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!