Friday, January 28, 2011

Vintage Charm For Little Girls

I love the colors that can be found in vintage handkerchiefs.  I knew I wanted to decorate my daughter's room with vintage handkerchiefs when I was pregnant.  It took me until she was 2 years old to decide on what to do with all of the handkerchiefs I had been collecting.  I found music album frames at Micheal's and spray painted them a buttery yellow.  After ironing out all of the wrinkles I framed the handkerchief up. 

(I need to take down the crib now that Amelia is in the big bed now)

You can also see the amazing quilt I found at an antique shop in Amelia, Va.  It was neatly laid on an antique bed.  I squealed with delight when I saw it and after further inspection I noticed it was in perfect vintage condition.  All it needed was a good soak in the washing machine.  It has some fun pattern which I believe start around the early 60's.

All of the colors in the quilt pull together the colors in the vintage handkerchiefs I think.  I love how her room has come together.  I settled for plain white Target shams and curtains by Shabby Chic.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Candied Popcorn

My Papa Hastings loves popcorn balls but for the life of me I don't know how my Great Grandmother was able to make popcorn balls without burning her hands. I tried. I really did but there was no way I was going to make the whole batch into balls before it cooled completely. So I came up with plain ole candied popcorn. My Papa Hastings liked it anyway. I added a little food coloring to make it festive.

Candied Popcorn

Makes 12
  • 12 cups popped, unsalted popcorn (1/2 cup kernels)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 or 2 drops food coloring


  1. Combine popcorn into a large greased mixing bowl, and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup, salt, and vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan. Set the saucepan over high heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer, and cook until the mixture reaches 290 degrees, about 14 minutes. Add food coloring, stirring, until desired color is reached. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Pour the hot syrup over the reserved popcorn mixture; stir together with a wooden spoon until all the kernels have been well coated. Pour candied popcorn onto a greased sheet pan to cool. Store the popcorn balls in an airtight container up to 2 days.

I adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart's Popcorn Ball recipe.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg pictures! December 2010

Here are some pictures of my beloved Colonial Williamsburg!! This time there was snow! Although my toes felt close to frost bite, it looked so magical.  Especially when it gets dark and the candles in the windows flicker a warm glow.  It's pretty much perfect.

This is one of my favorite shops in Colonial Williamsburg. Tarpley's store is full of all sorts of goodies. Colonial toys, tools, decorations, dishes, candles, soaps, dried fruits, hats, ink wells and feather pens. We bought Amelia a little bonnet.  She loved wearing it. She can grow into it for sure.

The decorations! Every building is decorated differently. Natural elements are used like dried or fresh flowers and fruits, sea shells, tobacco, as well as colonial objects like pipes, tools etc. I read that a lot of the fresh decorations have to be replaced daily! The decorations are judged and awarded ribbons. While we were there we spotted a few winning ribbons on buildings.

The garden section was open. They displayed different plants and garden elements for sale.  I bought one of the bottle bird houses you see at the top right. Still waiting to hang it up. Come on Spring!

I don't know if you can tell but there are apples in the holes on the front of the house.  The holes were left by posts used during constructions. The apples have to be replaced often because of birds and squirrels.
These torch posts also know as Cressets, can be bought from the Williamsburg Marketplace.
There were lots of carriages around town because of the holiday season.  Riding in a carriage when it is snowy outside is so cozy. Amelia could spot them a mile away. She would get so excited.  We bought her a stuffed Colonial horse named Lancer to remember our trip.

Amelia was such a good sport even though it was freezing.  She just kept trying to get in the snow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My First Sew Along

 I am so excited about my first ever "Sew Along" which is being hosted by the lovely Casey from Elegant Musings. Coming across Casey's blog the beginning of last year changed my life. Seriously. Seeing her and fellow vintage bloggers donning vintage fashion and hair styling opened my eyes.  I have always loved vintage style and have always collected antiques and vintage home goods but had no idea that woman and men actually lived the style.  I immediately became interested in including vintage style into my wardrobe (still working on that) as well as period hair and makeup. Finding vintage bloggers has brought out a part of me that I never knew how to express.  I think the late 30's and early 40's style really suits my shape and face. 

Heer is a picture of the Swing Dress being used for the "Sew Along". A classic 1940's cut. The pattern can be found at Sense and Sensibility Patterns.

Casey, in the beautiful red dress she made with the Swing Dress pattern.
I chose this gorgeous floral fabric by Heather Bailey ( Picnic Bouquet - lagoon) for my "Sew Along" dress.  I LOVE her fabrics. Her fabrics have great prices and right now has some of Heather Bailey's fabrics on sale. I want to use the finished dress for my Easter dress this year and make Amelia a dress in the same fabric.  Yay!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Va in December

We spent a month in my home town of Amelia, Va.  It was great being back home for Christmas.  It snowed twice! I love snow at Christmas time.  I tried several times to blog I promise but I stayed busy cooking or watching children.  I can't complain.  I loved every minute of it.  One of my New Year's resolutions is to be a consistent blogger.  

I want to recap the month of December so I can share with you a little of my decorating, baking, and snow!

My sweet little tree.  It consist of a crochet garland I made last year, vintage glass ornaments that belonged to my Grandmother, Amelia's annual ornaments, my childhood ornaments and ornaments we have collected on our travels. We had our own Christmas morning the Saturday before we left for Va.  It was so fun because Amelia was old enough to understand the excitement.
I bought this wreath at The Pottery in Williamsburg, Va.  My mom gave me the three little houses. I crocheted our stockings this year! I was so proud of myself for being able to pull it together.
We bought this table on sale from World Market as a Christmas present to each other.  We bought two benches instead of chairs. I bought the place mats and napkins from TJ Maxx. I love setting a table.  There are limitless possibilities!. We had our best friends over on our special Christmas morning to have a country breakfast with us. All the classics that we avoid most of the year; biscuits, milk gravy, bacon, chicken sausage, fried eggs, and some yogurt with fresh blueberries and granola to even everything out. lol
I found these charming salt and pepper shakers at an antique shop in Ventura, Ca over the Thanksgiving break.  I was shocked when I saw them and got really excited when I saw they were only $9!!!!
Making homemade biscuits to go with my homemade milk gravy. YUM! I recently learned from Gluten-Free Girl that rice flour is a great substitute for wheat flour when I need to thicken a gravy so next time I will try to make gluten-free milk gravy.  We will see.
I invited my best friend and her son over for coffee and gingerbread making day.  It was so fun.  The kids did really well.  They kept sneaking little pieces of candy in between decorating.
I mixed up, cut out and baked the gingerbread house pieces before they arrived so that we could decorate them right away.  Again, the kids ate waaay too much candy. 

Amelia was so meticulous when it came to putting the candy in the right places.  Ok, Ok, I did help but once I told her how to do something she went for it and did a really good job.  We saved the gingerbread house for our Christmas morning which was the Saturday before we left for Va.
Me and my beautiful baby niece Isabella.

This is the farmhouse my dad grew up in and now my sister and her family lives here.  It's so cozy when it's dark outside and the window candles are glowing. You can't tell but it is still snowing here and we ended up with 5-6 inches.

My papa got a kick out of my hair and red lips! He thinks it is so funny that I love vintage looks.  Granted I'm not as authentic as most enthusiast but I am learning and building up my courage.

I hope to get a post up soon about our trip to my beloved Colonial Williamsburg! Lots of pictures and lots of snow.  I also want to share my recipe for candied popcorn.  One of my papa Hastings' favorites!

2010 Family Pictures

I wanted to share with you some of the pictures we had taken last summer.  It was so hard to chose only a few for our Christmas cards.  Our friend, Carrie Cannistraci is an amazing photographer in the Bay Area. We met at an old winery in Saratoga, Ca.  It was so charming.  Old barns and a beautiful yellow farm house! 

I love all the different ways to edit a photograph to make it more personal and different. I could spend all day editing the same picture in different ways.