Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almond Sugar Cookies, a Family Tradition


I have been on a baking spree over the last couple of days, and I thought I would share a favorite family cookie recipe this evening.  The almond flavor adds a classy twist to the traditional sugar cookie.  These are the cookies my mom baked most often when I was little.  We had a collection of cookie cutters to fit every season/holiday.   I have fond memories of sitting at the kitchen table with my dad, frosting and decorating these cookies for hours!  My dad would spend 30 minutes on one cookie...creating a confectionary masterpiece, to be devoured in 30 seconds.  Over the past several years I have put together my own collection of cookie cutters...a lot of holiday and a bit of randomness too!  My boys love helping make these, especially the frosting part but they also get a kick out of digging through the cookie cutters.  Usually we do something that relates to an upcoming holiday but sometimes I let them get extra creative and we have flamingo or elephant cookies!  ;)

Almond Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp almond flavoring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Mix butter, sugar, eggs and almond flavoring.  Add baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  Add flour, mix well.  Chill for at least 1 hour.  Bake at 400 for 6-8 minutes after rolling dough to 1/8" thick and cutting into desired shapes.

I don't measure when making frosting...just beat butter, powdered sugar and a little vanilla until soft peaks form.  I add a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shop Photos...

As promised, here are a few photos of my Autumn display at the shop.  It doesn't look exactly the way I had hoped but I am sure I'll get there after a couple more Monday nights of tweaking and fluffing.  It will surely come together just about the time I am ready to pull out the Christmas decor, lol!  Now, to put my house back in order after several days crafting...

Thank you for stopping by!  -Amanda

Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn Treasures!

I always have a difficult time finding an Autumn decor theme that blends well with my flowery, pink decor both at home and at the shop.  Orange pumpkins and black cats (aside from Burlious and Harry, our real black kitties) just don't look good alongside the shabby pastels which are my favorites year round!  This year I am excited to add dried flowers, wicker baskets, tarnished silver and tattered ecru lace to my space at Camas Antiques!  It gives the shabby look a Victorian Autumn edge without changing things up too much!  I am pricing things today and am going to give my display an overhaul this evening with all of the great new treasures I have salvaged and/or created.  I thought I would give you a sneak peek at a corner of my kitchen island...just a sample of what will be added to the shop this evening!  I will try to add some photos from the shop when I get home tonight!

Happy Autumn!  Thanks for stopping by!  -Amanda

On a side sunny September day in the Great NW!  Um...picture day at school and I am putting my son in shorts and a short sleeved shirt!?!  This doesn't seem right, but oh well!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Give New Life to Your Outdated TV Cabinet

In my first blog post I mentioned an entertainment unit turned shabby craft cabinet.  My dear friend and fellow blogger suggested that I should have at least posted a photo or two of said cabinet after having mentioned it.  So, hear you go... 



A sneak peek of the inside...

The unit I re-purposed was a Craigslist purchase, and there are many more out there to be picked up for next-to-nothing!  But maybe you already have one that has sat in the garage ever since the new flat screen went up on the wall?  Before you attempt to garage sale it or haul it off to the dump, think about re-purposing and/or restyling it to better fit your needs.  I came across a great article about an interior design class given an assignment to re-purpose these outdated cabinets.

Another blogger turned an old unit into a very clever and cute toy kitchen for her daughter!  This is definitely worth taking a look at...

Until next time...  -Amanda

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Preserving Beauty from the Summer Garden...

Eden rose ready to cut for drying

The thought of dried flower arrangements probably takes you back to the country crafts of the late 80's, early 90's.  I wish I had a photo to share of my county fair blue-ribbon winning dried flower adorned straw hat from 1988.  Well, adjust your mindset because I have just recently started seeing dried flowers grace the pages of decor magazines and used creatively in beautiful vintage vignettes!  Yes, dried flowers are back in vogue, and crafty people are doing beautiful things with them!  

Roses, by far are my favorite flower to dry.  Even in the most shriveled and brittle state, they evoke a truly romantic, Victorian quality.  The key is to pick your roses at the peak time for drying.  If you wait until the flower is in full bloom, it won't hold together once'll have a pile of nice dried petals.  I prefer to pick the tighter, smaller buds.  Keep in mind that they will open up a bit more as they dry. 

There are several different methods for flower preservation and though I would love to experiment with them all...for the time being I use the simplest and most cost efficient one I know.  I bundle my flowers tightly with a rubber band, open up a paperclip, attach one end to the rubber band and use the other side as a hook to hang the bundle from a "drying rack." As long as the air in the space you choose to do your drying in is dry, and your flowers are kept away from direct sunlight, any room of the house will do.  You don't have to have a professional drying rack, anything that you can hook your paperclips to will work!  Get creative and re-purpose something you have sitting around your home!  Here you see I've used a vintage necklace display.  It looks so pretty with the little rose bundles hanging from it that I put it out where I can enjoy the flowers during the drying process.  A bare metal lampshade is another example of something that could be used for hanging flowers to dry.

A bare metal lampshade makes for a great
table-top drying rack
 I have found that roses typically take 1-2 weeks to fully dry, depending on the size of the rose and how dry the air is in your home.  So you have a bundle of dried what?  There are so many ways to use and display them that will give your home a real cozy, cottage feel.  Simply setting them out in a bowl to enjoy on your table during the months when fresh flower arrangements are harder to come by is one idea!  Tussy Mussies are small fancy bouquets of dried flowers that were popular during the Victorian era.  They are fun and easy to put together, make lovely gifts and charming little decorations to set out around your home.  My mom and I had actually planned to make them as wedding favors for my own wedding 9 years ago!  We even bought one hundred and some little doilies to use.  It seemed like a charming idea, and though they are not difficult to make, we soon realized that making well over a hundred of them would be quite time-consuming.  We opted for votive candles instead. 

There are so many great books out there that offer wonderful ideas for crafting with dried flowers.  In fact, I recently picked up several that I plan to offer at the shop along with some of the Bonica rose buds that I dried this summer.  The books have such beautiful photos and great information on drying all different kinds of flowers.  I am having a bit of a hard time parting with them!  So...I hope you'll pick the last roses from you garden before they are gone and hang them somewhere to dry where you can enjoy them!  It's a great way to hold onto the beauty of summer and decorate for Fall at the same time.
The large roses on the right are an example of the Eden rose once dried. 
The smaller are Bonica, a lovely shrub rose.

Here are a couple of great websites that provide useful information on flower preservation:

Thank you for stopping by! 
Best Wishes and Blessings,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I've been inspired!

 So...I have been contemplating starting a blog for months now!  Hours and hours spent reading the postings of so many amazingly talented women has inspired me to take my passions and share them too!  Years ago, before the little boys took over my life (in a good way, of course!)  I kept a scrapbook of before and after pictures of all of my projects.  In more recent years, I tried to take pictures of things that I created or restyled but those pics were downloaded onto the computer, and there they remain!  Occassionally I would post something that I was particularly excited about on Facebook, but then I thought...I'll just bet that most of these people (especially the guys) could care less about the old entertainment unit that I've turned into my fabulous new shabby crafting cabinet!  So, I am finally committing to a put my ideas and projects out there for the people who might be interested and who share my passion for thrifting, crafting, repurposing and decorating!  I have so enjoyed reading the blogs of the women who enjoy creating beautiful things and so admire their willingness to share ideas, thoughts and methods with us all.  I am excited to join them in this same spirit and make more new friends who love the things I love!
I spent a good week or so figuring out how to design my blog just the way I wanted...and I think that for now, I am happy with it!  "Girl in Pink" is the name you will now see on my tags at my little space at Camas Antiques, below the face of that adorable little blonde girl with the feathered hat!  I've always wanted a logo...and when I found this little victorian chic girl, I knew she was perfect!  She is in one of my very favorite shades of pink...looking very sylish and even has a cute little bird perched on her hat brim!  I hope you like her as well as I do! 

More to follow from the Girl in Pink!  Thank you for stopping by!