Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
"A Year of Enchantment III" has arrived and after tallying all the votes, the theme is STORYBOOK!
We will have an entire YEAR of being artsy, craftsy, and otherwise beautifully entwined in a storybook wonderland. Although we will NOT have monthly swaps, I will be hosting theme related swaps throughout the year.
Take a walk with me as we revisit our favorite characters.
Take a moment to create something beautiful FOR. YOUR. SELF.
Take your children on outings inspired by the theme; maybe to feed the birds or to drop a toy along the way throughout the year.
Take yourself to the library and re-read the story from each month's theme. Those of you with children will cherish this time together.
Take this opportunity to de-stash your craft closet.
And just think....if you choose to play along, you will end up with a minimum of 12 ornaments for your Christmas Tree!
Don't forget.....you are part of this.....you can post what you did with the theme; tutorials, recipes, crafts to inspire the rest of us! (Last year I mainly posted and that is BORING! I need you all to post too!) I'll announce the first month's theme soon!
So for now, grab a badge and spread the word!
Tell your artsy/craftsy friends to stop by and join us, the more people we have playing along, the more inspiration we will have here.
Be sure to leave a comment here with your link or email me at valpowery(at)yahoo(dot)com with your info. That way, I can put you on the sidebar and send you an invitation to post on the blog.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I recieved my lovely package from Susan today - thank you so much, it is precious.
Lots of bits and bobs .... fluffy socks, jingle bells, sparkly crystals, recipe cards, binding, ribbon, and some yummy chocolates.
The best part of all, the little lady herself ..... isn't she cute!!! Her little wooden shoes just make me smile:-)
Here is a peek at the little peppermint pixie that I made for Susan.
A little peg doll .... I do love the way she turned out:-)
Susan, once again, THANK YOU so much for my lovely package, I loved it all.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE
Friday, December 16, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
She turned out SO CUTE!
now I need to make my candy cane syrup. After that, I'll be done with this year's YOE......amazing that another year is almost done!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I found this recipe off foodbuzz.com and couldn't resist sharing it here given our theme.
Maybe it's the season, weather or just something in the air but lately I've been having a peppermint craving, the more intense the better it is. Since it's Christmas, I decided to make an ordinary chocolate cookie a little extra ordinary so that's how these peppermint pixies came to existence.
Commonly called chocolate crackles, chocolate crinkles and chocolate snowcaps, these cookies are delicious and bursting with chocolate flavour all on their own. The addition of creme de menthe and peppermint oil elevates them to another dimension and makes them seasonally special. As a child I recall fairy tales which often portrayed pixies as short and ill tempered little creatures. Therefore it would only be fitting to call these peppermint pixies because although they are tiny, they pack an intense mighty minty punch!
Fresh and cooled after baking, they are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. They will be chewy after a day. These are a simple roll and bake cookie. You may already have your own recipe if not enjoy the one below.
yields about 2 dozen
6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint oil
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
3/4 cup AP Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
3/4C Light Brown Sugar - packed firmly
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons creme de menthe (optional - omit for child friendly morsels)
Granulated and icing sugar for rolling - about 1 cup each
- Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt over a bain marie. Set aside to cool.
- Sift dry ingredients together; Cocoa powder, AP flour, baking powder and salt.
- Cream together butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add in egg and beat until just combined. Stir in peppermint oil to cooled chocolate and add to butter mixture. Beat until well combined.
- Add half of sifted dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Add in milk and creme de menthe if using and continue to mix on low speed. Finally add in remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Portion dough in two and between parchment paper press each portion into a square about 3/4 inch thick. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to form balls. Pop the chilled dough into the freezer for about 7-10 minutes. While waiting, prepare the icing sugar and granulated sugar separately in a medium sized bowl for rolling.
- Remove dough from the freezer, using a knife cut dough into 3/4 inch squares. Since I find the dough to be of a sticky and wet consistency, I found that this method of working the dough as cold as possible helps alleviate the sticky situation.
- Between the palm of your hands, roll each square into round balls which will be roughly 1 inch in diameter. As you are rolling, the warmth of your palms will start to melt the dough which is what you want as this will make the granulated sugar stick to them.
- Chuck the balls into the bowl with the granulated sugar and swirl them around to be completely coated. Pick them out and set aside. Do this to all the remaining dough. You may have to wash your hands between rolling but I found for myself that working the dough in 2 portions only required my hands to be washed before getting to the 2nd final half.
- After all the balls are formed and covered in granulated sugar. Preheat oven to 350˚. Roll the chocolate balls in icing sugar to generously coat them. Don't be skimpy here as this is what will create the black and white contrast of the cookies.
- Place the icing sugared balls onto parchment lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake 10-12 minutes until they puff and crack. Keep in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.
It may appear that there are many steps but don't let this deter you from attempting this recipe. It's all about ease and efficiency and being organized. You'll understand the messy and sticky situation when you start or attempt this recipe. It really is easy if you are organized and have everything ready.
Monday, December 5, 2011
It flew by .... and naughty me, I was late sending out my tree package, but I can happily tell you, that it's safely on its way.
I got a lovely package from Sarah .... I just love these little beaded trees .... and they sparkle beautifully under the Christmas Tree lights:-)
See, I told y'all they were super cute:-}
Sarah also sent me some other lovely things ...
The kids will be getting tree shaped pancakes for breakfast tomorrow morning - they'll go off to school with big smiles!!!
The ric rac and cookie cutter will be put to good use, that's for sure.
Dear old marshmallow santa .... what can I say, other than he met his match in me!!!!
Thank you again Sarah for a lovely swap package.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I know Susan already posted about the swap I sent her but I wanted to share the apron I made her because you can't see it in her photo....I know you apron lovin' ladies will be jealous...
Peppermint Pixies, here I come!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
And last but not least my favorite item . . . a zentangle pen box tangled by Missy herself. I just LOVE it!!!!!!! Thank you so much Missy for such an amazing gift! It's a work of art. I can't tell you how much I adore it!
Each year I am drawn to peppermint candy canes like a moth to the flame.
There is something magical about a simple candy that can evoke such fond memories of childhood.
December's ornament: Using mainly red and white, create a "Peppermint Pixie!"
December's challenge: ship it out ASAP!
December's activity: make candy cane syrup this year!
Here is a link to the recipe I found at storybook woods. Isn't it pretty!
"All you need is faith and trust and pixie dust!" --Peter Pan
Thank you again, I LOVE it!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
I got my Fabulous Swan Package from Missy. The Great thing is we live in the same zip code and I got to meet her. She is a DOLL and so very talented.
I love my Swan Swap gifts. when I opened the box it was so whimsical like looking into a Fairy Tale. I was completely mesmerized. Thank You Missy B.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
My USPS confirmation says my partner has received her package, so I wanted to share the swans I sent her before we get into the tree postings. My idea was to use a fall seasonal item for a swan. I thought gourds looked like a swan with the long crooked neck. So I painted one up and adhesived some feathers to it for its wings. I was amazed myself how cute it looked.
Also, I made her a "flying stuffed softie swan" with adhesived feathers and beaded feet.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Jill was very generous as well!! She sent me some stamps, pretty ribbon, and even a cool knit washcloth!! I dont knit (but i do crochet) so it was cool to see it done a different way and will be used ASAP!!
Also here are closer views of the really cool ornaments:
Thanks for a super wonderful swap! I am not swapping in Nov and Dec this year b/c I have a two week vacation and a million and one things to make for my family for Christmas.. so I want to get a little bit of a jump rather than scrambling to get those and my swap packages out. This has been another lovely year with YOE (my second) and I whole- heartedly look forward to a third!! Thank you to all my partners - you have all send such wonderful things to me !! And a big hug and thanks to Val for keeping this going and making it a positive experience all the way around.. See yall at the first of the year may you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, October 28, 2011
In one town, my best friend lived through a little wooded area. The only way to her house from mine was to either go through the woods or around town. I would go through the woods and over a little brook....I loved walking to her house and listening to the little critters scurry around.
In another town, our housing was on old farm land. The developers had left a plum orchard intact. To get to school, you could go through the orchard and save time or go around the orchard. I always loved to go through it....not to save time, but to play in the orchard.
I would climb those plum trees and eat myself sick. I would fall out of those same trees....and climb right back up them! I would sit in the trees and think, I would hide in them, I would cry in them. I spent a LOT of time in plum trees for those years!
Trees are definitely enchanting...they grow from tiny seeds, they bear edible seeds and fruits, they offer shelter for birds and other creatures.
November's ornament: A TREE.
November's challenge: give your tree a wee inhabitant...maybe a little squirrel or partridge or wood gnome.....?
November's activity: drop off a can of food at a local church or food bank.
"There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it." ~Minnie Aumonier
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sarah is a new swapper with us and she made me this lovely creature with gorgeous wings........
and then she added a few spooky goodies and a couple treats too!
Thank you Sarah!
Monday, October 24, 2011
close up of the ornaments:
and here is a close up of the charms....I love the feathers.
Don't forget to ship out your packages by the last day of the month!!!!! I can't wait to post November's theme.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I read the book "The Trumpet of the Swan" by E.B.White.
Yes...it is a kid's book but I'm really glad I reread it. It was one of the books I really loved as a child and rereading it as an adult gave me goose bumps (swan bumps?)
If you read it with your children, pay close attention to the freedom Sam has in the book.....I remember that too. Adults didn't have to hover over their children at every turn like they do now.
I've sent off my swan to my partner....and now I'm thinking of NOVEMBER!!!!