Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For the Love of Crows....


I was just visiting my sisters amazing blog Restyled Home and she was singing the praises of crows once since it is the season, I figured I would feature an artist that I love and Pastor who is also an artist, David Hayward. He seems to have an appreciation for crows that I just don't share....but I love everything else he paints! If you love crows, or if you love great art, then you are about to discover a wonderful artist!

He has an ebay store that you can visit if you like the thrill of an auction or the ease of buy it now. Or, visit his etsy shop where he features large and small pieces and his prices are amazing! His art is featured in local art galleries and it resides in homes around the world. If you buy a piece, you'll discover that his art touches your soul, it speaks to you! So, if your looking for a unique holiday gift for friends and family or some beautiful art to grace your home....then look no further! He also has his blog where he discusses technique, can check it out here.


Stormy Sky Crow Calling

Early Winter Leaves Fall

Crows Evening Roost

Taking the Christmas Tree Home

Winter Treeline

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Little touches that mean a lot...

Since we moved into our home almost two years ago, we have kept ourselves busy doing interior renovations and saving up for the biggest job...the outside of the house. Because we have been concentrating on the inside of the house, the only big thing we have done outside is to replace the roof on our huge loft style garage.

The one thing I had planned to do was paint our front door and mudroom door...but with a busy schedule and a bit of a poor attitude thinking it wouldn't make any difference...I never got around to it! Well, I finally opened up the tin of paint I bought prior to moving into the is a butter yellow that was actually meant for a house we had planned to build until we lucked upon this house and our plans changed dramatically!

I can't say I love the colour..I really like it on the front door, but I'm not really fond of it for the mudroom door. I'm conflicted because I hate the mudroom door and I hate my old colour lock siding...I can't wait for it to be gone! I also painted our steps which will be replaced next spring a lovely sagey green, the garage door was painted white and I added handles, and I decorated for the fall with pumpkins, fall flowers and grasses.

Even when I felt my house looked scruffy...I loved pulling into our everytime I pull in I love our home even more...I see her now but I also see who she will become...and that is exciting!

The path to my front door.

This is a before photo of the front door almost finished. The wooden screen door is painted a crisp white and the door a butter yellow. I haven't painted the floor yet in this photo.

This is the front entrance finished!

My ugly mudroom entrance before touchups.

After picture...painted the steps, door and trim. Next year we will be replacing the steps with a large deck area so that you can sit outside and enjoy the shade!

My house in the shadow of trees!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds...Yummy

Don't throw out the seeds when making Jack-O-Lanterns or cooking fresh pumpkins, or flower arrangements using hollowed out pumpkins. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber as well as vitamins B and E. Kids especially love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, or fussy kids like mine, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. melted butter or oil (olive oil or vegetable oil work well)
salt to taste
Options To Taste:
garlic powder (my favourite)
cayenne pepper
seasoning salt
Cajun seasoning

Preheat oven to 300° F.

While it's O.K. to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor), clean off any major chunks. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

I like to use parchment paper so that they won't stick to the pan when cooking!

I used a small amount of seeds from a small pumpkin floral arrangement. Even though it only made a small amount, they were gone quickly! That bowl is one of my favourites...a great yard sale find this summer! It was a set of vintage 70's melamine bowls perfect for serving or for little kids!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Giving Thanks....


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

As another Thanksgiving rolls around I can't help but reflect on this past year...there is always much to be thankful for.

This year I celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and his family for the first time in years! They just returned from Alberta after many, many years awayThey offered to host our first dinner together and cooked the most amazing turkey to perfection! I helped John with the carving...mainly as a second set of hands only...but it was funny to see my brother in an apron! Ben helped to stir the gravy...and I think to snag some turkey skin.

Patricia my sil had set up two tables to hold everyone...and both tables fitted pretty effortlessly in their beautiful dining space...and they were decorated beautifully! The adult table was festive for the Thanksgiving holiday and the kids table was decorated to celebrate the coming Hallowee'n. I meant to take more pictures, but by the time you get the kids served, then eat...the kids had scattered. Thankfully, Patricia is letting me use many of her should check out her blog for more beautiful pictures.

The kids table decorated with twinkle lights, bottles of poison and bugs in bottles...yum!

Her diningroom is large with the most amazing view of the lake!

My father and youngest brother.

The cousins!

After washing up the first load of dishes and stacking the dishwasher....thankfully Patricia actually acknowledges that I do know how to load a dishwasher, I took off to hang out at their beautiful dock and soak in the amazing sunset with my nieces Kristen and Meaghan. Myt nieces are pretty amazing...and I loved sitting by the water and just hearing their thoughts...luv them!

Isn't this an amazing view....

Dinner was noisy, it was busy, but it was wonderful! To be with my large family, to celebrate the season together, I can't imagine ever wanting a quiet holiday. I love the chaos, laughter and even the squabbles that pop up between the was a typical large family gathering!

My contribution to the dinner was a homemade blueberry apple crisp. We picked the apples ourselves this week. The blueberries were local berries frozen from the fall. I also made my delicious candied squash plus honeyed carrots and mashed turnip. I always bake my squash...I don't care for a wet squash. However, that day I was worried because I was running the roads doing errands inbetween and taking my son to boxing.

I made Patricia a very pretty center piece for her table as a hostess gift to say thank you for hosting the dinner! I used a fresh pumpkin, carved it out, then added flowers, fall grasses and maple leaves from my garden...except for the sunflowers...I bought those! I thought it turned out very pretty! Oh, and I plan to roast the pumpkin seeds...yum!

I was lucky enough to snag the turkey carcass (doesn't that sound yummy) and right now it is bubbling away on the stove to be turned into delicious homemade stock for soups. Tomorrow we plan to make another smaller turkey since Andy once again worked thru a large family dinner. After you have just can't get enough of it.