Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Fall Stuff.....

12 comments:
Gentle Friends, I thought I would share some more of the Fall decorating that we do around the old homestead.....

.... we usually pick up flowers for the house every week, these came from Trader Joe's - and couldn't be nicer - I usually use this cut glass vase - one of my Mom's favorites - it was a wedding present to my grandparents in 1916 and now it's nice to see it and think of her...... you know I have to light my Hallowe'en candles ......

...... since we live in an apartment building we don't have the luxury of an elegant front porch or lovely doorway....... what we do have is - we're at the end of the hall  - a blank wall and corner to decorate..... so Rico sets to work with real and artificial stuff and the scarecrows his mom has given us over the years et voila - it's Fall in the Hall.  I think we are really the only ones in the building that decorate at all for any Holiday......
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That's about it for today sports fans - thanks for stopping by do stop again !!

Take care,
edgar

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Little Baking and Pumpkin "Pie Spice"

13 comments:
Gentle Friends, over the weekend I finalized some baking I;'ll be doing for Rico's work this week.  They are having their annual Fall Bake Sale - to raise money for the Foundation at his Company.  I also wanted to send him to work with a baked treat for Monday Morning.  I have gotten into the habit and they have come to expect a little something.  So, I found an easy recipe at AllRecipes for "Applesauce Bars." 

These come together easily and really baked up quick - in about 23 minutes -  with a sweet vanilla glaze - you can click HERE to get the recipe.  The only change I made, and you knew there would be one, was I doubled the PPSpice amount to 2 teaspoons - I thought 1 teas. wouldn't be enough and after trying the bars I'm glad I put in two, but they are on the gingerbread side all full of spice.  I like that - but others might not so 1 1/2 teaspoons might fit the bill.  
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When I went to the spice cabinet I found I was out of  Pumpkin Pie Spice - I like to make my own blend - for a few of reasons......1) it is super easy to make.....2) you can tweak it to your taste..... and 3) most PPS Blends that are ready made consist of mostly cinnamon - and a PPS Blend should have real depth of flavour and be "spicy!!!"

... so I gathered up the spices and set to work.......  the Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend I make consists of:

2 Tbls. Cinnamon
2 teas Ginger
1 teas Allspice
1 teas Clove
1/2 Mace
1 1/2 teas Nutmeg (I grate my own)

... put all the above spices into a small bowl.....

.... and stir until everything is WELL blended - it takes a few minutes to get it all blended....

... I bake quite a bit so I already had a few of the little empty plastic "jars", the amount of PPS this recipe makes will fill one of the small "jars."  I like this blend, but there are lots of variations out there so try your hand at making your very own PPS Blend!!
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That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Little Stitching Post

16 comments:
Gentle Friends, I haven't posted any stitching in the longest time.  Not that I have been stitching - a little here and a little there, but I wanted to finish up the trip report first.  The two pieces I've been working on the most - outside of a couple of Exchange Pieces - are.......

........."Winter Wonderland" and......

"Rosy Morning" - both of these pieces were designed by Blackbird Designs....   with Rosy Morning, I really liked the idea of personalizing it with a family member, so I dug a bit on the old family tree and found Miss Martha Adelaide Hickox and the year of her birth - she is one of my Maternal G-G-Grandmothers and was from upstate New York.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's a Sweet Peach Friday

12 comments:
Gentle Friends, how about a Friday Who Hound snap......

.....  it's  Peaches, and yes, also a Smokie butt photobomb.......


have a super weekend!!

edgar 
and the Hounds

How About a little Thrifting......

5 comments:
Gentle Friends, I thought I would catch you up on some of the things I have been finding at the thrift shops and estate sales.....  a couple of weeks ago I found.....
... some fun stuff... a nice older silver tray and a really nice Victorian silver crumber, a couple of DVD's and a copy of Esther Williams biography..... last weekend I found a few things.....
.......a "life story" of Mary Stuart, a pair of 19th century reticulated Blue Willow trays, a super small Dresden plate, an old green handled 1/4 cup scoop and a really printing of Tennessee Williams, "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone."  
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That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by have a super weekend!!!

Take care,
edgar

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Felt so Good" a Fun new Book - and Gift-a-Way!!!

16 comments:
Gentle Friends, remember last month I was approached by Heather G to talk about a new book "Simply Samplers" - well, she has asked me to talk about another crafty book, this time it's all about felt and embroidery - and - up-cycling!!  The new book is called "Felt So Good" and is just full of some of the cutest projects using felt and wool.

 Written by Tone Rorseth, a Norwegian designer, this book has 70+ projects to make.  All using wool in some form and many with embroidery embellishments.  The projects all seem that they can be made in an afternoon are less time.

I thought these felt and decorated caps were too cute!!  All the patterns and detailed instructions are included in the book. 

 There are even fun little project for just embellishing.....

 This garland was such a super idea - for those who get snow and those that live where there is no snow!!

 ... and example of the detailed patterns from the book - these are for some wonderful felt slippers....

I just loved this idea of combining naturally found things like acorn tops and wool to create this great hanging wreath.
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Once again Heather generously gave me a copy of the book to Gift-a-Way to my readers.  So, if you would like to enter the drawing for this super fun book all you need do is leave a Comment on this Post Only by Friday, October 24th - and I'll have the Hag Claw and Who Hounds draw a name from the BoD over the weekend - announcing the winner on Monday, October 27.  
This time the Drawing is open to US Residents only.
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That's about it for today sports fans - thanks again for stopping by!!

Take care,
edgar

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wrapping Up - PARIS - Louvre, St Gervais, La Madelaine

20 comments:
Gentle friends today's post will wrap up my trip to France. Today there is a museum, a couple of churches and a meal or two.......  lets get started.....each morning I would fuel up at a small cafe, about a  block from my Hotel with a Pain au Chocolate and espresso....the waitress was great and spoke super English...


.... I usually sat at a small table outside with this view.....


... the Gare du Nord - and all the hustle and bustle with a train station.  Also there is a great Metro stop in the GdN so it was an easy hop from here to ...... the Louvre, I've been to the Louvre a few times on other trips and seen the "highlights" and "important pieces" of  art, but had never ventured into the the far end of the Richelieu wing  - so I made it a point to do just that this trip, go and explore the wonderful decorative things there.... that are called.... The Apartments of Napoleon III: Although he never actually lived in the Louvre, the apartment reflects the sumptuousness of the Second Empire.  Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie actually lived in the Tuileries Palace -  which was burned by the Paris Commune in 1871, after the fall of the Second Empire - but back to the apartments.....  again, sumptuous is the only word I can think of to describe these rooms with super high painted ceilings, gigantic chandeliers, towering drapes and lots, I do mean LOTS of gold and gilt do-dads!!  Here are some snaps............

a writing room/office....

.... a connecting hall......

.... a more elaborate study....

Winterhalter began an official portrait of Empress Eugénie (Eugénie de Montijo, Condesa de Teba, 1826-1920) shortly after her marriage in 1853 to Napoleon III, Emperor of France, but it was not exhibited until 1855.  

The Empress is wearing her pearl and diamond tiara.....

...... that was on display sort of in a hall space - a little history about this lovely jewel..... it was sold in 1887 when all the French Royal jewels were sold by the government in power, it was bought by Albert I, 8th Prince von Thurn und Taxis..........it last worn by Princess Gloria in 1980 when she married Johannes, 11th Prince von Thurn und Taxis, and then sold by Gloria after the Johannes' death to pay taxes in 1992 - it was re-acquired by the Friends of the Louvre and is now on display with other jewels associated with the French Monarchy.  Here's some more info about the Tiara......"Empress Eugénie Pearl and Diamond Tiara", has a total 1,998 small brilliant-cut diamonds surrounding large pearls - both round and elongated - in the 1887 sale the tiara sold for 78,000 French Francs - in 1992 it fetched about $650,000.

...... along with the Tiara was .... the Empress Eugénie Bow Brooch..... here's some fun info...this piece was displayed at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris - the diamonds were first made into a belt for the Empress - it was studded with 4,485 diamonds - the belt didn't fit the bill and was later dismantled and redesigned as this spectacular diamond stomacher - which was also was sold in the 1887 sale of the French Royal Jewels...at that time it was bought by Caroline Astor.  It remained in the Astor family for more than 120 years.  Eventually the family sent it to auction through Christie's in New York,  but at the last minute it was pulled from the auction and sold privately to the Friends of the Louvre who returned the jewel to France and it is on display with the other Royal pieces of jewelry.


... this last piece - a lovely emerald and diamond Tiara that was commissioned in 1819 by Louis-Antoine, the Duke d'Angouleme for his wife Marie-Therese, the Duchess d'Angouleme.  The Duchess was the only surviving child of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, while her husband was the eldest son of Charles X of France (Louis younger brother)

The Tiara was created by the famous French jewelers - the Bapst brothers, and is a real triumph of jewelry craftsmanship of the time.  It features a symmetrical design of scrolling foliage mounted with 1,031 diamonds set in silver, and 40 emeralds set in gold.  It was also sold in the 1887 sale and disappeared to England turning up in a safe at Wartski's in the 1970's.  At the time it was just a lovely emerald and diamond tiara and they were unaware of it's historical importance.  Soon, however after a little investigation the history of the piece was revealed it was put on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  It sat there for about 10 years, when the owner decided to sell the piece.  The V & A was unable to raise the funds to buy it and it was bought by the Louvre and came back to France.


..... the portrait of Empress Eugenie de Motijo in situ....


... the light was so harsh and bright that this was a tough picture to get of the dinning room....


...... the Grand Salon.....

......one of the many marble staircases....

One of the rooms I wanted to see was the Galerie d'Apollon - Apolo Gallery - which is famous for its high vaulted ceilings and painted decorations.  I took the above snap to  show just how large a space this is.....

a little history......the room was originally called the 'Petit Galerie" of the Louvre and was decorated by the artists of the second School of Fontainebleau for Henry IV.  After a fire destroyed much of it on February 6, 1661, it was necessary to rebuild this part of the Louvre.  The architectural work was entrusted to Louis Le Vau, who carried out reconstruction between 1661 and 1663, while Charles le Brun was assigned the painted decorations.  The sculptor Francois Giradon was responsible for the Stucco sculptures.  This was the first Royal Gallery for  a young Louis XIV, which served as a model for the hall of Mirrors at the palace of Versailles.  It was recently restored and is just gorgeous!!

......after the Louvre I headed to the Marais and some lunch....

... I had read of this shop on line as the place to get a great sandwich - and they were so right!!!!!  the sandwich they are kind of famous for is a heavenly combination of lean spice beef, a layer of smoky eggplant spread, another layer of spicy (but not too spicy) red chili paste, thinly sliced pickles, cucumbers and tomatoes, all layered on a soft onion roll!!!
Sacha Finkelsztajn 27, rue des Rosiers, 75004

.... my sandwich...

... snaps of some baked goods....


.... more treats and some lovely bread....

..... just down the street was a shop I had on my radar, as I wanted to pick up some seasonal Christmas tea....

.....  I was told it was far too early for Christmas tea so I picked up a big ole can of...

....Anastasia tea, it really is one of my all time favorite teas!!... and I can not buy it in these big cans over here.
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Next up is St Gervais.... this church is one of the oldest in Paris.  Dedicated to Gervasius and Protasius, the church was formerly the seat of the powerful brotherhood of wine merchants.  The present church was begun in the Gothic style in 1494, the chapels of the apse were finished in 1530 and the transept in 1578.  The doorway of the church was built in 1616-20 by Claude Monnard in the classical style.  the current facade was built in about 1620 an is really exceptional - as it has three levels with the 3 different capital orders represented - Doric at ground floor, Ionic on the second floor and Corinthian at the third floor.



..... a super Pieta with angels....


.... a really super, modern stained glass window....

.... the memorial in the Chapel of the Great War dead.....

.... the stained glass window in the chapel....

......  this is a memorial piece put here to remember ...... that on March 29, 1918, a German shell, fired by the long-range "Paris Gun", fell on the church, killing 88 people and wounding 68 others; the explosion collapsed the roof when a Good Friday service was in progress.  This sculptural monument sits under the window in the photo above - the light was too bright when I was there to get a photo with everything in so you just have to imagine..... this piece with window surrounding...

.......  from here I headed back over to Odette to meet up with Michelle and her friend Lisa.


... here we are...  we sat around yapping about our trips, it was so nice to see Michelle again and take a break from just running around!!


... I needed a snack so I ordered some more choux and an espresso....

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The last church I visited was another one had I had never visited....  La Madeleine...

a little history......The Madelaine Church was designed in its present form as a temple to the glory of Napoleon's army.  To the south lies Place de la Concorde.  two false starts were made on building a church on this site.  The first design was commissioned 1757, with construction beginning when King Louis XV placed the ceremonial cornerstone on April 3, 1763 - the construction was halted in 1764.  Another start later on was again interrupted by the French revolution in 1789, however only the foundations and the grand portico had been finished; the choir of the former church was demolished in 1797, but work was discontinued while a debate as to what purpose the building night serve in Revolutionary France: a library, a public ballroom, and a marketplace were all suggested.

In 1837 it was briefly suggested that the building might best be utilized as a train station, but that was nixed.  Finally in 1842 it was consecrated as a church.

The Madeleine is built in the neo-Classical style and was inspired by the Maison Varee in Nimes - a wonderfully well preserved Roman Temple.  It's 52 Corinthian columns, each 20 metres high, encircle the entire building.  The pediment sculpture of the "Last Judgement"in the tympanum is by Lemaire.


..... looking south towards the Place de la Concorde,

... this is the back of the church, a little less ornate, but still beautifully proportioned.....


..... a lovely alter to Our Lady....

..... inside, the church has a single nave with three domes over wide arched bays, lavish gilded in a decor inspired as much by Roman Baths as by the Renaissance artists.  At the rear of the church, above the high alter, stands a statue by Charles Marochetti depicting St Mary Magdalene being lifted up by angels.  The sculpture took 22 years to make from 1835-1857.


... a great Joan d'Arc...

.. the Baptismal font was sculpted by Francois Rude and called "The Baptism of Christ"

... behind La Madelaine was a shop I had to go to that sold only honey produced in France, La Maison du Meil....  a really super place with very helpful staff, they'll let you taste and try any and all the honey you want.... I tried quite a few before settling on this honey gathered from Fir trees in the Alsace region.....

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For my last dinner in France I headed to a brasserie close to the Hotel and started off with some nice foie gras...

......  then some mussels and frites...

....  ending with a piece of apple tart - that I just couldn't finish, just far too much food for one sitting!!

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The next day I headed to the airport to catch my morning flight back to SF and in the airport was a macaroon shop, probably one of the more famous ones in Pairs, Laudree....  so I picked up some....

.....  and brought them home to Rico!
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There you go - my trip to France, I do hope you enjoyed all the info and snaps.  I do thank you for stopping and commenting.  Tomorrow dos top by as I will be having another great Gift-a-way!!

Take care,
edgar