Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Morning Baking


Hello! Do ever get up in the morning and have the need to bake something sweet? Well, this morning was like that for me. I bought this recipe book, dated 1931, the other day and was intrigued by some of the recipes. The book is filled with really simple pleasures. Made me think that this would have been the types of foods that my grandmothers must have made when they were young moms.

P1010032t I had all of the ingredients in my pantry and fridge to make the Norwegian Cakes. They just sounded yummy and simple to make.

P1010029u I made a single batch which ended up to be about six dozen cookies. I think that these would be super good with a little lemon or orange zest added to the dough. The cookies are really light and not really sweet. Good dunkin’ cookies for tea or coffee.


This past weekend I found this wonderful old glass canister with vintage decals. My friend Lila had it for sale in her space and it had my name allllllll over it. (Thank you, Lila!!) More cookies are in the oven to fill it all up for my family.


But first, this tray of cookies are going to a very special friend, Miss Sandi.


There were other recipes in the book that sounded good….here are just a few….




My grandmothers and momma use to make wonderfully cool summer desserts, and the orange mousse layer reminded me of just one of them. I think I will make it for the weekend, which will ONLY BE 104 degrees!! Lemon ice cubes and orange mousse sounds perfectly refreshing!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

fun works


Today was one of those days that I was determined to work on getting some items together for the shop. Empty frames and a stack of ephemera have been on the shelf for quite some time so I decided to do some “fun” work.

The little black frame was perfect for the sweet little picture that I found on the 1921 sheet music below. LOVE the cottage and the title…Joy Of A Rose. Thinking that this might have to live here at our cottage for some time.


One of my favorite things to look for when out junking are old encyclopedias with wonderful black and white graphics, like the cows below. Just need to find a frame for these bovine critters.


A $1.00 antique oval black frame and a page out of a 1945 encyclopedia are happily united for cuteness maxamus.




Sometimes it’s the small stuff that add a huge pop of fun to a display and there is something just plain and stinking sweet about ephemera from 1900-1945.

Gotta go and clean up my mess now…oh joy!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Neighborhood Fashionistas

P1010031n “Pssst….Doogs, should we tell our friends about our wonderful patriotic scarves? I think we look really PAW-fect in our red, white and blue!”


“Fiona, I know that you are just so girly and cute and I am trying my VERY best to sit here and look like the cool dude that I am. Not to be ungrateful, but hey, us scottie guys have a reputation to uphold.”

“Brother Doogie,” says Fiona, “Our new scarves make me smile and I am so happy to have our friend Judy Clark send them to us! Now we can look super swell for the 4th!!”

P1010034q “Judy, we realllllllllly do love them! Thank you!”


“Now lets go that way for our walk. Oh hey, there is Angie out in front of her house! We LOVE Angie so much! She is always so sweet and has the cutest house on her street! Mom loves the red chairs and the way the Japanese maple tree makes a natural looking awning over the front porch.”



“I will just sit here and STARE at the cat across the street while Maw and Paw stop to visit with the neighbors.”


“Maw,” Fiona beckons, “I am bored…can we head home now?”


Sure thing….cutie pie, sure thing. Say goodbye for now to our friends.


Judy, the dogs love their pretties! Thank you so much!!!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Because….From The Heart


Sometimes – when we think that nobody understands what we are going through – there is always someone else walking a similar road that we have traveled on. Sometimes very parallel to our journey, and other times just a tad bit different. But, nevertheless, any rocky road that is happened upon takes a great craft of honing in on the understanding of such a feat – learning from the pits and cragginess of the path. We may not want to know why we had to journey down such a road….however, in the end, it may become perfectly clear as to why we had to go there.

As I sit here and ponder about what so many of you are experiencing in life – at this very moment – my heart carries a burden for you. I try to find positives in my life, but there is the unavoidable truths that knock at so many of our doors. Sometimes we don’t wish to answer that door – afraid of what waits for us on the other side. But, my friends, stay strong. We can take the reigns of our life – and by this I mean grasp what is important – at this very moment. If you can only do ONE thing for yourself, remember to love who YOU are and to RESPECT YOURSELF. Can you do that? Sure you can!

When I am down and need a little pick-me-up, I buy a $4.00 bouquet of flowers and put them in a little vase. This is a HUG from ME – for ME…..Sometimes we just have to focus on ourselves, for a change. I think that, as women, we tend to nurture those around us and forget about taking time just for our own needs.

So there….from me – to you.

A little girl talk…from the heart…..

And for those of you who know that I am talking about you….love you with my heart and soul. Be good to yourself….Know I love you.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Layering – The Making Of A Coffee Table Vignette

P1010024 Good Monday morning to you! During the Parade Of Homes tour several lovely readers emailed me and commented on some of the vignettes in our home – asking where I find things to put them together and how to layer. Today I will demonstrate how to put together a vignette and hopefully touch base on the questions asked.

As Duhgall looks on (wondering what I am doing), I will start from bottom to top in creating the little coffee table (an old trunk) vignette.

1. Start with a base – like a runner or piece of vintage linen. I am using a ruffled burlap runner that I made. The texture of the burlap compliments the nubby texture of the area rug under the trunk.



2. For balance, I stacked books on one side and placed an ironstone platter on the other end. I chose this ironstone platter because it has a great brown crazing to the glaze, which compliments the burlap runner and trunk.


3. Drape a little vintage doily over the edge of the platter. I chose this piece because it pulls together colors in the room and compliments the vintage floral pictures on the wall.



4. Place a flower arrangement on the platter. The old Majolica pitcher has a sunflower on the side and is the perfect match for the bouquet.

5. Stack some books on the platter. I like to use books to bring a vignette “up” for balance. This particular vignette has FIVE levels to it. I also like to choose books that either have a similar theme (hence the squirrels) and colors that will pull the vignette together. Try to have the covers of the books coordinate with all of the colors within the grouping.


6. Add a few playful squirrels to the top.


7. The old clock was added for yet another height and brings your eye downwards. I also love the parchment color of the clock face and the worn black patina of the metal body.



8. Add a small family photo and a little box to hold a remote control for the TV – and there you have it, a lovely layered vignette.


If you only do one thing to make a coffee table look beautiful, just add a bouquet of fresh flowers. Sunflowers make me happy and remind me of summertime and the works of the artist, Vincent van Gogh.

With just a few items from around the house, anyone can make a pretty grouping. Just have fun with it and enjoy the process!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Some Imperfect Finds


One day I thought I would just pop in to our local thrift store to see if there was anything worthy of taking home that day. Sometimes I will find a little treasure, while other days the luck of the draw isn’t on my side. However, this particular day proved to be a righteous visit. On the shelf were several old things that my eye fell upon and one of those was this English Ironstone tea pot with the birds on it. $4.99, not bad…until I looked on the bottom and there was a crack. Not convinced it should come home with me, I walked around the store holding it and thinking about it.

P1010019v The more I held it and thought about it, I talked myself into getting it. I am happy I brought it home as it has become one of my favorite little Ironstone pieces. It sits on a shelf next to a fractured brown Ironstone platter….


…and on the shelf below that are more chipped Ironstone dishes that I just love. It doesn’t matter if there is a little imperfection, the piece is old and well deserves to show its age. Others before me must have respected the piece enough to not toss it into the trash. …thank you….

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just Pour Some Sugar On Me!


Being in love with Def Leppard, an 80’s rock band from Sheffield, England, the song Pour Some Sugar On Me (from the 1987 Hysteria album) came to mind as I was sprinkling these lemon bars with some powdered sugar. Note: the song is the first song on the playlist (sidebar) today.

My son and his sweetie-pie girlfriend wanted to learn how to make lemon bars and how could I possibly say no. Sunday evening the house smelled first of a delicate shortbread crust baking in the oven and then later the hint of tart lemon wafting through the air. More kitchen love for the family!!

P1010009o Let’s just say there was a lot of sunshine in our kitchen that night. These little treats just bring on a smile and an “mmmmm” with every delicious bite after bite.

My version of Pour Some Sugar On Me:

So step inside, walk this way, a lemon bar for you and me, hey! hey! They’re hot, sticky sweet, from the top to the bottom – what a treat! Just pour some sugar on me, in the name of love!

Note: This recipe is doubled for a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish.

Lemon Bars:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or you can use the bottled lemon juice)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

additional powdered sugar for the top

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Press dough in an ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking dish, building up a 1/2-inch edge. Bake for 20-25 minutes, till golden brown.

In a large mixing bowl, beat granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, baking powder, salt and eggs with an electric mixer on high speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over the HOT baked crust.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until when you press the top, no indentation marks remain. Cool the bars for about one hour. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar on top. Allow the bars to completely cool down before cutting into 2” sized squares.

Now take a bite and smile!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Just Like Grandma's

P1010071k As a little girl, my grandmothers would always make delicious desserts when our family would come over for weekend visits. Upon entering the front door, the aroma of something wonderful being baked in the oven would tickle your nostrils and beckon you to venture into the kitchen to see what delectable treat was lovingly created for the day. Sometimes the smell of chocolate permeated the air and other times it was the hint of cinnamon dangling from the vents of the oven door. “Come hither,” the oven would say, “Look in the window to see the special treat being made for you!”

P1010066j Because today is one of those cold and rainy days, the idea of making some homemade rice pudding just sounded plum good. Just like the kind my grandmothers would make – custardy goodness with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. It just doesn’t get much better than this.

P1010069k A heaping spoonful goes on the plate – hot, steamy, plump and sweet….

P1010072h …with just a smidge of cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Making the first spiral down – right into the hot center… so hot, it steams up my camera lens. MMMMMM… delicious! Plump bits of rice nestled perfectly amongst the warm custard.

Just like my grandmothers would make.

It is one of those dishes that bring back a flood of memories – so much in fact, it makes me miss my grandmothers even more. Flashback, 1965: I am there in the kitchen, legs swinging from the aluminum dining room chair – napkin draped over my lap, spoon tightly held in my right hand, and my mouth watering in anticipation. As the plate of rice pudding was gently placed in front of me, grandma’s eyes were filled with love and her heart with immense generosity. A food hug from someone who loved her family so much, so much. Bite after bite, pure delicousness! Always able to have a second helping, too.



Now we will see how long this pan of rice pudding will last in my household. I hope that my family knows how my heart feels when I make this for them. Just like my granny’s hearts. A sweet treat for my sweet family.


Rice Pudding:

1 cup uncooked white rice

2 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp butter

8 eggs

4 cups milk, heated

1 1/2 cups white sugar

dash of salt

2 tsp vanilla

a dash of nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon

Bring water to a boil and add the rice, 1/2 tsp salt and butter. Stir. Reduce heat and cover. Steam the rice until done, about 20-25 minutes. The rice should be tender. While the rice is steaming, beat eggs slightly; add sugar then the milk. Add vanilla, cooked rice and a dash of salt. Stir all ingredients together. Pour into large pyrex baking dish (9 x 11) and sprinkle with a little nutmeg and cinnamon.

Set the pan into a larger baking pan and add hot water to the BOTTOM pan. This will create a steam bath for the rice pudding. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes. Bake until the center is firm and an inserted knife into the center comes out clean.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

One’s Man Trash…..

P1010001cYears back I heard the saying: “One’s man trash is another man’s treasure.” I thought that to be quite hilarious, not really realizing that trash took on a wide range of interpretation – not just the stuff thrown into the brown bag underneath the kitchen sink.

The other day I was going through and sending some photos to the “trash” file. Photos I had taken of things to sell, things to blog about and other random oddities.P1010002c

Some of the “things” are still around the house, while other items are now residing under other household roofs. Then there are the food pictures – that of course consumed by none other than MOI. (Man!! If I weren’t watching my caloric intake right now, I’d be making up some of those chocolate chip cookies!!)



P1010003f There are some collections that I won’t part with, like my tins….




…and motto prints, like this one my friend Cheryl gave to me….



…or some little treasures in the guest bedroom.


It is fun to flip through photos and revisit some of my all time favorite collections. No regrets for parting with a few of them – there are tons of treasures to be found out there in this world. After all, too much stuff means more to dust. Right? :)