Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

I took this photo just as the moon would have been coming up today. We couldn't see it for the fog, though. Wishing you and yours a blessed and wonderful New Year. We could all use a blessed one now, couldn't we? Cheers, my friends.

Just a little bird

Female cardinal
Taken from my kitchen window late this afternoon, hence the blur. She's pretty, though. A couple of textures added: an older one from Ghostbones and a newer one from SkeletalMess (formerly Ghostbones) at Shadow House Creations. There is a cornucopia of textures at this site, so check it out.
Hope your New Year is a good one, all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The lamp is burning low upon my table top

Holiday decor

The lamp is burning low upon my table top
The snow is softly falling
The air is still within the silence of my room
I hear your voice softly calling.

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two

I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
On this winter's night with you.

Music and lyrics by Gordon Lightfoot
Sung by Sarah McLachlan

To listen to this song, {click here}.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The apple pie that wins hearts

Homemade Apple Pie
Someone was cranky today. I won't name names but decided to cheer that someone up with one of their favorite desserts. This homemade apple pie is really wonderful, people. It's simple and perfect, and easy to prepare. The recipe is from Farm Journal's Country Cookbook (Doubleday & Co., Inc. 1959, reprinted 1972) and I highly recommend this pie.


A pie that lives up to its name ~ it's one of our best
Pastry for 2-crust pie
6 large tart apples
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. butter
Peel and quarter apples into saucepan (cut each quarter into about 4 slices). Add 1/4 cup cold water; simmer just until tender, about 5 minutes (do not overcook). Cool.
Fill pastry-lined 9" pie pan with cooled apples.
Combine remaining ingredients, except butter; sprinkle over apples; dot with butter. Moisten edges of undercrust.
Adjust top crust; cut 6 chevron vents; flute edges.
Bake in very hot oven (450 deg)10 minutes; reduce heat to moderate (350 deg) and bake 45 minutes longer.


I use an old family recipe for the pie crust. And if you must know, it's Betty Crocker pie crust mix. Just add water and roll. And I always put a heart in the middle. It's a symbol of how much I love to cook.
Apologies to all who are planning on dieting for the New Year. I just had to share this.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekly dose of George

Weekly dose of George
Somebody's been digging. Probably in an old groundhog hole. Good job, George.
Contest still going on at my other blog.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Little brown wren

Little brown wren

This little fella flew into our mudroom on Christmas morning. I choose to think it is a good sign. He moved remarkably fast but I managed to get a photo of him clinging to the wall.
You know, it's funny. With Christmas over, I was feeling a tad bit bereft of happiness. (I actually speak this way in real life, so don't get all jumpy).
So here I was feeling this way and thought I'd just go on up to bed. Then I remembered I had yet to post for today and began to look through my holiday photos which made me smile, as did this little bird. AND . . . The Bishop's Wife just started. I think I will stay up for awhile. Not so bereft anymore.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday traditions

Christmas Cracker
This is my Christmas cracker from dinner last night. Inside was a joke, a plastic toy and a silver paper hat. We wear the hats during dinner. And we tell the jokes, which are not at all good. My favorite joke this year (and this proves how bad they are): "What is a frog's favorite drink?" Answer: Croak-a-Cola. So, yeah.
My husband's family is from Great Britain and the tradition of the Christmas crackers at dinnertime is one of my favorites. My least favorite is the figgy pudding. Oh, I love the lighting of it, but the taste? It must be an acquired taste. I have yet to acquire it, however.
I love Christmas at my in-laws. This year, however, we left before charades.
Giveaway over at my other blog today! Come celebrate my two-year anniversary at blogging.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I love wrapping presents

Christmas present
I couldn't stay away, could I? I love wrapping gifts and this is one that I'm taking to my in-laws tomorrow where we play the Dirty Santa game. If you want to play, you bring a gift worth $25. All the gifts go into a pile and you count them. You then take slips of paper and number them, then put them into a bowl. Everyone who has brought a gift now chooses a number. Number one goes first and they choose a gift from the pile. Then it's number two's turn. They can either choose the already opened gift from number one, or choose another. It goes on this way until the last person goes. There are rules to follow, like not choosing your own gift until it's opened, and that a gift can be stolen no more than three times, and maybe there's another rule too but I forget. It's fun and now the grown children are participating, which makes it all the more interesting.
I want to thank you all for visiting me here on my Picture A Day site. I love reading your comments and sharing my photography with you. Have a beautiful holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpecker
This industrious little woodpecker looks almost identical to the Hairy Woodpecker, but is smaller and has a smaller bill. They love the suet block we have hanging on the dogwood tree. Photo by my husband.
I will be taking a few days off to spend with my family and friends and will post when I can. Until then . . . Happy Holidays to everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our next holiday card

Snowing at the manor house
I almost began this post with an apology for all the snow pictures I've posted. (There are two slide shows at my other blog). And then I thought, I can do what I want. No need for apologies.
One commenter told me that I should use this as next year's holiday card after seeing a portion of it in the mosaic (post below). It was snowing like mad and the wind was blowing it onto my face, stinging my skin. George looks happy, though.
I used an action from Kevin Kubota that I've never even noticed in my set before. It's a creative effect called Kubota Light GlowSoft Highlights. It gives the background of the photo a slight gaussian blur, lending an almost-dreamy look.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mosaic Monday: White Christmas

Mosaic Monday: White Christmas
I didn't think I'd have time for MM this week, but here's my offering for what it's worth. We had 17 inches of snow on Saturday, setting a new record for December. In fact, we had more snow in one day than what we usually accumulate in the entire month of December.
We're still snowed in here but we've got power and are quite comfortable. For other offerings of beautiful mosaics from all over the world, please visit my friend, Mary at {Little Red House}.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Red-winged blackbirds in snow

Red-winged blackbirds during snowstorm
This is not a remarkable photo as far as I'm concerned. But I like it. A little. I'm taking a cleaning break and trying to get some photos ready to post on the other blog.
D Sharon Pruitt texture applied.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

La porte rouge

La porte rouge
I love doorways and this is one I found absolutely striking. Taken from the car window in New York City, August 2008. That beautiful stone work is mesmerizing. Skeletalmess texture applied.
Interested in a giveaway? Shhh. Don't tell. It's going on at my other place.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O, Sycamore

O, Sycamore
Just breezing through my old photo files and found this under Holiday 2007. I love sycamores in the wintertime.
I used Florabella's vintage summer as well as Florabella's nostalgia texture on this shot and love the color of the sky.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Give me something good to eat

I love this salad
Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to work in a school (in the main office no less) and have parents bringing in holiday treats on a regular basis. As scrumptious and tempting as their offerings are, a girl really needs to watch her figger ya know. So when a parent stopped by today with a big bowl of fruit, I could have kissed her. And now I am craving this little number.
I found this recipe at The Noble Pig, and it quickly became one of my all-time favorites. I posted about it on my other blog last January.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Morning in Maryland

Morning in Maryland
This morning, as I was packing my lunch, I happened to glance at the scene unfolding through my kitchen window. And sometimes stopping everything and grabbing the camera is just the right thing to do.
Hope you have a beautiful day. Glad you stopped by to visit.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday mantle

Holiday mantle

Trying to get into the spirit, I did a little holiday decorating today. The lights help.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowy night

Snowy night

The night before we had the bad weather this week, the skies were this lovely shade of blue/gray. Then I found this SkeletalMess texture over at Shadowhouse Creations [link] and suddenly, I knew what photo I wanted to use it on. This one. And I just think it looks cool.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weekly dose of George

Weekly dose of George

Taken by my husband last February, George sits on the back patio after a game of frisbee. He's probably wondering if that was a squirrel he just saw. He has that look about him.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot

It's beginning to look a lot
Like winter. And Christmas. I took this photo this evening, wanting to capture the lights my husband strung on the widow's walk. I love having them to greet me when I come up the driveway after a long day. Two textures applied, to help with the fact that the photo is rather on the fuzzy side: Skeletalmess' Arctic Chill [link] as well as a snowflake texture by D Sharon Pruitt on Flickr [link]. Sorry, they're not real. But that is real snow on the roof and the ground.
Big storm a-comin' from the west. Take care with that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I love a good beach

Connecticut beach

Taken at Sherwood Island State Park, Westport CT. Florabella's vintage wine @ 35% opacity. Yum.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Time after time

Time after time

I loved Cyndi Lauper when she first burst onto the music scene. She was such a hoot.
[30 sec listen]
I guess I'm in a 1984 frame of mind.
I shot the clock in a nearby town and added two textures, after converting to sepia: Florabella's platinum and SkeletalMess' Old Film TV.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Every time I think of you

Vintage pansies

Every time I think of you,

I always catch my breath
And I'm still standing here, and you're miles away
And I'm wonderin' why you left
And there's a storm that's raging through my frozen heart tonight
I ain't missing you at all.

I always liked this tune. Liked it even more when John Waite, who wrote and recorded it in 1984, re-recorded it with Alison Krauss in 2007. Here's the video [link].

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Your weekly dose of George

Weekly George: Naptime
Napping on the couch, probably after a rousing game of fetch. Or frisbee. George has it made.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red berries and old birdhouse

Red berries and birdhouse
All the leaves have gone, and the berries remain. It was a deliciously beautiful day in Maryland this past Sunday. And life was good.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mosaic Monday: Window Shopping

Mosaic Monday: Window Shopping
Window shopping at antique shops along the main street in Chesapeake City, Maryland. L to R: A vintage candy box; butterfly canvas; silver Christmas tree ornaments; a child's antique safe.
To view many more mosaic offerings, visit my friend Mary at Little Red House.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

Some enchanted evening
The evening light was delicious today. I went outside with the 50mm lens as the sun was setting and framed this shot.
My mother loved show tunes and the title of this post is a title to a song from one of her favorite musicals, "South Pacific".
Dlyn's 'Rusty Paint' texture applied, 22% opacity on soft light.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving morning

Thanksgiving morning
I took the camera upstairs this morning to get some photos of the rain on the dogwood tree out the bedroom window. It was warm enough to open the window on this misty Thanksgiving morning and I set my coffee cup down on the sill as I sat on the bed and adjusted the camera.
And then I decided I liked how this looked. I'm just excited to have the window open in late November, I guess.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The beauty of the rain

The beauty of the rain
Too much rain is never good. But just enough can be wonderful. Raindrops look like twinkle lights on the bare branches of this tree, taken in November 2008.
To all of my readers in the States, have a wonderful Thanksgiving today. And to all from other countries, thanks again for making the journey over here. Good to see you all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Along the waterline

Taken in January at Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge, outside of Rock Hall Maryland. The shoreline erosion is amazing here along the Chesapeake Bay.
I know it's a little dark, but it's just something different. SkeletalMess' Old Film TTVtexture is available [here] at Shadowhouse Creations.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night

It was a dark and stormy night

And something wicked this way comes.
I think I just scared myself.
SkeletalMess textures.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mosaic Monday: Family

Mosaic Monday: Family

Another in my Mosaic Monday series, sponsored by my blogging friend Mary at Little Red House.
I am so grateful for family, not only for own birth family but my husband's as well. I've known them for over 30 years and hopefully will see all of them on Thanksgiving. I love this holiday.

From LtoR: My husband's mother; his sister; his brother (and wife); his father. All photos were processed using Kevin Kubota's B&W actions, mostly Chocolate Syrup.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In the yard

Our yard

My husband took this yesterday in the side yard. George had been catching frisbees and was taking a well-deserved break from the action. And speaking of actions, this photo has the following: Florabella's Vintage Wine @74% opacity; MCP's Burnt Edges I @30% opacity.
Today I'm planning on getting the ingredients for (and choosing) my Thanksgiving dishes that I will be bringing to the family gathering. What are your plans for the day?

Friday, November 20, 2009

O, sycamore

O Sycamore

I am sitting here watching Survivor, the real Survivor, and Russell (that little shit) has just found yet another immunity idol. Although I really do not like Russell, I do admire his tenacity. But that's about it.
I admire sycamore trees, too. Their beautiful bark adds interest in the fall and winter. They are one of my favorite trees.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vintage birdhouse

Vintage birdhouse

I found this on the camera disk today. I still enjoy seeing things through my husband's eyes. Promise not to tell him that I deleted 60 pictures, ok?
They were all of frisbees flying and a blurry dog catching them. I think he'd forgive me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tiny dancer

Dancing leaves

I love the shape of the leaf to the right center. Florabella's Retro Vintage action @90%; Florabella's Patina (cool) overlay @17%; SkeletalMess' Tone Texture-9 overlay @46%. Photo by husband, who didn't think it was all that and a bag of chips (like I did).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekly dose of George

I see squirrels

Taken by my husband this afternoon, we have George looking up. This is something he does a lot due to the large squirrel population on the property.
I want to tell you that before I left for work this morning, my husband came inside to tell me that he hadn't seen George for awhile. By the time I got out to the car, George had returned home and was covered from the top of his head to the end of his tail, in something putrid that he had rolled in. Needless to say, a bath was planned. And when I got home today, I was greeted by the wonderfully good-smelling dog that you see above.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mosaic Monday: Historic Hopewell Village

Mosaic Monday: Historic Hopewell Furnace

Welcome to my offering for this week's Mosaic Monday, hosted by my friend Mary at Little Red House.
This is a sampling (and a sneak preview) of my visit to Hopewell Village, a national historic site in Chester County, PA. Hopewell Furnace was in operation from 1771 until 1883. The old Iron master's Home was used by descendants of the Brooke family, the last owners of the furnace until about 1035 when it was sold to the federal government. The village consists of the furnace, a large barn, springhouse, company store, blacksmith shop and several tenant homes, all of which are open to the public. We hiked in from French Creek Park, and I posted about the hike on my other blog today [link].

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Used vehicle lot, Lancaster County PA

Used vehicle lot, Lancaster County PA
This caught my eye while driving in Lancaster County last month. Shot through the car window and processed using the following:
Pioneer Woman's Vintage @ 50%, then her Fresh & Colorful. Two textures applied (both from Flypaper): Caramel Soft, hard light @ 23% and Tarte Tatin, soft light @ 78%. MCP's Burnt Edges I @ 23% overall.
Hope your Saturday is a good one, all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All the leaves are brown

All the leaves are brown

I took this photo last year, and this year processed it with Vintage Wine, a new action offered by Florabella. If you're into digital photography and you enjoy processing your photos using Photoshop, you must visit Shana Rae at Florabella.
The weather here is wicked. It's still raining and the wind is howling. I'm nice and dry inside and enjoying some fine coffee. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving table for two, please

Thanksgiving table for two
I've been thinking of Thanksgiving and have decided it's one of my favorite holidays, if not the favorite. There's lots of good food for one. And no presents to buy! And I always love a good excuse to see loved ones.
Last year, we spent the holiday alone because it was what had to be. But this year, I'm looking forward to seeing family. And especially my sons. Do you have any plans yet?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Esplanade in Sweet Vintage

Esplanade at Riverside Park

I've posted this before [here] but today am showing you what it looks like using a new action I just purchased from Florabella. It's called Sweet Vintage and it's included in the Vintage set.

From Wikipedia: Riverside Park is a scenic waterfront public park on the Upper West Side in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It consists of a narrow four-mile strip of land between the Hudson River and the gently curving Riverside Drive. When the park was first laid out, access to the river was blocked by the right-of-way of the NY Central Railroad West Side Line. Later it was covered over with an esplande lined with honey locust trees.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pumpkin swirl

Pumpkins and swirls
Sounds like a dessert, doesn't that post title?
This picture caught my eye over the weekend while I was outside in the yard. I loved how the shadows of the railing were playing on the pumpkins.
Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my mosaic yesterday.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mosaic Monday: Pictures in my house

Mosaic Monday: Pictures in frames

I just wanted to do something different this week. So I went around and took pictures of some of the photos I have in frames.
For more mosaics, visit my friend Mary at Little Red House.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Favorite things: New rug

Favorite things: My rug from Crazy as a Loom
I bought this rug a few weeks ago from blogging friend, Hilary at Crazy As A Loom Weaving Studio. I tried it in a couple of places in the house before it settled in this place, which was chosen by my husband. The description of the colors was 'forest floor', which was one of the reasons I chose it. I love the colors. And it's super soft.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cricket on the hearth

Cricket on the hearth

One day a couple of weeks ago, I went to the front door and looked out. We have a little broom that sits by the door on the porch out here and sitting on the top of the broom handle was this little cricket.
So I did what anyone with a camera would do, then opened it up in Photoshop and added Pioneer Woman's seventies action. I think because I was feeling groovy at the time.
I love feeling groovy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bittersweet in the windowsill

Bittersweet in the windowsill
Yesterday I put some bittersweet vine in a vase and set it on the windowsill in the kitchen. The afternoon light was coming in and it caught my eye as I walked by it today.
I applied two textures, one I don't remember the name of and one from Joy St. Claire.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I love grapefruit

Grapefruit wedges
Call me crazy but here I am posting this lovely healthy grapefruit on my Picture A Day Blog while I have a decadent dessert on my Chronicles blog. I usually do a Mosaic Monday here but am on a self-imposed exile from it due to the fact that I didn't visit a single other blog last week who participated in MM. Very rude of me, I know. Usually, at the very least, I visit the blogs of those who come to visit mine for Mosaic Monday. And this time I didn't even do that.
Hence the exile. And I will console myself with grapefruit.
Oh, hell. You know I am lying. I will console myself with Apple Cheese Crisp. The recipe link is on my other blog today.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pirate Pumpkin

Pirate pumpkin
These are the little pumpkins that grew from seeds thrown behind a bush at the front of the house. We have six pumpkins and my husband carved some of them.
It was raining and one of the corn stalk leaves was blowing, making this little jack-o-lantern look like a pirate to me. Note the pumpkin on the left. My husband carved George's name into it!
Happy Halloween, all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekly dose of George

Weekly dose of George
I'm not sure what this look is. It would be funny to hear your suggestions for a name for this photo, however. Want to give it a whirl?