Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Flowers.... food.... birds.......favorites......

I've been under the weather for a few days. Has anyone ever had diverticulitis?????  It HURTS!......... so to pass the time, I've been browsing my old blog posts and the photos I've used on my blog for the past few years. 

And then I started looking at pictures I've put in "my favorite things" folder... and then I started playing with to make some collages of my favorites. A little bit of this and a little bit of that..........So here they are!

Enjoy the show....... I really enjoyed it. I think I'm yearning for some color in my life right now since it's been so dull and gray here.
Loved these yellows and purples from 2013 and 2014.

Pinks and purples and wildflowers - around 2014.

Way back in around 2010 at our house in SW Washington. Even the strawberry plant has such pretty little flowers for a short time.

More from our house in SW Washington - such beauty.... and LOVED my garden gate!

Oops, not just flowers here, but...... pink, lots of pink!, and a wool radiant star I made, and of course, the vivid colors of flowers.
My "what not" shelf on the left (above). My mom always had one, with all of her most favorite miniature things. Each sweet item on this shelf has a very special memory for me. And on the right, my Red Wing pottery collection (part of it), and the Corvette car from my son when he was 12 years old... and dogs that were part of my mom's dog collection.

Pottery items - this was my mom's Victorian House cookie jar that my kids loved dipping into over the years! On the right..... every gal needs a shoe shopping jar right?

China  plates..........these were mostly my mom's... I have TONS more!

More china/pottery. The gorgeous lamp on the upper left was my mom's and her mom's.... an old clock that my mom had since I was a little girl......... a tiny creamer from England that my mom gave me... and another fabulous antique "vase" that was my aunt's.

Here are some pretty pink things..........
Can't leave out the food!

Banana bread, cinnamon rolls and oatmeal raisin cookies - all gluten free of course!
Ceramic birds...... I love them all.
Real birds! Pretty hummingbird I captured around 2010 in our garden in SW Washington..... chicadee a few years ago (blue)..... winter bird "barn"....... two quail I caught on camera back in about 2013.
Have you tried Meyer Lemon tea? It is the GREATEST if you love lemons! A friend had this Meyer Lemon candle and I raved about the tea so much, she gave me the candle!  And my wonderful fairy and unicorn which is a new addition to my "favorites family"....and a sweet little pitcher that my hubby found for me at one of our local thrift shops. Love the saying on it.
I love this quilt that is hanging on my wall in our I didn't make it.........sweet lamb given to me by my bestie... and the sign that says "Love more and worry less". This  little vignette just struck my fancy and I didn't even plan it. 
That's what I've been doing to pass the time. I'm feeling a little better today. Haven't eaten much for 4 days now.... living on yogurt, canned pears (whoo hoo... lost 4 lbs... but I'm sure I'll gain it all back). 

More than the joy I found from looking back at my photos... all of the bright colors have given me a real uplift.. .which I needed.

Hope you all are WELL!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

The only woods we have around here

Hi my friends.... here it is March already and has been almost a month since I posted. Like alot of the blogs I read who say "where does the time go?".... I'm in total agreement!

I went for a little drive a couple of weeks ago on a nice sunny day, out a road I had never driven on, and found some pretty country.... pretty for HERE that is! This town of Madras, Oregon is very dry and not many trees, except some deciduous trees that green up in the summer.. not many fir trees or pine trees, in fact probably none! We do have some junipers (and sagebrush!), that look like stunted pine trees, but stunted junipers a woods do not make.

On my little drive, I passed a few "ranches" (small ones), horses, pastures and barns... and at the very end, which was only 4 miles out of town, a really pretty ranch with pastures (of hay probably) that were starting to turn green. It was such a nice color to see amidst this brown landscape of winter.

See in the distance? That's our "woods". Pretty scraggly really, but it's better than nothing I guess. I REALLY miss true deep dark woods, with lots of undergrowth. In my 2-1/2 years here, this is the closest thing to "woods" I've found... at least within a few miles of the town.  Of course, if you drive about 35 miles west of town, you can get into the big woods and closer to the mountains (Mt. Jefferson). Now THAT area was wonderful. Hubby and I took that drive last October. Here is that post.  A.a.a.a.h.h.h.h. it was a soul moving drive!

Here are some of the pretty views from my drive:

We had the funniest clouds that day - they looked like UFO's!!!

The road to nowhere.... well not really... it does drive out into the bare lands again, east of town.

A view of one of our pretty pink and purple skies, from the side of our house.

I think some warmer weather is coming up this may just be time for another drive!

I've done some crafting too... that will be in another post. Have been having fun with some pretty papers I got (as if I need any more!).

Be blessed!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

To my red roses.....hearts and flowers.

Happy Valentine's Day all you wonderful, sweet blogging friends (and family too!). 

Here are some memories from Valentine's Days' past............

Each and every one of you are like a beautiful red rose to me......... I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love-li-ness!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Doggies and cherubs.....

I'm doing a quick post today (me? quick???? ha ha).... just to show you some sweet pretties I made recently for Valentine's Day. I know... I'm late as  usual... they are sets of doggie or cherub cards.. now in my Etsy shop, My Pink Paper Cottage, here.

The dog themed card fronts are from fabric that I scanned into the computer and then printed on white cardstock.

Darling doggies.....

Each set of cards has coordinating envelopes, made by me.. tied with a pretty ribbon.

I Woof You............. (there are 4 of these in one set, each a little different).

Cut-outs mounted on woodgrain paper.... so sweet! I fussy cut each dog out and lined with black pen so they would pop on the card.

Pink woodgrain! Don't you just love it????  Every card has some silver glitter here and there.

I love the floppy ears with red hearts.

Who doesn't like chocolate candy? They are full of silver glitter, but you can't see it in the photos.

Here's the glitter.

Pretty pink and white foil cherubs...........
 My sets of cards are 4 cards with pretty coordinating Valentine's Day themed envelopes. I've tied up the cards and envelopes with a pretty satin ribbon.

And if you need a last minute card, here's an Instant Download I have in my Etsy shop of some Subway art for Valentine's Day. I like to print these out on glossy paper or photo paper, and pop them on top of a pre-made card... and voila! it's done. It's pretty enough not to need any embellishments.. maybe just a few gems and a little red bow.

 OK... that's my quick post for today! 

It's 71 degrees here today in central Oregon. Unheard of just about for this time of year. This is a normally COLD climate during the winter, with temps in the teens and single digits... so this is quite a surprise for us... and I (almost) have Spring fever!

How is your weather?


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tea and bananas......

What have I been up to lately? I'm kind of scattered it seems... can't settle down and stick to making one thing! So I've been cooking and crafting, a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

I watch a lot of You Tube... the other night I saw the cutest little tea bag holder. I'm always searching for new ways to gift tea to friends. This one was different and so cute!  Here's a tiny peek!

Do you want to see more? Here is my finished "prototype". I would do a few things differently. The gal whose video I watched made it taller, so it would hold a small candy bar. But I found that it was too thick and wouldn't close. So I made mine not as tall, but now it's still too tall for the tea bags, as they slip down to the bottom of each pocket! I'll fix that next time.

I used some pretty pink vintage papers from Couture Creations - Vintage Rose Garden. Love those papers, but you can't see them very much in this little folder. I'd better make a gift bag to match, right? And this being a prototype, each little pocket I made was not exactly the same size as the other, so the bottoms don't line up too well. How that happens, I don't know.... when I cut the paper exactly the same size for each, and fold on the exact same score lines! A mystery to me......

I made a "belly band" to hold it closed. That top flap pops up if you don't put the belly band on it (or you can use a magnet but I couldn't find mine). Decorated it with lace and sweet little hearts, a wooden spiral "button" and a tea tag I made. I typed out the saying on some nice cream cardstock and then used my Sizzix to cut the little framelet...... inked the edges with light brown ink.

It stands up on end, all by itself. I like that... for storage reasons.

The inside pockets are where all the pretty paper is!

This will make darling gifts and I can use up some of my paper scraps and 6x6 paper pads. Here is the video link to the gal who made this: Positively Papercraft.  This is what her little folder looked like:

Now I'm sure you're asking what bananas have to do with tea??????? {smiles}

Well..... yesterday, I needed something sweet. Hubby and I are trying  failing to cut out alot of sweets and bread in our diets... due to the holiday weight gain (why does that have to happen every year?) But I can't seem to go a day without something sweet!  Does that happen to you? I"m so hooked on sweets, so I tried to make a "healthy" dessert. I found a gluten free banana bar recipe I had saved, which would have been fine if I hadn't added the cream cheese frosting............ 

It did turn out DELICIOUS! It's healthy in the fact that it has some buckwheat flour added, and applesauce, bananas (fruit right?), raisins and almonds. So healthy right???? Please say I'm right!

I only added 3/4 cup of brown sugar rather than the 1-1/2 cups called for in the recipe. Does that count as "healthy"? Yes I know... I could have added honey or stevia instead, but the consistency isn't the same with honey, and the stevia makes it taste a little bit bitter to me.

Here's my version of a recipe that was not gluten free...... I had to adjust it. I don't know where I got the recipe. The maker is a Susan Stuff from Mercersburg, PA. I think it was in a cookbook my husband got at a thrift store so I tore it out to use!

Gluten Free Frosted Banana Bars

Heat oven to 350°. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

3 tbs. soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup unsweet applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (or any other kind of GF flour)
Use 2 cups of a GF flour baking mix, I like Bisquick
   or King Arthur, or Krustez
1 tsp. baking soda and a dash of salt
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup sliced almonds
I added both... add anything extra you want, like dried cranberries, or walnuts or pecans, or dried apricots, etc.

Beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat after each addition. Beat in the bananas, applesauce and vanilla. Now add the flour on top with the salt and baking soda and mix those together a little bit on top of the egg mix... then stir it all together until well blended. This calls for using just one bowl, rather than two! I like one bowl desserts! Don't overmix.

Add mix to a well greased (I use butter or coconut oil) 9x13 baking dish, The batter will be stiff but not like cookie dough.. should be like a cake mix but a little stiffer. Spread it to about 1" thickness or a little more. 

Bake 20-25 minutes. Mine was done in 20 minutes but I live at a higher elevation. Check with toothpick to see when it's done. I'd rather undercook it a little bit so that it will remain moist and heavy, like carrot cake. If you overcook it, then it's more like a cake and a little dry.  Let cool for about 1/2 hour and then frost.


Blend 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, 1/4 cup soft butter and about 2-1/2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla in a bowl. I added a little bit of milk as it was too stiff, but just 1 tbs. to start with, and then maybe a little more.

MORE COOKING.............

Oh!  And I also made some freezer applesauce from a big box of Pink Lady apples I got from my sister. A big truck had rolled over by her town and spilled all the boxes of apples!  They were signaling people to stop and telling them they could have as many as they wanted for free, so she got 2 big boxes. 

Although we live 70 miles apart, we just happened to have lunch the following day at our "in between town", so she brought them to me. Hurray.. I LOVE free stuff! I had to make chucky style as can't find my big stainless strainer that I always used to use to make applesauce. Really though, I love the chunky almost better. NO sugar added either.....

So that's what I've been doing (and eating)!!! 

Until next time...............


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