Friday, October 16, 2009

Put a Little Sparkle in Every Day...and True Blue Scottish Shortbread

Good morning!

Hope the day's going well for everyone. Just to start off, I'm sorry to complain, but I just have to share the weather we have to endure here in October--now brace yourselves...

When I drove up to the house after taking my girls to school this morning, my gazing ball was just GLOWING with sunlight! Had to run right out (after semi-carefully parking the car!) with my camera...

I am in LOVE with big, fat, cabbagey David Austen English roses. I have over 100 bushes in my yard...way too many, but I love each & every one! Look at the coloring on these little beauties!

I love figs...they taste great and all, but I LOVE the trees...the shape of the fruit, the shape of the leaves...I find them SO interesting! (Sorry about my big shadow on the right!)

A sincere apology to all of you back East, but........................!

Someone asked me the other day why I like glitter so much...I don't know--I just do! It feels very vintage to me, and it just makes me happy--that's it! As I thought about what I would be posting today, I thought of one of my favorite sayings...

A few years ago, a church friend of ours passed away after a battle with cancer. At her funeral, her husband spoke very lovingly of his wife and their life together. Towards the end, he said, "Put a little sparkle in every day!", after reminding us that life is short, but wonderful. I jotted it down in my little notebook in my purse so I wouldn't forget it--it really touched me.

So, maybe that's part of the reason I like to add a little sparkle to things--life's too short not to, in my book!

(I made this vinyl sign for my daughter's room shortly after that day.)

Speaking of sparkle, check these out!

Okay, it's not all sparkle, but look at the flakey, buttery goodness!

A certain magic occurs when you mix three simple ingredients; butter, sugar and flour...and it's name is SHORTBREAD! I've always loved Scottish Shortbread, and my Mom used to make it every Christmas, as do I. Sometimes you've just gotta have it, though, and today was that day!

When I was a girl--maybe 12 or so--a very kind woman we knew, Joan Montgomery, knowing of my love for Shortbread, invited me to her house and taught me how to make this recipe. It was given to her by an old Scottish woman--I wish I had her name, but I don't. The only admonition I was given was to NEVER bake these on a rainy day. I don't remember why not, but guess I what I have an incurable urge to do every time it rains???

Here's the recipe:


Cream 1 lb. butter-NO margarine and
1 cup sugar
Work in 4 cups flour

Mix till well combined, but don't overmix. Put dough into a 9x 13" pan, no greasing required, pressing until about 2" high. Chill at least 1/2 hour. Bake at 325 for 25-35 minutes. Never bake these on a rainy day! Cool and cool on brown paper bags.

That's it--you will love them forever!

My Mom always put a little shiny dragee in the center of each cookie, which I also like to do--there's the sparkle!

Lastly, tomorrow is my wonderful Mother-in-Law's birthday, and she's coming to spend the weekend with us. I've got some yummy meals planned, a delicious-looking cake to bake (I'll share tomorrow or Sunday), and I made a card for her today:

I got a little heavy-handed with my sponging here on the sentiment...oh, well! It's a quote from Lucille Ball that says, "The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."

The image is from Crafty Secrets' "Girlfriends" Images & Journal Notes booklet. I used Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Groovy Guava & PTI White cardstock, and of course, my silver sparkles!

Here's an adorable photo of my Mother-in-Law, Shirley Campbell. Okay, this was a taken a LITTLE while ago, but it's very vintage, I love it, and she reminds me of Shirley Temple!

See you soon!