Friday, November 27, 2009

The Art of Making Calls, Calling Cards, "Emma"...and a Snowy Card

Good evening, all! Have you woken up from your after-Thanksgiving stupors? I'm not quite out of mine, yet...but life moves on!

My girls talked me into a bit of Black Friday shopping--lured me into Kohl's, of all places! We didn't even get there till afternoon, and the lines still went to the back of the store! Oh, well...we got some great deals! (Some of them were sneaky Mom purchases for Christmas...shhhh! don't tell the girls!)

Here's a couple of pictures that I promised of our Banana Salad from yesterday--turned out pretty, and was oh, so delicious!


The other day, as I went from blog to blog, visiting my lovely new friends in Blogland, it struck me how much like the old art of making calls this really is! If you read much Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, or so many of the other great classic authors, much time in the characters' lives is spent in properly making calls to others...if done incorrectly, it was a real social mistake!

I'm glad we don't have rules and regulations for our visits to each other, but it certainly is a pleasant social past time, just like long ago...and important to visit, make kind comments along the way, encourage others beautiful work, and just enjoy making new friendships! It really is a new kind of social interaction that we have here--very interesting, isn't it?

I did a little looking around about this beautiful old custom, and found some interesting things to share with you. I'd also like to, as we visit about this, share some lovely examples of old calling cards that I found online.

Did you know that there were actually rules that dictated how visits were made, and the proper ways to leave your card? Such as:

"...when you came to town, you drove around with your footman to the houses of those you wished to notify of your presence." The footman would then bring your card up to the house, give it to the butler, who would put your card on a salver in the front hall, which held all the cards which other visitors had left--you could see if anyone "important" had called there, also!
"It was understood that the lady of the house was then socially obliged to return a card to you, or, if she wished, she could make a call and actually visit you. A call, of course, counted for more than the mere leaving of a card."

If you personally "called" on someone, however, you risked rejection--the lady of the house could peer downstairs and tell her butler that she was "not at home"--meaning, in reality, that she had no wish to visit with you...ouch!

(Quotes taken from one of my favorite books, "What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew" by Daniel Pool--great book!)

This all reminds me of another favorite movie, of course! "Emma" by Jane Austen...can't get enough of this one! There are two versions I own and are images of both:

So much of the story line of "Emma" involves making and receiving calls....some of them less welcome and polite than others! I think Miss Austen had a lot of fun exposing that part of her society!

I really love both versions...both bring out different parts of the novel in beautiful ways. If you haven't seen one or the other, please do! There's a new one coming in January to PBS--Mobil Masterpiece Theatre strikes again--so excited! My British friends have already seen it, haven't you? I've heard it's absolutely wonderful--and much longer than the other two--what joy!

Lastly, a little Christmas card I made today--haven't had glitter sprinkled around the house for two whole days! That's just not right!

Love the Kraft cardstock glittered up--prettier than I thought it might be! This sweet snowy image is from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet. I FINALLY got Martha Stewart's new loopy edge & corner punches--love them (see, Julie?!)

I'm really enjoying masking off a portion of the area and just using spray glue--so quick and easy--the glitter sticks so well, and it dries so much faster than regular glue.

Well, that's all for to throw my Thanksgiving casserole together and stick it in the oven--the natives are getting restless! Hard to believe anyone could be hungry today after yesterday's feast! I'll show you my casserole tomorrow--my family would actually prefer it to the original meal!

Hope your evening is wonderful, warm, and full of family and friends! Good night!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Play Date Cafe' Challenge #6--A New Treasure...and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving morning to you all!

This will be quick--and it's late! My computer is having major trouble today, and this is the first access I've had to my blog since last night!

This is week #6 of The Play Date Cafe'--and we're having such a great time! Hope you'll all join in with us if you're not already! This week's colors were chosen by Sarah, and they're just so fun and fabulous!

Here's my take on the challenge this week:

Just got two fabulous new stamp sets from Cornish Heritage Farms--they're full of vintage baby adorableness!

Look at those fantastic vintage fonts and sweet sayings!

A little closer up view--I'm trying to work on my watercoloring a way to go, but I'm having fun learning!

Had fun with this card--new stamps and fresh, fun colors--thanks, Sarah! Now I can't wait to see your take on these colors---eat that turkey and get stamping!

Well...the turkey's starting to smell pretty wonderful! This year I am doing my sweet friend Marie's turkey. Marie has the most wonderful blog--The English Kitchen--if you haven't been there yet--do your self a favor and hustle over! Every day is a treat...good food...gorgeous pictures of the food...fabulous recipes...all from her beautiful cottage kitchen! Thank-you, Marie!

I hope you all have the most wonderful Thanksgiving Day today with your family and friends...enjoy every delicious, calorie-laden moment!

(Beautiful vintage Thanksgiving postcard courtesy of Sandy Redburn and Crafty Secrets...she offered it as a free download on her blog, and I never got around to making a card with it, but I love it!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Christmas Card, a Sweet Little Boy... and the Tale of the Turkey Gobbler

How is everyone tonight? Elbow-deep in dough? Turkey defrosting in the fridge? Pies lining up on the counter? That's how it is at my house--yours too, I bet!

Just a few things for you daughters have friends over again for a school tomorrow, so of course there HAS to be a sleep-over, right?!

This week at Splitcoast, Marcy is hosting the Crafty Secrets challenge, and the challenge this week was to make a card that has something to do with music--inspired by a song, a musical get the idea! Here's what I came up with:

I love this image from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet--as you may already know, I'm a history lover, and this beautiful picture with old-fashioned costumes just makes me happy!

Used a healthy dose of gold German glass glitter today--was pretty much wearing it, too! My daughter was wiping tiny golden pieces of it off my cheek at the grocery store hours later...oh, least I was sparkling! (Much better than feeling something creeping on my face yesterday just after I walked into Target--it was a giant ladybug--in November! Good luck for me, right?!)

A little closer shot of on of my snowflakes...decided to be different and used one of the red SU! felt snowflakes this time---it looks much better than this in real life--doesn't everything? The red adds a lot of great depth to the glitter--very pretty! Did 3 coats of glue/glitter for these--nice and thick and sparkly!

I have a beautiful vintage postcard to share with you tonight--I purchased this at an antiques shop a few years ago when I was starting my vintage postcard collection...I'll share them with you every once in a some real beauties!

This postcard reminds me of a funny little, if you've been visiting me much, you know I love family history, and I also love to tie in old family stories whenever they here's another one...short and sweet...

My dear Grandad--Dow Ostlund--has been gone now for...gosh, about 17 years...doesn't seem possible. He was the kind of Grandad that always had spare change for you in his pocket, always a big smile, a warm hug just for you, and the biggest twinkle in his eye...!

Grandad had Parkinson's Disease later in life, so his last years were very different. The twinkle wasn't there as much, and he couldn't speak very well. Before it got too bad, however, I sat down and asked him questions about his childhood--anything he could remember. I wrote fast, and took down just about every word he said--got about 3 pages of priceless stories.

The longer he talked to me, remembering his childhood, some of the old sparkle came back to those beautiful blue eyes of his, and he actually started looking like the impish little boy I'd seen in photographs...

...and here's one of the first stories he told me...

"One year, they (his grandfather) had a turkey gobbler who was mad at me, and I would stand at the door of the outside vestibule (of the house)...and yell, 'The turkey gobbler is a devil!'...and when I would go out and not see him, he would (run at me), get me down and peck at my eyes until someone came along and rescued me! I was 7 or 8 then..."

I can't prepare a turkey without thinking in my head, "The turkey gobbler is a devil!" ...makes me giggle while I fix the old bird!

Thanks for listening to me ramble tonight...sometimes the past comes for a visit and just wants to stay for a while...

Sweet dreams!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Little Pink Fairytale Cottage...and Mom's Amazing Dinner Rolls!

Good evening, all! Wondered if I'd ever get here tonight! It's been a crazy day, and we're not done yet! I think we're all in that mode this week--those of us in the States, anyway! Thanksgiving's not such a big deal elsewhere, is it?!

I don't have too much to show you tonight, but I love what I've got for you!

I have a favorite Mother/Daughter blog--they both write and share their crafting ideas, love vintage, and are so sweet and kind--they've become dear blogging friends of mine...Twyla and Lindsey are the keepers of Two Crazy Crafters, and their blog is just a delight to visit!

When you go and see them, take a peek at their beautiful header--it really jumped out at me the first time I visited, and the little pink cottage on the right just melted my heart! That's where I want to live when I grow up!

I finally got bold and asked if they would mind sharing the image with me so I could do something with it, and they every so graciously said yes! Don't you just love the generosity of creative women in this beautiful blog world???!!! So, here's what I did this morning:

I had so much fun with this! I printed out a few copies, because this little cottage WANTED to be dimensional--nothing I could do about it! The sweet, old image is so unique due to all the pink highlighting, on the clouds, the house, the grass, etc., and I just wanted to keep the feeling the's just so charming! So, I used pink German glass glitter just about everywhere the image had the pink, and I really like the way it turned out! A little silver shavings glitter around the edge of the image, some lace, ribbons and buttons, and that's it!

Here's a bit closer up to see the dimension...

Isn't this the sweetest little cottage?! Thank-you, Twyla and Lindsey! You're the best!

Now, something good for the belly! My Mom is famous for her dinner rolls--and especially her cinnamon rolls! This recipe was given to her at the time of her marriage by a family friend, Ida Steele. Mom's used it for just about every occasion since then, and can even tell you the recipe by heart! It's requested for church socials, Christmas morning breakfast, weddings, just about anything!

Mom has changed it up just a bit over the years to make it easier to make, but just as delicious as the original! I'm grateful for that, as bread making is not my real strength in the kitchen!

I made a quadruple batch today...needed some rolls for dinner tonight, and the dough will stay just fine in the fridge for a few days, so I'll use the rest Thanksgiving morning for some beautiful crescent rolls!

Tonight, however, being in a bit of a hurry, I nipped off a bunch of dough and made some very quick cloverleaf rolls--not quite as elegant as crescents, but every bit as delicious!

Yum! Hot and flaky straight from the oven...!

Here's the recipe: This is the quadrupled recipe--it will make a lot, but since you can keep the dough for days, just think of all the great things you can do with it!

Mom's Dinner Rolls

In good-sized bowl, put 1/2 cup very hot tap water--add 4 Tbsp. yeast--mix gently to make sure all yeast is wet.

In large microwave-safe bowl, heat 4 cups milk for 9 minutes.

While milk is warming, in another bowl, put:

3 sticks butter, sliced
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. salt

Pour hot milk over these ingredients and stir until butter is completely melted. Let cool slightly...meanwhile, in a small bowl:

4 eggs, lightly beaten with fork--add to milk mixture when it's cooled down a bit--don't want to cook the eggs!

Finally, add 14--yep! 14 heaping cups of flour--2 at a time, and mix well--my mixer isn't big enough for all this, so I just do it the old-fashioned way--with my hands!

Keep mixing until dough is well-combined. It should be slightly sticky, but still easy to handle. Refrigerate at this point, or if you're going to use some right away, take some out to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, then form in the desired way, and let rise 1 hour. Then bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden on top. Give the rolls a nice brush with some melted butter, and enjoy!

I also made a big pot of thick and delicious split pea soup for dinner--oh, so good! I won't post the recipe here, because I just used the recipe on the bag of peas--easy peasy--literally! The only thing I changed, was instead of adding ham, I cooked up 1 1/2 pounds of bacon and broke it up, then added it to the soup--delicious! So just grab your favorite bag of dry peas, and cook some up!

Just a good old home-cookin' meal!

Hope you enjoy the rolls--try them as cinnamon rolls, too--a great day after Thanksgiving breakfast! Have a wonderful night...sweet dreams!