:: that girl has style ::

You are so lucky - I wandered around during and after Thanksgiving dinner and took photos of Corey and Mary's house. We had a wonderful dinner at Mary's house - everything was yummy from Bergen's salad to Corey's smoked turkey to my mini pumpkin cheescakes. Mary (above) is Scott's sister. She is a talented decorator. Mary has style - you'll see from the pics. I only wish I had taken MORE. This is just a taste! She has a wall of quilts that are unbelievable - hopefully I can photograph the quilts someday. Also, in this photo you can see the artwork of their son Scott. He's a talented, prize-winning artist.

Mary loves clocks - there's another big clock above these clocks and more clocks elsewhere in her house.
Mary loves beautiful dishes. And charming serving pieces and fabulous silverware. Above is a little silver butter dish with a domed lid. The jam is in Mary's Spode china that her mother bought when their family lived in England when Mary was a teenager.

Mary loves fabric. Notice this tablecloth on the dining room table. It's made from gorgeous fabric with a wide band of black fabric around the edges. Of course, Mary made it. She's a seamstress - she sews fantastic costumes for local musical productions - I mean, you wouldn't believe what she can put together to make her costumes look true to the time period of the play and make them look extra wonderful too. Mary doesn't make dumpy costumes. Her costumes are made with great trims and extra details. If I were in a play, I'd finagle it so Mary made my costume! Oh - Mary acts and sings in the plays too. She's great onstage - and she always has the best costume!

She is brimming with creativity. The centerpiece was BIG and beautiful. Notice the twisty white candles on the very tall candlesticks. Mary can put things together and make them look so good!

Everywhere you look Mary has made interesting arrangements. And then if you look closer you'll see that she has hand-stitched something in the arrangement. She made the cross-stitch sampler on the wall and the lampshade on the lamp. Her house is filled with fabulous quilts that she has made and quilted herself. She makes pillows and drapes and well, you name it. While we were visiting after dinner, Mary was knitting a pair of gloves for her daughter. And just a few days before another sister Pat showed me the bag that Mary had made her for her birthday.

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hAppy tHanKsgiVing!

Our favorite little turkey - Baby Emmett. I sang 'Over the river and through the woods...' as he arrived at the house. He gets to see both sets of grandparents and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins today. Can't wait for tonight when Brookelyn, Bailee, and Carter (and their parents) arrive!

It's a beautiful Thanksgiving Day - Scott is getting the last leaves off the grass and Mike is raking under the trees. I'm baking yummy yams, pumpkin cheesecake, and brownies (gotta have chocolate) to take to Aunt Mary's house for dinner. Yea - love going to Mary and Corey's.

We gave so much to be grateful for. Our hearts are full of gratitude for the people before us who worked hard - harder than we even know how - so we could live in such good circumstances.


* spark - the event *

Wow, two weeks have flown by and I haven't posted my pics of the "creativity event" called Spark that I went to the 6th and 7th of November. I think I'm worried about doing justice to everything the Spark organizers did - even these photos can't recapture the magic of those two days. Spark was a workshop for anyone who wanted to "spark their creativity." It was organized by four neat women who are designers and teachers in the scrapbook world. It was two days of classes and workshops. I had never been a participant in a scrapbook event before, so I signed up as soon as I heard about it. It was fabulous. So much thought and energy went into every aspect of it - I was impressed. You'll see from my photos that the decorations were amazing - they're just a taste of what went on.

It was held at the historic village that is next to This Is the Place Monument in Salt Lake City. It was very fun to be "in the village" for two days and to have classes and meals in the historical buildings like the chapel above. The village has over 40 historically-preserved buildings on the site with big rooms where the classes took place. The weather was quintessential fall weather - perfect temp and, as you can see from my photos, beautiful blue skies. Add to that, the amazing vintage-chic Spark decorations hanging on buildings, lining the pathways, and decking the halls. They added a playful party atmosphere...along with a great playlist of music on the speakers through the whole village. I can't even begin to describe how much work they went to to add charm to everything.

Above, a poster with classic Rhonna Farrer design - her touch was everywhere. Spark girls were Rhonna Farrer, Elizabeth Kartchner, Margie Romney Aslett, and Jefra Linn.

Day One was an afternoon of make-and-take mini classes. There were over a dozen to choose from - I decided to enjoy myself and just browse and take lots of photos rather than kill myself trying to finish everything. So I spent a lot of time just watching and visiting rather than madly rushing through every project. Thus, I did enjoy myself, but came home with a load of unfinished stuff. I did take the time to make a cupcake at a table sponsored by The Sweettooth Fairy cupcake bakery. The cupcakes were yummm, and the frosting was to die for. I could have just squeezed that whole container directly into my mouth. I also made a little hand-sewn booklet in a glassine envelope and a couple of 'junk bows' which are big bows for decorating made of paper sacks, tissue, buttons and wire. Will I decorate my whole house with them for Christmas? I'd like to, but I doubt I'll get around to making them.

The presentation of everything was just beautiful. The projects were packaged in darling little bags, containers and boxes. The centerpieces at dinner were large tissue flowers that you can see silhouetted in the photo above. The food was good - I ended up sitting at a table with the creative team from a company called Die Cuts with a View for all our meals. They make scrapbook product and those vinyl sayings in tubes that you see in stores everywhere. The DCWV ladies were very nice to me, but I was definitely an 'outsider.' (It was good for me.) That's the only thing I would have changed - to be with a group of friends would have been more fun. Next time I'll drag someone along with me. It was OK to be alone, but it would be better with a friend or two. If this sounds fun to you, let me know! We'll start saving our $$ now.

{ kicked-up baked apples }

I love Cook's Illustrated Magazine - and editor Christopher Kimball, besides being a chef and food scientist, is also a wonderful writer. I get his newsletter and visit his blog just for the entertainment of it.

There is a bit of controversy going on over there because he smacked the world of "wiki recipes" - these are places where people share recipes just like wikipedia shares content. Kimball doesn't think that recipes that internet folks (like food bloggers) exchange with each other are as reliable as his type of "test kitchen" recipes. Here's what he said,
"In terms of recipes, no, I do not believe in a Wiki website, with a community opining on recipes as a means of creating a valuable database. Making a recipe 75 times in a test kitchen under controlled circumstances (yes, this is deeply self-serving) is vastly better than the voices of millions under less the ideal circumstances, with kitchens with a host of different problems/equipment/etc. Go ahead and make that broccoli casserole off your Google search and see how you like it! In cooking, as in all things, there is a right way and a wrong way. Very little in life is truly relative."

Back to the subject of Baked Apples...
I found this recipe on Kimball's blog and thought of my daughter Suzie. She loves baked apples. (Me, I'm not a fan.) Suz used to come home from school and cook a baked apple in the microwave. Chistopher Kimball would probably not recommend that! But THIS recipe really sounds good. A bit more complicated that the micro, but good. You stuff the apples with a filling and drench with a maple/apple cider syrup. Tell me how you like it, Suzie!

The Best Baked Apples

If you prefer sweeter apples Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and Fuji apples can be substituted for the Granny Smith. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, transfer the browned apples to a 13- by 9- inch baking dish and bake as directed. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

7 large (about 6 ounces each) Granny Smith apples

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats

½ teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 orange

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch table salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple cider

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core, and cut 1 apple into ¼-inch dice. Combine 5 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar, cranberries, pecans, oats, orange zest, cinnamon, diced apple, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

2. Shave thin slice off bottom (blossom end) of remaining 6 apples to allow them to sit flat. Cut top ½-inch off stem end of apples and reserve. Peel apples and use melon baller or small measuring spoon to remove 1 ½-inch diameter core, being careful not to cut through bottom of apple.

3. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in 12-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Once foaming subsides, add apples, stem side down, and cook until cut surface is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip apples, reduce heat to low and spoon filling inside, mounding excess filling over cavity; top with reserved apple caps. Add maple syrup and 1/3 cup of cider to skillet. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until skewer inserted into apples meets little resistance, 35 to 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with maple syrup mixture in skillet.

4. Transfer apples to serving platter. Stir remaining 2 tablespoons cider into sauce in skillet as necessary to adjust consistency. Pour sauce over apples and serve.


Adornit 'make it merry' BLoG paRty

Adornit had a little blog party this past week to show Christmas products and projects. Now the blog party is almost over - you can click on Georgana's blog to see what we did. I created a lot of the projects - and wrote most of the wording for all the blog posts. It was fun and Christmasey. We had a blog hop on 'Day 3' with 60 bloggers participating, showing Christmas projects on their blogs. I really enjoyed clicking from blog to blog and seeing the wonderful (mostly papercraft) projects they shared. The photos are some of my projects - all the supplies - patterened paper, stickers, ribbon, tags, except the kraft and solid colored cardstock, are made by Adornit. And I can guarantee the words are spelled correctly! Oh, except for one big glaring mistake that I don't want to talk or think about.


Aren't I lucky to work with such enthusiastic girls? In the photos we're celebrating the beginning of our Make It Merry Blog Part. Now the blog party is over and, well, we're glad about that too. Jumping for joy actually!


Adornit BLoG HoP

Hi all you blog hoppers - welcome to Burnt Cookies! I hope you're enjoying this Hop as much as I am! I think it's amazing that so many of us have linked our blogs together - to create one big virtual Christmas chain!

If this blog is your first stop, you need to go to the beginning of the HOP so you won't miss anything. The link to the beginning is here: www.adornitscrapbook.com/bloghop

I work for Georgana at Adornit (big applause for her huh!), and I helped make some of the projects you'll see on Georgana's blog for the next few days. Please be sure to return to her blog over the weekend and early next week because we have a BUNCH of stuff to show you - advent ideas, decorating ideas, cute cute neighbor gifts. I don't know about you, but it sure helps me - jumpstarts me - to see finished projects that I can scraplift.

Now, about my projects. I love Kraft cardstock. (It's cardboard colored.). For my Blog Hop post, I decided to use Kraft cardstock on every item I could. I made cards, a layout, a little candy cone, some cookie boxes and the banner you see above. It's so easy to mix and match the Kraft color with any Christmas colors. It has an old-fashioned look that feels good in our high-tech world. Try it - you'll like it!

Oh, and the little green notebook in the photo is my "pocket Christmas planner." It's a fabulous Moleskine notebook (available at Borders etc.). I altered it with a clear vinyl sticker from Adornit, ribbon and rickrack. I'll carry it with me through the holidays with lists, reminders, sizes, thoughts and notes. It supplements my big Cut the Crazy out of Christmas planner and helps keep me sane during December. My Cut the Crazy blog is on this blog hop too, so check it out!
EDIT - I guess the next blogger didn't get her post ready - but the next blog has a very cute post - here's the link http://www.itsjennytime.blogspot.com/

3 cards in 30 minutes (give or take a few)

Today is the first day of Adornit's Christmas Blog Party. Since I came up with the idea and wrote the words for today's post which is a card making challenge, I thought I'd better participate. (For those who don't know, I'm the editor at Adornit scrapbook company.) So at 10:50, I set my timer for 30 minutes. Then I pulled out some samples of cards by other people that I like ( to get the creative juices flowing. I love all you great scrappers out there that I copy - in scrapper lingo, scraplift). So I made 3 cards - the first two in the thirty minutes, then, since I had everything out and I was having fun, I made a third card. I like them. For the words I used favorite Christmas cardstock stickers from Adornit. Just slapping that already-cute sticker on my cards helped me stay within my 30 minutes.

It took another hour to take the photos, download the photos, crop the photos, upload the photos to my blog, write the blog post, and listen to Scott talk about riding the stationary bike at the gym and getting his heart rate up to 160 and it feeling good. You can imagine how happy I am to hear that kind of talk - especially since I haven't been to the gym for a month.


~ the last best day ~

Check out these fabulous autumn photos that Scott took yesterday - I had to share them because a storm is coming, and I'm SO AFRAID that this is the end of our wonderful fall weather.

Soon I'll get my photos from last weekend on the blog. I had a grand time at a little workshop called SPARK. I spent two solid days surrounded by creative inspiration and fabulous women. And then, to top off the weekend, I got to go to two Primary children's church programs. Talk about wonderful! I HAVE to tell you all about them. When, I don't know.