My study is like a comfortable slipper! It just fits! It is a soft place to land and a sanctuary from all the clamor of the day!
Come on in ...
And see where I create!
Please excuse the color and quality of these photos. The room has little natural light and it was an overcast day when these pictures were taken. I had to adjust my camera to get these photos without a flash and they are not up to my usual standards~sorry!
Every morning when I wake up, I pour myself a BIG cup of coffee and head to my small study for time with God. I am a Bible Study teacher and a speaker so this is where I do most of my studying and prepare for my speaking engagements.
It is also where I blog.
Just recently this room has become my study. Before that it was a craft room/ kids computer and homework room/sewing room/ overflow room. The walls were painted terracotta (I think it looked like pepto bismal pink, though) and the furniture was white. My sewing machine cabinet was in here. But since my children have left home, I felt I needed a space to read, study, and now blog. A more defined space.
I chose soft colors for my new space. Philadelphia Cream by Benjamin Moore is a very warm and neutral wall color.This is a truely beautiful wall color!!!!!
I was tired of white furniture (my kitchen is white) and wanted this room to be warm and old world-ish. I found this lovely french inspired chestnut desk at a local furniture store and it was love at first sight. It JUST fit in my study!
Using soft aquas and greens and butter in my study became a nice contrast to the wood. Aqua is such a popular color right now. But I wanted to really soften it up. No bright or in your face tones! And I did not want to buy any investment pieces in that color. When it falls out of vogue or I get tired of it I want to be able to change the color without any guilt!
My big investment was an unusual shade of green (the photo does not do it justice~sorry) persian rug. Perfect size, perfect color, perfect feel for the room. It was worth the investment!
This room is very much still a work in progress. I do not rush into decorating. It is a thoughtful process to me. And I am patient. I love the hunt of finding beautiful things that speak to me. The thrill of thinking about and finding a home for each element.
Adding to and editing things in the study is a slow and gratifying activity!
My desk, where I spend a good deal of time each day, always has flowers. Mostly from my garden now. And pictures of my family. Lots and lots of them. I have kept all my gilded frames- even though they are not so popular right now- they are still popular with me! I also have a small painted wire basket (GW) that holds note cards, a pen and some stickers. A pretty tile from the Biltmore waits for that cup of morning coffee. And where would I be without my reading glasses! They sit in a little silver bowl with legs. This bowl was a Good Will find and I am so wild about it!
Behind the closet doors are a good many of my dishes! And on the door knob hangs a flora dora holding fresh flowers. This was made by Jane at Flora Doora. Isn't it darling? It give me something so pretty to look at. I want to do SOMETHING with these doors... but what? Any ideas? Paint them to match the walls is what I have come up with so far.
I have been collecting things I love to display in the bookshelves. Not nearly done, I am taking away and adding often. I like a ballance of books and meaningful pieces. These are just a few of my decorating books. I have sooooo many books of all kinds! Books are an addiction!
I am a huge fan of Degas, and LOVE the ballet! A dear friend sent me this Degas card and I put it into a frame. I am captivated by this little work of art.
My study is a very tiny room. It sits right off of my kitchen. It feels confined (in a good way) and cozy! The only thing missing is a fireplace! I added this large comfy taupe and pale aqua chair to the corner by the door (Calico Corners). This chair and the porch swing are my favorite places to get away from it all!
I am reading a couple of wonderful books about the art of note writing for an upcoming post.
Here's the pink for Pink Saturday!
There is still much to do! My desk chair fell apart last month and is not able to be repaired. I am in search of a new one. I have a huge wall decal to hang that says "Faith... makes things possible, not easy" above my closet. And so much more. The next two pictures are visual aids to show you what I am planning to do. I feel like John Madden with the circles!
Beverly at How Sweet The Sound has asked us to post, "Where Do You Create" for Pink Saturday. She asked us to show off our craft rooms or studies. When my craft room is more organized, I'll show you that too... in about 2 years! Venture over to her blog and see where other bloggers create!
This post was done the very first week I started blogging~ on September 15, 2009. I surely learned a lot since then!I know that the basil in many gardens is ready to be picked and made into pesto. This is a fabulous recipe! Pesto is a StoneGable staple! If you have never made pesto please give it a try! You will be glad you did.
As summer’s heat gives way to crisp autumn mornings, my garden is having its last hurrah. My veggies are quietly diminishing while my marigolds are riotous! And the pumpkins that grow in my compost bin, because they refuse to grow in my garden, are turning orange.
Tomatoes and peppers are presenting their late harvest offerings. My basil, the great summer standard of my garden, is full of flowery spikes and woody stalks telling me that I need to pick it today if I want to salvage it for pesto. I have really let it go too long. Ignoring it and only picking it when I needed it for culinary purposes. I did not pinch off it’s budding tops regularly, so that it would not flower. I did not make pesto like I have in years and years past as the summer goes along and the basil grows.
Now I am left with “bushes” of basil…with a lot of flowers. But I think I can redeem this green gold, as I like
to call it, and make a pesto to freeze so I can enjoy a taste of summer all year round.
I have made this recipe for many years. I love it! I use pesto liberally and often. I no longer measure, I can just eyeball it.
2 ½ c. fresh basil leaves, packed
¼ c. toasted pine nuts
½ c. parmesan cheese, chunked
½ c. Locatelli cheese, chunked or
¾ c. light olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 TBS butter
dash of fresh ground pepper
In a dry pan, add pine nuts and toast over low heat. Be very careful, they easily burn. Put in food processor.
Wash and dry basil leaves and add to food processor. Put in all other ingredients with the pine nuts and basil and process until blended.
Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use it.
I freeze pesto in ice cube trays and then pop the pesto cubes out into a plastic container. Take it out of freezer 1 hr before use, or on low microwave it in 10 sec. intervals, stirring. Do not overheat!
I knew the minute I walked into Catherine's beautiful home that I was out of my element, over my head, bitten off more than I could chew and not on the same page!
But it was too late to turn back. I spotted Sean Connery , a secret crush from way back, schmoozing at the dessert table and I went a little weak in the knees!
This confusing tale of misfortune and mistaken woe started when I was so kindly invited to the Finale Party for the Design Challenged... or so I thought! And I am certainly designed challenged! Catherine from the Shiny Pebble had invited me herself!
I have the blessed fortune to hang out with some pretty impressive fashionistas in bloggland. I'm not quite sure what they see in me, but they have accepted me none the less and I am so thankful for their friendship. They are so fashion forward and glamorous! I was hoping that tonight I could learn from them and that their stunning style and panache would rub off onto me.
It had taken me over a week to pick out the perfect outfit. On wash day, Monday, I had scrubbed all of my best frocks and hung them on line to dry! It really helps to get the manure smell out of the fabric. Living in the heart of Amish country, this is a continual battle for me!
Catherine, in her most gracious way, answered the door herself! Never too busy to greet a guest! She looked stunning. As I entered I noticed that everyone was stunning! Dressed in the most beautiful and unique fashions. Her decor was upscale and elegent. The food and bubbly were the finest I had ever seen! Marsha and her entourage of Mom-Mom, Chanterel, and Chelsey were all gorgeous!
That's when I knew that I had certainly missed something! Rushing to the powder room I pulled my invitation out of my pocked and reread it by the light of a drop crystal candelier!
Then it hit me~ this was a party to mark the final interior designer challenge, NOT for the design challenged!!!
There was only one thing to do. Escape!
I shimmied out of the bathroom window, hitched up my horse and buggy and high tailed it back to Lancaster Pa!
I was able to garner a few tidbits and beauty secrets as I breezed through the fabulous party~
1- sneekers, no matter how comfortable are NOT very becomming footwear
2- An amish cap and severly parted hair ages women and makes them eventually bald
3- red lipstick makes anyone look better (as long as you get your teeth whitened)
So if you are traveling in my neck of the woods and see a middle aged Amish women with kitten heels, tousled hair and red lips, wave and say Hi! It's probably me!
I want to thank our wonderful hostess Catherine for a lovely evening. And although it was not the party I expected I had a blast. And learned a few new fashion tips, tricks and trends too!
And thank you to my fashion friends who love me just the way I am. I am so happy to know all of you!You inspire me!
Please join the party. Click HERE to be amazed at this fashionable blog party!
Before I talk weekly menu I want to tell you about a fabulous and FUN party being planned! My friend Catherine at The Shiny Pebble is having a "PARTY" party! This fashionable soiree will begin on Wednesday June 16th. It is to celebrate the finale of the Interior Design Challenge. The fun starts at 12:01 (Central Time) sharp!
All are welcome! You are to post about anything party. What you would wear, what you would eat or drink, or anything party related!
Catherine, our hostess extraordinare, will explain it all. Go visit her and get in the know about this very interesting, upscale and brilliant party. Click HERE to get all the info.
Now I know for a fact that fasionista and spectacular friendSplenderosa will be there along with a FABULOUS story about Mom-Mom Chanterel and Chelsea~ these wonderfully eccentric (and fictional) characters. It is worth participating just to read the story!!!!! Click HERE to visit Splenderosa and see her delicious take on the fun!
Please join in! It should be the fashion event of the blogging year... and you won't believe what I am wearing!
Now to something much less spectacular, but very yummy...
This week I must tend to my house. It is VERY angry at me! Every room has a problem!
My laundry room is sick... it keep throwing up the clothes I have not folded and put away all week. I hate clothes vomit!
My kitchen has a mental disorder... multiple personalities. It thinks it's my office, and is trying to come up with a new filing system for all the bills, papers, magazines, instructions, gift wrap, books and all the what-not notes lying all over my island!
My bedroom is totally fed up and running away from home. It is packing the suitcase that has been lying on the floor half unpacked since my last overnight away. And it is trying to use the unmade bedsheets as a ladder to escape out of the second story window!
My bathroom has given in to being the most juvenile of delinquents! There is no more toilet paper in it and the kleenex is running low. It has been out late each night toilet papering the neighborhood trees!
My most trusted confidant, the office, has a huge eating disorder. I can see the tell-tale signs... crumbs on the desk, popcorn kernels on the floor and a two weight watcher fudge bar boxes in the trash can.
Thank goodness my living room and dinning room seem to be holding it together. But things could get ugly very soon. They have created an alliance and are threatning to kidnap the front stairs in an act of defiance if things don't change. I heard them whispering about writing the ransom note in the dust on the dinning room table!
And you thought you had housekeeping problems!
So this week I am signing a peace accord with my house! I promised it that I would spend 6 hours a day- a part time job of a day- nursing it back to physical and mental health! And that within 10 days (not counting the days I am away... sorry house!) it would be organized, clean and calm.
My house agreed to this arangement but is skeptical. For it's part in this peace accord it will continue give sanctuary and love to all who enter... and it will forgive me! No wonder I love my house.
Now I hear rumors of the garage staging a lock-out in protest. Both of the garage doors don't seem to be opening!
Pan Fried Boneless Pork Chops with White Gravy
Roasted Broccoli with Grated Cheddar Cheese
Recipe: Northern Girl With A Southern Daddy's Pan Fried Bonless Pork Chops With White Gravy
4 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
Beat eggs in wide shallow bowl. Mix 1/2 cup flour, breadcrumbs, paprika, a little salt and pepper inn a wide shallow bowl. Dip pork chops, one at a time, in egg and dredge in flour mixture.
Heat oil in large pan over medium high heat. Put pork chops in pan and pan fry until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Turn over and cook on other side until done through, about 5-6 minutes more. Remove pork chops to platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add butter to pan and melt. Add flour to pan and cook for 3 minutes. Stir so it does not stick or burn. Add milk and stir up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer until thick gravy. Plate each pork chop and pour white gravy over it. Very Yummy!
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Day Beef Barbeque on Buns Oven fries Homemade Coslaw
Recipe Beef Barbeque:
I posted this recipe and got so much positive feedback. I hope you will try this delicious, souppy, tasty barbeque! Click HERE and look for Monday's menu. You will find it there.
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs Ceaser Salad
Recipe: Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs
I love italian food! I am using my tried and true recipe, but using turkey instead of other meats to make the meatballs. Click HERE and look for it on Monday's menu.
Thursday: StoneGable Crab Cakes (Do over from last week~ we went out) Sauteed Rice Roasted Carrot Sticks
Recipe: StoneGable Crab Cakes
If you make these please use lump crabmeat. It makes all the difference. I know it is expensive, so wait and get it on sale. These are one of my most requested dishes. Click HERE and look for Monday's Menu.
Friday ~ Monday Bobby and Scamp home!Out of Town...AGAIN!
Bobby there is food in the freezer... no takeout!
Have a wonderful week! Please be thinking of me as I strive to be back on civil terms with my house!
The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
Isaiah 51:3 (God's prophesy concerning Israel in the last days)
To be a StoneGable WOW Factor Dessert a sweet treat must be delicious, easy and adaptable. And this scrumptious strawberry creation meets all the criteria and then some.
It is a formula dessert. That is, if you follow the formula it can be adapted and transformed into so many different kinds of desserts! This kind of dessert is my favorite. I can let my imagination run wild to make new creations. And I can use what I have on hand if I need a last minute dessert!
1 puffed pastry shells (I use pepperidge farm) + jam in the bottom + filling + fruit + topping + fruit.
The Recipe: StoneGable Strawberry Festival Dessert
1 pkg (8 count) puffed pastry shells
8 TBS strawberry jam (StoneGable Strawberry Jam tutorial post on Saturday)
1 cup lemon pudding (Jello pudding cups)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Fresh whipped cream (I just used cool whip with a touch of added vanilla)
8 beautiful strawberries sliced to be fanned on top
mint to garnish
Make the puffed pastry cups according to directions and cool. Removes tops and insides. The shell is what you want to fill.
Build your dessert by filling the bottom of the shell with 1 TBS strawberry jam. Top the strawberry jam with 2 TBS lemon pudding. Top with 2 TBS chopped fresh strawberries. Add whipped cream (not from a can, it gets too runny) and a beautifully fanned strawberry on the top. Refrigerate or serve immediately.
Now let your imagination go on a sugar high and make a dessert all your own!
Here's some ideas to get you started!
*Raspberry jam, nutella or chocolate pudding, fresh raspberries, whipped cream , raspberries and shaved chocolate.
*Lemon curd, vanilla pudding, blueberries, whipped cream with grated lemon peel, blueberries with a thin lemon slice.
*Orange marmalade (use sparingly), mascapone mixed with confectioner's sugar and orange grated orange peel, mandrian oranges , whipped cream with grand marnier, orange slice
Now it's your turn to make a signature dessert!
I am joining Designs By Gollum for Foodie Friday.
I am joining my friend Holly from 504 Main for Tickled Pink Friday- Show Me What You've Got. So very fun and creative... join in!
I am linking up with a new friend, Sam at The White Blue Sky for Culinary Evolution- There are some wonderful recipes and cooking blogs there!
A big heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who participated in StoneGable's very first giveaway. I read and cherished each and every comment!!!! I was stunned and thrilled and a little bit teary (happy tears) over the generousity and encouragement of all of you!
And a thank you to April Cornell for the great merchandise, kind words and support!
There were 444 entries. Using True Random Number Generator ( I could not figure how to get the little picture of the number chosen to my blog~ techie dinosaur!), the winning number is 224!
Glenda at D. Jean Quarles, A Write Life.
Please e-mail me your address so I can get your April Cornell and more winnings out to you.
And thank you again, EVERYONE, for making this a successful giveaway!
Strawberry Festival Tablescape
It's Strawberry time, and in this part of the country the strawberries are lucious this year! This beautiful red jewel of a fruit has inspired this week's table!
What could be more fun that having a Strawberry Festival Luncheon with a few good girlfriends?
When I found these fine china dishes at HomeGoods this winter, I tucked them away just for this day! I just knew that the strawberry inspired "Berry Fields" dishes from Creative Tops would be a great inspiration and become a favorite.
I paired them up with my favorite and leaf and berry chargers (HG), red chargers and lovely creamy white wedgewood salad plates.
A white tablecloth makes a clean crisp background. And each placesetting is anchored by a bright spring green and white embroidered placemat. The material reminds me of sundress material from summers gone by!
Red casual flatware with silver toned accents add a punch of color against the placemats.
The double napkins are gathered together with a green straw napkin ring. The under napkin is a textured red and the top napkin is red with a white woven repeated design. I often use two napkins for a fuller look.
Red and green is not just for Christmas! It can look very fresh summery too!
I love to welcome each guest to my table with a little take-home gift! StoneGable Strawberry Jam in jars dressed up with pretty paper lids and matching bows are a cheery hello!
Check back on Saturday a "how to make homemade jam" tutorial and SG's recipe. Yummy!
Red fluted glasses with a small stem will hold homemade ice tea or water.
A creamer and sugar bowl in the Berry Fields design add to the festive feel of the table.
The centerpiece is a simple white ironstone pitcher filled with red sweetheart roses and pink and white astilbies.
A white berry bowl full of sweet red strawberries and freshly picked mint is ready for the girls to help themselves. The bowl is designed like a collander~ just wash the berries, slide the bowl on the plate and take it to the table. We eat lots of berries at StoneGable and this is a well used bowl in my kitchen!
My table promotes "Eat dessert first"! Identical pedestal cake stands flank the pitcher of roses.
One cake stand is filled with an elegent and very easy strawberry dessert. Delicious! Come back for the recipe and more yummy pictures to be posted Thursday evening.
The other cake stand holds dessert plates in the Berry Field's pattern and a silver dessert server.
All is ready for an afternoon of girlfriends and fun!
STONEGABLE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL MENU
Field Greens with Strawberries, Candied Pecan and Bleu in a Champagne Viniagrette
Lobster Salad on Toast Points
Strawberry Festival Dessert in Puffed Pastry Cups
I am joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday. To see creative and inspiring tablescapes visit Between Naps On The Porch! Thanks Susan for hosting this highlight of the week!