Making A Door Basket with Flowers

I read an interesting article about feng shui and how they consider the front door to be extremely important. In feng shui the front door is a place where good energy flows into the home. It must be clean, well lit, and welcoming.

After taking down all our Christmas decorations a while ago, our front door was very bare. I decided to make this flower basket instead of getting a new wreath. I purchased the metal basket at Michael's along with the white flowers. So far this is what I have. Does anyone have any comments or tips? I think it needs something a little extra , or maybe not, can't make up my mind :-)


Love Is In The Air

Guess what? It's time to start getting ready for Valentine's again. This is always a fun time for grown-ups and children. My mother especially loves Valentine. She and I took a break and started fiddling around with how the table should be set for the party she is giving. She wants to cook a romantic french dinner and have each guest wear a large paper heart like Julia Child's did in the movie Julia & Julia (not even Meryl Streep can do her justice). Can't wait! ..... Some fun little facts I know about Julia Child, who is my ABSOLUTE favorite: she thought Mc Donald's was not bad at all, and she was seen in the Santa Barbara -Costco purchasing the roasted chickens for her dinner. Let's face it she was a very REAL and intelligent woman who was no superficial snob.


Perfect Peach Pie

I am so happy to have finally found this excellent recipe for peach pie. The crust of this pie is amazing. When I saw how much butter was needed I knew this recipe would be a winner. I don't know about you, but lately I have noticed that the price of pies has sky-rocketed. Even though they are expensive, most of these purchased pies leave a great deal to be desired no matter how much is spent. This recipe, I found in the Food Network Magazine (Aug/Sep 2009) is the best recipe ever! * It is amazing. (They also have recipes for blueberry pie, lemon-lavender pie, cherry pie and green tomato pie). Here is the link. Recipe
*I must say that I have tried making the pie crust exactly as written in the magazine, and as stated below. (Which is the picture above. ) When I made the pie exactly as the recipe in the magazine, the crust turned out way too thick and did not really taste that good. I have therefore changed it.

The following is my version of the peach pie:

Make 2/3 of the recipe for the crust (link above). Use half for the top of pie and the other for bottom. Follow all of the directions.

To prepare your filling, take one pound of sliced peaches (At this time I used a bag of frozen peach slices, but I plan to use fresh when they are in season), then add 3/4 cup light brown sugar (maybe a little more if you like things sweeter), 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a yet smaller sprinkle of nutmeg and a quarter teaspoon salt. Also add around 4 tablespoons of sliced butter and mix up well. Again follow all of the directions for assembling and baking as in magazine.

Let cool and and-voilĂ !- the most perfect Peach Pie.

I like to serve my pies warm and with vanilla ice cream on the side. There is just nothing more scrumptious. I am going to try this with apricots when they are in season, I think that will be amazing too.

Marie Antoinette - Chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon

While organizing one of my drawers I came across this exquisite little pochette that my sister brought back for me from Paris. I just love the Marie Antoinette figures and the beautiful dresses. She was so lovely in all of her refinement... This little purse is so well made and obviously depicts a happier time.

There are many legends and rumors surrounding Marie Antoinette. One that has always stuck in my mind, which is probably historically accurate, is that she could have escaped on the fateful night of June of 1791. However when she fled the Tuileries, instead of using an ordinary coach (or perhaps no coach at all) Marie Antoinette fled in the most ostentatious coach she had. For this escape Marie Antoinette purchased an entirely new wardrobe and was fully stocked up on her perfumes. As we all know, she and Louis XV were thereafter captured and history tells us the rest.
Update: I entered this pochette in Cindy's of My Romantic Home -fabulous Show and Tell Friday. Visit her beautiful and amazing blog and join the fun too!!
I also entered this pochette in Beverly's Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. Be sure to also visit her wonderful blog full of fun and lots of pink. As Beverley says, "It's not just a color it's an attitute."


May I Offer Anyone a Slice of Torte di Bomboniere

Recently my little baby niece was baptised and it was a very important event in our family. My sister and brother-in-law graciously allowed me to partake in the preparations for this blessed event. I wanted to create something very special for the party favors -so I made a Torta Bomboniere for her.

In Italy these special creations are hand made for special celebrations such as baptisms, first communions, weddings and birthdays. Torta is the word for "cake" and Bomboniere the word for "favor". The concept behind the Bomboniere, originated in France, over 300 years ago, when a small box of sweets (the french word for -bonbons) was given away to guests at celebrations. Overtime the idea spread to other parts of Europe and in particular to Italy where the Torta Bonboniere was created.

Inside each cake slice you will find five jordan almonds to wish: happiness, health, wealth, good fortune and a long life. You can also place a little card inside commemorating your special event.

Here are the boxes I created for my little niece. It was a lot of fun cutting out the boxes which look like cake slices and then "frosting" the cake with ribbons, stickers and little angels.
This was entered in Beverly's Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. Please visit Beverly's Blog, Pink Saturday is absolutely amazing!

Tip Toe Through The Tulipiere

After hiding from us during the cold months, one of the delightful things that begins happening each new year is that tulips begin appearing as if by magic. Tulips are certainly one of my favorite flowers. Everything about them is delightful! The name "tulip" comes from the Persian word for turban. Interestingly enough, there is not one species of the tulip which is native to the country of Holland. Almost all tulips originated in central parts of Asia, in countries such as Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia, among others.

Although tulips were not originally from Holland, we do however have the Dutch to thank for one of the most exquisite vases ever created - the tulipiere. In our times these vases have become uncommon and hard to find. Years and years ago, I was mesmerized by a huge one from the 18th century that was being displayed at Neiman Marcus. I never forgot it. Until recently I did not even know the correct name for these vases or flower holders. After researching the subject, I learned that while they are rarities today, during the 17th century, tulipieres were pieces of decorative art that were often found in the homes of European elites. When large scale global trading began in the 1600s, flowers from Asia such as the tulip, became luxury items in Europe. As a matter of fact, ‘Tulip Mania’ became a favorite subject of art after the stock market crash of 1637. During this time it was less expensive to purchase a still life painting of these flowers than to purchase a bouquet - and the painting lasted longer!

Tulipieres were created to display the treasured tulips in the homes of the elite. After all, once the tulips bloomed, Dutch tulip arrangers couldn't’t just flop such precious commodities into just any ordinary container. Holland’s tulip aficionados collaborated with ceramic artists to produce the tulipiere—a vase specially designed to high-lite each individual tulips to the absolute best. Cleverly it was not just the high price of the tulips that inspired the tulipiere. As you may know from handling tulips, once they are cut and set in water, they have a way of dipping downwards. The tulipiere serves as a kind of constraint, reining the tulips upward.

No wonder tulips and tulipieres make us feel so luxurious!


New To Blogging

Well here goes... This is my first day blogging. I must say I had my reservations about blogging because ... well lets just say because I love my privacy and the feeling of anonymity. On the other hand, I LOVE web-designing and crafts and finding out about and exploring all sorts of beautiful things. So I finally convinced myself that this would be a fun way to express this. I hope you enjoy this as much as I know I will. .