Sunday, March 18, 2018

Still Winter~

So the above happened..

A Nor-Easter..LOL EASTER.Not.

It's March that's the longest.

I must say I don't miss my real estate days at all in winter.
The open houses..oy..hoisting those stupidly heavy sandwich boards onto snowbanks..w/ the car running w/people in back.
Sometimes I felt mortified.

Wet snow all over me..onto an empty cold house sometimes.

Thank goodness I loved it most of the time.My clients♥

I prefer winter ..not driving.

What a great job it was though looking back.
The families,
Some became friends.
I learned so much about so many things.
It was exciting..but also stressful at times..I can't lie.
You want what's best for your clients and if it's not worry for them.
But some..I fell in love with.

Anyway..being INDOORS..let's me start Easter baking early..
A carrot cake is in the freezer..some cookies are started.

It's so easy and good and I pump up the almond flavoring.
It's lovely w/ a dusting of snow on top;) ..Icing sugar..;)

I made an Irish Soda bread for St Pat's..but before the actual day..
..I am part Irish;) 

This time w/ caraway and raisins..if you Google..Oodles of recipes will show up.

To me it's part scone part bread.
I like it the first day.
I do like it but prefer a scone.
Or a great bread:)

But I like it.
And it's pretty..I need to eat pretty;)
Don't give me a raw oyster.

I wanted to talk about basil..because it never lasted here indoors in cooler months.
I found the trick for us.

The pic above is the day she came to live here..always so cute that first day..makes you think you can grow ANYTHING indoors in winter..and then..she leaves you.

So if  you live in a zone like are my new tips that work.

1. Don't bring it home in extreme cold.It will sulk and die.

2.Put the pot it came a bigger pot..and water inside the big empty pot.It will sip it all up.

3.Only pinch at a fork.

4.Keep in sunshine during the day.

5. Place under your stove top light at night away from drafts and windows.

Look.. 3 weeks later..:)

And take cuttings! Root in water..and then pot up.

I was a very lucky girl this week and found some vintage copper canelés molds♥I had only ever used the silicone.
Not sure I'll use beeswax though..I'll see..

Ok ..and this some ways..

I bought it from The Book Depository..$10.00 less than Amazon Canada..and always free shipping.I have never been disappointed with them..

so about this book..

Look..a few instructional pages..beautifully and perfectly illustrated..and many true(albeit not my favorite ..beige..not white..and not much oomph.. watercolor paper pages ensue..all sketched..for you to try..palette suggestions)..a treasure!A treasure as in modern day learn to add layers which I am so bad at.I do everything fast and wet apart from that PEAR:) This ..these are along the Pear.. lines.

Don't expect instructions..very very few..

24 colors are in her palette..I improvised because I don't have her exact colors..I have lots though....well..lots.. is relative right?
Lots to me is like nothing to many;)

This is a game of patience and learning layers..

I spend more in a pharma..or on food in less than 5 minutes..
and these pages will last and last..
She says to apply pressure and pull gently to remove the watercolor pages..
I am a caution girl..and gentle..and it ripped.I would use an X ~Acto..gently.
And be prepared to be patient and let layers dry.
But you cannot even go to a good movie w/ a little popcorn for $15.00 Canadian right?
$11.00 US:)

Caveat Emptor

So..the book is all about botanicals and precise work.
I am not great at this ..especially full sized.Th pear was actually remarkable lol..
Not so much this Bird Of Paradise..I did one w/ Jenna Rainey's book and it turned out much better I feel.

But it is a great learning tool..and oh so pretty to have and to hold♥

We still have a lot of snow..but all that icing everywhere has melted..The sun is shining but it's cold..

Muffins on the counter..  they rose like stars!M and N may drop by before or after his guitar lesson.

Making one of Isabelle Lambert's dinners that she gleaned from Donna Hay..Looks terrific!

Have a great week~


  1. Here in Holland it is also freezing brrrrrr..just home with the a hot cappuccino enjoy your sunday love Ria x ❤️

    1. You too:) You was so nice to see my childhood friend from The Netherlands in 2017:)To Spring:)!

  2. Your snow picture looks beautiful... Thank you for the tips on basil indoors. The one about the stove light is great!

  3. Thank you so much for the tips on growing basil.....I hope I can remember them when fall comes around again. The snow is luscious to this southern girl who grew up in Appalachia with huge snows every winter. I realize just how old it can get.

  4. Your snow photo looks beautiful but I think we need that March lamb to show it’s cute face and bring some milder temps. I agree this has been a long and snowy March even here. Lord I don’t miss getting on the road in winter. My trip to the wood pile so we have some fires in the wood stove is as far as I go these days. The book looks lovely and what a find. Now the cake is just up my alley. I have pinned that one. I love Irish soda bread. I made one early and we enjoyed some each morning. The copper molds, wow! Just for display they are pretty. Have a good week too.

  5. Great post with so many beautiful pictures. The one of the snow is terrific. I wouldn't want to be in it.

    Your baked goods look so good. I hardly bake anymore, just me and if I would eat all of it, would be big as a house LOL.

    Hope your weather turns warm soon. Have a great week.


    1. california has seemed quite great to me this last month..we are all finding March..long..tomorrow is Spring and you would never know.I am in the country so still feet to contend with..However..Spring always arrives.It's a sure thing..Hope all is well Mary:)

  6. I sense a change in the air, Spring is in your air. It won't be long now. I think you were brave to be a Realter. I liked looking at houses, but would be no good at selling them. Ohh, hen cookies. Can't wait to see what you do with them! Canelles. My friend makes Canelles. I adore Canelles. Had the best ones ever in St Emilion many moons ago. Cost a bomb but was worth every penny. Your soda bread is perfection. I did a soda bread also, but it pales in comparison. I could just reach in and take a bite of yours. Yum! I do prefer scones also, like you. Your poor wee shed, it looks so cold, but beautiful. What a fabulous photograph that is. Thank you so much for the basil growing tips. I have no luck with basil. No luck at all. I admire your conviction to your art. It inspires me to want to do better. Hope you have a lovely week. Happy Spring! (tomorrow!) xoxo

    1. Yes tomorrow but you would never know!Not sure if it is conviction.I need to keep my mind busy..not busy in atht yippee way..just creating..and my fingers too:) Lie you..and I lie ssing the colors appear:) I prefer looking ate everyone elses' work though:) Every stitcher..painter ..photographer:)
      I would like to tell every person though that any hobby is so important..not a sport I mean..something you can do at home on your own..because if ever life throws you a won't go nuts;)
      Almost..not quite;)
      I am thrilled to have this basil!
      M and N each had a muffin and a canelé and they were happy w/ them..Those muffins ? KEEPERS.I'll take a pic and post!Have a great day!

  7. Oooooh, looks so cold! Beautiful, but cold! I'm liking the idea of being home in the snow, too. ;) Fresh basil is probably my favorite fresh herb. LOVE it. I can do well with it outside, but struggle with growing it inside. Happy you've cracked the code! Ha! I love all the watercolor treats you find, Monique! And, your work is beautiful! A nice pat of butter on that Irish Soda Bread would put me over the moon right now. Have a wonderful week and stay warm. blessings ~ tanna

    1. Tanna..I have seen your work and this book is for a painter like you..precise perfect work!I know you are very busy..but maybe next winter you would love this book:) Bonne Journée!

  8. Dear Nana, Thank you for the tips on basil indoors.
    I love your pictures.So much snow!

  9. So manydelicious inks it took me an hour to get here.
    I thnk botanicals are the hardest things to paint ever..up there with architectual renderings. I like your work better.
    The snow..the snow! mustn't grumble about our few inches soon to melt away.
    That almond cake!

    1. They are tough! And architecture for certain.Yes..Bear would cry..he's too little to be here in our snow banks..Dear Bear..stay in Paris:)

  10. This past weekend, it was nice here but we're supposed to have snow this Saturday :( Who knows, I may have a view like yours again! You catch up so quickly, though, you'd ever know that winter lingers longer there. I spy some adorable chicken cookies and a cute egg stamp ♥ Soon your girls will be back following you around the garden and you'll have eggs galore ♥ I hate to laugh when you said you like to eat pretty - no oysters - LOL. One of the ugliest things I love to eat is octupus. It's become quite popular here at some restaurants and I'll always order it. Delicious if cooked right. I brought a basil plant home just before PS. Almost died while we were gone but I've nursed it back to life. Baby basil seeds have sprouted ♥ What would we do without basil and parsley? Beautiful new book! Painting flowers always was a favorite of mine. I think you did a great job!

    1. I meant 'had to laugh'. Forgot to proof read :)

    2. Lol I love our typos:) Fred makes Octo..Adamo eats it too..pas moi:) It just didn't make me salivate;) I am so happy you told me about peas..I doubt I will get a pea indoors..but Costco has great ones and having wee shoots..well just thrills me..Oh me of little needs;)Ya right;)
      Well it's full sun and 18 F so I won't catch up today..but I of my first realSpring sights ..when you post your Iris..the mini Sibericas.I lost mine..Looking forward to it all..:)Except the backbreaking part;)
      Bonne Journée and Happy Birthday week!

    3. I also forgot to mention what a great find with the canela molds. I envy them every time I see them online. Beautiful dark canelas with a creamy interior. They must be heaven! Going to Costco today. Will see what they are offering here :) I should be seeing the Katharine Hodgkin mini iris soon, fingers crossed. xoxo

    4. M and N loved them:) I have to make more and better..KH..duly noted:)♥

  11. Most important thing I think is shadows and light - and you've got that down. Onward and upward!

    1. :) You are so instrumental in encourging me!!TY Donna:)

  12. I laughed at you pretty script quote next to the bird of paradise 😘 love your sweet shed.

  13. Oh my! You have found your Christmas card photo for next year, to be sure, with that opening image. All that charming spring yellow in such a very lot of snow! I am overwhelmed of what you in the east and the north have experienced this year. We have had our cold and our snow but nothing like this. You so deserve a beautiful spring.

    Love the book. I'll have to check that one out. I'm getting ready to place an Amazon order -- Vivian shared her wonderful green she used so yes, I'm getting the palette and since I get free shipping if $25 or over, will probably add a few things to the order. Not too guilty -- got my tax refund!

    Oh, I wish I'd remembered curants in my soda bread this weekend. Ah, well... More off blog!

    1. So funny Jeanie..I bought that Grumbacher palette box etc when Vivian showed us a few yrs back..a friend of my daughter's brought it back from the US Amazon for me.. I opened it and there ..was.. a disk missing:(:(:(
      That's like a crime.
      LOL to me.

      Changed my feelings for it lol:)I could not send them back:(

      You will find the paints more opaque than others..but you may love that! Sure works for Vivian:)

      No guilt ever for things like this.
      I follow and IGer..who is young..and she buys everything she needs;) Even a great easel! gorgeous..

      She is accomplished..but I remember having Littles and I could never afford things like that.Or I could have never brought myself to spending that for me.

      I love how young women live differently today and GO FOR IT.
      This is not a dress rehearsal.
      Do it:)

      I bought 2 linen dresses today that I can wear for only a few months.

      But give me loose and free..and I will wear until the day..I go:)
      I love tax refunds:)
      Like a gift..I don't know if I get one this yr..Jacques does my returns now since I do not work anymore.I used to have an accountant.
      Now I have Jacques:)He is so reasonably priced!:)

  14. We had beautiful weather last Friday then snow on Saturday and Sunday, it's gone now. I like the sound of the Strawberry Almond Tea Cake :-)

  15. Goodness, that is a lot of snow. So peacefully beautiful. Of course I say that, because I am not living in it. I agree, the photo would make a beautiful Xmas card. Love your sketches and drawings. It's great you always find the most wonderful recipes. Stay warm!

    1. It is so nice to find keeper are right:) It's so cold today 12F first day of Sring:(..Oh lala.

  16. I can't decide what I like more - your cooking or your watercolors. Good thing I don't have to choose :-)

  17. We have snow on the way tonight and all day tomorrow. That darn ground hog must have been right when he predicted 6 more weeks of winter. We are still cold and wintery. In a previous life I was a real estate broker - and also loved my clients. First time buyers were my favorites :) Highest highs and lowest lows in that business for sure. Your basil plant looks very happy and that Irish soda bread looks perfect!

    1. :) It was quite a life..many sleepless the early faxes at home..time differences..I sometimes drove to the office in my pjs at midnight..all worth it..I was sooo young!!
      I would NOT do that now.Looking forward to trying your cheesecake..

  18. I hope you have had the last of your snow and that spring flowers will start popping up soon. Then you can practice your flower painting from live models. :)

    1. 8 ft in front of my gallery where the snow falls off the roof:(

  19. Oh that picture of your garden shed is "Out of this world" gorgeous!!!!!! What a Christmas card...
    Your Basil is beautiful...I have pretty good luck in the Winter...your tips are very useful indeed!
    I have always put the pot into a bigger pot, and watered from below...but now I know exactly where to pinch it off!! Thanks!♥️
    Your tea...your teapot...your countertops...I LOVE IT ALL...
    Enjoy your evening my friend...
    Linda :o)

    1. I think we like each others things:) :) Envious of your no snow!!OUr days are gorgoeus but cold and still buried in all this white stuff..I love the country but winter lasts longer..Bonne journée!

  20. The first picture is so sweet even though I am ready for the snow to be gone :-)
    Your basil is beautiful and the tips are useful too. Good to know where to pinch as I am a reckless pincher. LOL
    Hope you're having a wonderful week. xo

    1. Hahaha The Reckless Pincher..made me smile.. don't forget the muffins ;)

  21. Oh, you have me wanting to bring out my watercolors. Great tips on the basil-I will need to try that as mine never does well.