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November 2007

Vintage Storybook Woods

Figgy

Well I am sooo busy glittering, decorating, trying not to buy stuff ;-) I can not think strait, so I am doing a vintage post. I have noticed on my stats several boards have been talking about my figgy pudding box tutorial, so I thought a reminder of this post might be appreciated by all. I can not say enough about German Plaza. Their prices are wonderful, they are east to deal with and fast. I did notice on one board talking about the boxes and wondering were I get the poppers. I get bags of 12 of them at my local dollar store. They are so cheap and a fun thing to do on Christmas. Also the figgy puddings are not balls I cut open but rather boxes that already open. I hope that answers question about the figgy pudding boxes.

Thank you for the kind words about my couch. I still am not thrilled with it, but you lades were so sweet to let me kvetch. You also asked about the chinaand who made it. I looked on the back, most pieces just say Japan. But some say royal vista by 4cagco Japan, also westwood Japan. I hope that helps. I hope you are have a wonderful time decorating for Christmas.

PS. here is a sofa I would rather have !!!!

Sofa


New Goodies

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Well I have some new goodies to show you. David and I are not giving each other gifts (although I am sure someone will leave him some gourmet beer under the tree) but I did get to some goodies at the Christmas House inlew of a present. I love the wool pear, of course anything french, old ironstone and that whole set of dishes was only $5.00. I have to say they do not look like much on the table there, but in my kitchen queen, they look very charming and gingerbready.

Also my father bought me a couch. We were in desperate need of a couch. The one we got 7 years ago was an old hand me down recovered in wonderful fabric. But is had gotten so saggy Chloe was the only one who could sit in it. Now I do not love my couch. I had only 5 days to find something and I am very limited were I live. Plus everything I loved was like 3-5 thousand dollars. Anything under $1000 all looks the same. It made me crazy. I go in a  furniture store with hundreds of couches and they were all the same, big and pillow back. Well I decide to just look for something basic with good lines. One day I will get my curvy, vintage, tucked back couch I want. Some day. I hope I do not sound ungrateful, because I really am. We never could have bought a new couch and it was very kind of my father. It was just very frustrating.

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Also I want to thank Manuela and Janet for my friendly blog award. I do hope my blog is friendly. I know both of yours are and you are both such dolls. I know I am suppose to pass this on to others  but I always agonize over giving awards. I want to give them to all of you, so that is what I am doing. You readers are so dear to me. that you would take time out of your day to come to my blog means everything to me. I never take that for granted, thank you xoxoxox


Pumpkin Tiramisu

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Well we had a lovely and yummy Thanksgiving. I have to say it all went smooth, no drama (which is always welcomed). Everything was sooo delicious. My sisters marsela wild mushroom soup was perfection. The farro stuffing was a lot like a wild rice stuffing and it is long gone. I really loved Aubern'es chocolate pecan pie. I do not like turkey, so I could not say a lot about it. But it was very moist. My favorite dish of all was my mothers Caesar salad with polenta croutons. I could have ate all of it. I especially loved the dressing, it is very lemony and garlic. We did not fry the croutons but baked them, and they were perfect.

Baked Polenta Crouton

Pre-heat oven 450

Cube polenta and coat each cube in olive oil. Set on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, till bottom is crisped. Let croutons cool 20 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. You could makes these a couple of hours before. I will be making this salad a lot. 

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The pumpkin tiramasiu was wonderful. I keep the coffee a bit light because I still wanted to pumpkin to come through. Now you should make this dish with marscapone and heavy cream, but with my budget I had to chose between either marscapone or the amarettini cookies. So this is what I did. I put my money into the cookies and made cream fraiche instead and whipped it into cream cheese. Both marscapone and cream fraiche have a tang to them. So I was able to get a similar flavor. But if I was making this and had the money I would use the marscapone instead. The lovely thing is the cream fraiche is made a day or two before. Feel free to e-mail me if I am not making sense. Also thank you Janet for the acorns, they were perfect with my brown and red table xoxoxox

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Pumpkin Tiramisu

1 1/2 cup cream fraiche
3/4 cup sugar
1 8-ounce cream cheese, a room temperature
2 cups puree pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tap. vanilla
1 package of 24 ladyfingers
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup water
1 tsp espresso powder
crushed amarettini cookies

In a mixer cream, cream cheese and sugar together. Add pumpkin, spices, salt, vanilla and beat just until is smooth. Put in a large bowl and wash and clean mixing. Whip cream fresh, till firm peeks. Then gently fold cream fresh into pumpkin mixture.

Bring water to a boil and add, rum and espresso powder. Dip each ladyfinger in rum mixture and fill first layer if dish. Then spread half of pumpkin mixture, then cover with amarettini cookies.
Repeat with second layer ladyfingers, spread rest of pumpkin mixture and cover top with cookies. Wrap tightly in plastic, then foil. Chill overnight
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Happy Thanksgiving

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Glimpses of my house at Thanksgiving : The dessert table

                   

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Family and pumpkin Triamsu

(if it is yummy, I will post the recipe)

                            

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                            Vintage paper turkeys

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Wine marinated turkey 

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                             Chocolate pecan pie made by Aubern'e

I wish each of you a blessed, happy Thanksgiving. I pray you have much to be thankful for, I know I do. I will see you next week. I will be busy this weekend taking everything down, so I can start my pink decorating. xoxoxoxo


Guest post by Chloe

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Hello my mother said I could share my doll house with you. I have been busy decorating it for Thanksgiving. I made leaf garlands and leaf covered roof for my house.

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I decorated the mantel with autumn leaves and made a pie and vegetables for the kitchen.

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You can not see it very well in the picture but I also make a stuffed turkey for dinner.

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I made a leaf rug and of-course I have my guitar to practice on when I am not cooking. Thank you for letting me share and Happy Thanksgiving, Chloe.


Winter Banner

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I was going to wait till after Thanksgiving to posts my winter banner, but then I realized that right after Thanksgiving is when all the craziness begins. I will spend a week taking everything down and setting up for Christmas. I have so many fun ideas in my head, we will see what I actully get done. I thought I should take care of the blog now while I have the time.

I wanted to tell you about a favorite book of mine. In the banner you will see a picture in the back of six sisters and a Christmas tree. This is from a small book called "The Doll In The Window" by Pamela Bianco. It is about Victoria who had saved her money all year so she could buy her five little sisters Christmas presents. But when she visits the toy store, she saw the most beautiful doll and suddenly forgets about wanting to buy her sisters a toy. Christmas Eve she takes the coins out of her bank and went to the toy store, all the time thinking of the beautiful doll instead of her sisters. I will not give away the ending, but it is a very sweet story and Ms. Bianco's drawings are really wonderful. She is the daughter of Margery Bianco who wrote The Velveteen Rabbit and another favorite book of mine, The Little Wooden Doll.


Buckles and Tags

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I wanted to share some more buckles I made. Instead of glittering, I used some vintage wallpaper and copied it onto card stock. I am LOVING these. Here is the pattern

Also here are some great tags to inspire you and feel free to click on the tag below and save xoxoxox

Popsicle stick tag

Acorn template PDF

This is actually a Thanksgiving template but if you were doing a woodland theme, I think this would be perfect.

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Thanksgiving Menu

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This year it will just be my family, my mother and sister. Since my mom and sis are always up for something different, I thought we would do an Italian Thanksgiving.  Just so you know, every year we do something different, my family is use to it. I really do not have recipes to share with you because I am making it all up as I go along. But if you have questions feel free to e-mail me. My hubby is being good about it all (he is use to me ) but his one request, besides turkey, was mashed potatoes and gravy. I will let you know how the meal went. I would love to hear what others are cooking !!!

PS. can you see my Thanksgiving menu from last year 


Glittered Buckle

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Last year I saw the sweetest glittered buckle for packages. It had slits in them and you ran the ribbon through them and wrapped them around a package. Well they wanted $8.00 for one buckle. I was determined to make my own. I came up with a template (below) and here is what I did.

1. I printed up the pattern below. I used a 3x4 inch setting. But you could do any size. I traced that onto a piece of card stock that I can always keep as my template. I traced the pattern onto card stock and cut them out.

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2. Then I covered the card stock with glue and then glitter. I like to use a glue stick when I have to cover a large flat surface to cover. Shake off excess glitter and let dry. I do not cut the slits till I use them and know what ribbon I want to use. With an exacto knife I make slits a bit wider then the ribbon I am using. Then slide the ribbon through the slits. You can use the buckle going either way. It make a lovely replacement for a bow. 

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Glitter hint: no matter how careful I am I still get glitter all over my table. When I am cleaning up, I get a damp paper towel and wipe down the surfaces. It seem that the glitter sick to the damp towel great. Then I just throw the towel away.

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Blessings

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We have had a bit of pre-teen attitude around my house of late. Instead of a lecturing (which I really do not like to do anyways, although my girls may disagree ;-) I was praying for a way to deal with this and felt lead to have a blessing week. What we did was each person drew a name and that person was theirs for the week to bless. You were suppose to be aware of that person each day and look for opportunities to bless and encourage them. Each night we would light a candle, stand in a circle and pray for our person. I have to say it was quite wonderful. Although my hubby, well, being a man was not quite as intuitive at sensing a need. But that is okay, he is our man and we love him still. Beds were made, candy bars left on pillows, poems or encouraging words left. Extra hugs and lots of thanks yous and do you need anything.

I plan on having more blessing weeks. Sometimes it is funner and more glamorous to bless the world, instead of those in our home. I have raised my girls with the thought that they were a gift to each other. I do believe in kind acts in the world. but also feel kind acts should start at home. Were sometimes it is the hardest place to be real and kind all at the same time.


Living Craft Magazine

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It was all gray this morning, as you can see from my picture. I love getting up in the early morning, just as it is getting light, make a cup of tea and enjoy the views from my picture windows. The tide is in this morning and I could barely see the water. Leavers are everywhere. All my walkways are covered in red and yellow. We have a forty foot white birch that is raining us with golden leaves, it feels like it is snowing. I am busy baking today for a bake sale for my sister tomorrow. I love days like this.

I have a new magazine to tell you about, if you have not heard. Living Crafts,it is wonderful. Living Crafts is based on Waldorf principles (read below). I love their approach to hands-on crafts and using natural things. Although i still love my glitter ;-) While this magazine has handi-crafts for children, there was plenty for adults too. There is a knitted smock top I am dying to make, beeswax snails. edible dye painted plates. And you have to see the knitted farm. Oh my gosh there is no words to describe. Well I am going to have to adopt some baby so I can make these. It is very inspiring and there is a free crochet crown pattern. So please check it out.

About us : Living Crafts is a community of readers who value the work of their hands, use natural and organic materials, and live an authentically holistic lifestyle.

"Living Crafts provides craft enthusiasts with the information, ideas, and inspiration they need to support their desire for self-sufficiency, sustainability and a natural lifestyle. In each issue there are projects for the entire family, including fun crafts for parents and children to do together.

Our readers are people who consciously choose natural materials for their handwork projects because of aesthetics, quality, personal health and the environment. Living Crafts aims to inform and inspire readers to choose Mother Nature’s supplies whether they create their own or buy ready-made handwork.

Each issue focuses on a season of the year, bringing ideas and the how-to for projects that are in harmony with nature to create a seasonal rhythm at home. Editorial content includes projects making toys, apparel, home items, gifts, and seasonal crafts."

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Snowflake Tags

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I have been making snowflake tags for my packages. I am trying to use what I have and not buy. They turned out really well. I call them snowflakes because each one is a bit imperfect (thanks to my cutting and painting dot skills) and each snowflake is different.
Plus I am not going to let the fact that I can not cut perfect circles slow me down ;-)

What you need :

cardstock

different sized cup, to make different sized circles

edged scissors, I used Victorian

fine tipped paintbrush

paint and/or glue and glitter

Lightly trace circles on card stock and cut out circles using edged scissors.

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Using the scalloped edge as a guide, make dots of paint or glue, then glitter.

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Doing tiny dots is easy. I just learn to let the brush slowly drop down of the paper (while I am holding it ;-) instead of pushing it down on the paper. Hope that makes sense. Let me know if you make any !!!!

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Christmas Card Exchange

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I was wondering if anyone wanted to do a Christmas card exchange (it is that time of year). We love getting and sending mail. We kept every single card from last year. Now I learned a few things from the Valentine card exchange, so here are the rules ;-)

1. I am only putting this out for one week. So after November 11th I am closing the exchange.

2. One card per-family. But sending a card to anywhere in the world is fine (and fun).

3.  There is no pressure about what kind of card. Store bought, homemade, whatever. Our cards are store bought, Cute but no time for homemade this year (I was smart and bought them after last Christmas and got them dirt cheap !!!). It is meant to be fun, not pressure.

4. E-mail me (my e-mail is on the right) if you want to do the exchange. Give me your name, first and last and your address. I will send you the same info.

Can you tell I am totally in the Christmas mood. Thank you xoxoxoxo

PS. a disclaimer (there is some misunderstanding) It is not me fixing you up with others to exchange a card. it is just send me a card and I will send you a card. Hope that clears things up. Sorry !!!!!!


Christmas ideas

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Wow everyone thank you for all the wonderful thrifty, creative (long list) of ideas. You have my brain going and that was just what I needed. I will share what I did end up doing, but it will have to be after Christmas, since my girls read my blog :-} Here are some wonderful ideas to help get you going. I will be posting some fun and easy snowflake tags I have been making. Stay tuned.

Free Elf Stitchette Patterns

Oh my I want to do the boy in blue and the girl in pink !!!!!

Mitten

Mitten Ornament Tutorial

I love these mittens. We are talking about setting up a tea table this Christmas and having tea parties. I think at one of these we will make these mittens. Thank you Dawn. She also has a wonderful tutorial on making aged Christmas tags.

Cloth

Waffle Knit Washcloth Pattern

Akkkkk, Debbie I love these. They are so french looking and I already have the right colored yarn. Thank you xoxoxo

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Wine Giftbags

I thought these were a brilliant idea Andrea and so easy.

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Thread Holder Pattern

Okay I think I am actually going to make this for me ;-)


Suggestions

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This is going to be a very lean Christmas for us and I am trying to think of creative gift ideas for the girls. I would love to hear any interesting ideas anyone has. Do not worry that the girls are in their teens and might not like something. They are not the type of girls to only like certain or "cool" things. they are like their mother, they love everything !!! Even though money may be tight, I know I can still make this Christmas magical. After all magic is in the heart. Thank you for any suggestions you may have.