About Me

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I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Quilt Block and An Eggplant

I shared on my facebook page about getting this quilt block that my Aunt Lattie had made.  My cousin, Karla, had sent several of our family members an email ASKING if we would like a piece as a pillow or as a wall hanging and I said that I would.  This is absolutely beautiful and reflects BOTH my Aunt and my cousin wonderfully!

Karla is one of the most down to earth people that was ever born.  She is laid back and is so talented.  She and my cousin, Ron, have raised 5 BRILLIANT girls who are and will continue to be great members of society.  She taught School for several years, but because of my cousin’s job as a Civil Engineer that moves him around the country, she has focused on her family and church.  I am thankful that she was kind enough to do this for me.

Aunt Lattie was the OLD MAID of our family until she was 51!  I NOW own that distinction, but I won’t be giving up my Title like she did…LOL…She married Uncle Otto, whose wife had died and had a son that was nearly grown.  Uncle Otto was the kindest, most gentle soul that God ever placed in our life.  He spoke softly and his eyesight failed him greatly, BUT to see him sit and play the piano always touched my heart.  Aunt Lattie was blessed to have him for her husband and he was WELL worth the wait for companionship.

Miss Nellie, Uncle Otto’s Mother, came to live with them in her later years.  I LOVED to go over to their house because she LOVED me…don’t ever underestimate a child KNOWING WHEN they are loved!!  She was JUST LIKE Uncle Otto in being such a sweet, quiet and STRONG lady.  She would play the piano and I would sing…I loved those moments.  I have a cake plate that belonged to her and I cherish it!!

This sucker is HEAVY...I would say 10 lbs, but I'm probably being DRAMATIC!  It is the American Block Pattern...

Aunt Lattie and Uncle Edger had always lived together and had taken care of their Father in his later years…All four of the children FOUND the house for them to live in so that he would always have a roof over his head. 

Aunt Lattie had worked at the Woolen Mill in town that would make blankets for the war.  She LOVED to visit the local jewelry store on the square, Downey’s, to find odd-and-end treasures.  SHE had a passion for pretty pieces of glassware.  I have MANY of the pieces that she had and they are very special to me.  Mrs. Downey would call Aunt Lattie whenever she had a mismatched piece of china and often, Aunt Lattie would buy it.

Crocheting, Quilting, Sewing, and Word Search Puzzles were always a big part of my Aunt’s Life.  She made doilies~~I remember her working so hard to get them to fit on a metal ring…She was ALWAYS busy with her hands.  She was a depression-era child, so she kept EVERYTHING…When Daddy and Mother were cleaning out her house after her death, they found medicine bottles with stack of coins, separated by denomination and boxes of things you always hear about~~rubber bands, string, sugar packets AND every single piece of clothing she owned had a Kleenex that had CAREFULLY been folded into a square about 2 inches!!

When Aunt Lattie died, Aunt Polly made sure that I got a piece of Fostoria that had belonged to Aunt Lattie…My Grandmother (Mother’s mother) had given it to her because she would often take Granny to work and this was payment for her kindness…KINDNESS ALWAYS MATTERS!!!

I loved going to visit because there was always something being made and I found it funny that she watched GOLF!!  Of course, the MAIN reason I LOVED to go visit was because she had an ICE MAKER…it made one inch ROUND pieces of ice (flat on the back) and it was perfect to crunch!!  I was also fascinated that she would take the EXTRA pieces and place them in a plastic bag…EXTRA ICE…THAT NEVER happened at my house AND we had to FILL up those crazy metal ice trays AND not to mention, I was ALWAYS pinching my hand or finger in those things!  UGH…To this day, my favorite DRINK PLACE is the one with the BEST ICE and in my area, Sonic has the BEST ICE…it’s a GIRL Thing…=)

I can’t mention my Aunt without THINKING of her baby brother, my Daddy!  On Friday, I went to the Farm Stand to buy Veggies!! I got tomatoes, 2 GREEN tomatoes, squash, okra, beets, turnips, Pink-eyed peas (I had never had these, but MOTHER and DADDY were VERY picky about their PEAS!!), cucumbers (I LOVE these and so does Charcoal) and 2 eggplants.  My Daddy LOVED eggplant.  We laughed about that because he would NOT eat squash, UNLESS it was fried and he didn’t  eat “STRANGE” food as a rule…he was a Meat and ‘taters guy!  He was not a fussy eater, but he just liked what he liked and seldom EVER complained about anything that was placed before him!

On Saturday night for Supper, I had what I am referring to as the DADDY MEMORIAL PLATE.  I prepared eggplant, the pink-eyed peas and a LARGE Tomato, that was a little ripper than I liked it BECAUSE DADDY LOVED tomatoes and he wanted them RIPE!!   That eggplant was the best eggplant I have ever had. 

Eggplant is an acquired taste and is one of those things that you like OR don’t like.  Most of the time, it has a bitter taste and can almost make your mouth itch…LOL…WHICH makes it hilarious that Daddy would like something like that!  IF you can find one that has JUST been picked, it makes all the difference in the world!  I had heard on a cooking show a few months ago, that IF you soak the eggplant in cold salt water, it will draw the bitterness out…SO soak I did…I peeled it and cubed it and let it soak for over an hour.  I drained it and placed it in a pan, cut up one sweet onion, added a VERY small amount of water, a little salt, and placed the top on the pan.  It came to a boil and I turned the heat to LOW and cooked it for 20 minutes.  I removed the top and cooked out all the excess water.  I mashed the eggplant fairly well.

Mother taught me to remember “recipes” (they were seldom written down) by number…Eggplant is 5 (and 5 is the most popular number…LOL).  I added about one tablespoon of butter and then threw in some cheese that I had~~I had Colby jack~~and tempered an egg to add to it.  I put it in an oven-safe dish.  I added half of the mixture and threw in a layer of cheese.  I had Parmesan~~it was good, but it was a little tough…next time I think I will just make sure I have American or Cheddar cheese on hand!  I poured the rest of the mixture on top and crumbled about one half of a sleeve of saltine crackers on top (THIS is a typical SOUTHERN TOPPING) and placed about 3 Tablespoons of butter on top of this…I placed it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes UNTIL the crackers were nicely browned!  Took it out and let it set a few minutes BEFORE I ate it…It was AMAZING!!

The boys and I LIKED IT!  =)

SO the 5 ingredients in Eggplant are:
1.    Eggplant
2.    Butter
3.    Egg (tempered or it will COOK stringy)
4.    Cheese
5.    Saltine Crackers
TECHNICALLY, you could say this is a 7 because the eggplant was cooked with onion and salt!  BUT for some reason, that didn’t count!

I say this SO MANY TIMES, but WHAT a LUCKY girl I have been…I KNOW I am BLESSED, but I just like to say LUCKY GIRL…ROFL…I had a family that was/is CREATIVE, that can Cook and most of all, that LOVED ME and made SURE that EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life, I was told!  I HOPE that you have lived YOUR life KNOWING that YOU are LOVED…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Choosing Colors for a Design...Friday, August 8, 2014

I recently joined the Puddles of Paint Club…Click  HERE to go to Susan's site.

Susan Kelly sent us a line drawing and asked us to put OUR TWIST to it…WELL, I didn’t twist TOO much, but I did decide to use Scrapbook Paper as my background since I had a piece with lily pads on it!

I really do like Frogs…I painted them long ago and stopped because THAT wasn’t what I had time to paint, BUT in the past few years, I started painting them again…SO this line drawing had me HOPPING to paint it…

After I chose my back ground, I had to choose the colors that I wanted to use…WELL, the frog was going to be GREEN, but I had to find a green that would stand out, so I chose Sour Apple.  WHEN I chose the MAIN color, I had to get a color that I could use to SHADE and to Highlight…I decided to go to the DecoArt’s website to find the colors that they suggested that I could use…Click  HERE  to visit this HELPFUL site…You will want to bookmark this link for future reference.

I went through this process several more times as I decided WHICH colors that I wanted to use…OFTEN we choose the colors we want to paint with BEFORE we decide on a background, but since I had my background chosen, I was working somewhat backwards...

 I have been working on painting backgrounds the past few months.  I painted SHAPES for so long that I never had to put any thought into a background  AND I also thought that IF I painted a design well, then the background would NOT matter…WRONG!!

Choosing a background is the same process as choosing a wall color or a piece of furniture…I think of the background as the PILLOWS on the couch…the Couch is often what we spend the most time with, BUT it is the PILLOWS that give it that POP when we add different textures, colors, shapes and designs…

I think it is important to carry the colors of your design ONTO the background so that your eye will be drawn into the painting.  Since I had my background, I decided that the mushrooms in my painting needed to coordinate with the flowers, SO I chose a Raspberry color for the BIG CENTRAL mushroom…The other colors were chosen in the same intensity, or hue, as the Raspberry…Once I had chosen my colors, then it was on to painting…

Charcoal says: REAL BOY DOGS chew PINK (French Mauve) Paint Bottles!!  LOL

I painted the edge of my wooden piece with Avocado, which was a main color in the paper.  I used Decou-Page to glue the paper to my wood…I didn’t worry about cutting the paper to fit exactly because once it was dry, I used a piece of sandpaper to trim the paper to fit~~just sand along the edge...you might need to reapply your paint on the wood, OR leave as is for a worn look...when this happens, I often antique it.

I coated the paper with  Satin Decou-Page again…NOW this is where I am not certain that I did the right thing…MAYBE I should have painted directly on the paper, but I didn’t…it MIGHT not have taken as many coats of paint to get a smooth coverage…I will be experimenting with this.

I added several coats of white paint to the design to cover the design from the paper…THEN I started building the colors…

I based everything…

Then I added the details…

AND more details…

I will be adding two coats of the Satin Decou-Page to seal the design and I THINK I will be sending this plaque down the road to a friend who ALSO loves frogs…It will need to HOP in the mail SOON…

I hope that you will take some designs and be unafraid to make the colors YOUR own…We as designers do what WE LIKE…we are just instruments to spark YOUR creativity…

Enjoy…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte♥ 

Don't Forget about the BLOG HOP...you have until the end of the month.

AND also, join our SELLING Page for a chance to win some MORE door prizes!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vinegar...Sunday, August 3, 2014

 I found myself snickering a few moments ago as I was making gravy from the roast beef “juice” and I reached for the vinegar.  I had purposely cooked this roast with extra water so I could make some easy gravy (just thicken with corn starch)…

Vinegar, especially Apple Cider Vinegar, was a MUST for meals in my mother’s extended family…it was ALWAYS placed on cabbage and turnip greens…

ONCE we had a family Thanksgiving with Mother’s family, as we always did, and NOBODY brought the Vinegar!  TRAGEDY ensued…my Cousin became VERY grumpy and believe me, NEVER did that happen again…That made the “no dessert” Thanksgiving seem like a MILD tragedy…NEVER had we had a POT LUCK gathering without a single dessert…I guess the LUCK just ran out!  THAT never happened again either!

I don’t like vinegar on my cabbage and since I don’t like turnip greens, then it certainly does NOTHING to endure the taste to my “buds”…LOL…

I have often joked that I am the QUEEN of making ANYTHING that has vinegar and Salad dressing~~broccoli slaw, slaw, tartar sauce, tomato and cucumber relish…ANYTHING that has vinegar, I am YOUR GIRL!  I guess it is just a reflection of the SWEET and SOUR part of me…Although I can be “fine and dandy, sweet as candy”…I can be the WORST sour-puss on the planet…sigh….

Growing up and learning to cook as all good farm girls did, I had a tough time remembering WHICH vegetables required a pinch of sugar added to them and which needed vinegar.  Green Beans were always finished off with a splash of vinegar to brighten them…Corn from the old days always got a pinch of sugar as did any form of black eyed peas and to this day, I can’t remember IF Lima Beans got it or not, so I just add butter!  Nothing else got the vinegar EXCEPT the green beans~~wonder why, but boy, are they delicious and NO you cannot TASTE the vinegar and if you do, Well, then you added too much!!

Roast Beef gravy was another thing that most always got a splash of vinegar…it just brightened it…AND again, no other gravy got it…I don’t know why, but I just try my best to STILL follow the rules!  =)

I’m so thankful that Mother made sure I learned to cook.  It has brought me, and many others, great JOY…Thanks, Momma!!...This morning as I was sitting on the back porch, I was surrounded by more than a dozen butterflies…I THINK it was Mother just stopping by to say HI and that she loved me…I wish I had been a better daughter and I think I will always wish that!  Too late to repair the past, but I sure can improve ME for the present…

Sending you ALL BUTTERFLY wishes and LOVE…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte♥

Don’t forget about the Blog Hop…Click  HERE  to go find out about the RULES…

AND if THAT isn’t enough, the Selling Page for the same Etsy group, Folkart and Primitives (FAAP) is having a giveaway…You will have to request to join the page…BUT there are some cute prizes…

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blog Hop Give Away, Friday, August 1, 2014

I am a member of an Etsy Team called The Folkart and Primitive Team (FAAP)

This is a WONDERFUL group of Artists from all over the world who make AMAZING creations and who just happen to be some of the loveliest people around!  

Our Fearless Leader, Brenda Griffith, from Oklahoma, is ALWAYS trying to help us.  She is always around to answer our questions about blogs, etsy and facebook and does WHATEVER she can to make sure that we are SUCCESSFUL...

She has started a GIVE AWAY today, called a BLOG HOP...

There are 13 gifts that will be given away at the end of the month.
You will need to go to HER BLOG to get the directions to be included in the drawing, so click HERE to go to Brenda's Blog, The Rusty Thimble.

I will have a link to HER blog on the right side of my blog AND I will be adding LINKS to my fellow teammates to the LEFT SIDE under my Blog List...Give me awhile to get them all listed, BUT I will get it done!!  =)

Here is a picture of the item that I am donating.  It is for BOTH the PUMPKIN and the Snowman Wine Glass Tea light holder AND I will also include 3 handmade cinnamon pumpkins that smell SO SO YUMMY!!

To Comment on our blogs, you have to follow us.  To FOLLOW our blogs, one has to join Google...I KNOW, so many do NOT want to do that because of a concern for privacy, but in all fairness, IF you have an account on Facebook, you are ALREADY out there for the whole world to find...There is an option to follow me via email...

I completely understand being concerned about privacy, but EVIL will get you IF it wants to...JUST make sure you have a good security program and your computer, close your eyes, take a deep breath and STEP OUT IN FAITH...LOL...

I want to THANK you for all of your support of me and I am HONORED to be included in this WONDERFUL FAAP group...I SURE HOPE Miss Brenda UNDERSTANDS how much I appreciate her!!

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world...Blessings to YOU...~charlotte♥