Welcome...

Grammy's House is a term affectionately used by our grandchildren, and it has become a haven for them. Our youngest grandchild, Sophia, resides here with us, along with Scout, the 2 lb Yorkie, and Lucy Maud, the kitty cat. We named our 100 year old Victorian home Rose Water Cottage when we moved here, in June of 2011. It is quite a haven for grownups who are weary of being grownups. So, welcome to our storybook world...where magic happens every day.
Blessings,
Christie

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Making Chai in a Happy Cottage Kitchen

I love our happy kitchen.
 Even when it's cold or dreary or rainy or dismal outside...
it is happy in here....


I am happy that we finally have our dream kitchen..

..that we modeled after the charming display we saw a few years ago in
 Penzey Spices, Winter Park, Florida..


I'm especially happy when I see this happy Santa looking back at me....


Thank you dear Susan Branch for creating a new Christmas dishtowel...

...and for a pretty Christmas Recipe book to remind us that our kitchen truly is the heart of the home...


...especially in the midst of this season.... 
And a huge thank you to fellow girlfriend, Janie, for the snowflake garland! 
Phia and I love the pretty shimmery flakes:)

So when I saw what Alicia Paulson had whipped up in her kitchen
at www.rosylittlethings.com
and decided it would be just the right thing to whip up for those on my Christmas list,
I commenced planning and ordering.
(and thanked her for the perfectly perfect idea;)

Once everything arrived, via express mail,  (for time was of the essence) I was quite excited.
Penzey spices ...mini-weck jars ....disposable paper tea bags....
recipe printed...
check...check...check....and....check





cute little stickers on the spice jars...


intoxicating fragrance..


(I'm now in love with fresh Cardamom pods)

chop...


Heaven!

Everything into a pan and into the oven for 5 minutes...
and when your entire Happy Kitchen is filled with the fragrance of cloves,  cinnamon sticks, and the blending of the remaining spices...
...be prepared..
for when you open the door of your oven...


You will want your home to always smell just like this.

Allow the spices to cool and then distribute evenly on a cutting board.
Using your rolling pin...crunch carefully over the spices, in order to release even more fragrance..
as if it can possibly get any better.
In a bowl, mix the spices with PG Tips loose tea.
(I went for the big bag, as this tea is fabulous with the mix, but equally as delicious by itself)

After filling all my little mini-weck jars, there was just enough left over to fix a batch for taste-testing....


I brewed the Chai tea mix, according to instructions...steep ....add milk...
and used my Emma Bridgewater tea pot and mug...and a cute little strainer....
(I didn't use the fillable tea bags or infusers for this batch)


I'm just going to tell you right now...have honey handy...
it is THE perfect sweetener...trust me...


I also loved having a good reason to use my special honey spoon....
a treasure, crafted by Julie Whitmore. 
 (Google her...she creates the MOSt darling pottery)


...and since I mentioned Julie...I have to show you the first spoon I purchased from her...


Really! ...is there anything sweeter than a bunny bun sniffing hollyhocks?
I just don't know that there is!

Okay...back to the preparing... 
I guess I could have copied a set of instructions for everyone, 
but you know me... 
....It had to be cute...pretty...pleasing to the eye...


The little jars were tucked into gift bags, along with enough fillable teabags, and the Instruction card.

I had so much fun with this gift preparation. 
I am sure it's because it was a combination of baking and crafting.
...my two favorite things... 
...especially because I was in my happy cottage kitchen...
The Heart of our Home

*******
Hoping your Christmas was wonderful ...
and 
that you were blessed with the comforting fragrances of home


Blessings for a Happy New Year

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Pajamas and a Tea Party

No matter how young or how old we are...we girls love a new set of pajamas...
...a pretty new nightgown...
...a new pair of slippers...

They just feel so good. Especially when it's cold outside, and there's no where she has to be.
So when one receives all 3...well, let's just say...
a girl might not ever come out of them!

Sophia's new jammies and bunny boots (as she calls her new slippers) arrived in the mail...


...and she was pretty excited.  They are very good for hopping.

Commence hopping.

On this chilly morning
we had enjoyed reading through some tales,
and I had begun my knitting time (a new Tasha Tudor inspired Cottage Shawl, for me) with the softest new yarn, Frog Tree's Alpaca Sport ....(acquired at my favorite place to knit, crochet, receive needed instruction..The Joy of Knitting shop, here in Franklin)


Sophia was wearing her pretty new gown.

Scout popped out from between the table and Grammy's Rocker ...wondering what Phia was up to, for she's ALWAYS up to SOMETHING interesting...


she looked awfully busy...


she was 'tidying up'...
 as they say on Peppa Pig...her most favorite show.
*****
Grammy is teaching her that she must tidy up one mess before beginning another...
...and there is always, always another mess on the way...
*****
This lovely new mess requires a basket filled with tea party goodies...


....and a sweet old cloth that is just the right size for impromptu tea party picnics..


...requiring several goes at getting it to lay, just so...


Now onto the guest list. 
There's Winnie bear and Grammy rabbit...


They love each other.
She leans on him, because he never ever falls over.

Then there is Really Old Bear
(not to be confused with Old Bear, who is the star of Jane Hissey's books)

He is a lighter shade of mohair...a very, very old shade...

Looking over Really Old Bear and the tea tray...
..Phia takes inventory.
Hmmmmmm what else do I need...



tea pot...check...a tea cup...


yes..


two tea cups...check...

Now to feed Winnie bear...


Oh...it's too hard to reach him...
must adjust the seating arrangement...


Oh, alright, Winnie bear...just come sit in my lap..


I will feed you.

Now... it is time for Really Old Bear's nap...for he is really really old...



Phia fixes and fixes until she gets his covers just right...


Really Old Bear looks so comfy... Maybe Phia will just slip right in there next to him...


Now of course, this went on for several more minutes, with several more tries,
but, alas, poor Sophia failed to achieve the same level of comfiness as Really Old Bear.
She is most comfy in her very own room,
in her very own bed..



reading books to Little Teddy.

We are very excited that Christmas is just around the corner, although it is very difficult explaining this to one little girl who, upon waking each morning, asks,
"Is it Kissmiss?"

Soon little Phia....soon.

*****
Our love for Tasha Tudor and Christmastide is reflected on our dining table....


The yellow ware bowl belonged to our beloved Tasha.  I was incredibly fortunate to find it on a website, The World of Tasha Tudor... Cellar Door Books.
It is perfect for pomanders and pinecones.
The tiny book of hers, The Bouquet, was found after quite an online search.
Sweet treasures resting alongside the Tudor family's hand-dipped beeswax candles.

Blessings, friends.





Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our Cottage Kitchen

I was on the phone, this morning, with Zach from Penzey spices.  What a small small world it is...

We had visited their store in Winter Park a year and a half ago, and I loved their old-fashioned kitchen in the back..the cutest display I had ever seen in a store.  The farm sink and little Philco-type fridge became my vision for our little cottage kitchen, in much need of a makeover.

So Tim searched and found a 1940's farm sink...


...and Phia can't get enough "washing bishes" time...


We acquired a 1950's Philco, but after some time, we realized it was just too small and found a company that makes reproduction refrigerators..Big Chill... in Buttercup Yellow..


...the exact shade of our 1930's Chambers gas stove...


So..back to Zach... I just had to tell him how much I had loved the shop in Winter Park, Florida, wishing we had a shop here in Nashville.  I told him about the little kitchen display that had been the inspiration for our kitchen.  It just so happens...he is related to the founder of Penzey's and lives in the home of the grandmother, whose kitchen farm sink was the inspiration for the store's displays in all 70 locations.
Yes...it was a moment..
It had made his day...
and it had made mine.
I told him he could visit my blog and see pictures, and gave him the address.
Well, after quite a search, I could not find the photos. Also...I didn't want him to have trouble finding them. My goodness, if I couldn't ...he didn't stand a chance.
So, my new friend Zach...welcome to this Grammy's house. A hug to Granny, for me...and a hug to you for making my morning with your cheerful voice and for helping me with such fervor.

Our kitchen is now the perfect setting for all of the sweet things I find on Susan Branch's website... as it is painted in the sweet shade of blue she used for years, Summer Shower....


Blessings friends ....especially Zach, Granny, and the Penzey family

Friday, December 13, 2013

Don't let the Grinch in on Friday the 13th

Nope...not going to let him steal our Christmas Spirit...even if it does happen to be Friday the 13th...


For Sophia's birthday, her daddy gifted her with How the Grinch Stole Christmas...
which had been his momma's favorite book..
then, his favorite book...
and he was hoping it would become Phia's favorite.

It is.  Did we have any doubt?

She loves it.

He came the other day, after our tree had arrived, and Tim had left for work, and I had been at Starbucks...
fascinated by this gingerbread house replica of their store on the corner of Main Street
here in Franklin...


The Oreo cafe tables on the stack of peppermints ...the photographs in the windows..the NOEL sign, just like the one atop the store...it was all just too delicious for words.

I came home with ribbon for the outdoor wreaths, whipped up some bows, decorated the tree...
sat for a minute, to take it all in...


I love these little Kathe Wolfhardt ornaments I acquired on a trip to Rothenburg, Germany many moons ago


and I love this little girl, who is mesmerized by the lights, the ornaments, 
the magic...


...and I love that she lives here with us in this magical little cottage...




and that she loves to hear stories of Santa coming down the chimney to leave her presents under the tree...

and how she loves looking up the picture of baby Jesus in her Children's Bible.

I love, that on this terribly cold morning, sitting in front of the fire...


learning to crochet the Sunshine Day Afghan...
by Alicia Paulson...


in all these scrumptiously soft shades...
(for one never knows when another grandbaby might arrive on the scene)


..that Sophia is enjoying her favorite show... Peppa Pig ...
...sounding more and more British with every episode..
grabbing her tiny lunchbox as a suitcase and declaring she's going "on holiday"
as soon as Father Christmas arrives.

This hopeless anglophile of a Grammy couldn't be happier.

The Grinch will not dampen this beautifully cold, sunshine-y Friday, the 13th...
oh, no no No NO!

Blessings .....