Elegant Pedestal

I'm always amazed at what can be found through thrifting and then turned into something one might find in a fancy boutique either to purchase or as part of a display. Pedestal serving pieces are some of my favorites; they're not only easy to make ~ they can be done inexpensively and are completely customizable like this one I made a while back.

I got inspired by this post over at The Speckled Dog and really liked the wood pieces as a medium. Aren't they sweet?

So, a few weeks ago I was browsing at my local Salvation Army specifically looking for wood pieces and came across this tarnished silver candle stick and wooden plate. 30% off of everything too so these two pieces just cost me $3.20!

So, not my original plan but I really liked the idea of putting silver and wood together; kinda Colonial America.

Not that I'm versed in Colonial American decor or anything but when I put it together I wasn't as WOWED as I thought I'd be so, as any self-respecting crafter would do, I got out my paints and glue and sanding blocks and set to work.

First a creamy yellow all around. Then a creamy white. Then sanding (Hey - don't knock the emery board. It worked great. Very coarse and bendy) and gluing.

I brushed on and lightly wiped off some metallic silver paint and then put on a coat of satin interior varnish.

I like it much better this way. I have some pine cones that I'm going to do up with silver paint for Christmas (I know, I know. Just thinking ahead) but you could do just about anything with it. I went back to the S.A. last week to see if they had any more candlesticks and wooden plates and, of course, they were out. But I'm still on the look out cause I love the way it turned out and definitely want to make several more!

Makes a great gift for your friends who like things with a shabby and vintage feel! Oooo...or to hold candles or pearls or shells or dainty cookies dusted with powdered sugar.

Don't get me started!

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A bit of lace and fabric to adorn my wrist

I've no idea what hit me yesterday but I came down with a cold hard and fast. Aches, fever, chills...the whole shebang! Needless to say I spent most of the day in bed convalescing with lots of hot tea, pain relievers and my favorite heating pad. By noon I was bored and restless and started in on one of my favorite past times...surfing craft blogs (what else?) and got inspired to make a cuff bracelet.

I don't really have a tutorial for you but if you go to Vintiquities Workshop you'll see one along with my inspiration. Once you get going on these, it's hard to stop cause you can just keep adding and layering and embellishing to your hearts content.

I used fabrics I had on hand which included a cloth napkin, gauze lining and, of all things, a cloth diaper! Craze, I know, but it's sturdy and super soft! I added some beads and pieces of a doily and blanket stitched all around the edges. I love it. It probably looks a little bridal but since my husband often refers to me as his beautiful bride....I suppose that's okay. It's definitely girly and feminine and makes me feel a bit like Marie Antoinette. She would have totally been down with this.


Eggcellent Message

I can't remember the last time that I colored Easter eggs but I found myself completely inspired by this post over at Poppy Talk and thought I'd give it a try plus, this is something I try to do each Christmas ~ to give my kids something that I've made for them ~ so I plunged right in.

First, a little things about blowing out the innards of an egg: push pins work great for making the holes (a little something more to hold onto than a plain needle) and the yolks come out more easily when the eggs are room temp and you've loosened up the yolk (I used a small cable hook for this process).

Once I blew them out and then rinsed them, I dried them out in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes, got out some long bamboo skewers and stood them in my fruit bowl which became a great place to set them once I'd painted them. A good drying spot.

Then I just got a little creative and followed the directions at Poppy Talk. I switched from graph paper to tissue paper cause it was what I had on hand plus it's easy to roll and bendable.

Super cute though, right? The kids will like them - especially the cracking open part so don't get too attached to your artwork. Happy Easter! He Is Risen!!!


Blackberry Cardamom Pavlova

Ahhh....Pavlova. A crispy, creamy, fruity marvel of sweetness; elegant and beautiful as the famous ballerina it was named after and surprisingly simple to make. Just a couple of hours (needed for the meringues to bake) and a few simple ingredients and everyone who tastes it will bow down before you in gratitude. Plus, it would be gorgeous for Easter.

2 large egg whites at room temp
8 tbsp sugar, divided
3/4 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp rose flower water

Preheat oven to 275 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form and, with mixer running, slowly add 6 tbsp sugar. Whisk together remaining 2 tbsp sugar, cornstarch and cardamom. Slowly add this mixture to the egg whites and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in rose flower water. Spoon mixture onto parchment lined sheet in small rounds and use the back of a spoon to make indentations in the center of the mounds.

Bake for about 20 minutes, meringues should be dry to the touch. Turn off the oven and prop door open slightly with the handle of a wooden spoon. Let the meringues cool in the oven for an hour.

They smell heavenly at this point...like flowery, spicy, marshmallows. While the meringues are baking you can make the Sabayon which is delicious and has a definite champagne taste. Even if you don't make the meringues make this sauce and serve it over fresh berries. OMG....soooo good!

Lemon-Champagne Sabayon
6 large egg yolks
5 tbsp sugar
2 tsps lemon zest
pinch of salt
3/4 cup Prosecco

Rub the lemon zest into the sugar to really release the oils and make the sugar fragrant. In a metal or glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon sugar and salt until well blended.

Gradually whisk in Presecco and place bowl over gently boiling water making sure to not let the bowl touch the water (think double boiler).

Constantly whisk until thickened which takes about 4 minutes (instant read thermometer will register 170F).

Place bowl into larger bowl of ice water and whisk until cool (about 5 minutes).

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp rose flower water

With a mixer beat cream, sugar, vanilla and rose flower water until soft peaks form (save some of this for your coffee. it's delish!)

To assemble the Pavlova, put a small dollop of whipped cream on the center of your plate. Place a meringue on top of the cream and gently press it into the cream to anchor it. Spoon more whipped cream into the center of the meringue and top with fresh blackberries (a heaping 1/4 cup). Spoon a generous amount of Sabayon over the berries and letting it pool around the base of the Pavlova.

Eat with eyes closed in rapturous delight.

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