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January 2007

This & that and see you next week




Well I am off for the weekend to play in the snow but I will be back next week.

I do have a couple of questions and am hoping you will leave honest (not polite) answer.

1. Do you like the storybook woods gazette banner ? Does it add to the post or it is just clutter?

2. Is the pictures too bright, not bright enough or just right?

3. Are my recipe to complicated or hard to understand ??

Thank you !!!!!

Also see the lovely tea pot and tea cup my MIL gave me. I just love the violets.

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend ladies xoxoxox


My Potato Chip Trick




I was reading Food and Wine about Spain's chef Ferran Adrià. An intersting chef. Well he mention he makes a Tortilla (an omelet) with potato chips instead potatoes. Well I was intrigued and I have to say it was quite yummy. Now I am looking at chips in a whole new light. When ever I have left-over chips (which is rare :) and they are starting to go stale I crumble them over soups, roasted veggies, chile, ect.  They make a yummy topping. Ofcourse the better the chips, the better your dish will turn out. My favorite chip (besides the sweet poatoe ones) is Terra Red Bliss potato chips with olive oil, roasted garlic and parmesan. Also as I am writing this post I see Terra's site has recipes. So maybe you will so even more fun ideas on how to use your chips !!!


Winter Corners 4




Here are some of the Valentines we made. They did not quite turn out a wonderful as I imagine but I am trying to set that aside and just embrace them. My idea was the radicchio would look like a peony and the endive as rosettes. The radicchio just more like a pink mess but I am really happy with the endive. I cut the radicchio in half and cut the tip off the endive. The endive made the most charming small roses.


Endive2 103620radicchio


See you




I have family coming for a visit and will be busy cooking : -) So I will be back next week. Have a lovely weekend and remember to eat (or do) at least one yummy thing and enjoy it xoxox


Winter Corners 3




Hello I thought I would share my mother's winter corners. She decided to use purple for her inspiration. The picture does not do justice to these amazing glass hurricanes. They are stunning. (when she is not looking I am taking them !!)


Look at this beautiful handpainted bowl it was done by a great aunt I have never meet.



My mother got some wonderful tins and a sign at Michele's. If you get a chance check it out.



So if you are at a loss on decorating, try picking a color and look around your home for everything in that color and see what you come up with. Thank you for letting me share mom xoxx


6 Weird Things About Me




Well I have been tagged by Kim at Vinatge Pretty to post 6 weird things about me. There are so many I am not sure I can narrow them down to six.

Here are the rules:

Each player of this game starts with "6 weird things about you". Each person who gets tagged needs to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as clearly state this rule. After you state your 6 weird things, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you're tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog for information as to what it means.

1. When I was girl I could put my whole fist in my mouth. I would also stand several blocks from my house and scream to see how far I could get and my sister could still hear me. I have a loud voice. I have also several times been out in public and had friends come up to me and say I knew you were here, I could hear your laugh.

2. Angie thinks this is weird (I do not :) I will put up with any inconvenience for pretty. For example the first home I lived in with dear hubby was basically a one room cabin. It had a large walk-in closet that had a window. Our bed just fit in it with room to walk in front of the bed. So hubby built me a closet on the front porch were I would go out every morning in my robe for all the neighbors to see to get my clothes. When we were looking for a house all I cared about was having something charming. I am not very practical.

3. I like food almost burnt. Like my toast (which I would rather cooked in browned butter, soo I can get it really crispy and buttery) Or say things like ribs or chicken. I have David barbeque it soo the outside is really crispy and black. I eat all the outside and then give David the rest of it (a match made in heaven). I also eat all the crispy stuff stuck to the pan

4. I have hot feet. I will sleep with a bunch of blankets on me and heating pad but my feet will be sticking out.

5. David and I sleep with our heads at the opposite ends of the bed. He snores and I can hear the grass grown. So I started sleeping at the other end of the bed. I have only kicked him a few times !!

6. I am a morning person. If I have to go anywere in the afternoon or evening I can not focus. I can do nothing around the house. All I can think about is being ready to leave. If I tell you I will meet you at 12, I will be there at 11.59 and 40 seconds. It was drilled in to me to be on-time and do what you promised. But I am trying to relaxe about this.

7. An extra-when I am alone in the car (which is very rare) I turn the stereo up all the way and sing at the top of my lungs (which as you saw above is very loud) and I can shake my bon-bon and drive at the same time. So if you hear a car pull up next to you with the base booming anyway it is probably me !!

I know I am suppose to tag others, but I am soo empathic that if I make someone feel like they have to post six weird things about themselves and do not want to. Well the guilt will just eat me alive !!!


Aubern'e post




Thank-you all so much for your kind words on my birthday, they mean a lot to me. You are all so sweet. I had a perfect, fun, ultra cool birthday. (Plus cool present’s ;)  My mom said I could show you some project’s I have made. I made a scrap fabric bag. The handle is a belt my sister gave me and all I did is sew the pieces of fabric onto a square of heavy denim fabric. Then sewed the two pieces together and turn them inside out. The pillow is from a T-shirt I loved but did not fit me any more, I cut a square 3 inch's bigger than I wanted the pillow to be. Then I cut fringe, tied it together and stuff it. I also knitted chain mail wrist cuff. I just used metallic yarn, cast on 25 stiches and knit 6 inch’s. [I had to knit 7 inches to fit my hand]. Sew the short edges together. Thank-you again for the birthday wish's and sweet words. Auberne’

I also had to show you these Pirates of the Caribbean bookmarks Aubern'e made. What I love about them is the skill beads she made them. I thought it was quite brilliant.


Menu Of The Week




I was wanting to make some chowder this week (it is soo cold) but of course I have to do things different. I was thinking how I could jazz up this dish and am very happy with the results. Although pancetta and roasted garlic always makes life happier (just like glitter, which I am covered in from making 35 Valentines cards }:-o.

I digress, I wanted to say that you could use any cheese but just pick up something that is fairly flavorful. You want it to hold up to all that garlic and pancetta. I would sever this with bread and I think this Romaine Salad with Oranges and Walnuts would be yummy.

For the perfect end Espresso Jello. Now that should keep you warm on these cold night !!!

Italian Potato Chowder

1 garlic roasted, cloves

1 inch slice Pancetta, cubed in small cubes

1 onion finely chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

½ cup dry white wine

1 bay leaf

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley, save ½ for the end of cooking

2 cups broth

3 large potatoes, cleaned and cubed

1 cup grated smoked provolone cheese

Milk or heavy cream

OO (olive oil)

Sauté’s pancetta on high in a splosh of OO, till it has rendered fat and crisped. Pull out pancetta and set aside. Turn down stove to medium heat and sauté onions and carrots in pancetta fat for a few minutes, till is starts to soften.

Turn heat back up to high and when everything starts to brown deglaze pan with wine. Turn back down to med-low and add broth. Add bay leaf, ½ the chopped parsley, potatoes. And enough water to cover potatoes. Simmer half hour or till potatoes are very tender. Now add milk or cream. Amount depends on a couple of things. First how much liquid there is and how brothy you want your chowder. If you want your chowder really thick take 4 TBL of flour put in jar with lid and add ½ cup of cold water and shake really good. Then pour through a strainer (to catch lumps) and simmer a minute or two. Then add grated cheese, parsley, pancetta and squeeze garlic from cloves into soup. Stir and serve !!!

picture by Maxfield Parish (thank you Jody xoxo)


The Chair



Chair makeover

Chair makerover22

Okay I am going to brag (a little), I have never recovered anything before and I am sooo happy with this chair. I painted the wood trim silver, then I remembered I had this wonderful old floral chintz. I bought the jacuard and striped fabric. The strawberry rick-rack gives it the fun punch. I glued and stapled the fabric over the existing fabric. The really hard part was sewing the cushion. I ended up pining it all together. This was a definite learnig curve and I admire anyone who does this for a living. Thank you for letting me share!




Winter Corners 2




I am playing with the look of the blog, so things might be changing for a while : -)

Well this is the dead zone of my home. Do you have one of those were nobody seems to use it. Nothing seems to fit. That is how it is at this end of the living room (which use to be the front porch and is now the back of the house). So over the years living here I keep playing with ideas for the space. This is my latest and seems to maybe be the fit.


We have been busy crafting and sewing gifts. I tried to keep the furniture light and open with lots of flat space to work. Having the sewing machine set up helps a lot. I moved the green cabinet from the library to here and temporally set the bar next to it. It is hold books, stereo and craft supplies. I even brought the ironing board from the basement.


Jody had asked about how I store my craft supplies around my livingroom. I do have a room over the garage to store stuff I do not use often. But I have found keeping things boxed in groups help me and make easy to find. I like to stack boxes and keep things together. For example one box for random bits of ribbon and buttons, a box for all my paint bottles, one drawer for paper, a basket for yarn and suitcase for all my wool and wool felt. Cigar boxes for embroidery thread, sewing kit, scissors.

Picture_516 Picture_517 

I know not all of you have an extra bedroom or whole end of a room. But I encourage you to think about an area of your home you could set up a small table and a stack of boxes for a creative corner. This does not have to be forever or hold all your crafting item. Just think about what you would like to work on over the next few winter months and gear your space to that.







Wow what a wonderful weekend I have had. I LOVE T J Max. I got this amazing tea-pot with these perfect roses for $9.00 and creamer $5.00. As Alison would say it make my heart ache to just look at them and look how well they go with these paper clay roses I made a few years back xoxox


I got a pink phone, a PINK phone (for free). Now I have to paint and glitter it !!!


Lastly dear hubby sucked it up and agreed to washing with rose scented hand soap. What a guy. As you can see it is rosy around here (wait till you see my chair, it turned out amazing)



Menu Of The Week


There are a zillion versions of Puttanesca sauce and this is my version. Feel free to play with it to your liking (and what you have in your house at the time) although I want to point out a few things. You are baking this sauce for a while, so you do not want to loose all the strong yummy flavors. I only use half of the olives and parsley in the cooking and I add the rest and the capers at the end so you do not loose the salty, herby punch that cut through this rich sauce.

Also about the fire roasted tomatoes. Now I am on a budget and do now want to waste my money on things that do not need to be wasted on (then can buy good cheese with my left over money) but these fire roasted tomatoes are worth the money and add a layer of flavor to your dish the regular tomatoes will not add. If you have not tried them, give one can a try and see what you think. This dish is basically a braised dish, so it is low (heat) and slow (time). I have made it with boneless, skinless chicken breast. It cooked 40-50 minutes at 350. Be careful not to over cook. Even though I am home all day, I am a morning person and I do what I can in the morning. So I make the sauce, let it cool, put it over the chicken and then all I have to do is in the evening pull out the pan and set it in the oven to bake.

Oh lastly about the olives, my girls love good old pain-jane black olives. Dear hubby and I love the rich calamata olives. So as a compromise I use half and half. So use what you love. Also I use a lot of cappers (I am addicted to capers) again suite to your taste.

Baked Chicken Puttanesca

8 Chicken thighs or legs

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

I can fire roasted tomatoes (pull of skin and roughly chop. Use tomatoes and sauce, throw away skin)

1 cup olives (roughly chopped)

1 TBL red wine vinegar

1/2 cup red wine (or broth)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

cappers to taste

salt and pepper to taste

1 TBL cruched red pepper flakes, if you like heat. We are wimps in my house so I use smoked paprika

In a pan heat a splosh of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté about 10 minutes till tender, add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Then deglaze pan with wine. Pull pan off stove. Add 1/2 chopped olives, 1/2 the chopped parley, vinegar, red pepper or paprika and salt and peppers to taste.

In another pan heat another splosh of olive oil over high heat and brown skin of chicken. Set chicken on a large baking pan with a heavy lid (or wrap it tightly with foil). Cover with sauce and put lid on (or foil). Bake at 325 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Depending on your oven and how cooked you like your chicken. Add rest of olives, parsley and capers to sauce and serve.

I would serve this over orzo pasta and a simple salad with a lemon zest vinaigrette. I think the fresh lemon is always a good foil to anything rich or salty.

Lemon Zest Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil

zest from one lemon

juice of half of lemon

1 tsp. of finly chopped fresh garlic

1 tsp. honey

salt and pepper to taste

This Raisin Bread Pudding would a be a perfect end.

A time frame for this meal, so you will not being cooking it all at once.

Morning :

make sauce and pour over chicken. Set in fridge till ready to bake.

make vinaigrette

wash lettuce and prep any veggies, you might want to add.

Evening :

set chicken in oven

Make bread pudding and bake

20 mintues before eating make orzo.

Mix salad just before you eat

Enjoy !!

Painting by Bob Ransley

Auberne's Raspberry Ricotta Stuffed Overnight Toast


Today is my Auberne`s 16th birthday. It seems to have gone by so fast.

"Sweetheart we are so proud of the woman if integrity you have become. You have the most giving spirit about you. You are kind and loving. You march to your own drum. I your own words 'I am not like any other teenager. I am weird and proud of it.'"

Auberne` Rose, you teach me everyday how to be more giving, to laugh at life and be a better me. Thank you and I love you to pieces xox 




Auberne` was lavished with lots of cash, a tea pot with a crown, a sailing ship and my vintage ring which I was given when I graduated. I had to share what Auberne` wanted for her breakfast in bed. French toast, raspberries, apple sausages and hot chocolate. Now I mean the kind of hot chocolate were you melt chocolate with heavy cream. Yummy and rich. Now this is a girl after my own heart. I created this French toast dish for her 16th birthday and share it with you xoxo

Auberne's Raspberry Ricotta Stuffed Overnight French Toast


1 Loaf French Bread, sliced in 16 slices

1 package of cream cheese, at room temp.

1 1/2 cup ricotta

1/2 cup sugar

zest of one orange

juice of half orange (reserve other half for sauce)

1 TBL orange liqueur

2 eggs

Frozen or fresh raspberries (do not defrost raspberries)




3 eggs

2 cups whole milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

In a mixture cream, cream cheese and sugar till fluffy. Scrap sides of bowl, add ricotta, sugar, zest, juice, liqueur, 2 eggs and mix together.

And a deep baking dish lay half (8) slices of bread. Pour filling over bread and sprinkle berries over filling. Amount of berries is up to what you love. Lay the other 8 slices over berries.

In the mixing bowl mix 3 eggs, sugar and vanilla. Pour over top of bread. Cover and let sit over night in fridge.

Bake in oven covered at 350 for 1 1/2 hours or till center is cooked.



Raspberry Maple Sauce

1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup maple syrup

juice from the other half of orange

1 tsp orange liqueur

Cook all over medium heat 10 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes and run through strainer. Push pulp through strainer with the back of a spoon. Reheat and serve over French toast.


Winter Corners 1


I am going to do something a little different with winter corners. Instead of showing decorations with snowman and winter scenes (although I will do a little of that) I thought of something completely different. I do not know about your winter but here in the northwest is cold, rainy, grey, rainy, rainy. It is a down time. A time for sitting around the woodstove and drinking tea. A slow time, which I enjoy. But as I expressed at Christmas time there is too much fun, too much giving crammed into three weeks. One can not do it all. And sadly to say I was not able to bless all my girlfriends like I would have like to. So I have decided to claim January and February as my girlfriend blessing months. So I will be sharing ways to bless those around us who listen, who understand why the dishes left on the counter will throw us over the edge, the one who will cry with you when your dear children use half the jar of hazelnut butter especially bought for you from Italy for their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (yes this happened to me ladies), and the one who gets how you could love your dear hubby one moment and the next moment need to be reminded why you married him.

So here is a little teaser. Thank you cards I made to send to dear friends. I was inspired by Charlotte Lynos cards.  Did you know Charlotte Lynons has a new blog ??? It is fabulous !!!! These were so fun to make. I hope Charlotte does not mind me copying her. Thank you for the inspiration Charlotte

So I enourge you to make a list of anyone in your life who you feel has supported you and you would like to bless them !!!

Books To Share


Well I just randomly picked some books from my book case to share. The first book "On The Sunny Side" by Carl Larsson is a new book I just got and love it. I have most of his books but had not seen this one before. I really love it because I felt it gave the biggest insight into Carl Larsson and his life. Of course it is quiet beautiful.

   "This is the last in the series of books put out by Carl Larsson (1853-1919) about his family and his home. The children are not all that has grown since the appearance of the first book in the series. Some of them are no longer part of the household and the home itself has been steadily altered. And a new household in Falun has been added to accommodate schooling for the children in that larger town.

Ahh the Opheia books by Michele Durkon Clise. I have all of them and cherish them. I feel like Opheia is my other half. She lives well, gives well and thinks a tea party, chocolate and vintage lace is the answer to world peace !!

  "Opheia B. Clise is a lovable bear who runs a shop called the Bazaar des Bears on Paris's rue de Bac. This book is a lavishly illustrated journal she keeps for one adventure-filled year. Ophelia adores chocolate, antiques, lace, flowers and champagne. Most of all she adores her friends, a group of bears every bit as eccentric and appealing as Ophelia herself."

Aunt Martha's Corner Cupoard by Mary and Elizabeth Kirby. Is stories about Tea, Coffie, sugar, rice, ect. A charming way to learn history. My copy does not have a publishing date but it is old.

"Fathers Big Improvments" by Caroline Emerson. Father falls for every new item on the market. Mother can't stand it, the kids think it's hilarious. We enjoyed reading the funny happenings in the Mitchell family. 

The Magic Of Provenceby Yvone Lenard

This is an enchanting book, with tales of the duchess on the hilltop, the prince who came to call, the housekeeper who didn't clean, and the hollyhocks that bloom throughout the village. Each chapter concludes with a delectable recipe so the reader can share part of the experience of life in Provence.


Pruneaux au Rhum (Prunes in Rum: a variation on the Confiture de Vieux Garçon)

This version of the Confiture uses dried prunes, so you can make it any time of the year. The method is different here, because dried fruit must first be plumped in hot liquid, otherwise they'll harden and shrivel in alcohol.

Use large, pitted prunes. Place them in a bowl. Pour enough strong, hot, well-sweetened tea to cover. Let stand, covered, overnight, unrefrigerated.

By next day, most of the tea will have been absorbed. Pour out any leftover liquid. Place prunes in jar and pour enough dark rum to cover. Close with lid.

Your pruneaux will be ready to eat in three days. They will keep for months in a cool, dark place.

You can serve the pruneaux in brandy snifters, with coffee. You can also serve them with ice cream or in pastries.

Note: In the southwest of France, Armagnac is used, and Pruneaux a l'Armagnac are a specialty of the city of Agen.

Valentine Exchange 2


Hello Ladies, I have gotten several questions about the Valentine exchange. It is nothing fancy. Just simply my family sending you a homemade (hopefully, if not store-bought) valentine and you sending us one. You do not have to be creative, you do not have to send any gifts, you do not have to send a vintage Valentine. It is just fun to receive mail from around the world. Hopefully this will take stress off of anyone who feels like they have to make some creative amazing earth-shattering valentine. This is meant to be fun, no stress. Just a heart with hello written on it, would be lovely xoxox

Valentine Exchange


I was wondering if anyone wanted to exchange Valentines. If you are interested e-mail me at

[email protected]

and I will send you our address. Here is some Valentines to get you going (Click on the picture to make it bigger)

PS. about the bookcase, I got it at Costco for $199.00. Good price and it is big too (83"h x53"w) So head down to your Costco !! I will post some books soon. 



I got a new bookcase for the library. Sighhhh I could not get a great picture. But I am soo happy with it. It goes beautifully with my other bookcases and hold so many books. I put the old green cabinet in the living room. In my new winter corner (hint, hint)

I have have this wonderful but very shabby wing back chair for a while. I finally decied it is looking shabby, not shabby chic. Thanks to Abby (who thanks to Brocante Abby was inspired) I found out about Squint and was very inspired. Well so far I have painted all the wood trim silver. I wanted to show you the before so you will appreciate the after. I am planning on getting some cream velvet and tea dying it for the arms and then we will see. I decided to cover it section by section.


Things I Love


Thank you ladies for all the understanding words and encouragement. It is nice to know you understand how I feel !! What a wonderful start to the new year. Speaking of the new year I though a "things I love" post would be a good way to start off the new year.

But first I feel soooo bad. How could I missed thanking both my good friends Kristin and Tracy for their Christmas gifts. I am soo sorry. Kristin gave me that gorgeous vintage pink ornament. I love it soo much I will keep it out all year.


Tracy thank you for this star. It makes me think of you and what a kind friend you have been to me over the years xoxoxo

I still have this nagging feeling I am misssing someone. If I am, I am sorry !!


When I saw this phone at Claire's Vintage Home and have serious envy (which equals love). Now I am thinking can I paint my phone ?????


Purl Bee napkin tutorial, I have been wanting to make my own napkins. I love the idea of making my own binding (which I did not know I could do?) Check it out.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a wonderful story on-line you can listen to. It is sad and I do not usually like sad, but I found the story draw me in. There are several other stories to listen to.

The Yellow Wallpaper

In this classic late-nineteenth-century story by Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman, a new mother suffering from what we might today call 'post-partum depression,' is diagnosed with a nervous disorder. Instructed to abandon her intellectual life and avoid stimulating company, she sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness.


Salami Gorgonzola Biscuts    Well what can I say. Add a simple green salad, a good red wine and bit of chocolate to top it all off. Heaven !!!!!!!!!!!