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Crafts 101 – Part 4

Peggy and I love to go to a once-a-month vintage sale held on 7th Avenue in Phoenix. It’s called Sweet Salvage and the next monthly sale is this weedend. Last month I spotted this lovely silver platter – turned chalk board. Instead of buying it, I knew that I could make my own, since I have chalk board paint and I have a couple of nasty old platters that I’ve been storing. For what, I did not know, until I saw this lovely piece.

Honestly, I kinda wish I would have bought that one, it is so pretty with the handles and the rectangular shape… maybe it will still be there!

Until then, here is the one I made with my tattered old round tray.

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December 12, 2011   5 Comments

Crafts 101 – Part 3

In the top photo, you are feasting your eyes upon Peggy’s scrumptious “Feliz Navidad” wreath. And below is my “Joyeux Noel” banner, not yet attached to a wreath.  I still need to get to Trader Joe’s to pick up my fresh wreath… I’ll get there…

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December 7, 2011   2 Comments

Crafts 101- part 2

Since standing on my feet in the kitchen for long periods of time is out of the mix at the present time, how about a holiday craft? Now, I already told you in the first installment of Crafts 101, I am not a crafty person… not by a long shot.  In fact, for this particular craft, I needed professional help. Recently, Peggy and I took a class from the very talented Cindy and Lin Sue of Sweet-Stops on how to make these luxurious fabric pumpkins, which are perfect from the first day of fall, all the way through Thanksgiving. Now that’s some bang for your buck! And when I say “buck” –  I literally mean about one dollar! Depending on the fabric you use, or if you use scraps you already have on hand, these beautiful pumpkins may cost no more than that. If you’ve seen them in boutiques, you already know they go for anywhere from $20 to $40 each! That’s just crazy talk!

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October 26, 2011   5 Comments

crafts 101

My son is an artist. My daughter is a writer. I am a cook. And my husband…. well, he is really super-duper good at math. Three out of four creative people in the same family is not bad!  But when it comes to crafts, we are all worthless.

Here is a little example story I will share with you. Many years ago my friend Lorie and I were shopping and saw these gorgeous votive holders covered in glass stones… you know, the little glass stones that look like marbles, but with a flat side. They were expensive, and we said to each other, “We can make those ourselves!” Don’t you say that all the time too – when you see something you like but can’t afford?  I do, and then I never end up doing it or forget about it by the time I get home.  Anyhow, we bought all the supplies to make the glass-covered glasses. Did you know that it is very difficult to glue glass to glass! You need really heavy-duty epoxy and a ton of patience.

We invited our friends, Peggy and Anne, to make the jars with us (because misery loves company!) and we all gathered at Lorie’s house. We sat around Lorie’s kitchen table making our little glass-covered glasses and we laughed and cursed and talked, and cursed and laughed some more.  The little glass pieces would look like they were sticking just fine, and then suddenly they’d begin to slide down the glass jar all at once! Aggravating, to say the least, but we prevailed and each ended up with pretty little jars.  We cleaned up and piled into my car, jars in tow, and headed home.  About three-quarters of the way, I came to the realization that I was high, high as a kite!  Stupidly, I went on, dropped off Peggy and Anne, and by “the grace of God” made it home in one piece. High? How did that happen? I was drug-free – seriously! I honestly didn’t know the answer until the next morning with a clearer head … it was the really heavy-duty epoxy and no ventilation!  Did I mention this was in chilly December or how I (we, in this case) have a tendency to not read warning labels, and that we laughed and laughed?  I have no idea where my little jars are today, somewhere in this house, I’m sure. Point of this little story? I am not a craft person.

But this time is different! This time I easily prevailed in a craft project and I am sharing my victory with you, because if I can do it – anyone can do it! Guaranteed!

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July 22, 2011   11 Comments

Crafts, Decor, Tablescapes, Misc. Stuff

October 6, 2012   No Comments




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September 2, 2016   Comments Off on Holidays

entertaining tips

Tips for Entertaining

or How to be the Hostess with the Mostess


Theme: The jumping-off point for all my entertaining begins with choosing a theme. Some are built-in; holidays, birthdays, and seasonal gatherings. Even then, selecting a color palette helps the event have a cohesive feel and flow and makes planning so much easier. Make a list of what you already own that works with the theme or palette, and then buy or borrow pieces that you want to incorporate.


Make a list of everything you need to get done and set deadlines. Put big, time-consuming projects, such as cleaning the house or tracking down tables and chairs, at the top of your list.

Build menus around dishes you already know how to make and are comfortable with, and then add one or two new recipes.


Prepare as much as possible ahead of time, so you’re able to relax and enjoy your party! Many recipes have “do ahead” notes. But even if the recipe you’re using doesn’t, get into the habit of thinking about what can be prepared ahead. If you’re not sure, search online for a similar recipe and see if it has “do ahead” notes.

If you’re still at a loss, drop me a line and I’ll help you figure it out.

Do not be afraid to take short-cuts with store-bought items.

I do it. All. The. Time.

I am not a baker, so I’ll buy dessert from a bakery or I’ll just pick up a variety of little sweets from Trader Joe’s. Trust me, your guests will remember how much fun they had, not if you made your own pie crust or used a store-bought crust.

Vanilla Pomegranate Sangria

Have a Signature Cocktail. It sets the tone for the evening. It lets your guests know you went to a bit of extra effort. Even if it’s just a glass of champagne with a splash of juice and a berry added, it makes a statement. Have the drinks set on a tray at the entry? Add a little sign, such as: “Welcome, please enjoy our Signature Cocktail – Rojo Sangria”

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November 27, 2013   1 Comment

house tour

Thank you for all your sweet comments about my Christmas dining room and “tablescape” which I posted yesterday. That’s right, I misspelled “tablescape” in my post title, and not a soul told me until sweet Amy finally left a comment at 12:30… which I didn’t find right away, so I wasn’t able to correct my error until 2:30. Embarrassing!  Please, please, please, always feel free to point out my mistakes and alert me to my missed spell-checks, I will sincerely appreciate it. Thank you, Amy! (of Amy’s Famous Taco Soup)

Now, how about we check out the rest of the house – all dolled up for Christmas? Come on in and let me fix you a drink from my sweet little “retro bar” set-up. First things first!

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December 22, 2011   9 Comments

Complete Recipe Index

smoked salmon spread


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January 20, 2011   No Comments

carpeting not cooking

No recipe today… the reason… my house should be deemed a national disaster area! I am hoping for some catastrophe funds from the government to be flowing my way very soon!

Every day since Easter, I have boxed up, thrown out, or donated car-loads of goods. Our house is 24+ years old and we have lived in it for 11 of those years and until today, the original carpet was on its floors.  But although the picture above looks nice, with the new fresh carpet, the rest of the house… not so much!

Although I would never categorize myself as a hoarder, I will have to admit that I am a pack rat. I find myself continually cramming all those things, that I can not bring myself to part with, into every nick and cranny of the house.

To clean it out, I began with the upstairs carpeted rooms; a huge playroom, Connor’s bedroom, and an office. The office was easy, it has a built-in desk and bookcases all the way around the room, and although those are packed to the gills, nothing had to be gone through in that room. Connor’s bedroom was another story, he has inherited my tendencies and doesn’t want to throw out anything, not even birthday cards received from family and friends for his 3rd birthday, which of course he can’t even remember receiving! Sorry, Connor, when you went back to school after Easter, some of those things ended up residing in the recycle center.

The playroom – I can barely talk about the playroom! Before Marissa went back to Tucson on Easter Sunday, she helped me go through three cabinets full of games, videos, and arts & crafts stuff. Almost an entire carload of that went to Goodwill. Everything else that was in those upstairs rooms went into Marissa’s wood-floored room. See the pictures of that sad scene below – I don’t know when I’ll find the strength or courage to open that door again and face it.

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April 13, 2010   4 Comments