Wednesday, November 21, 2012


When I had my shop, Christmas decorating started in September; so this year I have been wanting to drag out the holiday decorations for some time. I think I've shown great restraint waiting till this week. We will be going to our daughters on Thanksgiving, so I gave myself permission to begin.

And, yes, I did say the tree is hung. Since floor space is minimal in our home, there were a few years when I didn't put up a Christmas tree. Then my Vintage Boy found a 'half tree' at an auction several years ago - it is made to hang on the wall. I have always hung it above our dining table, which butts up against the wall, but then if we pull the table out for company, the cord is hanging there. So this year I solved that problem by hanging it on a metal screen in our living room. This is a picture of it before decorating.

I decorate my little tree with two types of ornaments. My mothere gave me a collection of victorian house ornaments many years ago. It was one of those offers where you get one a month for a year. Well, she never was a patient person, so she bought the group of 13 all at once. When you hold them up to the light, you can see the furnishings and people through the windows.  I love them, and have used them in many ways over the years.

And I also use SnoBabies ornaments on my tree. A friend and co-worker gifted me with one, and I continued to buy one every now and then until I had a nice little assortment. It is a delight to unpack them each year and hang them on the tree. They have such sweet little faces.

So here's how my little hanging tree looks when all decorated and lit. I'm lovin' it!

Well, I'm sitting here with boxes of Christmas 'stuff' all around me - I'd better get back to it! But before I go, I want to be sure to wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration! And, enjoy decorating your home for the Christmas season.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I just saw this picture posted on Pinterest with a link for the Seven-Minute Frosting recipe. Memories! My mom used to make this frosting fairly often - I've never tried it because it seemed like a lot of work; but I might have to give it a whirl when we have a special event.

I remember the pan she used to make this - wish I had it now. It was a white enamel double boiler with a narrow black stripe on the edges. The frosting was wonderful on a chocolate cake, but here's the best part... the recipe made more than one cake could hold. Mighty tasty!

Seven-Minute Frosting Recipe


| metric conversion
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In the metal bowl of a standing mixer set over (but not touching) a saucepan of simmering water, combine the sugar, corn syrup, 3 tablespoons water, egg whites, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has completely dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until glossy, thick, and billowing peaks form, about, well, you know, 7 minutes. (Although truth be told, sometimes it doesn’t take quite that long. When in doubt, just look at the picture above; that’s what you want.) Beat in the vanilla. Use immediately.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook | Clarkson Potter, 2005
Makes about 4 cups, enough for a two-layer 9-inch cake

Till next time...

Friday, November 16, 2012


When our kids were little my mom made Christmas stockings for them, and it was always special when we brought them out each year and hung them on the fireplace mantel. And so to carry on the tradition, I have made Christmas stockings for my grandchildren. The first ones - quite some years ago had a patchwork look to them and were trimmed in various buttons, lace, ric rac, etc.

And now I have two younger grandchildren, and so I needed to carry on the tradition. This first stocking was made for Cooper, and I took the pattern out of a quilting magazine. I thought it turned out pretty cute, and the snowman was appropriate for a little boy.

While on a Christmas Tour of Homes I spotted some white stockings with a fur cuff, and they were the inspiration for the stocking I made when Kennedy came along. When it came time to choose the fabric I made the decision to cut up my wedding dress. It seemed silly to just keep it in the closet never to be used again, and I had always loved the fabric. I love how it turned out, but it was difficult to get a picture of it because of how it reflected the light - probably time to learn how to use the different settings on my camers.

How-to Info: The satin brocade fabric in my wedding dress had yellowed over the years, so I took the chance and washed it using a RIT whitening product (don't remember the exact name). It worked wonderfully in getting rid of the yellowing, but it also seemed to take the body out of the fabric. I took care of that by using an iron-on interfacing. To line it I use pink satin, and found a fur-like fabric to use for the cuff. The rhinestone 'k' I found on a key-ring and attached it to the stocking with a pearl button. If you need specific instructions on constructing a lined stocking, I'm sure you can easily find one on the internet.

Now, what am I going to do with the rest of that fabric?

Till next time...


Monday, November 12, 2012


These are fabrics that I purchased several months ago when the Christmas fabrics first came out. I think the time has come to sew them up!

I seem to be especially drawn to prints that include words, and there are a lot of choices out there - not only for Christmas.
When I bought these, I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but have decided to make a valance for my kitchen window. And hopefully I will have enough to also make a table runner. That should make my kitchen cheery and fun for the Christmas season! I'll share pictures when I finish.

These fabrics are a little quieter. I fell in love with the subtle batik with the snowman family printed on it. I'm still not quite sure what to do with this winter print. Pillows? Do you have any suggestions?

Hope you're having a wonderful day!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Funerals & Memorial Services are obviously sad occasions, but they provide a wonderful opportunity for reflection and for seeing and visiting with people we might not otherwise have the occasion to be with. Today we attended the funeral service for our friend, Alta.

Alta and her husband, Ralph, were our neighbors when we were young and they were very involved with us as we went through the adoption process for our children. She always made sure I was included in neighborhood coffee parties and they both welcomed us into their home on a regular basis during those years. But we both moved out of that neighborhood, and our life paths took us in slightly different directions for various reasons. And even though we were no longer closely involved with one another, the memories of that time always provided a loving connection.

Some of my best memories of those years were of a bible study group that we were a part of for several years with them and six other couples. And several of those people were in attendance today as well... caring  people that helped me and challenged me on my faith journey. It is interesting to me how people slip in and out of our lives at different times. When looking back over ones life it seems like a choreographed dance.

We can't pedal backwards in time, but we can cherish those memories of yesterday and welcome the new experiences and people that are a part of today.

Till next time...


Monday, November 5, 2012


It took a while for my daughter, Kerri, and I to get going Friday morning... first I locked my keys, purse & suitcase in my car as I was transfering them to hers & then there was a little light shining at us on her dash telling us that we better have the tires checked. Once we got that taken care of and fortified ourselves with Starbucks lattes we were on our way to Minneapolis for some serious shopping!

First order of business was to eat, and Kerri had her heart set on Fried Mac & Cheese (sounds disgusting, but quite wonderful in a 'horrible for you' sort of way), so it was The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. And then we went in search of "Home Goods" - a store I've only heard about from bloggers. It turned out to be a great store & we spent a lot of time checking everything out. Home Goods is owned by the same company as TJ Max, so it is similar, but only has decor and anything else you might need/want for your home.
I was most taken with their Christmas tableware and found some dishes that I really liked - but they only had 3 dinner plates. So, I settled for a set of 6 luncheon plates that are a black transferware with touches of red and green decorating the winter scene on the center of the plate. They will look very pretty with a red charger or placemat or napkin, or whatever else I can come up with. But I couldn't get the first set of dishes out of my mind, so we headed to a second "Home Goods" in the midst of Friday afternoon traffic.

We found it in Plymouth and they had the dishes - Yippee! But here's the problem: after putting them in my cart, I found another set of Christmas/Winter dishes that were very different, but beautiful. I really needed to get them too! So, now after years of wanting Christmas dishes, I have two sets of six and another set of six luncheon plates. I really don't know where I will store them, but will find a place. AND I had better have company over the holidays so I can use all these dishes!!!

Shopping time for Friday was up - we had tickets for "Bye Bye Birdie" at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre where we had a great meal and enjoyed the show. Time for a good nights sleep so we would be ready to face shopping in Mpls on a Saturday.

I could hardly 'contain' my excitement as we parked in front of the Container Store! In my mind I was running across the parking lot and bursting through the doors shouting "Hallelujah"! That's how much I love organizing and all the products to organize with. We left a few $$$'s there, but could have spent lots more - maybe next time. The best part is that we came out of there with our granddaughter, Sheridan, who joined us for a day of shopping.

Time for lunch at P.F. Chang where we met my brother, sister-in-law, niece & her family. A Minneapolis visit has to include lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang - delicious!. It was also a good chance to catch up with a family visit.

IKEA was next on out list - overwhelming! I think we now understand the basic layout of things, so next time perhaps it will be possible to just head to the area of interest. Way too many people!

Mall of America - mainly Nordstrom's shoe department for Kerri! And her hunt was successful - she walked out with a couple of bags/boxes. Sheridan and I found chairs and did a lot of visiting.

We decided to head home on 35W to I-90 because Kerri thought we would be less likely to hit a deer. Well, we didn't hit one but came within inches on I-90. The look on the deer's face mirrored the look on Kerri's - that gets your heart racing! Anyway, I had a wonderful time and made it home by midnight. Thanks for hauling your mother around, Kerri!

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Till next time...