Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Elemental/ Spring Spotlight on Our Male Artists

Hi blogging friends...... Many of us are now starting to turn our attention to fixing up our gardens, and so I thought it would be fitting to turn our attention to some of the wonderful items that our male artisans on Etsy have created. Above is a gorgeous garden plant stake created by metal sculptor, Dillon Chandler. http://www.etsy.com/shop/VonChandler . I love this sunflower from his flower stake series. Great for adding both color and functionality to your garden.
I stopped by the etsy shop of  Simply Rustic Woodworking and found this awesome looking Cedar 13 room Purple Martin  House ( more like a Mansion!!)

What lucky birds wouldn't love hanging out in this!!
And beats having them nest in your fireplace vent ( like they did at my house) !! LOL.....
I heard chirping in my fireplace and discovered that the 'Martins' had made themselves right at home. Find this and so much more at http://www.etsy.com/shop/simplyrustic

Another great discovery was at the Etsy shop of http://www.etsy.com/shop/blackcrowforge

This cute little Mason Jar Birdfeeder will add whimsy and a great spot for your feathered friends to catch a snack.

How about watering your potted plants in style with this lovely anagama wood fired salted stoneware watering can from http://www.etsy.com/shop/landrydeese

And your fragrant cooking herbs can be readily available in this pretty planter from http://www.etsy.com/shop/jonwhitney

 High fired stoneware inspired by nature. Fabulous!!

A fun find is from the shop of http://www.etsy.com/shop/FredMorseArt , a multi medium artist.
One of the many whimsical 'Animals with Attitude' pieces in Fred's shop is this adorable fishing chicken garden sculpture.... Something to add a little Eggcitement to your garden!!  I know.....but I just couldn't help myself..... LOL......

Fred thinks this is a chicken is a guy, but it looks like a 'chick' to me....... and I love her!! Stop by his shop for wonderfully expressive paintings, prints, and ceramics.

And finally, let the wind sing to you with this pretty Heart Wind chime from http://www.etsy.com/shop/crrgary

Crooked River Ranch Glass Art offers gorgeous wind chimes, glass pendants, suncatchers and jewelry boxes.....
There is so much creativity to be celebrated from the male artists on Etsy.......please join me in checking out their shops and learning more about the beautiful and useful items they have created! .....and Happy Gardening!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

DeVine Spring and Summer/ Days of Inspiration

Finally the sun is starting to shine and my days of playing outdoors are fast approaching! I simply cannot wait! Gardening, going to the beach, taking long walks, smelling flowers, gnoshing fresh fruit,  Lemon Meringue Pie, watching the sunset from my porch...... In the meantime, I have been creating spring and summer inspired jewelry for my Etsy shop  http://www.gardenvibe.etsy.com/
 Lots of really cute earrings !

Cool toned Morocco Agate and Turquoise Cat’s eye beads are joined with large Antique Gold Filigree rounds for this blue sea inspired look.

Large Pink Cat’s Eye rounds are combined with Champagne Pearls, Pale Pink fire-polished glass beads, and sparkly Silver Stardust beads to create this Rosey set of earrings. Feminine and fun!

Rich Deep Turquoise Satine glass beads lead fire-polished Green glass rounds and tiny Champagne Pearls into the sunset as an ode to the evening sky.

 Large Palm Wood Barrel beads are flanked by Red Jasper, honeycombed and sparkling pale Pink glass rounds, and Ocean Jasper to create this berry sweet set of earrings.

Bright and Sunny Citrus tones are evoked in this pair of earrings fashioned from Coral porcelain rondelles, buttery Morocco Agate, faceted Lemon Yellow glass beads, and Lime Green Korean Jade.  

A Palm wood round , Morocco Agate, Purple Crackle glass and varietal seed beads dangle from gold chain links and wire in this sweet Grape-Apple colored creation.

A large Peridot Jasper, oval Autumn Jasper, and an AB faceted Amber glass Rondelle combine to create this dewey Spring look, just dripping with charm.  

 Decorative China blue Saucers and joined by opaque periwinkle blue glass beads, blue sodalite, red and purple seed beads in this set of earrings.
The dark clouds are lifting and the sun is on it’s way, with these whimsical Sun motif earrings, created with Amber AB Rondelles , Australian Jasper, and silver pearls.  

So, consider stopping by my 'Garden' and treat yourself to a little something pretty. Get ready for your  wonderful days of Spring and Summer !! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Keeping Warm and Cozy:With Trofie al Pesto

Back to the kitchen for another 'Winter into Spring 'comfort meal. This time we'll make Trofie al Pesto. I had purchased Trofie from an Italian specialty shop years ago, not really knowing what to do with that kind of Italian pasta. Nevertheless, I was intrigued. I did some searching online and discovered the charming origin of Trofie: It dates back to the end of the 1800s, when the housewives of the Recco region in Italy would make pasta. They would roll their hands together to remove the residual pasta and small curls of pasta would drop. Not wanting to waste anything, they would use the small curls in their cooking, and the small pasta curls came to be known as Trofie. They are traditionally served with Pesto and here is a marvelous recipe I found. It has become a favorite recipe of ours, as we are lovers of Garlic and Basil! :

                                               Trofie al Pesto

Bring your Pesto to room temperature while you are cooking the rest of your ingredients.

Scrub 3-4 Red Potatos in their jackets and steam in a covered steamer.   

Place water on to boil for your pasta. I very lightly salt the water. And I stress VERY lightly. As a nurse, I try to practice what I preach ;)  I allot enough water to cook about 1/2 lb. of Pasta.

Rinse and chop fresh Green Beans to desired length. I chop mine to about 1.5 inches.

In a small saucepan, cook the Green Beans to desired tenderness.

When your pot of water is at a rolling boil, add the Trofie Pasta and cook to desired tenderness. Again, I usually make about 1/2 lb of pasta, this yields enough for dinner for two and I generally have some left over.

Your potatos are tender and done when you can stand a fork in them.

Carefully (They're hot!) chop your red potato with a knife and fork, into small cubes and add to a large bowl.  

When your green beans are cooked to desired tenderness, drain them and add to the large bowl with the potatos.

When the pasta is at your desired tenderness, drain and add to the bowl with the potatos and green beans. Add Pesto to the bowl.
( I buy my Pesto already prepared at the grocery  But if it'summer and you have lots of lovely fresh Basil, Pine Nuts, fresh Garlic and Parm, ! and you're ambitious!! By all means make your own Pesto ahead of time! )
Toss everything!! I hope you enjoy this! It's a pretty easy little recipe........
You're all ready to have a lovely meal! Gustare la vostra cena !!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodies for my Garden Tub: But a Bath Interloper Lurks!!

Recently, I purchased lovely soaps from one of my Etsy and blogging sisters, Cory of Aquarian Bath. I decided to spoil myself with the Rosemary Mint, Lemon Lime Basil and Mandarin Spice soaps, from her wonderful Etsy shop- http://www.etsy.com/shop/AquarianBath
All , by the way, fabulous! They smell so great! and I was excited to use them! Little did I know though, I had someone else in the house looking to use them as well! ...................... Someone who likes to hang out in my Garden Tub when I'm not looking....... My cat, Cleo........

She must have crept into the bathroom ....... and became captivated by the Aroma!!

A plot soon began to take shape..... ..............

How wonderful it would be if I could relax and enjoy myself with these......she thought........bubbles right up to my whiskers...........

All I have to do is turn that faucet on.....................


But wait!! Here comes Mother....... ...........................................

I'll hide...........
Yes! She's turned on the water!!

How great is This!?!!

I'm about to enjoy my very own  Aquarian Bath!! And the water is feeling fine!
Now to just grab the soap and start the fun!!

Uh-Oh!!! ..............................
Maybe she didn't see me......

hi Mom have you been there the WHOLE time??

I just wanted to enjoy your soaps.......... :) a Cat can try, can't she?

For more wonderful products for yourself ( And your bath interlopers.....) Check out Cory's shop for wonderful all natural gentle soaps, herbal balms, salves, shampoo bars, conditioning hair rinses, herbal tooth powder, and lavender neck pillows. You'll be glad you did.....and perhaps your cat will be glad too!...........

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Like the Wax Begonia Grows.....

Gosh it was a stellar day today! 70-something outside and all sun shiny!! I went outside and did a little bit out in the Garden. I found to my amazement, despite the horrifically cold winter we have had, my Wax Begonias are breaking ground with new leaves! I put them in the garden last spring and I figured they would have to be replaced this year, being annuals. But here they are! Talk about weathering the tough times! So with that said, I want to live like the Wax Begonia grows. We all should. Never give up! Break through that ground and reach for the sun! :)  It can be done.....for I've seen it with my own eyes......

Monday, March 8, 2010

Home Grown Decor/ Brunch at the Arboretum

What better way to celebrate the onset of Spring than to savor the beauty of the budding trees! So it's off to brunch in the Arboretum. But in our very own kitchen! Time to primp our nest again.
Let's bring Spring into the kitchen with these sweet selections! 

I so love this 'Welcome Spring' Ceramic Framed Tile by http://www.etsy.com/shop/kristensteinfineart
The clean, minimalist design and fresh spring green color would  look lovely as an accent piece in the kitchen.

 Before we begin cooking our Sunday Brunch, let's put on this adorable Apron from http://www.etsy.com/shop/pamwares
This 'Love is Bright' Full apron is custom made with
fabric from Amy Butler's Love collection.

Let's pour on the style, or at least some green tea with this sweet little pot from http://www.etsy.com/shop/jeffbrownpottery
I love the  warm, yet fresh colors that evoke the feeling of spring!

We can sip our tea in these botanical themed mugs from http://www.etsy.com/shop/almapottery

Or if you prefer, we can froth up some lovely Cappuccino and use these pretty mugs from the same shop!! I'm just crazy about how illustration  meets pottery  in her shop!! Awesome stuff!

 Let's grab these pretty hand quilted Pot holders with reflective Insul-bright
by http://www.etsy.com/shop/RitasCreationsOnEtsy

Because we're about to turn up the heat and make a marvelous Quiche with this Lovely Quiche baker by http://www.etsy.com/shop/katechristodal


How about mixing it up first with this fabulous Batter Bowl from  http://www.etsy.com/shop/dancingclay

Maybe a little bit of Berries on the side in this sweet little Berry bowl from 
The kitchen will be filled with the aroma of freshly baked hot rolls, nestled in a sheet of parchment and placed lovingly into this pretty handmade Coil Fabric bowl by http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewDanish
Too Adorable! .........and a special way to present bread at our table.

And to season things up, these sweet little Owlies!! Sold at the shop of   
I think he's fallen for her! I know.....I'm corny...but I just couldn't resist!! :)

A little table protection is in order, and these little handmade fabric coasters from the shop of   http://www.etsy.com/shop/Japip  are available in a variety of prints!  Handsewn lovliness for our table.
We'll put this precious 'Bridget' Planter on the table with a bit of fragrant rosemary in it for a little aromatherapy.

We'll be bringing  in the ambience of a Spring morning to our wall with  this photo from http://www.etsy.com/shop/dukessnapshots
 Pretty magnificent! I've been in the forest when the sun streams through the trees and it is awe inspiring.
Clean up will be a Spring breeze with these cute kitchen towels from http://www.etsy.com/shop/FancyBoutique


 Although, knowing myself, I don't know if I could actually bring myself to use them....I'd just display them cause they're so bloomin' pretty! :)

Hope you enjoyed our Brunch together and remember: I've pledged to go handmade....... so, I'll be filling my nest with Home Grown Decor!! I hope you do too!


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