Saturday, November 18, 2017

Experiencing Grandma's Country Christmas

What sort of things bring back warmhearted and unforgettable Christmas memories for you?  Is it the tasty meal preparation for Christmas Eve or Day? Is it attending a tranquil candlelight midnight mass at church? Is it traveling to a fragrant tree lot for that perfect Christmas tree and decorating it together as a family before the final tree lighting ceremony?  Or could it be baking and decorating scrumptious Christmas cookies with family that constitute one of many cherished memories of the holiday?

I am so glad you are joining me once again for the continuation of Christmas in the Mansion at the Rahr Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  This week's posting includes the finished front entrance display, entitled, Experiencing Grandma's Country Christmas, which is ready for holiday visitors at the museum starting Wednesday, November 22, 2017.  I thought you might like to see my display before the opening of all of the others.  With each display at the mansion, we are asked to write a very short description (25 words or less).  Even though it poses some descriptive limitations, I thought I could still come up with a concise but spot-on description. This description highlights one of my own treasured memories as a child and the tradition of Christmas cookie baking that was passed on to my own children.  Therefore, I dedicate this article and my display at the museum to my children who have truly blessed me with their jubilant enthusiasm for family cookie baking and decorating.  It will forever warm my heart.

Experiencing Grandma's Country Christmas

Bright and cheerful sunflowers, delicious red apples and homey red gingham bows brings grandma's country kitchen to life with warm and welcoming Christmas cookie baking.

I am sure you will recognize the watering can floral centerpiece, the lit metal grater and, of course, the plaid/gingham throw pillows made from kitchen towels which were in last week's sneak peek post.  They definitely look a little different in their final placement in the display. don't you think?

I hope you enjoyed this home-sweet-home Christmas display.  Please stop back again when we take another visit of the entire mansion.

Oh, I must not forget to also mention to watch for the upcoming Christmas Tablescape Blog Hop which I will be participating in.  It is graciously organized by Ms.Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate and Decorate ( and will include many wonderful holiday ideas and tips.  So mark your calendars and come on back.  Details, including the list of participating bloggers, will be provided on my blog starting Sunday, December 3rd.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.......

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Feeling Like Santa's Elf

Busy...busy...busy.....It is that time of year when I can't help but get overly excited.  I know it is way too soon for some of us to think about Christmas, but with all of the work that goes into designing and setting up a Christmas display for this year's Rahr Art Museum's Christmas in the Mansion, one must start with the work a whole lot sooner than most.  For me, my early participation in decorating the mansion helps to increase my sense of anticipation and magical excitement for the holiday and, yet, still allows me ample time to complete the work before I start with my own personal holiday preparations.  It is why I feel so much like Santa's elf.  It is a time for limitless creative fun and unmeasurable imagination.  So I guess I can say in this respect that I am one of Santa's best helpers!  

This post is will give you some "behind the scenes" look into a sample of selections that I have chosen for the use in my display in this year's exhibit, which by the way, is entitled, "Experiencing Grandma's Country Christmas." 

Lets start with one of the inspiration pieces for this year's country Christmas theme.  Some bright and cheerful sunflowers in a sunny yellow watering can.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a kitchen without a metal hand grater for some delicious grated chocolate to top off the whipped cream on some steamy hot chocolate.

Nothing exemplifies country living more than red and white plaid or gingham.  These adorable throw pillows were made from three kitchen dish towels.  The two pillows on the left and right of the middle pillow with the heart are versatile.  Here they are shown with the plaid pattern and the picture which immediately follows shows the pillows flipped to their gingham side.

And we can't forget that mug of rich and silky hot chocolate with fragrant vanilla whipped cream and colorful sprinkles for Santa. 

If you are in the area and wish to tour Christmas in the Mansion at the Rahr Art Museum, you can see this lovely Christmas display starting Wednesday, November 22, 2017.   The display will run until Sunday, January 7, 2018.  Remember that the admission to the museum is free and it is located at 610 North Eighth Street, Manitowoc, Wisconsin  54220.  For more information or directions, you can visit their website at:

I hope that I aroused your curiosity enough to stop back next time for my featured post which will include how these pieces were used in my finished display and, of course, for a future post of the complete tour of the mansion including the many other displays from talented designers.

'Tis the season to be jolly........

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween Glimpses

Leaves are quickly falling from the trees and bare branches are silhouetted against the bright white moon as darkness casts as eerie glow throughout the landscape.  Halloween is creeping up on the calendar and the ghouls and goblins have been busy. Take a glimpse at some of their Halloween decor, treats and Fall backyard foliage at The Little Yellow Corner Store. Or should I say.... take a glimpse at who is peeking out at you.

For all of the adult Halloween trick or treaters, a Coffee Glazed Nut Trail Mix is the perfect Halloween treat. The mix is made with bold and robust coffee and some dark chocolate covered espresso beans. It is guaranteed to add to your caffeine consumption for the day. The recipe is as follows:

Coffee Glazed Nut Trail Mix

2 tsp. ground instant espresso powder
2 T hot water
3 T brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T honey
dash of salt
3 C mixed nuts
1 C dark chocolate covered espresso beans

Mix powder and hot water until dissolved in saucepan.  Add sugar, extract, honey, salt and bring to a boil.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Pour sauce over nuts in a bowl and mix.  Sprinkle glazed nuts onto parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently to dry.  Cool and add chocolate covered espresso beans.  Store in airtight container.

The following adorable monster cheese balls were made from a recipe I found on Pinterest from a very talented and creative food creator at Hungry Happenings.  Her work will steal your heart.  You can visit her monster creations and all of her other outstanding work at Hungry Happenings Mini Monster Cheese Balls.

Below are my little monsters that remind me so much of the little aliens on Sesame Street when my children were little and watched it every day.  Yup...Yup...Yup...Yup.....

And who can bat an eye at a pumpkin spice ice cream cocktail.  Sweet and scary at the same time.

Here's looking at you.........