Saturday, May 8, 2010

MOM ... I literally took it to mean Mother of Many


One Grandpa said to another Grandpa, "Have I  shown you pictures of my Grandkids?" and the other Grandpa replied, "No, and I thank you".

Warning...this is a transferware free post.  This post contains family content and photos.



~A special thanks to those who make me Mom, aka Mother of Many~ 



Dear God,

How could it be
that you would choose to choose me
to bring forth through your plans so utterly divine
these children you give
while saving the mother to be
now leaving her mark to pass on through all time?

©2001 Nancy Roberts

Dearest Mom, (aka Momma Jolene, Momma Jo...her name is Marilyn though)


Unto others, you offer such beauty,
So rare it is supremely divine
Both physical and inward being
Such treasures we seldom find.

Through spirit you have spoken
To me...which is also part of mine
And passed along these words I use
But until now, could never find.

And it is that I, through what I write
Pay tribute to my Mother and my mentor
For inbreeding in me- a want to be
One giving much of all that's in her.

©2001 Nancy Roberts


To Judy, my Mother in law....and Jim to, my Father in law...


For your son, my life's dearest and true love,
I thank you both immensely; with gratitude I impart:
Raising this man, to be every man for me,
I say thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

©2001 Nancy Roberts


Dear Michael, Ethan, Jonah, Kalyn, Trevor & Ashton 

But to see the smiles
On each ever enchanting face
Leaves me caught in a moment
I wish never to replace-
For such joy they bring
To my inward souls being-
A sacred home I've created
Through all I am seeing.
Please continue to show love
Through each precious smile
And leave not my hearts home,
No, not even for a while.

©2001 Nancy Roberts

Michael
aka NOT Mike and Michael Michael


Ethan
aka EE and Ethan Bobeathan


Jonah
aka JoJo and Jonah Babonah



Kalyn 
aka KK, Queen Kalyn and KK-McShmayshmay

Trevor
aka Trevmeister which we shortend to The Meist,  and Trevalina  (he has been known to dress as a cheerleader on Halloween and has plans to dress next year as Trevalina the ballerina...gotta admit the kid has some gonads to do that...)

Ashton 
aka Fashion Ashton, Ashtonista, Ashtonelli, Angel Ashton, Tenashton (she's quite tenacious)




And to my love, Shawn aka Sherman, Shermella, Clark (Griswold), Swan, and dubbed Yawnie by his sister since childhood


Times are many when I feel lost,
But you pick me up and prove me found.
You speak to me with your eyes,
Knowing you need not make a sound.
You let me be me and love me for me,
And to you I am willingly bound.
Living it through, my life with you,
Together we stand on unshaken ground.

©Nancy Roberts 03/1986

Thank you all for making me a Mom.

Vintage me aka Nance, Nannerbee, and Mom (Mother of Many)


Last day to Enter my $50 GIVEAWAY HERE


Linked to Spiritual Sunday
Then Sings My Soul Saturday
Weekly Words To Live By

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO MOMS EVERYWHERE

Friday, May 7, 2010

Garden Friends amongst Pink Azaleas

Two days left until my $50 Giveaway ends...enter HERE



My hometown of Muskogee hosts what is considered one of America's finest spring events, the Azalea Festival.  This month long festival draws visitors from around the world to Honor Heights Park, which is nestled into hills overlooking the city.  The park boasts over 40 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens abounding in azaleas, dogwoods and redbud trees (Oklahoma's state tree).   The park hosts a staggering 625 varieties of azaleas in over 30,000 plants!  Truly, it is a sight to see.

And speaking of azaleas, here is a picture of my pink azalea bushes...
...can you say, "Houston, we have a problem"

Only one little bud opened up and lived all by itself for days, until finally....other blooms emerged...

and a trio of garden friends from Decorator's Friend 

....a Squirrel

a sweet Bunny.....


and the cutest Chipmunk........


Isn't this little trio so cute?  I found these at Decorator's Friend, one of my favorite online shopping sources for cute as can be garden items like these and tons of decorative collectibles and home decor.  This shop has a hundreds of items at very reasonable prices.  I can't wait to show you all some of my other finds from Decorators Friend.



This beautiful polychrome brown transferware plate by Johnson Brothers is entitled Azalea gardens.  To me, it epitomizes the types of views at Honor Heights Park and it's azalea gardens in all their Spring glory.

Don't forget to enter my $50 giveaway HERE

Special thanks to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for hosting Pink Saturday each week...and a very big congratulations to her on the PS anniversary and feature in Artful Blogging.

Work of the Poet for Yard Art Thursday


Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Experimental Cake gone Right!

Enter my $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE Giveaway
from French Country 1908 Teacup Designs
My  kids frequently ask these deeply profound and thought provoking questions like,  "What's for dinner"? and  "Are we having dessert tonight"?  and sometimes I give them an answer in kind, "an experiment"  I say.  




This recipe is a result of one of those evenings when my kids asked about dessert and my daughter, Ashton,  told me she wanted to make a cake for a friends birthday.  She wanted to surprise her and bring it to school the next day.  I had in mind a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting.  Unfortunately, as we began gathering ingredients we realized we did not have all of them needed for a made from scratch cake and no powdered sugar which I'd need to make a homemade frosting.  

I usually keep boxed cake mixes on hand so we decided it was experiment time.  We decided to make two small cakes, one for the fam to sample first,  and one for Ashton to take to school for her friend...assuming it turned out ok.  We decided that if our experiment failed we'd pop by the bakery before school in the morning and pick up a cupcake or some baked treat for her friend.

Our first experiment was the lemon version.  We all liked it so much, and so did Asthon's friend, that
 I made a Tropical version the next night, and a Mocha version a few nights later. 



TROPICAL VERSION

1  pineapple cake mix
1 small box coconut cream instant pudding
1 tsp banana extract
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water


Mix above and bake in 9 x 13 pan for about 25 minutes at 325

Pourable topping:

1 bag marshmallows
1 stick butter
1 cup Mountain Dew
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp banana extract
1 tblsp lemon juice


Melt butter and marshmallows in saucepan over low heat, add other ingredients and stir to mix well.  Remove from heat.  While warm, pour over cake that you've poked holes in.


Top with pecan crumble mix (recipe below) and whipped cream.


While still warm, poke holes in the cake with a fork.
Pour warm liquid mixture on top allowing it to absorb into the cake.



CRUNCHY TOPPING

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp grated lemon peel (optional, I used dried)
1/4 stick butter
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar
Melt butter and mix with other ingredients.  Toast in over for 10-15 minutes until pecans are crunchy.
* On tropical version I added 1 tsp grated orange peel and 1 tsp grated lemon peel


I set up a little dessert table the 2nd time I made this.

I used a red gingham check tablecloth and a striped ticking napkin layered over it, and at an angle to one side.  I tucked greenery in here and there and accented with red transferware
I used more of the ticking striped napkins doubled up with some solid napkins and these adorable, floral napkin rings made from Ralph Lauren fabric.  I found these at an Ebay store called Custom Cottage Creations for less than $5 shipped!!!  Yes, you read correctly...under $5 for a set of 8 custom napkin rings.  Carol, the shop owner makes these darling napkin rings with several different fabrics ranging from toiles to florals.  

These napkin rings would be so cute holding a little floral spray too, don't you think?

 I served the dessert with this great set of hand beaded serving pieces from Weaves Beads.  Aren't they so pretty?  I fell in love with this set when I saw it.  
Joy, the Weaves Beads shop owner, makes these serving pieces and sells them individually and in sets.  She's got some really cool tongs too!

I placed the flatware in a Masons Vista tea caddy...love the handles on this.

Each cake version was really good, and have all been given the 'my kids approve' citation as evidenced in the pictures of Jonah and Trevor below....and yes, I am aware that they both are in dire need of wig trims...coming soon, much to their dismay. 
The initial phase was entrancement by the overwhelming thought of getting to eat a bowl of this...this, experimental dessert....
 followed by a bit of overwhelming delight...Trev still looks like he's in phase 1
to sheer giddiness


 LEMON VERSION


1 lemon cake mix
1 small box lemon or vanilla instant pudding
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water


Pourable topping:

1 package mini marshmallows
1 stick butter
1 cup Fresca, Mountain Dew or lemon-lime soda
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

MOCHA VERSION

1 box devil's food or chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup water


Pourable topping:
1 package mini marshmallows
1 stick butter
11/2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
(cook over low heat stirring constantly until blended, otherwise it will begin to thicken quickly...it is good this way too though, just don't let it overcook as it will become scorched)


 I'm linking up to

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Hodge Podge Friday at It's a Hodge Podge Life
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Ultimate Recipe Swaps, hosted by Life as Mom
Food On Fridays, hosted by Ann Kroeker
Four Foods On Friday, hosted by Fun, Crafts and Recipes
Tasty Tuesday, hosted by Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, hosted by Blessed with Grace
Simply Sweet Home

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lavender Genteel ~ A Romantic Transferware Tablescape


Don't forget to enter my


Although Clarice Cliff, aka Sunshine Girl, is most commonly known for her 'Bizarre' wares of the 1930's, which were direct contrasts to traditional styles of the times, she did lend her name to some beautiful transferware patterns.   Charlotte is one of those patterns she is less known for, but  remains a highly collectible one produced under Royal Staffordshire ceramics.  The Charlotte pattern depicts a Victorian basket filled with an abundance of fresh flowers.  I set my table for two with Charlotte, in lavender.
Lavender, the color, has been a long time favorite of genteel ladies symbolizing femininity, grace and elegance.








You know I just have to begin with some layering...so I started off with a lavender pin striped sheet by Ralph Lauren in the Brittany pattern that I overlay-ed with a sheer window panel with a purple satiny scroll.  (I used these same panels here in my Master Bath redo to frame my mirror and provide a little privacy to our closet entry).  

I added the rectangular needle-worked placemat at an angle on the table to add a little more texture and really play up all the other pieces. 





These stunning stemmed glasses are etched and of the palest shade of lavender.  They came from Aunties Elegant Collectibles, an Ebay shop specializing in hard to find home and garden items.  These gorgeous glasses are vintage...but....
Wendy, the shop owner of Auntie's Elegant Collectibles also had these swirled design rocks glasses from Anthropologie...which are really hard to find now.   I love these glasses and they brought some contemporary flair to the table. 



I got a set of four glasses from Auntie's Elegant Collectibles and obviously for this table needed only two so I set one atop a lavender transferware saucer atop a small glass compote, put a votive candle inside and topped with a beaded bottle cover.  The glass made the perfectly sized centerpiece for this two person table and the lighting was absolutely beautiful creating a shimmering ambiance through the swirled lavender glass and beads.  



I used two of the hand shaped dishes, like you see in my header, as bread plates.  These hand shaped dishes are some of my very, very favorite transferware items.  I have three or four in my collection and one of the lavender ones for sale HERE.  These are really hard to come by and if you read my article about the transfer process you'll understand the precision involved in the pattern placement on such an intricate piece. 

Towards the back of the table I added a small transfer ware bud vase, also in the Charlotte pattern.  I filled a vintage decanter with some lavender silk stems and tied it loosely with a vintage lace place-mat...like the way restaurants wrap a bottle of wine with a dinner napkin.  I draped some glass beaded garland around the neck and finished with a lavender bee barrette. 
In addition to layering various fabrics at my tables I have a perpetual like of doubling up the napkins for the same effect.  I used new napkins...I used vintage napkins...and somewhere in between napkin rings.
 I like this branch motif' flatware.  

How dreamy, how soothing, is the lavender colorway~


"And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom
shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound
to lurk amidst the labors of her loom,
and crown her kerchiefs with mickle rare perfume."
William Shenstone The School Mistress 1742









Linking up with

Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Hodge Podge Friday at It's a Hodge Podge Life
Follow Me Fridays at The Trendy Treehouse
Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday
Tea Cup Tuesday at Artful Affirmations
Marty at A Stroll Through Life
Tea Time Tuesday at Lady Katherine's Tea Parlor
Diane at A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words for Second Time Around Tuesday
Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee at Silken Purse 
Wanda at Silken Purse
Cielo at The House in the Roses 
Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Fireflies & Jellybeans Show off your stuff
Creative Cat at Poppies at Play
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge





Talk About it Tuesday