Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Okay ladies, here's your chance to win your very own bead-knitted purse. Take a look at those four pictured on the right - that's right - you could be the lucky winner - except that yours will be made out of crystal clear beads and white thread (I'm thinking ice and snow). I'm also going to add a little charm to the side, but I haven't decided which one yet. You know you want one! (Even Jennifer Paganelli and Martha Stewart are the proud owners of one.)

Here's what you have to do to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me what your New Year's resolution is. You must state a resolution or you won't be entered. If you don't have one, make one up.

2. If you don't have a blog, you must leave an e-mail address so you can be notified if you win, otherwise, you won't be entered.

3. Open to U.S./Canada residents only.

4. Keep it FUN!

Now go on over to the Whirl Into Winter giveaway event hosted by Quilting With Debi and enter all those other contests. On January 15th, at 8:00 PM eastern time, Frannie (who else?) will pick the winner.

You know I'm a sucker for a good song, so here are the lyrics to Baby It's Cold Outisde (my favorite version is with Tom Jones and Marianne Faithful):

Words and music by Frank Loesser
As Performed By Tom Jones

I really can't stay
But baby, it's cold outside
I've got to go away
Ah, baby, it's cold outside
This evening has been
Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice
I'll hold your hands,
they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry
Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor
Listen to that fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry
Oh beautiful, please don't hurry
Maybe just a half a drink more
Why don't you put some
records on while I pour
The neighbors might think
Oh baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink
There's no cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how
Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell
I'll take your hat,
your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir
Mind if I move a little closer
At least I'm gonna say that I tried
What's the sense of hurting my pride
I really can't stay
Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside
I simply must go
Oh, baby, it's cold outside
The answer is no
You know it's cold outside
This welcome has been
I'm lucky that you dropped in
So nice and warm
Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious
Oh, your lips look delicious
My brother will be there at the door
Like waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious
Eww, your lips are delicious
Well maybe just a cigarette more
Never such a blizzard before
I've got to go home
Ah, baby, you would freeze out there
Say, lend me a comb
You know it's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand
I thrill when you touch my hand
But don't you see
How can you do this thing to me
There's bound to be talk tomorrow
Making my life long sorrow
At least there will plenty implied
If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can't stay
Get over that old out
Ah but it's cold outside



Saturday, December 20, 2008


"Roger Dodger"

Love Is Blue
Lyrics by Marty Robbins

Blue, blue, my world is blue
Blue is my world since I'm without you


Thursday, December 18, 2008


Just wanted to let you know that Frannie did pick a winner on Monday evening, and the prize package goes to Pam Kitty Morning. Congratulations! Now you just have to tell me where to send it!


Sunday, December 14, 2008


Welcome to The More The Merrier Virtual Cookie Swap.

First off, I want to send thanks out to those of you who signed up, and also to all of you who posted the cookie swap icon on your blogs. Secondly, thank you to my son, David, for getting the Peppermint Twist music up and running for me, so please take a moment to enjoy an oldie, but goodie.

Here are your Christmas Cookie (or candy) Swappers:

Miss Punkie Pie
Cranberry Almond Chocolate Bark
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Caramel Peanut Clusters Drizzled with Chocolate
Chocolate Pecan Buttercrunch
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Krispy Balls
Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layered Fudge
Homemade Hot Cocoa Cones


Dandelion Quilts
Pecan Pie Bars
Kid's Favorite Jumbo 3 Chip cookies
Candy Bar Jumbles

Here are my two favorite cookie recipe books. The first one is called Rose's Christmas Cookies. I've had this book for several years and always refer to it. My favorite recipe from this book is Chocolate-Dipped Melting Moments. They really do melt in your mouth. I think the secret is all the cornstarch that is used. I have made this one so many times that the page falls out of the book every time I open it. Everyone loves this cookie!

Chocolate-Dipped Melting Moments
1-3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour (dip and sweep method)
1 Cup Cornstarch
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (lightly spooned into cup)
1 Cup Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
6 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I use chocolate chips)

Whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until incorporated. Chill dough for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Take small amounts of dough and roll into a crescent shape or use a small ice cream scoop and form small balls (whatever shape you prefer). Place on parchment lined baking sheet about 1-1/2" apart. Bake 10-15 minutes or until they just begin to brown around bottom edge. Allow to cool on sheet for a few minutes. Transfer to powdered sugar and roll. These cookies are VERY FRAGILE, so be gentle. Melt chocolate and dip one end. Place on waxed paper to set. ENJOY!

I have some of this batter already made up and need to get into the oven - hope to have a photo of them later.

One of my other favorite cookie books is Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, and this is because I grew up making cookies out of this book. It has memories in it. My favorite cookie recipe from it is called Vienese Shortbread. It is a sandwich cookie that shaped from a cookie press and has a mocha filling.

Vienese Shortbread
1 Cup Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Flour (dip and sweep method)
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together flour and baking powder. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Mix in vanilla. On low speed, add flour mixture. Press cookies onto parchment lined baking sheet using a cookie press (sometimes I use a pastry bag with a star tip - use whatever works for you). Bake approximately 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned around bottom edges (don't over bake). Transfer to wire rack and cool.

Filling (I double this)
2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (room temp)
1 Teaspoon Powdered Instant Coffee (dissolved in 1 teaspoon boiling water)

Mix until fluffy. Spread on a small amount onto a cookie and sandwich together with another cookie (flat sides together). You could also fill with melted chocolate or your favorite jam (just make sure it's seedless). These taste even better the next day.

And the winner of this fabulous prize is Dandelion Quilts! Congratulations!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


(It even has a an adorable little slice of cake charm attached.)


Mellow Yellow
I'm just mad about Saffron
Saffron's mad about me
I'm just mad about Saffron
She's just mad about me
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
I'm just mad about Fortean
Fourteen's mad about me
I'm just mad about Fortean
She's just mad about me
Born high forever to fly
Wind velocity nil
Wanna high forever to fly
If you want your cup o'er fill
(So mellow, he's so yellow)
Electrical banana
Is gonna be a sudden craze
Electrical banana
Is bound to be the very next phase
They call it mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
Saffron -- yeah
I'm just mad about her
I'm just mad about Saffron
She's just mad about me
(Oh so yellow, oh so mellow)


It's alright, all night, it's alright
It's okay, all day, it's okay
You'll learn to do this, the Peppermint Twist
Yeah, yeah

If you don't want to make a Cookie Swap post, why don't you e-mail me your favorite Christmas cookie recipe and I'll copy it into my "The More The Merrier" Christmas Cookie Swap. I know you've got a favorite! (CuteStuffInside at hotmail dot com - and please be sure to fill in the subject line with "Cookie Swap").


P.S. - Get on over to Jennifer Paganelli's blog and check out her Christmas Trees post - you'll see a great holiday card holder made by Marnie out of Sis Boom fabric - notice the photo in the holder on the table (yep - that's Frannie peeking out at you!).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


What a star studded week the last one was! As I mentioned in a previous post, on Thursday I had the pleasure of attending Sis Boom's Annual Holiday Show hosted by Jennifer Paganelli, herself. She is not only extremely creative, she is also a very lovely person, inside and out.

Martha and Frannie

Then, on Saturday, Frannie and I attended a book signing with Martha Stewart. This event was held at Stew Leonard's in Norwalk, CT. We live within walking distance, so we took a nice little stroll down to the event, and it's a good thing (no pun intended) because there wasn't a parking space to be had. Yes, the book signing line was very long, but Frannie was a trooper and I didn't hear a single complaint from her. We only purchased one copy of her new book, Martha Stewart's Cooking School, but it seemed as if the majority of people were purchasing a half dozen copies each. Although not personalized, Martha did sign each copy while chatting with each person in line. Martha's two French Bulldogs, Sharkey and Francesca, also attended the event, although Francesca did manage to escape for a moment or two. Everyone was yelling, "shut the door, shut the door," so she couldn't escape, and her handler finally managed to catch up with her. Those two puppies are awfully cute. Martha and Frannie even had a little discussion about Francesca, because they share the same name (Frannie is short for Francesca). I was even allowed to photograph Frannie and Martha together. Martha Stewart was very gracious and even invited all those attending with small children to come to the front of the line. Kuddos Martha!

Santa and Frannie
(How About That Hat? - I mean Frannie's!)

We couldn't leave Stew Leonard's without paying a visit to Santa. Frannie wanted to be sure he knows exactly what she wants for Christmas.

It goes round and round, up and down
Round and round, up and down
Round and round and a up and down
And a one two three kick, one two three jump

Don't Be A Scrooge!


Saturday, December 6, 2008


And yet, another purse...

Mary Engelbreit Photo Books
(where I keep pictures of everything I create)

With an Eiffel Tower charm
Well, you like it like this, the PEPPERMINT TWIST
The MORE The Merrier (Hint, Hint)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am lucky enough to live near Jennifer Paganelli, and this morning I visited her Sis Boom Holiday Shop - an annual delight. If you're in the area, you still have time to visit.

Magical, isn't it!

Can't wait for her spring show.

Yeah, the name of the dance is PEPPERMINT TWIST

Saturday, November 29, 2008


(This is the Christmas card I sent out last year - Mary Engelbreit - I'm so glad I saved one!)

You Are Cordially Invited
To Take Part In A
Christmas Cookie Swap
Hosted By
Cute Stuff Inside
Sunday, December 14th

Bake up a batch or two of your favorite Christmas cookies
(hey, make 3 or 4 batches, who's counting?!)
Invite your friends and family over
Take lots of pictures
Write up your recipe
Enjoy Your Cookies!
Then, on Sunday, December 14th
(or a day or two before if necessary)
post everything to your blog
Next, check in with Cute Stuff Inside to find links connecting you
to everyone who's joining the party
Print out all those recipes that look yummy!

To join in, leave a comment telling me that you want to sign up for the Christmas Cookie Swap with your name and blog address. I will put up links to everyone who participates. Maybe there will be Christmas music - if I can figure out how to do it. :) You may even want to offer a fun holiday giveaway like I'm doing. As a matter of fact, everyone who signs up has a chance to win this fabulous prize :)

Remember, The More The Merrier, so, if you can, let's share the fun with everyone by putting up the Christmas Cookie Swap icon on your blog with a link (it's the red one above with the Mary Engelbreit card in the center).

Okay ladies, start your engines - I mean ovens! :)

Let's make this holiday a little more SCRUMPTIOUS!

As promised, here's a photo of all the wonderful goodies I received from my Polka-Dot and Rick Rack Swap partner. Look at that haul! Santa couldn't have done better himself! Janet, thank you ever so kindly.

Okay Frannie, you can wrap your doll up in the Christmas quilt now. Sharon, you've got competition! :)



The Christmas season has officially begun and I'm feeling generous! So, how about a "Peppermint" giveaway? Just look at the fabulous prize you could win! :)

Included is a package of Oreos with Old Fashioned Candy Cane Creme, Peppermint Peeps, the mandatory Candy Cane, a Chocolate Covered Pretzel with Peppermint Crunch, a Peppermint Teacup Ornament, Glittery Naughty and Nice Ornaments, and Chocolate Santa Coal and Gift Candies, all packaged in a Peppermint Candy decorated box. Last, but not least, the best prize of all, a Snowman picture drawn by our very own Frannie. The artwork alone is worth entering for! :)

So here's the Twist - leave a comment telling me whether you've been


No explanation is necessary! But if you insist, let's keep it G-rated, after all, Frannie will be reading this right along with me and I don't want to have to delete anyone who enters. :) On December 15th, at approximately 8:00 PM eastern time, Santa Frannie, who's going to know if you've been bad or good, will be checking her list twice and picking a winner - so leave a comment - for goodness sake! One more thing - if you're feeling generous, post the Peppermint Twist icon on your site and spread the joy!


P.S. - I've decided to host a Christmas Cookie Swap - Details next post!

P.P.S. - I've received my Polka-Dot and Rick Rack Swap goodies which Frannie and I absolutely adore - Thank you Janet! I hope to get a photo up for you all to see next post also.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Pilgrim Frannie and Cute Stuff Inside
Wish You All A Very
Happy Thanksgiving


P.S. - Made this apron, shawl and pilgrim skirt for Frannie's "Colonial Day" at the New Canaan Historical Society.

P.P.S. - Peppermint Twist Giveaway to start soon - Stay Tuned!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Well they've got a new dance and it goes like this
(Bop shoo-op, a bop bop shoo-op)

Yeah the name of the dance is Peppermint Twist
(Bop shoo-op, a bop bop shoo-op)
Well you like it like this, the Peppermint Twist

It goes round and round, up and down
Round and round, up and down
Round and round and a up and down
And a one two three kick, one two three jump

Well meet me baby down at 45th street
Where the Peppermint Twisters meet
And you'll learn to do this, the Peppermint Twist

It's alright, all night, it's alright
It's okay, all day, it's okay
You'll learn to do this, the Peppermint Twist
Yeah, yeah


Heads Up! I've got another sweet giveaway coming your way! Bop shoo-op, a bop bop shoo-op


Thursday, November 6, 2008


Have you noticed how many Christmas decorations are in the stores and how many places you can hear holiday music already? The thought of it sends shivers down my spine! I feel as if I should be in panic mode! But wait, it's only November 6th, right? Well, I wouldn't want to be known as a party pooper, so I'm going to throw in a little holiday decor myself. These are two signs I painted a few years ago (I must admit, it's not an original design, and I don't even know who to give credit to, but it's a pattern I saved from quite a while back - maybe a BH&G Christmas magazine?). My husband, Frank, cut the patterns out of wood for me, and then I transferred the design on and painted. I like them because they're different - they give you that old time Christmas feeling. During the holiday season, these two Victorian greeters are placed at the entrance of the Franklin Philip Hair Salon - NO, not yet. :)

Speaking of the Franklin Philip Hair Salon, let me give you a peek inside (outside too).

My husband and his brother are partners and own the Franklin Philip Hair Salon. These are a few photos of their newest salon. It was designed by me and I'm pretty happy with the results. It's located in one of the busiest locations of Norwalk, CT. The salon is right next door to Stew Leonard's (and if you're familiar with the "World's Largest Dairy Store", you know what I mean by busy!). Their other neighbor is Starbuck's - get the picture?

Have you ever worked with Gallery Glass? Well, I have, several times, and it's quite an amazing product. This is the door to the salon's office. After purchasing a French door, I planned a design to fit within the glass panes. The idea was to be able to see out the door, but still have privacy. Gallery Glass was the perfect solution. I even worked the initials of the salon into the center glass panels. This product looks real - I can't tell you how many people come up and touch it and still believe it is true stained glass! It was a lot of fun to work with too - especially if you can work on a horizontal surface - luckily, I was able to work on the door before it was installed.

Do you see the words on the walls? Well, I hand painted those too (okay, not all of them, just the one that says "Salon"). I got smart after doing the first one - found out you could have decals made - just do up your words on the computer (I used Illustrator), pick out your font, and e-mail to the sign maker. Voila! Then the only difficult part is making sure you put it up straight on the wall - you only get one shot at it, so you better get it right! I think it turned out pretty well. And, if I do say so myself, if I hadn't already told you, I think you'd have a pretty hard time figuring out which one had been painted and which were decals! Okay, I'm bragging. :)

I don't have pictures of everything, but you get the idea. If you're ever in the area, stop by to say "Hello". Tell Frank "Cute Stuff Inside" sent you. I'm sure he'd treat you to a cup of coffee!


Monday, November 3, 2008


Here's a treasure chest I painted and decoupaged several years ago. It started out as an unpainted, wooden chest with just hinges and a latch attached. I painted it my favorite robin's egg blue and detailed it with red, yellow, and black with white polka-dots (what else?). I used the computer to create a font and printed the letters out on the reverse side of the polka-dot paper, cut them out and decoupaged them onto the lid. Next, I added a red and white checked paper with a black outline for the top border.

The four sides of the treasure chest have a yellow and white checked, scalloped edge decoupaged all around. I used a large circle punch for this shape and cut the scallops on the diagonal. Next, I added one small red polka-dot to the middle of each scallop. The red and white checked border was repeated around the bottom edge. The lid of the treasure chest has a tiny black and white polka-dot border decoupaged all around. Also, I used 2" round ball knobs as feet after painting them black and gluing on white polka-dots. They were screwed onto the bottom of the chest for security.

And last, but not least, I created a handle for each side of the treasure chest by using a dowel, painting it red and inserting the ends into two smaller round knobs. The handles were also screwed into the chest, so it could be easily carried around.

This chest usually contains American Girl doll clothes, but Frannie temporarily took them out to put in her latest treasure - Halloween treats! Look, Georgie has to get in on the act - he's just checking to make sure the candy is safe, he won't actually get any of that treasure. You'll notice that I finished off the inside of the treasure chest with a coat of creamy white paint and decoupaged black and white checked paper along the edge of the lid and chest.

Have I shown you the table the treasure chest is sitting on? Maybe next time.


Sunday, November 2, 2008


Here's a photo of Frannie's class getting ready for their school's annual Halloween parade. Can you guess which one Frannie is? Now, I won't tell you that I love sewing tulle and slinky fabrics, but I do think it was worth the effort. That crown and scepter look especially grand, if I do say so myself! Those two items were a lot of fun to make.

Apart From The Crowd

I think Frannie made a great costume selection. She received quite a few compliments on her costume while out trick or treating on Friday evening. She was very proud!

Now scroll back up and take a look at the first photo. Do you see the paper owl, cat and pumpkin hanging up on the front board? I used the instructions provided in the Martha Stewart Living (October issue) and taught the children how to make these. They did a great job!

Thank you, Sharon of Red Geranium Cottage. Frannie just loves her Halloween purse and all the goodies that were stashed inside. It was such a wonderful surprise! Not only that, do you see the fabric that was used in the center panel? My sister, Ellen, just brought me a yard of that the weekend before your giftie arrived. I just love it! I asked Frannie if I might borrow her purse (yes, I would) and she said I could use it as soon as Halloween was over! Isn't she something! I don't blame her.

Now I want to tell you about something exciting and fun - I was just notified today by The Woolie Ewe that I won their contest. I entered a name for their newest knitter, Woolamina, and I won a $100 gift certificate to their on-line knitting store. I can't wait to shop. They have all kinds of yarns and patterns, so if you're a knitter, go on over and check them out!

Jen, thanks for boo-ing me!


Saturday, October 18, 2008


Welcome to my Halloween party sponsored by A Fanciful Twist. My treat for you is an I SPY Halloween game. What can yoooooooooooooo find? If you want to look at other Halloween items I have already posted, go here, here, here, and here, if you dare! Now have a great day and don't forget to eat your vegetables!

Mmmmmmm... Corn... I Love Corn!

Or maybe you prefer pumpkin?


P.S. - Don't forget to check out all the other Halloween participants - you can find the list at A Fanciful Twist. Hey, that rhymes!