Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017 and Happy New Year 2018!!

Gingerbread Men!!

Hi Everyone!  

Finally, after almost two weeks of being sick, that included a trip to the local Emergency Room, I feel like I'm beginning to get better!!  Which is good, because we leave for our Christmas Caribbean Cruise in less than two weeks!  YIKES!!

Anyway, I wanted to share my latest project with you.  Fortunately, I finished this before Thanksgiving!  I made these for a very dear friend and I'm so glad I didn't procrastinate this time! Whew!

So.......GINGERBREAD MEN!!  And not just any gingerbread men, mind you.  These are made out of .....wait for it.....wait for it.....cinnamon (duh!), glue (Yes, glue!) and applesauce!!!  By the way.....NO, they are NOT edible!! But they smell DIVINE and they last for years!!!  Reminds you of those cinnamon brooms they always put in the stores right about now!  Here's the recipe!


3 cups cinnamon
2 cups applesauce
2/3 cups white school glue

Additional supplies:

*Whole black peppercorns
*Chopstick (or similarly shaped object)
*White puff paint
*Gloves (if desired)
*Gingerbread cookie cutter
*Cooling rack
*Wire or old-fashioned hairpins (Cut into small "U" shapes, about half an inch long. These will be inserted into the head for hangers.)
*Wire cutters
*Cool, dry space (These will need to air dry on the cooling racks for about five days!)


Mix the cinnamon, applesauce and glue in a metal or glass bowl, then remove from the bowl and knead the mixture until it turns into a firm "clay" consistency.

Refrigerate for about half an hour to chill, then roll it out to about 1/2" thickness.  Try to  be as consistent as possible with the thickness.  Also, use cinnamon to dust the surface of your area and the rolling pin, to keep everything from sticking.

Using  the cookie cutter, start cutting out gingerbread men.  I usually just pinch off enough dough to roll out one or two at a time.  Remember to sprinkle cinnamon on your cookie cutter too, to keep it from sticking.  Lay the gingerbread men on a cooling rack.

Once you've laid out all your cut gingerbread men, take your chopstick and and carefully press indentations (not going all the way through) to make space for the eyes, a nose, and four buttons on his tummy.

Carefully insert the "U" shaped wire into the top of the center of the head until just enough remains at the top to run a hanger or thread through for hanging on the Christmas tree.

Now you get to WAIT!  Like five days worth of waiting, though sometimes it only takes 4 days. It just depends on your home temperature, etc.  The gingerbread men will start to turn a slightly paler color when they're dry.

Once dry, put dabs of glue into the small indentations made earlier, then place whole peppercorns into the indentations. This will make the eyes, nose, and buttons! The glue will dry clear, so don't worry if it doesn't go into the indentations perfectly. Now take puffy paint and outline the gingerbread men as desired.

You can either wait until the glue and peppercorns dry before painting, or just do one right after the other. The picture taken above shows painting before all the glue dried, which is why you can still see it in some areas.

As I mentioned earlier, these literally last for years.  All you have to do is store them carefully in an air-tight container.  I've had some of mine for about 5 years now.  The cinnamon smell eventually starts to lessen, so instead of making more, you might just put some cinnamon oil on them to "liven them up" after a few years.

Each recipe makes about 20-22 gingerbread men. And there you have it! Gingerbread men for the holidays!

I hope each of you have a lovely Christmas season and a happy New Year 2018!

May God Bless,


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Happy Halloween! BOO!!!

Hi Everyone!

I've been having an absolute blast decorating for Halloween and for my Halloween Lunch this Saturday.  So for those of you who can't make it, here's what I've been doing!!

 I LOVE these shelves! They're so much fun to decorate! Nigel made them for me when we first bought the house 26 years ago, to order, when we first moved in because I have this thing about books! What was your first clue? 😃  I say "to order" because I didn't want any metal strips to show. However, I wanted the shelves to be movable. So my wonderful and very patient husband, who has spoiled me rotten over the years, drilled holes every six inches from top to bottom, with a depth of three holes from front to back.  He then made little wooden dowels to go into the holes, which is what the shelves rest on.  This allows the shelves to be adjusted in just about any configuration I can think of!
Now THAT is LOVE!! 

 I made this garland of postcards out of vintage style Halloween postcards (which I found in a book when I was 18, so they really are vintage!! Ha Ha).  I ran a thick line of glue around all the edges of each card, then sprinkled on the glitter very heavily.  That was a mess, I can tell you!!  I then punched holes in the tops and ran a long, orange ribbon through them for hanging.  

 I love the old graphics on these cards!

This is my Santos; her name is Lucia.  This picture (above) is
 when she's being very, very good!

And this is a picture of Lucia when she "gets her freak on"!! 

A close-up.  Lucia was originally painted a drab olive brown, so I painted her dress a lovely robin's egg blue. Then I got bored with that and painted her dress a creamy white, which I think I prefer.  I made her Halloween hat a couple of years ago, using a cardboard cone which I decorated with ribbons and buttons.    

One of many witches floating around the house!

 These little darlings belonged to the girls, when they were growing up.  Notice the cat slippers on the one on the left!

I also love greeting cards!  Isn't this one cool? I've thought of making some of my own like it, but I've been too lazy!

Aren't these cards fun? I just found the one on the left, which was too funny to pass up.  The one on the right was used as an invitation years ago, to Isabel's Girl Scouts Halloween party!

 This is a card Laura sent me years ago; I've always loved it!

Another witch, a decorated pumpkin, and bottles of NASTY stuff!

 Aren't these bottles fun? I bought the labels years ago, then put them on bottles I had collected.  Now you know why I need a studio, to put all this "stuff" in that I collect over the years!

A close up of the pumpkin! I got it on sale at my favorite store - T.J. Maxx!

Cardboard houses Isabel and I decorated with glitter and glue!

 If you look closely at the picture, you'll recognize Isabel when she was about 10 years old. I found a picture of her that was the right size, cut out the head, and glued it to the picture already there when I purchased it. 

Hickory, dickery dock. The mouse ran up the clock.  But when he ran down, he made a big frown, cause there was a bat and a cat! A good thing I don't have to work for my living any more, cause a poet I'm NOT!

Bats in the belfry! Or rather, on the stairs, and several other places too! A great place to buy decorations cheap is the Dollar Store, where these came from years ago!  And they came 10 in a package, just for $1.00!! 

Obviously I need to keep a cleaner house!!  😁

Yikes!!  Blood splatters!

Creepy crawlies are everywhere!!

Just hanging around!!

Cute little ghouls in the grandfather clock! 

Okay, so I'm giving my age away here, but I LOVED Betwitched, with Elizabeth Montgomery, when I was growing up!! So when I saw this Barbie of her, I had to get her!  Just had to! 

Another great area to decorate!  This is where I hang all the girls' old art work! Lots of fun to decorate for Christmas too!


 Isabel decorated this Scooby Halloween house for me! Scooby was her favorite cartoon character when she was little, so we always try to include him in decoration themes when we can.

I love this bucket; just cheap plastic wrapped in white felt! If I get really motivated, I thought of making little Halloween bags, using this as a sample!

 Doesn't everyone have ghost pirates hanging on their walls? 

 This is Hortense! I found her on sale at Christmas time a couple of years ago! Not bad for $10.00!!  But you should have seen the looks I got when I was carrying her out the store, while everyone else had Christmas decorations! Her eyes also light up if I remember to put batteries in!

 What can I say? The witch is definitely in the house!

 True story here:  When Isabel was very young, Nigel had her convinced that I actually rode a broom! Gotta LUV the man! So one day, as we were driving down the road, completely out of the blue, Isabel asked me what would happen if my broom broke. "Simple", I said.  "I use the vacuum cleaner!! 

 A fun hat cause I need to look the part when I'm riding my broom! The two canisters were two cheap brass candlesticks that I spray painted black, then glued two glass jars from the Dollar Store on top.  Got that idea from Pinterest!!

 Our original German Kitchen Witch!! And the orange "pumpkin rocks" were a project Isabel and I worked on years ago.  You pick out rocks that can "stand up". Paint them orange, then paint on faces.  Somewhere I have white "ghost rocks", but I couldn't find them anywhere! Oh well.....sounds like I need to make more!!

 These are decorations my Mom made when I was a kid and also ones the girls made when they were kids!

This is the cat bag I made Isabel, to go along with her cat costume she wore when she was about five years old!
 She looked SO CUTE!  

Pure fun! I've shown close-ups below!

 Isn't she sweet?  I love the little mask she has, 
and the pumpkin bucket actually swings. 

 Can you guess the Fursdon Family slightly dotes on cats? 

 My precious little dragon! 
And the bag he carries swings loose too!

Three peas in a pod!!  I should put tiny pieces of candy in their bags! And I LOVE their thin stick legs!

Yes, just hanging around!

Some people have stockings hanging on mantel;
 we have skeletons hanging on ours!!

Fun Mr. Cat!! 

 I really do need to work on my housecleaning skills! 
Bugs are everywhere!!



Just hanging around, minding my own business!

A piece of history here - This sink came from Valerie's antique shop years ago. It was discovered in a walled off portion of a house in London that had been bombed during WWII. Because repairs were so expensive (if even possible because of the shortage of materials at the time), the owners simply walled off the small bathroom.  It wasn't discovered until the 1990's, when renovations were being completed on the house!

Whenever I look at this scene, I'm reminded of Cinderella!

More creepy crawlies! Years ago, I dried flowers from our garden and then framed them. They're still holding up pretty good!

Would you believe this tree used to be white? And it was originally designed to hold jewelry! Weird, but there it is. So I took matters into my own hands and change things up a bit!

These small houses are another project Isabel and I worked on years ago! However, I think we got bored with them. The idea was to put scary pictures in the windows. Oh well.... I also have a very large cake box (about 3 feet square) that came in the shape of a house. It held Isabel's birthday cake when she was about 7 years old. That Halloween, she and I painted the box black, with a dark purple glittery roof, and we pasted ghost pictures in the windows. I think its up in the attic somewhere. The glitter gets on everything and it takes up a LOT of space, which is why it didn't make it out!!

 Blood splatters! Eewww!

 Okay, so I have fun with blood splatters! What can I say?

Blood is everywhere! Except on my shower curtains and window valance! I made them from drapery panels (on sale of course), then I sewed various doilies on them which I had saved over the years. Another cool idea from Pinterest!! 

T. J. Maxx to the rescue again! The limbs are bendable and it also gives me a space to hang some of the items that Isabel and I made.

Good grief! I think that's it! Actually, there are some things I didn't include, but I got tired of taking pictures! So.......here's wishing each of you a spooky, fun filled Halloween!