This part of my blog is all about the things I collect or the things I make myself. I love so many things, I paint and draw and want to learn oils and pastels. I knit and crochet but want to learn tatting. I embroider and can turn my hand to most things given a chance. So much still to learn and do. I live in hope of some day reading all my books, learning all I want to learn and now I am learning to blog. You will often find my original poems, poor as they are I offer them here. I also appreciate other people art and will feature things I find that I have enjoyed. That includes pictures of fairies and fantasy or maybe just anything beautiful.
I try to use my own photo's as much as possible, sometimes I borrow from the web. If I inadvertently use your picture without giving credit, please do let me know and I will either credit or remove it, I hope you will do the same with mine.
If you wish to leave comments on my blog you can do that by joining google if you do not have a blog yourself, please comment if you can I appreciate that.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Cranberry leftovers...........................


When I was done with my Cranberry Jam making I had a bunch of cranberry left. I had chopped it up in the food processor. Not wanting to waste all of it that was left, I got creative. I had on hand a yellow cake mix, so using that as a base I made some Cranberry loaves.
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Initially I was going to give them as gifts. Only one of the 4 got to be given away they were too good.
I did not have any cream cheese left and wanted to make frosting, so I looked up a recipe for sour cream frosting and made that.
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Oh my was that ever good.
So having mixed up the yellow cake mix, I added a small amount of orange juice and some grated orange skin (zest if you want to be posh) to that I added about half of the cranberries I had left. The rest the birds will get.
I mixed that all up and divided into 4 small loaf pans. '
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At the store today I picked up another yellow cake mix because it was so good, I just have to make it again. Then the frosting, oh my, that was sooooo good. When the cakes were cool I frosted them and grated more orange over the top.
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This is the recipe I used..............I have to say I like it better than the Cream Cheese frosting. The picture with the recipe made me want to make it.

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Sour Cream Frosting:
1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
4 Cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring
dash of salt


Place ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until moistened, then turn up to med-high and beat for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Cover with plastic wrap if not frosting the cake right away. This recipe will frost and fill one small layer cake or one dozen cupcakes.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Glitter.................

I love the glitter and glimmer of the Christmas season. I must have been a Magpie in some other life (if I believed in such things). I love glass, as I have said often enough. I love Crystal and I love glitter. I love the ornaments that go on my tree and even though this year, I cut things in half and gave away most of everything, I know I will buy more.
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As I get older and older I begin to worry about the mess I will leave behind. Still, why worry aye, the kids can sell it all and make a bit maybe. I have at least cleaned out the crawl space. Our storage area. Just a few more things to tidy down there and that's done. I did find some more things in a closet that I can sell next year, or give away depending on my mood.
Anyway.....Christmas glitter just gives me a cozy feeling. Full of memories. Not so much having the objects themselves but enjoying them either at my home or others. It is the memories though and you cant put a price on that.
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Our old fashioned Christmas trees were just a stick with branches by the time the holiday was over. So by 12th night one was glad to get rid of the fire hazard. We had real candles on the tree and not much under it. The glass ornaments though, brightly coloured glass. Plastic did not come till much later. We decorated the ceilings, windows and doors with paper chains and Chinese lanterns and we made them ourselves more often than not. A project that kept the fever up for the kids. We made them in school and we made them at home in front of a cheery fire. Faces burning from the flames and bums freezing from the drafts. Mum had thick heavy curtain that hung over the doors in Winter to keep away those drafts as good as possible.
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Dad would get up first and light the fire. He learned how to bank the fire at night and draw the fire back to life in the morning before throwing on more fuel.
Despite all the discomfort back then, there was still something magic about the fire, and the frost on the windows. To go upstairs was to hit a wall of cold air. We would undress in front of the fire turning back and forth to keep all sides warm. Mum would have put hot water bottles in the beds, so a quick run upstairs and dive into the mattress and snuggle down to burrow in the stuffing of the mattress. Those mattresses were really lumpy. You would wake up cold when the bottle got cold and maybe pull on your hat and scarf. I had my poodle pal Poppet and we would snuggle and shiver together as the snow piled up on the window ledge, Coats thrown on the bed and anything else that one could find to make more layers. The covers would get so heavy it was hard to sleep. Worse thing was Poppett didn't come to bed until she had her last walkies and so her feet would be wet and freezing cold. She would push her way down under the covers to find the hot water bottle and my feet, when that cooled she would snuggle in my tummy and I would curl around her.
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We hung our stockings on the end of the bed, if we had one. Somehow the gifts would be there in the morning no matter how long I stayed awake. It was often too cold to watch out the windows, even after you scraped a hole to look out of. Beautiful when there was a full moon sparkling on the snow. We didn't always have snow but by December we sure had the cold.
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The pictures painted of those old fashioned Christmas make it idyllic but it wasn't really so why do we treasure those memories. Even the idea of going outside to the loo in the middle of the night, we can laugh now. Not so funny then and most of us had a "chamber pot" under the bed, even then it was a last minute thing as it was too cold to get out of bed.
I digress, this is about glitter isn't it.
So the old ornaments were treasures to be tenderly wrapped and put away year after year. I had a few left that I brought with me and gave to Laura. She does not have my memories she was too young, but has heard them. She treasures anything that comes from "home" after her then all will be lost.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pecans................

I tried something new today. I had bought pecans, can't remember why. So as I was done with anything that may have seemed like I might have need them I decided that maybe candied Pecans would be an idea. So, I looked up a recipe, and actually found two possible ones.
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Both seemed easy enough. The first one was to be baked. 300 degrees
1 bag Pecans (calls for 4 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (white)
1/2 cup brown sugar.
1 tblsp cinnamon
1 teasp salt
1/8 teasp Cayenne (I did not use this)
1 egg white whisked

Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, in a zip lock bag.(some recipes call for a dash of cayenne) Whisk the egg white. Toss the pecans in the egg white until evenly coated. Then drop in the bag and coat with the sugar mix.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 40 minutes.

It was pretty good, but I think I prefer the next version.

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This one is easy too and I did it while waiting for the one in the oven to be done.

3 cups of Pecans ( I just used one bag)
1 cup of sugar
4 tbsp butter (1/4 stick)
3 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the sugar. Keep stirring so it does not burn.Toss in the Pecans and be sure they are well coated, add the vanilla a teaspoon at a time as you continue to stir and then sprinkle in dry stuff and stir for about 3 mins. Turn off the heat and let cool. When cool turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Break up any large clumps. Store in air tight container when cooled.
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Of the two, I liked the 2nd one, it was not as dry and had a buttery taste. I had an admirer while doing these.

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Pretty sure she thought I might need a taster. I miss Tristen being my helper.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Goodies..............

It's countdown to Christmas, that means that me and probably many others are making their home made goodies to give as gifts. To day was jam making day. I was going to do more jams but today I just did the Cranberry and Jalapeno jam. The Cranberry is Cranberry/orange/raspberry. It is tart but sweet, my husband says he doesn't like it but I do. Not that I eat jam very much. Still some of my friends like it and so I still make it every year photo 102_0305_zpsqbxo3obb.jpg
I also made a batch of Jalapeno jam/jelly this time. I didn't last year and wished I had. Not only is it pretty but it tastes so good on crackers with cream cheese. A nice party gift, something people can use this time of year even if they don't like it themselves. It is hot and sweet.
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Both of these jams are easy to make and have always set for me. Can't say the same for my Strawberry jams. I bought a fresh pineapple and some oranges to make Pineapple/orange jam. That sounded really good but can wait a few days. Tomorrow I go out with Edna and meet Barb for supper. I will give them their cheese balls that I made and the jams and some treats. We used to exchange gifts but have sort of given up on that part. Just me and Edna still do that. I am going to give her a Christmas mug filled with fat quarters. If you are a quilter you will know what that is. I have yet to put that together. I will get to it tomorrow morning.
The other thing I made today was the "Saltine cracker chocolate treat" The other day I made some, it was my regular and when I was making it I wondered about doing some with white chocolate (I had some to use up)
It looks and tastes really nice actually.
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This I will call "Chocolate bark" I don't know why. The recipe is very simple.
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You will need.
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Two sleeves of Saltine crackers. (use Saltines rather than a cheaper version if possible)
2 sticks of butter (do not use margarine)
1 Cup of brown sugar packed.
1 large bag of chocolate chips. I use semi sweet because the toffee is sweet enough. Now I have also used white chocolate chips. (The white is what I used today)
I bag of crushed walnuts. (for the dark chocolate) or I bag of Slivered Almonds. I will make one more batch with regular chocolate chips using Toffee/chocolate pieces.
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You need to have lined a baking sheet with foil and sprayed with Pam so the crackers do not stick to the foil. Lay out in rows to cover the entire tray.
In a medium saucepan combine and cook the sugar and butter. Bring to a boil. Keep stirring. Once rolling boil time 3 minutes. Watch and do not burn, keep stirring all the time.
Pour on the caramel from the pan and spread it over the crackers to the edges.
Place in a 400 oven for 5 minutes and it should come out bubbly.
Pour on the chocolate chips and spread once they begin to melt.
Cover up to the edges.
Let the pan cool and then refrigerate until cold and set. Then you can break it up and freeze until you are ready to use.
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I do believe I have posted the jam before but if you want a recipe I can post it later. Just let me know.
This is a very simple, very tasty and pretty looking treat, good for gift giving.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Quick trip to the Thrift..........................

On Friday after Thanksgiving we finally got to take the 4 poodles in to Brenda, the groomers. We had to put it off because of Bijou having surgery. Well we got the stitches out and dealt with the flea invasion and so she is all set. So along with surgery and grooming, there goes Christmas. That's OK. I have to...... I really do have to, get used to this. We can no longer afford to do all the splurging that we always do at Christmas. Each year has got leaner. Well this year I really will try to keep to what I said. So, here is this years plan. I am going to go through all my Christmas stuff. Oh boy!!!!!!
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Just to show you the monumental task this will be........
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I love Christmas decorations, almost as much as I love Christmas shopping, planning and buying gifts. Well when you put it all together and really look. I sort of over do things. I am not happy with just a few special things I have to do it all the way. Every year I have put away every ornament and picture in every room. Replacing them with Christmas stuff. When it's time to put away christmas it is my chance to do some Spring Cleaning. I have always really enjoyed that. Well.............I just can't do it anymore. It takes a whole day for Gerry to drag the stuff upstairs and then I pack up everything and he hauls it all downstairs to storage. Then all the empty boxes once I have put every out. Then in January sometime we do it all in reverse. I just don't want to do it any more.
So this next week I will go through all the boxes. I will decorate what I feel like doing and then as I go along I will select things to put aside for the girls and give Laura and Carrie a bunch of things. I will even set some aside for Tristen. He likes the little train that runs around the Christmas tree and I have his baby tree ornaments.
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So this is two of the poodles after their grooming.
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Bijou and Bella.
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The groomers is right near my Thrift Shop so naturally I just had to go in and check it out.
They had a lot of Christmas stuff.........I picked up a couple of wreaths and a Santa and a couple of snowmen. Then I put them back. Well look above.............do I need them? NO NO NO.

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What I did get, two purses that looked new. A glass candy dish. (can't resist glass) A nice Christmas can/box that I can use for treats to give away and a couple of books.
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I wanted a new purse, and the yellow one was just right for me for summer. I had looked at yellow ones at Kohls and resisted so that was nice.
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The Yellow one and a nice red one that I liked.
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So I was very good and totally resisted the Christmas stuff.
I may have already got one of the books but hey I can pass that on no worry.

Friday, November 25, 2016

I have been doing something new, for me at least. I am using my own work and photo's to make meme's. No idea why. Maybe at some point with the idea of making cards with my own photo's. Until then, this gives me some practice with different programs that are available for editing. If only I could use my imagination. I love doing so many things. I would like to put it to good use and make some money but HOW????????
It is very frustrating.
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So there we are, I may have done more of these but it doesn't matter. I am posting these here only so that in time I may see some improvement. I am confused because I enjoy doing so many things and would like to be able to make some extra money. Thing is, I try too many things so can not get really good at anything. I should just get a job. I don't have enough followers on a blog to make money on a blog.........I do not know how to start or do an Etsy shop. Anyway, no matter. This is just another fun thing to do.