"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Homemade Italian Wedding Soup - Quick & Easy!

Knowing how good this tastes, it makes me sad that Ted finished up the last of it last night!   Easy to make and because I used turkey instead of beef for the meatballs, it's also a very healthy meal. 
Ingredients for soup:  1 onion (chopped), 1/2 bag petite carrots (chopped), 2 celery stalks (chopped), 1 clove garlic (minced), 1 TBS Olive Oil, 8 cups chicken stock, 1 bag (6 oz.) baby spinach (chopped), 3/4 cup small pasta (I use Orzo) pepper to taste (I do not use salt to taste.  The chicken stock has plenty of sodium and I don't find it necessary to add salt).
Ingredients for the meatballs:  1 lb ground turkey, 1 tsp. grated onion, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1 TBS. Parsley, 2 TBS. bread crumbs, pepper to taste, 1 egg, 1 TBS milk, 3 TBS. grated Parmiggiano Reggiano (do yourself a favor and use FRESH cheese.  The difference in taste is amazing). 

1)  In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the meatballs. Roll up 1 inch balls and set aside.

2)  In a large pot, cook the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.   Season with pepper.

3)  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4)  Add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes.

5)  Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.  Orzo takes 9 minutes.

6)  About 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the spinach and cook another minute.  (My spinach is very finely chopped with a food processor.  If yours is chopped bigger, you may want it to cook a little longer).

7)  Season with pepper to taste.  I also grated some more Parmiggiano Reggiano on top for just a little bit more zing. 

Serve this with thick Italian or French bread and enjoy!!   Tastes just as good the next day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On a Cold, Wet, Rainy Day.....

While taking a break from cleaning, I decided to go through some of my storage boxes to see what the heck I've got in them!   That's when I discovered some old prayer cards.
I found some old post cards too.  One dates back to the 1930s.  Unfortunately, most don't have dates on them. 

Some prayer cards are for those who passed, other are prayers for special requests.

These two are from Poland.

This is also a postcard, printed in Switzerland. 

Many of these cards honor Mary, the Blessed Mother.

It's the Catholic belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by meditating on her tears and dolors (sorrows).  Hey - think that's why my Mom had seven kids?!   See that?  Better watch what you pray for! 

There are also saints, angels, and the Holy Family often displayed on prayer cards.

It just occurred to me that these are like smaller versions of ATCs!  (Artist Trading Cards).  They're tiny little works of art, detailed and beautiful.

I've got an old statue of St. Patrick that I've been considering repainting.  I already touched up his chipped chalkware and painted him white.  He looks good just a basic white, but these old prints are very influential in wanting me to paint him.

On Memorial Day weekend, we couldn't help but think of all the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country.  Then I see this picture of Jesus and am reminded how He gave His life for everybody. 

Anyone wanting to use these images is more than welcome!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Honoring the Brave


Friday, May 24, 2013

Found a New Antique Shop!

It's a good hour away, but well worth the drive.

Mary's birthday was coming up so Ted took a day off work to drive here and find her something special.

We had been here just a couple weeks before and Mary picked out 2 different things she liked.  We waited until she was in school so we could drive here ourselves and surprise her.  And considering how little time Ted and I get together, those few short hours felt like a mini vacation.

It's HUGE!   Located in Allentown,  PA and is called Black Rose Antiques.

Of course, I always gravitate towards vintage holiday decorations.

This antique shop is located inside a mall and is the size of I think two warehouses.  Lots to choose from.....but if you're looking to buy and resell, don't bother.  The prices are very competitive and on the higher side.   But, if you're looking for something special, this is just the place.

Isn't this cute?  The 1950s version of an i-phone...ipod?  Whatever it is people have now-a-days.  

A cute graphic for all you paper lovers out there!

I mean, really.  How cute were people back then?!   All that innocence I would have loved to raise my kids in.

OK.  I took this for my own benefit.  It brought back memories.

I thought of Diane from Saturdayfinds when I took this pic.  She always seems to love little lambs.

And as I wanted to take even more pictures to demonstrate how huge this place was, the last shot I got was of Ted checking out a book.  The man can't pass up an old book!   Then the batteries ran out.

What did we wind up getting Mary?  I knew of a pretty Madame Alexander ballerina doll and Ted knew she wanted some long pink gloves. 

And our little vintage lover celebrated her mile-stone birthday in her own unique style.

Yup.  Her. Own. Unique. Style.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Here's a Few Twists

Here's a twist for journaling.  Instead of buying a new one, why not use an antique photo album?  They're thick, textured, and unique.
My old album dates back to the 1800s.   It's got a soft velvet cover and thick cardboard pages, but it's also getting very delicate.   I hated seeing it just sit there collecting dust.  That's when I had the idea to use it as an art journal.

A couple years ago I made some wall hangings that were similar.  I like the idea of having these safely tucked away in this old book.

Of course, it's a work-in-progess.  I only add a new page every couple of months.  I have to be careful and start using paper instead of fabric.  It's getting too thick already.

I created this page yesterday when I came across a saying in a 1922 hymnal, "Let me not think the price too high."  It reminded me of a soldier going off to war.

Whoops!  I hate it when pages don't rotate.  Anyhoo, you can see the last few pages of this photo album will be really interesting to try and revamp with four cut-out frames already in place.

 Here's another revamp.  I found this wooden box and it screamed to me to repaint.  You can't tell from this picture, but the yellow used is ass-ugly.  It's loud and practically screams neon.  

To my own surprise, I wound up repainting it yellow, just a much more subtle pale yellow.  The scrolling, knobs, and inside got a fresh coat of white as well.  

And for something completely different, a hand-carved Santa Claus ornament with swirls and swirls of beard.  Learning to carve the swirls was totally new to me.  It's been a long time since I picked up a knife and wanted to try something new.  I still need to paint him and add a hanger to the top.  I definitely want to make more of these just because it was fun!  

Break out the paint, it may be time to repaint St. Patrick.   

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day!