Tag Archive: family

Foyer Book/Display Case

One of the things I have always enjoyed is creating patriotic themed display cases for public libraries and schools (mostly using Children of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution themes).

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Especially when the children were little, we had many opportunities to do those displays.  Now that the little ones aren’t little anymore, the reasons to do them are pretty rare.

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So I decided to create a space in Spring Rose Cottage that we could explore creating and displaying books and things of interest based on a theme.

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The theme for July, August and September was “The Birth of Our Nation”.  Here are the Books that were highlighted:

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1776 book by  David  McCullough.

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Justice for All — Earl Warren and the Nation he made by Jim Newton

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The bottom row has many more books (especially children’s books) that help support the theme. There are also eye catching items that grab your interest.

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I can’t guarantee that the theme will always be Patriotic (because it won’t!), what I can guarantee is that any display we create will be filled with books and interesting visuals that will support a theme or idea that I hope will lead you to reading a really captivating book.

Happy Reading!!

 

Autumnal Equinox

Yesterday was the beginning of autumn, my favorite season.  Like most years, it really didn’t seem very fall like…at least on the surface.  But, there is no mistaking the clear pale blue color of the sky in September. The change in lighting gives the landscape a slightly cooler look than summer. A small change, but a definite change. Also noticeable was the heavy dew on my car that I hadn’t seen during the summer months. The changes are subtle but present even at the equinox.

For me, Autumn comes as a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of summer.  My creative juices tend to languish in the summer and reawaken as the mornings get cooler and the days get shorter. In early Fall, I begin to think about my favorite holidays Halloween, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. There is still time to perfect some unique meal or craft something special for celebrating or make plans to gather loved ones together.

Happy Autumn!! Wishing you all a wonderful Fall full of creativity and love!

 

Quiche Lorraine

This is a lovely custardy quiche!

Ingredients

1 pie crust uncooked                                      2 cups cream
1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese                      ¾ teaspoon salt
8 slices of bacon                                            ¼ teaspoon white sugar
½ cup minced onion                                      1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 eggs beaten

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Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place bacon in a large skillet, fry over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Add the onion and cook until onion is translucent not brown.

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Drain bacon and onion on paper towels, then chop bacon in large pieces. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.

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Bake 15 minutes in the Preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake an additional 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean.

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Allow quiche to sit for 10 minutes before cutting the quiche into wedges. I like to serve quiche with a salad of field greens.

Witchy Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is a big thing at our house. We have a plastic bin of pumpkin carving tools, patterns, scrapers, information about carving techniques and mallets for putting in light spikes.

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The first step is to buy your pumpkin.

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Next pick out a pattern or template for tracing onto the pumpkin. Using a copier, adjust the size of the template by enlarging or reducing to better fit the size of your pumpkin.

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Tape the template to your pumpkin and use a puncture tool to mark the lines to make a guide for cutting or scraping the design.

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When the outlining is finished, take off the template and use the scraping or cutting tool to achieve the design. Some designs require cutting out chunks of the pumpkin and some designs are more subtle and only require scraping the outer dark part of the rind down ¼ to ½ an inch from the surface.

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Test out the look of the pumpkin by placing a light inside to see if you get the desired look. We tend to use battery powered lights to reduce fire hazard–especially if you have pets or small children in the home.

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Same Witch, but with a Green Eye…I think it is better.

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Have a Happy Halloween!!

 

 

 

The Pumpkin Carving Book

By Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell; Photography by Debbie Patterson; Text by Tessa Evelegh

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This is a great little book. It has tips on carving all kinds of squashes, gourds, melons, and pumpkins. Many of the pictures are folk art patterns or whimsical. The book explains the basics about each type of squash and ways to carve them. Also very helpful is the list of tools and how to use them.

 

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This is a pumpkin that we carved this Halloween season, using the techniques described in the book.

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The Magic Closet

From the outside, it just looks like any other normal door. But, turns out it is a “Magic Closet”—an elevator!

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Safety First!! There are several features that prevent the elevator from moving unless the metal grate is closed and the outer door is closed.

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The popular trend in home design is to move laundry facilities to the bedroom levels of a home because of having to carry laundry up and down stairs. The elevator made it possible to keep the laundry in the basement and use the prime spaces upstairs for other things (extra bathroom). We use laundry carts to move laundry to the basement. No heavy lifting or carry up and down stairs and no laundry noise up on the bedroom level

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The elevator runs the full four levels of the home–including a heated and air-conditioned area of the attic that I store my decorations for holidays, items for tablescaping and some of my china.

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Wayne has a utility cart that he uses to carry tools which makes them easily moved from floor to floor wherever they are needed.

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I use a utility cart to bring decorations to and from the attic, move picture hanging stuff from floor to floor, and bring groceries upstairs.

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This is our forever home. So when we were laying out the floor plan, we really tried to think of ways to make the house accessible. We widened hallways, made sure a wheel chair could get through doorways, and  even made a wheel chair accessible shower. Our goal is to be able to stay in this home forever and the elevator helps us to achieve that goal.

Kitchen-The Heart of the Home

At Spring Rose Cottage, we love to cook. The kitchen is a gathering place to feed the family, hang out with each other, entertain friends and be creative.

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When we designed the kitchen at Spring Rose Cottage, we had several main concerns:

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Would there be enough room to have a crowd of people in the Kitchen. We wanted to make sure there was space to move around easily.

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There needed to be enough work surface space for several people to work at one time.

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There needed to be a variety of storage cupboards.

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We designed the room to have lots of windows facing south and it is so lovely almost the whole day long. It is always a pleasure to be in this room, regardless of the task or time of day.

 

Apple Cake

Autumn is the perfect time to make apple dishes. I have Ida Red Apples in the house, so I substituted them in this recipe that calls for Fuji or Gala apples.

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Ingredients
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup oil
6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp Apples
2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and oil. Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you add apples to keep them from turning brown.) Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl.

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Mix well (best with a fork) until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased one 9×12 or two 9 inch round pans.

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Bake for approximately 55 minutes.

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Possible Presentation Ideas
Place a scoop of vanilla ice Cream next to a slice of cake and then drizzle with caramel syrup

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Perfect for pairing with pork loin roast or pork chops.

INGREDIENTS

I used 4 large Ida Red Apples –because that is what I had on hand.

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2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons Sugar

2-3 Tablespoons of Water

 

DIRECTIONS

Peel, core and cut the apples into ½ inch chunks

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add apples, cinnamon, sugar, and two (or three) tablespoons of water.

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Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, Ida Red apples do not cook down as fast as some apples do, so I cooked for about 20 minutes. If it looks too wet, take the lid off and let some water evaporate.

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Serve warm or chilled. Keep in the refrigerated if you are not using right away.

 

 

Parlor Dwelling

Parlor Dwelling

Slow down you move too fast!!

During the cooler months, one of the most pleasant things we do at Spring Rose Cottage is to sit in the parlor in the evenings. Theo first used the term “Parlor Dweller” to describe people like me who thrive on both the quiet and reserve of the space.

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He subsequently painted “The Parlor Dweller” acrylic on canvas, a study in burnt umber. It is me in one of my favorite wing chairs.

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Wayne defines a parlor as a living room with no television—and he is quite correct. Sometimes “parlor dwelling” is a solitary affair where one can read, do needlework, write a book chapter or blog posts. Sometimes it can be a group activity like playing a board game, cards, name that tune, or playing music.

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One of our favorite endeavors is to take turns reading a book, short story or poems. I enjoy reading out loud and I love to hear someone else read.

I find the parlor is a most agreeable place to dwell.