Monthly Archives: November 2009

Hopes, Wishes & Dreams

Santa Claus is coming soon, so we’re gonna have to be on our best behavior from now on! One of my favorite things during the holidays is buying presents. I like receiving, but, the thing I love more, is to see the look on someone’s face when you have given them that perfect present, whether it be homemade or purchased.

I have already bought a few Christmas gifts at the Fair and I have done a little window shopping, but I have not seriously shopped yet. I don’t mind picking up things as I see them, but I like the hustle and bustle of a real holiday crowd all out shopping with Christmas lights strung through the streets and store windows decked out in magical displays. Fortnum & Mason, always do beautiful windows; last year was The Snow Queen, in all her frosty glory. This year the theme is Swan Lake.
There is usually a shopping meltdown, someone is too hot, or arms are tired from carrying packages, or there are too many pushy people and when that happens we just stop, have a meltdown hug and then continue (in theory) a little more merrily on our way.

I am a constant list writer, I love the satisfaction of crossing something off of my list. I write out a list of everyone I am giving too with ideas, or items already purchased. This year I am doing a mixture of some bought and some homemade gifts.

I am going to make up cotton drawstring bags and embroider on them a vintage Christmas pattern or something I designed pertaining to the person on the receiving end and I will fill them with homemade mini pound cakes or a fresh homemade bread loaf (I haven’t decided which, both are so yummy!).

All beautifully wrapped in cellophane and bakers twine or a big grosgrain bow, maybe a spring of holly tucked in the bow knot and then placed inside their bag.I think homespun gifts are a nice old-fashioned touch to a magical holiday that can become all to commercial if you let.

This would be the cutest stationary by Susan Branch to write out your Christmas hopes, wishes and dreams or a gift giving list on. 

(“S” by:Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische)

Twinkle, Twinkle

S

 

 

glittered the shining little ornaments on the tree.

I received an e-mail this morning from Anthropologie with a selected display of their new Christmas ornaments. I love Anthropologie! I am so excited that they have finally opened a store in London. I like their quirky style and their wonderful use of colors.

I thought this new set of woodland ornaments looked so pretty and whimsical in this little display. My sister, for the past few years has tucked or tied a little Anthropologie ornament to gifts for my husband and I. Last year, she gave me the cutest little girl figure who was busy knitting away, she is adorable. She has also given us a mermaid, and a sweet elfin sized knitted snail wearing a beret and a tartan plaid scarf.

These are ornaments I happily keep out all year, wrapped around drawer pulls or hanging from pegs. They are too cute to put away. I can’t wait to see this year’s selection in person when I visit Anthropologie to do a little Christmas shopping.

<—Look at the new ornament selection for this year!

Visit Anthropologie yourself, just click on the star:

A Turkey Sat…

A Turkey sat on the backyard fence and he sang this sad sad tune.

Thanksgiving day is coming Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble and I’ll be eaten soooon.

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble
I’ll be eaten sooon!
Wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow, and safe travels on your way home.

(Retro recipes courtesy of: The Retro Press)

Time for Pumpkin Pie

Its time for pumpkin pie! This is my favorite part of Thanksgiving, as much as I love turkey and dressing and sweet potato souffle oozing with marshmallows on one 1/2 and pecans on the other, I live for Thanksgiving dessert!

Especially, pumpkin pie! I am a Libby’s canned pumpkin kinda gal and fortunately for me, I am able to get this at my local grocery store. I make my pumpkin pies the day before Thanksgiving. I love rolling the dough out and picking one of my mini pie cutters to cut out shapes that will decorate the edge of the crust. I usually use the maple leaf or the star shape to encircle the pie in a wreath of autumnal beauty.

I love the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves being folded into the creamy batter and then gently ladling it into my pie shell and finally placing it into the oven. The smell of it slowly baking permeates the house with the first smells of Thanksgiving. I make my whipped cream while it is baking, beating in sugar and vanilla, to taste; in preparation for the Big Day; as the timer goes off and I pull the pie out of the oven to slowly cool, I can only hope it survives the night and greedy hands and taste buds that can’t wait don’t get the better of it before Turkey Day arrives!

(Images from The Retro Press)

Pumpkin Pie Update (11/27/2009):
It was delicious! I had a slice with whipped cream for breakfast this morning!

Crazy Holiday Ideas

I have these crazy Martha Stewart ideas at times, I see something and I think, “Oh, wouldn’t that be the cutest idea, all made, decorated, beautifully wrapped and lined up in neat rows to hand out…”, the idea I am thinking of, are Thanksgiving goody bags, or boxes in this case.

Whether we had Thanksgiving at our house or someone else’s, everyone always left with a bag of goodies, especially (my mom being an original New Yorker before she moved below the Mason Dixon) if cookies had been sent down from New York, you can’t beat a good bakery! Divine cookies with sprinkles or nuts or a little cherry stuck in them; shaped like leaves and hearts and circles, they were a box of pure happiness!I was looking for something this morning and went to the Bake it Pretty website and saw their turkey cupcake picks and that started off my whole wave of crazy thinking. I thought wouldn’t it be cute, if you made little pumpkin bread cupcakes, iced with mountains of cream cheese frosting (in these retro Sound of Music looking liners), stuck in a little turkey pick, whipped up some acorn shaped sugar cookies while you were at it and had everything all beautifully packaged in a box with some bakers twine or raffia tied through the handle, with something cute stamped on the box.

These are my Martha Stewart moments, the ideas that I would be insane enough to do, but will not. I just love the idea of it!

(Images from the Bake it Pretty website)

P.S. I heard my 1st Christmas song of the season on the radio this morning, I did a Charlie Brown Peanut’s dance of happiness!

Good Morning, Good Night

I am laying in bed on this frosty night going over some vintage knitting patterns I want to try.I have found the most adorable one for a 50’s style “pixie cap”; it looks like something Doris Day would have worn in Moonlight Bay.

It is late here and everyone is asleep. It is so blissfully quiet outside that I can hear the church bells from the other side of the common chime the hour, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding they say, it is just after 1am.

scraopologie angels

 

I feel like the little girl from the Golden Books story, “Good Morning, Good Night”.She isn’t tired and wants to stay up, even though her parents tell her that everyone else is in bed.

She doesn’t mind being alone and goes to play with her toys, but they are sleeping. She is so determined to stay awake and decides to go play with her dollhouse instead, but everyone inside the dollhouse is in the land of as well.

In the end she concludes that it is time for her to go to bed, which is what I need to do to, but my mind is just buzzing with ideas tonight and I am enjoying the quiet.But, since there is no one to play with, I guess it is off to bed I go….

(Church image copyright Scrapologie, the vintage knitting pattern can be found for free download at: Baby Dee Vintage Patterns)

Home for the Holidays

Unfortunately, we do not get to go “home” for Thanksgiving, but we celebrate with each other in our house. It doesn’t seem quite the same at times; no shuffling around in your pajamas, no breakfast casserole, no Macy’s Day Parade on TV and no parents in the kitchen laughing and talking while they make stuffing and get ready to roast the bird.

We make our own holiday memories here in England. I still prepare a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie for dessert of course! Some years we have had friends round to join in with the festivities, but, this year, it will be just the two of us, a romantic Thanksgiving.

macys parade float

It wouldn’t be the season if I didn’t get to watch Home for the Holidays. What a movie! My family and I love this movie! There are moments you can relate to, even if you, like me, are close with your family, you can relate it to other family members.

There is a great scene after the parents pick their daughter up from the airport and as they are driving home, with the mom chatting away in the back they pass another car with a fellow “kid”; his mom is leaning over the seat going on and on, and the two “kids” just stare at each other through the car windows, in this perfect moment of understanding. So much is said with that look.

I know this look. My husband and I have been with some people where that look between us gets used a lot. This movie sums up all the craziness of this one day. Days, that some people use not to be thankful for, or to see the blessings in, but as a forum for themselves to just act as nutty as a fruitcake.

So to everyone, who loves going home (I do!) and for those who are ready for Thanksgiving to be over with already and back in their own homes away from their families, this movie is for you!

home for the holidays portrait


10 Little Bears

10 Little Bears all in a row

when they are made
it is of to RosaBlue they go!

This is my WIP (work-in-progress) on this blustery day. It is so windy I had to take my lantern in from its little hanging perch by my front door for fear of it blowing away. It is silvery gray outside and has been pitter-pattering with rain every now and then.

So, I am staying cozy indoors and working away on my little tooth bears. I am also creating another tooth animal to tuck away treasures in for the tooth fairies…

They are patiently waiting for me to sew on their faces and tooth pockets so I won’t keep them any longer!

Je reve en Francaise

Je reve en Francaise, or I dream in French. I was starting a little Christmas shopping this morning and as I was looking at French General’s website, I saw these stickers and they made me smile! We pretended to be French last night and made Julia Child’s “Chicken with mushrooms” for dinner with garlic whipped potatoes and steamed green beans.

It was the most wonderful comfort food for a cold day and it made me long for Paris. I wanted to wash the dishes, grab our coats and scarfs and head out to one of our cafes along the river, for a glass of wine and a little jazz.

One of our favorites is a little place called, Le Petit Pont. They give you baskets of hot salty popcorn to munch on while you imbibe and there is usually a good jazz singer at the piano. It is wonderful sitting outside under the toasty warm lamps and just taking in Paris.

I dream in French, I dream of France; especially this time of year when the weather has turned and the Christmas markets will soon be up. The joy of Christmas shopping in Paris, where your gifts are beautifully wrapped and stopping at Angelina’s for a hot chocolate is a must in the frosty weather.

But, Paris is not in the cards at the moment, so I will just have to continue to reve en Francaise.

Visit French General’s website if you have not before. Kaari Meng’s books are so beautiful , I have given them many times as gifts, they are a treasure to go back to again and again.If for nothing else than to just stare at the sumptuous images.Click on the Image above to go to French General’s website.

(All Images copyright French General)