The Ginger bread House

Every year since my son was born we have made ginger bread houses. When he was really little we made houses out of graham crackers. That is the easiest to do with little ones.

Then when he got to be  about 4 or 6 we bought the prepackaged houses and would add our own candy.

It wasn’t till a few years ago that we started to make our own houses from scratch. I found a recipe  from a friend and we made our own dough. I drew the house out first and everything I wanted on the houses.Then I cut that out and put the houses together to make sure that it would fit. I actually had a few templates until I came up with one that worked. I then used those templates to cut out the dough.

After rolling out the dough, lay the templates on the dough and cut around. Place these sections on a bake  sheet and bake to temperature in recipe. As soon as the baked ginger comes out of the oven, clean up the edges with a knife. This will make it easier to put together when it is cool. Make sure the ginger is fully cool when you go to ensemble it. I found it helpful to have something for the walls to lean against when putting it together. Start with 2 walls and wait until that is dry before putting up everything else.

We love going to the candy store to find our decorations for the house. The other thing we do is save candy from my son’s trick or  treat bag. We put it in the freezer until December.

These pictures were our houses last year. I’m behind on doing this years houses. Hopefully we will get to it this weekend. I made the dough yesterday during our snow storm. This year I’m going to try a recipe from Martha Stewart. I down loaded her templates and cut them out. I’ll share it when we are done.

Enjoy this wonderful Christmas season.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tracy

Enjoying the fall!

Hope you all had a wonderful summer. Ours was a whirl wind but wonderful. We got to enjoy the ocean, the mountains, lakes, streams, body surfing the waves at the beach. Lots of bike rides, hiking trails and camping. Was sad to see it all come to an end but Fall is my favorite season. We have just as many fun activities that we will enjoy outside through this wonderful season. Apple picking, fairs, camping out with cool nights around a warm fire, & taking pictures of the colorful foliage.

MY TO DO LIST is growing.

Organizing, Sewing, crafting, gardening, cooking and scrap booking ( My son is ten and I only have till he was one. I need to catch up)

So I’ll be spending a little less time on the computer and more time creating & catching up.

Here is two projects I recently finished. It’s a great way to make clutter disappear and look pretty at the same time.

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My husband made me this art table a few years ago when I was taken Interior Design classes.

I made a skirt to hide all the container under it. The front I attached with furniture nails. The sides of the table have metal edges ,  I used Velcro to attach the fabric.

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This table is an old examining table that belonged to my husbands great grandfather. He was a doctor during the 1920-1950

Sorry for the poor quality of the two pictures above. I’m down to using my cell phone to take pictures. Working on saving $ for a new digital camera. The duck tape isn’t quite working anymore on my old one.

Here is an idea for fall window boxes. These are hardy enough to keep in your window boxes until the snow fly’s.

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I’ll leave you with some images of  fall in New England. We are not quite at our peak yet. A couple more weeks of cools nights and the forest will be on fire with color. Everyday puts on a new show.

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Enjoy the Fall!!!

Take Care and Have Fun!

Tracy

Have a Happy Summer!

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School is out  & Summer has begun ! ( If it ever stops raining that is) I’m signing off for a couple of months while I enjoy my family over the summer holiday. I will be back in the Fall when the little one is back in school.  I hope you all enjoy your Summer!

Take care!

ox,

Tracy

Art Work #2

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Colored pencil

I have been so busy lately I really haven’t had time to post . I wanted to share some art work that I have been working on. Drawing nature and people our my favorites. I’m hoping to get a lot more done over the summer. There is so much inspiration in the garden right now. I’m working on some prints right now that I’d eventually like to put in my Etsy store. Myprettypoppies.Etsy.com

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Hope you liked them. Enjoy the rest of the Spring! I’ll be back soon with more from Granite Farm.My garden is calling me!

Tracy

Family & Friends Entertaining Outside ideas

My family enjoys gathering  with our kith & Kin (Kith means friends). In the summer time we love to be outdoors. Here is  some inspiration for you to have your own outside gathering. It shouldn’t take a lot to pull together. Cut some flowers from your yard, pull out your good dishes, and have everyone bring something to eat and drink. Grab a chair and gather around the fire pit.

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I hope that I leave my son with memories of friends &  family gatherings, the way my mom has given me all my wonderful memories.

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My mother and I would  go along old country roads gathering wildflowers to put in old crocks and glass vases. We’d gather them and  put them through out  the house. We would  leave some for any outside  tables. Everybody would bring food and their own drinks. My mom’s knack for putting a party together has rubbed off on me. My son gets so excited when he knows we are going to be have company coming over.

I like to add little touches with  candles,  in glass jars. I fill the bottom of the jars with pebbles. ( You can find them at a craft stores or where they sell fish. That’s where I found mine) Make sure not to put them where they would get tipped over by little ones or pets.

Here is some photo’s of how I added a personal touch to the picnic  table, by displaying the food in  a beautiful and unique way. The good dishes are not  just used for the holidays. Take them out of their cabinets and show them off.

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As dusk sets in the kids keeping asking when the S’mores are coming out. Having a camp fire and S’mores is a  must at all our outdoor gatherings.

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Make a fire pit in your backyard for free.

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1-Dig a hole wide and deep enough to hold a few pieces of wood. The fire department said that you have to be able to step over it. So no huge circles.

2-Make sure that there is no grass on the outside of the circle. We put About 4 inches of stone around the fire pit

3-Gather rocks around your yard. Place them on the outside of the circle and on top of the stone gravel you put down.

4- Call your fire department and get a permit.VERY IMPORTANT. They will come out and inspect it. Each town and state is different so call ahead before you go and build it. It would be very disappointing to have to take it apart.

5-Gather your Kith & Kin, food & drink, and great conversation.

6-Don’t forget the marshmallows.

7- ENJOY

Spring Smells

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Do you have a favorite smell of Spring?

Mine is the scent of Lilacs.

I just love the look of these flowers. In my yard I have three different kinds of Lilac bushes. White , dark purple, and the kind that are above in the photo.

I wished I could remember all the Latin names for them. I do know what I like and how they look though.

I had a bunch of off shoots that I dug up  a few Weeks ago. I’m hoping in about 5 years I will have two areas in my yard that will be in full bloom this time of year. The house will be chuck full of cut Lilacs.

In this part of New England you can drive along any old dirt or paved road and see rows upon rows of Lilac bushes. If you see an old farm house, you can be sure  there is  Lilac bush near by. When I was younger my mother & I use to go around and cut Lilacs from old abandoned properties. One place we use to go to, the Lilac bushes were really full and tall.  Unfortunately that farm house got torn down to make room for a gas Station.

As I write this, I realize that anyone living south of us has already had the treat, of seeing these bloom this year. For us it is a welcome treat from a long , long, cold Winter.

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Hope your enjoying your Spring and smelling the flowers.

Enjoy!

Tracy

Napkins for a Tea Party

I just listed these whimsical napkins in my Etsy store My Pretty Poppies.

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Over the next few days I will be adding the matching table cloths and napkin ring holders. The table cloths would fit a child’s 24 x24 table.

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They would make a great gift for a little girl or even a mom who would like to add a little whimsy to her home.

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I just love these colors. They are from the Tutti Frutti collection. The tea cup is from my china tea cup collection. When my mom moved the last time and we bought our house, she gave me all her tea cups.

When I was little we would have tea time. She would purchase lose tea, seep it, and then strain it into the tea cups. There is nothing like fresh tea made from flowers and herbs.

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Take a few minutes out of a busy day and grab a cup of  herbal tea. My favorite scenes in Masterpiece Theater Productions are those where the women and men are all dressed up outside enjoying tea. Zoe Wannamaker in The Old Curiosity Shop is shown in a wooded area sipping out of her tea cup when  the main characters in the show come up on her.  A scene from Emma ( I think it was that one) shows all the help lugging tables, food, and linens up a steep hill so there employers can have a picnic up on a hill. How romantic.

Enjoy and I’ll hope you join me in a spot of tea.

Have Fun!

Tracy