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January 2015 marks the fourth anniversary of my blog! To start year number five, I thought we’d journey back a bit and revisit some posts from the early years. I’ve selected some of my favorites as well as some posts that were the most popular with readers.

These are loosely grouped together by topic, so I invite you to browse! If you are a newer visitor, I hope that you will find the information useful, engaging, and inspiring! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, I hope you enjoy re-reading these posts with me!

Baking and Entertaining

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Crafts and Vintage

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Faith and Hope

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Seasonal and Patriotic

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Travel and Gardens

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I hope you’ve enjoyed our little journey back through time, and I look forward to your continued readership in 2015!

On the journey toward Home,

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Christmas-cookie1These tasty little treats are the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness. My sister-in-law made these cookies for Christmas one year and they were so awesome that I now bake a batch nearly every year. They also make great Easter cookies!

Cookie recipe:
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortning
2 cups flour
1 egg
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash salt

With an electric mixer, beat butter and shortning. Add about one-half of the flour, and then the egg, sugar, milk, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined, and then beat in remaining flour. If the mixture becomes difficult to beat, add a little more milk. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to one-half inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool and frost.

Cream cheese frosting recipe:
3 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, until light and fluffy.Gradually add in powdered sugar, beating well between additions, until frosting is of spreading consistency.

I added white sugar crystals and a few sprinkles to my Christmas stars. I hope you’ll enjoy using this recipe for years to come!

Christmas-cookie2

On the journey toward Home,

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Pink and Green Vintage Style Guest Room

by Lynn on November 22, 2014

Victorian beaded fringe lampshade

You know that room in your house where you put all the stuff you need to do something with, but just don’t have the time to do something with it now? The one that stores boxes that need to be gone through, files that need to be sorted, records that need to be shredded, items that need to be mended, and craft projects that need to be completed? Well, my poor guest room was that space, and over the years it became the repository for work stuff, family stuff, and craft stuff so that THAT stuff wouldn’t clutter the rest of the house. Eventually, there was so much stuff stored in there that only a little path from the door to the closet remained, just in case a repairman needed access to the attic! The running joke in my family was that I probably left it that way to discourage them from spending the night, which wasn’t entirely true… okay, so maybe it was just a little bit true!

Be that as it may, I did think about getting my guest room back to some form of functionality. Often I’d open the door and tell myself, “I really need to do something about this room.” But then I’d get completely overwhelmed with wondering where to start and I’d turn around and close the door.

Well a few months ago, events beyond my control caused me to revisit the situation in a serious way. I had a pipe leak in the attic above the master bathroom sink. It unfortunately caused some water damage to the master bedroom which, much to my dismay required far more mitigation than I ever could have imagined. A week of fans and dehumidifiers necessitated that I vacate the master bedroom and take up temporary residence in my cluttered guest room. After a few days, I was a most uncomfortable guest in my guest room! Moving boxes off the bed so I could sleep in it was just not enough. I felt like I was living in a cave! Well, as the weeks went by (yes, repair took that long), I began to tackle the monumental chore of sorting, filing, tossing, and making a huge pile for the Goodwill. And to my delight, the guest room once again became fully functional. Now that it was, I wanted to spruce it up a bit. I knew that with just a few decorative touches my guests would declare, as Miss Elizabeth Bennet so eloquently stated, “It is a very pleasant room!”

Guestroom2

One of the new focal points is a beautiful Victorian-style beaded lamp shade that I made for my vintage floor lamp. The main panels of the shade are covered in a French-style tapestry. The inset panels are completed in a gold scroll fabric, and taupe-colored gimp joins the panels together.

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Cream-colored long fringe is overlaid with two strands of beaded fringe, and green silk butterflies finish the design.

Victorian beaded lampshadeharp back chair

To complement the beaded lampshade, I repainted and then reupholstered a vintage 1940’s harp back chair in the same French tapestry fabric. Sometimes this style of chair is also referred to as “lyre back.”

Harp back chairGuestroom7

I found the shabby-chic painted furniture at an antique store and knew that these pieces would be perfect for this room.

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The dresser is adorned with a delicate lace runner, porcelain bird house ornament and a vintage relish dish. The cup and saucer are Crown Staffordshire Blossom Festival, and the plate is a Coalport Sandringham pattern.

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The matching vanity is just the right size for this room, and goes very nicely with my new chair!

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On the vanity is one of my favorite Limoges trios.

Victorian bed lamp

The vanity mirror holds a beautiful hand-crafted bed lamp, made by a dear friend as a gift.

Victorian bed lamp Guestroom14

The guardian angel print also came from an antique store, many years ago. I don’t know who the artist is, but I’ve always loved the style and vibrant colors of this print.

vintage china mosaic

The night stand has a vintage china mosaic top and drawer front, and the shelf below holds a pink and green CS Prussia bowl. It pairs well with the pink rose and green floral comforter set. Opposite sits a colorful fabric cat.

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Over the bed, the southern mansion print is “One Fine Day” by R. C. Carter. The colors are perfect for this room, and the image just makes me want to be in that picture!

While the water damage fiasco was a huge headache, I’m glad that circumstances forced me to reinstate the guest room. I love the new look and am happy to share my progress with you!

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Now, if only I could get my craft supplies out of the living room… sigh…!

I’m linking up with How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday!

On the journey toward Home,

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autumn cupcakesSince my cooking and baking skills are somewhat lacking, I like to find instructions on the internet that are simple for me to follow. I don’t know enough about baking to understand how to alter ingredients to change texture or density, so I was happy to find a great recipe from TastyKitchen.com for moist vanilla cupcakes! The instructions were straight forward, and more importantly the cupcakes were actually light and fluffy! Here are the details:
3 cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Beat together butter and sugar.
3) Add eggs, beating well after each addition.
4) Add flour, baking powder, salt, and beat well.
5) Add milk and vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
5) Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
6) Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
This recipe yields about 36 cupcakes.

For frosting, I used a buttercream recipe from TheKitchenMagpie.com. It is light and airy with just the right amount of sweetness.
1 cup salted butter
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream

1) Beat together butter, vanilla extract and heavy cream.
2) Add sugar and beat until creamy.
This recipe will yield enough frosting for about 36 cupcakes.

To frost, you can use a pastry bag, or just a plastic bag with the corner cut off. I started on the edge and then piped in a spiral circle inward.For these cupcakes, I wanted a simple decoration that resembled the blending colors of autumn leaves. I used green, orange, and red sugar sprinkles to give the cupcakes just a bit of color.

vintage china tiered server cupcake standDelicious and simple to make, these vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting are a delightful treat for fall.

On the journey toward Home,

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It’s Shoebox Time-Operation Christmas Child

November 9, 2014
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Each year, Samaritan’s Purse orchestrates the collection and delivery of gifts to children around the world. Packed in shoeboxes, these simple presents bring hope and the message of the Gospel to literally millions of kids. And the really cool part—it is so easy to get involved in this ministry! Check out the video from Samaritan’s […]

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Fear, Faith and Focus

October 27, 2014
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The news seems to be making headlines faster than we can read them. California lost two sheriff’s deputies this week to a worthless thug who should have been in jail. Canada lost two military officers to two jihadists, and a third jihadist attacked two New York City police officers with a hatchet, critically wounding one […]

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As Summer Slips into Autumn

September 30, 2014
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After several weeks of 100-degree plus weather, I am SO ready for some cooler temperatures!! I love fall and everything about it; the crisp-cool air, the changing leaves, the Pumpkin Spice latte making it’s reappearance at Starbucks… Now in southern California, we do have some leaf color-change, but it really pales in comparison to the […]

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Thousands Find Christ at Harvest SoCal

August 24, 2014
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Last Sunday I attended Harvest SoCal in Anaheim, California. The annual crusade is an outreach ministry of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and last weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the event. For 25 years, Pastor and Evangelist Greg Laurie, has been presenting the Gospel message to thousands of people looking for answers to life’s questions. Over five […]

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Etsy Summer Sale

August 2, 2014
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My Etsy shop, The Drawing Room at Pemberley, is having a summer sale and you are all invited! Everything in the shop can be purchased at a 20% discount by using the coupon code SUMMER14 at check-out. This Etsy coupon code is available through Sunday, August 10, 2014, and does not apply to shipping. Here […]

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Planting Seeds and Reaping a Harvest

July 23, 2014
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Being a forensic scientist, I admittedly don’t watch television series that depict my profession. Now I understand that in these shows, criminalistics is dramatized to be entertaining in a story line that can be completed in an hour. I also know that the public doesn’t realize that DNA analysis can’t be completed on a gas […]

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