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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I have been busy painting Christmas ornaments on pieces of antique slate that we gather from old houses and barns in Ohio. I love creating these small pieces of artwork and making them unique for each person by adding a name, year or personal message.

 As I am a 'snowbird' I have already migrated to Florida for the winter and one immediately thinks, warm, sunshine, palm trees.  Well today isn't the norm.  Seems a cold front has followed me south and it is very chilly, windy and down right cold here today.  So I thought it was the perfect time to reprise my recipe for warm potato soup.  It's what's for dinner today.  Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

I decided on a large pot of soup that I can be enjoyed today and  warmed and eaten tomorrow for lunch.  I am sure it will leave me feeling very cozy inside.  Here is my recipe which is very simple and quick.  I hope you enjoy!

               Ingredients:  6 medium russet potatoes
                                   1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
                                   1/4 c chopped onion
                                   1/2 pound smoked sausage
                                   1 tsp each butter and olive oil
                                   1 cup half and half
                                   1 tsp parsley flakes
                                   1 tsp celery seeds
                                   1 egg yolk                                  
                                   1 tsp salt & pepper to taste                              

Peel and dice potatoes and set aside covered in water.  Chop onion and dice smoked sausage and saute in pot with butter and olive oil.  Saute until onion is clear making certain not to allow the onions to scorch.  Once onions are clear, add the drained potatoes to the pot.  Add  just enough water to cover potatoes.   At this time you can add celery seeds and salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally and once the pot begins to boil,  lower the temp to simmer.  Allow to simmer until potatoes are soft and can be easily mashed with a fork, approximately 30 minutes. Using a potato masher, work the potatoes until most are mashed, but a few cubes are left. 

Add to the pot the  half and half  and 1/2 cup milk holding back 1/2 cup milk.  Add egg yolk to 1/2 cup of milk, mixing well and stir into soup mixture.  Let soup return to boil, stirring occasionally as it thickens.  Taste for additional seasoning at that time. Can be served with crackers, a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives or
any topping of your choice.  Guaranteed to warm you from the inside out.

So make a big pot, sit down and check out my new ornaments on

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wreaths, just not for doors anymore

Wreaths have been a mainstay of the greeting at the front door.  It represents a cheery welcome and dresses the door for the seasons.  I however feel that a wreath can dress up many areas of a home, from the front door, the mantel, a wall space or anywhere your imagination takes you.

Here as demonstrated by Funky Junk interiors, a twig wreath has been attached to a gate and used as a headboard.

 Here a grapevine wreath and a twig wreath have been attached to a window pane.  Along with the cheery lights and the crock jugs, this rustic fireplace takes on a whole new look.

This bright blue pip berry wreath adds just the right accent to this ladder made from old tobacco lathe.  Just the right touch to draw your eye to this collection.

And if you have too many wreaths, then do like Funky Junk did here;

Look around your home and see where you can add a wreath to bring a little cheer inside.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Springtime Garden

Well spring is officially here.   We have sprung ahead and another great season of flowers and fun await..

As some of you may know, we recently purchased a mobile home in Florida.  It will be our winter home, a place to come to when the days get short and the temperatures fall cold in Ohio.  It is definately a fixer-upper, but that allows us to make it our own.  So between working on materials for my online store and doing shows, we are making small and large changes every day.

Our first call was to spruce up the front so that we weren't a disgrace to the neighborhood. We have repainted, coated the roof and replaced several windows.  I think the new color of beige on white makes the place look quite nice.

I have been shopping for flowering bushes that would work in the south.  I am familiar with gardening in Ohio, but not sure about Florida. I found that Azaleas seem to be the best bet, so I  purchased three from a fellow crafter recently; two red and one white.  I have also planted some pinks, an interesting Geranium and replaced my honeysuckle that I lost up north in the winter.  I found  two plants that  resemble daisies, and I think their yellow and purple flowers make for a nice accent.

My veggies are grown in containers this year..  This allows me to continue to enjoy them even when I go north. I have a bush tomato already with several tomatoes, some bush cucumbers and my planter herb garden.

I am enjoying  the new adventure of gardening in the south. I hope you are planning your spring garden and enjoy the joys of gardening as much as I do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Everglade Seafood Festival

Wow, what a weekend.  We traveled down to Everglades this weekend to do the ever popular Everglade Seafood Festival.  This event has been a favorite of mine since the first time I exhibited in 2009.  The crowds are large and appreciative and the food is out of this world.  Every type of seafood you could ask for as well as the standards, BBQ, corndogs and funnel cakes. 
The event spans a three day period and offers non-stop music. There were local entertainers, David Nail from Nashville, The Wild Eyed Southern Boys with the headliner being the Low Cash Cowboys.  The Cowboys are very entertaining and brought the crowd to their feet and playing their latest soon to be released, C-O-U-N-T-R-Y. 

As I said, the crowds were fantastic with shoulder to shoulder people all through the weekend.  The weather was gorgeous and the motorcyclists came out in force.  There were bikes there from Ontario, Canada; Athens County, Ohio and all parts of Florida.  A great chapter from Ft. Myers came in on Sunday, 22 members strong.

I had my display set up with slate, wood signs and pet signs.  I received many favorable comments, and did a couple custom signs while I was there.   The dog and cat signs were hot sellers and I sold a few wooden and slate signs.

If you are in the area, or thinking of a little vacation, this festival is held the 1st full weekend in February every year in the small town of Everglade City, where time seems to stand still.   I know I look forward to next year; enjoying more music, more food and more fun. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Family and work; keeping busy

Well, here I am again. It has been awhile,and it has been a busy and tough several months for my family and myself.   As many of you know, my father was struggling with Parkinsons and dementia for some time.  He lost his battle on August 10. Though we miss him terribly, we know he is in a better place and is at peace.  We think of him often with love and chuckle as we think of the special moments we had with him.  

My holiday season kept me busy, and though it was rewarding, I am glad it is over and I am now I am back in Florida.  Mike and I have purchased a retirement place in the small town of Inverness, Florida..  It is in a retirement community of 55 and olders, (yes, I qualify) and we are settling in  to our new place.  During the next few months I plan on sharing our home with you as well as all the remodeling we plan to do.  Nothing too serious but just making it our own with our personal touch in decorating.  Our delimna is, what room to start with first.  We struggle everyday with our demons to tear into every room at once.  What a disaster that would be.  Here are a few pictures of my workshop, probably the last to be worked on.

We are filling up our craft show schedule in the south, and just finished the Manatee festival in Crystal River.  It was a nice festival,  my work was well received and I met some very nice people.  This weekend we are doing a local farmers market in Spring Hill. 

I hope you will stop back often.  I will have show updates, new products, some how-tos and of course my home remodeling.  I am sure I could use some assistance. 

Later...  Karen

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Too much time

It has been far too long since my last post. I have been very busy with a couple new business lines and working on new products for my KPDreams line. As well, most of you know I spend my winters in Florida so that I can help with my Dad's care. He is in late stages of Parkinsons and cannot walk. And the dementia proves a real challenge when most days he doesn't know who you are. But, that can't be changed, so I try and make the best of it.

My new shop on Etsy, Somethingbluewedding, which specializes in wedding, evening and prom accessories, is my newest store. At the present I am practicing the art of making flower accents, but hope to venture into more elaborate items. Available is custom items to match the colors of the wedding party, and we have even provided a bride-to-be table centerpieces for her bridal shower. I am pretty excited about this line as it gives me a new learning experience.

I have also been designing and building a website for a friend of mine that specializes in western wear. Sunshine Western Hats is a family business built by Char and Ed Pratton, and with the help of their two sons, Jim & Aaron they travel throughout the southeast and eastern United States selling hats, attire and western accessories. The website also has proven to be a job as they have had me list over 600 items to date, as well as designing the graphics.

I will sign off for now, as it is dinner time and I must put on my cooking cap and fix dinner. I hope you will stop by again so I can share some of my new designs.
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