Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

This blog started in the "playroom". That's what DH calls artwork- playing. Wish I could live in the "playroom" forever.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

OOOOOOO, Halloween!!!!

A little spooky, eh?
Well, anyway, Happy Halloweenie!!
Here's a fun photo for you- someone decorated their really cool old car.
 Here's the car in real color.  It was seen in a parking lot.
Love this color blue!
Here's my "Witchy-Two".
My Lady Lydia....
Dia de los Muertos.
Good All Souls Day to you as well.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rainy Day Chat

Welcome to the Banter!  It's a rainy day here in the mountains, and with the rain and drizzle comes the fog... so typical for the fall and spring here.
Speaking of fall, its about at it's peak here, colorwise.  It is beautiful.  The leaves are clearing out though, and they'll soon all be gone.
Which doesn't bother me much at all, because, next is Winter!!  I love winter.  I think people think I am crazy-- who loves the cold??  I do, because I get to wear sweaters, and thick socks and warm pants and coats and knitted hats and gloves.
And, speaking of sweaters!!   I'm knitting one for myself.  This is the first sweater I've ever made for myself.  I think it's coming along well.  I made some mistakes, but corrected them all before going further.  I had to knit several swatches first, and learned the pattern quite well, as I had to start over and over.  My brain just doesn't want to work with me in counting, unless I do it over and over, and over again.  So it is quite a challenge for me.  This is the back of the sweater, it is going to be seamed, which frequent makers on the internet comment that they really hate seaming.  But I have to do it for the experience.  There is more on my Ravelry page which you can link to HERE. (click on the word "here").


The three pictures above are part of my BEE HAPPY quilt project organization.  I'll be cutting the 10 inch stack today, then hopefully start at the machine very soon.
 This is my foyer.  I've never had one before, but I think it looks okay.  It's really not done yet, it's always  a work in progress around here.
 Some mums for you!
And here's my Good Bye Girl.  I decided to put her on display in my glass case.  She's too fine to keep in the shadows.

I hope your day is fine.  I love the rainy fall days.  I've made some chocolate chip cookies and am ready to cut some fabric!!!!     XXOO,   Bebe

Friday, October 6, 2017

Let's Make and Break Bread Together- Rye Bread Recipe

This is a recipe I've made a hundred times.
You can make it with or without caraway rye seeds.
 I use my bread machine for the mixing and first rising, because it's easier on my hands.
 This is how the bread pan looks, after I've taken the bread dough out.  That thing in the middle is the paddle that mixes the bread.
 This gem is my mother's breadboard.  It's probably about 50 or so years old, and no I've never gotten sick from anything on it after all these years.  People worry too much about junk on their counters, and the cracks in a bread board.  I don't.
My mother made all her bread on this board, plus coffee cakes and pie crusts.  I was always fascinated and watched intently as she made all this stuff.  She never let me do it, but I have it imbedded in my minds eye, and that's how I knew how to do the same things she did.
 These are my two loaves- these are small- in 8 x 5 breadpans.  You can make one loaf in a larger pan, like a 9x5 or 6, but I tend to like the smaller loaves.
This is how they come out.
Here's the recipe and instructions:
I used the dough setting on my machine to mix and do the first rising.  You can do the same thing, using your kitchenaid or sunbeam countertop mixer with bowl- I forget what they call those things--and do the first raising in that bowl in a warm place.
Recipe:
for a 1  1/2 pound loaf
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
Place these wet ingredients into bowl first.  Make sure your water is rather warm, but not so hot that it will kill the yeast.
Now place in the bowl:
1 cup rye flour
2 cups white bread flour
3 tablespoons gluten
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast (like from a jar)

Now let your bread machine do the mixing and kneading, or you can let your mixer do that, with the bread hook on it.  OR you can mix it yourself, by hand, if you like.

Make sure it is a nice moist mixture, but not too sticky.  It should be smooth when it's done with kneading.  Leave the bread mixture in the machine til the beeper goes off (that will take about 1 hour 22 minutes (that's when it's done raising.)  If you are raising the dough without a machine, cover your bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to raise.  It will take about 2 hours to raise.  Some ovens now have a "bread proofing" setting, So you can set your bowl in there to raise.

After raising, take the dough out and divide it into two equal portions, flatten into a rectangle, and roll it like a long cookie roll, I don't know how else to describe it, and place in a bread pan THAT HAS BEEN COATED WITH VEGETABLE OIL.  I usually roll the roll in the bread pan so that all of it is coated in oil, and leave the seam on the bottom.

Set in warm place to rise again, for about 20-30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit, and then bake bread for about 20-22 minutes.

Let cool on a rack, then take knife about edge of bread in pan, and the bread should just slide right out.  I have learned to place more vegetable oil in the pan, rather than less, but not swimming in it, so the bread will come out without sticking.

Let it cool for the most part, before slicing.

As, I said, I've made this recipe hundreds of times and it's always good!
Good luck!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Knitted Mitts- Getting Ready for Winter (!)

 I made mitts!!
My first pair of mitts!
For my project, I used Freia, fine handpaints, refined yarn: 70% Merino, 30% silk, in Lichen (color).  It's an ombre yarn, in worsted weight (4 Medium).  I also used size 5 needles.  I increased the cuff stitch number from 10 to 18 sts., and the total length from 9.5 inches long to 10.5 inches long.
This is the right mitt. . . . 
Left mitt. . . . . 
. . . .and the left mitt, uncuffed.
I made the finger section longer than required so I could cover more of my fingers while outside.  I didn't do a perfect job, but it will do.  I find, in knitting, there are LOTS of ways to put things together.
So FUN!!  Knitting is a skill worth learning.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Life Interrupted, With Peace, Is Possible

When you’re young, mostly you don’t think about this stuff, unless “something” happens to you, at least, I didn’t.  However, despite what I believed then,  life is constantly filled with interruptions.

I always thought my life would have unsettling parts to it, but for the most part, I always thought I would get to a point where everything was going to be smooth sailing.  It hasn’t happened yet. At least, not for very long.
This last move was a whopper.  I had a rhythm to life going on down there in Tennessee.  I had a room all to myself to sit and ponder, on the second floor of a new farmhouse.  I could stare out the window for hours.  I could watch the seasons change, the beans and corn get harvested, sit on the porch and take a nap, sweat a lot and make iced tea with lemon.  Then I got sick.

DH said we must move back to where we came from.  Better air, better everything.  It took me completely by surprise.  I had a hard time moving.  It was very strenuous.  It was worse than moving to TN.
So we got this farm, and had to live in a camper.  We thought it would only be 6 months.  It turned out to be 2 years.  2 YEARS.  We had a lot happen that took years off my life, I’m sure, in those 2 years.  Now it’s been about 3 years, and I’m still not back to where I was in my creative life, as before we left.

Sometimes I’ve gotten rather frantic, panicked and almost suicidal.  But I have to tell you this:

God has met me where I am.  I have always believed in HIM.  Sometimes, I’ve had my bad periods, where I can’t hear Him.  That’s because of my own worries. And incessant worrying is about one of the worst things you can do, if you don’t want to hear from God.

So, about two-three months ago, I really prayed for some answers to all this stress.  I just couldn’t handle it anymore.  I was really down, down, down.  Nothing was going right.  I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I just gave up.  I wanted out-- of everything.
Here I was, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, for me.  I had a new house. Things were so much better in our living conditions.  There was much less stress.  Let me tell you, having things, nice things, does not guarantee your happiness.  Beautiful scenery doesn’t guarantee it either, although it can help a lot.  

I gave up, as I said.  I just prayed to God to let me go.  He didn’t.   I found a great Christian radio station that plays contemporary Christian music - K- Love - they broadcast out of Nebraska.  I started my day out with listening to this station, and praying for God to “order my day.”  
"Order My Day." That is my prayer every morning now.  It has afforded me peace.  I used to be scared to let go and let Him have every day of my life.  I thought He’d try to make me a missionary, deny all my belongings, and go off into the world, and get myself into uncomfortable situations, really putting my life on the line.  He doesn’t do this, unless you are willing and able. 

Instead, He Will Meet You Where You Are.  I mean this absolutely.  He will meet you where ever you are in your life.  With kids and husbands, or not.  With a great job, or not.  In the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane, or not.  In a crisis, or not.  He will come to you, no matter your daily struggle, or turmoil, or where ever you are, and give you mental peace.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have stressed out days anymore, or things that happen that might not be so good, that might be downright bad.  But HE will be there with you.  Let Him be there with you!  You will have peace in the fire.
I really pray for all those who’ve lost everything through the storms.  I’ve been there.  I know what it’s like.  (Hurricane Andrew)   He will help you pick up the pieces.  Sit and pray before you do anything, take a deep breath, cry, let your emotions out.  He will send His angels to help you.  Ask Him to Order Your Day.  You will see His answers.  You may feel really alone, but He will be by your side, and give you peace.  I guarantee it. 
I think those interruptions in our lives, is to get our attention, to wake us up.  We need to help each other through this life, not destroy each other.  Help me walk when I am faltering. I will help you too. 

I hope these words I’ve written today will give you some peace of mind.  Ask God to help you, He will!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cheerio, then, and Hello to the New

Stars and Stripes patch from Joanna Fiqueroa, Fig Tree & Co. Nantucket Mystery Block of the Month
~~~~
After saying an anniversary prayer for the passing of mum, and unfortunately adding two passings around the same date, I bid farewell to them that passed.  Still feeling sad, I have been able to put my hands to the test and make a production of things.  One being namely the Stars and Stripes patchwork above.  How lovely is that??  I am so thankful Joanna Figueroa is in this world right now, to cheer me up!! 

A gift for a friend
I laid my hand onto paints and canvas, after so many years, and made the above gift for a friend, from a photo she sent of her front door.  I think it has made a pleasing picture, no?
~~~
And this is for you, my friend:  a pot of flowers to cheer you on this hottest day of days.
Remember this day in your coldest this winter. 
Think of those whom you love, and let it warm you.
The end.
XXOO

Sunday, July 2, 2017

It's Her, All Over

I never wanted to be like my mother.  I never wanted to be her.  But somehow, subconsciously, I think I've become a lot like her.
I have some of her temperment, some of her ailments and problems.
I even look a LOT like her.
I never wanted to look like her.
She was always overweight, except when she got much older.

My mother was heavy set.  Now I'm heavyset.
My arms.  I used to be so afraid of having sagging skin under my upper arms.  Now I have it, but my arms look like hers did when she was very strong.  Arms, big and strong.
A belly.  Fat around the middle.
I am fat around the middle, but I am told I at least, "have a figure."
Meaning:  one can still determine the top from the waist to the bottom.

The truth is, I have always been more comfortable with the heavier set in my life.
I subconsciously sought out friends who are overweight.
My mother, my aunts, they were all pretty much overweight.  I am overweight.
But I don't mind it like I used to. 
There are prettier clothes out there for bigger women now than there used to be. 
I'm comfortable with myself.

I look at myself in the mirror and see my mom.
I also see my grandmother's fine wrinkles on my face and arms.
I see the varicose veins on my legs, like mom.
I see the very fine wrinkles on my neck and upper chest like all of the above, and
I think of them all:
Aunt E., Aunt G., Aunt M., Grandma, and mom.

They are all gone now, but I still see them in myself.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Ordinary Days

 I missed posting this on Flag Day, so here it is.
I mostly like the ordinary days of the year, no holidays.
So much less stress and emotion.
 This is why I wear boots.  This is a small corn snake.  It's nonpoisonous.  They do kill rodents.  This is a baby one.  I still don't like snakes.  EWwwwww.
 A mini Flower Garden in a bucket!
 The "escapee".  When I got home one day last week, she was no where to be found.  I looked high and low and even looked with the car in the neighborhood.  After dark, I decided to go back to her kennel, and found her underneath these boards on her deck.  She got under it but couldn't manage to get back out!   I was so happy to see her, and she me.  We made friends again.
 Showing you this deer right outside my pantry window, because she has a belly.  You can't always tell when a female deer is pregnant, because they are so slim, but this is what they look like.  She's next to the cages where my blueberry bushes are.  This area is inundated with deer, and they are not afraid to get in your yard and eat what ya got!
 Here's a mockingbird, chiding me.  I must be close to it's nest.
 Look at this pretty chartreuse green!  The bird nest is probably somewhere in this shrub.
 Peek- a- boo!
 Tangerine Gerbera Daisy
Blooming cactus
 Yes, that's a mole.  Mama Kitty left him on the porch for me.  yay...ewwww.
 A walk in the woods
 The perfect sunset after a rain.  Am I sure I'm not in the great American West somewhere?
This is but a dream, maybe.

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