Thursday, December 31, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Greetings to you in the New Year blog friends.
 I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Holiday!

As we enter into the winter months, 
with our young new year ahead, 
I can't help but look towards a new journey
 and the anticipation of all to come our way.

 Everything fresh with a new start,
 a new outlook 
with faith for the days ahead.
 Do you feel this way each new year?
 Do you like to re-evaluate your direction?
 Do you make resolutions? 

I'm not one to make resolutions per say,
 but rather,
 a conviction to ask God's direction
 and listen for the answers.
 Having new plans and trying to do my best.

Whatever you have planned for your journey,
 I hope the new year is filled
 with all that makes you happy.
 All that gives you hope,
 and 
all that makes your heart sing
 with the blessing of meeting each new day.

 May God give you peace and love along your path
 and may this new year
 be one to remember!

I'll be back soon to share what's new for
my shoppe
 and 
back to visiting you.
I'll be anxious 
to see what's happening in your world.


Till then, 
Blessings to you
and
Happy New Year!

See you soon.
Celestina Marie

Continue Reading
54 comments
Share:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas


Best wishes to all in blogland
 for a very 
Merry Christmas
 and a day filled with the love 
of family and friends
 and blessings from above.

Thank you for a year of fun and friendships,
 encouragement and inspirations.

 I am looking forward to the new year
 filled with hope and direction
 and
 the joys found in this community
we call blogland.

I'll be away from my desk
 till the new year
enjoying my family and friends
 and a much needed
painters hand and wrist break.


Till then,
wishing you~ 
many joys!



Blessings to all 
and
 Merry Christmas!

Celestina Marie

linking to Good Fences!

Continue Reading
45 comments
Share:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas in the Piano Room~

Merry Christmas Friends,
The time is drawing near
and 
I love these days ahead
to relax and enjoy the decorations.


Everything for the preparations 
are complete.
Time to enjoy being 
Home for Christmas.

This is my piano room.
A special place where there is no tv.
Just a room to gather and visit.
Listen to music, play the piano, read and share time with family and friends.


I kept the cork GATHER banner I created last fall 
 and added some holly and berries to each end.


Every year my mantel changes.
This season I love the light and simply display
with the wreath and  just a few items on each side.

I carried over the black and white from the kitchen
into this room along with the pop of red.

To visit my
 Christmas in Texas Kitchen Tour
you can click

 I love this Santa.
He was wearing a rust colored coat until
I painted it red.
He likes it better too!


A framed card  hand created from a dear friend,
Diane from 1 Card Creator many years ago.



To the wreath, I added 
hand created snowflakes my mother designed
about 25 years ago.
The little birds help to hide the mechanics 
of the light string.
Gotta love the timer lights.

More black and white with the checked ribbon.



Just a sweet sitting deer along side 2 string gift packages, brings in the red.
Burlap ribbon on the packages,
tie the look in with the standing trees.
You may remember I covered the ugly metal bases HERE. 

Many of you  ask about the firescreen.
It is a heavy iron piece I found  on ebay several years  ago. 
It was black
 but to help it show up 
against the black interior of the firebox,
I painted it ivory.


After I looked at this photo,
I noticed the two trees needed a topper
of some sort.


While stopping at Dollar General last weekend,
I found two stuffed fabric stars perfect for the tops.
Just one dollar friends.
Does it get better??
They also had hearts and I brought two of those home too.

Hard to get an evening shot in this room.
But you can see here
 what a difference the little stars make.





Love this darling pillow
on an animal print throw!


Moving around the room to the tree.


The throw is one I crocheted over the summer
knowing I would use it this Christmas.



Love anything with checks
 and especially this buffalo check pillow
layered with the snowmen.



A favorite painting over the sofa.



Last year I painted this tall snowman,
and yes,
he wears a black coat.


To bring in the black and white with red on the coffee table,
I used ornaments under a cloche, ribbons and little bird 
with a sprig of greens and berries..


The stockings were hung on the back of the piano.
French script with red cuffs.


A vintage pine cone tree I created many years ago.
It has nuts scattered about
along with a pop of red added this year.


On the piano  two wooden deer stand in the greens.
My piano is 50 years old and I cherish it.

I remember when my parents bought it when I was just a little girl.
I have basically played it all my life~



The Heart of Christmas,
a special book to pick up and enjoy while listening to music.


Our tree is decorated in
white, gold, silver
and again that pop of red
with hand crocheted snowflakes.


The gold star is from Norway 
and a gift from a dear friend who was my neighbor
here in Texas.

Long picks of glittered silver vine,
 top off and finish the tree near the star. 


Collected ornaments from travels near and far.


The joy in my life~
My best friend and hubby!

A view from the dining room.


Another view from the entry.


So nice to be Home For Christmas.


Wishing you the spirit of the season,
filled with blessings and holiday memories!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Have a beautiful week.
Celestina Marie

joining


As a side note~
for bloggers using google friends connect on your sidebar.
I found out over the weekend, after a tech support and forum search,
followers have been dropped on hundreds of blogs.
It is a glitch in the system and hopefully will be restored.
I personally lost 35 of my followers in 15 minutes.
It is an inconvenience for our followers who will no longer be able to find us.
The support tech said, because it was a weekend, it would not be addressed till a new week.
With it being Christmas, it will most likely take a lot longer.
Many bloggers were in the forum asking for answers with concerns.
Just wanted to give you this fyi in case you have seen this huge drop in your followers
and wondering what is going on.
A day in the life of blogspot and google glitches!!
Let's hope for a resolution to this newest problem.

Merry Christmas

Continue Reading
61 comments
Share:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Simple and Cozy for Christmas

Merry Christmas Friends,

In less then a week,
we'll be celebrating Christmas.

For some, 
we'll  be home for the holiday's
and
for other's,  traveling will be on the agenda.

Wherever you are
 or 
wherever you go~
May the light that drew many to the Christ child,
 born in a manger,
be your light this Christmas and beyond.

I'll be home right here in this cozy space with family and friends.
Enjoying the nature  placed on my mantel this year.
Can you see the sweet little silver birds below?
Oh they are so cute sitting in a nest with greens and berries.

Cardinals are one of my favorite birds
so I love to have them around during Christmas.
This one is a musical figurine sitting in a little bird cage.
He sings because he's happy,
He sings because he's free.


Curled up to relax and reflect upon the end of another year.
Thankful for so many blessings too many to count.

Cozy pillows and throws to cuddle
while watching movies or sharing great conversation.
A stack of Christmas books to enjoy in the evenings.
Of course topped by another sweet Cardinal.


Vintage ornaments to remind us of days gone by~
Ornaments from WWII. 
Many were my parents ornaments from some of their first Christmas trees.
They married on December 22nd 1945
They are celebrating 70 years together in heaven.
And no, 
I'm nowhere near 70 years old,
 in fact a long way from it. LOL LOL!!!

We will be enjoying the glow from this beautiful vintage
ceramic tree hand painted in the 70's by my mother.
The photo doesn't do it justice.
She added snow with lots of glitter.
Yes glitter, before we all were adding glitter to everything.
Mom was ahead of her time!!

See the darling teacup coaster on the end table?
It's  hand sewn by my sweet blog friend Kitty who I met a couple weeks ago.
You can visit her
I love this coaster Kitty.


Lastly, but certainly not least,
we remember the reason for the season
and the birth of the Christ child.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

MERRY CHRISTMAS
filled
with many
BLESSINGS!

See you Monday to share my piano room!
Celestina Marie

Continue Reading
46 comments
Share:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Good Fences and A Special Traditional Treat

Hi Friends
and 
Welcome to
 Good Fences today.

With Christmas nearly here,
I've been a bit busy and my fence photos are running out.
I hope to find some great new fences
during the holiday as we do some traveling about.

Here is one I recently found while on my way
to grocery shop. 
It was near the Gazebo I shared last week.


This pretty iron and decorative fence was by a walk way 
up to a building in town.
Love the stone work below the fence.

My shopping trip,
 past this pretty fence, was to gather the ingredients 
I needed to make
a Traditional Italian Cookie 
called Pizzelles
and
made in my family at Christmas for years.

Starting with my Italian grandmother who made these
every year, to my mother and then taught to me
these delicious thin cookies are very special.

In the beginning,
these delicate lacy looking cookies
were typically made years ago with an iron held over the store burner
to bake the cookies one at a time.
Very labor intensive to create.

Long about the time my mother began making them,
she used a double electric iron maker from Italy.
They still take time to make, only 2 at a time,
but the goodness and the taste, so well worth  the time.



Here's the iron, called Pizzelle Chef.
 It looks a bit like a waffle maker.
My maker above is about 35 years old and still working great.


 In the inside you can see the design for the cookies
and when the iron is closed it cooks from both sides making 
2 cookies at a time.

You have to work quickly, time each one as you go along
and carefully pull off, trim and lay flat to cool.


Here's the process I used
while my hubby watched at the bar in the kitchen,
waiting for samples.

First I made the batter
which looks like this.


I usually make a double batch which makes 120 cookies.
If I'm going to all this work,
 I want to make as much as I can.
They freeze really well for later too.

So for a double batch it takes
 7 cups flour, 
 12 eggs,  
4 sticks of butter,
 3 cups sugar
 and  8 tablespoons of vanilla.

Wow, sounds like the ingredients for a heart attack!!
But when you spread this all out for 120 cookies,
your're not getting that much fat and calories in each one.
Well, at least that's my reasoning.


After the iron is hot and ready to begin.
I place a dollop of the batter in the middle of the design.
Close the lid tight and began to time about 32 seconds.
You just time it in your head, no timer is needed.
Once the time is about up, open the lid,
and here is the cookie.


Working quickly and remember, this is hot,
you pull the cookie off the design carefully
and lay it out to cool and harden.

At this point, I start the next 2 cookies
 and in that timing,
I trim off any  cookie that spread past the design.

I start a bowl for the trimmings.
These crumbs are good to freeze to use as a topping
on cakes, ice cream or  pudding
 and last up to one year placed in the freezer.
But I can tell you, they don't last that long around here.


As they cool I begin to stack them on a large cookie sheet.

Beautiful once again and so very good.
Many people traditionally make these with anise flavoring,
but my family have always loved them using vanilla.


So pretty served on a Christmas plate.

Oh and yes, hubby was there to be the taster.
He gave them a thumbs up
and enjoys these as an ice cream sandwich too.

Simply cut a slice of vanilla ice cream 
or any flavor you like
and 
sandwich the ice cream between 2 cookies.
SOOOO GOOD!!
You can also
roll them like a cone while still hot off the iron, 
let cool and it becomes an ice cream cone.

I freeze some cookies at Christmas
and in the summer, 
they make the best summer 
treat as an ice cream sandwich on a hot Texas day.

The key is the iron. The batter really can't be used any other way
and is formulated to be thin and crisp.

Wish I could send you all a batch.
They do sell them in grocery stores during the holiday.
But trust me,
they are not as good as homemade!!


Wishing you a great rest of the week
as we look towards the big day!

Merry Christmas

Joining

See you tomorrow.
Celestina Marie

Continue Reading
44 comments
Share: