As I stare at today's project at hand, this moment is looking a bit like a horror movie with a graveyard full of strewn monkey body parts everywhere.  How did it come to this  ????  this last minute frantic swizel of activity to make this pile of sock parts submissively congeal into a completed sock monkey.  Despite the clock tick, tick, ticking it's silent alarming cry......"has to be mailed today!! has to be mailed today!!" my mind swims with the excitement of crafting this stuffed bunch of sock pieces into a sock monkey rock star for my niece.
So for now dear void, I will be submissive to the silently screaming clock and attempt to get this one finished and in the mail today.....and will make an additional posting later this evening....wish me luck :)
Well believe it or not I DID actually get all of the sock monekys made and in the mail and delivered by Christmas!  It was really worth all the work cause everyone loved them.  Here are a few more pictures.

Fascinating !


I wrote this poem one day as I sat looking at and drinking from one of my favorite tea cups......

Beauty Remembered
The  delicate teacup
sits in a place of
 honor in the room.
A tiny chip here,
A hairline crack there.
Character bestowed by years of use.
Ahhhh......t'would be a fancy would it not,
to be like that teacup?
Chips and cracks of time worn age ignored....
Only the beauty of yesterday


I just finished watching the new movie Julie & Julia, the story about Julia Childs beginning her career in French Cooking and Julie Powell's blogging adventures.  I knew when I saw it in the theaters that it would be a movie that I would just have to own.    The story parallels the two women's lives and their adventures in cooking french cuisine. 

I have to say for me, that eventhough the story is wonderfully entertaining, it was also an inspiration.  Yes!  an inspiration.  An inspiration to discover what I really love to do and find bliss in and jump in with both feet!  Isn't that what we all want?  To discover what our best talents are and then be able to use them to make a real living while doing it, not just dabble in it for a hobby.    Some very good "Food For Thought"....

Until next time..................I wish you Peace...
Just finished my second sock monkey, isn't she cute?   I would love to hear some suggestions for a cute name for her.......This monkey is going to a little girl who is just under 2 years old.



For the last couple of days I have been working on my Sock Monkey Project......Almost 2 done and 4 to go.  I love making handmade gifts for the holidays, it is so much more fun than trapsing around the crowded malls.  The crafting bug always hits me about this time of year when the temperatures start to plummet and it gets dreaily rainy or snowy out.  With my trusty Red Holiday mug of coffee and Christmas music blaring from my ipod tuned to Pandora I am armed to begin my crafting frenzy.

This week the frenzy has been all about the sock monkey gifts that I am making for our family and friends wee ones and one for my hubby as well (the one for my hubby will be a "Spock" monkey as he is a trekie fan ).

The above picture is the first monkey I completed.  I love the "expression" his face ended up having.  I really had quite a hard time finding a vest pattern to make for him.  I searched the internet far and wide for a free pattern, but to no avail, there just wasn't one to be found.  I decided it could not be any more frustrating to try to make my own pattern than it had been searching the internet for an hour for one, so that is what I did.  After making the pattern I ended up altering it 3 or 4 times to get just the right look and fit that I wanted, but it did finally look the way I had hoped it would.  If you would like a copy of the pattern just let me know, I would be glad to email it to you once I scan it.  The monkey in the picture is for a little boy whose room is blue and brown so I made his outfit to match those colors.

Next week I will be done with the monkeys hopefully and start my food gifts.......keep tuned in as I will be posting pictures of all my projects, and instructions for those who would like to have them.  Thanks for stopping in for a chat, until next time......I wish you Peace.


Gingerbread House

I created the log cabin gingerbread house pictured above a few years ago and thought some of my readers might like to see it.  Everything on the house is edible.  The following is a list of what each of the items is made from:

Wood Chopping Log...........Handformed Gingerbread
Ax..........I cut a pretzel for the handle and made the ax blade from Handformed Tootsie Roll
Rock on Border and Chimney..............Purchased Chocolate Rock Candy
Wood Logs......Handformed Tootsie Rolls
Snowshoes.....Piped Royal Icing and Thined Royal Icing Snowboots......Handformed Tootsie Rolls
Chopping Block "Sawdust".......Fresh ground Nutmeg Using a Food Rasp
Decorative Greens and Red Bows......Piped Royal Icing
Animals......Bear, Jumping Deer and Moose All Made from Gingerbread

I made the pattern myself so if you are interested in having a copy of it let me know and I would be glad to either post it here or email it to you.  I haven't quite figured out yet how to save it as a full size pattern on here.....but will hopefully get a chance to work on that soon.  I can also include my gingerbread recipe and tips for working with gingerbread, let me know if you have any questions.............HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!



The First Wintry Breath of Crisp Mountain Air
Crunchy Glistening Snow Underfoot
The Snap Of A Snow Laden Tree Branch
As It Echos Through The Forest
Canadian Geese In Flight
Woodsmoke Curling Up - Up - Up
From The Chimney, ThenVanishing Like Magic
The Snap and Crackle Sounds Of Cedarwood Burning In The Woodstove

What is your wintertime bliss?

A Poem Speaks To The Mind's Eye

.....Heart & Soul.....

Would that we could all be




A Family Abounding in
 Love and Encouragement
Bestows a Greater Heirloom
Upon Their Children
Than Any Treasured Object
Ever Could.
                       ~ Carolee ~


   My Brief Attempt At China Painting
As I foraged my way into the world of china painting a few years ago (and even tried my hand at a bit of it, as pictured at the left) I wrote Blooming Porcelain  (shown below) in an attempt to explain what it was like for me to watch one of these experienced artists transform a plain piece of china into art.  Hope you enjoy..........



As the sculptor is to the clay,
likewise, the china painter to porcelain.
With gentle, precise strokes,
tiny hairs infused with tinted oils
stroke the surface of the porcelain
in a blur of shapes and color.
Each stroke changes the cold porcelain forever
into a dramatic explosion of warmth and beauty.
The mind's eye caresses the essence of pink rosebuds
as the profusion of leaves in heathered greens touch the dusty blue sky surround.
Visual aromas of the rose exude artistic beauty,
stirring the soul and seductivey charming the senses.



      Ham Balls      
 Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
Ingredient List #1 ~ Ham Balls
2 lbs. Ground Ham or Ground Pork
2 lbs. Ground Beef
3 Eggs Beaten
2 Cups Graham Crackers Ground (I use my food processor to do this)
1/2 Cup Milk
Ingredient List # 2 ~ Sauce
1/2 Can of Tomato Soup
1/2 Cup Water
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/2 Cup vinegar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
Using items from Ingredient list #1, put all items together, mix well.  Make ham balls using a 1/2 measuring cup for your sizing guide (you can make these smaller if you wish, this is how the ones pictured were made).
Put the ham balls in a roasting pan with sides.

To make sauce put all ingredients in a saucepan, mix well and heat through.  Pour the sauce over the ham balls.

Bake in a 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 1 to 1 1/2 hours ( basting about every 15 minutes) till nicely glazed and middle is cooked.

Festive Cranberry Bars
2 1/2 Sticks Butter at Room Temperature
3 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Flour
4 Eggs Well Beaten Eggs at Room Temperature
4 Cups Whole Cranberries
A Little Extra Butter and Flour to Prepare Pan For Baking
9 X 13 Pan

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.  Wash sort and drain cranberries, toss the cranberries in a little bit of flour to coat and set aside.  Grease and flour the pan with butter and flour, set aside.

In mixer cream together the butter and sugar, then add the beaten eggs to this mixture.  Continue mixing and add half cup of flour at a time to bowl until all is added and well incorporated.  The cranberries are then stirred in by hand.  Put mixture in pan and smooth out the batter evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  If you insert a toothpick in the bars it should come out clean if the bars are done.  Cool bars, cut and serve...ENJOY!