Christmas At Our House {2}


A cheerful kitchen windowsill with a collection of old, very old bottles, a chippy santa mug, vintage (there’s that word again) santa candy mold and, of course, my handmade candy cane ornament.  You can make one too, there is still time.

I bought these chenille stems at Hobby Lobby as is.  They were with the Christmas crafts and may be sold out but you can twist red and white ones together yourself.  Get the extra fluffly chenille stems.  They just look better for this project.

I gave mine a tea bath overnight to give them that “vintage” look.  See the difference?  Then you can tumble them in the dryer (by themselves so they don’t get all bent), for a few minutes to dry and fluff them.  It really doesn’t take long.  Or you can air dry them, which does take a while, and fluff them by hand too.  I’ve done it both ways, the dryer is easier.

Cut each stem in half, curl the end to make the cane shape.  You can use the mouth of a bottle as a form to wrap the end around so they are all uniform and you aren’t forever fiddling with the shape, because you know you will.

Overlap two canes, put a dab of glue between them to hold them together.  Let that dry and tie with a red bow.  And if you’d like, brush the tops with glue and sprinkle with glitter.  I used Martha Stewart’s “Snow” glitter.  It really is flakey and sparkly, just like last night’s snow.

Below you can see my inspiration, a very old and brittle ornament from an estate sale.

Now, what to do with all these little lovelies.  Hang them on the tree, or a cabinet knob, or a wreath.  Display them in your chippy santa mug or an apothecary jar.  Layer them in a bowl with starfish, tie them onto gifts, give them as holiday party favors.  Put several in a clear bag, tie with a bow and give as a hostess gift.  Print out the Legend of the Candy Cane, attach the ornament and give that as a gift.

Or leave one in an unexpected place to give a little holiday cheer.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas At Our House {1}


I love starfish and use them year round, in bowls, perched on piture frames, propped on window ledges.  Add a vintage looking, but made yesterday, candy cane ornament and they become holiday festive.

Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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It Was Such Fun

Thank you so very much to everyone who attended my Christmas Open House this past weekend.  Many of you know I have been working toward this event for a while, creating some handmade goodies for you to give as gifts or keep for yourself.  And this weekend was the big reveal.  Since I never posted a preview last week as promised, this will be a sneak peak for Christmas in Kaneville, December 4th.  So much to see so grab a cup of something warm and take a few minutes to see what I’ve been working on.

Greeting cards, where the whole handmade adventure began for me.

A few autumn and harvest inspired things.  The playing card garlands have found happy homes.

Some whimsical, girly things.  Oooh, kind of blurry.

Lovely French inspired greetings.


Vintage sheet music and china.

A pear tree.  No partridge.

Hairpins and bracelets.  Vintage button rings too.

Repurposed children’s blocks.

Pretty things and glittery things.



Journals, flower pens, art collages, gift tins.

And many one-of-a-kind art pieces.

As you can see I love to make things.  And chances are good that if you receive a gift from me it will be handmade.  My hope is that you, dear reader, will give something handmade this holiday season, perhaps you’ve made, or even something I’ve made.  And though you will likely have to purchase supplies for whatever it is you make, you will know that the end result is a gift that is original, one-of-a-kind and heartfelt.


Happy Tuesday!

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pretty Shelf Redo

Okay, Okay!  No more posts, for a while at least, with the month name in the title.  So perhaps just a random photo today.  This shelf is in our bathroom and I saw a photo somewhere, online or in a magazine, that inspired me to change out what had been there to this.  Apothecary jar of soaps, tins holding misc. bathroomy stuff, bamboo that has finally found a happy home in the humidity here and is reaching toward the ceiling,  old empty frame.  And of course, a pretty candle.



Happy Tuesday!

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Autumn Kitchen And A Recipe

Playing with my few pieces of thrifted brown transferware and vintage mustard crocks on a little shelf in our kitchen,

And small brown bottles on the window sill.


If it’s Autumn, it’s time to bake and that means scones.  Haven’t made these since last Spring so I actually had to look up my recipe.  I’d made them so often I knew it.  Now I’ll share it with you.  It originally came from but I’ve made a few changes that have worked well for me.


Cranberry Scones

Makes 8


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

5 tablespoons white sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2/3 cup whole milk

1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet or line with baking parchment.

2.  Sift flour and baking powder into a medium bowl.  Rub butter and sugar into flour to form a fine crumble.  Make a well in the center, and add milk and dried cranberries.  With floured hands, knead gently together.  Dough should be sticky.

3.  On a generously floured surface, roll out dough to 3/4 inch thickness. Use a juice glass (dipped in flour so the scones release easily) to stamp out rounded scones.  Transfer to the baking sheet.  If there is a lot of flour on the tops, use your fingers to lightly brush it away.  Sprinkle tops with a pinch of sugar.

4.  Bake in preheated oven until risen and lightly golden on top, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool.



If there are any left over, store in an air-tight container.  I hope you enjoy these!

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 6:10 am  Comments (3)  
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Thrifted Quilt Pieces

Found these recently at the thrift store, two Dresden Plate quilt pieces that are finished on the back.  Each measure 32 inches across, but what shall I do with them?

I thought I’d applique one of them onto a tablecloth.  Any suggestions?

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Altered Art

It was, uh, cute before, this little thrifted treasure.

But you know me.  Spray paint is my best friend.  So. . .

A couple hours later I had something I like much better.  Added detail with vintage book pages and sheet music cut to look like stems and leaves.

Much better.  What is your latest project?

Published in: on September 22, 2010 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Peeks of Home

This armoire is in the corner of our dining room.  For a long time these vintage suitcases lived there, hiding seasonal decor when not in use.  Great repurposing, huh?  Great, until one day when I just got tired of seeing them there, tall dark and a little foreboding in the corner.

So I changed things out to this  in the spring.  A little airier I thought at the time.  Didn’t stay this was for long.  One thing I need to learn is not to use everything and fill every space.  Simplified and breathing room are good.

Then it became this over the summer.  A little better.

And now we are here.

I love creating these little vignettes around our home with my thrifted and found treasures.  And it is expecially fun when I see something in a certain home decor catalogue and can recreate that feel at home with what I already have.  Or maybe I’ve already done something and then the catalogue arrives and I can see I’ve “done it right”.

Next week I hope to show you the brass lamp I refinished and how Autumn has arrived at our home.  So please some back!

Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thank You From My Heart

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited me at Kaneville Fest last weekend.  It was great fun to see familiar faces and to meet many new visitors who appreciate handmade items.  I hope to get into a holiday show or two and there will be another PK Handmade Open House in November.  I will keep you posted on dates and times.  Now that I’ve taken a few days to unwind and catch up on some home work, I am feeling inspired again and ready to shift into this beautiful fall season.

But first I thought I’d share the results of the day P and I spent crafting with air dry clay.  After rolling the clay to a thickness of about 1/4 inch, I cut out a shape with a cookie cutter.  Then I impressed a variety of textured items into it.

This is a thrifted crochet doilie.

Upholstery ribbing.

The handle of an antique spoon.

The arms of a starfish.

Half the fun was finding textural things to use.  These will be framed in a shadow box  when I find the right one.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend!

Published in: on September 4, 2010 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Baby Shower

Earlier this summer I had the honor of decorating my mom’s house for a baby shower for a friend from church.  She is expecting a boy in early September.  So I pulled together lots of little things I’d collected:  yellow egg shaped candles, tiny vintage carriages and storks, tin stars, white roses, grandma’s blue canning jars and a piece of blue cloud-decorated paper for a table runner.

Here is how I put it all together. . .

Can’t wait to meet you, baby boy!

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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