Saturday, November 7, 2009

Play Date Cafe' Challenge #3...The Queen Bee

How is everyone tonight? Hope your weekend is going very with family & friends, not too much work...only good things!

Just a quick post tonight--really! My husband and daughters are waiting for me to watch a movie with them, and it's already after 10:30, so we're in for a late one, I think!

This is the 3rd week of the Play Date Cafe'--have you joined in the fun yet?! So many wonderfully talented people are already participating, so come and play! This week the color challenge is beautiful and dramatic: red, white and black.

I have a beautiful stamp set that I haven't used yet, and it was the only thing that kept coming to mind when I thought of the colors--and here it is:

This gorgeous set from Paper Relics, a favorite of mine. I love the artist's vision of fantasy mixed with vintage--Hope Wallace--she's amazing! Do yourself a favor and go look at her stamps--they're different than anything else I've seen...just gorgeous!

Here's the set:

I love the stamped saying (I split it up on the card...), "She who must be obeyed"--don't we wish!

Beautiful, isn't it?! Here's a couple of close-ups of my card--I just love the detail in the stamps! Some of them look like old woodcuts to me...

I had so much fun with the challenge this week--thanks so much, PDCC ladies! The next challenge starts on Thursday--come and play with us!

I'll be back tomorrow with something new...hope your night is delightful and your Sunday peaceful...Sweet dreams!

(Queen Bee card: Stamps: Paper Relics' "Queen Bee"; Paper: Basic Black, Real Red, PTI White; Ink: StazOn Black, Encore Gold, Vintage Photo, Fired Brick; Acc.: crocheted lace, white satin lace, black grosgrain, button, clear diamond glitter, gold glass glitter, Tombow, glue pen, crystal rhinestones, Xmas Red Stickles, dimensionals, sponge).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Sweet Christmas Village, Little Dorrit.....and Shoofly Pie

Good evening, everyone! Hope it was a fabulous day!

I had another lovely surprise a small package from the U.K....I love ordering things, but hadn't ordered anything from there, so I was puzzled! It was a sweet gift from Joanne (Angelnorth)! A week or so ago, I had commented on a beautiful card she had made on her blog, Ambrosia & Iron, that had a beautiful little tea rose on it--I had never seen those before...Well, in the mail today was a little package of them, with a lovely handmade card!

I have been so blessed in the last couple of months with the loveliest new friends...this blogging experience has been such an amazing one! I was just commenting to another wonderful blogging friend today about that very thing. It's so amazing that with just a few strokes of a keyboard, we can reach out across the earth, experience a little of each others' lives, what we're working on, things we love, our families, etc...and once in a while, someone thoughtfully reaches out in a tangible way--that's pretty wonderful!

Joanne, thank-you for your thoughtfulness--you made my day even better today!

I have a few things for you tonight--two are semi-connected, and one is just plain old delicious!

I only finished one card today, but I'm very happy with it. I ordered some beautiful digital images a week or so ago from the lovely ladies at Every Thing Creative. They have a lovely blog and an Etsy shop where they sell their high quality, gorgeous vintage images. This was the first time I've done this, and I enjoyed them so much, I just ordered three more images tonight! Here's the first card I've finished using one of their images--

(I have to apologize for my pictures tonight--forgot to take them earlier in the natural light, so we're dealing with kitchen lights and a flash...maybe I'll fix it tomorrow...!)

Isn't that such a beautiful little village? I couldn't resist this! There was all this wonderful snow on the roofs, so of course I had to add plenty off glitter...

The ornaments are from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas Joy" stamp set--one of my favorites! I added some Snow-Tex and glitter to the top to make them look like those wonderful vintage
Christmas glass ornaments--I love those! A few SU! felt snowflakes covered with glitter and a little Swarovski crystal rhinestones in the center...those just make me happy!

This sweet image reminds me of a village out of a Dickens' novel--nothing better than a Dickens' novel! That made me think of one of my newest favorite movies..."Little Dorrit"...did you see it this last winter? Mobil Masterpiece Theatre made this beautiful version and released it on PBS in in March or so this year.

I had never read this novel before, and didn't know much about it, but let me tell you, it knocked my socks off! My daughters love it, too--just an amazing film. Part of it's allure, I suppose, is Matthew Macfayden--he's just fabulous, isn't he?!

Trust me--if you haven't seen it yet--DO! I'd love to hear what you think about it!

You'll find this out about me...I LOVE British period drama...especially from the classics--Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, etc. I watch them whenever I can, and have quite a collection of them--they just make me happy!

Last, but certainly not least---who's had Shoofly Pie before??? Oh, I just love it! A neighbor friend, when I was growing up in Ohio, would make it for us every once in a while, and it was just so delicious! Not a typical pie--no fruit, cream, etc., it's hard to describe...Kind of like a gingerbread pie, I guess! LOTS of crumbly topping...flaky, buttery crust...Oh, my!

(I shouldn't have used my deep dish pie pan for this one--makes it look like there's too much crust....wait...that's just not possible!)

I hadn't found a good recipe for it...until this summer, when I found the most delightful cookbook while on vacation--"Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters". It's just LOADED with vintage recipes, images, stories, etc.--just a joy to look through!

Shoofly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch or German pie, and here's the recipe:


For Streusel:

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

For Filling:

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup water, heated to just under a boil

1. To make the streusel: Place sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger on a sheet of wax paper and add to sugar. Work in butter with fingers until the texture resembles coarse sand.

2. Use your favorite single-crust pie recipe! Coat a 9-inch ovenproof glass pie pan with vegetable spray. Roll out pastry dough. Fit into bottom of pie plate and trim off excess. Chill in refrigerator.

3. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Place molasses in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to molasses, stirring with wooden spoon. Pour into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle streusel over surface of pie and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into pie comes out clean. Place pie on rack and cool completely before cutting. Store leftover pie loosely wrapped in wax paper in the refrigerator.

I just want to thank the Brass Sisters, Marilynn and Sheila, for giving me permission to share this recipe with you! Their book is just wonderful--any of you who love all things vintage would really love it!

(Reprinted from Heirloom Cooking With The Brass Sisters by permission of Black Dog & Levinthal Publishers, Inc. Copyright 2008 Marilynn and Sheila Brass).

Well, that's all for tonight--sweet dreams to all!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Little Vintage Thanksgiving, Boston Baked Beans with a Twist, and Pumpkin Cornbread

Good evening, all! Hope this has been a fabulous day! I've had a good one...a little baking, lots of glitter, my family around me--doesn't get better than that!'s an unexpected phone call from someone I've only "talked" to in forums and on blogs--my good friend from Splitcoast, Darlene Pavlick! She had my number, which I just included with my address months ago, and just felt like calling! It's so wonderful to match the voice with the picture and their wonderful, warm type-written words.

Darlene was my first "follower" on this blog, and a big cheerleader! She's so fun, creative, and friendly, and I enjoyed our conversation immensely! Thanks, Darlene, for making my day even better! Looking forward to our next chat! You can visit Darlene on her lovely blog Dar's Crafty Creations--tell her hello from me!

Well, on to a sweet little Thanksgiving image I used from Crafty Secrets' "Homemade" Images & Journal Notes booklet--I just love these! (I'm sure I've said it a thousand times!) I love this little chef, and this seemed like the right time to use him! I copied some recipes that are found at Recoverd Recipes (I talked about them in my post a couple of days ago), printed them out, and there's the background--easy peasy! I used a cute hounds tooth print from DCWV's "Mod-Retro" stack.

And look at this yummy new glitter I just got from Little Pink Studio--bronze glass glitter--oooooh!

I found this Shakespeare quote online, and it just seemed perfect, so I typed it up in an old-style font on cardstock.

How about a recipe? I've been planning to make this for a week or so now, and finally got the chance last night--Alton Brown's Boston Baked Beans. If you ever watch his show, which is fabulous, his new cookbook--"Good Eats, The Early Years"-- is based on the show and so much fun to read! I changed the recipe up a bit, but here's how he gives it:

Boston Baked Beans--Alton Brown Style!

1 pound bacon, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 small jalapenos, chopped

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 pound dry Great Northern beans, sorted and rinsed

1 quart vegetable broth

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. kosher salt

Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place a dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon, onion, and jalapenos, stirring until the fat has rendered from the bacon and the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, brown sugar, and molasses.

Add the beans to the dutch oven, along with the broth, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cayenne, black pepper and salt.

Give them a stir and cover the pot. Place the pot in the oven and bake for 5 to 7 hours or until the beans are tender.

I chose not to use jalapenos, and used a can of mild green chilis (chopped) instead. Very good. I also found the beans to be a bit on the salty side, so I would cut that down a bit.

These were absolutely delicious and worth the long baking time--a repeater in the Campbell house!

Now, to serve along with these, my sister Becky gave me the perfect recipe:

Pumpkin Cornbread

1/2 cup flour

1/2 whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup cornmeal

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree (canned)

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. molasses

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9-inch square or pie pan. Sift flours, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in cornmeal. In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and molasses. Make a well in the dry mixture and add pumpkin mixture and blend batter with a few quick strokes--don't over mix! Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cornbread is browned and the surface has a slightly springy feel.

And what goes better with pumpkin cornbread than some amazing...

Fluffy Honey Butter!

1 stick butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup marshmallow fluff

Now, to quote my sister, "and whip it....whip it good!" and serve at room temperature---DELICIOUS!!!

One more card for you tonight, then I'm heading off to bead--my eyes are half open right now!

This is an adorable free vintage image I found online and printed out on cardstock--I love this period in illustration--about the 1920's--just adorable! Look at that village in the background--just like a fairy tale! (Can't remember where I found it--I think I just typed in "Free Vintage Thanksgiving images").

I used the cute red polka dot patterned paper from Crafty Secrets' Radiant paper pack, some Bayou Blue, Close to Cocoa and PTI Vintage Cream. A little lace, gingham ribbon, some delicious velvet ribbon, and a real vintage button from my husband's grandmother's stash.

The little saying at the bottom says, "I wish it might granted be, you'd join the 'Turkey Line' with me! So vintagely sweet!

I'll see you all tomorrow...and as always, thank-you all so much for visiting me and for your very kind words! Sleep tight!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Challenging" Christmas Cards!

How is everyone tonight? Thought I'd get here much earlier, know how it goes!

I just have two cards to share with you tonight--both inspired by Splitcoast challenges.

The first is the weekly color challenge. This week, the challenge was to use any neutral color for the basis and majority of the card, then add color that popped! This is my take on the challenge:

I really had fun with this! Just started by choosing an image from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet, and the cardstock colors just chose themselves! I used Basic Gray and PTI White and Stone.

The fun thing I did here was to use the negative chipboard space from a Crafty Secrets' Vintage Postcard Kit (that I fortunately hadn't thrown away yet!) for my frame. I covered it with Pearl and Cherub Pink Glimmer Mist. Then, used a spray glue over the frame (after the Mist dried, of course!), and covered it with a sparkly clear glitter (can't remember the brand--sorry!) I really like the way it turned out!

For the snowflake, I used a Big Shot die, then sponged it a bit with Vintage Photo ink, covered it again with the spray glue, and then dunked it in Marthat Stewart's Chunky glitter. Then I repeated that, and really like the added chunk and sparkle!

My next card also uses an image from the "Chistmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet. This one is for this week's challenge in the Crafty Secrets' Forum, and is hosted by Lori. The challenge was to use a window of some kind on our cards.

As you can see, I basically used the same idea for both cards...because I had so much fun doing the first one! Here's my take on this challenge:

Won't go into too much detail for this one--similar process. The cardstock used: Kraft and PTI Vintage Cream. I sprayed the frame with Robin's Egg Glimmer Mist. I used a little of my favorite silver glitter on this one.

Hope you like these--I really enjoyed making them!

I've got some fun things for you tomorrow--sorry this was all "business" tonight! Tomorrow I'm sharing recipes & photos so yummy you'll pop your buttons just looking at them! So, till then, have a wonderful evening, do something fun and relaxing, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Compliments of the Season...and Vintage Recipes Found!

Good afternoon! Hope your day is going beautifully! Speaking of beautiful, I need to show you what autumn looks like today in my front yard...

Sorry to do that to those of you in cold and blustery places!

A couple of cards Christmas cards to share with you today. I had also done a Thanksgiving card yesterday, but I'm just really not happy with it, so I'll either redo it or scrap it--not sure which!

This first card uses a beautiful image from Crafty Secrets' new "Christmas" Creative Scraps--love this set of images!

Something scrumptious about a big, fat tartan ribbon! I bunched up some jingle bells and stitched them in place on the bow. Lots of German gold glass glitter around the image, and some Dazzling Diamonds on the flowers on the image--doesn't show up much, though!

My second card for the day uses some beautiful images from Graphic 45's new "Christmas Past" collection--such a beautiful grouping of images & designer papers! I'll be doing much more with this set! I just love the sentiment: COMPLIMENTS OF THE one says beautiful things like that anymore! (Hence my title--I needed a reason to use it!)

I added some beautiful creamy lace, more tartan ribbon (never too much tartan at holiday time!), buttons to mimic holly berries, glittered gold leaves, and some of my beautiful gold glass glitter again. Here's a closer look:

On to something deliciously decadent! I had a few over-ripe bananas this morning, and needed to find something besides banana bread to do with I searched a bit on line, and Oh, my! Wait till you see what I found! Don't you just love finding something unexpected?!

A whole blog dedicated to vintage recipes, found in old recipe boxes, books, etc., at estate sales, flea markets, and so forth. There are some amazing recipes there, all for sharing, and some even have scanned images of the original hand-written recipe! What a find! The site is called "Recovered Recipes", and I can't wait to try more of them!

Here's what I made today--an old recipe for Banana Cake:

It looks small in this picture, but it's an 8 x 8 size cake on a large platter...

Look at all that caramelly frosting--I'll get to that in a minute!

Ahhhhhh! My daughter made very happy sounds with each bite she took (me, too!)

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 egg yolks
4 Tbsp. "sweet milk"***
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)

Combine the two sugars, butter, egg yolks, milk and soda in bowl. Sift baking powder and flour into batter. Stir. Add mashed bananas and mix until blended. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
(The recipe said this would fill 2 round cake pans--it won't! I tried...not enough batter. So I just put the batter in an 8" square pan and it was perfect. I would double the recipe for the 2 pans.

***Interesting note found on the recipe site: in old recipes, you'll see the reference to "sweet milk"--this simply means fresh milk. Before we had refrigerators in our kitchens, milk was delivered every day or so, and fresh milk was "sweet", older milk was "sour", and there was buttermilk. Interesting, huh?

I decided to find yummy recipe for frosting, and immediately thought of Gooseberry Patch--they never let me down! Looked in their fabulous cookbook "Christmas All Through the House" and found the perfect frosting recipe:

Quick Caramel Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 3 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes.

Stir in milk and bring to a boil; remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Use immediately. Makes 3 cups.


Hope you enjoy this sweet, delicious discovery--I wonder what you might find there...?