Jan 30, 2014

January Randomness...

I thought
I would share some everyday
randomness...
 
January is such an odd month,
it feels like it moves at a snails pace...
 
when really,
Christmas has only been packed away
for less than a month...
 
it seems like forever ago...
 
 
January is simple...
 
quiet...


I take random photos...
 
just something
that catches my eye...
 
but, 
 not enough for a post...
 


or
maybe leftovers from a post that ran long....
 


there are so many cloudy dreary days here,
sometimes pictures are taken
but they just look flat...
 
except for one...
 
a lovely orphaned photo...
 


 
catching up on random posts...
 
 here are my potted Crocus
 leaning into the sun...
 
I think we have all wanted
to lean into the sun this month...
 


the blooms
only lasted two days...
 

 
but they were a glorious sight...
 
 
my lovely lady
sits quietly in the Winter Garden...
 
lost in thought...


 
the first Hellebore bloom
of the year....
 


a happy sight...
 

 
I am ready to bid farewell
to January...
 
the
Month of Love Knocks at the Door....
 
 
 
 
I Love it when You stop by...

Jan 27, 2014

Fancy Iced Cookies, the Easy Way... again!

 
Since the sweetest time of the year
 is coming up soon...
 
I thought I would re-share my
Fancy Cookie Tutorial...
 
it is a very old post
from my first year blogging...
 
but,
it is my most popular post
and also my most pinned on Pinterest...
 
I tweaked my photos a bit,
and added a tutorial button,
 otherwise
it's a blast from the past...
 
 
Since,
 So many of you
love sugar cookies as much as I do,
I thought I would share my
easy way to make fancy iced cookies....
 

I first saw this on Martha Stewart.
and it's so mess free
I do it at my dining room table,
leaving my tablecloth on
just using parchment paper as a work surface...
 
 
An important first step
is the cookies must be completely cooled.
I bake one day and decorate the next...
 


I am a complete klutz with an icing bag.
I dream of making lovely icing roses
but so far it's not going too well...

So this is the part I saw on Martha Stewart
you use these mini squeeze bottles by Wilton.
They sell them at all the craft stores
 in the cake decorating isle.

They make it clean and fun just like coloring :-)

I use Royal Icing
I make it thinner than this so it flows easily from the bottle
and I mix it for 7 minutes in the kitchen-aid mixer
on a low speed.

A batch fills four bottles.
 
 
You dam the edges first,
I work in small batches
because you want the icing to set a bit before the next step...

If you want multi colored cookies,
just divide the areas with an icing line now
then your colors won't run together...
 
 
 
Then you flood them,
I drag the tip of the bottle in the icing
to help spread the icing and get air bubbles out.
 

You want to add your sugars and sprinkles
while the icing is wet so everything sticks.

If you are using sanding sugars
you can do that right away..

If you want to use heavier sprinkles
like pearls of dragees
let it set just a minute, so they don't sink too much...
 
 
Fancy, easy and fun :-)
 
I will add...
my most common question is
"where do I buy the squeeze bottles?"
they are made by Wilton,
and available in two packs
at all the major craft store in the baking isle...
or at Amazon here...
 
happy baking...
 
I will be linking up to...
 
 
 
 
 
Be Sweet...

Jan 22, 2014

January in the Garden...

We have had a very mild winter...
 
aside from a couple very cold weeks in December
and a dusting of snow,
Winter seems to have passed us by...
 

 
The January Garden seems to be whispering
Remember Me?
 
calling for me to come look around,
pull the leafy blankets off the beds...
 


 
the Winter Daphne buds
 almost ready to open...
 
Winter Daphne is an amazingly fragrant plant,
on the cold days of February
 she will perfume the garden...
 


hungry Lady Bugs
are out and about looking for a snack...
 


 
the Peonies are poking their heads out...
 


 
the Tete-a-Tete Daffodils
have doubled in height since
 I showed them last...
 


 
a pair of Crocus,
ahead of the pack...
 
waiting for a bit of sun to open...
 
their perfect Lavender shade
 in a sea of brown a sight for sore eyes...
 

 
Hyacinth pushing up through the leaves...
 

 
the old garden rabbit
guards his Crocus Patch...
 


 
a single perfect Cyclamen pops open...
 
a persistent dandelion grows grew at her feet...
 

 
I am eager for spring...
 
so I lifted a few Crocus
to force inside...
 
 
I am linking up to...
 
 
I Love it when You stop by...

Jan 20, 2014

Sugared Lilacs and Tea...

 
 


January is a month for organization...
 
I have been cleaning out the kitchen cupboards,
finding lost treasures
among the junk...
 


that is how I found these,
Sugared Lilac Blooms
I made last summer...
 
I was trying to sugar preserve Violets,
when I made a small batch of these...
 
the Violets,
didn't work so well...
 
I moved on,
and these Small Treasures
were forgotten...
 

 
 
a true Taste of Summer
on a Winters Day...
 



for a little Celebration...
 
I brought out a tiny
Demitasse Teacup...
 




a sweet little teapot...
 


 
the little cakes
are so sweet...
 
I skipped cubes
and filled the sugar dish with blooms...
 


 
the frilliest frills...
 




 
 
 Happy Monday!
I hope you have found small treasures
 in your day too...
 
I'll be linking up to these lovely blogs...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I Love it when You stop by...

Jan 16, 2014

The Charmers...

 
 

I heard from my friend David
this week..
 


 
he is a charmer...
 
It may be silly,
but seeing Lady Bella in writing,
just makes me feel like I should
find a lace fan to flutter...
 
the new David Austin Rose Catalog
is one of the things that I look forward to after Christmas,
 
just when I need a winter boost...
 


 my husband saw the catalog on my desk...
 
and said
 "We need to sit down and make an order"
 
now that is charming,
my man knows my heart so well...
 


 
for now,
I am still enjoying my seven dollar grocery store roses...
 
 
filling them in with Carnations...
 
tucking them into china dishes,
and retucking them...
 



they are a 
feast for the eyes,
but a famine for the nose...
 



I have been enjoying
these Moon Glow Carnations
for a couple weeks...
 
they just keep fading into softer shades,
lovely...
 


 
I hope you have found a mid winter diversion too,
stay cozy my friends...
 
I am linking up to
 
and
 
 
I Love it when You stop by...