March 30, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday

Today I am participating in my first Metamorphosis Monday hosted by Susan@ Between Naps On The Porch. This is my first time joining in for the fun. Please click on the TITLE to link to Susan's blog and see what everyone else has to share.
I have a little change that I have made to my office to share with you. As I am typing this up I am having a cup of hot chocolate. Pitty the poor little marshmallow Easter peep that floats in my cup. But yummm, he is so tasty! Kids love peeps in their hot chocolate right? Me too.

When we moved all I wanted to do was get the desk and computer up so I could get the office up and running. Not much thought was given to the decorating of the space. Now that things have settled down I am feeling the need to gussy things up a bit. This is a picture of how the space looked BEFORE.

This is the AFTER pic with the new wall shelf hung. My Beloved built this shelf for me after I arrived home from a day of antiquing with these metal brackets. I wanted a shelf where I could store some of my reference books and a place to put my knitting needles. I will be adding a row of glass knobs across the center of the shelf just as soon as I purchase them so I can hang a few more treasures.
The next project in the office will be a cute piece of furniture to put the computer tower and printer on to hide this mess of ugly wires and cords down there on the floor. Is this a problem at your desk too?

The tin can hanging on the left was a joint effort by my Beloved and myself. He cut the top of the tin can and made little loops on each side and I put the wire hanger on. A little grass inside and a few flowers and Wha La! A sweet little container for spring.
I also put a bit of my yarn stash in a basket and set it out. The yarn is handpainted and just too pretty to store in a box so I am showing it off.

The book ends were so pretty I could not resist. Look at this proud rooster. You can see part of a bottle of essential oil blend called Purifucation in this picture. I have my essential oil bottles all over the house. I keep them on my desk, by the bed, in the bathroom and especially by the kitchen sink in case I cut myself or burn myself. They are my Natural First Aid Kit so where ever I am they are close at hand and I use them often to build my immune system too.

Purification is an oil I like to diffuse in the house to kill bacteria and germs in the air and it smells so fresh and clean. These oils are not like a room freshner at all. Purification does not just cover up the offending odor it kills the germs that cause the odor. Your whole family will be healthier if you diffuse Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils in your home. We even have an oil blend that is proven to kill mold, which can be a real problem.

If you have an interest in knowing more about Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils click the link in the sidebar to visit my website and thanks for stopping by for a visit. ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

March 26, 2009

A Very Special Day

Greetings Friends~ ~ ~
Please be sure to visit to see more Tablescapes.
Susan is the host every Thursday and I look forward to seeing what everyone has to share.

Everyone just left to go home and it was a fun afternoon. I'm tired and happy, it was a very special day. Today I hosted a Luncheon for Mom's 88th. Birthday! Two of her sisters and a few cousins and friends were here. Here is the Birthday girl, doesn't she look great!

I used Mom's individual salt cellars, or just salts as they are sometimes called, at each place. Each salt has it's own little tiny glass spoon. I had some difficulity getting a good picture of the salts but if you look close at this place setting you can see the salt just above the center of the dinner plate.
I set one on a napkin hoping to get a good shot. Can you see it better? I used two different designs. They are very old and cut glass. I remember folks sometimes dipping the tip of their knife in the salt to sprinkle it on their food. I don't remember if the tiny spoons were as common as the salt cellars were. If anyone knows I would love if you would share.
Again I used my handmade tags as a place card/napkin ring and everyone took theirs home to use for fun. These were a more feminine theme with roses for everyone.
We started with a cheese spread and crackers and a Tangerine Ginger Punch. Then I served Mediterranean Chicken Couscous, a mixed green salad and garlic bread.
For dessert we had a favorite Coconut Cake and coffee. I always use Martha's recipe, it's a very moist and flavorful cake. We got caught up on current events with everyone and talked a little too about the past. We shared some stories and set the date for a family reunion in July.
A Very Happy Birthday To You Mom.

March 19, 2009

Tablescape Thursday and A New Idea

Hello Friends~ ~
Every week I look forward to all the gals who participate in Tablescape Thursday. You can click on the Title (above) to go to "Between Naps On the Porch" to see the listing of everyone who joined in the fun. Visit their sites and see their tablescapes too.
Today you may be thinking, same table quilt, same china, same tatted doilies, yes it is but a few small things have changed. Saturday evening I had friends over for dinner so I took a few shots of the table before they arrived. The cloth in the bread basket was hand made and cross stitched by a Polish friend of mine Iwona. I found the cutest mossy bunny at Goodwill and gave him a home for the holidays. He looks so natural and organic. Don't you agree? The little yellow peeps were my Mothers and as kid I always loved them.

Napkin rings?? Never quite got this whole idea. Yes they add another element to the table scape and they are lovely but I find that most people fiddle with them and don't know what to do with it when they sit down and open their napkin. It also seems that my tables are very crowded when everyone sits and all the food is placed that there is no room for even one little thing extra.

Also I like to have place cards with each persons name at each place setting. Specially if the guests have not been here before there is much discussion about where am I to sit. Assigning a place for everyone simplifies this while I am busy putting the food on the table.
I found a solution that works for me and I can change the napkin rings at my whim very inexpensively and allows me to use my creativity and share it with others. My napkin rings are the tags that I crafted a few weeks ago. Each tag serves as a napkin ring,

A place card with their name on the reverse side,

And a favor to take home and use as a bookmark or whatever. This suits my entertaining style and can be easily slid under their dinner place or charger till after the meal is over. When the table is cleared the card is remembered and goes into a purse or pocket.
I wanted to share this with all of you today on Tablescape Thursday. Thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to read the post just before this and share your Easter Traditions with us.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

March 16, 2009

Easter Tradition

Hi Friends~ ~ ~
I have been wanting to share this with you for some time and with Easter coming up fast I just thought it would make for interesting conversation.

What is a traditional Easter Dinner for your family?

I would really love to hear about your Easter traditions. Please share in the comments section below.
Here in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country we serve a Ham. My Mothers parents were both Pennsylvania Dutch. Pennsylvania Dutch was spoken in their home. I do not speak or understand it but it is similar to German, with a twist.

Ok, on to the food. The Pa. Dutch eat a lot of meat and starch. I remember my GrandMother making holiday dinners and there were always many starches. Potato Filling ( some places it's called dressing) mashed potatoes, noodles with browned butter, candied sweet potatoes and bread. Then there were the sweets & sours. Pickled beets, pickled cucumbers, a few different types and chow chow. Then there were the vegetables. . .then desserts. It's amazing that the tables didn't collapse under the weight of all this food. There were a few tables because there were many of us at holiday dinner.
It was a fun time for us kids. There were many cousins and we all spent the day having fun. Mom had 8 brothers and sisters and each family had at least 2-4 children. Cousins galore!

At Easter I remember we always had Ham. Now, because ham is so popular in these parts there are many different brands available in the grocery stores in this area. I have tried them all and have a problem with each one for one reason or another. Many are just too salty and lot's of them are just bland with no smoky flavor. A ham is a smoked leg of pig so it should taste smoky. Many companies do not smoke their meats anymore they are injected with smoky flavor, Yuck.

Well I have found the most Wonderful German Butcher and I want to introduce you to them. He and his wife stand market at a Farmers Market in this area and he smokes his own Hams and they are Amazing! In fact he Double Smokes them. They are not those fancy spiral cut hams. You have to do the carving yourself but the bone makes Awesome bean soup later in the week. I'll post my Ham & Bean Soup recipe later next week. They are not salty but smoky and tender and almost sweet. If you are in the market for something different this Easter he will ship hams. I should probably say THEY will ship hams. His wife Melissa is the shop owner and the Mister smokes the hams himself.

Here is a picture of Melissa and her son at the market stand proudly showing off one of their hams. Her husband is in the background.

Their phone number is 610-929-2697 ask for Melissa.

They also have many other German Specialities. Very nice smoked sausages and a wonderful hot & spicy sausage like the kind used in New Orleans.
Can you tell I am a fan of these folks. They run a small family business and turn out excellent products and they are great people. I love to support folks like this and if you are in the mood for fine ham give them a call.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

March 12, 2009

Dreaming of Heirloom Vegatables

Spent a little time today pouring over 2 seed catalogs. Finally decided to order my seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds.
The pictures in their catalog make my mouth water. Love eggplant.
Look at these tomatoes. Last year we grew heirloom tomatoes and they tasted just like tomatos I remembered as a kid. We purchased our plants at a local museum. The Landis Valley Farm Museum Herb Festival they host it every year in our area. It's always Friday & Saturday of Mothers Day weekend. They were the best tomatoes I've had in years. We grew 8 different types of tomatoes. Give heirlooms a try you'll love the flavor.

Have a great day. ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

March 5, 2009

Crafty Day

The last few days I have been spending some time making tags. There are some really talented gals out there in blogland doing this I just had to give it a try. I must admit that I had a little help. When I opened the drawer to remove my craft goodies someone climbed inside. If you look closely you can see the yellow eyes of a black kitty cat peeking out. Anytime he can get involved he is a happy cat.
After a few days of working at it a little here and there this is what I've got to show you.
I decided to reward myself with a plate of strawberries for a job well done. I really like the tags with old music & roses on them. I think they are my favorite.
These have really great embossed flower stickers on them.

Then I did some more earthy tags. For folks who don't like fofo & flowers.
I have been using essential oils for so many years now that they have become an important and soothing part of my life and I use them many times a day.

Let me share with you how I use them when I am doing a project like crafting. Before I begin I set the intention of what I want to accomplish. Today my intention was to finish the remainder of the tags within a specific period of time, in a graceful manner with lovely results.
I then opened my bottle of essential oil blend called "Magnify Your Purpose". I held it under my nose and took a deep breath. I put 1 drop in my hands, touched a little to my forehead and rubbed the rest on my hands, sealing in the intention. I also used the blend of "Highest Potential". Then I began my crafting process. When they were done I dropped 1 drop of essential oil blend called "Highest Potential" in my hands, rubbed them together and gently rubbed some of the oil onto each tag to infuse each one with this amazing scent.
This oil was blended to help you gather your possibilities and achieve your highest potential. It assists in removing roadblocks and opening new vistas.

This is just what I needed to gather inspiration to make these tags in a beautiful and artful manner. Not to mention that the smell of this therapeutic grade essential oil is just heavenly! I smell the aroma as I work. It is truely inspiring.

When I give a tag with a gift I will again choose an appropriate oil and infuse the gift and the tag with this oil before giving. People love to receive the energy and scent of a special oil choosen just for them.
If you would like to learn more about these essential oils please contact me. I would love to share with you as I have been doing for almost 12 years now. Thanks for visiting.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~