New Years Wishes for you...

~ In this new year,
may you enjoy getting together with old friends and new acquaintances ~

~ and find innovative ways to express your unique personality~

~ May you find joy in the little things
and carry that with you wherever you go,

~ and if you discover something new that excites you...

~ may you have the courage to dive in,
seize the moment,
and relish the opportunity you have been given! ~

“We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

Edith Lovejoy Pierce (1904)

here we go . . . .


Hands to Work, Hearts to God

This Christmas morning, I am thankful to have been born into a family who loves to make things. As I look around, I see Jo's needlepoint gingerbread house, Ace's wooden birdhouse, the scarf you knitted, and the life-sized wooden sleigh Daddy designed and crafted for me (and I sewed all that is inside the sleigh). How fortunate are we to have a family who places an emphasis on sharing creativity? Merry Christmas to all!
"I want to be with people who sumerge in the task,
who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm..."
...Marge Piercy (thanks to Jen for this awesome poem)



favorite colors

I've decided I have too many favorite I will just say that today these are my faves.
"White ... is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.... God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white." --Gilbert Keith Chesterton

me, too!

and, in my favorite colors !


shopping Rx (fcp)

While you were out shopping for awesome princess bikes, I was home perfecting my newest creation. I was thinking red for the I rimmed festive glasses with a little crushed peppermint and added about half a glass of pomegranate juice (because Dr. Oz says its good for me), plus a touch of peppermint liqeur to "up" the pepperminty appeal. And last but not least, I threw in a festive little ol'splash of champagne. I think I'll call it a Peppermint Tiara, 'cause you just feel so...royal. Why, in no time at all, you find that you've got your feet propped up in your favorite bunny slippers as you cruise through all those fabulous internet sales. No lines. No arm wrestling anybody to the ground over a great buy. No traffic. No searching for a parking kind of shopping. And here's a great gift idea for the rest of your family: New Sunglasses!!!--they will thank you because they're going to get kind of tired of squinting from the glare of that sparkling tiara you're going to want be wear when you try my new concoction...
"Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne;
knowing him was like drinking it"
Winston Churchill

holiday shopping . . . .


project #4 (fcp)

My mom and I have been obsessed with buttons this week. So my latest project was finishing this 10-foot button garland for the tree. It is easy to make, but if you try it, be careful to keep it from getting tangled. I used a heavy silky cotton embroidery thread. The whites, creams, ivories and sand colors appear iridescent like seashells. Martha would think it is a good thing indeed.
"Day has put on his jacket,
and around his burning bosom
buttoned it with stars"
Oliver Wendell Holmes
(one of my favorite quotes!)

Project number four

And, I'm done . . . . this one I will just wing it. Get some great paper and draw . . . add some holiday glitter . . . notice that the wings are hearts


Gingerbread Hearts-Project # 3 (fcp)

Jo sewed this felt gingerbread ornament, and I loved putting it in the painting above (even though paint doesn't smell nearly as heavenly as gingerbread)
"Had I but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it for gingerbread!"...William Shakespeare

Project number three

Here's the thing . . . the house smells so good!

This recipe is for a house. But I make it just as it says and use cookie cutters for the ornaments - which makes a lot. So, hang half and eat half . . .

Molasses Gingerbread Cookie Dough


1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Combine brown sugar, molasses, butter, spices, and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Stir in milk. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  2. Pour milk mixture into a mixing bowl; add baking powder and flour. With an electric mixer, and beginning on low speed and increasing to medium, beat until well combined. Divide dough in half; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight. Dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  3. PS - thanks Martha.


project two (fcp)

Wanna make dolls? The pattern is here at Purl Bee-- I changed a few features, but the basic pattern is the same.
"Other kids did drugs; I did crafts"...Kathie Lee Gifford

Project number two

celebrate the beauty of nature. just use some of Martha's glitter . . . .

Glittered Pinecone Ornaments How-To
To glitter pinecones, hold a cone carefully, and brush craft glue over tips of scales.

Then, holding cone over bowl, spoon fine glitter over scales.

For drop ornaments, hot glue a miniature glass ball at the top of the pinecone. You can snip off the end of each pinecone, if necessary, to make a flat place to glue a ball. Run twine through the hole in top ball for a hanger.

Martha Stewart Living


Project One (fcp)

While my most recent project was painting, my all-encompassing "current project" has centered around putting the house back together now that the painters have packed up and moved on.
I love your Martha ornaments--come over and let's dig into a big pile of felt and see what we can make!
"Chaos is a friend of mine"...Mr. Dylan

Project number one

This and the next three posts are projects I am working on. I have competed this one - thanks to my best friend. I would add to the instructions provided in the kit: use paper clips to hold the edges together. Use a firm, straight edge (like the backside of a knife) for bending. And, last but not least - not for small children! Big women only.


white on white

The style of this quilt is Trapunto. It was among several beautiful quilts displayed at the Upper Cumberland Quilt Festival in Algood, Tennessee. The quilt top, batting and the quilt backing make a sandwich for the running stitch. The running stitches outline feathers, leaves, flowers, swirly designs or whatever pattern being worked. Extra batting is then placed inside making the pattern raised. Most were white on white and made for weddings.

white on white (fcp)

"I have always felt that in order to be a good painter one should be color-blind, because color doesn't have to be seen. It needs only to be felt"...Richard Lindner


white, all in a row

is it a sin? to lust over dinnerware?

white, all in a row (fcp)

“My philosophy, like color television, is all there in black and white”...Monty Python


a week of white

my daughters beautiful giant white iris . . . .

a week of white (fcp)

White on white...a magnolia from my yard in late spring.
"Color is one of the great things in the world that makes it worth living to me and I have come to think of painting as it is my effort to create an equivalent with paint color for the world--life as I see it"...Georgia O'Keefe



Best done in an iron skillet. I used canned biscuits for these fried apple pies .
My mother makes the dough and rolls into similar size rounds. Much better . . .

bounty--coffee cake (fcp)

Christmas Apple-Nut Coffee Ring
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons (or 2 pkgs) yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
Apple Nut Filling:
2 cups finely chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Vanilla Glaze:
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 Tablespoons milk (I always need more than this)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: chopped walnuts, red and green candied cherries
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 flour (2 cups) with the sugar, yeast, and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, water, and a butter until lukewarm. Pour into dry ingredients and mix at low speed. Add egg and blend at high speed for 2 minutes. With spoon, add about 1 and 1/2 cups remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead in remaining 1/2 cup flour. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days). Divide dough in half, roll each into a 7x14 rectangle and brush with melted butter. Spread half apple-nut filling over each, roll up along long side, seal edges. Place sealed edges down in a circle on greased cookie sheets, then seal ends firmly. Cut 2/3 of the way into the ring at 1 inch intervals. Turn each one-inch section on its side slightly. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk--1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. When almost cool, drizzle with glaze and decorate with cherries and walnuts. Yields two coffee cakes, one for you and one to share.



are there a million apple pie recipes?

Bounty-Happy Thanksgiving! (fcp)

Start-Me-Up Sweet Potato Casserole (from TAG)
3 cups of sweet potatoes
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Boil potatoes and peel. Strain and mash, adding sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Spread in 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
For Topping: Melt 1/3 cup of butter. Mix in 1 cup of Brown Sugar (in honor of Mick) and 1 cup of chopped pecans. Spread on top. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, and share the love with friends and family...


A week of bounty

Gala apples from my daughters tree . . . the last ones hung on last year until after December . . .

A week of Bounty (fcp)

Fall always reminds me of apples, and my favorite apple recipe...

Oven Apple Pancakes:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of milk
4 eggs
Set mixture aside.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet on the stove while you prepare:
5 apples, cut in cubes (leave skin on)
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Saute' until the mixture bubbles and apples are soft. Then pour the flour and egg batter over the apples, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking another 10 minutes. Serve hot from the skillet, and garnish with powdered sugar and strawberries or raspberries. Enjoy!



I finally decided that this is a Thanksgiving Cactus and not a Christmas Cactus after all. The difference is in the leaf. The Christmas Cactus has leaves that are more rounded. The Thanksgiving Cactus - or False Christmas Cactus - has serrated or 'toothed' leaves. Looks lacy to me . . . .

lace (fcp)

I was thrilled to see this lacy frost on the car--pretty cool design, huh?
"Oh young artist, you search for a subject--yet everything is a subject, your subject is yourself, your impressions, your emotions in the presence of nature"...Eugene Delacroix


lacy leaves

lacy shadows . . . .

lacey leaves (fcp)

"Light...the soul and medium of art"...John Constable


a week of lace

morning sun . . . .

a week of lace...(fcp)

Lacey late afternoon shadows!
"The tantalizing thing is not always to show the source of light, but the effects of light"...Edgar Degas


nature III

giant puffball mushrooms from the woods . . .

nature III (fcp)

The late afternoon sun makes the trees appear to be on fire! I am going to miss views like this when the leaves are all gone.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves"...John Muir



Caught up in a whirlwind, can't catch my breath
Knee deep in hot water, broke out in a cold sweat
Can't catch a turtle in this rat race
Feels like I'm losin' time at a breakneck pace.
~~ Stevie Ray Vaughan ~~


Typically we have lots of the brown squirrels here, but occasionally the white squirrels come around too. I would think the bright white fur would be a disadvantage if you needed to avoid predators, but the population doesn't seem to suffer. Compared to the brown squirrel, he does appear considerably smaller, and perhaps even a little malnourished, but maybe that is normal?