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May 2006


Hello friends, I am off to the beach for long weekend. We will be renting a house on the Washington coast with my in-laws. I am so looking forward to it. Although I do not expect sun I am hoping it will not be raining the whole time. Please pray there is a little good weather. I have been to Trade Joes and filled up on yummies. I have chocolate, red wine, books and a knitting project. I say I am all ready to go.
I hope this is a wonderful weekend for each of you. Filled with love, relaxation and yummy things, of course. xoxox Clarice
This wonderful picture is from sistershome 

Things I Have Been Loving Lately

"Under The Greenwood Tree". I just rented it from Netflix.  It is a wonderful slice of England that just does not exist anymore. :-(
"Fancy Day is educated and beautiful. Fancy Day comes to Mellstock from Exeter to work as the village schoolteacher and be near her ailing father. She draws many admirers. Determined to make the best of her situation, she agrees to play the church's new harmonium, not realizing this will upset the traditional men's choir"
Just like Keeley Hawes the actresses who plays Fancy say. "The movie is like a box of chocolate". There is nothing mean or objectionable about the move, which is lovely.  If you want to check out the story, here you go
Blisscotti. I was at Safeway (of all places) and saw these in the frozen treat section. I was so tempted but did not hold out much hope. But I was blissfully surprised. I got the bliscotti dipped in dark chocolate with lemon ice cream. Ohh and it was that fresh, zesty type of lemon I love. The biscotti is not too thin or too thick. It was all yummy. Now I have to go back to Safeway.
If you love reading about food and food makers, you might enjoy this article about how Blisscotti came to being. I found it quite interesting.
I am savoring "The Tale Of Holy How" by Susan Wittig Albert. It is a wonderful mysteries series based on Ms. Beatrix Potter. It is charming and engaging, plus set in the lake district. What more could you want !!!
"In this second entry in a delightful and cozy mystery series, Albert hits her stride. Miss Potter is starting to make a life for herself, both on her farm and in the villages of Far and Near Sawrey. She's acquired a herd of Herdwick sheep, is remodeling the farmhouse, and is slowly recovering from the death of her fiancé. Nefarious and curious events begin to happen: the body of a local shepherd is found at the base of a cliff; a pair of badgers is missing, presumably to be used in an illegal badger-baiting fight; and rich Lady Longford is putting forward her own candidate to teach in the Sawrey School. The animals (who can talk to one another) have been joined by the redoubtable Professor Galileo Newton Owl and the stalwart Bosworth Badger XVII, hotelier and genealogist of the badger clan. The plot moves swiftly and surely, with deft characterizations and comic charm, culminating in a rally of Big Folk and animals to save the innocent and punish the guilty."
Here is Susan's wonderful pageabout her book and Ms. Potter.

10 All American Aprons


I LOVE aprons. I have several and want more. I would like to make a few and am always looking for pattern. Well thanks to Teresa, I found Ten All American Aprons!!!

It is an old booklet with apron patterns to make. They are wonderful. Can you tell I am really excited. I love these cool vintage finds. Thank you Teresa, you are the best. Go the the link and that is the cover. Below is a link to each page. I love them all but I think the gingham girl is my fav. Enjoy and sew !!!! 

Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls


I have been looking into other books by Sarah Orne Jewett. I have read about half of the Country Of Pointed Firs. I found she was quite a prolific writer. Here is a list of poems, essays, children's books, novels by Ms. Jewett. I found this children's book Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls.

I have not read it but looked it over. I found this passage charming. Maybe because I have a 15 year old dear daughter who feels just like this.
"Betty had seen strange countries since her last visit to Tideshead. Then she was only a child, but now she was so tall that strangers treated her as if she were already a young lady. At fifteen one does not always know just where to find one's self. A year before it was hard to leave childish things alone, but there soon came a time when they seemed to have left Betty, while one by one the graver interests of life were pushing themselves forward. It was reasonable enough that she should be taking care of herself; and, as we have seen, she knew how better than most girls of her age."
There is also a Christmas book Betty Leicester's Christmas
If you have a Sarah Orne Jewett recommendations, I would love to hear about them.

Sorry-Lavender Water

Hello, I am so sorry it has been brought to my attention (thank you Monica )that the lavender water recipe is missing the amount of alcohol. It is 1/2 cup. I have fixed the post but wanted to let you know. If you find mistakes on my blog please let me know. I am not good at grammar, writing and such !!

Peanutbutter Chocolate Chip Cookie

Do you have those recipes all your friends LOVE, well these cookies are one of them for me. I wanted to say it is important to get the dough right and NOT over cook them.
First the dough should be really soft but not sticky. Kind of the way homemade play-dough is. If it is crumbly at all add a little milk. If is is loose and sticking to your hands add some flour. It is hard to give exact measurements with this dough because peanut butters are so different, some is much drier then other. I make own peanut butter  and it is very soft. Also do not leave out the maple syrup. I know it is a small amount but it highlights the cookie so well.
Second do not over cook them. This is a pet-peeve with me. People over cook their cookies. I need to have tea shirts made with this. You want the edge of the cookie slightly brown and you can lift the edge. But you want the center slightly wet. These cookies are so yummy too because of the softness of them. So err on the side of undercooked. Please let me know what you think !!
Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
8 TBLS butter, soften (1 stick)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 brown sugar or rapadura
3 TBLS maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 flour (you can use whole wheat pastry flour,
(I use 1/2 and 1/2)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chopped or chips
Pre-heat over 350.
Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar together till fluffy (a minute or two). Add egg, maple, vanilla. Scrap down bowl and add flour and baking soda. Then add chocolate chips.
Scoop balls of dough on greased cookie sheet and bake 11-14 minutes.

Paris Bedroom


My mother has a beautiful home so I thought now and then I would post a corner of her home. This is her bedroom. A couple of months ago she was feeling blah about her bedroom. It had been the same for a couple of years and it needed a change. She has sooo many amazing things I helped her to shop at home. We picked a Paris them. But did not want it too pink and girly, because that was how her room was before.

We put up things with tape and thumb tacks thinking she might not like it when we were done. But she loves it and she just keep it the way it was. You would never noticed.
We changed out her linens to red, black and white. See the beautiful black and white blanket she crocheted. I tacked this fabric above her bed just to see how it looked in the room and we loved and keep it. We took everything she had around her house that had a French feel piled it on her bed and starting adding things slowly till it look right but not too crowed. I LOVE her room. I am my have to steel her stuff one day. xoxox
I wanted to add there is is new blog Kidddler. "Kiddley is published almost daily and is brimming with bright ideas, fun projects, links to great web finds and quick tips for parents to take away and enjoy with their kids."
It has some fun and intersing ideas. Enjoy.

Thank You


Well yesterday was wonderful day. I got the most yummiest mail from dear sweet Joanne. Now mind you I have never meet Joanne in person. We have exchanged lots of letter, small tokens of friendship, pictures. But we have never meet face to face. Yet I feel she is such a dear friend. Anyone who says the Internet is a large world, does not know my Internet. Dear Joanne did not need to send me anything but just did it just as a generous friend to bless me. Well I do feel blessed. Who could not with all these wonderful things. So beautifully wrapped, my dear. I LOVE the linens, reading the old magazine (I want to frame a few pages), the wonderful book with the vintage pictures. I am determined to figure out how to make one of those butterflies (did you make it??). It was all such a blessing but mostly you are blessing to me. Thank you for teaching me how to bless others.


Img_0454                         Img_0458

I encourage everyone to think of someone who may be having a bad time or you d not know well. Bless them. A note, something homemade, a prayer, a small token of friendship. I promise you will get more out of it then they will. xoxoxox Clarice




A Story About A Darning-Needle


A Story About A Darning-Needle

There was once a Darning-needle who thought herself so fine that she believed she was an embroidery-needle. 'Take great care to hold me tight!' said the Darning-needle to the Fingers who were holding her. 'Don't let me fall! If I once fall on the ground I shall never be found again, I am so fine!'

'It is all right!' said the Fingers, seizing her round the waist.

'Look, I am coming with my train!' said the Darning-needle as she drew a long thread after her; but there was no knot at the end of the thread.

The Fingers were using the needle on the cook's shoe. The upper leather was unstitched and had to be sewn together.

'This is common work!' said the Darning-needle. 'I shall never get through it. I am breaking! I am breaking!' And in fact she did break. 'Didn't I tell you so!' said the Darning-needle. 'I am too fine!'

'Now she is good for nothing!' said the Fingers; but they had to hold her tight while the cook dropped some sealing-wax on the needle and stuck it in the front of her dress.

'Now I am a breast-pin!' said the Darning-needle. 'I always knew I should be promoted. When one is something, one will become something!' And she laughed to herself; you can never see when a Darning-needle is laughing. Then she sat up as proudly as if she were in a State coach, and looked all round her.

'May I be allowed to ask if you are gold?' she said to her neighbor, the Pin. 'You have a very nice appearance, and a peculiar head; but it is too small! You must take pains to make it grow, for it is not everyone who has a head of sealing-wax.' And so saying the Darning-needle raised herself up so proudly that she fell out of the dress, right into the sink which the cook was rinsing out.

'Now I am off on my travels!' said the Darning-needle. 'I do hope I sha'n't get lost!' She did indeed get lost.

'I am too fine for this world!' said she as she lay in the gutter; 'but I know who I am, and that is always a little satisfaction!'

And the Darning-needle kept her proud bearing and did not lose her good-temper.

All kinds of things swam over her--shavings, bits of straw, and scraps of old newspapers.

'Just look how they sail along!' said the Darning-needle. 'They don't know what is underneath them! Here I am sticking fast! There goes a shaving thinking of nothing in the world but of itself, a mere chip! There goes a straw--well, how it does twist and twirl, to be sure! Don't think so much about yourself, or you will be knocked against a stone. There floats a bit of newspaper. What is written on it is long ago forgotten, and yet how proud it is! I am sitting patient and quiet. I know who I am, and that is enough for me!'

One day something thick lay near her which glittered so brightly that the Darning-needle thought it must be a diamond. But it was a bit of bottle-glass, and because it sparkled the Darning-needle spoke to it, and gave herself out as a breast-pin.

'No doubt you are a diamond?'

'Yes, something of that kind!' And each believed that the other was something very costly; and they both said how very proud the world must be of them.

'I have come from a lady's work-box,' said Darning-needle, 'and this lady was a cook; she had five fingers on each hand; anything so proud as these fingers I have never seen! And yet they were only there to take me out of the work-box and to put me back again!'

'Were they of noble birth, then?' asked the bit of bottle-glass.

'Of noble birth!' said the Darning-needle; 'no indeed, but proud! They were five brothers, all called ''Fingers.'' They held themselves proudly one against the other, although they were of different sizes. The outside one, the Thumb, was short and fat; he was outside the rank, and had only one bend in his back, and could only make one bow; but he said that if he were cut off from a man that he was no longer any use as a soldier. Dip-into- everything, the second finger, dipped into sweet things as well as sour things, pointed to the sun and the moon, and guided the pen when they wrote. Longman, the third, looked at the others over his shoulder. Goldband, the fourth, had a gold sash round his waist; and little Playman did nothing at all, and was the more proud. There was too much ostentation, and so I came away.'

'And now we are sitting and shining here!' said the bit of bottle-glass.

At that moment more water came into the gutter; it streamed over the edges and washed the bit of bottle-glass away.

'Ah! now he has been promoted!' said the Darning-needle. 'I remain here; I am too fine. But that is my pride, which is a sign of respectability!' And she sat there very proudly, thinking lofty thoughts.

'I really believe I must have been born a sunbeam, I am so fine! It seems to me as if the sunbeams were always looking under the water for me. Ah, I am so fine that my own mother cannot find me! If I had my old eye which broke off, I believe I could weep; but I can't--it is not fine to weep!'

One day two street-urchins were playing and wading in the gutter, picking up old nails, pennies, and such things. It was rather dirty work, but it was a great delight to them.

'Oh, oh!' cried out one, as he pricked himself with the Darning-needle; 'he is a fine fellow though!'

'I am not a fellow; I am a young lady!' said the Darning-needle; but no one heard. The sealing-wax had gone, and she had become quite black; but black makes one look very slim, and so she thought she was even finer than before.

'Here comes an egg-shell sailing along!' said the boys, and they stuck the Darning-needle into the egg-shell.

'The walls white and I black--what a pretty contrast it makes!' said the Darning-needle. 'Now I can be seen to advantage! If only I am not sea-sick! I should give myself up for lost!'

But she was not sea-sick, and did not give herself up.

'It is a good thing to be steeled against sea-sickness; here one has indeed an advantage over man! Now my qualms are over. The finer one is the more one can beat.'

'Crack!' said the egg-shell as a wagon-wheel went over it.

'Oh! how it presses!' said the Darning-needle. 'I shall indeed be sea-sick now. I am breaking!' But she did not break, although the wagon-wheel went over her; she lay there at full length, and there she may lie.


French Unit


French Unit
Chloe came to me one day asking for a unit on France. "I want to do fun French things"  and that is what we did. This is not a serious unit on France but more just a fun over-view of French things, life and history. We had a lot of fun with this one. As with all unit's there is so much we could have done. But I tailored to to our families interests. We mostly read good books and did lots of hand's on things.
I based my unit around a book called "Charlotte In Giverny" by Joan MacPhil Knight. It has an almost handmade look to it. So we had fun copying pages from it (below). I found it a easy way to learn the French language.
PS. we are girly girls here, so this is a pretty girly unit !!!! But I encourage you to use this as a stepping point for you family (or even if you do not have children, it would be fun) and tailor it to your needs and interests.
Clarice Fox-Hughes


               Grenouille Plus is a wonderful blog full of vintage French  ephemera. Here are jumping jacks. There are others on her site.


Another fun activity for the girls to do, while I read is this fun face.(that really has nothing to do with France, except it is French and fun!! Which is good enough for me)


French Beaded Flowers
Here is a great site with lots of links to show how to make French beaded flowers. 


           Here is another site with a simple beaded flowerto make.

  We had fun making these flowers. We wired some onto safety pins and   made pins. Some we wired on to bobbie pins and other strung on string. They turned out cute but found out it is stressful working with little tiny beads. I now admire anyone who does !!


Eiffel Tower
A coloring page. I LOVE coloring pages

                                       You can create a Lego one!!


Or a paper one. I have one Aubern'e made me in my French bathroom. Thank you sweetie !!!

                                         And another paper one!!

                                                 French Crafts

Here is a fun site with lots to do.
I particularly love this "My house in provence"
French Post Card
Create a French Post card 
French Tea
We read parts of "French Tea" by Carole Manchester
While we had tea we pretended we were at some wonderful tea salon in the book !!
We ate

Gateau Moelleux au Chocolat

 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
11 tablespoons (5 ounces) butter
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup diced walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and chocolate together.
Let butter and chocolate cool a few minutes and then add eggs, sugar and vanilla
In a bowl, put the flour and stir in little by little the chocolate mixture and the diced walnuts. Pour into a greased tube pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool off 5 minutes and remove from pan.

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sour cream

Melt butter and chocolate together. Take off the burner and add the sour cream. Pour on icing and top with walnuts

French Fan

Durning our tea we made the French ladies into fans, by cutting them out and gluing Popsicle sticks to the back. I am sorry I do not remember were I found this picture and can not give credit to the person. Enjoy.
First we decoupage bottles we had. Then we made perfume. Which the girls found out is was not as easy blending fragrance as they thought. First batch was thrown out. Rose seemed to be the favorite.
Chloe's, on left, Auben'es middle and mine right (with the glitter of course) Here is a siteto show you how to make perfume.
And another 
Here is perfume time-line.
Here you can purchese Empress Eugeniepaper doll
List of books and Videos
We looked at and read a lot of books. I just used what I had and my mother had. There are so many books on this subject,  I could have gotten many more books. But since my mother and I have a large selection in the subject, I just used what we had.
I do want to say that a  lot of these books are old and out of print. If you see * that means we love the book.
* Both the book and video  Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork & Lena Anderson
A Visit To Giverny by Gerald Van Der Kemp
Guide Naif de Paris (parise thought the eyes of the modern primitives) by Mathilde Hager
The Privet Realm Of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer
Provence (paintings) by Peter Mayle
*The World's Children Series "Jean and Fanchon by Virginia Olcott
(We love these books of different children in different countries. Got the ones form the 30's. The newer ones have been changed)
*Lily and Miss. Liberty by Carla Stevens
Here you can make a liberty starbox
Stories From France by Edward W. Dolch
Sara Midda's South Of France, A Sketchbook by Sara Midda
(A wonderful small book full of water colors, that we tried to copy)
* Paintbrush In Paris by Jill Butler
French Children by Mabel O'Donnell
* "The Orpheline series" by Natalie Savage Carlson
We LOVE these Orpheline books. Any book By Ms. Carlson would be good. Most of her books are set in France!!!
The Jeanne-Marie Books by Francoise
(they are picture books meant for young children but they are very sweet)
That Extraordinary Pig Of Paris by Roni Schotter
Lets Travel In France
* This is Paris by M. Sasek
(if you can get your hands on any books by Mr. Sasek, do it !!!!  )
Nursery Friends From France-My Travelship  by Olive Beaupre'
(for poems and I used the beautiful map on the front)
Charlotte In Giverny by Joan MacPhil Knight
Charlotte In Paris by Joan MacPhil Knight

Food From Oz


Ladies, I have discovered a wonderful cooking blog Food From Oz. Miss Eagle (hello) posted on her blog about Storybook Woods. So I had to go check it out and what a find. Just her scone fest alone had me. Then I saw how to make pink sugar, you know how I love anything pink. Her pikelets, solder's cake, infirmary soup, ect. Well you have to go over there (this very minute) and have  yummy look for yourself!!


Homemade cleaners


For my sisters birthday I made her a little cleaning kit. I embroidered a Rooster dish towel.  I found a wonderful apron with chickens on it, and I made her homemade cleaners. I love to give gifts that have a theme. I sadly I did not have time, but I was hoping to wrap the gift in chicken wire. I love making my own cleaners. They are easy, cheap and fun. I can not handle most cleaners. They are to strong and set off my allergies. I also like to make my own, so I can play with the fragrance. I use orange, lemon, lavender, rose, rosemary. I did lemon verbena for my sister, it is her favorite. I encourage you to make you own cleaners. They are very quick to make and are good for our lovely world to boot.

All Purpose Spray
In a spray bottle add 2 drops dish soup, 1/8 cup vinegar, 8-10 drops of essential oil, and fill with distilled water. If you use up your cleaners fast (like a couple of weeks) you can use tap water. Shake and spray away.
Surface Scrub
I take a pretty jar and make layer of baking soda and a couple of drops of essential oil. I keep layer till I near the top. Then I put the lid on and shake it up. Use a couple of TBS. to scrub skinks, heavy duty grim, ect.
Picture above from

A view from my bedroom


Here is a view from my bedroom window early in the evening. We live next to a little inlet that is off of Liberty Bay. Downtown Poulsbo is on Liberty Bay. It is lovely were I live there is water everywhere. It feels like living on an island. We do live near Bainbridge Island and I lived on Bainbridge for 9 years and LOVED it. Any time I need to go anywhere I have to drive around Liberty Bay. On those rare days it is sunny the water is so blue.
Our inlet does have a tide, so half the time it is mud flat. But then you can see the seagulls and blue herons. We like to walk over to the bridge and check out what is going on. Sometimes there are otters. If we walk another block there is a small marina. We will go down there, get an ice cream, go sit on the pier and enjoy the peace and quiet. There is just something about the water.
If you look at the picture above, you will see a line of trees and water. That is the Sound. The mountain range behind it is Bainbridge Island. On the Fourth of July we can see the fireworks from Seattle over the top of that range. I love the smell of the water, the sound of the birds, all the empty clam shells left in my yard, the sandy soil, the peace of the water. This is a small part of my small world.

how to roast a chicken

Hello I wanted to share about how I roast a chicken. We are on a tight food budget and we eat a lot of chicken. I do not like to boiled chicken, I hate all that grease. So I always roast mine. I have gone around and around on what to cook my chicken on. I have had had several different racks at fell apart over time. Or got so greasy and gross I did not want to touch them. I have looked at vertical ones. I have tried a can of beer, which is not bad but can tip over. That was not fun ! And was never happy, till I came up with this idea.
I like it because it hold the chicken up off the grease, the chicken gets nice and crispy and it flavors it. I line my pan with foil. I cut an onion (with the skin on) into 4 wedges and do the same with an apple. I set them all together on the foil. Now I am lucky enough to have a big rosemary bush, so I lay a large sprig across the apple/onions and put some in the cavity of the chicken. I rub the chicken with a little oil, salt and pepper and set him on the rosemary. He does look a bit undignified sitting up there but it works brilliantly. Plus when you are done you just pick up the foil and throw the whole thing away. I wait to the next morning till the fat is hard, but that is my favorite part!! I like my chicken really well cooked. So I cook at 350 for 2 1/2 hours. But this may be way too long for most people. I do know that one should tress up a chicken. But again I personly do not like that, becuase I want as much of the chicken as possible to get crispy. If I really want to do my chicken right, I brine it first. I take my kitchen aid mixer bowl (it is taller then wider) and put one cup salt, one cup sugar and 2 cups hot water. I stir till mostly melted. Then I add chicken and cold water till the chicken is covered and brine at lest 8 hours in the fridge. Lemon is also lovely. I will squeeze the juice over the chicken and put the juiced lemon to the cavity. I hope this works well for you, as it does for me.

Happy Mother's Day

I wanted to wish my mother and mother-in-love a Happy Mother's Day. I am very blessed to have two wonderful women in my life. First my mother, who was a stay at home mother. She taught my sister and I that being a mother and being able to stay home with your children is a joy and privilege. Even though I am sure she had trying days, we never felt that. No matter what was happening in our life we knew we had unconditional love. My mother has taught me to be steady in my walk with the Lord. To bend but not break.
My Mother-in-love has always be kind and accepting of me from the moment I meet her, even though we are much different. She never made me feel I needed to change or that I was not enough for her son. She has never asked me to bow to her way and has encouraged me that I am fine just as who I am. She has always been one of my biggest cheerleaders in homeschooling our girls. She has always made sure every time we talk to let me know what wonderful parents David and I are. Also how proud she is of us. I am happy to say we are very close friends not just daughter in law/mother in law.
I have to say that my mother and my MIL are very much alike. They are both very accepting and do not push their thoughts on you. They both will listen, until asked their opinion. Mostly they have a way of believing that even though you are struggling, you will conquer. You will succeed and do it brilliantly.
Thank you for the love and support xoxox Clarice (and David too) and the girls !!!
And to all my readers I hope this is a day filled with love, gratitude and relaxation. Ohh and chocolate too.

Cross of the lilies

Well I had my Mothers Days on Friday. It was lovely lazy day. Breakfast in bed, read mags in bed and I did not have to clean or cook. I had champagne, a assortment of good cheese, some bread and lots of chocolate. I am happy. David got me the most beautiful cross. I do not have a cross and have been wanting one for a long time. But had not seen any I like. There is a new Christian magazine out called Lily and they had an article about a company Trinity Collection that make the most beautiful crosses. 
I saw this cross with three lilies wrapped in a ribbon and fell in love. It say the "three long stemmed lilies are gathered by ribbon to form this cross. Scripture tells us lilies are a symbol of purity and represent a lack of earthly concern"  I just love this and fall so short of this. I am hoping as I wear this cross I am reminded of what is really important and all that Christ did for me.

Scarf Bags


I do not know who has seen Martha Stewarts new magazine Blueprint ? I have not seen it. So I do not have an opinion, yet !!! But I was at Martha's site this morning looking around and went to check out Blueprint. There are some fun, cheap, easy idea. May favorite was these scarf bags. There is not sewing or gluing. Nothing just tying. My favorite is the one with the bangle handle. I am pulling out my scarves right now !!!






























I have been so inspired by Vicki at- Turkeyfeathers. She has stared a flicker group Lambkin Stuffies.  I decided I had to make one and it was so much fun. I took an old wool blanket and used that for the body. Did some embroidery. I did not have a pattern but just winged it. I added some lace and a flower around the neck. The flower is so interesting. It is made of rick-rack and is an old screw-on earring. I want to get some rick-rack and try making some of these flowers. I know Martha has an article about this. I will have to dig through my mags. Too fun. Here is the free (thank you Vicki) pattern to make your own lambkin. Make sure you check out the flicker group and see what other lambkins people made. They are all different. It is amazing to see how each person interrupts something. 


Vintage plaques







This weekend we celebrated my sister birthday and my mother's Mother Day. Here is my mother. Isn't she beautiful. She has the most wonderful skin. We had a fun afternoon munching yummy food, watching Narnia (which I enjoyed but love the book more) and made we made vintage plaques.

You will need a vintage postcard. If you do not have a post card here is as site with some free cards. Or you can use a real post card. I printed up ones that were 3.5 x 5 inches on card stock. Make sure you use heavier paper. Get cut wood squares at a craft store. Or have dear hubby cut you piece of wood the same size as your card, as I did. Thank you dear hubby.


Find some pretty paper for the back and decoupage glue. I suggest you do the back first. You will also need some narrow ribbon to make a hanger for the plaque. Coat the back of the wood with the glue, add each end of ribbon and set down down paper on ribbon and glue.
Then do the same on the other side, with out the ribion. We did not do a top coat of decoupage. I had an assortment of glitter, buttons, beads, trim, ect. that we glued to the picture. For that we used a glue gun and elmers glue.
Let sit and dry for an hour. We then glittered the sides. But you can glitter the back or do more decoupage. The sky is the limit!!

Playing and fun

As I am sure you can tell by now, I am a big proponent of play and fun. I know for children, play is the work they do. I do not think things really change when we grow up. It is just that we have more "responsibilities". But playing is still really important to who we are as a person. It is how we get to know ourselves and grow. I just wanted to say that even though I have a lot of "children's" things on my blog like books, coloring pages, paper dolls. It is meant for us adults (although the kids can do them too). Anything I post would be something I would want to do even if I did not have these wonderful girls. And even though I homeschool I do not want this blog to be thought of as a blog to find fun things for my children. But to be thought of as a place to find the child in me !!
Why should we need extra time in which to enjoy ourselves? If we
expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all
of it, not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we
have nothing else to do.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Everybody makes their own fun. If you don't make it yourself, it ain't fun -- it's entertainment. 
David Mamet 
Be daring, be different, be impractical.
Be anything that will assert imaginative vision against the play-it-safer, the creatures of the common-place, the slaves of the ordinary.
Sir Cecil Beaton

Brie Mussels







Good day, I just wanted to say that Lesley at Small Meadow Presshas started a blog. I am so excited (I slightly begged her to do one !!). It is beautiful and already feels like home to me.

Brie Mussels         996662441           

4 strips of bacon

3 Tbls. olive oil

1 leek, cleaned and sliced

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 fresh bay leaf (or dried if you do not have fresh)

4 pounds mussels, beards removed, well scrubbed and rinsed in several changes of water

1 cup dry white wine (or water but wine is better)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 TBLS. Dijon

1 ( around 8-ounce) brie, very cold, rind removed and cut into pieces

In a large pan fry bacon and set aside crisped bacon. Drain off most fat. Keep 1 TBLS. and add oil. Sautee leeks and until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic,  1/2 the parsley, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mussels, wine, and cream, and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and cook, shaking the pan occasionally,
until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Discard bay leaf and any mussels that do not open. Stir in Dijon. Add cheese, crumbled bacon, rest of parsley. Pour into a large, deep serving bowl. Serve immediately with hot French bread for dipping and lemon wedges.

Enjoy !!!


Our May Day

Well we did not celebrate May Day till Wednesday. Chloe is in a little play group that meet every week. We went to Angie's lovely farm and had a beautiful May Day. We wanted the children to dress up nice for it. But they said how can we run and climb and play if we are dressed up. So sigh, we had a May pole dance in jeans.   Img_4533
But it was fun and lovely. There were yummy cup-cakes with fresh lilacs and the children went home with paper and ribbon to make their own May baskets. One lady made a wonderful baked banana pecan French toast for us ladies. And another made wonton cups with vanilla yogurt and strawberries. I brought the maple sausages. It was a perfect sunny day, which is rare here. Another wonderful May Day to remember.
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Mary Frances Cookbook

I am sure all my dear readers adore Mary France's books by Jane Eayre Fryer. But if (shockingly enough) you have not heard of the Mary Frances books, you much investigate them. We have the knitting/crocheting book, the cookbook, the housekeeping book and the sewing book. I have found these books engaging and helpful in teaching my girls and I new skills. We just got the cookbook this Christmas and I am going through it with Chloe. I love how she creates this fairy world and it is so amusing you do not quite know you are learning. I was lucky enough to find the Mary Frances Cookbookon-line. I love this. Then you can really look at a book. Read it and see if it something you would actually like to purchase. Don't you just love the internet! Here is some information about Jane Eayre Fryer.
Enjoy !!!

Jane Eayre Fryer, daughter of Isabella Van de Veer and Mortimer Haines Eayre, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876. After graduating from Northfield Seminary, Massachusetts in 1896, where she specialized in domestic art and science, she taught Latin and English at the Mt. Holly Military Academy in New Jersey (1897-98) and supervised the domestic art and science program at the Jacob Tome Institute in Port Deposit, Maryland (1899 - 1902). In January of 1902 she married John Gayton Fryer of Providence, Rhode Island.

Ten years later, in 1912, she published the first in a series of juvenile books designed to teach young girls fundamental domestic skills. Entitled The Mary Frances Cook Book. Adventures Among the Kitchen People, the simple cook book is couched in a whimsical narrative about young Mary Frances' attempts to please the grown-ups as well as the "kitchen people," animated culinary tools who help her follow the basic recipes her mother wrote down for her. "Some very wise people will call this a story book," the author writes in the beginning, " some a manual training book, and others a cookery book, but Mary Frances knows better; she knows that it is a Book within a Book that introduced her to Aunty Rolling Pin and a lot of other dear, dear friends . . ." The inspired illustrations by Margaret Hays and Jane Allen Boyer are entertaining for readers of all ages. Other books in the series include The Mary Frances Sewing Book (1913); The Mary Frances Housekeeper (1914); The Mary Frances Garden Book (1915); The Mary Frances First Aid Book (1916); and The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheting Book (1918). Fryer's other books include Young American Civic Readers (1918-1919); The Mary Frances Story Book (1921); Mrs. Fryer's Loose Leaf Cook Book (1923) and The Bible Story Book for Boys and Girls (1924). Fryer made her home in Merchantville, N.J.


Christmas House

See my wonderful treasures I got this weekend. You know that secret place were you get your finds and you do not want anyone to know about. That is the Christmas House for me and I am sharing it with all of you my dear friends (plus most of you do not live here ; -)
The Christmas House has been going for over 20 years. I have been going for 13 years. Carolee and Bob spend their vacations tripping around the world going to garage sales and looking for cheap vintage treasures. Then a couple of times a year they open up their lovely old home for sales. Isn't that a wonderful way to spend your retirement. There is always some wonderful deal to be had. Also Carolee is an amazing crafter and Bob a builder. Always so much to motivate one to play. "There is much scope for the imagination" as Anne would say. I tease Carolee that my house is decorated in Christmas House theme. There are many wonderful things in my home from the Christmas House. It will be a sad day when Carolle and Bob decide to stop. We  hope it will not be for a long time. Right now Chloe and I are "sharing" the pink stove and I am trying to decide what to put in my rose album. I collect french wire items and was thrilled to get this flower holder and I just love this little bird cup. I think I know who will be blessed by this cup !!!!!

Rhubarb Rose Fool

Let me say a couple of things about my recipes. Since my vagueness has driven a few friends crazy !!! Unless it is important to the structure of a recipe I wing it. I do not measure. I let my eyes, my nose, and my taste buds tell me what to do. That is why a lot of my recipes will say things like a bit of that or almost or about. What is not salty enough to me is too much for you. I can not taste thing like you taste them and recipes can always be fudged. Something should only taste good to you.
Also in a recipe like this the ratio of rhubarb sauce to whip cream can be fudged. If you have a bit more or less of one thing it is of no matter. Especially with this recipe taste, taste, taste. You will probably need more sugar but I do not want to tell you to use more. You can always add something but it is hard to take it out. Let me say the rhubarb and rose together is heavenly !! And you could add fresh strawberries to this !!!
Rhubarb Rose Fool
Make stewed Rhubarb.
Slice about 2 cups Rhubarb. In sauce pan add 1 cup water,  1 cup sugar and rhubarb. Simmer about 10 minutes till soft and tender. If rhubarb appears stringy run though a processor.
Then whip 2 cup of heavy cream and 3/4 cup of sugar. Then add rose water. Start with a TBL. spoon and keep adding till desired flavor. Then fold in rhubarb.
Put in a pretty glass, add a lovely flower, chill a couple of hours and serve. It is wonderful with the Earl Gray cookies.