Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

I`m going to keep it brief today.
Any one who is in the pathway of the hurricane, please be safe.
I have a daughter and son in law that live in Virginia Beach with my two granddaughters. I pray they stay safe through this.
So my thoughts and prayers are with any one in the pathway of this storm.
I live in Southeastern Connecticut, so I too will feel the effects of this hurricane. I`m about as prepared as you can get.
I do have to say that whatever happens will happen. You can`t control Mother Nature, you can only prepare for her rath to the best of your ability.
So in ending today.
I say
Au Naturelle

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shop Of The Week A Day Late

My shop of the week is Sunnyside Designs, absolutely gorgeous!

Like I said absolutely gorgeous is all I can say!
I appreciate talent that I know I`ll never have.
And you know its getting to be that time of year. On a chilly evening wouldn`t it be nice to wrap yourself up in one of the beautiful quilts from this shop on Etsy.
Check out the entire shop for more beautiful handcrafted items for your home.

Now for my herb of the week,
I choose French Tarragon.

Referred to as “a chef’s best friend,” French 
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is an essential 
aromatic herb. 

How to Grow 
Soil:  French tarragon grows best in warm, 
dry, well-aerated soils and does not tolerate wet or 
saturated soils. French tarragon grows well in 
neutral pH soils (pH 6.5-7.5), but exhibits some 
preference for slightly acidic soils. Most soils in 
Utah are suitable for growing French tarragon 
provided they are well drained.  
Soil Preparation: Before planting, 
incorporate 1 to 2 inches of well-composted organic 
matter or ½ tablespoon of all-purpose fertilizer (16-
16-8) per square foot of growing area. Work the 
compost or fertilizer into the top 6 to 8 inches of the 
soil. Organic matter additions to soils help improve 
aeration and water drainage.       
French tarragon is 
propagated almost exclusively from stem cuttings 
and root divisions. Seeds are rarely planted because 
French tarragon seldom flowers, resulting in little 
seed availability. Be careful when propagating from 
root divisions. French tarragon roots are brittle; so 
use a knife, as opposed to a shovel or hoe, when 
collecting new plants. Root divisions should be 
done in the spring just as new shoot tips are 
emerging. You should get three to five new plants.

Heres a great quick and easy recipe using french tarragon you`ve got to try.

Chicken Salad with Tarragon Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat*
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried tarragon (or 1-2 Tbsp fresh chopped tarragon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

* Poach about 1 1/2 lbs of skinless chicken breasts and thighs, preferably bone-in (for flavor), in a quart of salted (1 teaspoon) water, for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from water, let cool, remove bones, chop the meat into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes.


Mix all of the ingredients together. Adjust seasoning. Serve with lettuce for a simple salad, in a tomato that has been cut open for a stuffed tomato, or with slices of bread for a chicken salad sandwich.
Yield: Serves 4.

I like to make a chicken salad instead of tuna all the time. You just need something different once in a while.
Thats it for today.
Have a great day
As Always
Keep It Clean!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I can`t believe I haven`t been able to get myself over to my blog since last Wednesday. It`s been busy with orders almost every day. Now thats not a bad thing at all. But I`d rather be able to write up something new at least every few days. This has been over a week.
So forgive me if you can, between the orders and the new ideas I`m working on, I`ve neglected my blog. So I have a lot of catching up to do.
I`ve added some new products to my shop including stone coasters handstamped, sets of cloth napkins and bar mop towels screen printed and be watching for the french whitewashed garden pots with reverse imaging. I may get these listed today. My shop Au Naturelle is a complete gift shop now. If you`re looking for a gift for someone special, you may just find it here at Au Naturelle.
The French Country pots are whitewashed and distressed to look like they`ve been aging in a beautiful country garden. There are three images to choose from, the Fleur De Lis with French Script, The Angel Baby playing an instrument and the French Scrolled Label. All are beautiful together or alone. They look wonderful with a trailing ivy falling from the pot. (Sorry Ivy Not Included)
These are available at Au Naturelle For $12.00 each. What a wonderful gift one of these would make with a plant in it, to a garden lover. The style is cottage chic, country shabby chic.
As Always
Keep It Clean!
Have A Great Weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Item

New Item For Sale Today at Au Naturelle!
Set Of Four Coasters
Made Of Tumbled Marble

Tomorrow I will also be listing a set of Rooster Coasters 
And a set of Bee Coasters.
Be Watching!

As Always
Keep It Clean!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fresh Cut Flowers

Cut flowers make us feel good. They help us celebrate special events and communicate emotions by saying thank you, get well, I'm sorry, and I love you.

Then there's the special joy of receiving flowers, whether it's a red rose from the local florist or a fistful of dandelions from your daughter. Flowers, especially the intention behind them, mean so much.

Maturity also affects their keeping qualities. Cut roses, irises, daffodils and gladiolas in bud stage. Marigolds, dianthus, and delphiniums should be open. After cutting, immediately put flowers in lukewarm, not cold, water. (See more tips below). Cut the stem on a slant and remove any leaves that will be submerged in the vase.
Unfortunately though, flowers wilt. Do you ever feel delighted to receive beautiful flowers only to feel a little depressed as you watch them fade? While you can't bring cut flowers back to life, here are some tips for keeping them looking fresh longer. Let's start with learning the best way to cut your own bouquet.

What's the best way to cut flowers?Flowers keep best when cut with a sharp knife (un-serrated) and plunged immediately into water. Always make a cut on a slant, as it exposes more stem surface area. Also, remove leaves that will be under water in the arrangement, but do not remove thorns from roses as it tends to shorten their life.

When is the best time to cut flowers?
Some people I know would say it's never a good time to cut flowers. They prefer to enjoy them alive and in the garden. But if you do like to cut them, the best time is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it has cooled. Morning is when the plant is filled with stored food and the flowers are most fragrant. If you'd like to grow your own flowers and bedding plants, you'll appreciate my easy-to-follow seed starting tips. Flowers do the same thing. Their demand for water is continuous, even when they're cut away from the mother plant. The difference is that cells in the stem have tiny screens that allow water to pass, but not air. So, when the flower stem is cut, a small air bubble forms at the end of the stem and is trapped. This acts like a barrier and prevents more water from getting up the stem -- even if you replace the stem in water.

Yellow tulips as cut flowers

Why did my red roses wilt so fast?

While it may have been caused by excessive warm or dry storage conditions, you can pretty much blame wilted roses on air bubbles and bacteria. To prevent air bubble blocks, make a new stem-end cut while holding it in water. A small droplet of water will cling to the stem end as you transfer the rose to the vase. This prevents the bubble from re-forming. As to how bacteria causes flowers to wilt, read on.

keeping roses fresh

There are 5 things in life you cannot recover: A stone...after it's thrown. A word...after it is said. An occasion.. .after it's missed. The time...after it's gone. A person...after they die. Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile, Enjoy Life .. Re-post if you agree
only if you really want too.... will you forgive ,Life is way to short .

As Always
 Keep It Clean!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thyme - Herb Of The Week


Height4-8 inches
Spacing3-10 inches
UsesSoups, stuffings, meats (Use sparingly)
OtherNeeds good drainage. Cut back each year. Divide old plants

Medicinally, thyme has held a long place in history as a remedy for a variety of ailments. The Greeks treated nervous conditions with thyme and considered the herb to be an antiseptic. In Medieval Europe, thyme was used to ward off plagues and the essential oil (a source of thymol) was a standard antiseptic in first-aid kits carried on the battlefields of World War I. The essential oil is still used today to flavor cough syrups. To the ancient Greeks, thyme was a symbol of elegance and social grace. In France, thyme became an icon of the Republican movement. Gardeners have always appreciated thyme for it's understated beauty, aroma and its ability to attract bees. In some cultures, fairies were believed to inhabit thyme patches and many a gardener made a point of isolating a few plantings to accommodate their little friends.

Finally a simple recipe using thyme.
Thyme & Sauted Vegetables

2 tbls. olive oil
1 cup red peppers, seeded and sliced into strips
1 cup onion, sliced
1 cup artichoke leaves
1 cup asparagus tips, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced red cabbage

1/4 cup dried thyme or 3-4 fresh sprigs
Combine oil, peppers and onions in a saute' pan. Stir over medium heat until just tender. Add artichoke leaves and shredded red cabbage and saute' for 2 minutes. Add asparagus tips and thyme and saute' 1 minute. Serve over rice, pasta or cous-cous.

Have a good night!
As Always Keep It Clean!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Newest Creation At Au Naturelle

My newest creation at Au Naturelle are these fabulous candleholders that I`ve fashioned out of blocks of fir wood.
These are for sale at Au Naturelle for $15.00 a pair. What a great shabby chic, rustic look and they also come with the beeswax tealights too!

Have A Great Day!
As Always Keep It Clean!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Shop Of The Week

My shop of the week choice is Rosie`s Armoire. I love the unique and vintage style of the hand printed accessories and gift ideas.
I have provided a link below to her shop;

As always I would like one of each, but you are going under my favorites on Etsy until it gets closer to the holidays for now.
Enjoy this shop on Etsy and many other fabulous shops abounding with excellent handcrafted goods!
Have a great day!
As Always
Keep It Clean!