I am very late this year in getting out our Christmas card although I had the best of intentions. Hubs and I had big plans to get professional family photos done with us all decked out in our Christmas sweater best (to be found at Goodwill, of course). As per usual, life got in the way of those plans. To compensate for my procrastination, I perused through my collection of existing photos and found one of Little Man that could be sent out. The thought bubble says ” He sees me when I’m sleeping?! And knows if I’ve been bad or good?”; the caption underneath Merry Christmas says (even if you are getting coal). The back of the card features a picture of coal with our new address since I also forgot to send out change of address cards. I made several different envelope liners to jazz it all up. So here is the preview; for most of you who read this, expect it in the mail this week if you haven’t already gotten it!
Our master bedroom is posing major design challenges for me. I know exactly what drapes, rug, and bed linens I would like to have, but in the absence of substantial funds to finance these items I have had to make do with what I currently have (or can afford).
The overall room scheme is currently this: the palest of blue walls, pale blue-green ceiling, blue ikat pattern drapes, blue plaid silk bed skirt, and white coverlet. It is a little boring, but I was attempting to keep the room soothing and restful. Given that it is Winter and we don’t turn the heat above 62 degrees, I needed an extra down comforter on the bed; the perfect excuse to add a little bit more color into the room via a duvet cover. I used some awesome raw silk-like fabric, a white queen sized flat sheet, and mis-matched buttons I already had and, wah-lah!, a duvet cover in 40 minutes. It doesn’t add any new pop of color into the room since it is blue as well, but it does break up all the pale tones and white. If you want step-by-step directions, click on the How-to tab. Here are some photos of the new duvet on the bed:
We were blessed with snow fall on Friday afternoon and received almost 3 inches! We enjoyed a wonderful evening of sledding and woke up to a winter wonderland on Saturday. It was the first time our Little Man has every seen (or eaten) snow. It was a fabulous, awesome, memorable day. I posted more pictures under the Photography tab at the top of the page; just click on the Snow Days- December 2009 link.
I love the festiveness of garland. I feel a bit cheesy admitting that fact, but it just seems to add so much charm, not to mention their versatility; you can hang them anywhere and on anything! I decided to make a garland using nature’s products (i.e., free stuff), particularly pine cones and magnolia seed pods. So on my lunch break yesterday I took a walk with a grocery bag collecting these items, receiving numerous confused glances from passing motorists the whole time. Luckily I don’t embarrass easily and I have no shame.
I had some silver metallic spray paint on hand and purchased some gold glitter spray to use to glamorize my finds. I sprayed the magnolia pods silver and added a light glitter coating to the pine cones. Unfortunately, the glitter does not convey well with my little camera.
I am impressed with how well the pods took the metallic spray; it made them look pretty fancy (Brandi, if your reading, I meant that in the way you think I meant it). After everything dried, I used twine to tie everything together and make my garland. I still think it looks a little plain, so I will have to add something in the gaps. Perhaps berries? I am accepting suggestions!
I am thankful for cold weather. Without it, the warmth of a beautiful fire would not be so delightful. Now that we are in High Point, we actually get cold weather. Well, not that cold, but cold enough to offer the potential of snow. In Charleston, we wore short sleeves in November, maybe broke out fleeces in December, and possibly drug out the heavy coats in January. Not that I am complaining about warm weather. I love it, too! In my humble opinion, to appreciate the weather you actually have to experience its variations. Who truly appreciates summer’s heat unless they just got through a cold winter? Who looks forward to the chilly breezes of Fall unless they are suffering through 99% humidity? So that is my “I’m thankful for” thought of the day. What are you thankful for?
My parents are coming to visit us this weekend (yay!) and when we have guests, I get utlra-motivated to get my house in order. That means the regular cleaning regimen, but also making sure that the guest bedroom is in order. I already put up some quick wall art to remedy the sparse, institutional feel, but I still felt like the bed needed to feel more welcoming. The remedy? Pillows! I had some 20″ x 20″ down filled inserts lying around so all I needed to do was look for some fabric. Then I remembered a bed skirt I had made a while back. It is a great linen fabric with a simple, rustic yet graphic design: perfect! I had already finished the edges earlier so I really only had to cut the fabric to size and sew it up. I wanted to do the simplest cover possible so installing a zipper was out of the question. I simple sewed a pocket and left an extra flap of material. I sewed a button onto the pocket, cut a slit in the flap for the button, and wah-lah, finished pillow cover. I made two since I had enough material, although one is probably enough for the bed. It took me all of thirty minutes to do both. If I may say so, the bed does look more inviting.
I came across an awesome recipe in NY Times the other day as part of their coverage of Thanksgiving dishes. This one caught my eye because I could fully imagine the delicious goodness the combo would create. The saltines of prosciutto combined with the subtle sweetness of sweet potato marries to create that never fail taste bud titillation of sweet n’ salty. The recipe could not be easier requiring all of four steps. Here is the article where I read the recipe along with ones for many of other good dishes (it is # 48 on the list).
Thinly sliced prosciutto (around 15 slices)
One large Sweet Potato
Wash and peel the sweet potato. Cut into wedges and then boil until tender (about 10 minutes). Wrap each wedge in a slice of prosciutto and drizzle with olive oil and ground pepper. Roast in the oven set to 400 deg., for 15 minutes or until browned. Done!
This is the second update regarding our upcoming New Year’s Eve Oyster Roast/Housewarming Party. First, let me say I am so excited! I love oysters, parties, and having great conversation with a great group of people. Second, let me admit that I have yet to send out the invitations (although it will be done this afternoon!). Anyhoo, it is a good thing that I procrastinated sending out the invites because I found an awesome and cheap way to ramp up the oomph on the invitations. During my idle blog reading, I came across an awesome tutorial on making envelope liners. You can find the directions at A Summer Picnic Wedding.
I used Google to find a picture of oysters and did a layout in word using the image to make a repeat pattern. I followed the directions and was very pleased with the result. I also used my never-ending collection of mini-brads and added an oyster knife to the invitation that says “B.Y.O.O.K” which, translated, states Bring Your Own Oyster Knife. The end-result turned out so awesome, I will probably never send out a plain envelope again (other than for bills..ugh!)
*Unfortunately, a collection of 15 or more oyster knives is not something we possess so we are asking our awesome guests to share their bounty.
(I will post photos after the party showing our decorations, party favors, and food!)
You know when you say a word ten times in a row, it starts to sound bizarre and you get tongue twisted? Cookie is one of those words that, to me, sounds bizarre from the get-go. Me being me, I did a quick Google search to learn why we call those sweet delights “cookies”. I was hoping for a wonderful backstory, but instead found a brief bit explaining the word’s origins. And you never know, this could be the winning answer for a $1 million dollar jackpot. All I ask is that you remember me if it is and you win:
The origin of the word: The Dutch called it ‘koekje’, meaning little cake. The Dutch took them to America in the 18th century and the word became ‘cookie.’
So your welcome for this little morsel of knowledge and on to the true purpose of this post. I made yummy (and egg free) cookies last night to give Little Man’s teachers for Christmas gifts. I used hubs as the guinea pig taste taster and he loved them! I made some simple Peanut Butter cookies and an awesome variation on Sugar cookies using sesame seeds and dried cranberries. Here is the recipe for the Peanut Butter Cookies:
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup Peanut Butter (crunchy or smooth)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 stick butter (brought to room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Cream butter and sugar. Add Peanut Butter and applesauce and blend well. Add remaining ingredients. Set oven to 400 deg. On an ungreased cookie sheet, plop tablespoon-sized bits of dough. Flatten with a fork making a cross hatch pattern. Pop into the oven for 10 minutes. Pull from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes until removing to cool. Enjoy!
Here are the photos of the desk in my craft room. The two cabinets were red and I painted them black. IMHO, it looks much cleaner and less tacky. If you want to read the original post, go here.