Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Latest Episode of the Sand Hill Crane

Hi everyone, Here is the latest news about the poor Sandhill Crane who was sitting out in the ditch/pond on her little nest. A very bad storm and lots of rain covered her nest. I don't know if she was able to move the eggs or what, but after the night time storm, I drove by there and the nest was completely covered with water and there was no mother bird...no male either in the neighborhood. So I assumed the worst and was very saddened that her nest was probably destroyed. 
And where was she????
The next day, two days after the storm, I was by there again. This pond is in front of a busy grocery store off a busy highway. In the photo, you can see a car sales lot behind the highway. The pond is actually a drainage pond, as you can see by the equipment there in front of it.There has been some recent construction, which wasn't finished, probably because of these birds! Look closely and you can see her on the hillside on the nest. I saw her with the two eggs building this nest! How did she get them out of the pond? Are they really going to hatch? Were they damaged in the water? I wish I knew! All we can do is watch and wait and see if they hatch. 
You can see that the father bird is standing guard down the bank in the edge of the water. You would not believe the amount of people who drive up, park and watch these birds. The whole town is talking about them! I will keep you posted as to what happens. I think she has been on the nest at least 3 weeks, first in the water a couple of weeks and now here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Making hand painted greeting cards

Hi everyone, I hope you are having a good day and will have a great Memorial Day. I would like to be able to go to Kentucky for Memorial Day and visit my parents and grandparents graves, put flowers on them and just drive around the place where I grew up. However, I won't be able to go, but that will be in my heart!

In my painting class, we painted greeting cards, using watercolors and then embellished them with ink, using a fine point Sharpee pen. You can see in the top photo how the card went from a loosely done wash of color(on the right) to a drawing in ink. Below is the final card. The class loved using the ink pen to clarify their drawings and bring out their subject matter. They all did a great job!
Here are some finished cards, with an embellished envelope, too. They did flowers in a pot by just painting loose circles. When dry, they went around the shapes with the pen, and as if by magic a beautiful card began to happen!

It is so much fun to just BE CREATIVE!!
Happy Memorial Day to you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wild Turkey in the Yard and Wednesday Blooms

Hi Everyone and I hope you are having a wonderful day. It is very warm here...yesterday was a high of 91 degrees. Yesterday a beautiful big wild turkey was strolling the back acreage in the shade, finding things to eat. You can hardly see him in the top photo, but here is a closer view.
Lots of beautiful flowers are in bloom now , so come with me for a little stroll and we will see what is in bloom! Enjoy!
Here is a lovely "Shrimp plant" in yellow and the  Caladiums are putting on quite a show, too.
I love the pink colors around the garden, especially in the Caladium leaves.
Zinnias are an all time favorite of everyone, it seems.
The Hibisicus are really showy this Spring. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nesting Sand Hill Crane

Right in the middle of town near a busy highway and several busy shops is a drainage pond. And there in the middle on a very little high spot is a nesting Sand Hill Crane. She has had to try and build up the nest daily, as it is our rainy season and every afternoon we get tropical storms or quite a lot of sudden rain! Her partner helps her by bringing material to her and she adds it to the nest.

Here us a closer view. You can see her red head. Sand Hill Cranes are plentiful here and they tend to like open territory and you often see them in people's yards or near businesses. They are big birds, standing about 40 to 48 inches tall. They are mostly grey with red forehead and sometimes look rusty colored because of iron stains from pond water. They mate for life and you always see a pair together or with their offspring. Usually there are two brown spotted buff color eggs and the chicks are fluffy yellow things.! Click on photos to enlarge.
Here is a watercolor painting I did of a pair of Sand Hill Cranes. I keep wanting a pair to live on my property, but so far no luck!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beautiful Mother's Day Gifts!

Hi everyone, 
I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!. I had a really nice one. Earlier in the week, I got a surprise gift from a very sweet sister in law, not for Mother's Day, but a "just because" gift. It is the beautiful purse you see above. It is a tote made by Isabella's Journey, a beautiful tapestry with beads on the handle. It has a zipper and also some useful pockets inside. I was delightfully surprised. Thanks for the lovely gift!

Earlier in the week, I also received a package from my daughter who lives in Northern Ireland. I, of course, couldn't wait to open it until Mother's Day, so I didn't hesitate to tear off the paper on the little wrapped gifts inside the mailer and found an assortment of wonderful things!

First, there was a little book, which I will use as a sketch book and it has a handpainted flower design on the front of it, done by an artist in Kent, Egnland. Very, very cute....a clever idea. In another box was a pretty flowered writing pen that matches it so well.

NOTE:I don't know what all this space is between my photos, but since Google changed Blogger it is very hard for me to properly blog, and I am pretty disgusted with it. So bear with me.

and scroll down......

Also in the package was a really beautiful necklace with two strands of chain and beads and a darling little dangling tea pot! I love it and wore it yesterday to church and to our Mother's Day breakfast/tea at church. It received rave reviews!
I also got a dozen red roses, which are really lovely.
And a very pretty cactus dish garden in a pottery pot. It came with a little squeeze dropper to use to water it. How handy that will be and hopefully will keep me from over-watering it.
Well, I got a phone call from Kelli, my daughter, and then  Greg, my son and the two grandsons came for a visit and we went to our new "Applebees" for lunch. I had a wonderful day and thank all those sweet ones who made it so. I am still smiling!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Flowers at Ten Gables

What is in the garden today? There is quite a lot, as we finally have had a good drenching rain or two and things are really looking great!
I love Caladiums!. These are growing from bulbs planted last year. They are under a small tree and seem to love the shade.
Blue Daze is so easy to grow and is always in bloom, even when it gets really hot. We are already having temperatures in the 80s.
Periwinkle seems to thrive anywhere and self seeds, so you never know where it will land. These plants came up from last years scattered seeds. They just happened to land in spots where they needed to be!
Carlsberg Daisies line each side of my walkway to the steps and they love the heat here and do well. Such cheery little flowers!
Have a great weekend and hope you can enjoy the out-of-doors. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kentucky "Hot Browns"

Hi Everyone and Welcome to Ten Gables Cottage,
After the Derby Sat. night, I made a very famous Kentucky dish, "Hot Browns". It was first made at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

A delicious open faced sandwich, Hot Browns are served especially at Derby time! Here is the recipe:

                                              KENTUCKY HOT BROWNS
Put 2 thick slices of white bread under the broiler and toast them until golden brown. Now place a nice piece of roasted turkey on each piece of toast. In Kentucky, a thin piece of Country ham usually goes over the turkey, but can be deleted if you are watching salt (which we are, so I did not use the ham). Then you make a Mornay sauce, which is a basic white sauce with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese stirred in and top the ham with plenty of the sauce.Now, place under the broiler again until hot and golden brown. Slice some plum tomatoes over the cheese sauce and then top everything with two slices of crisp fried bacon (I used the low sodium kind). Now sprinkle on a little more Parmesan cheese, and some fresh parsley or diced green onion tops. Simply Delicious!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Derby Day... The Kentucky Derby

Hi Everyone, It is Kentucky Derby Day! In Lousiville Kentucky, at Churchill Downs, everyone is all decked out in Spring finery and drinking mint juleps, while singing "My Old Kentucky Home"!
In Florida I have been watching it on T.V., picked my favorite horses and of course lost, but still had quite a celebration right here at home in front of the television.
I even wore a vintage hat from the antique shop. Nevermind that it didn't match my shirt. On Derby Day, the more colorful, the better!
And yes, we did have "mock" Mint Juleps, which was really iced green tea with honey and a touch of mint. Very Posh and yummy!
Well, my picks didn't do so well. I had picked Bodemeister as number one and he came in 2nd with "I'll Have Another" the winner. The winner was number 6 on my top 6 picks. I did pick Dullehan as number three, so there. He ran number three! So one of my picks was right!
Here is a painting by a friend from Kentucky, artist E.Dudley Williams, who passed away a few years ago. It is of Secretariat, the 1973 U.S. Triple Crown Champion. That means he won 3 important races in a row, The Kentucky Derby, The Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. He is perhaps the most famous Kentucky race horse. He was 16.2 hands tall and weighed in at 1,175. lbs.  Isn't it interesting that jockeys weigh under 120 lbs.

It was fun to watch the Derby, see all the ladies in their beautiful and unusual hats, the colorful jockeys and powerful looking horses, hear the bugle call to race, and see the winning horse in the winner's circle wearing a coat of roses. Yea for Derby Day!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

" Some treasures in my Studio"

Hello everyone,
As you know, I have been cleaning out my studio for 2 whole weeks now! It took almost that whole time to go through the magazines I had accumulated over we won't say how many years! I am now into the art supplies and they are keepers, but I have to do some major organizing. In the meantime, I am enjoying seeing some of my antique treasures without so much clutter around them. I would like to put them in the house, at least some of them, but here are two things that are VERY heavy and even if I found 4 men to lift them, where would I put them? Have you ever had somthing you really loved, but didn't quite know what to do with it?
Well, I have my maternal grandmothers little cook stove! At one time, when I was a small child, she had a huge green stove with a warming cabinet on top of it. Whenever you happened to stop by her house, she always had a pan of just baked biscuits on the stove shelf, and almost always soft baked sweet potatoes in the warming cabinet. She burned coal (in Kentucky, you know) and that stove produced all kinds of delicious foods!So about 1950, her children decided she needed a modern electric stove and they persuaded her to trade in her coal burner stove for an electric one. SORRY was the word for that! Her good biscuits suffered; indeed all her good food did, so she bought a small coal stove to sit beside her electric stove and still did most of her cooking in it!!That is the stove I have now! It is probably the treasure that I love most of all the "things" I possess! It would take 4 men to move it! As you can see, I display other minor treasures on it!
Then, there is my old cash register. It came out of the first department store in Harlan, Ky. and is dated 1900. It is made of copper, brass and nickle with a marble shelf over the drawer. It still works and I have used it in 4 different businesses! I had it refurbished to its original glory. It too is very heavy and serves no useful purpose now except to grace my studio and make people catch their breath with they walk in and see it!
Do you, too, have certain treasures that take up room, you really don't need, but oh! how you love them?