Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweet Vintage Tuesday: a vintage inspired clothespin tutorial and caramel apple cake recipe!

Hi and happy Tuesday! What an exciting time of year for all of us crafters. CHA is happening right now! I've seen a couple sneak peeks of some of the new products already. Oh, I can't wait to see everything. My crystal ball tells me my 'wish list' is about to become a whole lot longer. Today will also put January behind us. It's my least favorite month. Now we can start looking to the longer and sunnier days of spring, with it's beautiful flowers and sweet smelling air (sigh....) 

  I have a great project to share with you today. I found this photo on Pinterest (originally from Tiny Bear Studio on Etsy.) This lovely set already sold, but that doesn't mean you can't have them. I've made these often to give as gifts, and they are are fun and easy to craft.

The supply list is simple and inexpensive: some clothespins/spools, coffee and/or tea, a couple of yards of lace or fabric strips, strips of pages from an old book, a couple of yards of trim or ribbon of your choice, buttons, and a yard jute. 

If you don't want to destroy a book to make these, just scan a page and save it to your computer, then print it out on some nice quality paper or light weight cardstock. You can change the look of the project by changing the style of lace or fabric. Give them a more primitive style by using homespun, or use a holiday fabric for a seasonal look. 

  1. Create about a cup of stain using a strong coffee, tea, or mixture of both. You can use instant or brewed for this. Make the mixture as light or dark as you wish, depending on how vintage or primitive you want your project to look. If your not sure, just experiment a little until you find what suits.  
  2. Soak the clothespins in the coffee/tea mixture until they've achieved the desired aged appearance, then allow to dry.     
  3. If you'd like your lace/fabric and book pages to appear more aged, just soak them in the coffee/tea mixture as well, and allow to dry. Be careful not to soak them too long, as they really pick up the stain quickly.      
  4. Wrap the lace or fabric strips around each clothespin or spool.
  5. Wrap a strip of book page around the lace or fabric.
  6. Secure everything with by attaching a coordinating piece of trim or ribbon.  
  7. Embellish by adhering a pretty button or attaching a bit of jute.  
Anyone can make these and the results are completely charming. They make the perfect presentation for gifts of lace and trim, as well as lovely basket or bowl fillers, and they couldn't be more simple!

If you have the munchies today (like me!) and are up for a little baking, you may want to go preheat your oven right about now. I have this caramel apple cake baking in mine as I type this, and it smells absolutely amazing. And better yet, this cake is also easy! It's another recipe I came across on Pinterest. Seriously, you'll never need another cookbook if you go on that site. But it's way too addictive, so be warned:-))

I have just one last bit of vintage sweetness to share today; this photo, found on from Belle Atelier. I think this color palette would make a lovely card, and I just adore the frothy dresses. Looking at this makes me smile! I hope your Tuesday is full of crafty fun, and I'm so happy you could stop by today! If you'd like to chat just leave a message...

Friday, January 27, 2012

scrappy idea of the day!

You know all those tiny scraps we have leftover from our projects? I have a really hard time throwing all that scrappy goodness in the waste basket. They're so pretty that it just seems wrong, not to mention wasteful. I came up with an idea to upcycle all those tiny bits and pieces  into something that's both useful and lovely.

I turn my leftovers into what I like to call 'tag kits.' 

I cut, stamp, glue, and punch my scraps of patterned paper to create an embellishment kit that's just right for crafting two or three coordinating tags. 

I tie everything together with a bit of twine, then tuck it all into a glassine sleeve for a pretty presentation. In just a few moments my scraps have been transformed into a sweet, one of a kind gift for a papercrafting friend! 
And now I'm off to enjoy a slumber party with my little grandgirl, the light of my life and center of my universe. She makes my world the happiest place ever!  

I hope you're having a wonderful day too! Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a little time with me!     

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love is in the air!

I can't believe it's Thursday already! The days seem to fly by for me. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and to celebrate I'd like to share this sweet image I recently pinned to Pinterest. It's a free printable from The Graphix Fairy, located right here on blogger. Karen shares over 2000 vintage printables on her blog, and is always adding new images. These cute little cherubs are beyond adorable! Thank you Karen!  

Pinterest is my latest online addicition. When I first heard about it I thought I'd have no use for it, but was I ever wrong. I set a 15 minute timer for myself whenever I visit the site because it's way too easy to while-away the hours there. It's a bit like entering the land of the lotus eaters. You think you've been on 20 minutes, then you look at the clock and realize 2 hours have slipped by! 

But there will be no Pinterest for me today:-((well, maybe just 5 minutes at lunch???) I'm busy catching up on tag orders, and those always take priority. Being sick for a couple of weeks has put me behind in everything. If there is one thing I hate, it's to be behind in my obligations. But I'm willing to work hard, and I never give up! So it's back to the craft room for me, followed by a trip to the post office with my packages. I hope you're having a great day too! And I thank you with my whole heart for stopping by to visit me here!    

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shabby Winter Cottage Tags for YPP Swap

Hi! I hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday! It's one of my favorite days of the week. Wednesday is my day to volunteer as a docent for the Historic Charleston Foundation. I give tours at the Nathaniel Russell House, and I soooooo love it!! I get to share my love of history with the wonderful visitors here in Charleston, and am privileged to work with amazing and incredibly knowledgeable people!
I have a few photos to share of the tags I created for Your Paper Pantry's January tag swap. The theme for this month is 'winter', and a cozy, snow covered cottage kept appearing in my mind, so that is what I went with. I had so much fun making these!

I used the Sizzix 'Album House' die to cut the shape out of cardboard, then I removed the paper covering so the bumpy part was exposed. I know there are probably more technical terms to describe cardboard, but I don't know them so I'll just go with 'bumpy part.'   

I mixed a couple of colors of Folk Art acrylic paint to create the blue/green color I used on the cottage (it's my favorite color right now!) After painting I 'aged' it with Tim Holtz distress inks. My 'snow' is cut from felt using Papertrey Ink's 'in the meadow' die collection', then covered in Rock Candy Distress Stickles and mica flakes. 

I 'shingled' my roof with Kraft cardstock from Papertrey Ink. I like their cardstock because it's nice and heavy. I painted the shingles with Folk Art taffy acrylic paint, sanded them a little, then inked them with distress inks to make everything look more vintage and shabby. This became a little tedious by the time I got to the third or fourth tag, but I'm glad I did it now that they're finished:-) The top trim is also made from felt covered in Rock Candy Distress Stickles and mica flakes.

The window is from Prima's line of Shabby Chic Treasures. I painted it in brown acrylic paint, then went over it with the same color of taffy I used on the roof, leaving traces of the brown in the recessed areas. I lined the inside of the window with a piece of plastic packaging covered with mica flakes to make it look like glass that was all frosted over.   

The sentiment and shape were created from a stamp and die from Papertrey Ink's Frienship Jar series, then I attached it to a painted toothpick and added some sparkly fluff to the top edge. I stained and crinkled some seam binding and tied it around the tag, then added a vintage button. I made a snowflake flourish on the left of the tag. I cut my flakes with the Sizzix 'snowflakes #3' die and the Martha Stewart alpine snowflake punch, then covered them in Sparkly Fluff and added a few little plastic snowflake embellishments. 

For the finishing touch I added some tea stained lace to the top. I created the mittens with a die from Papertray Ink's 'love lives here: holiday' die collection, and attached them with a pin from Making Memories 'vintage findings' collection.

I covered almost everything with mica flakes! I wanted my tags to sparkle and look like they were covered in ice. You should see the floor of my craft room. Mica flakes like to go everywhere. Yes, my crystal ball predicts there will be sweeping and cleaning in my future! But in the words of Scarlet O'Hara, I won't think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow.
I also have a Youtube video on these tags. If you'd like to take a peek I'll post the link here:


When I get home tonight I'm going to take a nice long walk, then put on my coziest pj's and relax. For dinner I'm making the ultimate in winter comfort food:


There's nothing more cozy than a bowl of tomato soup and a melty grilled cheese sandwich. After that my hubby and I have a date in front of the television for American Idol (we're big fans!) Yes, Wednsday is definitely one of my favorite days of the week! My best wishes to you for a great day as well, and thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping by!!        

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

doily envelopes

(courtesy of Nicole at
Hi and happy Tuesday! I came across a couple of great ideas online today. How I love the look of these delicate doily envelopes! Imagine how adorable these would be for hand delivered Valentine cards.
All you need is a square lace doily. Fold each corner towards the middle to create a diamond shape, then use a dab of glue to adhere the three corners together. Leave one corner unattached so you have a flap to slide the letter into the envelope.
Here's another example using a round doily:

I can't wait to try this out! 

I also found a couple of great looking recipes. Tex-Mex is a favorite in my family, so I pulled out my trusty crockpot and have this simmering away for our supper...

Tex Mex Crock Pot Chicken

We'll be using ours to fill tacos, but it works just as well for enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, and soups.
And it freezes well, so go ahead and make a double batch and you'll have something put back for those nights you're too rushed to cook. 

Now onto dessert.

Cranberry Crumb Bars 

I adore anything with cranberries. I even slather them on sandwiches along with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. At the moment I'm about to head into my kitchen and whip up a pan of these scrumptious bars. Oh, I cannot wait to taste them!! 
My thanks to the talented Katie for sharing both of the wonderful recipes that will be gracing our table tonight. Here are the links if you'd like to bring them to a dinner table near you:  

And now I can't resist sharing just one more photo, because we have a golden retriever, and this is just the sort of thing our sweet girl used to do... 

(photo courtesy of

I hope you're having a joyful day filled with love and wonderful surprises! And thank you for stopping to share a little of your day with me here!  

Friday, January 20, 2012

tea for two...

I love everything about tea. I have a kitchen cupboard reserved exclusively for housing several varieties, so whatever my mood, there is a tea that suits.

Taking a break for tea helps me to slow down, reflect, and stop the often hurried pace of my day. Tea is also proven to help protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. The powerful antioxidants in tea help to strengthen the immune system, fight colds and flu, promote healthy skin and hair, and can even be anti-aging. 

For me there is no equal to drinking tea out of a delicate and beautiful, vintage teacup. It lends a touch of elegance and civilization to a society moving away from formality and tradition. Over the last few years I've been building my own collection to sip from, and have passed many an enjoyable hour searching out vintage teacups in antique shops and estate sales. Yet another of my vintage addictions exposed here on my blog!
I came across these lovely teacup photos through Lexie at 'I Heart Home' and couldn't resist sharing them. If you'd like to check out her incredible blog, I've posted the link for you to follow.  
 I'm so happy you stopped by, and I hope you'll find a bit of time in your day to sit back with a cup of your favorite tea and enjoy a quiet moment.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

I found these cookies on Pinterest today. One look at the photo had me heading to the kitchen to check my pantry for the ingredients. I remember having these as a child, but it's been so many years I had forgotten about them. They are decadently delicious and unbelievably easy! AND my cold feels a tiny bit better this afternoon, proving my theory that chocolate can cure everything. If you're like me and can't resist temptation, just click on the link and it will take you to the recipe. A huge thank you to Morgan at for sharing her wonderful recipe and photo!       

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A vintage image to share....

I'm back to share another vintage image today! This is an old trade card for International Baking Powder. One of my crafting goals this year is to create a keepsake album displaying all the recipes handed down through my family, and this card is going to make a perfect embellishment. Or imagine how sweet it would look framed in prim or shabby chic kitchen. If you have a special project to use this in I'd love to hear about it or see a photo of what you've created. My best wishes to all for a fun and crafty day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

chicken noodle soup to chase away a cold...

I'm still trying to get rid of this horrible cold! Every time I think I'm over it, it comes back again. Usually I'm really good at curing myself with hot tea, orange juice, zinc lozenges, and tylenol. Since it isn't working this time I'm bringing out the big guns...chicken noodle soup. The recipe I use is from (I'll put the link on the title of this post if you want to give it a try.) It's not totally made from scratch. It cheats a bit by using prepared chicken stock, which is perfect for me, because I don't have energy to make my own stock when I don't feel good. For the chicken I use one of the roasted ones purchased at the supermarket in the deli section. It's amazingly good for being so simple. Just the thing for a cold winter day when your under the weather. I can't wait to be back to my normal self. I'm looking forward to sharing a couple of projects I've been putting together for Valentine's Day! I hope everyone has a warm and cozy Monday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Giveaway Winner !

Hi! Sorry it took me so long to get this on here. I had a terrible time uploading this video. Thank you again to everyone who took part in my giveaway! Don't worry if you didn't win this time around. I'll be hosting another 'Bag of Tags' giveaway just before Easter! I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Hugs,  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vintage buttons and giveaway update!

Hi and happy Saturday! I wanted to share this photo of a few buttons from my collection.....just because they're pretty and they make me smile. Each a tiny work of art, so unique and special. I love using old buttons in projects or just displaying them in my home in a pretty bowl. Another of my vintage addictions exposed here on my blog!
I had the nicest day yesterday. I got to talk with two of my dearest friends, Su (who is way across the ocean in France) and Robin (we've been friends since grade school!) It made my day so special! Hi Su and Robin!! 
I have a quick update for my 'Bag of Tags' giveaway ending tomorrow. I'll be drawing for the winner promptly at 10:00 am EST. I'll be conducting the drawing and announcing the winner over video. It will take me just a little bit of time to get the video uploaded to my blog, so if you're checking in for results I'll have the video up ASAP after the drawing. I want to sincerely thank everyone participating. I'm really looking forward to crafting these tags for you. And thanks for coming by today ~ I hope your day is fun and relaxing! It's back to the craft room for me. I've been sick with a respiratory infection and I'm behind in my work. I hate it when that happens, but the only solution is to keep plugging away:-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I have another image to share with you today! I love collecting old postcards and trade cards. Little pieces of the past recalling a simpler time. Each miniature work of art reflecting an innocence and warmth rarely found in today's world. I always wonder who owned them before me. What long ago person enjoyed them and cared for them, preserving them for future generations. Whenever I need a little crafty inspiration I have only to leaf through the pages of my collection and I'm on my way to a new project. I hope you'll enjoy using this image for your own creations, or that it just brings a little smile to your day. I'm so happy you stopped by! My wishes to you for a day of joy and many blessings!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Great American Dump Cake

I don't know who invented dump cake. I've googled it to no avail. The earliest reference seems to be a Duncan Hines cookbook from 1980. I was still in high school then and definitely not scouring over cookbooks, so I suppose I'll always wonder just how someone decided to put this cast of characters together in the first place. The dump cake first entered my life about 12 years ago. As desserts go, it's not particularly dignified. There's not one healthy ingredient. Everything is either processed or loaded with fat. Preparation is as simple as dumping canned fruit in pan, sprinkling on some cake mix, nuts, and pats of  butter (LOTs of butter) then popping it in the oven. But the final product is amazing! This is comfort food at it's finest. More like a cobbler than a cake, it has a moist, cake-like layer of sweet fruit with a crisp, buttery topping. Finish it off with whipped cream or ice-cream if you wish, but it does quite well on it's own. The above photo is the cake I made with my grandaughter this afternoon. Yes, a cake that is simple enough for a 7 year old to make! My son has already eaten 3 large servings. I have eaten some too. I am now going on a 4 mile walk.

Dump Cake Recipe
 1 can Cherry Pie Filling
1 can Crushed Pineapple, undrained
1 box Yellow Cake Mix
2 sticks Butter
½ cup chopped Walnuts or Pecans
Preheat oven to 350
Dump pie filling and canned fruit into a 13x9 baking dish. Spread dry cake mix evenly over top. Cut butter into 12 pats per stick and spread evenly over cake mix. Sprinkle walnuts over top.  Bake at 350 for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbly. Serve warm.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's all in the little things...

I love transforming our home into a cozy retreat for my family. I'm always looking for new ideas to add 'that special touch.' Whenever I visit somewhere particularly comfortable I try to analyze just what it was that made me feel that way. I've come to the conclusion that the secret is in the little things. That attention to detail that's so easy to let slip by in today's busy world. One thing I like to do is infuse our home with a welcoming aroma. Because of our allergies I don't care for commercially scented candles, sprays, or potpourri, so I opt for something all natural. I take bits of whatever I have in my fruit bin~apples, oranges, cranberries~whatever strikes my fancy. I combine everything  in a crock with some water and a spice or two from my cupboard and simmer them on my stovetop. Our home always smells like something scrumptious is baking in the oven, even on the days I don't bake! I'd love to hear your inspirations for creating an inviting atmosphere in your home if you wouldn't mind sharing them. I'm so happy you stopped by my blog today! I send my best wishes for a day filled with joy, love, and fun surprises! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Simple Pleasures

Our 7 year old grandaughter spent the night with us on Saturday. The sweet girl that I love with my whole heart. Another treasured moment to tuck away and remember, because just like our children, she's growing up in the blink of an eye. When it was time for breakfast her face lit up as she asked me if I could please make 'that toast.' After thinking a moment I realized she was referring to my cinnamon toast. Something so simple makes her so happy. A few wholesome, natural ingredients. Something my mother made for me and I made for my children. 

While cinnamon toast may not be considered a balanced meal the memories we made while sharing it are priceless. My little angel helping mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Accidently opening the 'pour' end of the cinnamon instead of the 'sprinkle' and dumping in half the bottle. Her sweet self saying 'That was unexpected!" How she convinced me it is just as healthy to have lemonade for breakfast as orange juice. The smallest moments in life often become our fondest memories. I feel so blessed to have shared this time with my grandaughter. I wish you many special moments with the people you love!