Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rainy Day Random


Hello!  It has been gloomy and rainy here for days, so I am very behind on a few photography projects that I need to get done...so for today's post I thought I would gather up a number of things that I have wanted to show you but never seem to have the time to squeeze in...

I'll apologize in advance for the super long, random post!

In keeping with my love of outdoor photography, this past Summer I photographed everything I could, including a few picnics.  I did not snap a lot of pictures on this particular day, but I will share the few that I have.  Dappled light does not make for the best photographs, but we picked this spot because it was close to the creek and mostly shaded.  One of the things I really love about blogging is that it has given me such an appreciation for taking the time to make things pretty.  Taking that extra effort to make things special and pretty might, at times, go unnoticed by my family, but that's okay because I enjoy doing it...and having all of you to share it with makes it that much better :)) 





One of the many things I reuse the French lemonade bottles {from Whole Foods} for, is to hold new drinks that I make.  My kids happen to love what we call "blueberry fizz," which is just the organic blueberry juice from Trader Joe mixed half and half with San Pellegrino sparkling water.


Perfect for a brunch picnic, as well, is herb butter.  It is super easy to make your own butter if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer.  All you need is about 9 minutes and some heavy whipping cream and you are good to go!  If you would like detailed step-by-step instructions, CLICK HERE.  I love to fold in fresh herbs at the very end for an flavorful twist on plain butter.  Here I made thyme butter...chive butter is also a big favorite.


If you leave your honey out in the sun a bit and let it warm up, it is divine over sliced pears...crumbled goat cheese is a wonderful addition as well.  Just make sure the jar you have has a tight fitting lid so that you don't attract ants :)


And speaking of honey, I have been wanting to share with you my love for infused honey.  One of our favorites is lavender honey and it is super easy to make...

All you need is a clean canning jar with a tight fitting lid, raw honey, and dried lavender buds {make sure they are not treated with anything and are specific for cooking with, I get mine HERE}.  Then just fill your jar about 1/3 full with the lavender buds and fill the rest of the jar with your honey.  Place in a sunny window for one to two weeks turning the jar once per day.  After two weeks, strain the honey into a clean jar and discard the lavender buds.  Voila, lavender honey!  Easy!!  Infused honey makes a great gift!





Okay, moving on...I told you this was random :))  Autumn is my favorite time of year to photograph outdoors, and here in the Midwest I think God made Fall especially beautiful to make up for the long, cold winters ahead that we have to endure!  I would like to include some changing landscape photos in my posts over the next month or so as the beauty of Fall takes over...


I took these two photos at a farm that my sister and I take are kids to for weekly walks.  They have a 2.5 mile path that goes all around the prairie fields and it is one of my favorite places.


I would also love to share pictures that I take of my niece/goddaughter from time to time.  I have been practicing my portrait photography on Sophie since she was born in May.  Isn't she a cutie?!  I don't get enough practice at portrait photography because my own kids do not like to cooperate with me when I pull my camera out and ask them to stand still...let's just say that there is usually a lot of arguing going on :)  At any rate, here are just a few pics of precious Sophie...






And lastly {phew!}, here is a little peek at the new Jeanne d' Arc Living book, Amazing Retreats, that will be available in two weeks...


This book is full of outdoor styling inspiration and will feature many gorgeous Summer homes from Denmark, all in the lovely Nordic-French style!






As a bonus, the book will also include a chapter on Christmas decorating!  Yay!  I can't wait to see it!!






{last 7 images courtesy of Jeanne d' Arc Living}

You can pre-order a copy of Amazing Retreats in the SHOP


I think that was one of my longest posts ever!  Sorry to throw so much at you at once, but I have a very busy week ahead and I'm not sure how soon I will get to post again.

Enjoy your day!


Tracey

46 comments:

Francine said...

I was going to say that you make me want to go on a picnic , but hen I saw that cute little face and that's all I can think about. She is soooo lovely:)

paige said...

i'm trying to find a wonderful picturesque field nearby...that one looks gorgeous!
the pictures of sophie are so sweet.
what a good model she is :)

sissie said...

Hello Tracey,
As always, I love your beautiful blog and feel such a great sense of clam when I visit.

hugs
Sissie

The Vintage Farmhouse said...

Now I am hungry! I am going to have to try the lavender honey!

manon 21 said...

magnifique Tracey...

A kiss from france


Manon

Bine Beldecor said...

Hello dear Tracey,
what a wonderful post... the picnic area looks beautiful, your goddaughter is so cute, and the autumn photos make me want to go outside and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of autumn, I love it also very much.
Take care
Bine

Junk Evolution said...

As always beautiful photo's and so inspiring!
xo
Char

Shanon at Vintage Sparkle Chic said...

Oh, your picnic is truly dreamy.....to sit and enjoy nature with the family and the beautiful setting you put together is amazing. I loved all of your details. I want to have a picnic there!
Sophie is adorable, so sweet.
I love fall and your autumn photos are beautiful as well. What a gorgeous place to go walking.

~Shanon

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

Love your photos and Sophie is gorgeous!

Will have to try the herb butter!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Tracey ~ Your post is wonderful! I am loving your picnic and think I want to be there really bad :)
Have a wonderful rest of the week!

xoxo
Lori

Rhonda said...

Well, if anyone is going to throw a long post, I want it to be "you". That little Sophie is so precious, as are all your images of fall and picnics.

Karen in CT said...

.. what a charming post! ... the choice of images just "takes me away" ... merci

Sherri said...

What a wonderful post!! Thanks for sharing everything with us!

All Seasons said...

What a sweet little girl ♥♥
I see it was a great picnic, it looks so very nice. Wonderful!

I have made sunday something to drink, look like what you have made. But I have make it from blue grapes. It tasted very fresh and tasty.
I have some photos from it on my blog, if you like it to see.

I send you some sunshine from here, it 27 degrees here in the Netherlands ☼

Hugs,
Patricia

alee said...

since it is dreary & rainy here I am thinking I may have to make some french bread & try out your herb butter;)!yum!can't wait!
blessings!

IMPRESSION "ein lebensgefühl-emotion of life said...

Your goddaughter is so cute...great pic!!!
The picnic area looks lovely!!!!
Hugs,
Elvira

Beach House Living said...

I really like your old bottle carrier. What a lovely afternoon set up you had. Looks like a magazine photo shoot.

Anne Lorys - Fiona and Twig said...

You do it all so well....outdoor photography, food photography, portraiture...amazing as always, Tracey!

XO,
Anne

Alabaster Rose Designs said...

Oh goodness, those photos were breathtaking!!! I wish I had photography skills like yours! And your niece is so adorable!!
Hope your having a beautiful week Tracey!
Sincerely,
Melinda

Rachel Pallas said...

BEAUTIFUL

Sweet Old Vintage said...

Such lovely pics Tracey.. Recieved my fall Jeanne d Ark.. Thanks so much.... Blessing sent your way...

Sandi said...

Breathtaking photos once again Tracey! I wish I had your photography skills! I need to take more time when photographing. Seems I am always in a hurry.
Blessings~

Cyn said...

Beautiful pictures! Now I want to go have a picnic with my family =)

The White Farmhouse said...

As always your photography is just breathtaking! I love the dappled sun shots. I like the light playing on the picnic spread. What a spread that is! My goodness! I am lucky to pack PBJ in saran wrap at mine! Sophie sure is a cutie! She must get her good looks from her auntie! Love that smile with the tongue peeking out! How cute!

The Paper Mulberry said...

Ohhhh what a pretty as a picture picnic! I simply adore your styling and the food sounds as divine as it looks! Hugs from an old farmhouse in England - Glenda xxx

Lorrie said...

So much gorgeousness in one post! I want to go on a picnic today! Dappled light might not be the best for photographs, but it's oh, so pretty.

Love that sweet baby.

TheCrankyCrow said...

What a glorious dose of sunshine Tracey - so welcoming on this blustery, dreary, Midwestern day. Almost like you managed to capture and bottle a summer's day....Your little Sophie is an adorable model - what a treasure to capture so many wonderful photos of her as she is growing. Wishing you a blessing-filled day....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Lili said...

Oh this was such a treat for the eyes to pour over all that random loveliness Tracey! You are the complete package, your styling, photography, and culinary creations! I am so inspired by you everytime I visit here. xoxo ~Lili

Blondie's Journal said...

What a lovely picnic...the photos are beautiful! I looked at the recipe for the butter...I am going to make it but first I might get the splash guard. Was the rinsing the buttermilk out difficult? That's the only part of the recipe that makes me think I will get inpatient. ;-D

Your niece is gorgeous. I love the picture of her smiling!!

XO,
Jane

helen tilston said...

Beauitful and those images of your niece are priceless!
Helen xx

Leah C said...

Oh my ...such pretty randomness! Love it all, Tracey:) Sophie is so very adorable!!

A New England Life said...

Thank you for the photos. They are a relaxing, beautiful punctuation to my day : )

My Shabby Streamside Studio said...

Lovely shots, Tracey...the detail in the meadow one is phenomenal!

xo

Sandy

Tricia @ A Rosy Note said...

All of your photos look beautiful, Tracey :)

Sheila R - Blessed and Distressed said...

Love all you photos and how you take the time to make something special. I'll have to try the honey, sounds delightful.

Sophie is so precious. Just how you captured her. The black and white one is gorgoues.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Barbara said...

What a lovely post, Tracey! Your glasses are lovely and such a cute way to use the old milk bottle holder.
Yikes! Christmas decorating?? I know....I just read a blog doing 12 weeks of Christmas cookies. Guess I better get my mind wrapped around that idea!
Gorgeous goddaughter!

My Sparrows Nest said...

My favorite picture is the hands together with mommy's ring. So sweet and beautiful! You are so talented! What stamps to you use for your tags? i.e. the Lavender tag?

chickie said...

beautiful pics.They remind and bring me close to Il.It has been a yr since living there in Dixon.It brings warmth and the coming of Fall.Thank you for taking the time to share a part of your world.You made my day...Chickie

Sissy said...

Your picnic looks so dreamy. I love your images.

One Shabby Old House said...

You captured the beauty of each shot that you took. Love the fall pictures. I just got back from Indiana and just love the gold, deep greens and rusts, browns and oranges.
Hugs
Becky

vintage-rose Cottage said...

Hi Tracey..my english is so bad but i love your perfect photos,,,the Picknick is so romantic and the other photos .hmmmm-i love your style..i wish you a very nice weekend Belinda

Heaven's Walk said...

I don't know about everyone else, Tracey, but I NEVER get tired of your posts - long or not! lol! I can't get enough of your amazing photography. :) Thanks for the tip about the new JDA book! Just placed my order and can hardly wait to snuggle up on a cold day and sink right into it. ♥ Have a wonderful week, sweetie! Looks like it's going to be beautiful!

xoxo laurie

Lulu and Co. said...

I always love visiting your blog! Beautiful shots,
xo,
Lulu

My Sparrows Nest said...

thanks for the info on the stamps! your herb butter sounds delish. thanks for sharing! have a nice week!

NikAntik said...

Hi, your fotos are wow!! I really feel at home and find many things I like and I collect, too. I have many many old things in my house and it is not just decoration, most of the things I use in my everday life. Regards from Austria, Nik

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics esp of your Goddaughter!

But... portraiture is NOT about making them sit still, even in a formal portrait in studio session!

(even more so in a real life situation) Its about being ready and fast enough and persistent enough to capture the subject when they are being them selves, not posing or keeping still-though to humor them or make them at ease(sure)???
you can still ACT like you are going that route that they expect that makes them freeze........ you did that wonderfully with the youngest Gd- I am sure keep still would not have much effect on her... lol :)
one of my best tricks is to pretend to not be taking pics any more or turn off the flash(that i rarely used anyways...) or not act like you are looking thru the viewfinder and waiting ...


Debbie(with a bs in photgraphy and not just the "bs" you read above...

:)