Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet the Herd !

Pheasant feathers, mink, bells, brocade, fairies, jewels, sounds like a dream right ! Well welcome to the dream, I had the terrific pleasure of working for Laurie DeGrazia at a shop called Wild Thyme in Centreville, Delaware while I was working my way through nursing school and my divorce. The shop was a place full of treasures to buy and people to treasure. I will never forget my time with Laurie, Mary, Barb, Elaine, Gio, Peter, Jeff and all the other characters in and out of Wild Thyme. It was a fast paced, fun and nurturing group whom I love and got me through a very difficult time in my life ! Wild Thyme is a flower shop that sells really unique and beautiful flowers as well as gifts from all over the globe. On any given day you could walk in and find French ribbon, african instruments, first quality life size stuffed animals, just a magical store. Wild Thyme always became just a little more Wild at Christmastime. While selling fabulous gifts and making flowers arrangements and decorating peoples homes from the shop were fun, the best part of the holidays was  - the camels! While I was at Wild Thyme I learned from the master (Laurie) about creating camels. Every year she decorated these magnificent camels and sold them at the shop. Over the years I learned to express myself and made some as well. You can still see and buy these amazing animals at Wild Thyme. Before I left Laurie allowed me to purchase some of the leather camels that we used as a base from the vendor to make my own. My children each have one that I have made as do my parents. Here are photos of the ones I made and kept for myself.
Close up of Stella
Nicholas - his close up

Prancer - lots of bling

Prancer - the largest of the herd

backside of Prancer
Backside of Stella

Santa's helper - one I made for mom

Sherpa - another I made for mom

White Christmas - one of the largest with a pet polar bear made for my mother !
So do yourself a favor get out the glue gun and create your own Christmas treasures, be they camels, ornaments, whatever. I look forward to getting my camels every single year !

Monday, November 1, 2010

Caramel Apples

melting the caramel
some toppings

swirling the apples

Chefs !
OK everyone knows how much I love to cook and usually try to do from scratch. This year I attended a terrific Halloween Party. Chris (a fellow nurse) and I decided to bring caramel apples to the party. OK you know those little bags of caramels in squares ? First off hard to find and second too hard to unwrap them all. So I gave in and used a boxed caramel that comes in a pint sized plastic MICROWAVEABLE tub. that's right friends ------

MICROWAVEABLE ! It was genius ! Each box did 4-5 apples and could be reheated if necessary and when the caramel set up it was the perfect consistency for eating ! TIPS - 1. use a plate under the caramel when heating 2. apply the toppings by pressing onto the caramel instead of rolling 3. if you have sensitive hands use pot holders or a towel or gloves to apply toppings as the caramel is hot 4. make sure excess caramel has dripped off prior to adding toppings otherwise they will drip to the bottom with the carmel 5. Use cold apples for dipping 6. finally, if you are taking to a party cut them up when you arrive and they will disappear, leave them whole and they will make a nice centerpiece. Enjoy they were the hit of our party !