Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tombstone Angel

One of my on-going goals is to reduce my stash: fabric, wool and linen.  

After my recent visit to one of the old Franklin cemeteries

and some browsing on Pinterest

my next stash reduction project is going to be a hooked rug--tombstone angel.  She should be great fun for next Halloween.  Hope I have started in time to get her hooked by then!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tennessee Treasures

AppleJack and I visited the Governor's home on December 6.  The home and decorations were lovely.  As an added bonus, Conservation Hall which is adjacent to the home was also open and decorated.  A section of Conservation Hall showcases Tennessee craftsmen.  Below are examples of their work.

When I first saw these, I thought they were shells in a bowl.  Upon closer examination I realized they are tiny pottery bowls.  Some of the bowls were as big as a quarter some were as small as a dime.  They were amazing!

Cannon County Tennessee is famous for their white oak baskets.  To make a good basket, you need good wood.  It often takes several hours to select the correct white oak tree for the ribs of the basket.  After the tree has been selected it is cut down and split using an axe, wedge and a maul.  The basket making process is done entirely by hand using a few simple tools:  a knife, a fro and a maul.  The tree is processed into the basis of the basket:  ribs, splints and handle.  It takes several hours to make a good basket by best estimates twenty or more hours depending on the size and complexity.  Residents of Cannon County started making these baskets during the depression and used them for every day purposes:  eggs, market, cotton.  These baskets are highly prized and are a true work of art.

Andy Roderick, a 62 year old diorama artist  lives life on a small scale.  He has built about 60 dioramas in 1:18 scale. His dioramas sell for $200-$3,000 and can take anywhere from one day to 200 hours to complete.  He considers his masterpiece to be an abandoned filling station from Route 66.  No detail in his replicas is overlooked.

Some people see junk and trash, others see art.  The flag was made from the copper gutters of the mansion.  The governor's home was renovated in 2010 and the governor's wife saved the gutters and had them made into this flag.  The boat was made from a tree which had fallen during a thunder storm. 

Oh to be gifted with such talent!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Colonial Gatherings Ornaments

Colonial Gatherings
Kit #5

Oh boy, that bird stitched with that fiber is going to pop when stitched on that linen!  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Remember Hannah

Of course, you remember Hannah.  She is one of the lovely Liberty Hill painted boxes. 

It was a difficult choice on stitching Hannah's sampler in black or red.  I finally decided on the black--it's Glorianna Indigo.

I wanted to keep Hannah's sampler with her sewing box and decided to do a hem stitch.  The finished sampler is 5 x 5.5   Hannah looks like she is being tortured--she's not.  The clips are holding the linen in place while I complete the hemstitch.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Motifs and Borders

While enroute to a new to me shop on Saturday, I made a visit to one of Franklin's older cemeteries.  This fence caught my eye--I thought it had some wonderful elements for a border or motifs in a sampler.

Maybe a tombstone angel sampler someday?

Interesting Ionic column

Old cemeteries, kinda sad, sometimes neglected but full of artistic elements.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

882 Curtiswood Lane

Today we went to Bill and Crissy's house to look at their decorations.  Who are Bill and Crissy you ask, they are the governor and first lady of Tennessee.  They have no idea who we are.

The theme for this year was Tennessee landscapes  show casting  Tennessee's fifty-six (56) State Parks.  Some stats on the parks:  200,000 acres, 2,100 campsites, 1,000 miles of hiking trails and host to more than 35 million visitors each year.  In Tennessee there is a state park within an hour's drive of just about anywhere in the state.

This tree (which I thought was a little weird) represents the water basins in Middle Tennessee.  Middle Tennessee is one of the most cave rich areas in America.  National Geographic hailed the Duck River, one of the many rivers in Tennessee as one of four most biologically diverse rivers in the world.  

These acorns were made from yard and pine cones--very cool.

The skirt of this dress was made from willow branches.  

The parks are full of wild life and the Haslam's home was also full of wild life.


Wild turkeys

Davy Crockett left his coon skin hat behind.

I was all into nature and appreciating the natural beauty of the state until I came across the tree using shed snake skin as garland.  Yikes!  Needless to say, being super afraid of snakes, I was out of there.

My favorite tree was the one decorated with corn shuck angels made by area school children.

This year, three of the four Haslam grandchildren were born.  Mrs Haslam asked for four small trees to be decorated and placed under the grand stairwell.  The taller tree is for their oldest grandson, the pink tree is for their grand daughter and the two smaller blue and green trees are for the two grandsons born this year.  The sentimental part of me thought this was a very special touch by a Grandmother for her grandchildren.

Thanks for the tour!  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Breakfast Casseroles

From November through March AppleJack and I participate in Room In the Inn.  The Room in the Inn program in Nashville started in 1986 when people from four different churches began to provide shelter and food for the homeless.  The four participating churches grew to more than 180 churches and more than 6,000 volunteers! 

Each Friday evening/Saturday morning AppleJack picks up fourteen men at the Campus for Human Development and drives them to and from church.  A delicious meal is waiting for them, a hot shower, and a warm safe bed.  In the morning they are served breakfast and given a sack lunch before they are returned to the Campus.  As my schedule allows--I sometimes prepare breakfast. 

Speedy Breakfast Casserole

4 to 6 hash brown patties, slightly thawed
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of cooked crumbled sausage or cooked diced ham
1 tablespoon of finely diced yellow onion
2 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 cups of milk
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.  Remove the hash brown patties from the freezer to allow them to begin to thaw, while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.  If using raw sausage and bacon, cook both until browned.  chop up the bacon and set aide.  Layer the baking dish starting with the hash brown patties.  On top of that, add the shredded cheese, then the sausage onion and bacon.  Beat together the milk, eggs, Cajun seasoning salt and pepper and slowly pour over the entire dish.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to one hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to set about 5 minutes before slicing.  Double for a 9 x 13 inch casserole. 

As there are fourteen men plus the Room in the Inn volunteers, I usually make two double the recipe casseroles.  This is a hearty stick to your ribs kind of dish.  A very speedy recipe and while it is baking, I stitch, hook, quilt or read--great early morning quiet time.   

While looking for a good, quick, easy, hearty, delicious breakfast recipe, I easily found dozens.  I'm always on the lookout for recipes so. . . if you have a good breakfast recipe for Christmas morning now would be a great time to share.