Tuesday, February 24, 2009

She Lost Her Head !

Stella and Ruthie were having a wonderful time playing beneath the giant fir tree in the garden. The sun, shining through the branches, made pretty patterns on the ground where the girls sat arranging the furniture in the dolls house. Suddenly the tranquil mood was shattered by two rather rambunctious doggies, who came bounding across the garden. When they reached the girls, one of the dogs jumped up on Ruthie.........

causing her to stumble and fall. SHE LOST HER HEAD ! We want to help Ruthie get her head together.
Can anyone suggest a good glue for repairing little bisque dolls?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Serendipity !

I have a passion for all things involving the use of needle and thread. I'm drawn to textiles, lace, buttons, trim...basically anything I can put a stitch to. Sewing items are one of my favorite treasures to hunt.
I recently found this sweet little blue wicker sewing box.......

with a pastel bouquet of flowers on the lid that remind me of my garden. Oh, I'm so ready to put winter behind me and move on to spring.

I found another, smaller bouquet, on the inside. A nice reminder to stop and smell the roses, when you're frantically digging through your supplies looking for something you've misplaced.

Web sources indicate that these sewing boxes were made by the Harvey Company during the 1940's and '50's.

Among the items of interest that were inside the box when I bought it, were:

this tatting instruction book, along with various threads and cords. I found the instructions for left-handed tatters amusing. It reads....."The left-handed should place a pocket mirror to the left of each drawing, and the exact working position will be reflected in the mirror." I can't imagine having both your hands occupied with thread, while trying to look into a tenuously placed mirror to see if your technique is correct. Arrgh! Who carries a mirror in their pocket anyway?

this "gasoline station token" scissors sharpener and old pair of scissors......

this needle book with kittens, and smaller packages of needles from England.....but hidden inside a tattered paper bag in the very bottom of the sewing box were........
eight of THESE!



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wishing You A Happy St. Valentine's Day

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today I’m joining Tiffany at Shabby Scraps for her “Field Trip Friday” d├ębut. The idea is to photograph interesting destinations and purchases, to post and share with fellow bloggers. Tiffany hopes that these Friday posts will become a shopping and entertainment resource for anyone planning a trip. Please visit Tiffany’s blog to sign up to participate or to link to participants. http://shabbyscraps.typepad.com/shabbyscraps/ Today I'm visiting Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee. We were experiencing severe storms, with damaging winds, the day of my visit, so outdoor shots were not possible. I will save the story of the town for another Friday when I can include photos. My destination today is the Franklin Antique Mall.

The Mall is housed in a huge old building, that was once an ice house. It has many odd floor levels and lots of nooks and crannies to investigate. It takes a while to see everything.

Franklin Antique Mall

Vintage church pews and antique doors add charm to the entry.


Straight ahead, as you enter the building , you see a wonderful valentine display, housed in an antique glass fronted case.

I found hearts in places other than the display case. Aren't these swans sweet?

A drawer full of pretty napkins.

A booth full of vintage baby dolls...30 percent off !

A pretty lamp in one of my favorite colors......PINK !

Some pink cross stitched pillowcases and one embroidered with flowers...oh, and another heart.

Beautiful chenille items filled this booth.

A very lovely young lady wearing a beautiful gown and roses in her hair.

I really loved this pink vase with dogwood blossoms and wanted to take it home with me but I thought the price was too high since it was slightly cracked. So I left without it. "Sigh"

I spotted one more heart before leaving.

I hope you enjoyed visiting the Franklin Antique Mall. I look forward to posting more about this wonderful little town.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Golden Heart

The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
-Hellen Keller

When I came across this quote from Hellen Keller, I was struck by how profoundly astute this lady was, even with her disabilities, at assessing the essence of life…the things that move our soul. When we hear our babies first cry, or witness it’s first smile of recognition. The way your heart jumps when you find that first brave green shoot peeping out of the frozen soil, signaling that spring is on it’s way. That warm feeling that envelopes you when you look around the room at family gatherings, and know that all of you share the same history as well as the same DNA. You are all linked to the same ancestors…you share a common bond.
All of these heartfelt emotions are heightened by our senses of sight and hearing, and she had neither……how amazing!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chocolate Valentine L-O-V-E

I'll be baking my favorite chocolate cake for Valentine's Day.

This cake is mouthwateringly moist. The secret ingredient that gives it such mysterious dark depths of flavor is a cup of strong black coffee...Oh my goodness it's to die for.It's easy to make, but looks like you spent hours. The recipe follows.

Black Magic Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

When I make this cake, I like to finish it with a "French Ganache" frosting.
It's such a rich, beautiful frosting and it's so simple to make. Just two ingredients!
Here's the recipe for:
French Ganache Frosting
8 ounces best quality semisweet chocolate ( I use Ghirardelli Semisweet Chocolate Chips)
1 cup heavy cream
Directions: Prepare an ice bath. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat, and pour over chocolate chips. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until chocolate melts. Divide mixture between two bowls. Set one aside. Place the other over the ice bath, and stir until mixture reaches the consistency of toothpaste.
With an offset spatula, spread an even layer of the thicker ganache over the entire cake. Still using the offset spatula, pour remaining half of the ganache over the cake until completely covered and smooth. I love the way the frosting shines.
I usually make a three layer cake because it looks good and my husband can't wait to have a taste. So to avoid his harassing me with "nobody is going to notice if there's a piece missing," he gets to cut and nibble on the extra fourth layer....just a little insurance against having to serve half a cake.
Of course that means that I need to double the cake and frosting recipes.
Whether you serve it plain, or decorate it with sliced fresh strawberries or fresh flowers...this cake is a crowd pleaser.
I hope your family enjoys this fabulous cake as much as mine.