Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gotta have some Chocolate...

Hi folks and welcome to Ten Gables Cottage,
Somehow it seems to be a baking kind of day, all cloudy and rain expected, and I am craving chocolate! However, I am trying to diet, so I got out my trusty fat free baking cook book and made these delicious Oatmeal Fudge Squares.

They only have 64 calories each and 0.5 grams of fat!

And believe me, they are so rich tasting, sort of chewy and so chocolatey, Ummmmmm

Here is the cookbook they came from. It is full of luscious fat free recipes, all moist, tasty and delicious.

The recipe follows:

Oatmeal Fudge Squares

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. quick cooking oats

1/4 cup unsweetened applessauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 Tbs. flour

1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

1/4 cup honey

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional--you could throw in chocolate chips instead)

Coat an 8 inch pan with cooking spray. Mix all the above well and spread in pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 22 minutes, or just til edges are firm and the center is almost set. Cool to room temp. and cut into squares. I refrigerate unserved ones in a tight lidded container to retain their moisture. Soooo good! Especially at TEA TIME, which is coming up at 4 o"clock at Ten Gables!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Get Creative--Poofy Hobo Bags

Hi Everyboday,
It is a rainy day here in South Florida and do we need that rain! I am in my studio, taking a painting break and thought I would create something......a hobo purse without sewing! So, I got some squares of fabric and some old vintage silk scarves and started tying them until I had learned to made a hobo bag!!
This one is made from a 44 inch square of cloth...it is a silky feeling cloth, almost like a scarf, but with a little more body. I tied a knot in each of the four corners almost half way down the cloth. These become the handles.

After you tie the four corners, you bring together two adjacent ones and tie them together to form a handle. Do the other two and that is it! It has become a poofy hobo bag! It takes all of 5 minutes or less. I decorated this one with a vintage pin from my collection. That adds a certain charm and keeps it from being so plain. It actually holds all your loot, is very light weight and you just carry it by the two straps. How fun is that?

I made another one from some white fabric and decorated it with glued on yo-yo's and buttons.

Try it! What an easy creative way to use up your grandma's fabric stash or old scarves.

Have a great day! Egretta

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Fun Thursday"

Hi Everyone,

Thursday the seniors from our church met at Ten Gables for an Antique Forum with my friend, Beth, coming from Co-Op Antiques to provide us with information, a great display, and to appraise our treasures. Everyone brought an antique or as many as they cared to bring, so it was Show and Tell Time!

One lady brought her great great grandfather's diary in which he wrote of Abraham Lincoln in it. She possessed a treasure trove of interesting items, including a non-published book her grandfather wrote, lots of photos and even Victorian clothing. I was so interested in everything that I forgot to take photos. Can you imagine?!!! Other items shared was a unique Hall tea pot, a very old violin, a music box, an Effenbee doll.

But I did get a photo of Beth with her antiques from the shop displayed on my old chopping block. She brought an old coffee mill, an old Polaroid camera, painted miniatures, a darner, a china doll, an old egg holder, an old gas iron, a bayonet, an old nail puller and more. Click on the photo for a better view.

I spent most of the week getting things ready for the party, so I finally started this painting on Friday and finished it today. It is an impressionistic painting of a young girl, just from my imagination, done in egg tempera. To see more of my paintings, go to http://egrettawells.blogspot.com/ . Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trompe l'oeil Painting at Ten Gables

Hi and welcome to Ten Gables,
Today I thought I would take you on a little tour of the house and you can see all the Trompe l'oeil painting I have done throughout the house. First take a look at the medicine cabinet I painted for the laundry room/ bathroom. Trompe l'oeil means to "fool the eye" and the painting is done in a realistic manner that makes it look real. Upon first glance, one seems to be looking into this cabinet!

A close up of the cabinet reveals talcum powder, medicines of long ago, even a shaving mug.

It is a fun cabinet that gets lots of interest from guests!

The master bathroom has a garden theme and the towel rack is graced by a butterfly that has landed on it (via the paint brush).

Also in the master bath, there is a border around the wall of a white trellis with a vine growing through it and a butterfly here and there.

The valance is an awning which gives a garden feel, and around the tub are hollyhocks growing half way up the wall. Hollyhocks are one of my favorites and I have not tried them in Florida, but had them in Kentucky before I moved here.

Above the bar that seperates the kitchen from the great room, I have painted some fresh vines with strawberries mixed in that mirrors my kitchen wall paper to an extent. It really gives the bar a special presence.

In the guest bath, the bottom of the walls is papered in an ivy wall paper, so I painted ivy on the wall, seemingly coming in through the window.

I also painted some ivy on the oval mirror above the sink, as you can see in this photo.

In one of the guest bedrooms I stenciled lace around the top of the wall to make a border. It is quite subtle because I used sort of an ecru color.

Below is the old iron bed with a lace draping over it and you can see the stenciled lace around the border.

Lastly, a bird nest painted in a corner of the other guest bedroom welcomes Spring.

Click on these photos for a closer view. Hope you enjoyed my Tromp l'oeil painting.Thanks for stopping in, Egretta

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot weather blooms and veggies....

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables Cottage,

It has been tomato harvesting time and even though we have had very little rain, I have managed to get a few nice tomatoes. The first photo is of Romas and these are two of the biggest I got. Now I think the plant is almost spent, because it is fast turning brown!

We finally had a good rain, but it was through a dangerous storm that did some local damage and scared me terribly!

One of my three skylights in the studio was blown out and I am having a new one put in. There was no damage inside the studio, though.

These tomatoes are Better Boys and are quite nice. I still have one good looking tomato plant left, so I hope to have more---there are several green ones on it.

I purchased the cantaloupe at the local market and it is a home grown one from Florida, and really delicious. Even though it has been drought conditions, farmers irrigate their crops and Florida produces lots of veggies and melons and citrus for the rest of the USA.

Now for hot weather blooms that are doing nicely in the garden at Ten Gables. The Plumbago loves drained, sandy soil and hot weather and makes a lovely bush.

Still have some pinks and some pink and yellow purslane, which I call moss roses (below). They grow anywhere, re-seed and are supposed to be annuals, but they spring up here and there the next year after you plant them. They love the heat, though. The blooms fold up at night and open during the hot morning!

Hope you have lots of color in your garden, too, and some delicious veggies growing! Thanks for looking! Egretta

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Minnesota Petunias

Hi everyone,

It is miserably hot here at Ten Gables. The thermometer on the back porch says 94 degrees, but that is in the shade!

I have just returned from Minnesota and it was cool, in the 50s. What a difference. I will say, though, that in Minnesota one day early last week it was 103 degrees! Then the temp dropped drastically in a day! The weather seems to be doing strange things the world over!

I photographed these lovely petunias in Minnesota. We cannot have them here for long in Florida. In fact, it is almost a waste of money to buy the plants here unless in the winter. I do love petunias and these had such a lovely mix of pinks.

I hope it is pleasant weather where you are....care to comment??

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Collection of Tea Bag Holders

Hi friends and welcome to Ten Gables Cottage:
I just love collections of things and one of my favorites that I collect are tea bag holders. I use these (at least one) daily and lots of times I will put one at each place setting when I am having guests over.
I found this adorable little "trolley" holding four tea bag holders. It is handy to keep close to the tea table at the ready!

These beautiful little flowers also came with a holder and I use these often, as they look charming at each place setting. I am not sure they are actually for tea bags, but they work well and add color to the table settings.

These three are little plastic holders, very casual. They are souviners of Florida, which makes them very collectible. These are nice to use for quick, informal tea with friends, and especially nice if you are drinking an orange herb tea.

These cute fellows are made like various fruits and say"I will hold the bag"! These are fun and I have used them for tea with my grandchildren.

Here are more cute tea bag holders. It is amazing how many different ones you can find! They are useful and inexpensive to collect, as well as small, so you can easily buy a few and stash in your luggage when you travel. I adore the center one, which is quite large and is shaped like an English cottage.

Here is a pretty one from Holland.

Small, medium, or large, all will hold a tea bag!

When my collection gets a little large or I find one I like and replace one I don't care so much about, I will just give my guests a tea bag holder to take home with them...a momento of our happy visit drinking tea and eating little tea cakes and cookies.

Yesterday, I finished this painting with a tea theme......

Now it is time for me to have a nice cup of tea. I am having Constant Comment tea, a blend of black tea, oranges and spices...it is a nice light tea and perfect anytime. The china is Country Roses by Royal Albert, made in England.
The tea bag holder this time is actually a butter pat, but I find it makes a great tea bag holder!

Won't you join me?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wild Turkeys in the back yard....

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables,

What an exciting thing happened today! Just glancing out the kitchen window, I spotted a whole flock of wild turkeys in the back yard! There were at least 2 hens and about 8 or 10 young chicks and at least one big gobbler! I dared not go too close, resorting to taking photos from the back porch, so you will have to enlarge the photos to be able to see them very well.

The biggest part of the flock is over to the left of the photo in the shade of the trees. Click on it and see if you can spot them.

Notice, too, the dried grass... we are having a severe drought.

Have a great day, Egretta

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trouble commenting on other blogs....

Hi everyone,

I have been having trouble getting comments on others' blogs to post! When I type in a comment and try to post it, blogger sends me a sign in thing. I sign in, put my password in and it goes back to the comments and still will not post them. So I am sorry about that and am frustrated because I simply cannot find out why this happens. I am still looking at your blogs; so sorry I can't comment! Egretta