Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I{HEART}ART: Inspiration: Sparrow
"Eye on the Sparrow" by Tina C. Wells

It was my last chance to paint pumpkins for the year, and, well, sometimes I can’t help but add a little bird into my paintings. The sparrow “flew” onto the canvas and then the song “His eye is on the Sparrow” came to me. The lyrics of this song fill me with gratitude as Thanksgiving is just days away. Don’t know the song? Google Lauren Hill singing it on YouTube. 

“I sing because I’m happy,
 I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.”

SIMPLY CREATIVE: Succulent Centerpieces

Here in Southern California, we are not blessed with the beautiful changing of the seasons, the explosion of color that happens in the fall, ushering in the barren neutral tones of winter. It’s rhythmic and lovely. (Lest you think I am complaining, it is supposed to be 72 on Thanksgiving, and we are setting up a table by my sister-in-law’s pool. You can’t have everything). 

The four years that my sister and her family lived in Michigan, we celebrated Thanksgiving there each year. It was my job to decorate. The women in my family are still rolling their eyes and talking about how they were inside peeling potatoes and ironing tablecloths while I was gathering leaves, branches, acorns, etc. to adorn the table. Ok, so it’s true. My point is that there was a plethora of autumn nature to work with. Here, there is the occasional liquid amber, but our fall foliage just looks different. I have created two fall centerpieces, so-cal style, using succulents as the base, and adding citrus and pyracantha berries. The wonderful thing about this is that these were assembled from what I found outside. The pots with the citrus were made for my mom using clippings from her succulents and fruit from her trees (above). The smaller pots I put together with clippings from outside, succulents and red pyracantha berries, for small centerpieces for a charity event (www.shedances.org). 

After the event, I discarded the berries, allowed the pots to take root and begin to grow. This holiday season, I will add back fresh berry sprigs and give as small gifts, or as a part of gift baskets. For more detailed information about planting succulent clippings, see an earlier post: http://winsomewren.blogspot.com/2012/06/tiered-succulents-project-it-sounds-c.html 

RECIPE: Annette’s Autumn Salad

My sister created this amazing salad, and I must share it with you. 

Apple Cinnamon Goat Cheese log, sliced (Trader Joe’s)*
Honey Crisp Apple, thinly sliced
Toasted Walnuts
Pomegranate Seeds
2 parts Olive Oil
1 part Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add ingredients in proportions you like. If plating for guests, toss arugula in dressing and then arrange other ingredients over top.
*You may have trouble getting your hands on this TJ cheese- it’s been sold out repeatedly. To substitute, cook chopped, peeled apples (granny smith) in cinnamon sugar. Cool, then roll/press into a log of goat cheese. The cheese is key in this salad, and it great all by itself as well!

Annette's Fall Salad

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Count your blessings and tell the ones you love how grateful you are for them. XO 

Grateful for these cuties!

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