Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Floral Walk

Hello everyone,

Let's see what is blooming today out in the garden! The coleus is growing and looking good. I always enjoy the different colors in the leaves.

I love this bloomed out pink rose--I may paint from this photo sometime!

Yellow roses are always special to me. When you photograph them, you see the deeper shade of yellow deep within, almost an orange. This photo will go in my future paintings box, too.

The geranium is really blooming. Here is a close up.

I realize I have shown you numerous photos of the bougainvillea by my studio, but it is astonishing in it's glory! After our cold January, I was afraid it would die, but it seems to have made it more determined than ever to put out gorgeous bracts.

Hope you garden is showing lots of color!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Pile of Peppers

Hi Everyone, Hope you are having a grand day! It is gorgeous here and I must get out in the garden. However, I wanted to show you my pepper watercolor painting I finished. Do you remember the big bag of mixed sweet peppers I bought at the market? They are posted last in this post. Should have posted them first!! Anyway, they are pretty and delicious peppers and I tried doing a watercolor of some of them. I like the results of the peppers, but am not crazy about the background in the painting! I thought the dark bluish/purple color would compliment the peppers, and it does, but I think I liked them on a lighter color best. Well, you never know what a painting will be like until it is finished. Still it was fun to do !

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Church Tea

Hi Everyone from Ten Gables cottage,
Last evening was our "Seasoned Seniors" group meeting and we had a "Tea". Everyone brought a dish to share and you can see by our table, we had some delicious tea foods.

Here are some of the members, enjoying themselves. We served strawberry tea, which was a huge hit and we ended up making it in huge coffee pots and about 70-80 cups were consumed! Everyone loves strawberry tea, even those who are not really tea drinkers.

Entertainment was provided by the Peace Lutheran Church Bereavement Band! Yep, you read it right! They call themselves the Bereavement Band---actually they are ladies who are members of the church bereavement committee. They dress up for the part, too, and Bluegrass music is their specialty.

Here, one lady is playing the banjo and the other one, the harmonica.

Actually, they are all pantomiming, both playing and singing, and they are fantastic! They are so good that you actually think they are really playing, and they get lots of bookings. Between songs they told "senior jokes"---very funny!

Their old hound dog keeps them company "stuffed" and on the left, you can see a opossom
(stuffed) hanging from a music stand.

Click on these photos for a better view!
It was a fun evening, and these gals are really creative!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Springtime Paintings

Hello friends,

Many of you who regularly look at this blog of mine, do not look at my painting blog. Painting is what I love to do and I started the painting blog last March, trying hard to post a new painting almost daily. That is pretty difficult, plus keeping up with this blog and doing all the other creative things I love to do!

So I wanted you to see some of my paintings and entice you to look at my painting blog which is http://egrettawells.blogspot.com/ Take a look!

The first painting I am showing here is of a country home with the trees just budding out and the azaleas blooming, which is a sure sign of Spring in the Southern part of the U.S.

The second painting is an egg tempera painting that I did plein air at Heathcote Botanical Garden in Ft. Pierce, Fl. I hope to paint there soon, as I love the garden in the Spring. This shows the wisteria blooming. All things bloom earlier in Florida and some things bloom all year that don't do so in the Northern U.S. I love the blooms hanging off the old lattice work structure..it is actually a green house of sorts, ie. the door.

And the last painting today is an old farmer at dusk, taking a rest on his porch. This, too, is painted in egg tempera, a medium I love, as it is such fun to layer it in thin washes. It is probably not Spring because the potato crop is in; you can see his basket of potatoes there on the porch. But this painting reminds us of the reward of gardening. Yes, it is tiresome at times, but we can enjoy our harvest!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scones and Soup

Hello everyone from Ten Gables cottage,

At my church, I help with a senior group called "Seasoned Seniors", meaning"spicy", not old! So tomorrow we are having a tea and I made scones this morning to take. I made two kinds, the first ones were apricot scones and I posted the recipe earlier this month for those. The second batch is nutmeg, raisin scones and below is a picture of the scored bread as it looks when it comes out of the oven.

It looks pretty Yummy! Below is a photo of the cut scones--just add some Devonshire cream (pardon me, Mark) and some guava jelly and what a treat!

I am taking curried chicken salad sandwiches, also, so I cooked some chicken breasts and then decided to make soup for lunch, as well, and some extra soup to take to my neighbor, Margaret, who is confined to her home this week with double pneumonia. I hope she will feel like eating the soup. It really does help when one is sick!

We had soup for lunch and it was really good, chock full of veggies and chunks of chicken.
I hope I have succeeded in making you hungry!!Have a great day, Egretta

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Golden Tree again and I Spy

Hello everyone,
I just had to show you The Golden Tree again---it has bloomed out even more and the blossoms are beginning to fall on the ground. How pretty is that!!!

And now for a little game of "I Spy". I heard the call of a woodpecker outside, so with camera in hand, I went to investigate. And I saw it on this palm tree---rattt-a tatt. ratt-a tatt. Can you spot him ? I am not sure you can, but he is about half way down on the left of the trunk. While I was looking at him, a larger different kind of wood pecker flew up and began pecking on the other side of the tree! Two for One!!! I was snapping away, but really too far away to get a good picture of them. Can you find the other one? Click on it to enlarge. I'm not sure I got him in this photo.

Look at the new green leaves forming on this tree! Isn't it great to see the signs of Spring.

Even a walk through the garden center is so inspiring!

And you just had to see this beautiful green Plumosa fern growing on a fence here. It is so green and lush. I love to cut bits of it to put in floral arrangements---It brings back memories of when I owned a Florist and we used to "pick plu" which meant to put bits on a wooden pick for certain arrangements.

Have a great day! Stay Creative!!! Egretta

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Handmade Dollhouse

Greetings from Ten Gables Cottage,
Years ago, when my daughter was a little girl, I made her this dollhouse from a kit. From the back, you can see the rooms and I think there are six different ones. I don't know if she loved it, as she was getting pretty big at the time, plus Barbie Dolls were all the thing, but I loved building it for her and worked very hard to finish it by Christmas. I still have it on a "plant shelf" in my studio. Beside it is an old child's scooter that I bought at an auction. In front are my own old rag dolls that my mother made for me when I was 8 years of age. They are twins---a boy and a girl. The poor girl's face is discolored, as some of the rags she was stuffed with has faded on her face! They are special to me. Sometimes I wonder what to do with these old things. I guess I will just keep them, look at them and enjoy, and let my children decide one day what to do with them!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Golden tree and a good quilt show

Greetings from Ten Gables cottage,
It is a glorious day here---in the 70's, lots of sun and an almost cloudless sky, gentle breezes! A Perfect Day!
I wanted you to see how many more blooms there are on the Golden Tree. It is stunning!

Today I went to the biannual quilt show at Buckhead Ridge, a neighboring community. It was really nice and there were many, many lovely quilts. Here are a few of them. This one was made by a lady in my quilt group and it is hand appliqued and hand quilted. I love quilts that are all done by hand. That is the way my great grandmother, grandmother and mother made them. Now days many quilts are machine made and some are very beautiful, too. It takes skill to machine quilt them beautifully, but still I love the hand made ones!

Notice the prairie points as the ending border on this one.

The colors in this one are very attractive. I like how it is put together, too with the sashing with brown on each side. Click to see a closer view.

This quilt won a first in the applique division. It is impeccably done and is very beautiful It is machine quilted and I would have preferred hand quilted. Still, it is a fabulous quilt!

This one below got a third place ribbon. I would have hated to be the judge! What a beautiful one this is, with different size blocks and put together with a pretty floral sashing.

I think this one is 3 dimensional. There were several appliqued dimensional ones. That must be hard to do and take loads of time.

I liked the creamy tan background of this one, too.

This is a favorite pattern of mine done in a different way. It is called Dresden Plate and I think this one is a modern take on an old tyme pattern. Very nice and bold.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the quilts in the quilt show.
By the way, I won a door prize! A basket of jam and jelly! And I will tell you a secret--when you sign up for a door prize, always wad your paper that you signed thoroughly before putting it in the bowl. Who ever sticks in their hand to draw will feel the crinkles and grab it!! It works!
Have a great weekend! Egretta

Friday, February 18, 2011

Simple Garlic Breadsticks

Hi everyone from Ten Gables Cottage,
Today has not been eventful like yesterday, thank goodness. But I have my eye out for snakes everytime I go outside!

I made some garlic breadsticks to take to a pot luck at church. They are crisp and delicious and so easy. I use foot long hot dog buns or hoagie buns and cut them in half, then half again lengthwise so you get 4 pieces from each bun. Melt a stick of butter (it may take 2 sticks to do the whole lot). I use a pyrex dish long enough to roll the whole bread stick in butter. In the butter, I have added a good bit of garlic powder, about a tablespoon full. Roll each piece in the garlic butter, sprinkle more on top and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at low oven, 250 degrees for about an hour until very crisp. They store well in an airtight container and remain crisp. Yummy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweet Peppers, Flowers, and a Deadly Snake!

Greetings from Ten Gables,

It has been a rather exciting day here. Early this morning, I decided to garden awhile, so I planted some flowers, dug up some dead things, cleaned out an area and mulched. It was really great fun and such a pretty day to work outside.

When I got tired, I went in to get water and upon returning to the porch, I saw a deadly Coral snake in the part of the garden I had just been working on!

It was the biggest one I have ever seen!

I ran back inside and called my husband who was in the office working. Afraid it would get away, I grabbed a can of powerful bug spray that I know will kill a lizard and sprayed it's head, making it get mad and it tried to run. By then, Bob had come with a hoe and the snake did run under some bags of mulch. Bob finally found it and killed it. Needless to say, I was shaking! So I immediately decided to go to the garden shop and get snake repellent which is the same as moth balls, but comes in a sprinkle can. I bought a big one and 7 packages of moth balls.

I scattered them all around the house and out into the yard about 12 or 15 feet. Hopefully this will deter snakes. I keep thinking, "where there is one, there may be a mate". Or has it laid eggs and will babies appear?

Above is a picture of
a Coral snake. It is not the one Bob killed as that one was pretty mangled, but this is exactly like it in size. It has red touching yellow bands and is very venomous. Scary!

The peppers above are some I bought at the market and are grown in S. Florida at Delray Beach. They are assorted sweet peppers and look delicious. I have been wanting to paint a pepper painting for awhile and hope to do so with these, unless of course I eat them all before I get to the painting! One of my fellow bloggers has also sent me some great photos of peppers to paint from.

Here is a photo of the angel wing begonia I bought at the garden center and plan to repot in this bigger pot. These plants get huge. There is a really huge one at my insurance company office and I am amazed at how big it has gotten. So I plan to try to grow this one as big as possible.

I really love these osteopermums. They are not hardy, but are an annual.

Maybe this yellow one attracted the snake, as it was here after I planted this plant. I still have the jitters.

Well, look closely at the photo of the bad fellow. Do be careful if you live in Florida.People bitten by the snake only have a 10% change of surviving unless treated with antivenin. You can bet I will take care when gardening. I put out so many moth balls, that I am thinking nothing will survive....we may have to leave Ten Gables ourselves to escape the strong moth ball odor!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three Different Bougainvillea

Greetings from Florida and Ten Gables Cottage,

One of my very favorite flowering vines is the bougainvillea. How romantic it looks climbing an arbor around a lace covered window or on a patio arbor shading you from the sun while you sip a cold drink! I have photos of three different colors of bougainvillea. Which is your favorite?

Is it this lovely golden one?

Or is it this beautiful bright pink or crimson one?

This one grows by my studio and I can see it from the window. Sometimes I find myself just staring at it, lost in the beauty of the colorful bracts. Often I take a cutting of a group of bracts and bring them in; they last inside for days!

Perhaps it is the first one I photographed at the top of this blog. It is sort of a purple color. Or maybe purple-pink. Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Garden Walk---It is Spring in Florida

Hello everyone and welcome to Ten Gables. Let's walk outside and see what is in bloom. First, let's check out the roses! They are loving the crisp air and are blooming well, even though the leaves don't look all that great!

I love all the different colors. I can't tell you their botanical names. Perhaps some of you know them.

Red by any other name.........


This is a close up of the flame vine, a beautiful tropical vine and native of Brazil. It excels in brilliance and has tons of blooms. It climbs by tendrils over fences and is all across the front of my 5 acres on a fence. Blooming in winter, usually in January, it if full of trumpet shaped and flaming orange blooms. This year, because of the below freezing temps. it was somewhat nipped, but managed to survive and is now blooming!

And this beauty is a cluster of yellow
blooms from a "Golden Tree". Now, that is what I call it, but I really am not sure of its proper name. It is the first thing to bloom in early Spring.

More views of the beautiful "Golden Tree".

Mexican petunias. Its blooms last only a day, but not to worry, every day there is a new batch!

The marigolds are doing well. They are little warriors of the garden, keeping away plant-munching insects.

My tomato is blooming. This is a compact cherry tomato plant.

I love the color of this geranium. I bought this plant and hope it will grow quite large and bloom profusely!

Even the pot of aloe has turned green and looks healthy. Occasionally I pick off a leaf to treat a burn. Such a soothing gel comes from the aloe plant.

Well, our walk is ending for today. Thanks for going along, Egretta