Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

Why we call it the 'Playroom': the garrett at the top of the stairs, whence objects pleasing to the eye are brought from the drawing board to reality, after much discussion with the ancestors.....

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dogs and Lace







Snow Day
~~~
We'll have snow today, but it will most likely be gone tomorrow or the next day.
Enjoy your day, where ever you are, and whatever the weather brings you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You Didn't Win at the Oscars? O Pobrecito! Here, Have Some Chocolate Cake!!

Chocolate Cake
~~~~
How's this for a consolation prize?
This recipe is very chocolatey.  Mmmmmm.....
Keep it in the refridgerator.
I cut mine into four layers, and used LOTs of frosting.
I did not hold back on anything, this is the "full monty."
~~~
Recipe, adapted from Gooseberry Patch
Prepare 2  - 8 inch round cake pans (greased and floured) and set aside.
Cake
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk
(and Frosting--recipe below)
Cake:
     Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt) in a small bowl, set aside.  Beat butter in a large bowl (or stationary mixer) at medium speed, until creamy.  Add sugars and beat one minute.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well, and then add vanilla.  Add sour cream, and beat 30 seconds.  Stir in melted chocolate, mixing well.  Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture alternatively with buttermilk, and beat well.
     Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees F oven for 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on pans on a wire rack 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
     I cut my two layers in half, using a piece of dental floss, and make four layers.
Frosting
1- 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 32 oz. powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, melted
5-6 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
Frosting:
Beat cream cheese and butter together, until smooth.  Add vanilla, powdered sugar,  cocoa powder,  melted chocolate, then the cream or half and half, and mix together well.  I like to do all this in the stationary mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
You can keep this in the fridge until the cake is cooled, then frost generously!
Keep cake in the fridge! 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Are You Ready for the Oscars? Camellia Is!

Camellia
~~~
I have this fascination with fashion, and it reaches it's peak around the Oscar's.

The creation of my folk art doll, "Camellia", is an expression of that fascination.  I could never wear these dresses, I'm not that 36-24-36 kind of gal, but this lady can sure wear it!

She's pink and sassy, with a boatneck neckline, held together over the shoulder with bits of velvet.  Her belt. . .

. . .is a fragment of a fancy trim, circa 1950's, from Dottie Rose' sewing trims;
her dress fabric a shiny pink, satin-like, also from Dottie. 

Dress back.  

Now lets look at that headdress!

A variety of cotton and brocade- can you recognize
the Kaffe Fassett print?  The center is a button from a bygone
article of clothing.

She's also wearing a "pearl" necklace and earrings from Dottie's old jewelry collection.  This is why "Camellia, Going to the Oscars" is not for sale.
~~~
Camellia in her evening dress.

Back view.

Headdress.

Latino Camellia, "Mi Corazon".

Headdress.
~~~
Dressed to go out for the evening, in nothing I could ever wear.  I live on a farm, in the country.  So I live through Camellia vicariously.  She can go anywhere!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Needing Winter


Some people hate winter, and also constantly complain about the weather.
I grew up with hard winters, and thought nothing of it.  It was normal to get
snowed in at least once every winter, where we couldn't get out to the road.
If you did get to the road, you still couldn't go anywhere, because the country roads
weren't plowed yet, and they wouldn't be for about 2-3 days.


Some people get depressed in winter, or sad. After all, it all looks
so dreary.  
There's a beauty and a satisfaction in the dreariness though.
I have come to crave winter.
I take walks in it, no matter the temperature.
I take deep breaths of it.
There is no other season like it.


I have come to love winter, and to need it.
It feeds a part of my soul that nothing else can fill.

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