observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Felice Anno Nuovo! Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  It's been nice taking some much needed time off and just enjoy the holidays with my family and friends.  I'll be back to regular blogging next week and am thinking about a Valentine's Day update.  We are having a party tomorrow evening so I'm sending my wishes early.

Does anyone have any New Year's Resolutions? I'm working on a very small list. Small because I don't want to break too many resolutions! On the top and one of the most important ones will be to organize and de-clutter my house!  I'll be doing a little at a time not to be overwhelmed.....baby steps.

May the year 2011 bring you all joy, peace and good health.  Thank you for visiting my little blog and leaving your sweet comments throughout the year.  It is such a delight!  Looking forward to next year.

Happy New Year hugs,
Jenn :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Icicle Tutorial

I never get to do a tutorial!! 

Seems like everything I do everyone already knows how to.  When I received quite a few questions on how to make these I thought I would post it here for you all. 

This is how I make my icicles.  There is still time for you to make some too!!

~Cotton Batting ~ must be cotton not polyester...just doesn't work well.
~Thicker Gauge Wire
~Instant coffee or walnut stain
~mica or anything for sparkle

  • Cut the batting into strips about 1 1/2" wide as long as you want your icicle to be.  I cut mine about 9" long but if you are putting them on a small tree you probably would cut them 4 -5" long. The length depends on the size of tree you are going to put these on.

  • Next cut the wire about 3" longer than your fabric strips. Make a hook on each with the extra 3 inches.

  • Mix the glue and water together to make a thin runny mixture.  Add a little instant coffee or walnut stain.  Don't make it too dark because they will darken a little as they dry.

  • Place a large sheet of foil on an old cookie sheet.

  • Dip the fabric strips into the grubby mix making sure to coat it well and then squeeze out the excess.

  • Starting about 1/2" below your hook, wrap the fabric around the wire.  I wrap it around once and then go back and tighten it so that it is snug on the wire.   
  •  Lay them on the foil as you go not letting them touch.  

  • When you have as many as you want, (cover and save your leftover glue mixture, you'll need this later) either air dry them or place them in a warm 170 degrees oven until dry.  I turn them once or twice while drying.

  • When dry, bring out your excess glue mixture.  Using a brush, I use a foam brush, lightly dip in glue and run up one side and down the other of the icicle and then sprinkle with mica.  Let dry and you are done.
To make 50 of these it takes about 2 1/2 hours with drying time in the oven.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas week!

Warm winter hugs ~ Jenn xo

Friday, December 17, 2010

icicles, wassail and the christmas suit

Lots of icicles being made today....hopefully only inside not out.  We are too close now not to have a White Christmas!

Then I need to clean my house. It's almost like living in a gingerbread house, everything is coated with spices.  Speaking of which,  I found this lovely recipe for wassail that I need to try.  It's from The Pleated Poppy.  There is TEA in this Wassail!  I think I'm gonna love it.

Pleated Poppy Wassail
4 cups tea – she used earl grey tea, but says any plain tea would be fine, and brews it in her coffee maker.  I'll probably make it on the stove.
4 cups apple juice
4 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
a handful of cloves
a few cinnamon sticks

Pour all this into a big pot on the stove and leave it on low all day long.  Makes 13 cups.

Lastly, what I'm watching today.... another favorite Christmas special.  What's your favorite to watch this season?  I'd love to know, maybe I haven't seen it.  I LOVE Christmas movies!

This is the Christmas episode of Keeping Up Appearances.  It's a wonderful British comedy about the queen of snobs, Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet by her).  She's obsessed by perfection, image, etiquette and breeding and drives her family and friends crazy with her quest to climb the social ladder.  Enjoy!

Happy Weekend ~ Jenn xo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretty Christmas Inspirations

Vintage Santas

Love how natural this is.

You all know how I like my white and blues!

This room just speaks for itself.

A wonderful thing ~ Pomanders....learn how to make them here

A cold snowy day.  Chili for dinner and making homemade cookies tonight.  Curling up in front of the fire to watch a nice Christmas movie after that.  A cozy evening.  Hope yours is also.
Sending Warm Hugs ~ Jenn

All photo's courtesy Country Living

Monday, December 13, 2010

The whole package...

that's what I have.  18 years....really??  I still feel like I'm 18 years old.  How thankful I am to be married to him for 18 years.

We met when we were both 16 and dating other people.....just friends.  Then something happened and our friendship grew.  My girlfriend Rhonda was the only one who knew the secret and with a little help from her....we started dating.  And that's how it began. 

We have the romance but 18 years later it's that friendship that carries us through all those crazy times that life brings.

I'm so glad I married him....my best friend.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas is upon us

When did that happen??  My Christmas decorating so far has been pitiful!  I've got pumpkins mixed with Christmas lights outside!  (please don't judge me) Tomorrow is decorating day and for now I'm pretending THIS is my front door...

We've had our open house and will post some pictures from that later this week.  It was a joy!!

Last night was the Christmas online update at Rabbit Hill Primitives website.  I've added lots of little holiday treasures.  If you have a chance, stop by and take a look.  www.rabbithillprimitives.com

I've got Christmas carols playing, lots of shipping to do and then a birthday dinner with a special friend.  A nice day indeed!!  Wishing you all a wonderful happy day also.

Sending warm hugs ~ Jenn

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Early Work Mercantile Update ~ Log Cabin Christmas

"I suppose it all started with the snow. You see, it was a very special kind of snow. A snow that made the happy happier, and the giddy even giddier. A snow that'd make a homecoming homier, and natural enemies, friends, natural. For it was the first snow of the season. And as any child can tell you, there's a certain magic that comes with the very first snow, especially when it falls on the day before Christmas. For when the first snow is also a Christmas snow..."
~Frosty the Snowman

Olde Shepherd is Sold

Yes that's right we've got snow! How appropriate for the first day of December!!

I didn't even realize the date until this morning when I heard Matt Lauer on tv "Good Morning everyone, today is the first day of December"  I actually thought "No Matt Lauer, you better check your dates."  Of course I was wrong (imagine that).

I thought tomorrow was the first day of December and that is why I am a little late in posting my update on Early Work Mercantile this month....a big month too!  It's updated now with a few new offerings....a Primitive Shepherd and a Christmas Pillow.  For more info click the link above.

Sorry Pillow is Sold

I'll be back on track with bloging next week.  I'm getting ready for a Country Christmas Gathering this Friday and Saturday.  We are located in Western Pennsylvania, email me if you'd like to visit, I'll send you directions.

Hope everyone had a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving.  Onward now into Christmastime.  Happy decorating!!

Hugs ~ Jenn :)

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