Welcome to Le Beau Paon Victorien! I'm so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Decorating

It doesn't quite look like spring here yet (although I saw some of my early double tulips are poking out of the ground and, to my amazement, my bearded iris are already about 6 inches out of the ground), but I won't let that stop me from bringing out a little spring inside my house!

I was shopping at JoAnn's for some crafting supplies and saw this pretty wreath 40% off. It was too pretty to pass up and since I don't have a spring or Easter wreath for the front door at Le Beau Paon, I bought it. I did, of course, have to add a little something to it. I added the faux hydrangea and also made a ribbon bow.

I also had gone to my local Goodwill the same day, looking for a suitable jar for my cookie bouquet project and spotted a couple of things not on my list, but which I knew I could use.

I loved the bunny figure and he was only $1.99. I actually don't have a lot of Easter decorations and I think he will make a nice addition to my Easter table. The two deer figures are kind of dirty and I think they might have had plants in them or something. Once I clean them up I know I can do something cool with them for next Christmas and of course, the price was right ($1.00 for each one). The small oval crystal relish dish was also $1.99 and I can always use more relish dishes ( I only have one, actually!).

Mr. Bunny (or is it a Mrs? There's a pink bow on the neck...hmmmm) is currently sitting on the piano in the hall, next to my faux peony bouquet.

Hopefully my spring decorating will entice spring to actually get here soon!
Thanks for visiting me!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Food: Monsters Love Cookies

I had to go out of town this weekend on a visit to my stepsister and her husband in Minneapolis. They have a little boy who just turned 3 and a little girl who turned 1 the day before her brother! They decided to throw a combined birthday party and Erik and I made the trip up for the occasion.

I wanted to make something cute and special as a treat for the party, so I made this cookie bouquet.

It was really easy to make because I didn't actually have to bake any cookies! I just bought some Chips Ahoy! cookies from the grocery store. The blue cookie-eating "monsters" are always recognizable to anyone of any age! I actually got the idea from a book my mom gave me for Christmas, called 'Delicious Designs', which shows you how to make your own cookie bouquets as well as candy arrangements and fruit bouquets.

I bought this lid-less candy jar at Goodwill for $1.99 and then cut a foam block to fit inside, leaving enough room to stuff some cookies down in the jar.

The foam is wrapped in aluminum foil and placed inside the jar. Then the cookies are placed on edge all around the foam base.

My other supplies included cookie sticks, ready-made blue cookie icing, blue sprinkles and candy melts in both chocolate and vanilla. I usually have several flavors of candy melts in my baking cupboard; I have several candy molds that I use frequently. I like to make them as decorations for cupcakes and cakes.

I also have a bag of mini Chips Ahoy! cookies.

The idea book said to use black and white decorating frosting for the eyes, but then I found these candy eyes, also made by Wilton.

First I melted some vanilla candy melts in the microwave and made five cookie pops with vanilla centers, sandwiching the cookie stick in between two regular size Chips Ahoy! cookies. Then I melted the chocolate candy melts and made four cookie pops with chocolate centers. The idea book used six of each kind, but my jar has a narrower opening than the one in the book and I didn't think I'd be able to fit 12 cookies in my bouquet. I set them aside on some waxed paper and let them cool so the candy would turn hard again.

After they had cooled and set, I selected half of the cookie pops to make faces. The rest of them I just dipped halfway into the leftover candy melts and decorated with sprinkles. The idea book used blue jimmies, but I couldn't find any jimmies in blue, so I just used sugar. I frosted the faces with the blue icing, sprinkled them with blue sugar, added the eyes and then broke a mini Chips Ahoy! in half to make each "mouth" and pressed them into the icing. The cookie icing took awhile to set firm so I left them sitting on a tray until they were ready.

When all the icing was set, I pushed the cookie sticks into the foam base. This was somewhat more difficult than I expected. In the idea book they suggested using craft sticks ( like popsicle sticks, I suppose) which might be easier to push into the foam. I alternated the cookies with faces with the dipped cookies in the bouquet and tried to make them varying heights, but the jar opening was so narrow that I had trouble getting them in the way I wanted. I think next time I'll look for a jar that has a really wide opening! I also "fancied" mine up with some paper and ribbon trims. Then I crumbled some cookies to sprinkle over the top of the base.  My cookie bouquet survived the 5 hour drive to Minnesota really well and was a big hit at the party with kids and adults alike!
Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tablescape Thursday: Spring Dinner

I had some great fun putting together a whimsical spring table for Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan at  Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to visit all this week's participants!

I loved using a mix of dishes and a color scheme that was predominately green with some blue and yellow.

The centerpiece I threw together a couple of weeks ago. (HERE)

            Garden elements like snail napkin rings, a faux fern "charger" and a bird's nest (real) give my spring table an organic feel.

I only have four of these green plates, so I had two other place settings with different dishes. On the bottom, a green dinner plate, a cream-colored salad plate in the middle, topped with a blue flowered bowl.

The two place settings on the end I used my casual dinnerware plates, antique ironstone blue transferware salad/luncheon plates, and a bowl from my casual dinnerware set.

Block print napkins are folded into a simple accordian fold and slipped through a sweet snail napkin ring.

In the center of the table, on top of a blue, green and yellow runner are some pretty candles and my silver pheasant S&P shakers.

The bird's nest I found in a tree in my yard last year. I've used it on another table (HERE) and in some of my other decor.

Of course, my good silver flatware must make an appearance!

....and my good crystal stemware.......

I love these napkins! I love the different patterns, and they are a nice size (20"), for making fancy folds.

I had to have these snail napkin rings when I saw them at Pottery Barn.

A better view of the center of the table.

   A spring table must also have birds!

     Each place setting also has an individual salter (upper left) corner of the cover.

After I was done with taking pictures, I dis-assembled my fern "chargers" and added them to my spring centerpiece to change it up.

Thanks for stopping by!

Casual dinnerware with matching gravy boat; "Emma" from Pottery Barn. 2007
Silver flatware; "Baroque" by Godinger, Nieman-Marcus. 2010
Blue flowered bowls; $1.00 ea at an antiques mall
White cutwork embroidery tablecloth: Goodwill.
Green plates: TJ Maxx 2009
Crystal Stemware; "Jamestown Platnium" by Mikasa
Table runner: Ralph Lauren, TJ Maxx.
Round green quilted place mats: TJ Maxx
Print napkins and snail napkin rings: Pottery Barn

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stoneship Eden; A Collection of Photos

I realized that it's been awhile since I posted any pictures of Erik's band, Stoneship Eden. You can check out their website at http://www.stoneshipeden.com/ to hear sound clips. They are also on Facebook, where you can usually find some video footage.

They had a great many shows last summer and fall; there was a brief break over the holidays and since January have been averaging about 2-3 shows a month. It will be much busier when the festival season begins.

Sept. 11, 2010

Sept.11, 2010

Sept.11, 2010

Sept. 19, 2010

                                                         December 2010

                                                                   March 13, 2011

                                                                           February 19,2011

                                                           December 2010

February 2011

February 2011

May 2010

Harley-Davidson Toast for Hope Benefit 2010

                                  Opening Day at Miller Park. 4/5/10

Brat Days August 2010

                                                            Fish Days, July 2010

Here's a really, really short clip from a show last year that I recorded on my camera. I'm really wanting to invest in a real video camera so I can film lots of my own band footage! This is the guitar solo from Crystal Ball by Styx.
Thanks for stopping by!