Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Snowman Memories…

girl with snowman--creating myself

Good afternoon, my friends!

What a beautiful day here in California…certainly doesn’t feel like the week before Thanksgiving weather-wise!

But it’s coming, nonetheless!  What are you planning to put on your Thanksgiving table this year?  Old family favorites?   Feeling adventurous and trying some new recipes? 

Well, just a couple of things to share with you today…I’m trying to get ready for a craft fair on Saturday, and I’m SO behind! 



A pretty vintage snowman image courtesy of Crafty Secrets, from their “Seasonal” Images & Journal Notes booklet.


A new toy for me picked up at Michael’s the other day…”Snow Writer” by DecoArt…look at these fun icicles!


Aren’t they fun!  I covered them with Dazzling Diamonds while they were still wet…


Such a sweet snow couple…a few sparkling accents on the image and a bit of sparkle to the side…


…a trio of chunky snowflakes topped off with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, a bit of platinum Stickles framing, and that’s about it!

Playing with “snow” today reminded me of this little picture from my past…


…1971…northern Ohio.  A lovely place to spend your childhood!  Here are my two brothers, Steve and Scott, and myself with our snowman-in-the-works…Steve eating a fistful of snow…

Did you ever eat freshly fallen snow?  I can still taste it!

One more thing…another page in my Christmas mini-album…


Here we are at my Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s house on Christmas morning, 1964.  I was almost two years old and apparently pretty pleased with my new dolly!


The collage image with the stockings is from Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Creative Scraps…


…and the pesky & adorable little Christmas Kewpies are from also from Crafty Secrets’ “Seasonal” Images & Journal Notes booklet…don’t they just make you smile?!


And another pretty snowflake…a combination of a large & lovely Martha Stewart snowflake punch, chunky German glass glitter and a vintage button.  Love that combination!

Well, that’s it for me today!  I hope you’re having fun with all your holiday plans…what a wonderful time of the year!

See you soon with something new…


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Hitch Your Wagon to a Star…


Hello, dear friends!

Another busy weekend come and gone…where does the time go?!

One little card to share with you today…and just a bit of a story to go along with it…


A sweet little vintage image from Crafty Secrets’ “Vintage Photo” Creative Scraps…just about my favorite set!


“Hitch your wagon to a star”, it says…so that’s exactly what I did!

My daughter Sarah drew the star for me…I’ve never been very good at stars!  Covered it with Crystal Effects, then literally smothered it with chunky, clear German glass glitter & a bit of Dazzling Diamonds for extra sparkle…

…it’s fat and heavy and looks like the most scrumptious star-shaped sugar cookie!


Some lovely seam binding courtesy of Miss Martha Stewart along with a beautifully aged mother-of-pearl button…a bit of platinum Stickles for framing, lace & that’s about it!

The wagon with the little cuties in it reminded me of a few of my family pictures, of course…

Dow was born in the quiet little Alberta town of Stirling…surrounded by a loving family, lots of cousins and friends, and his grandfather Theodore’s farm…which included the billy goat we see here…

Dow with billy goat cart, 1918, 6 yrs. old

When my grandfather (Dow) was ill with Parkinson’s Disease, but before he was no longer able to speak, I  sat down with him to try and capture some of his earliest memories.

Dow Ostlund--Bank Portrait 1_edited-1

It was such a gift for me to see his sad eyes begin to sparkle like a little boy’s as he began to remember…

Dow 1916, 1

…and the words—not many were spoken at this time in his life—began to come more quickly and easily as happy memories came to the forefront of his mind…I wrote down every precious word.

He said that his grandfather “bought an express wagon and a billy goat for (his) Uncle Noel, and one afternoon when they had the billy goat hooked up to the express wagon and Grandfather was bending down to talk to a child, the billy goat butted him in the rear end.  I saw it.  He got up and brushed himself off….He swore in German a lot….”! 

I still chuckle whenever I think of this little story…and I remember my grandfather’s deep, wonderful chuckle as he related it to me…

Dow with cousins by the turkey gobbler

Here’s Dow pushing his cousin Delight on the swing about 1918…look at all her beautiful hair!

The cousins in front sit with the “turkey gobbler”, as my grandfather called him…this critter scared little Dow to death, and he often taunted it then ran for his life into the house, screaming “The turkey gobbler is the devil!”

Dow with relatives

Dow sitting in front with cousins and aunties…

Dow & some cousins

…one more…I just couldn’t resist…aren’t these just the most wonderful childhood pictures?!

Now…how about some of the most amazing cinnamon rolls I’ve every had in my life?  (Sorry, Mom!)



1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
3 3/4 to 4 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast, stirring to dissolve yeast.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in evaporated milk, molasses, 1/4 cup brown sugar, egg, oil, and salt.  Stir in as much of the flour as you can.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total).  Shape dough into  a ball.  Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Lightly grease a 13x9” baking pan; set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the filling.



1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 Tbsp. butter, softened

Roll dough into a 12x8” rectangle.  Spread dough with butter.  Sprinkle with filling, leaving 1 inch unfilled along one of the long sides.  Roll up rectangle, starting from the filled long side.  Pinch dough to seal seams.  Cut into 12 slices.  Arrange in the prepared pan.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 45 minutes).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.


Drizzle with Spiced Glaze.  Makes 12 buns.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla

(From Better Homes and Gardens “Holiday Baking” magazine 2010)


YUM.  I can’t even begin to tell you how fabulous these are!  They were even better the next morning, which was hard to believe!



I hope you have a most beautiful day…enjoy every moment.  Think back to your childhood.  Take a ride in a wagon (or your minivan!).  Gaze up at the stars.  Eat a warm, gooey cinnamon roll.  Chuckle…Make a memory!

See you soon with something new…