Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Very Vintage Valentine Swap

Heidi of Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly organized another in her line of Very Vintage swaps, this time of the Valentine kind. My partner was Lisa of Antiques and More.

First up, here's what Lisa sent me.

Sewing pattern used as packaging: such a neat touch!

Ooooo, what's in there??

Check it out!
-Love puppy
-2 sweet tags
-Chocolate covered raspberry sticks
-Heart doily
-Delicious earrings (Look at them! They are DE-licious)
-Button heart wreath
-3 mercury glass ornaments (swoon!)

What a cute display idea! Lisa sells lots of different styles of earrings in her booth. She made the display card! Already wore these to work and got a compliment!

What a sweet wreath!
Lisa, thank you so much for a great box of goodies!
Now for what I sent Lisa:

-Red mercury glass-look candle stick with plain candle
-Red mercury glass-look votive cup with cinnamon candle (Lisa likes cinnamon scent)
-Red vintage-look rhinestone brooch for wearing or crafting
-Rhinestone heart picture frame
-Red heart ornaments
-Little set of cherub wings
-"Love" banner (I made it!)
-Irresistible Valentine cherub card (It was...just wait, you'll see)

Here's the banner I made...I love making these things! Although I always want to keep them...

I like to include a card listing the package contents and any explanation I feel is needed. Here's the card/booklet I made for Lisa. I used two cardboard hearts that came covered with red glitter on one side (got a package of 6, different sizes, at Wal-Mart). I covered the back side of the hearts with magazine pictures of roses (Lisa's favorite flower), traced the heart shape a couple times on white paper using those as pages in the card, punched a hole through the whole booklet and tied it together with a strip of tulle. Sweet!

Can you resist this little guy?? Now you see why I had to buy this card?? I didn't want to use it because the message says something about "From all of us", but I had to include it in the package. I have one in a little frame as part of my Valentine decor.
Heidi set a $20 limit (before postage) for this swap which I really enjoyed. I didn't feel self conscious about whether or not I sent enough, and I had a GREAT time seeing what good deals I could get for my money. I can't even tell you how excited I was when I totaled up my expenses and found that everything except the card and the banner (I already had the materials for that) totaled exactly $20. Hey, its the little things and life, you know...Also, while none of this is actually vintage I had a lot of fun gathering things I thought looked vintage.
I enjoyed this swap SO much; thanks Heidi for a great swap and for pairing me with a great partner. Thank you, Lisa, for all my goodies!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Saw this in a feed and seed store...

I live in small town South Carolina, so there's a lot of huntin' and farmin' that goes on around us, but I have never in my life seen a product like this, and it amused me greatly. "Wild BEAST Attractant"...have never heard that combination of words in my life. And I love that hogs can't resist "crushed berry and molasses flavors". Heck, berries and molasses sound pretty good to me. Hubs, please keep tabs on me next time we're tromping around the woods. If I start sniffing the air and running around scratching at the ground you'll know I'm looking for the "BEAST FEAST".

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lemonade Award

Lisa over at Antiques and More has given me the Lemonade Award; thank you, Lisa!

This award is about bloggers who show great attitude and gratitude.

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 8 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
What a great award! I think a good attitude just makes life easier. Things aren't always going to go my way, so if I just accept that and decide to have a good attitude I think I'll be a lot happier as I travel through this life. Try it! Decide to have a good attitude and see if you aren't happier in the end!
And the gratitude: I am so thankful for each of you who drops by and checks out my blog and for each and every comment left. It is so exciting and motivating knowing that actual real people, some who know me and some who don't, are reading what I write!
I am breaking the rules (rebel that I am) and challenging each of you who read this post to take me up on my challenge to have a good attitude and also to think about the reasons (big and tiny) that you have to be grateful. I do recommend Tracey's blog Notes From A Cottage Industry. She has the best attitude, and her posts are so sweet and uplifting. If there is someone who jumps out in your mind as a blogger with a great attitude and full of gratitude, shoot this cute little award his or her way!
Thanks again, Lisa!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Completed: Winter Whimsy Mitten Swap

So have I mentioned: I LOVE SWAPS!! Yes, I do worry every time that I picked weird stuff or didn't send enough stuff, but every swap I've done thus far has turned out so well that I end up forgetting the worries and being so excited to sign up for the next one. Jenny of The Red Bulletin Board was my partner for A Swap For All Seasons' Winter Whimsy Mitten Swap. As the title suggests we were to swap mittens we had either made or embellished along with some "wintery/whimsical" goodies. First up: the loot I got from Jenny!

Look how cute everything was wrapped! She could have wrapped up bricks and empty paper towel tubes, and I wouldn't have been too mad because they came wrapped looking so CUTE! (For the record: Jenny, I appreciate the lack of bricks and paper towel tubes :P )

Once I could bring myself to actually mess up the wrap jobs, here's what I found:

--not 1, not 2, but 3 pairs of mittens! You can see Jenny embellished one pair with my initial in pink buttons (favorite color!). Which made me laugh out loud (for real, not just saying that)...when you see what I sent her you'll understand. The black pair features a gorgeous white button on the cuff and I do believe the blue/pink/white pair might be vintage?? I say that because the cute stripes remind me of 80s running shorts. LOVE my mittens!!
--Mitten ornament
--Mitten stuffed with Sugar Cookie bath goodies (YUM)
--Nutcracker Sweet holiday tea (Jenny's favorite)
--January magazine with mittens on the cover
--Vintage crochet booklet with instructions for making all sorts of winter projects (hats, gloves etc)
--Pink reindeer ring
--Pendant that Jenny made!

She used part of the swap button graphic; how creative is this! I was so impressed when I opened it.

She included a little nod to the pink reindeer I posted about several weeks ago; how cute!

I really enjoyed going through this box and felt so special; it was obvious that Jenny put a lot of thought into each item. I really liked how she carried the mitten theme throughout so many of the items and added those little touches that showed that she read my blog. Thank you, Jenny!!

Here's what I sent her:

--Mittens with red (a nod to her favorite color, fire engine red) buttons in a snowflake/star design
--Scarf with a "J" and another snowflake in red buttons...we had no idea that we were both doing button initials; great minds think alike!
--flying pig suncatcher (Jenny loves flying pigs)
--big, green forest scented candle (Jenny likes pine scent)
--hot chocolate
--Peppermint Peep marshmallows for floating in the hot chocolate ('ve never had peppermint peeps? Oh, you gotta get some of those. GREAT in hot chocolate)
--"Whimsy" banner (I made it!)
--Snowflake stickers for Jenny's little boy

I was quite proud of these! I've not done much sewing, so I was very pleased when these turned out so cute. Let me tell you (and, Jenny, you know this now, too) sewing inside of a mitten is hard! I finally found a method that worked, but goodness it stumped me the first few tries.

Wintery whimsy banner.

I love this fat little pig with its teeny, tiny wings. This came from Maggiegirl's Etsy shop.

What a great swap! I really enjoyed getting to know a little about Jenny through this swap, and I think that's the main point. The fun stuff is just a nice bonus :)

Go check out A Swap For All Seasons' Vintage Spring Sweetness Swap open until Feb. 7 for signups; you gotta get in on this swap fun!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TWD: Berry Surprise Cake

Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen laid down the berry gauntlet ("berried" the gauntlet??) for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie assignment, and we had to answer. We fought long and we fought hard, and I hear that a bunch of our cakes sunk, but we bakers are nothing if not resourceful and thankfully we had a decadent cream cheese filling with which to disguise any disappointing cake foundations.

The base of this recipe is a fairly simple mixture of the usual suspects of flour, eggs, sugar and a couple sidekicks, but oh the fuss that had to be made over those eggs! Dorie actually encourages the baker to treat the eggs "like the divas they are", and she is not exaggerating. First there was the warming of the eggs and sugar over simmering water, then the mixing for a very long time and sifting and folding in some things and then melting and folding in other was a good thing I started the whole process the day before I actually meant to serve the cake.

You see here my short, bronzed cake. I don't have the 8 inch pan called for, only a 9 inch pan, and I forgot to cut down the cooking time to accommodate for the thinner final product. As a result the cake was a tad dry, but the syrup brushed over it, the cream cheese filling piled into it and the whipped cream topping slathered on the outside made up for all that. My cake did sink some and the top layer was really just the top ring of the outer 2 inches of cake that were tall enough to cut. I was able to cut out 1/4 inch or so depth of the inside of the cake to make the well for the fililngs.

I used Grand Marnier as I couldn't get my hands on any of the other liquers suggested in time and it worked just fine. I used frozen berries, so by the next morning there were little pink tear drop trails running here and there down the sides.

Hello, breakfast. The light sweetness of the filling and the topping was tempered by a tart zing of raspberry every now and then, and the spongy texture of the cake set off the creamy filling very nicely. It was quite tasty!
It was SO much work that unless I knew of someone who was wild about berries I'm not sure I would want to do it all again. The cake recipe was the most tedious to make of all the parts, and I could see myself using the filling for something else...homemade danish or some other filled cake perhaps...or just in my bowl. I'm glad I went through the whole process at least once.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pink Saturday: Ornament Swap

This weekend I am bringing you pink in the form of an amazing ornament.

(Photo credit: Gillian of I Heart Crafts)

This is the non-pink ornament I sent Gillian of I Heart Crafts for Pampering Beki's Ornament Swap. Gillian mentioned she liked robins, so I was very excited to find this vintage postcard to send her along with her ornament. Update: Here's a link to Gillian's post about the ornament

For this swap I sent stuff to Gillian while Peggy was assigned to send stuff to me. I knew it was going to be good when I opened the package to see my surprise wrapped with this beautiful pink ribbon and tag.

Look at this ornament! It is beautiful! Thank you so much, Peggy! (Peggy, do you have a blog??)

This ornament was perfect for my first ever pink tree...TA DA!!

Love it!

Oh, the pink stuff on this delightful tree: garland from a yardsale, starfish from Pom Pom Interiors...(a green strand of white lights, but we're going to ignore those until I can get a white strand, aren't we)


Ice cream cone!

Pink crystals!
That pink tree made me so happy! Happy Pink Saturday!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I've been tagged!

So I feel quite silly (that would be a picture of me looking silly). I thought I got a message a while back saying I had been tagged, but later when I went back through my email and a bunch of the comments on my posts, I couldn't find the note anywhere, so I thought I must have imagined it...on Monday I was reading through Jenny's archives over at The Red Bulletin Board and saw in one of her posts that she tagged me! Sorry it took me so long, Jenny!

Here are the rules:
* Mention the rules on your blog.
* Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
* Tag three others
* Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they are tagged.

Ok, here goes:

1) Chaotic movies have always freaked me out. Could NOT handle Alice In Wonderland as a me it didn't move in a logical linear storyline. The pink elephant scene in Dumbo? Pretty much gave me nightmares.

2) I just found the recipe for some candy strawberries I had at a church potluck when I was about 4. I've been dreaming of those delicious strawberries (made of ground up nuts among other things) and trying to find the recipe for years. I was given a huge stack of old magazines a couple weeks ago and guess what I found in the December 1977 issue of Southern excited to make these things, I can hardly stand it.

3) I have eaten very few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my life. It was just never my thing.

4) I do the majority of the cooking in our house, and I very rarely make the same meal twice. It bores me. I have a couple standbys (mom and dad's spaghetti, etc) that I love, but other than that I prefer to try new and different stuff.

5) I've been doing the majority of the cooking for 3 1/2 years and have yet to make a macaroni and cheese casserole...I was born and raised in South Carolina and LOVE mac-n-cheese. Is there something wrong with me?? Part of the reason: my husband and I get home from work too late most nights to make dishes that take a long time to cook. Someday though I will make up for lost time!

6) I love pizza. I love it so much. I told my husband earlier this week that I wished I could eat pizza for every meal., my love. Incidently if you haven't tried Pizza Hut's The Natural pizza, GO TRY IT!! Its supposed to be made from slightly less processed ingredients, and I can personally vouch for the Rustica version...YUM. Add some peppers, onions, black olives and mushrooms in there, and its practically good for you, right?? :)

Since it has been over 2 months since I was tagged (spaz that I am) I am going to let sleeping dogs lie...or dead tag cycles be...or something.

Thanks for my first tag, Jenny!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TWD: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

Note 3:14 pm, 1/13/09: Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake picked the corn muffins for this week and has the recipe on her post.

This Tuesday we made Dorie's Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins. I do not like spicy foods, so I was scared of these for the 1.5 teaspoons of chile powder and the entire jalapeno pepper they had in them. But I soldiered on and, boy, am I glad I did.

Pretty! Note: there should be flecks of red in there, too, but my grocery store didn't have any red bell peppers, so I got a green one. These would be quite festive with the red, green and yellow (corn kernels) flecks. Mine were only moderately festive.

I worried in vain. These were so good...SO GOOD. I ate 4 of them...maybe 5. Mine were slightly crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. I like a sweeter corn bread but the peppers and corn in here made these more than just corn bread, and I didn't miss the extra sweetness I usually need.

I paired these with Kim Bensen's Bean Chili. It's healthy and so easy to throw together quickly; fairly inexpensive, too. Its also forgiving as it sat 40 minutes or so instead of 20 while it waited on me to make the muffins. Hubs commented that it was quite tasty which he didn't expect of something that came together so quickly and largely from cans.

Make these muffins! They are easy and yummy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

MommyHolly's Snowflakes and Sparkles Swap

One of the most fun perks of blogging is the opportunity to participate in swaps. I love getting boxes full of stuff for me!! (Wow, does that sound selfish...keepin it real, as they say) Mommy Holly hosted the Snowflakes and Sparkles swap in December; thanks Holly!

Here's what my sweet partner Britta of Marky Mark's Funky Bunch sent me.

Look how cute the outside of the box is!! I am going to strive to make the outside of my boxes look fun like this one. Thanks for that added touch, Britta!

I'm so excited!!

Look at all the loot!

-Canister of cinnamon hot chocolate (um, yes, that is definitely almost gone)
-body glitter roller
-bath beads
-yummy lotion
-cashmere fragrance candle (don't know what cashmere smells like?? Me either, but this candle is heavenly!)
-glittery "Peace" word decor
-garden decor stake shaped like a present
-snowman door hanger made of jingle bells
-huge glittery snowflake ornament
-Christmas music DVD
-little Christmas hand towels (forgot to get a picture of those)

You can see a bit of the silver tinsel that was part of the packaging; love it! Thank you so much for a great box of goodies, Britta!

Here's what I sent Britta. She mentioned that her Christmas decor is mostly red and white with touches of silver; well I took that red and silver and boy, did I run with it:

-red glittery cone tree
-silver tinsel tree
-red tinsel garland (I almost kept that one...)
-silver wire garland, disco ball ornaments
-glittery silver "Merry" sign hanger
-glittery red "Merry Christmas" sign hanger
-red mercury glass-look candle stick
-peppermint candle
-"Jar o' snowflakes and sparkles"
-garland of 6 felt and fabric paint snowflakes I made (one each for Britta and Mark and their kids)
-some candy treats


This was full of confetti (red and silver stars and white snowflakes) that I thought Britta could use for craft projects.

Yes, I did realize after I made this banner that my snowflakes had 8 arms while real snowflakes only have 6...Britta, I am truly sorry that I stuck you with anatomically incorrect snowflakes :)

Gotta have some chocolate!

What a fun swap with a great partner. Thanks to Holly for hosting and to Britta for all the great goodies!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pink Saturday: January Flowers

Happy Pink Saturday, all!

Today I am sharing some of the hot pink camellias that are currently in bloom in our front yard.

Love those two little perfect leaves on the left side. This flower is all, "What! The best flower brooches on Etsy got nuthin on me!" What a luxury to have flowers out in January.

And this little bud is trying to hide out from the rain under a little leaf hat.
Have a wonderful Pink day!