all images c. randi anderson 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I made fall sugar cookies for our Bible study last night. There were pumpkins and three different types of leaves. I'd never gotten to use my leaf cookie cutters and was anxious to do so. I think they turned out cute! This recipe is my Aunt Melody's and it's really the best sugar cookie recipe ever, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's great for making cookies to leave for Santa. :)

Aunt Melody's Sugar Cookies

4 sticks of butter (softened)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 T milk
2 t vanilla
6 cups flour
6 t baking powder

Cream butter and sugar, slowly add liquids, then flour (sifted with baking powder). Mix until a dough forms. Fashion into manageable portions, wrap in cellophane, and freeze for 20 minutes. (I say manageable portions because this recipe-though this is it split in half-makes LOTS of dough- too much to roll out all at once. So it's easier if you divide it into thirds or fourths and only take out of the freezer what you can easily roll out on your counter. The dough is far easier to handle when chilled. If you get too much out it gets sticky before you can finish rolling and cutting cookies.) After chilling (in freezer for 20 minutes or 'fridge for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours) roll out on flour surface and cut out cookies. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 min.

4c powdered sugar
3T water
3 T milk
1 1/2 T vanilla
food coloring
If icing is too thin, add more powedered sugar; if too thick, add more milk or water. If you're going to use liquid food coloring to dye your icing, mix the frosting a bit thicker as the food coloring will thin it down. Should be easily spreadable on cooled cookies and will dry with a pretty gloss. Cookies, once dry (20 minutes) can be easily stacked on tray.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Montage the Fourth

I've been taking pictures left and right, always thinking that I'll get a chance to post, but lately...well...that just hasn't happened. Though I've been busy, it's more a case of my poor time management- which is ever my downfall. And, since the heat has dissipated, we've been spending more time outside, enjoying the weather and autumn stuff in general. However, today, the memory card on my camera was finally full and I was forced to upload them to the computer and I decided today was as good a day as any to make myself put some up here to share. Thus, montage the 4th.
I begin with this: I tried this Tropicana Pure juice blend the other day because they had them at the store in little bottles, and if you're a juice fanatic like I am, I suggest you do so, too. They're yummy. Thus far I've had blueberry pomegranate and raspberry acai. I can vouch for the deliciousness of both.
Second, I made cinnamon dough ornaments. While I've tried this before, and have had marginal results (mostly dough that was too wet or too crumbly), this time I was determined and found success. I did have to add some extra applesauce and did a lot of kneading. The recipe I used was Martha Stewart's found here. They do take a while to dry, though. And they must be turned often so they won't curl up. I'll post another picture once they're decorated. Also in the kitchen- we had the Lowerys over for dinner on Tuesday so I fixed Hungarian Goulash (recipe here- also Martha's). It's one of my favorite fall/winter meals. Though the prep work can be somewhat lengthy- it's a make ahead meal so it's worth it. Fresh baked bread and gingerbread with Extra Creamy Cool Whip rounded out the best autumn meal I've served this year (if I might say so myself)!...and while we're on the subject of food...I've had two really cute doughnuts in the past couple of weeks. Naturally, I photographed them. A pink iced doughnut with sprinkles, and a raspberry filled all dressed up for halloween! Now Halloween leads me to...Gatsby! I took a picture of him because he'd gone to the Plush Puppy and they always send him home with a really cute bandana. Of course, this week it was a halloween one.Finally, since Halloween is almost here and past, and Christmas will be here before you know it, I couldn't help getting a few new decorations, because Kohls has this whole Sugar and Spice collection this year (and it's 50% off this week). These things will go perfectly with all my sweet Christmas decor! :)

Well, that's all for now. Here's hoping everyone's able to do a little blog neglecting, too, in lieu of enjoying the fall!! Happy week before Halloween!
sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Viv's Whimsy Doll Swap

On a whim (pun unintentional...but it works so I'm leaving it...which I suppose makes it intended) I signed up awhile ago for a Halloween Doll Swap at Viv's Whimsy on the grounds I've never made a doll, and being forced to do so would be a welcome challenge. It was even better than I could ever have anticipated. My swap partner, Annie, turned out to be amazing! (because she doesn't get around to updating this blog very often, I'm also including a link to her flickr page because many of her cute creations are posted there.) Anyway, she went far and beyond the doll with her swap surprise. And, coincidentally, doll making was new territory for her as well so I think we were a good match!! Check out these great goodies: Everything came wrapped in orange tissue in this cute jack-o-lantern bag! I know it's sideways. Sorry.Yes, this uploaded upside down...
Here are close ups of her cute little necklace...which I may have to borrow. I don't think she'll mind! :)And just look at all these extras! Those are caramel apple candy corn...and they're yummy! And if you haven't had a pez dispenser lately...I urge you to get one. Like Silly Putty or a Slinky, these things aren't just fun...they're inherently happy! I'm going to carve a little jack-o-lantern just for one of those "candles". They're battery operated, but they flicker like a real candle!!
Here is a picture of the doll I made for Annie. I think he may be my one and only foray into doll making. :( I fear sewing may never be my thing! He was a lot of fun, though, and the swap was definitely worth it!
Many thanks again to my new friend, Annie for all the goodies and my lovely doll, and to Viv for being such a wonderful swap hostess!
sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,

Friday, October 17, 2008

As usual, I find myself behind on posting, but I've been busy with Christmas stuff...which one can never begin working on to early! :) Here's a preview: It would seem I'm into putz houses lately. This is my modern version...made from paint samples! I have three more finished, but not they'll be posted later.
And here's a cute vintage whipped cream atop chocolate pudding. (It's all inedible, of course!)
sweetly, happily and artfully yours,


Monday, October 13, 2008

Swaps and Surprises

I've been really getting behind, as packages from all but one the swaps I was participating in arrived literally within days of each other...which made for a really wonderful week! So here's a catch-up post! I already posted pics of my Halloween surprises from Karen, so I will continue from there in the order they were received which means next comes pictures of the Artsy Autumn surprises I received from Angela! She sent lots of fall-ish goodies and jewel-toned decor...just look! Aren't the tags wonderful? And how cute is the scarecrow? She sells tags like these (and not just for fall) in her Etsy store...check them out!

Then came a truly spectacular package from Susan filled with STRAWBERRY gifts! There were crafty things...Useful and decorative and sweet smelling things...(Susan lives near Chicago...hence the cap. Which I'm loving, by the's the only cap I have...and it's proving to be the best fix for a bad hair day! :) Plus it's pink...and that's just cute.)...and some really yummy things!!Even the recipes were pretty...What fabulous, generous swap partners, you say? Why you're absolutely right- I couldn't have asked for better!!

And finally- I had to take pictures of this lovely package I received from Andrea (proprietor of One Hundred Wishes who blogs at: Everyday Beauty). I won a ribbon naming contest on her blog last week and within just a couple of days my prize package arrived on my doorstep! Everything at One Hundred Wishes is gorgeous (and so is the stuff it comes wrapped should order something just to see the packaging!) I had to photograph all this beautiful ribbon and packaging so you could see it... :)

Thanks to all for making this such a splendid week!!

sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vintage Halloween Swap

One of several swaps I entered in the last couple of months was the Vintage Halloween Swap hosted by Heidi at Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly. (She's hosting a Vintage Christmas Swap, too, if you're interested!) Today is the designated day for posting about the goodies we received. My fabulous box of treats arrived just last night from my equally fabulous swap partner, Karen -The Bling Queen! I've been looking forward to getting it because we'd gotten to know each other over the past few weeks and I just knew it would be wonderful! Well- it most certainly did not disappoint...just look at all this goodness!
Item #1: This oh-so-lovely Halloween-y cigar box. It's decorated inside and out with stuff that sparkles! Too cute, right? Here are some of the tidbits inside!

Then, there were all these little treat sacks....
...filled with these! I just love all of them!!
But this is my favorite...a modern witch ATC. It really made me laugh. It's front and center on the Halloween display in my dining room!

Then, there's this adorable black cat goody basket filled with jelly belly candy corn and the sweetest little lollipop I've ever seen!
How cute are these little guys? And the hanky-definitely a favorite!!
It keeps on going! These are all little fall and halloween-y cookie cutters...there's a witch, a cat, a pumpkin, a ghost, moon and others including...
...get OWL!
And, finally, check out this sweet deck of Tricks and Treats for Halloween......each one is so colorfully illustrated and has a fun little idea on the back! What an awesome score, right? I'm still ohhing and ahhing over all this great stuff! :)

Many, many, thanks to Karen- and to Heidi for hosting such a fun swap! Visit Heidi's blog
for a list of other participants and links to their blogs. Everyone should be posting their goodies today! You can go have a look-see!

sweetly, happily, and artfully yours,