Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Goodbye 2009....Hello 2010!
This past year has been a wonderful, albeit very busy, year for me...
full of change.
This next year to come holds so many possibilities.

I look forward to so much in 2010.....
The birth of a grandchild,
The planting of new garden boxes,
The addition of a few new critters to our farm menagerie,
Time set aside for creative endeavors.....
The possibilities are endless!

I promise to share all of the next year with you...
To all my blogger friends,
who I have met along they way,
I hope you know how much your visits and comments mean to me.
Each day as I read my email, it is like visiting with old friends.
Your comments are heartfelt and sincere....
I read them and often re-read them..
feeling blessed.

I have enjoyed your blogs....finding inspiration in your words
and delight in your pictures.
You have given me countless ideas that have enriched my life
as well as that of my family.
Hopefully I have given back to you a fraction of
what you have given to me!

To those of you who follow me regularly, I am so grateful
for it is you who inspire me, encourage me.
Blogging and sharing with you holds me accountable....
a constant reminder that I am responsible
for bringing magic into my own life.

To my family, my children, my friends...
I love you and appreciate all the positive reinforcement
that you so readily give to me.

Let's look forward at this next year
with the wide-eyed anticipation of a child...
as each day unfolds full of magic and surprises.
Let's go there together!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For the Birds

For the past several years I have been saving my bacon grease in an old coffee can in anticipation of making my own suet. This morning I decided to give it a try. I looked around for suet recipes and came up with a myriad of ideas. What I found is that there are tons of variations. From this I infer that the recipe is not that important. So, I took that saved fat, melted it, and started to add solid ingredients.
I added peanut butter, oatmeal, corn meal, sunflower seeds, some whole grains from my bread baking pantry, and some mixed nuts that were beginning to get stale.I stirred the concoction until it was thoroughly mixed and then spooned it into an old OJ carton.Now, I will freeze it (setting it outside will do just it is bitter cold this week). Before serving to the birds, I will slice it into patties that fit perfectly into my suet holder. This suet will provide high energy fats and proteins to help our little feathered friends stay warm this winter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to Basics and Adding Some Fluff

Today was a day to get back to the basics of living. The past few months have been so full of Christmas preparation that the basics have gone by the wayside. I have spent a good part of the day catching up on laundry and cleaning. I have spent this "alone time" pondering the year to come....not making resolutions, but thinking about goals.

The next few days I will map out a plan to accomplish those goals.If you are anything like me, you have lots of intentions....and not enough follow-through. I have decided that I need to try to improve my time management. I have thought about dividing my day into segments....or separate periods of time for specific tasks. What these past few months of living full time on the farm have taught me is this: if I don't set aside time to do the creative things, the necessities of life fill my day leaving me no creative outlet. So......each day I will make a list of the basics and assign them a block of time. I will also allocate a block of time to the "fluff".

Along with the basics of housekeeping, I made a batch of probiotic yogurt
and baked a loaf of honey wheat bread today.
As for "Fluff".....well, I took a little time this afternoon to play with paper and glitter. Here is the beginning of something....not sure what it will end up as, though.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

I thought I would share a few pictures of our Christmas dinner with you. We had a wonderful holiday...spending time with our kids, our parents, our friends...a truly magical time.

Ordinarily, I use a tablecloth to set a holiday table. However, this year we opted for no tablecloth as we love the rich warm wood of our dining table. So, instead, I used gold chargers beneath my china. Napkins with gold thread and gold Christmas Crackers completed the setting.
Christmas Crackers are a tradition in our house, and each of us wears the crown that is inside our cracker.
We also take turns going around the table sharing the joke that is included in each cracker. Each cracker also has a toy prize inside....the best was a tiny water pistol!
Have you ever seen Christmas tree cauliflower? I found this at our local farmer's was grown locally. I couldn't bear to cut it up, so I steamed it whole and served it on a bed of carrot coins. This type of cauliflower is a bit sweeter than the white...I think this will become another of our traditions!
Preparing for the holidays took much of my time and energy these past two months. I am so looking forward to getting back to crafting and exercising my creative muscles! I hope to have lots of fun things to share with you over the coming months.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Well, it's here....the shortest day of the year! Once today has passed, every day starts to get just a little bit longer....heading down that long stretch to the longest day of the year!! Happy Winter! I think, to celebrate, I will have a piece of the coconut cake that Amanda made for us this weekend. And then, I will sequester myself in my sewing room and finish up my wrapping. Christmas is upon us....time to get all those little last minute tasks complete, so that we can just enjoy the rest of the week.
This is my most favorite coconut cake recipe. This year, we added a tiny bit of red food coloring to the coconut and tossed it until the coconut turned this lovely shade. Of course we had to add something glittery to the top! Here is the recipe....

Prize Winning Coconut Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup shredded coconut
cream cheese/ butter cream frosting

Cream butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs,
one at a time,beating well.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the milk.
Stir in vanilla and coconut. Pour into two greased and
floured 8 inch layer cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool cakes and remove from pans.
When completely cool, you can frost between layers and
over the top of the cake.
Sprinkle with more coconut on top and sides of cake.

For Butter Cream Frosting: I do not have a recipe,
but basically, ream a softened stick of
butter and a small pack of cream cheese together
(you can vary amounts of these as needed).
Add confectioners sugar (about 2 cups...more or less),
a pinch of salt and a tsp. of vanilla.
Beat until smooth and spreadable.
Add enough confectioners sugar to make
it the consistency that you want.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Wintery Touch

Yes, it is eleven days until Christmas,
and I am still searching for the perfect tree for my sewing room.
I don't want any old tree....but rather something unique and special.
If any of you have any ideas....please leave me a comment.
I have made lots of ornaments for said tree
and have vintage tinsel garland and mercury glass balls to hang...but no tree.
Today I thought I would at least hang some icicles from the ladder above my sewing machine (which by the way is absent, also....
it had to be sent back to the Pfaff factory for some service...oh my......).
Here is my wintery touch in lieu of a tree.....
These luscious icicles are made of glass with silver glitter on them.
I think they look so real.

I hope to have a special tree to share with you sometime in the next 10 days.
Wish me luck!
Charlie Brown....I need your help to find the perfect tree.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Glitter, Glitter Everywhere!

Yesterday we had quite an ice storm....which kept us housebound (not a bad thing, this time of year). Having a little spare time gave me the opportunity to exercise the creative side of my brain. I finished up a few vintage-look ornaments for my sewing room tree.... I have discovered that I am hopelessly addicted to glitter and tinsel. A few vintage jewelry pieces, some old sheet music, crepe paper and everything sparkly kept me occupied (and thoroughly happy) for hours!
If only Christmas lasted the whole year long!
Any excuse to use vintage images....
Glitter makes me feel like a little girl again....
joyfully playing for hours.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't Ignore Your Mother!

Just today I learned a valuable life lesson....don't ignore your mother.
If you could get really ugly!
The mother that I am referring to is your sourdough starter.
Last year I received my "mother" in the mail from Ronna in Nevada.
I fed and watered my mother and she served me well.
She made delicious homemade English muffins and went into countless other bread recipes.
Then, we packed up our house and moved into our log home....and I ignored my mother.
Today Hubbs opened the garage refrigerator and said,
"Hey, Hon, what's in this green bowl?"
To which I said,
"My Mother, she's resting"
And he said,
"I think you better come check your mother!"
And this is what I saw......
To those of you who have your mother safely tucked away, resting....
Don't ignore her for too long....
She just might get ugly like this!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas House Tour.....Part 7

For today's part of the house tour, we move downstairs to the family room. I took these pictures in the some are a bit dark. I will take more when we have a sunny day (which will not be today).
The tree is decorated with shades of green and gold, the ornaments have a nature theme.
This room is decorated with a little glitze.
This little whimsical fellow is one of my favorite Christmas decorations.
A glittered fruit arrangement adornes each windowsill.
This is one part of the house that I have never shown on my blogs.
It is a homey group of rooms that we use quite heavily when the kids are home.
Here we play games, have pool tournaments and have family movie time.
The sofa and love seat are both recliners, so it is a comfy place to retreat.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas House Tour.....Part 6

Happy Holidays!
And, welcome to my kitchen....the hub of the house....also known as Cookie Central.
Today the flour starts flying...and will continue throughout the rest of the week.
Since I am spending most of my time here today,
I thought I would show you how I decorated the kitchen.
I have continued the snowman theme from the living room
right through the dining room and into the kitchen.
Jacques the pig will greet you with a little chalkboard message
from his home on the island.
Just across from Jacques, Santa beckons with a plate of freshly baked scones.
A little greenery brightens up the windowsill.
A snowman quilt that I made last year hangs on the wall.
Snowflakes dangle above the island.
My little corner shelves are home to a set of adorable snowmen...playing in the snow.
The pantry door apron is gone and replaced with this vintage Snowflake Sugar sign.
Sparkling snowflake magnets dance across the front of the refrigerator.
A little greenery and a candle light has found a home in the old coffee grinder.
Oh, do stay and visit for a while....the cookies are almost done.
We could have tea and cookies and talk of Christmases past and Christmases yet to be......

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas House Tour.....Part 5

It seems that this year, no room was exempt from a Christmas redecorating. Here is our little powder room that lies between out laundry/mud room and our Victorian guest room. It is an unusual triangular shaped odd shaped area leftover when planning our kitchen. It ended up being the perfect size for a powder room. Normally it is decorated in lavender plants and all sorts of "bee" decor. For Christmas, however, it is home to vintage Santas.

On the vanity.....
on the wall shelf.....with red mercury glass balls.....
vintage prints on the walls.....
Have you noticed how most of my pictures have a golden glow? I try not to use a flash whenever possible. Living in a log home, I realize that we are always bathed in the golden glow of Eastern White Pine.
The wood makes our home warm and cozy....such a welcoming place to be!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas House Tour.....Part 4

Welcome back to our Christmas House Tour.
Today I would like to show you the living room...
home to my snowman collection.
Let's walk through the front door....
And enter into the living room...cozy, warm and inviting....
The tree is decorated and lit....
Homemade mitten ornaments...
Jingle Bells.....
Cardinals, and cranberry garland....
A swag on the loft.....
And one up the stairway.....
Carols, ready to be played....
and sung by a chorus of snowmen...

Lots and lots of snowmen dress up the fireplace...
An old Doctor's bag proclaims "Snowman Collector" (that's me!)
The other side of the hearth.....that tall guy is a new addition
from my dear friend Sheryl.
A party on the mantle.....
Snowmen dancing and singing....
Snowmen building snowmen....
And some just watching.....
I love snow! I love snowmen!!! I love Christmas!!!
Can you tell???
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