An over night fire burns parts of my beloved Historic Dinan in France ... Shop Signs & Shop Fronts are a complete curiosity & work of art in France
Parts of my beloved Historic area in Dinan broke out in fire overnight !!
The photo's look dramatic but it could have been so much worse as most of the houses are made of wood..
I am not sure but I do believe that no one was hurt ...thank goodness.
I don't like to post such sad news ...so I have put an album together of some of my favorite shop signs in France most of them are in Dinan.
I just love them each one a piece of beautiful art.
In France I always look out for unusual shop fronts and sign's and I don't have to look too hard
This one advertising 'Hotel Maison au Pelerin' translating to 'Home of the Pilgrim'
Pottery Update ..Week 11 ....Glazing my Log Vase.
The grass will be in a dark green and the flowers will be turquoise and a yellowish green
Here is my sweet turtle ...I placed wax underneath him so that if I dripped any glaze it will just burn off in the final firing in the kiln.
He will have a mottled dark green shell and his head and legs will be dark brown.
I so enjoyed making this unusual log flower bud vase ...I made it as when I am picking my Wildflowers sometimes there is a broken flower or one with a short stem ...now I will have a place to put them ...it will also look great with just the head of a lily, Zinnia etc ..
Now it sits on the shelf waiting for the final firing .
It may be a few weeks before there are enough items to put in the Kiln
But I think it will be worth waiting ...don't you .
The incredible planter in the back was made by our Tutor and friend Faith.
She is amazing and so fast ..I doubt I will ever be that fast ...I am a little slow just like my turtle...ha! ha!
I am going to have a go at making a planter like this for myself ...Faith believes I can make it.
So we will see ....
Her bird is also going to be blue ...not too sure what the walls of the houses are going to be ...
As you can see the glaze has flooded in to the windows ..making them dark.
I think it's going to be incredible when it comes out of the Kiln.
The Jewelry pieces in the front are my friend Mary's ..she loves to make jewelry.
Thanks for popping in.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my Pottery glazing.
I am as you can see now able to pick some of my Wild flowers.
That gives me joy.
I also purchased some seeds for unusual colored Cosmos flowers,
And some unusual Sunflowers ..more than 10 different varieties so the packet tells me.
So I will sow them today and hopefully will have some to enjoy through out the Summer.
I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday/Bank Holiday weekend
We are going to have a lazy one except for mowing the lawn.
I will do that whilst Danny works on a little problem on his truck.
Otherwise we are going to stay away from the crowds and enjoy sitting on our decks and porches.
Watching the birds, chatting to the Raccoons and loving on our beloved cats.
Eating amazing food.
Fillet Mignon on the grill/BBQ and on Memorial Day hot dogs on the grill .
Lots of lovely healthy salad.
And finally going to watch the latest Star Wars movie on our television.
Happy Days to you all
Sweet Potato Yeast Bread ....Yummy & Super Easy to make
I love to make my own bread but I especially love to make my Sweet Potato Bread.
It is such a lovely tasting bread.
Very easy to make with just a little effort.
Why not have a go.
This recipe is for two 2 lb loaves
There are no preservatives in this bread
So it will only last for about 2 days
I slice mine up and wrap two slices at a time in to cling wrap
Then I place several in a 'freezer' zip lock bag
And place them in the freezer
When you want them just take out your 2 slice package
place in microwave for 30 seconds
And you have wonderful homemade bread
It toasts perfectly
This is sandwich bread not a cake
As lots of sweet potato bread recipe's are cake
Here is the recipe.
You will need :
2 Packages of Active dry Yeast ...I use the 'fast' acting one
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 cup mashed sweet potato (without added milk or butter)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup of honey ...I use Wildflower Honey available at Walmart stores etc..
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
plus 1 tablespoon of melted butter to brush over baked bread
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add sweet potatoes, softened butter,honey,egg,salt and whole wheat flour
Beat with a wooden spoon or something similar till smooth
Stir in all purpose flour to form a soft dough
(I use my hands near the end of this process.)
Turn on to a floured surface
Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top
(I spray my bowl with non stick spray
I also spray cling wrap and cover the dough with that)
Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled
About one hour
(I put mine on top of our tumble dryer and turn the dryer on for one hour
works perfectly this way.
You could have a load of washing in it too so not to waste the electric)
Punch dough down
Turn on to a lightly floured surface, divide in half
Shape in to two 2 lb loaves
Place in two greased loaf pans
(I like to butter my pans
Then I line my pans with parchment paper)
Once again cover with sprayed cling wrap
let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes
Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes
Until a lovely dark brown
Remove from pans to wire racks
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter, brush over warm bread
I think that you will love this bread
It's got the most wonderful texture as you can see in the photo above
Danny loves to have it for his sandwiches for work.
I love it toasted with grated cheese melted on the top
Or the warm toast spread with crunchy peanut butter or mashed banana or both
Even if you have never made bread before this very easy recipe would be a great place to start
The hardest part is the kneading but that is not really hard at all
Perhaps the hardest part is waiting patiently for it to rise
Let us know through 'comments' how yours turned out .
Happy baking to you all
Pottery Update on week 10 of Pottery Classes.
Hi...This is my update on my Pottery.
I am now in to my 10th Pottery lesson over 10 weeks.
Enjoying it more than I could possible hoped for.
Love creating ..the time flies past very quickly when I am there.
I love all the other pupils ...we have such fun and laughter.
This week I was able to bring home finished items.
Always a special time ..it feels like Christmas.
As when the item comes out of the Kiln from their final firing.
You never know what you are going to get.
It's just like opening a gift.
This is my 'My Bird Watching Corner' sign that I made a few weeks ago.
I have a corner in the garden with a bench and table that I like to sit on amongst the trees to bird watch.
So I thought I would make a cute sign for that corner and hang it on a shepherd's hook.
I just LOVE how it has turned out ...do you ???
As you can see I used a real Fern leaf in my pattern.
You push it in to the clay and the leaf burns away in the Kiln.
Do you remember this Cheese and Cracker Plate ?
It was the item I made on my second pottery lesson.
I had such trouble with the glaze.
It just would not work, hence I haven't showed you the finished project yet.
In the end it had 6-9 different layers of glaze.
Last week I decided that it would just come out as it comes out.
No more trying to correct the glaze.
Well here is the finished project.
Completed and finally glazed.
It's not perfect in anyway but I am still proud.
That it was the second piece I made.
I also made 4 pieces of jewelry pendants.
Two for me.
And two for gifts.
Here are my bird pendants
But as the others are gifts I will have to wait till they have received them to show you.
They were the best glaze ever ....I just love them.
And I guess I am learning a little more about glazing.
I hope the recipients love them too.
I have started to make,this week, a 'Teatime' Spoon rest for my oven or to put the ladle on for soups.
I then made another gift soon to be revealed.
Here is my sweet 'Bird Watching' sign in it's place in the garden.
It will make me smile every time I see it.
Happy memories of making it too.
Thanks for popping in and checking on my Pottery progress.
I hope you have a hobby that you enjoy as much as I do mine.
Take a little time out of your day and be creative.
Happy Mother's Day everyone ....I hope you have a wonderful day.
Today is not Mother's Day for me although I live in the USA.
I celebrate the British Mother's Day as that is what my Children wanted to do.
It was on March 26th, 2017 this year ...I had a lovely Day.
The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew's Methodist Church now holds the International Mother's Day Shrine. Her campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world".
In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a "Mother-in-law's Day". However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all US states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother's Day as a local holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis' home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Although Jarvis was successful in founding Mother's Day, she became resentful of the Commercialization of the holiday. By the early 1920s, Hallmark cards and other companies had started selling Mother's Day cards. Jarvis believed that the companies had misinterpreted and exploited the idea of Mother's Day, and that the emphasis of the holiday was on sentiment, not profit. As a result, she organized boycotts of Mother's Day, and threatened to issue lawsuits against the companies involved. Jarvis argued that people should appreciate and honor their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude, instead of buying gifts and pre-made cards. Jarvis protested at a candy makers' convention in Philadelphia in 1923, and at a meeting of American War Mothers in 1925. By this time, Carnations had become associated with Mother's Day, and the selling of carnations by the American War Mothers to raise money angered Jarvis, who was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Thanks for popping by.
May all the Mother's reading my blog have a wonderful day
Full of love, fun and flowers
Happy Mother's Day
Just a few photo's to share of some moments that happened at Maisonvogue this week.
Bella looking sweet and innocent amongst the Pansies ...but in fact she was demolishing them by flattening them down ...ha! ha!
I did have to take her to the Veterinarian's Office this week as she was limping badly with her right front leg.
It turned out she may have had a small bite from her Brother Toby ...and it got infected turning in to a nasty abscess ...so they lanced it and an hour after getting back home could walk on that leg again even though a little gingerly.
They also gave her a long lasting anti-biotic shot.
A lovely young lady at my Pottery Class prints out T-shirts etc...so I asked her to print out two t-shirts for me with my two logo's and my Web Site Address ...they came out pretty well ..I am thrilled ...
The flowers in my Mexican pot seem to be growing ok ...I am wondering if they could do with a full sunny spot ..may have to move them ..we will see.
My Indian Feather Plant is doing very well ..I took two cutting from it several weeks ago and they are both about to bloom as well ...
I love a free plant ..don't you ??
This flower is the gift that just keeps giving ....I can cut them from April to the first frost ...lots of them ...always like a ray of sunshine ....they are from my Wildflower garden.
My plantings are coming on well ...soon the Pansies will give up as the heat kills them off so I will have to find some new plants to put in their place ...Cacti are loving their new home in the Mexican Strawberry pot
My new plant I bought this week is going to become my new obsession ..it's so cute ..called Angelonia ..it comes in so many colors ..mine are called (pink) Archangel raspberry (purple) Serena Purple.
The ones below are just some of the colors it's available in.
The first flower to bloom on my Golden Star Gazer Lily ...that my dear friend Faith gave to me ...it's so pretty ..there are loads and loads of buds on it .
Cleaning day today ...so I changed out my flowers in my rooms and I cut some Knock Out Roses in red and pink,they look great in this enamel coffee jug ..don't you think ??
Thanks for spending a few minutes with me,
I enjoyed your company,
Come back soon !!!
The 9th of May is Liberation Celebration Day for my Island home of Guernsey ...when the occupying German Forces Surrendered in 1945 and we the people kicked them out!! 72 years ago today .
This is how Guernsey will be celebrating today the Liberation of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands , my Island home.
All of the Islands have a day off to celebrate ...we gather in the main town and on the coast lines and other major places to spend the day full of joy and hope that we were made FREE on the 9th May, 1945.
I too in Alabama, USA , my now home, will be flying the Guernsey flag ..though it will mean nothing to anyone who sees it ...it does mean everything to me ..I am so proud to be British.
These are archive photos from the 5 years the Nazi's occupied our dear island ...it still hurts today to see them marching so brazen through our beloved streets .
Hitler considered the Channel Islands - Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm - a valuable landing stage for the invasion of mainland France, as they sat just 20 miles off the French coast. Winston Churchill, however, thought they held no strategic importance for Britain and decided to de-militarise them and leave them undefended.
The Germans invade
As the German army stormed through France in June 1940, some 30,000 Channel Islanders (one third of the total population) were evacuated. Once the initial panic was over, the rest decided to stay and tough it out, mainly on Jersey and Guernsey.
On 28 June, the Luftwaffe bombed Jersey and Guernsey, unaware that the islands were undefended. They killed 44 people. Two days later, Luftwaffe personnel took control of Guernsey airfield. There they met the chief of police, who informed them that the islands were undefended.
The following day, a detachment of troops arrived on Guernsey and that afternoon the German flag was raised. More arrived later and their attention turned to the other islands.
Jersey surrendered on 1 July and soldiers were swftly stationed. Islanders had to show their compliance by flying white flags over their houses.
Sybil Hathaway, the Dame of Sark, received German officers on 2 July. They assured her she had nothing to fear and the island's garrison of just ten men arrived on 4 July.
Alderney, meanwhile, was almost completely empty, but was garrisoned by a company of troops. Herm, the smallest of the islands, was visited by German soldiers on 25 July, although they did not set up a permanent station there.
Life under Nazi rule
A curfew was imposed between the hours of 11pm and 5am and ID cards had to be carried. The sale of spirits was banned. Later, wirelesses were banned and all British-born Islanders were deported to Germany.
A register of Jewish people was created and all Jewish business had to publicly identify themselves. Some were deported to concentration camps. Cars were requisitioned and the Germans controlled the food grown by farmers and caught by fishermen. Anyone caught trying to escape to Britain was imprisoned or shot - if they didn't drown.
Four concentration camps were built on Alderney - the only ones on British territory. Alderney became the most heavily fortified of the islands, built by slave labour.
Resistance and collaboration
Whilst there was no consolidated resistance movement as there was in France, V for Victory signs were painted around the islands, underground newsletters were written, and guns and ammunition were stolen from German stores. Some Islanders assisted their Jewish neighbours and fed slave labourers. On Jersey, letters sent to the Commandant by informants were intercepted by the Post Office and destroyed. Many who did collaborate were attacked after liberation.
The beginning of the end
The D-Day landings in June 1944 came as both a blessing and a curse. Whilst they marked the beginning of the end for the German occupiers who relied on supply lines from the continent, they also meant that food lines were cut. As supplies dwindled, everyone began to starve. However, after negotiation with the Home Office, the Germans allowed the Red Cross' SS Vega to deliver food, saving many of the Islanders' lives. The Vega continued to bring food parcels even after the British liberated the islands on 9 May 1945.
Wishing I was there to celebrate with my Friends and Family
Have a wonderful day
The weather is going to be wonderful.
God Bless Guernsey and our Dear Channel Islands
Thanks for popping by
I hope that you have found this piece of History interesting
As we say in Guernsey
Cherie for now
Using Bird Cages as Hanging Baskets
Instead of using traditional hanging baskets to hang on my front porch,
I have looked around for some old bird cages at antique stores and thrift stores and have filled them with moss and flowers
All that will hang down outside of the cages.
I don't have any favorites ...I love them all.
This one is the last cage I found ...I planted it differently to the others, by putting the plants in pots ...I have a lovely trailing plant with blue flowers on it in the large pot and a trailing variated colored leaves in the smaller pot ..both of which I don't know their names.
This one came complete with the birds ...I have sprayed all the cages and the birds with an outside clear protective spray and anti-rust spray.
I love how they all look on our front porch.
Below you will find lots of ideas that you can do with birdcages.
Love the Cacti display in this one
This one has been made in to a bird feeder .
By the look of the amount of birds feeding.
I guess it's a hit.
This is one of my favorites.
Mother's Day May 14th 2017 ...some gift tags & writing paper for you to print out for your craft projects
Mother's Day is just a week away so I thought I would post some of my favorite gift tags and writing paper/journal pages for you to print out and use for your craft projects
I LOVE this note paper .....so pretty to write a special note for a loved one or for using in journals etc ..
These super cute French tags I have used over and over again ...they look great on any craft project or gift wrapping
If you have never made gift tags from print outs ...you will need to print them out ...don't cut them out ...using some nice printed or plain card from the craft store ...using craft spray adhesive spray the back of the print out or the back of the card and place the print out on to the card ..smoothing it with your hand/finger.
Then cut out each gift tag.
Punch a small hole at the centre top of the tag.
Thread some ribbon or twine through the hole.
And there you are ..a lovely hand made gift tag
What's not to love ....gorgeous
These are great projects to with the children ...they will love to make their own.
I hope that you have found these useful and will use them for your Mother's Day gifts or just Birthday gifts etc..through out the year
Thanks for popping by
Happy Mother's Day
HRH Prince Philip is Stepping Down from Public Duties as from the Fall.
Wishing Prince Philip good health.
God Bless the Queen and Prince Philip
Thanks for popping by
Our 18th Wedding Anniversary Weekend Trip down South
We were lucky enough to celebrate our 18th Wedding Anniversary this past weekend.
It has become a tradition to go down to Fairhope , Alabama by the Gulf of Mexico to have a long weekend break.
Just the two of us ...a peaceful, quiet time.
Doing what we both like best.
With only each other to worry about for the whole 4 days.
Filled with Love and Romance.
We went on short walks whilst I drank in the much missed Sea of my island home of Guernsey ...
To hear the Seagulls.
Lapping of the waves.
Diving of the Pelican's
They have made a really lovely board walk through the Swamp now.
Allowing everyone to enjoy it.
The Toads were in fine fettle ...singing at the top of their voices in a huge Toad Chorus.
Sounding like hundreds of yapping Chihuahua dogs.
Almost deafening us as we walked with smiles on our faces.
Yours truly looking a little smug ...don't you think ...ha! ha!
The first time I have seen orange flowers on a Mimosa Tree ...up here in Central Alabama they are usually pink.
We had to fight off the mosquito's a little ....but there you are we were in a Swamp !!
There were 4 Alligators swimming in the Sea just outside of the entrance to the Swamp that day.
Thanks for popping by and sharing some of our Special weekend with us.
We ate at lovely Italian restaurants.
And treated ourselves to a delicious Latte Coffee and a large slice of Carrot cake.
Which was particularly wonderful .
Rummaged through Antique Stores.
Dreamed of owning one of the Mansions down there.
I glanced outside today in the glorious Alabama Sunshine and saw the glory of my knock out roses
They were bobbing about in the light breeze saying ' look at me, look at me' how wonderful I look with my fresh green leaves and my bright red blooms ....these rose bushes are such a success
The only attention they require is to trim them back now and again to tame their wild ways ..love them
They inspired me to blog today about some of the flowers that adorn my garden every year ...I just love my garden and when we arrived 15 years ago it was just a blank canvas waiting for me to bring it alive
No landscaping what so ever just a green turfed lawn
My Son helped me create this little garden on the right ...whilst he was over here on a visit he helped me plant the trees and bushes ..they were much smaller then but love where we put them
The Gardenia Bush is in the same section and blooms three times a season filling the air with their perfume ...I breath it in and savor it's perfume every time I go outside
These two lace head hydrangea's make great cutting plants and if caught at the right time dry very well
Anyone can grow these Morning Glories that I let do their own thing on the railings of our front porch ..they are self seeding and will come back each year ...try several colors together for visual impact. Collect some of the seeds and gift to family and friends to plant in a sunny spot after the last frost
Brightly colored Caladiums ..love the shade under the umbrella on the back deck whilst the hibiscus flowers bask in the hot sun of the day
I found a use for my old Kitchen baker's rack ..took it to pieces and used the iron work around the garden
Thanks for visiting my garden ..I hope it gave you a few ideas of what to do or what not to do ...enjoy it and don't let it be too much work ...most of my plants come up by themselves each year (perennial) and I add some annuals such as the impatient's, hanging baskets and little ones I can't resist to bring home every year
Fabric and chip bark all of your beds including the vegetable gardens ...no weeding ...and just replenish the bark ever other year
Oh yes my greatest tip is ...get your Husband to trim the bushes ...whilst you cover the surrounding ground and bushes with old sheets or ones from the thrift store ...so you just have to scoop up the corners once he has finished and dump the cuttings where you usually put them ...having the next bush already covered and ready for Hubby to do the next one ...then a clean garden and happiness all around
Happy gardening !!
More Updates on the Decoration of our Summer Porch
A quick update on the ongoing decorating of our Summer front Porch.
Here I have decorated my 'faux' window with the ongoing theme of a pop of turquoise/robin egg blue
I will have to replace the moss on the topiary once the birds have finished taking it for their nests ...
I sprayed my once brass colored star a bright turquoise.
Here is my very old magazine rack , picked up at a thrift store years ago, I like to fill it with fresh moss every year from the edge of the woods ...then pop some flowers in the top ..it makes a great container
I popped in some white Impatiens (busy lizzies) ..I thought the white would look great amongst the turquoise.
As you and see my magazine rack was not spared from my obsessive use of the spray paint ....it really freshened it up a lot.
You can see all the little flowers etc..that are in the sheet moss .
This is moss I cut from my own garden not the ones bought in craft stores.
So I have to keep it watered to keep it's freshness.
I also purchased this cute solar lamp to hang on a shepherd's hook.
It cost me NOTHING as it was on the clearance sale table , the only one they had ...for $5 originally $29.99.
I had a $5 coupon ...then they gave me a scratch card for further discounts to help pay for the sales tax ..and that came to 15% off ...so it cost me nothing ...
I love Nothing !! ha! ha!
Maisonvogue's Pansy Flowers.
The Pansies at Maisonvogue are enjoying their last flourish of life before the heat comes and they wither away.
I planted them last October and they have bloomed ever since ...such vibrant colors
Such happy flowers ...they make me smile too.
These share a pot with my Rose of Sharon Bush ...filling the pot with color.
I enjoyed sharing my photo's with you.
The more you pinch out the old Pansies the more flowers you will get.
I hope that you have some 'happy' flowers too.
Happy Gardening to you all.
Glad you popped in to see me.
I love anything artsy I especially love sewing and vintage prints and shabby chic ...pretty feminine things to adorn the home