Wordless Friday

Shabby Chic Spring Bunting

I managed last week to get a bit of spring put up in our home.  I know the mantle here needs a little tweaking to balance it, but more than likely, it's not going to happen.  

We are often off balanced around here anyway, ha!

After making this bunting with my daughter, I sure thought it would be neat to make another one.

And, although, we really don't have "shabby chic" in this room, throwing in a little for some seasonal decor works for me!

As I did here with the lace, I used handitac to put the bunting and flowers on the mantle.  The flowers are just a shabby rolled rosette made with muslin and the hot glue gun.

I think the subtle colors are romantic and soothing.

Just for fun, I made color swatch board.

It's still quite cool here, but at least the sun has been shining off and on and it is officially Spring!!!

Texture Tuesday: The Word Edition

I'm linking up once again with Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday. This week's theme is to use words in your photo or post.

Each of the following photographs was textured with a layer of Kim's texture "wisdom" on overlay at 45% opacity.

I took these photos last summer in my tank garden.

The blooms were plucked from my Black-eyed Susan Vine.

I thought they might make a nice pressed flower.  

And, if I can find the dictionary that I pressed them in, I'll find out. :)

So True.

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

                      ~Joyce Kilmer

My son gave me a Wacom Bamboo tablet last year for my birthday and this year he gave me the wireless adapter so it's much easier to use.  I need to make myself learn this cool tool, so  I spent a bit of time with it and added the text to the above photo.

I tried taking pictures of the geese in flight above our pond this weekend, but really just ended up with pictures of trees. Ha!

So, with the lemons of pictures, I made some lemonade. :)

I hope your week is off to a good start!

Caramel-Coated Spiced Nuts

A couple of weeks ago, I decided we were going to eat more salads as main dishes and went looking for a steak salad recipe.  

I found Pioneer Woman's Big Steak Salad recipe.

I ditched the idea of homemade onion rings right off.  That would take a crazy amount of time!

Then, I opted to use a tried and true spiced nut recipe I had clipped years ago from Taste of Home instead of her recipe for the pecans.
I did however, use the dressing recipe she had.  It was okay, but I'd like to hear from anyone with a perfect vinaigrette recipe for me!

I'm telling you the steak combined with the blue cheese and spiced nuts atop the mixed greens was sooooooo good.  I didn't take any pictures.  Too bad too, because we ate it on vintage green trimmed diner plates.  Big happy smile!

I do however want to share the spiced nuts recipe with you.  These make a great gift or now we know, a great addition to a salad!!

First, whisk 2 egg whites with 1 tsp. of water.

Add 4 cups of nuts of your choice.  I used almonds, cashews, and peanuts this time, but have used pecans before too.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup brown sugar, 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tsp. white pepper.

It seems to me that white pepper is much finer than regular pepper so that may be why the recipe calls for it.

Add the sugar and seasonings to the nuts and stir to evenly coat.

Spread out on a greased baking sheet and bake 30  minutes at 325 degrees.

Stir at 10 minute intervals.  The coating begins to firm and harden. Yum.

Spread the nuts out on waxed paper or parchment to cool and break apart the pieces that are stuck together.

If tightly covered they will keep for quite awhile.  

These nuts make a great hostess gift, teacher gift, or thinking of you gift!  I use seasonal cellophane bags to present them in too.

Here's the recipe again:

2 egg whites
1 tsp. water
4 cups of nuts (you choose)
1 C packed dark brown sugar
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. white pepper

Whisk the egg whites and water until foamy.  Add the nuts and stir to coat.  Combine the brown sugar, pie spice and pepper.  Add to the nut mixture and stir to coat.
Spread into a greased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cool on waxed paper.

Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Rorschach Mud Puddle Test

So, what does this puddle look like to you?

I took this picture before the snow we had on Sunday.

I'm seeing images in the puddles instead of the clouds, hmmm, think I have spring fever?!?!

A Sweet Birthday Banner

Our daughter and granddaughter came for a short visit!

There were plenty of smiles BUT not when the camera was up!  Plus there was a lot of...let's just say sinus drainage. :) which made getting a picture of her a bit of a challenge.

She turns one in a month and my daughter came with a list of projects for us to work on for her party.

One of them being this shabby chic bunting.

We don't do a lot of decorating for parties here, but I need to make one of these shabby buntings now to hang somewhere! Sans the pink and the "number 1". Ha!

We just tore fabric in strips, cut some lace and various yarns to about the same length and tied them on a piece of jute.  I made the banner out of burlap and the "1" is made from two layers of ribbon glued in place.

Super easy!!
Super cute!!

I think she'll be walking a bit by her first birthday.

Happy Wednesday!

Cheesy Cauliflower or Broccoli Soup


1 stick butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. chopped celery
1 1/2 C. chopped onion
1/3 C flour
1 can chicken broth
2 C half and half
2 C milk
2 C velveeta cheese shreds
3/4C grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 small head cauliflower or broccoli

Clean and cut up the head of cauliflower or broccoli and steam just until fork tender in microwave or steamer.  Melt margarine or butter in soup pot and add the celery and onion.  Saute until quite soft. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the flour and stir and cook for a minute or two.  Add chicken broth and cook until thick.  This will take only a couple of minutes.  Add half and half and milk.  With a hand blender, puree the soup.  Add the cheeses.  Simmer very gently until cheese is melted, stirring often so it doesn't scorch.  Add the steamed cauliflower and simmer on  low 30 minutes.

And, serve!

Truth be told:  I don't usually (ever?) put our soup in a lovely vintage soup tureen to serve.  I usually serve out of the big soup pot.  But, this makes for a much prettier photo! :)
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