Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Storm and Easter Eggs

Dear Friends,

Oh my goodness, we are finally getting winter here in southern Vermont! Our friends in Virginia, Washington, DC, and even Texas had more snow than we did up until this week. It's been snowing for about 48 hours, giving us two feet so far. It has changed to rain now, but we're supposed to get Round 2 of the snow this afternoon. The power was out for about 24 hours. Unfortunately, that means we aren't in the office this week, but we are monitoring email and will get your orders out just as soon as we can possibly get out of the driveway!

On a much brighter note, I have a sneak peek of our annual Blown Goose eggs for you! Tasha's traditional blown goose eggs inspire the ones we create each year. We searched long and hard to find the same thin velvet ribbons, Victorian paper scraps, and vintage Dresden trims. This year, we even have some new trims and designs (and colors and sizes!), and can't wait to share them with you. The eggs will go on sale in the next Early Bird Post which should go out early next week, after we dig out from the storm(s)! Until then, a few pictures of the eggs that inspire ours, made by Tasha and her family many years ago...


Good thing we like to snuggle up by woodstoves, read, finish half-forgotten projects, sew, and, of course, finish our garden plans!

Our very best from a Vermont winter wonderland,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Peppermint Shortbread Valentines

Dear Friends,

Jen's receipts are always so tempting, aren't they? This chocolate shortbread receipt was particularly attractive to me because peppermint and chocolate are two of my favorite ingredients. I could just see (and taste!) them in my mind...doves and hearts, iced beautifully, just like something out of one of Tasha's books (maybe All for Love? edit: the one copy we had on our rare book shelf has been sold)!

This "love dove" is my favorite of all the cookies. I must admit I tried to make pink icing for these cookies. I knew I should have taken the time to find my gel food colors (somewhere in the back of the baking cabinet), but instead I reached for the easily found liquid red coloring. I knew better, I really did; but I learned my lesson again. The frosting was a day-glo pink/red before I could help it. Gel food colorings are best for delicate mixtures! While my finished product didn't quite measure up to the rather ornate images I had in my mind, I think they are marvelously fun! Tie them up in a cellophane bag, add a handmade valentine, and love will be in the air!

Baking on cold Vermont days,

One Last Christmas Post

Dear Friends,

We share your stories and pictures here in the office and love to hear from you, so keep 'em coming! I had a few emails from our dear friends and fans with their Christmas projects, and I was so inspired I thought I'd share.

Nancy in Pennsylvania gave this store-bought 4-ft. tall Nutcracker a stylishly old-fashioned, one-of-a-kind makeover. She says, "I gave him beautiful blue eyes and rosy cheeks. I covered his hat with muskrat fur, and he has a mink collar made from and old coat of my mother's, and racoon fur around his leggin's. He has various braids and gold ribbons, and a gold medallion around his neck. I cut the cheap vinyl strap off his drum and glued on a leather one from some of my horse tack in my barn. But the crowning glory is his hair! I attached wool from the Petosi sheep farm down the road from me." He looks fantastic now, Nancy! She also sent this beautiful picture of her "Pennsylvania Primitives" barn in all it's snowy glory...

Audrey from Colorado sent this charming picture of her family's first ever creche in the woods, though, as she admits, it is a "creche in the backyard." Nonetheless she says, "it was lovely and magical and Tasha was shining down on us."

From Vermont in February,