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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishing you great joy!

What’s really important this Christmas is that we don’t confuse happiness and joy.  
Happiness is impacted by external circumstances. Joy, on the other hand, is an internal state of heart. 
It’s an approach to life or an attitude. We can choose to act like the Grinch and rob ourselves and others of pleasure or we can allow our hearts to grow three sizes and join the celebration. 
Life’s problems temporarily may rob you of happiness. But a person with a truly joyful nature will not surrender it because of circumstances. 
The words above really resonated with me.  (you can read the entire article here.)  It made me think about how lucky I am that I have both happiness and joy this Christmas.  All and all, it's been a pretty good year.
As always, I'm running last minute.  Having a ball though, wrapping, baking, shopping, and enjoying family and friends.  Lots of family are here in town now and it's been great!  Tomorrow will be our feast of seven fishes at home (it's an Italian thing).  And on Christmas it will be here, there and everywhere!
I hope that you'll be doing some wonderful things this holiday with your family and friends.
Remember Christmas is a time for hope and to celebrate salvation. 
Love and gratitude to you ALL for sharing the joy of the season with me.  It's been wonderful!!!!  
Wishing you a holiday with many blessings and so much love.

 Merry Christmas.

Jenn xo

~top photo that I love is from http://www.lisaleonardonline.com/blog/

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Website Update Tonight 8pm est

Please kindly stop by if you have a moment.

I've been listing things all day...vintage and handmades.  You will be able to see them all at 8:00 p.m eastern time.
a little teaser....

I will be sending out a reminder email once it's opened.  If your not on my mailing list you can sign up on the left. 

Thanks and enjoy this lovely day! 

Hugs ~ Jenn

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas PIN~spiration

With the Christmas update coming on Thursday (be there or be square!) I haven't much time to blog.

 ......or decorate.

Every morning with my tea I've been allowing myself 15 minutes of pinning.  (Visit this post if you want to know what what pinterest is)

Source: bhg.com via Jenn on Pinterest

It makes me dream and hope and think about how I want to do things.

Somehow if I've pinned it then I almost feel like I can do it.

These are just a few Christmas inspirations on my holiday board.

So much fun!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Christmas music or not playing on a blog?

What do you prefer???

I am torn.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December on Early Work Mercantile

I have three offerings this month if you'd like to take a peek.   

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today I am thankful.  I am thankful for a husband that loves me more than I could ever imagine.  I am thankful that we have one sweet and healthy daughter.  I am thankful that we have very loving and supportive family and friends.  I am thankful for my long distant friends whom I will never meet in person but share so many interests with and enjoy so much.

I am thankful.     I am grateful.      And I am blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My favorite Pumpkin Pie

I have fallen in love with this pie.

This recipe is adapted from one included in a favorite cookbook "The New Best Recipes".  I adjusted the spices a little because I don't like a too spicy pumpkin pie.

First you need to make a pie crust.  This is my most current favorite pie crust lately.    You make it in the food processor, it's so easy and the best I've tasted in a long time. It also makes great pie scrap cookies.  I think it's in the lard.  Yes I said lard.  Sounds gross but makes the best crust.


Make that first OR your favorite crust OR use a store bought crust if your not into making pie crust.  I won't judge you.

Your will need to partially prebake your crust. 

After you fit it to the pie pan, put pie in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Prebake shell for about 20 minutes until very lightly golden brown.  You can use pie weights but I don't have them and always keep my fingers crossed that my pie won't fall in.  I've been lucky so far!

Start preparing the filling when you put the pie shell in the oven.  The filling should be ready when the pie shell has partially baked.

Pumpkin Filling:
2 cups plain canned pumpkin puree
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
4 eggs

Process the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a food processor for 1 minute until combined.  Transfer mixture to a heavy-bottom saucepan; bring to a a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook the pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.

When pie shell comes out of oven, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Whisk the heavy cream and milk into the pumpkin mixture and bring to a bare simmer.

Process the eggs about 5 seconds in food processor until yolk and whites are combined.  With motor running, slowly pour about half the hot pumpkin mixture through the feed tube.  Stop the machine and add remaining pumpkin mixture.  Process 30 seconds longer.

Pour the warm filling into the hot pie shell.  (Ladle any excess filling into the pie after it has baked for 5 minutes, by this time the filling will have settled.)

Bake the pie until the filling is puffed, dry-looking, and lightly cracked around edges, and the center wiggles like gelatin when the pie is gently shaken, about 25 minutes.

Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour.

Served warm, chilled, or at room temperature ~ it all taste good!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rain rain turn to snow!

Okay, I'm ready for a little of the white fluffy stuff now.  

These lovely ladies are on the Primitive Gatherings this month. Hop on over there for more info.

I've also added a few Christmasy things on my website. I'm working on a big Christmas update coming soon.

Today I'll be making pumpkin pie for tomorrow....for you! Sorry, we get to eat it though. I found a new recipe a while ago and made it for Dino's birthday, his favorite is pumpkin. It was fantastic!!!

Thought you might want to try it for Thanksgiving.

Have a lovely day my friends.

Jenn xo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Simple Goods Show

Saturday was Simple Goods.

So many amazing booths.

The way they were set up, the creativity was overwhelming and inspiring.

I met one of my favorite artist/craftsman James Cramer, who was there signing his delightful new book "'Tis the Season".

You may know him from the Country Living book "Seasons at Seven Gates Farms". It was such a pleasure.

Horse drawn carriage rides from the main building

to a second building this year.

More antiques and primitives!

Hard to find Pilgrim Corn

Audrey & David, our good friends from 1824 Antiques
My mom & me
A few things I brought to the show.

Now I'm home getting caught up. Lydia has been sick since last week. We visited the doctors yesterday. She has a slight walking pneumonia with an ear infection, poor thing. 

I have a few things left from the show that I'll be posting hopefully later today on my website.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Last day of October ~ what????

It's been a beautiful autumn so far.  Did you have snow on Saturday?  We were lucky and had about an inch here in Western Pennsylvania.  Some were really hit bad....so sad about all the pretty trees that were damaged.  It's crazy for it to snow this early.  Where is Indian Summer?

I've been busy as a bee working on holiday primitives for the Simple Goods show.  Just checking in and wishing you all a spooky happy Halloween.

See you next week with pictures from the show!

Love and hugs,
~ Jenn

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Yum!

I've been sewing my brains out trying to get ready for Simple Goods.  I don't know how much I'll have but it will have to be enough.
soon to be Christmas mice
Today is my girls birthday.  Every year she requests to go to our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Happy Birthday Lydia!  .......Happy day mom - no cooking!

Now baking is a different story.  I need to bake.  It keeps makes me and my sweet tooth happy to bake.

The following recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker I think?  I added the cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  It needed frosting.

The recipe is simple.  It took me about 35 minutes for the first batch to be finished with frosting.  I love that.

Hugs and kisses!!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 box Spice Cake mix
1 15 oz can Pure Pumpkin 
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 stick of Butter, softened 
1/2 c Walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease and flour cookie sheet or use parchment paper. 

Add the cake mix, pumpkin puree, egg and soft butter into a bowl and mix it all just until combined. (I used my hand mixer but a spoon would work just as well.

Drop spoonfuls of dough about two inches apart on the cookie sheet

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Cinnamon Frosting

3/4 stick Butter, softened
1/2 cup Cream Cheese, softened 
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp sour cream (...add a little milk if you don't have it about the same amount)
almost 1 tsp cinnamon (i started with a 1/2 and add to taste)
dash of Salt
First cream butter and cream cheese.  Then mix in rest with a hand mixer.  Let cookies cool before frosting....I never can wait!
Makes about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunshiny Day

I hope your day is sunny and bright.  We've had the prettiest days lately. 

All the rain we had last week has sprouted some pretty mushrooms throughout the garden.  I'm sure there is a little fairy living under this one!

Despite the warmer weather and the blue skies I'd say yes, autumn is definitely here.  The mockingbird is singing again ~ constantly.  Wild blue asters are blooming everywhere.  The leaves have begun to change and some are even falling past my window as I type.   The smell is delightful!  Definitely autumn knocking on our door.

Right at this moment I'm working on the update for Primitive Gatherings on the 15th and will post pictures soon.

I've also been asked to do the Simple Goods show again with my friend Audrey from 1824 Antiques.  It's only a few weeks away....lots of work to be done and haven't even started!!

Is anyone going?

What would you like to see????

I will not panic, I will not panic, I will not......

Have the best day my friends.

~Jenn :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Early Work Mercantile Offerings for October

Here we are again...yes it is October and it's now FREEZING in Pennsylvania.  Last Saturday 85 degrees, today 47 degrees!  How does this happen so fast?
Tan Bird Set is Sold

I've got these little sewing box sets available on Early Work Mercantile this month.  Stop on over for further information.  And please send sunshine to PA.  Thank you

Happy hugs ~ Jenn :)

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