Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Corner Cupboard Filled with Shells and Coral

I took this iPhone photo today. I wish I could have avoided the reflections in the bright room but I couldn't. The large-scale items from the sea looked so pretty inside this corner cupboard.

The Real Sitters for Grant Wood's American Gothic

I love this photo of the couple who posed for Grant Wood's American Gothic. He looks exactly like the painting because of his bald head. Her curly hair style makes her a little bit harder to recognize but the face is the same. via
~~~Happy Valentine's Day~~~

Sleeping Porch Love

Sleeping porch of a rural Georgia farmhouse. Wouldn't it be great to wake up in this delightful room? via

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day is For Everyone

A heart-shaped spatterware baking dish I got at a tag sale.

A walnut shell photographed in my birdbath. I never knew there was a heart shape inside.

I still can't believe this picture I took of a wildflower with heart shaped stamens. This is real...not photoshop trickery.

A heart shaped leaf on one of my wild vines.

Happy Day of Hearts via Thresca back in 2009. 
All of the photos are mine.

Low Country Cottage

I adore this cottage somewhere in the low country. Disregard the Christmas wreaths and swags on the porch. I see roses blooming and a palm tree so that makes this photo timeless in my book. Too charming for words. Shall we knock on the door and ask for a tour? via This is one of the most popular projects ever for Allison Ramsey Architects. There are plans for this charmer too. HERE

See more views of Holiday House cottage -- HERE.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Perfect Galley Style Kitchen

This larger than normal galley kitchen had me at no upper cabinets. I want to watch the Grammys tonight but just to see Adele who is nominated for 6 Grammy Awards. I'll probably watch it until Downton Abbey starts and record the rest. DA is two hours long tonight (hope I can stay awake) and the last show of Season 2 is next Sunday. Boo Hoo. image source

Sweet Potato Patties w/ Sour Cream and Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

Sweet Potato Cakes with Sour Cream and Chipotle Black Bean Salsa
via Lisa is Cooking
For the sweet potato patties: (Makes 34 small cakes)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 green onions, both white and green parts, finely chopped
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 tablespoons butter

-Steam the sweet potato chunks for 15-20 minutes until completely tender, and then transfer to a colander and allow to drain until dry.
- Once very dry, place sweet potato chunks in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher to break up chunks. Add flour and finely chopped green onions, and mix with your hands to form a smooth batter. Using your hands here is best so that it doesn’t become over mixed. In a food processor, the sweet potato mixture could quickly become gummy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Once the mixture is smooth, and the flour and green onions are mixed in, you’re ready to fry. Note: the mixture should be sticky but not wet, so more flour may be needed.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Form round, flat cakes from about two tablespoons of batter per cake, and fry four or five at a time for three minutes per side until golden. Transfer finished cakes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Add more oil and butter to pan between batches as needed, and continue frying a few cakes at a time until all are ready for their toppings.

For the black bean salsa:
1 16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
1 small, yellow bell pepper, small diced
¼ cup finely minced red onion
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon salt

-Combine all salsa ingredients, starting with one chipotle, in a small bowl and stir to combine. Taste for chipotle heat and add more if desired, and taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Salsa can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

To assemble for serving:
½ cup sour cream

- Place sweet potato cakes on a serving platter and add a small dollop of sour cream to each. Top sour cream with a small spoonful of black bean salsa, and enjoy.

I wish I had a plateful of these right now. Yum.

Meet The REAL Jane Austen

I know that many of you reading this are fans so prepare to be amazed - as this portrait is said to be a recently discovered portrait of Jane Austen. I'm going to let Mary Jenkins from Wales tell you the rest of this fascinating story.
Read the Jane Austen scholar's story here as reported in The Guardian. She owns this portrait. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Have a Fun Weekend

Try some new things like teaching a kitten how to drink milk from a saucer. via

Bathing Nook

This is so beautiful. I love the paneled tub surround in this perfect tub nook and the round window too. I have always preferred a soaking tub to one with jets. Have a great weekend with a long soak ans a good book if possible. via Birch and Lily.

Friday, February 10, 2012

French Postal Desk circa 1930

This is great, isn't it? Except for the $2,895. price tag. via

Cupcakes and Tea in Mother Rabbit's Kitchen

I love this painting by Susan Wheeler. I've always been fascinated by animals and how they live and decorate their homes in the fantasy world. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mini S'mores Hand Pies Recipes

Mini S'mores Hand Pies Recipe


1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (8 graham cracker squares, finely crushed)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup marshmallow creme
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened (1 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.

2. Unroll pie crusts. With 3-inch round cutter, cut 10 rounds from each crust. In small shallow bowl, mix cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Brush both sides of pie crust rounds with butter; dip into crumb mixture to coat.

3. Place 10 coated pie crust rounds on cookie sheet. Stir together filling ingredients. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each of the 10 rounds. Place remaining pie crust rounds on top of the filling on each. Pinch edges to seal.

4. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered in refrigerator.
Recipe found @ Betty Crocker Recipes on Flickr. They certainly do look delicious, don't they?

Shell Art Heart

There is still time to make a more permanent version for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day if you are a shell collector. No sweetheart? Make one for yourself. This was a popular motif in sailor art valentines that are sought after folk art antiques now. via

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

So Many Bookshelves in this Restored Farmhouse


There are many more photos in the complete article about this delightful restored farmhouse. I'm over the moon seeing what Smith and Vansant Architects did at Willey Hill Cape in Norwich Vermont. You will be too, I promise! Tour the rest of the house here.

Grey Gardens Before Restoration

Grey Gardens in East Hampton after a lifetime of neglect by Big Edie and Little Edie Beale. Read more about the before and after story here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

UK Celebrates Charles Dickens' 200th Birthday

He wrote about life in the modern city, with its lawyers and criminals, bankers and urchins, dreamers and clerks. He created characters still known to millions — Ebeneezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, Pip and Miss Havisham, Fagin and Oliver Twist. And it made him a star, mobbed by fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

His Bookplate
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, joined Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, actor Ralph Fiennes, a host of dignitaries and scores of Dickens' descendants at a memorial service Tuesday (2/7/12) in London. Prince Charles placed a wreath on Dickens' grave in Westminster Abbey's Poet's corner.

Today's iPhone Cottage Photos

A bad house fire destroyed a very old cottage on a nearby estate a couple of years ago. Everyone is in love with this new replacement. The standing seam metal roof is nice. There is a garage to the left but there was a car in the driveway that I didn't want in my photograph. It's bigger than it looks. One day I'll snap a side view.

Now you know this is so much better than going to the mall, right? There is a complex of small cottage shops nearby painted in off the wall colors.

I've been meaning to stop and photograph them and today I did!

Bryce Canyon National Park - Utah

This windswept tree growing on the side of a cliff is hanging on for dear life. I have never been to Utah, have you? via

Monday, February 6, 2012

Do Want This Woodie Wagon

I can't tell you how much I love this big vintage woodie station wagon. I like the dog and the beach house too. via

Bike Shop Sign

That's a pretty bold statement from such a small bike shop. I photographed this from my car on my way home from a doctor's appointment this morning. A yearly check up resulted in having the doctor tell me that I was perfect. At least one person thinks so!

Vintage Bookmobile from Chicago Public Library

One of the joys of my childhood was the bookmobile! The other was the ice cream truck.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking Inside Plus A Wonderful Reflection

I took this iPhone photo at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't even aware at the time of the wonderful reflection. I feel as if I'm looking inside and behind me at the same time.

The Queen of Hearts wants Lemon Tarts

While the mini tart shells are cooling, you can start working on your filling. It’s very simple. Whisk 4 whole eggs in a big bowl, add 2/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sour cream and 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. Whisk everything together and pour it into the mini tart shells with a measuring cup. Bake the mini tart shells in the oven at 325 degrees for about 15 – 18 minutes. Now you’re ready to make the whipped cream. Again, very simple. Put 1 cup of cold heavy cream in a big bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar. Beat the mixture with a hand mixer until it becomes thick and makes a soft peak. Your whipped cream is done. Full recipe including instructions for tart shells here

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Visited My Farm Friends Today

I had a real estate showing this morning and on my way home I stopped to visit and photograph these animals.

George the donkey and Penny the horse. She gets her name after the copper coin.

George was the first to come closer. His namesake is George Washington.

The two goats in the background never moved an inch. The white goat is Rufus and the black one's name is David. His human often takes him for a walk leading him with a leafy branch. I think I'll invite both of these goats over this summer to eat some of my weeds. 

A Gathering of Friends

This is the perfect weekend for hanging out with your friends. Are there any sea otters that aren't cute? via

Friday, February 3, 2012

Still Life with Globe and Books

A lovely still life by Todd Casey
Have a great weekend.

Rockin' Robin

I took this photo last year -- don't remember when. I have big fat robins hopping around all over my lawn but they won't pose for a picture. Spring must be right around the corner if these birds are back, right? Have a great weekend.

The benefit of making plans

I love it when this happens, don't you? via Millie @TheLaurelHedge on Pinterest

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trust Your Instincts

DIY Hanging Embroidery Hoop Basket Tutorial

I might make some without the hoops with drawstrings for the upcoming farm-market season. Wonderful tutorial here.

Interesting Figural Wrought Iron Gate

I love seeing the artistry of a talented ironworker. This folk-art gate is dated 1963. It has held up well but it's missing a bell. If it were mine I would move the bottom bell to the middle if I couldn't find a suitable replacement. via