Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String...

Last week while bopping around Blogland to visit some of my favorite haunts, I landed smack dab in the middle of Flea Market Friday! If you are not familiar with this Internet phenomenon, it occurs when many bloggers offer wonderful items for sale right on their own little blogs. It's sort of like a cyber yard sale held on Fridays. Anyhoo, the effervescent Tammy Gilley was a participant and she had this adorable pink shelf up for grabs as part of her offerings. I was lucky enough to be the first to ring in, so I became the new owner of this little piece of happiness.

Now remember, I said this was purchased last Friday. I received the package in the mail today!!! Is that fast or what? Well, such prompt service stirred up the need for me to be prompt about putting this little beauty on display. I think I should call this vignette my "Ode To Etsy." Almost every item shown either came from an Etsy shop or from some other delightful website store front.

This came from Natalea's Etsy shop. Natalea is FABULOUS and has such a happy assortment of lovelies to choose from. Ooh, and speaking of fast, her packages arrive at your doorstep seconds after you push the "complete transaction" button!
This sweet pincushion came from Beth's Bagz on Etsy. That girl has mad talent. I'm lucky to have scored this piece because she always sells out quickly.

Taking a quick look, I think I have something from almost all my sidebar favorites! There's the Eiffel Tower from Inspire Company, the "Life" collage by Rebecca Sower, heart ornaments from Present Past, little cake picture from Everyday Is A Holiday, millinery flowers and flash card from Pea Coats and Party Hats, collage necklace from Doojie's, and I almost forgot the tall glass shakers are from Tammy also and came with the shelf. She used this piece as her glitter rack. Isn't that the coolest idea?!

Okay, so maybe I don't have items from everyone on my list, but Friday is just around the corner and those web stores are open 24/7! Till next time, I hope your day is filled with your favorite things.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Left To My Own Devices...

I went to the office supply store for some quick copies and ended up with the loot featured above. I had to wait while my copies were being made, so I was left to meander around the store to kill time. I think being made to wait is a marketing ploy. Who knew said office supply store would stock these adorable aqua tickets or this fun flippy note pad? I loved these funky file folders and marvy matching markers...and shipping tags with twine, one can never have enough of these!

You know though, even if I hadn't had to wait these lovelies would have found their way home with me somehow. I think it's one of Murphy's Laws or something. The law that goes,"Boring purchases must always be offset with an acquisition of the frivolous nature." Hmmm, doesn't sound familiar to you? Maybe it's a Melissa's Law. Ooh, I just saw the time! I must dash. I need to fill up my car with $75 worth of gas. While I'm at the station I think I'll splurge on that candy necklace I've had my eye on!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

When my husband and I were first dating we found a wonderful little Italian restaurant in the town where we attended college. It was a popular date spot that served delicious pasta, but more importantly, FANTASTIC Italian cream cake. Neither one of us had ever tasted this dessert before, but it very quickly became our favorite. We enjoyed this cake so much that we even had it as one of the layers in our wedding cake, and not surprisingly it vanished quickly at the reception.

A friend passed this variation along to me knowing how much we like cream cake and it is amazing! I thought you might enjoy it as well...

Italian Cream Cheese Cake

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
Italian Cream Cheese Cake Frosting (recipe follows)

BEAT butter at a medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy: gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.

COMBINE flour, soda, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition until blended. Stir in vanilla. Add pecans and coconut; stir well.

BEAT egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
BAKE at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

SPREAD Italian Cream Cheese Cake Frosting between layers and top and sides of cake. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Italian Cream Cheese Cake Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (16 ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

BEAT cream cheese and butter at medium speed until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla then pecans.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Charm Alarm

Hello dear friends, we interrupt our regularly scheduled program for the following announcement... Amy over at Inspire Company has listed some more of my charm bracelets. So many of you have signed up for my shop newsletter, but I did not have a chance to send out a mail letting you know about the update on her site. (My day job is really getting in the way of my creativity. LOL!) Just wanted to keep you all in the loop. I appreciate each of you and hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Flickr Follies

I am trying to master the art of Flickr mosiac creation. This is round number two. The blank spot in the middle was not intentional, but I like it. What are some of your favorite images to search for on Flickr?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

British Invasion

I have to share another one of my collections with you. I adore Cornish Kitchen Ware from England. Over ten years ago Country Living magazine had a cover photo featuring a hutch filled with shelf upon shelf of these unique blue and white kitchen canisters. I am from a long line of dish lovers, for my mother it was Franciscan "Apple" pattern for my grandmother Fiestaware, but I had never seen anything quite like these blue and white beauties. They had me at blue and white...the attraction was immediate...I had to find out more about my new love.

After reading the related article, I learned that this particular kitchenware was from England. It had a long history and was a commonplace in many homes there. Since I had never seen any of this pottery while antiquing and not being very familiar with Ebay at the time, I thought the possibility of running across any pieces in my neck of the woods to be unlikely. Nevertheless, I kept the magazine with the hope that one day I might find at least one of these lettered jars to call my own.

Several months later, while attending an antique fair, I came across a booth that had on display the same issue of Country Living that I had stored away in my wish file. Attached to the magazine was a 3x5 note card stating that 13 pieces of this very same style of pottery were available for purchase!!! The dealer was from another town and had not brought the pieces with her, just the magazine to see if anyone was interested. Fast forward two weeks... thirteen pieces of vintage Cornish Ware are lined up on the hutch in my kitchen! I would learn much later that I bought all thirteen pieces for as much as some collectors would pay for one jar !!! Serendipity baby!
Enthusiastically, I joined a collector's club from across the pond and acquired some of their new pieces designed exclusively for members. This cake dome is one of them.
Here is a closer look at the milk pitcher. It is marked on the inside with the different measurements . The piece on the left is Bridgewater. We've talked about this people, I am a sucker for lettering.
Ooh.. and I had to show you a better view of the marmalade. I love that it has the serif style font for its lettering. Up front is a salt cellar. It features the sanserif style font.

Alright, guilty as charged...I added more pieces when I discovered the wonderful world of Ebay too. I have slowed down though...I mean I have to leave some room for my beloved glass jars!

Hope your day is filled with delightful surprises!

Monday, April 21, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Meleen Dupre!

Congratulations Meleen! Please drop me an email with your mailing information and your little Friendship Pin will be on its way to you!

Thank you so much dear friends for all your sweet encouraging words over the past week. I am thrilled beyond belief for all the comments, emails and phone calls I have received. You sure know how to make a girl feel special! I appreciate each one of you. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Big News and a Blog Giveaway!!!

Hi everyone! I am thrilled to announce that I am the current Inspired Friend over at Inspire Company. If you recall, I have been giving you some sneak peeks of works in progress. Well, they were all in prepartion for this event! If you would like to see the finished products, take a spin by there for a browse.

I also wanted to show you the project above that I completed as part of my feature. This is the Marie Antoinette inspired Friendship Pin that I designed. If you are interested in making one for yourself , step by step directions are available there. Now if you are a very busy girl and would like to WIN this one, then simply post a little comment below or drop me an email, and I will pick a winner at the end of the week. Thank you for stopping by and helping me celebrate this wonderful opportunity! I hope you have a great day!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Purple Reign Concluded

And now for the moment you have all been waiting for...the third and final installment in my purple room miniseries. This is a spare bedroom that I use as a crafting area. I put away my junk laden folding tables just for you! I used a Benjamin Moore paint, but I can't remember the color. If you ever watched Sharon Osborne's talk show, her background set was painted the most perfect shade of purple...this is NOT that shade, but I THOUGHT it would be when I selected it. It wasn't quite what I was going for, but I still like it. I'm glad you came along for my little tour. Let's see...what should be next... pink bathrooms or rooms painted green?
Hope you have a colorful day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Purple Passion Tour Part Deux

As part of my ongoing series on purple rooms in my home, allow me to present my formal living room.This wall color is Grape Mist by Sherwin Williams. This room opens off of the dining know the room with the intense dark purple, so I thought I would dial the color down considerably for this space. I would have given you a pulled back shot, but then I would have had to clean and straighten and we couldn't have that. I mean I started blogging to avoid doing such mundane tasks. LOL! Notice the Easter decor is still forward to will still be up!

I wanted to give you a more up close view with the Grape Mist contrasted against the white woodwork and the dark picture frame.
And here is a little closer view of the mantle area. Hopefully you can get a feel for the shade this room is. Gee, who knew photographing paint would be such a challenge! On the next post we will be dialing it back up...bring your earplugs.

Monday, April 7, 2008

No, Prince Does Not Live Here.

Have I ever mentioned that my favorite color is purple?
I have always loved it. One summer when I was little I told the kindly next door neighbor that I was allergic to all flavors of Popsicle except grape, just to be sure that I would receive a purple one when she did her daily distribution of these to all the kids within a two block radius. LOL!

It's odd to me that purple is such a polarizing color for most. People either love it or hate it.Sorry purple, no middle ground of indifference for you! Now I'm not saying I would want to drive a purple car, but I have gone as far as to paint three rooms in my home in varying shades of this hue.

I always wanted a formal dining room with drama, so I selected two deep rich Sherwin Williams colors (Vibrant Violet and Cabaret Purple) and used the Wall Magic technique to apply them. I love the result! Most people think that the walls are covered with suede because the appearance of texture that the technique gives.

I think I will make this a three part series and show you my other rooms over the next couple of posts. If you hate purple your can sit out the next two posts and if you love purple you'll have something to look forward to! LOL!
Hope you are having a great day!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Peek at the Pink

Happy Friday everyone! I had to let you have a glimpse at more of the bling that will be finding its way onto some charm bracelets very soon. Hope you enjoy the parade of pink and pearls! I'm going to be in Saturday Detention over at Charm School Jewels so that these little babies will get finished. It'll be fun detention know detention Breakfast Club style replete with self revelation, soda swigging, and perhaps even a cereal sandwich.

Hope you have fun plans for your weekend!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Confessions of a Jar Junkie Continued...

Hi, my name is Melissa and I'm a Jar Junkie. It's been four days since my last jar purchase.

Isn't it a beaut? And wouldn't it have looked strange sitting there all sad and empty? Tisk tisk, we couldn't have that now could we? You remember my aforementioned initial fetish, correct?Well I found these little lettered rolly pollies to fill it up! Hooray!!!

Listen, I never promised to write posts with substance. LOL!