Pumpkin Crunch Cake.. yum yum!

pumpkin-crunch-cakeSince we are selling a lot of our Pumpkin Crunch candles and melts, I’m passing along the recipe from my fragrance supplier to have on hand when every body comes into your house and starts asking “what are you baking?”

Pumpkin Crunch Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 package yellow cake mix

1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin

1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup melted butter

whipped topping.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease bottom of  9 x 13 pan. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in bowl. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans over cake mix. Drizzle melted butter evenly over everything. Bake for about 50 minutes. Cool completely and serve with whipped topping. Refrigerate left overs.

Advertisements
Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 1:12 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

TeA and CoFFee StAiNed FaBriC

crowdollI get asked a lot of questions about how to do things around the shop. My experience is candles and scented products. But I have come across others that do a wonderful job of other types of crafts and I also like to cruise the net looking for info to see how others go about doing things. So, although I have not tried these procedures for myself, I have heard and seen the results of others doing them.

Primitive decor has a palate of darker colors.. the colors you get over time. Blues and reds become muted, black gets more charcoal and anything white developes an darker antique patina. So, to get that age-old look instantly on fabric, you can tea or coffee stain.

Tea staining is the less extreme of the two methods. It will give you lightly stained, yellowish-brown areas on your fabric. Different teas will result in different tints and tones in the final product. Standard black teas will give a soft brown or cream color to your fabric, while some of the herbal teas leave more of a red tone.

 To create tea dye you will need to bring to boil enough water to soak your fabric in. Then add 1 tea bag to every half a cup of hot water and let it brew for about 10 minutes. Soak the fabric you wish to age in the bucket of tea. Swish it around every so often if you want a smooth textured finish. Leave it without moving it much for a mottled finish.

When the fabric has soaked “enough” pull it out and rinse it under cool water. You will loose a lot of the color doing this, so if it isn’t dark enough to suit you, soak it some more. Be aware that when the fabric dries it will be slightly lighter as well. It’s been found a medium light tan color can be achieved after about an hour. A richer tan can be achieved with an overnight soaking.

 Another method of staining fabrics is to sponge them. Make up the stain as before, then using an old sponge, soak up some of the tea dye and blot it onto the fabric. This gives a distinctive mottled look to your fabric. You could build up layers using different strengths of tea. The more tea dye you use, the darker the stain will be. This process gets the fabric pretty wet. You can lay the fabric out to dry, run a fan over it or bake it in the oven at about 200 degrees for a few minutes to dry it. Reapply additional coats of tea dye as necessary to get the desired color.

 Tea dye is only for natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Tea dye is also semi-permanent. What this means is that while it will not wash out easily, you can usually remove it with bleach. It may also fade in sunlight. It is not suggested for use on items (such as clothing) that will be washed regularly as modern detergents are designed to remove the tea stain.

For a richer and darker color, try coffee dye. A recipe I found was mixing 5 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals in half a cup of hot water. They also added a few drops of vanilla extract to add a bit of scent to the mix. Other recipes throw in a tablespoon of cinnamon for the aroma as well as the texture it gives.  To stain with the coffee dye, use the same sponge-blotting method described above for the tea dye. When the piece has the desired color it can then be baked in the oven. You can also spray tea or coffee dye on with a spray bottle, or dry your fabric outside in the sun on a warm day.

Since I had to get this information from other sources, here are the web sites I found the most information on and they are worth a look for other things as well:

Primitive Folk Art

Kiss My Crafts

Cinnamon Sticks and Candle Wicks ~ for the doll pictured

BaCoN ChEddAr DiP

 We are pulling the shop apart and getting ready for our Open House on November 7th. We will have some of our dip mixes made up for sampling. A favorite last year was the Bacon Cheddar mix. Great mixed as stated on the package, but here is another delicious recipe sure to please the crowds.

bgbc

Big Game Beer Cheese Dip Ingredients:
1 pkg. Bacon & Cheddar
Cheesespread Mix
16 oz. Velveeta® processed cheese
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup beer

Directions: Cut Velveeta® into 1-inch cubes and microwave in a large mixing bowl until melted. Then mix in softened cream cheese, beer and Bacon & Cheddar mix. Put mixture into a slow cooker (smaller size) and cook on high until melted together. Serve with tortilla chips, pretzels, bread chunks or wheat crackers.

Published in: on October 25, 2009 at 1:12 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

New Candle Fragrances

IMG_0181_2We have added a new candle fragrance called Harvest. It is a duplication of Yankee’s popular spiced Fall fragrance. The fragrance is a spicy blend of cinnamon bark and clove bud on a dry down of musk. We have gotten quite a few comments on the tester and so have the Antique Jar candles added and the melts will be soon to follow.

Two new candle testers are Pecan Pralines and 7up Cake. We just started them today so too  new to tell. A favorite of mine that I have had burning for a week now is a Lavender/coconut/cream mix. It is really nice and a welcome change from all the cinnamnons we have burned in the last few months.

Amish Harvest has been added to both candles and melts and it is going out the door as fast as I get it made. With the cooler weather and everybody heading indoors, a cozy and fragrant home becomes more important. If you have never tried one of our candles, now is the time to get one. Each one is designed to burn all day.. 6 to 10 hours without having to trim the wick. And, the average burn time on these candles is 115 hours. For us at the shop that is burning them 5 days a week, 8 hours a day and a good month to get them done. To make getting one of our candle even better, sign up for our monthly Newsletter and get a coupon for one of our candles for only $10.

Published in: on October 25, 2009 at 12:58 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

New Candle Fragrances

lg1_001517We are finally gettting our inventory of candle and melts back up after the Findlay show. We sold out of Buckeye, Amish Harvest and Caramel Crunch. Buckeye has been a favorite for years, but the Amish Harvest was brand new at the show. While burning the tester at the shop we got comments all month long about how great the fragrance was and when it would be ready. Amish Harvest candles and melts have been made and are ready for you to take home and enjoy.

The Caramel Crunch was a new fragrance last month and another that got lots of comments when we tested it. This fragrance is rich and decadent orange pound cake with a hefty coating of caramel. Absolutely delicious and the citrus notes are perfect for this time of year. We madef lots of melts in this to be ready for this being a new favorite.

Another new fragrance that we sold a lot of is Toasted Hazelnut. This is very warm and nutty and it has a great throw.  Other favorites at the show and around the shop are Pumpkin Crunch, Cinnamon Apple and Coffee Cake. A surprise sell out at the Findlay show was Dragon’s Blood. Not really a seasonal fragrance, it is one you either love or hate.. there is no middle ground. I’ve thought of renaming this fragrance but those that like it go out of their way to get it. I will have to make sure we bring a lot more next year when we do Findlay.

Currently burning around the shop are Harvest, Moonlit Path and Raspberry Patch. So far the Harvest and Moonlit Path are burning well and the throw for both is great. The Raspberry Patch is a Raspberry Patchouli blend that has done well in our lotions.. but the patchouli in the blend makes it very difficult to wick for a good burn. Patchouli is a very dark oil and even with the largest wicks, does not burn properly. I have found it impossible to wick in something I would sell. So this fragrance will probably only be available in melts.. like our Patchouli.

I have also poured some new ones that we will start burning next week. Look for Pecan Pralines and 7up Pound Cake when you enter the shop. We currently offer over 90 fragrances in both candles and melts and in time will offer 150 to be the largest selection of candles and melts in Ohio.

The picture at the top is one of  our Village Wax Warmers and it will quickly melt you wax tarts to fragrance you home at the same time it adds ambiance with its lighted glow.

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

NeW iTemS for ThE HoliDaYs

Gift Card Holder
Gift Card Holder

We are starting to put out our Christmas items that have been arriving the last few months. We have several ornaments and  these little guys are not only cute on a tree, they are an adorable way to give a gift card, especially one of ours, to your Country or Primitive loving friends and family.

Snowman Ornaments
Snowman Ornaments

Another Primitive Snowman ornament are these two. They come as a pair and have a wonderful grungy look that will complement any tree, especially the German Twig Trees so popular in Country homes.

santa 2Even Santa has a nice grungy Prim look with these ornaments. Our Santas are a good size and I can see them hanging  in several places around a home as well as your tree. I am looking for unique places for them around the shop and will get some more pictures when I start putting things together.
Gold Flecked Tree
Gold Flecked Tree

These pictures do not do these little trees justice! Instead of a bright green typically found in Christmas trees, they are a neat olive color and are dusted with a gold glitter that just makes them something you HAVE to have this year. I bought the last three of these and am seriously considering keeping one for myself. They are about 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall and have little pinecones on the branches and are nestled in a primitive finished pot.

tree 3A close look at the branches and you can barely see the sparkle of the glitter. These trees look fine on their own  or add a few small prim ornaments or a small strand of rice lights for even more impact.
 

FeaThEr TrEEs

feathertree-5Christmas items have been arriving at the shop for months now. It has been no fun to have all this cool stuff and not be able to have it on the floor. In a few weeks we will be phasing out Fall and bringing out the Christmas goodies in preparation for our Open House November 7th.

One of the items we have new this year are Feather Trees. I did some checking on the internet and found out some history of these trees. I’m going to pretty much quote a page I found at Victorian.com. This site has a lot of cool information if you are into Victorian decorating so check them out when you finish reading this. Here is their article:

Yes, it is actually true that feather trees were the first artificial Christmas trees and they were originally made in Germany as early as 1845.  Like many inventions, tabletop feather trees came about out of necessity. By the mid-19th century, decorated trees were more popular than ever; however, in Germany deforestation was widespread, especially during the holiday season. It had become the fashion to chop off the tip off a large Fir tree to use as a Christmas tree; however, this practice prevented the tree from growing taller and thus made it useless as a timber tree. Statutes were enacted to limit people from having more than one tree, hence protecting the forests. With the introduction of the “goosefeather” tree, this problem was resolved. Goose feathers were plentiful and these feather trees began to be produced as a cottage industry as the alternative to cutting a live tree. These goose feather trees became the first artificial Christmas trees. Metal wire or sticks were covered with goose, turkey, ostrich or swan feathers. The feather sticks were drilled into a larger one to resemble the branches on a tree; the feathers were often died green to imitate pine needles. The trees were made to resemble the locally growing white pines of the German forestland, so they had wide spaces between their branches, short “needles,” and composition “berries” on the end of every branch tip.

feathertree-3Meanwhile in America, cut live trees were the cherished way to make the holiday come alive.  When the Germans immigrated to the United States, they took their beloved portable feather trees with them to use in their new homes. While it was the German immigrants that introduced feather Christmas trees into the U.S., the practice of using artificial trees really did not take off in America until Sears Roebuck first advertised artificial trees for sale in their 1913 catalogs.  Often they had berries and candleholders at the branch-tips and a round white base.  They ranged in size from 55 inches to 17 inches tall.  By the late teens, Japan followed suit and manufactured feather trees for the U.S. market.

In the 1920s feather Christmas trees were gaining in popularity, especially to European-born Americans continuing to follow their customs. However, by the mid-1930s their popularity declined somewhat as the tree farm industry grew.  In an effort to revive the market, Germany began supplying Montgomery Ward with a wider variety of color choices and fancier designs on the tree stands. Artificial trees all but disappeared during WWII. Then after the war, in the 1950s, feather trees were replaced by artificial trees made of synthetic substances, like visca and aluminum.  It’s no small wonder why feather trees are now a popular decorating choice for people with period homes.

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,