Handmade & Vintage Treasures

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Best Hot Chocolate Ever

With most of the country in the cold, I wanted to share my homemade hot chocolate recipe with you.

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • tiny marshmallows for garnishing
On stove top in a medium saucepan, add condensed milk, whipping cream, and milk. Heat on medium heat for a few minutes. Then add the cocoa, Continuously stir blending the cocoa as the milk heats up. Do not boil. Once cocoa is steaming and well blended, it's ready to serve. Pour into your favorite mug and garnish with marshmallows (as you can see, I like a lot). 

Store left over in the refrigerator. 

Enjoy and stay warm!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I've Got New Year Fever

New Year Fever!!! Is that some new disease? It isn't new to me, I get it every year. Is it contagious? Although, you may already have it, or you may catch it after I share with you. 

First, I must say that I love organizing. I think this is the root of my sickness. It causes me to ponder and plan my days, months, and even the year until I'm blue in the face. With that being said, you know where I'm going with this...I plan my year. Projects and ideas overwhelm me. I find myself feeding off ideas and then adding, changing, multiplying this and that. Yes, this can be good, but too much is STRESS.
I'm often debilitated by Pinterest. So many wonderful ideas...sewing projects, quilt blocks, recipes, gardening ideas, chicken coop designs, remodeling know-how. Anything can be found here! My mind is swirling with "I got to do this" scenarios. 

Are you a member of any Facebook groups? I am. I'm on a few hiking groups, cooking groups, and quilting groups. All filled with great ideas that feed my mind.

I love going to Estate sales! Of course, I have to be on the look-out for wonderful vintage pieces for my store, but also I look for things to repurpose...hence another project. sends me messages daily of sales going on in my area. 

It has been a little cold for flea markets, but that doesn't diminish my desire to go rummage around for some great finds.This symptom grows as warm weather increases.

Gazing upon beautiful fabrics sets my creative receptors in high gear. Oh, the fabric I've bought with a future project in mind. Let's just say, my stash is not short of hoarding.

My down time is often spent flipping through a new quilting or sewing book or magazine. My shelves are full books with dog-eared pages for future projects.

What is the cure for New Year Fever? For the OCD organizer, there is not cure, but there is continuous treatment. For me, I have to stay grounded in who I am and what I can do. I let my OCD organizing order and prioritize which projects that are important to me. 

This year I'm going to:
  • Continue revamping my store. I have several new pieces that I will be adding to my handmade line.
  • Finished a large queen size quilt I've been working on for a while.
  • Our porch railing needs redone.
  • I'm going to build a small chicken coop
  • Start a raised bed garden
Although, I have many more projects and ideas, this is top 5 priority list. Do you now have New Year Fever?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Recycling Glass Jars

I have the hardest time throwing away glass jars. Spaghetti sauce, Peperoncini, diced jalapenos, yeast...all glass jars I refuse to trash. As my pantry piles high with glass jars, I ponder what to do with them. I can not reuse them for canning. My son would like to use them for target practice but I do not want the pasture full of glass. Pinterest has many ideas to decorate and use with Mason jars, why not these jars? So instead of buying tins or bags this year, I decided fill them with homemade candy as give them out this year.

I got the jars clean, some had to be washed more than once to get the strong pepper odor out. Lids are outside in the sun with a nice coat of red spray paint on them. My supplies consisted of ribbon, small snowflake ornaments, hot glue, Mod Podge, glitter, Epson salt. You will also need a small brush and bowls.

I hot glued the ribbon and snowflakes into position. In the bowls I mixed glitter and Epson salt. The ratio depends on how much glitter you like. Then I bushed the lids with Mod Podge and dipped them into the salt/glitter mixture. Tap the bottom to remove any loose pieces. I repeat this procedure with the bottom of the jars. I am not talking about the bottom the jar sits on, but just the lower part of the jar. Now leave them to dry a few hours

I am making homemade pecan turtles to fill in these jars. The recipe is located HERE.

 Jars do make a nice gift reservoir, not limited to Christmas. Here is where your creativity can soar!!! Birthday, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day...the ideas are endless.

 Do you have a great recycle/repurpose idea? Share it with us.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Homemade Pecan Turtles Clusters

I was looking for a candy to fill in my recycled glass jars to give as Christmas treats to friends and family this year. I try to different treat every year. Last year I made date balls. You all know my go-to idea place is Pinterest, so off I went. One of my favorite candies is pecan turtles. I have never made them before. I usually purchase them at the local Russell Stover store or at my favorite candy shop in Pigeon Forge. I can eat them until I green in the face.

So, I found a recipe that seemed easy enough, and thankfully, I did a dry run a few weeks before Christmas. The recipe had a few details that I tweaked to improve the outcome of my second batch. I'll explain as I go through the recipe.

My first tweak...the recipe called to put the pecans down and cover with caramel. After doing this, even after placing the clusters in the refrigerator, the caramel was too sticky. So my clusters stuck together, making them almost impossible to get them out of the jars. My solution. I melted some chocolate first, placing a nice dollop down, them pressing the pecans in the chocolate. Once the chocolate hardens, they pop right off. I made one row at a time to keep my chocolate from setting with out the pecans.


I love white chocolate too, so I made a batch with milk chocolate and one with white chocolate. Instead of using a double-boiler, I melted my chips in the microwave in 10 to 15 second increments. 

The next step in to make the caramel. This is where my second tweak is...even at the temperature the recipe recommends, my caramel spread all over. It warned that the caramel cooled down fast and was difficult to spread then. I let my caramel cool more. As you can see in the picture above, it still spread. After placing my caramel on top, I let it cool more then took a spoon and scooped it back on top.

Last, I melted more yummy chocolate to place on top. As you can see, that placing warm chocolate on top causes the caramel to run again. I just placed them in the refrigerator, the caramel was easier to handle, less sticky, and could be pressed to the sides of the clusters.

As you can see, they worked out very well. I love the combo of white and milk chocolates together. The full recipe is below. You can play with it yourself, adding or lessening the amounts of chocolate or caramel to your likening. For me, this recipe yielded approximately 40 clusters

Homemade Pecan Turtle Cluster Recipe

  • 2 - 2 1/2 cup pecan halves (I used 2 halves per cluster)
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (appx. 7 oz)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2  12 oz. packages chocolate chips ( I used milk and white chocolate)
  • 2 teaspoon Crisco (divided)
  1. Cover 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 1 bag of chips and 1 teaspoon of Crisco (in microwave melt at 10 to 15 second intervals). The Crisco helps with the drizzling of the chocolate. Place in dollops along paper, then press 2-3 pecans in chocolate.
  3. To make caramel, place butter in medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk. Stir continually until well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. It needs to be a thick consistency to stay on top of pecans, so play with it.
  4. Carefully drizzle over pecans.
  5. Melt the other bag of chocolate, adding 1 teaspoon of Crisco. Placing a nice drop on top of the caramel. With my left over chocolate, I decorated the tops with the other chocolate.
  6. Allow turtles to set. They can be placed in the refrigerator to speed this process. Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy and share!

Friday, December 22, 2017

New Beginning

Good morning everyone, it has been a while since my last post. Life has changed somewhat for me. The biggest change that you may know is that I no longer raise hedgehogs. I still love them, but the expense of maintaining an USDA license, and the time in caring for a small/medium size herd was wearing on me. I re-homed my breeders, and I kept a few as pets. The last one, Tulip, passed away earlier this year. She was 5 1/2 years old.
With that being said, I still feel the need to share and reach out to you. So I'm breathing new life into this blog...Still fun, still creative, still informative. A new path of info coming to you will be vintage items. So if you love vintage treasures, stick with me and will take this journey together.
Vintage Spinning Top
I have loved sewing for years and over the past 8 years, I have been honing my skills as a quilter. There is just something so satisfying about seeing a finished quilt lying across a bed or wrapped around someone's shoulders. I can spend hours in my studio digging through my fabric stash (which is extensive), planning my next quilt. My favorite part is the designing and the piecing of the quilt.
Butterfly Patchwork Baby Quilt
So here's to a new beginning. I hope you enjoy our time together. Oh, and please excuse the construction as I revamp this page.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In His Word Wednesday: Mark 7:7,8

Matthew 7: 7,8
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

For the last few weeks I have been writing a series on seeking God's guidance. I wanted to share points that will help when you are at the point of making a decision. We all know when God is in the decision, it's always better for us and others. If you are just now joining us please go back and read part 1 (introduction), part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7.

Receiving...when we obediently seek the will of God, we can be sure He'll hears us and give us the wisdom we need to make the right choices. God delights in showering us with good things.

I will say it again, God is not a genie in a bottle, there to give us our every whim. He is loving, good, and full of grace. A lot of times things we ask for are not good for us or in our best interest. God knows what we need. He knows what will help us (even though we don't realize it) to become the person He wants us to be.

If you are facing a difficult decision, seek God with a pure heart, trusting Him is to give you the wisdom and discernment in making the right decision.

This is the final installment of this series. I hope that in this new year, you will find great peace and confidence in knowing that you are making the right choices based on God's guidance.

Blessings and Happy New Year!
You Are My God by Nicol Sponberg

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In His Word Wednesday: Is 64:4

Isaiah 64:4
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear. Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits on Him.

For the last few weeks I have been writing a series on seeking God's guidance. I wanted to share points that will help when you are at the point of making a decision. We all know when God is in the decision, it's always better for us and others. If you are just now joining us please go back and read part 1 (introduction), part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.

This is one that is difficult for me...waiting. In this hurry-up world, waiting for anything can cause us to lose our temper, our good sense, and our tongues...often more than we can admit. We don't like to wait for anything. We want it right now. The Word of God lets us know that we will learn some of life's greatest lessons while we wait. God promises that He acts on our behalf when we wait for Him. If we want to, we can run ahead of Him. God will use these long pauses in our lives as blessings. But often times, we try to fix things on our own, or manipulate our circumstances. If we wait on the Lord then our sovereign God will act on our behalf. It's our choice.