Category Archives: glass

Summer Garden!!!

“The most lasting and pure gladness comes to me from my garden.” – Lillie Langtry*

We have had a busy July with some extra work responsibilities. It’s nice to have the beauty of our patio garden to enjoy!

This week, for our 80th blog post, we feature a quick shrimp & vegetable recipe, stencilled signs, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!

EASY SHRIMP AND RICE

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This dish is a perfect weeknight meal. It’s quick, easy and delicious. An added bonus on a hot summer night – no oven required.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two cups of instant brown rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 lb of 41-50 shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails off
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb frozen mixed pepper strips
  • 1/2 lb frozen broccoli and cauliflower mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  •  Two tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 rib of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

HOW TO PREPARE:

  • Saute onion, mushrooms and celery in one tablespoon of oil until tender.
  • Remove and place in a Dutch oven.
  • Cook frozen peppers and broccoli/cauliflower mixture in microwave for 5 minutes and add to Dutch oven.
  • Toss shrimp with garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
  • Saute shrimp over medium heat in second tablespoon of olive oil until just pink.
  • Add shrimp to vegetables.
  • Stir in cooked rice.
  • Add frozen peas and soy sauce.
  • Stir, cover and cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Make your own combination, add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, cooked carrots or whatever you like!

TRYING SOMETHING NEW: PAINTED SIGNS

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Inspirational or humorous stencilled signs are very popular decorating items for home or garden, but can be very expensive. Why not try making your own?

A found piece of aged wood, and some inexpensive stencils, foam stippler brushes and acrylic paints from Michael’s (look for coupons!) made this project easy. Our stencil set had a full alphabet, punctuation marks and a leaf pattern, which went well with our, “Lets Grow”, message.

A couple of tips:

  • If your stencils come with directions, read them. (Maybe we will next time!)
  • Don’t rush. Do a letter at a time and allow it to dry. Acrylic paint dries quickly, so this crucial step will not take too long.
  • Sand paper and accent paint can help correct smudged letters.

We love how this sign came out and it has a special place in our garden. Which leads us to:

GARDEN UPDATE

“The Earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson*

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We got this beautiful bird house, expertly painted by Roy’s soon-to-be five-year old great-niece, Kinsley, with the assistance from grandma, Lyn. Kinsley has a great eye for color combinations. After seeing photos of our garden, she knew where the bird house needed to go. It color-coodinates perfectly with our pot-full of pink and white petunias! (Thanks Kinsley and Lyn!)

This is a fun craft for any age. The unpainted birdhouses are available at craft stores. (This one came from Michael’s.) Acrylic paints do the trick. They dry fast and hold up pretty well outside. As an added bonus when working with kids, they wash off easily with soap and water.

Add embellishments to make your bird house festive; customize for different themes and holidays!

The Plants:

The warm summer weather has been a boon for our garden. The pepper plants, especially, are responding to the hot, humid weather. The flowers also are thriving – as long as we remember to water at least once a day!

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GUEST GARDEN PHOTOS

We visited Kevin’s brother, Warren and sister-in-law, Sharon, this past weekend. They have a beautiful assortment of flowers. Here are a few pictures:

Kevin was pleased to see that they have a tiger lily plant, which they grew from a clipping taken from Kevin & Warren’s childhood home In Meriden, CT.

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A second recent addition to our garden landscape and a nice surprise from this visit was Roy’s belated birthday gift, a trio of beautifully blown glass solar garden lights. (Thank you Sharon & Warren!)

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FOOD ART

Light on the red onion.

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JOKE OF THE WEEK: 

How well is your garden going to grow? Only thyme will tell!                                                         Source: Nestinstyle.wordpress.com

THE BEARS

The bears are admiring our new “Let’s Grow” sign (featured image).

Enjoy & stay cool!

Roy & Kevin

*Quote source-brainyquote.com

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All Things Spring!

Mark Twain wrote: “In the Spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” Source: QuoteGarden.com

Mr. Twain (or Clemons) had a point. Weather in spring is very changeable. The season started off nicely in Rhode Island, with some great weather for Easter. But last weekend, we got several inches of heavy, wet snow! This fickle weather makes it difficult to have a “springy” attitude. This week, we offer a couple of ideas to get in the spring mode, or mood, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.

Hope you enjoy our shrimp pizza recipe, some basic tips on spring cleaning, a quick spring decor idea, a patio update, and, of course, the bears!

MINI SHRIMP PIZZAS ON ENGLISH MUFFINS

We did a web search for spring inspired recipes, and 2 items came up. The first was a white pizza, and the second, a shrimp dish. One of our long-time favorite recipes, our Shrimp Pizzas on English Muffins, combine these two ideas. Quick and tasty.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 whole wheat English muffins, split
  • 1 lb. bag raw, peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 lb. package of shredded 4-cheese Italian blend
  • 2 tablespoons garlic & herb mix (we use Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 tablespoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

How to prepare:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375.
  • Place split English muffins on a parchment-paper covered sheet tray.
  • Bake muffins for 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
  • While the muffins toast, saute shrimp in olive oil for 2 minutes on each side until just pink.
  • Remove muffins from oven and top with cheese blend.
  • Top English muffins with mushrooms, spinach and shrimp.
  • Sprinkle with herb mix and red pepper flakes.
  • Bake muffin pizzas for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with a salad for a tasty meal.

Our sheet tray of English muffin pizzas look like one big pizza because we like cheese!

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SPRING CLEANING THOUGHTS

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We are not cleaning experts by any stretch of the imagination, but this spring we’ve developed a more focused cleaning routine. Here are a few things that work for us. Extra benefit – cleaning is good exercise!

Do something daily

Make a point of cleaning every day for 45 minutes to an hour, or whatever amount of time you have available.

Timer

Set a timer for your desired length of time and clean until the timer goes off.

Hit list

Make a list of those areas and tasks which could use some attention.

Wear cleaning clothes

Lesson learned: If you are using products with bleach, make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting bleach on. Nothing is more annoying than spotting a pair of jeans or shirt with bleach because you were cleaning!

Put on music and lights 

What? It’s not a disco! Put on some of your favorite music to keep you moving and turn up the lights so you can see what you’re cleaning.

Good motto for cleaning 

Improvement not perfection.

A TOUCH OF GLASS (SPRING EDITION)

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For Easter, we decorated using glass bowls and vases filled with plastic eggs. For spring, we use artificial flowers the same way. Wow – a vase with flowers, what a concept!!!

We prefer using monochromatic displays of various types of flowers. Above, we filled a trifle bowl with some pretty blossoms and surrounded it with other flowers, glass and lights. Forsythia and daisies make a taller display in the photo below. With the weather in Rhode Island so far this spring, artificial flowers suffice; of course, the same ideas work beautifully with fresh flowers.

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PATIO UPDATE

This photo was taken this past Monday, 04/04/16. Not too spring-like!

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Coming soon – an interesting addition to the patio! The bee seems curious!!!

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FOOD ART

The asparagus at the top of the page makes a great centerpiece, and delicious side dish! Check out the link below from our 2015 post, “Spring into Spring” for a delicious asparagus recipe:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/04/12/spring-into-spring/

THE BEARS

The bears are using the Easter lily plant for shade. The plant is hanging in there, and all of the buds have bloomed. The bears seem to like it!

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SPORTS UPDATE

Congratulations to the UCONN Huskies women’s basketball team for winning their 4th straight NCAA National Championship!!! Record-breaking accomplishment!!! GO HUSKIES!!!

Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin