Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Begin by wrapping the log loosely with the ribbon. Leave enough space that you can insert your branches, cuttings and feathers under the ribbon. In our house, we place five feathers on our Yule log – one for each member of the family. Once you’ve gotten your branches and cuttings in place, begin gluing on the pine cones, cinnamon sticks and berries. Add as much or as little as you like. Remember to keep the hot glue gun away from small children.
Once you’ve decorated your Yule log, the question arises of what to do with it. For starters, use it as a centerpiece for your holiday table. A Yule log looks lovely on a table surrounded by candles and holiday greenery.
Another way to use your Yule log is to burn it as our ancestors did so many centuries ago. In our family, before we burn our log we each write down a wish on a piece of paper, and then insert it into the ribbons. It’s our wish for the upcoming year, and we keep it to ourselves in hopes that it will come true.
If you have a fireplace, you can certainly burn your Yule log in it, but we prefer to do ours outside. We have a fire pit in the back yard, and on the night of the winter solstice .
The Yule log is a traditional feature of most winter solstice celebrations. In addition to making one you can burn in your fireplace, why not whip together a tasty chocolate one for dessert? This super-easy recipe uses a boxed cake mix as its base, and can be put together ahead of time for your Yule celebration dinner. Chill overnight for easy slicing the next day.
• 1 box chocolate cake mix, along with ingredients as called for
• 1 cup whipping cream
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 2 tsp. instant coffee granules
• 1 stick butter
• 16 oz. semi-sweet baker's chocolate
• 2/3 cup heavy cream
• Spearmint leaf jelly candies
• Cinnamon red hots
• Mini marshmallows & chocolate kisses (optional)
Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, pour the batter out onto the paper, and spread until it reaches the edges. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until cake is firm and springy - be sure you don't over bake it!
Allow cake to cool in pan for ten minutes, then invert it onto a cloth towel dusted with powdered sugar. Peel off the parchment paper. Roll the cake up inside the cloth towel, starting with one of the short sides. Let the rolled-up cake cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cake cools, mix up the filling. This particular blend is a coffee-flavored variety that I adapted from a tiramasu recipe, but you can replace the coffee with cocoa if you prefer more chocolate. Blend the whipping cream, powdered sugar and coffee granules together to form the filling. Chill until thick and firm. After the cake has completely cooled, gently unroll the cake from the towel. Remove the towel, and spread the filling over one side of the cake, stopping about a half inch from the edge. Roll the cake back up -- this should be easy, since it cooled in a rolled-up form. Place the cake on a serving platter and allow to chill for a couple of hours.
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a double boiler and then add the chocolate. Once the chocolate has all melted, stir in the heavy cream. Let the icing sit at room temperature until it's a little thick. Spread on the cake, covering the entire roll, and then drag a fork through the icing to create a bark-like appearance on your log.
Add a couple of spearmint leaves and red hots to form clusters of holly on the log. If you'd like to add "mushrooms" to your log, stick a toothpick through a miniature marshmallow, and then poke it into the flat side of a chocolate kiss. Snip off the pointy part of the kiss, and you'll have a small mushroom. Use the toothpick to stick these on top of your log.
If you're not going to serve immediately, wrap the cake in loose plastic and refrigerate overnight. Allow the cake to sit out for about an hour before slicing.
• 2 C. cranberry juice
• 1/2 C honey
• 1/2 C sugar
• 2 oranges
• Whole cloves
• 1 apple, peeled and diced
• 3 cinnamon sticks (or 3 Tbs. ground cinnamon)
• 1/2 C - 1 C brandy (optional)
Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 - 4 hours on low heat. About half an hour prior to serving, add the brandy if you choose to use it.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Hi All, I got my fairy garden deer up this past week.. I must say it is lovely to behold at night.. Yule will truly be bright and beautiful this year!! I also splurged and got the muti colored star lights for my windows this year I usually have white icicles lights but i just wanted color this year!! I am decorating the tree today while I watch the harry potter marathon on TV...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Byrum has done it again! Although I thought he had retired to his village in RootUnder for the winter seasonal festivities. Behold here he is working his magic to astound me with the most special surprises ever.. Magic mushrooms!!!
Sparkling fall leaves
Saturday, November 21, 2009
In your eyes I see your life story, As you wore it like a weight.
No longer will you need to carry us,
as you are free at last from these mortal binds.
Soar my dear grandmother, soar to the beauty that lies ahead for you..
I loved you so..
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Although Tretchikoff spent his early years in China, this portrait was painted in Cape Town. The model is a member of the small Chinese community there. Possibly the best known of all Tretchikoff's paintings. Lithographs of this painting can be seen in all corners of the world. Artist’s Collection, 1950’s First Hand Tretchikoff Print. This print has been produced to the highest quality under the artist’s personal supervision and is accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authentication.
To know his work is to understand an artist who became a phenomenon. A man who never compromised because he was being lead by an all-encompassing drive to do what he loved, to paint. Even in the face of adversity, he continued to pursue his passion, unashamedly.
Tretchikoff was a self-taught artist who painted realistic figures, portraits, still life and animals, with subjects often inspired by his early life in China and Malaysia, and later life in South Africa. Tretchikoff's work was immensely popular with the general public, but is often seen by art critics as the epitome of kitsch (indeed, he was nicknamed the "King of Kitsch"). He worked in oil, watercolour, ink, charcoal and pencil but is best known for his reproduction prints which sold worldwide in huge numbers. The reproductions were so popular that it was said Tretchikoff was second only to Picasso in his popularity
He quickly became famous in South Africa thanks to a book that collected his portraits of Oriental women and pictures of flowers, and held successful exhibitions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. His fame spread to the United States, where the Rosicrucians of San Jose invited him to launch an American tour. Around 19,000 people saw his show in Los Angeles and 51,000 in San Francisco. In Seattle, a rival show which included Picasso and Rothko sold fewer tickets, to Tretchikoff’s satisfaction. A million Americans finally saw his paintings, which then went on to Canada with equal success. This was followed by a large exhibition in 1961 at Harrods in London where he decided that the Harrod's art gallery was too small. He requested and was granted the privilege of having his exhibition in the ground-floor exhibition space. About 205,000 people attended the exhibition and one of his British admirers, Leslie Rigall, bought ten paintings and designed his new house in Windsor Great Park around them.
His famous Chinese Girl, a 1950 painting featuring an Eastern model with blue-green skin, is one of the best selling prints of all time. Prints of the painting became widespread during the 1960s and 1970s, and the painting was featured in various plays and television programmes: the original set of Alfie, with a drawn moustache in one episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus and an episode of Doctor Who.
Other popular paintings of oriental figures were Miss Wong and Balinese Girl. He said of British prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Markova, who sat for The Dying Swan, that she was his most stimulating sitter.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
The moons a-glow, with golden rings.
The night is still, but the raven’s wing.
The winds are chilled in the quest of spring.
The cauldron swells with fog to mark twilight.
Let the balefires burn in celebration this Samhain night.
By BeeCharmer Oct 2009
Release date ; 5 March 1954
Richard Denning ... Dr. Mark Williams
Richard Carlson ... Dr. David Reed
Julie Adams ... Kay Lawrence (as Julia Adams)
Antonio Moreno ... Carl Maia
Nestor Paiva ... Captain Lucas
Whit Bissell ... Dr. Edwin Thompson
19 June 1954
Nominated for Oscar
Plot ; The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.
Director: James Whale
A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Raven, is a bird which appears in world mythology as a soothsayer, an omen of death and as a creator and cleanser, taking away all that was decayed. Full of intelligence, cunning, and playfulness, the Raven was seen as a guardian among the tribes of North America, a creature whose far-seeing eye saw past, present, and future all at once. For the Algonquin peoples, Crow was the bringer of grains and beans. In the Ghost Dances, which are danced to solicit the help of their ancestors, Crow is a primary spirit messenger.Ravens & Crows have an intricate and detailed history in Celtic lore and legend. The Irish battle goddesses, Morrigan, and Badbh, regularly took the shape of crows, and both crows and ravens were their allies and companions.
In Scottish folklore, the Crow is said to have 27 different cries (a magical 3 times 9), each of which relates to a different event. These oracular cries can foretell the coming of important guests, an impending loss or death, or the coming of good fortune, a complete body of lore was built up from listening to the varied calls of the crows, which has the ability to mimic many kinds of sounds as well as to communicate with its own kind. When there is a molmacha (flock of crows), all crying together, it is said that no one but the most wise seer in the land can understand their words.
The raven is also the subject of a most famous poem that has lived through the ages..
Poem by Edgar Allen Poe (1845)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more."
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'."
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he
hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked,
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Hi to All, Well the decorations are up up an shinning in the night.. Capt. Jack is twirling in the breeze... My pumpkin crop await their speeedy change to Jack-o-lanterns .... All that is left is a few table decorations and I am ready for the special night.. Hoping for a bon fire this year --> Weather permitting??? Been really wet and windy here at Ravenswood..
Monday, October 26, 2009
Jack-o-Lantern Cheese Ball
Decorations: Dark rye bread, red pepper, black olive slices, parsley sprigs
Beat cheeses, pumpkin, preserves and spices in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until cheese is firm enough to shape. Shape mixture into a round pumpkin; place on serving plate. Using knife, score vertical lines down pumpkin. Place pretzel rod in top for stem. Cut 2 small triangles for the eyes. Small triangle of red pepper for nose. Slice olives slices in half for the mouth. Cover loosely; refrigerate until serving time. Serve with crackers.
2. Simmer 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the orange peel and wine.
4. Let sit warming over low heat at least 30 minutes before serving.
5. Don't allow it to boil or you'll cook the alcohol away.
6. Serve in warm mugs, garnished with a cinnamon stick and orange slice, if desired.
PUMPKIN GINGER SOUP
1 small cooking pumpkin
1/2 cup cashews
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or to taste)
Salt to taste
Soak cashews in water to cover for several hours. This step is optional, but helps them blend better. Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds, and bake cut side down at 350 degrees F until very tender (45 minutes to one hour). Scrape pumpkin from the peel and puree in a blender, with any juices, in batches. Put pureed pumpkin into your soup pot. Blend cashews in blender until smooth and add to the pumpkin puree. Rinse the blender with a little water and add to the pot. Add a little more water if it’s too thick. Add ginger and salt to taste and heat gently for a few minutes to blend the flavors.
Savory Samhain Butters
2 sticks butter1/2 cup brown sugar1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve over sweet bread, muffins, or morning waffles. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/8 tsp freshly grated or dried nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup applesauce
3 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
for forty five to fifty minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the middle of the loaf comes clean.
Golden Herb Rolls
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
· Long-sleeved shirt ( button up is good)
· Old pair of pants or jeans - preferably with patches
· Old pair of socks or boots
· Gardening gloves
· Straw hat
· Plenty of baling twine or string
· Safety pins
· A pillowcase or pumpkin for the head ( how about a old Halloween mask stuffed?)
· Fiberfill, newspapers, rags, or straw for stuffing
· Pencil, paint and markers for face
· Stakes (optional)
If you're using a pumpkin for the head, it's best to carve it into a jack-o-lantern to take off some of the weight. It will take some wire to fasten it. A pillowcase works better and is far easier to attach to the body. Use a pencil and draw on the face. Follow up with the paint and markers to give him facial features. Then stuff the pillowcase and fasten it to the body with safety pins.
Top off your scarecrow with a hat. A straw hat gives it a classic look. Fasten the hat firmly so it doesn't blow off on windy days.
You can sit your scarecrow on the bales, or prop him up against them. wire him to a pole. Consider attaching him to some stakes with a hammer and nails to have him in an upright position.
Now, give your scarecrow a name and enjoy. When the season is over, store him in a dry place for next Fall.( or whats left of him<---)
Monday, October 19, 2009
HApPy hAlLoWeEn OR I should say HaPpY--> early<-- hAlLoWeEn
These are a few recent photo's I had hubby take for a photo contest I am entered in..
Was this ever a blast.. Does my love for classic movies show in these???
I must say the hat does make the witch and the one I am sporting is a Kirks Folly original. I purchased it two years ago from their website. http://www.kirksfolly.com/ .
The hat is fantastic *~* I love it.. Being the gardener that I am I picked this hat, as it was called the "Enchanted Garden hat". They currently have witch hats available for purchase, new designs, and just as fab as this hat..
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Dark Shadows is a Gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC from June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971. The show was created by Dan Curtis, who tells of a dream he had in which a girl takes a long train ride to visit a large mansion. It was considered daring (and unprecedented in daytime television) when ghosts were introduced about six months after it began.
The series became hugely popular when, a year into its run, vampire Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid, appeared. In addition to vampires, Dark Shadows featured werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel (both into the past and into the future), and a parallel universe. A small company of actors each played many roles and, as actors came and went, some characters were played by several actors. Major writers in addition to Art Wallace included Malcolm Marmorstein, who created the character of Barnabas Collins, Sam Hall, Gordon Russell, and Violet Welles.
Dark Shadows now considered somewhat of a camp classic, it continues to enjoy intense cult status among its followers. Director Tim Burton and Madonna have both gone on record as fans of the series. As a child Johnny Depp was so obsessed with Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him. In fact, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are collaborating yet again to bring this series back to life. Johnny Depp will play the lead role of Barnabas. It will be director Tim Burton's next project and eighth collaboration with Depp.
We'll find out when Burton and Depp team up for the big-screen adaptation of "Dark Shadows. Burton confirmed when he presented footage from "Alice in Wonderland" to a capacity crowd at Comic-Con's cavernous Hall H. He said "Dark Shadows" would be his next project, "if I ever finish this one here."
Before Lestat, Angel, and Edward Cullen, there was Barnabas Collins, a 175-year-old vampire who stalked the town of Collinsport, Maine pining for his lost love. Originally, the character of Barnabas, played by Jonathan Frid, was only intended for a 13-week story arc on "Dark Shadows," but he caused such a sensation with viewers he became the lead character for the next four years. The show spawned two movies in the early '70s, a revived series in 1991, and a pilot that was not picked up for series in 2004.
Depp would play Barnabas, a role that has been a lifelong dream. Depp has said he loved the show as a child: "I was obsessed with Barnabas Collins. I have photographs of me holding Barnabas Collins posters when I was five or six." Depp has been pursuing the movie adaptation for years, buying the remake rights through his production company, Infinitum-Nihil.
Burton has also spoken about his fascination with the original show. He told the Los Angeles Times, "It had the weirdest vibe to it. I'm sort of intrigued about that vibe." He also spoke about the recent influx of vampire movies: "It's like any great fable or fairytale, it's got a power to it... There's something symbolic about it that touches people in different ways."
While both Depp and Burton seem excited to start work on what will be their eighth collaboration, production might have to wait until after Depp finishes work on the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.
So it may be a while before Depp bares his fangs as a vampire. If "Dark Shadows" also hits theaters in 2011, it could be up against the final "Twilight" film, "Breaking Dawn." But if it's delayed another year, audiences might be over their bloodsucker addiction. Still, it seems that if anyone can create a dark, atmospheric, and entrancing vampire tale, it would be Johnny Depp and Tim Burton.
This news coming is just in time for Halloween!!
Barnabas will be quickened once more!!
Sparkling bat wings