Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Florida Bleeding Heart

Hi, I've been outside walking around the garden, enjoying a slightly cooler day than we've been having. Still it is about 82 degrees!We went to church this a.m and will go back later for the Octoberfest meal which I will report on tomorrow!
This photo is of the Florida Bleeding Heart or Bog Flower. I never know the scientific name of plants! In Kentucky, our bleeding heart was quite different, pink and shaped more like a heart. But this one is really nice, too. It is a vine that climbs by twisting and blooms in summer and on into Fall. Last year, it was frozen down, but came back and is flourishing. It is easy to grown---I have stuck cuttings in the ground and they have rooted and grown! I have a small trellis it can climb on.
What we need in Florida is some rain! It is bone dry right now. Hope you are having a nice Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Welcome to Ten Gables Cottage,
Is everyone ready for Halloween? I never get Trick or Treaters, although I buy candy and am prepared! When it is over, I end up eating all the candy! Our town has a big Halloween party for all children at the fair grounds and many different organizations give out goodies, and all the children dress up and go there, so it is safe and lots of fun.
I'm posting one of my small paintings. I did a still life of the little pumpkin and some guords and a sunflower, sat it on an easel and it sits in the den looking festive with all my other Fall decoations.
Tomorrow is Reformation Sunday at my church and in the afternoon, we will be having a proper Octoberfest meal. Then November will be here and we will begin thinking about Thanksgiving. What a busy and fun time of year!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Watch my Broccoli grow!!

Hi from Ten Gables Cottage,

It has been so dry lately---we are greatly in need of rain. I have been watering my broccoli every evening and they are really growing, but a nice gentle all day rain would do wonders for my plants. They haven't started to form "heads" yet, but should do so soon. Sometimes I think, "What if they don't form heads, just have leaves". But I am sure they will soon. You can see the marigolds planted nearby. It is said that marigolds help keep bugs away. So far nothing is bothering them. I keep a close watch and one day did find a grasshopper near one.

I have fertilized once with Miracle Grow and will give them another "grow cocktail "of it tonight.
It is interesting that we garden in Fall and Winter here in Florida. Being from Kentucky, it is hard for me to get used to this, even though I have lived in Florida over 30 years!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Hello Everyone from Ten Gables Cottage,
The Bougainvillea between the studio at Ten Gables and the garage is blooming now and will continue all winter! The only problem is it has caterpillers that love the leaves and I will have to spay it or they will strip the leaves soon! This native plant of South American loves our climate in Florida and is the most brilliant and popular of all the flowering vines. Click on the photo to see a larger view and you can see where the little varmints are starting to eat up the leaves!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Simple, Yet Delicious

I usually paint until about 6:30 or so and then try to fix dinner, usually not well motivated and my mind still on my painting! But one night last week, not having gone to the grocery store in a while, I thought , "Well, it's up to you, can of tuna!"
So I made up quick croquettes and then a nice cheese sauce using a white sauce with a little Velvetta, dash of sherry. This made a surprisingly good dish served with a tomato, basil and oil salad, and some sweet corn on the cob. My cooking goal is this: Quick, Healthy, Delicious, quick being the most important! My kids say I never make a dish alike, even using the same recipe. That's because I create when I cook! I think, " Uhmmmm, it calls for cinnamon...so wonder how a little nutmeg added, too, would taste, ", etc. Sometimes I have a masterpiece that is never dupicated again. Other times we are glad it can't be dupicated!! All in the name of Creativity!
Hope your day was full of fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

"McIntosh Apple Crumb Pie"

Yum! I dried some more McIntosh apples and kept some fresh slices out to make this Apple Crumb Pie. It is a favorite that I have made many times from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (printed about 1960-61 and taped together, I've used it so much). In case you don't have the cookbook, here is the recipe.
Apple Crumb Pie
5 to 7 tart apples (I use McIntosh)
1 nine inch pie crust (I use pre made) unbaked
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pare apples; cut in eights. Arrange in unbaked pie shell. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.
1/2 cup sugar 3/4 flour 1/3 cup butter. Now mix sugar,flour and butter together til crumbly and sprinkle over apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. I like to serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. This is an easy, quick and delicious Fall pie. Think I'll go have another piece.
Have a fun day!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Florida Harvest

Hi from Ten Gables Cottage,

The avocados are falling off the trees and the oranges are starting to get ripe! I picked up these off the ground yesterday before the squirrels or raccoons could get them! The gloves you see are actually painted on the bench, not real ones.

There are two really big avocado trees in the yard and now only 5 orange trees in the grove. We used to have a small grove with about 150 trees but they don't last forever---they probably only are at best for about 18 -20 years and then they just die in spite of everything. I have replanted about 5 or 6 but they aren't really producing yet. The 5 left are navel oranges and are just hanging on, not looking too good. The fruit is various sizes, but they will be delicious in November. Right now they are just turning and taste a bit sour. They will sweeten up as the weather gets a little cooler.

One of my favorite salads is made with citrus, either grapefruit or orange segments, and sliced avocado on a bed of lettuce with French dressing. Delicious. The citrus and avocado compliment one another---try it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The back yard

Hi from Ten Gables Cottage,
Here is part of the back yard.......now you know why I am always mowing! This shows about half of the back property; it is beautiful, but lots of work. I have thought about putting a few cows or horses out there or maybe some goats. It is a beautiful day here today, as you can see. Lots of sun, but a few clouds...probably won't get any rain, though.
Hope your weekend is good!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Portrait of Twin Gables Cottage

Hi everyone,
This is a photo of Twin Gables Cottage, which is the office/guest house connected (by a decorative gate) to Ten Gables Cottage. This was taken before I planted my little veggie garden here in the flower garden! I have 3 tomatoes, some broccoli and cabbages and marigolds, as well as basil. Notice the old plows in the garden. I mean everyday to get out there and paint them deep red. When I do, I'll post a photo with my garden. The veggies are really growing. There is 5 1/2 acres to mow here.
Hope you have a great week end. I plan to work outside a lot--have planting and mulching to do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fiestaware: A Fall Table Setting

Welcome to Ten Gables Cottage! This photo is a little dark, but I wanted you to see my Fall table setting. I have been collecting Fiestaware since selling out my antique shop, and now have enough for 6 place settings. I love the bright colors and the fun ways you can mix them. Not that I needed any more dishes, but they did just speak to me!! Click on the photo to see them better and see the cute little napkin holders I got at an arts and crafts show.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little Acorn People Visit Ten Gables

Hi Everyone and Welcome to Ten Gables cottage,
The little acorn people have come for a visit, too, bringing the things they like best, berries, lichen, and woodsy things of all kinds! Actually some of them have little wooden bead heads and others have acorn heads! I made them last year after finding an instruction book at Michael's. They were fun to make and a little tedious. Their bodies are made of pipe stems wrapped with embroidery thread. Maybe if you click on this photo, you can see close up how they are made.
You can find artificial acorns at Walmart that work well for the heads, as the pipe cleaners just stick into them. Or beads work well because they already have a hole to stick the pipe cleaner body in. This is a good project to do with your children and grandchildren. The clothes are made of felt and glued on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dried McIntosh Apple Slices

Hello Everyone, I hope you are having a great day!
Well, here is how my dried apple slices look! When I get ready to make the Old Fashioned Apple Stack Cake, I will put them in a big pot, add lots of water and cook them slowly, adding water as needed because as they cook, they will swill and the volume will increase tremendously! I will add spices that the recipe calls for as they begin to get "done". We will go into all this later when it is time to make the cake. Believe me, it will be well worth the effort!
Today was my quilting group day at Peace Lutheran Church. We are very busily getting things done for our Fall and Christmas Bazaar, so it was fun seeing all the projects come together. Some members cut fabric, others sew pieces together for quilts, others lay quilt tops out, pin the filling and backing together and tie the quilts, some people have totes and handbags going-----it is quite a busy, creative group. We break for lunch, each of us having brought our own sandwich, but someone is appointed to bring dessert and today it was a wonderful homemade German Chocolate Cake!

Monday, October 18, 2010

McIntosh Apple Time at Ten Gables

Hi Everyone,
Welcome to Ten Gables Cottage! What a gorgeous day it is in South Florida---sunny and not too hot.
I got out my dehydrator this morning and peeled McIntosh apples to dry. Why bother drying apples? Well, for two reasons. One is that McIntosh apples come in season right now and they are my favorite apples for cooking and great to eat, too. The other reason is that I have my mother, and grandmothers, recipe for Old Fashioned Apple Stack Cake and I plan to make it for Christmas. You have to have dried apples for the filling, to go between from 11 to 13 thin layers of the most delicious spice cake you have ever put into your mouth!!You cannot make this cake with fresh apples or apple sauce. It is not the same. Later I will give you the recipe and show you a photo of the cake, when I make it.
It is loved by all my family and is a real Southern country recipe.
The apples are sliced thinly and swished in either water with lemon juice or water with Fruit Fresh in it. This keeps them from turning dark brown. They will become a pretty color as they dry, but just a deeper apple color. The flavor is enhanced by drying anything. For example, have you eaten sun dried tomatoes? The flavor is very, very tomatoey. (is that a word?)
The dehydrator is electric and it takes about 15 hours to dry the apples, then I freeze them for future use. They also make great fried apple pies which I bake instead of fry because it is healthier. I also dry orange slices in the dehydrator to put in homemade potpourri and to decorate with at Christmas and I have dried green beans to cook later. That is a whole other story I will share with you later. Have a special day! Egretta

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dresden Plate Quilt on the frame

Hi everyone from Ten Gables Cottage,
What a gorgeous day today! It is not too hot, but sunny. There are lots of crows flying around which is a sure Fall sign! After church and a lunch of straberry waffles, I came home to quilt a little and paint alot! I am painting a Free Give Away painting for my painting blog http://egrettawells.blogspot.com/ . Check it out and you might win my new painting.
The quilt is called Dresden Plate and I have worked on it all summer and am now quilting it. It is completely done by hand except the sashing between the plates and I did sew it by machine. I am doing this quilt for my church, Peace Luthern Church, for the Fall and Christmas Bazaar in November. I also have another one just like it to finish for my family! I just couldn't quit making Dresden Plates!!
My mother and grandmothers were all skilled quilters and I think I feel the need to carry on the family tradition, maybe not the skill so much, but I am having fun with it. Any comments? Where are all the quilters and what are you making?
Have a great day and thanks for visiting Ten Gables Cottage today!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Homemade "Ice Cream" Sandwiches

Hi everyone from Ten Gables Cottage,
You know how at night you want that big bowl of ice cream or a Klondike bar, but you know you shouldn't have all those calories? Well, here is a yummy chocolate "ice cream" treat that is low fat and calories, but will fix that craving! You spread a chocolate graham cracker with lite Cool Whip and put another chocolate graham on top, pop in the freezer on a cookie sheet and when frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and you have yummy treats just waiting in the freezer minus the guilt! You can add a few chocolate chips, if you must. These are good----you'll be surprised.
Have a great day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Surprise Package

Hi from Ten Gables Cottage,
Don't you just love to get a surprise in the mail? My thoughtful and sweet sister-in-law, Sandy, sent me this cute Annalee mouse that is all dressed up like a cat for Halloween. I collect these precious Annalee figures and have one or two for every holiday now. Really cute, with hand painted features.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Garden at Ten Gables

Hi everyone,
Here's a peek at the little Fall/Winter garden I have planted. There are two pineapples growing in the foreground. I planted the tops of pineapples to start them and you get a pineapple in two years---after that, shoots come up and you get another plant. When the plant gets a pineapple (in August) I have to watch carefully and pick it when it first gets a little ripe or the raccoons will devour it!. Pineapple plants are quite decorative and keep certain pests away, such as animals who don't like the spikes.
I planted cabbage plants and broccoli plants, a few tomatoes, and basil about a week ago and they are starting to really grow. I put marigolds throughout the garden to discourage pests and the mulch helps, too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Leaves Duvet Cover

Hi from Ten Gables Cottage,
I got the nicest duvet cover at Goodwill and it had the new tag on it, from Pottery Barn. I washed and ironed it and then discovered that it was for a standard bed and mine is queen. So I used it crosswise! It works great, but comes down a little way from the pillows. Not to worry, I bought some cheap fabric at Walmart and made pillow shams and they cover the part of the bed that the duvet doesn't. I love the look!
By the way, the bed was bought at our local auction. I love going to auctions, but stay away as much as possible because things go cheaply but there is only so much room at Ten Gables and it is filled!
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Felt Fall Gift Card Holders

Hello from Ten Gables Cottage,
I like to do handwork at night while I watch T.V
and these little purses take only a few minutes to do and are so cute. Cut a piece of felt as wide as you want your purse and fold it up, leaving enough felt for a flap. Use embroidery thread (3 strands) to blanket stitch around the edges or just whip stitch around them. You can round off the flap or leave it square. Decorate them with buttons, embroidery of even put a name on them. Use stick on Velcro for a fastener. Be creative! Make each one different. A nice little gift card holder or to hold business cards, photos, change, etc. Your special friends and family will love them.
I hope you are having a great day. It is lovely in Florida and I'm off to an Octoberfest celebration.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Driving in to Ten Gables Cottage

Curved Lines vs Straight Lines
When Ten Gables Cottage was almost built in 1997 and the driveway was being planned, my mother gave me some very valuable advice. She said, "Curves are more pleasing than straight lines. Your driveway will be beautiful if you curve it toward the house." She also said that walkways and garden paths are much more pleasing to the eye if curved. What great advice.
As you can see, the curved driveway really adds presence to Ten Gables Cottage. In this photo, you can glimpse the garage and another little cottage, Twin Gables Cottage. My painting studio is hidden by Ten Gables. It is just across the backporch breezeway. They all connect by a decorative gate. Twin Gables cottage is where my mother lived until 2008, when we lost her and she went to Heaven to make her home. Now the cottage is an office/guest house. There are two Live Oak Trees in the front yard (the English call it a garden) that are probably over 100 yrs. old. (click on photo for a larger view)
So, if you are building a driveway, walk, or garden path, consider curves!Live Creatively!
Creativity isn't just reserved for artists; it's something everyone can access. Have a great day!
Thanks for looking at my blog. Your comments are welcome, Egretta

Friday, October 8, 2010

Best Fall cookies

Hi everyone from Ten Gables Cottage! It's a gorgeous day today with lots of sunshine, 80 degrees and no humidity. I plan to enjoy every minute of this day!    I made the best crispy sugar cookies for my quilting group on Tuesday. They are called Best Fall Cookies and the recipe came from a wonderful cook in Minnesota.  I want to share it with you. No wonder they are so crisp and good; they are made with solid shortening--Crisco. It's not so healthy, but for a splurge, these are the best! The cinnamon gives them a nice delicate flavor and you won't believe the crispness! Delicious with coffee or HOT APPLE CIDER! YUM!  

1 TSP. SODA AND 1/2 TSP SALT      



My grandsons, Andrew and Austin, helped me make them a few weeks ago, and they loved flattening the balls with the glass dipped in sugar. They ended up taking their fingers and putting even more sugar on them, giving the term "sugar cookies" a whole new meaning.
If you try them, let me know how you like them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It is difficult to find corn shocks in Florida, so every year
I make one from palm fronds. I make a tee-pee from garden poles and wire the palm fronds in a corn shock
shape and it really looks great! So here is my Fall display by the big Live Oak tree in the front yard. The pumpkins are not real this year. Sorry, but all the raccoons will be disappointed because they like to roll them around at night and munch on them! Last year, I poured ammonia on the pumpkins every few days and that discouraged the raccoons.
Hi and Welcome to my blog! My name is Egretta and my home is called Ten Gables. I am foremost an artist, but I love to follow my creative way in making my home a lovely and fun place to live. I live in Florida where it is sunny and hot and I live in the country, outside a small town.

My interests are many and in this blog, I hope to share some of my decorating ideas, party ideas, recipes, crafts, collecting antiques and all kinds of fun and delightful creative living ideas. Hopefully, you will share some of your ideas, too!