Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How to Build a Snowman - Part 2

 

Cut a corner off of ziploc bag and pipe some
frosting onto bottom of modified Hershey kiss.
Place kiss on snowman's head.
 

Pipe a line of frosting between neck and body for
the scarf . I used pink frosting for the girls and
green frosting for the boys.
 


 

I gave each family a group of snowmen and snowwomen
that represented their family and packaged them up
in brown paper liners and cello bags.
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Snowman Cookie Recipe:
1 cup butter-softened
1-9 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg,
and vanilla, beat until blended. Combine
flour and baking powder, add to butter mixture
mixing well. Cover and refrigerate several
hours or overnight.
Shape dough into 48( 1 inch) ball, 48 (3/4 inch)
balls and 48 (1/2 inch)balls. Place one ball of
each size in a row to resemble a snowman on an
ungreased baking sheet.press together gently.
Repeat with remaining balls.
Bake at 350 for 15-18 min. or until edges are
firm and bottom is golden.

Buttercream Frosting.
1 stick butter, softened
1 box powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
food coloring
Cream first three ingredients together.
Add a teaspoon or two of water if
needed. Tint with food coloring
to desired shade.

How to Build a Snowman (Cookie)

 

These snowmen cookies are one of my favorite things
to bake for Christmas giving. They are so festive
dressed in their hats and scarves.
 

The cream cheese laced dough (recipe follows) is
rolled into graduated balls. Did I mention this
is a little time consuming? These cookies
take several hours to make and decorate, but
I think they are really fun to make.
 

Just like a real snowman, line the balls up
from largest to smallest.
 

Before they go in the oven they are given:
mini chocolate-chip eyes
mini M&M buttons
an orange sprinkle for a nose
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When they come out of the oven, let them sit for
a few minutes, then transfer carefully to
cooling racks with a large spatula.

OOPS! Accidents happen, I had to eat this one...

While cookies cool, make up frosting in desired
colors (add cocoa powder for brown) and place
in individual Ziploc bags.

To make hats for snowmen, unwrap milk
chocolate Hershey kisses and cut off
about 1/3 of the base so they will
fit on the snowmen's heads.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Divide and Multiply

 

I like to buy pots of bulbs at stores like Target and
Trader Joe's to decorate the house with but sometimes
I am not too wild about the containers they come in.
I bought some white tulips and Star of Bethlehem at
Trader Joe's last week. The Star of Bethlehem was
so named because the flowers are shaped like the
star that God placed in the night sky over Jesus
to proclaim His birth.
 

I wanted to get more bang for my buck and divide
some of the bulbs to put in several vessels instead
of just one. Working outside, because it can get
a little messy, I assembled some of my milk glass
and some moss to cover the potting soil with. It
does not matter if the containers have drainage
holes or not, as this is going to be a relatively
short life for them (1 to 2 weeks)
 

To remove the bulbs from the container, just lay
them carefully on their side and gently pull the
pot off.
 

I wanted to put them into some vintage milk glass vases
so I needed to break up the bunch into smaller clumps.
As carefully as you can pull the bulbs and roots apart
into the desired clump size. There will be some broken
roots, but don't worry, they will still be fine.
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Put bulb clumps into a container that matches the size of
the roots. Make sure soil is moist(water lightly if
needed and then top with decorative moss if you like.
I placed my newly repotted flowers on the mantel
amongst the Christmas greenery.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pretty In Pink

 

I thought you might like to see how my friend Judi has
decorated her circa 1882 home this year. Judi is super
talented in the decorating department and has a
wonderful collection of ornaments and decorations.
This Christmas the great room is 'Pretty in Pink'.
The focal point is this white feather tree
adorned with pink and silver ornaments-some vintage,
some new. I love how she put pink tissue paper
inside the urn for a little more color.



 

A pink feather tree on a silver tray livens up
Judi's desk.
 

Her Santos is embellished with a luxurious pink bow.
 
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The pink lustre-ware collection has been sprinkled with
sprigs of greenery and shiny pink ornaments.










A little Holiday magic!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dean & Deluca- Favorite Things

 

While visiting our kids in the Santa Rosa area for
Thanksgiving, Craig and I had a whole day for
for exploring. I had heard that there was a
Dean and Deluca somewhere in the area, and so
we set off to find it. My sleuthing led us
to Healdsburg, where we soon found out I was
totally wrong! A nice shopkeeper told us it
was actually located in Napa. Anyway, we had
a lovely, lovely drive through wine country
and finally found Dean and Deluca right on
the side of the highway, just north of Napa.
I walked in the door, and I was in Disneyland,
really fun stuff! The first thing I saw when
entering the store was this gorgeous pile of
persimmons in a great metal urn.
 

They had several types of imported, high fat content
butter. I bought a pound for Kelli to try in
her baking. I'm thinking shortbread...
 

I loved the bread wreaths all piled in a basket.
 

I wanted to buy this box of candy just for the cute
box, but I had no idea what was inside!
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My favorite thing- tiramisu in a chocolate teacup.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Glittered Acorns in a Nest

 

My friend Merle made the cutest fall display-glittered
acorns in a nest (she has it under a cloche-very sweet)
I decided to borrow her idea to make some gifts for
friends. Merle recommended the Martha Stewart glitter-
so off I went to Michaels with my coupon and bought
some brown and green glitter.
 

Before starting the glitterfest, I covered the table in
paper (this turned out to be a really good idea!)
I took my acorns apart and used a paintbrush to apply
the glue(I used clear acid-free craft glue because
I had it). Then I sprinkled and rolled the acorns
in the glitter, trying different combinations.

 

After they dried, I glued the caps back on the
acorn and that was it. I had some pressed oak
leaves, so I glittered some of those too. At
that point I pretty much wanted to start glittering
everything so I had to restrain myself.(who knew
glitter could be addictive?)
 

I had some blackbird nests left over from my booth
at the antique show, so I tried to carefully
arrange some of the glittered leaves and acorns
in the nest. As a final touch I cut out the
word "Thanksgiving" from a tattered old
dictionary and put it in the nest. Thanks
for sharing your idea Merle!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Big Day for Arugula

 

Today was a historic day here at Old
Willow Farm. After months of waiting
we got our first egg! And it was a
beautiful blue one laid by one of our
Americauna chickens named Arugula.
(that's her baby photo above)
Theoretically, we should have had eggs
by the end of September, but apparently
our girls didn't get that memo. Anyway,
I think I made it happen. You know how
it always rains right after you get your
car washed? Well--yesterday I bought
a dozen eggs!
 
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Acorn Gathering

 

Today was a perfect day for gathering acorns. The
morning was nice and cool and fallish, so I headed out
with my faithful companion Rascal. Down our hill and
up the next we came upon the area where I had seen
the ground littered with acorns just a few days before.
Well--most of them were gone. We really had to search
(O.K., I did most of the searching-Rascal had a nap
under the trees) to find even a handful of possible
keepers, I guess the deer and other critters had beaten
us there. But that was okay, I knew another spot!
 

I drove to the next spot a couple of miles away and
this time brought something to collect them in.
I was remembering a special area that had cute
ruffly-cap acorns, and I was hoping they were still
there.
 

At first , I was bummed because I didn't see any acorns
at all, but then I spied a few on one tree and then
on the next tree- I hit the mother lode and filled
my little Ziploc to the top. The funny thing about
the oaks with the cute acorns is they are the
ugliest little things you have ever seen. They
don't look like an oak tree at all- but they sure
have cute acorns!
 
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So what am I going to do with all these little
treasures? Well, my daughter had this idea
for using them as little gift tags and tying
them with baker's twine. I made one for a
friend and thought it looked really cute,
so I think I'll just use that bag of
acorns for my gift tags this Christmas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Inspired Blogging

 
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I would like to give a shout out to a few bloggers that are over the top inspiring and helpful. First of all, a thank you to Clover Lane for her tutorials on creating blog headers and other blog self-help instructions. Frankly, much of it is over my head so I really appreciate a simple step-by step lesson. I followed her instructions on headers yesterday and although I need practice, I am on my way to making my blog a nicer place to visit.

Just this week I stumbled on a beautiful garden blog filled with lucious photos and dreamy gardens. The site is Styling Gardens by Coty Farquhar.i am sure many of you are already familiar with her beautiful blog, but in case I am not the last one to the party I just had to
mention it. Coty lives in Australia so she is currently posting on spring-it makes
me yearn for a tea party under a bower of roses.
She has some fantastic blogs to visit listed on her sidebar, one of them being Heather Bullard. Heather is a fantastic photographer and stylist as well and after visiting her site I am always inspired to feather my nest a little.
Fellow bloggers I salute you!