August 30, 2014

Found...My pottery from Roseville Ohio.

More Items From Storage...

I have located a few more of my special pieces...
my (Robinson Ransbottom) pottery from Roseville, Ohio. 

My bowls and pitcher are quite heavy and have been used for many years on a daily basis, until they were packed up for the move. I even gave a cousin's daughter some of the bowls as a wedding gift. I love simple pottery.  So, my pieces of white stoneware/pottery work fine in my current kitchen also. 

(I don't normally throw brand names around, but a reader commented that I was incorrectly calling my pottery Roseville. So that I do not lead any others astray with false advertising...I have edited the first paragraph to better indicate what my pottery is. :-) 
:-))

In my previous kitchen I had  these lined up on the counter to hold potatoes, onions, apples, bananas, etc. I had white countertops and backsplash with dark solid cherry custom cabinets. In my new kitchen I have just the opposite...in that I have white cabinets with dark countertops and backsplash.


I pulled out my pieces and washed them in hot soapy water. As I dried each one I set it on a tea towel. I ended up with part of a display, so I thought I would play house a little and make a vignette to better show you ways you can use useful bowls and pottery to create "pretty" in your kitchen.  


I love white pottery, white ironstone, and white china. You can create country English and country French looking vignettes...depending on how you flavor your accessories.


I began accessorizing by adding some green spheres. 
I have used them in several different places around the house since I purchased them.


Next, I went to a glass container that I have filled with faux fruit and grabbed a few to place in the bowls for more color.


You can see that I still use apple green in the kitchen. My kitchen drapes have several shades of green...so I do not have to worry about clashing, if that is even a concept these days. "Anything goes" seems to be the mantra for many. But, I am traditional in my design approach. I try not to be old and stodgy...but fresh in my traditional design approach. At least that is what I try to keep in the back of my mind.


Next, I rob my huge glass jar of more things...
pinecones, faux pears, etc.


My kitchen drapes have all of the colors that I have used in these bowls. 
Brown. Gold. Apple green. 
A pinch of orange and rust.




I am still loving my black/white kitchen work area. Remember, I am a cherry cabinet girl who is trying to work with what she has. The cabinets were in the house when we bought it...so I did not choose these. I considered replacing them, but felt that it was being silly to pull out custom made cabinets just because I did not like the white. I had folks telling me that white cabinets were "the style" right now, so I just kept them and had the counter tops replaced with new black pearl granite. I am thinking that I will have the cabinets  painted and glazed, but that is a project I am not getting into at the present. It is an idea that I have in my back pocket though.




As you prepare your kitchen and home for fall, look around to see what you may have in the back of a cabinet or a box. Do you have any bowls that would look great as the foundation of a display? Do you have any pinecones, pumpkins, fruit, nuts, greenery, etc.? Bring everything together and play house by mixing and matching them to fill bowls. 

You could make a vignette grouping by choosing items of the same color...I have all white, but maybe you have a few blue bowls, or a few green bowls. Combine items of like color on a table, or countertop. Then put fresh fruit and veggies, or faux, in the bowls and maybe a pitcher or two to make a pretty display. Play house and see what you come up with to create a masterpiece that makes you smile and feel happy when you look at it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What you design is for you and your family. I am sure any visitors to your home will find your creation as lovely as you do. 

I am so happy that I found my pottery!
I am still opening things, 
so check back for more surprises.

Here is a full view to show you more of my kitchen work area. 
Black, White, and punches of color.


I just realized that my kitchen matches my clothes!
I wear tons of black...with punches of color.
Black tops. 
Black slacks. 
Black dresses. 
Black shoes and sandals.
Hot pink, orange, and lime green scarves, sweaters, tees, etc. 

Enjoy September. 
Thanks for visiting,
Sheila 


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August 26, 2014

When all else fails...


Hello everyone. 
I have a folder on my laptop where I save pictures, quotes, sayings, etc. I thought I would share a few with you today. I hope you find one or two that speak to you or your sense of humor. (most are from Pinterest)




Most of you know that we have a senior golden retriever. Mikey is the best darn therapist there is. He has been my sidekick through various trials and tribulations. His first example of being a therapy dog (not officially, but to our family) was the time I locked myself out of our house on the farm. I am still not sure I know how I did that. I tried all of the doors and they were all locked. The key was not in the "secret" place. I was a few fields away from my nearest neighbor.  I called (early cell phone) either my hubby or my father for their key...not sure which one. I was so bummed that I just started crying. That little puppy did not know what tears were for...but he sensed I needed a hug. He was right. So...when all else fails, hug the dog!



I think more people than not can identify with this one. How many of you can still wear the earrings you wore in high school. I am expecting a huge YEAH!
I won't ask how many of you can still wear the same jeans that you wore in high school. If you can...I do not want to know about it. ha! After two children, a bummed thyroid, and early hormone trouble, figure changed. I am working on it. I have lost several pounds over the last several months. It is slow. And it is hard. Can I hear another YEAH! So, If you can still wear the same size earrings that you wore in high school...jump up and celebrate that victory! 




This one quote is one of my favorites. As women, we are a sisterhood of sorts. I know many good women. I will not list names, but it would be a long list. I try to be a good woman too. And I do believe that I raised a good woman (daughter.) She is strong, and smart, and has a good heart. We must support all good women and help the others become good women. (sorry for the distortion of the text...from enlarging.)



I believe that everyone has a story! And, you are living it.  I do not care where you live, what you do, or how you do it....YOU have a story. You may not think that your life is exiting, or that you would want to tell anyone about your life. But, believe me...I have learned that there is a story about, and in, each and every one of us. Living in rural Kentucky one can see disadvantaged folks all over. I am always wondering...what is their story?What is her story? There are wonderful musicians, singers, cooks, farmers, craftsmen, mothers, grandmothers, etc. Everyone has a deeper story. What is your story? Step back for a minute and figure out what your story is or will be. Or maybe your story is still being created. I challenge you to think about it from time to time. 


 This is the first little prayer that I taught my preschool aged daughter....way way back. In fact, she is the one who sent this to me. When I read this I think of those nights when I would read a story, tuck in my baby girl, and we would say this together, then kiss goodnight. 


I will leave you with this one. 
All the best people are entirely bonkers! 
Remember this the next time you go bonkers.
Welcome!

Thanks for visiting.
Sheila

note: I do not own any of these images. I have borrowed them from Pinterest to share with you.

Remembering Provence

Remembering Provence...
and bringing my collection home.


As I was washing and cleaning my newly arrived old friends, I was placing them on the table. Most of the items above came out of one tub...except for the basket of flowers. Just for fun I started creating a tablescape. Then I decided to snap some pics. You know how it is. One thing leads to another. Fun!


I was one fortunate college girl when I was accepted into a program in Aix-en-Provence, France. I was a French major, and my liberal arts college (Transylvania Univ, Lex KY) participated in a program that allowed my courses to transfer, so off I went to France all by myself. 

I was off to see France, to improve my language skills, to live with a French family, and to have some great experiences. I will not say it was an easy year, but the things I learned, the places I went, and the people I met made for a great year. (overlooking homesickness, no car, tight budget, getting  really sick far away from home and walking two miles one way to see a doctor, no washer or dryer,  i.e. conveniences of home)

 I lived in Aix, a university town, in Provence, which is in the south of France. For those of you who are familiar with Aix, or the Provence region, you know that I spent a year in one of the most beautiful areas of France. History. Art. Architecture. Language. People. 
I used to walk, then ride my bicycle, to school every day on part of the old Roman highway. Up the road from where I lived were Roman ruins. Across the street from my school was an old cathedral that was started in the 5th century and built onto through the 15th century. You see, my school was inside of the ancient walls of the city. Everything was of historical significance.

West facade and Gothic portal of Aix-en-Provence Cathedral. © Holly Hayes
Cathédrale St-Sauveur (Holy Savior Cathedral)
  
Detail of a beautiful sculpture of Saint Peter on the northeast pillar of the cloister, 
Aix-en-Provence... © Holly Hayes
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/aix-cathedral
  
 I had early morning classes, but after those classes a few of us would go to a nearby boulangerie for tea and pastry. I would always order a thé citron (tea with lemon) and something to go with it. (This is part of the reason I gained weight. Imagine that! Gaining weight in France.)  My tea break would give me some energy to go back to classes. 

One thing we American students had to learn to work around was the two hour lunch. While this is a fine break, but if you needed to go to the bank, or an office somewhere, the doors were locked. Life would resume in about two hours! I have to say that I eventually learned to love this slower pace of life, and had more of a culture shock returning to my own country. We are such busy, busy people.



My bee motif placemats, tea pot, and beehive canister did not come from France, but the USA. However,the bee is an important decoration in Provence.




Sunflowers are also plentiful in Provence. 
There are fields of them. You can also buy fresh cut sunflower bunches at the marché near the post office. 


http://provence-france.net/mar.htm







My yellow plates were made in France, though purchased here in Kentucky.




I have had fun being reacquainted with some of my dishes. Now I have to come up with a good storage system. I need a system that protects my dishes, while making them easy to access when I want to use them.


I think I will make a thé citron and think about it. 

While I do not usually eat pastries, I might just bring one home to go with my thé citron, and remember my times in the boulangerie near the school with my friends.

And...I really do need to slow down a bit, and try to take life at a slower pace like I did when I lived in France. The papa of the family that I lived with was in his mid nineties. Fresh food, good wine, wonderful climate, and a slower pace of life no doubt contributed to his longevity. 



Bees, Sunflowers, and thé citron are just a few of my fond memories from my year in Provence. I will share more another time.



 I am sure that I will unpack more memories as I open each box or tub. It is like having gifts to open!






Post Script, The History of the Bee Symbol


The ubiquitous Provencal bee has its origins in the old 1st century Merovingian dynasty. Childeric I, the father of the French hero, Clovis I, was the first French king to use the bee as a symbol. The bee is believed to be one of the oldest symbols of French royalty.
Despite its ancient origins, It was during Napoleon’s reign that the bee symbol became widely used in France and in Provence. Napoleon, who was something of an upstart, sought to give the impression of legitimacy by tying his government to that of the ancient kings with symbolism. The bee was part of that effort. Since Napoleon was from Corsica, his symbolism was used more in the provinces along the Mediterranean Sea, such as Provence.
More recently, the bee has become a symbol not only of France, but of the region of Provence. This area is a major honey producer as well as a grower of flowers, such as lavender, that find their way into perfumes, soaps and other bath products. The bee personifies this agricultural strength.
The original bee was actually shaped more like a cicada than a bee, but the symbol has evolved to be more of a honeybee shape.  source: http://www.bargeconnection.com/read-our-blog/2014/06/symbols-of-provence/

Thanks for stopping by!
Sheila 

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August 23, 2014

Cookies for College Kids

Cookies for Kids...



I took a mini-break from the blog last week while I prepared for the beginning of the semester. There is so much prep work for teachers, no matter the level of instruction. 

During the week I managed to work in making a few dozen cookies for our church's cookie ministry....for newly arrived students on campus. In fact the community comes together as a whole to welcome another batch of students each year. The campus health & workout center hosts a "wares fair" each fall. Businesses and groups are invited to set up tables where they may display their wares to help familiarize students with products and services available to them in our small town. My church participates by setting up a table with home made cookies.Yes! Homemade cookies. When I delivered my cookies I saw several that I wanted to sample myself....but did not. :-)

I thought I would share a super simple cookie recipe with you. This is a great one when you do not have the time or all of the ingredients to make cookies from scratch. With this simple recipe you can add various items to customize it. You can use any cake mix flavor, and nuts, choc chips, coconut, etc. according to the flavor of cake mix. 

I used a French vanilla cake mix and then I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top after I pulled them out of the oven. It gave me a snickerdoodle type of cookie. Hubby said they were good!

I did not take pics while mixing and making...but have pics of the finished products.



Cake Mix Cookie Recipe
  • One 18.25 ounce cake mix.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. 
Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil in a large bowl.
Make little balls with the dough and set on an ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 4-10 minutes. Watch closely. 

Tips
  1. I use a small melon ball scoop to help my cookies to have a uniform size. 
  2. I used a hand mixer to fully mix my ingredients
  3. I have made double chocolate cookies by using a chocolate cake mix and mini chocolate chips. Use your imagination!

Let me know of your variations of this recipe. 

For those of you with children and grandchildren who are either in the first week or so of school, or who are starting very soon...have a great year! 


I collect tea towels. For some reason, they really speak to me, and they are practical! I love beautiful French linen towels, but I also purchase inexpensive tea towels if the color and design speak to me.  I keep them away from my every day kitchen towels to help them stay pretty longer. They make great basket liners when transporting food items. 





The next picture has my last of summer orange flowers in the pottery vase that I picked up this summer.  I have black granite countertops with  full granite back splash which makes a great place to take photographs because everything really pops against the black. Sometimes you can see reflections of me...but I try to crop those. The basket just came from storage. I have had it for several years...but is is nice to be reunited once again. 







If you have any young cooks around your house...this cookie recipe is one that they can do without much assistance, except for the hot oven part. And, you may need to set up the mixer for them. 

Let me know how you or the kiddos around your house like these. 


Have a great Day!

Thanks for visiting.