Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The tease of the season.

The end of August for me signals the changing of the Seasons . Actually the kids going back to school screams Fall to me.
The time to 'cozy up'.
... retire the Summer decor ...
pack up the Sea Shells.

I jumped the gun a bit this year. Yesterday, the 27th, I sprinkled a bit of Fall throughout the house. 
..just a sprinkle, 
a tad... 
you know, like a wee bit.
A taste.

A tease sample if you will.

I am not trying to speed my year on by now. I just love Fall or Autumn if you prefer.

I luv the colours.... 
warm burnt oranges.
The smells....
pumpkin spice, spiced apples.

Fallen leaves and pumpkin pies!!

I pack away the crystal and bring out the clay and earthenware pieces.
Browns, tans, russets... 

A time for soups!!
I am a fool for love soup!!!

..... and pumpkins
.... and bittersweet berries
..... and chocolate burlap.
Don't you all just love those things?

The crisp air.... ooohhh!!!

In Florida the lack of humidity is a HUGE plus.
As the days go on by, I will add some more.
A little more here and there, until before you know it , it will be Fall throughout the house.

Who's ready for a sprinkling, a taste of Fall ?
Come join me.

Warm ((HUGS)),

French Country CottageStoneGable
Dixie n Dottie
good one

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sweet Sundays...

I just love the sweetness of a Sunday don't you?
The nice lazy feel of the day..... Like everything is in s l o w motion.

Here at Chez Newbanks, we really make the Sunday meals special. 
Home cooking is a BIG thing here.
From Sunday Brunch, mid afternoon coffee to dinner.
... it is done up BIG!!

We eat as a family as often as we can.

Sometimes we do 'dinner and a movie' and have a picnic styled meal in the family room. Relaxed and easy.
Always with china
, flatware and linen napkins.
I am a hoarder, ahem, I mean collector of dishes, flatware, crystal , glassware, and napkins.
Never too many napkins!!!

Nothing is 'saved for a special occasion' .
 After all,isn't everyday special?

But Sundays, oohh Sundays are very special ....
.... especially at dinner. Then I go all out. No holds barred.
Dinner is 'done up'.

The meal is a nice loong one. One to encourage good conversation and laughter.
Loads of laughter and sharing happen at meal times.
....... wonderful times .....

This Sunday was one such day.
 Chicken with fresh garden sauce over penne. With a garden salad and a nice red wine.
So simple... So delish!!

Chicken with fresh garden sauce.

3 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
1 large onion sliced
6 cloves garlic chopped
large bunch washed basil chopped
 1/2 cup olives (optional)
2 tables spoons fresh parsley chopped
2.5 lbs Roma tomatoes chopped
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
garlic and onion powder
penne pasta. 
Wedge of Parmesan cheese
Slice chicken breasts thinly.
In a large skillet heat olive oil and add chicken slices seasoned with salt, pepper  garlic and onion powders.Saute until chicken looses it's pinkness.Add onions and garlic. Saute for about 5  minutes or until chicken is golden.
Add parsley and basil. Stir. When the basil has wilted add the chopped tomatoes and olives. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve over a bed of penne topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Thanks for popping by and enjoying a meal with us. Friends are always welcome!!


French Country CottageBetween Naps On the Porch
From My Front Porch To Yours

Ivy and Elephants

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Breathe....

As I sit and  enjoy the wash of watery sunshine coming in through the windows, and a sweet 78* outside after a wild summer storm, I can't help but realize that Summer is bidding us farewell.
In the middle f May, when it was just saying 'Hello', and I rushed to gather the sea shells and other summertime decor and put away the Spring items, I made a promise to myself.
... I promised to make this a Summer of simple things.... to just  


and enjoy the simpler things in life.

Like the simple joys  of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a lazy weekend brunch in the Sun room.
...... just Breathe.....

The simplicity of fresh sliced watermelon, and Lemon Ices.
.... a Sweet glass of wine at day's end.....
Little did I know at this time that I/ we would be forced to relax and take it easy.
In Mid Summer, amidst the hot humid days and the wild summer storms, my body said, I need a rest!! So following Dr.'s orders, I had to slow down.
Slow down and restore.... 
flip back some pages and return to comfy, cozy!! 
I chose to do that both physically and mentally....
...... and in the way we lived and went about our daily lives.
 Peel back a few layers..... 
I returned to steeping myself in the sounds of nature... the Cicadas and their symphony.
the roses in my garden...

I bent... flexed.
Let things get a little 'wild' in the Gardens.... more natural. Less structured.

..... The funny thing is, I am totally enjoying it. Life should be simple. 
We get so caught up in the fast pace we set for ourselves that we miss so much!

With Autumn fast aproaching ( of maybe I am just hopeful) I plan on being even more relaxed.....
..... more simplistic......
... do more 'breathing'...
I plan on surrounding myself with people and things that bring me JOY...
PEACE... at the Bumble Bees, enjoy the fluttering butterflies...
smell the roses...
Most importantly....
I will Breathe....

and just Be!! 

Cheers, Gee

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Latest Piece...

You know those days when you are taking it easy, relaxing with a nice coffee and a good Blog read?When the minutes stretch by ever so slow.....
Those days...
...... the ones where the sun is shining , the sky is a perfect shade of blue,

and the birds are doing their best ever serenade. 

Well, it was on a day such as that, when the phone rang.
"I need you to do me a drawing the voice said. A drawing of a face.....
The face of Christ, as a farewell gift.
I need it as soon as possible!

As soon as possible....
As soon as possible....
The pressure that those words convey.

Ok! (That's what I heard myself say.)
I will get right on it!!

I check the date..... the day of the request, versus the date needed.
 Then I gulped and got busy.
Jesu Lord. Graphite and charcoal sketch on textured paper. 
Framed in a dark oak frame with a black /white matting.
(commissioned piece)
Today I delivered the piece. I must say, I do work well under pressure. 
... the pencils practically flew over the paper ..
my fingers took on a life of their own. 
... they sketched, smudged and sketched some more.
The result was overwhelming.  Even to me as I watched it come to life.
... so that day, that relaxing day..
.... when I took the call..
.. when I was challenged, 
that day,
He had a plan for me!

I took the challenge, and I am pleased.

Challenge, it's a good thing!!
Take one, you might amaze yourself.



French Country CottageMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

From My Front Porch To Yours

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Farmer's Market.

On a Friday and Saturday morning fresh produce is all the rage at the weekend Farmer's Market. On Friday mornings it is located near Magnolia on the Miracle Mile, and on Saturday mornings, the Farmers can be found with their succulent wares at the Down Town Square.

Farm Fresh Acrylic on canvas. Framed in reclaimed ceder to look like a crate.

Picture if you would ,fresh  tomatoes... grown in the Florida sunshine. Nothing better!!
.... imagine, BLT with fresh tomatoes.
..... a garden salad....
Succulent Pear. Acrylic on reclaimed wood. Painting wrapped on sides.

A delightfully succulent pear poached in wine and served with fresh cream. 
.... or  your teeth crunching into a nice fresh crisp one just wash and enjoy ......
Aaahhh, I can hear the crunch now, can't you?
... the juice running down your arm. Mmmmmm..

Romie's Pomegranates. Acrylic on reclaimed canvas in a 'crate' frame made from pallet wood.

The jewel of a fruit. Open one and be rewarded with the juicy, little jems inside. Like little ruby pearls..... 
...... and the taste. Not to mention all the health benefits.

White Poppy. Commissioned piece. Acrylic on reclaimed wood in an antique frame.
Have I mentioned the fresh flowers.
......Ooohh the smell.. the colours.
Fresh flowers, plants. The array is boundless. 
... the bunches of varying sizes. I get greedy!!
Perfection in Red. Acrylic on canvas in a red oak frame. 
red ones, pink, white, yellow.....
...cut flowers, live plants!!!
I choose red roses. My favourites. Deep, rich,dark red!
.... oooooohhhhh look, an added treat. A little Lady bug on one. 
The Farmer's Market. A treat to the senses.  A visual treat..
the smells, the sounds and textures.
Pretty soon there will be gourds and pumpkins to join the plethora of produce.

I can hardly wait!
Do you visit the Farmer's Market in your home town?