Friday, October 22, 2010

A Tag for the Gingerbread Coffee Mix!


Here is a cute little tag for you to copy and use as a tie-on for the Gingerbread Coffee Mix.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Delicious Gingerbread Coffee


Our church is having a Holiday Bake Sale the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I am going to make this Gingerbread Coffee Mix as one of my contributions. It is delicious....

GINGERBREAD COFFEE MIX
2 cups creamer
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
3/4 cup instant coffee


Mix all ingredients together well and store in an air-tight container.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sneak Peak.... My Entries In the Old Farmhouse Winter Holiday Celebration

The Old Farmhouse team on Etsy is going to have a Winter Holiday Celebration. I managed to get my four entries finished in between working on Megan's wedding!!! I tried to come up with four unique pieces that would add to any one's prim holiday decor.


The first is an "altered" gumball machine. I thought his bright red base was just perfect as it was. The globe is painted with a jolly folk art snowman. He is wearing a cotton sock cap that is dusted with glass glitter and has a rusty snowflake and rusty bell for embellishments.

Number two is a hand painted gourd Belsnickle. This Alabama gourd has been turned into an "old world" type Santa and is riding in a cinnamon rusted metal sleigh. His hang tag and two rusty bells are tied to the stem that I left attached.

These "everlasting candles" are made from wood. I found them in a wonderful shop while on vacation in Florida last summer and they have been patiently waiting to be painted. I created a new design that I call "Silent Night" just for them. The grubby hang tag is hand-lettered and has a snippet of vintage hymnal music attached.

Finally, here is an old coal shovel that has been repurposed as a door hanger for the winter season. This is another new design for this year's holiday season. I wrapped the handle in homespun and added a rusty bell and cookie cutter for a bit of prim whimsy.
The celebration will begin Sunday... you can find other entries by typing "WHCOFG" in the search bar on Etsy's home page.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Megan's Beautiful Brooch Bouquet

Our precious daughter, Megan, will soon marry the love of her life, Kendall. On a December evening they will have a lovely ceremony amid twinkling candles, iced branches and peacock feathers. Adding to the sparkle will be her beautiful brooch bouquet. We worked on it together, finding vintage brooches at antique shops, online and even in thrift stores. Adding to those are pins that belonged to Megan, my dear mother and some of my own. A few from her favorite aunt and cousin are on their way to join this collection. The bouquet is anchored in a Victorian style silver tussie mussie that has a charmed engraved with the couples monogram hanging from it. Won't this be a special remembrance of her wedding?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Pumpkin Time!!!


Pumpkin Pie Sign Board
A new design from Terrye French


I have noticed that the fruit stands and markets have begun to put out their pumpkins. I love all the colors, shapes and sizes that they come in. The miniature Baby Boos and Jack Be Littles will be placed on my mantle along with the larger Happy Jacks and Aspens.





I feel like Charlie Brown searching for the "Great Pumpkin" when I peruse the selections at each of my favorite stops. My all time favorite is the lovely white Lumina --- What a beauty!!!

I would like to share a recipe for delicious pumpkin muffins with you. They are so tasty and perfect for a wonderful treat, not only during the autumn season, but also throughout the entire year. Enjoy one soon with a cup of tea or coffee!




Pumpkin Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice)
  • 1.25 cups plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


Equipment: 12 foil or paper muffin liners; a muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups


Directions: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven toe 350F. Put liners in muffin cups. Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin-pie spice, 1.25 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about 3/4 full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Halloween Celebration at Old Farmhouse Gathering

It is time for another celebration at the Old Farmhouse Gathering Team on Etsy. Everyone is stitching, painting and creating away in their studios in anticipation of the debut on September 5. Here is a sneak peek at what I will list in the celebration:


I used a Terrye French design to paint on this long, narrow bread board. I love everything about this guy from his blue button eyes to the little hoot owl nesting in the brim of his hat.

The bottom of a vintage cafe coffee pot has been transformed into a pumpkin house with a few strokes of my paintbrushes. It came to me without a lid so I made a witch's hat from a papier mache cone and wood. I think it adds a bit of whimsy to this piece.

I have had a pattern for a kitty cat doll and her baby for a long, long time so I decided that now would be a good time to make her and dress her up for trick-or-treating. She wears a witch's hat, also made from papier mache and wood, and carries a pumpkin bucket that I made from a little gourd. Her doll is going to accompany her on her Hallow's Eve jaunt.

Finally, here is a vintage ice cream scoop that I have paint with a jolly jack theme. He is wearing his mask and is ready to say "boo" to whoever comes his way!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Witch's Pull Toy ... a new design for Hallow's Eve!


I have been thinking about this design for a long time. I finally decided to create this fun piece and I had a great time doing it. Can't you imagine a little witch pulling this hat topped boot around? I used lots of different embellishments including tea-stained cheese cloth, rusty bells and a star, a papier mache and wood hat, and linen string.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweet News!


He felt now that he was not simply close to her,
but that he did not know where he ended and she began.
~Leo Tolstoy


Our beautiful daughter became engaged to a wonderful guy yesterday. Megan, as many of you know, is the light of our lives. She is such a fabulous young lady and all that parents could ever hope for in a child (and more!). She is a registered dietitian and works in Birmingham, Alabama. Kendall has degrees from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. He is presently at Auburn University where he received his Ph.D. They are the perfect couple! I wish them all the happiness and love that Sherrill and I have had in our years together. What more could a mother ask than for her daughter to be happy and in love with her best friend? I love you my darling child, more than you can ever know!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Painted Shed



Please take a moment to go peek at this shop, http://www.etsy.com/shop/paintedshed ! Steph, of The Painted Shed, and I have been friends for a long time. Although we have never met in person, we "talk" often through IM's and emails. She is such a talented artist and her work is of the highest quality. Not only is she a master engraver, she is a fabulous painter. Steph lives in Texas with her two devoted companions, her cat and dog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Autumn..... My favorite season!

I have been painting in the colors of autumn for several weeks now. I am pretending that it is cool and crisp outside and that fall is in the air. All of my favorite "life changing events" happened in Autumn. I met my darling husband and we got married in the fall (After 31 years we are still holding hands!). Two years later my precious daughter was born, also on a golden fall day. So, I have a special place in my heart for this season. Painting pumpkins, harvest moons, fall leaves and smoke coming out of chimneys has me thinking of baking bread and making homemade soup. I will have to wait a bit for that .... it is still bumping 100 degrees everyday and definitely not soup weather!

Here are a few of my latest creations. Maybe they will put you in the "pumpkin muffin and corn chowder" mood! The tin plate has a night scene painted on a pumpkin. This is an original that I have done several variations of. I love the way this one turned out, especially when it is laced with a homespun ribbon.

The bread board is painted with a John Sliney design. Don't you just love the big fluffy sheep perched on the pumpkins? Finally, here is an old lantern I painted with my Harvest Moon pattern. I gave the lantern a rusty look using cinnamon and black paint.










Saturday, August 7, 2010


Spending a Week in Paradise

The one who knows the blessings and support of a family lacks nothing...
Our Family is like a patchwork quilt
With kindness gently sewn
Each piece an original
With beauty all its own.
With threads of warmth and happiness
It's lightly stitched together
To last with love throughout the years
Our family is forever.


What could be a better way to spend a week than on sugar sands in Florida, basking in the sun by day and sharing a bottle of wine with dear family at sunset each night. That is exactly what I did when my family joined with my brother's on Sunnyside Beach on the Gulf Coast. The beach was pristine --- not a drop of oil from the dreadful spill in May was to be found. We are already counting the days until we can meet again.

I closed my blog about a month ago. Little did I know how many e-mails and convos (through my Etsy shop) I would receive. I have decided to try to be more diligent about posting and open my little blog up again. I ask you to bear with me as I sometimes go days and even weeks without a peep! I get so busy painting in my little studio that the hours pass before I know it. I promise to do better. Thanks to everyone who took the time to send notes. I appreciate all your kind words!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010



In Memorium
Have you ever looked, really looked, at a soldier's face?
Sometimes it's young, barely an adult the
hopes of youth still painted in its features.
Sometimes it's old older than faith,
older than wisdom, older than time.
And sometimes...sometimes it's a bit of both all at once.

Sometimes it's gritty and pained, remembering the face of another who has fallen.
Sometimes it's laughing, pleased to have a moment of peace.
Most of the time it's proud because it knows,
oh yes it knows, the world is a different place a better place because of it.

Next time you look at a soldier's face, see if you can find that glint of pride.
Sometimes it’s hidden, and you have to search it out. You'll find it in the eyes always
in the eyes. For the eyes are indeed the windows to the soul, even a soldier's soul.

And when you've carefully examined every feature of that soldier's face, stand up
straight and tall and smile your best smile. Thank that soldier, because it does what
some cannot or will not. It defends what it believes to be right with it's very life.

But more important, it defends a perfect stranger, you.
And when you see a flag covered casket, stand in memorium of all the soldier's faces
you've examined. For when one of them falls, they all fall.
And when one of them stands,
they all stand.
Shouldn't we stand with them?


Lilian Leader
June 2, 2006

Weighing In!

I love painting on "delicious surfaces"! I spend hours searching through antique shops looking for appealing and unusual pieces that will become perfectly prim folk art works. Some of my favorites are old scales. Here are a few that I have painted lately.

The first features a laying hen on her nest of colorful primitive eggs. She is a Terrye French design. She now resides in Ohio with my friend, Linda, who is a collector extraordinaire.
Another chicken is featured on this vintage scale (also a TF design). She is painted to look like old muslin. Terrye is a folk artist who lives in Oklahoma and creates the most delightful patterns ever!

Here is one of her latest designs painted on a scale for my collector friend, Shirlee. This scale was in fabulous condition considering its age. Shirlee reports that it is living happily with her vast array of prim collectibles.
Finally, I found this rusty old scale at a recent tag sale. It require a lot of preparation before transforming it into a piece of Americana folk art. It is going to live with my artist friend MommaB (Vickie) in her home that is filled with all sorts of treasures.

For more of Terrye's exciting work, please visit her site... http://www.thepaintedpearbasket.com/












Welcome Summer!

We have just returned from a fabulous mini-vacation to beautiful Seaside, Florida. The water was crystal clear and the weather was picture perfect. We walked to Modica's Market ( http://tinyurl.com/2enuvwk) every morning to get our first cup of coffee. I don't think there could be a better way to start each day than to walk along the beach just after sunrise and see the early morning fishermen and the little crabs scurrying along the sand. If you have never been to Seaside, I urge you to put it on your "list of places to go"!

We read about the Saltwater Grill (http://www.saltwatergrillpcb.com/) in the latest copy of Southern Living Magazine and decided to give it a try. I high recommend the crab cake Napoleon if you get a chance to go there. It was an unbelievable combination of tasty ingredients and just delightful!!! There is a huge aquarium inside with a beautiful array of saltwater fish. We also ate at Boondocks ( http://tinyurl.com/2egjnew) where we had some of the best scallops and shrimp that we have ever eaten.

We have returned to Alabama tanned and completely rested from our short stay in Paradise! There is nothing more relaxing to us than being on the sugar sands of the Gulf Coast!

















Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting for Spring

I am longing for springtime and the time when I can get in the garden and start digging. Meanwhile, it is still cold and wintry here. The chilly temperatures aren't keeping me from doing some spring painting however and I want to share a few pieces with you.

The first is a door crown that is a Terrye French Design. My dear friend, Diane, who lives in England is the new owner and I know it will look lovely in her home. We exchange notes about the comings and goings in our lives. Her writings of trips to Sweden and working in her cottage garden just sweep me away!


I have another friend, Linda, who is suffering through the long winter as I am. Living to the north, she is receiving more than her share of snow and frosty temperatures. We both talk of how spring is surely around the corner and how we are waiting impatiently for its arrival. She recently purchased this "springy" prim bread board. Don't you just love the black bunny and the little robin's nest with its blue eggs?
Wendy, who lives in Japan, is getting her share of snow too. I hope this prim sheep skillet will give her a glimpse of springtime. We have become fast friends through our convos on Etsy. What a dear she is!


Snow is in the forecast for today so my beloved pup, Suki, and I will stay inside my warm little studio. I tell her to be patient but she wants a warmer, sunnier day. Hugs go out to all of you from the both of us!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day Dear Friends

On Valentine's Day we think of those
Who make our lives worthwhile,
Those gracious, friendly people who
We think of with a smile.
I am fortunate to know you,
That's why I want to say,
To all you special people:
Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's hoping that you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!!

XXXOOO Martha


Old Hares

I have been most neglectful of my blog and my dear blogging friends for the past two months. Painting has taken up most of my time since the new year has begun and I spend hours in my little studio painting on what one of my artist friends describes as "the most delicious surfaces"! I couldn't state it better myself... I have been fortunate to find an abundance of tea kettles, old spoons and various and sundry other treasures to paint upon. Weary of winter and waiting for spring, I have focused on rabbits lately. I found this old bellows on a recent hunt. A springtime scene painted on this old hare was the perfect fit for this unique piece. The birdhouse is just waiting for a new family to take up residence.

Another bunny has been painted on this vintage cheese box. The still life scene has turned out to be one of my new favorites.

I love old watering cans. This vintage model is extremely large
and has seen a lifetime of service. I decided that a penny rug rabbit would be the perfect design for it. I will be so glad when warmer weather returns to Dixie. My dearest and I will once again go on our Saturday day trips to find all sorts of "jewels" in the rough just waiting to be transformed into prim treasures.