Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baked Vegetables

My husband loves to cook Sunday lunch and occasionally tries new recipes or makes up his own. Now this is the man who, when our children were babies, used to ask me how to make a basic sauce. Yes definitely he has come a long way! Today he made us a lovely meatloaf covered with strips of bacon (came out lovely, sorry I forgot to take a picture and now of course, it is all gone). In the above picture you can see some lovely fresh veggies baked to perfection. This is a healthy way to cook them to preserve their vitamins. Here is how he made them...

5-6 medium carrots
6 zucchini (the round marrow kind)
4 medium onions peeled and halved
2-3 tablespoons Olive oil
Herbes de Provence

Preheat oven to about 350-400 degrees F (175 to 200 degrees C).
Scrape and wash carrots and zucchini, then roughly cut or chop them. Add prepared onions.
Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish.
Combine prepared veggies in prepared baking dish and add olive oil. Mix vegetables well until they are coated with oil on all sides. Sprinkle some Herbes de Provence over all the veggies.
Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour in preheated oven or until vegetables are tender.

Note: You can also use broccoli or cauliflower florets or even mushrooms. If you are using potatoes, I suggest you pre-boil them first for a few minutes before baking them along with the other veggies.


Friday, September 25, 2009

If I had Wings ~ A Tag

for your welcome suggestion
to make my poem and photo into a tile/tag...
I hope you like it : )

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If I had Wings ~ A Poem

~If I had Wings~

If I had wings
If I could fly
I'd spread my wings
I'd span the sky
If I had wings
I'd feel so free
My friend won't you
Come fly with me
The wind will lift us higher
Far above the clouds
If I had wings I'd fly with you
Far from all the crowds!
Doreen Scerri © 2009

I took the above picture only a few days ago when I was taking pictures of clouds. Have you ever tried to take photos of birds in flight? Gosh it is ever so difficult to get them all in one perfect frame. It was getting kind of dark then, but this is the best one I got and I am quite happy with it. I think capturing birds in flight will be my next challenge : ) Have you ever thought about how fast birds fly? The photo inspired me to write the poem. Poetry takes me into worlds and places I may never get to, it frees my spirit and my mind travels anywhere it fancies, anywhere it longs to go and through my verses I can travel beyond the horizon and back again.

Thank you Lord for the wind beneath my wings

every time You inspire me

with Your wonderful creation.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On theThreshold between Summer and Fall

On this side of the world we are just about crossing
the threshold between summer and fall.
I love the above is of clouds rising from the north
with the fiery red setting sun in the west reflected in them.
They are as beautiful as ocean waves yet they have a beauty of their own.

I love looking up at the sky, the clouds are just awesome.
Take time to look up once in a while ~ the view can be very uplifting! We have been gifted with so many God-given wonders, but sometimes we take them for granted. You don't have to pay to watch the skies, the ocean, the birds, the flowers, the fields ~ enjoy them and give thanks!

At the start of the past season and after the long winter months, most of us were yearning for summer, sunshine and beaches, siestas and all that summer would bring along with it.
So it may not be everyone's cup of tea to be thinking of going back to school, schedules and timetables. But certainly fall, or autumn as most of us like to call this season, is here once more. Isn't it just wonderful that we can see it happening with the dimness of autumn's continual lessening light and although we feel it in the decreasing energy our bodies go through to adjust to this quiet season, there is a certain calmness there with each and every one of us, if only we stop long enough to experience and appreciate it.
As you can tell, I am definitely in the mood for fall, looking forward to the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen especially soups and casseroles and baking (surely not summer food at least not for me), anticipating the expectations of getting ready for Thanksgiving and the fun part of Halloween and if I may say so, yes even the thrill of getting ready for Christmas!

Clouds are wondrous in the sky
Catching colours from earth's surface,
Fewer hours light our day
Making home a cozier place.
Our nights are much cooler
We dream soundly in our sleep,
Changing winds forever blowing
A crisp rust carpet for us to sweep.
Pumpkins, scarecrows, autumn leaves
Blend to help us remember
As we cherish sweet memories of seasons past
And enjoy these bountiful days of September.
I long for walks along the countryside
Wait for inspiration along the bay,
I love the scent of the first rainfall
Fall is here to stay.
Doreen Scerri © 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Klabb Sajf 2009 (Kids' summer club 2009)

This evening the children who took part in this year's summer club at our parish were joined by the community and their parents and families as well as their teachers to celebrate the closing of this year's club. After a Mass of thanksgiving at our Parish, we headed to the Centre for a get-together where the kids entertained those present with the dance segment of the famous Thriller music video as well as various other song and dance. After certificates of attendance were presented to the children and everyone present admired all they created during the 8 weeks the club was on-going, refreshments were also served. I am sharing some pictures I managed to take just before the crowd set in and I hope you can appreciate the hard work involved (sorry if some of the pictures are not very sharp).

Various crafts are shown here including the re-cycled paper bags, sponge-painted jars. decoupaged plates, painted terracotta pots and decorated wooden spoons. At the back you can see some of the nativity cribs.

This is not a very sharp picture but you can still see the lovely ideas the children came up with in decorating their own cards with corrugated paper and fun foam shapes and glitter.
The tree shape on the left is a Christmas tree made with bottle caps, sequins and ribbons.

The acrylic painted terracotta pots were decorated with a plant poke made in the shape of a hat and a real plant was added for extra effect.
The front blue jar was sponged painted and has a circle of beads attached to the rim.
In this picture you can also see one of the name plates made from fun foam, a decorated spoon and a decoupaged plate.

I love the way the sequins on these butterflies made them shine in the light...we also added chenille stems to shape the body and feelers.

At the bottom of the picture you can see more decoupaged plates.

And here are two of the lovely nativity scenes.
The kids had a great time splashing and messing around with papier mache and lots of glue until they got the shapes of the cave and surrounding according to their imagination.

I think this was quite a challenge and the results speak for themselves.

Part of the exhibition from a different angel...I love the butterflies and hats!

Here is one of the Name-plates decorated with Fun foam.

Although this picture is out of focus, I decided to post it since it is a close can see how the bottle caps have been placed in the shape of a triangle to form the tree...each one was basically filled with cottonwool over which sequins were glued. A strand of sequined ribbon was glued to the edges to finish off the effect. At the top you can also see a hanger and an ice-cream stick (lolly stick) was stuck to the base for a tree trunk. This is a great re-cycle project to make with kids for Christmas : )

Again here you can see some more of the displayed items.

This decoupaged plate has a lovely effect with the poinsetta cut-out offset by the red background.
Here is also another spoon this time with braided hair.

A lovely idea for a fun-foam card. It was lovely to see the ideas the kids came up with, sometimes you feel as if they are teaching you!

A close-up of yet another beautiful butterfly!

A close-up of a decoupaged plate.
Another picture of a plate using a card featuring a robin with a background of a pale lime green napkin with little flowers.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Fall Decoration for your Yard/Patio

As Fall approaches we will be putting our summer
decorations away and making room for pumpkins,
multi-coloured leaves and autumn wreaths
as well as this season's centre pieces
along with Thanksgiving and
Halloween decorations.

The picture above is a lovely and creative display of
pumpkins and gourds on an old weathered bench.
Fall flowers, turkey pokes, a
watering can and a cute little scarecrow made
from dish towels complete the look.
Many thanks to my friend Calico on my favourite forum
'Craftsayings' who made this fall presentation and also
gave me permission to feature it on my blog.
Thanks Calico : )

I hope you will all be inspired by this creative idea!
Please add any ideas you may have to the comments section ~ thanks!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Survival of my Garden in Pots...

My garden is a variety of plants on the rooftop, in our balcony
and on my kitchen windowsill as well as around the house.
Having some greens and foliage gives me a sense of being in a garden, well sort of : )
The above is a collage of pictures of my surviving plants,
ones that I had indoors, and some of my outdoor ones too.
It has been a hot and humid summer on our island
and we have survived, so did our plants but only just!

Remember this picture earlier this summer...these were foliage that I grew from seeds and was so looking forward to summer flowers...well from this it went


this ..... don't know what happened here but it seems either the seeds I used were not good quality or else like everything else the plants suffered from our intense summer heat.

And I am just now at the end of the season enjoying these tiny flowers from this one plant (from the only two that survived) will notice I put up a kind of trellis at the back as earlier on some of the plants were sprouting tendrils and I so enjoyed seeing these climbers trailing up until one fine day they just shrivelled up and died : (

Most of my plants suffered the scorching heat of the day, the dry winds...I have tried to save what is left by repotting or adding top soil, we'll see...

I managed to save one bulb of my trio in the Nolina family, fingers crossed this one will survive.

I had a couple of cuttings my Mum gave me which I had in water for several weeks and one of them even sprouted roots...

I have now potted them and they seem to be doing nicely.

And here are my herbs, chives on the left,
basil on the right,


rosemary on the left and mint on the right.

I am getting these indoors for the winter and hopefully they will do better on my kitchen windowsill : )

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Making bookmarks for some very special people...

Yesterday my husband and I and several friends had the lovely occasion to meet the sweet Sisters of the Poor Clares in St. Julians at a get-together organized by the same nuns. We are indeed very happy and fortunate to be able to spend such precious time with them. They always bless us with their welcoming and warm friendship.

The bookmarks were a joint effort/idea made
as a gift for the Poor Clares
~ thanks to all who shared ideas or donated supplies
so that I could make these ~ are pictures of the work involved in making them
for those who would like to try making some.

I measured, cut and knotted (on one end) some lovely colourful ribbons, donated by some friends, ...

It was hard to choose from such a lovely variety of crosses...these were generously donated and sent from America by some very dear on-line friends.

The next step was the most difficult...threading the ribbon which is a bit fidgety but I improvised with a home made tool ... a short length of silver wire bent in two to thread the ribbon with!

With my family's help I found a way how to leave one side of the ribbon longer than the other while securing the cross so that the final knot does not show behind the bookmark.

Once I designed the bookmarks I printed them...hmmm, that was when the printer ink finished...anyway I finally got them printed.

The next step was to laminate them.

I love the laminating part...this is when the design part is all done and ready and you can finally see the end result...

A paper cutter is a very helpful tool when you have to cut out some three dozen bookmarks and trim them!

Using a hole punch, make a hole in the middle at the top of each bookmark.

This was also a fun part...threading the ribbon and cross ... here comes the part where you will find out that the knot stays at the back because of what we did earlier when we threaded the ribbon and cross having left one side a little longer than the other.

Here is a close up of the bookmarks.

It took quite a long time (at least 8-10 hours spread over different days) to design (having tried several different designs), to print and then do all the steps above to make these bookmarks.

It was well worth making the bookmarks to see the smiles on the sisters' faces.

Here is the wording on the bookmarks:

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." ~ St. Francis of Assisi ~

"Praise God by Your Life" ~ St. Clare ~

Thank you Lord for the precious gift of
the Poor Clares who daily offer their
prayers for each and every one of us.

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