Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back To Crafting....Just A Little

A few weeks ago while in Joann Fabrics, looking for fabric to make new curtains for my kitchen, I came across this book. Most of the 'retro' crafts shown in this book were pretty cheesy looking even for a kid to produce but there were a few that caught my eye. Because this was the only copy of the book and it was damaged (notice the face with the cut marks) I got it for half price. But why would I want to buy it if I thought the crafts were so cheesy?
Because of these!!

When I was a kid, my grandmother would have a village display of these houses under her tree each year. I was totally entralled by them and would sit and stare for hours and imagine about the little people that might live in them. She would make rolling hills and ice skating ponds and a whole little winter wonderland under her tree. It was because of my childhood memories of her tree that I started collecting ceramic lighted village houses when I got married. The only difference was I couldn't stage my village under the tree because my houses were a tad too big. Oh, I have enough houses to make several villages in different rooms of my house complete with the 'Mr. Christmas' skating rink, but it just doesn't have the same feel as when I was small and gazing under my grandma's tree. Well, this book had the instructions on how to make these little houses.
The books suggests using wrapping paper to dress up the outside of the houses. Personally, I don't care for the ones in the picture above, they aren't reminisent of my grandma's. The first picture is more along the lines of the ones she had.

The ones in this picture aren't so bad. I could see using wrapping paper like this, though after my first attempt (which is below), I think I am going to try and stick to solid colors for the houses and keep more to the original design.

I didn't use wrapping paper on this house, I actually used a piece of felt and some trim. I added a little snow on the roof and a green door. Cute, but still not good enough....not like my grandma's. I am determined to make a village of these little houses to put under my tree this year so my grandchildren can sit and stare for hours and imagine their own little scenarios.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rainbow Cookies

An Oklahoma Granny asked if I would share the recipe for these delicious Rainbow Cookies, so here it is:

1-8 oz. can of almond paste

3 sticks of butter, softened (1 and 1/2 cups)

1 cup of sugar

2 cups of flour

1 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs

1 jar of seedless raspberry

12 oz chocolate chips

red and green food coloring

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Bake time: 12-15 minutes

Break up almond paste in a large bowl and beat in butter, sugar, eggs, and almond extract until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and salt. Split batter into 3 equal portions. Mix one portion with green food coloring and one with red food coloring, leaving the last portion as is. Spread each portion out to 1/4" thickness into the bottom of an ungreased baking pan. Bake until lightly browned. Allow to cool. Place one layer on a cookie sheet and spread seedless raspberry jam on top, place uncolored layer on top and spread with raspberry again. Place remaining layer on top and melt chocolate chips and spread over top and sides. Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm. Slice into small rectangles.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I sure miss....

My friend Darlene recently posted about a jewish deli in Birmingham, Alabama that she tried and loved. When she talked about the different food that she and her family ordered, it made me start to think about all my favorite foods that I no longer get to enjoy because they just can not be found where I now live. I am a much more picky eater than she is, I don't like as varied a food choice as she does but I sure do miss some simple food pleasures. Things like a loaf of Italian bread. Oh, sure they sell Italian bread (or what they label as Italian bread) in the supermarkets, but it is not the same bread that I ate when I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. The kind of bread that you buy in an Italian bakery, the kind with a hard thick crust. And speaking of Italian bakeries....cannoli's, black and white cookies, and my favorite...rainbow cookies, oh how I miss them all. There is an italian bakery in town and their stuff is good, but not really close enough to what I remember, something is missing. I have tried my hand at making these delicacies and found that my black and white cookies came out better than the local italian bakery, and my rainbow cookies aren't too bad either....but the bread just cannot be duplicated.

My rainbow cookies before I cut them.

And another thing that I miss is Spumoni. Real spumoni the kind that you get at Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn. We used to go there often when I was a kid. They served pizza and heros and italian food but on a hot summer night, nothing was better than spumoni from Spumoni Gardens.

Oh the memories!! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

I only dream about these delicious treats while living in Florida

but I guess it is just as well

'cause I would never lose weight if

I still lived in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Revamping the Dining Set

I have been inspired by several of the blogs that I've read. So many of you are constantly changing things up in your homes. I used to change the wall colors, rearrange furniture, change curtains and wall hangings a lot but lately I have gotten a bit lazy in that department. Actually, it has been quite a few years since I made any real changes, but the more I read, the more the bug is hitting me to change things up. My dining room set is approximately 19 years old, but because it is rarely used(only on the holidays when we have a lot of company), it is still in pretty good condition. My husband and I decided that when we finally make the move to our little house in Alabama, one of the things we are taking with us is the dining room set because it is larger than the one we have in Alabama now. So I decided to spruce it up a bit. I have decided to paint the chairs black. Partially because I needed a change and partially because the dining room in Alabama has a black theme already going (which I love). Because it has been years since I decided to paint any furniture, I forgot how time consuming it really is. Plus, the older you get, the slower you move. I have finally completed three chairs. Three more to go. I may start chair number 4 today or I may wait until the weekend when my husband will be home to help(though he hates painting). I am really happy with how the chairs are turning out.

I have a question though. I am not sure if I should also paint the table or just leave it, I keep flip flopping back on forth on that one. On one hand, I really don't want to have too much black, but on the other hand I am thinking the chairs looks so nice, maybe the table will look better painted too. Any opinions????

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thrift Finds

I am always reading about the great finds that my friends and fellow bloggers score when searching the thrift stores. I started to wonder what was wrong with me because I have been looking for quite some time now and I always seem to come home with zilch. Oh, I get a little something here and a little something there, but nothing great....nothing to write home about(as the expression goes). I started to wonder if it was the area that I live in, but you would think that Florida would be a cornucopia of stuff with all the older retired folks that live here. Well, my persistence has finally paid off. I have been looking for a cabinet or old dresser that I could revive for my bathroom, something that would be deep enough to house a sink and wide enough to fit comfortably in my little bathroom and still have some counter space. When I saw this cabinet, I fell in love instantly.

Unfortunately, it is too narrow for a sink, but not to worry because I will find some other use for it. I just had to have it, especially when I found out they were only asking $30.00 for it.

And wonder upon wonders, the same day I also found this chair and this endtable. I will recover the seat and paint the chair and probably paint the endtable also. The chair was $15.00 and the table only $8.00.

I will continue my search for the bathroom cabinet, but with a lighter heart because I finally believe that there is hope for me yet.

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