Monday, December 24, 2007

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Jennifer made this yummy cake yesterday, too, and I got the recipe from her. It's rich and yummy, and I thought I'd share the recipe with you all. I'm going to make it tomorrow for Christmas dinner's dessert.

Preheat oven to 325*
Line a 9" cake pan with waxed paper
Pour in 2 cups whole fresh cranberries, and spread them out
1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans), spread over the cranberries
1/2 cup sugar over the nuts and berries

Batter: 2 beaten eggs
Add one cup sugar-mix slowly
Add 1 stick softened butter
Add 1 cup flour, slowly
(I'm assuming she means using a blender for this batter...not a spoon)

Spread the batter over the cranberry/nut/sugar mixture.
Bake at 325* for 60-65 minutes.
Turn out on plate as soon as it's out of the oven.
Remove wax paper carefully.
When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

This cake can be prepared with other fruits as well, like peaches and pineapple.

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Christmas at Jennifer's

Yesterday was our Christmas celebration with my very best friends in the whole wide world. :) Jennifer hosted, and her house was the picture of Christmas beauty. Her husband finished building their dining room table at Thanksgiving time, and this is the first I had seen it. It's black walnut, cut from Jennifer's parents' propery, and Dwight (Jen's husband) planed the wood by hand, built the table by hand, and finished it with tung oil and an antique crackle on the legs. It's absolutely gorgeous.

Here it is set up for our yummy brunch.

I just love this wool rug, made with LOTS of little wool felt circles. The crewel chair was a gift from her came out of her grandmother's house.

These little horses were frolicking on the windowsill of Jen's son Will's room. I thought they made a lovely winter vignette, with the snow outside. The house is a stone house, and that's why the sills are so deep. LOVE it.

This is a closup of a shelf vignette in the family room. Those pears on top are made with wool--needle felted by her mother. You can buy your own kit at Decadent Fibers.

There were little Santas and snowmen tucked into windowsills and niches all over the house.

This is a shot of the mantel. Note the paint swatches perched in there? Hee. She's getting ready to paint the room! (Still no decision on the colors...none of us agreed on I have a TON of wrapping to do...I don't know about the rest of you. Heck, if you're reading this, your wrapping is probably all done, and you're sipping hot toddies while surfing the internet. Don't rub it in. :-P

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas and the Kitties

I'm wishing I had gotten these done sooner...would have made a good Christmas card!

This was Kathleen's Christmas concert the other night. Can you see her?

These are the many faces of my chorus girl. It was a great concert...really put me in a festive mood.
Well, festive or not, I've got sewing to do! Argh! And I haven't even begun my wrapping. And I still have to hit the grocery store at some point today. Helllllllp!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Snowy Day

I can't believe we don't have another snow day, Mom!
Yeah, well, that's the breaks, Kid. :)

Well, last night was put-up-the-tree night--FINALLY! It was fun...we played Christmas carols, marveled over our favorite ornaments (only broke one!), and argued about the virtues of weaving the lights in and out of the branches and whatnot. Everyone has an opinion around here, that's for sure! The pearl garland was 60% off at AC Moore last night, so I picked it up. I didn't know if it would be tacky and over-the-top, or just pretty. I think it's pretty, and Kathleen agrees!

Ok, so you know the age-old tradition of giving every teacher your kid has ever had, and all of her friends, and the bus driver, and the lunch lady, and everyone else the kid has ever come in contact with throughout the year a gift? Well, we managed to pare it down a LITTLE better than that, but not much. So I got the hairbrained idea that we would make peppermint bark! Great idea! But what to put it in, to make it festive? Why, TUSSIES, of course! Easy! Peasy! Riiiight. lol. Actually, they're not difficult to do...they just take time. I made five of them last night after Kathleen went to bed. She got to pick out the paper and the angel/santa for each teacher, and then I was allowed creative freedom with the rest. I'd say they came out OK, wouldn't you? I could go crazy and add trims and buttons and sequins and glitter, but HELLO, I have like TEN more of these to that is SO not happening.

I've got drapes to hem! It's not over 'til it's over, people!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another busy day coming up for me, but I took time out to visit winter. I took a drive at 7am this morning...and this is what I found.

I love the frost on his snout.

And then my batteries died. :-P
Have a great day, all!

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Friday, December 14, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Happy Friday, everyone!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Cardinals

James Vanderpoel House

"The House of History" (1818) 16 Broad Street (US Route 9) in Village of Kinderhook, NY 12106 Tel: (518) 758-9265 Open: Thursday through Saturday 11 to 5 and Sunday 1 to 5 (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day)
*Admission fee: Donation
* Run by the Columbia County Historical Society. Noted Albany restoration architect Doug Bucher calls it "the ultimate example of Federal architecture in this area."

I almost forgot the cardinals! Inside the lobby of the James Vanderpoel House in Kinderhook ther other night, were dozens of paper cardinals hanging from the second floor, turning in the breeze from the door as it opened and closed with new visitors, and the sounds of a live string quartet filled the home.

The moldings in this house are incredible. I didn't have my camera on me for the tour, but I did manage to get the cardinals picture with my phone...hence the substandard quality. However, if you could have seen how beautiful they all looked, flying there. There was also a whole tree covered in red cardinals in the corner of the room.

This house could really use a facelift. As lovely as it is, it looks like the historical society has all it can do to keep the place from falling down from one year to the next. It would be great if they could have some big fundraiser to help keep the place up. A dollar here and there obviously isn't cutting it. It would be a shame to see it deteriorate more. They are obviously doing the best they can with what they have.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kinderhook Candlelight Night

I know I said that I'd post pictures of other vendors from the Coxsackie extravaganza last weekend, and I will, but time flies by, and new things happen! This past Friday night was Candlelight Night in Kinderhook, NY, which is about 40 minutes east of me, over on the other side of the Hudson River. I believe this is our fourth year--maybe fifth--and it never fails to put me in a festive mood for the holiday season.

They line the streets and sidewalks with luminarias, serve free hot chocolate and mulled cider, and all of the stores stay open late. There are free horse-drawn sleigh rides (the sleighs are on through the town, and there's a fire in the town center for roasting marshmallows.

I discovered a new store this year. And what a store it is. It's the home of Michael Devine, designer at large.
He designs a gorgeous line of hand-screened fabrics, available to the trade, and in his store on pillows and draperies. His store is full of unique accessories and gifts. I couldn't get enough of the place!

So as we chatted briefly amongst the throngs of shoppers in the tiny space, he showed me his spread in Domino magazine this month, AND he let me take pictures because I told him I wanted to share my new find on my blog! Click HERE to visit his website. You can even shop at the website! The artichoke tulip vase is my favorite.

Ok. Give me a couple of days....more pics to come! It's LATE! I sewed all day today, and I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Trunk Show '08

I can't believe how many pictures I have from last weekend's jewelry extravaganza. It was difficult to get good ones of my trees draped in jewels, though. The pictures above are of my friend Suzanne's house. I was set up in her dining room. It was perfect, because there was a nice big mirror right between my two tables, so people could try things on and admire themselves in the mirror. :) The idea to display my things on trees came to me one night when I was stressing about how to display necklaces without professional necklace racks. I love my feather trees, and the swirly wire one came from my friend Pat. They were just the thing I needed for this holiday party. It was a great success. The only bummer is, now I have to think of new just-as-spectacular ideas for other times of the year! Hmmmm.....any help?
Above is a picture of my Coxsackie Christmas by the River display. Those pictures came out even worse! LOL! I was set up in the front office of Century 21 Heartland Realty (thanks, Peggy--you rock!), on the secretary's desk. Next year I'm going to bring some sort of screen as a backdrop, I think, and music, and COOKIES. :) There has to be something to distract the kids while the moms are looking at gems! Hee! It was a great experience...there were lots of great vendors there, and quite a bit of traffic. I was in a prime spot. A special thanks goes out to Peggy Quigley for letting me get in at the last minute. She's a good egg. Next year I'll plan ahead, and I'll be in the brochure and everything!

Can you see my little gift bags in the background? You should have seen me putting those together the night before! I love the little stickers though.

Well, it's sewing time! I'll post pics of the other vendors tomorrow. Wait 'til you see the ADORABLE tiny faux fireplace I bought!
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sale at Fiddlehead Studios!

Hi y'all! It's HALF OFF TIME at Fiddleheadstudios. All of my jewelry is HALF PRICE until the end of the year. Feel free to do some holiday shopping! I have cute little gift boxes and/or bags...just convo me if you are giving gifts.

It's been a crazy week! I was out at my mother's house, cleaning out more stuff last week (more about that later), and then on Friday night my friend Suzanne had a party featuring some of her friends' handmade items, and her sister-in-law's Arbonne skin care products. It was a great success for me--I sold a ton of jewelry, and it was a fun time to boot! (And of course I spent some of my profits...hee!) I'll have pictures later. Then on Sunday, I showed my jewelry at Christmas by the River, in Coxsackie, NY. I got in at the last minute, and since I had just been all set up at Suzanne's on Friday night, it was easy to set up for that event too. I had a very successful day down there too, and now I'm just buckling down and sewing until Christmas, with not much time for anything else.

That's it for tonight. Hopefully I'll have some more time tomorrow to post some pics and tell more stories. :)
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