Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year !

Miss Zoe wishes you all a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Cinnamon Candy

One year during grade school, my best friend's mom, Mary Boehm, took a candy-making class. Besides luscious hand-dipped chocolates, she learned how to make hard candy -- hot cinnamon to be exact. Just before Christmas vacation, she and a few other mom's surprised us with huge, flat discs of bright red, cinnamon candy! What a treat!

Years later, my best friend became my college roommate. Sharon and I were hanging out together one day during Thanksgiving vacation. It was snowing -- really snowing and not knowing what to do with ourselves, we decided to have her mom teach us to make the candy. We made piles of hard candy: red cinnamon and green peppermint. Instead of pouring it into discs on a marble slab, we poured the molten liquid onto a firm bed of powdered sugar. As it cooled, we broke it into bite-size pieces and filled glass jars to give as gifts to our friends at college. It looked so festive and smelled wonderful!

To this day, Sharon and I still make the cinnamon candy during the holiday season. I can't make it without thinking of Sharon and her mother, Mary. Mary was a peach with the patience of a saint. She helped me sew my first 4-H apron. She didn't yell at me once, God bless her. I always appreciated that about her. Anyway, this year I couldn't find cinnamon oil anywhere, so Sharon came to the rescue and mailed me two bottles from Kansas! This morning I made a batch of this wonderful stuff and wanted to share Mary Boehm's recipe with you.

Hot Cinnamon Candy

Enough powdered sugar to form approximately a 15 x 20 rectangle that is no less than 3/4 inch thick. I removed my cutting board and covered it with foil, then set it on my countertop. I covered it with the powdered sugar creating a "dam" of sorts around the edges to keep the liquid from running off. Just dump and pat the sugar in place. DO NOT SIFT IT. If you sift it, the hot candy will go right through the sifted sugar and make a huge mess. I know from personal experience and I have the new countertop to prove it!

3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light karo corn syrup
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon cinnamon oil (not extract or flavoring)

Over high heat in a heavy pot, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Stir until it bubbles and begins to turn clear. Place a candy thermometer in the liquid. Make sure the tip does not touch the bottom of the pan. Boil until the temperature reaches 298 degrees. It will take a little while, then it the heat will rise rapidly. Remove from the heat and quickly add the coloring and cinnamon oil. Slowly pour the hot liquid onto the bed of powdered sugar. Let cool and break into bite-sized pieces. You can also use other colors and oils i.e., peppermint, spearmint, lemon, etc.

The best part of making this candy is that I know Mary would be happy to know that not only are Sharon and I still best friends, we have continued the cinnamon candy tradition after all these years! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Surprise Visit and New Friend

Last week, I receive an email from Laurie May of
Laurie's Charming Designs. Laurie had purchased some tinsel from me last year and was in need of a little more for a project she was working on. I found more of the tinsel and we made arrangements for her to come to my home for it. We live about 25 minutes from each other, but have never gotten together to visit. We run into each other at various antique venues, but never to visit and get to know each other. In trade for the tinsel, Laurie brought me the cutest little glass magnets that have her hand-painted snowmen peaking through! They are so tiny and so sweet! My pictures don't do them justice but, I had to share them with you. We are looking forward to getting together after the first of the year so she can teach me a new project. Thank you again Laurie! I love them.

Also, I have to share another picture of the snow. It has been really coming down this afternoon out in our neck of the woods. School has been cancelled all week - very icy underneath. My hubby and I struck out this morning and got some Christmas shopping done before more accumulates or things freeze tonight. I wonder if they will cancel classes again tomorrow? Might it be an early Christmas vacation? We'll have to wait and see! Keep warm! M.

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Snow Storm of the Year

There is always something magical and hypnotic about the first snow storm of the year. It doesn't matter if it only lasts a few hours and only leaves a few inches - it is beautiful ! We have a bonus snow day today, so I am making good use of it to finish a few Christmas presents and watch a movie with my hubby. Hope this finds you warm and cozy. M.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Favorite Thing #2

A few weeks ago I said I was going to share five of my favorite things with you. I also said that you would really wonder about my mental status when I shared my second favorite with you. The first was my Converse tennis shoes. My second favorite is something new. (Drum roll here) A blazing fireplace in a box! I discovered this crazy thing this fall. It is a DVD that is a continuously playing fire in a fireplace. I love it!!! It has turned my TV into a very life-like fireplace. Our house does not have a fireplace and I have always loved watching a fire and listening to the popping and crackling associated with it. This DVD is the perfect, affordable solution! You pop it in your DVD player and select whether you want to have fire sounds or music or both. The music isn't exactly "me", so I just listen to the natural fire sounds. VERRRy relaxing and realistic. So realistic, in fact, that my husband forgot it was a DVD and almost suggested that we let it die down a bit 'cuz he was too warm. I know he felt a little silly, but I'm glad he shared his thoughts 'cuz I still look up when there is a pop and crack to make sure the "sparks" don't damage the floor!!!

Miss Zoe, however, can't be fooled. She is very apprehensive of actual fires. In fact she won't come into a room with a lit fire. The little stinker is so smart that she doesn't give the DVD a second thought. Sleeps right on the floor under the TV on the bookcase and ignores it all --completely.

There you have it! My second favorite thing. I will share Favorite Thing #3 with you soon!

I want to thank everyone who visited our space at the Monticello Antique Marketplace this past weekend. It has been a great show thanks to all of you! M.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Show at Monticello Marketplace

So if you've been wondering - "what has that Martha been up to? She hardly gives any attention to her blog - so unlike last year!" Well, let me tell you, I've been busy!!! I have been makin' stuff like crazy. Little stockings, snoballs - big and small, little, old boxes filled with sweet Christmasy things, paper wreaths, soft pink wool stockings, on and on. So, last Sunday, Diane and I combined all our things and set up our space at the Monticello Antique Marketplace. Some of our pictures are below so you can see what we have been up to.
The Christmas show begins tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.! There are many vendors with wonderful treasures. Maybe I will see you there! In the meantime -- back to work! M.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart ... Seneca
Have a safe and happy thanksgiving holiday! M.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Favorite Thing #1

As I said in my last post, I am going to show you 5 of my favorite things. They aren't necessarily in any kind of preferred order - they just are favorites. I didn't get the first on posted yesterday, cuz I was busy making a little project that I will show you after my first favorite thing.

Favorite Thing #1: my Converse shoes.

Several years ago, I was given my first pair of Converse - Jack Purcell's. I love them. I've worn them to many flea markets (buying and selling), on vacation, grocery shopping, on and on. And - they look it, poor things. It was one of the best family Christmas gift exchanges ever - thank you Matt!

I finally decided it was time to find a new pair since these are looking pretty ratty. I won't get rid of them, mind you, but I should wear something out and about that looks - let's say, fresher. It took me months to find the color(chocolate brown) in the right size. I have "baby feet", size 5 1/2. Couldn't even find a kid size that would work. It's hard to find them, but I was successful last weekend. I just happened to look at Target and there they were. Annnd, I got a $5.00 gift card as well! How great is that!

So, yesterday my extra, special elf Patti - AKA Sparkle Farkle (SF), came over to spend the day and as it ended up most of the evening. She has been a such a help to me this fall. Without her help I wouldn't have been able to produce as many pieces. I gave her the nickname Sparkle Farkle (a character from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In - which really dates me) since she does so much of my gluing and glittering. The other day she had a lovely coating of sparkle across her cheeks. She said when she got home her friend would wonder where it came from. I told her to tell him is was stripper make-up and leave it at that. Can't hurt to keep them wondering and on their toes! Anyway, I digressed - again. Yesterday SF and I worked on a new item that I will be taking to the Monticello Antique Marketplace.

This little tree is about 4 feet tall and will have a mate if all goes well today. It isn't quite finished. I plan to add some mica flake glitter to the edges of some of the "boughs" and add some type of tree-topper. The garland is rusted wire threaded with mother-of-pearl buttons. When I started yesterday morning, I wasn't sure how I was going to do it. Once I got the framework underneath
formed, the rest was easy. Especially with elf SF cutting the cardstock and papers for me. Like I said, she has been a lifesaver. Sure glad Santa could spare her this fall! Note: Miss Zoe always manages to sneak in the picture!

Next time, Favorite Thing #2. Hold on, 'cuz this one will really make you wonder about me! M.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stocking Babies on Etsy!

As promised, I finally got a few of my stocking babies placed on Etsy. I will try to add more of them and other items in the weeks to come.

I was so surprised this weekend when I received a Kreativ Blogger Award from Mary Beth of Cupcakes and Crinoline, Thank you and I hope I continue to provide interesting items in the future.

So, it is my understanding that I am supposed to pass this award on to five bloggers that I feel are inspiring and a pleasure to visit. These are the five that I visit when I need a break from whatever is happening in the day:

1. Cammy at Freckled Farm. Her photos are stories are so warm and wonderful. It makes you wish you could drop by for a cup of coffee and visit. I love Miss Alice.

2. Deb, the Garage Sale Gal. Deb is such a sweetheart.

3. Heather Bullard, just love her blog and she is so nice. I was fortunate enough to meet her at Farm Chicks.

4. Donna O'Brien, The Ribboned Crown, provides a wonderful escape as you scroll through her blog. And - the eye candy is to die for!

5. Sandra Evertson, Artful Visions and Inspirations, soooo creative and unpredictable!

There you have it. There are a few rules to follow when one is nominated…so if you are curious…they are below
The winner may put the logo on their blog
Put a link to the person who sent you the award
Nominate 5 blogs
Put links to their blogs
Leave a message for your nominees

I noticed that other recipients of this award were asked to list 5 of their favorite things or 5 unusual things about themselves. I thought I might do this, but in individual posts. So stay tuned. I will post No. 1 tomorrow! M.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lots of Holiday Cheer at Molly Mo's

First, let me thank all our friends that weathered the wind and rain to attend our Holiday Treasures show this weekend. We are so grateful to you. We hope that once you entered the shop you forgot about the weather, enjoyed the refreshments and all of the gathered "treasures"! It was good to see our old friends and fun to make new ones.

These pictures are a small sample of what awaited everyone.

Now, I am off to add some items to my Etsy store: flash card garlands! Unfortunately, all the stocking babies sold, so I will be making more and adding them soon. Hang in there. There will be more for everyone! If you have any questions or requests, please email me.

Diane and I will be setting up our area in the Garden & Salvage area of Monticello Antique Mall in Portland the first of December. Monticello's Christmas openhouse begins the first weekend in December. Don't miss it! It is a fabulous combination of vendors and goodies.

Again, many thanks for a wonderful show! M.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Holiday Treasures Begins Tomorrow !

The fun will begin tomorrow evening at 6 p.m.! Molly Mo's has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland.

I have been working on many new little pieces and I'm almost ready. There is always just one more thing and then just one more ... so on and so on! Once I get on a roll, there is no stopping me. Actually it's bedtime, so I will leave you tonight with a few more pictures. If you are in the area, please stop by this weekend (see show info on left). If not, I will share pictures with you next week - aaannnnddd there will be new things on Etsy. Goodnight! M.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Christmas Items at Molly Mo's

I have been wondering why I haven't had more posts about our Christmas show. I has been more Halloween. It just hit me that my first holiday show is two weeks earlier than in previous years! No wonder I feel behind!

Yesterday, Diane (Molly Mo's) and I began combining all our wonderful pieces for our Holiday Treasures show that will begin this Friday evening. It is a big job, but the outcome is always wonderful. Diane's little shop always looks so festive; very frosty and wintry. We will have many unusual pieces inside and out. And, if you want Christmas decor, then you will have come to the right place! Lots of sparkle and glitz. If that isn't enough, during Friday evening's early buying, we will have delectable treats to nibble on while you sip a little wine or coffee! It's not just shopping (which we like to encourage) but it is a gathering of old and new customers and friends. It is a chance to visit before the holiday season gets too hectic. Please try to join us if you can!

I have a few pictures of items that will be available.

Next week, I will begin placing new Christmas items on Etsy - I promise!!! Hope to see you this weekend. M.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Costume Craziness

I have always loved to make costumes. When my son came along, I was thrilled to get to dream up something unique and fun. He didn't always think my ideas were going to be very good (translated - scarey), but once the costume was finished and face paint applied, he liked what Mom created. It took about 10 years, for him not to worry that it would turn out looking stupid. There was one year when he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. He thought I was crazy when I made a paper mache turtle shell using newspaper strips and glue over a large balloon. After it was shaped and painted, I attached it to his plastic He-Man breast plate. It was pretty cool. Then there was the mummy year. That was a hard sell, but once again, Mom did okay. It is amazing what a torn sheet and cheese cloth can do. Add some dried leaves, cob webs, and face paint and voila - Mr. Mummy. By the time we got to the year of the Headless Horseman (without the horse) he thought Mom did pretty good work!

I thought I would share some of the costumes with you. The best part of all the costume making was working on it together. We didn't always agree and there had to be some give and take, but the outcome was usually successful.

Little Ewok

The Count

the Mummy

the Headless Horseman


One year he and his best friend came up with the idea of being Syncronized Swimmers! I said buddy you are on your own. They found the "gear" and made printed Swim Team t-shirts. They even created a "swim" routine. We laughed until we cried!

Pretty scarey - huh?!? Hope you create many happy Halloween memories this year! M.

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