Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In the Studio ~

Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2013 Paris Show. Doesn't disappoint - inspired by the 'Queen Bee'.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Reflections ~

Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there.
 Lao Tzu

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Right Thought, Right Action ~

handcrafted bowl by Triassic Industries 
Take steps to cut down on unnecessary projects relieving you of some of the responsibilities that perhaps you don’t really need to have. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Food Feature ~

    • Pumpkin Cake Bars with Creme Cheese Frosting
      4 large eggs
    • 1 2/3 cups white sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 6 ounces cream cheese
    • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
      Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour one glass 9 x 13 inch pan. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. For the frosting: beat together the cream cheese, butter and confectioner's sugar. Evenly spread over bars after they have cooled.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My French Find ~

Even though Christmas is several months away, if you are one that gets a jump on the holiday by planning early, visit 'Christmas is Love' on Etsy. They have a wonderful selection of Christmas Stocking including French inspired Stockings.  My favorites are in photos below. Click HERE to enter the shop!
Joyeux Noel
Eiffel Tower
Fleur de lis
French Toile

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Through My Lens ~ Wordless Wednesday ~

peace in a jar by Denise Dion-Sullivan

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the Studio ~

Here is a great treasury curated by Krissy of Kindred Images and Creations, a fellow member of Etsy Maine Team. Thanks Krissy for featuring items from both of my shops Denise Dion Designs and The Artists Closet! On Thursday 10/25, the Etsy Maine Team will be hosting on online cash mob. Just visit Etsy.com and type 'maineteam' into the search bar and then mob the shops until you drop! Click on the images below to visit these 'Maine' shops on Etsy.  Remember to use the code 'seasonalcottage' in Denise Dion Designs upon checkout and receive free shipping!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Musings ~ Enjoying Fall ~

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.
Albert CamusPhotos by Denise Dion-Sullivan

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reflections ~

It is by believing in roses that one brings them to bloom.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Right Thought, Right Action ~

Choose what you will do, feel, and think.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Food Feature ~

Delicious Tarte Framboise

Pate Brisee Ingredients:
1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 T white sugar
½ c fresh butter, chilled, and cut into 1" pieces
¼ c ice water

Filling Ingredients:
1 Pint fresh Raspberries
2 T white sugar

Preheat Oven to 450°
Sift flour and sugar into a food processor. Add butter and pulse until flour and butter is like coarse meal. Place in bowl and add ½ of the water, stirring with wooden spoon, if it remains dry then add a bit more water. Stir again until just dough gathers and forms a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Approximately ½ hour before you are ready to prepare the tart remove the dough from the refrigerator. Slightly grease with a bit of butter a tart pan. Lightly flour a rolling board and roll the dough into an approximate circle. Place in tart pan using fingers as needed to form sides.
Fill the pastry to within 1-½” of the edge. Pull sides up over edge of fruit, slightly folding in and pleating. Sprinkle fruit with granulated sugar; place in hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is beginning to be a golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, remove to a serving plate. You may serve right away and top with fresh whipped cream.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My French Heritage ~

I love the stylized flower of the Fleur de lis. The above image is one I found on the internet several years back. I hope to have this as a small tattoo. I simply have to figure out where to place it... on my body-lower leg? inside lower arm near my wrist?
Mortagne, France countryside by John Sullivan (via Canned Cumulus)
The Fleur de lis has come to represent the symbol of French culture and historically was brought to New France when it was first settled. Two of my ancestors were of the original 13 settlers of Quebec. Jean Guyon, a Master Mason and surveyor, left Mortagne (Perche), France in 1634 with his son for a new life in "Nouvelle France". The rest of his large family joined him a few years later in 1636. I have visited the old city of Quebec several times and try to imagine what it was like for them viewing this land for the first time. (vintage image of Quebec is below).
Someday I would like to visit the Perche region of France located 100 miles West of Paris (in the Normandy province). My son recently visited and took many photos of the buildings that still stand today that my ancestor - Jean Guyon constructed (church photo below). It is a small area the size of Rhode Island consisting of rolling farmland with some beautiful forests, rivers and streams.
 Church by Canned Cumulus
Tourouvre farmhouse by Canned Cumulus
I am hoping to visit France in the next year so if you know of great places to visit-please feel free to share in the comments section.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In the Studio ~

I have a several new pieces in my shop on Etsy - Denise Dion Designs. Browse my shop and use the coupon code 'seasonalcottage' upon checkout to receive free worldwide shipping. Go ahead and get a head start on that Christmas shopping!
blue lace agate earrings 
petite dragonfly sterling silver necklace
petite lotus flower with pearls 
Maine Atlantic Sea glass earrings

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Musings ~

Leave it to a young child inspire those around them. It really is impossible to not respond to such cuteness, whatever mood you're in. We could all take lessons from Chloe on being sincere, kind and friendly.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reflections ~

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”  
Wilferd A. Peterson (1900-1995)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Food Feature ~

Salmon and Creme Cheese Dip

14 oz Salmon, drained
7 oz Cream Cheese
4 tbsp Crème Fraîche
1 crushed Garlic Clove
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp chopped Fresh Parsley
Salt and Black Pepper

1. Place all the ingredients in a place in a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served with Crudités or crackers as a starter.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My French Find ~

I found another wonderful shop on Etsy filled with fabulous French Finds! Poitou Brocante  features lovely vintage and antique items directly from Brocantes in the Poitou Charentes region of France. I enjoyed perusing her shop and found favorite items I would welcome in my home.
French Vintage Wine/Bottle Carrier
French Copper Cooking Pots

French Vintage Enamel Hand Painted
Vintage French Moustiers Earthenware Jar

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Musings ~

Click to enlarge for better viewing.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday Simplify ~

Open your mind. Learn how other people see things.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Food Feature ~

Creamy Leeks
2 lb Leeks, trimmed and sliced
1 oz Butter
5 fl.oz. Crème Fraîche
Salt and Black Pepper
Freshly grated Nutmeg

1. Place the leeks in a pan of boiling water; cook for 8-10 minutes until just tender and drain.
2. Transfer the leeks into a food processor and process until chopped. Remove half, then process the remainder until smooth.
3. Heat the butter in a pan, add the chopped and pureed leeks and cook for 5 minutes over a high temperature, stirring constantly.
4. Add the crème fraîche, season with salt and pepper, cooking for a few minutes, but continue stirring until bubbling.
5. To serve - transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In the Studio ~

I recently visited the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston to view the 'Os Gemeos' Exhibition, which means “the twins” in Portuguese.  It was a beautiful Fall day and the walk along the Rose Kennedy Greenway was a perfect introduction to the Brazilian Street Artists work.  The enormous colorful mural on the side of the Big Dig ventilation building in Dewey Square is not to be missed. It's vibrancy and playfulness lends much to the landscape of the area. Here is a video of the artists,identical twin brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, installing the larger-than-life figure in Dewey Square. Make sure you continue your walk to the ICA to view their first US exhibition.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Musings ~

Click on the graphic twice to enlarge for more detailed viewing:
click twice to enlarge for better viewing