Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Nanny!

Today my mom would have been 84 years old - hard to believe. If you have been a regular follower of this blog, you will remember Nanny from my previous blog post here.
Birthdays are all about celebrating and honoring a life, and when a loved one has left us, many of us go to a grave site to pay our respects on their birthday.
My sister Kate, brother Tyler and I had scattered mom's ashes at the beach in her beloved Summerland,Ca., as well as around the little park overlooking the beach there, where we shared many fond and funny memories - of birthday parties and pinatas that were empty because my mom thought they came loaded - didn't know that she had to fill the darn thing with candy. (you should have seen the look on the grandkids' faces when they whacked that thing open and NOTHING fell out!)
I think it was my sister who thought of donating a "memorial" bench to Summerland's Lookout Park - the perfect way to remember our mom in the most perfect spot. Nanny was a quiet, introspective woman, so a bench looking out over the ocean seemed like a great fit.
A couple of years after moving up here to Idaho, I was visiting California and knew I would be traveling through Summerland. Armed with paper and crayons, I stopped by Nanny's bench to pay my respects. After having a good cry, I pulled myself together and made a few rubbings from the plaque on her bench:
So today I am re-visiting Nanny's bench by running my hands over the rubbing saved from that trip.
If you are ever at Lookout Park in Summerland and need to take a moment to gather your thoughts, stop by and visit Nanny's bench - at the furthest end of the park in a quiet little spot away from the noise of the picnics, parties and bar-b-ques....

Happy Birthday sweet Nanny!


Monday, November 23, 2009

grat•i•tude : \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\ noun ; from Latin "gratus" ~ grateful; the state of being grateful; thankfulness

Saturday, November 23, 1974 - a day filled with emotion.

Thirty five years ago I married my best friend - that sounds so cliche, but it is true. We were musicians living "for free" as caretakers on a beach estate in the Santa Barbara area. We had little money, few responsibilities, but knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

I am so thankful that I followed through with an invitation to come and spend an evening singing with a crazy group of boys...

...and thankful that one of them asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.....long may we run.

As we enter into this busy season, my heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude for my lovely family and dear friends...

...and for a Savior who has brought me from darkness into Light.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

and speaking of snowmen.....

Around this time last year I hosted my Bunco group. I needed to come up with a fabulous dessert, so I decided on cupcakes - but not your ordinary cupcake.

I made regular old vanilla cupcakes (from a mix) and frosted them with store bought icing - then dipped them in coconut "snow".

Pretty boring.

I have a thing for snowmen, as you've probably noticed. I love meringues too - who doesn't? (oh yeah, my daughter doesn't)

Meringues kind of look like mounds of snow, don't you think? If I made three different sizes and piled them on top of each other(using a dab of frosting as cement), they might look like a snowman.

Using pretzel sticks for arms, a dot of melted chocolate for eyes, and an orange Tic-Tac for a nose...

I plopped this little snow dude on top of one of those cupcakes - success!!!

My dessert was a hit - and made the ladies smile....

It made for a pretty cute centerpiece too!

Here's my recipe for the meringues:

Meringue Cookies Recipe:

3 large egg whites (3 ounces or 90 grams)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine or caster sugar (if you don't have superfine sugar simply take granulated white sugar and process it for about 30 seconds in a food processor)

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven
to 200 degrees F and place the rack in the center of your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can form the mounds with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip, or I often just use two spoons to make the cookies.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.

Before placing the cookies on the cookie sheet
, place a little of the meringue on the underside of each corner of the parchment paper. This will prevent the paper from sliding. Transfer the meringue to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) tip. Create 3 sizes of mounds of meringue in rows on the prepared baking sheet. Alternatively, spoon the mounds of meringue, using two spoons, onto the prepared sheets.

Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp.

Note: it is much easier to pierce the meringue when it is fresh out of the oven and warm - it tends to crack after it has cooled. Use a toothpick to create each hole for arms and nose.
Also, finish each *section* before stacking them on top of each other.

Cupcakes are not just for kids anymore....they've come a loooooong way.

That's all from Pammy's kitchen...thanks for stopping by!


Let no one ever come to you without leaving better or happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile
~ Mother Theresa

Sunday, November 8, 2009

there's a chill in the air....

A few years ago I stumbled upon Dee Foust's work for Bayberry Cove - I loved those potbellied vintage-esque snowmen and angels and decided to try my hand at sculpting.

First I found this book and started playing around with Sculpey clay.... I discovered that as long as I followed the step-by-step directions,
it was remarkably easy to do!

Here are the first faces I came up with....

They needed a body, so I made one out of paper mache clay...

Once I had a body and an assortment of faces I was satisfied with, I decided to try and *clone* them by making latex molds of them using this product.....

they don't look like much yet...
I filled the molds with this.....

It takes so much time to make one I can make as many as I want to and they all come out the same!

They needed a few accessories....After affixing their heads to their bodies I added a little rouge and antique-ing to make them come to life....
I decided to add some vintage mica flakes and glass glitter too.
His collar is made from a used coffee filter. Some may think my wee SnowBees are a little scary.

I think they are...




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