Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Country Christmas Mantel

When it comes to the holidays, I still love the look of a good old-fashioned
Country Christmas!

The wreath sets the stage. I bought it at a charity auction a few years ago. I still love the rich colors, the mix of textured greens, fruits and berries. And the layered bow.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

We're a family of five now.

Collections are such fun at Christmas. You accumulate so many treasures over the years. This is really the time to display them. I mixed Santas, mercury glass, silver and evergreens on my mantel this year.

Many of my Santas were gifts.
Getting them out each year brings back sweet memories.

I love this little guy!

And the sparkle of candlelight flickering in the mercury glass.

Using a variety of greens adds a nice texture to the mantel.
I'm probably not finished layering just yet.

And of course, a few Santas for the hearth too!

The bear is from the Christmas we spent at The Wilderness Lodge in
Disney World. That was a magical year!
And yes, Santa finds you wherever you are on Christmas!


I hope your holiday sparkles with delight this year!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The cactus knows for sure!

I know many of you are well on your way to be being all ready for Christmas.The tree is decorated, the stockings are hung and the presents are wrapped.

For me, the holiday season doesn't officially start until the day after Thanksgiving. And this year, Penn State felt the need to schedule a home game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And in case you haven't heard, we are a true blue and white Penn State family. Just let me tell you that late November in Happy Valley is really, really cold. And in spite of wearing so many many layers that I could hardly walk, I was still cold. But the snow flurries made it too pretty to complain. (Ok, there was a little complaining.) But we really had a fabulous weekend. And spending time with family and friends is the absolute best way to get ready for the holidays!

And now we're back and I'm ready to hit the ground running. Today is the day to break out the Christmas decorations. And I know this for sure because my Christmas cactus started blooming like crazy over the weekend!

I've had this cactus for over thirty years. It blooms faithfully for Christmas every single year without fail. It's really not the prettiest plant in the world. I pinch it back, but it's still long and leggy and quite lopsided. It looks more tropical than Christmas. And why is it pink?

But every year when it starts to bloom, it makes me smile. Because I know, the very best season of all, is right around the corner!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A little salty and a little sweet...

Still need a little something on your Thanksgiving menu to munch on while waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven or while cheering on your favorite team. I just made a batch of Sugared Pecans and thought I'd share the recipe. They are the perfect combination of a little salty and a little sweet. They can be served as an appetizer, a dessert, a snack or even sprinkled on a salad. And so quick and easy to make!

Sugared Pecans

4 cups pecan halves
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Beat egg white with water until frothy (a fork will work fine). Fold in pecans to coat well. Add the sugar, cinnamon and salt and fold again.

Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees. Stir once or twice during baking and again once you remove the tray from the oven.

These freeze really well so you can make them ahead. And they make yummy gifts throughout the holiday season. Enjoy!

I am thankful for the time you take to spend here at Elizabeth & Co. And your friendship is greatly appreciated!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope it is shared with the people you love!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Karla's Server

Karla found this server at our local Goodwill. It's big and beautiful. What a great find!

The before picture seems to be missing-in-action, but I know you'll appreciate the after.

She painted it Summer White by Sherwin Williams.

And distressed it for a great shabby chic look.

Look at all that storage space!

The original hardware got a few coats of oil rubbed bronze.

And Karla has a brand new favorite glazing product to recommend. It's the Color Express Wiping Stain and Finish by Minwax. It comes in a tube. Her color choice was pecan. She squeezed just a bit in a cup and mixed with a little water for a really soft glaze. She is thrilled with the results and says it the easiest glaze she's ever tried.

It looks fabulous, don't you think?

The same day I stopped by to take these pictures, Karla's neighbor came by and bought this server right out of her garage.

And this was the last piece of furniture on this side of her garage. So, no more scraping frosty windows in the morning!

Way to go, girl!

The girls at Elizabeth & Co. have promised to take before and after pictures of their projects, so hopefully I'll be sharing their talent with you on a regular basis!

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