Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Album Beginnings…and a Sweet Treat


Good afternoon, dear friends!

A no-school Friday at our house!  Such a lovely, relaxing day!  I’ve got some delicious looking Gingerbread Cinnamon Buns raising on the counter right now…I’ll let you know how they are next time!

A Christmas mini-chipboard album’s beginning…here’s the cover…


I love this vintage Merry Christmas print!  This is found in Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Creative Scraps…

CS Christmas

…so many fabulously festive images—front and back!


I painted the frame with a mixture of green acrylics to get the desired shade…sanded it to age it a bit, added a smattering of Martha Stewart snowflake glitter for a bit of winter sparkle, and added some button “holly berries” and leaves…

…all framed with platinum Stickles, of course!

One more page to share today…


This one, wrapped up like a gift…a sweet Crafty Secrets’ retro Santa and a retro me, sitting on  another  Santa’s lap at a church Christmas party back in 1964…


I love seeing my Mom’s caring hands reaching out to make sure I’m securely perched…


…a few stitched-up red buttons and some holly berries at the top finish it off.  I love these Christmas papers from the Graphic 45 Christmas collection.

Now, for a little treat!


I love collecting the best of holiday baking magazines each year—so many amazing recipes to be found!

This one caught my eye and I just HAD to try it!  Didn’t have a couple of the ingredients, so I improvised, of course! (my favorite thing to do!)

So, here’s the original recipe, and I’ll tell you what I changed…



4 cups granola cereal

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup chopped dried apple

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13x9” baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of pan.  Grease foil; set aside

In a food processor, combine granola, flour and salt; process just until mixture is combined.  Add butter; process with sever on/off turns just until mixture is combined.  Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle dried apple and raisins over crust.  Pour or spoon sweetened condensed milk evenly over top.  Bake about 20 minutes more or until top is golden brown.  Do not over-bake.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.  Use the foil to lift cooled bars from pan.  Cut into bars.

(Recipe courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens “Ultimate Cookies & Bars” magazine)

Okay…I didn’t have the two main titled ingredients—dried apples or raisins!  So, I decided to substitute white chocolate chips (of course, right?!) and dried cranberries.  The results?  AMAZING!  I also used a maple-pecan granola, and all the flavors blended together beautifully!


Well, that’s it for me today.  I hope you have a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you soon with something new…


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Mother’s Faith…


Good morning, my friends!

What a beautiful fall day today…I love a bit of a chill in the air…just turned on our gas fireplace in the family room.  I love the sound of it warming the house…so cozy!

I have a few things to share with you today…

First, a sweet little card made to keep for a time when someone needs to know that they’re loved…


Made with a lovely vintage image from Crafty Secrets’ “Little Blessings” Creative Scraps.  A little lace, seam binding, vintage mother-of-pearl buttons and a few spritzes with some “Iridescent Gold” Glimmer Mist and that’s it!

The lace didn’t seem quite right to me when I put it together & I just had the thought to spray it with “Cherub Pink” Glimmer Mist…perfect!

Next, another card…can you tell we’ve got a theme going today?  Another beautiful image from the “Little Blessings” Creative Scraps…


I love this little angel nestled into the moon…I cut out another one and popped her up just a little…


…a bit of sparkle on flower, angel wings and moon from some Dazzling Diamonds…

While making my cards, I was reflecting on my own faith and all the blessings in my life, and I was once again taken back in time to a story of another mother’s faith…

A family that I’ve shared with you before…that of John and Sarah Vance and their many children…


My great-grandmother, Estella, is the sweet blonde girl on the far right…this story belongs to her and her mother, Sarah…

One beautiful morning, when Estella was not quite two, she was playing on the family farm with her twin sister, when charging out from the fenced-in area came a horse, which knocked Estella down, crushing her head with one of it’s large hooves…

The child carefully gathered up in loving arms and rushed into the house…

The doctor  quickly called and he came, but with not much hope for the youngster’s survival…perhaps drilling a hole through her head would help alleviate the pressure and give her an easier time?…”No”, said the mother…

A family with deep trust and faith in God…many prayers said for the child’s recovery…

…but the mother could not just sit and wait…

Absalom M. Young photo with Bible

Her father a country doctor in Virginia at the time of the Civil War…Sarah had followed him around as a girl…observed and learned.  She’d made her own “medicines” for her dolls…

Sarah Indiaetta Young Vance

When a grown woman, she’d gone to the big city for several months (taking along a couple of her children!) to study the skills of midwifery to take back to her rural community. 

In her long years of practice, 1,600 babies delivered to their mothers—never a baby or a mother lost.

Keeping a prayer in her heart, she drew from teachings remembered from a father long since departed and her skills learned later in life, and she began to work on her much-loved daughter…

 “…molding my head at intervals, applying hot packs, watching hoping and praying.  And after about forty-six hours, I began to show signs of regaining consciousness.”  (From Estella’s writings).


Sarah writes:  “I wrapped her head in towels that were saturated with a solution I always used.  I changed these packs and continued to work over her until she finally regained consciousness and I thought her out of danger…

“…the solution I applied is one that I used in all my cases of inflammation and infection with much success.  I used it for typhoid, too.  I made it myself by this recipe:  To one pint each of water and vinegar, add two ounces of spirits of camphor and about a teaspoonful of turpentine.  Just saturate a towel or bandage and keep it on the affected parts.”

Faith, prayer and a mother’s love and perseverance produced a lovely miracle…this little girl with her skull smashed so badly that it required being shaped and molded for hours by her mother was known all her life as a great beauty…


…who would have imagined that…?

A precious keepsake belonging to great-great-grandmother Sarah…


…a beautiful fan—a gift to her from someone unknown to me—dating from the 1880’s…


…lovely wooden beads trail down from the fan…I can just picture it clipped to her gown, beads hanging down to be felt unconsciously by those busy, loving fingers throughout the day…


…made valuable by being a tangible thing left from a woman I love, admire, and continue to learn from—but never met…


…the woman for whom my second daughter was named…

Sarah Indiaetta_edited-1


I hope your day is beautiful…enjoy every moment….


Monday, November 8, 2010

Kitschy Kitchen Fun


Good afternoon, my friends!

Another beautiful week ahead of us…how exciting!

Just a couple of things to share with you today…

First…a swap completed!


The Diner Pocket Swap, hosted by the wonderful Elizabeth of Bluebird Papercrafts


We were to choose the name of our “diner” that would be the theme for our pocket.  I looked and looked for the perfect image…and this little blue owl jumped right out at me!


I mean, really…how could you not fall in love with this face?!  So the Blue Owl Diner came to be…

On the back side, a little pocket, holding a favorite recipe…


This is my very own Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole.  Not very imaginative, but oh, so delicious!  I just came up with this one year while wondering what to do with our  Thanksgiving leftovers…

…all the flavors oozing and blending together…each layer a different but complementary flavor…YUM!


…and now, seriously, my family would probably rather have this than the original Thanksgiving dinner!

Here’s the recipe:

Julie’s Leftover Thanksgiving Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9x13” baking pan, simply layer all the leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner.

Start with the turkey (shredded), then the mashed potatoes, cranberry (sauce or jelly), gravy, and then last (but not least!)  the stuffing.  Pile it on!  You want the stuffing on top as it will get all nice and crunchy!

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sides are bubbling and fabulous…Enjoy!

Thanks for such a fun swap, Elizabeth!  Can’t wait to see what all the other ladies came up with!

Next…a little card made with the same lovely, kitschy Graphic 45 “Domestic Goddess” papers I used for my diner pocket…


I  tried my own little technique with this card…don’t know if you can see it very well, but I made my own “oilcloth”…perfect for a kitschy card, don’t you think?!


I melted a bit of beeswax and quickly brushed it on the paper—smoothing it as quickly as I could—and it looked just like oilcloth!  Smelled wonderful, too!

And the perfect vintage wooden button in the perfect shade of blue found in my button stash…


…a lot of sparkle on that strawberry cake, of course!

And last, just a few kitschy kitchen photos to leave you with…

Karen in kitchen dorm--BYU

My Mom, Karen, in her college dorm kitchen in the late ‘50’s…love the hair, Mom!

Karen the college girl, BYU, 1957

Here again in the same kitchen UNDER the kitchen table…she says she loved to lay on the cool linoleum floor and read or study…

Julie & Steve in kitchen, Glendale, 1966

My younger brother, Steve, and I in our mid-‘60’s kitchen…wish I could zoom in closer and see exactly what was in that open cupboard!  I remember this kitchen well…

Little Steven in his highchair 1967


One of my favorites--my brother Steve again--looking just so sassy!  (And he was!)  My Mom seems not to notice that he’s standing up in his highchair—always a no-no, if I remember right!


Well, that’s it for me today!   I hope the day is wonderful for all of you, and I’ll see you soon with something new!