Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Glittery Christmas, Banana Salad....and Some Thanksgiving Advice...

Happy Saturday, all! Hope you're all having a great time with family and friends today!

Just a few things for you about some extremely glittery Christmas cards? These are both beautiful images that I purchased from Every Thing Creative...

I just love this peaceful, wintry village scene...I want to live there!

I cut out an oval shape out of some cheap cardstock to make a "mask"--then used spray glue (my new favorite thing!) on the outer edges of the image...then added Martha Stewart "snow" glitter--very chunky and marvellous! Another spray on top of that to add some fine, diamond sparkle--kind of a vignette-type of look.

I used SU! felt snowflakes, and did the same thing with them--a couple of coats of spray glue, and the two types of glitter. A little crystal rhinestone in the middle of each, and it's sparkle-tacular!

I love this velvet's a bit of a bear to tie a decent bow with it, though...oh, well!

Here's the other:

I really love this image--feels very Dickens, doesn't it? Beautiful faces, beautiful coloring, just...beautiful! Just typed up my own sentiment on the computer with one of my favorite fonts, "Christmas Carol". A little Snow-Tex and glitter over the lovely front door...

I used my new Martha Stewart pine bough edge punch--fun!--on the green paper edges--spackled on a bit of Snow-Tex, and some fine diamond glitter, of course! I popped up the pine bough-edged paper a big so it didn't cover the image as much...

Ah, vintage Christmas images....does it get any better than this???

I've been working on my menu planning for Thanksgiving dinner--how about you? Every year I try a new recipe or two, but this recipe I'll share with you today HAS to be included every year!

When I was growing up in North Olmsted, Ohio, our good friend down the street, Carolyn Smith, used to make this traditionally for her family. Somehow, we had it--can't remember what the occasion was, but it then became a tradition for Thanksgiving in our family. The few times it wasn't prepared, the head chef really heard about it!

I don't have a photo of it today--I'll share one next week, though, when I make...

Banana Salad


1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. flour

2 egg yolks, beaten

2 handfuls of mini marshmallows

Beat egg yolks and add to sauce pan. Add flour, milk, brown sugar and mix until smooth. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until mix is thickened--be careful not to burn. When hot, add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.

Remove from heat, cool, and store in the refrigerator. Custard can be made a day or two ahead.

1 jar roasted peanuts, broken

6-8 bananas, sliced

In a trifle dish, layer the ingredients--custard, bananas, peanuts, repeat...until dish is filled. Can top with more peanuts, marshmallows, and maraschino cherries, if desired. Regrigerate until ready to serve.

My mother and I usually quadruple the sauce, just to make sure there's more than plenty--don't want a skimpy banana salad! Try it--I think you'll love it!

***So, now I need to know...what are your family's favorite Thanksgiving dishes? What can you NOT do without on that day of feasting and bursting at the seams??? I'd love to hear about your favorites!***

Lastly, a little advice from my Uncle Eric...I hesitated showing this picture, as it showcases me with some really bad "80's" hair, but--what are you going to do?!

This is me, about 1984-85, with my Uncle Eric and Aunt Janet...the card Uncle Eric holds is a turkey that says, "You are what you eat..." Good to remember with Thanksgiving less than a week away, huh?!

Have a wonderful Saturday, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Of Pilgrims, Plimoth Plantation, Pumpkins...and Thanks!

Good morning, everyone! Hope the day is going well for you--wherever you may be!

Today, we're going VERY far back as we can go in this country and still be speaking English--with a Dutch accent, that is!

I LOVE the Pilgrims...those hardy, God-loving people who came here in 1620 on a very small ship, The Mayflower. We all know the bare-bones of the story so well, but I've studied them quite a bit in my life. I've always loved these people. My family history has been done pretty far back...I was lucky to have a lot of it already done for me by the time I was a girl and fell in love with it (genealogy). The vast majority of my family came from England in the 1600s and settled in New England. And quite a few of my direct ancestors were on the Mayflower.

It's interesting when you get a small group of people that live in one place, set down deep roots and don't move around much....they start to inter-marry, and pretty soon, most of them are related! My husband and I are descended from many of the same families way back then, and as a result, our children are directly descended from 16 of those original Pilgrims...which is why I love them. Very grateful for all they did, so I --and many of us--could be where we are and who we are today. (I'm sure I've got MANY Pilgrim cousins out there!!!)

Don't worry...not going to give you a history lesson today! Just wanted to remember them in my post, as they've been on my mind lately...

Our Thanksgiving celebration is so much different from the one they celebrated in 1621, but I'm so grateful that we have be together, to share our thankfulness with God and with each other, and to remember these wonderful souls.

There is a wonderful place very near the original Plymouth settlement called "Plimoth Plantation"--have you ever been there--it's amazing! Costumed actors go about their duties and conversations with each other, and they interact with you, but they don't "know" or speak about anything past 1627, I believe. It's really fun! I've been there a few times--without my girls, though, and I can't wait to go again with them!

Here's a link to Plimoth Plantation--so much wonderful information for your kids and for an authentic Thanksgiving meal!

I found a delicious recipe in one of my books, "Giving Thanks", which was done in correlation with Plimoth Plantation. This is for Stewed Pompion, or pumpkin! Ready? Here you go:

"The Housewives manner is to slice (the Pompions)when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew's enough, it will look like bak'd Apples; then they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar. (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh; It provokes Urin extreamly and is very windy."

Well...what do you think? Are you going to give it a go for your Thanksgiving Dinner next week?! Just in case, here's the recipe again in more modern terms!

Stewed Pumpkin

4 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin

4 Tbsp. butter

1-2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1-2 tsp. ground ginger (or any combination of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and pepper, to taste)

1 tsp. salt

Place the pumpkin, butter, vinegar ginger, and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Stir and heat until all of the ingredients are well combined and hot. Adjust the seasonings to your liking and serve.

Sounds a bit like a pumpkin pudding--I'm going to try it! I like trying historical recipes--helps you feel a bit of a connection, doesn't it?

I made a simple little pilgrim card to share with you today. Got this beautiful, old image from Cora on her lovely blog Clearly Vintage. Thanks, Cora!

Didn't get very glittery with this one...just wanted to stay simple. Sorry--can't seem to quit using this brown/cream gingham ribbon--I promise I'll stop after Thanksgiving...or when it runs out, which will be soon! I just LOVE it!

Before I go, just wanted to say thank-you to Maureen at Celestial Charms ...I won a couple of beautiful vintage aprons yesterday that she was giving away--so excited about that! I'll show you when they arrive! Thanks, Maureen! Go visit her at her beautiful blog--you'll love it!

Another big THANK-YOU to the sweet Jessica at Chronically Vintage for awarding me her own special Chronically Fantastic award--I'm thrilled --and what an adorable award--she's just so clever! (You can see it on my sidebar!) When you go for a lovely visit, tell her I said hello!

Well, that's enough from me posts tend to get a little long sometimes...hope you don't mind! Thank-you for letting me dig deep into the vintage well today, and share some of my favorite people with you!

I'll be back tomorrow with favorite Thanksgiving thinking about your own traditional recipes...we'll talk about them then! Have a wonderful day!

(Thanks to Karen, the Graphics Fairy, for sharing this beautiful image!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Play Date Cafe' Challenge #5--Lavender Lady

Hello again! I don't often do two posts in one night!

I was forgetting my new duties as a DT member for The Play Date Cafe'--this is my first week to host, which starts tomorrow, and I need to actually post it here, too! Silly me!

I really enjoyed being able to choose the colors this week...wasn't easy, though! I looked through so many beautiful photographs before this one popped out at me, and I knew it was the one!

Being such a vintage girl, the beautiful perfume bottles really appealed to me--love cut crystal, don't you?! I've always loved that magenta-like purple together with the beautiful, soft blue, too...reminds me of my grandmother...I'm not sure why! But, I loved these colors! A little silver, and lovely, soothing white rounded out my color scheme. Hope you like it!

Here's what I came up with for the challenge:

This image of this beautiful woman came from the wonderful Karen, The Graphics Fairy--I keep finding the loveliest images on her blog! Thanks, again, Karen! Just used another one of her's on my earlier post this evening!

I used Orchid Opulence, Bashful Blue, some lovely textured silver dp I purchsed at Michael's a couple of years ago--sorry I don't remember who's!, and some PTI White.

Topped it off with some lovely lace, ribbon, and she really wanted to have pearls draped around her, so I got these beautiful glass pearls at Michael's, also. I used my new Martha Stewart triple scallop edge punch on the silver paper.

The most wonderful addition to my little card are the three beautiful lavender roses on the bottom right of the image. These were a few of the lovely roses my friend Joanne sent to me a couple of weeks ago--thanks, Joanne! How did you know I needed just that color? Brilliant girl!

Thanks once again to my sister DT members for welcoming me so warmly! What a fun group of ladies to work with!

We hope you enjoy the colors this week, and that you'll all play along at The Play Date Cafe Challenge! Can't wait to see what you create...Have fun!

***Just added...check out this lovely new blog I found...Robin's Egg Blue...and her beautiful and generous give-away!

Lessons Learned from Service, Holiday Cards, and "North and South"...

Good evening, all! Hope the day has been wonderful!

My daughters are hard at work on their homework...My husband's laughing in the family room with an old friend who came tonight for a visit. They've been friends since they were both babies, but don't get to see each other very often anymore. So while they're reminiscing and enjoying a visit, I'm here visiting with all of you--that works for me!

Do you ever find sometimes that the things you dread doing usually teach you the most important lessons? Last night, our church was responsible to feed the homeless men in our town at another church. We do this every few months, but I haven't been able to go for awhile. I prepared the food our family was supposed to bring during the day, but I just wasn't looking forward to going...but, obviously, I know it's an important and a good thing to do...!

While there, the men were gracious. They thanked us over and over again for the meal. I watched my daughters refill emptying bowls of food. My husband and I talked to many of the men...and I was so humbled. I enjoyed every minute of it.

As we drove off to our warm and comfortable home, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what we as a family have. I so regret my selfish feelings, and I'll try very hard not to repeat that next time it's my turn to serve them. As I get older, I'm realizing that when we serve others, it's really ourselves that are blessed the most.....

Okay, on to vintage things...!

I was able to take part in the Crafty Secrets' challenge over at Splitcoast today--I so love the ladies over there! They have all become such very dear friends of mine--go and visit--you'll see what I mean!

This week's challenge was hosted by the lovely Pammyjo. She decided to take it easy on us this week, so the challenge was to use red and green in our cards...not necessarily with a Christmas theme...but, as I still need some Christmas cards, I went with the obvious!

This adorable image is from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes--I keep turning to that lovely little booklet time and time again--makes cards so easy!!! I actually have two of that booklet, and I really wanted to give this image a little dimension (I love doing that!), so I sacrificed the second image, cut it up and popped it up!

I think you can see it pretty well here...added a bunch of fat, glistening Martha Stewart glitter for a snowy effect, and fine diamond glitter on the trees and behind the sweet little carolers. I found these holly berries at Michael's and stuck them in the corners...I'm happy with the way it turned out, I think!

I fell in love with a lovely old vintage that Karen, The Graphics Fairy, posted on her blog yesterday, and used it in a card today...such a sweet, simple image...she also shared the back of the postcard, which was postmarked 1914--wonderful!

I went fairly simple for this card, the image didn't want to be fussed with too much--no glitter here! Although the little sprigs I put up at the top are a bit shiny, aren't they?! Loved the gingham for this--very old-fashioned and simple. The dp is from a retired SU! dp pack--"Au Chocolat"--I loved that one--hoarded it, too...obviously! Thank-you, Karen!

Finally, after my experience last night, I kept thinking about another of my favorite movies, and decided I'd share that with you tonight. I love these fabulous BBC dramas--the longer the better, in my book! This one is another by Elizabeth Gaskell, called "North and South"--anyone else seen this beauty of a film?

One of my quiet favorites--so much gentleness and beauty on the one hand, but also the harshness of a life lived in poverty for factory workers in the Industrial Age. And, oh so much misunderstanding for the lead characters to overcome!

You see the main character as a kind, giving young woman, who helps the poor and isn't worried about befriending the "lower classes", but has problems with the lead man (the dreamy Richard Armitage!), who of course you know she'll be with in the end! Just a lovely film! I don't want to give details, I just want you to see this! I promise you'll absolutely love it...Let me know when you do!

Well, that's it for tonight! Off the serve some delicious, warm Pumpkin Crumble to the chatty men and my studious daughters! Sweet dreams!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some Stamping, Storybook Houses, and a Sweet Love Story...

Good evening, all! So much to do today, hope you stick with me till the end, because that's where the sweet, true-love story is....!

First of all--oh, my! I'm so thrilled to be asked to join Julie Murray and the Design Team--Alison, Sarah and Sandi--of The Play Date Cafe' Challenge! I'm just so excited to be part of this talented team--they are such warm and welcoming women, and just wait till you see the fun planned for the rest of the year--and beyond! This will be my first week to host, and I'm really looking forward to everyone's beautiful creations! There's still time to join in this week, and I hope you do, if you haven't already! Sandi's hosting this week, and her beautiful color selection can be seen in my post from yesterday...Thanks so much, ladies!

More I received two very beautiful cards in the from my sweet friend, Darlene, and the other from another kind friend--also from Splitcoast, Melisa. Both were sending well-wishes for getting over my bug--I'm doing much better, ladies, and your thoughtfulness really made my day--thank-you both!

So many wonderful people in the blog world--if I'd only known...I'd have done this SO much sooner!

Okay, down to "business"! I've got three cards for you tonight--all from three of my favorite stamp companies! My first card tonight is for a sketch challenge at Pink Persimmon--

I love Scottie's --we have a Scotty...she was VERY expensive! Her pedigree says she's 100% Scottish Terrier, but I'm fairly certain that somewhere in her family tree, a TASMANIAN DEVIL played a part, because that's what she is! We love her, she's adorable, but she can't be in the house--she EATS my house! But this little Scotty image is peaceful and sweet, isn't it?!

Had fun with this one--thanks for the challenge, Pink Persimmon!

My next card uses an image from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes.

This is one of my favorite images in the booklet--mostly because I love pictures from this time periods, around the 1920's, and I love the style of these houses--very storybook or bungalow style--my favorite!

Those beautiful, steep, snow-covered roofs, the beautiful colors of the houses...aaahhh! Making this card made me pull out one of my favorite books on Storybook Houses. If I could live in one of these beauties, I would do it in a heartbeat!

Bear with me, here...I want to share some beautiful Storybook-style homes I found online...

Aren't these fabulous??? Okay, maybe not to everyone's taste--but they just make me happy!

These houses were very popular in southern California--especially in Hollywood--can you see why?

Last but certainly not least...while making this last card with a fabulous new set from Cornish Heritage Farms,

(***Just added the card I made to the post--for some reason it got deleted last night, so you were all probably wondering WHAT card I said I made with this set! Ah, technology!)

...I was reminded of my great-grandparents, Glenn and Estella Stapley. I have a picture of them that the couple in the stamp really remind me of...

...and the house he built for her in the 1920's...a large, beautiful home in the palm-lined lanes of old Phoenix, Arizona...

In this picture, you can see the large screened-in porch upstairs where the kids would sleep in the summer...

Glenn and Estella were, literally, childhood sweethearts. They always said they were born "a day apart and a mile apart", in Mesa, Arizona , on June 6th and 7th of 1895. No details've read quite enough from me for now! Just a sweet love story to go to sleep on...sweet dreams!

(Scotty card: Pink Persimmon's "Ric Rac Circle" set, "Little Christmas Cottage" set, "Vintage Cupcake" set, "Scotty Dogs" set. )

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Play Date Cafe' Challenge #4...Finally!

Good Sunday afternoon to all!

I've been trying to get this card done almost all week! Being sick doesn't help you get things done, does it?! Whatever this bug is (it's not the piggy thing!) is sure wiping out a lot of us, it sounds like! Here's hoping we're all feeling up to snuff VERY soon!

Here's this week's color template for the Play Date Cafe' Challenge--week #4 already, WOW! I've met so many lovely people through this challenge--come and join in if you're not already doing so--lots of fun! Our host this week is Sandi (Celticwoman).

And here's my entry for the challenge:

(Sorry it's so dark at the top of the card...every picture I took was the same...?)

As this is a color challenge, my take on it (it is open to interpretation...) was to use Chocalate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Naturals Vanilla and Sage Shadow for my cardstock. The adorable image I found, courtesy of Karen, THE Graphics Fairy, (thanks so much, Karen!!!), was just perfect, I felt, for this, as it had most of these colors in it--made my job pretty easy!

It's hard to see the diamond glitter I added to the sweet little white blossoms on her hat and above, but it's there! I also used my German glass glitter around the image and elsewhere on the card....some ribbons and lace for trim, and a big vintage abalone button (courtesy of Great-Grandma Gorrells' buttons stash!), and that's it!

Thanks to Sandi and all the PDCC ladies for another wonderful challenge! Can't wait for the next one!