Thursday, April 15, 2010

this just in...

these pretty silver dresden numbers...

and these lovely silver dresden letters...

and these sweet aqua doves...sigh...

AND!..this! the sparkliest, shiniest, most superb german glass glitter!
and its all available for you now in the shop! i am so excited to be expanding my ICING ON THE CAKE line of vintage inspired embellishments and supplies for all of your own confectionary crafting cravings! i can't wait to share all of my ideas for using these vintage charmers with you very, very soon!

Friday, April 9, 2010

drum roll please!


i wanted to drop in for just a moment so that i could share some exciting news! in the coming weeks, i am going to be introducing a new line of handmade crafting and decorating embellishments in the shop. you can expect to see the sweetest of crepe paper ruffles, the sparkliest of glass glitters, and the most whimsical of vintage bits and baubles for all your creative pursuits. i call it the 'icing on the cake' line because it consists of the very bits and pieces i handcraft or gather for use in my own know, the sweet little details that really add that final touch to a piece.

so now you too can add some vintage charm to just about anything! i absolutely love crepe paper, and i fold and gather it into almost any imaginable machination. and i use it almost wrapping, party hats, banners, costumes, as garland on my tinsel tree, and even on the edges of my shelves. it adds just the right touch of antiquated charm, no matter what the use. i even go so far as to create my own fringed festooning, reminiscent of the kind once seen in the old Denison Crepe Paper Company's 'Bogie Book'. and yes, this too will be available for sale in the shop, should you be so tempted...

i will even be offering confectionary kits, including do it yourself party hats and other holiday items, for those of you adventurous enough to give yourself a sweet tooth. i don't know about you, but i love disappearing into my craft cave to toil away on something frivilous. i suppose i want to share that sense of respite and whimsy with those of you willing volunteers out there...enjoy the experience, revel in the process, spend time on the tiniest of details, smile at what you accomplish.
so tie an apron on, grab your glue gun, and let the glitter fly!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

easter treats

(photo Southern
did the easter bunny fill your basket full of sweet treats this year? did the sun shine upon y0u and your family? did you feast on ham or lamb? did you find yourself in a sugar coma by sunday evening like i did?
i'm still recovering -- mainly because i am still finishing off the chrusciki leftovers that still haunt me from down in the kitchen. i'm a polish girl, and i am very fortunate to have had a wonderful polish grandma who taught me how to cook and bake and entertain and create. so every year for easter, i pull out the big kitchen aid mixer, my apron, and grandma's recipe for polish angel wing cookies, or chrusciki.

the dough is a basic noodle-type, consisting mainly of egg yolks and flour. it is rolled out, cut into strips with a pastry wheel, and then 'twisted' into the inside-out angel wing knot for which they are most notable. eaten alone and plain, it is a rather bland experience. but give them a heavy dusting with confectioner's sugar, and you have a delectable little treat that you will devour. my grandmother was legendary for hers, and could crank them out by the dozens in no time. she and her sisters owned and operated a catering company, and giant mountains of chrusciki were often on the menu for the hundreds of polish weddings they delivered to the community. i'm the only one left in the family that still knows how to make them, and so i try to make as many as i can so we can indulge in their yumminess and the memory of my grandma.

i was ambitious this year, and decided i would make not one, but two, batches. not so bad, right? well, one batch of dough alone can produce up to 200 (!!) chrusciki! so i knew that i was in for a long saturday. but you know, once i get started cracking those eggs and twisting those wings, i begin to remember...its like she is here with me, standing at the counter with me in my own kitchen, guiding me as i roll the dough or drop them into the oil to cook. i can see her hands in my memory, her long fingers shaping the dough until it was just right. the best part was always sitting down with a cup of coffee and enjoying some when they were all done...

my grandmother was, and continues to be, a shining star for me. a wonderful woman who taught me about more than just eggs and flour or setting tables. she taught me to approach all tasks with integrity, to treat everyone like an honored guest, to make the most of what i have at hand. my morals, my values, and my ethics didn't come from going to catholic school and church on sundays. it came from the time i spent in my grandmother's kitchen, learning the lessons that have done me well thus far in my life.

i guess the moral of my story, my own personal point of view, is that holidays are not necessarily about going to church and worshipping faith myths for me. they are about honoring the love and the memories of the people who have enriched my life. this is what i celebrate, especially this time of year.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

'oh, i could write a sonnet about your easter bonnet...

...and of the girl i'm taking to the easter parade.'

sigh. i'm a girl who loves old movies. surprised? i didn't think so...but not just any old movie. there has to be something that draws me in and keeps my attention. i need a little glam, a little drama, breathtaking sets, song, and especially dance! so yes, Easter Parade happens to fit the bill quite nicely. if you haven't had the pleasure, i emphatically endorse it as a great movie to get you in the mood for spring and for the easter holiday. what a nice way to spend easter sunday evening, no?

its silly, but i often found myself humming the old irving berlin tune that was the highlight of the movie as i crafted away in the studio glittering eggs and embellishing bunnies. i have been enjoying the welcomed early arrival of spring on the doorstep of western new york for almost a month now, and i am finding that it has really helped fuel my creative the sun warming all my tender little plants in the garden so that they peek their heads up from the soil and bloom.
so i thought i would share some of my springtime creative zeal with you, and show you a little project i did this past week in preparation for the easter holiday...

i was strolling through my neighborhood Dollar Tree stocking up on my basics -- white craft glue, tinsel, stryofoam, and crepe paper (because it makes absolutely no sense to overpay for such items) -- when i stumbled upon this cute little straw hat in the seasonal area. it immediately reminded me of the one i had as a child, and how i would wear it to church on sundays and for other special occasions. but once i was done reminiscing about my lost youth, i had a light bulb moment wherein i was sure that i could turn this dollar store straw hat into a darling little easter bonnet for display somewhere in ma petite maison...

i set about looking through the store for other supplies i could use to embellish my little bonnet. on this occasion, my Dollar Tree also happened to be stocked up with some really lovely silk flowers in pale pinks and creamy chartreuse whites. now, allow me to take a moment to address dollar store flowers and silk flowers in general -- i don't really like them. lol...i know, i know. i am not very elitist when it comes to my crafting or my decor, but i have always strongly despised fake flowers. i see their utility, but they just never, ever look as good as the real thing. but sometimes, as was the case on this day, they are a necessary evil. furthermore, these were so lovely and i knew that i could "vintage" them up a bit with some sand paper once i got them home.

so with my dollar store straw hat and my dollar store silk flowers, i scampered off home to make an easter bonnet of my very own. i gathered up some extra fixings for the hat including some vintage velvet millinery leaves, pearl stamens, vintage forget me nots, ribbon, and tulle. you'll notice in the picture above that i replaced the paper ribbon on the hat with a silk ribbon in a soft sage (a Pottery Barn wrapping castoff), and i also added a few tufts of white tulle that was leftover from a sewing project. i pulled a few of the silk roses off of their stems and took some sandpaper to the edges to make them look more aged. since the hat was sized for a child, i only chose to use about three of the blooms, and i kept the pallette a bit more restrained. i added a green velvet leaf and some pearl stamens to one of the blooms, and decided to stop there for fear that i would overdo it.
now how easy was that? this project literally took about fifteen minutes to complete, and it cost less than five dollars to make! vintage charm for just pennies...
so i hope that this inspires you to indulge in some last mintue spring crafting. celebrate the season and welcome mother nature back into your home! happy spring!