DIY – Victorian Style Earrings

While I was out shopping this last holiday season I ogled over all of the pretty earrings that sparkled at me in just about every store I visited.  I fought hard to ward off the urge to buy myself a few pairs.  After all, I wasn’t shopping for myself, I was buying gifts for others.  And in the back of my mind, a little voice (coming from the frugal shopper in me) told me that they were too expensive.  You see, I have a hard time spending money on myself.  You might even think that I was reincarnated from the Great Depression if you watch me shop.

That little voice also reminded me that after the holidays blew over and things settled down that I could make my own unique sparkly earrings.  I completely embraced the idea of finding a DIY project to keep me busy and save me money.

This week I finally ventured into one of our local craft stores to check out their jewelry making supplies.  I happily settled on some pretty charms to use in my earring making adventure.  I also made the pretty little cards to hook the earrings to.  That was just as fun as making the earrings.

I’m not big chunky earring kind of girl;  I like drop earrings, not too long, not too big.  Pretty, but subtle.  These earrings fit the bill.  I really love how they remind me of the Victorian era.  Romantic, elegant, and pink.

I’ve decided I’m going to keep one pair of these for myself and give the other pair away as a Valentines Day gift.   I’ve also decided to take orders for these earrings.  If you’d like your own pair(s), in your own custom colors, please email me for details.

So, would you consider yourself more of a shopper, or a do it yourselfer?

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Holiday Shopping at The Mercantile – Handcrafted Rustic Cedar Cheese Boards

Can you believe that it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays?  I can’t either!  Parties, guests, food, gifts, etc.  I decided to start easing into the holidays at The Mercantile this month by focusing on them.

Last spring I made some handcrafted rustic cedar cheese boards. My intention was to sell them, until, I showed them to my daughter and my sister in-law who absolutely loved them.  When I asked them if they’d like one, they eagerly said yes.  And need I say more?

Since I am already lining up projects to keep me occupied this winter, I decided to make some more cheese boards.  I’m hoping to sell these before I show them to anyone else in the family!

Each board is unique, and each varies in size, color, and yes, even in their imperfections.  These are made from aged cedar which has been milled and hand rubbed with a food grade oil to help preserve them (by me).

These would make the PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT for the FOODIES in your life.  Or, you could always splurge on yourself too!

The description and prices of each board are outlined below.

Rectangular Cheese board #1 (small) is approximately 10 1/2” long x 7 1/4” wide and is about 9/16” thick.  This board is $20.00, plus shipping. SOLD

Rectangular Cheese board  #2 (medium) is approximately 14 3/4” long x 7 1/4” wide and is about 5/8” thick.  This board is $25.00, plus shipping. SOLD

Rectangular Cheese board # 3 (large) is approximately 16 1/2” long x 7 1/2” wide and is about 9/16” thick.  This board is $30.00, plus shipping.  SOLD

If you’re interested in purchasing one of my handcrafted cheese boards then please EMAIL me with the size that you’d like to purchase.  Since I only have three boards finished at this time, orders will be filled first come, first serve.  Once a board has sold I will contact the buyer with a grand total (including the shipping charges).  I will also note on my blog if a board is no longer available.  Payment will be accepted via PayPal.

If you have any questions about the sale please contact me prior to making your purchase.

Other sale terms

* Seller has the right to cancel this sale at any time without prior notice – but will probably never have to do that because only civilized people come to my blog Smile

* All items sold as is.  These cheese boards have natural imperfections.

* All sales final

* Props not included

Please not that the picture below is of the underside of the medium cheese board.  Each underside board has knot holes and similar characteristics.  Also, these photos have been edited and the color may appear slightly different from the actual board.

Pair one of these boards with a nice piece of cheese and a good bottle of wine and you’ve got one gift down!  How many people do you have to buy for this holiday season?

Double Chip Vanilla Cookie Bars and Mercantile Reminder

When I decided to make these cookies I had biscotti on my mind.  But as you know, biscotti is a bit more time consuming to make since it has to be baked twice. I wanted a cookie that was comparable, but with less work.   I think I’ve created a solid cookie bar that has some of the characteristics of biscotti, but tastes much more like a yummy shortbread cookie!

Double Chip Vanilla Cookie Bars

1/2 c. margarine

1 egg

2/3 c. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips, plus more for the tops

Sprinkles (optional)

In a large bowl, cream margarine, egg, and sugar.  Beat in salt, baking powder, vanilla, and flour until completely mixed.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Using your hands, form dough into a rectangular shape (approximately 8” long x 4” wide x 1 1/2” thick. Place shaped dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Wrap the parchment paper over the dough and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

While cookie dough is in freezer, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a separate cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove dough from freezer and slice cookies about 1/2” apart.  I used my Pampered Chef Crinkle Cutter and it worked like a charm.  Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet and bake for approximately 13 minutes, or until cookie has set.  *You may need to adjust baking time if your cookies are thinner or fatter than mine – I got 16 cookies from this batch.  I suggest setting your baking timer a little early to make sure you don’t over-bake your cookies.

Remove baked cookies from the oven and sprinkle mini chips on top, also colorful sprinkles if desired.  Return cookies to your warm oven and leave them just long enough to let chips melt slightly.  Remove from oven and move to cooling rack.  Store in airtight container.

I thought about drizzling some chocolate on top of these but amazingly, I did use some restraint!  These cookies go perfect with a nice cup of tea or coffee.  They are also hearty enough to transport without crumbling into pieces.   I’ve decided I will be making these and adding them to my Christmas cookie gift baskets that I share each holiday season.  Try making them yourselves, I think you’ll agree!

Just a reminder that the Antique Flatware auction is going to end this week on the 31st.  Don’t forget to place your bid!

 

Food and Tablescape Photographer Props at the Mercantile

Welcome back to the Mercantile!  Last month’s item (craft & sewing notions) was geared for the crafty folks out there.  I’m happy to report that the notion’s jar will soon have a new home – yea!  I suspect that this month’s items up for sale will most likely to capture the attention of both food and tablescape photographers.

This month’s lot includes four salad forks that are marked Oxford Silver Plate E.P.N.S.   If you aren’t sure what E.P.N.S. means let me give you a quick lesson.

E.P.N.S. means that the flatware is “Electro Plated Nickel Silver”. Nickel Silver is the base metal onto which silver is plated. Nickel silver does not contain silver, rather It is an alloy of nickel, zinc & copper. A layer of pure silver is electro plated over the base metal to give it a silver finish.  E.P.N.S. can be re-plated when it loses it’s silver colored finish.  These forks look worn and tarnished where the silver finish is missing which gives them a neat rustic look.

I have to admit that I had a hard time deciding if I should part with these pretty little forks because I love their simple, but elegant design. 

Along with the four salad forks, I’m also including what I believe to be three master butter knives.  If I’m correct (and please correct me if I’m wrong) these knives were used exclusively to cut butter, not to spread it – that’s because they have a sharper point.  Two of the three knives tips appear to have been bent slightly at some point in their long history.  Please note that I could not find any markings on these knives but I believe they are also silver plated because they have the tarnish spots too.  I cleaned both the forks and knives with a silver cleaner and  the pictures depict what the items look like after cleaning them.

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This sale is being conducted as a silent auction. If you are interested in bidding on this item simply follow the link at the bottom of the page which will take you to my contact form. On that form, please include the words FOOD AND TABLESCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER PROPS in the comment box, along with the highest price in US Dollars that you are willing to pay for the item up for auction. Please note that there is a minimum bid price of $2.99.

Once the sale has concluded, the item will go to the highest bidder, and I will contact (them) to make arrangements for payment and shipping. All shipping costs will be the buyers responsibility.

If you have any questions about this sale please contact me prior to making your bid and I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Once bids are made they are final.

Here is the contact form if you would like to place a bid. This sale will officially end at 11PM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, October 31, 2013.  Again, upon completion of the sale I will contact the highest bidder.

Other sale terms.

* In the event that there is a tie in the bidding of this item, (example, two people place the same highest bid) the first highest bidder will win the sale. Lucky number one!

* Seller has the right to cancel this sale at any time without prior notice – but will probably never have to do that because civilized people come to my blog Smile

* All items sold as is. Nothing in this world is perfect – is it?

* All sales final. Goodbye and farewell items. You’re out of my attic!

* Spam messages will be discarded – as usual.

Thanks for stopping by the Mercantile, and good luck and happy bidding!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Cake and October

Today is the 1st of October and I’m excited.  September was a crazy month for me, I didn’t get to spend much time with my blog, and I plan to make up for that this month.

First, something new will be added to the Mercantile because the auction for the craft/sewing notion jar has officially ended.  Thanks for all your bids!  It’s been so much fun watching the bids come in and reading your comments.  I hope the lucky winner (who is being notified by email) will enjoy their jar of notions.

Also this month, I’ve conspired with a bunch of GREAT BLOGGERS and we will be hosting a virtual fall harvest dinner party that is bound to help jump start your Thanksgiving Day menu planning.

Sandra from Sweet Sensations will be setting our table for this event.  Terra from Café Terra will be mixing up one of her amazing cocktails for us.  Monet from Anecdotes and Applecores and Dionne from Try Anything Once Culinary will be whipping up tasty appetizers that anyone would gladly sample.  Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes will be making us a beautiful and delicious fall inspired salad that sounds like a meal in itself.  Jeanne from Inside NanaBread’s Head will be sharing one of her scrumptious side dishes – and hint, she grows at least one of the ingredients  that she will be using in her dish.  Sharon and Denise from BeBetsy, and Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake,  will be surprising us with something yummy from their bread baskets.  And last but not least, Anne From My Sweet Heart will complete our meal with one of her insanely enticing desserts.  I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t wait!

So, let’s get this month started with a great recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Cake.

This recipe was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Pies and Cakes cookbook.  It’s super moist and perfectly spiced.  If you’re a raisin or nut fan, throw in a few of each.  They can only make the cake that much better.

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1 1/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 c. canned pumpkin

2/3 c. sour milk

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

Generously grease a 10”x14” cake pan with margarine.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs; beat well.  Mix in pumpkin, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.  Alternate adding flour with milk and beat thoroughly.   Pour batter into prepared pan and bake approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center.  Cool slightly and cover with plastic wrap.  Once cake has completely cooled, frost with your favorite cream cheese icing.

Happy October!

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The Mercantile

Do you remember my last post?  The one with Fresh Baked Molasses Cookies?  The post where I mentioned wanting to make some changes to my blog?  Well, I’m excited to introduce you my first change – The Mercantile.

Each week I am hoping to list an item for sale here at The Joy of Caking.  I will include a brief description, lot’s of pictures of the item up for auction, and the terms of the sale.

I know a lot of my follower’s share the same interest of thrift store shopping that I do so I think this is going to be really fun!

Are you ready to shop?  This weeks sale includes a vintage (pint) Ball canning jar & lid with all of the goodies shown below. There are pink (shell like), brown (round), and metal colored tea pot buttons, blue & silver Rick Rack, gold colored binding, off-white tatting, a pale pink sheer piece of lace, and brown and greenish-blue hem facing scraps, five different colored beads, four Victorian label stickers, a wooden spool of dark colored thread, one butterfly and two small flower appliques.

I’ve decided to conduct these sales like a silent auction. If you are interested in bidding on this item simply follow the link at the bottom of the page which will take you to my contact form. On that form, please include the words CRAFT & SEWING NOTIONS in the comment box, along with the highest price in US Dollars that you are willing to pay for the item up for auction. Please note that there is a minimum bid price of $2.99. Once the sale has concluded, the item will go to the highest bidder, and I will contact (them) to make arrangements for payment and shipping. All shipping costs will be the buyers responsibility.

If you have any questions about this sale please contact me prior to making your bid  and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.  Once bids are made they are final.

Here is the contact form if you would like to place a bid.  This sale will officially end at 11PM Eastern Standard Time on Monday, September 30th, 2013. 

Again, I will contact the highest bidder regarding payment and shipping once the sale ends.

If you know of someone who is a crafter or sewer and would enjoy this vintage jar of notions then let them know about the auction so they can get in on the fun.

Good luck and happy bidding!

 Other sale terms. 

* In the event that there is a tie in the bidding of this item, (example, two people place the same highest bid) the first highest bidder will win the sale. Lucky number one!

* Seller has the right to cancel this sale at any time without prior notice – but will probably never have to do that because civilized people come to my blog Smile

* All items sold as is. Nothing in this world is perfect – is it?

* All sales final.  Goodbye and farewell items.  You’re out of my attic!

* Spam messages will be discarded – as usual.