Tuesday, December 16

A Pretty Little Christmas

Heather of Pretty Petals is hosting this blog party.

There I was busily coloring, cutting and putting up these little holly leaves in a sort of temporary decoupage yesterday while the whole party was going on! I also added some pointsetta petals to the light fixture.

I having some blog partying to catch up with.

A Pretty Little Christmas Blog Party

Oops I thought this blog party was today! And, I thought I was getting off to a rousing early start by doing my post very early.

Saturday, December 13

Favorite Things

My favorite things at Christmas time are:

Christmas movies to set the mood. I only hope Santa got my letter asking for that Kit Kittredge Dvd. If so, this year's collection will be complete.

Handmade ornaments. I try to make something handmade each year. This year was easy as all I had to do was gold dust a dried pomegranate left over from my botched foray into daily pomegranate eating.

The best Holiday drink ever! I just take coffee add some egg nog, a bit of rum extract and a nutmeg topped whipped cream dollop. Love this, I drink this all day long now.

Cute Christmas Chis. Our littelest dogs in their Santa outfits. They just love to pose for the camera.


Stuart Little

And speaking of cute dogs a fanatastic blog discovery:

I just recently discovered this.
The Christmas Corgi Blog
The name of this blog says it all.
Corgis and Christmas. A really fun blog to read.

Favorite Things Holiday Blog Party

hosted by Gypsy Mermaid Life,

Please stop back by later.

Friday, December 12

Holiday House Blog Party

Hi ladies! My name is Valerie and I have just been touring some of the homes with absolutely beautiful trees! I love doing these blog party tours and I try to leave a comment on all the blog homes I visit.

I am involved with three Holiday Blog parties (listed on sidebar) all within days of each other. Since they are all of a show and tell and decorative nature I will just do a series of pictures for each blog party rather than posting the same pictures three times.

The area I will post about today is the Christmas tree area. Little Stuart got in the picture when he was checking things out.

The mantle with the Vanessa Valencia tutorial stockings (check out previous post) I made. Some Christmas village homes and some Yankee Candles in Christmas Cookie scent.

Gingerbread cookies on the tree...

Thanks for stopping by!

Holiday House Party

hosted by The Junk Drawer.

Thursday, December 11

Candy Land Christmas Stockings

courtesy of Vanessa Valencia of A Fanciful Twist's free (we all can appreciate that these days) stocking tutorial. It was very easy to follow, I did not sew these at all which made it all the more fun to make. I stuck with her glue gun way of assembling these. Glittering and gluing down the candy on these means I will not eat the candy from the finished project as I am wont to do.

I have made gingerbread houses several times and I must say these truly have that wonderful magical gingerbread house quality to them. They really are beautiful.

Exciting eco note: these are felt squares bought at Wal Mart made by Eco-Fi and are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Here is one 'in action' hanging at the fireplace

Here they are all lined up

And a close up

Thank you Vanessa!

Wednesday, December 10

Holiday Beauty


Are you feeling worn and wan from all the holiday preparations?

Well, take a minute and relax with some amazing beauty tips that will leave you feeling ready to tackle the holiday season….

First off, take a bath to refresh and invigorate and go ahead and get in some caroling practice while you are at it.

Next, rejuvenate with a contour strap. Grab yourself some frownies if you have them to complete that Norma Desmond look.

Now, refreshed and rejuvenated you are ready for your make up.

And ladies, while attending all those holiday parties let’s not forget to sit in that energetic S curve formation. Absolutely stunning!

(It might appear they are holding hands but one lady is an instructor doing hands on teaching of poise at a charm school in New York City).

Thursday, December 4

Cookie Swap

Scrappy Jessi, the hostess with the mostess fun is hosting a cookie blog party today. Yes, finally a reason to get out that older than retro cookbook and try something different. Shortbread. A simple short recipe that gives big results in cookie satisfaction. I think this is excellent as a replacement for some of those sugar cookie days during Christmas season. It is not too gloppy sweet. I also took some cream cheese frosting and thinned it out a lot and then crushed some Texas pecans into it - this was a sort of dip for the shortbread - Excellent.


1/4 pound butter
7 Tablespoons shortening
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
Sugar (for light dusting)

Cream butter and shortening with sugar. Work in flour. Roll about 1/4 inch thick; cut into small shapes or sticks. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in 350 degree oven until light brown. Makes app. 3 dozen.

Note: Sis (the one time cake pro) told me I made these way too big - they kept falling apart. Since I was going to allow myself one cookie I had gotten the largest round cookie cutter I could find. Make them into small shapes.

Now off to check out the other cookie party particpants...

My Swap Partner

Denise of Pinkpomegranate sent me all this great stuff. Lots of great vintage items and some ready right out of the box fantastic fudge. Thank you Denise!

Thanksgiving Swap Paper Doll & ATC

Here is the paper doll I made with the vintage doll picture that was generously provided by Hop Hop Jingle Boo - thanks Debra! I also made a 'corny' ATC.

Thanksgiving Swap Recipe

I needed a recipe for the Thanksgiving Swap and this is one highly recommended by Boodreaux the Cajun Cat. This is an old Southern recipe invented with the practical purpose of using day old bread. Mmmm what those cajuns can do with just bread. Boodreaux helped us prepare and test several batches of this. Here it is and it is totally Boodreaux approved!

Southern Style Bread Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


8 slices white bread cubed
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup raisins
1 can sliced peaches (drained, cut into smaller pieces)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

Grease casserole dish with butter and put the cubed bread in it. Mix in mixing bowl the milk, eggs, sugar, raisins, peaches, vanilla extract, cinnamon and melted butter. Pour into a casserole dish over the cubed bread and let set for about 20 minutes.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until pudding is set.

Top with ice cream or whipped topping if desired.

Saturday, November 8

Thanksgiving Swap

Click Here to go to HOPHOPJINGLEBOO's Blog for info on Fun Thanksgiving Swap

Sunday, November 2

Greetings Lovely Ladies of The Court

as we convene to celebrate the birthday of our beloved Queen!

We gather with a salabrious salutation to our Queen Marie Antoinette hosted by Cupids Charm. And what better way to celebrate than with a hot chocolate drink that the royals always loved to indulge in. This drink is a combination of hot chocolat, creme and espresso - A Royal jolt of energy and healthy chocolate benefits...hence the name:


Espresso (or strong brewed coffee)
Vanilla Extract
Cream: heavy whipping cream from the dairy
Dark Chocolate Bar
Cocoa powder
White Sugar
Crushed nibs of Cocoa (optional)

This merely requires assembling to taste: Take your hot espresso, add in some small chunks of dark chocolate bar, a scant tespoon of vanilla and stir carefully. Add in the cream and stir. Now whip the cream and top off the drink. Now the fun garnish part: top off with sprinklings of sugar, dustings of cocoa, shavings of dark chocolate and crushings of cocoa nibs...

There you have a frothily frivolous confection fit for a Queen and her Royal Ladies!

I paper dolled up the cafe cups and even the bar of chocolat - Marie looks so wonderful with chocolat.

Careful as you lift it. And CHEERS - here's to our Queen!

Marie Antoinette's Birthday Blog Party

Ladies, we are busy preparing right now, please stop back by later...

Saturday, November 1

Wizard of Oz Swap

I really got a great swap partner for my Wizard of Oz Swap. Kelley of Teacups and Ponies sent me this wonderful mosaic tray. She has a flawless technique with her mosaic work and she took a lot of care with this - I love it! It also is a message center for writing down messages (pen included and even an eraser). And would you look at that - no place like home is on there. The witch-ily beautiful wrapping was an added touch that made for a great package. Thank you Kelley!

This is what I sent to Kelley - some flowers, candy (of course always a chocolate bar), Martha Stewart glitters, and ribbon...

Smiling Stuart

Yes, I have a chihuahua that really does smile. And he loves to have his picture taken - here he is on Daddy's lap in the backyard - isn't he cute! and I actually happened upon this photo when I was searching for the pics of the Wizard of Oz Swap, which is my next post...

Saturday, October 18

Ahhh, they seem to be hitting it off. Don't get too cozy as we are off to visit the other blog partygoers!

Here she is, the little beauty! Mr. Ware please promise you shall be on your beast, uh I mean best behaviour! That etiquette class I sprang for shall come in quite handy. You are quite the charmer.

Mr. Ware!

Welcome back, Mr. Ware, I must say you do look much more presentable! What took you so long? Goodness, I do hope you are not inebriated! - oh well, never mind. The others have already been here and left. You are in luck though, there is one more little lady still here and she is a beauty!

Greetings ladies, guys and assorted ghouls.

We are here for our Halloween Extravaganza Blog Party. I have invited one of my closest and dearest friends, Mr. Were (pronounced 'Ware'). He has brought his contribution to our little Potluck - Wolf Brand Chili. What's this? tsk tsk tsk, he has arrived in much too casual wear. I send him back home howling and screaming to change into something more suitable.

A Halloween Party!!!

Yeah, yippee, the fabulously fabulous Vanessa Valencia is hosting a Spooky Soiree of sorts. AND I am here and setting up for all you guys and ghouls out there,


and come parched and famished!

Sunday, September 28


Blogdom becomes slogdom.

I got a computer whiz (aka my BIL) and he arrives to show me some great linkage stuff and I sit here and Hubby Hubster sits in the other room unable to leave the telly-vised football to learn how to link.

I take notes on how to do this - but truly wonder if I am even understanding it.

Testing complete.

Thursday, September 11

Toto Goes to Sonic

I have been getting busy with some swaps. I amibitiously joined three swaps and am currently working on my Wizard of Oz Swap this week.

Toto has been quite excited as she has watched me gather gifts and goodies to put in the swap pack. We both were in need of refreshment and she needed some one on one time with me.

So, off we went to Sonic...

mmmm a little bit of creamy refreshment - she also gets a few bites of a corndog...

Lip smacking good!

Thursday, August 14

Sunflower Harvest

A sunny summer harvest is getting me in the mood for fall (this would look good with a scarecrow standing guard).

I have an ambitious birding program and feed lots of birds. They love sunflower seeds and these flowers were volunteers. Mammoth volunteers. These towered over me!

I let the sunflower heads dry and was able to pluck some of the seeds and set them out for the birds. Some people just set out the dried flower head on a branch or feeder and let the birds select their seeds. Either way they love homegrown seeds.

Monday, August 11

New Camera and Lots of Swaps!

I have finally figured out a major impediment to good photography:

NOT having the latest model of a camera. My old one was only bought last year but in the interim the improvement of the Kodak camera is amazing. I am just now getting the hang of the new camera and am quickly taking pics.

And I have signed up for three swaps. Yippee!

Nothing like a swap to get one creating.

I will need to get the swap banners posted. One is for Wizard of Oz and the others are Halloween related.

Hope all have been having a great summer.

Thursday, July 3

Crepe Paper July 4th Blue Ribbon Tutorial

I took a roll of blue crepe paper (from Party Supply store) and cut it into short lengths. I apply several of these lengths from left to right, gluing the first one down and then the next and so on each one overlapping the previous one. The base is a square piece of computer/typing paper.
I use regular tacky glue applied with a toothpick.

I take two 'tail' lengths and cut a point into the bottom. These are glued on. Note the other round crepe paper piece. This is first joined with glue at the bottom forming the circle. Then glue is applied to the bottom of the circle piece and put on to form a bow. Trim away any excess typing paper that shows.

Since it looked plain, I appled a white flatened circle, then a red one on top.

Now to go finish up some more for our Fourth of July decor!

Saturday, June 28

Ahhh, at last, our preparations have borne fruit! Let us sit back and finally enjoy these fruits of this repast…

Speaking of which, The Mad Hatter’s Maddeningly Missing Cake Cake is also called a Queen of Chocolate and Hearts Cake. Hmmm, what an appropriate name for the cake Mr. Hatter, but do tell, what about the Missing Cake part of the title?

What’s that? We discover such as we slice the cake?

I shall delightedly apply myself to such a task…

Why, part of the Cake is missing. And there is a yummy strawberry filling in place of the missing cake.

It appears we don’t quite know which part we shall slice – the part with the cake or the part missing the cake and filled with this wondrous fruity filling…

Hare had mentioned he might be bringing some of his friends (we are quite frankly astounded by the number of attendants to today’s Tea – but we were prepared for a large turnout). For his funny bunny bunch of friends we have made some tantalizing feastibles…Simply Simple Carrots, Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins, and Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting. By the way Mr. Rabbit we have spied you there amidst those carrots – save some for us please!

There are lots of sandwiches to fill your plates. Load up those plates, don’t skimp, there is plenty to go round! Take some biscuits, slather them with some Basiled Butter and don’t nibble, bite into them…Doormouse loves this as you get a burst of Sharp Cheddar Cheese-y goodness.

Dear Alice, we only had enough mushrooms for one Mushed Mushroom Tarte as you ran off with them! But, this one is for you, as we know this is your favorite dish.

Everyone drink up! We have several selections of tantalizing Teas…

A hearty, bracing Earl Grey Tea, a delicate Green Tea with a touch of Lemon Balm, and Chamomile Tea. I am partial to herb teas so I shall sample those.

As we sip and nibble, we check out the Mad Hat Mr. Hatter has been working on. Seems others, also, have been industrious; Doormouse and Hare had a late night making streamers and streamed them all over our dining area – what a wondrously wonderful effect.

What a delightful and Fes-TEA-val fun time we have had, and we do thank Vanessa Valencia for this funtastic idea and all the work she put into hosting this Blog Party! Thank you any visitors for stopping by.

Stay tuned I shall be putting some Flicker photos up and I shall do a Tutorial on crepe paper streamers. Next week, we have a Fourth Of July Feast...

Today's Tea...

Our Mad Tea Party shall commence this afternoon...

Please do stop by as we are sure you shall be parched and weary by then and shall need a pick-me-up.

Mad Hatter requests you save room for his Mad Cake!

Thursday, June 26

Good Day Friends of Blogland –

We, of Queen’s Chocolate, are busily preparing for the upcoming ‘Fest-TEA-vities’, The Mad Tea Party hosted by the fabulous Vanessa Valencia!

Some of us happily toil in the kitchen whilst others are busy elsewhere…

The Mad Hatter has made yet another trip to obtain another flourish for his Mad Hat. He has been working on that hat all day! But perhaps tis best he is occupied with such a project. He has promised later to make his special cake.

Alice is off on some adventure and took off with some of the mushrooms for the Mushed Mushroom Tarte. Not to worry, there is still plenty left for the dish.

Hare has gone to meet up with the Green Grocer to sample some simple carrots. I do trust his ability to find the freshest and tastiest fare.

Doormouse has scampered off to procure some sharp cheddar cheese. Hmmm, we shall see how well that jaunt goes…Dear Doormouse, please let’s not be ‘gnaw-ty’ or ‘gnaw-tea’!

I have been out in the kitchen garden to search for the freshest offerings of the Lemon Balm, Basil and Chives. The robust Rosemary will make a wonderfully fragrant garnish. These herbs shall be picked the morning of The Tea to assure absolute freshness!

And I am working hastily with the rolling pin and dough. I won’t be ‘kneading’ any help with this task as I love to bake all sorts of delectables.

REAL guests have sent non-requested RSVP’s desirous of sampling the Tea Menu…

Hence, by astounding request we shall post our menu…Doormouse and Hare were handwriting the menu when they had the misfortune of spilling tea all over the page. Seeking my counsel I conveyed that perhaps merely trimming out the written words would suffice. They then, of their own accord, added some embellishments…

Wednesday, June 25

A Beautiful Mermaid

Pam Warden, a talented artist and my swap partner painted this.

Isn't she beautiful? The blue hues in this painting are spectacular - I have really loved having this in our outdoor grilling area - you feel breezier and cooler just gazing at all this wondrous blue!