Monday, December 26, 2011

Contact with the outside world

I am very sad that I cannot call you this morning. Shaun and Mike took off into the woods earlier and I felt all contact with the outside world was gone. I thought... oh I'll drink my coffee and call her. But alas.. there my little phone lay dead on the bench. PooPoo. I guess I have to get ready and go out. Oh Well. That's what I get for getting snockered and doing jumping jacks with a hoodie on.

I wanted to share this ladies' website with you before Christmas and didn't because I planned on making the clothespin ornaments instead of the bird seed wreaths but I didn't have enough clothespins that I wanted to get rid of. I completely plan on having a clothesline at the day care trailer and didn't see the sense in wasting them. So I only made one and kept it.

Anyhow, here it is. It's not Pinterest but it's goooood. She has got some fabulous ideas.

I LOVE the pots in wooden frames. Fab idea and why have I never used Gorilla glue. It expands. I have to buy some today.

I might make cinnamon rolls when I get back from the phone store in a bit if you want to come over and play.

P.S. I already started taking down Christmas stuff. I can't bear to take the tree down yet. It's so me and so very pretty bird.

not sure why my glasses look tined with blue.  huh

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quick Cake Mix Cookies

While browsing through a lovely Christmas open house in Crossplains, TN two weekends ago, I stumbled upon the refreshments.  Being the lemon lover that I am, I immediately snatched a yellow cookie with powdered sugar on it.  To my delight it was lemon and wonderful!  So soft, so light... I could have eaten the whole plate.  But then I may not have been invited back to next year's open house :)

I thought about these cookies for more than a week.  Finally I looked up in every book I have and came up empty.  Then decided to internet search pictures of lemon cookies and at last came up with a recipe.  I have to share!  These are so very easy to make and take under an hour from start to finish. 

Cake Mix Cookies
1 cake mix, any flavor, I recommend lemon
1 tub cool whip 8 ounce
1 egg
powdered sugar - about 1/3 cup

Mix cake mix, egg and cool whip with a blender.  The batter will be sticky.  Drop one spoonful at a time into powdered sugar and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool and try like heck not to eat them all.  Unless they are only for you... then go ahead.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Salt dough Ornaments

Sometimes, simple is key.  When it came down to thinking of decorations for my four foot Christmas tree in the kitchen I wanted something simple, bake-y and kitchen-y.  So I chose a recipe that I found in a library book and I am sorry but I don't remember which one it was.  I rented it last summer and jotted down the recipe just not which book it came from.  My apologies.

Never-the-less, here's what I did last Sunday for my little kitchen tree.

Salt Dough Ornaments
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Whisk flour and salt together.  Add water and stir until well blended.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8-10 minutes.  Do not let the dough become rubbery.  Roll out dough with rolling pin and cut ornaments using cookie cutters or whatever you wish.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet or on parchment paper.  They can be placed 1/2 inch apart as they don't really expand much.  Poke a hole for hanging with a straw.  Bake for 2 hours.

Please tilt your head to the left to get the full affect.
P.S. this recipe made about 24 ornaments
I know 2 hours sounds like a loooong time but seriously... go do something else!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Coffee Table Style

The lovely coffee table.  The center piece of most living rooms and dens.  What to do with it?  Here's what we did with mine.

To go along with the burlap I used for a make-shift tree skirt, I dug out this old coffee bean bag.  It was in terrible need of ironing and smelled quite odd when I put the heat to it. 
We chose one of my enamel pitchers and stuck some cedar tree clippings inside from a tree along the driveway.  It may have helped keep the trimmings fresh if I added a bit of water to the pitcher... but there's a hole in the bottom.  Not good for water.
The marble game is always on the coffee table.  It was my Grandmother's and the old jelly jar came from Uncle Randy.  The red and white striped marble was a gift from my new best friend that owns Phillips General Store.  He doesn't really know he is my new best friend but he is.  I had visions of cleaning up the Halloween decorations that are still in his yard.  Poor Cobbler.  No time for himself.  What a darling fellow.

Anyone who has been to my home knows good and well that I have been gladly suffering from an enamelware addiction for years.  I knew my vintage glass ornaments (the smelly ones) would look perfect in a medium sized enamel bowl.  I thought I needed a stand for the bowl and it just so happens that I found out the fruit bowl stand from Longaberger nestles the heck out of my prized enamel bowl.  It worked out quite well.
And to add a not so good picture, here is the metal star I have had forever with a coffee scented candle that I bought in Bellbuckle a while back.  My sweet sister added the fresh but previously frozen cranberries that I think made a nice touch and completion to my Christmas Coffee Table look.  Don't you think?  And don't worry, kids are only likely to eat one cranberry before they probably won't touch them again and will cringe when the see the canned, jellied stuff at Thanksgiving.  Or they may love them?!
It really took no time to put together a spread that we will enjoy the entire month of December.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Mail is Fun

Remember my Mistletoe Hunt gifts I sent to far away family?  Sending Kisses?  Scroll down to see that post.  Well I received a package of my own in Tuesday's mail.  How exciting to come in from a long day at work and 45 minutes worth of driving home traffic to see a tiny box on top of the mail on the table with my name on it!  I knew I hadn't ordered anything online, at least nothing that was being shipped to this address.  I play Secret Santa and have everything shipped to my sister's house.  Sneaky :)

I quickly opened the box to find a card from a mistletoe recipient.  I dug further to find a fantastic full apron with little ladies hanging laundry on the clothesline on the front of it!  How perfect for me!  This morning I wore it making breakfast and thought I'd snap a pic or two to share. 

Thank you Aunt Dea for thinking of me!  I love you and Merry Christmas!

I reckon I had already cleaned up breakfast.

I sometimes wish I was as willing to have  my picture made, or good enough to take decent picture of myself without cutting my head off, like some of the blogs that I follow.  Sometimes I would like to take pics of outfits from the thrift store that I put together.  This morning I just so happen to have the camera out and a thrift store bargain outfit on.  So... here's possibly the one and only outfit that I will share.  Or maybe the first and you'll just have to put up with my photography errors and goofy faces.

Sweater: ThriftSmart $3.00
Wool Lined Skirt: Ladies of Charity thrift sale $6.00
Leather Waist Belt: Ladies of Charity thrift sale $2.00
Copper Hawk Necklace: Hand me down from Aunt Charlie Ann
Boots and Knee Socks: actually these I purchased last Friday at Off Broadway shoes.  Boots $34.00 Socks $9 for three pair which scrunch at the top either over or under the knee (black, white, ivory) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Inspiration

The two page spread in my 2011 journal labeled "These two pages are for Christmas Only" began on September 6th.  I have been excited about giving, crafting, music and Jesus' birthday for months.  It's no wonder that when it got here I found myself a little drained.  A lot drained.  Thanksgiving weekend passed without a single tree going up in my house.  I didn't even want to listen to holiday music. 

Luckily, I pre-planned for my mental block.  After going to the Webb School craft fair in October in Bellbuckle, and finding a huge awestruck love for Phillips General Store, I knew what I was going to need.  I planned a Friday off from work and my sister and I drove down in search of inspiration. 

Guess what..... we found it. 

 All white and silver mantle.
 Used it..... you'll see.
 Bowl of vintage Bwalls.  :)
 See the white one ... brought it home.
I love the old stuff on the upper walls... and the old stuff on the ... everywhere!
  Yes Girl... I know.  I couldn't believe it either.
 Totally inspired to cut up a Christmas bridgecloth... maybe.... yes..... maybe.

If you get a chance.. GO!  We were on a Christmas high for the rest of the weekend!

You'll find more pics of our Bellbuckle visit Christmas Style here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sending Kisses

And before we knew it a new tradition for us was born this year. 

Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, we gathered as planned at the farm of our friends' in Goodlettsville where I had spied bunches of mistletoe last winter when sledding.  Our farm does not have mistletoe anywhere.  I have searched and searched with no luck.  Matter of fact there's just not much up here on the hill.  Maybe it's the slight change of altitude.  But downhill there's mistletoe a plenty as you can see from our final kill shot of five full plastic grocery bags full (and we could have gotten more!)

Five of us anxiously headed out into the woods, shotguns and bags in hand, on four wheelers.  We shot and caught and gathered for a couple of hours.  Such fun... every bit I thought it would be.  We wound up with tons!  We hung some here and there and still had a lot left.  My thoughts got a little farther away wondering if mistletoe grew in Texas and in Florida where I have family.  Then I thought "hey!... Kisses from Tennessee!"  I tied ribbons on springs and tucked them into small jewelry sized boxes.  I went to my favorite vintage graphics site, The Graphics Fairy, and snagged a nice vintage deer with antlers pic in red (because my silly printer refuses to print in black and will soon be replaced with a printer that will.)  I printed the tiny cards on white card stock, cut them and folded them.  I placed a loving message to three far away family members, tucked the small boxes into mailing envelopes and sent them on their merry way on my lunch break on Monday.

I don't know what about using our mail system to mail something special gives me the fuzzies but it does.  To think that one day mistletoe was hanging at the tip tops of trees and a few days later it is hopefully adorning the doorway thirteen hours away by car.  Fuzzy. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Comfort Food

When we left to go to church this morning, our thermometer said 60 degrees.  When we got back.. it was 45 degrees.  Now that's a front.  Two hours, in the middle of the day, dropping fifteen degrees and it's just downright not fair.  I am a summer girl at heart that's for sure.  I would much rather go in to church with it a tad cool and come out to a warm sunny afternoon.  I always have trouble adjusting and it can just downright put me in a mood. 

I did, however, welcome this evening's chill outside with warm, comfort food thoughts.  Several years ago I bought a packet of Corn Chowder mix from a Tastefully Simple party and fell in love the minute I tasted this soup.  Unlucky for me the company took the mix out of it's main line and hasn't brought it back since.  But this fall I ran across an easy and oh-so-good recipe here.  That Pioneer Woman is fantastic.  So tonight I made the chowder along with beer cheese bread that is so easy it's silly and invited a few family members over to eat. 

Oh, P.S. I also added teeny, weeny shrimp to the chowder.  YUM 

Have a wonderful week!

Isn't this the most lovely looking salt you have ever laid eyes on?!?  It came from a friend who is in a salt club.  Have you ever heard of such?  It looks and feels like sand but tastes like salt heaven. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What keeps me amused

One thing I have always said about myself is "that I could have fun by myself in a paper bag."  Huh.. so can my cat.  Great minds I guess.  And also let it not be said that Aunt Laurie doesn't know how to have a good time.

Yesterday, after my recovery from what I called "the day after our wedding reenactment," I finally made myself go outside and take a walk.  I didn't so much want to head up the driveway to get the mail... too much wind.  And the breeze yesterday and today had a Northern chill to it.  So I meandered along the edge of the woods behind our house and along the back field.  I saw that the electric fence around the pig lot apparently wasn't working because I spotted a piggie toosh up in the air from across the field as he was trying to dig out.  I was hoping to find a feather or two, but there were none to be found.  I wound up back at the front porch watering pansies and trying to freeze water droplets in action.  Isn't it amazing that our eye doesn't work this fast but motion does?

The ripples looked like a flower to me.
I love the ripples in the burst going upward and also the reflection.
This one is my favorite.  Frozen motion that happened so fast this was the only way I could see it well.

My sister called while I was taking these and the four of us plus my nephew wound up going to eat Mexican... which only furthered the reenactment.  If I had only eaten at the party the night before I feel as if I could have avoided a wasted day.  Was it wasted or semi what my body needed... rest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creepy Thoughts

Things that are stuffed.  By things I mean animals.  Living in the country, having a husband who hunts and apparently being the red-neck-lady-bird, or Laurie Bird as Aunt Lynda calls me, we have lots of taxidermied animals adorning the walls and corners of our home.  Some women care and don't allow their husband's hunting trophies to be hung inside the house claiming they would "look better" in the man cave.  I could care less.  I like the way the coyote looks on the landing and the sets of antlers above each door looks.  Pick up a copy of Elle Decor anytime and you'll find antlers on a table or a fox fur on the coffee table.  It's chic!  Get with it peeps. 

Here are a few examples of lovely, furred art that were available over the weekend.  All you have to do is look and purchase items for your own home and you too could move into the world of high fur fashion in your home.

A nice Buck.  Looks fantastic over a fireplace or consider a Doe... like mine... over the bathtub.
Some sort of a pheasant or duckling.  Very nice especially sitting comfortably on a bed of ivy.
Comes with it's own box.  And I'm pretty sure it's smiling.
I think this dove has seen better days but then think about it... it is probably pretty difficult to skin and stuff a delicate mourning dove and keep it from looking too sickly.  Nevertheless... not too bad.
Cage not included. 
I do not know what kind of rat dog this was but notice the inner front leg and how the fur comes together.  Yes folks... someone had FooFoo stuffed. 

See... Creepy Thoughts.  Good fun for a Halloween weekend coming up!  Be Safe Kids!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Faves

An incredible weekend.  An incredible craft fair.  Two of my sisters, myself, three nieces and one nephew got up extra early and headed south-east to the ting town of Bellbuckle, Tennessee.  We walked, laughed, scoured and awed at each booth and antique shop around.  One in particular was so utterly exciting I wanted to hug the owner and decorator for being so brill!

This is my last full day of the thirty-seventh chapter of my book of life.  Tomorrow begins thirty-eight and I have to say I am excited.  I truly feel as if it is New Year's Eve.  I have a few resolutions, a few goals and big hopes and dreams for this year.  And a new cousin to kick it off!

Here are a few glimpses of my favorite store's decor from Bellbuckle this year.  
Inside Philip's General Store.

Caskets were all a theme in Halloween decor this year.

A touch of Dorothy... brilliant.

Creepy, stuffed creatures found here and there.

Vintage photographs darned displays all over.  Which some own a creepiness of their own.

At $3.00 a scoop these teeny, weeny pumpkins, which were actually some sort of seed pods from India, were a fabulous steal!

And I spy three shoppers I know too well! 

I realized my jaw was on the floor minutes after entering this fabulous shop.  The pictures do not do the justice it deserves.  I cannot wait to go back to ohh and aah over the Christmas Displays.

Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Colorful Journey

Last week my friend Jenn opened my eyes to a new kind of journaling.  A-Picture-A-Day.  Now you don't have to be a trained artist or even know how to draw to be able to create something beautiful.  And it's for your eyes so does it really matter? 

I am a little tired this evening as I haven't been sleeping well.  But I wanted to share my little creations the last five days.  I began my Colorful Journey on Saturday, October 1st.  I plan on filling the month up with whatever strikes me when my pen hits the paper.

For the paint I am using regular, cheap-o acrylic craft paint and water.  I cut an egg carton, add a teaspoon size or less of water to each egg carton cup and a drop of paint.  Stir it up and paint away. 

For the paper, I don't have any special watercolor or drawing paper.  I don't like to buy a bunch of crap at the craft store with good intentions.  I prefer to make do with what I have.  So my paper is simply a heavy pound of copy paper folded in half.  After I add the paint I let it dry for five or ten minutes then put it in between a couple of heavy books to help flatten it out.

Here's what I have so far... provided the up loader let's me put tall pics on here.  You may have to turn your head slightly to the left. 

Or to the right :)

I've not a clue how this one cooperated.

I got mad a while back and actually have it written in my journal I CAN DRAW!  Just tell yourself you can, sit down and DO IT!  It's not going to come out unless you let it.  And a whole month of a Colorful Journey will give anyone plenty of practice!