter too! Might as well since I can't escape it. I love your rendering of the boys on the beach!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. Thanks Bonnie!
      The sun helps doesn't it? And time flies..the older we get so I do find winter flies by now..

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  15. I cannot imagine having an Anna - good thing I am not crazy rich! The photos are gorgeous - decorated in white :) The soup sounds wonderful for a cold winters day. Your painting is so sweet - love that perspective!

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    1. I'd like her as a friend though:)

      Thanks Tricia!

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  16. so peaceful and comforting all of it, and i loved reading the description of your craft room :)
    i definitely prefer the uk country living too and the us one used to be a lot better than it is now, but i think maybe they are getting a new editor so it may change but i'm not positive about that.
    hope your enjoying your winter days
    jenni

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    1. There is a big difference..I thought so..oh my craft room would never be in a magazine:)..But I have one..don't look at what you don't have right..look at waht you do and be happy.
      I am enjoying these winter days Jenni:)

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  17. Happy Sunday Monique...
    Love your painting...I think you captured the mood...
    That soup sounds delicious...perhaps I will try that...
    I also have a smaller, skinnier camera for my purse, and my pocket while beach walking!
    My big guy is great when I am close to home...but...too big when on the move...
    Have a great week ahead!
    All of our snow has melted!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. I was out this aft..and it seemed milder for a bit..not much..but my winter coat kept me warm..so that means..it was milder:)
      We visited a friend ..many yrs ago..and a friend at the time..we went to Muskoka..♥

      And Kleinberg♥..Kleinberg is in the snowbelt right? You must be far away from that?

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    2. no...actually within about an hour or so...my brother has a house in Tottenham...
      Isn't Muskoka just so lovely...

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  18. I knew I should've concentrated on French instead of Spanish! :-) I'm only liking the colors since I'm living in it. Running around this morning doing errands, -6°F, I can do without. That beach pic is my cup of tea!

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    1. Tough when you have to go out;) I know!!!

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  19. Beautiful post. Your snow shots are absolutely breathtaking, Monique. Oh dear, your precious boys. Awesome painting.
    Hugs,
    Nancy

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    1. Take care Nancy..geesh..what times you are having..
      I know this will not be of super duper comfort..but it seems we each get a turn..turns..and some more than others..:(
      You must be so grateful for your Littles:)

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  20. My craft room (and my office) would never be in a magazine :-)
    Just got in from our morning walk. So quiet and we trudged through the snow covered sidewalks. Really enjoying these winter days.
    Max cracked me up with his Butler request :-) Cute, cute.

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    1. I must be nuts..too..as I quite love this season..it's in March I tire of it ..and who knows..with age..I might just not anymore;)
      I am glad I am not the only one who doesn't have a Pottery Barn craft room..But if we won one?!

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  21. This soup sounds great, perfect for this time of year.

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    1. It is..my daughter is coming for lunch w/ Noah Sunday and I am making it again.it was bitter cold yesterday ..I could have used a bowl!

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  22. Your tortellini soup looks delicious, perfect pour this icy weather :)

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  23. I had to grin at your comment about the craft room makeover...as I glanced around my room and saw piles of genealogy books and papers, quilts waiting to be bound in another and cooking magazine and cookbooks under my feet...oh yes, I can relate. For now though, I would love a bowl of your wonderful soup! I have pinned it for later...can hardly wait.

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    1. Don't you love the pretty ones on Blogs?
      I would not even know where to begin..it would have to be in with the new out w/ theold..one of the tablesis a card table..another a wood one..a drafting table..a kid's table..wow..talk about eclectic:)

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  24. J'ai toujours trouvé les systèmes de rangement de Martha Stewart extraordinaires !!! Mais ça ne ressemble pas à ce que je fais moi non plus ... De toute façon, je suis sûre que quelque-part, tant d'ordre tuerait ma créativité ! :-)) Sinon, moi aussi, j'aime les sports d'hiver, mais seulement sous le soleil. Ici, dans nos montagnes juste derrière, c'est souvent le cas, heureusement ... Sinon quoi d'autres ? Ah, si, j'aime beaucoup tes petits plats ... et le bouillon très italien qui s'y trouve. Bravo pour tes peintures, aussi; Huiles ou aquarelles, tu excelles dans les deux ... Tes deux petits gars face à la mer sont incroyables ...

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    1. Tu es bien encourageante..je crois que tu vois mes essais avec des lentilles roses:)
      Nous apportons un coeur en petites saucisses chez ma fille pour la St -Valentin;♥

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