Back in the Saddle Again

At least momentarily, anyhow.  And so very glad!

Just to update you a bit on what’s happening, we are still waiting for the transplant team’s call; they say it could come at any time.  Patrick is right at the top of the list.  Keep sending those good vibes our way.  We will need to be able to get ourselves (and the animals!) together as quickly as we can and hop in the car for the drive to Charlottesville.  I have never had a baby, but the scenario appears to me that it could be oddly similar.

The tile finally came for the kitchen and all that is left is for me to hang pictures and do some decorating.  That was a long time coming!  Once it’s finished, I’ll share pictures with you. It really is gorgeous.

I finished the 2014 taxes over the weekend – what an incredible load off that is, oh my goodness.

Things have been fairly calm the past several days and that means…IMG_4587 - Version 2

I can snatch some time to get back to work!  Yippee.

I have, of course, been collecting loads of cool stuff in dribs and drabs all year long.  And since I have not been able to make anything to date, the workshop is about to burst at the seams.  Really, it is crammed to the gills – I can hardly move around in there.  I fear I may need an intervention.  Someone please lock up the credit card.

I’m up to my knees in tinsel.IMG_4594 - Version 2

If you have been looking at Glittermoon Vintage Christmas designs over the past few years, you may have noticed that I often tend to use a sort of signature piece as a centerpiece or jumping-off point.  So when I get started on a new design, I usually have something in mind that I am anxious to build around, and it’s usually fairly sizable.

Additionally, I tend to restrict the color palate to a few colors most of the time.  For me, that helps establish a rhythm to the design.

To that end, I wanted to show you a couple of very cool things I have recently found that I am excited about.  I can’t wait to come up with something using this stuff.

IMG_4585This guy is actually 14 inches tall!  I’m going to use him in the center of a wreath.  Isn’t he marvelous?!  Santa Baby.

I have a terrific fondness for the large (I mean BIG!) reindeer.  They are very hard to find.

So imagine my delight when I scored FOUR supersized ones from Japan.  They are in near perfect condition.

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You get a good idea of the scale when you look at the itty bitty one on the right.  He’s about 3″ tall so you can imagine how large his cousins are.  Be still my heart. How fabulous they will be on their respective wreaths.  Their hooves are bright hot pink!

I’ve also got this poinsettia bell that actually plays Silent Night.  It’s about 8″ tall and works perfectly.  Pull the string at the bottom and it chimes away, sounding just like a beautiful music box does.  I want to try to incorporate it into a wreath as well.IMG_4591

It may look a bit tacky but I think I can make it look pretty swell, especially in a traditionally colored wreath. And how cool is it that it works?!

Stay tuned.  Hopefully, I can make these and more stuff for you this fall.  If you see something you absolutely must have on a wreath just for you, pop me an email and we shall see what we can do.

I am very, very happy that Josh and Brent of Beekman 1802 have asked me to make wreaths for their holiday website again this year.  I have made a good start on the first one.

I will not be able to show you the finished product until they launch it on the website in November, but here is a peek at a detail of the beginnings: IMG_4606 - Version 2

So, you have probably guessed that I am using a Bradford mantel decoration as a focal point; it’s the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh across the wreath.  Only there will be a bit of a surprise in the sleigh.  The color scheme for this one will be silver, red, and deep pink I think.

These type of pieces were  originally candy containers.  Santa’s sleigh was loaded with yummy goodies.  This particular one actually still has the listing of the contents on the bottom of it.  It is first one like that I have ever had (and I have made numerous wreaths with these mantel pieces).  IMG_4607 - Version 2

I wonder if the Spier Candy & Novelty Corp.’s candy was delicious?  Anybody know?  I can’t find out anything about them. You probably could have bought this in your neighborhood drug store or five and dime back in its day.  What a far cry from what you find in those places nowadays.  Makes me feel pretty nostalgic.

Have a good night everyone, and please stay safe out there.  We are keeping a close eye on this nasty weather that seems to be heading our way.

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Grid: Two Ways

grid |grid

noun

a framework of spaced bars that are parallel to or cross each other; a grating

a network of lines that cross each other to form a series of squares or rectangles


This week’s Photo Challenge is right up my alley, loving the play of line as I do. The first thing that popped into my head: Versailles, a masterwork of converging and crossing lines if ever there was one.

I have two versions of each of these images – one in black& white, the other color.  I thought it would be interesting to share both.  Same image, two distinct moods.

Please do me a favor and click on each image to see it full size. It’s ever so much better.

Which do you prefer?


Thanks for stopping by!


You can visit here to see the other entries for this week’s challenge.

Santa’s Coming to Town

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“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus!…

There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.”

– Francis P. Church, New York Sun, Sep. 21, 1897

Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected

connect |kəˈnekt

verb [ with obj. ] 

bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established


Literally connected:

Locks of love - Paris

Locks of love – Paris

Old and new virtually connected by my lens:

St Stephen's Cathedral and a newish neighbor - Vienna

St Stephen’s Cathedral and a newish neighbor – Vienna

Darkness and light connected here:

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The Spanish Riding School – Vienna

Connected by body language:

Jardin du Luxumbourg - Paris

Jardin du Luxumbourg – Paris

Connected by whimsy:

Cat and mouse - Passau, Germany

Cat and mouse – Passau, Germany


It is always interesting to see others’ take on the subject of the week.  Click here to find out why.

Tomato Tart for Dinner…and Other News

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The other night, I decided to try out a recipe for the first time in the newly remodeled kitchen (we are still waiting for the tile to come or else I would show you more pictures).  Since I had a platter full of homegrown tomatoes on the counter that desperately needed to be made into something, I decided on the Tomato Tart out of the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.

Yes, it’s the rather distressed looking book on the top shelf.  Or should I say dog-eared?  That would be because Emma P. Buttercup decided it was good enough to eat one evening.  I know the cover looks scrumptious, but really, Emma?  IMG_4475 - Version 2

My copy is particularly precious to me because it was a gift from Brent and Josh, the so-called Fabulous Beekman Boys, founders of Beekman 1802.  In case you have forgotten, I met them in 2011 at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta when they admired my wreaths.  Last year, I was thrilled to be asked to make special wreaths for their holiday website and they have graciously asked me to do it again this year.

Anyway, Josh wrote me a lovely inscription and I almost died when Emma got ahold of my book. Mercifully, she did not eat that very important page.  Whew.IMG_4476 - Version 2But now, on to cooking!  The Tomato Tart is so incredibly yummy that I have to share it with you.

Here is the page with the recipe on it.IMG_4473 - Version 2

First up is making the pastry crust.  I am not a Cordon Bleu quality chef by any stretch of the imagination (that would be the husband) but even I was able to tackle this.IMG_4461 - Version 2All you do is roll out a thawed (but still cold) puff pastry sheet to about 10 x 15 inches.  Put it on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Then, you score it around the edge and prick the middle part all over with a fork. IMG_4462 - Version 2

After that, spread a tablespoon of olive oil over the pricked part.IMG_4463 - Version 2

Got it so far?

Next, get your ingredients together:

1 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

2 large eggsIMG_4464 - Version 2

1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil

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plus 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.

Mix all this good stuff together in a large bowl. IMG_4467 - Version 2IMG_4468 - Version 2 IMG_4469 - Version 2

Spread your mixture over the center of the puff pastry sheet.

IMG_4470 - Version 2 Then take 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

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and top your pastry with them.  Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it and voila!IMG_4471 - Version 2Bake your tart in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the good stuff in the filling is set.IMG_4472 - Version 2

This is how mine looked when I took it out.  Gorgeous!IMG_4479 - Version 2And the taste?  Holy cow was it ever good. Here is what the husband thought, “It tasted like a beautiful cloud that floated around in my mouth, full of joy.”  I swear, that’s exactly what he said.  It really made me laugh. IMG_4481 - Version 2

Don’t worry, I have no intention of suddenly turning this into a cooking blog but since I had not surfaced in a while, I thought it might be nice to share this one yummy thing with all of you.

++++++++++

We are still plugging along, trying to keep husband on an even keel and out of the hospital.  It’s pretty much a full-time job between dialysis and doctor’s appointments.  We are getting very, very close, though, to officially being listed with the University of Virginia for his double transplant.  When I spoke with them yesterday, they felt that something would happen quite soon.  It is a pretty darn scary prospect, that surgery and the recovery, but to continue on as he feels now is simply not an option.  I’m trying to get all my ducks lined up in a row for when we get that phone call – we will have to be ready to go immediately.

I still have not been able to get back to work, the house is still under construction (but almost finished!), and I have had to withdraw from the Country Living Fair in Columbus this month.  I am holding onto the slim hope that I will be able to make it to Atlanta in late October but time will tell.  In the meantime, I expect to get back out to the workshop (hopefully) as early as next week – hurrah!

I have had such nice correspondence from some of you that I am very, very grateful for.  I am keeping a list of who wants me to make them something this year.  If you would like something, just send me a line.  I appreciate everyone’s understanding that what happens is pretty much out of my control right now and that I will do my best to make whatever I can as I am able.

My mom is not doing well.  At 93, she is starting to fail and because Patrick has been so ill this year, I have been unable to visit her since January.  Last week, I managed to make a quick, one-day run up to see her.  I surprised her and it was a lovely, if exhausting, day.  I’m hoping to pull another one off soon.  The clock is ticking; I can’t quite wrap my head around it.  It all seems just too overwhelming right now.

But I took Emma with me for company and we got out for a nice long walk down the lane while Mom had a nap.  It was an incredibly beautiful late summer day, with not an ounce of humidity in the air.  I felt lucky indeed to be able to call this beautiful place home though I have not lived there for 40 years.  And home, I think, is what it will always be.

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