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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessing #6...

 Ah, October ...
I look forward to this Season the most.
I love everything about it!
Archer has been pretty happy too.
A few weeks ago, my Daughter & I were at a Church book sale.
We found some wonderful books ~ some to keep for ourselves, a few we found to give to friends who had mentioned wanting to read a particular title, and a few to turn into Art Journals.
I squealed with joy when I came across a Tasha Tudor book ... "Old Fashioned Gifts" ♥
& the title of this book "Lines to Live By" filled with page after page of lovely quotes and sweet black and white sketches.
I've been using the Maple Leaves that have fallen from our tree as book marks :-)
our lives are spent
gathering what we love...
we call that place
home ♥
Perfect safe keeping spots to press them.
Had just enough bran left over to make a batch of Every Morning Bran Muffins to take on our hike with Archer.  They are crisp and chewy on the outside & lovely and soft on the inside.
I like to sprinkle an assortment of pecans, raisins, sunflower and in Celebration of October ... pumpkin seeds on the top.
I love the look of European style parchment paper muffin liners (much more than bought muffin cups).  They are easy to create ... pull out about 5" from parchment paper roll and cut.  The length and width of the paper will give you 3 good size muffin liners.  I dampen the parchment slightly which makes it easier to press into the muffin tins.
1 cup bran
1 cup raisins or chopped dates
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix the bran, raisins, milk, salt & sugar and let stand for about 30 minutes to absorb. Sift dry ingredients together into wet mixture and stir to just moisten. Spoon batter into muffin liners & sprinkle asst of fruit and nuts on top.  Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
I'm so glad that I live in a world
where there are
~Anne of Green Gables~

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessings #5...

Leaves ... Leaves... & more  Leaves
falling from our Maple tree
& Gathered on our walks
make for pretty, colourful bouquets ♥
I'm going to make
everything around me
beautiful ~
will be
my life
~Elsie de Wolfe~

Friday, October 5, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessings #4...

~A Girlfriends Autumn Tea~
A pot of tea, some finger sandwiches & tray of sweets and you have the perfect
Girlfriends Autumn Tea ♥
I cover my table with a pretty cloth,  use fallen leaves from our Canadian Maple scattering them all over the table and write each guests name on a little chalkboard slate.
At each place setting I like to have something my friends can take home with them.
A small clay pot with a plant or herb, a seed package with seeds from my garden, a wrapped posy...
 This year, I decided to make tiny pumpkins.
These little teeny jack be little pumpkins are made using up scraps of chenille upholstery fabric, a fallen branch and real pressed leaf.
They are so small they can fit in the palm of your hand.  Stuff firmly so they can stand on their own.  Perfect for sitting on your desk, kitchen table, mantle or windowsill all Autumn long.
They are super quick and easy to create ~ this is how I made mine ...
Cut fabric of your choice 4"W X 3"L.
Fold right sides together and sew down length of fabric.
With needle & thread, baste along bottom seam - pull tightly and stitch in place.
Turn fabric right side out. You will already see your pumpkin taking shape :-)
Add a small amount of fiberfill.
Run a basting stitch along the top - pull tightly and stitch in place.  Using your finger, tuck gathered fabric down into the pumpkin.
Add a small drop of hot glue and push a small piece of fallen branch into the hole.
Add a tiny pressed leaf.
 For a small cutlery pouch, I used some fabric remnants I had.  Like the pumpkins, these are fast and easy to create in no time.  Perfect last minute crafts.
Cut fabric 8 1/2" W  x 10 1/2"L.
Pin a strip of ribbon the width of the fabric and sew into place.
On a small piece of muslin, stamp the word GATHER and stitch in place half way down pouch.
Create two rosettes by ripping muslin strips 3/4" W x 15"L.  I like to start my rosettes by creating a knot at the end of the fabric.  This will not only give you a sturdy place to hold on to as you start twisting the fabric, but will give some depth to the look of the rosette. Then just simply twist and add a few dots of hot glue to hold as you go around.
Attach the rosettes above the word GATHER.
Fold right sides together and sew down length of fabric. Sew along bottom seam.
Turn right side out.
 Add a few beautiful leaves and tuck in a little "I am THANKFUL for you because ..." note before you add the knife, fork and spoon to the pouch.
Saturday mornings are spent going to garage sales with my daughter, and one of my "can't pass up" things are old Scrabble games. Because of this, I have a big container of scrabble pieces which I like to use in creative ways.  For my Autumnal tea , I chose words & phrases  like THANKFUL, BLESSINGS, AUTUMN & FALL IN LOVE for each place setting. 
The heroine enjoys her life
by rearranging it
according to her needs...
She knows that right here is where things happen,
not somewhere else...
that the world for her
is a place
where things are engendered
and brought to life
~Henry Miller~

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessing #3...

Today we Celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi ~ Patron Saint of Animals.
Blessed are the Animals ♥
Much Blessed are we to have them share our lives with us.
Archer tried on his new Halloween costume "for size".  Since we adopted him he has gained a few pounds.
I think he makes a pretty cute dragon!
We derive immeasurable good
uncounted pleasures,
enormous security
and many critical lessons about life
by having a dogs
~Roger Caras~

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thankful Living: Autumnal Blessing #2

 A potpourri of gathered treasures ♥
True wisdom
lies in gathering
the precious things
out of each day
as it goes by
I am a gatherer ~ I like to bring home little treasures from Nature.
  At this time of year, I am usually walking home with  a handful of beautiful leaves in red, gold, orange and yellow.  I'll place some under our dinner plates, some under votive candle holders, tuck one in each dinner napkin ring, and a few will be pressed in books.
A few days ago, Archer and I were walking amongst a park full of Oak trees and there were acorns everywhere ... An interesting fact about Oak trees is that they can start producing acorns when they are 20 years old, but sometimes they can take up to 50 years to produce!  Like people, some Oak trees are late bloomers :-D
At home, in my own garden, I'm snipping off the very last petals from the pansies, and gathering  seeds from the Cosmos &Larkspur.  There haven't been as many this year to save as we had lots of Yellow Finch enjoying them, but enough to fill a few seed packages.
~Happy Gathering~

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thankful Living ~ Autumnal Blessing #1

~ Happy October~
This weekend, we Celebrate Thanksgiving here in Canada.
My cookbooks now have little yellow post it notes poking out from the pages
so I can find my "tried and true " traditional recipes when I need them.
Even though we may try one or two new recipes, there are those ones that are a must make ...
like Apple Pie :-)  This year we will also be enjoying a "raw" apple pie thanks to my vegan daughter which I know will be delicious.
Thursdays here on the blog are Thankful {things I love} Thursdays, but in honour of the month of October, I thought I'd do something different & celebrate  Autumnal Blessings with  a month of THANKFUL LIVING posts ♥
Home comfort cooking ♥ creating ♥ decorating♥ and of course ... quotes!
Since we are a family of apple lovers, a visit to the pick your own Apple Orchard is a Fall family tradition ~ so Autumnal Blessing #1 is Thankful for a beautiful Autumn crop.

Autumn Bounty
Texture : Kim Klassen - Urban 
Take rest,
a field that has rested
gives a beautiful crop.
6 cups  (6-8) tart apples, cored, pared and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on your taste)
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
Pastry for 2-crust pie
2 TBSP butter
If apples lack tartness, sprinkle with 1 TBSP lemon juice.
Combine sugar, flour and spices and mix with apples.
Line a 9" pie plate with pastry.  Fill with apple mixture and dot with butter.
Add top crust, seal edges &  cut slits for steam to escape.
Bake at 400 degrees for 50 min.
 Today, I am also joining in Texture Tuesday  @ kimklassencafe.com