It’s Christmas Time in my December Kitchen

deckit-village
In 1990, my youngest daughter gave me a Hallmark ornament showing Santa as the caller at a hoedown for his reindeer.  It was especially appropriate because my husband and I were ardent square dancers at the time.

deckit-barndance
The ornament became the centerpiece of the windowsill over the sink with a few small tins and figures added.  I’ve used the same display ever since.

The shelves on either side of the window hold snowmen made by my oldest daughter, Christmas mugs from grandchildren who are in their mid-20s now, and little S’Mores figures.

deckit-rh shelf

deckit-lh shelf
In the bay window area, I have a vintage paper bell, two favorite Rockwell Christmas plates and red plastic cookie cutters I bought at the dime store in 1953.

deckit-bell
deckit-cutters
The top of my primitive shelf holds items handmade by my daughter

deckit-top
And the rest of the shelves hold vintage bottles, a fragment of a fancy apron I made for my mother over 50 years ago, grandma/grandpa salt and pepper shakers from a favorite restaurant of long ago, Christmas spoons, a St. Nicholas tile and my favorite Mary Engelbreit figures – “I Love Christmas”.
deckit-twoshelves
I have two wall hangings I made – one, a primitive based on my Christmas china…
deckit-prim2

(This is my post on how I designed and made the wall hanging.)

…and a countdown calendar in which felt cookies are removed from the big mixing bowl and placed into a pocket.

deckit-hng

deckit-hng2
A Department 56 lady reigns over everything as my kitchen muse.

deckit-muse2
The newest addition this year has been a 1940s era doll table and chair set.  The set now has a hostess, a 1960s Penny Brite doll.  She’s graciously serving from a bountiful table with punchbowl, cupcakes, gingerbread house and candy canes.
dectbl-doll
My favorite is a tiered fudge dish fashioned from small bolts by my daughter.

dectbl-doll3
Luckily, I was able to get most of my decorations up this year before I had some medical problems, so everything is ready for Christmas.

It’s Turkey Time in my November Kitchen

Turkeys are the main attraction in my November kitchen, accompanied by some pilgrims and other fall decorations.

The shelves on either side of the window over my sink hold some turkey items…l


The big rustic shelf holds a painting I did on enamelware and two vintage turkey candles.

The middle shelf has some small vintage pilgrim candles…



…and on the bottom shelf are a turkey tile and some more candles.

My doll table is decked out with a crocheted-edge tablecloth, silverware and plates, plus a miniature turkey and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

On the walls are a cross-stitch piece that my daughter-in-law did for me….

…a quilted turkey wall hanging I made several years ago…

…a pilgrim enamelware platter that I painted in 1996…

…and a patchwork wall hanging with my favorite Rockwell Thanksgiving picture.

It won’t be long until I’ll be buying the real turkey to stuff and roast for my family once again.

.

Time for Halloween in my October Kitchen

I love to get out all of the vintage, collectible and handmade items for my October kitchen.  On the window sill there is a pumpkin that my mother had 30 years ago, some funny S’More figures in costume and my oldest daughter’s hand-stitched tea towel.

The shelves at the side of the window hold crafted pieces by both daughters.


In the bay window is a painted witch that goes back over 20 years to my decorative arts days.

There is a picture embroidered by my oldest daughter and two wall hangings I made in my early days of quilting.



The top of the big set of shelves holds my painted haunted house and some vintage candles….

…on the middle shelf is a miniature chair I painted along with candlesticks made by my youngest daughter, and some pieces made by my oldest daughter, including some felted wool figures.



I love this decoration my oldest daughter made from an old woman’s shoe.  Remember when grandma wore this type of shoe?

In this case, it’s the “Witch’s Night Out” and she has everything she needs for a good time – an invitation to the dance, a fan, a mask and feathers, beads, her dance card, and her “Eau de Lizard”.

All I have to do is get a big bag of candy for the trick or treaters and I’m ready.

It’s Souvenir Time in my May Kitchen

My oldest daughter has traveled extensively and in the 1990s, I went along on trips to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.  In addition to the souvenirs we brought home, we have pieces that we painted about 20 years ago.  The Dutch and Irish souvenirs are displayed earlier in the year, but these treasures make up the decorations in my May kitchen.

My daughter’s folk art painting of a Swiss Alpine scene…

…my hand-painted wooden German spice set and some German beer steins…

….a music box and some small souvenirs from Switzerland …

…some Dutch souvenirs that stay up all year, German plaques, and two of my hand-painted wooden pieces….

…..pieces from Germany, Austria, England, Hungary and Switzerland in the window area over the sink….

….lots of little Schnapps glasses which are easy to bring home on the plane….

….and one of my daughter’s painted pieces that holds jars of staples and is in the kitchen year-around.

It’s fun to look around the kitchen all through the month of May and be reminded of so many beautiful places and times.

Recycling Old Lace Curtains

When we moved into this house 11 years ago, the previous owners had left behind three lace panel curtains.  They were too pretty to get rid of but I really had no use for them and they have been hanging in a closet since 2001.  Yesterday, I finally decided to do something with the panels and made new curtains for my kitchen windows.  I needed bottom panels and valance for the window over my sink and three valances for the bay window area.

I was able to make use of the pretty bottom edging on the panels for the window over the sink ….

…and cut all the valances sideways to be able to use the pretty side edging for the bottoms.

I took down venetian blinds to make the kitchen brighter and more open.  Although I’ll be replacing the lace curtains with heavier ones in the fall, I don’t think the blinds are ever going back up.

Antique Store Finds – 4/22/2012

I love Roseville pottery but I’m not willing to pay the high prices the pieces bring.  I am willing to buy a piece with a chip which makes it much more affordable and I don’t mind the imperfections.  This Roseville Freesia #15 bookend has a chip at the top and I was able to buy it for $26.

I don’t really collect salt and pepper shakers, but I liked this one, marked “Made in Japan” on the bottom, because of the Dutch theme and because the colors match my kitchen.  It’s also interesting that they are joined with salt on one side and pepper on the other.  This piece was just $9.50.

I had a good day at the antique store.

Time for Easter in my April Kitchen

I’m lucky to have a lot of display areas in my kitchen.  I have one large primitive shelf…

…four window sills…


…two small corner shelves ….

…and a small decorative cabinet.

There’s a place to hang a handmade bunny dishtowel….

…and to display a 1970s cottage cheese container.  Yes, we did love our shades of orange back in the ‘70s.

One item I’m going to be displaying for all of the Easters to come is this wonderful spring-like picture of my youngest granddaughter.  The pink is just so perfect.

My January Kitchen Goes Dutch

As soon as the Christmas decorations are packed and stored, it’s time to bring out my Dutch collectibles.  I enjoy having these cheery, colorful, happy pieces arranged around my January kitchen.  They span many years and come from many different sources.  Most were gifts from my oldest daughter – some were brought home from her trip to Holland  such as the wooden windmill mold ….

… some pieces were bought in antique stores….

…some were bought years ago in a shop that specialized in gifts from Holland….

Some items are displayed just because I like them – a windmill that held crocus bulbs 30 years ago …

…old toy dishes….

…and one of my earliest quilting projects…

Some items never leave the kitchen, such as my daughter’s hand-embroidered piece…

…a vintage clock and spoon collection

…a granite ware covered cake dish…

….and my set of vintage spice jars, which I use daily.

I enjoy my Dutch collection through the month of January – and now it’s almost time to pack it away and get out my Valentine stuff!

Round Patchwork Tablecloth


Recently, my oldest daughter moved back home and one of the items she brought with her was a great Bob Timberlake drop-leaf kitchen table.

It even matched up well with my 1930s era chairs.

When the leaves are extended, I have a round table about 47″ diameter.  There is also a handy drawer that opens from two sides.

The problem was I’ve never owned a round table or round tablecloth.  I thought I might use this as a good excuse to use up a lot of scraps and make a patchwork tablecloth.  I basically made a piece of cloth 52″x52″ from every scrap I could find in the colors of green, yellow and pink.  I started out using all the small pieces, cutting 2″x2″ squares.  When that fabric ran out, I started cutting strips 2″ wide, sewing them together and then sub-cutting them in 2″ wide pieces.    It wasn’t difficult work, but I hadn’t counted on how much time it would take to put together enough  2″ squares/strips to make a 52″ square of fabric.  I finally completed it, cut the pieced fabric in a circle, and sewed it to a backing fabric with stitching going across the cloth in 6 places.  Then, I put on a binding and had a tablecloth that I really like and that cost nothing but time – a lot of time.

My daughter reminded me that I have a set of dinnerware, also by Bob Timberlake, called Emma’s Rooster.  I’ve been using the dinnerware for about 20 years, but it should look even better and feel right at home on the new table.

Banana Mocha Snack Cake

topperOver 20 years ago, I copied the recipe for this cake from a 1986 Dole Banana flyer.  Today, I just got around to making it with a few of my own touches.  This is a very good, not too-rich, satisfying snack cake with a strong coffee flavor.  It’s an easy cake to mix – everything is put together in a baking dish.

BANANA MOCHA SNACK CAKE

  • 2 ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 Tblsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tblsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a small bowl, blend mashed banana and instant espresso coffee powder.

In an ungreased 9″ baking pan, combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Blend well with a fork.  Make a well in the center.

In a cup or shaker, mix together the egg, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract.  Pour this into the well in the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until well blended.

stir

Smooth out the batter in the baking pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

When completely cool, frost the top with Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting:

MOCHA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 3 Tblsp. butter, softened
  • 2 Tblsp. cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers

Beat the butter and cream cheese together, add confectioners’ sugar, instant espresso coffee powder and vanilla extract.  Beat until well blended.  Frost top of cooled cake.

Sprinkle with toasted almond slivers.

frosted

This would be a nice cake to take on a picnic or to a barbecue – or just enjoy at the kitchen table with a big glass of ice cold milk.

cutplate