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Collecting & More in May

Baking, crafting, collecting & much more were written about on the blog this past May.  It’s always so much fun coming up with new recipes & stories to share with all of you, and if you must know, there is never just one source of inspiration for me.  I’m constantly looking out for things that catch my attention, whether they be recipes, crafts or items to collect.   

Speaking of collecting, the jadeite story I put together with the help of a few friends was certainly a pleasure, because I was able to see just how passionate people can be about having nice collectibles in their homes.  It’s so nice to find collectors using their possesions in their day to day lives.  I’m of that ilk that firmly believes collections should be admired and used whenever possible. 

The Martha by Mail Danish Fern pattern of earthenware was another story I fell in love with.  I can only say that I regret not getting that particular Burleigh ware china when it was readily available.  Transferware in any color & style, to my mind, is so beautiful to have and set a table with.

I hope everyone sent a special card for Mother’s Day this month.  Take the ideas from this month's craft and use them for a birthday card in the future.  I think I'm going to start crafting myself!

Vanilla Cupcakes & Red Velvet Cupcakes were delectable recipes I touched upon toward the beginning of the month.  You must try them if you want tasty, tender and light cupcakes.

Lemon madeleines are delicacies I like to indulge in every once in awhile.  I don’t know about you, but I can eat several of them in one sitting and not even think twice!  Perfect with a cup of tea.

If you’re having a wedding coming up soon and would like ideas for favors & cakes, go through the lovely Martha by Mail collectible cookie cutters I featured and the Vintage Wedding Cakes I displayed for you.  Going retro can be a lot of fun, so if you’re so inclined, make your special day a memorable one with a nod to the past.

May’s Best Things.

Mmmmmm, yum.  Madeleines are always welcomed with a cup of tea.  I find that I adore them the next day even more than right when they come out of the oven.  I’m not sure that they even stale one bit if I keep them in an airtight container overnight.  However, if you insist on having them right out of the oven, knock yourself out.  The batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one day.  A great thing if you’re entertaining a discerning crowd of gourmands.

If I see an adult devouring one of these cupcakes in two seconds then I know I’ve provided them with a tasty cupcake.  Kids adore red velvet cupcakes because they are such a sight to behold.  I think you should make these for a weekend barbecue this summer if you want to please  your loved ones.  They would be perfect for a 4th of July celebration with family members.  For a red, white & blue theme, add blue sprinkles to the tops of each cupcake after they’ve been iced with some vanilla frosting.  Trust me, there won’t be one left.

Ah, dogwoods.  Where would I be without the lovely sight of these trees?  I will forever be an admirer of dogwood trees, whether they be small, young ones or large, mature beauties that tower up to 40 feet in the air if they're given shade (about 20 feet in full sun).  You should plant one in your yard if you don’t already possess a dogwood tree.  You’ll be rewarded with years of gorgeous blooms in May.  

Heat embossing a card is such a nice way to add a bit of elegance to any card.  With embossing powders, stamps and a heat gun, you can easily make a number of designs for one-of-a-kind cards.  

FYI, I recently ‘discovered’ a wonderful store called Paper-Source near my home.  They have everything for this kind of project!  If you live near one, visit it and get inspired to create something nice.

The second lucky winner of that cookie contest received her cookies on time for Mother’s Day and she was certainly pleased to have them.  Unbeknownst to her, I sent an extra box of cookies as a surprise!  

It’s so beautiful to go back and see this lovely china.  Thanks to my friend, Alan, I was able to show you up close just how exquisite the transferware is.  Alan is determined to add a lot more to his collection and I’m sure he’ll be successful in locating just what he wants.  Best to you Alan!  

Keep this recipe close at hand because it is wonderful.  It’s a go-to cupcake that is always a crowd pleaser and for you, the baker, it’s great that the recipe is so easy to make.  Get creative with the cupcakes and add citrus zest to the batter to perk them up or frost them with a favorite icing of yours if you don’t want vanilla.  

If you own the Beautiful Bug Cookie Cutters, I hope they prompt you to throw a party out in your garden and have them as part of the celebration.  Pile them up on a platters or cake stands if you wish.  You can also wrap them up in cellophane bags to give away.  So pretty. So Martha.

Who doesn’t love a bit of retro every now and then?  Wilton Wedding Cakes are classics.  What I love about these vintage cakes is the piping detail on every single layer.  Everything was very orderly and meticulous in those days, with clearly defined lines between the stacked layers.  The embellishments were another nice way to add a bit of whimsy to the confections.  Just looking at them brings back so many memories for me from childhood.  

Oh dear.  Writing this post just made me want to hit every antique shop in the area and buy up the glassware from the 30s, 40s and 50s in great quantities.  It is clear that people are passionate about jadeite.  The way my friends have managed to make their beautiful possessions a part of their daily lives is amazing.  

Nick’s Jeanette canisters are items I truly covet.  It’s so nice to see his filled with their designated items on his kitchen counter.  Did you notice the jadeite-colored rotary telephone?  Go back and look for it.

Clay & George certainly have a wonderful home.  To have that chandelier gracing the dining room would be a dream come true for anyone!  I love the way they mix the jadeite with their china for a table setting, because that’s exactly what I do with mine here at home.  Personally, I like the combination of jadeite and Wedgwood Queen’s Ware (traditional plain) & White Bone China.  The creamy colors pair nicely with the milky green hue of jadeite.  

Matt’s beautiful collection of jadeite is used all the time, I can assure you.  He doesn’t mind having an every day meal or preparing a recipe using his best jadeite.  The way he displays it in the kitchen cabinets is a testament to his style of good living.  Visit his blog by clicking here and see what he’s up to.  I think there is a garden in the works!

I can’t get enough of this vinaigrette.  Over the Memorial Day weekend I used it to marinate some turkey cutlets for grilling and the results were spectacular.  The flavor and subtle hints of the fresh herbs penetrated the turkey perfectly.  Keep it in your refrigerator for a flavorful boost in your salads.  I know you’re going to like it.

While going through the Bell & Dove images of these Martha by Mail cookie cutters, I realized I had no idea what the parts of a bell were (I had to look them up!).  If you make Bell & Dove cookies for wedding favors, everyone will be talking about them.  I love how the former catalog showed us a great display on stacked cake stands.  

Martha by Mail items are so collectible.

What does June have in store?  I’m thinking of a good cookie recipe, some tasty granola, a bit of collecting (Wedgwood is due for a write up) and a homekeeping tip or two that I’ve been meaning to get to--I’m even going to craft for you!  Stay tuned for more Good Things this coming month.  I think you’re going to like them.

~ David


  1. Gosh! Such a fantastic post, David!! So full of information and beautiful images... Thank you!

    Happy June and Summer too!

  2. I know, it is a lot of information (useful I hope!).

    Here's to a great summer, Janet!!



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