Saturday, December 27, 2008

The one with the excellent champagne punch recipe

goes something like this:

2 bottles of bubbly

2 liter of ginger ale

64 oz mango passion fruit juice or your favorite juice, fresh citrus if you like

citron vodka to taste (at least 1/2 of a fifth)

pour over ice

if you have a liquid dispenser just throw it in and let guests help themselves, it stays sparkly for days

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The one with the picture of Bergdorf Goodmans holiday window

Ok I rarely do this, but Claudia at the Paris Apartment took some amazing pictures of the windows in NYC. To see more, click here, and here. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The one with the recipe for the chocolate peppermint pretzel sticks

This actually is much prettier on the long rod type pretzels, but I wanted smaller treats for the shop candy dish.

pretzel rods

good chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa)

candy canes

waxed paper

Crush the candy canes in a towel in their wrappers, or use a food processor. You want small bits rather than powder, put them in a dish with a spoon. Spread out a large piece of waxed paper. Melt the chocolate chips in a pyrex bowl in the microwave for 30 secs at a time. Take care not to melt completely, just get warm enough to cook them in their own heat. This way you don't have to temper the chocolate. Stir it a bit and then dip rods into it, rolling off excess on the side of the bowl. Spoon peppermint over the warm chocolate one at a time, and rest on the waxed paper. The chocolate will harden in the bowl with time and you might have to start with a fresh batch. Although, if you put hot milk in the hardened chocolate you can still enjoy some delicious cocoa. This is it! If you want more decadence you can repeat with the already covered sticks and put some sea salt on there to balance the sweetness. They look very pretty in a short glass, or you can wrap individually as favor or small gifts. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The one with more pics from the Summit showcase house

More pictures taken by Raya Carlisle of my room at the Summit showcase house, I love this window so much, and these romans I did I think add just the right amount of softness without taking away from the fabulous architecture. They are done in one of my all time favorite fabrics, very soft cotton stitched with tall diamonds with stars inside of them.
I love this view through the looking glass. The topiaries looked so good that they get to live on the armoire now. Also love love the apple green silk ruffled bedskirts I did. Not my typical style but this room could certainly handle them and so they get to stay in the room too.
I found this great vintage church just in time to place it in the room. It's wooden with plaster paint and some of the plaster is coming off so it looks that much better. It's lit from within and has stained glass windows all around. It's for sale in the shop right now.

For more information on the homes and designers that were in the tour, check out this website - lookiloos. And last but not least, the whole reason for the homes for the holidays tour is to raise money for a good cause. I have heard from a little bird that it looks like about $125,000.00 was raised for PACE. That is such great news! I am so glad that so many people came out to take the tour. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The one with some pics of the Summit League Homes for the Holidays Room

I have some photos of the "home for the holidays" showcase room from Raya, via flicker. The big files are on the way so I thought I would just tease you a little bit at a time with some of her pieces of art (her photography) of my pieces of art (my design). There are sooo many great photos. If you can't wait click here.
This room was very personal to me. I used the homeowners armoire, but I brought in the rest, much of it from my private collection like the teeny tiny antique bibles, family photos and toys. I absolutely love the way it turned out. Might be a bit old-fashioned but the room was titled "A childrens vintage Christmas", after all.
The little photo is my Uncle Craig on Santa's lap, beautiful cookies from the buttery.
My grandmothers gloves from when she was a wee baby. Monogrammed on the buttons, of course. Genevieve Cathleen Abels.

Ann, the homeowner, let me borrow some of her very well loved baby dolls.

This bunny has a home in the shop for now, but wouldn't you like to give her a forever home?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The one with my happy place

Now that the majority of the parties are attended and thrown, the christmas trees are decorated, and the showcases are over, I feel I can relax a little. Now that winter has finally arrived in Santa Cruz, (only 53 degrees at noon!), this is my current happy place where the mineral water is heated to 102 degrees . Until I can get to Mexico.

I have many great things for sale and more on the way, so if you want to help the economy and my well being please come on in and see what you can find. I'm thinking about attending the New York International gift fair next month (because somebodys gotta spend some money), so I am gearing up for cold weather like I have never experienced in my life and never thought I would ever have to, or want to. Should be fun and I'm pretty excited about the great things I know I will find. If I can get to my happy place I'm thinking I can soak up enough warmth to get me through New York. I hope you are all keeping warm and cozy with happy holiday thoughts and you are certainly welcome to borrow my happy place.

FYI the white deer head has a new home, the life size paper mache Madonna fom mid 1800's is $1800.00.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The one with the sneak peek

I have been so hard at work on the Homes for the Holidays showcase. I absolutely love the room I did - the grandchildrens bedroom. Here is a sneak peek and soon I will post professionally taken pictures by Raya Carlisle. In the meantime click here and take a look at the amazing job my friend Stacey Costello did on her room across the hall.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The one with the fabulous gift ideas

Back with more gift ideas. My scarf supplier came in today with some fab things. These are all made with wool, or wool and silk, in India. They are hand washable or dry cleanable and super super soft and warm, not itchy I swear. This one above is so much fun, it's two scarves quilted together.
Nice big pashmina-type shawls in great colors.
Lightweight sheer-ish striped long scarves
Yummy colors in polka dot scarves
These are actually hemp, from a local company, and dyed with bilberry, oak leaves, and oregano
Did you know I carry the Match pewter line? I love the patina and scuffs that come naturally with even the new things. This is definitely a great gift for someone who has everything.
Juliska has a new line of white and burnished dishes. This is one of four designs on the to die for dessert plates.
These paper letters from an old game are great for gift tags.
A myriad of possibilities.
The must have scent of the season, Thymes Fraser Fir candles and soaps
Yummy Olivina candles and bath products in olive and fig
Framed vintage needlepoint dogs, so cute and warm
Framed antique bug prints on a lovely teal-y twill
Antique botanicals on linen mat
And just for fun, a super cute googly-eyed salamander that was in my plants outside!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The one with most gift ideas under $40

Yes, times are tough but they will get better. Until then I am posting some gift ideas from three to sixty-six dollars. Above are a few of my great preserved boxwood topiaries in concrete planters at $85 each. Preserved, so you can not kill them. And classic and lovely as well...Votivo candles in paperwhite narcissus and newberry holly, many other scents too. $15 and $27
Yum yum yummy all natural perfumes in scents like "gin and rosewater". $32
Rae Dunn ceramic soap dishes/catchalls with crown or hand stamp. $13
the best notepads ever! 2 pads $10
the best mini notebooks, more designs here. $3
locally handmade antique sheet music garland $17 for ten feet.
mercury glass and iridescent glass votives $9-14the gosh darn cutest felted fair trade ornaments $11-15
my newest super cute and soft line of sock animals $19
children must read the classics, here are a few. $20more classics from Munro Leaf $8.95
wonderful cards from local artists, photo and letterpress $5
huge (60 x 78) super soft cotton throw blanket in many colorways $58If you have ever been in the shop than you know I love these juice/wine glasses from Juliska, dishwasher safe yet super delicate looking and such a great gift.

More gift posts to come, I hope I helped! Next week when the economy is all better ;) I shall post some gift ideas for those people you know who have been really very good this year.