Saturday, December 22, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Well, we're getting ready for Christmas, that's for sure. Took some pics today of my living room and dining room. It's so nice and cozy and relaxing. I love wood heat, although it is dusty! It just feels so good.
Now, I'm sitting, enjoying the season, like I haven't got a thing to do LOL. Actually, first thing in the morning, I have to make 36 loaves of Cardamom Bread. But, the good thing, is my baking is split up over 3 days! I was only going to bake on Friday, but it wasn't working for some people. It's turning out fine for me, as I've got orders for about 105 so far, if I'm counting right. Yippee, I love selling bread the last minute before Christmas, so I'm not broke on Christmas. I've had some really good comments that people are surprised I haven't raised my price. It's been $5. for 19 years LOL. I sure do have to shop to get the best buys on butter, eggs, milk, and flour, though. I have a lot of cardamom stocked up, which is pretty expensive, but I recently got a really good deal on it, so I'm set!! Here's my recipe:
Finnish Cardamom Bread
4 cups scalded milk
4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom seed
2 Tablespoons yeast.
Mix these together really well. I have a Bosch mixer, which I love, and I really use it a LOT. After that's mixed in good, mix in 4 eggs, and 1/2 pound butter. (Yes, use REAL butter!!!)
After that is all mixed in good, change to dough hooks, and start adding flour until it's a good soft dough. Let raise till double, punch down, divide into 6 or 8 equal pieces.
Now, take one of those pieces, cut it into 4 pieces, roll those out like snakes, a little longer than a foot, probably. Lay all four snakes on the counter parallel, then starting in center, work you way down braiding it. Then start at the other end/center, working to the end of that side.
Let raise till double, and bake about 15-20 minutes until nice, golden brown. I ice mine and decorate with red candied cherries. Yum, and it smells soooooo good.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here's my buffet I antiqued with black paint. I love how it came out. I bought it intending to redo it and sell it, and I finally listed it on craigslist. I won't be real sad if it stays with me! Isn't it pretty?
We finally got out to do some Christmas shopping. Talk about a LOT of people! I don't really mind the crowds. I love to get gifts, too. What I don't like is the "overdo-ing" you see. We're determined to keep the gifts really simple this year, so I'm probably more conscious of it than I usually am, or else I just ignore it. I want to just enjoy the whole season, the reason we celebrate it, even the gift-giving with a calmness, a focus... a child-like simpleness. You see how much fun a child has going to the dollar store and buying something that's really not much money, but to them it's a treasure, something they're excited to give.
My little boy last year knew I had broken my favorite butter dish. It was actually one of those glass refrigerator dishes, a think they used it for veggies or something. I loved that thing as a butter dish. Well, my son decided I needed a new butter dish, and got me a cut-glass-crystal-looking candy dish, from the dollar store. He was so proud of his purchase. I don't have the heart to tell him it's not practical. Not even for a candy dish, you can hardly pick the lid up, the knob is so tiny. My husband was making fun of it this morning and I had to tell him to hush, it was a treasure from Seth and he was proud to give it to me.
That's a memory. It only cost a dollar. He probably got the dollar for doing some odd job for me. Anyway, today, the shopping carts were everywhere. Some people were smiling, enjoying themselves. Others looked so angry. Why pack that shopping cart full if it's not even fun? Why can't people at least smile? I've gone through some horrible things in my life, and you still find a smile for a stranger you meet.
Anyway, I think there should be a rule that you can't go shopping acting grouchy!
Friday, December 7, 2007
Robin, from Bird in Hand Primitives is, I believe the designer of all of these doodles I made into pillowslips for some pillows I already had. I really didn't want to go buy new pillows, then store them in the Christmas stuff all year, so I decided to just make pillowslips out of them. Thanks very much, Robin!!!
Also, a day of baking. Had an order of cinnamon rolls to make for a shop, then later today I think we'll make some cookies. We have invited the whole church over tomorrow to play instruments and sing and eat and have a good time! It will be a houseful, if they can make it. Some are still having a hard time getting anywhere, with the flood we just had washing out roads, driveways, and highways!
See what I've been baking? Yum, gooey caramel cinnamon rolls!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Bazaars this year (I actually wish they'd call them something else around here!) have been going on all month. I've done a couple and have one and possibly another left. Usually I bake about 48 loaves of cardamom bread for the shows, at least, but this year, I've been doing 32 to 40. Those last loaves get tiring and I really want to enjoy doing it, not dreading it. I've done really well. The bread usually always does well, except for in one little town where I couldn't sell 2 loaves, it was so weird! This year I found out I could sell in Washington state, so that was another door open.
Friday nite I've got a show to do that is actually only 3 hours longs. I'm really wondering how that is going to go. I'm sure it's publicised, it should be nice, but 3 hours is a quick sale and I have no idea how much bread to bake. I will have a plan for the bread that doesn't sell!
We've also done well this year with crafting stuff. I sold some of my daughter's really cute quilts, which she spent a LOT of time working on. I'm glad she was able to sell them.
I canceled our old website, and started a new one from a google site, since we don't have the shop going, however I did still keep the oldquincyschoolhouse theme, for sentamentality. I'm calling it firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope that works well.
Well, Randy's calling me to list his books on ebay!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Thanksgiving and Christmas! My favorite holidays. My kids have been listening to Christmas music since the end of September. I, of course didn't mind. It was neat seeing them getting excited for the season; they weren't talking presents, they were singing traditional Christmas music, about Jesus. So, we've been celebrating a little all along.
This is a busy season for me, too! It's "bazaar" season, although I really don't like that word. Cardamom bread is my big draw. I can't believe how much cardamom bread some people buy from me. But, at $5. a loaf, it makes a great gift. For the longest time, I thought some of my customers just ate a lot of bread LOL! BUT, I love selling my bread. By the time Christmas is over, I'm a little tired, but it's a good extra income thing. I have a home bakery license, so that opens up more opportunities for me.
I've got my beans and peaches done, bread and butter pickles, I still need to get the dills done. I hate buying pickles when they're so easy to can and so much less expensive. I went to a garage sale this summer and bought over 10 dozen jars for $1. a box!!! Yippee! Between Kristin and I, we go through the jars and they end up at each other's houses, so that was a great find.
I thought about doing tuna, but I'm not set up for outside canning and I hate the smell of it being canned. I will probably do some stew and soups this fall for handy meals. Kristin canned meat balls last year, that would be a nice thing to have on the shelves.
Take a look at my beautiful peaches, Elbertas, and I only paid 85 cents a pound for them. Last year they were too expensive to even can, so I'm pretty glad to get them this year.
Anyway, I have a few minutes, thought I'd post some pictures of some of the MANY gorgeous hand hooked rugs that belong to a friend. Thank you Peggy, for letting me enjoy these!! Her mother-in-law hooked them years ago, some took 5 yrs or more! Can you imagine spending that much of your life doing that? But, here they are years later, for people to still enjoy. So.....ENJOY!!!!
It's a rainy day here in Oregon, been a way too busy day with graduations, parties, church stuff, just too much going on. I hate it when the weekend flies by so fast.
Going to our Bible study ...<<>>
I got my swap from my P&R swap buddy for our Americana 1 on 1 swap. Whew, what a mouth full! He is the cutest Uncle Sam and I just love him. I am still finishing mine and I told myself I wouldn't open hers until I had mine in the mail, but I just couldn't stand it! Now I'm so nervous to send mine! He's very different and she'll either like him or hate him! Well, I can't stress forever, I need to go get mine finished! I have had so much fun doing these swaps!
I started a Humpty Dumpty Americana doll, actually got one made, a few days ago. I made it from rk creations pattern. This is my first fok type doll. Wel...I took it down to show my sis when I got it done and she laughed and said, "That is so ugly!" "Did you actually buy a pattern for it?" I told her she just didn't appreciate art LOL. Well, I like him, that's all that counts, right? I'll try to get a picture of him soon. Actually, I changed him a little and made him and Uncle Sam. I'm making a couple more, one for a swap I'm doing with a lady on a forum I"m on. Mine was a practice, boy, my sister has me nervous now! This time, instead of painting all the clothes on, I'm using Americana fabric that is stiffened. I sure hope it turns out, I only have a few days left!
I've been busy trying to work on/figure out our Old Quincy Schoolhouse website, and my gosh am I learning a lot-the hard way. Here are a few pics of our little shop.
I love this cabinet. It is so fun to work with everyone's things! Kelly brings these neat cabinets to us and it is like Christmas!
I want this church pew reall bad:
Here's our mangle:
Don't you just love it? I love the apron on the old clothesline above it! That's enough for now! Come see us!
I love to have all the jars of food put up in the cupboard, it looks so pretty. I also like to have some meals in jars for when I don't feel like cooking. My daughter, almost 12, and twins sons (8 yo) are becoming pretty good with help in the kitchen. I'll have them all pretty good cooks real soon. I can already turn Chantel loose, she follows recipes, etc. My boys are learning. My oldest son, Steven, is really quite a good cook, so that makes it unanimous, they will all be good cooks LOL. Then they can take care of me, huh?
I managed to finish the chair I've been working at- or should I say "thinking at" for a couple months. It wasn't hard, just kept putting it off. I got the chair and thought it would be cute to redo it, so it feels good to complete it. Turned out cute, but I need to get it down to the shop and sold b/f my families gets too attached to it. It is too light colored for them, the little kids, grandkids included would just sit in it with the outside clothes on. Now, for someone who doesn't have a lot of little kids, it would be perfect in a kitchen by the wood cookstove. I'll try & get a picture on here soon.
Today, need to work on flower beds, then would like to find some crafting time. I'm doing my first larger project with rug hooking in the mornings when Randy reads to me. It's been a lot of fun.
Better quit talking and start doing! Even though it's beautiful out today, school has to get done, much to my children's delight LOL.
Gosh, I never thought I'd get this far. Somehow, I always take the long way around learning anything. I hope it isn't always going to be like this for me.
I'm Karen and welcome to my blog. I am a SAHM, at least I think I qualify. My daughter and I have a small shop in the community of Quincy, 3 miles out of Clatskanie, OR. It is located at the Quincy Elementary School, which is on the same 30 acres where I live. So when I'm in the shop, I'm still actually at home, which is what I love.
I get ideas, I will tell my daughter, she takes them a step farther, then she says, "We've got to do it!" So, that's how we got our shop going. My dad owns the old 1920s building, which makes it an ideal situation. What is in our shop? Well, I'm glad you asked! We've got antiques, primitives, cottage/garden, handcrafted stuff. We try to have our vendors bring unusual stuff as that's what our customers look for. We started it a year ago in May, and we really have a good time at it. I guess it helps that my daughter is also a good friend of mine!
I hope you make yourself at home. Y'all come back now, here?