Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Writing on Deadline, Tweeting, & Endless Decorating Projects

With the book deadline heating up, I'll be Tweeting to myself. Random pep-talks help a little, but for the most part, it's me and my laptop, music on the iPod, phone off the hook, and a pot of coffee. It's Sisyphus pushing that rock up the mountain.
That said, before the chaos hit, I was "tweaking" the master bedroom.
Here's the "before"

And an "in progress" picture.
I don't know what hit me, but all of a sudden, I just needed a lighter, summery look.
I "borrowed" furniture, art, and accessories from other rooms, lots of scraping and shoving--great exercise, right? The white chair was in the living room, and the ottoman was in the bath. The little French chest needs a top, maybe a remnant from the stone/marble place, but it'll have to go topless this summer.

I'm wild about the drapery rods ($8 and $6, Big Lots). The draperies are linen, straight and simple. I'm waiting on 5 panels. I'm waiting for strong men to move the furniture that's not pictured. I'm waiting for time, inspiration, and $$, the holy trio of design projects.

I hung a humongous resin mirror over the bed, and it freaked out Dr. G. He took it down but wouldn't rehang it, as he has a mortal fear of nail holes, and he well knows how I am in that department.

Well, it did look unstable on those two puny nails.

He urged me to call Mr. Tom. Then Dr. G scanned the curtains (he likes them poofier) and said not to worry, by the time they arrive and the book is finished, summer will be over, and you'll switch back to blue and beige.
Or not.

Maybe I'll go peach and green for fall.
That's the way it goes around here.
I don't know if my blogger friends ever get blocked, or hit the word wall, but it can be miserable. It's like being hungry, you're craving something...you just don't know what. So you eat everything, and nothing satisfies. Sometimes puttering around the house, making a tablescape (or eating something carby), will break up the logjam. Bigger projects, like the one in the MBR, demand a lot more--a bad mix when I'm on Deadline.

Thanks to Bandwith's ability to plan road trips, we did manage to see Bill Mayer at the Ryman last Saturday night. And this Thursday, Mr. Tom will be hanging the old shelf (still up in the air about painting it--I'm 90% sure I will leave it alone)

in the laundry room
A closer look at the wallpaper.
See you on Foodie Friday. I will definitely be doing something storebought and high-carb.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Former Foodie Fridays & A Tip From Chef Trey

Today is Dr. Gollum's birthday. Bandwith and I are staying up late, working out details for the menu.

So, for this week's FF, I'm sharing a mosaic of former Foodie Fridays.

With deadlines looming, I rely on easy meals (for lunch, I'm happy with a bowl of low-carb ice cream and strawberries...actually, truth be told, I'm happy with a lot of things, like, Slim Jims, but I digress).
If I'm feeling slightly energetic, I'll put together whipped cream bites (the shells can be bought at Publix, and they're low cal, low carb). If I have even more time, I will "pimp" storebought food. Bakery cookies are specially fun. Here, I've gussied them up with chocolate.

And some FF posts were just plain fun (and edible).
I am so looking forward to having more time to cook, blog, and play.

Chef Trey offers a tip. When you are chopping tomatoes for salsa or bruschetta (as he was doing here), use a bread knife. The juice will somehow, mostly, stay in the tomato--keeping all that great taste in your recipe. Try it! It really works.

Love this tip, Trey!

No juice! Amazing!

For all of the great cooks who will be joining Foodie Friday, type in your name and permalink to your Foodie Friday post. Thanks to everyone for your generosity, tireless energy, and great recipes!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tablescape Thursday: A Mosaic

It's time for another fun-filled Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch. I've put together a mosaic of past TTs.

Top row: Lenox.

Second row, Bethany Lowe bird plates.

Center: "Bubble & Squeak" plate (a British term for leftovers--wink to my pal Kathy) is made by Emma Bridgewater. The collection is called "Black Toast & Marmalade."

Third row: On the left side, the white plates with the "starfish" endive salad are Baroque (Ivory) by American Atelier at Home. The brown salad plate is called "Sorrento," made by Debby Segura Designs for Signature Housewares Inc.

Third row, right: Wedgwood, "Hunting Dogs."
Bottom, from left: Daffodil bowls and plates, Horchow; Singapore Bird by Adams; blue stemmed glassware by iittala; square dishes by Tabletops Unlimited, "Tangier."

Below, I've mixed Baroque with Villeroy & Boch's "Allegretto." Floral napkins by Danica. The tureen is Baroque and came from Replacements, Ltd.

To peruse more tablescapes at Susan's blog, click here: http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fifi Flowers Rocks!

Talk about awesomeness! I am thrilled out of my farm boots to see my solitary breakfast for one turned into fabulous art by the talented Fifi. You can see this photo's transformation along with many others at Fifi's delightful blog by clicking here http://www.fififlowers.com/

Let There Be White!

Kathleen is hosting an "all white" tablescape party at her blog

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Foodie Friday: Two Tarts

Welcome to Foodie Friday!

This week, I made two easy tarts.
Apricot-blueberry with lemon curd...
and strawberry-apricot with lemon curd

As always in Gollum's kitchen, the recipes are a snap.
What You Need:
Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 jar lemon curd
canned apricots (reserve liquid)
1 jar strawberry ice cream topping
For the apricot-lemon curd tart, I thinned the lemon curd with apricot juice and spread it onto the pastry. After arranging the apricots (I added the blueberries *after* cooking), I popped the pan into a preheated 400 degree oven and cooked 20 minutes.
For the apricot-strawberry tart, I mixed lemon curd with the strawberry topping.
Same proceedure, minus the berries.
These tarts will be "wiggly" when you pull them from the oven. After cooling, they will collect themselves and solidify.

Sign up for Mr. Linky, and share your recipe on Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tablescape Thursday: Breakfast for One

I rarely eat alone. Usually I've got a plate balanced on my knees while I'm watching a movie with Dr. Gollum and Bandwith. We go all out for these meals--paper plates and paper napkins, bought in bulk, and put to good use.

One morning I awoke early and invited Dr. G and Bandy to eat breakfast on the porch. But they weren't in the mood. I decided that I wasn't, either. Then I thought, Oh, yes, you are.

I set the table with Ironstone, twig flatware, a cloth napkin, whimsical napkin ring, and flowers.

Special K with blueberries (and Splenda)

2% milk

blueberry muffin


The background music was birdsong, crowing roosters, and bleating goats--an odd combination that was oddly soothing.

Dr. Gollum always says not to worry about trivial matters, and he's right...but sometimes little things DO matter.
When the well is dry, a little self-pampering goes a long way.
It's important to feed the spirit as well as the body.
A balanced diet should include flowers and beautiful dishes.
"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be."

--Ellen Burstyn, American actress
The Ironstone pattern is "Singapore Bird."
I forgot to take close-up pictures, but I found some from Mother's Day.
Same dishes, flatware, and napkins. Different setting.

Other tablescapes await you at Susan's beautiful and inspiring blog http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/.

Tablescaping Notes:

Dishes -- "Singapore Bird" by Adams

Twig flatware
Napkins by www.danicaimports.com
Napkin rings (bought many years ago in Orange Beach, Ala)
Aqua tablecloth -- Big Lots, $2.99

Outdoor Wednesday: Barefoot on the Lawn

Please join us for an afternoon picnic. Come as you are. No shoes allowed. Laughter is most welcome. Bug spray optional.

"Barefootedness" isn't a word. . . it's a state of mind.

What's on the menu? Easy stuff.
First up, the picnicker's bestest friend: Apple-walnut salad in a jar.
Ham and cheese croissants.
SunChips, watermelon, and low-cal sports drink.
Raspberry vinaigrette.
My mother always says that trays and caddies are workhorse accessories. The black plates were a Big Lots find. The sunflower napkins called out to me while I was Krogering.
I bought this jar at my father's dime store in 1978.
Let's sit down and have a nice, long talk--southern style.
One click will return you to Susan's beautiful blog, A Southern Daydreamer: http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/