Saturday, February 28, 2009

I want to thank Cass at That Old House for passing the Sisterhood award on to me.  Blogland is a wonderful place filled with warm multitalented people.  I have enjoyed virtually visiting  all your homes, and getting to know you has been  a real pleasure.  Rather than passing this award on to only ten fellow bloggers I have decided to update my favorites list.  I promise that visiting each of them is a real treat!

There are two blogs I have come across that were off my "beaten path"  that I have enjoyed tremendously.  They are the Jane Austen-forevermore site and a sewing site that fellow quilters told me about: Sew Mama Sew.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Here's a yummy recipe for Foodie Friday:

Chocolate-Orange Muffins

1 orange
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour

Mix all dry
Mix all wet in blender, including orange cut into four, without seeds (don't peel the orange!  Skin and all!)
Pour over dry, and barely mix the two mixtures together
Pour into greased muffin tins
May make 9 good sized muffins (or 12 small)
Bake at 400F for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

****Can add raisins, but dark chocolate is best!!!

This is a very easy but fun recipe.  You start with an orange.  I used an organically grown one, washed and sliced it and removed the seeds.

Put the orange with peel still on into the blender and add the other liquid ingredients.

it all together.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.

Bake and eat.  YUM!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Bathroom transformation

Thank you to Susan for hosting Metamorphosis Monday.  Peeking into other bloggers homes has been an  inspiration!   Since I haven't completed any major or minor projects in the last few weeks, here is a project we finished a couple years ago.  It was lots of fun to pull out the before pictures (taken over 20 years ago).   

Just to show you what a brave person I am is our upstairs bathroom.  This is the way it looked for the first year or so we were in our house.  It is the only bath upstairs.  It has two entries.  One from the master bedroom and one from the hallway.  I want you to imagine what a busy room this was with all six of us squeezing in front of the mirror when our children were growing up!  (We do have another full bath and a half bath downstairs but this is the room we all crowded into.)

This is a view of our shower and bath.

 We put up Waverly wallpaper in the late 80's.  And yes, I sponge pained the outside of the clawfoot tub in pink!

A few years ago I decided I needed another change....

We added bead board and a shelf above it.  We also painted the walls a dark blue. (Oh, and I repainted the outside of the tub too.)

For those of you with old homes I imagine you have noticed all the brass.  Yes, I am constantly polishing it!

This wall is opposite the tub.  I love artwork everywhere including the bathroom!

We painted the woodwork under the sink to match the bead board.  The mirror and all the fixtures were here when we moved in with the exception of the lights beside the mirror.  We added those.  They are old.  I found them at a salvage shop in Berkeley.

So there you have it - A tour of my upstairs bathroom.

A close up of the "new" brass light fixtures.

The ceiling light. (That is a shadow.  The ceiling really is clean.)

The room is fairly large so I used a large carpet for the center of the room.

This tub has been on this hardwood floor for years!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

After a very wet week we have a hint of sunshine peeking through the clouds today.  Oh, how very welcome that sunshine is!  It feels wonderful and the air smells fresh and clean.

I wanted to show you one of my favorite plants.  It is growing near  the side entry to my home. Each time I walk past it I enjoy its fragrance.  This is Daphne.  It can be a rather temperamental plant, but it seems to love the location I have it in.  Here in California it loves the shade.  There are lots of varieties. This one happens to be evergreen and flowers profusely at this time of year. The flowers are a lovely soft pink and they fill the senses with the color and smells of early Spring.

I cut just a few springs and floated them in this vase.  Their fragrance will fill the whole room!

Beside my front door a few hyacinthus bulbs and cyclamen are in bloom. Yes, it certainly feels like Spring must be just around the corner.

I have quite a few camilla bushes.  This one has already started blooming.
Oh, and the chickens loved the sunshine too!

Abby hasn't know what to do with all her puppy energy cooped up in the house the last few days!

I think I will sit down with a few of my favorite gardening books and dream about the changes I want to make in the garden this year...  
I love Williamsburg and their beautiful gardens!  This book was a gift to me from my daughter who went to William and Mary.

I confess my garden will never look like any of these, but I can dream can't I?

My chickens have free rein in our backyard.  They have a coop where they spend the night but by day they enjoy the entirety of the garden.  This has the benefit of making my chickens happy.  They lay beautiful eggs and they look very content running around our pond and on the grass.  The only drawback is that they have quite a taste for lovely flowers.---- 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I don't know how I got so carried away!  I should have saved this post for Tablescape Thursday with Susan.  Forgive me.  Next week I will be more patient.  

My daughter and I had a little Valentines tea for my daughter-in-law and her mother and sister.  After tea we did a little jewelry making and valentine creating.  We enjoyed a very nice afternoon together.  It is wonderful when you can slow the hectic pace of life down a bit!

 I hope you have found your prince!  
Please come join us---
This china actually belongs to my daughter, but since I am still storing it I thought we should use it!

The cookies on the tray in the center turned out beautifully.  The recipe we used was in the December issue of Victoria magazine.  It is a delicious cookie and it was accompanied by a nice frosting (both from the magazine).  We added bright sprinkles to most of the cookies.  YUM! 

I don't have any pictures of the jewelry we made but these are large Hershey candy bars that we decorated for our favorite valentine.  Here are just a few---

This one my daughter made for me. 
The one I made for her

And the one I made for my husband.

Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays!  How nice - A day set aside just to tell loved ones how much they mean to you.  
I hope you all have a wonderful valentines day! 
 Sent with love,  Paula

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A new pantry!

Thank you for stopping by!  I am excited about my first post for Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at 'Between naps on the porch'.  Unfortunately I don't have any "before" pictures.  I will require that you use your see this used to be the closet in my laundry room that contained my very large 30 plus year old heater.  As I have shared before, my home has very little storage space so I am always trying to squeeze in a little more.  After researching and dreaming of alternative locations for my heater I came up with the perfect location.  I have two crawl spaces under my house.  Those of you on the west coast will understand.  --No basements out here, although at one time my house did have a root cellar.  At any rate, one crawl space is exceptionally large and very accessible, so we relocated our new heater there and Voila! - Space for a new closet! 

Of course it need a floor.  We added a wood floor that matches my laundry room perfectly.  It already had electricity so we installed a darling little overhead light that I found at a salvage shop in Berkeley.  Bead board on the walls and shelves all painted in a bone color were installed.  Here are the results.

This is the moulding on the shelves. 

The shelving is floor to ceiling with quite a bit of space on the floor to store some of my larger appliances.  The shelves are at a variety of heights.

The closet is a walk-in however I didn't feel it was large enough for shelves on all sides so one wall is blank.  I think I need to hang some plates on it, don't you?

This final picture is of the door--something else I needed to replace.  The door we removed was  hollow core and very ugly.  This door matches the others in the room.  I added hardware that is reproduction but matches the hardware elsewhere in the room.   

After over twenty years of living in this house without a pantry I am thrilled!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I love textiles of any sort.  Beautiful linens, crocheted pillowcases, embroidery, lace, monogramed anything especially towels and napkins....and of course quilts.  This is the very first quilt I ever made.  It is hand pieced and quilted.  I made it in 1977 for our first child.  The pattern was made of cardboard covered in sandpaper and cut out with scissors.  Of course this was long before the days of rotary cutters and mats!  This particular quilt was a favorite and has been mended many times. 

Up a little closer
This is the last quilt I  finished.  It is all hand applique'd and hand quilted.  I used wool batting. (It is a dream to quilt through!)
Up close
This was an exchange my quilt group did - nine patches no rules.  I love it because there are many fabrics in it that I never would have selected.  Once finished this quilt will fit in anywhere since it has such an eclectic group of fabrics.  It is also a nice reminder of the ladies in my group because I know who created each block.
We each put our blocks together differently so each of our quilts are unique.

One of the ladies in my quilt group showed me how to do applique' using the starch method. This was my second project using her method.  It is hand applique'd and hand quilted.

One of my daughters graduated from William and Mary with a degree in History.  This quilt was one of her graduation gifts.  I created the pattern myself around the medallion fabric in the center.  It too is hand quilted.  (I really do enjoy doing the handwork!)

The fabric it all started with...

This project I made because I really like the look of hand quilting on muslin.
Just a fun quilt I keep handy in the family room for those cold nights when you want to cozy up on the couch.
One I made years ago that has grown very soft from all its washings.  I love that!

This was the first quilt I made for my husband.  (1980)  It is a tie pattern 3D.  I used many of his old silk ties that I had been saving.  I sewed the tie bars from each of the ties onto the backing.  

This was a fun project.  I loved embroidering all the baskets.  The baskets are done on muslin, and the boarder is velvet.  

Up a little closer...


and one more.

Over the years I have probably created close to 100 quilts.    Many I have given as gifts.  Many I have made for my husband and children.  I didn't plan to become a quilter.  Fate just intervened I guess.  After enjoying the satisfaction of wrapping  my first born in something warm and soft of my own creation...I was hooked!  Now, when I see my family wrapped in quilts I have made on cold winter evenings it gives me tremendous pleasure!