Friday, January 28, 2011

Sparkly Glittery Sweet Gum Balls

My sister in law always has a beautiful table arrangement for Christmas and I wanted to try to copy her sweet gum balls decorations. Her mom makes them with all of her children and grandchildren and maybe great grand children now. It's pretty simple, just gather up some Sweet Gum balls which are pretty readily available in the South. Stick toothpicks with glue into the little holes, and let dry. Then, spray paint and while the paint is still wet sprinkle glitter on top to make them sparkle. Below is my first attempt. I want to try some chunkier glitter the next time I make them and maybe try new colors like turquoise or orange. But for now, they look pretty on my mantle.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The Family Bible. It conjures up images of families sitting around a room lit by candlelight with their father reading from the bible. I noticed many of the pages in this bible have darker smudges, probably from the oil from their fingertips. There are a lot in Luke describing the birth of Christ. The bible below belonged to my great-grandparents, my grandmother's parents. Her father was a judge in the town of Union, Mississippi. The forward of this bible is an illustrated dictionary of bible terms and facts. For instance, there is a drawing of what the tabernacle in the desert would have looked like and explanations of biblical measurements compared to our current day measurements. It makes it a little easier to picture a "cubit". I was surprised to find the books of 1 and 2nd Maccabees along with a book I've never heard of, Esdras. I'll have to do a little research on that. (Footnote: Esdras is the book of Ezra - when the Israelites returned from their Babylonian exile) It also has many beautiful etchings. I am having this bible restored/rebound by a local man who retired from the National Book Bindery. I'll post photos when it is returned. Until then enjoy looking at these photos.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Okay girls, as I drove down our street yesterday I noticed this mass of brown stuff in my neighbor's front yard. As I looked closer I saw that they were tiny sweetgum balls.........just what I was looking for! So tonight I stopped by with a Kroger bag and filled it up. Are you ready for a Crafter-noon? We're making Sparkly Shiny Glittery Sweetgum balls!

These gorgeous shiny balls were on my sister in law's Christmas table a couple of years ago. I want to paint mine white and add translucent glitter. Now I need to clear off the work table in the basement and call my crafty friends.......

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


New York City, you think you're the only ones with snow plows? Well look what we have here! That's right, our very own Southern version! After three days of being iced in our neighborhood, it did the job breaking up the ice on the huge hill in front of our house. I agree, it does work better when the shovel is a little closer to the street, but heh, we're thankful they showed up!

We actually had a huge caravan of city trucks from the Public Works dept. cruising through our neighborhood. Almost as many as in the Fourth of July Parade! Looks like the schools will probably be closed again tomorrow for the fourth day! At least our power didn't go off this time. We are blessed!

And now I leave you with a few photos I took in my backyard this afternoon. The sun peeked out for a few minutes and I grabbed the camera between trips carrying Christmas decorations down to the basement.

Isn't it peaceful?

Monday, January 10, 2011


We couldn't resist going out and playing in the snow with all of the neighbors! I think we got about 6 inches of snow. Right now it is sleeting and things are turning into ice. Look at all the kids sledding down that hill! There were sleds including one "vintage" Radio Flyer, inner tubes, swimming pool floats, boogie boards, cardboard boxes, cookies sheets, oil drip pans and inflatable chairs! Only in the South. Our hill looked like a Luge course with the kids maneuvering around and between the trash cans. We all had a blast. Stay safe, don't drive and enjoy the pictures!


Last night we made sure to fill up the bird feeder before we went to bed in anticipation of the snow. We woke up to about 6 inches of snow and about a dozen birds eating their breakfast.

Oatmeal and Orange-Cherry muffins while watching the birds on a snowy morning..................

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Atlanta is under a Severe Snow Storm Warning............we don't mess around when we hear "Severe" or "Snow" or "Ice" or "Storm" hear in Atlanta. One reason is that we don't have any snowplows down here. Also, all the people that have decided to move to the sunny south from up North, still think they know how to drive in our Southern Snowstorms. No, they just drive too fast causing even more accidents. Another, we KNOW that when we have an ice storm, the roads freeze. That could mean no electrical power and you may be stuck in your house for days. So just in case, I'm making some vegetable soup, sending my husband to the grocery store for buttermilk so I can make cornbread and hunkering down and waiting for the snow. Yesterday, I made a huge batch of Cheese Chicken Chowder, but my son took most of it back to school with him. The vegetable soup should last us several days..............until we thaw out.


After seeing and tasting my LIKE BUTTAH cookies, my mother quickly ordered some from Marti of LIKE BUTTAH in Dallas (204-206-6339). She is giving them as a present to a friend. I had to take a few photos before they were wrapped up and given away.

Oh, they smelled SOOOOO good. The designs are so cute with sparkling sugar decorations and the details are so intricate!

Enjoy drooling,

Saturday, January 8, 2011


We finished our displays at the library for our BIG READ featuring Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. The photos displayed on the poster are actual photos of residents of Woodstock around the turn of the century dating back to 1906 or so. The top photo was taken in front of Dean's Store and the cut out figure is Dr. Dean. He started the pharmacy in downtown Woodstock and was the first doctor in town visiting his patients on horseback.

Our Town.......

The Bridge of San Luis Rey..............

Lisa made the mountains out of cardboard boxes and paper; Linda made the bridge out of popsicle sticks.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Our library is participating in the BIG READ this year. We have chosen OUR TOWN and THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY. We are setting up displays for both and I am working on the background for OUR TOWN.

I first sketched the "town" in pencil, then added a colored pencil. That wasn't quite dark enough so I added a dark pastel and blended it a little with a paper towel.

The Woodstock Library

I wanted to show you my very professional setup. When I have a large background to paint, I will tape it to the long wall in my basement. Two sheets of butcher paper from the library, colored pencils (plus a black pastel) and a boatload of fixative and presto.......... Our Town. Please ignore the paper mache frog in the foreground and the plaid PJ's............which I am supposed to be hemming for my Mom. Soon, I promise.

I'll take a photo of the completed set at the library when finished.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Is it a cold winter day where you are? How about making some chili and cornbread for dinner? I use my mother's recipe for cornbread. She likes to use Pine Mountain cornmeal but I can't find it anymore. This time I used White Lily buttermilk white cornmeal. The recipe calls for 2 cups of cornmeal, 1 2/3 cups of buttermilk, 1 egg and 1/4 cup wesson oil. Mix the first three ingredients in a bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You can see in the photo the recipe I've been using. Many years ago I printed some of our favorite family recipes on our OLD Commadore 64 computer. I was very proud of myself for figuring out how to use Printshop at the time. Now, about 20 years later, I'm still using the same recipe which I have made many notes on since.

And I JUST found out this tidbit THIS year from my mom. I had been mixing the oil into the batter, but NO you're supposed to heat up the oil in the oven FIRST for a few minutes..............

and POUR it into the batter when it is boils and smells yummy................

then pour your batter into your iron skillet and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

.......and out pops perfect could only be better if you ground the corn yourself..............

Saturday, January 1, 2011


30 years ago we were living in New Jersey and the temperature was 10 degrees below zero. Bryan was the second baby born in our hospital in Morristown on January 1, 1981. Today I am so proud of him and just enjoy being in his company. Happy Birthday sweetheart!

It seems like yesterday you were this size.................

Bryan and Sylvia

We had a great dinner tonight at Six Feet Under which is across the street from Oakland Cemetery. We had yummy Spicy Rat Toes, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Catfish and some delicious desserts. Want a fun place to take some out of town guests? Try Six Feet Under, and afterwards stroll Historic Oakland Cemetery.