“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On.”
Robert Frost

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Happy Rabbit by Patricia Barton

Enjoying the last few weeks of spring? That is exactly what I am doing. Spending time outside in my garden and when it's raining, I go through my book stash. I just had to pull out a few images from this darling book and share with you. These are from the book The Happy Rabbit, written and illustrated by Patricia Barton.

Patricia Barton started painting at the age of 36. She had no true academic training and thus her work is sometimes called "Modern Primitive".  She moved from the United States to France at the age of twenty five. Her time in the French countryside brought a change in her perceptions and she became highly aware of the relationships of plants and animals in their changing environment.  A friend suggested she take up painting as a way to express her new found emotions. Here wondrous and whimsical artwork was noticed by area art critics and her new career was born. For more about Patricia visit this site.

"I am sure there was always some hidden creativity in me which was screaming to manifest itself. But also I am profoundly moved by the beauty of the changing seasons and, indeed, by all of nature. This magical beauty is certainly the most important force which opened the world of painting to me."
                                                                                     Patricia Barton

I love how the border changes from winter to fall.

How cute is this bunny!

Look at this darling little hedgehog!

The birds are beautiful. 
I love the delicate water color of these images.

These winter paintings are just so sweet. I could move into that cute little house! I love the image below with the gorgeous snow covered trees and that precious little bird singing its heart out.

The Happy Rabbit is A Big Golden Book. Pictures and story by Patricia Barton. Book is in very good condition with some edge wear and soil on cover, interior is in very good condition. New York - Golden Press Book, 1968, 2nd Printing. Hardcover measures 9.5"x12.5".

This darling book follows a Happy Rabbit through the four seasons.This beautiful book is very large and is perfectly nice for reading. The artwork is gorgeous and would be beautiful framed as well. 

If you are interested in purchasing this book it is available in my Etsy store Crave Cute.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

The true meaning of Memorial Day.  
Always remember, never forget.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Overgrown Jungle

Over these past fourteen years my garden has changed quite a bit. It started out tidy and precise and now has become wild and somewhat untamed. I have never been a person who liked straight lines or straight rows. My garden beds have huge curves and I like them that way. I let stray seedlings grow where they want.  I don't even put hoops around my peonies all the time! I let the bugs chew on my plants.

Last year we had an event at our house for about forty people. Most of the guests seemed to like my garden and several asked for a little tour. Those who walked with me through the garden asked interesting questions and related similar experiences with their plants and were a joy to have in my garden.

On the other hand, one person who had been silent on the tour, waited until everyone else had drifted off, and then made a point of commenting that my garden was kind of overgrown and like a jungle. Her tone at first took me by surprise because she was serious, as though I was committing some kind of crime. Like she was letting me know that everyone else thought my garden was a mess and she was going to tell me the truth.

                         When it registered what she actually said, I started laughing... and then...

I replied with a smile,"Why, Thank You!"

Oh look, this columbine seeded itself here on it's own -- and I am leaving it there!

 Yes, my roses loll over the fence.

 My refuge and my heaven on earth!

 "Nature knows no indecencies; 
Man invents them."
Mark Twain (1835-1910)

A blue clematis is being overrun by an exuberant autumn flowering clematis. I am thrilled because for many years the autumn clematis has had a hard time getting established.  I look forward to it's blooms in September.

My garden looks like a jungle and I like it!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vintage Pastry Baking Set

When I saw this, I just had to have it. 

This is a cute as can be children's baking set. It includes a little rolling pin, cookie sheet and darling little cookie cutters. That's not all, look in the box below!

There is a whisk, a wooden spoon and more. It even has a tiny little tart pan and a grater for the lemon zest. The really interesting thing about this set is that it is from West Germany; probably made late 50's or early 60's. I am guessing it was brought back by someone in the military or possibly from a vacation.  These German made sets must be somewhat rare (in this country anyway), because I did not come across another one on the internet.  Maybe all the grown up little girls have them stashed away in their attics?

I used Google translation and as far as I can tell these are recipes. I could make out the things like, butter, margarine and the grams on my own. When translated it threw in a few more hints like, flour, lemon-zest and tasty. Still not enough for me to figure out a recipe though! What I found very unusual was the ladybug and the star sticker. When I was researching German toys, I noticed that ladybugs seemed to show up on several items. If anyone knows more about this, please share.

The words on the box were translated to 'Come, back to me'. The box illustration is adorable. I love that the girl has her doll and dog helping out! If you love her too, this Pastry Set can be yours she is in my Crave Cute Etsy shop just waiting for a new owner.

When I was a little girl, I had a little bake ware set. I remember having my mom help me make a cake and some muffins. Did you have anything similar when you were growing up?  I would love to hear your stories!  ~~ Diane

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rhubarb Dream Dessert

Springtime means the rhubarb is ready for picking. I've already harvested some, cleaned and chopped it and it has been stored in the freezer for later months when I need an interesting ingredient. I am still picking some every week or so and have been trying a few recipes old and new.

A new one wasn't to my liking, so I reverted back to an old recipe from my Mom's recipe box. The crust is crisp like a shortbread and the rhubarb topping is soft and creamy.  The only other flavoring is a bit of nutmeg - which could be omitted if you don't care for it. I am sharing the recipe below. Let's enjoy some rhubarb today!

Rhubarb Dream Dessert topped with luscious whipped cream!

Canadian Red Rhubarb


Rhubarb Dream Dessert

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold

2 whole eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour (I used a white whole wheat flour)
1 dash nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups rhubarb, finely chopped

With pastry cutter blend the first 3 ingredients and press
into an ungreased 7" x 11" baking dish. 
In preheated oven, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Mix the rest of the ingredients and spoon onto the crust.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.  
Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Serve with whipped or ice cream.

Want to know more about Rhubarb?  Check out this link to The Rhubarb Compendium.

Linked with:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Remembering My Mom

My Mom has been gone for almost twenty years. Every now and then I dream about her. It almost always takes place in my childhood home and is always a little fuzzy and not spectacular at all. Kind of like the real thing. Time spent at home with my Mom. Just doing the simple everyday things in life. It usually feels like I am around ten or twelve and my Mom would have been about 40ish. She is almost always in the kitchen and I am usually in the adjoining room at the piano; where I spent most of my childhood (it just seems that way). The dreams are comforting to me, like a gentle hug.

My Mom's illness took her away just at the time in our lives when we both were appreciating each other the most. The miles had separated us for a few years and we were finally starting to  get to know each other as adult women and not as mother and daughter.  Sadly she slipped away far too soon. I often wonder what she would have been like at 70, 80 or even at 90 -- which was as long as her own mother had lived. Would her beautiful dark hair have turned white? She hardly had a gray hair when she left me. Unanswered questions that I shouldn't dare ask, but I do.

I think I was quite lucky to have had such wonderful, strong women in my life. My grandmothers were both true 'Pioneer Women' or maybe 'Prairie Women' is more accurate. They were the typical farmers wife in the 1930's in the prairie states of the Midwest.  They did all the things in the poems below -- baked, cooked, cleaned, quilted, gardened and mostly without the modern conveniences of today. I want to share a few family photos and some poetry I came across that reminds me of my own Mother and Grandmothers.

art by Edith Holden

Grandmother's Recipes

Her cookies are the best ones made;
No one can match her lemonade;
She cures the best of country ham
And makes delicious berry jam.

A better pie no one can make,
Or even touch her chocolate cake.
Her pickles are so crisp and nice;
Her peaches are just right with spice.

And when I ask her recipe,
She shakes her head and smiles at me,
"Oh, I just guess at it, my dear."
And now it seems to me quite clear,

One things that's used, all else above --
Her main ingredient is love.

Esther L. Dauber

         Mom at Graduation                   Me & Mom                Before marriage she worked as a secretary

Old Quilt

Like swift-winged swallows, her small hands flew,
Dipping and darting the bright thread through,
Over and under the steel flashed true--
Silent staccato and constant rhyme.

And, oh, I wonder -- did she divine
That the threads would hold, and the quaint design
Should someday rest on a bed of mine,
Bridging the mystical gulf of time?

Betty Cornwell

Art by Edith Holden

Memory Garden

Lengthening shadows bring memories
Of days that have passed us by;
And I think of time and I think of life,
And I sometimes wonder why

That time can't be stayed and enjoyed without loss
As the sun and earth and sky.
and the more I think, the more I am sure
That nothing can ever be lost,

That time is the garden of memory
And life is but part of the cost.
So we trade our lives for those memories
And we live each golden day,

And the flowers we grow in our garden
May have petals bright and gay,
Or they may be dark and depressing things
If we live our lives that way.

So each one may choose and invest his time,
For time is a part of the cost;
And each one must live with his memories
For nothing can ever be lost. 

Robert M. Clarke

Here is something dear to my heart. I found this poem in my Mom's things a year or so after her death when I was sorting through a box. Here it is pasted in my journal. 
It's a poem by Longfellow, written in her own hand.

 Thank you Mom for this wonderful gift!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weird and Wonderful

Yes, I am veering into some weird and wonderful territory today.  I saw this commercial the other night on our local TV station and I just had to see if it was on YouTube and of course it was, so you get to see it here first! Normally I skip through the commercials but you will see why I did a double take on this one. It has two things I can't resist, cute animal puppets and a catchy tune.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse playing the lottery or gambling. Neither do I endorse playing with animal puppets, sitting at the computer all day watching YouTube videos or playing with banjos. 
It is a free country, do as you wish!

The following was borrowed from YouTube.

Published on Apr 3, 2012 by drnicolaswill

Written & Art Directed by the Will Brothers :: It's the Minnesota State Lottery, the Lucky Lotto Jug Band and former Minnesota Twin Bert Blyleven letting everyone know that every time you play the Minnesota State Lottery, you give back to Minnesota. It's true! For every $1 spent on lottery tickets, approximately 24¢ goes to our great state. Over the years, players have helped the Lottery raise more than $2,000,000,000 — and this number grows every day!


Let's play for ...

Our lakeside pads and fireside stories,
A bag of chubs for some fishing glory,
A venison steak by a big great lake,
And landing a 50-inch northern pake.

Here's to keepin' the rivers clean and runnin'
Our prairie lands and big Paul Bunyan.

Didn't they knock ol' Paul to the ground?

Nope, he's up in Bemidji so he's still around.

Let's play for ...

The beavers, bears and muskrat babies,
The lucky men and happy cute ladies,
The owls and birds and Delano,
Fish and squirrels and a deer named Mo.

Ole Mississip and lady slippers,
Healthy parks and city hipsters,
Clean lakes and rhubarb pies,
The lonely loon who cries.


Let's play for ...

Every game the Lottery has,
For the cities, out state and open lands
Minnesota's got back 2 billion, you see,
Because you play the Lottery.

Learn more at http://www.mnlottery.com/where_the_money_goes/

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gone to the Enchanted Land

Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

Author and artist of Night Kitchen, Where the Wild Things Are, 
Kenny's Window and The Sign on Rosie's Door.

Maurice Sendak and his German shepherd Herman, named after Melville,
photographed at Sendak's house in Connecticut.               

The photo above is the best by far of this remarkable man. Taken by the famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz and published in Vanity Fair. He was know for the fanciful characters in 'Where the Wild Things Are', but I was struck by the gentleness of touch in the art pictured below.


Outside Over There. Pencil, pen and ink, watercolor. 1979 by Maurice Sendak.

Here are some wonderful links about this great artist and author.
Rosenbach Museum & Library
Vanity Fair 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hey It's May

How did that happen so soon? The older I  get, the quicker time seems to pass.  Even though I turned the calendar page last week, it just really kind of dawned on me that, "Wow, it's already May". 

Anyhow, there is no real post today as I did a guest post for Isabella at Sweet Zen Life. Please hop over to check out her interesting blog if you have time today.  I did come across this pretty picture that I have had on my PC for ages. I think it was part of an image package but unfortunately there is no information on the artist. I love it though! It has everything that I adore; Birds, flowers, a violin (music), the moon and of course... an angel.

Here's to a great week!
~~ Diane ~~

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Best Moms

Some of the best moms I have ever known were not human. No I am not taking about little green aliens, I am talking about animals. Usually the cute, four legged and furry kind, (but not always). Here are a few photos to prove my point.

Hugs from Mom are always the best...

A Mother’s Love

Mom helps out when you get tired.

Napping while mom glides through the water

This foster Mom Dog treats this raccoon baby as her own.

Baby raccoon found a new momma...

Momma Hen thought this puppy needed some TLC.

hen and a puppy

So darned cute!

Playing it in safety way

Always there when you need her!

Celebrating Animal Moms: African Elephants

my mom and I ^_^

Thanks for all kinds of Moms!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Unusual Visitors of the Feathered Kind

We had a beautiful pair of unusual waterfowl on our lake late yesterday. 
When I spotted these lovely swans, I started taking a few pictures.  
I knew they probably wouldn't be around for long.

After I took my pictures and had a good look at them, I found our 
bird book and decided they were Trumpeter Swans.


 A Few Bird Facts....

The largest of North American waterfowl, the Trumpeter Swan is resident throughout much of its range, but migratory in other parts. Its was reduced to near extinction by the early 20th century, but it is relatively common today.  Trumpeter Swans where hunted for their feathers and quills (for quill pens).  They live around twenty years and usually mate for life. For more interesting facts you can check out this link at All About Birds.

 The geese really didn't know what to think of this, they usually 
are the largest bird on our little lake.

They swam around a bit and nibbled on some shoreline plants, took a 
little nap and just leisurely drifted around our little lake for a couple of hours. 
I hoped they would decide to stay, but this morning they were gone.  
                                  It was wonderful for them to stop in for a visit though!