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Sunday, November 29, 2015

What do you think?



Is it time to get into the Christmas spirit?




And create a few masterpieces.







No talent required, just a little white glue and thin paper napkins.





After gluing paper onto glass balls I've added a few painted dots. 





Most paper napkins can be separated into thin layers, the thinner, the better. 





Tear paper napkins into small and irregular pieces and glue onto glass or plastic balls, covering every inch.  





When dry, spray with a little sealer.  






Plastic balls (available in craft stores this time of year) are more practical.  





You can also paint them.  With acrylic paints.  I'll show you how in a few days.  

Now is a good time to head to your craft store.  
Clear Balls are only available this time of year.  

Happy creating, 
Gina 



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving



Wishing you a great day with Family and Friends.



We are having Duck a l'Orange.

What are you having today?

Whatever it is, I know that it will be delicious.  

Gina 


Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving and Christmas without candles?



Oh no.


Shall we make them special? 




Why not add a little gold.





You will need a few sheets of gold leaf and a bottle of 
size (glue).

All available in any craft store. 





Size (rabbit skin glue) comes in small bottles. 






  Pour a small amount of glue into a plastic container.






Brush on glue to lower part of candle. 
Wait about 30 minutes until glue is slightly tacky. 
Stays tacky for several hours.  

Lay gold leaf sheets onto candle. 
Polish with soft cloth or sheepskin.






While you wait for the glue to dry on candles why not gild a few acorns...it's the same technique. 






After gilding the candle you can scribe a scrolling pattern into the goldleaf with the handle of a paint brush.  






See how special. A few candles with gold leaf, a few pomanders,  and fresh greens and a centerpiece is born.  






Have I convinced you yet?


Thank you dear friends for stopping by.  I am always so happy to hear from you.  

Gina 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What a difference a day makes



An ever changing vista


The happenings of the last few days have left me fearing for the human race. 

I can't stop thinking about the unbearable grief of the bereaved families. 

I take solace in my surroundings.  

But how do they find peace? 






Wild Geese gather on our pond.  They are getting ready to fly South. 








Would our Emden geese go with them if they could fly? 







This time of year we lower our pond for safety reasons.
The ducks enjoy the newly exposed soil along the banks.  
Who knows what tasty morsels they find .






It snowed all day yesterday.






This morning the sun is shining.







And I have hope.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.



Gina





Sunday, November 8, 2015

I just had to




bake some Biscotti.



We meant to stop by the  little Bakery in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.








 We forgot and sailed right passed it.  






But I have the recipe and I will share it with you.  
(See below)


Biscotti

In large bowl mix all dry ingredients
8 cups of flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups of ground almond meal
3 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp salt

In another bowl mix 4 cups of sugar with 
10 beaten eggs
2 sticks of melted and cooled unsalted butter
1 cup of skinned, roasted and crushed hazelnuts
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
mix all ingredients well and 
add into flour mixture

Mix well, should have cookie consistency.  
Can add a little milk or more lemon juice if it is too thick. 

butter 3 large cookie sheets. 

With wet hands form 5 to 6 logs,  bake at 350 for 
about 25 minutes or until logs are firm when  pressed in center.

Let cool and slice into 1/2 inch slices, stand upright on edge and 
bake again for about 20 minutes @ 350 degrees, or until lightly browned, 

Makes 4 to 5 dozen biscotti cookies. 

Do you know why this  cookie is called Biscotti? 

It is twice baked, that's why.  








Salpiglossis in my greenhouse.  



Have a great week dear friends.  

Gina 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Modus Operandi




From North to South and back again.
From Amsterdam to Cortona.


The "Romantic Parkhotel Wasserburg Anhalt"
Isselburg, Germany.

We don't fly by the seat of our pants anymore.  
We now make reservations ahead of time.  





The Wasserburg is only about a 2 hour drive from Amsterdam...
perfect after a long flight. 





It's called "Wasserburg" because it has a watery moat all around.






                              stimme.de                                                                  andersschlafen.de

2nd night out.  "Hotel Park Villa Heilbronn"

The husband was away on safari in Africa.

I was invited to watch the cheetahs while they were being fed. 

Where else but on the internet would one find such a special place.   





4th night.  "Schloss Mitterhart" Schwaz, Austria.
Getting ready to cross the Alps and into Italy.  






5th night out.  Bypassing Bolzano this time and  staying near Trento, Italy, at the  "Villa Madruzzo", Italy.

For this stay you will need a good GPS to find this villa perched on the side of a mountain.  








6th and 7th night.  
Country Inn "Borgo Il Melone", Cortona, Italy.

A very special place.  
Just far enough away from the maddening crowds of Cortona. 






Now heading north.
8th night out.  

"Corte Motte", Italy, a horse farm.
South of Mantua and north of Modena.  






9th night out.  
"Hotel Goldenes Rössl", Bressanone (Brixen), Italy.

I want her hair.  






The "Arlberg Tunnel" was closed.
That sign points to the same village.  






Because the tunnel was closed it gave us an opportunity to see new and spectacular country.  









10th night.

Hotel "Die Linde" Höchst, Austria.







11th night out.

"Hostellerie Schwendi" Kientzheim, Alsace, France.







It's all about Fachhäuser.






Gourmet dining and wine.







12th night out and still heading north to point of beginning.  

Hotel "Schloss Zell", Mosel River, Germany.







Internet

13th night out. 

A little side trip to the Rhine River and 
"Landgasthof zum Weissen Schwanen"
Braubach, Germany.







14th night out. near the German/Holland border. 
"Burghotel Pass"

They gave us the best room in the house, the tower suite reached by steep and winding stairs.



The last night, before flying home, we stayed at the "Citizen M" hotel by the airport. 
Not much to be said about this hotel except that it is convenient if you have an early morning flight.  


I made all of the reservations months before. 
I used "booking.com" 


One can make reservations and cancel free of charge. Money is not collected until you check out of the hotel.  

I especially like the photographs and recommendations given by other travelers.

This has been our modus operandi for the last 3 trips to Europe. 

It has worked well for us.  I've already made reservations for next April.  

Happy travels to you. 

Gina