Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Studio Retreat

Wow, it has been a busy week! Not much time for blogging... but I have a very fun update from my weekend to share with you now. Al and I took all of the ladies from my studio down to Bray's Island. A time to relax, enjoy one another's company... and to be inspired by South Carolina's beautiful lowcountry!

Enjoy some of our pictures from the weekend below!

Our first stop was the rookery. If you look closely across the water you will see all of the birds that have built their nests. The trees were covered! You can also tell that our weather was gorgeous all weekend!

Using our binoculars, we were able to get a better view of the great egrets, snowy egrets, herons, blue herons, and moorhens... just to name a few!

A great egret (yellow beak, black toes) watching over her nest and a snowy egret (black beak, yellow toes) below.

Using the scope we were able to get a great view of the birds, nests, and the fluffy little babies! Here Audrey demonstrates how to use the scope when winking-impaired :)

A great egret watching over her nest right after we saw a heron swoop in and steal one of her sticks.

Great egret babies - they were playing and pecking at each other like true siblings!

Joan and Beckie at dinner our first night.

Of course we brought our Olive along. She loves Brays as much as we do!

Stephanie, up early to ride bikes around the Island!

We spent one day in Beaufort, SC... and on our way stopped by Old Sheldon Church. This is where Erin and Jacob were married!

Group shot in front of Old Sheldon!

Stephanie and Joan enjoying the view in Beaufort.

We went on a historical carriage ride... of course I had to say hello to our horse, Newman :)

Everyone pitched in to make a beautiful dinner back at the house...

 It was a beautiful weekend... our artistic juices are officially recharged!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawberry Shortcakes

Hi Friends!
Today I wanted to share the recipe of one of my family's favorite desserts. It's an American classic... strawberry shortcake!


The recipe I use is easy to find and easy to make! It is printed on every box of Bisquick pancake mix.

"Must-Haves" for this recipe:
-in season, sweet strawberries
-homemade whipped cream or ice cream :)


Strawberry Shortcakes

*makes 6 shortcakes
4  cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/3 cups pancake mix
2/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter, melted
whipped cream/ice cream

Heat oven to 425. Mix the strawberries and sugar, set aside. Stir pancake mix, milk, 3 Tbsp sugar and he butter until soft dough forms. Drop spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet - there will be 6 total. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Split shortcakes while warm - fill and top with whipped cream/ice cream.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Are you ready for day 2 of strawberry week!?? :)

photo credit:

Every strawberry season, Stephanie makes strawberry jam... and lucky for us she always brings some to the studio to share with everyone. It is fabulous!

Inspired by the recipe on the Sure Jell box, she has experimented with different ways of making it through the years. Below is her recipe - sweet and simple. You don't even have to boil water!

photo credit:

Strawberry Freezer Jam

2 quarts strawberries
1 pack Sure Jell
4 cups of sugar (sugar substitutes are not recommended!)

Mash strawberries in a food processor. Mix in Sure Jell and sugar. Put the strawberry mixture in air tight containers in the freezer.
Tah-dah! Your jam will be ready for breakfast the next morning :)


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Me-Oh-My... for Strawberry Pie!!

This week is dedicated to all of my fellow strawberry lovers!! All week I will be posting some of our favorite strawberry recipes :)

You see, every year when strawberry season comes we can bet on Mary Beth stopping by The Peach Stand on her way to the studio and bringing us a beautiful basket of strawberries. Yum!

We love these little red treasures... and our families love them too. Here is Stephanie's daughter a few years back enjoying one right off the vine! Who knew eating strawberries could be so cute?

We love to eat them... and to paint them too!

First up, Audrey is sharing a Strawberry Pie recipe from one of her dear friends, Jessica. And this is a grandmother's recipe... so you know it's good!! The recipe can be found on her friend Jessica's blog - Kettler Cusine.

A note from Audrey:
Hi friends! I saw this recipe on my girlfriend's blog and had to try it! She is an amazing cook so I knew it would not disappoint... and I was right! This recipe is quick, easy, and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and used Annie's pie crust. Oh, and I also used orange liquor in my whipped cream - only because that's what I had on hand. Sweet and fresh, this pie is perfect for the warmer temps that are coming our way. Yum, yum, and yum. Enjoy!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sweet Tea & Screen Doors at Cracker Barrel!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Just wanted to share a few pictures of our newest collection (in stores now) at Cracker Barrel. The program is called Sweet Tea & Screen Doors. It's all about the lazy days of summer and front porch living. With images of screen doors, rocking chairs, potted flowers, pie, and sweet tea... it is the perfect collection for summer!

Wall decor...

Stone coasters... Avoid table rings and keep Mom happy this summer. Mother's Day is coming up after all! :)

Pass along plates make sharing treats with friends even sweeter!

Picnic Baskets... (this is the top view)

Shopping Bags... care for the planet in style, y'all!

Themometors for your porch... to measure those hot summer temps!

Magnets with cute little southern sayings...

Visit Cracker Barrel soon to see these and other items for yourself. 
And enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Artist Spotlight - Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly is one of the great American artists of our day. Born in 1941, Chihuly began working with glass as an interior design major at the University of Washington. From there he went on to study and work in many places around the world including the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the Venini glass factory in Venice. His unique perspective and vibrant use of color make his glass sculptures distinguished treasures. Chihuly's work is featured across the United States and abroad in many prestigious museums and gardens. If you ever have the chance to see his sculptures you are sure to become an instant admirer. I think his work is simply fabulous and had the pleasure of seeing it first hand when his exhibit came to the Mint Museum here in Charlotte.

photo credit:

Currently, his work is on exhibit in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Arboretum. If you live near Dallas this is a must-see!! If, like me, you will not be in Dallas during the show, no need to fret! Audrey, who works for the studio from Dallas, had the chance to go last weekend and took some photos for me to share with you all right here on the blog!

Enjoy.... and if you ever have the chance to see Chihuly's sculptures for yourself don't pass it up!