Sunday, April 13, 2014

It's Almost Easter!

Good grief today was Palm Sunday! I just can't believe how fast this year is already passing! What is with time?? Has Global Warming somehow changed the perception of time? At, first I thought it was because I was getting older, but I'm not so sure that's it. With all the different Blogs and sites on the Internet, like Pinterest and Facebook, all the Holidays are being rushed! I mean probably the day after Easter, on all these sites we will see Recipes, Decorations, DIY Ideas, Games and anything you can think of to get you through the 4th of July!! Oh we might see some Brunch postings for Mothers Day and Fathers Day. But the majority with be for the 4th. So this is how it changes the Time Continuum, here it is April, but our minds are already thinking of July, absolutely ignoring May and June! See what I mean? And then all the posts for Christmas, will start in the latter part of August. I feel the Internet has absolutely turned Christmas into the Mother of all Holiday Decorating! Halloween has also become a huge decorating Holiday, and it takes all we can do to allow Thanksgiving to interrupt our Decorating Frenzy! I mean for real! Thanksgiving is becoming a nuisance!! Wha?
With time flying by, I did manage to get in a little Easter decorating , of course I did my Mantel, and a Dining Room table scape.I haven't really purchased anything to really alter the look of what I do, so I just try to change it up, kinda like shuffling a deck of cards. 


Monica our French Maid Server is wearing the Easter Visor I
made using only Dollar Tree flowers.

Now you can see what fun they were to wear for the Blessing of the Fleet. I surprised all the girls with an Easter Visor, and as the boat sailed pass the Priest, he yelled out "Great hats Ladies"!

 My little Easter Egg Tree, also the little Hippie Rabbit I gave my Mom when I was 18 years old.

 I also collect Paper Mache Rabbits, aren't they the cutest!

Indian Hawthorn is in full bloom, the color always reminds me of Bazooka Bubble Gum!

I just have to end my post with pictures of My Granddaughter going to her Junior/Senior Prom. She is a Junior, so she gets another Prom next year!

Hugging her Mom, My Daughter! Ain't Family Great! Happy Easter!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Rushing Spring!

I have been in the slumps with this Winter weather. This has been the greyest Winter ever here in Neptune Beach, and we are all sick of it! Now I know, this in no way compares to what all our friends in the upper tiers of the USA goes through each Winter, but here in Florida it's just not what we are used to. I am so glad this is all finally coming to an END!! My Friends and I tried to Rush Spring, and took a trip to Fernandina Beach, a really quaint fishing town, with great shops, restaurants and beautiful Amelia Island Resort.
For a couple of years I had been following the postings of The Dove Cote Brocante in St Marys Georgia, vowing to my friends that we would take a drive up to see this great looking shop, but life gets in the way, and we never went. But just about a month ago, I saw Aspen, the owner of  DCB, say she had moved to Fernandina Beach!! Ok no excuses now! Trip on! So I headed out with an Artist friend of mine, her Mom and Daughter for such a delightful, but chilly day in Fernandina. Dove Cote Brocante here we come! You know how you see pictures. and you just love everything you see, well that is how we all felt about the treasures in this great shop.
Sharon Hayes Westbrook, a wonderful artist and friend, took this picture of her Mom, Daughter and Me as we were about to enter the shop we had waited so long to see,the beginning of a fun day!

We were greeted by Aspen, the owner  of The Dove Cote Brocante. So pretty and such a sweet person!
We all loved her goat head above her desk, with a cute chapeau! See I said Aspen was pretty!

 Cute Glitter Rabbits, so whimsical, and Santos, that I wish I could afford! All kinds of Architectural Elements, and I purchased a Cement flower pot with Roses and a Burlap makeup bag with the Fleur de Lis, for my Granddaughters trip to Paris in March. I wish I had taken a picture of the Burlap full length Curtains, they were  smocked at the top, about a foot down and tied back with a Burlap Bow, they were beautiful! If you ever visit Fernandina please take the time to visit this great shop, you'll be glad you did! Before we left her shop, she told us about her Mothers Garden Shop just down the block, so off we went .

 We found it! the Dove Cote Garden Shop, now when I see something like this, I just have to stop and check it out. Don't you?! All the little Chippy pieces and cement elements, we all just couldn't stand our own excitement!

 Cutest tiny terracotta pot display in an old wooden crate.

 This Art Deco Angel Lantern was huge, hanging between two Metal Columns, we all wanted all this!

                              Me and Sharon Hayes Westbrook, a great artist known all over the USA!

Wish  I could show you all the things that this wonderful Dove Cote Garden Shop has to offer, can't wait to
go back and see in the warmer months!
Aspen's Mom Cathy, now we can see where the beauty comes from.

We were now off in search of a good place, but a quaint place to have lunch, and we found LULU's!
But on the way we stopped in several Boutiques, and I picked up a stranger! No not really, but really yes! I noticed in several of the shops we were in, another lady all by herself was looking too, so as we left the last shop heading to lunch, I noticed she was walking behind us, we started a conversation and invited her to join us for lunch and she accepted. She wasn't afraid of us at all!! lol

Charlotte and her husband were in Fernandina,  vacationing  from Tuscaloosa, so I can now say I have a new friend in Alabama! This was a great trip and we can't wait to return.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year! And Happy Reflecting on all the Years Past.

The excitement of Christmas is past, to me it's always so funny how even the lights on the trees and houses seem to lose that magical glow. Oh they still look pretty, but it's like the spirit of Santa has returned back to the North Pole, leaving us in the afterglow. But a bit of spark is left to get us through the week, just enough to rally for the last fling, The New Year Celebration! Mom and Dad always had a great New Years Eve party, fabulous food, fun guests, Dad tending bar, making me my favorite White Russians! The neighbor down the street , Mr Luke, would always bring a big bag of fireworks to set off in the front yard at the stroke of Midnight. Bottle Rockets galore, Lady Fingers going off like machine guns, Huge Fountains shooting a mountain of sparks that would make a loud whistle, small Tanks that would run in the street that shot little sparks out of their canons.But my fave was the Roman Candles. Oh man getting to hold that wand, shooting out bright balls of sparkling fire in the night, seeing the colors shoot out, winging their way down the street in a high arch, now that's what I'm talk'n about!! Makes my heart leap just thinking about it! Thanks Mom and Dad, that is a memory that will never be repeated.

It has been some years since we went out to celebrate New Years, usually it's a quiet evening, grilling in the back yard, now Wayne makes my White Russians, he'll put a fire in the fire pit.  I love to watch the ball drop in Times Square on the telly and we toast at Midnight, usually with Evan Williams Eggnog, another favorite! I don't see any change this year, but maybe we'll use our gift card from Carrabba's for dinner that we got LAST YEAR!! it still even good?? Well anyhoo.
I usually don't make any resolutions, I always hope things will be better, that we will have good health, that I will be more productive, that some fun will enter my life everyday, that I'll find something to really laugh about, that I will watch my diet, prosperity will come our way, maybe I'll get a new kitten, maybe not, that I will clean the garage, pressure wash the driveway, reline the kitchen drawers..hey! hey! what in the hell am I talking about?? Wow I must of had a moment! whew..
Happy New Year! Holy Cow it's 2014!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Hate Change! But I do Love Me some Christmas!

I hate when things in life forces change on you, but this has been the year that has probably changed mine forever. Families grow up, move on, grow not apart, but away from each other. It's like the saying
"Life Gets In The Way". Each one has their own agenda, their own needs. Oh yeah we all try and make time for each other, but there seems to be less and less to talk about, all are so out of each others loop, that the conversation comes basically down to the weather, what you made for dinner or what they are all planning to do, and it has nothing to do with You. Now I am not crying in my soup here, I am just stating a fact that is true, in all of our growing families.They say if you Love Them Let Them Go, but.... This is the same with Friends, even ones that have been in your life for more years than you can put a number on. It can only take one thing to change the whole dynamics of your relationships. So you start to wonder about the meaning of it all. Families grow up and out, Friends let you drift away, it just seems to be a fate we just can't get a grip on.

It was with the Saddest, did I say Saddest? thing to do, but we had to call off our (My) Christmas Party. This would have been the 13th Annual. Such a wonderful gathering of Friends and Family, so much fun, all the food, laughter, the beautiful decorations I put up in my home for all to enjoy, right down to the 99 Bananas Shooters, right before I gave all the women bags of Christmas or Hanukkah Ornaments. This was always my gift to all that mattered to me in my life, I would forgo everything just to have this party, this was My Christmas.

Well at first I thought that I wouldn't put up any decorations this year, but as the days got closer to Christmas, I knew I would have to feed my Heart. I got a skinny little tree at KMart, just big enough to fit in a small space in my family room. I didn't even have to bring out any of my collection of ornaments that always went on the big tree in the living room, I just used what was in the basket from last years party. All would bring me an ornament, so I used those. I missed going through all my own old ones that have  been with me since I was 22 years old, the ones that my  Daughter would pick out every year, from the age of one, then the ones the Grandkids would make, the ones from my Mom, and ones that I just couldn't resist buying. That is 45 years of collecting!! Acckk! Wow time does fly! I've done only about a third of the usual decorating, but things have remained festive, and I am glad I made the attempt.

As usual I started with my Mantel, you do know I have a Mantel Fetish! You can see all my Mantels on Pinterest under Rena Designs. But it is a scaled back version, but I did not sacrifice beauty! LOL

Went to Lowes and Home Depot to get all the free tree trimmings and used them on the Mantel with Deco Mesh, Glitter Poinsettias, Red and Gold Ornaments, Beaded Garland, Lighted Topiary I got a Goodwill last year, and a Red Glitter Reindeer as the finishing touch. Not as Deluxe, but nice.

Top of Kitchen Cabinets got a change up too, just enough to satisfy my judgmental eye.

Kitchen is painted Terracotta so all my decor is Glitter Copper! I'm covered in it!!

Added the Christmas Tree in the Family Room.

Loaded up the tree with the Red Berry branches I usually put on my Mantel, added a Deco Mesh topper, Red Ribbon Garland and all the ornaments from friends. I love how you can see the Mantel in the Mirror. Oh my goodness that Mirror! When we lived at the condo I saw that Mirror at an Antique store for $350! I wanted it for my Kitchen, but was not going to pay that amount!! Just weeks later I went to a garage sale and yep there is was, side keys and all for...wait for it...$3.00! OMG MINE MINE MINE! lol

I decorated the Large Mirror in my Living room, added the Glitter Peacock with feathers, long glass ornaments, and the Mask I got in Venice 5 years ago. Ahhh Venice...ok ok I'm back!

 I am Truly Wishing You All from My Heart, a Beautiful Christmas Filled with Love..

Thought I would include a Recipe that I would make every year for the Christmas party. It's a good one, so hope you enjoy!

                                                  Beef and Broccoli Wellington 

1 lb. ground beef
9 oz. cut broccoli thawed /drained/ cut in to small pieces
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup med chopped onion
1 jar of sliced mushrooms
1 8oz. sour cream (plus extra container to be used when serving)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 8oz cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
(or now that they have out the solid sheets
you could probably use those.)
1 egg beaten

preheat oven 375 degrees

In large skillet brown meat and onion/ drain off fat
Add broccoli, mushrooms,cheese, sour cream, salt
 and pepper. turn down heat and mix all well, let simmer
for about 10 min.
While skillet is cooling off, separate dough into 4 long
rectangles. On an ungreased cookie sheet place 2 rectangles,
overlap the long edges by about 1/2 inch. press perforations
to seal into one large sheet. about 13 x 7 inches. spoon meat mixture
in about a 3 inch strip down the center of the dough. bring long
sides up to the top and pinch to seal all along the long length.
Repeat with second tube of dough, same thing. Take the beaten
egg and brush, using as a wash all over both Wellingtons.
Bake for 18-22 minutes till deep golden brown.
Serve slices with a dollop of Sour Cream on top.

This makes two Wellingtons. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's Fall Y'all!

Well hang on folks, the Holidays are on their way! All of a sudden it's like the Bullet Train, Halloween bam! Thanksgiving bam! Christmas bam! Wasn't this an early start?? I mean with all the postings on Facebook, Pinterest and other Bloggers all putting the pictures out there, it's hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind! I just started this week getting all the Fall and Halloween decor out, I don't have kids at home anymore, and  with the g-kids now in their late teens, I still  like to have a few of my spooky things sprinkled around the house.When I think of Fall I automatically have the colors of the season running through my head, golds, browns, oranges and terracottas, sage greens and burgundy, so with that being said, what is the deal with all the white pumpkins?? It all looks so sad in the homes, I mean a display with them added is fine, but to go all white? It just negates all the things fall has meant to me, where's the warm colors? Well I'll tell you where there at, right here at Renas! Oh yeah baby, I've gone Fall Color Crazy! LOL

My Halloween Mantel 2013, I morphed 2011 and 2012 Mantels and this is what I came up with. Well I just didn't want to have to buy anything new, so I just recycled! Well I did add the birds nest I found on the front walkway after a storm, and my little terracotta pumpkin that I've had for so long. The Bike Rider is a sculpture that I found years ago at Goodwill.

I think my Moss Angel is keeping the Witch in check!

I've had the pumpkin candles for about 20 years! Love my Raven with the bird nest.

Dining Room is all ready for Fall too, gave my Egret a new fall Do, and added a small table scape at the end of the Dinning table.
After Halloween I will take away all the Spooky stuff and add my Thanksgiving accoutrements!
Isn't this just the best time of the year, cooler temps make it such a great transition in to all the Holidays, with Halloween just about here, I've gotta get some Candy!  Have Fun!,  Trick or Treat Y'all!

Monday, August 19, 2013

An Old Passion Making a Comeback!

Do you sew? I do. Not so much clothes anymore, but I do love adding a pillow project, or make a quick handbag. I used to make all the Halloween costumes for my Daughter and then for my Grandkids, such fun! And all the cute little sundresses, shorts, and jammie pants, so many memories of when my Daughter and G-kids were small, wow it all went by so fast. But have you noticed all the new sewing sites that have popped up lately, and especially on Pinterest. Love to see the younger generation getting into this "New" fad! LOL And the knitting and Crochet sites too, all the new ideas are just wonderful! You know my Dad was a Tailor in the Navy for a time, making the uniforms on the ship, which led him to make things for me. There were three things that I remember him making, My Angel costume for the School play, (when there could be angels in school plays) and a green skirt for another school play that we danced the Virginia Reel , and then the most beautiful Grey Wool Box Pleated skirt that was so full, I loved twirling in it. It was just something so wonderful. When I went to graduate from High School, I needed a half a credit, so my counselor said I could take Home Ec! Ahh the begining! Home Ec was split into three sessions, the first was sewing, the second was cooking, and the third was decorating. Do they even have this in schools anymore? Probably not. Well the sewing class began with two projects, we had to make an apron with the front bib, and then we were going to learn to make a simple A-line dress, sleeveless. I guess it was in the Genes I inherited from my Dad, but man I caught on to this sewing thing so fast, I was done with my apron and the teacher said for me to go around and help the others. When it came time to make the dress, I asked the teacher if I could choose a more complicated pattern, one that was fitted with long sleeves and ruffles, my reason was I was a Senior and would not get another chance at this.She agreed and at the end of the sewing session we had a fashion show and I won top honors and my picture in the local paper! Fun!

Yep that is me at 18 years Class of '65', I chose white with navy polka dots, a ruffle at the neck and sleeve. I used the same pattern for my Graduation dress, in white with a plain neck line.

Oh yeah I was bitten by the Sewing Bug!
After High School we moved to Florida and I started working at Sears part time, as I rode the bus everyday to work, the drop off point was in front of a beautiful shoe store called LaRose Footwear. I would look in the window everyday, wishing... his shoes were so expensive. One day Mr LaRose came outside to talk with me and invited me in the store to try on a special pair he had selected just for me! Well I could not afford them of course, he said that he had never extended credit to a teen before, but if I came by every Friday to make payments, he would let me take the shoes!! I came by every Friday like clock work, Mr LaRose and I became such good friends along with his wife Trudy, he said if you ever need work Rena you are welcome here. Come to find out after Christmas Sears laid off all part time help for a month, well not being able to be without a pay check for a month, I went to Mr. LaRose and asked for a job. That is when I started Modeling shoes for LaRose. I was a Model for him for two and a half years. The most wonderful job ever. My sewing continued all along, and when it came time to go the Midshipmans Ball, I designed my own formal dress. Back in the mid sixties you had to be invited to this formal affair. The LaRose's had submitted my name.  For my formal I chose a material that was shimmery gold and pink, with a pink organza overlay I added pink Ostrich feathers around the neckline.It turned out fantastic!

This is a picture of the dress taken at a USO Valentine Dance, I was 19.
Sewing has been such a fun part of my life, I never look at a pattern for what it is, I always see it the way I design it in my mind. Here are two more looks that I've made, One a jumpsuit ( I still have the bracelet), and a A-line dress with a bow. I used to love to sew with Kettle cloth or Voile.

Sorry for the blur, had to take pictures of old photos.

When it came time for me the Marry, I made my own Wedding Dress from a Vogue pattern, I was 22. The dress was of a fabric called Candlelight, it had a slight shimmer, the front of the boatneck dress had a cotton lace panel that ran down the front, wide at the shoulders and narrow at the hem. The Train was made of the same heavy cotton lace, in the shape of a bow. A little pearl crown that I gathered tulle on to form my veil.

I have tons of projects to show, but these are pictures of the "Beginning"
I often think of my Home Ec classes, it was such an influence on my life. If I'd only known I would have loved it all so much, the sewing, the cooking, the decorating, I would have started taking it in my Sophomore year! I say that because the Senior girls that had done this all along, were learning to make Mens Suits!! Holy Cow!