Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pansy in the Snow

Springtime in the Rockies

We here, in Wyoming, at just 8 feet shy of 7,000 feet elevation above sea level, are accustomed to spring snowstorms. Boy did we get a whopper Monday & Tuesday (April 25-26). Over a foot of heavy water-logged snow. One of the best spring snows I've ever seen.
"Pansies are not difficult to grow. Good soil, steady moisture, and at least partial sun will provide the results you're looking for. What they don't tolerate is heat and humidity, which is why they thrive in spring and fall."
BHG: How to grow Pansies
A few weeks ago, even though I know better, I planted a flat of happy pansies to feed my soul and get a head start on the blooming season. Well take a look at this gorgeous maroon blossom (MAMMOTH Rocky Rose) braving the cold heavy snow yesterday morning.

Now, why do we use the word "PANSY" to suggest someone is weak or frail? Looks to me like these little flowers with their sheer grit and stubborn determination in the face of calamity are the bad-ass of the poesy patch. What do you think? No shirking violets are my pansies!

Learn more about pansies from Burpee, the well known purveyor of quality seeds and plants:
All About Pansies
"Especially when purchased as bedding plants, pansies are very easy to grow and require only a minimum of care to provide a very long flowering season. Available in a wide variety of individual colors and mixes, pansies can also be started from seed either indoors or directly in the garden."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day and Feelin' Groovy

Hello friends of Crafting with KeepHer and Kaye! Welcome back to our humble blog. At last our schedule has some time for us to again share with you our homey doings by way of this blog. St. Patrick's Day --a day of good luck, good cheer, and unbridled optimism-- seems the perfect time to say hello! In truth we are not zealous St. Patty's Day merrymakers with costumes, parades, green beer, and pinching. But we do consider this holiday a turning point from winter to spring. (It is snowing here today, so that unbridled optimism is essential fuel for our spring time musings!) 

In a low-key nod to the holiday KeepHer and I decorated the kitchen hutch with assorted St. Patrick's Day symbols and costumed Groovy the Sock Monkey in a green top hat and and a fringed scarf. You might remember Groovy from this post in 2014: Groovy the Sock Monkey. Today his good luck is apparent as he sits about piles of coin undoubtedly gathered at the end of the rainbow. Below is a collage of the kitchen hutch all decked out in green. I used the Silhouette Cameo to create the paper decorations including the paper pieced penguin leprechauns and lucky frogs. In our snow blanketed world the green is a wonderful respite and gives hopes that spring will indeed awaken soon.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekender Bouquet: Sweet William

Weekender bouquet: This is an arrangement of Dianthus barbatus "Sweet William" taken from "Howard's Garden" - the garden at the entrance of our kennel building where Charvie now happily reins as top dog. Sweet William convey to me old fashioned innocence and country charm; the Mason jar with wire bail seemed the perfect vessel for them. Their essence is sweet and evocative, much like their botanical cousin the carnation. Do you have a memory of old fashioned Sweet Wiliams?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Heart's Content Valentine's Wreath

Happy New Year!
So this is my first post of 2015 and I wish everyone a happy and joyful New Year! This is a frenetic time of year for me and it seems I've barely taken down the Christmas decorations and here it is time to celebrate Valentine's to our heart's content. Today I share a little wreath project I crafted in 2014. The wreath is a 7-inch Styrofoam heart that I covered with worsted-weight rose colored yarn. The heart shape is a bit challenging to wrap smoothly due to the curves and bends but still looks pretty and homespun.

For adornment I made two crepe roses with ivory crepe paper. Crepe is such a delightful paper to use for making everlasting flowers. The stretch of the paper gives a natural ruffle and it holds the shape well without a stiffening agent. I used a pale pink chenille stem (pipe cleaner!) for the stamen and worked the flower from the stamen out adding petals and affixing with low-temperature hot glue. For the flower leafs I used moss green crepe, cutting a basic leaf shape and then bending and tugging to give life to the leaf.

Notice how I rough-trimmed the leaf edges for a more realistic appearance. I adore the translucent appearance of the crepe blossom: the petals almost look as if they were well-veined like a real rose.
 For me paper everlasting flowers are an intriguing creation because I am looking for balance between a realistic representation of Mother Nature's best work and an artist's interpretation. Take a look at my Everlasting Flowers board on Pinterest for inspired ideas and step-by-step tutorials.

Thanks for joining me today!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shared Post: Sausage-Mushroom Appetizers

Note: This recipe originally appeared on my sister blog, LivingAfterWLS Blog, a site dedicated to the healthy long-lasting weight management of weight loss surgery patients. I thought you might enjoy it here at Crafting with KeepHer and Kaye.

Protein: The "Power" Nutrient
"No matter if you're young, old or somewhere in-between, eating enough protein plays an important role in good health at every age and life stage."
Protein: Power Nutrient

Cheesy Sausage Mushroom Appetizers

A classic appetizer to make, share, and enjoy this holiday season. Taking a cue from the classic Jimmy Dean® cheesy sausage meatballs, this version employs mushroom caps to hold the meaty goodness in a tidy bite-size portion. Adjust the recipe to taste using any variety of Jimmy Dean® roll sausage being mindful of the fat content. 

1 (16-ounce) package Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Reduced Fat Roll Sausage
3/4 cup all-purpose baking mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded medium Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
18 medium-large button mushrooms, stems and gills removed

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Gently mix all ingredients except mushrooms in a large bowl just until blended. Stuff 1 1/2-tablespoons of sausage mixture into each mushroom cap, mounding sausage and pressing into a dome shape. Bake 18-24 minutes or until done (internal temperature 160°F). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

18 servings (1 stuffed mushroom each)

Mound sausage in mushroom caps as shown above.

Leftovers Hint: Breakfast Skillet
Chop or slice any leftover stuffed mushrooms and warm in a skillet. Add eggs, lightly mixed, to sausage mixture and cook until eggs are done. Serve warm and enjoy a protein power start to your day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Trekking to the Forest for a Christmas Tree

Hello Friends and Loyal Readers! Thanks for dropping by today. I received a few emails asking if our Peacock Splendor Christmas Tree is real or artificial. It is most positively real, shaped by nature, and wonderfully fragrant. It is a great part of our holiday tradition to make the annual trek to the National Forest designated tree cutting area and select a most perfect specimen. Tall, but not too tall. Bushy, but not too full. Symmetrical but not too symmetrical. We are in search of the perfect tree and hope to find one that's a bit quirky with personality. Oh really, there aren't so many rules, perhaps better called guidelines than rules. Keeping all this in mind we set about the hunt and when we've found the winner? What a thrill! Think about it: thousands and thousands of trees from which to choose. There can only be one winner. 

The Forest Service encourages this tradition and has established guidelines to protect the forest and provide a positive tree gathering experience to be enjoyed by all who are fortunate to experience this nostalgic custom rapt with memory making moments. Jim and I found our perfect tree last week. This 20-year family tradition truly marks the start of our holiday season.

According to the Forest Service "Many families have a tradition of getting a permit then heading to their local national forest to pick out their perfect Christmas tree. Most national forests allow users to harvest trees for personal use firewood and Christmas trees, but you must first have a Forest Service-issued permit and you must follow specific guidelines, which can vary from forest to forest." US Forest Service

Under crystal clear skies Jim pulls the tree through the snow to bring home in the truck. There is less snow than normal in our forest this year which makes tree spotting and harvesting much easier than years when the snow is deep and passage is slow.

 Once we arrive home Jim sets the tree in a stand while KeepHerKitty and I prepare the lights, garland, and ornaments for decorating. Here KeepHer inspects the lights for defective bulbs.

From the moment the tree is placed in the living room until we bid farewell to O'tannenbaum KeepHer considers it her personal shelter and hiding place. Or perhaps she is just waiting for presents? Whatever her reason, doesn't she strike a picture-perfect pose?

To see our tree in full holiday glory: Peacock Splendor Christmas Tree

Thanks for visiting today! Do you have a holiday tree cutting traditon?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peacock Splendor Christmas Tree

I enjoy a theme in my Christmas decorating and  this year have attempted to capture Peacock Splendor. My vision includes copious use of sparkling ribbons, shiny ornaments, and numerous peacocks. In 2013 my theme was Peacocks in the Snow. Many of the decorations easily transitioned to this year's more opulent theme.

A white peacock looks quite proper amidst the branches and baubles.
A fillable ornament from last year: marabou fluff and peacock eye feather.
A royal blue peacock, one of 12 on the tree.
Teardrop Ornament.
Fancy white peacock.
Branches heavy with glitz and sparkle.
The tree aglow at twilight.
  Warmly glows the tree.
  Peacock Splendor.
Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed this tour of our Christmas Tree.

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