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"It's Time To Send Your Swap Boxes"!!!!.....& a Sincere "Thank You"!....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Good Morning!.....Happy Sunday to you all!....I simply cannot believe that this is the last day of November?.....but so it is!......I wanted to take this opportunity to sincerely "thank" all the darling ladies who signed up & participated in my 2nd "Very Vintage Christmas Swap"!!!......& to remind you all that tomorrow (December 1st) is the last day to be sending your swap box to your partner!.....Now I do understand that we are all busy ladies & that some of you may be running a bit behind, however.....If this applies to you, be sure to contact your partner & let her know!!!.....I am very serious about this!....This being a Christmas Swap, it is very important to me that each of you receives a lovely box from your partner!....If for any reason, you do not, please don't suffer in silence!....Let me know!......Swaps should be "wonderful folly" for one should be let out!...So again please let me know.
I also want to say that this 2nd swap of mine has been an absolute "joy" to host!....I LOVED putting on the "Very Vintage Halloween Swap", but I think this one has even topped that!.....There seem to have been very few "hiccups" which I am so thankful about!.....and from what I hear lots of friends have been made!....I have tried once again to put together a swap you all would enjoy & run it in a very organized way!....& I think together we have accomplished just that!......Thank you to each of you lovely ladies who have made this swap possible!.....I wish you the most "Joyous Christmas" ever!......Love, Heidi XO


"Happy Thanksgiving".....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I just got up......but before I start my holiday meal preparations, begin setting our table or sit down to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ( a huge tradition in this family!!).....I wanted to write, & wish you all the most blessed Thanksgiving Day ever!.....In the last few months, I have met & become dear friends with so many of you!.....I never realized there were so many ladies who share my same interests until I begin this blog!...You have provided me such inspiration... & opened my eyes to new ideas & ways of doing things! I so appreciate you all!...I feel so fortunate to count you among my dearest friends!.....Wishing you the lovliest of Thanksgivings!......Your friend, Heidi XO


My "Thanksgiving Idea Exchange".......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Sunday Friends, Thanksgiving is just days away,.... so as promised I am posting some delicious recipes & tips that I hope will help you all create the lovliest of holiday meals!....Some are from me & others are from some of you!...Thank you to those of you who took the time to contribute to my "Thanksgiving Idea Exchange"....I so appreciate it!.... Enjoy these ideas! ....Happy preparing!

I was so delighted to have Jeanne contribute links to two delightful suggestions she has for beautiful autumn centerpieces!...both of which would be perfect for Thanksgiving!....Be sure & visit her blog, as well as her new collection of home decor pieces at your nearest Hallmark store!



The next tip is actually a delicious roasted applesauce from my friend Katie. Katie is living at the moment in Germany, where she will be hosting her own Thanksgiving meal a bit early....actually today!....Enjoy your day Katie!.....& thank you for a wonderful recipe!


Next my friend Tamy has generously offered to share a blog she wrote recently about preparing for Thanksgiving! This post has such great advice & common sense tips!!.... I'm sure all of you will benefit from Tamy's experience!


And here are two incredible recipes sent to me from my good friend Elizabeth, both of which have been in her family for years & ones they enjoy together!....They both look great,... but a batch of these Pumpkin Bars may need to be made a bit early,.... like this afternoon! :)

5- Pumpkin Bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, add the brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix well. In separate bowl, sift all dry ingredients together.Gradually add to the wet mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool and top with Brown Butter Icing.

Brown Butter Icing:

1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tb milk

In saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until it is a light brown. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Whisk until smooth and well blended.

6- Scalloped Corn....This yummy vegetable side dish can be prepared in advance and popped into the oven after the meat has been removed.
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
4 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 ½ cups milk
1 Tbs. sugar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp. pepper
3 cans (11 oz each) corn niblets, drained
3 eggs, beaten
½ cup fresh bread crumbs (from 3 pieces of bread)

Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 13” x 9” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.In a medium saucepan, melt 4 Tbs. of butter over medium heat. With a wire whisk, stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Set aside for 5 minutes.Place corn in a large bowl.Pour white sauce over corn and mix well. Stir in beaten eggs until thoroughly combined.Transfer entire mixture to baking dish.Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the corn.Cut remaining 2 Tbs. butter into small pieces & use it to dot the top of the casserole.Bake 45 minutes until top is golden & a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

And finally a wonderful recipe that was given to me by my mother, Marie. She has made this recipe for many, many years & every time I make it I am asked for the recipe! is concidered a "bread", but it really is more of a "cake"!...You MUST make it.......because once you do, you will have it on hand continually during cranberry season!......

7- Cranberry Bread

2 cups sugar

1/2 c. butter

1 t. vanilla

1 t. lemon juice

2 eggs (well beaten)

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

4 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. soda

2 cups buttermilk

2 c. cranberries

Oven temp. 350 degrees. Cream together sugar & butter....add eggs, lemon juice, & vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder & soda. Then add the "flour mixture", to the "sugar/butter mixture" alternating with the buttermilk, Beat well.......Add cranberries & nuts. Grease bottom & sides of two loaf pans. Split batter between the two pans. Before backing, sprinkle the top of each generously with sugar.....Bake for approx. 60-70 minutes. Remove from oven & immediately pour 1/4 -1/3 c. of melted butter over the top of each loaf......Enjoy!!!

8- And one decorating tip from me.......Instead of fretting over the fact of not having the proper tablecloth in the right size, try this. Take a roll of plain brown wrapping paper & run it down the length of your table, as you would any runner. Cut & turn under each end & secure both ends with scotch tape on the under side.....Then take an assortment of pumpkins,... all sizes, from large to very small and arrange them down the middle of the runner, very casually. Add tiny glass jars of orange-berried foliage, scattered throughout, along with white votives. Add plates,... transferware or ironstone...glassware, silver & "flour-sack towels" (as napkins!).....and you are all set! What a charming table! Enjoy your Thanksgiving!......Heidi XO


Turkey Plates & Platters....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Johnson Brother's "WildTurkeys" pretty!.... I think I would like to copy it & use it as a Thanksgiving decoration!.... Throughout the year, I have my collection of brown & white transferware on display on the open shelves of my dining room hutch.....But come Thanksgiving, a few of the pieces began to get a bit more attention than usual.......The pieces that start catching my eye are those that have that iconic symbol of the season that we all love.....the "turkey"!.....The turkey is just so American!....It definitely reminds me of our country's history.....of colonial settlements, of the Pilgrims & of much simpler times......

Look at all these "amazing "turkey plates"!!!.....
I personally am fortunate enough to own a large brown transferware "turkey platter", which I will use again this year to display & serve our "holiday bird". (my vegetarian daughter cringes at those words!)....and along with the platter, I also have a collection of Spode salad plates from their "Woodland" collection, which have beautiful "game birds" displayed on each plate......They add such a charming feel to our Thanksgiving table!.....

I will continue to add to my collection, now with my attention turned to the "blue/white" turkey plates!.... Oh! How I would love a set of these!...... along with the gorgeous "multi-colored platter" below!!
So once again this year, I will take my "turkey platter" down from the shelf,... I will use it proudly! It will remind me of our great country & our very "first" Thanksgiving .....One that was very "simple"....... welcoming, tolerant & kind....A day of saying "thank you for all our blessings".......I so look forward to this day......"Thanksgiving Day".


Let's Have a ...."Thanksgiving Idea Exchange"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Sunday!.....I have come up with a great idea, that I so hope each of you will want to be part of!...... With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am starting to think about recipes, tablesettings, centerpieces & which linens to use!....Of course there are "dishes" that no Thanksgiving meal will go without, but among those, I always like to try a couple new things as well!.....and with my "tablesetting" I feel the same way!....Would love to have some fresh ideas I could adapt to my own Thanksgiving table decor!.......So here is where you all come in!.....I am asking you all to send me "one, or a few" of your best Thanksgiving Recipes &/or Tablesetting Ideas that I could share on my Sunday, November 23rd blog post!!...You can e-mail me your "recipe/tip" to , along with your first name & blog address....then next Sunday I will post all of the wonderful recipes & holiday decorating suggestions, with links back to your sites!..... I invite you all to participate!!!...Just think how many delicious Thanksgiving meals & beautiful tables all our families will enjoy!!!.....Hope to hear from each of you very soon!.......Your friend, Heidi XO


"Stockings, Runners & Candy Canes"....Oh My!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A "wintery wee stocking"(7")........$6.50
I am so excited about all the Christmas items I have in my etsy shop, "Heidi Devlin Design"!......I have been sewing & creating like one of Santa's "elves" & believe me, my sewing room appears to have turned into his workshop!.......There are "stockings", hand-pieced & quilted "tablerunners" & of course my signature "candy canes"! well as my "vintage-inspired ornaments", that would be lovely as a finishing touch on a special gift or hanging from the branches of your family tree!....I will be adding another grouping of holiday items later this week.....but in the meantime, would love to invite you to my shop to do a little early Christmas shopping!!.....Thank you to all of you who have placed orders or contacted me with custom requests! I love working with you & being able to create unique pieces just right for your home & family!..... Happy Shopping!!!.........Your friend, Heidi XO Taupe felt stocking.... with "mica iced" icicle cuff (approx. 24").....$24
And my array of holiday "tablerunners" ( 6', 8' & 10' sizes available)....$110-$150

And my "stuffed Candy Canes"!!...(approx. 12")...$14/2......These are flying off the shelves!!!...I have made them just slightly larger than the first batch!...Wonderfully simple & oh-so charming!!!.......Be sure & order some for yourself soon!!!......Thank you for your interest! Looking forward to hearing from you!....Back to the sewing room! :)


The Barefoot Contessa's "New Barn"......

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Last week my dear friend Lauren & I got to together for dinner. We haven't had the chance to do this in some time, so it was an evening of continual chatting, laughing & a little eating!....We just had the best time catching up!.......At the end of our dinner, Lauren handed me a beautifully wrapped birthday birthday having been a few days ago......and it turned out to be Ina Garten's brand new book!...."Barefoot Contessa-Back To Basics".......Lauren knows just how much I love to cook with Ina's incredible books, "thank you, thank you" my friend!
As many of you know, who follow Ina Garten's television show on the Food Network &/or read her monthly food column in "House Beautiful", you already are aware of the beautiful "barn", Ina & her husband Jeffrey have built across from their East Hampton home. House Beautiful did a lovely layout in their November issue & I thought you all might like to see some of the photos "HB" posted in their article!.....Ina is now taping all her new Food Network shows from her barn's kitchen & herb well as showing glimpses of it in her gorgeous new book!.....I highly recommend anything Ina does,.... cooking, gardening or overseeing the new construction!.....I so appreciate all the "inspiration" she gives us all!.....

What a great desk to work at!!......

Simple "neutrals",... mixed with great architecture......

Ina's eighteen foot "island".......& "quietly casual style"....

Ina Garten on the patio of her new "barn".......& much like her food, it too has such a "fresh & earthy elegance".......Enjoy your Sunday!.........


Pink Saturday & a "Bit of Blue"!......

Friday, November 7, 2008

This room is courtesy of the designing team of Diamond & Baratta. The mix of patterns & textures... & the saturated colors of blue, just come to life with the addition of a splash ofthat glorious "pink"! Welcome to another "Pink Saturday"!...graciously hosted, as always, by Beverly @ How Sweet The Sound"....This week for me, "pink" is taking on the supporting role to the always & ever popular color "blue"!......"Blue is a classic"......always behaving & usually minding her manners, ....except when her bright & beautifully boisterous sibling is near.....This is when "blue" shows us all what she is truly made of...she stands right up to "pink"....& in doing so gives her best performance ever! She exhibits an almost "regal quality"......and in the end, she has only "pink" to thank.....After all, "pink" always leaves the audience wanting more!.......

An incredibly charming arrangement of flowers!.....created by the always innovative floral designer,.... Jane Packer. The combination of blue & pink is once again simply breathtaking!


The Day After.......

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Country Living's "Chicken Noodle Soup"....... Well Friends, After last night's "real life drama"...I am ready for an evening of "cozy comforts"! I'm planning on lighting a fire, plumping up the pillows, & draping myself with a big old quilt!.....Dinner will be something warm & delicious, most likely eaten in front of the T.V.....but no news or world events tonight for this family!....As we all curl up to enjoy this November evening, the only "voting outcome" I will be concerned about is.... "who'll be voted out on Dancing with the Stars"!!!!.......Get cozy & enjoy your evening!.......Heidi XO

"Cozy Quilt"...courtesy of Ralph Lauren.......

Note: Country Living's Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe:
1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
3 quart(s) low-sodium chicken broth
6 carrots, peeled
4 stalk(s) celery, ends trimmed
3 medium onions, peeled
5 black peppercorns
1 clove(s) garlic, crushed
10 sprig(s) parsley
2 sprig(s) thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
4 leeks, tops and root ends removed
1 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground pepper
3 cup(s) (5 ounces) medium egg noodles

Make the stock: Place the chicken and chicken broth in a large stockpot and set it over medium heat. Roughly chop 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and 1 onion and add to the broth. Add the peppercorns, garlic, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is very tender -- about 1 1/4 hours -- skimming the surface periodically. Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl. Strain the broth through a very fine sieve into a large, clean bowl or stockpot. Discard the vegetables.
Make the soup: Skim any fat off the top of the strained broth and discard. Slice the remaining carrots, celery, onions, and leeks into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and set aside. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken, cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Chop the remaining parsley leaves and set aside. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent -- about 7 minutes. Add the chicken, the reserved broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender -- about 1 hour. Stir in the egg noodles and parsley and cook until the noodles are tender -- about 10 more minutes. Serve hot. Serves 16......


Congratulations to "President-Elect Barack Obama"

Congratulations to "President-Elect Barack Obama", & his family!.......As you know I was supporting the McCain/Palin ticket.....but now the election is over.... America has spoken... & come January 2009....Obama & his lovely family will be our "first family".....Although I have differences politically with Mr. Obama, I am extremely "proud" of our country for not seeing color as an issue in this presidential race!......Barack Obama is a very intelligent, passionate & charismatic man.... & soon will be our next"President of the United States of America". I will continue to question this new administrations ideas & policy, but at the same time will respect & support "President-Elect Obama"!


God Bless America!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today may be one of the most important days in our history!.....It is a day with much at stake!....a day that's outcome will definitely change the direction out great nation is headed.....for better or for worse. So make "your voice" heard today!.....VOTE!!!!!...and God Bless America!


A Very Vintage Christmas Announcement!.....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hi Friends!.....This post is for all of you ladies who are participating in my "Very Vintage Christmas Swap"!......I have just finished assigning partners to each of you! I have tried to pair you with someone who shared some of your same interests/taste!......Be sure & check your e-mails to make sure you have received your partner & your partners information sheet. I have tried very hard to keep good records & be very organized, but if you signed up & sent me your information, & do not receive an e-mail from me today, please let me know as soon as possible!
Now about your swap boxes...obviously, the name of this swap gives away it's theme!...."that being "vintage"!.....However, please know I am intending that to mean "vintage inspired"!....After receiving your partner & reading over her information, please e-mail each other, asking any questions you may have & really trying to get to know each other!...That way you will be able to put together a swap box that your partner will truly love!....
I have suggested a limit of $20-$30, sometimes I find I can make up a wonnderful box close to $20, but other times I need every bit of $30 to make it all come together! :)...Your box can be made up of many small things, or a couple more expensive pieces!....The items can be homemade, store bought or a combination of each!...Personally I often begin with a book(Amazon) I know my partner will love, a cookbook or a decorating book, then add little extras that compliment the overall theme!.....but you can do anything you wish!..& with this being a "Vintage Christmas" theme, just think of the possibilities!
The other aspect of making up "swap boxes" is this.....please put some time into making them "very pretty", a box that makes you partner feel special & shows her that thought & attention was put into it!....This doesn't have to be expensive!...wrapping items in lovely papers or cellophane bags & coordinating ribbons really can make your items look charming!
And one last thing......I LOVE putting together well-run swaps!....but in order to do that I need your help!.....If for "any reason" you find yourself unable to follow through with this swap, please let me know & I will contact your partner.....You have from now till DECEMBER 1st to plan, put together & send your swap box!.....That is almost a month!.....But again, "life happens" & if you find yourself running late & need more time, please let me & your partner know!...Also if you are unable to contact your partner or have any issues where you are having difficulties, please let me know right away!.....I will try & help you, & if need be reassign you a new partner!! I have already had many generous ladies offer to take a second partner, so let me know!.........That is all I ask!.....And even though I hope this doesn't happen,...If you find yourself with a partner who cannot be contacted or doesn't follow through in the end, I ask you again to please let me know! Those individuals will not be allowed in any future swaps of mine!
You should all know how honored I feel to have so many of you returning for my second swap!!...& to have lots of new ladies as well!....I want this Very Vintage Christmas Swap to get us all in the holiday spirit!... & be one you all enjoy & in the end remember fondly! Good Luck to you all!......Your hostess & friend......Heidi XO


"November"....A Month of Quiet Preparation

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It is Monday, November 3rd......Today begins a few quiet weeks of designing, sewing, & creating. I have project, after project to accomplish this month!....Some of them are for "client's",... some are for my "etsy shop",... some are projects for "my own home"... & many are projects that will be wrapped & turned into" charming Christmas gifts for family & friends". This is a time that I so look forward too!...even though I will find myself immersed in hours of following patterns, standing over the ironing board & listening to the steady hum of the sewing will also be a time of great accomplishment. I am so appreciative of these weeks before Thanksgiving, that allow me to calmly think & plan & work......resulting at month's end,.... in "happy clients"....a "well-stocked shop"....a "cozy & comfortable home"... & "homemade gifts", all beautifully wrapped & tucked away.....Join me, in a month of preparation....Come December, you will be so glad you did! .......Enjoy the month!......


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