“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Little Sunbeam Shown Down on Me...

 


Last night I had this dream about a sunbeam, it went like this.....




"A little sunbeam shown down and it rested atop my cottage and as the sun angle changed it moved on to the gardens and down the path as though guided by an unseen hand and it came towards me .."

If you visited before, you may remember a while back I talked about my dream of a little cottage on an acreage someday. Well this is what my dream cottage would resemble. You know, dreams change and merge and become more fantastic over time but this is close to what I was thinking about. A pretty cottage with gardens and right at the edge of the forest. Now back to my dream.....

 English cottage

"These beautiful sunbeams are everywhere today! Then I learned (through e-mail) they weren't here by accident, they had been sent by a Fairy Princess blogger named Sharon...."



"The sunbeams are shining on my darling cottage and down onto these gorgeous lilacs! 
They are just breathtaking!"






"The sunlight travels through the branches onto the pink azaleas."



Morning Azalea Glory




"Sunbeams everywhere! This is so beautiful and peaceful! Oh I don't want to wake up
 from my dream" but then I did.



And I realized that though she may not be a fairy princess and this was a made up dream, she is a wonderful person and blogger and that's for real!

I also realized that the warmest sunbeams do come from friends like Sharon at Sharon's Sunlit Memories. I am thrilled that I am the first recipient of her new award which is called Sharon's Little Sunbeam Award! It is a no strings attached award, so all I have to do is bask in the sunbeam and enjoy it for an entire week!


Thank you Sharon for your thoughtful and very enjoyable award. It's very nice and 
warm underneath this Little Sunbeam!

For more of my favorite places visit my pinboard.


Linked with:
Natasha in Oz

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vintage Children's Books for Up-cycling


Here are a couple of books that have seen better days. Maybe they are not suitable for your library, but how about for use as crafting or scrap booking? These are perfect candidates for re-purposing or as we now like to call it up-cycling! The illustrations are just darling and still bright and as lovely as ever. Chicken Little is from the 50's and Peter Rabbit is from the 80's. Take a look at the darling art work below.

Well loved and falling apart but still beautiful color.



These must be burn marks, but look at the vivid color of the illustrations!

The turkey is gorgeous and the duck and chickens are so sweet!

The owl is so detailed.

Chicken Little is such a cutie!

These books have been well used and well loved. The cover art is still in good shape as well. They would make darling journal covers if cut apart and re-purposed. These are not collectible or valuable books, no first editions here, but the art work can still be appreciated and used.


 
Great for Up-cycling



This book is a bit larger and the illustrations would make some fine nursery art work or could be used in scrap booking or a mixed media project. What kind of fun projects would you have in mind for these cuties? A makeover as a card for birthday or Easter, or cropped and placed in scrap books? Share your imaginative ideas!




This pair of sweet spring themed children's books as I mentioned above are from the 50's the 80's. Their condition is fair to poor. The Chicken Little book spine is missing and cover is torn and has a few marks on the interior. The Peter Rabbit book has some water damage to one corner with some staining. Most illustrations are in beautiful condition. There is no odor or mildew.

Perfect for framing as decor in a nursery. They also would make wonderful scrap-booking and mixed media supplies. Chicken Little book measures approximately 6.5" x 5". The Peter Rabbit book measures 8" x 6.5".

Update:  After lingering for months with little interest, I decided to use a large paper punch on the Chicken Little book to see if there was interest in the item as a scrapbook or party supply. Check out my shop CraveCute, to see if the item is still available.  The Rabbit book may end up in the scrapbook pile too when I have time.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Visitors...

These visitors were of the winged kind and not something I see every day. I was not even planning on doing a post today, but when I looked out my living room window and saw these turkeys, well I had to get a few photos. At first I didn't even notice the Tom Turkey, he stayed outside the fence and kept watch as his three "hens" foraged through the leftovers under the bird feeder. They are so well camouflaged that I didn't even notice him until after I cropped some of the pictures. Please excuse my messy yard, I haven't done my "spring" cleaning out there yet.



Hen turkey fluffing her feathers
Do you see the Tom's head behind the fence?

Third hen joining in. Tom is in front of the old bird house.

Three Hen Turkeys








See the Tom to the right with his red wattle.


















Over the fence and off on their morning walk.











Happy Sunday! I hope you have some interesting visitors today too!




Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's Not You, It's Me... Actually It IS You!

Now that spring/summer is here. Not to complain, but 78 degrees in Minnesota in March...Really? Anyway after roasting in fleece for a day, I decided to unpack my summer clothes. Since I do not have closets big enough to accommodate a huge wardrobe, the winter sweaters, winter fleece ( not to be confused with Minnesota summer fleece) had to be packed away. While going through my closets I decided it was time to make a clean break.



I am sorry puffy hangers, but I have no room in my life, err... closets for you anymore. I have moved on to someone who is slimmer, sleeker and just all around better than you.


Goodbye old puffy hangers.


These new faux suede or "velvet flocked"  hangers are my new love! They are slim, pretty and treat my clothes so well. Where have you been all my life! I first bought a few last year a bit timid and not sure how I felt about them. Now I must confess I am in love! I now buy them whenever I find a good sale and have been replacing my old nasty metal and plastic hangers (and now the puffy ones). My clothes are much neater and my closets much roomier! So goodbye puffy hangers, off to the charity box you go.





Does anyone out there have any great spring cleaning tips that have made your life better? Please share with us!


Linked with Delightful Order

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Caramel Pear Tart

Spring cleaning is underway at my house and that includes the refrigerator. I knew I had to use up these pears quick because they were on their way to the compost (or ducks, squirrels or raccoons) soon. Going through my recipes, I found one I hadn't made for awhile, a pear tart.  Here is how I made it.

Crust in plastic wrap after a nice rest in the fridge.
First the crust, I used white whole-wheat flour, but you may use all-purpose white flour if you prefer.

PASTRY
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 tablespoons butter, chilled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold water

I used my KitchenAid Mixer with the paddle attachment but you can surely do this by hand or use a food processor if you prefer, the method is the same. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse to mix. Cut chilled butter into cubes and scatter over dry mixture. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in egg yolk with motor running and process until pastry just binds together. Turn dough out, knead 3 turns, bring dough together and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.





FILLING
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
8 Bartlett pears, slightly under-ripe
Butter (for greasing)


To prepare filling, peel, core and quarter pears. Butter a 10" pie pan 2 " deep. I used a deep dish  9" Pyrex pie pan.


My favorite sugar.

The beginning of the cooking process with the sugar, butter and pears.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add sugar and stir to combine butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat until caramel turns a deep, tawny brown. Immediately add the pears. Cook, and stir until pears are brown and tender and juices are reduced. Transfer browned pears to prepared pan.



The caramel is just right! Be careful, extremely hot!
Cook caramel 1-2 minutes to thicken, taking care not to burn. Pour caramel over cooked
pears in pie pan.  Hint: Cook your pears a bit more than I did, mine were still too juicy! They should have nice browned edges on them.



If you want it real pretty you could arrange your pears in a circular fashion.

My tart was more rustic, I just tucked the extra pastry under and into the pan, no trimming or waste.
Roll out chilled pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place pastry over the top of pears. Trim pastry flush with rim of pan. Tuck pastry into pan, and slash in several places. Bake in middle of 400º oven 30 minutes. (Check after 20 minutes, and cover loosely with foil if too brown).



Remove tart from oven. Let stand 30 minutes.

Glad I used my ancient old pizza pan underneath, see how the juices bubbled over!

 After you have let it cool the 30 minutes, invert the tart onto a platter.



Serve with whipped cream or ice cream or my husband's favorite Cool Whip!




Caramel Pear Tart

PASTRY
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 tablespoons butter, chilled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons cold water

FILLING
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
8 Bartlett pears, slightly under-ripe
Butter (for greasing)

Combine flour and sugar in food processor and pulse to mix. Cut chilled butter into cubes and scatter over dry mixture. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in egg yolk with motor running and process until pastry just binds together. Turn dough out, knead 3 turns, bring dough together and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.

To prepare filling, peel, core and quarter pears. Butter a 10" pie pan 2 " deep. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add sugar and shake pan to combine butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat until caramel turns a deep, tawny brown. Immediately add the pears. Cook, shaking the pan until pears are brown and tender and juices are reduced. Transfer browned pears to prepared pan. Cook caramel 1-2 minutes to thicken, taking care not to burn. Pour caramel over cooked pears in pie pan. Roll out chilled pastry into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place pastry over the top of pears. Trim pastry flush with rim of pan. Tuck pastry into pan, and slash in several places. Bake in middle of 400º oven 30 minutes. (Check after 20 minutes, and cover loosely with foil if too brown). Remove tart from oven. Let stand 30 minutes. Invert onto platter. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6-8 servings.


Hop over to Naptime Creations - Tasty Tuesday or Crazy Sweet Tuesday for more yummy recipes!


Nap-Time Creations










Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Wanted You to Know...


Dear Blog Friends,

I have been thinking  over the whole award thing for a while now  and I have felt bad that I have been extremely late passing on awards or have been unable to except at all.  While I have enjoyed participating in the award process in the past, I just don't feel that I have the time to keep up with the requirements of this task. Please don't think me rude, but from this point on I have decided that my blog will now be award and tag free.  I also have found that several other bloggers who I have offered awards to, have felt the same and have emailed me with great angst that they are unable to fulfill the requirements intended due to time constraints.


I want to thank all of the kind bloggers who have given my blog awards and tags! I appreciate your bloggy friendship and want you to know that your lovely comments are reward enough for me. I enjoy reading and replying to your comments on my blog. I especially love  visiting your blogs and reading your interesting posts and having the time to comment.  I still plan on participating in link parties and other activities.

Please know that all of your blogs are wonderful and deserve an award!

I hope you all understand and continue to visit my little blog.

Thank You,
Diane



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Baby Animals

This warm weather has me really thinking spring and I haven't posted anything from my Pinterest boards lately, so I thought it was time. Here are some of my cutest pictures from my board called (what else) Animal Cuteness!  Let's have a look at some of these cute spring babies.







Davy Deer's New Red Scarf Illustration
 


 VERY cute bunny!!














More Cute Baby Animals Melting Your Heart




My Laundry Basket






cutest-sweetest-baby-animals-20









bunny in progress













Buffy and her chicks...








Cute bunny









Family outing








fawn



Hope you enjoyed all these cute babies! Until next time, remember Always Crave Cute!


Can't get enough, check out my board below.