Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chemistry 101

I am trying to squeak every last rose out of my garden before the frost takes over.

A wonderful way to showcase a single flower is in a beaker vase from CB2 (a modern store by Crate and Barrel) in Chicago. It is basically a fat chemistry tube with a hole in the glass to thread a ribbon through. I have mine suspended from a key in the lock of my Swedish-style cabinet. Friends who drop by can't believe that the rose is real. This beauty is named Paul McCartney, after the one and only.

If you could have a rose named after you, what would you choose?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkin Cups

Have I got a Fall dessert recipe for you! Warm and simple pumpkin cups made (because they are so cute) in individual Emile Henry ramekins.
Bonus...I think every item in this recipe can be found in two grocery aisles at Target.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup Grape Nuts cereal (trust me), 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter. This is your crumbly crust. Press the mixture into 4 ramekins to make a crust on the bottom and up the sides a bit. Reserve a few tablespoons of crumble mixture to sprinkle on top later. Bake crusts for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

While crusts are baking, combine a 15 oz can of 100% pure pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie mix), 1 cup milk, 3.4 oz box instant vanilla pudding, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/3 cup brown sugar in a mixing bowl and blend at medium speed until well blended.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Divide pumpkin mixture between the 4 ramekins, sprinkle remaining crust crumble on top and bake at 325 degrees for approximately one hour.

This reassuring Fall dessert is delicious hot, warm or cold. And it is not-too-sweet, which is nice since so much candy corn looms in the future. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dream Weaver

Have you ever seen a loom in action? I watched and watched and am still mystified by the technique. When I returned later in the day, I saw this "photograph." The texture of the strings in the sunlight, the start of a pattern, the basket of raw materials - it was beautiful.

Are you weaving wonderful things into your life?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sheep Stuff

One of my favorite reasons to go to the Mt. Bruce Station Sheep & Wool Festival is to see the seasonal displays around the farm. This event features the most beautiful Fall vignettes I have ever seen. The farmhouse doors are draped with dried seed & sunflower swags and most entryways are flanked with pumpkin towers or bunches of bittersweet. You can shop the row of vendors selling "sheep stuff" (wool rovings, yarn, custom knitting needles etc.), take a felting class, watch a sheep shearing or see a loom in action. It is wonderful reason to snack on apple cake & cider and enjoy a pretty Fall afternoon outdoors.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sun Dial

The sun sets way to the right on the bay in the beginning of Summer. Each week it moves a little farther to the left, marking off the long glorious days. But by the time it sets behind Pyramid Point (the edge of land at left), it is truly Fall. I thought that a warm, satisfying dinner would be appropriate now that there is a chill in the air.

Chop Stacks

Salt & pepper pork chops and then brown them in a saute pan. Lay them across the bottom of a lidded roaster. Spoon a pile of instant rice on top of each chop. Layer a slice of fresh tomato over the uncooked rice. Layer a complete slice of yellow onion on top of each tomato slice. Cut a green pepper into rings and lay a ring on the onion. Pour a can of vegetable broth into the bottom of the pan. Cover with lid and bake at 350* for at least an hour until pork chops are cooked and tender (160 degrees on meat thermometer). This dish makes the whole house smell good. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To Market To Market

Decide today that you are going to get up early on Saturday and head to the Farmers Market. You could come home with veggies for a pot of homemade soup, local honey, maybe even a big bunch of sunflowers. Take advantage of the bounty that the farmers have to offer. Want to find one near you? Click here to find farmers markets by zip code! And let me know what you found...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Animal Farm

I don't have a lot of opportunities to take a photograph of, say, a chicken, hen or rooster. Who does?

So when a friend invited me to drop by her niece's "animal party," I put on some jeans and headed over with my camera. The kids had pony rides, reenacted "pat the bunny" and tried to feed carrots (snuck off the veggie tray) to every animal there. I held a darling baby goat (that nibbled on my necklace) and had a wonderful time just being outside.

What do you think? Do I have a future in poultry portraits?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spaced & Placed

I whipped up a few simple pillows on the sewing machine this weekend and as I was hand-stitching them closed, I started thinking about quilts. Quilting is so precise - each stitch is meticulously spaced and placed. I took this photograph of a quilt square one day as the sun was going down - the angle of the light brought out every stitch.

I wanted to tell you about region in northern Indiana's Amish country that offer tours of "Quilt Gardens." I saw it mentioned in Midwest Living magazine and I have it on my list of places I want to visit. Plots of dirt planted with flowers to mimic famous quilt patterns! So interesting, I thought you would enjoy taking a peek.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flea Market Finds and Spode Blue Room

Friends at the Paris Daily Photo blog were talking about the enamelware pots sold at Paris "Vide Grenier" (essentially garage sales) and I promised to post a photo of some of the enamelware I have found over the years. As I was rearranging items for a close-up, I pulled back and saw this. My world of blue & white looked so pretty, I am including it all. The dishes on the plate rack are Spode's Blue Room. Can you see the sweet wool sheep? He is a hand-crafted ornament that I bought at the Wool and Sheep Festival in Romeo last year. Does blue and white bring you delight?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September Style

Interesting and beautiful. Those are the words that spur me on to create new things. I like to make people stop, look and say "Ohhhh..."

To keep things interesting on the front table, I have been making my own vases. Moths, butterflies and bugs are everywhere in design right now. And the simple patterns on the wings of a coffee-colored moth is very September to me.
Take one paper scrap moth, attach it to an empty jam jar with decoupage glue and then affix a row of rhinestones on the rim. Unexpected, beautiful and interesting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Country Living Fair, Part Four

The moment we turn the calender page to September, we all feel a shift in gears. Harvest is coming and gourds are growing in the field. This year, decorating editors Frances Bailey and Sarah Newell hosted a session called "Setting A Pretty Fall Table" at the Country Living Fair. The tablescapes were dressed in the colors of ginger, cardamon and sage and "knit" was the texture of choice. The dining table was draped in a variety of neutral knit throws and the chunky stemware wore cuffs crafted from the arms of a sweater. The theme was anchored with a Nicky Epstein knit vase overflowing with fall flowers. The companion tablescape (shown here) featured moss-covered balls, a quilted suede runner and a charming display of brown transferware. Tips from the presentation? Display simple items under a glass cloche, mix-n-match plates for texture and "dad's old sweater" can be "your new napkin rings."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Country Living Fair, Part Three

Sticky, sweet and very scary! Country Living magazine's Senior Food Editor, Cheryl Slocum, hosted a wonderful "Autumn Treats" cake decorating demonstration at the Country Living Fair. My favorite was this spider web cake - complete with black raspberry/black licorice spiders! The recipe for the cake & glaze can be found in the October 2008 issue of Country Living magazine and on their website here. The cake batter is delicious and the "spider web" technique surprisingly easy. A perfect snack for an October meeting of the Girl Scouts - show them that a memorable dessert doesn't have to be difficult. Each girl could flat frost her own cupcake, squeeze a swirl of white frosting on top and then drag a toothpick through the swirl. Build a little spider and suddenly, it's snack time. Oh what tangled webs we weave...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Country Living Fair, Part Two

After a quick walk around the Country Living Fair, my first stop was to watch Sherry McKenney (of the Murphin Ridge Inn) give a cooking demonstration in the Country Living Kitchen (an open air pavilion with a full demonstration kitchen on stage). She made a fresh tomato tart that was simple and delicious. Rows of juicy tomato slices (grown by an Amish farmer in southwestern Ohio) on a honey-dijon slathered puff pastry crust - yum! I picked up an "old kitchen tip" for easy seasoning. Keep a salt/pepper/sugar mix in a jar by the stove. Simple, but genius. I mixed up a batch when I got home (in an old-fashioned quilted glass jar) and tried it on...a tomato tart! I followed Sherry's instructions and it was perfect. I am ready for our next overnight guests! A tomato tart, scrambled eggs and a pretty place setting. Thanks, Country Living!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Country Living Fair, Part One

What a fun way to spend a Fall weekend! I drove to Columbus, Ohio to attend the 3rd Annual Country Living magazine's Country Living Fair. Held at the Ohio Historical Society's Ohio Village (a 22 building replica of a mid 19th century town), Country Living brought the little village to life! With seminars & demos, 150 vendors (selling everything from antiques & linens to beautiful hand-crafted accessories), live music, icy lemonade and CL tote bags - this country fair was perfect. An added bonus? Jeni's Ice Cream was there! I have been hearing a lot about the unusual ice cream flavors created by this Columbus-based dairy dynamo. Spurred on by curiosity and the famous "trio" cup, I was able to try lots of flavors. Remember...these are ice cream flavors. Sweet Corn with Blackberries (creamy, sweet & fabulous - my favorite by far), Pistachio & Honey (an intense pistachio flavor that blew my mind), Goat Cheese with Red Cherry Compote (tangy and smooth with cherry punctuation), Dark Cocoa Gelato (delish, of course), Salty Caramel (perfect for a country fair!), Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet (formal & completely delicious), Honey Almond Vanilla (complicated & rich) and Bourbon Buttered Pecan (oh baby!). Did I mention that everyone walking around the Country Living Fair seemed happy? It's an easy formula, really. Find a great location, offer lots of shopping, schedule interesting programs...oh, and have ice cream.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Self Serve Caramel Apple Station

What do I take to a Fall card party? A self-serve caramel apple bar. 

 I load my Nigella Lawson measuring cups with crunchy toppings like broken graham crackers, toffee bits, mixed nuts and almond crunch, then I put Marzetti's Caramel Apple Dip in a bowl next to pre-cut apple slices and voila!

Guests can dip an apple slice in caramel and then into the topping of their choice. A serving a fruit never tasted so good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Garden of Eden

Do you know of the soft pink & white climbing rose called, Eden? I have two in my rose garden supported with a wire trellis & a brick wall. I call them "twin climbers" as they are growing and supporting each other like twin sisters. The canes have grown well over 6 feet tall this year and I hope that next year I will have full arching boughs loaded with buds as a backdrop for my garden. We all have dreams, don't we?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Antique Arrangements

I was wandering a garden center when I came across this amazing hydrangea.
It looks like it was created specifically for the stylists at Victoria magazine, don't you agree? I want branch out and add some new varieties to my garden next year. Look at the choices! I would make the prettiest antique arrangements with blooms like this spilling out of an old silver teapot.
The perfect touch on a table in the living room.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Prince Magnet

You've read a few fairytales, right? I saw this gown in a shop in Paris and thought to myself...Prince Charming wouldn't have a chance if a girl came to the ball in this.

The dreamy blue silk, the empire waist, the hoop overlay...

This gown is a Prince magnet.

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Apple a Day

When I started my business, I did a series of photo shoots to advertise my ANA cigar box purses. It was a Day in the Life series and this shot was called An Apple a Day. I love how the texture, color and spacing work in this photograph. It captures the moment a stylish woman comes in from a busy day.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Anne Reeves' e-newsletter

Would you like to receive my free quarterly e-newsletter? The latest edition has news, products and plans for Fall - plus a recipe from my book, Moments of Delight. If you would like to receive my e-newsletter, please enter your email address in the "Join my mailing list" box on the right side of the screen. Thanks!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Shower Cap

Can you tell that this hydrangea blossom is as big as my head? Seriously, it could be mistaken for a shower cap! Notice that it is wider than the dinner plate behind it. I did some experimental fertilizing this year and the result was big healthy leaves, but only 2 blooms. Not at all what I was going for, but I am enjoying this monster bloom none the less. Trust me, gardening is a science.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Crafting with French Zing

Want to add a little french zing to your Fall wardrobe? It is as easy as knitting a scarf (Lion Brand Thick & Quick in garter stitch on size 13 needles) and adding a super-cool resin pin. 

 The secret? Choose an unusual color (Citron) and then make your own coordinating pin. Michaels is featuring a new brand of jewelry components called Fresh

Take one of their resin pendants ("Rectangle Purple Damask") and hot glue a pin back to it. Suddenly, your super-easy-but-in-a-fabulous- color-scarf has a coordinating damask print pin. 

You'll be so left bank!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


There I was, buying things for a different purpose than they were intended again. I was trying to exit a cafe with an armful of icy aqua & yellow cans when a stranger on the sidewalk called out, "You must really like those!"

Truth be told, I had never tried the drink...I wanted the can for a bouquet of nasturtiums. So I bought several of each flavor and viola! I absolutely love how this looks - orange, yellow, pink nasturtiums (with round leaves), a rose and a sprig of coreopsis.

Added bonus...the drink is delish! This is San Pellegrino's new sparkling orange (or lemon) beverage called Aranciata. Cold, tart and not too sweet. Drinks on the patio, anyone?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Peter Rabbit

So pretty! The promise of big salads and homegrown vegetables in northern Michigan. Situated next to a farm shop that specializes in beeswax soap and local honey, this garden instantly made me think of Beatrix Potter and the wonderful world of Peter Rabbit. Have you seen the movie Miss Potter? Set in England's lake district, Renae Zellweger stars in this lovely story about the life, love and inspiration for one of the world's most beloved characters, Peter Rabbit.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Unexpected Vases

Oasis is the secret to bringing non-traditional floral arrangements to life. This wonderful green foam block can be cut (with a knife) into the appropriate shape, soaked in water and then used to both support stems and provide hydration to your arrangement. I took a tin cookie box from Fauchon, lined it with a Ziploc bag and placed my wet floral foam inside. These peonies and roses were happy for a week! Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.