Friday, October 30, 2015

Claire Basler, Artist

I would like to share with you a 'new to me' artist, French artist, Claire Basler.   She was born on September 30, 1960 in Vincennes, France.  Claire lives and paints in her home Ch√Ęteau de Beauvoir, “a natural choice” she says.  I am mesmerized by her work, you may be as well, after viewing a few pieces of her art.

You can go to her website.   She has a book of her paintings.  Her artwork is for sale as well.
I like daisies, fragile and passionate poppies, breezes, wind, grace, gentleness and its force, storms, the mystery of still waters.  The vast sky in the puddles that line a dirt road and the tree that forces me to be silent, patient.











Sunday, October 25, 2015

Potato Soup

I hope you had a good weekend.  We finally are getting rain after going a long time with no rain.  It's a welcome sight.  There are more peeps of Fall around the yard.  I am sharing a really good soup for these chilly Fall rainy days.

These are all from the yard.

I bought the bowl and plate purple transferware from Nancy's Daily Dish blog.  She didn't pay me to mention this and is learning I am mentioning her along with you all!  She is a great source for collecting transferware.  Purple appeals to me a lot during these days of Fall and Winter coming.  You know I read somewhere that the older you get the more you are drawn to purple.  Isn't that funny or odd?

My daughter April is a great cook and enjoys it.  I am beyond blessed to enjoy her cooking.  She cooked this soup and does cook a good bit on the weekends.  She enjoys cooking, I wish I did!

For this soup you will need;
6-8 medium-large potatoes, peeled,
6 large slices of bacon or ham, one large white onion
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
3 cups of milk
Red pepper Flakes
Nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon
2 teaspoons garlic
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
Black pepper and Salt to taste
Marsala Wine
One stick of butter
One cup of shredded cheese
Olive oil as needed
Boil potatoes until tender.  Set aside.
Cube the potatoes before boiling them.
Chop onion and cook with one stick of butter until slightly brown.
Add 3/4 cup all purpose flour and blend until no lumps.  Add olive oil if the mixture is too thick.
Add three cups of milk and simmer, stirring well until it comes to a boil.
Add 6-8 cups of water
Season with 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons garlic and onion powder, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon sage, black pepper and salt to taste
Stir and cook on medium flame.
Add potatoes.
In a skillet, brown ham or bacon until cooked, and cut into pieces.  Add to soup.
Add 1/3 cup of marsala wine.
Stir all ingredients together well and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium heat with lid.
Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and stir.
For garnish, have more shredded cheese ready.
Potato skins- save your skins! boil them for 20 minutes and drain. toss with olive oil. spread in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet. sprinkle with salt and pepper. cook in an oven 20-30 minutes on 450 or until to desired amount of crispness.  Serve as a topping for soup.  That's it!

It's a good comfort soup, it's wonderful with this weather we are having.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Walk In Nature

Hello!  Recently I read an article that stated when you are feeling frustrated you might want to go for a walk outside.  According to the article a walk in nature can improve your emotional health.  Being outside with nature changes the way the brain works and puts you in a better mood.  To top it off it can make you feel younger! 
They found that that people were much happier after walking around trees instead of traffic.  The more trees in your neighborhood the happier you become.  So happy that you feel as if you have been given a nice raise of $10,000 and  years younger!
 I think most of us know that after being cooped up indoors you need to be around nature.  It's amazing how much better you feel after just getting in your car and riding and seeing nature if you don't have it in your backyard.

It's great if you can get away from "people noise" and be free to enjoy the colors and smells of nature.
 I know I get excited in the early Spring when the trees are putting on their leaves.  Winter can be hard for some people.  I know I really miss the sunlight.

 We are fortunate that our winters are short comparably with others.
We have a lot of pine trees so we still have a lot of green in the winter.
 We usually have some very pretty days in winter where it's chilly but the sun is bright.
 Actually I love sunny cold days.
 So the key is nature.  It always has been.
 Nature with lots of trees.
 You can't beat Fall with any other season.
 The trees are on fire with color if we are lucky.
 We get more gold here than red, I have noticed.
 One of many in my front yard.
 This was a couple of years ago when our Fall colors were vivid.
 Rainy days in early Winter make us feel cozy inside.
 The cold days can make us feel energized and playful.  Almost child like.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Morning

Hello!  How was your weekend?  It was beautiful and cold here this morning.  This Monday morning got down to 39 degrees!  There are new touches of fall in the living room.  You may remember that I had the painting on the mantel but it's back to its original spot.  I went into the wooded part of our yard and broke off a fallish branch to bring in. Pottery Barn has nothing on me! wink!  A pot of mums were brought in for the day.

I have had the fall arrangement for a few years.  Of course you know my velvet pumpkins.

The geese look happy.

I am seriously considering refinishing our dining table.  It's the same color as this coffee table or it will be when I sand it down.  It has gotten dark and orangey over the many years.  Patience is a virtue that I don't always have and you have to be to refinish something.

What are you up to this week?


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Manic Mantel

Hello!  Yes, I have a manic mantel.  The mantel is always changing!  There is still lots of fall decorating on the mantel.  There is a new vintage mirror on the mantel that I am crazy about.  My sweet sister-in-law knew it would be a favorite of mine and let me know she was selling it!  I am loving it!  It is hanging forward so that it reflects the room instead of looking at a white ceiling.   Let's take a peek.

The mirror is a classic beauty and is reflecting my bookcase which I was hoping it would but I was surprised it did so well.   I decided to play that up and brought books over to the mantel that are housed on the bookcase as well.  Dried hydrangeas add texture and interest to the whole look of the mantel.

There are Blue Willow plates on each side of the mirror.  I like the blue because it ties in with the other blues in the room.  The blue in here helps cool down the red sofas.

It is hard to do a post this time of year without sharing some of nature's beauties.

The hydrangeas all came from my yard except for the red ones. ; )

It is amazing how much light it brings to the room.  At night it reflects the lamps but not in a glaring way, it is a soft reflection of light.  I do have to admit that I am not used to seeing myself sitting in here while watching tv.

So there you have it!  The third Fall mantel I have shared with you.  There's always another way to dress your mantel!