Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Earrings Listed

I have finally gotten around to making new earrings. I found some really cute owl beads that inspired me. I like cutsey type things so they really caught my eye with their bright colors. I have listed two pairs on Etsy and will be adding the rest soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Norwegian Wedding Cake

My husband is half italian and half norwegian (I am all italian). Three months after we were married we attended a wedding from the norwegian side of his family. When it came time for the wedding cake I was surprised because there were two cakes. One traditional, tiered, white frosted wedding cake, and one strange looking, tall, unfrosted cake which I was told was a norwegian wedding cake. Each guest was given a piece of each. Being a lover of sweet frosted layer cakes, I was very skeptical of this plain looking cake. I was more than pleasantly surprised when I tasted it. I became an instant fan of the norwegian wedding cake. I have thought of that cake many times over the years but not knowing where to find a local norwegian bakery, I never had it again. This year when making norwegian cookies for the holidays I thought about the 'norwegian wedding cake' again. I did a search on-line and came across a recipe for Kransekake, also known as the 'norwegian wedding cake'. I think I am going to try to bake this for the holidays.

Norwegian Wedding Cake (Kransekake)

2 cups (450 g) soft butter
1 cup (225 g) almond paste
2 cups (265 g) sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) almond extract
4 egg yolks
5 cups (636 g) sifted flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease forms well with softened butter.
Cream together butter, almond paste, sugar and extract until smooth.
Beat yolks in well.
After sifting, measure flour and add gradually, mixing until smooth.
Put dough into cookie press or pastry bag and press onto greased ring forms.
(Cookie press hole should be 1/2" in diameter, or roll dough by hand.)
Bake for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned.
Remove from rings only after they have cooled.

Each form has 3 rings, for a total of 18 rings of different sizes, so they can be stacked on top of each other to form this marvelous cake.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bible Verse

The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Holiday Baking

For some unknown reason I have started my holiday baking very early this year. Normally I make several batches of chocolate chip cookies (my husband's favorite), pecan tea cookies, thumbprint cookies, butter cookies and mini cheesecakes. I will be making at least one batch of each again this year but I decided to try my hand at a few different cookies. So far I have made rainbow cookies (all gone, will have to re-bake before the holidays), pignoli cookies (almost gone, will have to re-bake), black and white cookies, loco chip bars, apple pie, sweet potato pie (have to re-bake), and a chocolate peanut butter pie. I usually make a batch of low sugar chocolate chip cookies also for those in the family that are diabetics.
I usually buy petit fours from Figi's or Swiss Colony, but I would really like to try and make my own this year. I went to my favorite site and there was only one petit four recipe. The rating reviews for it weren't very good so I am hesitant to try it. Does anyone have a good petit four recipe they would like to share with me?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

May the Lord richly bless both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The heavens belong to the Lord, but he has given the earth to all humanity.
Psalm 115:14-16

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Favorite Bible Verse

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Owl Cookies

Decided to make some cute owl cookies that I found in a magazine for my grandkids. I will be going to visit them next week for my granddaughter's 3rd birthday. These are supposed to be halloween cookies but I think owls are cute for any time of the year.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Cookies

One of my many memories of growing up in Brooklyn was walking on the avenue and stopping in an italian bakery for some 'rainbow cookies' and 'black and white cookies'. Living in Florida I miss all the tasty treats of New York. I have been searching for recipes so I can try and recreate these cookies. In my last post I had found and tried a rainbow cookies recipe,(though they were listed under Italian Wedding Cookies) which turned out pretty good. This week I tried a recipe I found for the black and white cookies. Though they don't look as perfect as the ones in the bakeries, they are pretty tasty. Still not quite the same as the ones I had as a kid, so my search for the recipe will continue.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rainbow Cookies

I haven't been creating any jewelry pieces lately for two reasons. One is I have been waiting on some supplies that I ordered. The second is I am in baking mode. Last week I searched for a recipe for italian rainbow cookies, sometimes called italian wedding cookies. I had the recipe years ago, which my cousin gave me, but I could not find it which led me to do the search. While searching I found several other recipes that I decided to try. Last week I baked Pumpkin Bread, a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, a Sweet Potato Pie, and a Ricotta Cake. Today I finally got a around to making the Rainbow cookies. They came out pretty good, though not as good as my old recipe. I really need to find that one. Tomorrow I will be baking a birthday cake for my mom's 80th birthday and then I should be done with my baking frenzy for a while.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Project Runway

In my last post I talked about Project Runway but unfortunately I was a little mixed up. On the season premiere episode they did not have a 4 outfit challenge, or the restaurant challenge...that was the special episode that came on before the season premiere. The challenge for the designers was one outfit which was appropriate for the red carpet. The girl that was sent home made an outfit that really wouldn't be red carpet material. I like what my sister called it....a dress that looked like a soccer ball. It was just a little too 'funky' for the red carpet.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Runway

I have to start by saying I am not one for high fashion. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy knowing what is in style but I wear what I like and what I am most comfortable in. I enjoy shows like "What Not To Wear" but I am sure Stacy and Clinton would have a field day with my clothing choices. Last night I enjoyed the season premiere of Project Runway. Though the show has been on the air for several seasons now, this is only my second season watching, and I love it. I feel bad saying it, but the girl who was eliminated last night was undoubtably the one to leave. The other designers were far and above her talents. The fact that she can design, and sew 4 garments in a specified time and under the pressure shows she has talent, but it needs to be cultivated a bit more. The twist on the challenge last night was to design an outfit that consisted of 75% of materials that they were able to grab from a specific restaurant in a 5 minute period. These designers trashed that restaurant grabbing curtains, placemats, table centerpieces, and even light fixtures. The designs were surprisingly good for the most part. One of the other garments they were to design was something to be worn on the red carpet and personally, I think that is what lost it for the girl that was sent home. I have to say that I admire each and every one of the designers and their talents after I attempted to sew a dress for my granddaughter. Let's just say sewing is not my forte.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sleepless Nights

I couldn't sleep last night so I decided to make some jewelry. I figured I make a pair of earrings or two...just until I got tired. Well it turned out I made five pairs of earrings, three necklaces, and one pendant. When I finally went to bed at 3:00 A.M. I still wasn't tired but I forced myself. I will be posting these items to Etsy and Artfire today.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sale Items

sale items from my shop

Haven't posted for a while, my grandson was visiting from Alabama and I spent most of my time doing things with him. We had a great time, he is nine years old and very creative. Some of the projects that we did were sock puppets, bath salts, craft stick picture frames and the thing he enjoyed the most...scripting, filming and editing his own short movie clips. The house is so quiet now that he left and I can't wait for his next visit here or our next visit to Alabama.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Crafting Space and My Grandson

It has taken me forever, but I finally have gotten my craft/computer room organized again. It isn't 100% done, but it is enough for me to start creating again. (Now, if only the rest of the house was organized also.) Right now my grandson is visiting for a week and all he wants to do is create, create, create. He has been making movies with his grandpa and editing them with Windows Movie Maker. His movies are full of little figurines like SpongeBob and Patrick, Gumby and Pokey and Neopets. He is making a list of things he wants to make like sock puppets, ipod holder, picture frame from craft sticks, pillow, bath salts. Today we talked about Thomas Edison and how he had a laboratory in his basement when he was a young boy, so now Jesse is wanting a laboratory. I would love to take him to Edison's winter home in Fort Myers, Florida which is about 3 hours from us, but his parents are coming to get him this weekend and that doesn't leave us enough time. I am going to miss him when he goes back to Alabama.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Searching for a dresser I found...

I have been searching thrift stores and and yard sales looking for the perfect dresser to convert into a sink cabinet for my bathroom. I found one in the local Salvation Army store that I thought might work but hubby was with me and he wasn't in an agreeable mood, so I left with the intentions of returning in a day or so without him. Unfortunately when I did return, it was gone. Lesson learned, 'get it while the getting is good'. I did manage to find a few small items that caught my eye. I love and collect teacups and in most antique stores you would pay anywhere from $10 to $12 for the average teacup and saucer. I picked up this cute teacup and saucer at a yard sale for only $3.00, and I found a 50's retro cup (no saucer) in a thrift store for only $.76. My other finds: the plate was only $2.00 and my tiny owl $.76. The big white owl was only $3.50 at the Salvation Army. Not a big haul but I did get some cute things. My search for the sink cabinet continues.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Window Boxes

I found this book at 'Tuesday Morning' and had to buy it for my daughter, who lives in an adorable home in Gadsden, Alabama. Her home was built in the 1920's and has window boxes in the front and side of her house. Though she has never been good with (indoor) plants, she has put her hand to outside gardening and has had some success. She now has a vegetable garden in her yard and has experimented with different flowers in the window boxes. As I glanced through the pages of this book I realized she can pull inspiration from it for her boxes. I am also hoping that she will use her experience helping me with my little house when we finally move there.

The yellow house is my daughter's house before she moved into it. The blue house is the house we bought and hope to be moving into within the next year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rain, rain, go away

I need to write in my blog, but about what? Lately I am drawing a blank. With all the rain we have been having in Florida I haven't been doing much. We needed the rain badly but now it is kind of getting a little ridiculous. I would love to have a sunny, breezy day. You know, not too hot, just the perfect day. But it is either too hot and muggy or just plain old thunderstorming. I was looking forward to hitting some yard sales today but I had to settle for revisiting the local thrift shops because of the storms. I did get a few nice trinkets though. Hopefully, it will stay dry enough tomorrow so I can hit some of the yard sales that got rained out today.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Extended Holiday Weekend

Hope everyone had a great 4th and is recuperating nicely. We are still in Alabama enjoying the grandchildren. Friday night we attended the monthly "First Friday" celebration and it was bigger than ever. Saturday we had a great bbq/party at my daughter's house and went to the Broad Street bridge at 9 to watch the fireworks. It was great being with family and friends again.
During our stay I managed to hit 3 of the local thrift shops where I finally found a table for my kitchen. I have been looking for the past month. A quick paint job and it will be perfect. My next search and find will be a table or table and chairs set for my front porch, or maybe a small shelf or sofa table that will fit in my hallway. The more furniture I can find and buy in the thrift shops means the less furniture I will have to take when we finally move.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going to Visit the Grandkids

I am trying to type this post but my kitten just won't let me. She keeps jumping on my lap and biting my hands as I type. Anyway, we are going to Gadsden, Alabama for the holiday weekend. Not only do I get to see my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, but also our best friends who moved there last year (from Florida, where we still live). They live right down the street from my daughter and our own home in Alabama is only 2 blocks away from all of them . Everything is nice and close. On Friday we will be attending 'First Friday' which is something that happens every month on the first Friday. Many of the shops on Broad Street stay open later and have special events. There is usually an old car show in the streets and sometimes there is face painting for the kids and/or balloon animals. There are many street vendors selling different types of foods and also local bands playing. This year there will be something similar for the 4th also, ending with fireworks. But the best part by far will be seeing my grandchildren, Jesse and Sophia.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Earrings for Sophia

In my last blog post I said that I wanted to make a pair of earrings for my granddaughter though I had very little time left before our trip. She likes earrings and all things girly and on my last trip to see her she asked me to make her some earrings. I know if I show up without the earrings she will be very disappointed. She wants dangling earrings like the big girls (she is 2)but her mom said no. So I figured if I made her something cutsy it might make up for them not dangling. I managed to make her 3 pairs of earrings, all polymer clay...quick and easy, a pair of sunflowers, a pair of orange flip flops and a pair of chocolate covered donuts(that hang off of a post, just a little dangle). I think she will be satisfied, not sure about her mom though.

More Sewing???

Yesterday I finished my second little summer dress for my granddaughter, Sophia. The first one took me about 4 hours but the second one took a little less than 2 hours, and I think it actually turned out a little better than the first, though I will NEVER be a seamstress. The little dresses were a bit easier than the apron that I attempted to make for my daughter last week. The last time I saw little Sophia she loved the pair of earrings I was wearing and asked me to make her a pair just like them. They were a bit too big for a child her age(she is 2), but I told her I would make a special pair just for her. So that is my next project, and I have to have them done by tonight. I have to start packing by tomorrow for our weekend trip up to visit them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Lovely Blog Award

I received the Lovely Blog Award from SiSi and and Andrea I am passing on this award to the following people.

1. Christian Crafters Guild
2. Consider The Lillies
3. Consider The Coffee
4. Dip Your Toes into something new
5. Fabulously Funky
6. Larky Lady's Lingerings
7. Rustic Roses
8. Sassy Pink Boutique
9. Studio JRU
10. The Cotton Monster
11. Very Pretty Things
12. yakity yak y'all come back
13. You Gonna Eat All That?
14. lillyella
15. Franciebags

Here are the rules
1. Accept the award, post in your blog together with the name of the person or people who gave it to you and a link to their blog.
2. Pass the award to other 15 blogs that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact the bloggers you award to let them know that they were chosen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Attempt At Sewing.....

I have a newfound respect for all those who, with or without patterns, sew dresses, skirts, shirts, and outfits of any kind. I decided to try my hand at sewing, after all, I have been making my own curtains for years. I've also made pillows and even made a slipcover for my sofa a few years back. I figured I'd start with something simple so I bought a pattern for a cute little summer dress for my granddaughter...but then I saw the pattern for aprons. It said 'EASY' on the envelope so I figured I'd give it a try. I bought this cute fabric with bunches of bananas all over it and decided it would be a perfect gift for my daughter with her yellow kitchen. You would think that someone who buys a pattern marked 'easy' is a beginner with very little sewing experience. However, the pattern manufacturers don't assume that. The directions were almost as if I were reading a different language (thank goodness it comes with pictures). The simple apron took me two full days to complete (mostly because of reading and re-reading the pattern instructions). The completed apron is....usable, and I think my daughter will like it, but I had to improvise a bit. It did not turn out exactly as it should have.

I still intend to make the summer dress for my granddaughter but if it is anything like the apron it will probably be my last sewing project.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buttonwilloe - Original designs that will bless your heart.

I found this site on Artfire and love her work. She is new to Artfire but not to her craft. According to her bio, she has been sculpting since the early 70's and working with polymer clay since the 1990. I think my favorite is the Lion and the Lamb ornament. To visit her site click on the title of this post.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Affordable Bag Designs

I decided to check out Etsy and Artfire for purses. I have this thing about finding the perfect purse. I have been searching for years and still haven't found it, though my husband would question that fact with all the purses in my closet. The purse will have to have a lot of room but not be too big. I also would like it to have at least one outside pocket for my cell phone. And it has to attractive without being gawdy. Price point is a factor also. Anyway, I stumbled upon Affordable Bag Designs on Artfire, and I really liked what I saw. She has three bags that I like and can't decide between. I am torn between her Crimson and Vanilla Purse, Laura Ashley English Country Purse, and Big Brown Bear Bag. Maybe you can check out her site and let me know your opinion. She also has a site on etsy by the same name. Her Etsy site shows that she has a 100% rating for feedback and has made 50 sales. I like a lot of her purses on the Etsy site also, but my three favorite are from her Artfire shop (mostly because of the outer pocket).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jagger- Rest in Peace

Jagger, our family's pet for the past 14 years, passed away today. Jagger first arrived at our house in May of 1995, an adorable little mixed breed puppy. He was part black lab, part chow and something else that we couldn't identify, but obviously a smaller breed because he never got bigger than in the picture above. He was always a good natured dog and very affectionate. When we adopted two kittens he quickly took to them and became their protector. My daughters and I named him 'Jagger' after a character on General Hospital, not after Mick Jagger as many people assumed. Full grown, he still looked like a puppy, weighing only 23 pounds. Over the past year and a half he became deaf and had developed cataracts. The last few days we knew it was only a matter of time, he would have a hard time walking steady. We will miss him terribly, and so will the cats.

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