Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Fall Y'All!

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 17

I bought this little home decor piece a long time ago and it still hangs on the wall in my foyer. It's one of those items where you can change out a focal piece for each season or holiday. I forget what they are called but it would be similar to something like a perpetual calendar-type thing. Most of the time I totally forget to change the piece in the center but I'm trying to get better at that. ;-)  Hope you enjoy the pumpkin! Have a Happy Fall!

Only 348 days to go!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mums the Word!

Today's post will be another easy one! We here in the Mid-Atlantic region have been experiencing what I think is the wettest September on record just as August was a record-breaking month for rainfall and I am so happy to have these gorgeous mums to cheer me up on these dreary days. Hope they cheer you up as well if you are having rainy weather or just need something to boost your mood. Enjoy!
Only 349 days to go!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wine a Bit---You'll Feel Better

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 15
Just wanted to share what has been my most favorite wine for awhile now~Bully Hill Vineyards-Sweet Walter Rose`. This delicious wine in a box has been a permanent fixture in my 'frig for many months. Well, not this particular box but the spot where it sits is never empty. I am so happy that my local 'state store' (yea, PA STILL regulates our alcohol..what can I say, they're still back in the dark ages) carries this especially for me. Well, not really just for me but I like to think so!

I fell in love with this wine many years ago on one of my many trips to the Finger Lakes region of NY state, which happens to be my home state, by the way. I'm not sure if you can read the writing on the glass or not but it says, Uncork New York and I sure have uncorked New York many times in my life! Haha!

The Finger Lakes of NY are full of wineries all up and down both sides of the lakes and what fun it is to try to hit as many as possible in one day. Of course, someone HAS to be the one who doesn't have as much fun as the others for obvious reasons and that was me on many occasions. But that was okay because it was fun to spend time with family and enjoy the scenery, too! If you've never done a tour of the Finger Lakes wineries, you really should! It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL up there.

Only 350 days to go!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Still Reaping the Harvest

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 14

It's hard to believe that it's almost October and we're STILL getting fresh tomatoes and peppers from our garden. It's amazing!

We are so glad that we don't have to buy either of these veggies from the grocery store yet! We know that time will come soon enough so we are totally enjoying these free fresh veggies!

Only 351 days to go!

Monday, September 26, 2011

You Make Me Smile

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 13
I have such a busy day planned getting ready for one of my monthly scrapbook classes tonight that I am making today's post super easy.

I made this card last night within such a short time that I totally amazed myself! If you'd like to make one of these, too, plan to attend my next card workshop in October. Contact me for more details!

Now back to prepping for tonight's class. Hope you have a great day!

Only 352 days to go!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interesting Leaf

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 12-1
This photo was actually taken right after Tropical Storm Lee (I think that was the name of it) blew through our area in early September dropping tons of record-breaking rainfall that never seemed to let up. I had gone down to the mailbox to collect our mail and as I glanced over at some of my flowers to see how they had fared after all the rain we'd had, I noticed this leaf on the ground.

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 12-2

It was quite interesting to see that it had stayed put as the rain pounded around it and washed the dirt away around the leaf but left the leaf and the dirt right under it intact. There was also a lot of gravel---from back in the winter when the road crews dump it during a snow storm---that had gotten unearthed from the rain washing so much of the dirt away.

Did you find this as interesting as I did? If not, then I am sorry I wasted your time! Haha! Have a good day!
Only 353 days to go!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Favorite Tree

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 11
This Birch tree is my all-time favorite tree on our property! It gives me pleasure every day when I sit on my deck or just stare at it through a window. Whether in Spring when it's just beginning to bud, in Summer when it's full of leaves, in Fall as it's dropping leaves and in Winter when it's bare and snow-covered, I love this tree!

The birds do, too! They are always hanging around entertaining us with their antics and music. Of course, the birdfeeder that hangs from one of the branches is a great magnet to attract them along with the squirrels and bunnies, too.

We planted this tree way back when we first moved into our current home in 1993. It was just a baby then and has really grown into a beautiful tree. It gets beat up a lot due to the elements and where it is located in our yard but it perseveres year after year. If you look closely you can see where there is a broken, dead branch that occurred during Hurricane Irene and eventually will come down.

I hope this beautiful Birch tree remains standing through my lifetime because I think I would truly miss it! I think the birds would miss it, too!

Only 354 days to go!

Friday, September 23, 2011

There's Nothing Like Homemade Bread

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 10
Well, now that Fall is here, it is time to bring out the good ol' bread machine. There's nothing like a fresh loaf of homemade bread. I love the smell of it as it's baking and anticipate how yummy it's going to taste when it's done.

I have had this old machine since way back when bread machines were new and all the rage. Did you get one then, too, and do you still have the same one or have you updated yours, unlike me? I am in the market for a new one that bakes loaves that actually LOOK like a loaf of bread, not the kind that make tall, square loaves and create HUGE square sandwiches. I am on a diet here....well, not a 'real' diet but just trying to eat a bit less and I don't want a huge sandwich. So if anyone has a bread machine that makes regular-looking loaves, please pass along the info to me. I'd appreciate it!

Yesterday I baked this loaf of Parsley Herb Bread and it turned out really yummy! I got it from an old bread machine cookbook by Donna Rathmell German, one of several I bought way back when I first got my bread machine. It's a pretty simple recipe so I thought I'd share it with you in case you'd like to give it a try. The book gives 3 different sizes and I made the medium size loaf so those are the measurements I will share with you. The machine should be set on the basic cycle with medium browning. Add the ingredients in the order recommended by your bread machine manufacturer, bake and enjoy!

Parsley Herb Bread
1 1/2 tsp yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp chives (I used 1 tbsp fresh from my garden)
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1 cup water

Only 355 days to go!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something to Cheer You.....

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 9
....on yet ANOTHER rainy day! Okay, Mother Nature, you can bring back the sunshine and warm days any time now. It has been so dreary and/or rainy in my area of the country practically since the beginning of August. How depressing and frustrating it can be... especially if you live with a cyclist who is not able to get out there on the road to ride! Ugh!

I was able to snap this picture of my beautiful yellow mums in between the raindrops hoping they would help to cheer you if you are also experiencing dreary, rainy days like me. Yellow is a cheery color and has always been my favorite for just that reason. I love it so much that it is the color of the walls in my creative workspace...aka scraproom. It's no wonder I'm so happy and creative when I'm in there.

Speaking of my scraproom....I'm heading there now to play, I mean, work...after all it is ANOTHER rainy day! Hope you have a good one!

Only 356 days to go!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Early Thanksgiving?

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day 8
As promised from my previous post, here's a piece of artwork I made on yesterday's rainy day. I know it's a bit early for Thanksgiving but wanted to share a card* I made for an upcoming card workshop. Before we know it, Halloween will be here then Thanksgiving and then you know what comes after that! I am so NOT ready for cooler temps and all those holidays at all. I LOVE the Summer and already have begun feeling depressed that it has left us. I really do love the Fall as well but I know what comes next and I dread it immensely! Oh, it's going to be unbearable waiting for Spring!

Have a great day!

*This card is a sneak peek of my upcoming card workshop so if you are local to me and interested in attending the workshop, please give me a shout. It's scheduled for October 14 & 15 so I'll need your RSVP with payment by September 30.

Only 357 days to go!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Gloomy Dreary Rainy Day

Through My Brown Eyes365-Day 7
What a gloomy, dreary, rainy day it is here today. Perfect day for baking bread, putting a roast and veggies in the crockpot and spending the day in my scraproom. Sound good to you?

Perhaps I will have a card, scrapbook page or another piece of artwork to share with you tomorrow.

Have a good day!

358 days to go!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Second Favorite Drink

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day Six
A couple years ago I discovered almond milk* and rarely ever drink regular milk anymore. I love the creaminess and smooth taste of almond milk and almost always drink the vanilla flavored one, unsweetened preferred. Sometimes my local store doesn't have the unsweetened, so I will go with the sweetened just so I can have my almond milk.
*Click on the link above and it takes you to a coupon for 55 cents off almond milk. Hopefully it's still a good one!

Almond milk is great on cereal but believe it or not, it is quite good as a substitute when recipes call for regular milk, although you wouldn't want the vanilla flavored one for something like macaroni and cheese. Works great with pancake and waffle batters though! No need to add additional vanilla extract because you know vanilla is the secret ingredient in my pancakes and waffles. Well, if you didn't know that, now you do! That's why my grandchildren LOVE my pancakes! ;-)

Next time you're food shopping, grab a container of almond milk, located in the organic aisle, and give it a try. Let me know what you think of it.

Speaking of food shopping...that is my next chore for today! Thanks for stopping in. See ya!

Only 359 days to go! Woohoo!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Daughter

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day Five 1
Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day Five 2
Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter! 
I only wish you would stop getting older because I'm getting older, too!

I am looking forward to spending time with my daughter later today as it is her 26th birthday! WOW! Where has the time gone? It is still so hard to believe that she is no longer a young girl but a gorgeous almost 6 feet tall woman. Yep, she's got a long pair of legs! Takes after her father because I'm only 5'5" and the shorty of the family. I feel like the kid! Not fair! But what can ya do?

Anyway, here is a card I made for my daughter. I totally love how this turned out. I know she always liked the colors of 'Magnifique', which is a paper pack from Close To My Heart so I wanted to use them. I found a leftover piece of random stamped cardstock that I had made quite some time ago and decided I wanted to use it for this card. So I built the card around that piece. The card is 5x7, which is a size I rarely make but I wanted to use as much of the random stamped piece as possible. I then dug out all the stamp sets I had that coordinated with the 'Magnifique' papers and went to work. 

Then for the sentiment inside the card, I started searching online for the right one that had just the right words I wanted. For all the info out there in cyberspace, that was a tough job! I know, hard to believe, right? I put out a call to sister Close To My Heart consultants as to where is the best place to find nice sentiments and got several suggestions (thanks ladies) but not what I was looking for. I was getting quite frustrated not finding what I wanted so I took a break from searching. After a few hours, it hit me! Duh, why not check the Hallmark website and bingo! There it was! The perfect sentiment for the inside of my card. Simple but very nice! I think she'll like the card, don't you?

Happy Birthday Keri! I love you with all my heart!

Only 360 days to go. Woohoo!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beautiful Sky

Through My Brown Eyes 365-Day Four
A bit late today but better late than never, right? I have been so busy today working on a gift for my daughter who turns 26 tomorrow. Wow! When did I get so old? It seems like only yesterday she was that cute little toddler with that wispy blond hair and big bright smile that always lit up the room. Anyway, that's a story for another day.

I wanted to share this photo that I took a couple evenings ago as the sun was setting. I know we see the sky every day of our lives and many times have seen an awesome looking sky like this but it STILL amazes me every time! So in case you didn't get to see it 2 days ago, here you go! Hope you enjoy it!

Now back to finishing up that gift for my daughter. After all, tomorrow is her birthday!

Only 361 days to go. Woohoo!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Favorite Place to Be

Through My Brown Eyes 365~Day Three-1

Through My Brown Eyes 365~Day Three-2
If you know me well, you know that my most favorite place to be is in my creative space I call my scraproom. If I do not get to spend even just a short time in this room each day, I have withdrawal symptoms. Seriously! I love this room and wouldn't know what to do without it. The 2 photos show you just one side of the room. Maybe tomorrow I'll share the other side.

Hubby created this space for me a few years ago when he realized that I'd totally outgrown all the boxes and containers I stored my supplies in. Not to mention the fact that he was getting real tired of seeing said supplies and 'stuff' all over the house.

We have a spare bedroom that didn't really get much use so one day I asked hubby to move the bed out so I could use it to store my supplies. I added a couple tables in place of the bed and it was perfect!

As time went by, the room was getting really crowded with all the new 'stuff' I kept buying (I couldn't help myself and if you are a papercrafter, you know what I mean!) and it began to look really cluttered and disorganized.

So one day hubby said to me, "How about we move all this 'stuff' out and give the room a nice new paint job and some new lighting?" I'm like, "Are you nuts? I'll be all discombobulated without my scraproom." He says, "Come on, it'll only be for a few days. You'll survive!" Needless to say, I agreed and we moved everything out into the hallway, into the other bedrooms and some things even went into the bathroom, temporarily. I sure found out exactly how much 'stuff' I had. WOW! Good time to weed out, too!

Two weeks later...a few days, huh?....the room still wasn't complete. Mind you, it wasn't because hubby wasn't working on it very quickly, it was because he was adding a LOT more than just new paint and lighting. Much to my surprise he also put several cabinets in, a new built-in worktable, pegboard on the walls above the worktable, new wood floors, converted the closet into shelves for storage, built shelves under the worktable, installed a ceiling fan and last but not least...hooked up a small stereo system so I can listen to my favorite music while I play, I mean work in my scraproom. Totally love this room and hubby, too! What a great guy! I'd post a pic of him, too, but he's very shy and doesn't approve of posting photos of him on the 'net.

After about 3 weeks went by, I started moving my 'stuff' back in the new room even though it wasn't quite ready. I just couldn't hold off playing anymore. I was getting way behind in my scrapbooking and was beginning to freak out about that! Hubby wasn't too happy but he helped me put everything back in the room and the real fun began...trying to organize it into the new cabinets and shelving. I still continue to organize and re-organize practically on a daily basis but I don't know what I'd do without this room. I love it! It's a cheery, happy, creative space and is truly my favorite place to be.

Only 362 days to go! Woohoo!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Off to the Bathroom

Through My Brown Eyes 365--Day Two
I'll bet I caught you with that title, didn't I? Well, don't most of us hit the bathroom as soon as we get up in the morning? I think so! Actually I'm thinking I should have posted this photo yesterday as this is exactly what I see every morning when I first get up, even before I head downstairs for that all-important first cup of coffee.

This is the view from my bathroom window. I love to look out this window for a bird's-eye view of my garden that blooms brightly all through the spring and summer months. Besides the usual flower plantings, there's also a Japanese Maple that is always gorgeous along with a Burning Bush and a Vitex, which has beautiful purple spikes of blooms and which we almost got rid of one year thinking that it was dead but was only late in blooming. Sure glad we left it alone because it has truly become a joy to us. I'm really going to miss it all after the really cold weather arrives and puts all the flowers and trees to rest. Boohoo!

In case you're wondering about the skylight you see here...and I'm sure you is on the roof over our deck. Hubby installed the roof over our deck many years ago as that was the south-facing side of the house and wow, did it ever get HOT sitting on that deck. In order not to lose so much of the light that helped brighten up the kitchen and dining room, he installed two skylights. Great idea!

Oh gosh, on closer inspection of this photo, it reminds me that my birdbath--which you can barely see way over to the right in the photo--needs to be cleaned and refilled. The birds have been yelling at me the past couple days to get 'er done. Seriously, they have! You should hear them! And right after I had taken this photo, there was a Mourning Dove just sitting in the empty birdbath staring up at me in the window. So off I go to clean the birdbath. Wait---coffee comes first! ;-)

Hope you all have a great day!

Only 363 days to go! Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How I Start My Day~Every Day

Through My Brown Eyes 365~Day One
Good Morning! Here is the first photo I'm sharing with you as I begin my new project that I hope to continue for a full year. I just want to warn you though, sometimes life DOES get in my way--gosh darn it--and I forget things. Gee, really? So occasionally I may not post a photo and in that case, I will try to post more than one to make up for missing a day. Wish me luck and please feel free to leave me some love at the end if you visit.

I begin every day with a cup of coffee--doesn't really matter what brand as long as it is 'flavored'. I can drink regular coffee but prefer a 'flavored' one such as hazelnut or French vanilla. Oh and I REALLY love Creme Brulee and Amaretto flavored coffees which I get from Gevalia! YUM! I also prefer my coffee black, no cream, milk or sugar for me--it makes me gag! YUK!

I always have my coffee in one of the four apple-themed cups that I had bought at a Home & Garden home party event several years ago. They are my favorite cups to use for coffee and if they are all dirty at one time, I almost freak out! I love them and don't know what I would do without them. Silly, I know! But don't we ALL have our favorite things we can't get through the day without?

I actually end up having about 3 cups of coffee before the morning is done and make many runs to the bathroom (I know--TMI, right?) before I can get out the door if I have somewhere I need to be. Luckily, I don't work outside the home at this time as I am an Independent Consultant for Close To My Heart and my work place is my scraproom right here at home. I hope to post a photo of that tomorrow.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading my first post and would love for you to follow me 'through my brown eyes' for the next year! Have a great day!

Only 364 days to go! Woohoo!