Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's hard to know it's autumn when you live off the Gulf of Mexico

September through November are my favorite months. Well, that was true when I lived in a place where the trees changed colors, you could wear your favorite sweater, and go out pumpkin or apple picking. In Galveston, it's a little hard to tell it's supposed to be baking season. Since I still don't want to turn on my oven in this 80° weather, here are some pictures of the shop. We've moved something around a bit.

The cabinet from Round Top was a little bigger than memory had served.
But it's snug in its new home now.

We got in new dishes and bake ware. You can also see the antique French bee skep.

Our demo last Saturday was German glass glitter banners. I forgot to take a picture of the Christmas
banner, and then someone bought it. Sorry! But here is our Halloween banner. I just love aged
sheet music. I wish I could spend all day creating these cute decorations, but Quilt Market is just
around the corner!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Victorian Salt Icicle Recipe

When I was growing up, my mother would make Victorian salt clay for me and my brother to play with (like play dough). And about 12 years ago I made some icicles for our family Christmas tree. Surprisingly, most of the original icicles survived 12 years, 4 moves, and much handling. They do have to stay in an air-tight container (I wrap mine in tissue paper, seal in a freezer bag, and placed in a box container).

Victorian Salt Icicle Recipe

2 cups salt
2/3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
paper clips or ornament hooks

1. Mix the 2 cups salt and 2/3 cups water together in a sauce pan. Stir constantly over low heat for about 4 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat.

2. Quickly mix 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water together in a bowl, and add this combination to the heated mixture, stirring quickly. If the resulting mixture is not a thick paste, place it back on low heat and stir for a minute until the mixture is dough-like.

3. Knead the salt clay dough on a flat surface until it is as smooth and pliable as bread dough. If you don't want to form it immediately, store the dough in plastic or foil and keep in an airtight container.

4. Form the icicles by rolling small bits of dough between your hands to make long, thin and pointed icicle shapes. Stick a paper clip or ornament hook into the icicle top while the dough is still soft.

5. Let the icicles dry for 2 days at room temerature. Or, to dry quickly, preheat the oven to 350° F, turn the oven off and place the icicles in the oven on a wire rack. Leave them inside until the oven has cooled off.

Victorian Salt Clay can also be rolled like cookie dough and cut with a cookie cutter.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Parisian flat, untouched for 70 years

article from The Telegraph

Can you imagine stepping into a Parisian flat that hasn't been inhabited since before the Second World War? The paintings, letters, furniture, books, and clothes must be lovely (even if a little dusty). The apartment "was like stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty."

I wonder what other strange treasures were found in the corners and cupboards.

Postcards from the Past

Beautiful ad for Galveston brewery.

What Broadway once was

the colors are so pretty here

Hopefully the new Pleasure Pier is just as nice!

This is the old UTMB building and it's just as pretty today.

Friday, October 1, 2010

French Cooking

It's French cooking week over at and I've been drooling over everything from pastries to French rolling pins.

This is a bistro styled kitchen. I just love the library ladder and giant windows.

This recipe is definitely on my "To make" list this fall!

If any of you have seen It's Complicated with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin (my favorite!), and Alec Baldwin, then you know the scene where Ms. Streep pulls a tray of bubbling, cheesy goodness out of the oven. I don't know about you, but my stomach started to groan just watching that scene. The croque monsieur is to the French as grilled cheese is to Americans. Stop by thekitchn and go through the past week of great French inspired posts!

Au Revoir!