Friday, December 19, 2008

My New Home on Gingerbread Lane

Welcome to my new house - just finished and oh so tasty! There's a fresh coat of powdered sugar snow and the winterberry seen next to it is from my grandmother's garden.

It's a two bedroom, one bath with a new sweet tart roof and large pretzel windows.

The gumdrop and peppermint fence adds to its charm...and no need to paint it every year!

I put up some christmas lights and a wreath on the door - all ready to move in now. If only I can resist nibbling on the fresh baked walls.


And in other news - Danita's having a doll giveaway!! Check out her blog for the details. Her dolls are super cute. I especially love her Alice in Wonderland and Snow White.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

I'm craving snow right now, but the weather keeps yoyo-ing back and forth between cold and warm and we've only had little flurries so far. But that isn't the only part of a white Christmas I like. When I was younger I liked to decorate with bold dark colors, but the last five years or so I've turned to a lighter taste - mostly shabby chic. I love shades of white, vintage off-white mixed with crisper cooler whites, shades of light pink, etc. So it's little wonder that my Christmas decorations are starting to reflect that, too.
I've decorated most of the house with the traditional green and red decorations, but my bedroom is still a haven to the lighter shabby side of the holidays. Just check out my little white tree - got it at Target last year and I decided it goes best on top of my dresser just now.

I still haven't found quite the ornaments I want, but for now I found some cute vintagey colored ones at Kmart last year. They'll do for now. Mostly what I'd like to do is decorate it with small mercury glass ornaments and maybe some handmade ornaments that give it a more shabby french feel.

And I've been busy decorating my bookshelves, too - I used two of my music houses (the little one is on Etsy already and the big one will be by tomorrow) and a few little decorations we had - the little picket fences and wreaths are just too cute. Plus the large bottle brush trees are a great find from Jo Anne Fabrics last year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mmm...smell the gingerbread

It's that time of year that I start dreaming of gingerbread houses. I just love searching the web for cool pictures and dream of making my own little house someday. So I bought a little kit this year to take a crack at and decided to look up a few pictures to get inspired. Check these out:

A Better Homes and Garden house - oh so cute - the little sled is such a cute touch. I love the peppermint hedge.

This has lots of details!

And if you really wanted to rock out - this first place winner looks fantastic!!

Who wouldn't want to live there?? How did they get it so realistic?? Beautiful. Now I'll go to sleep with visions of sugar plum fairies, gum drop roofs and pretzel fences dancing in my head...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble

We had a nice Thanksgiving this year - plenty of food leftover and a whole weekend to relax and recuperate. Below is a picture of the desserts we made - I made little mincemeat pies (on top) and mom made pumpkin and pecan pies.

Check out the little pie toppers on the pumpkin pie - cute!!

Little squirrel and turkeys ready to gobble up acorns pacman style. lol

And we used my favorite sugar bowl and creamer found at a flea market a few years ago.

I just love their little feet - I polish them up every year and use them for the holidays. Coffee, anyone?

And now it's time to pack away the fall decorations and pie tins and haul out the Christmas stuff. I'm looking forward to picking out a tree. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Just a note to everyone that's read my blog and/or purchased something from my shop this year. Thank you very much! I've had a great time getting my shop opened and starting this blog this year. I've got so much more planned for the future, but for now I'm just grateful for what I have and hopeful for the future.

Here's a few of my Thanksgiving decorations.

The Indian corn garland is made by my mom. It's so cute and festive. I put some fruit and nuts in the apothecary jar (which at Halloween had skulls in it - lol) and there's a few displays of feathers and acorns up there. And even Henry VIII gets a sprig of bittersweet to decorate his frame.

And over in the window I put the Thanksgiving stacked boxes I made for my mother with a few other odds and ends. It looks so cute there. I made another set for my shop a while back (which is still for sale, by the way...) ;-)

And that's all for now - I'm getting ready to post a few new items in the shop and trying to get the house ready for Thanksgiving. I have a few great recipes I'd like to share when I get around to baking and I'll take pictures to go with them. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.

Edit: Shop Update - two new items up.

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

This and That

Just a mixed bag of things I'd like to share today. It's a chilly overcast day and the perfect time to share a new recipe. I've been craving something cranberry the last few weeks so I bought some dried cranberries at the farmer's market and looked for a cranberry orange muffin recipe online. What I found was a cooking light recipe and they came out more like little bitty cranberry scones rather than muffins, but I think they taste great that way, too.

The tops are sugared and glisten like they are covered in frost - perfect for these chilly fall days. ;)

Here's the recipe for these Cranberry Orange muffin/scones:

Heat oven 400 degrees.

Combine in large bowl:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar (all, but about a tablespoon - save to sprinkle on top of muffins before baking)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

In small bowl mix:

2 tsp + orange rind

3/4 cup orange juice (or more if needed to moisten dough) about one large orange or two medium oranges.

1/4 veg. or canola oil

1 large egg

Beat wet ingredients together then add to larger bowl and mix well. I found the dough very dry and had to add more orange juice until just moist. Dough will be very thick. Fold in 2 cups cranberries (I used dried), and 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans.

Grease muffin tin and fill 3/4 full, sprinkle with sugar and pop them in the oven. Makes about 16 muffins.

Last weekend we drove past a little antique store having a 1/2 off sale and bought a few tiny little treasures:

My favorites are the wheel of cheese, red pitcher and donkey. My mom's are the deer and little scotty dog as well as the tiny doll. Each one was only 50 cents - can you believe it?

And now - the absolute last post related to Halloween - I swear - at the end of the night my feet were getting tired of running to the door to feed the trick or treaters so I put on my little booties I got at Target just for the occassion:

Isn't it cute? The little kitty face just makes me smile and I like that they are mary jane style - the bottoms say 'meow'. lol

And the real kitties of the house are getting all snugly in their beds now that the weather has turned.

This is the cutest little bed I've ever bought for them - got it at World Market over the summer and they are just now starting to use it. Cute!

And finally, it's pomegranate season now so that means my mom eats at least one a day. We both love them, but I think she's addicted to them just as she is to cherries.

Check out the stash - this is after she'd eaten several already...

That was about two days ago and there are like three left - she'll be buying more this weekend, I'm sure. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just a Friendly Reminder

Have you?? Please take the time to vote today if you are registered (and live in the US, obviously) - every vote matters. ;)

Happy November, everyone - it's very warm where I live right now.

And in unrelated news. Yesterday I had to go the Ortho doc for two shots in the back to help with the extraordinary pain I've been having. It's amazing how long the needles were! Ouch. Really gross. It was a fairly long painstaking process and some recovery time, but I think it's starting to work. I've got lots of pain, but some of it is gone and they said it takes up to two weeks or so to feel the full effect. I'm glad I went, though I was super nervous. I just hope to be able to do more now as the pain has taken quite a toll on me lately.

It's scoliosis related, the three rods in my back hold the main part of it in place, but this means the lower back and upper back have a LOT of wear and tear over the last 17 years and I have deteriated discs and bone spurs and pinched nerves. I haven't felt like doing much of anything lately and forget creative stuff. I'm so bummed. But now? Maybe I'll feel better.
Sorry to vent a little - just needed to talk about it and now I'll wish for the best. Maybe wish me luck?? ;) I'm so hoping to be able to paint and work again on new things for my shop and just for therapy, too. It feels good to make things.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Spooktacular Party Tonight...

Just a few more pics of my party preparations. Last minute decorations and treats.

My tablecloth we made last year using this fantastic vintage looking material for Halloween.

And while you are at the table you simply must have some rum cake.

If you'd like the recipe leave a comment and I'll post it later. It's scrumptious! Just ask these fellows:

And now I must go, but be careful as you leave, my porch can be dangerous...

After all, it's not a party until someone's been beheaded...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just the Facts, Jack

I've been debating about whether to divulge anything remotely personal on this blog as I'm rather a private and shy person in real life, but I also know that I appreciate it when other bloggers share a bit of their own lives so maybe in the interest reciprocating I can reveal a few facts about myself. Often times bloggers tag one another with a game of sharing a few facts so I'll do it that way as I haven't been tagged yet myself.

1 - My name is Nicki, 58Cherries is our shop on Etsy and sometimes Ebay which I share with my mother, Mary.

2 - I am legally deaf. I can only hear wearing hearing aids and mostly read lips, but I have been slowly losing my hearing since I was about 5 and I can speak perfectly well and no on knows my disability unless I reveal it. The email and internet have been a godsend as I can communicate on equal footing for the first time.

3 - I have a Bachelor's degree in History and Politics with an emphasis in History - I'm a Tudor buff and love reading anything I can get my hands on about Henry VIII and his wives and children. I'm currently reading a bio on Mary I. I have a Master's Degree with a dual major in Management and Computer Resources and Information Management. A boring degree as I'm really more of a History gal - not a techie.

4 - I have scoliosis - I was diagnosed when I was 11 and wore a brace for a year as well as a lift in my shoe (middle school was oh so fun). The curve in my spine was severe enough that it didn't help and I had to have surgery. I have three rods in my back.

5 - I love lots of different artistic styles, but have recently come to really appreciate folk art, much to my mom's amazement. I hated it as a kid, but she always loved it.

6 - My mom's an amazing artist. She was always making stuff when I was a kid and she painted a beautiful folk art wedding portrait based on her own wedding picture and it is just amazing. I'll have to post a picture of it soon. I most want to be able to paint like her. She has great taste and is super creative. If only she had more time on her hands.

And...that's enough for now. Just a few facts. I will post fun stuff soon. Halloween is tomorrow night and I can't wait. I bought a beautiful new costume as a treat to myself. Check it out:

Isn't it beautiful?? I got it in the mail yesterday and it looks every bit as good as the picture. I'm so happy with it - great quality and very flattering. I only wish my hair was longer to style it better. I'm gonna wear a great little jeweled necklace that will go perfectly with this. (I'm not a choker kind of girl).

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Speaking of cute sugar cookies - check these out:

Picture found on Cute Overload site. Oh so cute. I'll have to make some like this someday. ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Decorations

I'm woefully behind on my outside decorations for Halloween this year. Very strange for me - I'm usually decorated early in the month. Here's a few things I've put out in the last two years:

The handmade pillory my dad made for any stray witches we might catch.

The Leaky Cauldron sign from Harry Potter - also made by my handyman father - it's about four or five times the size of the real one in the movies, but it's cute and can be seen in the distance.

And of course, my Haunted House sign, lest anyone not realize this house is special by the decorations and purple fairy lights at night. ;) Not to mention the attack cats perched in every window.

And in Martha Stewart related Halloween news - I just love her invitations you can print out on her site. The skeletons and owls are so cute! I think I'm going to make some skeletons just to hang up as I can never find any cute enough in the stores.

And don't you just wish you had the time and patience to make one of these??

I just love gingerbread houses - the more intricate the better and especially a Victorian!! Every Christmas I promise myself I'll make time to make one - and now I want to make them at Halloween, too. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Winner + Heirloom Tomatoes - Yum!!

So sorry for my late post, but I've had a few doctors' appointments this week and lots of errands, etc. going on. It doesn't help that I'm feeling very run down just now. But enough excuses - on to the winner!!

The witch stained glass giveaway winner is: Kandes Lee!!!!

Kandes Lee said...
I love your mini treats. They are so cute! I think your cookies look really cool.
That witch is wonderful give away. Please enter me.

Congrats, Kandes!! Please email me with your address so I can send it as soon as possible!! ;)

And in other news - the days grow colder and we had some frost scares so I went out to pick some more tomatoes and peppers from my garden. I think I might've left it off a little too long since I last went out there...

There are still more little green peppers out there to get and even more little yellow tomatoes - they are a weird kind of heirloom yellow tomato that is only slightly larger than a cherry tomato. They taste great, but my mom bought like eight plants and they took over my garden. They got to be about 8 feet tall if you can believe it. Man, anyone want some tomatoes?? However will I eat all these? I think I'll give some to my grandmother to give to her friends. Quite a crop this year. I've had good crops in the past with regular sized tomatoes, but these little ones are just too cute.
And my favorite necklace this time of the year?

A glass art pendant with a little image of a vintage post card. I keep getting compliments on it when I wear it. Gotta go - I need to get up early to go to yet another doctor tomorrow. Ugh. I can't wait for Friday.
Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trick or Treat

Hoo? Oh, the party already began! Sorry I'm a little late posting - my computer shut down in mid-blog last night and lost my stuff. I was sooo tired I had to leave it til today. Let's get started - I'm not much for tricks, but I do have a few treats, but first - the decorations. They set the tone for the party -

Nothing says spooky like some skulls in an apothocary jar on the mantel. And my spider candle holder is one of my favorites - it always looks like it is about to crawl off the mantel.

Oh, beware of the attack cat - he thinks he owns the mantel.

*Hisssss* Stay away from the owl - he's mine!!

But while we are over here, would you like some candy?

I just had to share this cool Halloween dish I got at Cracker Barrel of all places. It's still on sale if you have one near you - soooo cute!

And I also got this at the Cracker Barrel - so cute. BOO!!

And now for some cookies:

I bought some new little bitty Halloween cookie cutters that I just had to try out - I have the best sugar cookie recipe so I made them the other day. They are by far the best sugar cookies to taste - they have the slightest hint of lemon to cut the sweetness and the stuff they sell in a tube at the store around this time of year is absolutely awful compared to these.

If ever I could cast a spell to give everyone that visits a cookie I would - they are too good!

I just wish I was better at decorating them - I'm no Martha Stewart. Oh well - they may look juvenile, but they taste better than they look and I'm having trouble keeping people from eating them before I can take a picture. Here's the recipe:

Nicki's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies


3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt
1 cup butter or margarine
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract


2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 cup Butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Half & Half (or Milk)

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.
In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt, mix well.

Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly. In small bowl, beat eggs; gradually add sugar, vanilla and lemon extract, beating until light. Add this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl, mix by hand and knead until dough forms, dough will be sticky. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour for easier handling.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/3 at a time, to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters - I used small ones, but usually 2-3 inch cutters are best. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 - 11 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (If making smaller cookies watch them carefully - the bake very quickly). Wait a minute to remove cookies as they will be limp, then remove to cool completely before decorating.

In small bowl, combine all ingredients adding enough half & half or milk for desired consistency. Blend until smooth. Then decorate as you like - pipe it on the cookies, spread thinly, whatever. Then sprinkle colored sugars or sprinkles.

As you can see - they are a bit of work to make - but sooo worth it. And while we are still in the kitchen - check out my new kitchen towel I got at Target:

And now for some othe party goers - Marie, the small porcelain doll is enjoying some of my miniatures:

I made her a little jack o lantern to store her goodies in - a large twisty sucker, chocolate - of course, licorice, and caramel apples. If you'd like to see the Country Living cake miniature I made in a little more detail - see my past posts.

And didn't I promise a give away?? Yes, I did:

Nothing says Halloween like a witch on a broom - this stain glass decoration is soooo cute. I had to buy one for a gift and another for here to give away. So please leave a comment on this post if you'd like it and I will randomly select a lucky person to get this. I guess I'll pick by Tuesday?? It's not a lot of time, I know, but I want to quickly ship it out so someone gets it by Halloween.

Here's a pic of it with the light shining through.

Not a great pic, but you get the idea. Cuter in person.

So...that's all for now - Happy Halloween!! Off I go to check some other blog partiers. I'll be posting more Halloween stuff right up to the day so be sure to check back here now and then.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...