Monday, March 31, 2014

L' Amitié~Friendship~

                                                                                                                         A very famous quote

I received this book in 2000..
I keep it for many reasons..
And from time to time it comes off the shelf for perusal..
It's amazing how the meaning of friendship changes through the years.

Some of the words in this little book seem silly now that I am 60..
And some are still spot on about what a friend is..
A friend can be many things..

And you do not necessarily have to have met someone for he or she to become a friend.
Look at us..on the internet..

Certainly we are very lucky to have met some..
And that can be fun..
But most of the friends we make while blogging..we never get to meet or even see..
But they are there..and we correspond with them more than real life people sometimes..
We keep talking about them to our husbands etc..
Similar tastes..activities..passions..
Circumstances just draw us to one another for who knows what reason..
That we like the same things?
Or that we don't but love to discover?
That we feel the same things?
Or that we don't yet yearn to see a diffent outlook?
The anonymity?
The pleasure we have seeing a comment or an email from a blogging friend?
The years of friendship?
The fact that we are not exposed to each others looks.. etc?
I thinks it's all of the above and much more.
It's hearts connecting..not eyes..seeing what the other represents in the material world..
We are all  pretty much for the most part..
Into baking and cooking and painting and photography and books..
and gardening..:)children,spouses,grandchildren..
Or not.
But something about this connective web that is the internet..
Draws us into people.
And I love that.
It has been an amazing reward to blogging. can make you tear up too..if a friend is out of sorts..or not well..or going through a difficult time no matter what the reason.
And then we feel compassion..

If they are going through a great time..we are excited for them..
Little things here and there remind us of blogging friends we have..
A flower.. a item..a song..a verse..a book..

And sometimes  we feel sorrow..

Like when Derek and Marlene..  2 of the very first  web friends I met..passed away.
I peek into my garden..and sure enough plants they brought us come up every Spring..
I see  a cow..and Derek is right there. because I met his cows at his farm and he sent me a photo with a quote bubble of the cows talking to me...A charming garden in QC..and  beautiful Marlene is there.

We really do become friends..and even sight unseen..

This week I received a very touching email.. announcing some sad news..
That one of my blogging friends..had passed away.
We never met..
She didn"t have a blog..
She commented on mine through the years..and on others..
And we exchanged some emails..about food and gardens and fairies..
and small tokens of our internet friendship..
Once there was a fairy..a little silver fairy..on a ribbon I think holding little calling cards for me..
I put it on my mom's charm bracelet..and it's been there ever since..

And it will be forever.
She always ended her notes with..Blessings..
Last Easter she sent me  an idea for an Easter cake for my little ones..
She once sent me Graces by June Cotnor..
She alerted me to the May June issue of Victoria last yr..France..
Her Birthday was in March..
Just little greetings here and there..

Her dear husband was the gentleman who contacted  me  to let me know.

A beautiful kind person she was.

Thank you ..for being my friend..


Friday, March 28, 2014

Paris Sketch Letters~

When our eldest daughter married.. in 2007  ..they honeymooned in Paris..

She sent me emails..that I still have..I loved rereading them again for this post and looking through the photos they took.
The letters are brimmimng with Paris Joy..not Joy de Patou..just joy at everything they were seeing and experiencing..the sights the sounds..the food..everything..
They are on my computer as M's letters from Paris..
The above 2 photos are from the photos they gave us..

I do love all things French..did all my schooling in French except college and 4 months at McGill..majoring in French..:)
The girls did all their primary and secondary in in in English ..the other in French..
Mylène..above is a French teacher ..kindergarten..they have Noah:)

One day we think we would like to go to Paris also..we have been to still my ♥..
While in Provence I kept a journal with small paintings and stubs from different places ..and words of course.
I love that little is not at all nice like all the journals I see and love now from fellow's a dear souvenir for me..and I would not hesitate to do another:)

I think that is one of the reasons I could not resist..


This is one of  Carol G's letters from Paris!~
Imagine..Etsy notified me just a few days prior..that my letter had been sent..I never expected it in my box in such short short short time..
It is thrilling to get a very very French envelope..Par Avion..Priorité..with your name on it:)

and her art in it..and her little souvenirs for us♥
I love little envelopes in books..journals..this one had a mini in a maxi:)
My art was Parapluies..Monet  perfume cards..(The real little bottles are mine..I just thought they went so well with her treasure envelope..

I had watched parts of a Wayne Dyer special on TV while on the treadmill..and he was talking about the need to have a BURNING do what you want to do..
be it writing..or art..that is must be your passion and that you are ready to focus on that ..
well I think Carol is a perfect example of following her passion.. her dream

Leaving NYC to live in Paris and paint her dreams..
We all benefit from her travel to Paris..we get to see the places she the people she meets..and admire her art..not to mention Bear:)
The letters are available at her Etsy on the link  to the right of her blog:)

I love them.

In the interim..until I get to Paris..if I do..

I will stick to creating my own little Paris treats at La Table De Nana:)

Callebaut white chocolate Eiffel towers..To surround a cake maybe?

Qui Sait?
Bon Weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

La Maison Des Biscuits~

I don't know how this cute stamp ended up in our home..
Okay..a new Renaud-Bray opened up in a close radius to our home and I had to wait 1  1/2 hrs for an the same vicinity.. cute little book..stamp..cutter and decorator..all packaged up in a cute little house.
I was a realtor for 28 years..I'll blame it on the fact that I have a  penchant for cute homes..
This one fits the bill..the door with the  fan window..the large window with the teapot and dessert..a hanging sign..lampstandard..awning at the front..
Too cute.
I used one of the recipes in the small French book..
Thank goodness I have baked before..
These are a type of Dulce De Leche cookie..the recipe said to add one jar to the mixture..

not so fast Larousse..The DDL goes IN between the cookies..nit IN the recipe..

You can leave them single.. but this recipe needs the filling I find..not too much but just enough to give it the DDL taste..after all that is the recipe.
Imprint is clear and sharp.
If I had a shop I would have these at the counter..Under a pretty cloche..♥
And I would serve pretty teas..
And I would have flowers in the shop..and the softest music playing~

Coup de ♥~

La Recette~

Courtesy of that cute little book there..again..there is an error in la recette..and the book is not all geared for stamping..


Dulce De Leche

100grams of softened butter
 250 grams of flour
1 egg
100 grams brown sugar
pinch of fleur de sel

Cream butter and sugar add egg then salt and flour..the flour..start with 200 grams..and add if you feel the mixture needs it..I did..
Again these were not their directions..
But it worked for me..
Bake at 350 for ap 15 minutes..  mine took less..

Place a dollop od Dulce De leche between 2 cookies..and there you have them:)
I won't give you a rundown on how to use a must be tired of hearing my method by now..
It's different f you live with me and I repeat get used to it I guess after 40 yrs..but if we just visit each could find it terribly tedious..:)
I am at a loss since my new computer stepped foot here..
What looks right sized on the new computer appears so large here..
Give me time..
I will get used to it..
On the new computer..the fotos are full size..

On my I check..half the photos are missing..size wise..
How about you?:)
Thank you..

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lovely Books~

I love lovely books..that speak to me..  entertain me.. teach me..or inspire me.
The ones above inspire me..
Through Jenni..I learned of  Mary Woodin.
I perused her book and stared painting with it next to me..
One fine day we had the boys..Lucas played chess with Jacques..and Max asked if he could be in my craft room with me..I love that..I set him up..and Oli:)..

..and all 3 of us paint or draw.. Max did watercolors..mostly skaters.they were terrific..
Oli   ..drew Mike Wazowski  ..once many times:)  He had found the ones Noah did and said he tried and got it..and continued..
Hard to explain how sweet the feeling is when I am painting and my 6 yr old grandson is painting on a table close to me..and a 4 yr old is on another's not a pretty's in the basement ..with 2 large windows..and at this time of year with no gardens hiding the windows..the light streams in..and there is such a peace..with those two with me:)..that that room becomes pretty to me.
I tried looking at certain paintings of Mary  Woodin and without tracing painted them..
the geranium leaf is from one of the geraniums I wintered blooming:)
My garden shears  kind of look like a friendly animal:)  But the practice felt great.
My mind is wandering towards gardens and seeds..and dahlias..(do I try again?)..
My heart skips a beat when I spot the first Violets..

And the list goes on and on..
Myosotis and Lily Of the Valley.. some much needed new garden tools..
Clematis and Roses  ..Peonies..Irises   Foxgloves and Blueberries..
Compost and dirt..and garlic!
Taking photos of ferns unfurling for this the 13th yr in a row..without tiring of seeing the same dance.

You can get inspiration from many types of books.. from childhood books..( the bottom one was my first dictionary..:)  we gave it away..but I found it on resellers..So nice! All illustrated.. present day children's books..  like the above from Sharon Lovejoy.. Beatrix Potter etc..
books from Fance..or recomemnded books..(  D Dewey and The Watercolor palette book recommended by Paris Breakfasts..Carol) books..and old books on techniques you bought years ago thinking it should be easy..(not..)..
The 2 Vivian Swift books I have~
There are so many books I could add here..
Some are packed away since 13 yrs..try and find the box.
Some are lent..some are lost..some that were lent became lost..
Some keep forever and look at time and time again..:)over and over again..
Treasures ,books are.

Not crazy about the Fabriano paper in the little book I have.. 90 lbs it's murky kind of~
Least favorite paints: Prang..there is like a gummy feeling to them..
I shouldn't be one to give an opinion.. 
But in case you are thinking of taking up this hobby..perhaps these comments will help~.

 A good book is all you need to motivate you:)

We're having a snowstorm right now..
I hate to admit it  but we are..
So I might just look at books..

By the way..reading Goldfinch..about halfway it a lot so far.
In th ekitchen ..not too much going on..
But Jacques is celebrating a birthday and last night my daughter and son-in-law had us over for a delicious dinner.
I was in charge of dessert..

A fun little bunting I found on the internet and I am so sorry I cannot remember where..Thank You Thank You..
Staples printed it up..I cut it and dresses up a white chocolate coconut cake   perfectly..

He's so nice..he loved it♥

I have had this cake recipe for so many many years.. in a binder..I cut it out of and In Style magazine we had..My girls loved it..I think it was part of a shower for Melissa Gilbert..anyway it was a feature in the magazine.. I'm not a box cake baker..but this one has been in our home for yrs..
I just Googled for fun..Instead of typing it all out..because typing is not my forté..
and lo and behold it's here.
Have a great weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Portrait Of A Country Garden~

A little book I enjoy.. this one..  was a gift years ago..bought at a book sale..with an inscription to a "Jane"..
Jane Doe..John Doe..
Landed in Monique's's always on a bookshelf..with this old camera I have had forever and a day.
It features garden stories..watercolors.. and a huge dried lilly my son-in -law handed me the day he married our's left discoloration on some pages but to me's only made it more precious.
Read the March brings optimism:)
In our home..yellow tulips this time..My husband's idea..he has grown accustomed to them..:)
And old fashioned favorite of mine..
Before my fingers get to dig in the earth..I'll bide my time with these:)

See the discolorations?
Never mind..I even write in cookbooks now..
Things change..they never stay the same..

The seed catalogues are arriving..Planning what to grow..wondering if those beautiful tiny poppies will come back..
I only see the tops of the hydrangea branches..the Tree of Enchantment is still well hidden under all the snow..
Soon..I'll climb over the snow and clip the group 3 clematis.Haul the cuttings to The Secret Garden..
The snow will melt ...
The Spring clean up will begin..
The fence will be repainted..
Some wintered birdhouses will go back out.
And magic..I'll look out and everything will be a sea of green instead of white.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A little project I found..

That you might enjoy doing..

It could help get you started on mixed media projects
I plan on giving this one to the girl who manages a lovely beachside resort..she keeps many beachy things in her office..

I didn't have the right kind of gauze..nor very many of the exact products ..
It was spur of the moment..
but it was doable
I had a small 4x6 artist's canvas..glue.many shells..distress inks..prosciutto netting:) mini fence pieces..pearls..glitter..gesso,twine
Just in case something like this is of interest to you..go see here..
I could not add a thank you I am saying thanks here:)

Some flashbacks:)

Sand Dollar Cookies..

Darling Clematis..she jumped into this post by sheer dreaming by the author!:)

A favorite bag..

The reality of March backyard with borrowed landscape as Derek would say...

More cookies from the past~

I guess this post is much ado about blue.. for you.

And me.
...since Spring seems a tad far away after last night's snowstorm here..and BRRR,c'est froid!
Windchill stuff!
J'aimerais bien voir la mer en hiver..♥

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A touch of green~

In sweet form...

And in side dish form:)

I have a touch of green in me:)  My great  great grandfather was Irish apparently.....along the grandfather married a French canadian girl.. and his dad..also married a French canadian girl..truth be told by that time..they were both perfectly mother mastered both languages so well..
A translator..a whiz in politics..(not me..) have heard all those wonderful things about my mom..It's the Irish in me I am bringing out today..
First the cupcakes..I actually made them for my daughters' birthday..they are perfect for St can find the recipe here...fabulous young beauty..loaded with talent:)

And then..the Colcannon Bundles..

I made some yrs ago.. and lost the recipe..  so this is really by memory because I thought I had found it again last week and can't..
I think it originally came from Gourmet magazine..
I love these..

How to~


Bacon..( I used one big slice)
1 finely chopped onion
1/4 slivered cabbage
several outer cabbage leaves ..blanched..
Your delicious mashed potatoes(I used 3potatoes)..well seasoned and creamy:)

You render some bacon..cut up in small pieces..a whole tinely diced onion.. and about 1/4 of a cabbage cut in slivers..then chopped a bit.. Season..Cook to desired taste and tenderness..1 slice of bacon was sufficient.
I first blanched a few outer leaves of the cabbage to make the little bundles..and placed them in a BIG 4 cavity muffin tin over some parchment paper..

To the bacon onion cabbage mixture  add your great flavorful beautifully mashed potatoes..(I used 3 )..
Scoop the mixture into the cabbage leaves and bake covered at 350 until  warmed can remove the covering  (foil in my case)  a bit before but not too soon as the blanched cabbage can burn.
I could eat these anytime..
We had them with salmon and asparagus.
It made 4.. so we have 2 leftover..
You don't need St Patricks day to enjoy these:)

Saturday....yesterday..  we Sprang forward..  before Springing forward ..this same Sat..we had temps of 39 F  and sunshine.
A walk in the woods.. hit the spot..

even with a bear in our midst~ a ferocious bear and his 2 bigger brothers..

and Lucas..who is NEVER cold..and can be in a his inclement cold weather..

I guess compared to the minuses:)  we live through..the 30's is a heat wave to them:)
The streets are turning puddle-like..the snowbanks slowly diminishing..

                        Small town..we live in..  tucked into the the middle of the woods..directional arrows..this one to...  Main:)nothing fancy..easy to understand:)
                                                                       I love it to bits...this small town..
                                                                           Et eux..  encore plus.

PS..not sure if the girl with the original idea for the boot/glove planter will see this..I had posted it shortly after I saw it at my friend Nancy's home..her friend had offered it to her..I was charmed and made a few as gifts..
The original artist is so talented at flower arranging:) I saw a few of her arrangements during the yrs our friend Nancy lived across the street:)
Waving hello Janice if you see:)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tempus Fugit~Carpe Diem~ Cookies and Bars and Tulips~

Fresh New Tulips~ Blush pink and white..

New bulbs being forced~

Remember the chocolate stamped cookies? Plain vanilla sugar cookies.. this time..same blog authoress..Great For Stamping~!

The next thing I made ..needed these ingredients..

I have had a blogging friend for years..who bakes and cooks like nobody's business..And  paints and crafts like nobody's business:) 

Case in of the many things I have made from one of her blogs..The English Kitchen~

I think  an agent/publisher..should snap her up for the cutest greeting cards for  cooks..bakers..
and while they are at it..a cookbook of her fabulous original recipes..

I think they should seize the day to snap her up:)

And how cute is this?
Part of a bag my daughter had some things in.. 
She left it here knowing I would like it:)

So ..I am a copy cat..I know that..
The sugar cookies..
You can find the recipe in it's entirety  here..
Remember the Downton Abbey Cookies? These are the vanilla bean ones: We made 1/2 the recipe and got 19 generous sized cookies.
They are perfect for a housewarming gift with the new address on them:) Cookies cut out with a house shape..
I think I got that cutter in Sarasota Florida ..@ Sur La Table. 
The Brigitte letters and numbers were used with the longer holder..not the cutter.
I find the cookies print even better without the cutter !
Thought I would mention it because I know many of you have it:)

The clock I have had for at least 15 years.♥
It's made of sturdy cardboard with glass so sweet.
The reason I mention copy that I cannot draw something from memory at all.I have to look at an object..a photo..something.
I recently bought a book from a reseller recommend by  Jenni..and I have been having fun practicing..
I even stacked up some books to share with you..
There is no comparison between resellers and being in the US and having resellers..
I usually keep a wish list going of treats.
I am so grateful for the prices.. in all categories..are beat  in the US.
And I never invent recipes..I find them here and there and appreciate finding them so much..

My friend Linda.. emails me recipes she thinks I would like..this past week alone 2 were featured in our home:)  1  a repeat..her red lentil soup.. and the other ..Nigel Slater's Coq Au Riesling..DELISH..

Getting back to Marie..I seem to be all over the place today..Marie draws from her head~ Her own ideas..and does it beautifully:)
And creates her own recipes..
That's why I think an agent should snap her up.
You can find her Jam bar recipe here..I can walk away from cakes ..chocolate..pies.. etc..candies.. but these?  They are like a cookie for me..
They are soo easy..
Try them..
and send an agent:)

My first round of hyacinths has come and gone..I had 3 left..for the next they have been placed on the vases..and have started sending shoots..
New tulips♥
And a new floor mat..
A sweet gift..
reinforces..the words..Carpe Diem..Every Day~
I love words..
And we all know Time Flies.

So try the bars..I asked Jacques what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday and he said the jam bars:)
                                                                   Imagine.That's how great are! I have made them twice since..