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November 2006
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January 2007

December 2006

Happy New Year


I have been thinking about the upcoming year. I never do resolutions (it is to like a list and I am allergic to lists). But this is going to be a year of big changes for my family (which means big changes for me). By the end of this up-coming year Aubern'e will probably be driving and have a job. Chloe will have said goodbye to little girlhood. Because of homeschooling, we are together all the time. We work almost like one unit. We can read each others thoughts, we meet each others needs without even asking, we automatically pick up were one of us drops off. Now not that any of that is going to change. But with my girls changing, it will change our whole world. I am excited but honestly I am scared. This is whole new world for me. For me as a mother, me as a HSer, me as a wife and me as me. I am soo grateful for this blog. I am hoping it will be a place of comfort for me in the shifting sand of my up & coming life. So I am wishing to be open, honest, trusting and positive about 2007.

I also aspire to create a fun, inspiring, supportive blog for all of you amazing ladies.

So pop the champagne bottle (or sparking cider), find a beautiful glass, the best chocolate in your house and toast this exciting new year with me !!!!

Blessings Recived


I hope this post does not look like I am bragging because I am not. But there was a tide of Christmas blessings hitting my mail-box this seasons and I had to thank each of you. I feel so blessed especially because I feel bad that I do not correspond with each of you as much as I would like. There re so many times I want to write each of you a note saying thank you. Thank you for your support, thank you for your kind words, thank you for cheering me on. But sadly I do not have enough time in the day to write each of you as much as I would like to. There was such an over whelming love ad support from you ladies this Christmas. Thank you soo much. I can not find words to tell you how much it means to me.


Look at this HussifJodymade for me. It is amazing. The detail, the roses, the colors. It is all perfect. I love it and you !!!!! I know Camile's Placeis were she got her insparation.


Dear Susan at A Place Called Homesent me a bounty of goodies. Yummy hot chocolate, calendars, note pads, a charming Martha towel. ((Susan))


Joanne sent each of my girls these wonderful Santas and me a charming Christmas book xoxox


Okay you are probably looking at bags of rice and wondering, hmmm. Well Abby's family are rice growers (which I find fascinating) she was kind enough to send me some of her rice. Which was very yummy ;-)


I can not believe Angie would even part with this 1883 children’s book. But I am thrilled she did.


Mary at Patchwork Pasticheknows my addiction to glass glitter and I love the hope sentiment !!


Debbie as Homespun Living  sent these perfect coasters. They are pink and vintage bark cloth (another adiction of mine). Well I am in heaven. I also thought this yo-yo card was clever. The yo-yo comes off and can be hung on a tree. Just beautiful. How can you know me so well and we have never even meet.


Ginaat La Belle was kind enough to send an extra lavender stocking (which I plan to give to my MIL). I just love this fabric. I keep it in my drawer with my antique napkins. Very charming Gina, thank you.

Also thank you for all the lovely handmade cards, small trinkets, tea bags, ect. I cherish it all.

Christmas This and That


Well I know I said I would not post till after Christmas but I feel kind of bad. I was very stressed and kind of abruptly said goodbye. I did not know for several days how many family members were coming for Christmas and if I was having company staying at my house. Now it looks like we will have a second Christmas in 2 weeks. Luckily I love Christmas and cooking a second dinner. I was a bit panicked but now fine (now that I have a game-plan in my mind)

I wanted to post our Christmas breakfast menu like I promised. It is actually pretty simple. I would have like to do a bit more but with the craziness of the past days this will be what it will be.

Also I wanted to confess that when I posted that we were going to have beef Wellington for dinner I did not realize the price of fillet of beef. After the sticker shock wore off, I realized it was totally out of our price range. So we have having a cherry stuffed pork loin with a red wine lavender sauce. Also I did not have time to make the sorbet, so I went to this wonderful shop Mora and got mango sorbet. If you are ever on Bainbridge island, stop Mora. I will also say I tested the frozen raspberry mousse. It is amazing !!!!

Merry Christmas


I am going to wish each of you ladies a merry Christmas a little early.

I hope this Christmas for each of you is full of happy memories, lots of fun wrapping paper, full tummies, blessing and lots of, lots of love. This is a celebration, so remember to enjoy the moment and give those in your life an extra dose of happiness.

I thank each of you for all the kind word, support and love you give me (and oh my gosh all the presents I have been getting in the mail. I will post later). I wish for Christmas I could have all for you over to my house for a giant tea party and feed you lots of chocolate.

I will see you after Christmas. I am already planning (in the back of my busy mind) winter corners.

Love Clarice

Figgy Pudding Box Tutorial


Well I had soooo many craft ideas planed but time is getting short and have not gotten to a lot of them. But I did finish these wonderful Figgy Pudding Boxes. I am sooo happy with them. We always have every Christmas, Christmas crackers. But this year I made these boxes and put poppers in them.


I got my boxes at German Plazaand am sooo happy with them. I have made several orders with this company and have been delighted. They have an amazing assortment of vintage dye-cuts, Dresden trim, paper boxes, ect. I highly recommend them and they have the best prices around.

I painted the boxes with two coats of coco brown acrylic paint and cut a small circle from a cereal box for the base. I painted and glittered it. I was hopping it would look like a cookie. Glue the bottom of the box to the base.


I went around and around how to do the "frosting". I ended up drizzling white acrylic paint and it turned out great.


The best way to describe what to do, is to drizzle the paint. Leave the dripping ends alone and spread the inner paint around. Does that make sense ?


While paint is wet, cover with glitter and shake off excess glitter and let dry.


After paint is dried, I glued a holly leaf and berries on top. I could not find holly leaves I like. So I ended up taking silk leaves I loved and trimmed the edges to give them a holly shape. I know there are not white and frosted holly berries, but I so loved the look. So I took liberties.


I cut blessings tags and glued each end to the top of the box.


Fill with poppers and wah-la !!! I think these will look so cute at each place setting.


Christmas Dinner Menu


Here is our menu (unless I change my mind : -) for Christmas dinner. We usually have a causally seafood dinner on Christmas Eve and a formal dinner on Christmas day. But things are a little different this year. So here is our menu. I want to say that this is my goal but life happens. If I can not do all I want to do I will buy some sorbet, make just the mousse and simply roast the meat and sauté some wild mushrooms on the side. I want to be honest here on the blog. I always pick a menu were I can do part of the cooking before hand. I do not want to be a slave in the kitchen all day.

On Monday I will make the mousse and the bread pudding in put in the freezer.

On Wednesday I will make the chocolate sauce and sorbet

On Friday I will make the meringues.

On Christmas Eve Morning (We are having our dinner on Christmas eve) I will prep-veggies and prep meat and wrap with puff pastry. My mother is making the crab Louie. My sister and MIL will be there to help me. So that is my game plan. Since I wing what I cook, here are recipes similar to what I am making.

Crab Louie

Mulled Wine Sorbet

Beef Wellington (although I am not doing the pancake part and can not afford truffles)

Bread Pudding

Zuccine with Cinnamon and garlic

Kale with Pinenuts and Currents

Frozen Raspberry Mousse on Meringues with Chocolate Sauce

Now I am off to plan Christmas morning breakfast !!

My Mothers House


Wow what a couple of days. We had a wind storm that broke all kinds of records. I have to admit I did not sleep that night for fear one of our 100 year old trees would fall but we were lucky none did. We did loss power and I can tell you I would not make a good pioneer. Finally this morning I awoke to the sound of the heater and was praising God. Thank you for those who were concerned about us, but we are okay. Cold but warming up. And maybe I can do some holiday baking this weekend. I am off to take a hot bath (what I missed the most) 


We went to my mothers to decorate gingerbread houses. I tell you ladies you can not tell by these pictures how charming my mothers house is. She had a red and white candy cane theme, perfect for decorating gingerbread houses


It was raining to hard for me to stand back and get a good picture of her front door. She has this simple but sweet candy cane garland around her front door.


I thought her manle was so cute. 



Doesn’t her dinning room look inviting. This was taken before it was covered in icing and candy !!


This area is at the top of the stairs. I love this little nook.


I thought this was clever way to keep the girls out ;- )


Okay my mother will laugh at me but this was my favorite thing my mother did. Who would have thought of blue transfer-wear and hydrangeas as Christmas decorations. But it is just amazing. You are so creative mom xoxoxox


Another Christmas Tree ???


Yes another Christmas tree (and I still have to show you the one in my kitchen). This is my tree. It is in the library . I had fun adding my red transfer-wear, bits and bobs I had around the room and the feather tree topper. This room is were I spend a lot of time (with my lap-top) and love looking at this tree.



I also forgot to show you our village called Noel Circle. David made me a table top 3 feet by 5 feet. We have so much fun setting this up and leave up through the winter. We like to talk about what life in Noel Circle is like. I will tell you this there is lots of chocolate and nature walks !!

Mousehole Cat


A favorite Christmas book is MouseHole Cat by Antonia Barber. You can read the book on-line and see the real mousehole. I love that thereis a real town and picturesw that you can see of it. There is also a simple movie made form the book that we love. At the end of the movie they show the Mowzel festival every Christmas.

At the far end of England, a land of rocks and moorland stretches itself out into a blue-green sea.
Between its high headlands lie tiny sheltering harbours where the fishing boats hide when the winter storms are blowing.
One of these harbours is so small and the entrance between its great stone breakwaters is so narrow that fishermen called it "the Mousehole".
The people who lived in the cottages around the harbour grew fond of the name and they call their village Mousehole to this day.
They say it in the Cornish way, "Mowzel", but you may say it as you choose.
Once there lived in the village a cat whose name was Mowzer.
She had an old cottage with a window overlooking the harbour, an old rocking-chair with patchwork cushions and an old fisherman named Tom.

Christmas Thank Youssss


Well you wonderful ladies have blessed me (and my daughter) again. Leigh Ann at Pink Kitchen sent me and Chloe the yummiest gifts. She sent Chloe a wonderful vintage wreath for her doll-house and this fantastic old book about making things for doll-houses. I had to share a few pages with you. We saw several things to make. And Leigh Ann sent me amazing old Christmas postcards. I have scattered them around my house and am thinking of using them to make some plagues. Thank you, thank you Leigh Ann for the sweet gifts but mostly for your friendship.



Also Jill at Bittersweet surprised me with a book from my list. Ohh my gosh this book is amazing. You have to check it out. Jill I am so blessed that you have started your blog and I am getting to know you. Your energy and creativity blows me away. I love to live vicariously through you and your shop. Keep your wonderful blog going, because I am love it. xoxox


PS. I am having problems with my computer. So if some reason I am not around that is why. Remember to take a breath and enjoy the season (and have something yummy)  like these dark chocolate layered peppermint bark we make every year !!!

Livingroom part 2


Well I am having a fun weekend. Dear hubby surprised me and the girls and took us to my favorite restaurant  the Wild Coho. It has been so long since we got dressed up and had an amazing meal. And today I am off to a tea party !! Lots of fun and love.

I realized I did not write much about my theme. Like I said it is a English/Victorian look. I use to be so trendy but I am getting old and out of trend. I confess I do not like the simple modern look. I love the over-the-top Victorian magazine 90s look. Especially at Christmas. I want  my house to look like a jewel. I also like a lots of color in the winter because I use all white in the summer (and am sick of it buy winter) and it is soooo gray in WA. So I really like lots of red at Christmas. This is year I used red/white/black/gold/silver. I pulled out a lot of my silver pieces, spoons, ect to use scattered among the Christmas stuff.
I was thrilled to find this flocked back and white wrapping paper at Target. Last year I lined the back of the cabinet with embossed gold paper. I really like both of them. But I love the pop of the black and white and how it goes with the banner.
I was lucky to be given by my MIL a lot of vintage Christmas stuff. These elves are from when David was a little boy. He remembers them around the house.


I had to show you up close this doll house Christmas tree. It is plastic but has little colored balls and candy canes glued to it. And look at the topper. I wish I could take better pictures but it is a ruby jeweled topper. I am sooo in-love with this tree. I am going to have to get my own doll house.
I decide this year instead of garland running up the banister I would just have something large at the foot of the stairs. I can not tell you how my times I redid this. I worked on it for 3 days and it is still not what I wanted but I finally had to say enough and embrace what I had done. I do love the silver pieces tied in it.
This is a centerpiece I did for the party. I will talk later about the paper flags !! Thank for looking. I still have a loTTT more to share !!!

Livingroom part 1


Well ladies I hear you I will not mess with the cameo !!! Thank you for the input. The party was wonderful. You know when you have girlfriends who you can be you, you could say anything and you laugh so much you can hardly eat. Well thank you CM ladies for being that for me.


Here is my living room. I confess I am bad mom and I decorate the whole room but the tree. I just let the girls put up all the ornaments and then I come by and cover it with tinsel. I change the decor every year but the tree is the same. I always use tinsel. It is like a little black dress, it goes with everything.





Opinion Needed


I have to share an early Christmas gift. I have always wanted a cameo but could not find one. When I was this (or should I say when Aubern’e dragged me over to see it) I had to have it. I have not seen a cameo with a diamond necklace (you know how I like my bling !!) Plus it was only $13.00. But I need all you ladies (who have amazing taste) opinion. The one thing I do not like it the frame around the cameo. So I am thinking I could try to age the gold or just look for a whole new pin frame. Anyway I would love to here your thought on what to do with this wonderful cameo.



I have to share Aubern'es disco tree. It is soo hard to take pictures of Christmas trees, so you can not see all the details. So I will share. Aubern'e made a big disco ball (with foil) for the top of her tree. There is mini disco balls, foil drop ornaments, guitar picks, drum sticks and mini guitars Aubern'e made with fimo. Very cool Miss Aubern'e xoxox


Well I am almost done decorating, which is good because I am having a Christmas party at my house tomorrow night : -{ I had to laugh between me and the girls in our house we have one 9 foot real tree and 5 miniature trees. But I want to share my bathroom. I know you would rather see that :-)   (I will show the rest of my house after the party and my coma) I had told you last year we had also done a Victorian theme and we made Christmas cones. Here is mine on you bathroom door. The garland over the bathroom mirror I love so much I keep it up year around. I almost never turn on the real lights.


I today threw this garland over the window and LOVE it. I tell you tinsel is the cheapest,(50cents) funnest, glittery, add wow a your room stuff. Every one should have some tinsel in their home, somewhere !!


Christmas Crazyness


Well am I the only one feeling over whelmed ???? I adore Christmas  but what I do not like is try to do soooooo many fun things in 25 days. My girls want to do it all but this mama is having a hard time keeping up. So it hit me the other day, why do we have to do Hanukah, Saint Lucia, boxing day, ect all in December. It is more important to have a joyous day not an exhausting crammed December. So I have decide part of winter corners (which will not start till after Christmas) we will do some of these traditions. Spread out the fun. So maybe if any of you are feeling the crunch like me, remember it does not all have to happen now !!!!

No-Alcoholic Wassail

Really this is spiced cider but wassail sounds so much more Christmassy. I do not like it too spicy so this is my version which I make in a crock-pot so it will keep it warm. I add to a gallon of cider, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, 1 orange thickly slices, 1 vanilla bean. If you want to add some spirits a rich ale or rum is good.




I have been busy, busy. But I am almost done decorating :-)

I wanted to share my front door and entry-way. It is hard to tell form the picture but I found silver glittered leaves that I randomly set in the boxwood topiary. I am really happy with the look.




My color theme this year is black, white and red. I wanted to go with very different colors in the entry room. I picked soft pastels and a used all my birds nests I keep in that room. This tree turned out so cute. I set in birds nests, feathers and small birds I glittered. I set this paper garland all around the room in the windows.


I set snowman on the other side of the room mostly for the softer colors. I did not want to put something big on the door because I did not want it to distract from the tree on the side.


Well I am off to decorate more. I will show more soon.

Flavored Salts


I am always looking for something fun to make as gifts. This year I am (hoping) to make some flavored salts. I have seen them in food mags but they are soo expensive. But these are easy to make and help add a little something to your cooking.  Here is a gift tag to give with the salts. The picture is a little blurry but click on it and the picture in the new window is clearer.

Holiday Berry Salt

In food processor blend 1 cup salt, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 TBL. anise (or fennel) seeds, 1 TBL ground pepper. Process till cranberries are finely chopped.

Citrus Lavender Salt.

Mix in bowl 1 cup salt, 4 TBL. dried lavender buds, 2 TBL. finely grated lemon peel, 2 TBL. finely grated orange peel