I first became enchanted by mercury glass while antiquing in my former hometown 14 years ago. The antiques dealer whose store I used to frequent had a mantle inside the converted home lined with beautiful mercury glass candlesticks. Their lovely shapes were something to behold whenever one would walk into that store, but it was the way in which they gleamed so proudly that really caught my attention while perusing the countless antiques. Not knowing what these pieces were, I began to ask questions. I'm glad I did, because Lydia Gorohoff, quickly became my go-to source for wonderful collectibles as I began creating my home in Haddonfield. Born and raised in Germany, this astute antique dealer accumulated a lot while living in Europe. She and her husband brought many of their prized possessions when they emigrated to the United States and, lucky for me, among those pieces were her mercury glass candlesticks from Czechoslovakia. From around 1840 through the early 1930s
My Christmas table setting was composed rather quickly this year. I was originally going to use reds and whites on the table, but pieces from my jadeite collection beckoned me to use greens for our dinner. As much as I love using my mid-century jadeite on a weekly basis, I had never thought of elevating this glassware to a more formal meal. After going through my inventory of glassware, linens and silverware, I did not hesitate to compose a table fit for this joyous holiday in my usual modest way. For the tablecloth, I chose a pale green, hemstitched linen. It’s nice mixing a place setting with different china, so this year it was no different. For the table, I used a mix of jadeite from the 1950s as well as some that was produced for Martha by Mail over a decade ago. That the pieces don’t match exactly is what’s so charming about doing this type of arrangement, and if you must know, I added some porcelain plates just to make it fun. Those too were from Martha by Mail.
It's always a pleasure to bake and ice cookies during the holidays, because it allows us to express our creativity using our best and favorite cookie cutters. This time-honored tradition is beloved by so many of us this time of year and I think you will agree, that the moment our loved ones near & far behold these edible creations, it makes all of that hard work worth it. The cookie cutters you use to create holiday cookies need not be priceless heirlooms, for just about any cutter can make exquisite cookies in festive shapes. Some of my friends have been sharing images of their cookies with me and I have to say that I’m thrilled with everyone’s artistry. It’s amazing what a little icing and some sugar can do to a cookie! Here at home, once my dozens of cookies have baked and cooled, I tint royal icing in batches, thinning out for flooding as I go. Once I have gathered the icings, sugars, sprinkles and other edible decorations, then it's time to exp
As Christmas approaches, I thought I would use a favorite cookie cutter of mine to create some jolly snowmen for a few friends. Over the last few days I've cut and baked dozens of holiday shapes that I plan on packaging up for individuals right before the 25th, but it's these snowmen that first caught my attention when it came time to decorate. The snow here in eastern Pennsylvania has been coming down about once a week, and on my drives around town I've noticed several snowmen cropping up on people's lawns here & there. It's always nice to see those jolly creations because it reminds me of the handful of snowmen I created with my brothers and neighbors when we were kids. Does one put a scarf on the fellow along with a top hat? It definitely needs a carrot nose and coal-black eyes, if anything, but what one embellishes the rest of the sculpture with is entirely up to the person creating it. It's the same idea when icing some snowmen cookies