I love taking bits and pieces from the past and creating something new to enjoy. A tiny piece of lace or an old picture is my inspiration. I think if these elements could talk, they would have such an interesting story to tell.
It is Christmas evening and our suitcases are packed. We are ready to head to Kansas City and wouldn't you know it ... they are having the worst snow storm that they have had in 120 years !?!?
I'm trying not to stress and have a melt-down. It is what it is and we can only accept what might happen due to the storm. We are traveling prepared. So far our airline has managed to do things that has me muttering things I can't or shouldn't write. We had seats assigned, then we didn't. Now we do, but we aren't together. I can deal with that. Our son was able to check-in on-line and print his boarding pass, but my husband and I have been instructed to check-in with a United representative. We must be a security risk. Probably something to do with what I was thinking when I found out our seats had been assigned to someone else. Then we decided to "pre-check" our one bag and save a couple of dollars. They managed to charge us for 3 bags and then require us to go through a "request for reimbursement" email to be reimbursed. It just keeps getting better. Since I don't fly that often, these are probably common occurances and I just don't know it. At least, that is what I keep telling myself.
I would like to take a moment and thank all the wonderful people who given my creations a new home over the past year. All of you who have stopped to say hello and have been so supportive. All of my friends and family that have made it possible for me to keep doing what I love. I appreciate all of you so much. So with that said, I'm ready for some time off. I'm ready to enjoy time with my family; to rest and have some fun. So until I return - Happy New Year! M.
As some of you know, I am a Kansas girl - born and raised just south of Kansas City. Just after Christmas, my husband and son will join me on a long over-due visit with family and friends.
One of our first stops will be to visit the Country Club Plaza and take in the beautiful light display. Visiting "the Plaza", as it is fondly referred to, is one of my most favorite childhood memories. Since I have a December birthday, my treat was to go see the lights, all the animated window displays and have a special dinner with my family. It is so beautiful and I can't wait to share it with my husband and son. This is the 80th anniversary for the lights and it is truly worth the time to visit it. (Picture from visitMO.com)
My next "have-to-see" is this gal, Debbie Dusenberry, at her fabulous shop, Curious Sofa!!!
When we first had the idea to make this trip, it took me about - oh 2 seconds - to think about a visit to Curious Sofa. I follow Deb's blog and enjoy see her imaginative vignettes. After hinting to this trip in a post last month, a couple of KC area bloggers asked if we could meet and get better acquainted. I am hoping to be able to coordinate a "Girl's Day Out" with my cousins with a visit to Curious Sofa and a meeting with my blog friends. Hope I can pull all this off! (Mary and Beth, I will be in touch when I know timeframes - probably mid-week!)
Then, last- but certainly not least, we will make a short trip to south eastern Kansas to spend some time with my BFF Sharon who finally made it back to Oregon last summer. We had such a wonderful time and hope to take up where we left off last summer. We have know each other since 1st grade and were college roommates. Doesn't get much better than that! There aren't many people left that have know me that long!
In between all these little trips, I hope to visit, visit, visit with my cousins Beth and Leslie. I will finally get to meet Beth's husband and son. Can't wait. I will also spend some time with my Aunt Letha and cousin Debbie. So much to do and so little time. I know it will go fast but it will be worth every second. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share when we return. Hope your holiday preparations are going smoothly. Remember to take time to breath and enjoy the season. M.
Most people that know me very well know that I like almost anything cranberry.
Covered in dark chocolate, dried, relish, etc.
There is an exception to that - cranberry scented candles. Not so much.
After my parents married, my Grandmother Shields taught my mother how to make her cranberry pie. Eventually, my mother taught me and I thought I would
share our recipes with you!
There is just something so bright and cheery about cranberries. So Christmasy!
Here is my version with apples. My mom's original version follows.
Apple Cranberry Pie
Pastry for a 9-inch, 2 crust pie I use a deep pie plate 'cuz I like it mounded up.
2 cups or one bag fresh or frozen cranberries 1 cup granulated sugar I have used Splenda in this recipe and it works fine. Water to cover Another ½ cup sugar after they are cooked and drained.
4 cups, peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples (+ or – a few more if you like a mounded pie) 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup brown sugar ¼ cup sugar 1/3 cup flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or to taste
2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a heavy pot, add cranberries, sugar and enough water to cover. Cook over medium-high to medium heat. Stir until the cranberries “pop”. Remove from heat and drain through a sieve or colander. Add the ½ cup sugar and set aside. My husband prefers that I leave this extra sugar out. He likes it tart!
Peel and slice apples. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle and toss with the lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the apples and cranberries. Mix well. Turn into pastry-lined pan. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust and cut small slits in top crust. Seal edges. Sprinkle top with last tablespoon of sugar. Place pie on a sheet to avoid sticky syrup from dripping on your oven. I use one of those round pans with a hole in the center. It’s what my mom did, so I do it!
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake another 45 minutes or until the syrup and juices start to ooze from the edges. You may want to cover the edges of your crust with foil to keep them from getting too brown. You can bake a little less or more, depending on how soft you like your apples. I like them soft, so I bake it a little longer.
My mom used to make just cranberry pie – no apples. She doubled the amount of cranberries and added more sugar. She would use a slotted spoon to remove the cranberries from their cooking liquid and place them directly into the pie crust. After securing the top crust and cutting slits, she would sprinkle a little sugar over the top. This makes it crunchy! I have made it this way too, except I drain the cranberries well before placing them into the pie crust. It’s less juicy and messy. Depends on what you like!
If you would like a story about my mom’s cranberry pie, then visit my December 5, 2007 blog post. It is quite memorable! Hope you try the pie and let me know what you think! M.
I so enjoy a day set aside to reflect on all the things that I have to be grateful for.
Here are just a few ...
I have the best family. We have out ins and outs, ups and downs, good times and bad, but when push comes to shove, we are always there for each other. I am very lucky (and I know some people wouldn't agree) to have my immediate family just a few miles away.
I am lucky that our son likes to come home and hang out with us on holidays. I am also very lucky to have such a wonderful husband. No picture, but if I did, it would be of him making yummy scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast this morning. We do a well- choreographed dance in our small kitchen every Thanksgiving morning. I'm making pies while he makes breakfast. We somehow managed not to run into each other too many times.
Just had to throw in a picture of my cranapple pie. It's just out of the oven and making the house smell fabulous! Can't wait for dessert later today.
So, from me to you, Happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to count your blessings!
Mary Green has offered to provide my Celebration Cake tutorial for a while longer. So, if you missed her Artist Class and would like to learn how to make my "cake", you can purchase that single tutorial for just $15.00 beginning tomorrow morning (11/23)! The banner above will provide the link.
Below are some examples of other items that you can create using the basic "cake" method.
This is one that was published in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Somerset Studio. You can find it on page 105 of the Expressions feature. It provides brief instructions to make the angel! Sorry the quality of the picture is so poor. This was taken in June and I haven't received the original piece back from the magazine yet to get a better shot.
These little "cakes" can be made using the basic instructions provided in the Artist Class tutorial.
I hope these images provide some inspiration and you will give the tutorial a try! Check out the tutorials that will also be available! M.
Last Sunday, Elf Patty and I cleaned my workroom. Gotta love Elf Patty. Don't know what I would do without her. She keeps me going when I'm dead-dog tired (sorry Zoe, nothing implied). Anyway, we put away, dumped, cleaned-up, organized and even vacuumed. My poor workroom floor ... what can I say ... it's a work room floor. My vacuum has an idiot light that tells you when the floor is clean (green) and dirty (red). Let's just say the red light never goes off in my workroom. Way too much glitter and paper bits imbedded into it. Some day it will go, but not anytime soon. It works for now. After getting things in order, I couldn't resist decorating a little for Christmas. A tree here and there, a few shiny ornaments and I added a little holiday touch to my mannequin, "Sister". She is now officially dressed for the Holidays!
I began working on projects to sell at Monticello next month. I love sweet little teddy bears.
My sweet friend, Betty (Sammy Girl) found these wonderful clock cases and I was lucky enough to purchase a few from her! What a wonderful find and you know - they will become homes for little assemblages. Stayed tuned!
There will be a new purpose for these sweet mugs, creamers and sugar bowls.
Visited one of my favorite flea markets last Sunday and found this doll head. Don't know why, but I had to have her. I "dolled her up" a bit and will enjoy her for a few weeks before she finds a new home. I may make some fluttery, feather wings for her.
So, while all of this is going on, guess what "you- know- who" is doing ... napping. Something I won't be doing until about December 26th when I join my hubby and son on a plane bound for