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November 2009

Christmas House day 1

Christmas house 0 2009

Hello, I hope everyone had a yummy Thanksgiving. Ours was wonderful, thank you mom. Now is my favorite time of year, the week after Thanksgiving and decorating. I am lost in a sea of boxes, pine cones, tinsel and ribbon. When I find my way out I will share what I have been up to. But this week I thought each day I would share a picture from the Christmas House. If you look close (click on the picture to really see it all) there is lots of inspiring ideas. Now I am off to find my glue gun and a saw xoxoxo

Hot Buttered Cranberry Cider


Happy Thanksgiving,

    I have several big things this year to be thankful for but with all the craziness I tend to forget it all. I think what I am most thankful for is a day set aside just to remember what I am thankful for. A day to not be lost in life, a day to focus on my many blessings. Not everything in my life is a blessing but still there is so many blessings. I hope this is a day for you to remember all you have to be thankful for too.

    I have a fun drink for the holidays to share with you. One of the things about the holidays I love is there are certain foods that we only have durning Christmas and hot buttered rum is one of them. It is a spiced sweet butter you add to rum and hot water to. You can buy the batter but it is sooo easy to make.

     There two very good reasons to make it yourself is it is healthier and you can suit your palette. For instance I like cinnamon but in balance with other spices. So I encourage you to adjust the spices to your liking. Another reason to make this, is it make a wonderful hostess gift. You can keep little package wrapped in your freezer ready to give as a last minute gift. I provided a tag for you below.

    Now about this drink, I wanted something my girls could enjoy too, so I came up with a hot buttered cranberry. Half apple cider, half cranberry juice with a slice of the spiced butter. I like this because the tang of the cranberry balances well with the sweetness of the butter. But again play with the amounts to suit your palette. Enjoy xoxoxoxox

PS. the photo above is a hint of this years Christmas theme, more to come !!!


Hot butter tagss 


Hot Buttered Cranberry

Butter Rum Mix:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup  coconut sugar or brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, ginger

pinch ground cloves and salt

In a mixing bowl cream all ingredients together. Store in fridge in the freezer, tightly wrapped in wax paper then in a freezer bag. Slice off pieces as needed.



Heat 1/2 cup of cranberry juice and a 1/2 cup of cider. Add a generous TBL of butter to your cup and pour hot liquid over juice. If you like rum you can also add a jigger. Stir and enjoy!


"For Love Of The Old" Giveaway

For love of

Well I have a confession to make, Thanksgiving is going to be lame this year. Actually let me rephrase that, it will be amazing BUT not because of anything I did. I am too overwhelmed and asked my mother to host Thanksgiving instead. She graciously accepted, thank you mom. Both her and my sister are fantastic cooks, so it will be yummy. I will be just making boring mashed potatoes, store bought turkey gravy (shock, Central's is really good) and pancetta-chestnut stuffing. Chloe is making a long-pie pumpkin pie and Auberne` will make pecan pie bars. I also confess it was hard to ask my mom. I feel so Martha and like I should be hosting it. But the minute I asked I felt better. So if you are feeling overwhelmed, I encourage you to say so, asked for help, simplify. I did and am so glad.

Thank you again for all the kind notes and prayers for David and me. He is slowly, very slowly feeling better, but it is going to take a while. As a thank you and also for having over 700 posts now (akk who knew I had so much to say ;-) I am having a book giveaway. First is For The Love Of Old  by Mary Randolf Carter, I have seen blog posts about this book and was very interested, but it was $50.00. On my last trip to Leavenworth, I got it at a bargain price. I really enjoyed this book. It has stunning photos, all old, chipped, used things I love, very inspiring. I thought I would share it with you, my dear readers.

Christmas victoria

The second book is
Christmas With Victoria, I accidentally bought a copy when I already had one. By the way any of you old Victoria magazine lovers out there (which I know most of you are !!) you should check out the Victoria Christmas books from the late 80's and early 90's. They are DIRT cheap right now, but one day they will not be. I had two but decided to get the rest for my collection, while I can.

To win just leave a comment and tell me which book you would like (if you say both then I will choose for you) and if there is anything you would like me to post about. There will be two winners, one for each book. I will post winners after Thanksgiving, good luck. Oh by the way if I was not so overwhelmed this is what I would be making for Thanksgiving. What are you making ??? xoxoxox


Wool Flower Tutorial

Wool flower 2

Wool flower 00WoolflowerWolflower

It has been a long week. David was doing better, then all the sudden started to do worse. I think it is just wearing on him. And on me, I have to do a lot for him and getting up in the middle of the night and early morning to help him, lots of appointments (which I hate). But you know even in the midst of it all, I have need to create something. Maybe even more then normal. I even got my little front room silhouette Christmas tree done (I will share soon).

I decided this pretty beret needed a little something. I wanted to make a wool flower fast and easy. I hope you do to.

1, Cut two circles of fabric. I decided what size I wanted my pin to be and then made a circle a little smaller. I used wool and left the edges raw.

2. Take a circle and fold in in half, but with one side sticking out a little farther then the other and pin.

3. With a needle and thread, run a basting stitch through the fold and pull and gather. Keep running the needle through and pulling till you get the gather you like. Knot off thread. 

4, You want the shorter front half of the circle gathered and the larger back half flat.

5, Gather the other circle and knot off.

6, Now sew the two gathered edges together and sew a button onto the center of the flower.

7, Sew a pin-back on and be done !!!!!

By the way be checking my blog, in a couple of days I will be having  a give-away xoxoxo


Chocolate-Covered Licorice Tea

Chcoclate tea

Thank you everyone for all the kinds words, well wishes and prayers. David is doing well considering. He will not need surgery, just time to heal. He will be home anywhere between 2-6 weeks. He still can not use both hands, but the girls are really helping me a lot, thank you sweeties. My posting may be a bit erratic but I have LOTS to share, so bare with me xoxoxo

Chcoclate tea 3

My mother was tell me about a book she had read Tea For You and was playing with making her own tea blends. I was fascinated with the idea. I took ideas from the book and came up with my own blend (of course, you know how I have to put my own print on everything I do). I loved the idea of a chocolate tea and thought a subtle back note of anise and vanilla would really highlight the chocolate and english breakfast tea.

I choose English breakfast tea because it is a strong tea but would not compete with the chocolate. What is really fun about this tea, is you grate some chocolate over the cup of tea. It is yummy and I think a bag of this tea, a microplane and some chocolate would make a creative gift. I am working on a second tea, if it is good I will post it xoxoxo

Chcoclate tea 4 
Chocolate-Covered Licorice Tea

1 cup English Breakfast loose tea

4 TBL coco-nibs

1 TBL. anise seeds

1 vanilla bean, cut with scissors in little pieces

piece of dark chocolate (if you like milk better that is fine) for grating

In a coffee grinder or spice grinder or food processor put coco-nibs, anise seeds and cut up vanilla beans. Pule a few times to chop up. You do NOT want a powder, just large pieces. Mix with tea and keep in a container with a tight lid.

Make tea as usual, then grate a bit of chocolate over you cup of tea. Enjoy xoxox

Chcoclate tea 2

Library Curtains

Libary curtian 3

A note for me:

I am just going to add this to my post. David was in a motorcycle accident yesterday on his way home from work.  He is okay. He shattered his right collarbone, dislocated a finger on his left hand and really bruised his ribs. But we are very grateful because it could have been soo much worse. So if I am not around for awhile that is why. Please be praying, David does not handle pain well, although last night he was handling it better then I thought he would. We will see how today goes !!!! On Friday he see a doctor and we will see if they will do surgery or anything. Also he has his right arm in a sling and his left hand in a splint. So he only has two finger he can use. Thank you soo much for all your love and support. I will be back as soon as I can xoxoxox


Good day everyone, I wanted to share my new drapes I made for my library. For my birthday my mother gave me this beautiful vintage hunting fabric that she had (I have been coveting it forever). I wanted to use it for new drapes but did not have enough, so what is a girl to do???? I found perfect taffeta for the rest of the drapes. I tied up the drapes (there is a second one I just did not take a picture) with pretty ribbon I had on hand and used a long nail as something to tie the ribbon onto. What I love most is the feathers. They are on a long wire that I bent over to make a hook and hooked it onto the knot of the ribbon. It just gives it a little some, some.

Do you like the black wicker chair ? (it now has a new coat of black paint) My sister gave me two of them. I still need to make new cushions, I think I will just use basic black twill. By the way this is my corner where you will find me working on my blog, chatting with all of you, knitting, recharging. I wish you could come have a cup of tea with me xoxoox

Libary curtian 1

Libary curtian 6

Libary curtian 2 

Libary curtian 5


Fruitcake Time

Chocolate fruitcake

The girls and I spent today making our yearly Chocolate Cherry Fruitcakes and thought you readers might like the reminder it is fruitcake time. For those of you who are not big fruitcake lovers, you will love this one. It does not have a lot of the candied fruit and is very moist. If you having my baking issue the recipe is there. So (said in my best Julia voice) bake away and bon appetit xoxoxox

Chocolate fruitcake 2

Roasted-Garlic Pumpkin Hummus


Fall treee2

Once a week Chloe and Angie's daughter have a play date. Which I love because Angie is an amazing cook and always feeds me soooo well. But I like to bring her something yummy too. I wanted to do something with the long-pie pumpkins Angie grew for me and I had roasted. I decided to make roasted garlic pumpkin hummus.

I wanted it to have the qualities of a pumpkin pie but something savory not sweet. Normally when I do hummus, it is very lemony and garlicky. So I decided to roast the garlic to give it a deeper, richer flavor. I used less lemon and instead of herbs, I used spices. Mostly cumin as this seems to go with the deep flavor of the roasted garlic. But also I added some cinnamon and ground ginger.

Also about when I make hummus, you will see I used half water/half olive oil. I do not do that for health reasons (although it is a good reason) I do it for money reasons. I am trying to stretch what I have. I discovered hummus is just as rich and yummy with half water/half oil. You can make this hummus and freeze part for future meals. I like to serve it with baked garlic meatballs and raw veggies.

Enjoy, Miss. Storybook Woods (thank you for the kind comments :-) xoxoxox 

Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus

1 whole garlic, roasted and cloves pulled out of skin, discard skin

I cup pumpkin puree

1, 15 oz can or 1 ½ cup cooked garbanzos rinsed

Juice of half a large lemon

¼ cup water

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup tahini

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger


Puree add ingredients till smooth.

Image above is a view out my kitchen window of Chloe's maple tree, it is quite beautiful this year.

Miss. Storybook Woods

Starwar girls

Auberne`  (you should check out her starwars "I got milk" posters !!!) and I decided to dress up when taking Chloe downtown to trick or treat. I usually wear the same costume, "grumpy-mom-mad-at-hubby-because-he-is-always-working-on-halloween-and-I-would-rather-be-snuggled-up-in-bed-with-a-new-mag" but this year I decided to shake things up.

Starwar girl

I bet you can guess who Auberne` is. I thought her idea for the belt was great. She stuck duck tape together and made sort of duck tape fabric that she then cut her belt out. Chloe dressed her doll Elisabeth as Hans Solo.

Starwar girl 3 IMG_6162

But I am mostly posting because I had to share Chloe's costumes, Ashoka Tano. She has been working on this for months. I had nothing at all to do with this. She created, designed and sew it all by herself.


The headpiece is just unbelievable. It is hard to see it has beading on it. I thought the the embroidery she did on the front piece on her skirt was perfect. Auberne` made a baby Hut named Roda for Chloe's Birthday. She even made a backpack for him.  

Asoka 6

I know I am being a braggy mom, but it thrills me to no end to see my girls take an idea, run with it, design it, create it. This was a big goal of mine in homeschooling them. Well done girls. I am sp proud of you, keep creating. By the way I was Miss Storybook Woods ;-)   xoxoxoxo